Dinner in 55 Minutes

Sort-of-Jerked Chicken

4 servings

Many a time-consuming marinade can also work as a quick weeknight rub. Here, we slather a jerk spice paste on chicken at the last minute rather than marinating it overnight. The result is a dish that lacks depth but retains a beguiling smoky, spiced flavor.

Adapted from "Wing It!," by Christopher B. O'Hara (Clarkson Potter, 2004):

2 to 3 small Scotch bonnet or serrano chili peppers, seeded and minced

1 bunch scallions (white and light green parts), chopped

5-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup dark rum

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

3 bay leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

4 to 8 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs (with skin)

In a food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients except the chicken. Process to form a paste.

Pat the chicken dry. Using a knife, make several slashes through the skin and into the meat, cutting almost but not quite to the bone. Place it in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow baking dish, add the paste and shake or turn to coat. (If possible, refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.)

Preheat the grill or preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Scrape any excess marinade from the chicken and transfer it to the grill or a baking sheet lined with foil. Grill the chicken over indirect heat, turning as necessary, or roast the chicken until cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the heat and the size of the chicken. No trace of pink should remain. Serve hot, warm or cold.

Per serving (including drumstick and thigh):690 calories, 62 gm protein, 6 gm carbohydrates, 44 gm fat, 277 mg cholesterol, 12 gm saturated fat, 706 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

-- Renee Schettler

. . . With Every Meal

We couldn't let National Baked Bean Month slip away without passing along some heartening stats and tips:

* Recent research shows that beans contain more antioxidants than was previously believed. In general, the darker the bean, the higher the antioxidant levels. Other good news: Beans contain so much protein -- at least 15 grams in a one-cup serving -- that they're featured twice on the USDA's food guide pyramid, in the high-protein and vegetable sectors.

* Native Americans, not native Bostonians, made the earliest baked beans in America.

* When you're cooking beans, add salt only after they reach the tender stage.

* If you find the recommended two to four cups of cooked dry beans per week a bit daunting digestively, start off with a bean-filled bite or two per day and work your way up over a month or two. Drinking more liquids will help offset the gas-producing side effects.

Final Call for Cooking Classes

In preparation for Food's annual list of cooking classes, we are soliciting information from local cooking instructors. For inclusion, please submit your current information (100 words or less) in the same format as published in last year's list, which is available online; go to www.washingtonpost.com/food, scroll down and look under the heading Local Flavor. Then click on Cooking Classes. Be sure to include whether the class is participation or demonstration and include a daytime telephone number or an e-mail address for us to contact you. Entries may be edited for length and style. Information must be received by Aug. 6. We prefer to receive listings via e-mail at food@washpost.com. You may also send listings via fax to 202-334-5059 or by mail to The Washington Post Food Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C., 20071.


Baby Roma Tomatoes

Larger than a cherry tomato, sweeter than a grape tomato and far more flavorful than a regular Roma, baby Roma tomatoes have a relatively thick skin that bursts upon first bite with intensely sweet but still acidic tomato juice.

Baby Roma tomatoes are available at Whole Foods Market for $2.99 per eight-ounce container.

Pie Still Rocks Will's World

What is comfort food in the year 2035? For Detective Del Spooner, played by actor Will Smith in this summer's sci-fi movie "I, Robot," it's his grandma's sweet potato pie.

And don't bother slicing it, either. "Spoon," as he's called, takes the whole pie and spoons up mouthful after mouthful of the filling. Nice to know that there are some things that even technology can't improve.

Today's Tip

To seed a tomato easily, cut it in half at its equator. Take one half of it in your hand, cupping the curved side against your palm. Hold the tomato over the sink or a large bowl, squeeze it gently, then quickly flick your wrist downward several times. The seeds will fall right out.

-- Adapted from "Pasta Salad," by Barbara Lauterbach (Chronicle, 2004)


Infuse (In-FYOOZ)

To extract flavor from an ingredient by steeping it in warm, but not boiling, liquid for a period of time. The result is an infusion, a liquid imbued with flavor. Examples: hot tea and simple syrups spiked with the flavor of citrus zest or ginger root.


THURSDAY: Ice cream cake social -- free tastings at Cold Stone Creamery locations. A portion of profits benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Free. 5-8 p.m. Locations in Washington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Olney, Vienna, Manassas and Rehoboth, Del.; for addresses, see www.coldstonecreamery.com.

THURSDAY: Fresh From the Market to the Table -- tour of the Penn Quarter FreshFarm market and dinner at Teaism. Sponsored by Les Dames d'Escoffier. $46 for nonmembers. 6 p.m. 8th St. NW between D and E streets. Call 202-973-2168.

SATURDAY: Savor the Flavors of Summer -- festival at the Mount Pleasant farmers market featuring cooking demonstrations by Jeff Brechbuhl from the People Garden. Free. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Lamont and 17th streets NW. Call 202-248-0351.


AUG. 10: Cooking class for cancer prevention and survival at Whole Foods Market, Tenley. First of a four-class series. Sponsored by the Cancer Project. Free. 7:30-9 p.m. 4530 40th St. NW. Call 202-686-2210, ext. 336.

PLEASE NOTE: Space limitations sometimes prevent Food from publishing all submissions. For possible inclusion, send notices to: To Do, Food, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20071 or food@washpost.com. Submissions must be received at least 14 days prior to publication date.