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October 25, 2013     Cape Gazette
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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 - MONDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2013 Cape Gazette With the recent drop in temperatures, we've been craving com- fort food, Unfortunately, that concept usually translates into "food that takes a very long time to make," which can be a challenge when you're juggling so many demands on your time. One solution is to fmd an hour or so and fill it with cooking comfort foods you can freeze. Then, when you have one of your busy days, dinner just needs to be reheated. One of Jack's favorite dinners i ork and sauerkraut. Sounds Slfiiple enough, but you'll need to bake those chops for at least two hours to transform super- lean pork from tough to tender. An approach that's worked for me is to layer the chops over sliced apples and onions, pile on the sauerkraut, cover the pan with foil, bake the dish for the requisite hours and then freeze it. What happens in the oven is different from what happens stovetop (my previous ap- proach). In a skillet, the chops cook quickly and become dried out, despite the moisture from the apples and sauerkraut. This is because much of the juice escapes or puddles in the pan. In the oven, the tight seal of aluminum foil traps the mois- ture that melts the meat into fork-tenderness. Soup is another comfort food that can take a long time to reach the peak of flavor, and therefore a good candidate for freezing to create a future meal. The recipe below for split pea barley soup can be simmered in a slow cooker for several hours and then transferred into stor- age containers for freezing. One thing to be aware of: the soup will thicken considerably dur- ing its time in the freezer. When you reheat it, you may need to add some additional broth to reach the correct consistency. The lasagna in the photo is a quintessential comfort food - layers of cheese, sausage, spin- ach and sauce packed between sheets of pasta. Some people will advise freezing the lasagna before you bake it. I would have great difficuky resisting the temptation to cook it first (so we can eat some immediately) and then get around to freez- ing it. Lasagna leftovers need SPINACH LASAGNA WITH CHICKEN SAUSAGE is a great meal to make ahead of time. special handling. If you simply into the freezer. When you're cover what remains in the pan ready to eat the frozen pieces, and throw it in the freezer, let them first come to room you'll create dry edges and a temperature (or defrost over- soggy center when you try to night in the refrigerator) then reheat the whole thing. A better microwave for about 5 minutes. approach is to let the pan cool The time in the microwave after dinner and store the lasa- will vary, based on the size and gna in your fridge overnight, thickness of each piece; keeping As it chills, it will solidify and it wrapped in plastic during the become much easier to cut than heating will prevent moisture when fresh from the oven. loss. Cut the leftovers into indi- With a few strategies for vidual servings. Wrap each one stocking the freezer in advance, tightly in plastic, place each you'll be able to serve comfort one in a zip-top bag and then food without investing hours at JACK CLEMONS PHOTO mealtime. Now it's time to go thaw out some lasagna. Split Pea Barley Soup 5 C broth 1 t garlic powder I/2 t salt I/2 t black pepper I bay leaf 1 C dry split green peas 1/2 C medium pearl barley (not quick-cooking) 2 C chopped ham 3/4 C sliced carrots Continued on page 93 azz fest was terrific! Thank you to the organizers, Delaware Celebration of Jazz, their President Dennis Santangini and all businesses that sponsored music. As usual, the local restaurants and bars outdid themselves bringing in top-quality entertainment for the event. There are tnany who help put this together, but spe- cial kudos to ]en Ellingsworth who was the driving factor for tl e editing, coordination and creative work that went into the brochure/program of the w ek's events. Jen's a longtime valuable Cape Gazette employee and the so will the 2010. The good Port is a bargain these days click on Discover Articles, then brochure really exhibited her buys now are the 2008. I just for big-buck buyers, and the scroll down for articles about multifaceted talent with print rounded up a case of Chateau 2011 are blockbusters. Everyone super premium and premium media production. Bienfaisance St. Emilion Grand says over 95 points. Problem PVA winners for listings of While I'm on local issues, Crtr 2008 rated 92 by Wine is, you need to cellar it at least more than 40 selections. Most please make time to participate Enthusiast, 90-92 by Parker and 20 years. Compare Fonsecaof them are well chosen. Some I in the Sea Witch Festival this 90 by WS for $239. That's $20/ Vintage Port 1994 to the 2011. have not sampled yet. coming weekend. Longtimers in bottle for a Stephane Derenon- Jancis Robinson, my favorite In closing, please try a bottle the Rehoboth-Lewes region will court-produced gem. You will Port critic, gave the 199417/20, of Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc- remember when Sammy Ferro remember my caveat, follow WS 100 points and Parker 97. Viognier, 92 points under $15. and his merry band would end the winemaker. Stephane is the It opened at $210 and is selling Winemaker Mike Beaulac re- our season on Labor Day, and superstar consultant du jour for $220/bottle. On the 2011, ally has his act together. Since the villages would roll up many en Bordeaux. I have written JR says 19.5/20, her highest 2007, the lowest rating I have of the sidewalks. Although of him twice in the past year. port rating I'm aware of; Parker on this blend, with 20 percent there are those who preferred This wine's dark purple color says 97-99. You can buy it for Viognier, is 89 points. It is a the good old days, from my said "Air me out." It opened to $80, probably $860/case. My dry, white, food wine where the perspective, the chamber of a full bouquet of ripe plum and advice on Port is buy a vertical fruit adds a sense of sweetness. commerce and a large contin- creme de cassis. On the palate case of half bottles and pay the It opens to a lovely bouquet of gent of local business activists medium to full body, complex premium. On Fonseca I recom- honeydew, spring flowers, pear have helped grow the town by flavor profile, some cherry, to- mend six each of 2003, '07, '09 and cantaloupe. On the palate is organizing the many events that bacco, leather and licorice with and '11. Remember there are 24 a palette of tropical fruit flavors have helped make Rehoboth balanced acid/tannin support, halfs (.375ml or 13.75 oz.) per and crisp acidity. The finish is into a year-round destination Tannins a bit high but will meld case. Each bottle has just over clean with lovely grapefruit and rather than a three- to four- by 2015 at latest. If you wish to four 3-ounce servings. Average pineapple nuance. This is not a month beach resort, drink it now, it needs pour over price/bottle is $46. cellar dweller, so only buy a few Many are touting the 2010 decanting. Best window now Regular readers know I amat a time unless you are a wino, Bordeaux. Most of it is quite to 2022; 90 plus 2 price points, an avid Snooth reader. Recently in which case, a case won't be good. However, keep your This is an excellent QPR for they published their readers' enough. powder dry. Just as the 2009 those who drink Bordeaux with choice inexpensive and expen- Email John McDonald at chjonmc@yahoo. are beginning to soften in price, meals, sive lists. Go to Snooth.com and com.