Northwest NEWS

May 25, 1998

Home & Garden

DINING IN

Enjoy the tastes of spring


   Springtime Asparagus Soup A L'Orange
   2 c. water
   2/3 lb. fresh asparagus spears
   2 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) cream of celery soup
   1 c. cooked rice
   1/2 c. whipping cream, whipped
   Grated orange rind
   In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Cut tips and tender part of asparagus spears into 1/2-inch pieces. Add water and blanch 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in soup and rice. Heat thoroughly. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and grated orange rind.
  
   Smoked Chicken and Melted Brie Sandwich
   4 English muffins, split, lightly toasted
   Sun-dried Tomato Mayonnaise (follows)
   12 oz. sliced cooked chicken breast, smoked or regular
   Roasted red pepper strips
   4 oz. Brie, sliced
   Italian parsley
   Spread each muffin half with 1 Tbsp. of Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise. Top with chicken slices, red pepper strips and a slice of Brie. Place on baking sheet and broil about 2 minutes until cheese is melted and muffin is golden brown. Garnish with Italian parsley.
  
   Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise
   Combine 1/2 c. mayonnaise and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of sun-dried tomato paste or 2 Tbsp. of sun-dried tomatoes in oil pulverized in blender.
  
   Mediterranean Pasta with California Pistachios
   2 c. onion, cut into narrow wedges
   2 Tbsp. olive oil (can use oil drained from tomatoes)
   2 Tbsp. minced garlic
   1 Tbsp. flour
   1 1/2 c. dry white wine
   1 c. natural California pistachios
   1 c. sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
   1 Tbsp. dry basil
   1 Tbsp. dry oregano
   1/2 c. minced fresh parsley
   1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
   8 oz. angel hair pasta (capellini), broken up
   In 12-inch skillet, saute onions in oil for 5-10 minutes or until cooked through. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Stir flour into onions and garlic; add wine and cook, stirring until mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Add pistachios, tomatoes, basil, oregano and parsley to pan and heat through. Keep warm.
   Cook pasta in boiling water 3-5 minutes or just until tender. Drain. Combine pasta and sauce; sprinkle with cheese and toss lightly. Offer additional cheese as garnish, if desired.
  
   Crab Cakes with Cucumber Dill Sauce
   6 oz. crab meat
   6 oz. frozen, cooked and cleaned shrimp, thawed and finely chopped
   1/2 c. shredded carrots
   1/2 c. chopped celery
   1/4 c. reduced fat mayonnaise
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
   1 egg
   28 crackers, finely crushed , divided
   2 Tbsp. margarine, divided
   Cucumber Dill Sauce (below)
   In large bowl, mix crab, shrimp, carrot, celery, mayonnaise, parsley, egg and 1/2 c. cracker crumbs. Divide mixture and shape into 8 patties. Coat patties with remaining cracker crumbs.
   In large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, cook 4 patties in 1 Tbsp. margarine for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining patties and margarine. Serve warm with Cucumber Dill Sauce.
  
   Cucumber Dill Sauce
   In small bowl, mix 1 (8 oz.) container plain fat-free yogurt, 1/3 c. chopped, seeded cucumber and 1 Tbsp. dried dill weed or fresh dill, chopped.
  
   Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Puffs
   24 crackers
   1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)
   1/4 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
   3/4 c. milk
   2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
   4 eggs, beaten
   2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
   Place 2 crackers in each of 12 lightly greased 2 1/2-inch muffin-pan cups; evenly divide and top with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. In large bowl, blend milk, parsley, basil and eggs. Pour evenly over cheese layer; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes. Loosen edges and remove from pan. Serve warm.
  
   Halibut with Oranges, Tomatoes and Olives
   2 Tbsp. olive oil
   1 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
   3/4 c. canned diced tomatoes in juice
   3/4 c. Chardonnay
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
   2 Tbsp. slivered Kalamata or Nicoise olives
   2 medium oranges, peeled and cut into segments
   1 1/2 lbs. fresh halibut
   1 Tbsp. chopped chives
   2 oz. Feta cheese (optional)
   In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just beginning to brown; about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, salt, and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the olives and oranges and simmer 1 minute longer.
   Lay the fillets over the mixture in a single layer, cover the pan, and simmer on moderate heat until the fish is just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes depending on thickness of fish.
   Garnish with chopped chives and a few slivers of thinly sliced, drained Feta cheese, if desired.
  
   Barbecue Chicken Packets
   4 sheets (12x18-inches each) heavy duty aluminum foil
   4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
   1 c. barbecue sauce
   2 c. frozen whole kernel corn
   1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
   Preheat oven to 450 F or preheat grill to medium-high. Place one chicken breast half on each sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.
   Spoon barbecue sauce over chicken. Top with vegetables.
   Bring up sides of foil and double fold. Double fold ends for form a packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside packet.
   Repeat to make four packets.
   Bake 18 to 22 minutes on cookie sheet in over or grill 14 to 16 minutes on medium-high in covered grill.