Northwest NEWS

January 21, 2002

Home & Garden

Dining In: To your good health

   1/4 c. dried porcini mushrooms, with extra mushrooms for garnish, if desired
   2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
   1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
   1 small onion, finely chopped
   4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
   1-1/2 c. pearl barley
   6 c. boiling water
   1/2 oz. grated Montasio or Parmesan cheese
   Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
   Rinse mushrooms well and drain. Place in bowl and cover with warm water. Let soak until soft. Drain well, reserving soaking liquid.
   Set aside 2 or 3 mushrooms for garnish, if desired. Finely chop remaining mushrooms and set aside.
   In large heavy saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat until butter melts.
   Saute onion and scallion until onion is translucent, reducing heat so they do not color, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add boiling water, 1/2 c. at a time, cooking until absorbed before adding more.
   When barley is almost cooked, about 30 -40 minutes, add mushrooms and soaking liquid.
   Cook, adding more boiling water as needed (some may want to add more water for a moister orzotto), until barley is creamy and al dente (tender, yet firm), about 45 minutes in all.
   Stir in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut mushrooms; set aside for garnish into thin slices and sprinkle on top. Serve immediately.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Homemade Applesauce
   2 Golden Delicious or other sweet apples
   2 Granny Smith or other tart apples
   2 Fuji apples
   6-1/2 inch x 2 inch strips lemon or orange zest
   1 vanilla bean, broken or cut crosswise into 3 pieces
   1/3 c. frozen apple juice concentrate
   Quarter the golden delicious or other sweet apples. Cut away core from each wedge. Coarsely chop the wedges. Place chopped apples in deep, heavy saucepan.
   Peel, quarter and core remaining apples. Chop coarsely and add to pot. Add zest, vanilla bean and juice concentrate.
   Set pot over medium-high heat and bring contents to a boil.
   Immediately reduce heat to medium and cover pot. Simmer apples until sweet ones are tender but pieces hold their shape and other apples fall apart, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and cool.
   Remove vanilla bean, which can be rinsed and left out to dry, then reused up to 6 times.
   When serving, include a piece of zest with each serving. Store, tightly covered in refrigerator, up to 1 week.
   Makes 4 cups or 8 servings.
   Orange Rice Pilaf
   1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
   1 small onion, finely chopped
   1 tsp. grated orange zest
   1/2 tsp. ground ginger
   1 c. long grain white rice
   1 c. orange juice
   1 c. fat-free chicken broth
   Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small Dutch oven or other oven-proof pot with a tight fitting lid, melt butter over medium-high heat on top of the stove.
   Add the onion, and saute until it is translucent, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the orange zest and ginger, and cook 30 seconds.
   Stir in the rice until it is shiny. Mix in the orange juice and chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, and cover the pot.
   Place the covered pot in the oven. Bake the rice until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy, about 15 minutes.
   Remove from the oven, and let rice sit, covered, for 10 minutes before serving. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
   Makes 6 servings.
   Shredded Zucchini and Carrot Salad
   1 large carrot
   1 large zucchini
   1 tsp. canola oil
   2 scallions
   Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
   Coarsely grate carrot and place in bowl. Cut zucchini lengthwise and cut away soft center. Grate zucchini and combine with carrot. Toss with oil.
   Chop scallions and add to carrot-zucchini mixture. Stir lemon juice into vegetable mixture, to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Winter Fruit Salad
   1 pink grapefruit
   1 Gala apple
   1 c. fresh blueberries
   1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
   1 Tbsp. honey
   Peel grapefruit. Holding one section at a time over a big bowl to catch juice, use fingers to pull open membranes. Pull out flesh and drop into bowl. Discard membranes.
   Core, cut in half and thinly slice apple. Add to bowl. Toss fruit salad gently. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
   Makes 5 servings.
   Cauliflower in Creamy Garlic Sauce
   1 c. milk
   2 c. fresh or frozen cauliflower
   1 Tbsp. canola oil
   2 Tbsp. chopped onion
   1 tsp. garlic powder
   1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
   Freshly ground black pepper to taste
   1/4 c. chopped parsley
   Steam fresh cauliflower until tender but crisp, if using frozen cauliflower until tender but crisp. If using frozen cauliflower, prepare according to package directions.
   Heat oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic to the saucepan, stirring often until onion is softened.
   Whisk in flour, whisking constantly, about 1 minutes. Gradually add Lactaid milk, pepper and parsley. Whisk until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and pour sauce over cauliflower. Garnish with parsley.
   Makes 4 servings.