Recipes from Midnight Gourmet and Art Institute of Ohio/Cincinnati - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Recipes from Midnight Gourmet and Art Institute of Ohio/Cincinnati

Chicken Tostadas with Cumin Scented Black Beans and Lime Crème Fraiche

Serves 6

This recipe is a great one that you can prep ahead. Think nachos without the melted cheese. You can substitute rabbit, quail or even turkey thighs or legs. It may be a little time consuming, but you will have very little to do once your guest arrive. And they are sooo good! Your guest can assemble their own down! Be sure to check out the recipe first and decide on your own timeline. The beans will need to be soaked over- night and will take about an hour to cook. Or use can black beans, see note below. The chiles for the chile paste will need to soak for an hour and the paste needs to be made before you cook the chicken. You can work the other parts of the recipe around the beans and the chicken. The key flavor components in this recipe is the guajillo chiles. They are dried chiles, rust in color, four inches in length, a little fruity and only mildly hot. You will need five of them all together (four for the chicken and another for the black beans). There is a large amount of cumin called for - approx. 5 ½ teaspoons in I would toast the cumin seeds in a small dry sauté pan (just heating them up-not to brown them) and grind the seeds (using a coffee grinder) for the whole recipe. Cumin is strong, so start with a little bit less and add to your own taste.

Major Ingredient Components:

Chicken Meat, braised (2 chickens/12-16 pieces)

Cumin-Scented Black Beans (Or 2/14 ½ oz cans of Black Beans)

1/2 cups shredded cabbage

4-6 radishes, sliced thin

1 cup arugala

1/3 bunch cilantro, leaves only

3/4 cup crumbled feta/queso fresco cheese

1-2 limes, cut into wedges


Lime cream fraiche

Fried Yellow,White or Blue Corn Tortillas

Chile Paste:

4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded. (use gloves and avoid eye area)

3-4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

1/2 tablespoon ground toasted cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Toast the chiles until aromatic (either over an open flame on in a dry sauté pan), then put them in a small pot with just enough hot water to cover. Soak for an hour until soft, reserving chile water. Puree the chiles in a blender along with the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, adding a little of the chile water as needed. You want it to be the consistency of thin warm peanut butter.

Cumin- Scented Black Beans:

8 oz. black beans

1 dried guajillo chile

1 bay leaf

4-5 cups water, vegetable or chicken stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems, minced

Rinse beans and soak in water overnight. Drain liquid and add fresh water or stock to cover. Toast chile and add to beans, along with bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about an hour or until beans are tender. Drain, set aside beans in pot and reserve bean liquid for finishing the beans. Heat oil in small sauce pan over medium-high heat and add onion first and sauté then garlic and cook until translucent. Add the cumin, cook a minute longer, then add to reserved beans. Add enough reserved bean liquid to make beans saucy but not watery.

Cook for 15 minutes to infuse flavors. Add more bean liquid if beans become too dry. Blend about a third of the beans with just enough bean liquid to make a thick paste. Stir this paste back into the whole beans and add a little more bean liquid, just enough to get a nice consistency that will stay on the tostada. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Note to self: Heck, use can use can black beans (2/14 ½ oz. cans) Rinse beans and add the chile..bay leaf..etc. and enough stock to moisten and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Finish as described above.

The Chicken:

2 chickens, cut into 6-8 pieces each (or use just thighs/legs)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup chopped peeled onion

1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup white wine

4-6 cups chicken stock (use some water if you don't have enough stock)

First, season chicken well. Too cook the chicken (you will be demonstrating the braising method technique), heat a large heavy bottomed pan with oil over medium-high heat (avoid smoking). Add the chicken in small batches to not over crowd and saute until golden brown on all sides. Transfer chicken to a platter. Drain off of the oil and deglaze with white wine (after draining off the oil pour in the wine scraping the bottom to get all the flavor and reduce by half). Add the onion, carrot and celery to the same pan and cook until browned/caramelized. Stir in the chile paste and cook for 2 minutes to bring out the flavor. Add the chicken and pour enough of the stock to just cover and bring to a strong simmer, reduce heat slightly and cover. Cook until the meat is very tender, 30-40 minutes.

Second, pull chicken out of broth and let cool on a rack set over a baking sheet. Strain the broth into another pot and reduce by half, until it is thick enough to coat a spoon and reserve. You can chill sauce until ready to use. When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones leaving in medium size pieces as best as you can. The meat can be chilled until ready to finish dish. To finish the chicken, add the meat to the sauce. Stir everything to combine, and cook cook just long enough to heat it through.

