Chef Adam and others from Cicely, Alaska, share their recipes

March 09, 1994|By Isabel Forgang | Isabel Forgang,New York Daily News

They eat pretty well in Cicely, Alaska. Here, in the heart of the Alaskan Riviera -- better known to many as the locale of the award-winning television show "Northern Exposure" -- there are enough would-be chefs lurking around to launch a community cookbook called, of course, "The Northern Exposure Cookbook" (Contemporary Books, $9.95).

All the characters in the show have "contributed" to this fund-raising effort, and Ruth-Anne Miller, who owns the town's general store and is Cicely's postmistress, is the cookbook's nominal editor.

But don't be misled by the fictional basis of this volume. While the characters may not be real, the recipes certainly are. They're the work of two food professionals, notes author Ellis Weiner. The chefs' assignment was to take dishes referred to in various episodes of the show and turn them into real fare. Mr. Weiner's job was to give voice to the characters and have them talk about their recipes and anything else that might strike their fancy.

The food, says Mr. Weiner, is much like the characters, representing a mix of outlooks and tastes from all the states, not just Alaska. Photos from the show and an episode reference guide for each dish will please TV fans. But youdon't have to be a viewer to enjoy dishes like "Maurice's spicy chicken wings," "Maggie's couscous" or "Holling's special lime chiffon pie." Or these recipes from Adam, Cicely's "gourmet chef."

Adam's cumin noodles

Serves 4 to 6

1/2 pound fresh Chinese bean thread, water noodles (if not available, use dried linguine)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 pound boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

Cook noodles in boiling water; drain in a colander and rinse under running water.

Heat oil in a wok or medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add drained and rinsed noodles and all remaining ingredients. Raise heat to high and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Serve immediately.

Adam's walnut toast with warm goat cheese

Makes 1 loaf

WALNUT BREAD:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

CHEESE TOPPING:

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 (8-ounce) log goat cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 1/4 -inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add egg, milk, maple syrup and butter and mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in walnuts. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until loaf begins to separate from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove loaf from pan and let cool.

Turn up the oven all the way to heat the broiler. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs and thyme well. Slice goat cheese into 6 equal rounds. Thoroughly coat each round with bread crumb mixture and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Cut 6 half-inch-thick slices of the walnut bread. Place alongside the cheese rounds on the cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet under broiler for a few minutes, watching closely, until bread crumbs on cheese rounds are golden-brown and walnut bread has toasted.

Place a slice of walnut toast on each plate and top with a toasted round of goat cheese.

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