European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - August 14, 1992, Darmstadt, Hesse
Planning turns leftovers into a feast
By JAN NORRIS Cox News Service
WHAT TO DO? You’ve got 30 minutes to come up with something for dinner and nothing in mind.
Comfort foods? We're joking — right?
Foods that can be whipped up quickly, yet taste as though they were at it in the oven for hours are not mysterious, but instead a result of easy planning.
Leftovers are the answer. You'll have them if you follow a game plan. Cook one meal sometime in the week that will result in leftover meats or proteins —beans, ham, turkey or chicken, The things you can do with those items are numerous and quick.
So essentially, we’re telling you you’ll have at least two meals from one; more if you're a small family.
Start with a turkey breast. Use a small one if you're cooking for two or three — you’ll still have plenty left over because it's all meat. Roast it — on the stove top desired — and make a traditional turkey dinner with it.
For the next night, you can buy or make a two-crust pie dough, mix your turkey with a few ingredients, and have a homey turkey pot pie, something even the bachelor or lone cook can handle. They freeze great and travel well to the office microwave for lunch.
It’s a hearty, filling soup you want? No problem. You can start with canned beans if you don't want to fool with overnight soaking and cooking.
Red beans with some quick-cooking sausage gives you red beans and rice — a serious comfort food that will make you wish you were in New Orleans as a bonus. A meal of cubed ham and canned butterbeans also qualifies — it will take 45 minutes for that dinner to be on the table after you open the can.
Remember macaroni and cheese? It can be baked into a scrumptious casserole. Use wide egg-free noodles instead of elbow macaroni, and choose a low-fat cheese and yogurt to make it healthful, Vegetables such as broccoli are a natural with this dish, but our leftover cubed chicken or turkey and mushrooms can be tossed into it and you’ve got a one-dish meal that can be set out for company. A salad and fresh bread probably make this a 60-minute meal.
Try our recipes for some quick, comforting foods.
GOLDEN HARVEST CHICKEN POT PIE Pie dough for a two-crust pie Filling:
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons very low sodium Instant chicken
bouillon granules Vi teaspoon dry thyme leaves V«teaspoon pepper
1 cup skim milk
2 cups cooked potatoes, cut In Vi-Inch cubes
Add salad to leftover chicken for an easy meal.
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken breast, see note 1 Vi cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed, or vegetables of your choice cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
Make crust, or use store-bought — have thawed and ready to fill.
Make filling: Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, Add onion; cook, stirring often, until tender. Combine flour, bouillon granules, thyme and pepper; stir into onion mixture, Cook, continuing stirring, for 1 minute.
Stir in milk gradually; cook and stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Stir in potatoes, chicken, peas and carrots, corn and parsley. Spoon hot filling into unbaked 9-inch shell.
Preheat oven to 375. Moisten edge of bottom crust with water. Lift top crust onto filled pie. Fold top edge under bottom crust; flute or press together with a fork. Cut slits or design in top crust for steam vent.
Bake pie 35 to 45 minutes or until chicken filling begins to bubble and crust edges are brown.
Makes 8 main-dish servings.
Note: Cooked turkey or ham can be used in place of chicken, measure for measure.
QUICK RED BEANS AND RICE
2 pounds cooked red beans, or equivalent of canned beans, with liquid
1 pound link spicy smoked sausage — optional 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
Vi teaspoon salt 1 bay leaf
V* teaspoon cayenne pepper — use black pepper for milder flavor Va teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste 3 cups hot cooked rice Green onions, cleaned, for garnish
Cook sausage under broiler; slice into chunks and set aside.
Heat beans in 4-quart pot over medium heat. While beans are heating, saut6 onion, celery leaves and garlic over medium heat in 1 tablespoon cooking oil, When just tender but not brown, add to beans.
Add remaining seasonings to taste; add sausage to beans. Sausage also can be served on side.
Serve beans with hot cooked rice.
