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February menus; from the steamer, smoked cod brunch; from the oven, Italian osso buco, from the broiler, lamb chops.

Meals prepared with one cooking method can be more energy-efficient: cooking requires less time, effort, and fuel. February's menus put this concept to work with steamed, baked, and broiled meals.

A stacking steamer makes it possible to cook three elements of a brunch at one time on one burner. The eggs cook in a pan alongside but can be put in the steamer to keep warm.

From the oven comes a baked version of osso buco, Italian-style veal shanks. To accompany the meat, serve an array of roasted vegetables and a baked rice dish. And from the broiler comes a quick supper of lamb chops.

Top-of-the-stove brunch

Serve this quick-to-assemble meal as a colorful brunch or low-commitment supper for family or company. Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms

Steamed Smoked Cod, Asparagus, and New Potatoes Sliced Pears

Look in the refrigerator section of markets for red-colored chunks of smoked cod (also called barbecued or smoked Pacific or black cod).

Organize all ingredients, then about 15 minutes before serving, start steaming fish and vegetables. While they steam, saute the mushrooms and cook the eggs. If the meal is delayed, you can keep some of the food warm for up to 30 minutes in the steamer. Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 dozen eggs

1/4 teaspoon each dry tarragon leaves and pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until juices evaporate. Lift from pan and reserve; wipe pan clean.

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, melt 2 more tablespoons butter. Add flour and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat; blend in 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Cook until bubbly and smooth; reserve.

Beat together the eggs, tarragon, and pepper. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the same frying pan over medium-low heat. Add egg mixture and cook, lifting cooked portions to allow uncooked egg to flow to bottom, until eggs are softly set. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream mixture. Pour onto a serving plate; spoon mushrooms on top. Serve with sour cream to spoon on servings. Keep warm for up to 10 minutes on top rack of stacking steamer set over hot water. Serves 6. Steamed Smoked Cod, Asparagus, and New Potatoes

You can use a two- or three-tiered metal steamer, a bamboo steamer set in a work, or a steamer basket (or wire rack set on several cans with ends removed) set in a 12- to 14-inch frying pan with domed lid or a kettle at least 10 inches in diameter.

Rinse 1 1/2 pounds asparagus and snap off tough ends; scrub 3 medium-size thin-skinned potatoes (1 to 1 1/4 lbs.) and cut into 1/8-inch slices; and open 2 or 3 packages (8 oz. each) barbecued cod (smoked Pacific or black cod).

If using a tiered steamer, put fish on bottom rack and potatoes above. With one rack, set fish onpotatoes and allow room for asparagus beside them. Cook, covered, over boiling water until potatoes are tender when pierced and fish is hot in center, about 15 minutes. During last 6 minutes of cooking, add asparagus. (To keep hot up to 30 minutes, turn heat off and leave over hot water.) Serve foods from bamboo steamer or platters. Makes 6 servings.

An Italian oven dinner

By cooking osso buco in the oven, you eliminate spatter and the special attention that comes with browning meat on top of the range.

Ove-simmered Osso Buco

Roasted Vegetables

Baked Herb Rice

Baked Apples

Two hours before dinner, start cooking the veal. As it browns, prepare vegetables, rice, and apples (use a favorite recipe) for baking.

About 45 minutes before the meat is done, set vegetables and rice on lower oven rack to cook. The osso buco and apples can bake on the higher rack. Oven-simmered Osso Buco

1/4 cup olive or salad oil

4 to 5 pounds veal shanks, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 cup minced parsley

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 large onions, thinly sliced

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) regular-strength chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine

3/4 teaspoon each dry basil and dry thyme leaves

1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

Salt and pepper

Align two oven racks so that they divide oven space into thirds.

Pour the oil into a roasting pan, at least 10 by 15 inches; set pan on lower rack of a 425[deg.] oven to heat. When the oil is sizzling hot, add veal shanks, shaking pan to coat them with oil. Bake, uncovered, shaking pan to turn shanks every 10 minutes until they are well browned on all sides, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the parsley, garlic, an lemon peel; set aside. Push shanks to one end of pan. To other end add the onions and half the parsley mixture. Bake uncovered, until onions are limp, about 5 minutes. Blend shanks and onions. Stir together the broth, wine, basil, and thyme; pour into roasting pan. Cover with foil and set on upper oven rack. Bake, covered, until shanks are very tender when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours.

