Northwest NEWS

April 15, 2002

Home & Garden


Start your day off right

Cheese and Green Chili Strata
   1 8-inch round loaf of crusty sourdough bread, 1-1/4 lbs.
   1/4 c. butter, melted and divided
   3 c. thinly sliced yellow onion
   1 4-oz. can diced green chilies
   1 c. nonfat chicken broth, divided
   1 tsp. ground cumin
   1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
   1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
   3/4 c. (3 oz.) shredded gouda or white cheddar cheese
   3/4 c. (3 oz.) shredded Jack cheese
   2 Tbsp. cornstarch
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
   1-1/2 c. nonfat or 1 percent milk
   1 egg
   1 egg white
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the bread loaf, using a large serrated knife or bread knife. Slice off the top of the loaf, leaving a base 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches high. Using a small serrated knife or grapefruit knife, cut a circle around the perimeter of the loaf between the soft bread and the crust. Hollow out the inside of the soft bread into 1/2 inch cubes to equal 1 c. Reserve remaining soft bread and loaf top for other uses.
   Brush 2 Tbsp. of the melted butter over the inside of the hollowed out bread loaf. Place bread loaf shell and bread cubes on baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.
   Put 1 Tbsp. of the remaining butter in a large nonstick skillet with the onions, chilies, 1/2 c. of the broth, cumin and thyme. Cover and place over high heat, stirring occasionally and replacing lid each time until liquid cooks away, about 5 minutes.
   Remove lid and stir mixture until onions begin to lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 c. broth and the parsley. Stir frequently until the liquid evaporates again. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the cheeses together. Place half of the cheese mixture into the bread shell. Top with the bread cubes, onion chili mixture and the remaining cheese mixture. Set aside.
   In another small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, salt and pepper; add milk and whisk until smooth. Add egg and egg white; whisk again until smooth. Pour liquid over bread shell and set aside.
   Brush a 12-inch foil square with the remaining 1 Tbsp butter. Center shell on foil and set into an 8- or 9-inch cake pan or springform pan. Press foil lightly against side of crust and fold over rim of bread.
   Bake until cheeses are lightly browned and the filling is firm in the center, about 30 minutes. With foil, carefully lift the strata from the pan and slide onto a cutting board or platter. Cut into wedges and serve.
   Makes 6 servings.
   Breakfast Sundae
   3/4 c. various fresh fruit, e.g., blueberries, raspberries, halved seedless grapes, sliced bananas, etc.
   3/4 c. (1 6-oz. container), low fat vanilla yogurt
   1/4 c. whole grain breakfast cereal (like Grapenuts flakes, Wheaties) or low fat granola
   1 large strawberry
   Place half of the fruit on bottom of footed, glass dessert dish or small bowl. Top with half the yogurt. Arrange remaining fruit over yogurt. Top with remaining yogurt. Sprinkle cereal on top. Set strawberry in center, as with a sundae. Serve immediately.
   Makes 1 serving.
   Frittata Balsamico
   2 medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled and halved
   1 medium onion, thinly sliced
   2 eggs, plus 2 whites
   2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
   Cooking oil spray
   2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, or to taste
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
   Cook potatoes in water until done, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy nonstick skillet, stir onions to separate them into individual rings. Place pan over medium-high heat, cover tightly, and cook onions until they wilt and stew in their juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly colored. Transfer to large bowl and let cool slightly. Wipe out pan.
   Drain cooked potatoes well and cut into small cubes. Add to onions.
   In a large bowl, beat together eggs and egg whites until well blended. Mix in onion-potato mixture. Mix in cheese, salt and pepper until well combined.
   Use cooking oil spray to generously coat saucepan used for onions. Set pan over medium-high heat and heat until hot.
   Pour in egg mixture, making sure onions and potatoes are evenly distributed in pan. As eggs set, keep lifting edges with a spatula or mixing spoon, tilting pan so any liquid flows to edges.
   Continue cooking over medium heat until set, 12 to 15 minutes.
   Slide frittata onto a plate. Place skillet upside down over plate. Using hot pads or mitts, hold both skillet and plate tightly together and invert so frittata is on pan, underside on top. Return to heat. Cook 3 minutes or until cooked through on bottom. Slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut frittata into 8 wedges. Drizzle vinegar over top, garnish with parsley and serve.
   Makes 4 servings.