The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 2, 2001 · 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, May 2, 2001
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Page 15
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WEDNESDAY MAY 2. 2001 THE SAUNA JDURNAL CLASSIFIED / C2 Thyme for a change Often-overlooked herb can flatter warm-weather nneals By JOYCE ROSENCRANS Scripps Howard News Service The "thyme" is right to explore an often-overlooked herb. Thyme is a delicious flavor accent for lighter, warm-weather meals. Cooks should get to know thyme as well as basil or mint because the minty-evergreen flavor of thyme flatters so many spring and summertime foods, especially garden produce. Picture a quick-and-easy skillet saute of four, boneless chicken-breast halves (or chicken tenders), a half-pound each of mushroom caps and fresh asparagus cuts, plus a sweet Texas onion, sliced into wedges. After the chicken and vegetables are all tenderly sauteed in 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil, lightly thicken a finishing sauce of % cup chicken broth and 2 tablespoons white wine. Whisk in 1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with teaspoons dried thyme and Vi teaspoon dried basil. Cook several minutes to thicken sauce and stir in Va cup half-and-half for the crowning touch. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve with short-grain brown rice or quick-cooking couscous, either one cooked in chicken broth flavored with freshly grated lemon rind and sweet paprika. Teensy thyme leaves, fresh or dried, may be sauteed in real butter all by themselves. Brush the savory butter over boiled or microwaved ears of sweet corn shipped from Florida every spring. They look pretty glis­ tening with better and flecked with green. If' microwaving a single ear wrap the cleaneli ear in a wet paper towel and cook on full power several minutes or more, depending on cob size. To be really different, spring a roasted vegetable medley on family or guests. Roast baby carrots, onion wedges and shallots with thyme and garlic. Toss in some sweet-spicy-tangy whole pickled beets Oarred) the final five minutes in a hot oven. This is a. unique side dish in both color and flavor, and the vegetable combo is outrageously nutritious because of a favorable mix of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Being part of the mint family, thyme also has a sweet side. Chefs add thyme to apple tarts, poached pears and lenion desserts. Home cooks love to bake lemon bars, the type with a pat-in-the-pan butter crust. Lemon Thyme Bars have a buttery crust charmingly speckled with thyme leaves, an interesting foundation for a smooth lemon filling spiked with ginger. If it's a backyard picnic, consider planting thyme outdoors as soon as the soil warms enough for the seeds to germinate. It will enhance the view as well as the food. Thyme is a dainty perennial that grows about 18 inches tall with very small leaves. That's the shrub. variety. Creeping thyme and other types are very low-growing, to the extent that a "thyme lawn" is a ddmmdn feature of herb gardens and knot gardens. Thymely Roasted Vegetables ''2 pound baby carrots 1 medium onion, cut through core into vinch wedges 8 ounces shallots, peeled, halved if large 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon dried thyme ^'2 teaspoon salt % teaspoon ground black pepper ' 1 garlic clove, minced 1 (16-ounce) jar whole picl<led beets, drained, halved Yield: 4 servings Heat oven to 400. Toss carrots, onion wedges and shallots with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper; scatter in a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. Roast, uncovered, 15 minutes. Scatter with minced garlic and roast 10 minutes • more. Add halved beets and roast 5 minutes more. If substituting 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves stripped from their stems, scatter over vegetables when beets are added. • Recipe from Seneca Foods • - T LOW-FAT DISH Scripps Howard News Service Lemon Thyme Bars Crust: 2 cups all-purpose flour ^'3 cup powdered sugar 2 ''2 teaspoons dried thyme ''2 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter Filling: r'4 cups sugar • 3 tablespoons flour ='4 teaspoon ground ginger ^'2 teaspoon bal<ing powder 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest \ cup fresh lemon juice 3 eggs, beaten Glaze: 3/4 cup powdered sugar 3 to 4 teaspoons lemon juice Yield: 36 bars, r '2x2 inches Heat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, powdered sugar, thyme and salt. Cut in butter in a food processor or use a pastry blender to incorporate the fat. Mixture should be coarse and lumpy. Set aside ''3 of crumb mixture (about 1 cup). Pat remaining crumbs into a greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 to 18 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, ginger and baking powder. Add lemon zest, juice and eggs. Whisk until blended. Pour lemon filling over warm, baked crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. For glaze, mix lemon juice into powdered sugar and drizzle over cooled bars. • Recipe from McCormicli's T COOKBOOK Anderson's book offers practical advice Convenience foods assessed for best methods of cooking By BARBARA ALBRIGHT Ttie Associated Press WILTON, Conn. — Food writer Jean Anderson has the culinary good sense to know exactly when to use ingredients or equipment for best results and the wisdom to create food that tastes delicious. For instance, she knows the microwave oven, as a culinary tool, can't do everything, but does some things very well. She's found that frozen pepper mixes