Wasabi Chicken

Just about everybody who has eaten wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, undoubtedly remembers the first time as an unforgettable dining experience.

The first time I had wasabi was probably 30 years ago at a sushi bar in Denver. I was there with a friend, Bob Frederickson, who fancied himself as a sushi aficionado. It didn’t take me very long to understand why.

I fell in love with sushi almost immediately, especially liking the kick that the green wasabi that accompanied the seafood gave me.

Wasabi has an extremely strong flavor, its burn more akin to that of a hot mustard than that of the capsaicin in a chili pepper. It also has the tendency to stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue.

These days, I get my fill of sushi at Little Bangkok, a restaurant in East Grand Forks that specializes in Thai food. We go there once or twice a month, and I usually dine only on sushi.

I recently found out that the green wasabi served with sushi is usually white wasabi powder mixed with colorants and mustard. I happen to have a small spice bottle of it in my cupboard and have been wondering what other uses it could have other than with sushi. Then, I came across the following recipe, which looks like the perfect vehicle.

Wasabi Chicken
3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 teaspoons wasabi powder
¾ pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast
1 teaspoon canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix mayonnaise with the wasabi powder and set aside. Flatten chicken to ¼-inch thick with a meat bat, the bottom of a heavy skillet or your palm.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear it 4 minutes. Turn and sear the other side for 4 minutes. Salt and pepper the cooked sides to taste. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees.
Remove skillet from heat and place chicken on a plate. Drizzle the wasabi sauce over the chicken. Cover with another plate or foil to keep warm until the vegetables are ready. Use the same skillet for the accompanying side dish.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 306 calories, 47 percent of calories from fat, 16 grams fat (2.1 grams saturated, 6.7 grams monounsaturated), 108 milligrams cholesterol, 36.5 grams protein, 1.9 grams carbohydrates, 0.3 grams fiber, 305 milligrams sodium.

Pan-Roasted Ginger Corn and Broccoli
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 cups frozen corn kernels
1 cup broccoli florets
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced (about 1 cup)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Add the oil to the nonstick skillet used for the chicken and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, corn, broccoli and red pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables with the oil and cover with a lid. Cook 5 minutes, turn vegetables over and cook, covered, 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: This dish may also be prepared by placing all the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwaving on high 6 minutes. Remove and toss with salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 226 calories, 13 percent of calories from fat), 3.3 grams fat (0.8 grams saturated, 1 gram monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 9 grams protein, 48.1 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 47 milligrams sodium.

Spicy Teriyaki Steak

There’s nothing worse than a tough piece of meat off the grill. But there’s one method that will take away any worries about that. Marinades ensure tender as well as tasty meat, no matter if you’re using the cheapest cut.

‘ve always liked to make my own marinade with honey, teriyaki sauce and orange juice. But these days, you don’t have mix up you own to guarantee success. I’ve discovered over the past couple of years some tasty dry marinades from McCormick, which require only mixing with water.

And now, some new marinades from Lawry’s of the seasoned salt fame offer another option. New is Santa Fe Chili Marinade, which is described as a bold blend of flavors, including chili pepper, cumin, oregano and a splash of lime juice — perfect for waking up easy weeknight chicken dinners; and Mediterranean Herb and White Wine Marinade, which features basil, oregano, garlic and sun-dried tomato, blended with white wine and extra virgin olive oil.

The marinades join a list of several dozen others, including the one used in the following recipe.

Spicy Teriyaki Steak
¾ cup Lawry’s Teriyaki Marinade with Pineapple Juice
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sesame seed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1½ pounds flank steak
Mix marinade, ketchup, sesame seed and red pepper in small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons for brushing. Place steak in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add remaining marinade mixture; turn to coat well.
Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove steak from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
Broil or grill steak over medium-high heat 7 to 8 minutes per side or until desired doneness, brushing with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade mixture. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with Broccoli Salad, if desired.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 237 calories, 9 grams fa, 30 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 60 milligrams cholesterol,734 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich

What constitutes a great Philly cheesesteak sandwich? Some will say the perfect one consists of a hoagie roll, several slices of good quality beef, a bunch of caramelized onions and, of course, a cheese that’s tasty as well as gooey when it melts.

The original Philly cheesesteak sandwich was created by two Philadelphia brothers, Harry and Pat Olivieri in about 1930. According to one account, the two operated a street-side hot dog grill in the home of the Liberty Bell. One day, Pat said to Harry, “Here’s a quarter. Go to the Italian Market and buy a hunk of steak.”

