A different feastThe words "Georgian feast" may make you...

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May 02, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

A different feast

The words "Georgian feast" may make you think of catfish and corn on the cob, but there is another Georgia, where down-home cooking means yogurt soup, beets with cherry sauce, and fish with pomegranate and walnut sauce.

This other Georgia, of course, is a country of the former Soviet Union. The Republic of Georgia sits to the south of Russia, on the Black Sea. It also shares a border with Turkey.

Now there is a cookbook that celebrates this varied and fertile land: "The Georgian Feast," by Darra Goldstein (HarperCollins, $27.50). "The Russian poet Alexander Pushkin once commented that every Georgian dish is a poem," Ms. Goldstein writes in the early part of the book, an introduction to this historic land and its food traditions. The intriguing recipes that follow suggest what Pushkin meant.

Here is a sample; Ms. Goldstein suggests using red snapper for the dish.

Fish with pomegranate and walnut sauce

Serves three to four.

1 large fillet of whitefish, red snapper or other firm fish (1 1/4 pounds)

salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons white flour

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup shelled walnuts

1 large clove garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon hot red or green pepper, minced

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice (see note)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. Dust both sides with flour. Fry the fish, turning once, for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet, until it is crusty and brown.

Meanwhile, saute the onion in the butter over medium heat until golden, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the fish to a shallow flameproof casserole. Strew the cooked onions over it.

To make the sauce, grind the walnuts with the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the hot pepper, water, pomegranate juice and tomato paste, mixing well.

Pour the sauce over the fish and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then refrigerate. Serve well-chilled. Parents magazine is teaming up with Chex brand cereals to sponsor a recipe contest especially for parents and kids. Two grand-prize winners will receive a five-day, four-night family vacation in Orlando, Fla., home of Walt Disney World, EPCOT Center and the Disney-MGM Studios theme park. Twenty runners-up will receive $100 savings bonds.

There are two entry categories: parents and children up to 6 years old; and parents and children 7 to 12 years old. Recipes may be for any type of dish, from snacks to main courses to dessert, as long as they use one of the Chex cereals as an ingredient (Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Double Chex). Judges will be looking for taste, originality, and ease of child's participation. Entries must be postmarked by May 31.

For complete rules and an official entry form, call (800) 282-CHEX (2439). The information is also in the April 1993 issue of Parents magazine.

Product with a plan

Planning ahead is often a problem when busy families face dinner time. Land O'Lakes has a plan that aims to help: It's called "Three-from-One"; the idea is that some of the ingredients prepared for Meal No. 1 are reserved to make preparing Meal No. 2 and Meal No. 3 easier.

For instance, one plan starts with garlic chicken with vegetables and rice, made with extra chicken, vegetables and rice. Meal No. 2 is a stir-fry, using prepared vegetables and rice. Meal No. 3 is taco salad with salsa dressing, made with chicken from Meal No. 1. All three use Land O'Lakes reduced-fat or non-fat sour cream.

Land O'Lakes is offering a brochure with details of two "Three-from-One" plans, including recipes, instructions, tips and a shopping list. For a copy, send a postcard with your name and address to "Three-from-One Meals," Land O'Lakes Light Sour Cream and No-Fat Sour Cream, Land O'Lakes Inc., P.O. Box 26341; Shoreview, Minn. 55126-0341. Or call toll-free, (800) 782-9602. The toll-free line operates 24 hours a day. First there was ice cream with cookie dough in it, now there are ice cream cones made out of cookies. Nabisco has introduced two new cone flavors, based on the flavors of two favorite cookies: Oreo chocolate cones and Teddy Grahams cinnamon cones. Nabisco also makes Oreo Crunchies, cookie crumbles that can be sprinkled on top of ice cream, frozen yogurt, cakes and other desserts.

The cones come in 12-cone boxes, with a suggested retail price of $1.99. The Oreo topping comes in an 8-ounce container, suggested price $1.69. Available where other Nabisco products are sold. The first "Cook's Choice Award" from the International Association of Cooking Professionals went to Sharon Tyler Herbst's lengthily named "Cooking Smart: Recipes, Tips and Techniques for Really Using the Time-Saving, Work-Saving Gadgets in Your Kitchen to Create Delicious Food." The book won the popular vote in a national consumer contest.

Eleven other books won "Julia Child Cookbook Awards" from the association. Among winners were "The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food," by Lynne Rosetto Kasper; "China Moon Cookbook," by Barbara Tropp; "Back to Square One," by Joyce Goldstein; and the "New York Cookbook," by Molly O'Neill. The Julia Child awards were judged by a panel of food professionals; all winners were announced at the association's convention last month in New Orleans.

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