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February 24, 2006     Cape Gazette
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February 24, 2006

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86 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, Feb. 24 - Monday, Feb. 27, 2006 FOOD & DRINK Celebrate Mardi Gras in traditional New Orleans style During the years I lived in New Orleans, Place ball of dough in a large bowl that has the season of Mardi Gras was filled with larger-than-life celebrations and lots of food. And, after last year's storms, any of us with a connection to New Orleans are certainly glad the city is finding a way to celebrate. Typically, from Twelfth Night (Jan. 6) through Fat Tuesday" (this year it falls on Feb. 28) residents of the city hold one party after another, always making sure to serve a King Cake. This custom originated in Europe, where the twelfth day after Christmas marked the festival of Epipfiany, in honor of the three wise men who brought gifts to the newborn Christ child. The most delicious part of the tradition is the King Cake, a cinnamon- filled sweet bread, braided into a circle to resemble a crown and decorated with three colors of sugar: purple (for justice), green (for faith) and gold (for power). Inside the cake is baked a miniature "baby, doll (nowadays made of plastic) and the person who finds the baby in their lucky slice must host the next King Cake party. The following recipes include some pop- ular New Orleans dishes to include at your next King Cake party. The cake itself takes a while to make, but none of the steps are difficult. If you don't have a miniature "baby" (I still have a porcelain baby from one of my first king cakes) you can use a small, uncooked bean. Gumbo can be made with all kinds of meat, seafood, and fowl, in var- ious combinations. This version does not include the traditional fil6 seasoning (because I don't like the taste), but does fea- ture okra (which I do like). If you use fil6 powder (made from dried sassafras leaves) be sure to add it to the pot after the gumbo is cooked, or to individual bowls at the table; don't let gumbo that contains 1516 powder come to a boil or it will become stringy and unpalatable. The spicy shrimp linguine calls for both butter and oil because each fat serves a different purpose: the but- John McDonald CAPE FLAVORS Denise Clemons ter adds rich flavor and the oil allows you to cook at a higher heat without burning. The spice level can be as bold as you like, depending upon how much red pepper you add. Laissez le bon temps roulez! KING CAKE Cake 1/2 stick butter 1/3 C milk 1/4 C sugar I t salt I envelope dry yeast 1/4 C warm water 2 eggs 2 t grated lemon rind 1 T grated orange rind 3 C flour (reserve 1/2 C for kneading) Melt the butter in a small saucepan, stir in 1/4 cup of sugar and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar, yeast and warm water. Let stand until yeast is foaming, about 5 or 10 minutes. Beat eggs into foaming yeast mixture, add milk mixture and grated citrus rinds. Stir in the flour, one cup at a time (be sure to reserve the last cup for kneading). Knead dough until smooth, about 10 minutes. been greased inside with butter, turning dough to cover all sides with butter, Cover and let rise until double in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours). Filling 1/4 C brown sugar, packed 1/3 C granulated sugar 2 t cinnamon 1/2 stick butter, melted Combine sugars and cinnamon and set aside. Punch down risen dough and roll it into a 30-inch by 15-inch'rectangle on a floured surface. Brush the surface with melted butter and cut the dough into 3 lengthwise strips.. Sprinkle the sugar mix- ture on each strip, leaving a long edge clear for scaling. Fold each strip lengthwise and seal, then braid the three filled strips togeth- er. Form the finished braid into a circle by joining the ends. Place on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel to rise for about an hour. Topping I egg white 1/2 C sugar food coloring plastic baby or uncooked bean Preheat oven to 350F. When braided ring of dough is doubled in size, brush the top with egg white and sprinkle with sugar, alternating the three colors, green, yellow and purple. