The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 1, 1998 · Page 15
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 15

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, April 1, 1998
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Page 15
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. ( THE SAUWtiOURNAL III NEWS / C4 INTERNATIONAL / C5 CLASSIFIED / C6 c V COLE'S COOKING A TO 2 Braising: A cooking technique for vegetables, too Effortlessly cooked vegetables boast intense color, flavor By ANNETTE GOOCH Universal Press If you thought braising was a cooking technique used only for tougher cuts of meat, expand your thinking to include effortlessly cooked vegetables with intense color and flavor. Braising is similar to stewing but uses less liquid; compared to water-steaming, it develops greater nuances of flavor and preserves more color in vegetables. Some recipes for braised vegetables call for a combination of cooking methods: Certain ingredients — usually carrots or other dense- textured vegetables — may be first sauteed in oil or butter to develop color and flavor, then cooked slowly in a small amount of liquid: wine, sherry, vegetable stock, de- VLENT Modern world interprets Lenten rules One eating plan doesn't fit everyone spiritually, priest says By SHERYL JULIAN N.Y. Times News Service BOSTON — In many ways, St. Mark is a typical late 20th-century urban Catholic church — a parish in transition. The congregation, once predominantly Irish, is changing. The Boston church's pews hold families from Cape Verde, Haiti, Vietnam. As parishioners approach their fifth week of Lent, the Reverend Daniel Finn brings his diverse congregation together by preaching a message about hunger. Parishioners, he exhorts, must find their own spirituality in the Lenten fast. "Fasting is definitely tied to social justice," he says, "sharing our bread with the hungry, and clothing them, feeding those kinds of hungers." As the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and Episcopal Church observe the Lenten fast, the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, a modern world is reinterpreting Lenten rules. ; , The Catholic Church in the United States calls for people to abstain from meat on Fridays during tent, and to eat only one complete meal and two small meals on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. $lie prthodox Church imposes a stricter fast from meat, fish, dairy products, eggs and olive oil. Then the interpretations begin. At St. Mark, a group of teen-agers fasts for 30 hours. Money from their sponsors goes to a local pantry or abroad to feed and clothe the impoverished. Younger parishioners give up candy and deed that money to Operation Rice Bowl. "Each person has to decide what it is that he or she should do to grow spiritually, rather than having one plan for everyone," says Finn. Some Orthodox Christians have given up the intense 40-day fast in favor of a more lenient seven-day fast during Holy Week, the days leading up to Orthodox Easter (this year a week later than the Easter date as observed by the Catholic Church and Protestant See RULES, Page C2 T KITCHEN HINTS fatted beef or chicken stock, or a combination of these. The steam- filled atmosphere inside a tightly covered pan or casserole releases the food's essential oils and juices, enhancing the taste and aroma of the vegetables and creating an appetizing glaze. Any root vegetable - carrots, onions, leeks, celeriac -- is a candidate for braising; so is celery, cabbage, Belgian endive, fennel or broccoli, or a medley of these vegetables. Even Swiss chard, kale and mustard braise well if cooked in a very small amount of liquid just until barely wilted. Success tips • Start the braising process with about V* cup liquid per 2 cups of vegetables, adding more only if the food cooks dry before it is tender. • Any heat-proof casserole with a tight-fighting lid can be used for braising as long as the dish conducts heat well. Universal Press Braising root carrots and baby onions with white wine transforms them Into a tempting vegetable side dish. • Braising can be done on top of the stove or in an oven. • Braising times depend on the variety of vegetables used, their size and shape, their maturity and freshness. Who'd guess that a little white wine and a handful of raisins could bring out the best in carrots and onions? As the vegetables braise, the cooking liquid thickens into a sweet-sour glaze, giving the food an irresistible sheen. This side dish makes a fine accompaniment to roast chicken or beef. It's also ideal for entertaining because it can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator, then reheated shortly before serving. To peel the onions, drop them into a saucepan of boiling water and boil 1 minute. Drain, rinse with cold water until cool, then peel with a sharp paring knife. Braised carrots and onions % cup butter 1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut in 2-inch pieces '/» pound small boiling onions, peeled '/a cup raisins % cup dry white wine 1 A cup water Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 1 bay leaf Melt butter in a heat-proof casserole or large frying pan over medium heat. Add carrots and onions and saute until lightly browned. Add raisins, wine, the water, salt and pepper to taste, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and braise, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender (about 35 minutes). Do not overcook. Remove vegetables from liquid with a slotted spoon and set aside. Raise heat to medium-high, uncover, and cook until liquid reduces to a syrupy glaze (about 10 minutes). Return vegetables to liquid and heat through. This dish can be kept, covered, for up to 2 days in the refrigerator; and reheated in a covered pan over low heat or in a low oven. