15 April 2009

Video: Unexpected Twists On Comfort Foods

From Denny: Exuberant and creative Chef George Duran does low-fat panko crumb baked chicken that tastes like fried chicken without all the calories, a wonderful stuffing that you can also serve as a corn muffin and a tiramisu done with, drum roll please, twinkies! Really. Apparently, he dialed back on the sugar in other areas for the recipe since we all know the twinkies carry a lot of sugar. Chef thought this was an easy intro to making tirimisu for those who unfamiliar and intimidated by it. Using a familiar ingredient is a great way to bridge the gap in culture.

Recipes are from CBS and follow the video. Enjoy!


Prep: 10 minutes

Bake: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

3 Tbsp water

Kosher salt or table salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 chicken thighs, skin removed

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, garlic powder, paprika and chili powder. Mix with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make it the consistency of whipping cream; season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces; coat well with the mayonnaise mixture.

Lightly coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Pour the panko onto a plate. Toss the chicken thighs, one at a time, in the crumbs to completely coat. Place the chicken on the baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is browned and cooked through, turning once.


Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Roast: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


1 bulb garlic

1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

Kosher salt or table salt

1-1/2 cups whipping cream

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature

Freshly ground black pepper

Snipped fresh rosemary (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the top off the garlic; wrap the bulb in foil, leaving the top cut edge exposed. Drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes or until the garlic is soft and caramelized. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium pan cover the potatoes with water and add a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender; drain well.

While the potatoes are cooking, warm the cream and rosemary in a small pan over low heat. Strain out the rosemary.

Put the hot potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl. Squeeze in the roasted garlic and add some of the warm cream. Mix well. Add the butter; mix again. Add more cream if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, garnish with snipped rosemary. Serve immediately.


Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Bake: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 (4-ounce) hot Italian sausages, casings removed

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)

1 cup chopped onion (1 large)

Kosher salt or table salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup snipped fresh sage

4 (4-ounce) corn muffins

3 eggs

1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

Nonstick cooking spray


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage; cook about 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside to cool. Wipe excess fat from the pan with paper towels.

In the same skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper; add the sage. Cook about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Set aside.

Crumble the corn muffins into a large bowl. Add the cooled sausage and the vegetables. Add the eggs and ¼ cup of the chicken stock. Using your hands, mix well, adding more stock if the stuffing is too dry. Coat a 2-quart ovenproof baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Put the stuffing in the dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is browned and crispy.


Prep: 15 minutes

Chill: 2 Hours

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


8 cream-filled sponge cakes (recommended: Twinkies)

1 cup unsweetened brewed espresso or strong coffee

1-1/2 cups whipping cream

1/3 cup sugar

2 (8.75-ounce) packages mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

10 vanilla water cookies, crushed, and 5 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed (optional)


Cut the sponge cakes in half lengthwise and fit the bottom halves into an 11*7*1 ½ -inch pan. Drizzle with ½ cup of the coffee.

Whip the cream and sugar to soft peaks. In a large bowl, whisk the mascarpone a bit to loosen it; fold in the whipped cream. Pour half the mixture over the sponge cakes; drizzle with the remaining coffee. Spread mascarpone mixture evenly over the sponge cakes.

Sprinkle crushed vanilla wafer cookies over mascarpone mixture. Or, if desired, gently place several different sized round cookie cutters on the surface of the mascarpone mixture. Carefully sprinkle the crushed vanilla wafers into a few of the cookie cutters and the crushed chocolate wafers into the remaining cutters. Gently remove cookies cutters. Lightly cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

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