Northwest NEWS

April 12, 1999

Home & Garden

Dining In: Meaty treats

Lamb Kebabs

   1 1/2 lb. leg of lamb, cut into 24 cubes
   1 medium red onion, cut into 12 wedges
   2 packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
   24 cherry tomatoes
   1/2 c. cider vinegar
   1/2 c. finely chopped onion
   3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
   3 Tbsp. honey
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint or 2 tsp. dried, crumbled
   3 medium cloves garlic, minced, or 1 1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
   1 tsp. olive oil
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste

   In an airtight plastic bag, combine marinade ingredients. Add lamb and turn to coat. Seal and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours, turning occasionally. Soak six long bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Drain lamb and put marinade in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil, covered, for at least 5 minutes. Preheat grill to medium-high. Separate each red onion wedge vertically into two parts, making 24 wedges. Separate artichoke hearts into 24 pieces. For each kebab, thread a skewer as follows: 1 piece onion, 1 meat cube, 1 piece artichoke, 1 tomato. Repeat three times for each skewer. Grill for 12-15 minutes, or until lamb is done to taste. Baste with hot marinade for last 5 minutes of cooking time. Makes 6 servings.

Spicy Ham Reubens

   8 rye bread slices
   4 tsp. blue cheese
   1 lb. ham slices
   1 red onion, sliced thin
   1 c. sauerkraut, well drained
   4 Swiss cheese slices
   1/2 c. plain yogurt
   1/2 c. mayonnaise
   2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
   1 tsp. sugar
   1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
   Dressing: Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, mustards, and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside or chill for up to 3 days in advance.
   Sandwiches: Place 4 bread slices on a tray and spread with about 2 Tbsp. of the dressing. Sprinkle the blue cheese over the dressing and top with red onion slices, ham, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese. Top with the remaining slices of rye and press firmly. Broil each sandwich on a baking sheet for 3 minutes per side until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cut in half and serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

Creamy Ham and Asparagus Pasta

   8 oz. bow tie pasta
   1 bunch asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
   4 c. button mushroms, sliced
   1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
   1 1/2 c. milk
   2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
   1 lb. ham cut into strips
   1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
   Salt and pepper, to taste

   Prepare the pasta according to the directions. Two minutes before pasta is done, add asparagus to the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and asparagus and toss with a little olive oil. Set aside. While the pasta is cooking, coat a 10-inch skillet with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and heat over medium high. Add the mushrooms and cook until liquids are released and mushrooms begin to brown slightly, 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook 1 minute. Add the milk gradually and stir constantly until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Add the mustard to the sauce and stir well. Add the ham strips, the cooked pasta, and the asparagus to the sauce and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

Thai Chicken with Basil

   1 tsp. oil
   1 1/4 c. chopped shiitake mushrooms
   2 large garlic cloves, minced
   1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
   4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
   2 tsp. grated lime zest
   3 1/2 tsp. oyster sauce
   1/2 c. chopped basil
   1 c. jasmine or other favorite rice, cooked according to package directions
   Basil leaves

   Add oil to large nonstick fry pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring, about 3 minutes and remove from pan. To fry pan, add chicken and cook about 3 minutes or until fork can be inserted with ease. Return mushroom mixture to pan, add lime zest, oyster sauce, and basil and heat through, about 3 minutes more. Place cooked rice on serving platter, top with chicken mixture and garnish with basil leaves. Makes 4 servings.