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December menus.

During this busy entertaining season, be kind to the cook with simple but special meals for all to enjoy. Offer cheddar scones and warm apples with frozen yogurt for breakfast. Bake sausages and pasta in one pan for supper. Or celebrate with a festive but easy meal of roast beef.

For a festive breakfast on Christmas morning, serve this meal with special treats and fanciful shapes of molded frozen yogurt and butter, and scones designed with a cooky cutter.

Mold frozen yogurt and butter up to a few days ahead. In the morning, bake apples; let them cool as you make the scones and cook the bacon. Heat cider; add thin strands of orange peel (see page 129 for tools to cut them) for flavor and garnish.

To shape butter. Chill wooden butter molds or paddles (see page 129) in ice water for 10 minutes. Fill molds with softened butter or margarine; smooth top. Chill or freeze until firm, then release butter from mold. Or roll cubes or sticks of butter between paddles to form balls or logs, then immerse in ice water. Chill shaped butter airtight up to 4 days.

Cinnamon Apples with

Molded Frozen Yogurt

1 to 2 pints vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream, slightly softened 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, cut up 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 4 large (about 2 lb. total) Golden Delicious apples

Solidly pack frozen yogurt into molds (about 1/3-cup size; see page 129 for choices), level, and freeze until yogurt is firm, at least 3 hours or up to 4 days.

To unmold, quickly dip mold in hot water;open and remove yogurt (pry loose, if needed). Serve or freeze, airtight, in a single layer up to 2 days. Or instead of molds, scoop frozen yogurt to make balls.

Melt butter in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan in a 400[degrees] oven, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons water, sugar, juice, and cinnamon.

Peel, core, and thinly slice apples; add to pan and stir to coat with sugar mixture. Bake until fruit is slightly tender when pierced, 20 to 30 minutes. Cover to keep warm. Serve apples and juices slightly warm or at room temperature with frozen yogurt. Serves 4.

Per serving: 433 cal.; 4 g protein; 14 g fat (8 g sat.); 78 g carbo.; 131 mg sodium; 36 mg chol.

Cheddar Scone


About 2 cups all-purpose flour. 1 1/2 cups (5 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed 3/4 cup sour cream 1/4 cup salad oil 1 large egg

In a large bowl, mix flour, cheese, sugar, baking powder, and cumin. In a small bowl, beat sour cream, oil, and egg to blend. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just enough to moisten evenly. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly 10 turns.

On a greased and lightly floured 12- by 15-inch baking sheet, pat dough into an 8-by 12-inch rectangle. Dip cooky cutter (2- to 3-in. size) in flour, then cut out dough. Carefully lift cutout with cutter, to preserve the shape (use a spatula, if needed). Transfer cutout to a second greased and floured 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Carefully push dough from cutter. Repeat to make 6 cutouts, about 1 1/2 inches apart on dough (set cutout on second pan at least 1 1/2 in. apart).

Bake both pans in a 350[degrees] oven until richly browned, 30 to 40 minutes (remove individual scones if they begin to darken too much). If using 1 oven, switch pan positions halfway through baking. Transfer loaf and small scones to basket and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Makes 1 pound of scones (loaf and cutouts), about 6 servings.

Per ounce: 162 cal.; 5 g protein; 9.7 g fat (4.2 g sat.); 14 g carbo.; 130 mg sodium; 29 mg chol.

For a simple meal, bake sausage and onions to brown and develop flavor. Then add tomatoes, broth, and pasta; cover and return to oven until pasta is tender, then top with cheese.

Warm bread as casserole bakes. Meanwhile, make your favorite spinach salad.

For dessert, offer fruit and crisp Italian cookies.

One-pan Tomato and

Sausage Pasta

1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes About 3/4 cup regular-strength beef broth 1 pound mild Italian sausages, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 2 large (about 1 lb. total) onions, minced 2 teaspoons dried basil 3/4 pound (about 1 1/2 cups) dry rice-shape or other tiny pasta 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Break tomatoes with a spoon, then drain juice well from tomatoes into a 1-quart measure; reserve tomatoes. Add broth to juice to make 3 cups; set aside. Place sausages and onion sin a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole. Bake role. Bake in a 450[degrees] oven, stirring and scraping browned bits occasionally, until sausages and onions are well browned, 1 to 1 1/2 hours; drain off fat.

Remove dish from oven and add tomatoes, broth mixture, and basil. Stir and scrape to release any browned bits. Continue baking until mixture boils, about 10 minutes. Add pasta; stir to moisten. Cover dish tightly with foil; bake until liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Per serving: 457 cal.; 22 g protein; 17 g fat (5.8 g sat.); 55 g carbo.; 750 mg sodium; 47 mg chol.

Serve this easy but company-worthy dinner for family or friends.

Red wine, Chinese hoisin sauce, garlic, and coriander coat this beef roast and season the couscous. The roast cooks in less than 45 minutes. Meanwhile, make the salad. When roast is done, transfer meat to a board; keep warm. Use roasting pan to prepare couscous.

Chocolate cake, purchased or homemade, adds a sweet finish.

Beef Tri-tip Roast with

Couscous and Peas

1 3/4 pounds boneless beef triangle tip (tri-tip) or top round roast 1/2 cup dry red wine 2 tablespoons hoisin or soy sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander About 2 1/4 cups regular-strength beef broth 1 1/2 cups couscous 1 package (10 oz.) frozen petite peas, thawed 1/4 cup sliced green onion Fresh parsley sprigs Salt and pepper

Trim and discard any excess fat from roast; rinse meat and pat dry. Set meat in an 8- by 12-inch metal roasting pan.

In a bowl, combine wine, hoisin, garlic, and coriander. Brush wine mixture evenly over roast. Bake in a 425[degrees] oven, brushing 4 times with mixture (if pan drippings begin to burn, add 4 to 6 tablesppons water to pan and scrape browned bits free). Reserve any remaining wine mixture. Roast until a thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 125[degrees] for rare, 35 to 45 minutes. After 25 minutes, check temperature every 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer meat to a board; reserve all meat juices. Let roast stand, loosely covered.

Measure meat juices and remaining wine mixture; add broth to make 2 1/4 cups total. Pour into roasting pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat; stir and scrape browned bits free.

Add couscous; stir until boiling. Cover pan very tightly with foil. Let stand until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas, onion, and any newly accumulated juices from roast on board.

Arrange meat and couscous on platter. Garnish with parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 to 6.

Per serving: 388 cal.; 39 g protein; 4.9 g fat (1.6 g sat.); 44 g carbo.; 311 mg sodium; 76 mg chol.

Green and Red Salad

2 large (about 2 1/2 lb. total) European cucumbers, rinsed, ends trimmed About 1/2 pound radishes, rinsed, stems and leaves removed Vinaigrette (recipe follows) 4 to 8 large leaf lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped Salt and pepper

Finely shred cucumbers, then radishes (keep separate); drain well. Pour 2/3 of vinaigrette over cucumbers and remaining 1/3 over radishes; mix to coat.

Line each of 4 plates with 1 or 2 lettuce leaves. Mound equal portions of cucumber on each plate. Top with radishes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 to 6.

Per serving: 102 cal.; 1.4 g protein; 7.5 g fat (1 g sat.); 8.8 g carbo.; 163 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Vinaigrette. In a bowl, beat to blend 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons dried tarragon leaves, and 1 teaspoon sugar.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:Dec 1, 1991
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