LOW-FAT BROCCOU-NOODLE CASSEROLE
1 tablespoon corn-oll margarine
2 tablespoons vegetable broth, either homemade or canned
2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped 1 cup onion, chopped
Va cup white wine — optional (use more broth for liquid)
Vi teaspoon salt — optional 1h teaspoon pepper
Egg substitute equivalent of 3 eggs (or use 3 whole eggs)
3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil 8 ounces egg-free wide noodles, or noodles of your choice Va cup bread crumbs
2 ounces tow-fat shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, heat margarine and vegetable broth over medium heat. Add broccoli, mushrooms and onion; saut6 for 10 minutes. Mix in wine, salt and pepper, remove from heat.
In a large bowl, beat egg substitutes with wire whisk. Add cottage cheese, yogurt, garlic and basil; set aside.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions just until tender; drain well. Put in large bowl and toss with egg mixture. Add vegetables; mix well.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon in noodle mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and shredded cheese; cover.
Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.
Makes 8 servings.
Note: Cooked chicken, fish, turkey or ham can be added to this dish if desired. Other vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage or sliced zucchini can be used in place of or with broccoli,Fast and fancy now possible with gourmet meals in a box
By NITA LELYVELD
The Associated Press
FOOD MIXES ARE once again hot in America’s kitchens, but not the old yellow cake and plain pancake varieties that have been around since the 1950s I he new mixes are gourmet, and they're sold at gourmet prices. ■
These days, it's scones, not cake. And pancake mixes come in dozens of flavors, from buckwheat pecan to wild cranberry.
People still want the same convenience they were looking for when Betty Crocker made her mark, but now they’re more sophisticated. They want ethnic and regional foods, and they want home cooking that's restaurant quality.
"Everyone talks about nesting in the ’90s. People want to be at home, they want to be together, but they don’t want to
have to work too hard to make things nice,” said Mark Bonebrake, co-founder of Northwest Specialty Bakers of Portland, Ore., which markets more than a dozen Dassant Gourmet Mixes for breads, scones and brownies. "They're willing to pay for the smell of bread baking in their kitchens."
Bonebrake's company was one of many showing off gourmet mixes recently at the International Fancy Food & Confection Show in Washington. '
There are mixes for cheesecake, margaritas and cobblers, and mixes for potato salad, black bean soup, pi2za crusts and dessert syrups.
Most require only one or two easy-to-find additional ingredients.
Dassant sells six beer-bread mixes — from the company’s classic recipe to focaccia. Parisian dill onion and southern corn varieties. At about $3.50 each, they're
not exactly cheap, but Bonebrake believes they're an "affordable indulgence." Just add beer and stir and the bread dough is ready for the oven.
Mixes for old English scones and Belgian truffle brownies are just as easy. And the results taste absolutely homemade.
These mixes — from their stylized names, jazzy flavor mixes and distinctive, gift-box packaging — are aimed at upscale buyers, the cooks who once bought only fresh ingredients, spent hours preparing meals with the latest kitchen equipment and turned up their noses at anything in a box or bag.
"People get so busy now. But they want to maintain the illusion that they have time for home cooking," said Char Pfaelzer, who founded Pelican Bay Ltd. mixes in 1981. "And the mixes are so much belter than just opening a can."
Like most of the gourmet mix
companies, Northwest Specialty Bakers sells mainly to gourmet stores and food catalogs.
Pelican Bay of Clearwater, Fla., has even managed to sell a mix to the famou toy store, FAO Schwarz. That's because Pelican Bay also markets a line of mixes for kids, which come in big buckets, with shovels included for mixing. There's the ' can bake dirt cake with mud frosting" mi: that s really for an Oreo cookie crumb cake. There's also a pickling kit for childr that lets them make bread and butter pickles just by adding the cucumbers an some vinegar.
All the gourmet mixes emphasize their high-quality ingredients. None include artificial preservatives.
"I think 40 years ago, Betty Crocker probably had mixes that tasted a lot like these," said Bonebrake. "But most supermarket mixes are so artificial now. We offer an alternative."
Page 16 A THE STARS AND STRIPES Friday, August 14, 1992