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GRILLED CHICKEN AND SAUSAGES WITH HERBED SALAD

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for rack

7 pounds chicken parts with skin (breasts, thighs and drumsticks)

1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

2-1/2 pounds assorted-sized heirloom tomatoes, large ones sliced and small ones halved

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

3 packages (13-ounces each) precooked turkey or chicken sausages

Whisk together 1/3 cup vinegar, rosemary and 3 tablespoons garlic in small bowl. Add 1/2 cup oil in a slow stream until thickened and emulsified; salt and pepper to taste, for marinade. Divide chicken and marinade between 2 large heavy-duty resealable plastic bags and seal. Turn until chicken is well-coated. Marinate, chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight, placing bags in large bowls to catch any leaks. Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon garlic and shallot in serving bowl. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil in slow stream, whisking, until thickened and emulsified; salt and pepper to taste, for dressing. Add tomatoes, cilantro and basil to dressing; toss gently to coat. Preheat grill; lightly oil rack. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and grill on rack over moderate heat turning once, until heated through, about 35 minutes. Transfer to serving platter. Halve sausages lengthwise and grill on lightly oiled rack over moderate heat, turning until heated through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to platter with chicken. Top all with herbed tomato salad and serve remaining salad on the side. Yield: 16 servings.

SMOKED PORK LOIN WITH PEACHES

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon ginger

2 tablespoons cooking oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons chili sauce

1 (29-ounce) can of peach slices in heavy syrup, undrained

2 pounds pork loin

Combine all ingredients except pork loin; blend until smooth. Marinate pork loin in half of mixture; refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate remaining marinade. Grill pork 1 hour on indirect heat, which means you’re able to cook larger cuts of meat more slowly. Bank an equal amount of hot coals on either side of the fire grate. Center a drip pan between them. Place pork on the grill directly over the drip pan. Smoke with hickory chips. Baste often with reserved 1/2 of the marinade. Slice and serve. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

BURGERS WITH ZUCCHINI COUSCOUS

1 pound lean ground beef

2 teaspoons each: garlic salt and ground cumin

1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

2 medium bell peppers, quartered lengthwise

cooking spray

1 (5.8-ounce) box couscous

4 regular-size pitas, cut crosswise in half

8 small green-leaf lettuce leaves

Heat outdoor grill. Using your hands, mix beef, garlic salt and cumin in a bowl. Form into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Stir yogurt and dill in small bowl until blended. Coat zucchini and peppers with nonstick spray. Grill zucchini 10 minutes; peppers 10 to 15 minutes, turning as needed until lightly charred and tender. When zucchini comes off grill, add beef patties; grill 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Cook couscous according to package directions, (omit oil). Cut grilled zucchini in bite-size chunks and burgers in half. Line pita halves with lettuce; add 1 piece pepper and 1 burger half. Spoon on 1 tablespoon yogurt sauce. Fluff couscous with a fork and stir in zucchini. Serve with the burgers. Yield: 4 servings.

ROLLED FISH FILLETS

2 pounds fish fillets

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1-1/2 cups water or more

1 bay leaf

Dip fish fillets in lemon juice. Drain. Beginning with the narrow end, roll each fillet as for jelly roll and secure with a toothpick. Place water in a large saucepan. (Water should be 2 inches deep). Add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Carefully place rolled fillets in boiling water; cover and reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes or until fish is firm and flakes easily with a fork. Carefully transfer fillets to a heated serving platter. Remove toothpicks. Serve with yogurt-dill sauce.

Yogurt-dill sauce:

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

2 teaspoons dried dill weed

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold as an accompaniment for hot or chilled fish. May also be used as a dip for raw vegetables, or as a dressing for sliced cucumbers. Yield: 1-1/8 cups sauce; 1 tablespoon per serving.

SPINACH SALAD

Salad portion:

1 pound spinach

1/4 pound Bib or Boston lettuce

1 can sliced water chestnuts

1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 purple onion, sliced

6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1/2 pound fried bacon, crumbled

For dressing:

1/3 cup ketchup

1 cup olive oil

1 small onion

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

Make dressing ahead to completely dissolve all ingredients. Add to salad portion just before serving.

CHOCOLATE-GLAZED PUFF DESSERT

2/3 cup water

1/2 stick butter or margarine

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour

4 eggs

1 quart coffee ice cream or vanilla ice cream

fudge sauce (recipe follows)

1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 450º. Grease 2 large cookie sheets. Bring water with butter or margarine, sugar and salt to a full rolling boil in a large saucepan. Add flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a thick, smooth ball that leaves a side of pan clean. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until paste is shiny and smooth. (Paste will separate as you add each egg, but it will smooth out with continued beating.) Spoon dough with a rounded teaspoonful 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets to make 30 puffs. (Measure carefully so that puffs will be the same size). Bake in preheated very hot oven 450º for 5 minutes; then lower heat to 350º and bake 20 minutes longer, until pastries are puffed, crisp and golden. Remove gently from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks. When ready to fill, split puffs, fill with coffee ice cream; press tops back in place. Stack, pyramid fashion, in a shallow serving bowl; drizzle with warm fudge sauce.

Note: To hold for serving later, place filled puffs in a single layer on cookie sheets; cover, store in freezer. Let soften at room temperature before serving. Yield: 10 servings.

For fudge sauce:

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

2/3 cup boiling water

1-2/3 cups sugar

8 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon rum

To make fudge sauce: Melt chocolate with butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan over very low heat; stir in boiling water; blend well. Add sugar and corn syrup; mixing thoroughly. Bring mixture to boiling, stirring constantly. Lower heat; simmer until mixture thickens slightly; 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 15 minutes. Stir in rum; blend well. Yield: 2-1/2 cups.

BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES

1-1/2 cups brown sugar

1 stick butter, room temperature

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/2-cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350º. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour cream to beaten mixture, blending well. Gently fold in chopped nuts. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake about 12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Spread cooled cookies with Browned Butter Icing. Yield: about 5 dozen cookies.

Browned butter frosting:

1 stick butter

3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

5 teaspoons boiling water

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In medium saucepan, heat and stir butter over medium-low heat until golden brown. Do not scorch. Remove from heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar, boiling water and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, beat until frosting is easy to spread. If necessary, add a little more boiling water, 1 teaspoon at a time until frosting is spreadable. Immediately spread on cookies. If frosting begins to set up, stir in a small amount of boiling water.

Any comments, questions or favorite recipes? I would love to hear from you! Feel free to send your email to helenkitchen@msn.com, and please write “Helen’s Kitchen Request, ATTN: Lori” in the subject line to make sure that I receive your email. Thank you!