Flavors Of '09

As The Year Comes To An End, We Revisit Our Favorites Of The Recipes We Tested

December 30, 2009|By Sarah Kickler Kelber | Sarah Kickler Kelber,sarah.kelber@baltsun.com

Local produce, comfort foods, decadent treats: This year's Taste section shared a bounty of recipes.

We took advantage of seasonal foods such as spring berries with an orange and almond shortcake, summer garlic scapes with a fresh and tangy garlic scape pesto and fall apples in an easy apple crisp cooked up in a skillet.

A warm and chocolatey brownie lava dessert and a decadent dessert-for-breakfast - french toast made with slices of angel food cake - were deemed perfect for celebrating a special occasion.

We served up some easy but flavorful dinners, including a roasted shrimp cocktail and an orange chicken dish that's faster - and almost as easy - than your average take-out order.

A traditional chili served over pasta fulfills that craving for comfort food and takes the edge off a winter chill.

In a story about helping use up staples in your pantry, we revisited the classic Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. All that garlic doesn't go to waste: You can eat the cloves spread like butter on bread and eat it with the chicken.

In today's section are nine of our favorites from 2009.

Angel Food French Toast

For Mother's Day, we tried this iteration of French toast, which takes light and airy angel food cake right over the top by slicing it up and cooking it in egg. Moms - and everyone else, for that matter - will like this option for dessert or breakfast.

Makes: 10 servings

1

angel food cake (store-bought)

6

egg yolks plus 1 whole egg (or use a total of 4 whole eggs)

1 1/2

cups milk

1

tablespoon vanilla

1

tablespoon butter

Slice cake into thick wedges. In a shallow dish, beat egg yolks and egg (or eggs) slightly, then whisk in milk and vanilla. Soak wedges in egg mixture for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.

Melt butter in a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Cook cake wedges in batches, a minute or 2 per side, until golden brown. Serve with syrup, fresh fruit and yogurt or whipped cream.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 144 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, trace fiber, 153 milligrams cholesterol, 237 milligrams sodium

Adapted from recipezaar.com

Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Ina Garten gives the classic shrimp cocktail a twist in her book "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics." Roasting the shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper is even faster than poaching and just as tasty.

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Shrimp:

2

pounds (12 to 15 count) shrimp

1

tablespoon good olive oil

1/2

teaspoon kosher salt

1/2

teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

1/2

cup Heinz chili sauce

1/2

cup Heinz ketchup

3

tablespoons prepared horseradish

2

teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2

teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4

teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt and pepper and spread them in 1 layer. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.

For the sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Serve as a dip with the shrimp.

Nutrition information

Per serving (based on 8): 171 calories, 23 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 172 milligrams cholesterol, 687 milligrams sodium

From Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, by Ina Garten

Nancy Longo's Chili

Chef Nancy Longo's dish takes a traditional chili and serves it over pasta, creating a comfort-food favorite, especially when it's cold outside.

Makes: 10 servings

12

cloves garlic, chopped fine

1

bunch garlic shoots, chopped fine (see note)

1

bunch green onions, chopped fine

3

large yellow onions, cut into 1/2 -inch dice

2

tablespoons butter

1

pound ground beef

1

pound ground pork

4

cups diced plum tomatoes, canned, with juice

1

cup low-sodium tomato juice

1

cup cooked pinto beans

1

cup kidney beans

1

cup beef demiglace or 2 cups good beef broth

3

chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped to paste

1

tablespoon Tabasco sauce

2

tablespoons brown sugar

3

tablespoons ground cumin

2

tablespoons ground coriander

3

tablespoons chili powder

2

tablespoons fresh lime juice

2

teaspoons cinnamon

1

teaspoon kosher salt (if needed)

1

box angel-hair pasta (about 16 ounces), cooked according to package directions

2

cups double Gloucester with chives cheese or a good sharp cheddar

Saute garlic, garlic shoots, green onions and yellow onions in butter until translucent. Add beef and pork and saute until cooked.

Add tomatoes with their juice, beans and remaining ingredients except pasta and cheese. (Use the salt only if needed, because the beef broth might be a bit salty if it is not homemade.)

Cook the chili until it has thickened and has a gravylike consistency. Serve over angel-hair pasta with cheese on top.

Note: If you can't find garlic shoots, substitute 3 more cloves of garlic.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 585 calories, 35 grams protein, 22 grams fat, 10 grams saturated fat, 60 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 89 milligrams cholesterol, 1,034 milligrams sodium

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