The brothers cut up the steak, grilled it with sliced onions, and slapped it on a roll. A cab driver who drove by asked what they called the sandwich. “I guess you call it a steak sandwich,” they said, and sold it for a dime. And that was the birth of the Philadelphia steak.

It wasn’t until 22 years later that cheese was added, first Cheez Whiz and subsequently provolone and American cheese and pizza sauce.

I got to think about the sandwich today after seeing one advertised at a Holiday station while getting some gas for my car. While I didn’t rush in and buy one, it made me think twice. Here’s a recipe that I might give a try, although it does appear to be a bit extravagant.

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons applewood-smoked bacon drippings
2 ounces Spanish onions, julienned
2 ounces green bell peppers, julienned
5 ounces choice rib-eye steak, sliced 1/16 inch thick
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 pinches fresh thyme
½ cup warmed cheese sauce (such as Cheese Whiz)
1 8-inch ciabatta or hoagie roll
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a hot pan pour the vegetable oil, the bacon fat, and onions and saute until golden brown. This should take 10 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to burn or they will become bitter instead of sweet. Next, add the green peppers and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the rib-eye, shred with 2 spatulas and cook until well done (about 5 to 7 minutes). Season with salt, pepper and the thyme and pull off of the fire.
Place the bread in the oven for about 5 minutes and then slice in half but leave the back connected. Place the meat mixture evenly over the bread and pour the warm cheese sauce over the top. Close the top of the sandwich, place it on a plate, grab three napkins and a beer, and chow down.
Yield: Serves 1.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 1,284 calories, 74 percent of calories from fat, 106 grams fat (38 grams saturated, 40 grams monounsaturated), 247 grams cholesterol, 43 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 2,312 milligrams sodium.

Stir-Fried Pheasant with Brown Rice

Spring cleanup is an annual rite in many cities. Citizens can throw away items they no longer need, and public works crews pick them up on a designated week.

In our household, it’s also time to go through four freezers, so we can consolidate their contents in half the space. Often, that requires digging out some food to prepare immediately. Wild game fits that category.

Being an upland bird hunter, I usually have a good supply of grouse, partridge and pheasants after the fall season. We usually don’t get through all of the birds by the time spring arrives, so they are some of the food that’s taken out of the freezer in the spring for immediate use around cleanup time.

Yesterday, I used a few of my last pheasants from the 2011 season in a classic stir-fry. Along with some mushrooms, onion and sweet red bell pepper, I prepared them on the stove top in a large wok. I served them over cooked brown rice, along with a spinach salad.

If you’re looking for a meal that is quick and easy to make, give the following recipe a try.

Stir-Fried Pheasant with Brown Rice
1½ pounds pheasant breast cut into ½-inch strips
1 red or green bell pepper, sliced
1 8-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki marinade sauce
1 low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup Vidalia onion, sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
Prepare brown rice according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat sesame and olive oil in wok or skillet over medium-high. Add chicken, leaving any liquid on the plate. Stir-fry 3 minutes. Add vegetables and stir-fry 2 minutes.
Mix cornstarch and water. Add to wok or skillet. Continue cooking mixture until thickens.
Serve over rice.
Yield: Serves 4.
Note: Chicken could be substituted for the pheasant.

Trinidadian Stir-Fried Shrimp with Rum

Shrimp is classic Caribbean fare. No matter where you travel, from Cuba to the Dominican Republic to the Bahamas to the Virgin Islands to the coastal areas of Mexico and Central America, that tasty crustacean rates near the top of culinary favorites of visitors and natives alike.

Some friends of mine recently returned from a trip to that part of the world and raved about the tasty fresh shrimp meals they had there. The shrimp, they said, tasted nothing like their farm-raised counterparts that people who live inland have to rely on. On the contrary, they were tender, flavorful and just impressive.

I’ve never been to the Caribbean, and probably won’t be going there for a while yet. But there’s one thing for certain: When that happens, I’m going to indulge myself in a lot of seafood, particularly shrimp.

In the meantime, though, here’s a Caribbean recipe I may try that will have to suffice.

Trinidadian Stir-Fried Shrimp with Rum
1 pound large shrimp
Juice of ½ lime
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons dark Jamaican rum
2 teaspoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 medium ripe tomato, cut into thin wedges
1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Using kitchen shears, cut through the shrimp shells two-thirds of the length down the back of the shrimp. Remove the legs and devein the shrimp, leaving the shells and tails on. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with lime juice for a few seconds. Rinse the shrimp, drain and set on a plate lined with paper towels. With more paper towels, pat the shrimp dry. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, rum, soy sauce and ground white pepper.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the garlic and the ginger, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 10 seconds or until the aromatics are fragrant. Push the aromatics to the sides of the wok, carefully add the shrimp and spread them evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the shrimp begin to sear. Sprinkle on the salt and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the shrimp begin to turn orange. Add tomatoes, bell peppers and onions and stir-fry 1 minute or until the shrimp have turned almost totally orange. Swirl the ketchup mixture into the wok and stir-fry 1 minute or until the shrimp are just cooked through and the sauce coats the shrimp. Stir in the cilantro.
Yield: Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish or 4 as part of multicourse meal.

