of July 25, 2004
to make a full bodied flavorful chicken stock.
stock is one of the most important ingredients
in a low fat kitchen. It is the basis for many
soups, sauces, pasta dishes, casseroles as well
as an excellent vehicle for pan sautéing
without added oils.
make basic chicken stock, you will need bones
from approximately 2 chickens, water, 1 medium
onion, 1 medium carrot, 2 stalks celery, 16 coarsely
ground black peppercorns, and 1 small bay leaf.
as much fat from the chicken bones as possible
with a sharp knife. You will later skim the remaining
fat off of the stock before using.
the bones in a large stockpot. Pour water into
the pot until the bones are completely covered.
Heat on a high temperature, but do not let come
to a boil. Boiling the water will cause the fat
to churn in the pot rather than rise to the top
where you can skim it off. When the stock appears
to be about to come to a boil, reduce the heat
to low. The stock should simmer at a very low
the water is heating, clean and prepare the vegetables.
Chop the vegetables in large pieces. Combine the
onions, carrots, and celery in a mixing bowl.
Add the coarsely ground peppercorns and the a
very small bay leaf to the bowl.
this point a thin layer of fat has risen to the
surface of the simmering stock.
Use a ladle to skim this layer off and discard
the stock for 2 hours total. Add the vegetables
to the stock after one hour and fifteen minutes.
Bring the stock back to a simmer. While the stock
simmers for the final 45 minutes, continue to
skim the fat off the surface as it becomes visible.
the stock through a fine sieve or cheesecloth
laid inside an ordinary colander.
finished stock should be a light tan color, translucent,
and have little or no fat floating on the surface.
The stock is now ready. You may want to pour some
of the stock into ice cube trays and freeze. You
can use one or two cubes when making sauces.
of July 18, 2004
in Italy, you can call it a granita. When you
France, you can call it granité. In the
US, people call them ices, Italian ices or if
you buy it at a convenience store, you will find
a commercial version called slushes.
ever you want to call them, if you are not watching
your sugar intake, they are an excellent way to
cool off on a hot summer day. The good part is,
anyone can make them and you don't need special
equipment except for a freezer. To make ices use
4 parts liquid (or a mixture of liquid and ice
cubes) to 1 part sugar. I often start with ice
cubes in a blender to speed the process. You can
use coffee, fruit juice or fruit purees for the
liquid. Stir frequently during the freezing process
to produce a slightly granular final texture.
are a few recipes for luscious ices that will
sweeten your summer!
1 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
4 cups hulled fresh strawberries or 4 -
10 ounce packages frozen Strawberries, thawed
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to
boil and boil rapidly 5 minutes. Cool to room
temperature. Puree strawberries in blender or
food processor, leaving small chunks of berries.
pureed strawberries, lemon and orange juices to
sugar-water and mix thoroughly. Pour into freezer
trays or containers to freeze firm. Do not pour
into dessert glasses to freeze, as glass might
Makes about 3 cups or 6 servings. Note: Adjust
sugar according to sweetness of berries. Frozen
berries or extra-sweet fresh berries may require
less sugar (about 3/4 cup).
Serving: 163 Calories; trace Fat (1.8% calories
from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 1g Protein; 42g
Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol;
1mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrates.
4 lemons, juiced thoroughly (Do not substitute
lemon concentrate as it does not give the same
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated (optional).
a high powered blender, if you use a regular blender,
be sure to add the ice cubes one at a time.
your lemon juice and sugar in the blender container.
Blend until sugar is dissolved.
blender is running, add ice cubes until the mixture
turns to a slush and it cannot be blended anymore.
It may take several times of stopping and allowing
the mixture to settle or stirring it and then
blending again. Just be sure the mixture is thick
may want to adjust the taste with more sugar or
lemon to your liking.
Put mixture into individual freezer containers
and place in the freezer for at least four hours.
Serving: 137 Calories; trace Fat (0.7% calories
from fat); trace Saturated Fat; trace Protein;
38g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol;
2mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrates.
of July 11, 2004
are everywhere during the spring and summer months.
These juicy little pieces of sunshine can be enjoyed
with no extravagant recipes or preparation. They
may seem like an indulgence, but are, in fact,
low in calories and high in nutrients. And look
at the variety from which to choose from: blueberries,
strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries,
wild dewberries, huckleberries and Marion berries.
For breakfast, you can add to your cereal for
sweetness. Or toss berries in the blender with
some yogurt, ice, and fruit juice and blend until
smooth for a luscious smoothie. Sprinkle berries
over salads for added flavor and interest. Bake
with berries for nutritious snacks. Make berry
sauces for desserts or fruity salsas for pork
or chicken entrees. Or try a juicy berry cobbler
or a trifle layered with berries for the final
ending to a wonderful meal.
Remember that berries are somewhat delicate and
can bruise easily. Berries do not ripen after
picking (they just deteriorate), so look for those
that firm but dark in color. Blueberries and huckleberries
should be deep purple or blue-black. Raspberries
should be a nice deep red. Boysenberries are still
dark purple when they're ripe, but blackberries
and Marion berries should be a dark inky black.
When purchasing packaged berries, be sure that
the carton is not stained or leaking. This would
indicate that the berries were bruised or mishandled.
Berries do not keep for long, so store them uncovered
in the refrigerator.
Use berries as soon as possible. If you have an
excess of berries that you cannot use quickly,
remember that berries freeze very well. Wash them
and allow them to dry completely. Then arrange
berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and
freeze them until they're very firm. Then pack
berries into plastic bags or freezer containers
without danger of smashing the berries. The berries
will not stick together, enabling you to use just
a few from the container without having to defrost
them all. If you are going to bake with frozen
berries, there's no need to defrost them first.
of July 4, 2004
Sense about Hot Peppers
Almost every type of ethnic cuisine uses some
form of hot peppers or chili peppers. The Middle
East, the Far East, Mexico and Southern America,
all have native dishes where hot peppers are an
If you a novice at cooking with hot peppers, it
is best to begin your experimentation with more
mild peppers and work your way up the heat scale.
It is good to know too, that much of the heat
from peppers comes from the membrane that holds
the seeds in place (the soft whitish or lighter
color growth inside the pepper). By removing this
membrane and the seeds you will be left with the
pepper flesh which can flavor recipes nicely without
the heat over powering it.
The heat of peppers is measured in Scoville Units.
Although extremely subjective, these units measure
the amount of capsaicin which is the chemical
that provides the fiery heat.
and Some of their Varieties
and Scotch Bonnets
- Cayenne - Tabasco
- Mirasol - Guajillo
- Pasilla - Negro
- New Mexico - Mulato
a hot pepper will tone down the temperature of
your dish but a few steps should be followed to
keep yourself from a lot of hot pain.
sure to always wear rubber gloves when working
with hot peppers. (Particles and oils
from the pepper can become embedded beneath your
nails and cuticles and affect the tender skin
located there. Your fingers will be painfully
sore for days. Trust me - I was an idiot who once
thought this was not necessary.)
the hot peppers.
them in half lengthwise.
out seeds and membranes and remove the core.
your hands and utensils thoroughly to avoid
irritation and burning