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Two cultures meet in a wok.

We've talked before about syncretism, and our remarks certainly apply to Bob Stewart's Chicken or Pork Burros-a Mexican dish prepared using a Chinese stir-fry technique in a wok. Another Chinese touch, heating a hot pepper in cooking oil until it begins to blacken, is the Szechuan kung pao treatment for spicing the oil, which in turn flavors other ingredients.

While the Chinese cook would leave the pepper in the food-letting the wise diner eat around it-Stewart removes the pepper early in the process, saving anyone the unpleasant surprise of encountering it hidden in the tortilia.

Note that the sauce is a mild one; this is traditional in northern Mexico, as are the flour tortillas.

You may, of course, spice the burros up if you wish, since the filling's ingredients are capable of almost endless variation. But try this one first.

Chicken or Pork Burros

Salad oil

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

1 small dried hot red chili 1 whole chicken breast (about 1 lb.),

skinned, boned, and cut into 1/2inch cubes; or 4 pork loin chops, boned, fat trimmed off, and meat cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

2 green onions (ends trimmed), thinly


4 medium-size mushrooms, sliced

Burro sauce (recipe follows)

4 large flour tortillas, each about 10

inches in diameter

4 slices (1 oz. each) cheddar cheese,

each cut into strips

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or 12-inch frying pan over medium-high beat; add garlic and chili. Stir until chili turns almost black. Discard chili and reduce heat to medium. Add meat and sherry; stir-fry just until meat is white in center and liquid has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes for chicken, 6 to 8 minutes for pork. Lift meat from pan and set aside.

Add 1 more tablespoon oil to pan, then add celery and stir-fry for 2 minutes; add onions and mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes longer. Return meat to pan, add sauce, and stir over low heat until hot. Remove from heat.

To shape each burro, lay 1 tortilla flat, spoon 1/4 of the stir-fry mixture near I edge, and top with 1/2 of the cheese strips. Fold tortilla edge up over filling, then fold in sides and roll to enclose filling.

Rinse wok and wipe dry. Heat 2 more tablespoons oil in wok over medium-higb heat; add 1 burro and cook until browned on both sides. Repeat to fill and cook remaining burros, adding more oil to pan as needed. Makes 4 servings.

Burro sauce. Stir together 1/4 cup catsup, 1 1/2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 to 3 drops liquid hot pepper seasoning.

Per serving: 545 cal,; 38 g protein; 34 g carbo.; 28 g fat; 96 mg chol.; 667 mg sodium.

Bob Stewart, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Arthur Vinsel can always be relied on to send in recipes of considerable originality, often with names of startling originality. We don't always use the names, some of which might be libelous. This one we are calling Brown Rice a l'Orange. (If you must know, Chef Vinsel calls it Brown Rice au Snakenavel McCune.)

The orange and other seasonings give the rice distinction without making it so strongly flavored as to dominate the dish it accompanies. It would go well with a barbecued or broiled chicken.

Brown Rice a l'Orange

1 cup long-grain brown rice

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

About 2/3 cup water

2 strips pared orange peel (orange

part only), each about 2 inches long

3 sprigs fresh sage or marjoram,

each about 4 inches long, or 1/4 teaspoon of the dried herb

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Prepared teriyaki sauce (optional)

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine rice, orange juice, wine, water, orange peel, and sage. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until rice is tender to bite (add water, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, if needed to prevent sticking), 55 to 60 minutes. Remove the rice from heat and let stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Discard orange peel and sage sprig; stir butter into rice until melted. Offer teriyaki sauce to add to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 247 cal.; 3.9 g protein; 43 g carbo.; 6. 7g fat, 16 mg chol.; 64 mg sodium.

Arthur R. Vinsel, Costa Mesa, CA

Flourless muffins? It seems an impossibility, but read this recipe. They're made with grain in a different guise: breakfast cereal and graham cracker crumbs. (The graham cracker, by the way, was first baked 160 years ago by Sylvester Graham, whose advocacy of a vegetarian diet and home-baked bread earned him the enmity of butchers and bakers.) Greg Levin's muffins also contain raisins, walnuts, maple syrup, and yogurt, but the chief flavoring ingredient is peanut butter. Don't let all these healthful ingredients put you off, the muffins taste great.

