Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 22, 2013

Lee Ward: Beaten biscuits, the story continues; shrimp and garlic for dinner: 4/23/13

ASHLAND — Another beaten biscuit recipe from Larry Miller: this one is from Ladies Home Journal Cookbook from 1963.

BEATEN BISCUITS

4 cups flour

11⁄2 teaspoon salt

3⁄4 cups shortening (half butter and half regular shortening)

1 cup milk

Mix the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening. Add milk a little at a time, working it in as you do with pie crust.

Divide dough in half and knead half on an unfloured board. Beat it very hard against the board occasionally. Let half rest while you do the other half, working alternately on the two halves.

When the dough is very smooth and blistery, roll into 1⁄3 inch thickness and cut with small biscuit cutter. Prick each biscuit three times with a fork.

Bake 15 minutes on greased baking sheet in a moderately hot oven, 375 degrees. They should be very lightly browned.

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Shrimp as a main course might scare you off because you’re not used to cooking it, but it couldn’t be more perfect to prepare.

It’s low in fat and calories and high in protein. Shrimp contains tryptophan, which is important in maintaining balanced sleep patterns and helps stabilize mood. It’s also rich in vitamin B12, which can help protect against heart disease, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Shrimp cook quickly, too, making a great stir-fry.

SHRIMP AND GARLIC

1 pound shrimp, in shells

1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (shaoxing) or dry sherry

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

2 cups thinly sliced iceberg or romaine lettuce

1⁄4 cup minced garlic

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh chile (preferably red), such as Fresno or jalapeno

With scissors or a small sharp knife, cut through shell of shrimp along center of the back and make a slit about 1⁄2-inch deep into the flesh. Lift out and discard dark back vein, if present. Rinse shrimp and drain well.

In a small bowl, mix shrimp with wine and salt. Line dish with lettuce.

In 14-inch wok or 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat, stir garlic with oil just until it begins to turn gold, about 2 minutes. Stir in chile and remove from heat. Pour mixture into a fine strainer set over a bowl.

Return pan to high heat. When pan is hot, return strained oil to pan. Add shrimp and stir-fry until pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to lettuce-lined dish. Sprinkle evenly with garlic-chile mixture.

Serves 3 to 4.

SOURCE: “The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from around the World” by Linda Lau Anusasananan; contributed by Gretchen McKay through Scripps Howard News Service.

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CHICKEN WITH BRAISED RED CABBAGE

AND FENNEL

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 (3-pound) chicken, cut in eighths

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (10-ounce) bag shredded red cabbage

1⁄2 head fennel, shredded

2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 (12-ounce) package medium egg noodles or gluten-free

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes or until soft.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pan and brown for about 8 minutes on each side. Transfer to a bowl.

Add cabbage, fennel, broth and thyme to the pan, mixing well. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to the pan; reduce the heat to a high simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a serving platter. Serve over noodles.

Yield: 4 servings

SOURCE: Manischewitz; Contributed by Daniel Neman through cripps Howard News Service.

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Kale has received much praise for its status as one of the most healthy vegetables we can eat. Full of antioxidants, kale is linked to fighting cancer and curing various problems. Kale has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. It has even made an appearance in the snack food category in the form of kale chips.

I didn’t like kale until I stir-fried it in olive oil with some garlic, salt and pepper; it’s not bad.

This recipe is a bit more involved, but not much.

LENTILS WITH KALE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH

11⁄2 pounds butternut squash

Olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup lentils

11⁄2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot, diced small

1 rib celery, diced small

1⁄2 onion, diced small

1⁄4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

1⁄2 pound chopped kale, about 6 cups

1 clove garlic, minced

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel and seed the squash and cut it into roughly 3⁄4-inch dice. Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil and mound the squash in the center. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper, and mix well.

Roast until the squash is tender enough to be pierced with a sharp knife, about 15 minutes.

Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Season generously with salt and bring just to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but firm, about 20 minutes. Drain, rinse well. Stir in the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

While the lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion and dried red pepper flakes, and cook until the onions and celery are translucent, about 5 minutes. Rinse the kale under water and add it, still dripping, to the skillet in heaping handfuls. Add the minced garlic and salt to taste, and stir to mix well.

Cover the pan, leaving the lid ajar, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is very soft, dark and frazzled-looking, about 30 minutes. It should be very sweet.

Stir the lentils into the cooked kale, taste and adjust seasoning for salt, pepper and vinegar.

Gently stir in about 2 cups of the roasted squash before serving.

Per serving: 224 calories; 11 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams fiber; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 34 mg sodium.

TUSCAN KALE

WITH RAISINS

1⁄4 cup raisins

1⁄2 cup marsala wine or cream sherry (not dry sherry)

1⁄4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds

1⁄4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

8 ounces young Tuscan kale leaves, stemmed and chopped (about 8 cups)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the raisins and the wine in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until most the liquid has evaporated, about five minutes. Set aside.

Toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over very low heat, stirring constantly, until they are fragrant and pale tan but not browned, three to five minutes. Watch them carefully because pine nuts burn quickly. Remove the nuts from the skillet and set them aside.

Pour the olive oil into the skillet, add the garlic and stir over low heat until the garlic has cooked slightly without browning, 2 minutes. Set aside.

Bring water to a simmer in bottom of a vegetable steamer. Add the kale to steamer basket, cover and steam until it is tender, about 5 minutes.

Combine the kale, reserved raisins and pine nuts and the garlic olive oil in a warmed bowl, and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve.

Per serving, based on 6, using marsala and pine nuts: 165 calories; 0 cholesterol; 13 g fat (2 g sat.); 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 4 g sugar; 18 mg sodium; 1 g fiber

SOURCE: “The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook” by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman.

Tips on kale

Selection: Look for dark, firm leaves and moist, sturdy stems. Leaves should not appear wilted, yellow or full of little holes. Smaller leaves tend to be milder and more tender than large leaves. Due to its high water content, kale greatly reduces when cooking; 1 cup raw becomes 1⁄4 cup cooked. Before preparation, allow a half-pound raw per person.

Storage: Kale looks tough, but wilts easily. Keep it cold. In the refrigerator crisper drawer, store unwashed kale in a plastic bag; squeeze out as much air as possible. Kale will keep at least five days; the longer the storage, the more bitter it becomes. Wash just before using. Kale also can be blanched and frozen for later use.

Preparation: Because of its curly texture, kale needs to be washed carefully to remove grit. Rinse under running water one leaf at a time.

To get the most health benefits out of kale, wash the leaves, sprinkle them with lemon juice, then let them sit at least five minutes before using. That little squeeze of lemon can enhance kale’s concentration of phytonutrients and also improves flavor.

Kale chips: Dry leaves. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove large stems and center rib from leaves. Cut leaves into 2-inch pieces. Toss leaves in 2 tablespoons olive oil and arrange pieces in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp but not brown around the edges. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

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While I don’t claim to be an expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send an email.

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