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The really imaginative hunter sets off into the woods with white wine, tomatoes, and the like.

Cacciatore simply means a dish cooked hunter-style (like the French chasseur)--a one-pan affair based on meant or poultry, tomatoes, wine (usually white), and additional amenities prescribed or limited by the chef's imagination.

The really imaginative hunter sets off into the woods with white wine, tomatoes, olives, garlic, thyme, and the like. At times he may be hard-pressed to push his shopping cart through fallen timber without startling his quarry, but this is surely better than leaving all those groceries at camp, subject to the rough scrutiny of raccoons or bears.

The more sensible hunter brings his chicken home from the market and cooks it in the comfort of his kitchen--as James Hardeman has done.

Chicken Cacciatore 1 broiler-fryer chicken (3-1/2 to 4 lb.), cut up 2 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced 1 can (about 1 lb.) tomatoes 1/3 cup chopped parsley 1/4 cup dry white wine or dry sherry 1 teaspoon dry basil 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 can (2-1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained Salt Parsley sprigs Rinse chicken and pat dry; reserve giblets for other uses. Heat oil in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat; add chicken and cook, without crowding, until browned on all sides. As pieces are browned, lift out and set aside. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring often, until onion is limp, about 10 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes (break up with a spoon) and their liquid, chopped parsley, sherry, basil, pepper, and olives. Return chicken to pan, cover, and simmer until thigh meat is no longer pink at bone (cut to test), about 40 minutes. For the last i0 minutes, uncover to concentrate sauce.

Season chicken with salt, arrange on a platter, and keep warm. Boil sauce in pan over high heat until reduced to about 1-1/3 cups; stir often. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley sprigs. Makes about 4 servings. Hungarians yield to no one in their devotion to pork and sweet red peppers, but Spaniards also like to pair those ingredients. Dick Baron brought back this recipe from Spain, along with an appreciation for the little-known but excellent wines of that country.

Pimientos--big red peppers roasted to bring out their full sweetness and aroma, then skinned--are a favored element in Spanish cooking, from the humbly stuffed green olive to a grandly spectacular paella. Heated, pimientos also have an affinity for pork, being sweet but not too sweet, and delightfully fragrant.

Fresh pimientos, however, are sporadic tenants in the supermarkets, so we offer the alternative of equally red bell peppers.

Pork and Pimientos 6 pork loin chops, cut 1/2 inch thick 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 large red bell peppers or pimentos About 4 tablespoons salad oil 1 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth

Trim and discard any excess fat from chops. In a small bowl, combine garlic, pepper, and salt; pat evenly over pork. Place 1 chop at a time between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound chops (not bone) until meat is about 1/4 inch thick.

Meanwhile, rinse bell peppers, pat dry, and place in a 9- or 10-inch square pan. Broil peppers about 4 inches below heat, turning frequently, until heavily blistered and charred on all sides, about 30 minutes. Place hot peppers in a bag; close the bag and let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Then pull skin off peppers and discard; also pull out stems and seeds and discard. Cut peppers lengthwise into wide strips.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12- to 14-inch frying pan over high heat; add pork chops, without crowding (in sequence if necessary), and cook until browned on all sides. Lift browned chops from pan, set aside, and keep warm.

To pan, add red bell pepper strips and more oil, if needed; cook, stirring, until peppers are hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift peppers from pan, set aside, and keep warm. Pour out and discard fat. Return pan to high heat and add wine, broth, and juices that have drained from chops; cook, scraping free browned bits, until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Arrange pork and peppers on a serving platter; pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Serves 6.

If you have had an experience that took your breath away, here's a dish to bring it right back. Its creator resides temporarily in Saudi Arabia, but he's a native of Ridgefield, Washington, and hence a bona fide Sunset Chef.

His silken-smooth cream of garlic soup has extracted all that is good and kind in garlic and left out all that is not. Even the garlic haters among our tasters found it delicious, with an indescribable, somehow comforting flavor that called for second helpings.

Candor requires us to admit that spouses detected garlic that evening. Serve this soup in a company of good friends, but don't eat it before visiting your dentist or trying to sell an insurance policy.

Cream of Garlic Soup 3 tablespoons butter or margarine 2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic (4 or 5 large cloves) 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cans (10-1/2 oz. each) condensed chicken broth 2 cups half-and-half (light cream) 1/4 teaspoon paprika Salt and white pepper 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

In a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium heat, melt butter; add garlic and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until bubbly, about 1 minute. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring constantly, and bring to boiling.

