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HOME COOK : Cold Comfort

August 19, 1993|MARION CUNNINGHAM

Have you ever considered serving a lunch of three salads? Probably not. And neither had I until a few Sundays ago when that's exactly what I was served. It was a perfect summer lunch.

The first salad was served in a large glass bowl: fresh, crisp watercress, bits of goat cheese and walnut halves. It was sparingly dressed with a light vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice and a trace of Dijon mustard.

The next salad was a dish of chilled, cooked baby squash, the green patty-pan and yellow scallopini variety. Unlike most baby vegetables, these had flavor. They were dressed with a little sour cream and a few fresh thyme leaves.

The third was a crab salad made with finely chopped hard-cooked eggs, celery and parsley. It was substantial but not heavy, served on a platter, with the crab salad mounded in the center and surrounded with a border of mixed lettuces. Warm whole-wheat bread accompanied the salads.

Dessert was simple as can be: chilled Rainier cherries with softened almond yogurt on the side.

Actually, the Rainier cherries alone would have sufficed. I think the Rainer is the best of all the cherry varieties, but they are expensive--about $3 a pound. When selecting them, choose the creamy ones tinged with pink.

The ginger Jack cookie recipe is included here because it is outstanding--chewy and snappy with lots of candied ginger.

GINGER JACK COOKIES

1 1/4 cups shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups corn flakes

1 cup uncooked oatmeal

1 1/4 cup candied or crystallized ginger chopped into tiny pieces

Put shortening into mixing bowl. With back of large spoon, cream shortening around sides of bowl. Slowly add granulated and brown sugars. Continue to cream and blend until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients with fork until mixed.

Add to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add corn flakes, oatmeal and ginger. Mix well. Drop 1 teaspoon batter on greased baking sheets and repeat with remaining batter, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees about 8 minutes or until edges of cookies are slightly golden. Remove and cool on racks. Store or freeze in airtight plastic food bags. Makes about 7 dozen (2-inch round) cookies.

Each cookie contains about:

71 calories; 33 mg sodium; 5 mg cholesterol; 3 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 1 grams protein; 0.03 gram fiber.

CRAB SUMMER SALAD

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced parsley

1 cup finely chopped celery

2 cups cooked crab meat

Salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 head Bibb lettuce

Combine oil, vinegar, cayenne pepper, mustard, eggs and parsley in small mixing bowl. Add celery and crab meat. Toss together well until coated. Season to taste with salt. Add mayonnaise. Toss again to mix well. Chill. Serve on lettuce leaves. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

350 calories; 765 mg sodium; 143 mg cholesterol; 32 grams fat; 3 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 0.44 gram fiber.

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