Archive for Monday, May 31, 2010

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‘Fit as a firefighter’

May 31, 2010

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Three Lawrence firefighters visit “Jayni’s Kitchen” this week to share their recipes for staying fit. Fire marshall joins the crew at the end of the program to taste the results.

Fiesta Chicken

Pico de Gallo:

4 tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large green pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small bunch green onion, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can yellow corn kernels, drained

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

3 cups Mexican cheese, shredded

2 cups dried breadcrumbs

3/4 cup cornmeal

3 eggs

6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

3 15-ounce cans black refried beans, warmed before serving

Pico de Gallo: Chop the vegetables as directed and place them in a bowl. Stir the lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

In a separate bowl, combine the black beans, corn kernels, 1 chopped jalapeño, 2 cups of the shredded cheese and about 1/4 cup of the Pica de Gallo.

Mix the breadcrumbs and the cornmeal in a pie plate. Place the eggs in a bowl. Beat and set aside.

To butterfly the chicken breasts: Lay one chicken breast on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut horizontally through the center of the breast, leaving one side attached. Open the breast and pound lightly with a meat mallet to about 1/4 -inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper and set aside while preparing the remaining breasts.

Place about 1/2 cup of the black bean and corn mixture in the center of each breast. Roll up and brush with the beaten egg. Pat the breadcrumbs and cornmeal mixture onto the chicken. Place the chicken rolls in a large baking dish, seam side down. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, until cooked through. Sprinkle the remaining cup of shredded cheese over the chicken immediately after removing it from the oven. Let stand for about 5 minutes.

To serve, place each chicken roll on a thin layer of warmed black refried beans. Top with Pico de Gallo. Serves 6.

— Recipe by Lieutenant Steve Weaver.

Grilled Beef Flat Iron Steak with Fennel and Red Bell Pepper

One 1 1/2 to 2 pound flat iron steak

Salt and black pepper

1 large fennel bulb (about 8 ounces) trimmed and coarsely chopped (reserve the fennel fronds for garnish)

2 to 3 red bell peppers (about 1 pound), seeded and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons water

Season the flat iron steak with salt and pepper. Sear the steak, covered, over high heat on a gas grill, over hot charcoals, turning three times, 10 to 12 minutes total. The internal temperature should ready 130 to 135 degrees for medium-rare. Place the steak on a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

To prepare the vegetables: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the chopped fennel, seasoned with salt and pepper, just until it softens. Add the chopped peppers and continue sautéing for about 2 minutes more, just until bright and tender crisp. Add the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and water. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer gently until the liquid reduces by about one-third.

To serve, slice the flat iron steak into 1/4-inch slices and serve with the fennel and red bell peppers on the side. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serves 4.

Tip: Serve the flat iron steak with baked potato wedges. Cut baking potatoes into about 8 wedges, leaving the skins on. Place the wedges in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper and sesame seeds (optional). Toss to coat. Place the wedges on a baking sheet, skin-side-down, and bake in a 375 degree oven until lightly browned and tender, about 30 minutes.

— Recipe by Lieutenant Paramedic Ed Noonen.

Grilled Salmon with Tarragon, Lemon and Capers

1 1/2 to 2 pound salmon fillet

4 to 6 ounces fresh tarragon sprigs (mince 2 to 3 teaspoons of the tarragon leaves and reserve)

Olive oil

1 lemon

Salt and black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons capers

On a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to hold the salmon fillet, make a bed of tarragon sprigs, reserving 2 to 3 teaspoons of minced tarragon. Lay the salmon fillet on top of the tarragon, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the capers and the minced tarragon over the salmon. Close the foil over the top of the salmon fillet. Leave the ends open to create a tube with a couple of inches air space over the fish.

Grill the salmon, covered, over medium-high heat on a gas grill, or over medium-hot charcoals for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is moist and tender and flakes easily when pierced with a knife. Do not overcook the salmon or it will dry out. To serve, transfer the salmon fillet to a platter and slice into servings. Serves 4 to 6.

— Recipe by Firefighter EMTI Jason Ray.

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