Magazine article Sunset

February Menus; from the Steamer, Smoked Cod Brunch; from the Oven, Italian Osso Buco, from the Broiler, Lamb Chops

Magazine article Sunset

February Menus; from the Steamer, Smoked Cod Brunch; from the Oven, Italian Osso Buco, from the Broiler, Lamb Chops

Article excerpt

Meals prepared with one cooking method can be more energy-efficient: cooking requires less time, effort, and fuel. February's menus put this concept to work with steamed, baked, and broiled meals.

A stacking steamer makes it possible to cook three elements of a brunch at one time on one burner. The eggs cook in a pan alongside but can be put in the steamer to keep warm.

From the oven comes a baked version of osso buco, Italian-style veal shanks. To accompany the meat, serve an array of roasted vegetables and a baked rice dish. And from the broiler comes a quick supper of lamb chops.

Top-of-the-stove brunch

Serve this quick-to-assemble meal as a colorful brunch or low-commitment supper for family or company. Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms

Steamed Smoked Cod, Asparagus, and New Potatoes Sliced Pears

Look in the refrigerator section of markets for red-colored chunks of smoked cod (also called barbecued or smoked Pacific or black cod).

Organize all ingredients, then about 15 minutes before serving, start steaming fish and vegetables. While they steam, saute the mushrooms and cook the eggs. If the meal is delayed, you can keep some of the food warm for up to 30 minutes in the steamer. Scrambled Eggs with Sauteed Mushrooms

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1 dozen eggs

1/4 teaspoon each dry tarragon leaves and pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until juices evaporate. Lift from pan and reserve; wipe pan clean.

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, melt 2 more tablespoons butter. Add flour and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat; blend in 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Cook until bubbly and smooth; reserve.

Beat together the eggs, tarragon, and pepper. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the same frying pan over medium-low heat. Add egg mixture and cook, lifting cooked portions to allow uncooked egg to flow to bottom, until eggs are softly set. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream mixture. Pour onto a serving plate; spoon mushrooms on top. Serve with sour cream to spoon on servings. Keep warm for up to 10 minutes on top rack of stacking steamer set over hot water. Serves 6. Steamed Smoked Cod, Asparagus, and New Potatoes

You can use a two- or three-tiered metal steamer, a bamboo steamer set in a work, or a steamer basket (or wire rack set on several cans with ends removed) set in a 12- to 14-inch frying pan with domed lid or a kettle at least 10 inches in diameter.

Rinse 1 1/2 pounds asparagus and snap off tough ends; scrub 3 medium-size thin-skinned potatoes (1 to 1 1/4 lbs.) and cut into 1/8-inch slices; and open 2 or 3 packages (8 oz. each) barbecued cod (smoked Pacific or black cod).

If using a tiered steamer, put fish on bottom rack and potatoes above. With one rack, set fish onpotatoes and allow room for asparagus beside them. Cook, covered, over boiling water until potatoes are tender when pierced and fish is hot in center, about 15 minutes. During last 6 minutes of cooking, add asparagus. (To keep hot up to 30 minutes, turn heat off and leave over hot water.) Serve foods from bamboo steamer or platters. Makes 6 servings.

An Italian oven dinner

By cooking osso buco in the oven, you eliminate spatter and the special attention that comes with browning meat on top of the range.

Ove-simmered Osso Buco

Roasted Vegetables

Baked Herb Rice

Baked Apples

Two hours before dinner, start cooking the veal. As it browns, prepare vegetables, rice, and apples (use a favorite recipe) for baking.

About 45 minutes before the meat is done, set vegetables and rice on lower oven rack to cook. …

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