What's in a name?

THE DISH

January 14, 2004|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Sun Staff

White chocolate by any other name might still taste as sweet. But starting this month, new federal guidelines will define what white chocolate is.

In response to petitions from Hershey Foods and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association of America, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has come up with a new standard for the confection.

From now on, products called white chocolate must include cocoa butter, milk solids, milk fat and sweeteners such as sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. The goal is to eliminate consumers' confusion and prevent imposters from using cheaper ingredients such as vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter. For more information, visit www.fda.gov.

Jack's new gig

Sailor Jack, the chipper little fellow who along with his dog, Bingo, has adorned Cracker Jack boxes for 85 years, is riding the wave of health-conscious cuisine. His image now appears on Quaker's new popped corn cakes.

The snack is made of corn, whole-grain brown rice, sugar, peanuts and molasses and contains 60 calories and 1 gram of fat. And unlike the original "candied-coated popcorn with peanuts and a prize," there is no decoder ring waiting in the bottom of the bag.

Look for Cracker Jack Popped Corn Cakes in grocery stores. The corn cakes have a suggested retail price of $2.19 for a 7-ounce bag.

EVENTS

* Learn to make sweet and savory crepes 7 p.m. tomorrow at A Cook's Table, 717 Light St. $45. At 7 p.m. Saturday, learn classic Southern cuisine. $50. For these and other classes, call 410-539-8600.

* Taste dessert wines 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at Berrywine Plantations-Linganore Winecellars, 13601 Glissans Mill Road, Mount Airy. Call 800-514-8735.

* Enjoy a multicourse French dinner 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at Cafe de Paris in Columbia. $55 for members of the American Institute of Wine and Food, $66 for nonmembers. For more information, call 410-244-0044.

* Whole Foods Market Harbor East will donate 5 percent of its sales today to the Community Partnership for the Homeless. Four times a year, the grocery store donates a portion of its sales to charity.

Potpie: beyond the usual chicken

What could be more comforting on a cold, winter day than a chicken potpie? Spice maker McCormick & Co. has ideas for how to turn this staple of Americana into an adventure in eating.

First, don't just think chicken. Any number of ingredients will do, including shrimp and Italian sausage. Toppings can range from puff pastry to corn bread or mashed potatoes. And potpies don't even have to be round. They can bake as well in a square dish.

Here's a recipe for a Shrimp-and-Dill Potpie:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of fresh mushrooms, quartered, and 3/4 cup chopped onion. Saute 2 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, and 2 cups of sugar snap peas. Saute until shrimp becomes pink, about 3 minutes to 4 minutes. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, 1/4 cup dry white wine, 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon dill weed, 1/4 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add to skillet.

Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; simmer 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Pour into a 2-quart dish, about 2 inches deep. For the topping, use a 12-ounce package of refrigerated flaky biscuits. Separate each biscuit into 3 layers. Place layers on top of filling, overlapping in a shingle fashion to cover. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until biscuit topping is golden-brown. Makes 6 servings.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail food@baltsun.com.

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