Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

An Interview with Hugh Carpenter

Sally and Antonia Allegra interview Hugh Carpenter, author of 8 cookbooks including: Hot Chicken, Hot Wok, Pacific Flavors, and his latest, Hot Barbecue.

MP3 Interview MP3

Interview Time (23:15)

Szechwan Dry Fried Shrimp

1 pound large raw shrimp, shells on
3 limes, cut into wedges

5 cloves finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
2 shallots, finely minced
2 whole green onions, finely minced
1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Using scissors, clip along the top of the shrimp shell. Then without removing the shell, cut along the top ridge of each shrimp and rinse away the vein.

In a small bowl, combine the Hot Wok Seasonings. Gently fit the seasonings under the shrimp shells. Marinate the shrimp at least 15 minutes but not longer than 8 hours, refrigerated.

Cut the limes into wedges. Place a wok over highest heat. When the wok becomes very hot, add the shrimp. Dry fry the shrimp by stirring and tossing the shrimp until the shells begin to blacken. The shrimp are cooked when they feel firm to the touch, about 2 minutes of cooking. Immediately transfer
the shrimp to a heated serving platter or dinner plates and serve at once accompanied by lime wedges.

Thai Barbecue Chicken with Chile, Honey and Garlic

2 frying chickens, split in half
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Asian chile sauce
1 lime, zested and finely minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
8 cloves finely minced garlic
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup minced green onion

Advance Preparation:

Wash chicken with cold water, then pat dry. Working with one chicken half, loosen a small area of the skin along the top of the breast. Gently push your index finger underneath the skin, moving it along the breast, thigh, and drumstick, being careful not to dislodge the skin attached to the backbone. Repeat with the remaining chicken halves.

In a small bowl, combine the rice wine, oyster sauce, honey, chili sauce, minced lime zest and juice, garlic, cilantro, and green onion. Spoon about one-eighth of the marinade under the skin of one chicken half, and, with your fingers, massage the outside of the skin to work the marinade over the breast, thigh, and drumstick. Rub another one-eighth of the marinade over the entire outside surface of the chicken half. Repeat with the rest of the chicken halves. Marinate at least 30 minutes but not longer than 8 hours, refrigerated. Can be completed to this point 8 hours in advance of Last Minute Cooking.

Last Minute Cooking:

If using a gas barbecue or indoor grill, preheat to medium (350 degrees). If using charcoal or wood, prepare a fire. When the gas barbecue or indoor grill is preheated or the coals or wood are ash-covered, brush the grill with oil, then lay the chicken skin side up in the center of the grill. Regulate the heat so that it remains at a medium temperature. Grill the chicken about 12 minutes on each side. The chicken is done when a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees when plunged deeply into the thigh (the juices will run clear when the chicken is prodded deeply with a fork). As the chicken cooks, brush on remaining marinade.

Remove the chicken from the barbecue and cut into pieces. Place the chicken on a heated platter or 4 heated dinner plates and serve at once.

Saut�ed Chicken in Tomato Creole Cream Sauce

8 chicken breast halves,
boned but skin on salt and black pepper
1 cup white flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves finely minced garlic
2 medium-sized-vine-ripened tomato
1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup dry vermouth
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped tender thyme ends

Advance Preparation:

Wash chicken with cold water, then pat dry, and refrigerate. Have ready the salt, pepper, and flour. Combine the butter and oil, and set aside. Set aside the garlic. Cut the tomatoes in half gently squeeze out and discard the seeds, then chop the tomatoes finely. In a bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, cream, vermouth, oyster sauce, hot sauce, sugar, oregano, and thyme. Can be completed to this point 8 hours in advance of Last Minute Cooking.

Last Minute Cooking:

Place a 12 or 1 4-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with a little salt and grinds of black pepper; lightly coat both sides with flour; then shake each piece to remove any excess flour. When the pan becomes hot, add the butter and oil. When the butter begins to sizzle but has not browned, add the chicken skin side down.

Cook the chicken until the skin turns golden, about 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over, and cook the chicken until the meat feel firm when you poke the chicken with your finger, and the meat has just lost it's raw interior color, about 4 minutes. During the cooking, regulate the heat so that the chicken is always sizzling, but the oil never smokes. Temporarily transfer the chicken to a heated platter or 4 heated dinner plates.

Tip out all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Return the pan to a burner set on medium-high heat, and add the garlic. Saute the garlic 5 seconds, then add the tomato-cream sauce. Bring the sauce to a high boil, and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve at once.

Thai Rice Pilaf

1 and 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass(optional)
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons orange skin, very finely grated
3 tablespoons cooking oil

1/3 cup currants
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup minced basil leaves
1/4 cup minced mint leaves
1/4 cup white sesame seeds

Advance Preparation:

Place rice in sieve. Wash under cold water, stirring rice with your fingers until the water is no longer cloudy, about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Mince garlic and lemon grass. In a small bowl combine: stock, coconut milk, sherry, fish sauce, chili sauce, salt, orange skin, and kaffir leaf. Place a 2 and 1/2 quart saucepan over high heat and add cooking oil. Add garlic and lemon grass. Saute 15 seconds, and then add rice and currants. Saute rice 5 minutes until well heated; then add coconut-stock mixture. Bring to low simmer, cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer rice 20 minutes. Rice is cooked when all the liquid disappears and the rice tastes tender. If done up to 2 hours in advance of serving, set aside at room temperature; if done further ahead, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.

Within 2 hours of serving the rice, mince the red pepper and set aside with green onions, basil and mint. Place sesame seeds in a small saute pan, put over high heat and cook until the sesame seeds turn light golden; then set aside.

Last Minute Cooking:

If reheating rice, then cover saucepan and warm in a preheated 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in herbs, pepper, and sesame seeds. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve at once.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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