Joel Grey's Chinese Curried Chicken
One 4 1/2 lb. roasting chicken
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup instant onion flakes
1 tsp. instant minced garlic
3/4 cup water
4 tbsps. salad oil
2 tbsps. curry powder
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsps. white vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder
Cut chicken into fricassee pieces; sprinkle With 3/4 tsp. salt, black pepper. Mix minced onion flakes, instant minced garlic with water; let stand 10 minutes to rehydrate. In a wok (or Dutch oven), heat oil; add chicken pieces and brown well; remove chicken as it browns; set aside. Remove all but 2 tbsps. fat from wok (or Dutch oven). Add onion, garlic; saute 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder; cook 3 minutes. Mix tomato paste with sugar, vinegar, chili powder and remaining salt. Add to onion mixture. Return chicken to wok (or Dutch oven). Cover and simmer 1 hour (or until chicken is tender), stirring occasionally. Serves 4-6.
Thoughts: For fine curry accompaniments: chopped cucumbers, minced candied ginger, sieved hard-cooked eggs, sweet pickle relish, bacon bits, and freshly grated coconut.
Joel Grey's Tostadas Appetizers
For the guacamole:
1 medium-sized, very ripe avocado
1 small ripe tomato, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 small onion, very finely grated
Few drops pressed garlic (more, if desired)
1 tsp. juice from canned jalapeño chiles
About 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. chili powder
Ground coriander to taste, optional
Mash avocado with fork. Add other ingredients to make a paste, but not too smooth. If you want to make it ahead of time, put avocado seed in spread to keep it from turning brown, wrap tightly with foil (or cellophane), refrigerate until ready to use.
For the tostadas:
Six 12-inch fresh flour tortillas (available in Mexican food shops, otherwise use frozen or canned)
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, cut in julienne strips
One 4-oz. can roasted, peeled green chili peppers
Sour cream (chilled)
Lightly brown tortillas in melted butter in special cazuela pan (or flat griddle); turn, brown on other side. Lift out of pan; drain well on absorbent paper. Arrange layer of cheese on half of half-cooked tortillas. Drain chili peppers; remove most of seeds (leave a few to give a peppery taste). Cut chili peppers into strips; arrange on top of cheese strips. Top each tortilla with lid. Brown stuffed tortillas on heated cazuela pan (or griddle) over medium heat until crispy and cheese is nice and gooey on the inside. Cut with pizza cutter or sharp knife. Serve with guacamole with a dab of sour cream on top. Serve at once as appetizer or as midday snack with Margaritas or Mexican beer. Serves 4-6.