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April menus.


Flavors from other cultures enliven this month's menus.

For a leisurely light supper or weekend lunch, offer a Mediterranean feast. Family members or guests can nibble on an array of Middle Eastern foods--some you make, others you buy ready to eat.

You combine cuisines from two continents when you pair the Chinese stir-fry technique with Mexican seasonings and beef strips in a quick supper.

And when time is short, try the yogurt sundae breakfast. It takes only minutes to create and is as nutritious as it is enticing.

Mediterranean sampler

Serve this casual meal indoors or out on the patio. You make hummus (a savory garbanzo mixture to spread on crisp bread), tart cucumbers, and a grain salad with mint.

Vegetable Tabbouleh

Hummus Pita Crisps

Pickled Cucumbers

Chunks of Feta Cheese

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmas)

Figs Dates Grapes Oranges

Sparkling Water Sauvignon Blanc

To embellish the meal, purchase 3/4 to 1 pound feta cheese, 1 to 1 1/2 dozen stuffed grape leaves (canned or freshly made), and about 1/2 pint olives.

Vegetable Tabbouleh

1 cup bulgur

1 cup cold water

1 cup (about 5 oz.) canned water chestnuts, drained and chopped, or peeled chopped jicama

1/2 cup minced green onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/3 cup minced fresh mint

1/4 cup each olive oil and lemon juice


Small romaine leaves, washed and crisped

Mint sprigs

In a strainer, rinse bulgur well; drain. In a bowl, combine bulgur with cold water and let stand until grain is soft to bite, about 1 hour. Drain off any remaining liquid.

Mix bulgur with water chestnuts, green onion, carrot, mint, oil, and lemon juice. Add salt to taste. (If made ahead, cover and chill up to overnight.) Spoon into a wide, shallow bowl and garnish with romaine and mint sprigs. Serves 6 to 8.


To eat, break off pieces of pita crisps and spread thickly with hummus.

1/4 cup sesame seed

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzos; drain and reserve liquid

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 or 2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper

In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium-low heat, stir sesame seed until light gold, 5 to 7 minutes. In a blender, combine sesame seed, garbanzos, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and 6 tablespoons of the garbanzo liquid. Whirl, adding more liquid if needed, until hummus is smooth and creamy but still thick enough to hold its shape when mounded. Add salt and pepper to taste. Scrape into a bowl; with a spatula, make a swirl on top. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over hummus. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pita Crisps

Split apart 6 pocket breads (6-in. size) to make 12 rounds. Mix 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced. Brush split sides of bread with oil and garlic and sprinkle lightly with pepper; place in a single layer on 2 baking sheets, each 14 by 17 inches. Bake in a 400| oven until crisp and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

Pickled Cucumbers

Mix 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced, with 1 teaspoon salt; let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse will and drain. Mix with 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar; cover and chill at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Mexican stir-fry supper

Stir-fry beef with vegetables and Mexican seasonings, then spoon over crisp fried tortilla strips or shredded lettuce.

Radishes with Coarse Salt and Lime

Beef-and-Chili Stir-Fry

Mango Sundaes

Lemonade Sangria

For a simple starter, squeeze lime wedges over radishes to dip in coarse salt. Prepare all entree ingredients ahead, then cook quickly. For dessert, chopped peanuts and sliced mangoes top vanilla ice cream.

Beef-and-Chili Stir-Fry

1 pound boneless beefsteak, such as sirloin or top round

2 tablespoons Worcestershire

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

4 tablespoons salad oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cups (10-oz. package) frozen corn, thawed

1 can (3 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained

1 can (7 oz.) diced green chilies, drained

12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Cumin sauce (recipe follows)


8 cups fried tortilla strips (recipe follows) or shredded iceberg lettuce

Cilantro (coriander) sprigs, optional

Trim and discard fat from beef; cut meat across grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices about 3 inches long. Mix beef with Worcestershire and garlic.

Place 2 tablespoons oil in a work or 12-inch frying pan over high heat. When pan is hot, add half of the meat mixture and stir-fry until meat is lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift meat out and add 1 more tablespoon oil and remaining meat; stir-fry until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan.

To pan, add 1 more tablespoon oil and onion; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add corn, olives, and chilies; stir-fry until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Return meat to pan and add tomatoes and cumin sauce; stir until boiling. Add salt to taste.

Place equal amounts of fortillas or lettuce on 4 dinner plates. Spoon equal portions of the meat mixture over tortillas. Garnish with cilantro. Makes 4 servings.-- Sharon Corrin Bourg, Reseda, Calif.

Cumin sauce. Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon cumin seed, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 1 cup regular-strength beef broth.

Tortilla strips. Stack 7 or 8 corn tortillas (6-in. size); cut in half. Perpendicular to cut, slice tortillas into 1/8-inch-wide strips. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan, place about 1/2 inch salad oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375| on a thermometer. Drop a handful of tortilla strips into oil; stir until strips are light brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Lift out with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Use warm or cool. If made ahead, store airtight up to overnight. Makes about 8 cups.

Brief breakfast

It takes only 15 to 20 minutes to create this morning meal.

Yogurt Sundaes

Cinnamon Breadsticks

Herb Tea Orange Juice

Bake the breadsticks and toast the nuts at the same time. Meanwhile, slice the berries and begin to assemble the sundaes: you dress unflavored yogurt with the berries, nuts, and maple syrup.

Yogurt Sundaes

1/2 cup whole filberts or almonds

1 quart unflavored yogurt

3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

About 1/3 cup maple syrup

Place nuts in an 8- or 9-inch pie pan. Bake them in a 400| oven until light gold (check under skin of filbert), about 8 minutes. Spoon yogurt into 4 bowls or glasses. Sprinkle nuts and berries over yogurt. Pour syrup over to taste. Serves 4.-- Gretchen Guard, Ketchum, Idaho.

Cinnamon Breadsticks

Cut 1 baguette (8 oz.), about 16 inches long, lengthwise into quarters. Place bread on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Brush cut sides with 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over cut sides of bread. Bake in a 400| oven until light brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Photo: Small bites of many different foods make this Mediterranean sampler perfect for a leisurely lunch. Spread seasoned garbanzo puree on toasted pita bread. Eat with tabbouleh, cucumber slices, fruit, stuffed grape leaves, feta cheese, and olives

Photo: Stir-fried beef with corn, olives, and chilies rests on a bed of fried tortilla strips. For a leanor version, substitute shredded iceberg lettuce for the tortillas
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Apr 1, 1986
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