June 26, 2013

For those who rail at train food

Amtrak is going to great lengths to get passengers to take a fresh look at the all-aboard menu.

By LORI ARATANI The Washington Post

(Continued from page 3)

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Rockin’ KB Chili

The Washington Post

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Amtrak executive chef Christian Hannah, left, with Washington chef Michel Richard, who is working with the rail company to improve the quality of meals sold on its passenger trains.

The Washington Post

Additional Photos Below

Stir in the cream to form a sauce; cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the sauce reduces by half. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add the onion-garlic mixture to the corn-leek mixture, along with the cheese and pepper to taste.

Add the pasta and stir to coat; once it has heated through, remove from the heat.

Heat the same nonstick saute pan (used to cook the onion-garlic mixture) over medium-high heat. Add the tomato halves, cut sides down; cook for 15 seconds, then turn them over and cook for 15 to 25 seconds, until nicely seared.

Divide the pasta among wide, shallow bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley and cheese, then arrange equal portions of tomatoes atop each serving. Serve warm.



Servings: Six to eight

This unique variation is on the menu of the Acela train that runs between Philadelphia and New York; adapted from Bob and Katy Rosar, an advisory team member for Amtrak food.

3 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup minced onion

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper

1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce

11/2 cups no-salt-added beef broth

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 3-inch cinnamon stick

1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into very thin strips

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup prepared bloody mary mix

1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

Season the meat with the salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the meat loses its raw look. Do not drain. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion, garlic, green bell pepper and jalapeno pepper and cook for several minutes, until they have softened.

Stir in the spaghetti sauce, broth, wine, sugar, paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, the cinnamon stick and the dried apricots. Once the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Make a slurry by combining the cornstarch and bloody mary mix, then stir it into the pot. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring a few times.

Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.


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Pan-roasted corn and leek pasta with seared tomatoes

The Washington Post


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