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Chef On A Shoestring

Cindy Wolf
"Charleston"
Baltimore, Md.

Original air date: Feb. 24, 2001

Menu:
Asparagus & Red Grape Tomato Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Benne Seed Encrusted Chicken Breast
Fresh Bing Cherry Flan

Asparagus & Red Grape Tomato Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
1- 1lb. bunch of Fresh Asparagus
1 pint of Red Grape Tomatoes, cut in half ( you can substitute cherry
tomatoes, but try to find the Red Grape Tomatoes, it makes a big
difference in the taste & texture of the salad)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon
Pinch of Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Method:
1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the asparagus until
just tender. Drain and place in an ice bath immediately until
completely chilled. Drain well.
2. Cut the blanched asparagus into 1 inches pieces.
3. Toss all of the ingredients together. Serve immediately.

Yield 4 servings.

Benne Seed Encrusted Breast of Chicken with Sauteed Leeks & Mushrooms

Ingredients:
4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts (4 pieces)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
1 T. olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 can of chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine

2 leeks, split in half, washed well, and cut into a small dice
1 cup of white button mushrooms, finely sliced
6 T. butter
pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper (or to taste)

Method:
For the chicken:
1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper
2. In an oven-proof fry pan, sear the chicken breasts on each side in
the olive oil.
3. Remove chicken from pan, coat in the sesame seeds, and finish in a
350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
4. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. On the stovetop,
heat the pan and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Reduce the wine
by half and then add the reduced chicken stock.
5. Reduce the liquid by half, or until it is of sauce consistency.
Keep sauce warm.

For the Leeks and Mushrooms:

1. Saute the sliced mushrooms in 3 T. of the butter until just tender.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
2. Saute the diced leeks in the remaining butter until just tender, but
do not let brown. Keep warm.

To Plate:
1. Divide the mushrooms among 4 plates, slightly mounding them.
2. Cross the 2 half-breasts over a small portion of the mushrooms.
3. Sprinkle the leeks over the chicken.
4. Spoon the sauce around the chicken.
5. Serve immediately.
Yield 4 servings.

Fresh Bing Cherry Flan

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons of water
1 pint fresh Bing Cherries, pitted and chopped
2 cups of heavy cream
4 whole eggs
2 yolks

Method:
1. Take the 1/2 cup sugar and the water and place in a very clean saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until the sugar begins to brown. Watch constantly but do not stir.

2. Remove from heat and divide among 4 oven safe custard cups. Set aside.

For the flan:

1. Combine all of ingredients, but the cherries and whisk together well.

2. Divide the flan mix among the 4 cups.

3. Equally divide the chopped cherries among the 4 cups.

4. Place the custard cups in a large roasting pan and fill pan with
hot water until it reaches the middle of the cups.

5. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours until middle of custard is just
set. It will firm up as it cools.

6. Remove from water bath and chill until completely set.

To serve: Run a knife around the outside edge of each flan. Invert
onto a dessert plate, and shake gently until flan releases from the cup.

Serve immediately. Yield 4 servings.

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