It was a very good year for eating. At least the Chicago Tribune Food Guide staff had no complaints. With shrugs and lopsided grins, the general attitude around here was: "Somebody's gotta do it." The "it" in question involved sampling some 1,000 or so recipes that were tested during 1990 in the newspaper's test kitchen on the fourth floor of Tribune Tower.
Daily tastings are de rigueur there, but lest you think this is all fun and games, please realize that the bad has to be tasted along with the good.
There was, for example, the smelly squid that shouldn't have seen the inside of a skillet, and the pasty white sauce that was touted as low-fat and wonderful -- for library books, perhaps? Cakes fell and souffles didn't rise, and there was one blackened chicken that shouldn't have been.
With help from the test kitchen crew, JeanMarie Brownson and Pat Dailey and food department members, we managed to pinpoint several winners, including this recipe for a 15-minute broccoli salad:
Broccoli salad Makes 8 to 10 servings.
This recipe is from Evangelyn Seligman, of Lake Geneva, Wis. The recipe, which keeps the crunch in the broccoli, has since become a favorite of the staff.
1 large head broccoli, chopped
3/4 pound bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled
1 cup each: hulled sunflower seeds, golden raisins
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup regular or reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
Mix broccoli, bacon, sunflower seeds, raisins and red onion in a large bowl.
Mix mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar and vinegar in small bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to taste. Stir dressing into salad just before serving.