Tag Archives: dinner

Romaine Lettuce Recall

8 May

Ohio-based Freshway Foods issued a recall of romaine lettuce Thursday because of possible E-Coli contamination, according to a FDA.gov press release.

The lettuce, packaged under the brands Freshway and Imperial Sysco was distributed to wholesalers in the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The lettuce was also sold to Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh for use in their in-store deli counters and salad bars.

The lettuce was not sold in retail pre-packaged bags or salad mixes and isn’t affected by the recall.  E-Coli is commonly found in the lower intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals and the organism is commonly an indicator of fecal contamination.

For more information, visit http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm211131.htm

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Recall of Health Valley Bars announced

23 Feb

The Georgia Agricultural Board announced a recall of several varieties of Health Valley Organic granola bars for possible salmonella contamination.

According to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution (http://www.ajc.com/news), Health Valley Organic Wildberry Chewy, Peanut Crunch and Dutch Apple bars may have possible salmonella exposure from soy grits used in the bars.

No press release has been issued by the makers of the bars at this time.

For SKU and Lot numbers go here

Rigatoni with Chard, Tomatoes and Garlic

22 Feb

Last week, I ventured out and went to the store for the first time in weeks and bought some chard with the intention of posting it for the blog. Then this great lady beat me to the punch.  If you haven’t stopped by the blog Dianne’s Dishes, you should.  She puts up recipes for everything from soup to nuts five days a week, and does a great job of doing so.  I ribbed her about it, then I tried her recipe with one half of the chard ( which was quite dee-lish), and sat on the other half and pondered what I would do with the other half. This is what I came up with.

For those who aren’t familiar with chard, it is a leafy vegetable that comes in several varieties. When eaten young, ti can be used raw in salads.  Mature chard can be sauteed, roasted or used in sauces or soups. When cooked, its texture is a bit heartier than spinach, and is slightly more assertive in flavor.

Rigatoni with Swiss Chard, Tomatoes and Garlic (serves two to four)

1 bunch of fresh chard ( 1 to  1½ lbs)

2 tbl. olive oil

½ c. chopped onions

1 tbl. chopped garlic

1 ½ c. chopped tomatoes

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

8 oz. dried rigatoni or other similar pasta

2 tbl. Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

red pepper flakes (optional)

Prepare chard by cutting off the last inch or inch and a half off the ends of the stems.

Chop chard into bite-sized pieces and float in a tub of water to wash off any sand and grit.

Drain chard in colander until ready to saute.

Cook rigatoni in boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes, drain and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender and fragrant, being careful not to brown. Add tomatoes and saute for three minutes, then add chard to pan. Toss chard with the tomato mixture and add stock.

Cook chard until wilted and leaves are tender, about seven or eight minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss rigatoni into chard mixture and serve immediately with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Thia makes a  quick and elegant light supper, and healthy to boot!

Risotto 101

3 Feb

Hey Kids!

Ye olde Culinary Chick is having guests over this weekend, barring any shenanigans from the weather this weekend.

On the menu are braised lamb shanks with dried cherry and rosemary demi-glace,  saffron risotto and roasted broccoli.   One of my guests, a childhood friend, loves potatoes and I serve them every time she comes over. However, this time I wanted to make something a bit different and dust off some of the skills I acquired over the years. One of them was how to make risotto. And believe it or not, you can too. If you follow my directions, you will have a great side dish to dazzle your friends with.

Risotto is an Italian dish made with arborio rice, a short grain rice prized for its al dente  texture and creaminess when cooked.  The version we will cook is Risotto ala Milanese. C’mon, its easy!

You will need the following equipment:

heavy-bottomed pan ( cast iron or aluminum [plain or anodized])

a wooden spoon

a ladle

1 – 2 qt. saucepan

Risotto Milanese (serves one as a main dish or two as a side dish)

2 tbl.  olive oil

1/2 c. arborio rice

1/3 c. diced onions

2 c. chicken stock or broth

pinch of saffron*

2 tb. parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1-2 tbl. butter

1 tbl. chopped fresh parsley

In a 1 – 2 quart saucepan, bring chicken stock and saffron to a simmer. Keep warm.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in heavy-bottomed pan and add onions and saute until clear and soft ( do not brown)

Add rice and saute, making sure all rice grains are coated and center of rice is visible.

