Lexingtonian cooks up another contest winner

On Derby Day, Brigitte Nguyen was betting on chicken — not the horses — and it paid off.
The Lexington woman won $50,000 for her Asian chicken burger at the 48th National Chicken Cooking Contest in San Antonio.
Variations of Nguyen’s burger won Sutter Home’s national Build a Better Burger contest and took her to Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown, and now it’s the winner in a highly regarded national competition.
The burger recipe is based on ground chicken and includes soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, lemongrass and scallions. It is served on a toasted bun and is topped with lime-accented ­mayonnaise and chile sauce, and it’s served with a slaw of julienned peppers, snow peas and jicama. Here’s Brigitte’s recipe.

Chinese chicken burgers with rainbow sesame slaw

2 pounds ground chicken
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1/3 cup sliced scallions
6 hamburger buns with sesame seeds
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
sliced scallions
Sriracha lime mayo: recipe follows
Rainbow sesame slaw: recipe follows

In large bowl, mix together ground chicken, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, lemongrass and scallions. Divide mixture into 6 patties and set aside. Place grill pan over medium heat. Spread softened butter on hamburger buns and place on grill pan until light brown. Wipe grill pan with paper towel and brush with vegetable oil. Place chicken patties on grill pan and cook over medium high heat, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, about 7 minutes per side.

During last few minutes of cooking, baste each burger with 1 tablespoon of the hoisin sauce. To assemble, place 1 tablespoon Sriracha Lime Mayo on each bottom and top bun. Place chicken on bun bottoms and top each with 1/3 cup Rainbow Sesame Slaw. Serve with any remaining slaw and mayo on the side. Garnish with scallions. Makes 6 servings.
Sriracha lime mayo: In small bowl, mix together 3/4 cup mayonnaise; zest and juice of 1 lime; and 2 tablespoons Sriracha chile sauce. Set aside.
Rainbow Sesame Slaw: In medium size bowl, mix together 2/3 cup julienne peppers (red, orange, yellow or any combination); 2/3 cup julienned snow peas, strings removed; 2/3 cup julienned jicama; 1-1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar; 1 tablespoon sugar; 1 tablespoon soy sauce; 1 teaspoon Sriracha Chile Sauce; 1 teaspoon sesame oil; and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.

A top chef visits

Sullivan ­University’s ­National Center for ­Hospitality Studies will ­honor New Orleans chef Frank Brigtsen with the ­distinguished visiting chef award on May 21. Brigtsen will visit the Louisville ­campus for a series of cooking demonstrations for students.
Brigtsen is the owner of Brigtsen’s Restaurant, which was chosen as the top Cajun restaurant in the 2000 Zagat survey. The chef series is designed to connect ­students with well-known, ­accomplished chefs. Go to www.sullivan.edu.
Deen’s dinnerware
Paula Deen has created a line of dinnerware ­exclusively for Cracker Barrel Old ­Country Store.
Deen’s On The Veranda collection is decorated with a distinctive raised floral ­pattern and includes a ­cookbook holder, cake ­pedestal, deviled egg plate, platter, and tea set for one.

Start a grilling trend

Barbecue expert and best-selling cookbook author Steven Raichlen was in ­Lexington last week ­promoting his Ultimate ­Grilling Recipe Contest. Raichlen is looking for something that’s innovative and unusual to be the next big grilling trend, much like beer-can chicken or planked salmon.
The grand prize is an all-expense-paid trip for two to Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue University at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colo. Rules are at www.
barbecuebible.com. The deadline for entries is July 10.
Here’s the recipe that Raichlen prepared for the media.

Baby food’s a specialty

According to the ­National Association for the ­Specialty Food Trade, baby food ­experienced the largest sales growth in the specialty-food market from 2006 to 2008. ­Parents are ­looking for ­specialty baby food with no additives, ­preservatives, ­genetically modified ­ingredients, ­synthetic ­fertilizers, anti­biotics, high-fructose corn syrup or pesticides.
A company that’s ­leading the trend is HappyFamily, which just added its fourth product. Happybabypuffs is a low-sugar, organic snack in three flavors (banana, apple and greens) that contain whole grains, and real fruit and vegetables.
Happybabypuffs come in flip-top, BPA-free containers made from 25 percent
post-consumer recycled materials and are recyclable after use. They’re available at Babies R Us, 1965 Star Shoot Parkway, and Whole Foods Market, 161 Lexington Green Circle.


Caveman T-bones

4 T-bone steaks (10 to 12 ounces each), cut about 1 inch thick
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
Cracked black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced crosswise
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Build a charcoal fire and rake the coals into an even layer. When the coals glow orange, fan them with a newspaper or hair dryer to blow off any loose ash.
Generously season the steaks on both sides with salt and cracked pepper. Place the steaks directly on the embers about 2 inches apart. Grill until cooked to taste, 4 to 6 minutes a side for medium-rare, turning with tongs.
Using tongs, lift the steaks out of the fire, shaking each to dislodge any embers. ­Using a basting brush, brush off any loose ash, and arrange the steaks on a platter. Let the steaks rest, loosely tented with aluminum foil, while you make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet directly on the embers, on the side burner of a gas grill or on the stove. When the oil is screaming hot, add the jalapeños, garlic and cilantro. Cook over high heat until the sauce is ­aromatic and the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the sauce over the steaks and serve at once.
Makes 4 servings.