Barbecued Baby Back Pork Ribs

It’s easy to tell the difference between good barbecued ribs and bad ones. But there’s a fine line between the good ones and the great ones. What it really gets down to is appearance, taste and texture. One thing that goes a long ways toward accomplishing this goal is a good rub.

And there wasn’t any shortage of ribs with rubs at today’s Sioux Tailgate Cook-off Challenge in the Alerus Center parking lot. More than a dozen restaurants and food vendors competed in a burger and rib competition, which had judges raving when all was said and done.

I helped judge the ribs, sitting at a table with Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown, UND athletic director Brian Faison and former UND and Minnesota Vikings star running back Dave Osborn. Along with four others, including Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and sports editor Wayne Nelson, we were asked to pick the best ribs from 10 rib entries, all of which stood out in one way or another.

Appearance-wise, all of the ribs looked pretty good, so what it got down to was taste and texture. Osborn, who was to be one of the guest coaches for the annual UND spring football game that followed the cook-off challenge and huge parking lot party, said he was pretty impressed with all five entries but that two did stand out for taste and texture. He did qualify that by saying ribs were his favorite food.

I sampled the same ribs as the former gridder and agreed. And to me, it appeared the better ones had been prepared with a dry rub.

I was so impressed with the contest that upon returning home had to go through my rib recipes to find one that was made with a dry rub so we might have a meal of some nice barbecued baby backs in the next week or so.

Here’s the one I found most interesting, which a friend gave me years ago.

Barbecued Baby Back Pork Ribs
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
3 racks of baby back ribs (4 to 4½ pounds)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Soak 2 to 3 handfuls of hickory chips in a pan of water for 45 minutes. Arrange a thick layer of charcoal briquets over the bottom of an outdoor grill, ignite, and when the coals turn gray, sprinkle the soaked chips evenly over the coals.
Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the dry rub in a bowl and mix until well-blended. In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the mop sauce and whisk briskly till well-blended. Cut and pull off the membrane from the back of each rack of ribs. Season the ribs with salt and pepper, then rub each with about 2 tablespoons of the dry-rub mixture.
When ready to barbecue, position the grate of the grill 4 to 5 inches from the heat, brush the grate with oil, place the ribs on the grate bone side down, and grill for about 15 minutes. Turn the ribs over with tongs and grill for 15 minutes longer. Brush with some mop sauce, turn the ribs over, and grill for 15 minutes more. Brush again with the sauce, turn, and grill for 15 minutes longer or till very tender and glossy. Add more coals and chips if necessary.
Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, brush them with more sauce, and then sprinkle enough dry rub over the surfaces to form a crust. Serve as whole racks or cut into sections, with extra dry rub on the side.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Garlic and Herb-Marinated Chicken Thighs

The key to successfully grilling meat has a lot to do with its preparation. According to a nationwide study conducted by the folks at Weber, about 78 percent of grillers use dry seasonings, rubs and marinades when they grill. And when they grill ribs and chicken, marinades are the most popular method.

I can relate to that. Whenever we have fowl such as chicken or pheasant on the grill, I like to marinade the meat overnight in a mixture of honey, teriyaki and orange, seasoned with a bit of onion, garlic and rosemary. Not only does the marinade enhance the meat’s flavor, it also makes it more tender.

While I often like to make my own marinade and think they are the best way to go, there are a lot of store-bought varieties available that work just fine. Some of my favorites have been made by McCormick, but I’m looking forward to trying a couple of new ones from Weber.

The Just Add Juice marinade mixes gets a thumbs up from “Queen of the Grill” Elizabeth Karmel, author of “Taming the Flames” and executive chef at New York’s Hill Country Barbecue Market and Hill Country Chicken.

Karmel says Weber’s “Just Add Juice is a great point of culinary departure. The Just Add Juice marinade is great as a simple lemon-pepper chicken, but I experiment with it, as well. For example, I love to start with the Caribbean jerk variety, add orange juice, a little dark rum, scotch bonnet peppers and scallions for a quick flavor trip to the islands.”

Here’s a grilled chicken recipe using another of the six new marinades, Garlic & Herb, which I’ve found quite appealing.

