Cooking challenge recipes

2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add cornstarch mixture to the broth in a stream, whisking. Return to a boil; boil, 1 minute. Add 2 to 3 cups cut up or shredded meat from half a rotisserie chicken and 1 1/2 cups cooked rice; cook just until hot.

3. Meanwhile, cut a hunk of bread into 4 slices; toast bread in a toaster or oven. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. Cut toast slices in half, spread each with sesame mayonnaise.

4. Turn off heat under saucepan. While stirring the broth with a spoon in one direction, add 2 large lightly beaten eggs in a stream. The eggs should form long strands. Ladle soup into 4 soup bowls; serve each sprinkled with thinly sliced green onions and topped with 2 garlic sesame toasts.

Makes: 4 servings

4. Chicken frittata with breadcrumbs

Marcela Valladolid, Food Network star and cookbook author, suggested an easy-to-make frittata that "will taste delicious with pretty much any ingredient you put in it. Experiment with you favorite meats or cheeses. You can also add any lightly sauteed mixture like zucchini or asparagus."

1. Process leftover hunk of bread in a food processor until it becomes breadcrumbs, about 2 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon mayonnaise in a skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Cook until breadcrumbs are crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve for later use. For the frittata, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add half a yellow onion, chopped; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup shredded rotisserie chicken; cook, 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon mustard; mix well.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat 6 eggs with 1 tablespoon water and 2 teaspoons hot sauce. Add eggs to the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook lifting edges with a spatula to allow uncooked eggs to flow to the bottom. When frittata is partially cooked, 7-10 minutes, slide skillet into 425 degree oven. Bake until puffed, golden and set, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve with bottled hot sauce.

Makes: 6 servings

5. Crisped deviled egg salad with chicken crackling

Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of "The Splendid Table" (and its "Stump the Cook" segment) on American Public Media, offered a salad: "You want more than chicken-egg salad sandwiches from this mashup. I say go for something out of the ordinary. ... Brown halved hard-cooked eggs for big, almost meaty flavors, especially if you've stuffed them first. ... Wait until you taste what shards of crisp chicken skin can do for a salad."

1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon minced onion, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2-4 dashes hot sauce. Let mellow, 15 minutes. Hard boil, cool and shell 6 eggs. Slice eggs in half top to bottom; add yolks to the bowl. Mash in 2 to 3 teaspoons mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon mustard and 3 whole almonds, crushed. Stuff whites, leveling them off. Reserve extra filling.

2. For cracklings, lightly film a large skillet with olive oil; set over medium heat. Once hot, carefully spread chicken skin pieces (from a rotisserie chicken) fat side down in skillet. Cook until most of the fat melts away from the skin. Gently turn pieces; crisp the second side. Drain on paper towels.

3. Drop chunks of bread into a running food processor to make coarse crumbs. Re-warm the skillet over medium heat. Swirl in 1 tablespoon butter; once it's hot, but not burning, drop in breadcrumbs, 1 large clove garlic, minced, and a little salt and pepper. Stir until crumbs are golden and crisp. Turn out onto a paper towel.

4. Wipe out skillet. Film bottom of the skillet with olive oil; heat over medium-high. Cook the eggs flat side down until speckled with brown, 3 minutes. Arrange salad greens on plates. Arrange eggs on the greens; sprinkle lightly with olive oil and lemon or vinegar, salt and pepper, and any leftover filling. Dust with breadcrumbs; tuck broken shards of the chicken crackling here and there.

Makes: 2 to 4 servings

6. Leftover-chicken bread pudding

Ina Pinkney, aka The Breakfast Queen, Chicago restaurateur and cookbook author, cooked up a savory bread pudding.

1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Spread 2 cups bread cubes (in 1/2-inch cubes) on a cookie sheet; bake 20 minutes until bread dries out but doesn't brown. Let bread cool.

2. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons butter and half a yellow onion, chopped, in a skillet; cook over moderate heat until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and white pepper; allow to cool.

3. Place 1 tablespoon each mayonnaise and mustard and a dash hot sauce in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Add 2 large egg yolks, 1 large egg, 1 cup milk or half-and-half, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper and dash ground nutmeg; whisk lightly.

4. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes, 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, coarsely chopped, onion mixture and 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon. Toss to combine. Pour egg mixture over chicken mixture; toss gently but thoroughly. Refrigerate mixture to allow bread to soak up egg mixture, 30-60 minutes.

5. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour bread mixture into a 1-quart casserole coated with nonstick spray. Cover with foil. Place casserole into a larger ovenproof pan; fill larger pan with hot water to reach about halfway up the side of the smaller pan. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Serve garnished with chopped tarragon.

Makes: 2 to 3 servings

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