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Sticky red wings will fly off holiday table

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HOLIDAY season has officially arrived. Thank you to the more than 120 Recipe Swappers who took time to enter their tried-and-true recipes in this year's Home for the Holidays contest. It's always a pleasure to sneak a peek at readers' favourite festive recipes -- but also a great challenge to select the best of the bunch.

Congratulations to Lily Dyson and Sandra Langford for their winning appetizer recipes. Lily Dyson's pomegranate-seed-studded sticky red wings are sure to fly off your holiday table. Likewise, Sandra Langford's flavourful Asian meatballs, adapted from a Chatelaine magazine recipe, will please dinner party guests.

Thanks to the following Swappers for sending in appetizer recipes: Dorothy Stroppa, Phyllis Keller of Russell, Helen Loeppky, L. Snider of Glenboro, Andrea Behl, Julie Kehler of Winkler, Darla Alsip, Jeanette Johnston of Keewatin, Ont., Evelina Reimer, Becky Pelto, Elaine Belbas, Helen Nemeth, Helen Pitura, Brenda Mazor of St. Andrews and Joan Anderson.

Now on to this week's requests:

Phyllis Keller of Russell is seeking gluten-free recipes for dainties and appetizers.

Diane Mayes requests a recipe for cheese soup.

M. Loewen of Morris is seeking a good recipe for ginger snaps that is low in sugar and fat.

Lastly, Andrea Behl puts out a call for a recipe for seafood pasta with an olive oil sauce rather than a creamy sauce.

To respond to one of this week's Recipe Swap requests or send in a request, please write to Recipe Swap, c/o Ilana Simon, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, Man., R2X 3B6, send a fax to 697-7412 or e-mail to Please include name, address and daytime telephone number in case any ingredients or directions must be checked.

Sticky red wings

1.5 kg (3 pounds) chicken wings
5 ml (1 tsp) salad oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
250 ml (1 cup) pomegranate juice

Rinse wings, drain, and cut apart at joints; reserve tips for other uses.

Place remaining chicken in a single layer in a 10- by 15-inch (40 x 30-cm) nonstick pan.

Season with salt to taste. Bake in a 200° C (400° F) oven until brown and crisp, about 1 hour, turning pieces occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a 25- to 30-cm (10- to 12-inch) nonstick frying pan over high heat, sauté garlic and peppers in oil until vegetables are limp, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, sugar and vinegar.

Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 15 minutes.

Drain and discard fat from chicken wings. Pour pomegranate sauce over wings and turn pieces with spatula. Bake until sauce thickens and sticks to wings, about 12 minutes, turning pieces often to prevent scorching.

Place wings on a platter. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Serve hot.

Taste-tester notes: These delicious wings have a wonderfully festive appearance owing to the addition of pomegranate seeds. I found the suggested baking time way off and recommend baking the wings at 200° C (400° F) for 30 minutes, turning at the halfway mark. Then add sauce, and bake another 12 minutes, turning several times. I always find with chicken wings that it's best to bake them on tin foil spread over cookie sheet and sprayed with vegetable spray (much easier clean up!). To remove seeds, cut the pomegranate in half and use a small fork to poke out the seeds (the whitish pith is bitter). You will have many more pomegranate seeds than called for in this recipe! Add pomegranate seeds to garden salads, couscous, bulgur salad or fruit salad.

Asian sauced meatballs

Either make your own favourite meatball recipe, forming them into small appetizer-sized meatballs, or purchase frozen meatballs. If purchased, cook the frozen meatballs as directed on the package.

While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce as follows:

175 ml (3/4 cup) pineapple juice
125 ml (1/2 cup) hoisin sauce
30 ml (2 tbsp) white vinegar
1 tbsp (15 ml) dark sesame oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) grated fresh ginger
(7 ml) 1 1/2 tsp hot chili/garlic sauce

Bring all sauce ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Once the meatballs are cooked, put them in your serving dish, pour the sauce over the hot meatballs and serve.

Taste-tester notes: The tasty Asian sauce has a little kick and is colourful, thanks to the addition of the chili/garlic sauce. Homemade meatballs are easy to whip up and taste so much better! Here's my own recipe from my cookbook, 125 Best Ground Meat Recipes (Robert Rose Inc., Toronto, 2003): Mix together 500 g (1 lb) lean ground beef, 30 ml (2 tbsp) minced onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 125 ml (1/2 cup) fine bread crumbs and 1 egg. Season with salt and pepper and form into small appetizer meatballs. Fry meatballs in non-stick skillet with minimal olive oil for about 8 minutes, turning after 4 minutes or bake in 200° C (400° F) oven for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet sprayed with vegetable spray.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 30, 2005 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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