Note to self: Hey, if you have left over grilled,smoked/roasted chicken the day before...just caramelized the onion, celery, carrots. Add the white wine and reduce by half and stir in the chile paste and cook for a couple of minutes to bring out the flavor. Add the chicken meat. Cover just enough with stock, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook for about the same amount of time. And finish the procedure.

Lime Crème Fraiche:

1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream (organic whole sour cream)

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Pinch of salt

Few grinds of black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and chill until needed. Can be made the day before.


6 (6 inch) yellow, white or blue corn tortillas or 12-18 (3-4 inch) tostaditas (use a 3" biscuit cutter)

Peanut or vegetable oil for frying

To crisp the tortillas, pour enough oil to a depth of 1 inch into a heavy skillet and heat to 350 degrees. Prick the tortillas several times with a fork to keep them from curling up, and cook them one by one until golden. This should not take a minute or so. Transfer crispy tortillas to paper towel or onto paper grocery bag to drain. You can stack them after they are drained and cooled. You can also cook the tortillas in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, until firm and crisp. (Stale tortillas crisp more quickly)

Note to self: Buy already fried tortillas/chalupas/round flat corn/blue chips..and call it a day!


1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin seeds, (optional)

Pinch of chile flakes, (optional)

1/3 cup olive oil

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, salt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, sugar and optional cumin and chile flakes. Continue whisking as you add the oil in a slow, steady stream and whisk until well emulsified. You can use a blender instead of hand whisking to this. (But still add the oil slowly in a steady stream)

Just before Serving, reheat the beans and the chicken. Combine the cabbage, radishes, arugula and cilantro in a bowl and dress with enough of the vinaigrette to moisten. To serve smear each of the tortillas with about 1/3 cup of beans, then top with braised chicken and sauce, greens and crumbled cheese. Drizzle with cream fraiche and garnish with lime wedges. Have a cocktail and enjoy!


Mini Mongolian Duck Burgers with Shiitake Mushroom Ketchup and Chinese- Style Mustard Sauce

Serves 6-8  (Makes 16)


Here's a great departure from the American Hamburger...a duck burger or if the all mighty dollar is tight, use ground turkey!


Duck/Turkey Burger

1 lb. ground duck/turkey

1 scallion minced

1 t grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 t minced garlic

1 T Mongolian Marinade

1 t salt

1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs


Shiitake Mushroom Ketchup

2-3 T olive oil

1 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed & quarter

1 onion, finely minced

1/2  t salt

1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

2 t minced garlic

2 T molasses

1/4 bunch basil, chopped

1/4 Mongolian Marinade


Mongolian Marinade

1/2 C hoisin sauce

1 1/2 t sugar

2 1/4 t tarmari

2 1/4 t sherry vinegar

2 1/4 t rice vinegar

1-2 scallions, minced

1/2 t Tabasco sauce

3/4 t grated black bean chili sauce or hot garlic sauce

3/4 t grated peeled fresh ginger

2 1/4 t minced garlic

1/2 t ground white pepper

2 T minced cilantro, leaves only

1 1/2 t sesame oil


Chinese-Style Mustard

1/4 C sugar

2 T dry mustard

1 T Dijon mustard

1 large egg yolk

1/4 C red wine vinegar

6 T sour cream


Additional Ingreidents

16 small sesame/brioche type buns, split

2 T soften butter

2 C arugula, leaves no stems


Prepare the Mongolian Marinade:

Whisk together all marinade ingredients together in a stainless steel or ceramic bowl.

Prepare the Duck/Turkey Burgers:

Mix all ingredients together in a stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Portion out in 2oz. (1/4 C) patties laid out on sheet pan, cover and keep refrigerated until ready to griddle.

Prepare the Shiitake Mushroom Ketchup:

Heat up the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the remaining ingredients. Give the  pan a good stir to make sure everything is evenly coated, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is thick enough to coat the mushrooms, 3-5 minutes. Refrigerate if you are making ahead. And warm it up prior to service.

Prepare the Chinese-Style Mustard:

Combine the sugar and mustard in the top of a double boiler and mix with a whisk. Be sure to this thoroughly to avoid lumps. Whisk in beaten egg yolk and vinegar.

Cook over simmering water for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally or until mixture is thick enough to form ribbons from spoon. Remove from heat and cool. Fold in sour cream. Keep refrigerated until needed.


When your ready for service:

Griddle the patties over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes on each side. Toast lightly the buns. Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and top with some of the shiitake ketchup, arugula, and a drizzle of the mustard sauce. Close off the sandwiches and serve with any extra mustard and ketchup on the side.

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