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Southwest chefs share their secrets.

Widening interest in Southwestern foods has spurred creative cooks and chefs in the heart of the region to use adventurous, imaginative flavor combinations. Here are two fine examples. In the first, a colorful relish, chilies and two kinds of bell peppers cook in a vinegar syrup until they're slightly candied. The relish complements grilled lamb.

The second dish earns taco classification because crisp radicchio leaves function as wrappers to enclose the tofu-pepper filling and fruit salsa.

Rack of Lamb with Spicy Pepper Relish

2 lamb racks, trimmed

weight about 1 1/2

pounds each; rib ends

trimmed, and chine

(back) bones removed

or cracked 6 sprigs fresh rosemary

or 1 tablespoon dried


Salt and pepper

Spicy pepper relish

(recipe follows)

Trim surface fat from lamb. Cut each rack in half. Place lamb on a grill above a solid bed of medium-hot coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). Turn to brown evenly and cook to doneness desired. For rare (140 [degrees] on a thermometer inserted in thickest part), allow 15 to 20 minutes total. Just before removing from grill, burn 2 sprigs rosemary or all the dried leaves on coals under lamb (takes about 1 minute).

Transfer lamb to plates. Garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs. Add salt, pepper, and relish to taste. Serves 4.--Vincent Guerithault, Vincent Guerithault on Camelback, Phoenix Per serving: 256 cal.; 30 g protein; 14 g fat (5.1 g sat.); 0 g carbo.; 93 mg sodium; 99 mg chol.

Spicy pepper relish. Stem, seed, and cut into fine strips 4 large (about 2 lb. total) bell peppers (2 yellow and 2 red), and 8 red or green serrano chilies (about 3 oz. total). Mix with 1 cup sugar and 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, cook pepper mixture, uncovered; stir often until most of the liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. Cool; if making ahead, chill airtight up to 1 week. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Per 1/4 cup: 167 cal.; 1.2 g protein; 0.6 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 42 g carbo.; 5 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Tofu-Pepper Taco with Pineapple Salsa

1 pound soft tofu, rinsed

and drained 2 tablespoons Oriental

sesame oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons pepper 2 cloves garlic, pressed

or minced 8 large leaves radicchio

(about 4 oz. total),

rinsed and crisped 1 cup shredded jicama

Salsa (recipe follows)

Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes; drain well on towels. Gently mix with sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper, and garlic. Let stand 5 to 15 minutes.

Arrange radicchio leaves on plates and fill with jicama; set aside.

Place a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add tofu mixture and cook, turning carefully, until tofu is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Fill each radicchio cup equally with tofu. Add salsa to taste. Makes 8 first-course servings. --Michael Shortino, Top of the Rock, Tempe Per serving: 74 cal.; 3.4 g protein; 5 g fat (0.5 g sat.); 4.3 g carbo.; 264 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Salsa. Mix 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, and fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla) or salt to taste. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Per tablespoon: 4.3 cal.; 0 g protein; 0 g fat; 1.1 g carbo.; 0. 5 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Anusasananan, Linda Lau
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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