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve hot. EASTER holiday Easy One-Bowl Brownies shape up as Easter treats Easy springtime One-Bowl Brownies can come out delicious In whatever shape — seasonal bunnies or conventional squares. The Associated Press Bunny decorating tips • Draw small details such as bunny eyes, nose and mouth with decorating icings. • Draw outlines of clothing (vests, bows, ties) with tiny candy bits, then fill them in with colored crystals. • Cut sugarcoated gum drops into carrot and leaf shapes. Using brownie scraps • Stir cubes of brownie scraps into prepared chocolate or vanilla instant pudding and pie filling. • Stir cubes of scraps into softened vanilla or chocolate ice cream. • Layer cubes of scraps with instant pudding, whipped topping and banana slices for a "trifle" dessert. By The Associated Press Yes, we have bunnies for you! That's just one suggestion, from the variety of Easter shapes you might make when you use this One-Bowl Brownies recipe with its creamy frosting. The brownies are easy to make, leaving plenty of time for wielding of cookie cutters and creative decoration. Your choice of shapes could range from eggs, chicks and flowers to little squares, ovals, stars — whatever your fancy, wherever your imagination takes you. One-Bowl Brownies 4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate % cup (1 % sticks) butter or margarine 2 cups sugar 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup flour 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional) White Chocolate Coconut Frosting (recipe follows) Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glass baking dish). Line 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil extending over edges to use as handles. Grease foil. Melt chocolate and butter in heavy saucepan (about 1 quart size) over very low heat, stirring constantly. The chocolate will melt more easily if it is chopped into small pieces. OR: Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwav- able bowl on high 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir sugar into chocolate until well blended. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts until well blended. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs — take care not to overbake. Cool in pan. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen brownies from sides. Using foil as handles, lift brownies from pan onto cutting board. Frost with White Chocolate Coconut Frosting. Refrigerate brownies 10 minutes to set frosting. Cut into squares or cut with cookie cutters into Easter shapes, such as bunnies. (Press cutter down into brownies to cut; then lift up and push the brownie up through the cutter to remove.) Decorate with decorating materials, including icings, glossy gels and tiny ornamental candy shapes (decorating tips below). Makes 24 brownie squares, or about 10 brownie cutouts. White Chocolate Frosting 1 stick softened butter 1 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons milk 3 squares melted white baking chocolate 1 (7-oz.) bag (1 VS cups) sweetened flaked coconut Beat butter, sugar and milk in medium bowl with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Beat in melted chocolate. Stir in half of coconut. Sprinkle remaining coconut over brownies after they are frosted and cut, if desired. White bread slice softens brown sugar Dear Heloise: I'm tired of throwing out hardened brown sugar when I go to bake something. Is there any way to prevent brown sugar from getting hard and A lumpy? And, once it's hardened, is there any way to get it soft and usable again? — A Cranky Cook in New York Dear Cook: You're right, hardened brown sugar can be a baking disaster, not to mention causing aggravation when you don't need it. Brown sugar is naturally moj,st because of its molasses content and becomes hard and lumpy when it dries out, ac- w cording to a major sugar producer. ''. If the sugar is already hardened, place it in a container with a tight-fitting lid and set a slice of white bread on top. The bread should re- ptore enough moisture to the brown sugar to soften it to its original condition. Leave it for a HELOISE King Features day or so and remove the bread. The sugar should be softer. If it is still too hard, place another slice of bread in with it and check the sugar the next day. — Heloise Dear Heloise: When preparing stuffed green peppers, I use a serrated grapefruit spoon to remove all the membranes and seeds. Works great. — Edith Clinkingbeard, Apache Junction, Ariz. Dear Heloise: I clipped and saved the information you gave concerning the shelf life of spices and herbs, as published in the Houston Chronicle. May I add a suggestion which I just recently implemented: Use a fine-line permanent marker to write the date of purchase on the spice can or bottle. Then you will know how long you have had the item. — Helen Miirtsching, Sugar Land, Texas Dear Heloise: This Thanksgiving, while my mom and I were peeling sweet potatoes we made a remarkable discovery. We dreaded this task due to the stains left on our hands. This year while slicing the butter sticks she grabbed the empty wrappers to throw out and noticed that the orange stains were coming off on to the wrapper. We rubbed our hands with the empty butter wrappers and washed off the butter and, to our surprise, the orange stains came off. — Susan Franco, Ringwood, N.J. Dear Heloise: Many of us carry around bottles of water these days. During the summer, I freeze the bottles and take them to work with me, dripping as I go! Well, the other morning I had a Heloise bell go off in my brain! I went to the laundry room and took one of those "orphaned" white socks from the sock box and slid my frozen water bottle into the sock. Perfect fit except for the long top, which I turned down to make a double layer of absorbent cover. Thanks for all your hints. — M. Wilson, Riverdale, Md. OEAT Tips provided by SHERRIE MAHONEY Extension Agent • Family and Consumer Sciences Ihis quick pudding won't stick or scorch in the microwave. Combine these ingredients in a large batter bowl or microwave-safe bowl: 1 package (3.5 oz) vanilla pudding and pie filling, 2'/2 cups milk, l /z cup raisins, % cup instant rice, '/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir ingredients together until well mixed. Microwave on full power for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until the mixture boils and begins to thicken. Serve warm or chilled. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BECKY FITZGERALD, FOOD EDITOR, AT (785) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbfltzgerald@8aljournal.com

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