Sunday, May 29, 2005

Rhubarb Country Cobbler

A rustic country, perfect for home-grown rhubarb

Spring, how fast, turns summer. Past are May Day and Mother’s Day, soon are June grads in black, June brides in white.

Soon comes Midsummer, our longest day of the year, upside down from the southern hemisphere where right now fall fast turns winter.

Hard-fought from winter, our spring is worthy of remembrance.

Ferns that unfurl with time-lapse speed. The parade of spring color, polished pinks and luminous yellows. A spring snow of delicate cherry-blossom petals. The determined green of just-germinated grass. In turn, magnolia-, plum-, honeysuckle-, lilac-, honey locust-, iris- and peony-scented air.

Tiny puff-ball bunnies whose favored salad bar, we hope, is someone else’s garden. The dog warming herself on the sun-warmed brick, sniffing the fat air. A pair of robins cavorting, ahem, atop a Boston fern. The first day with enough warm, enough cool, for breakfast, lunch and supper outside.

Uniformed little-boy bottoms at-bat, winding up in physical and mental preparation. The winter-pale bodies of neighbor kids running through the sprinkler on the first hot afternoon.

Dads with baby strollers after supper; one mom with a baby stroller, a dog on a leash and a bag for picking up litter. The Pied Piper call, unchanged and unchanging, of the neighborhood ice cream truck.

Yes, spring is worth recalling. So, God willing, shall be summer. And in time and in turn, so shall be the fall and yes, even the winter.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send rhubarb recipes to e-mail.

RHUBARB COUNTRY COBBLER

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Oven time: 40 minutes
Time to table: About 90 minutes
Serves 8
  • 6 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour, preferably cake flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, diced (see ALANNA’s TIPS)

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a deep-dish pie pan. Stir together rhubarb and brown sugar, set aside. Whisk together milk and eggs, set aside.

In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and sugar with a wooden spoon. With your fingertips, work butter into flour mixture until a coarse meal forms. Add egg mixture and stir. (Batter will be sticky.) Use two spoons (see TIPS) to transfer a bit more than half of batter in dollops to prepared pan, spread evenly to cover bottom and up sides. Arrange rhubarb evenly on dough, then place remaining batter in small dollops on top. Bake 40 minutes or until batter is golden. Let cool about 30 minutes.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 397Cal; 6g Protein; 13g Tot Fat; 64g Carb; 2g Fiber; 86mg Sodium; 92mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 9 points Believe it or not: This recipe has been Alanna-sized with reductions in sugar and portion size and increases in low-calorie ingredients.
ALANNA's TIPS Dice a stick of butter easily by cutting it in thirds or fourths length-wise, first one direction and then the other, then cutting it cross-wise. The ‘two spoon method’ works great with a sticky dough or batter. Simply use one spoon to dip out the desired amount, the other to scrape it off.

More Early-Summer Recipes

(click a photo for a recipe)
Rhubarb Sorbet Iowa Strawberry Shortcake Strawberry Chocolate Banana Crumble

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Roasted Salmon & Asparagus

So simple, at the same time, simply divine. Roast salmon and spring's fresh asparagus together, then top with a lemon-caper vinaigrette. It's a perfect spring supper and truth be told, all summer long at my house. Enjoy!

Roasted Salmon & Asparagus @ KitchenParade.com ~ just salmon and fresh asparagus roasted together, easy enough for a weeknight, elegant enough for company ~ low-carb, gluten-free, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 7

The news is stocked with salmon controversy. Does it make your skin lustrous? So promises a diet regimen. Is dye added to farm-raised salmon? Yup. Do restaurants and supermarkets pass off farm-raised for wild-caught? That too.

Here’s my promise: supper should always be so uncomplicated and reliable!

The first time I made – assembled might be a better description – this lovely spring combination, it took less than an hour, including, while the oven heated, twenty minutes to wash off garden grime.

Or time enough to toss a salad, sip a glass of cool wine, call your sister to catch up on the week.

ALANNA's TIPS While not kitchen must-haves, I make good use of two inexpensive tools here. The first is an olive oil mister. Fill the spray bottle with your own oil, then mist fish, vegetables, hot bread and other foods with a bare whisper of oil. The second is the ‘mini food processor’ attachment to an immersion blender. It’s the perfect size and power for small quantities and I reach for it as often as the immersion blender itself. Dill would be a delightful substitute, I think, for fresh thyme and it’s not too late to tuck herbs into pots or sunny spots in the garden. My favorites are chive, rosemary, thyme, mint and bits of dill, basil and tarragon, just enough for summer salad dressings.

