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March menus: tailgate picnic if spring arrives. Corn-oat waffles for breakfast. Russian ravioli in broth for supper.

Occasional perfect days this month bring picnicking to mind, so we suggest a meal that goes together quickly and travels well. For breakfast, crisp waffles with fruit are simple enough for weekdays but are also an appealing way to start a leisurely weekend. On a cool evening, consider Russian-style ravioli in soup; they look and taste complicated, but a shortcut makes them easy.

Spring picnic buffet

Chicken is the springboard for this easy-traveling lunch. You can buy cooked chickens, or roast them at home. Roasted Chicken Corn and Red Pepper Relish Salad Pickled Beets and Purple Eggs Poppy Seed--Herb Drop Biscuits Butter Carrot and Celery Sticks Crisp Molasses Cookies Milk or Sparkling Apple Juice

For the fastest start, pick up cooked chicken at the supermarket or a delicatessen. For 4 servings, you'll need 2 cooked chickens (about 1-1/2 lb. each; cut them in half) or 1 broiler-fryer chicken to cook (3-1/2 to 4 lb; quarter after cooking).

At home, start chicken if you are cooking your own, then start eggs; they need to marinate for at least an hour, but will keep up to 1 week.

While biscuits bake, make the corn salad and cut up carrots and celery. Transport cold foods and beverage in one insulated chest; if the chicken and biscuits are hot, pack in another chest. Buy thin crisp molasses cookies, or raid your cooky jar for a family favorite.

Corn and Red Pepper Relish Salad 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon each celery seed and mustard seed 1/4 cup minced onion 1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained 1/2 cup canned red peppers, or canned pimientos, drained and thinly sliced Salt and pepper

In a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring vinegar, sugar, celery seed, mustard seed, and onion to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in corn and red peppers; season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool completely.

Serve, or cover and chill up to 1 week. Drain to serve, or lift from dish with a slotted spoon. Makes 2-1/2 cups; 4 servings.

Pickled Beets and Purple Eggs

The surface of the eggs will be purple after marinating for an hour in the pickled beet juice. For deeper color and flavor penetration--all through the whites--let eggs marinate as long as a week. 1 can (16. oz.) whole pickled beets 4 large hard-cooked eggs, shelled

Pour beet liquid into a small deep bowl and gently stir in eggs. Top with beets, cover, and chill at least 1 hour or as long as 1 week. Turn eggs occasionally during first hour, then once every day or so.

To serve, lift eggs and beets from liquid with a slotted spoon. Makes 4 servings.

Poppy Seed--Herb Drop Biscuits 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon each baking powder and poppy seed 1/2 teaspoon each salt and dry thyme leaves 1/3 cup cold butter or margarine 3/4 cup milk Butter or margarine

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, poppy seed, salt, and thyme. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the 1/3 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Pour in milk; stir until dough is evenly moistened.

Drop dough in 1/4-cup portions about 1 inch apart in a greased 9-inch round pan. Bake in a 450[deg.] oven until tops are well browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve hot or cold, with butter. Makes 8 large biscuits, 4 to 8 servings.

Russian soup supper

Purchased potsticker wrappers make quick work of pelmeni, the Russian version of ravioli. Lamb Plemeni in Broth with Yogurt and Sauteed Mushrooms Steamed Asparagus Chocolate Brownies Pilsner Beer or Mineral Water

You can make the lamb filling and shape the pelmeni a day ahead; you can also saute the mushrooms at the same time.

Buy brownies, or bake them.

Lamb Pelmeni in Broth with Yogurt and Sauteed Mushrooms 1 medium-size onion, minced 6 cloves garlic, minced or mashed 3 tablespoons salad oil 1 pound ground lamb 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar Salt and pepper 42 potsticker wrappers (also called gyoza, 1/2 of a 14-oz. package) Water 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine 1 pound mushrooms (ends trimmed), rinsed and sliced 8 cups regular-strength beef broth 3 bay leaves 1/4 cup minced parsley 1 cup unflavored yogurt

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, cook onion and garlic in oil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is limp, about 10 minutes. Add lamb and cook, stirring often, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; drain and discard fat. Add vinegar to meat, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To form pelmeni, lay 6 wrappers out on a flat surface. To prevent drying, keep remaining wrappers and pelmeni, as shaped, covered with plastic wrap. Place about 2 teaspoons lamb mixture in center of each wrapper. ,oisten edges with water, then fold dough over filling to form half-moons. Pinch edges to seal. Repeat to make remaining pelmeni. (If made ahead, arrange in a single layer, cover airtight, and chill overnight.)

Melt butter in the same frying pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until limp, about 10 minutes; set aside in pan or cover and chill overnight.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring broth with bay leaves to a boil over high heat. Add about 10 pelmeni at a time; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until skins turn translucent, about 3 minutes; turn pelmeni over halfway through cooking. With a slotted spoon, transfer pelmeni from broth to individual bowls; keep warm as you cook remaining pelmeni. Stir parsley into broth.

At the same time, place mushrooms on medium heat, stirring often until warm. Ladle equal portions of broth over pelmeni. Offer mushrooms and yogurt to add to each bowl. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Whole-grain waffle breakfast

Rolled oats and cornmeal add texture and crunch to these buttermilk waffles. Serve a fragrant tea, such as Earl Grey, and offer with sugar and lemon or milk. Oat and Cornmeal Waffles Strawberries Kiwi Fruit Bananas Sour Cream Maple Syrup Earl Grey Tea

To go with waffles, you'll need about 1 cup each sour cream and syrup. Also have 2 cups hulled strawberries; 3 kwi fruit, peeled and sliced; and 3 medium-size bananas, peeled and sliced. Prepare the fruit just before baking waffles.

Oat and Cornmeal Waffles

Accompany with fruit, sour cream, and syrup, as suggested above. 1 large egg 2-2/3 cups buttermilk 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2/3 cup each regular rolled oats and yellow cornmeal 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons sugar About 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

In a bowl, beat egg until blended; stir in buttermilk. In another bowl, stir together flour, oats, cornmeal, soda, salt, and sugar. Add oat mixture and 1/3 cup of the butter to buttermilk mixture and stir until batter is evenly moistened.

Heat a waffle iron on medium-high heat, or an electric waffle iron to medium-high or 375[de.]. Brush grids with melted butter, then half-fill with batter. Close iron; bake until waffle is well browned and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Serve hot. Repeat to bake remaining waffles. Makes about 4 waffles, each 8 inches square; serves 4.
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:Mar 1, 1986
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