Garlic & Herb-Marinated Chicken Thighs
1 package Weber Just Add Juice Garlic and Herb Marinade Mix
½ cup lemon juice, about 2 large lemons
1 cup white wine
8 chicken thighs, about 2¼ pounds
2 lemons, cut in circular slices
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh thyme or basil for garnish
In a large, nonreactive bowl or glass 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, mix marinade mix, lemon juice and white wine. Add chicken thighs, cover and marinate in zip-top plastic bag for 2 to 4 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove chicken from refrigerator and blot dry. Carefully lift skin from the top of the thigh and place 1 to 2 lemon slices under skin, depending on size. Smooth skin down. Brush all over with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Place chicken, bone-side down, in center of cooking grate. You do not need to turn the chicken pieces. Grill until breast meat near bone registers 180 degrees, about 45 minutes depending on the size of the thighs. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cook until no longer pink and the juices run clear.
Remove from grill using tongs and a spatula, if needed, to preserve the skin on the top of the thighs.
Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme or basil.
Yield: Serves 4 to 8.

Grilled Pork Chops with Chorizo, Dates and Manchego Stuffing

Pork chops are one of the most popular meats for grilling. There are several reasons why, including that they’re versatile, quick to prepare, are relatively lean and go well with a lot of different seasonings.

But one thing only about one in five Americans  realize is the potential of this endlessly inspiring option, according to the new “However You Chop It” survey.

Here’s a recipe from Chef Madison Cowan that demonstrates just what you can do with a pork chop. Cowan, Grand Champion of the popular cooking competition, “Chopped,” recent winner of “Iron Chef America” and also the star of  the new television show, “No Kitchen Required,” says when it comes to versatility, it’s hard to beat pork chops.

“I’m a firm believer that chops are a great cut to inspire a bit more creativity in the kitchen. It’s ideal to keep a couple go-to chop recipes in your back pocket, but why not spread your culinary wings and try a new flavor combination or technique? I find that experimenting in the kitchen can be a revelation, often leading to new family favorites.”

Here’s one of his creative recipes, in which he stuffs whole chops with a savory sausage, date annd cheese filling.

Grilled Pork Chops with Chorizo, Dates and Manchego Stuffing
6 double-thick bone-in rib chops, about 12 ounces each
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup sea salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
½ gallon iced water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound smoked Spanish chorizo, diced
2 medium celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup pitted and finely chopped dates
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Manchego or sharp Cheddar cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To brine pork chops:  Bring vinegar, brown sugar, salt, mustard, and peppercorns to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve salt.  Do not inhale fumes.  Transfer to large, deep food-safe container.  Let cool until tepid.  Stir in iced water.  Submerge chops in brine.  Refrigerate for 3 hours, no longer.
To make stuffing: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add celery, dates, and shallot, and cook, stirring often, until celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, sage, and paprika. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.  Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Remove chops from brine, rinse under cold water, and blot dry with paper towels. Cut a horizontal pocket in each chop to the bone using a sharp knife. Spoon equal amounts of stuffing into each chop, and close each opening shut with wooden toothpicks. Do not overstuff the chops; you may not use all of the filling.
Prepare a medium fire in an outdoor grill. (For a gas grill, preheat to about 400 degrees. For a charcoal grill, let the coals burn until covered with white ash and you can hold your hand about an inch above the cooking grate for 3 seconds.) Brush cooking grates clean. Grill pork, with the lid closed as much as possible, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of a chop reads 145 degrees, about 15 minutes. Remove from the grill and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove toothpicks and serve.
Yield: Serves 6.

Native American Nosh

Have you ever wondered about your family’s food traditions? Undoubtedly, many of them were brought to this country by your ancestors and have been passed on to succeeding generations. But there probably are some that had their origins right here.

A good example of that is the traditional foods of the original Americans, the Indians. Many of the foods that we take for granted were grown and eaten by Native Americans for years before they became part of a broader culinary demographic.

Three vegetables that fit into this category are corn, beans and squash, collectively known as the Three Sisters by Native Americans.

I had the opportunity to sample a couple of different dishes that contained those nutritional stalwarts today at UND’s Wellness Center. They were among some traditional foods of North Dakota tribes that are taking part in the 42nd annual Time Out Week, five days of cultural events, exhibits and entertainment organized by the UND Indian Studies Association.

Presenters Twyla Baker-Demaray and Amber Finley talked to a group of about 30 UND students and faculty about Native American cuisine and served up a couple of soups, a healthier version of Indian fry bread and an ice-cream sundae that was topped with a sauce made of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and honey.