QUICK SUPPER:
ROASTED SALMON & ASPARAGUS

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 4
  • 1-1/4 pounds fresh salmon with or without skin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Zest & juice (about 2 tablespoons) from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers

Preheat oven to 450F/230C. Place asparagus in mound on baking sheet or four individual baking dishes. Mist with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir to blend. Place salmon atop asparagus. Mist fish with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until salmon is just opaque in center, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix lemon zest, lemon juice, red onion, olive oil and thyme with mini food processor or whisk. Stir in capers. Pour sauce over salmon to serve.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 291 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 18g Carb; 4g Fiber; 173mg Sodium; 73mg Cholesterol; 32g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS WW Old Points 6, WW PointsPlus 7

LATER NOTES
During asparagus season, I like to collect the woody ends of fresh asparagus in the freezer, then make Asparagus Soup.
If your asparagus are 'really fat', you might give them a few extra minutes in the oven before adding the salmon, while the oven preheats works fine.
If you have some time, combine this recipe with Maple Glazed Salmon. Just marinate the salmon as directed, press with pepper and cook atop the asparagus. Wonderful!
This is one of my favorite dishes for Cooking for One or Two. For one person, or for individual servings, just use individual oven-safe baking dishes.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite quick supper recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture.

More Salmon Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Salmon Chowder Maple-Glazed Salmon Potato Bites with Smoked Salmon
~ more fish recipes ~

More Asparagus Recipes for

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Asparagus Custard Tart Easy-to-Elegant Asparagus Soup Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus
~ more asparagus recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ more asparagus recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables





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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Lemon Chive Chicken Salad

A favorite way to make chicken salad, especially for spring and summer. It starts with gently poaching chicken breasts in lemon water, leaving them moist and flavorful.

Lemon Chive Chicken Salad @ KitchenParade.com ~ chicken breasts gently poached in lemon water then mixed with delicious low-cal mayo-yogurt sauce ~ low carb, gluten-free, for Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3

Every few weeks, a new kitchen tool catches my attention. Rarely however, does attention budge from just looking to buy now.

I’ve learned the hard way, you see, to be cautious with both dollars and space, for over-hyped kitchen tools deliver as much utility as cure-all cough remedies.

I once fell so hard for a middle-of-the-night infomercial that I bought two juicers, one for my parents who had planted citrus trees at their place in Florida. Both were soon relegated to the dust bin.

But the Microplane grating products that appeared awhile back do deliver on their promise. In just seconds, a Microplane creates piles of weightless lemon zest and grated Parmesan. Others rave about grating nutmeg, coconut, onion, ginger and chocolate. (See? No promises of world peace, just good grating!)

Microplanes are quite inexpensive, about $12, so make good gifts for foodie-type family and friends.

ALANNA's TIPS The more flavorful and often less-expensive chicken thighs work too, just remove the skins and poach, flesh-down first. Delicious! The lemon juice is what makes this chicken salad stand out so don’t skip it. To extract the most juice from lemons, put them in the microwave for 30 seconds, then roll on the counter before cutting, pressing hard with your palm to break down the interior structure. The difference in yield is amazing! Ensure the chicken is fully cooked after poaching by slicing into the thickest part of one breast. If the juice runs clear, it is cooked. In a hurry? Use the meat from a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket! White onions have much a stronger 'onion' flavor and odor, so if using a white onion, I'd recommend using about 1/4 an onion.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

LEMON CHIVE CHICKEN SALAD

Hands-on time: 25 minutes (15 to start, 10 to finish)
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 4 cups
    CHICKEN
  • Water to just cover chicken, about 3 cups
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    SAUCE
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • Zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons) from a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chive
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

POACH THE CHICKEN In a large skillet with cover, bring water, lemon juice and salt to a boil over medium high. Add chicken and return to boil. Reduce heat, cover and poach at bare simmer about 5 minutes. Turn breasts and poach another 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and cool in poaching liquid, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Dice the chicken finely.

OPTIONAL FOOD PROCESSOR For sandwiches, I like chicken salad with a finer texture for easier spreading. So I cut the chicken in chunks and then process in the food processor, just a few pulses, you don't want to turn the chicken to mush. I'll do the celery and onion in the food processor too, but separate from the chicken so not to over-process.

SAUCE While chicken cooks, stir together remaining ingredients and chill until chicken is cooled. Stir in cooked, cooled chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per half cup: 148 Cal; 6g Tot Fat; 3g Carb; 0g Fiber; 70mg Sodium; 50mg Cholesterol; 20g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS: WW Old Points 3 & WW PointsPlus 3 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving, 6 tablespoons; 50-calorie serving, 3 tablespoons. This recipe is "Alanna-sized" with reductions in fat and portion size and increases in no- and low-calorie flavorings and vegetables.

Do You Love Your Microplane? I Do!

Microplane

There are Microplanes for every grating job and task. I have two, a Fine Grater for lemon and lime zest and a much-appreciated Medium Ribbon Grater for thicker strips of Parmesan, chocolate shavings and the like. Little known fact: original versions of the Microplane were used for woodworking!


More Chicken Salad Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Chickpea & Chicken Salad Mango Chicken Salad Christmas Chicken Salad

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