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Freshen Your Tastebuds on a Shoestring

Now that we are past Thanksgiving, we can turn over a new leaf, keeping it healthy as long as we can until the holidays are upon us.

On "The Early Show on Saturday Morning," Kerry Heffernan, executive chef of South Gate in New York, shared how to make a light and fresh meal that's sure to clean your palate from the turkey.

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RECIPES:

Arugula Salad with Pomegranate, Walnuts and Pear

2 bunches whole (or 8 ounces clean) Arugula
1/2 cup (or 2 ounces) shelled walnuts, lightly toasted
1 fresh Pomegranate (can use seeds or 2 cups juice if reduced to syrup)
1 head, Belgian Endive
1 large peeled and diced pear (can use firm pear such as Bosc)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (preferably canola)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 egg yolks
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
1 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoons water

Clean Arugula leaves; remove excess stems, dry and reserve in fridge.

Peel and dice pear, avoiding seeds, and simmer in 1 cup water, 1 teaspoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar for 15 min or until just tender; drain and reserve.

Cut pomegranate in half and remove seeds.

In a blender, add egg yolks, shallot, vinegar, mustard and water; blend well for 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste, and begin slowly drizzling in oil to combine in a "creamy" fashion; when enough oil is incorporated to produce a "heavy cream" consistency, add 3 tablespoons of walnuts and pulse briefly to chop nuts. Taste for seasoning.

Slice endive thinly lengthwise, then immediately combine with arugula. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Arrange between 4 small plates, and evenly sprinkle quince, pomegranate seeds (or drizzle of reduced syrup) and walnuts over each plate. Drizzle extra dressing on top and serve.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.

Chili-Crusted Chuck Steak

16 ounces Chuck steak (remove from fridge one hour before cooking)
1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes
8 ounces baby spinach
3 Tablespoons each: chili flakes, whole black pepper, coriander seeds, fennel seed, cumin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup butter

Place potatoes in a 6-quart pot, cover with water, season well with salt, bring to a boil and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool in water 20 minutes, and then remove and slice lengthwise into approximately half-inch thick slices

Preheat a cast iron pan, large enough to hold the steak (if you do not have one large enough, cut steak into two and cook in two batches). "Pulse" spices in blender briefly to chop and combine; season meat well with salt and chili spice mixture until covered. Add 1 tablespoons of canola oil to pan, and sear steak, about 3 - 4 minutes on one side. Add 1 tablespoons canola oil to pan and turn steak to cook remaining side, about 3 minutes, or until desired doneness. Remove from pan and allow to "rest" about 10 minutes before carving.

Using the same pan, add some more canola oil (if needed), and when oil is quite hot, add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Brown evenly on both sides then remove potatoes; add butter and chopped garlic to the still hot pan, return to heat for one minute then add spinach and toss briefly to combine and barely warm and wilt the leaves. Remove immediately, arrange potatoes and spinach on plates, slice steak and arrange. Drizzle any accumulated juices over top.

Frozen Yogurt

1 pint vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
4 Clementines, mandarin oranges or other best-available oranges
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, picked of stems

Arrange fruits attractively in 4 shallow bowls; add a quenelle of yogurt over top of the fruit and garnish with tarragon leaves.

So, how did Kerry wind up faring with our $40 budget?

Arugula Salad with Pear

Arugula $4.00
Walnuts $3.00
Pomegranate $2.00
Endive $1.70
Pear $0.60
Shallot $1.00
TOTAL $12.30

Chili Glazed Steak

Chuck Steak $6.35
Yukon Gold Potatoes $3.99
Spinach $2.50
Garlic $1.00
TOTAL $13.84

Frozen Yogurt with Fruit

Frozen Yogurt $2.99
Raspberries $3.99
Clementines $3.50
Tarragon $2.49
TOTAL $12.97

Grand Total: $39.11

Kerry just missed the Leaders Board in our "How Low Can You Go?" competition. Here are the top finishers so far:

1. Bill Telepan $37.01
Telepan

2. Marc Murphy $37.11
Ditch Plains

3. Amanda Freitag $37.17
The Harrison

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