December 07, 2009 12:00 PM

ENTERTAINING

Renée Zellweger’s . . .

CELEBRITY TACO NIGHT!

As a partner in Mexican restaurant Blue Parrot, the star knows how to cook up a good time. “The guac has got to be perfect,” she says. “It’s a staple!”

SERVES 4 UNDER $45

BLUE PARROT STEAK TAQUITOS

• 2 lbs. hanger steak

• ½ cup garlic marinade (recipe at right)

• 8 to12 6-in. flour tortillas

1. Place steak in a plastic refrigerator storage bag. Add marinade and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2. Preheat grill on high. Grill steak over high heat, about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Slice and serve with warm tortillas.

GARLIC MARINADE

• 1 head garlic, unpeeled

• Olive oil

• ¼ cup lemon juice

• 2 tbsp. oregano

• ¾ cup canola oil

• Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Drizzle garlic with olive oil. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and roast for 45 minutes. Let cool.

2. Peel cloves and mix well in blender with lemon juice, oregano and canola oil. Add salt to taste.

GUACAMOLE

• 1 ripe tomato, diced

• ½ Spanish onion, chopped

• 1 serrano chili, seeded and minced

• Juice of 2 limes

• Salt

• 5 ripe avocados, diced

• ½ cup chopped cilantro

1. In a bowl, mix tomato, onion, chili, lime juice and salt to taste.

2. Using a fork, mash in avocado. Add cilantro and salt to taste.

DIRTY BIRD MARGARITA

• 2 oz. 100% agave tequila

• 1 oz. triple sec

• Splashes of fresh lime and lemon juices

1. Mix ingredients and pour over ice into a mason jar.

2. Garnish with sea salt and a lime wedge.

FOOD

Martha Stewart’s . . .

DINNER FOR FOUR UNDER $10

Got an hour? The media maven suggests a recipe for a comforting cool-weather dish

Pick up Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home in bookstores now

BRAISED CHICKEN MARSALA AND SAGE POLENTA

• 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 ¼ lbs.)

• 4 chicken drumsticks (about 1 lb.)

• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

• 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

• 2 red onions, peeled and quartered through the stems

• 2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-in. pieces

• 6 sprigs thyme

• ¾ cup marsala (sweet Italian fortified wine)

• 1 ¼ cups chicken stock

1. Preheat oven to 400º. Rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towels, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown chicken on both sides, turning once, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter; tent loosely with parchment paper, then foil to keep warm. After all chicken is browned, pour off excess fat.

2. Add onions, tomatoes and thyme to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Pour in marsala; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to pan and pour in stock; bring to a simmer. Transfer to oven until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover to keep warm.

3. Skim off excess fat from liquid in pan; simmer liquid over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. To serve, divide polenta (see recipe below) among shallow bowls and arrange chicken on top. Spoon pan sauce on each.

SAGE POLENTA

• 5 cups water

• Salt and pepper

• 1 cup coarse polenta

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage

• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat, then add 2 tsp. salt. Whisking constantly, add polenta in a slow, steady stream and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer. Cover partially; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is creamy and starting to pull away from the side of the pan, about 40 minutes, adding sage in the last 5 minutes. If polenta is too thick to stir, add more water (up to ½ cup), a little at a time, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper as desired.

MELORA HARDIN’S WINTER WARM-UP

The Office star says pour your coworkers a mug of this “indulgent holiday drink”

WINTER WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE

• 2 cups fat-free half-and-half

• 2 cups fat-free milk

• ¾ cup white-chocolate morsels

• ¼ cup Splenda

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Bring half-and-half and milk to a boil over medium-high heat; add chocolate morsels and Splenda, stirring until morsels melt. Then stir in vanilla. Serve in glass mugs and garnish with whipped cream and peppermint sticks. Serves four.

HOME

Get the Look: MODERN FAMILY

On ABC’s hit sitcom, the Dunphys are a hilariously dysfunctional clan, but they also have some serious style

1 TRAY CHIC

“The Dunphys are a family with a rustic country style,” says production designer Richard Berg. He filled their dining room with “warm tones” and natural touches.

Beachcomber Tray, $39; potterybarn.com

2 BORN TO RUN

“The room is colorful, but every piece is tasteful,” says Berg.

Mathilda Runner, $25.95-$45.95; crateandbarrel.com

3 FEATHERED NEST

“Break one rule per room,” suggests Berg, who hung mismatched plates on a wall. “If a piece can stand alone, it will likely work in a group.”

Green Bird Plate, $5; pier1.com for stores

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC

You May Like

EDIT POST