Food for Thought: Know your knives

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week: Know your knives

Good knives are the key to successful cooking, the sharper the better. Here’s the basic kit needed in every kitchen:

- Paring: 3- or 4-inch blade, for small peeling.

- Utility: 5- or 6-inch blade, for general chopping and slicing of smaller items.

- Carver: 8-inch thin blade, flexible, for slicing large items such as roasts and poultry.

- Chef: 8-inch blade, formerly the butcher knife, similar to a carver but rigid with a wider blade for general slicing of larger items and disjointing cuts of meat.

-- Canton Repository

Critic's Cupboard: Long John Silver's Freshside Grille Entrees

Jennifer Mastroianni: Spatula up

The shrimp scampi dinner came with eight tender and juicy nice-sized shrimp basted in a tasty garlic butter sauce and served over plump seasoned rice. I also liked the veggies that come with the entrees — a buttery mix of green beans with slices of orange and yellow carrots. The meal, while not huge, was piping hot, fresh and delicious.

The grilled Pacific salmon could have been a tad more moist, but the two pieces were bigger than I imagined and nicely seasoned with red bell pepper sauce, black pepper, garlic and olive oil. It, too, was hot and tasted fresh.

Saimi Bergmann: Spatula down

While I appreciate Long John Silver for coming up with 350-calorie meals, I’d have preferred them to be edible.

The shrimp are overcooked to the point of mushiness, the rice is bloated, and the olive-drab green beans are limp and shriveled. The salmon dinner was slightly better, because salmon, an oily fish, holds up well when overcooked.

-- Canton Repository

Easy recipe: Apricot-Strawberry Parfait

Ingredients:

1/3 cup apricot preserves

3 cups sliced strawberries

2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup low-fat granola, without raisins

2 tablespoons slivered almonds 

Directions:

Place apricot preserves in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 10 to 15 seconds or until preserves melt. Add strawberries and toss gently to coat.

Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into each of 4 parfait glasses; top each serving with 1/3 cup strawberry mixture. Repeat the layers with the remaining yogurt and strawberry mixture. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons granola and 1 1/2 teaspoons almonds.

Serve immediately. Serves four.

Did You Know?

Police in the Chongqing region of China are serving drivers spicy chili peppers at highway service stations to prevent them from falling asleep at the wheel.

Food Quiz

This dessert shares its French name with the mold in which it is baked.

A. Dubonnet

B. Duxelle

C. Dariole

D. Demitasse

(www.funtrivia.com)

Answer is at bottom of column

Wise to the Word: Chop

This is a one-portion cut of meat from the rib section, often including part of the bone. Pork, lamb and veal chops are the most popular. As a culinary technique, chop means to cut food into small pieces larger than mincing and dicing but smaller than slicing.

-- Canton Repository

Number to Know: 103

Calories in 10 M&M's Peanut Chocolate Candies – calorielab.com

The Dish On …

“Cooking for Zita: Helping Loved Ones Through Cancer”

Inspired by Zita Ganza’s journey through cancer, this book shares unforgettable stories of kindness and of the foods that people make and share with one another. The book honors the community bonds that are strengthened when one person takes action in the kitchen and nourishes the body and soul of a neighbor in need.

Recipes featured in this book range from comfort food offerings to dishes that can fortify body and spirit, as well as ease side effects of various cancer treatments. But the golden threads of “Cooking for Zita” are the anecdotes and stories woven throughout the book from people who either received a certain dish during their cancer battle or from their families and friends.

“Cooking for Zita” is available from the Cancer Resource Centre by calling 219-836-3349, or online at www.cancerresourcecentre.com.

From the Beer Nut’s Blog

Last night when I got home from work I cracked open a bottle of Brooklyn Brewing Company’s Black Chocolate Stout. Then, I made myself a peanut butter sandwich (probably not the pairing Brooklyn brewer Garrett Oliver pictured with his stout).

Let me tell you, the flavors went together perfectly. It was like a liquid peanut butter cup.

It got me to thinking: Why doesn’t someone brew a chocolate-peanut butter stout? There are many chocolate stouts, and I’ve tried a couple of peanut butter stouts. Maybe peanut butter would be difficult to work with; maybe a brewer could enlighten me on that one.

How do you think this would taste? Would you give it a shot? What other flavor combinations do you think would work well in beer?

To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/

Food Quiz Answer

C. Dariole. The dariole is a small cylinder mold. The dessert is made by lining the mold with puff pastry, filling it with almond cream and baking it.

GateHouse News Service