Peanut Butter Breakfast Muffins

2 cups wheat-rye-flax breakfast cereal

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon each baking powder and

baking soda

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup cream-style peanut butter

1/2 cup unflavored yogurt

1/4 cup maple or maple-flavor syrup

2 tablespoons butter or margarine,


2 cups buttermilk

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, stir together breakfast cereal, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and brown sugar.

In another bowl, with a whisk or a rotary beater, beat eggs and peanut butter until smoothly mixed. Mix in yogurt, maple syrup, butter, and buttermilk.

Add egg peanut butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until well moistened. Stir in raisins and nuts. Spoon batter into greased 2 1/2-inch muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake in a 375[degrees] oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Lift from muffin cups and serve warm. Makes about 2 dozen.

Per serving: 154 cal; 4.8 g protein; 20 g carbo.; 6.5 g fat, -27 mg chol.; 149 mg sodium.

Bellingham, Wash.

The French, too, have a pizza; it is called pissaladidre and is usually associated with the Riviera, especially the city of Nice. Its broad crust is usually topped with onions, anchovies, and olives, and it is often known in English as onion or anchovy tart. When he saks of French tart, Grayson Taketa is thinking of a derivative of this dish not Mademoiselle from Armentieres or any of her historic sisterhood.

Taketa's tart nods toward Italy in its use of mozzarelia cheese and tomatoes, but the Dijon mustard saves it for the French. This kind of tart invites fussing, and you might want to try anchovies, olives (salty green Spanish-style or green or black ripe), bell peppers, or any of the thousand natural amendments that pizza is heir to.

French Tart

1 package (10 oz.) refrigerated pizza


1/4 cup Dijon mustard

3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions,

including tops

1 teaspoon dry Italian herb mix

3 CUPS (3/4 lb.) shredded mozzarella


4 to 5 Roma-style tomatoes (about

3/4 lb.), thinly sliced

Unroll crust and with your fingers press into a greased 10- by 15-inch baking pan. Evenly spread dough with mustard, sprinkle with onions and herbs, then top evenly with cheese and tomato slices.

Bake on the bottom rack in a 425[degrees] oven until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown around the rim, about 20 minutes. Cut into squares. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 306 cal.; protein; 27 g carbo.; 16 g fat, 44 mg chol.; 746 mg sodium.

Los Altos Hills, Calif.

Linguine with clams (con vongole) is commonplace delightfully commonplace-on Italian restaurant menus. If it works with clams, reasons Steve Harrison, why wouldn't it work with oysters? He was able to prove that it works very well indeed-if you like oysters. Despite a hot bath in butter, wine, cream, and a variety of seasonings, the oyster emerges triumphant, its scent and flavor evocative of low tide in a quiet estuary.

Linguine with Pacific Oysters

1 jar (10 oz.) small Pacific oysters

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 small red bell pepper, stemmed,

seeded, and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 can (21/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives,


1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup dry vermouth

1 teaspoon dry basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves

1/2 cup whipping cream

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

8 to 9 ounces fresh Linguine

Lift oysters from jar (reserving any liquid) and cut into bite-size pieces. Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat; add oysters and cook just until edges curl, 1 to 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift from pan; set aside. Add bell pepper and garlic to pan and stir often until pepper is limp, about 5 minutes. Add olives, wine, vermouth, basil, oregano, oyster liquid, and cream. Turn heat to high and stir often until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Return oysters to sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper, and heat through.

Meanwhile, bring about 3 quarts water to boil on high heat in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Add Linguine and boil, uncovered, until tender to bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well and pour into a shallow serving bowl; pour oyster mixture onto pasta and add parsley; lift with 2 forks to mix well. Makes 3 or 4 servings.

Per serving: 362 cal; 11 g protein; 39 g carbo.; 18 g fat; 113 mg chol.; 220 mg sodium.

Steven R. Harrison, Portola Valley, Calif
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:Feb 1, 1989
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