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Does our veal stew have enough garlic to ward off vampires and werewolves?

In medieval times, garlic was thought to ward off werewolves and vampires. Very likely. The trouble is that it also wards off your friends and relations. In spite of garlic's sometimes overwhelming fragrance, it remains a valuable flavoring ingredient. Heat can tame its acridity, as devotees of roasted garlic cloves will testify. In stews such as Fred Hill's, long and slow cooking will transform garlic into a scarcely identifiable, yet memorably warm and complex flavor.

His veal stew has many of the ingredients of osso buco, but it leaves out the shin bone in favor of veal stew meat. Our taste panel loved the stew, and tasters were surprised to find that it contained 12 cloves of garlic. . We would not have had the temerity to recommend such a dish otherwise. The garlic may, however, have lost its efficacy against vampires.

Garlic Veal Stew

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil or salad


2 pounds boneless veal stew, cut

into 11/2- to 2-inch cubes

1 large onion, chopped

12 cloves garlic, halved

11/2 pounds Roma-style tomatoes,

peeled, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped

1 cup tomato juice

3/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup Spanish-style pimiento-stuffed

olives, sliced

1 to 2 small dried hot red chilies

Salt and pepper

Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add meat, a portion at a time, and turn pieces until browned. Lift meat out and set aside. Add onion, and more oil if needed, to pan; stir often until onion is limp and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomatoes, tomato juice, wine, olives, meat, and chilies to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce beat, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, 1 to 1 1/4 hours; uncover and simmer until liquid is reduced to quantity desired.

Discard chilies, then skim and discard any fat from juices; season stew with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Per serving : 361 cal; 31 g protein; 11 g carbo; 21 g fat, 107 mg chol.; 533 mg sodium.


The classic way of serving mussels is mariniere-steamed with white wine, butter, shallots, perhaps parsley or other herbs. From Edmonds, Washington, Eric Lie sends us an elegant Oriental variation. One essential ingredient of both preparations is the liquid given up by the mussels as they steam and open. The result should be a broth which has a strong savor of the sea. The ingredients listed below enhance this savor without overwhelming it.

We entirely agree with Mr. Lie when he says that his recipe is a cut above the usual restaurant offering.

Steamed Mussels, Oriental-style

2 to 2 1/2 pounds mussels or clams

suitable for steaming in their shells, well scrubbed

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup rice wine

1 cup thinly sliced green onions,

including tops

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

Pull beards from mussels. In a 5- to 6quart pan, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, vinegar, wine, onions, and garlic. Add the mussels and cover pan. Cook over medium-high heat until mussel shells open, 6 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer mussels to individual plates. Ladle cooking liquid equally into 4 small bowls. To eat, dip mussels into sauce, drain briefly, and enjoy. Makes 4 first-course servings.

Per serving : 115 cal ; 8.6 g protein; 8.9 g carbo. ; 4.9 g fat, 18 mg chol.; 452 mg sodium.

Edmonds, Wash.

Mention Irish cuisine and most people can think of nothing but corned beef and cabbage. Students of such matters usually say more about the high quality of Irish foodstuffs-the celebrated beef, bacon, and ham than the skill in their preparation. Still, one Irish dish is well known: soda bread a substantial bread with raisins-is a favorite accompaniment to tea, which, in Ireland, is likely to be a smoky Lapsang Souchong. The bread is similar to (if not merely a variant of) a tea

cake that's known as barm brack.

Some etymologists derive the latter from bairigen breac, Gaelic for speckled cake. It seems equally likely that the first part is simply barm, an old-fashioned but respectable term for froth or foam, such as might come from the action of soda with buttermilk in some versions, or yeast with sugar in others--or all of the above, as in this loaf.

Bill's Irish Soda Bread

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (110[degrees])

About 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon each salt and baking soda

1 tablespoon caraway seed

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons melted butter or


1/2 cup raisins

In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, stir together I cup flour, sugar, salt, soda, and caraway seed. Add yeast mixture, buttermilk, and butter; beat to mix well. Add 1 1/2 cups more flour and raisins; stir to moisten. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Scrape dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Push raisins that pop out back into dough. Shape dough into a smooth ball. Set on a greased 12- by 15inch baking sheet and pat dough into a 7inch round. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until puffy, 45 minutes to I hour.

With a floured razor blade or a very sharp knife, cut a cross about '/4 inch deep in center of loaf. Bake, uncovered, in a 350[degrees] oven until well browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand on a rack until just barely warm or cool. Makes I loaf, about I'/4 pounds.

Per ounce: 91 cal; 2.3 g protein; 17.4 g carbo.; 1.5 g fat; 3.5 mg chol.; 97 mg sodium.

Bakersfield, Calif.
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Date:Nov 1, 1988
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