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TODAY recipes
updated 11/30/2012 10:31:23 AM ET 2012-11-30T15:31:23

Recipe: Chicken-parmesan lollipops

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup dark beer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Six 3-ounce chicken cutlets
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup your favorite tomato sauce
  • 5-6 bocconcini (small balls fresh mozzarella)
Preparation

Whisk the buttermilk, beer, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper together in a large bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees. While the oil is heating, whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl. Whisk the flour, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pepper together in a second bowl, and mix the panko and parmesan together in a third bowl.

Dredge a breast through the seasoned flour, making sure both sides are evenly coated. Tap off the excess. Dip the floured breast in the egg mixture, and then press both sides into the panko/parmesan mixture.

Place the breaded chicken breast on a baking sheet or plate while you coat the remaining breasts. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and fry on both sides until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool completely.

Set a piece of fried chicken on the cutting board. Use a 1 1/4-inch round cookie cutter to stamp 24 circles from the chicken breasts. Spread 1/8 teaspoon of sauce on one side of each circle and cover the sauce with a piece of cheese. To serve, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake until the cheese begins to melt, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and put on lollipop stick or wooden skewer. Serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 24 lollipops

Recipe: Lamb lollipops with mint pesto

Ingredients
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup shelled, toasted pistachios (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the lamb:
  • Two 1-pound racks of lamb (taken off the bone)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh chives
Preparation

To make the pesto, place the basil, mint, pistachios (if using), garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until roughly combined, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil. Refrigerate in an airtight container until serving.

For the lamb, season the lamb loins with salt and pepper. Mix the herbs together in a small bowl and then turn half of the mixture out onto your work surface, spreading them out into a side strip that is about the length of the lamb. Roll the lamb in the herbs to evenly coat the surface and then tightly wrap the loin in plastic wrap.

Tightly twist the ends of the plastic to seal the loin. Repeat with the other lamb loin. Place both loins on a rimmed baking sheet and in the freezer for at least 8 hours, until frozen. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the lamb from the freezer and unwrap.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and grill the lamb on all sides until it has grill marks, about 4 minutes total. Place the loin on a rimmed baking sheet and repeat with the other lamb loin.

Roast the lamb in the oven until it's 135 degrees, 15 to 18 minutes. Rest the lamb for 4 minutes before slicing it into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 10 to 12 slices per loin). Remove from the oven put on lollipop stick or wooden skewer. Serve immediately. Top with a dollop of pesto and serve immediately.

Serving Size

Makes 24 lollipops

Recipe: Shrimp lollipops

Ingredients
  • 2 very ripe mangoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup Coco Lopez cream of coconut
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile from a can of chipotles en adobo, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 24 large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and veined
Preparation

In a food processor, puree together mango, cream of coconut, garlic, chipotle, lime juice, rum, ginger, Tabasco, coriander, salt and cumin and process until smooth.

Pour the marinade into a resealable gallon-sized bag, add the cilantro, seal and shake to combine. Add the shrimp to the marinade, seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, letting excess marinade drip back into the bag. Place the shrimp on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet so that they are all facing the same direction. Cook until shrimp just turns pink, about 7 to 10 minutes and then set aside to cool completely.

Serve on a lollipop stick.

Serving Size

Makes 24 lollipops

Recipe: Cotton candy lollipops

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 lollipop sticks
Preparation

Purchase a home cotton candy machine (available at many department stores and on-line).

Follow the instructions on the cotton candy machine (plan on 2 minutes per serving).

Gather plum size tufts of cotton candy and place each on top of lollipop stick. Serve immediately.

For events where you want to make cotton candy for more than 12 people, rent a commercial cotton candy machine from a party rental company.

Serving Size

Makes 6 lollipops

Recipe: White chocolate-tini

Ingredients
  • 2 cups white chocolate liquor
  • 1 cup vodka
Preparation

Shake over ice and serve.

Serving Size

Makes 24 (1 oz.) servings

Recipe: Ginger pear-tini

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups pear puree
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup ginger simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vodka
Preparation

To make ginger simple syrup, put ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a small pot with 1 tablespoon sliced ginger. Bring to a boil and let sugar dissolve. Strain and cool before using. Mix everything together and serve chilled.

Serving Size

Makes 24 (1 oz.) servings

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