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Everyone at one time or another has been to a restaurant and had a really fantastic meal that you wish you could make at home. And you probably could, if only you knew the exact ingredients, how to prepare the special sauce and how long to cook it. But it always seems there’s an ingredient or two you’ve left out, as it just doesn’t taste quite the same as what you had in the restaurant.
I should know, because I’ve tried to duplicate many dishes with varying results. One such recipe, though, turned out “exactly” like the restaurant’s version.
I spoke with the owner, who was about to close the restaurant and move to Florida, and he agreed to publish the recipe in the local newspaper before he left town. He was true to his word.
His “Chicken Winston” recipe is a wonderful blend of chicken tenders and butterflied shrimp, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and then dredged lightly in flour and dipped in an egg wash, and sautéed until golden brown.
The secret to the dish is a seven-ingredient room-temperature de jonghe sauce placed in a saucepan and whisked constantly until light, airy and hot. The chicken and shrimp are then placed on a bed of your favorite rice pilaf and the de jonghe sauce is poured over the top. This is an easy dish to make and one you’ll be making for your friends again and again!
1 lb. chicken tenders
1 lb. (10-15 count) butterflied shrimp
Salt, pepper, garlic powder for seasoning
Flour for dredging
Butter and oil for sautéing
16 oz. milk
De Jonghe sauce (all ingredients must be at room temperature):
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsps. garlic puree
2 Tbsps. A-l Steak Sauce
1/2 cup chopped green onions, tops and bottoms
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Juice from half a lemon
Season shrimp and chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder; dredge in flour. Whisk together milk and egg. Dip shrimp and chicken in egg wash.
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat equal parts of butter and oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Sautee shrimp and chicken over medium heat until golden brown; drain.
Put the seven room-temperature de jonghe sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk constantly until light, airy and hot. Do not overheat or the sauce will separate.
Place chicken and shrimp on a bed of your favorite rice pilaf and pour de jonghe sauce over the top. Makes 4 servings.
Baked Tomatoes Stuffed with Orzo
1/2 pounds orzo
6 large firm tomatoes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion; finely chopped
1 qt. chicken broth
4 Tbsps. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the center pulp and seeds from the tomatoes, hollowing them out well. Lightly sprinkle into each tomato a little sugar, salt, pepper and oregano; place four cubes of mozzarella in each tomato.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and saute until soft; stir in the orzo, stirring well so each grain of pasta is coated. Pour in 2 cups of the chicken broth, stir well, and simmer until it is absorbed, adding more broth gradually until the orzo is about three-quarters cooked (firmer than al dente) Taste it as you go and cook until it’s as firm as you like. Blend in the Parmesan, stirring it in well.
Spoon the orzo mixture into the hollowed tomatoes. Place the filled tomatoes in a casserole or baking dish with 1/2 cup of hot broth in the bottom of the dish. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes; remove the cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Meatloaf With Ground Beef, Pork And Chorizo
3 slices white bread, crust removed
1 cup milk
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. raw chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. dried sage
2 tsps. dried thyme
2 tsps. dried rosemary
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup ketchup
3 bacon strips, uncooked
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread in a small bowl. Pour milk over it and let the bread soak up as much liquid as it will hold.
In a large bowl, mix together beef, pork and chorizo. Add bread, any milk left in the bowl, onion, eggs, salt, herbs, nutmeg and ketchup. Knead until all ingredients are uniformly distributed.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Mold the meat into a loaf shape, about 9 inches long. Lay bacon strips lengthwise on top. Bake for one hour. Remove and let rest about 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Transfer to a cutting board; slice and serve.
Worlds Simplest Candy
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or peanuts
1/2 cup raisins or dried fruit
Place the chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for one to two minutes, or until melted, stirring halfway through cooking. Stir in the nuts and fruit. Drop by teaspoonful onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.
Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, e-mail him at email@example.com.