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and place the baby or bean into the cake from underneath. CHICKEN SAUSAGE GUMBO. Stock 3 or 4 ibs chicken pieces 3 quarts water 2 celery stalks with leaves I carrot, cut into 3 pieces 1 onion, quartered I bay leaf I tsalt Combine all the ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, Continued on page 87 Celebrate American Heart Month with healthy recipes February is American Heart Month, and not just because of Valentine's Day. Heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of the death in the United States. In an effort to fight this battle, Congress, in 1963, declared February 'American Heart " Month' a time for education about the pre- vention and treatment of heart disease. Nutrition plays a valuable role in the pre- vention of heart disease. Obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are three major risk factors for heart disease, and eating the fight foods is essential to keeping them in check. "The Cardiac Recovery Cookbook" is the best resource out there for heart-healthy and delicious recipes. By altering a few simple ingredients to reduce sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol anti calcium, family favorites will be transformed into healthful dishes - without sacrificing flavor. For a Valentine's Day treat, we recommend baking your sweetie a Heart-Shaped Frosted Cake, cer- tain to win both your heart and theirs. HEART-SHAPED FROSTED CAKE Ingredients: For Cake: 2 C cake flour 2 t baking powder 1 C sugar 4 T margarine 4 eggs 1 T orange peel 1 t vanilla 1 C skim milk For Icing: 3 oz low-fat cream cheese 2 T skim milk 6 T cocoa 2 C confectioners' sugar, sifted 1 t vanilla extract Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 10-inch round pan (at least 2 inches high) with small amount of cooking oil or use nonstick cook- ing oil spray. Powder pan with flour. Tap out excess flour. Sift together flour and bak- ing powder. In separate bovl, beat together sugar and margarine until soft and creamy. Beat in eggs, orange peel and.vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Pour mix- ture into heart-shaped pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until done. Let cake cool for 5- 10 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely before icing. Cream together cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add cocoa. Blend well. Slowly add sugar until icing is smooth. Mix in vanilla. Smooth icing over top and sides of cooled cake. Garnish with strawberries or cherries for an extra decorative touch. "The Cardiac Recovery Cookbook is available in bookstores everywhere and is the first step to a healthier heart and a happy heart month. W T A Dlvi g" e n in :0 fascinating 0rld of Chinese wine After a few left turns, I guess I should get back on track with our cellar building information. Following along, in an alpha- betical sense, I was planning on a visit to China, the latest in a long list of press driv- en, financial bugbears. Most readers will immediately perk up their ears. "I've never even heard of any good Chinese wines," you might exclaim. Don't feel badly. Neither had I. Undaunted, I delved into the internet, in search of leads. The scarcity of information was surprising, at first. However one article supplied a partial answer. If you have heard of Chinese wineries, the first that will come to mind is named Dynasty. This name in itself conjures pre cultural revolution and even pre Mao China. It is a joint venture partnering Remy Martin and the Chinese government, an interesting "pot des peches". N'est pas? Those wily Frenchmen are at it again, this time going after a market of 1.3 billion people. Unfortunately the going market price for a bottle of wine in China is about $3 U.S. and we all know what most $3 bot- tles of wine taste like. There is actually a tad over 300 wineries listed in China. Most of these are involved in making brandy, traditional medicines_ and alcohol. In fact the Chinese language doesn't have a large distinction in this area. Jiu is Chinese for liquor, Pi Jiu is beer and Putao Jiu is used for wine. Yet any of the three can be used to describe wine, beer, alcohol or liquor "interchangeably. Of course the most widely made wine in China is rice wine. Rice wine is said to have been acciden- tally discovered more than 4000 years ago by a cook who had left rice soaking and had forgotten it. In Chinese lore, this fel- low, who cooked for an Emperor Yu of the Xia Dynasty, upon rediscovering the fer- mented brew, sampled some and found it to taste good. The more he sampled the happier he became and eventually he start- ed singing joyous songs. Once informed, the Emperor also tried and developed a taste for the brew. Those in his company became equally happy as they drank the brew, the emperor noticed and they also became tractable. Recognizing the value of this new product he had the cook produce mass quantities and cooks have become known as happy Continued on page 87