Stir in half-and-half and paprika; cook until hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir about 1/2 cup hot soup into beaten egg yolk; stirring, pour egg yolk mixture into soup and serve. Makes about 4 servings.

One test of a fine recipe is that the flavor of the basic ingredient should shine through clearly. By this test Harvey Steiman's hazelnut bread is a winner; there is no doublt about the hazelnuts.

Not sweet, this bread is richly flavorful without being cloying. Serve it sliced, either plain or toasted, at breakfast or for snacking. It is also a superior loaf for tea, buttered or in thin sandwiches.

Hazelnut Loaf 1 cup hazelnuts (filberts) 1 package active dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water (about 110[deg.]) 2 tablespoons sugar 3 large eggs 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature 2 cups all-purpose flour

Place nuts in an 8- or 9-inch round or square pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350[deg.] oven until nuts under skin are browned, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and pour nuts onto a cloth towel; rub nuts with the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. Lift nuts from the skins and coarsely chop. Set chopped nuts aside and discard skins.

In a large bowl, blend yeast with warm water; let stand until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and eggs. Cut butter into small pieces and add to yeast mixture along with the flour. Stir with a heavy spoon until flour is evenly moistened and dough holds together, then beat in nuts.

Spoon dough into a greased 4-1/2- by 8-1/2-inch loaf pan; cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough doubles in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.

Bake, uncovered, in a 350[deg.] oven until the loaf is golden brown and it just begins to pull from pan sides, about 30 minutes. Let loaf cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

Spring rolls, egg rolls, lumpia--all these pastry-wrapped Oriental delicacies make our native equivalents (such as the corn dog) seem loutish and underbred. The flavor of the rolls is infinitely more complex, their nutrients better balanced, and their calories less blatant.

Kailua rolls, as prepared by Walter Soh in Hawaii, can serve as an appetizer for a serious dinner or make the main dish for a light lunch. If you wish to use less oil, try baking the rolls (arranged slightly apart, seam side down, on greased, rimmed pans) in a 450[deg.] oven until they are crisp and brown, about 15 minutes. Although they lack the glaze and aroma of the fried rolls, they will be delicious nevertheless.

Crisp Kailua Rolls 1 pound ground lean pork 1/4 pound green beans, ends removed 1 medium-size carrot 1 stalk celery 1 medium-size turnip Water 10 tablespoons oyster sauce 1/2 pound bean sprouts 1 pound ground lean beef 1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed 2 green onions, including tops, thinly sliced About 25 egg-roll wrappers (about 2/3 of a 1 lb. package) 1 large egg, lightly beaten Salad oil

Crumble pork into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat; cook until well browned, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Lift meat from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Cut green beans, carrot, celery, and turnip into matchstick-size pieces (about 1/8 by 3 in.). In a 3- or 4-quart pan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil; add cut vegetables and cook 2 minutes. Drain at once and immerse vegetables in ice water until cold; drain well. Mix 2 tablespoons of the oyster sauce with the cooked vegetables and let stand for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place bean sprouts in a large bowl. Pour enough boiling water over them to cover. Let stand 30 seconds, then drain. Coarsely chop sprouts and return to bowl; add browned pork, ground beef, garlic, green onions, and remaining 1/2 cup oyster sauce, and mix well.

Spoon 1 level tablespoon of the meat mixture along 1 edge of an egg-roll wrapper, leaving 1 inch on each end of the roll bare. Top with about 8 strips of the vegetables (about 1 loosely mounded tablespoon).

Cover the vegetables with another level tablespoon of the meat mixture, completely enclosing the vegetables. Fold ends of roll up over the filling, then carefully roll up the wrapper.. Brush overlapping edge of wrapper with egg and seal roll closed; lay seam side down. Repeat to fill remaining wrappers.

In a deep 4- to 5-quart pan over medium heat, heat 2 inches of salad oil to 375[deg.]. Carefully add about 4 filled rolls at a time, cooking them until well browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Lift out, drain briefly, and place in a single layer on a wire rack set in a rimmed pan. Keep warm in a 200[deg.] oven until all are cooked. Makes about 25 rolls.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1985
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