of February 25, 2007
with Phyllo Dough
with this paper-thin dough is not simple, but
it certainly is not as hard as some cooks believe.
To create tasty appetizers, tarts or turnovers,
just follow these instructions. Before beginning,
thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight.
If you do not use the whole package, wrap unused
dough in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator
for up to a week.
you work: Cover extra dough with a slightly dampened,
lightweight cloth kitchen towel, (not terry cloth),
to prevent the dough from drying out.
Carefully remove one sheet at a time. Layer four
sheets on a cutting board, one atop the other,
for a sturdy pastry. Coat all but the top layer
with cooking spray to prevent tearing.
Use a pizza cutter to cut dough in half vertically,
creating two long sections. Use cooking spray
to bond any tearing that occurs while working.
To make triangles: Working with
one section at a time, drop a tablespoon of filling
onto the bottom. Leave a one-inch border around
the filling to allow for folding.
4. Gently fold pastry into a triangle-start at
the filling end and fold forward in a flag pattern.
Avoid wrapping too tightly, which can cause the
filling to spill out during baking.
5. To make shells: Cut the two
long sections (from Step 2) into thirds to create
six squares. Line a muffin tin and bake for 20
minutes, then fill and serve. These
can be used for great custard or fruit tarts or
you can fill with chicken or shirmp salad.
of February 18, 2007
to Dry Your Own Herbs
you have an abundance of herbs in your garden
or just do not want to waste unused purchased
herbs, try drying them. Air drying herbs
is not only the easiest to dry and preserve
fresh herbs. The slow drying process does
not deplete the herbs of their oils. This
process is best with herbs that don't have
a high moisture content, like Bay, Dill,
Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Summer Savory
dense herbs, like Basil, Chives, Mint, Tarragon
preserve better in a dehydrator, or try
air dry herbs:
wash herbs and pat dry with paper towels.
two to three stalks together with kitchen
upside down in an airy, dry spot.
will dry in one to two weeks under favorable
herbs are dry and crumbly, remove leaves from
leaves with a rolling pin or leave whole.
herbs in an airtight container or small zip-top
bag and remove all air.
within 6 months - Hint: as herbs loose their
color, they loose flavor
Use about 1 teaspoon crumbled dried leaves in
place of a tablespoon of fresh
of February 11, 2007
How to Make Your Own Crostini
Try making these homemade baguette toasts, and
serve with salads and soups for a light lunch
or top with low fat or fat-free cream cheese,
green onions and smoked salmon or your favorite
toppers for great appetizers. The list could be
endless: roasted red peppers, sliced tomato, basil,
capers, caviar ...
1 baguette (about 10 ounces)
6 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse ground sea salt and ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut baguette diagonally
into 1/4 inch slices. Brush both sides of bread
slices with olive oil. Arrange slices on 2 baking
sheets; season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon
until slightly dry on top, about 6 minutes. Flip
slices, and continue baking until crisp and golden
brown, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool. Makes 60
COOKS NOTE: For a variation, you can also sprinkle
the tops with grated Parmesan cheese after flipping
Slice (does not include sodium): 25 Calories;
1g Fat (53.9% calories from fat); trace Saturated
Fat; trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary
Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 29mg Sodium. Exchanges:
0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Fat.
of February 4, 2007
to Cook Brown Rice
cup of raw brown rice makes about 2.5 cups of
cooked rice. It requires about 2 cups of water
per cup of rice. Here are two simple ways to make
perfect brown rice.
rinse your rice well -- at least three times --
with cold water. Stir it with your hand in a circular
direction. Next, let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
Drain the rice and then turn the stove heat on
medium. Stir the rice around the pot and toast
it in this manner for a couple of minutes until
it is fragrant, the grains are nearly dry, and
the hissing noises have stopped. (This essential
step adds flavor to your rice and prevents it
from becoming gluey.) Then, add the required water.
A teaspoon of salt and margarine (or other oil
or fat) may be added. Bring to a boil and then
cover tightly with a well-fitting lid and simmer
at very low heat for 40 minutes (do not stir or
even lift the lid to peek!). Turn the heat off
and let it sit covered for another 15 minutes
for truly sensational rice.
1/2 cups long-grain, medium-grain or short-grain
2 1/3 cups water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon table salt
the water and oil to a boil and immediately at
the salt and pour it over the rice in a casserole
dish. Cover tightly with double layer of foil
and put in a preheated 375 degree oven for one
hour. Immediately take it out of the oven, fluff
it with a fork, cover with a towel for five minutes.