Northwest NEWS

May 7, 2001

Home & Garden

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Dining In

Mother's Day
   Cornish Hens with Wild Rice
   3 c. water or fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
   1/2 c. wild rice, rinsed well
   1/2 c. brown rice
   1 tsp. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
   1/2 tsp. fines herbes
   salt and freshly ground pepper
   2 tsp. olive oil
   1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
   4 oz. mushrooms, sliced thin
   1/4 c. slivered blanched almonds
   2 cornish hens
   1 c. fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth for basting
   4 Tbsp. orange marmalade plus 1 tsp. lime juice
   In large saucepan, bring water or broth to boil. Add both rices, tarragon and fines herbes.
   Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender. Transfer cooked rice to bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
   While rice cooks, heat oil in non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent. Raise heat to high and add mushrooms and almonds. Saute, stirring constantly to prevent burning, about 3 minutes or until nuts are golden. Combine mixture with cooled rice.
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse hens and trim excess fat.
   Season cavities with salt and pepper, then stuff with rice mixture. Season skin with salt and pepper if desired. Place hens on rack in shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Roast hens, basting with broth every 15 minutes until done, about 75 minutes. (Until juices run clear when thigh is pricked with fork).
   Meanwhile, melt marmalade in microwave, then pour over hens to glaze during last 30 minutes of roasting. When hens are done, remove and let rest 15 minutes.
   Cut each in half lengthwise. Transfer any pan juices to small cup and skim off fat. Divide stuffing (rice) between four plates.
   Place 1/2 hen on top of each bed of rice. Heat pan juices in microwave, then pour over birds. Serve accompanied by cooked vegetables.
   Fines herbes is a dried herb mixture that typically includes parsley, chevil, tarragon and chives, but may include other herbs. Fines herbes are found in the spice section of markets.
   Makes 4 servings.
  
   Grilled Vegetables with Basil Dressing
   1 small eggplant, sliced into thick rounds
   1 zucchini, cut into thick, diagonal slices
   1 yellow summer squash, cut into thick slices.
   1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into eighths
   1 small red onion, sliced and cut into 8 segments
   2 Tbsp. Balsamic or red wine vinegar
   1/4 c. olive oil
   1/4 c. chopped fresh basil, or 1 Tbsp. dried
   1/4 c. non-fat yogurt
   2 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
   1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried
   1 tsp. lemon juice
   Thread skewers with alternating pieces of eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and onion. Place skewered vegetables in shallow pan.
   Make marinade for vegetables by blending vinegar, oil and 1/4 c. fresh basil (or 1 Tbsp. dried). Pour over vaegetables.
   Let stand 10 minutes, occasionaly turning skewers so marinade coats all sides. Meanwhile, make dressing. Place yogurt, mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp. fresh basil (pr 1 ts[/ basil) and lemon juice in a blender and mix until smooth. Transfer to small pitcher.
   Grill vegetables, adjusting height of rack to avoid charring.
   Serve vegetables as side dish, as a sandwich filling in pita halves, or on sliced French bread or bruschetta. Pass basil yogurt dressing to use as topping.
   Makes 8 servings.
  
   Strawberry Dreams
   1/2 c. superfine sugar
   1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
   4 large egg whites (1/2 c.) at room temperature
   1-1 1/2 pints rinsed and hulled small strawberries.
   1/3 c. strawberry jelly
   Make meringue shells well in advance preferably the day before filling.
   Preheat oven to low heat (200 to 275 degrees).Sift sugar with cream of tartar. Beat whites with electric beater.
   First at low speed until frothy, then at high speed until stiff but not dry. Slowly add sugar mixture, beating until stiff and glossy.
   Spoon mixture into 6 individual tart pans coated with spray canola oil. (Alternately, shape meringue with spoons into free-form nests on non-stick baking sheets sprayed with oil.)
   Bake until dry and crisp but uncolored, 1 to 2 hours, depending on oven heat and size of shells.
   Shut off oven and allow shells to cool inside, preferably overnight. Carefully remove shells from pans (if used) and store in air-tight containers until ready to serve.
   Just before serving time, cut strawberries lengthwise in halves.
   Melt jelly in microwave and pour just enough into bottom of shells to thinly cover. Arrange berries vertically in shells, stem side down, in a circular pattern with cut sides facing inward. Spoon melted jelly over berries to form thin film of glaze. Serve immediately.
   Makes 6 servings.
  
   Teriyaki Skewers
   1 lb. top round steak, cubed
   3 Tbsp. honey
   2 Tbsp. soy sauce
   1/8 tsp. ground ginger
   1/8 tsp. garlic powder
   1 1.2 c. fresh pineapple chunks
   1/2 lare green or red bell pepper, cut into chunks
   25 cherry tomatoes
   Place steak in shallow non-stick metallic dish. Combine honey;, soy sauce, ginger and garlic powder until well blended. Pour marinade over steak. Cover, marinate 15 minutes in refrigerator.
   Skewer pineapple chunks, steak, bell pepper and cherry tomatoes on long skewers.
   Grill or broil 4 to 6 minutes on each side, basting with marinade during grilling. Discard marinade.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Per serving: 233 calories, 6g fat (2g sat.), 42mg cholesterol, 356mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 25g protein.
  
   Southwestern Bean Salad
   2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto, black or small white beans, rinsed and drained
   1/2 c. diced red onion
   1/2 c. shredded carrot.
   1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
   1 tsp. cumin
   2 Tbsp. Fresh lime juice
   2 tsp. minced fresh jalapeno or other chili pepper.
   In large bowl, combine beans, onion, carrot and cilantro until well mixed.
   In small non-stick skillet, heat cumin over low heat just until warm, about 30 seconds. Stir in juice, oil and jalapeno until blended. Pour dressing over salad and toss to blend.
   Divide evenly among 4 salad bowls and serve.
   Makes 4 servings.