Welcome to issue no. 6 of Foodstuff

January 19, 1998

In this issue:

Destination: San Diego for Super Bowl XXXII on Sunday, January 25, 1998. The Broncos will represent the AFC after holding off the Steelers 24-21 in the conference championship game. The defending Super Bowl champion Packers earned a return trip to the big game with a dominating 23-10 victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

Are you football fans ready for the big game? If you plan on watching Super Bowl XXXII, there's a good chance you'll be enjoying time spent with family and friends, entertaining guests or bringing a dish to a pot luck. Whatever your may be doing, you can make your game day a festive occasion by choosing from this list, taken from Prodigy Internet's Food Community, of crowd-pleasing dishes. For more recipes, see the HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS topic on Foodstuff. (I know Super Bowl isn't really a holiday, but lots of football fans think it is!)

STARTERS

PARMESAN MUSTARD CHICKEN WINGS

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt
black pepper
20 chicken wings, wing tips cut off and discarded and the wings halved at the joint

Preheated oven to 425°F. In a shallow dish whisk together the butter, the mustard, and the cayenne. In another shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, the Parmesan, the cumin, and salt and black pepper to taste. Dip the chicken wings, a few at a time, in the butter mixture, letting the excess drip off, coat them with the crumb mixture, and arrange them without touching in a greased, shallow baking pan. Bake the chicken wings in the lower third of oven for 30 minutes. (If extra-crisp chicken wings are desired, turn the wings after 20 minutes.)

Serves 6.

BAKED POTATO SKINS

8 russet (baking) potatoes (about 1/2 pound each), scrubbed, patted dry, and rubbed with olive oil
sweet paprika for sprinkling the potato skins
fine sea salt or kosher salt for sprinkling the potato skins
sour cream as an accompaniment, if desired

Prick the potatoes a few times with a fork and bake them in the middle of a preheated 425°F. oven for 1 hour. Let the potatoes cool, halve them lengthwise, and scoop them out, leaving a 1/4-inch shell and reserving the potato pulp for another use. Cut each shell lengthwise into 6 strips and arrange the strips on a baking sheet. Brush the strips with olive oil, sprinkle them with paprika, the salt, and pepper to taste, and bake them in the middle of the preheated 425°F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden brown. Serve the potato skins with sour cream.

GARLIC ROSEMARY BAGEL CRISPS

4 bagels (about 1 pound), cut into very thin slices (use a serrated knife)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, minced with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil1 tablespoon coarse salt

Preheated oven to 350°F. Arrange the bagel slices in one layer on 2 large baking sheets. In a blender purée the rosemary and the garlic mixture with the oil until the mixture is smooth. Brush the slices with the mixture, sprinkle them with the salt, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden.

ARTICHOKE-CHEESE SQUARES

2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup minced onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, trimmed, and chopped
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, grated
2 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper or dash Tabasco, to taste

Heat a medium-sized skillet over moderate flame, then add oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Do not brown. Beat eggs and whites in bowl. Add chopped artichoke hearts. Stir in onion/garlic mixture and remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased baking dish. Bake 25-30 min. at 325°F until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.

MAIN DISHES

SHRIMP AND ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained, chopped
1 pound smoked andouille or kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 pound okra, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
Freshly cooked long-grain rice
2 tomatoes, seeded, diced

Heat oil in a heavy large Dutch oven over high heat until almost smoking. Add flour and stir until dark red-brown, about 8 minutes. Immediately add celery, onions and bell peppers. Cook 5 minutes, stirring and scraping bottom of pan often. Mix in bay leaves, salt, oregano and cayenne. Add clam juice, canned tomatoes and sausage. Boil 15 minutes. Add okra, reduce heat and simmer until okra is tender, about 15 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Add shrimp to gumbo and simmer until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Mound rice in soup bowls. Ladle gumbo over. Sprinkle with tomatoes.

8 servings

SPICY WHITE BEAN AND CHICKEN CHILI

1 pound small white beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 extra-large onion, chopped
8 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies
5 1/4 cups canned unsalted chicken broth
4 cups water
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, well trimmed, cut into strips
Plain nonfat yogurt or sour cream for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
3 jalapeño chilies, minced for garnish

Soak beans overnight in enough cold water to cover. Drain.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cumin and oregano and cook 1 minute. Mix in beans and chilies, then chicken broth and water. Simmer until beans are very tender and chili is creamy, about 1 hour 45 minutes or less. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Return to simmer before continuing.)

Add chicken to chili and stir until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls. Garnish with yogurt, cilantro and minced chilies and serve immediately.
6 Servings.

SWEETS

LEMON SQUARES

2 1/4 cups plus 6 tablespoons flour (divided)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
6 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Additional powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jellyroll pan with vegetable oil spray.

In food processor, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, powdered sugar and butter that has been cut into small chunks. Pulse to combine ingredients until mixture resembles fine crumbs. (This also can be done by hand using a pastry blender.) Press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Remove crust from oven and increase temperature to 350°F.

