of June 30, 2002
Let's face it . . . fat inhances flavor. So to
counteract the lack of inhancement, we can add
more flavor via spices, herbs and various seasonings.
Very soon, we hope to have six brand new sections
that will include fresh herbs, peppers and other
spices and seasonings as well as a glossary for
culinary terms. To get you started, we are
going to explore the joys of "Basil".
Basil is widely used in the Mediterranean and
in Southeast Asia. Numerous
varieties range from pungent Asian basils to the
sweet and mild European varieties. Dried basil
does not have the deep flavor that fresh does.
Remember to add dried basil at the beginning
of cooking and fresh at the end of cooking.
Fresh basil does not hold up to cooking for any
length of time. Fresh basil also discolors in
oils or vinaigrettes that are refrigerated for
any length of time.
you are buying your fresh basil at the store,
you can extend the length of time by wrapping
the stems in wet or damp paper towels and storing
towel and herbs in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator.
But no matter what you do, it won't be there for
long. If you have a green thumb, you can start
your herb garden with basil. It is easy and fast
to grow. The most appreciated gifts that I have
given to friends have been little starter pots.
There is no comparison to the flavor that it can
add to a dish. Just think if you want a little
basil with those fresh sliced tomatotes for dinner,
reach up to your window sill to grab a few leaves.
make those beautiful ribbons of basil that you
see at nice Italian restaurants known as chiffonade:
Stack several leaves together and roll in a cigar
shape. Then slice in tiny strips across the vein.
translated literally from the French, "chiffonade"
means "made of rags." In culinary terms
it means finely cut strips or ribbons of leafy
vegetables or herbs.
of June 23, 2002
summer time, it's hot and you want something cool
and sweet! I hope you haven't thrown out your
ice cream machine. If you have heard the terms,
but are not sure of the meanings, here is a general
glossary on ices. And of course, a recipe to get
comes from gelare, the Italian word for "to
freeze" and is the general term for all
frozen desserts. Less general, it refers to
a milk based combination with a dense, buttery
consistency similar to that of American ice
is a fruit-based gelato that contains no dairy
products. You may know it better as sorbet.
is another fruit based gelato that has a decidedly
more grainy texture because it is frozen,
then scraped to form coarse ice granules.
Granita is slushy.
this Strawberry Gelato for a nice summer
cups water, 2 cups sugar, 5 cups quartered strawberries
(approximately 4 pints), 2 cups low fat buttermilk.
sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring
to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place
strawberries in a blender and process until smooth.
Add strawberry puree and buttermilk to sugar syrup
and stir to combine. Pour the strawberry mixture
into the freezer can of your ice cream freezer
and follow manufacturer's instructions. Yields
8 cups, serving size 1/2 cup.
of June 16, 2002
If you just have to have a little real cheese
flavor once in a while, use small amounts
of strong flavored cheese rather than a
lot of mild cheese.
Romano is a great example, very pungent, dry,
lower in calories and fat than most cheeses.
cheese is also wonderful (although this is available
low fat and is really just as tasty as regular).
it takes very little real blue cheese to spice
up a salad or dressing. Just remember, very
in our food statistics pages for real insight
into calorie and fat contents.
of June 9, 2002
Looking for a fast and easy way to cook dinner?
Try cooking en papillote. It is a quick and easy
way to have a meal on the table in minutes. Seal
fish and seasonings in a foil package along with
a few tomatoes or another moist veggie.
oven to 450 degrees F. Place a large sheet of
aluminum foil on a baking sheet with the long
side facing you. Spray foil with olive oil cooking
spray. Place 4 one inch thick slices of cod, halibut
or salmon on oiled side of foil. Spray top of
fillets with a light spray of cooking spray.
with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Add 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill or another fresh
herb over top of fillets or add one small sliced
onion and one sliced bell pepper. Sprinkle with
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest. Seed, core and cut
two Roma or plum tomatoes in strips and place
the long ends together and fold over edges and
crimp to seal tightly.
the fish for 15 minutes. Cut cooking time by 2
to 3 minutes if fillets are only ¾ inch
thick. After cooking, cut through the foil and
transfer each portion to a plate and spoon juices
from packet over each serving.
of June 2
Are you missing a good old hamburger but you
still want to keep the fat and cholesterol low?
Mix up one pound of ground turkey breast and one
pound of regular ground turkey. Form into regular
patties (these don't shrink much - not much fat
to cook out). Freeze the patties you won't be
using immediately in freezer bags, between wax
liberally on both sides with a Char-Grill seasoning
mix like Dean Jacobs (this one is my favorite
because it has a light smoked flavor). If you
can't find it, you can get it on the web at: gourmetmagic.com
. (Not selling it or getting a commission on it
- just think it is the best)
a small amount of cooking oil spray on a nonstick
skillet and cook over medium high heat until well
browned on both sides. Toast the buns in the skillet
along side the patties.
either fat-free mayonnaise or prepared mustard
on the bun. Add a thick slice of sweet onion,
tomato, fat free sliced cheese and lettuce leaves
with your patty. Serve with kosher pickle spears
potato strips (great replacement
for fries) and catsup.