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Lemon Pepper Cornish Game Hens and Tofu Sesame Noodles

Canadian Living's Gourmet Recipe of the Month.

Lemon Pepper Cornish Hens
Prep: 10 minutes
Stand: 2 hours
Cook: 25 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

• 2 large Cornish hens (about 1½ lb/ 750 g each)
• 1½ tsp (7 mL) grated lemon rind
• ¼ cup (60 mL) lemon juice
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed
• 1 Tbsp (15 mL) black pepper
• 2 tsp (10 mL) packed brown sugar
• 2 tsp (10 mL) grated fresh ginger
• 1½ tsp (7 mL) dried oregano, crumbled
• 1 tsp / 5 mL salt
• ½ tsp / 2 mL ground cumin
• ¼ tsp / 1 mL ground cloves
• Extra-virgin olive oil

Using kitchen shears, cut hens down each side of backbone; remove bone (save for stockpot). Snip through breastbone to separate each hen into halves. Mix together lemon rind and juice, garlic, pepper, sugar, ginger, oregano, salt, cumin and cloves; add hens, turning to coat. Marinate, refrigerated, for 2 hours or up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature.

Brush hens lightly with oil; grill, covered and bone side down, over medium heat, turning and basting with more oil, until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced and skin is crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

Tofu Sesame Noodles
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

• 8 oz (250 g) linguine
• 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
• 1 cup (250 mL) julienned carrot
• 1 cup (250 mL) frozen shelled edamame (soy beans)
• 8 oz (250 g) fresh spinach
• 1 cup (250 mL) julienned English cucumber
• Fried tofu cubes (see directions below)
• Coriander leaves

Sesame Sauce
• ? cup (75 mL) tahini
• 3 Tbsp (45 mL) hot water
• 2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
• 2 Tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp (15 mL) rice vinegar
• 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
• 1½ tsp (7 mL) granulated sugar
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• Pinch salt

Fried tofu cubes: Cut 8 oz (250 g) firm tofu into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes; toss with 2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch. Fry in 1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil until golden.

Sesame Sauce:
In bowl, combine tahini, hot water, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar until smooth. Finely mince garlic with salt to make paste; stir into sauce.

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and chill under cold water; drain well. Toss with sesame oil; divide among 4 shallow noodle bowls.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan of boiling water, blanch carrot until tender-firm, about 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and chill under cold water; drain and pat dry. Repeat with edamame. Repeat with spinach; coarsely chop spinach.

Arrange carrot, edamame, spinach, cucumber and tofu in piles around noodles. Serve with sauce. Garnish with coriander.

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