Add one ladle of  hot stock to the pan with the rice and onions and stir with wooden spoon until all of the liquid is absorbed.

After all of the liquid is absorbed from the first ladle of stock, add another ladle of stock and stir again with the wooden spoon until absorbed. Repeat these steps until you have used all of the stock and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

By this time your rice will have doubled in size and you should see a  small amount of thickened stock in bottom of pan.

Add butter and stir until incorporated. Add parmesan cheese and pepper. If needed add a scant amount of salt ( taste first).

Add parsley and serve with a side salad as a main dish or as a side dish with seafood or meat.

A note: Saffron can be found in specialty stores and can be pricey. If you do not have saffron, you can still enjoy this dish without it. The addition of some fresh chopped herbs  or seasonings that will compliment your main dish will suffice such as  lemon zest, chopped chives, tarragon or roasted garlic puree  as an example will add flavor and color to your risotto. And, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can make this using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock and omitting the butter and cheese.

Yum.

National Pie Day!!

24 Jan

Hey Guys and Gals,

Did you know that February 23 is National Pie Day?  Like Spongebob says, everybody likes pie.  Pies have been around for ages and originated as a container to hold fillings from meats, fruit and even live animals.  Today, pie is all encompassing; if you can encase it dough and bake it in a pan, it can be called a pie, or not ( shepard’s pie and tamale pie come to mind with a topping that acts as a crust)  Well, I say we chuck our diets and have a pie orgy.

Let’s see; I’ll start with a slab of Quiche Lorraine for breakfast,  Spinach Pie for lunch, and Chicken pot pie for dinner and was it down with a wedge of apple pie for dinner. Mmmm, heaven!  Now who can say no to Pie? I thought so.

The stuff of dreams!

(Thanks to Parrotnation.wordpress.com for this bodacious picture)

CC

Restaurant Week tips

21 Jan

Baltimore is currently celebrating its version of Restaurant Week from January 22, 2010 to February 7, 2010. Many restaurants are offering specials on menu items or prix-fixe offerings at reduced prices. If you have the time and money, this is the perfect time to try a new place out. Here are a few tips to remember when going out.

1). Make a reservation and arrive early– Most of these places are busy and making a reservation and arriving at least 15 minutes prior will ensure a pleasant dining experience.

2). Try something new– Now is not the time to order chicken. If scallops are available and you’ve never had them, try them. Don’t forget that glass of wine; ask the server for suggestions and he may find you a gem.

3). Try lunch as an alternative to dinner-Lunch is a great time to try something new. Portions are usually smaller and are great for the health conscious.

4). Be kind to your server– These people work hard, often with no benefits or other compensation. Tip them accordingly ( 15% good service, 18% great service, 20% for exceptional service). Remember that the discounted meal you enjoy during Restaurant Week would normally cost at least twice that amount other times.

5). If you like a place, go back– Restaurants are a business, and use this time to promote their businesses. If you enjoy a place, show them by giving them your return business.  Your dollars pay the salaries of cooks, dishwasher, porters and many vendors who supply everything from forks to the olives in your martini. This helps our economy and save jobs.

6). Say Thank You– You have no idea what this  simple gesture does for your server, especially if they are busy.

Many participating restaurants are offering a three-course lunch from $20.10 and three-course dinners from $35.10 ( excluding tax and gratuity).

Mangia Mangia!!

Gino’s is coming back! ( Sort of)

19 Jan

Gino's Hamburger, fries and drink If you lived in the Northeast corridor of the U.S.  in the late 50s  to the mid-80s, you are familiar with the picture on the left. Founded in Baltimore, Md;  this chain of restaurants was the formidable rival of McDonald’s.  The Sirloiner was their version of the Quarter-Pounder. Likewise, the Gino Giant was an alternative to the Big Mac. As a kid, Gino’s was synonymous wit KFC. In some regions the two chains merged, like how KFC merged with Taco Bell. We spent a lot of time between Gino’s and Mickey D’s, but Gino’s won out in my family.

Ahh, memories

So, imagine my glee when I discovered the link to many childhood memories is restarting. I was absolutely in heaven. Then, someone dropped the KIBOSH on me.

The new franchise will start in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and  not in Maryland. This is a travesty, and I implore anyone within eyeshot with this company to consider franchises in Maryland.

Please, because my soul needs a Gino Giant!