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Vegetables, pilaf, wild rice: fat-free, remarkably tasty.

The secret of leaner eating, regardless of the season, is to replace fattening steps in recipes with fat-free alternatives, using everyday ingredients that produce equally good if not better-tasting results. For three of these delicious companion dishes--a pilaf, wild rice, and scalloped root vegetables--we used braise-deglazing to brown vegetables without adding fat. We think you'll find the results remarkably flavorful. Even Yorkshire pudding can take a trimming with no loss of appetite appeal. Other recipes throughout this section also use the braise-deglaze cooking technique.

Barley and Brown Rice Pilaf

2 large (about 1 lb. total) onions, chopped 4 1/2 cups regular-strength chicken broth 1 cup long-grain brown rice 1 cup pearl barley 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves 1/4 cup dry sherry (optional) Salt

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, braise-deglaze onions until richly browned (see directions below); start with 1/2 cup broth, then use water. With last addition of water, scrape onions from pan. Rinse and dry pan.

Rinse and drain rice and barley. Add to pan and stir over medium-high heat until grains are dry and smell toasted. Add remaining 4 cups broth, braise-deglazed onions, and thyme. Bring to a boil on high heat, then cover and simmer gently until grains are tender to bite, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in sherry and heat until boiling. Serve or, if made ahead, cover and chill up until next day; to reheat, use the following directions. Add salt to taste. Makes about 5 cups, 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving: 210 cal.; 6.2 g protein; 2 g fat (0.4 g sat.) 42 g carbo.; 35 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

To reheat pilaf or wild rice (following), pour rice into a microwave oven on full power (100 percent) for 3 minutes. Continue to heat and stir, 1 minute at a time, until hot. Or add about 1/2 cup broth to pan and stir over medium heat until hot, about 15 minutes.

Wild Rice with Aromatics

3 tablespoons mustard seed 1 teaspoon coriander seed 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice 1/4 teaspoon cardamon seed (pod removed) 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 2 tablespoons minced (fresh ginger 2 large (about 1 lb. total) onions, chopped 8 cups regular-strength chicken broth 3 cups (1 1/4 lb.) wild rice, rinsed and drained Salt

In a 5- to 6-quart pan on medium-high heat, stir mustard seed, coriander seed, cumin seed, allspice, and cardamon until seeds become very aromatic, about 1 minute. Add thyme, ginger, onions, and 1/2 cup of the broth. Braise-deglaze onions until richly browned (see page 184), using water for each deglazing step.

Stir in remaining broth and rice. Bring to boil on high heat; cover and simmer gently until rice is tender to bite and grains begin to split open, 45 to 55 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid for reheating or another use. If made ahead, chill rice and broth separately up until next day. Reheat as directed, preceding. Add salt to taste. Makes about 11 cups, 12 to 14 servings.

Per serving: 186 cal.; 8.3 g protein; 2.1 g fat (0.3 g sat.); 35 g carbo.; 34 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Lean Yorkshire Pudding

1 large egg 1 large egg white 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup nonfat milk 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine

In a blender or with a whisk, smoothly combine egg, egg white, flour, milk, sugar, and salt. If made ahead, cover batter and chill up until next day; stir before using.

In an 8- to 9-inch by 11- to 12-inch oval pan or 10- to 11-inch frying pan with ovenproof handle, melt butter over medium-high heat until it just begins to brown slightly. At once, pour batter into pan and place in a 425[degrees] oven. Bake until pudding is richly browned, about 25 minutes. Cut into wedges in pan. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Per serving; 80 cal.; 3.4 g protein; 2.9 g fat (1.5 g sat.); 9.8 g carbo.; 140 mg sodium; 41 mg chol.

Alsatian Gratin of Roots

3 large (about 1 1/2 lb. total) onions, finely chopped 4 large (about 1 lb. total) carrots, finely chopped 3 cups regular-strength chicken or beef broth 3 pounds (about 6 large) thin-skinned potatoes 1 pound (about 2 medium-size) rutabagas 1/2 cup minced parsley About 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 3/4 cup shredded light Jarlsberg cheese or fonting cheese Salt and pepper

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, braise-deglaze onions and carrots (see page 184); start with 1/2 cup broth, then add another 1/2 cup broth in 2- or 3-table-spoon portions to deglaze. Continue deglazing with water until vegetables are richly browned. When deglazing the last time, do not cook vegetables dry. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 3 days.

Peel and very thinly slice potatoes and rutabagas. In a shallow 4-quart casserole, arrange layers of potatoes, rutabagas, braise-deglazed onions and carrots, parsley, and a light springkling of nutmeg; start and end with potatoes. Pour 2 cups broth into the dish and cover tightly with a piece of lightly oiled foil, greased side down.

Bake in a 425[degrees] oven until vegetables in the center of casserole are very tender when pierced, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese, and dust lightly with nutmeg.

Broil about 8 inches from heat until cheese is bubbling and lightly browned. Casserole is very hot; if kept in a warm place, it holds well up to 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Per serving: 170 cal.; 6.2 g protein; 1.9 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 32 g carbo.; 74 mg sodium; 3.2 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Holiday Entertaining special section; includes information on braise-deglazing
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Previous Article:A sensibly grand Thanksgiving feast.
Next Article:Basic guidelines for the holiday bird or roast.

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