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Recipe: Hungarian pepper salad
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Note: From Donna Deane. Hungarian peppers are available at select farmers markets, select Gelson's and Bristol Farms markets and at Otto's Hungarian Import Store in Burbank. Riso pasta is available at well-stocked supermarkets and gourmet markets. Körözött is a Hungarian cheese spread.
2 cups cottage cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon grated onion (grated with a box grater), plus 1/2 cup chopped onion, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons Hungarian paprika, divided
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, plus additional for sprinkling, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 10 ounces each)
2 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6 large sweet Hungarian green peppers, quartered lengthwise, cored and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup small pasta (such as riso or orso)
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 ripe tomatoes, diced into 1/2 -inch pieces
1/4 pound blanched green beans, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces
6 cups romaine, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces
12 toasted baguette slices, each about 1/8 -inch thick
1. To make körözött , place the cottage cheese and cream cheese in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the grated onion, 2 teaspoons paprika, caraway seeds and three-fourths teaspoon salt and pulse just until combined. Cover and refrigerate. This makes more than is needed and will keep for up to 2 weeks.
2. Rub the chicken on all sides with the garlic. Combine the remaining paprika and salt with the pepper in a small bowl, then rub the blend evenly over the chicken breasts.
3. Heat a stove-top grill over medium-high heat until hot. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted reads 160 degrees. Remove the chicken to a plate and drizzle with the lemon juice. When cool enough to handle, dice the chicken into three-fourths-inch pieces. Set aside.
4. Grill the pepper quarters over medium-high heat until crisp-tender, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove. When cool enough to handle, halve each piece crosswise. You should have about 3 cups cut-up peppers.
5. Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the oil and onion and sauté until the onion is tender, 2 minutes. Stir in the pasta and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the pasta is tender and the broth is absorbed, 10 to 11 minutes.
6. Remove the pasta to a large bowl. Drizzle it with the vinegar and toss. Cool slightly. Add the diced tomatoes, grilled peppers, chicken and green beans. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Gently fold in the romaine.
7. Spread 2 teaspoons of the körözött onto each of the baguette slices, and sprinkle a few caraway seeds over each. Serve two pieces of toast with each serving of salad.
Each serving: 332 calories; 29 grams protein; 38 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 7 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 58 mg. cholesterol; 405 mg. sodium.