Classic cookbook speaks to the '90s

September 25, 1996|By Pat Dailey | Pat Dailey,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Since 1930, 30 million copies of "Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook," an unfailingly accurate, red-and-white checked kitchen companion, have rolled off the presses and into the country's kitchens. Dog-eared, gravy-spattered copies of the spiral-bound cookbook have served as culinary bibles for generations of American cooks.

An 11th edition (Meredith, $25.95) has just been issued, which assuredly will introduce a new crop of users to its common-sense, mainstream approach.

Lemon grass, mascarpone, quinoa and mesclun are some foods that have moved into the cookbook. But just because they're acknowledged, explained and occasionally used doesn't mean the book has left pot roasts, pickles and Waldorf salads behind.

The 1,200-recipe book begins with "cooking basics," a rock-solid compendium of terms, techniques, equipment and ingredients that eases new cooks into areas that may be unfamiliar. Food safety, meal planning, nutrition, even some basics of etiquette are touched on too.

New to this edition are symbols that indicate low-fat, no-fat and fast recipes. The book has two new chapters -- beans, rice and grains; and grilling; and each recipe comes with nutrition information.

Chiffon cake

Makes 12 servings

L 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour or 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cooking oil

7 egg yolks

2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel

1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

1 teaspoon vanilla

7 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in center of the dry mixture. Add oil, egg yolks, orange peel, lemon peel, vanilla and 3/4 cup cold water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed 5 minutes more or until satin smooth.

Thoroughly wash beaters. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in an extra-large mixing bowl on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Pour batter in a thin stream over beaten egg whites; fold in gently. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

Bake in 325-degree oven 65 to 70 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert cake, leaving it in pan. Cool thoroughly. Loosen sides from pan; remove cake.

Per serving: 300 calories, 12 grams fat, 125 milligrams cholesterol, 175 milligrams sodium, 5 grams protein.

Two-bean tamale pie

Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup chopped sweet green pepper

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed, drained, slightly mashed

L 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained, slightly mashed

1 6-ounce can vegetable juice cocktail

1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro or parsley

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Grease a 10-inch quiche dish or 2-quart square baking dish; set aside.

In a medium skillet, cook sweet pepper, onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon hot oil until tender but not brown. Stir in kidney beans, pinto beans, vegetable juice cocktail, cilantro, chili powder and cumin. Heat through. Spoon bean mixture into prepared dish.

In a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, chili peppers and tablespoons oil. Add to cornmeal mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in cheese. Spread cornmeal mixture evenly over top of bean mixture. Bake, uncovered, in 400-degree oven about 20 minutes or until golden.

Per serving: 328 calories, 12 grams fat, 46 milligrams cholesterol, 960 milligrams sodium, 16 grams protein.

Pub Date: 9/25/96

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