don't have the crisp-tender texture desirable for stir- fries but are the perfect addition to soups and stews where they cook for a longer time. She doesn't like coleslaw available in the produce section of the grocery store — she (fitcEAT Tips by SHERRIE MAHONEY Home Economics Extension Agent Pizza meat loaf M ix V2 cup chopped green pepper and V2 cup chopped onion with one pound ground beef or turkey. Lightly grease a 9- inch pie plate, Pat meat into pie plate. Bake at 350 for 15 to 18 minutes, until no longer pink. Pour off any fat or water. Top baked meat with % cup piz^a sauce and V2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. believes it is too coarse. But she does like to use this shredded cabbage in soups, stews and quiches. Anderson often uses salsa "as a great way to jump-start a meal." And, she says, "puff pastry is a great way to dress up a pot pie." _ These insights and many more can be found in her latest book, "Dinners in a Dish or a Dash: 275 Easy One-Dish Meals Plus Tons of Time-Saving Tips." T QUICK COOKING Anderson, who was inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame in 1999, has written many award-winning cookbooks, of which my personal favorite is "The Doubleday Cookbook," written with Elaine Hanna. I refer to it at least once a week. She is also the former food editor of Ladies' Home Journal. See COOKBOOK, Page C3 Stir-fry is full of nutrition By The Associated Press Chicken, fettuccine, ginger and sugar snap peas are among the lively mix of ingredients in Asian Primavera Stir-Fry, a dish that delivers taste and nutrition without an overload of fat. The recipe is in the chapter headed "Wise Entrees," in Better Homes and Gardens' "The Smart Diet: The Right. Approach to Weight Loss." The book suggests allowing yourself freedom from diet mania by following what the editors caU a nondiet approach, eating sensibly and following the USDA food pyramid advice on servings. The Associated Press Asian Primavera Stir-Fry 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms -, • 1 tablespoon cornstarch: • 6 ounces dried fettuccine 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves, cut into: bite-size pieces 2 tablespoons dry sherry 2 tablespoons light soy sauce 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, minced '; Nonstick cooking spray 1 cup sugar snap peas (strings and tips removed) 8 ounces tiny whole carrots with tops (about 12); trimmed"" 4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1 -inch pieces Green onion strips (optional) In a small bowl, combine dried mushrooms and 1 cup warm water; let stand for 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms, squeezing out excess liquid; reserve liquid. Slice mushroom caps; discard stems. Stir cornstarch into reserved mushroom liquid. Meanwhile, cook pasta' according to package directions. Drain; keep warm. In a bowl, stir together the. chicken, sherry, soy sauce, ginger and garlic; set aside. . Lightly coat a wok or large skillet with nonstick cooking spray Heat wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry sugar snap peas and carrots for -3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add green onions and stir- fry for 1 minute more. Remove vegetables from wok; set aside. Add chicken mixture to wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from center of wok. Stir cornstarch mixture; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly Return vegetables to wok. Add mushrooms and pasta. Stir to coat with sauce. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until heated through. If desired, garnish with green onion curls. Makes 4 servings. Nutrition information per serving: 333 cal., 3 g total fat (1 g saturated fat). Spuds make topping for salmon fillets By The Associated Press Take stylish salmon fillets, encrust them with down-to- earth shredded spuds, and in about half-an-hour a savory dinner for four will be on the table. The potatoes can be shredded fresh or pre-shredded frozen hash browns fried to a golden- brown crust on the fish fillets. To complement the salmon, serve a low-fat cucumber-feta sauce, which adds a fresh, tangy accent. To further streamline meal preparation, the sauce can be made a day in advance and refrigerated overnight in an airtight container. Potato Crusted Salmon With Cucumber-Feta Sauce % cup plain fat-free yogurt Vi cup crumbled feta cheese Vt cup chopped seeded cucumber V2 teaspoon dried mint or dill weed 4 skinless salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each) Vt teaspoon salt Vi teaspoon pepper 2 cups (about 10 ounces) shredded fresh potatoes or frozen shredded hash-brown potatoes, thawed 1 tablespoon olive oil Lemon wedges and kalamata olives, optional In small bowl, combine yogurt, feta cheese, cucumber and mint; set aside. Pat fish dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper Place V2 cup potato on top of each fillet, pressing firmly to form an even layer. In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Carefully place fillets, potato side down, in skillet. Cook 8 to 10 minutes (without moving fillets) until potatoes are golden bi-own. Using large spatula, turn fillets over; cook an additional 4 to 6 minutes or until fish is cooked to desired doneness. Serve with sauce and, if desired, lemon and olives. Makes 4 servings. • Recipe from National Potato Promotion Board The Associated Press Either fresh or frozen potatoes can top salmon fillets. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BRET WALLACE, ASSISTANT EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sibwallace@saljournai.com

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