Lift put shanks; put on a rimmed serving dish and keep warm. Add cornstarch mixture and remaining parsley mixture to pan juices; boil, stirring, over high heat until juices thicken, about 1 minute; pour over shanks. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 to 6. Roasted Vegetables

Place 2 tablespoons each butter or margarine and olive oil or salad oil in a rimmed pan, at least 10 by 15 inches; set in a 425[deg.] oven until butter melts.

Trim stem off 1 small eggplant (about 1 lb.) and cut crosswise into 6 equal slices. Peel 6 slim carrots and cut in half lengthwise. Trim ends off 6 small zucchini (1 1/2 to 2 lbs.) and cut in half lengthwise.

Arrange eggplant and carrots on pan, turning to coat with fat. Bake, uncovered, on the lower rack of a 425[deg.] oven for 20 minutes. Turn vegetables and push close together. Add zucchini to pan (add oil if needed). Bake, uncovered, until vegetables are tender when pierced, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Serves 4 to 6. Baked Herb Rice

In a deep 1 1/2 - to 2-quart casserole with a lid, combine 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, 1/4 cup each sliced green onions and minced parsley, 1/2 teaspoon each dry thyme leaves and dry basil, 1 clove garlic (minced or pressed), and 3 cups regular-strength chicken broth.

Bake, covered, in a 425[deg.] oven until rice is tender to bite and absorbs all liquid, about 45 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serves 6.

A broiled Greek dinner

A Greek-style olive oil and lemon juice dressing seasons the feta cheese and vegetable salad as well as the lamb chops.

Lamb Chops with Bay

Greek Peasant Salad

Toasted Garlic Loaves

Broiled Orange Halves

You can prepare the salad and dressing, marinate the lamb, and butter the bread up to 4 hours ahead of time; chill salad. Put chops in to broil, then add bread to be toasted after you turn chops. Broil oranges just before serving. Lamb Chops with Bay

Allow 1 or 2 rib lamb chops (1 in. thick) per person and 1 fresh or dry bay leaf for each chop. Use fresh leaves from a Laurus nobilis (sweet bay) or umbellularia california (California laurel or bay, or Oregon myrtle) tree, or soak dry bay leaves in hot water for 30 minutes.

Brush each chop with about 1 teaspoon of the lemon dressing (directions follow salad recipe). Top each chop with a bay leaf. Let stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes or as long as 4 hours.

Lay chops on a rack in a 9- by 13-inch broiler pan; set bay leaves aside. Broil chops 4 to 6 inches from heat, 5 minutes per side for medium rare or until as done as you like. Garnish with the bay leaves. Greek Peasant Salad

About 1 quart (1 small head) washed and crisped curly endive, torn into bite-size pieces

2 large tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks

1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup cucumber slices

1 small red onion, sliced and separated into rings

1/4 pound feta cheese, broken into 1/2-inch pieces

About 1 dozen Greek-style olives

Lemon dressing (directions follow)

In a 3- to 4-quart bowl, layer endive, tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, feta cheese, and olives; cover and refrigerate as long as 4 hours. Pour at lest 1/2 cup lemon dressing over salad and mix by lifting with two forks. Serves 6.

Lemon dressing. Blend 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup olive oil or salad oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons dry oregano leaves. Makes 1 cup. Toasted Garlic Loaves

Cut a 1-pound French bread loaf in half lengthwise. Blend 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine with 1 clove minced or pressed garlic; spread on cut surfaces of bread. Broil buttered side 4 to 6 inches from heat until toasted (alongside lamb chops), 3 to 5 minutes. Serves 6. Broiled Orange Halves

Cut 3 large oranges in half crosswise. With a grapefruit knife, cut around fruit to separate it from peel and membrane. Arrange fruit in a 9-inch square pan. Sprinkle each orange half with 1/2 teaspoon each brown sugar, dry sherry, and melted butter or margarine. Broil 4 inches from heat until hot and bubbly, about 3 minutes; serve warm to eat from shell with a spoon. Serves 6.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Feb 1, 1984
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