Food fun and fund-raising in Fells PointCajun food will be...

TIDBITS

January 30, 1994

Food fun and fund-raising in Fells Point

Cajun food will be on the menu -- make that 22 menus -- in Fells Point Feb. 15 for the second "Mardi Gras North" fund-raiser. Nearly two dozen establishments will be offering New Orleans-style food and festivities in return for donations to the Grant-A-Wish Foundation and the Children's House at Johns Hopkins.

Among establishments participating are the Cat's Eye Pub, Bertha's, the Daily Grind, High Topps, John Steven, Red Star, Southwest Passage and the Wharf Rat. Among food items to be offered are shrimp etouffee, red beans and rice, and beignets.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until closing. There will also be posters and T-shirts for sale, and all places participating will be selling tickets for a "50-50 raffle" -- a cumulative raffle in which 50 percent of the proceeds go to charity and 50 percent go to the person whose name is drawn at the Children's House the next day. Last year's event earned more than $3,000 for the Children's House. (For more information, call [410]) 614-2560.)

Cat's Eye owner Howard Schweitzer, who's originally from New Orleans, will be serving shrimp etouffee from a recipe by the makers of Tabasco hot sauce. Here's the recipe, which would make a great dish for a big Mardi Gras party at home.

Shrimp etouffee

Serves 24

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 1/2 quarts onion, cut in 1/4 -inch dice

3 cups green bell pepper, cut in 1/4 -inch dice

3 cups celery, cut in 1/4 -inch dice

12 garlic cloves, minced

3/8 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons corn starch

4 1/2 cups fish or chicken stock

6 pounds shrimp, shelled

1 1/2 quarts green onions, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce

salt

24 cups of cooked rice, hot

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute.

Combine corn starch and small amount of stock in bowl, stirring until smooth. Add remaining stock. Add to vegetables in skillet; heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

Add shrimp, green onions, parsley, hot pepper sauce, salt to taste. Cook 5 minutes, or until shrimp are tender, stirring frequently. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Air your views, Baltimore romantics. Are you romantic? Do you long for sweet sentiments and candlelight dinners for two? Or do you think life in the '90s is hard enough without a lot of frills and sentimental silliness? Haagen-Dazs, makers of premium ice cream, want to know. They're inviting Baltimore folks to call radio station B-103 (WXYV, 102.7 FM) between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday and Feb. 14 to tell deejays their answer to the question "Is Romance Alive in the '90s?"

Contestants should be prepared to back up their view by relaying their most memorable romantic experience. And, they will be asked to suggest a name for a Haagen-Dazs flavor that best reflects the current state of their love life. (Names should certainly be the kind intended for polite society.)

Two winners a day, chosen for ingenuity and creativity, will receive a "romantic rendezvous" package with a night shirt, a pair of boxer shorts, and a picnic basket. A grand prize winner will get a night on the town for two, including a limousine escort to dinner and entertainment, along with a year's supply of Haagen-Dazs ice cream. All contestants will be automatically entered in a national sweepstakes to win a trip to that most romantic of cities, Paris. Contestants can also fill out a contest entry form at Haagen-Dazs ice cream shops.

The radio station's number is (410) 481-8103.

Hot off the press

Fans of fiery food are often in search of particular peppers to give their dishes just the right degree of heat. There are a lot more peppers available in markets and specialty stores than in ++ years past, but real aficionados might prefer to grow their own. If you'd like to grow peppers but aren't sure where to start, a new book called "The Pepper Garden," by Dave DeWitt and Paul W. Bosland (Ten-Speed Press, 1993, $14.95), should get you off to a blazing start.

The book contains a history of pepper growing, information on pepper types, growing information, tips about pests and problems, a glossary and a list of resources, such as where to get seeds. There's even a chapter about commercial growing and instructions on tying ristras, those colorful strings of peppers that are both ornament and drying technique in the Southwest.

Tony the Tiger may have to sit up and take notice. Americans are taking to frozen breakfast foods in a big way. Figures from Nielsen Data, based on a survey in 1993, show sales of frozen breakfast food up 11 percent over the past three years, with frozen waffles capturing 37 percent of the category. In fact, Nielsen says, American eat 2.7 billion frozen waffles a year. Quaker Oats Co., capitalizing on that trend and on the public perception that oatmeal is good for you, has just introduced its sixth variety of frozen waffle, Aunt Jemima oatmeal waffles.

Baltimore is among cities chosen for local promotion of the new waffles, with an event called "Breakfast for Moms and Kids." Starting now, the first 200 people who call a toll-free number will get free admission to the Baltimore Children's Museum at the Cloisters, as well as breakfast, on Saturday, Feb. 12. The number is (800) 545-2429, and the event will last from from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

It can't, however, be your first taste of the new waffles: Quaker wants each family who shows up to have a proof-of-purchase from a package of its oatmeal waffles. The museum is at 10440 Falls Road, Brooklandville, Md.

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