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January menus.

QUICK, SEASONAL, BUDGET-WISE ... FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Cozy ambience, warm meals, and friendly gatherings with good conversation are effective antidotes to winter's chilly blasts and gloomy skies. Simple, familiar dishes fit these menus.

For a casual get-together some afternoon or evening, serve a chili buffet. With its built-in flavor flexibility, it suits a range of tastes and ages. Another day, do fish-and-chips with a neater, leaner twist: oven-fried and crisp.

CHILI BUFFET

Gloria's Add-on Chili with Beans

Cornbread Sticks and Shells

Build-your-own Sundaes

Beer or Merlot

A day ahead, you can cook beans and chili, and bake cornbread (from a mix or favorite recipe) in corn-shaped or other decorative pans. For dessert, top ice cream with your choice of nuts, sauces (caramel, chocolate, fruit), granola, fruit, and whipped cream.

Gloria's Add-on Chili with Beans

2 pound each boned beef chuck and pork shoulder or butt, fat trimmed

3 large (about 1 3/4 lb. total) onions, chopped

8 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed

2 cups regular-strength beef broth

2 bottles (12 oz. each) tomato-based chili sauce

1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon each anise seed, cumin seed, and crushed dried hot red chilies

Beans (recipe follows)

Chili toppings (suggestions follow)

Cut beef and pork into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes. Put meat in a 5- to 6-quart pan; add 1/2 cup water, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes. Uncover and boil on high heat until liquid evaporates and drippings in pan sizzle and are dark brown; stir often. Add 1/3 cup water; stir to release drippings. Add onions, garlic, and 1/2 cup water. Stir often until liquid evaporates and browned bits stick in pan. Add 1/2 cup water and stir browned bits free. Boil until browned bits stick again.

Add broth, chili sauce, oregano, anise, cumin, and crushed chilies; stir browned bits free. Simmer, covered, until meat is very tender when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours. (If making ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 1 day; reheat.) Ladle chili and beans into bowls; add toppings as desired. Serves 8 to 10.--Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls, The Big Four Restaurant, San Francisco

Per serving without toppings: 485 cal. (18 percent from fat); 43 g protein; 9.9 g fat (3.2 g sat.); 58 g carbo.; 1,022 mg sodium; 89 mg chol.

Beans. Sort debris from 1 pound dried black beans (about 2 1/3 cups); rinse and drain beans.

Combine beans and 2 quarts water in a 5- to 6- quart pan. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat; remove from heat and let stand 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Drain and discard bean liquid. To beans add 1 1/2 quarts each regular-strength beef broth and water; 1 large (about 10 oz.) onion, chopped; and 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves. Bring to a boil on high heat; cover and simmer until beans are tender to bite, about 1 1/2 hours. (If making ahead, let cool; cover and chill up to 2 days. Reheat.) Makes about 6 cups.

Chili toppings. Wipe dust from 2 medium-size (about 3/4 oz. total) dried ancho, California, or New Mexico chilies; cut into thin strips. Discard seeds and stems.

In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir chili strips in 2 teaspoons salad oil until chilies are crisp and smell toasted, about 2 minutes; drain on towels. (If making ahead, store airtight up to 1 day.)

In separate dishes, arrange chilies, 3 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce, and 2 cups each shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, sliced celery, and shredded cheddar cheese.

FISH-AND-CHIPS SUPPER

Baked Fish-and-Chips

Green Salad Pears

Milk Mineral Water

While vegetables and fish bake, make the salad.

Baked Fish-and-Chips

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon pepper

About 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large egg whites

2 large (about 1 1/2 lb. total) potatoes, scrubbed and each cut into 8 wedges

2 large (about 1 lb. total) zucchini, ends trimmed, each cut lengthwise into 6 slices

3 tablespoons salad oil

4 pieces (4 to 6 oz. each) skinned and boned, firm, white-flesh fish such as rockfish or orange roughy

Malt or cider vinegar

Tartar sauce (optional)

Salt

Mix cornmeal, sugar, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish.

In another shallow dish, lightly beat egg whites until slightly frothy.

Dip potato wedges and zucchini slices, 1 piece at a time, into egg white; roll in cornmeal mixture. Lay pieces in a single layer.

Rub 1 tablespoon oil in bottom of each of 2 pans, 10 by 15 inches. Place pans in a 450|degrees~ oven for 3 minutes. Lay potato and zucchini pieces slightly apart in separate pans. Bake zucchini until crust is crisp, about 25 minutes; bake potatoes until they are tender when pierced, about 40 minutes. After 15 minutes of baking, turn vegetables with a spatula.

Meanwhile, dip fish into egg white and turn to coat with cornmeal mixture; lay in a single layer. With spatula, transfer cooked zucchini to a platter and keep warm.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; lay fish slightly apart in pan. Bake until crusty and golden on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn fish with spatula and bake until bottom is golden and flesh is opaque but still moist-looking in thickest part (cut to test), about 6 minutes longer.

If fish is done before potatoes, keep warm on platter.

Season fish and vegetables to taste with vinegar, tartar sauce, and salt. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 549 cal. (21 percent from fat); 33 g protein; 13 g fat (1.9 g sat.); 74 g carbo.; 126 mg sodium; 40 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Bateson, Betsy Reynolds
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:952
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