The Dish

THE DISH

March 19, 2003|By LIZ ATWOOD | LIZ ATWOOD,SUN STAFF

Fast and flavorful

Working moms and dads who struggle to put a hot meal on the table each night can find new help in their grocery meat case - Kraft's Fresh Prep dinner kits.

Kraft's version of the dinner helper comes with refrigerated no-boil pastas, sauces and, of course, cheese. The cook adds chicken or ground beef and dinner is on the table in 30 minutes or less.

The kits come in six varieties: Classic Italian Lasagna, Fiesta Taco Dinner Bake, Three Cheese Chicken Enchiladas, Mexican Style Lasagna, Four Cheese Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Parmesan With Linguine. They sell for a suggested retail price of $5.69.

Master chef in spotlight

The American Masters film series steps into the kitchen with Alice Waters in a show that airs tonight on PBS.

Waters, one of the most famous chefs in the world, was a Berkeley, Calif., activist who came to express her politics with food. She inspired Americans to eat fresh and natural foods and support local farmers.

The show includes a behind-the-scenes look at Waters' restaurant, Chez Panisse, and interviews with Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl, chef Jacques Pepin, New York Times writer R.W. Apple Jr. and movie director Peter Sellers.

The program is on Maryland Public Television at 8 p.m.

Asparagus tips

You don't need to look at the calendar to know it's almost spring. Just check out your grocery store's produce aisle and you'll find that, like the robins, California asparagus has returned.

The California Asparagus Board offers these tips on selecting and storing the vegetable:

Different sizes lend themselves to different preparations. Jumbo asparagus is best for grilling.

Select bright green asparagus with closed, compact tips and smooth tender skin.

Wrap the cut ends of a stack in a moist paper towel and then store upright in a sealed plastic bag.

Use asparagus in about two days. Cooked asparagus will keep in the refrigerator for about two days.

Fresh idea to foil spoilage

If your fruit and vegetables spoil in the refrigerator before you have a chance to eat them, check out Tupperware's new line of FridgeSmart containers.

The containers have a venting system to adjust airflow and a built-in grid that allows condensation to drain away from the produce.

Prices range from $9.50 for a small to $23 for a large (or $44 for a set of three).

Call 888-919-8099 to find a Tupperware sales consultant near you or visit www.tupperware.com to order.

Events

Learn to cook one-pot meals 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Red Tapas Restaurant, Calvert and Redwood streets. $40. Call 410-561-2433, and ask for Katie.

Enjoy stews made with award-winning wines 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and March 30 at Boordy Vineyards, 12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes. $8, no reservations required. For information, call 510-592-5015.

Learn how to make Mediterranean rice 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 at Donna's at Cross Keys. $25. Call 410-659-5248.

Chef and cookbook author Linda Eckhardt will show how to make country French dishes 7 p.m. Friday at A Cook's Table, 717 Light St. $50. At 7 p.m. Monday, Corks chef and owner Jerry Pellegrino will talk about food and wine. $65. Call 410-539-8600 to register for classes.

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