Baker-Demaray, project director of the National Resource Center on Native American Aging, principal investigator for the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative, both at the Center for Rural Health at UND’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Finley, executive director of the Northstar Council, a private North Dakota Nonprofit Organization with the express mission of creating a Native American Cultural Center for the Greater Grand Forks community, also explained how their ancestors thrived on indigenous plants and animals.

My favorite dish at the demonstration was the Three Sisters Soup, which contained hominy (corn), butternut squash and kidney beans in a vegetable stock. While passing on the sundae, I did have some of the tasty berry sauce atop some gabooboo bread, which was cooked in a little oil in a cast-iron skillet instead of being deep-fried.

While I didn’t get the recipes from the UND event, here are a few other Native American recipes, the first courtesy of Donna LaChapelle and Patricia Chandler of the Leech Lake Chippewa tribe, the second from the late Hazel Dupree of Fort Peck Reservation near Poplar, Mont.

Three Sisters Soup
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1 butternut or acorn squash, prebaked and pureed
½ cup corns
½ cup hominy, cooked
½ cup white beans
Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 to -5 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder, salt, coriander, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes to develop flavors. Stir in pureed squash. Cook 5 minutes or until headed through.
Serve warm with chives and plain yogurt, if desired.

Gabooboo Bread
5 cups enriched flour
5 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup warm water
¾ cup vegetable oil
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix milk and water together. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture.
Knead dough gently, form five equal sizes of dough balls. Set aside.
Flour table or cutting board and knead to form a 9-inch diameter round dough, about ¼-inch thick. Cook on top of stove at medium heat, in a skillet, with 2 tablespoons oil.
Rotate to brown and turn over to cook on the other side. Dough should take about 5 to 8 minutes to cook.
Yield: 5 9-inch rounds of bread.

Buffalo Chili
2 tablespoons oil
1 pound ground buffalo meat
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
1 each, chopped: yellow onion, green bell pepper
¼ cup chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 to 2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato puree
2 cups cooked or canned pinto beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup beef broth, homemade or canned, plus more if necessary
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the ground buffalo, breaking it up with a spoon, until well-browned and crumbled, 8 minutes. Add the chilies, onion, bell pepper, chili powder, coriander, cumin and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and tomato puree; simmer 15 minutes. Add the pinto beans, water and beef broth. Heat to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to simmer. Cook 30 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste; simmer 30 minutes. Gradually stir in the masa harina; cook until thickened lightly. Add more water or stock if the chili becomes too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 334 calories, 32 percent of calories from fat, 12 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 46 milligrams cholesterol, 35 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 1,337 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Seared Ginger Balsamic Salmon

Have you ever wondered why salmon is so popular compared with other fish? It probably has something with its versatility. Salmon can be can be steamed, rubbed, glazed, pan-roasted and more.

Or maybe because of its health benefits: high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12 and B6 and calcium. I think it’s both plus the fact that it also tastes good.

One of my favorite ways to have salmon is in sushi, but I haven’t quite got around to trying it that way at home. So, when I’m cooking the king of fish, it’s usually on the grill or in the oven.

Rarely do I prepare salmon on the stovetop, although there have been a lot of pretty good-looking recipes that have crossed my desk over the years. And that includes the following, which is served with a hot and sour slaw..

Seared Ginger Balsamic Salmon with Hot and Sour Slaw
¼ cup soy sauce
3 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
4 6-ounce pieces center-cut salmon fillet with skin, patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons canola oil (divided)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (divided)
3½ cups (9 ounces) shredded broccoli slaw
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tablespoons light brown sugar
Combine dressing ingredients; set aside. Season salmon with salt and pepper.
Heat half the canola oil and the sesame oil in a wok or heavy skillet until hot but not smoking. Add red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons of the ginger; stir-fry 10 seconds. Add bell pepper and toss lightly over high heat. Add the broccoli slaw, toss lightly and pour in the rice wine. Stir and cover. Cook over medium-high heat for a minute. Uncover and add the dressing. Toss lightly and transfer to a bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side up, partially cover and sear until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook 5 to 6 minutes, until the fish flakes in the middle.
Portion some of the slaw on individual plates, and place salmon fillets on top.
Drain off any oil and reheat the frying pan with the balsamic vinegar, water, lemon juice, brown sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Simmer over medium heat-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup. Carefully pour the glaze over the salmon.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 544 calories, 56 percent of calories from fat, 33.5 grams fat (6.7 grams saturated, 13.5 grams monounsaturated), 93.5 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, 4.9 grams fiber, 1,735 milligrams sodium.