Meanwhile, make lemon filling: In medium bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Add lemon peel and juice.

In separate bowl, combine sugar, remaining 6 tablespoons flour and baking powder. Stir into egg mixture. Pour mixture over the baked crust and return to oven. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center springs back when touched. Let cool 15 minutes. Put powdered sugar in sieve and sprinkle over top of bars. Cut into squares when completely cool.

Makes 36 to 40 bars.

NEW COOKBOOK

Are you looking for some great new low fat recipes? To take real control of your new and healthier way of eating, you have to take control of your food preparation. Without a large variety and plenty of choices, you'll tire of low fat eating within days and leave your good intentions behind. That's the idea behind the cookbook, EXCEED THE FEED LIMIT Without Getting Caught, by Vicki Park. Vicki herself lost 180 pounds when she learned that it is possible to enjoy all her favorite foods from steak to cheesecake while losing weight and eating healthier. Here are a few recipes from Vicki's book:

Onion Baked Steak

4 4-ounce top round steaks, trimmed of all visible fat
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed French onion soup
1/2 soup can water

Saute the steaks in a skillet that have been coated with no-stick cooking spray for 5 minutes per side. Remove them to a baking dish. Place the potatoes around the meat. Combine the onion soup and water. Pour over the meat and potatoes. Cover and bake at 350°F for45 minutes. Four servings, 5 fat grams per serving.

Crispy Oven Chicken

1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Light salt and pepper to taste (optional)
6 4-ounce chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
2 cups packaged herb-seasoned stuffing crumbs, crushed

Combine the sour cream, lemon juice, garlic powder, light salt and pepper. Coat breasts with the mixture. After coating, roll each breast in the crumbs. Place the chicken in a baking dish that has been coated with no-stick cooking spray. Lightly spray each breast with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes at 400°F. Six servings, 5 fat grams per serving.

My Favorite Cornbread

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 cup water
1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
1 medium finely-chopped onion and bell pepper

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slowly add the water to the cornmeal while stirring constantly. Add the egg substitute, onions and peppers. Pour the mixture into an 8" iron skillet or 8" square baking pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown. Variation: Add 2 tablespoons imitation bacon bits, and 1/2 cup shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese. 4 servings, 1 fat gram per serving.

Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

1 small box sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 packets aspartame-based sugar substitute
1 lower-fat graham cracker pie crust
1 15-ounce can light cherry pie filling

Combine the pudding mix and skim milk. Set aside. Combine the cream cheese, vanilla extract and sugar substitute. Gently fold the pudding and cream cheese together. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker pie crust. Spread the cherry pie filling over the cream cheese layer. Chill. 8servings, 3 fat grams per serving.

This book retails for $16.95 and is available at most bookstores, or by calling 1-800-980-7275

RESTAURANT REVIEW

MY LUNCH AT FENIX

One of the reasons that I decided to review Fenix, is that it is one of the most popular and trendy places to go for California Cuisine, and I'm forever reading about it in our local papers and magazines.

Fenix is located inside the Argyle Hotel on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. The hotel is small and absolutely beautiful. I'm sorry I didn't have time to have a room tour because I hear the rooms are very lovely. Our lunch reservation was for 1:30, and when we arrived, we were the only people in the whole place! So, of course, we had the most excellent service. There were three of us: my sister, Judi, her employer, Dianna, and me. Lunch was Dianna's treat, and we were told to order anything we wanted, ANYTHING! Now, before I go on, I will say that had I been paying for my own lunch, I would have just ordered one of the sandwiches, most likely the Seared Ahi Sandwich with Cilantro Pesto, at $13, or the Roast Turkey Sandwich with Light Curry Slaw at $11.50. But again, this was a special treat, so without further ado...

We started with Rare Sesame Crusted Tuna with Spicy Miso Sauce ($12), Popcorn Shrimp with Cajun Remoulade ($9), Vegetable Spring Rolls ($8) and Russian Osetra Caviar ($29). It was all wonderful, but the Vegetable Spring Rolls were about 10 times better than Wolfgang Puck's. Our entrees, which we all shared, were: Porcini Crusted Scallops with Lobster Crushed Potatoes ($14), Grilled Swordfish with Tapenade and Grilled Vegetables (14.95) and Fettucine with Crème Fraiche, Smoked Salmon and Chives ($12). All fantastic, but the scallops were the best of the three.

For dessert (don't ask how we fit it in!) we enjoyed: Spiced Apple in a Phyllo Purse with Crème Anglaise, Espresso Profiterolles with Valrohna Equatorialle Sauce, and Warm Pear Feuillete with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. Each dessert was $8.

Dianna ordered a couple of champagne cocktails, and Judi and I both had a bottle of water. The bill was somewhere around $200. (I did peek.)

I highly recommend Fenix.

NEXT TIME IN FOODSTUFF: Trendy Fois Gras recipes, all about Debbie's new cookbook and related media tour, and another review from a great L.A. restaurant


© 1998, 2003 Debbie Puente
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