As long as I can remember, I have always been addicted to milk.
As a teen-ager, I considered a chocolate malt or frosted to be life's ultimate experience, and it is still one of my secret vices. It was a rude shock when I first heard Annemarie Colbin's views on milk and dairy products. She is the founder of New York's Natural Gourmet Cookery School and author of "The Book of Whole Meals" (Ballantine Books: $8.95). Implicit in her criticism is Colbin's kitchen philosophy: "You do outgrow the need for milk."
The Natural Gourmet Cookery School in New York is the nation's oldest natural-foods cooking school. Its philosophical base is modified vegetarianism, balanced to nature and individual need.
I am certain I will go to my grave as an unreconstructed milk lover, but Colbin's ideas are certainly arresting enough to consider the alternative.
What follow are some adaptations of Colbin's meals.
Whole unpolished cereal grains in new guises are a way of kitchen life at the Natural Gourmet Cookery School. KASHA CROQUETTES
1 1/2 cups tomato juice or cocktail vegetable juice
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup whole brown kasha (buckwheat groats)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Freshly ground pepper
Combine tomato juice with water in medium saucepan. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in kasha. Cover and cook until fluffy, about 15 minutes. Place kasha in large bowl. Allow to cool slightly.
Add flour to kasha and with wet hands squeeze mixture continuously through fingers 8 to 10 minutes or until it holds shape. Add green onions, parsley, soy sauce and season to taste with pepper. Work mixture 2 minutes longer and form into flat patties, about 2 inches in diameter.
Heat 1/2 inch safflower oil in heavy skillet and fry patties over medium heat until well browned on each side. Drain on brown paper. Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes 4 servings.
"Fresh fish," Colbin claims, "is the most easily digested and the lowest in fat and highest in protein that can be fully utilized by the body system." To give any available fillet decided new zip, try her marinate-first, broil-later technique. GINGER-BROILED FISH
3 pounds fillets (scrod, bluefish or favorite fish)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
Place fish fillets in large shallow glass or ceramic dish.
Combine soy sauce, water, sesame oil and ginger root. Mix well and pour over fish. Marinate at least 30 minutes. Broil fish until done. If fillet is very thick, turn over once. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Makes 6 servings.