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LUNCH PLANS

Why Parents Love School

September 05, 1996|PHIL ANDRES

As a kid, I always greeted September with dread. This terrible month meant that summer was about to give way to school--months and months of it.

Curiously, Mom and Dad never seemed to share my feelings. On the contrary, my mother threw herself into the back-to-school spirit with remarkable zeal. In retrospect, it seems amazing to me that she managed to spend three whole months every year locked up with four antsy kids.

So no hard feelings, Mom. In fact, I've got a little menu for you and all the other moms out there to enjoy while the next generation of kids goes back to school. With their bellies full of preteen angst, the kids may not be able to enjoy their lunch boxes full of tuna fish sandwiches, tomato soup in a Thermos, fruit and a cookie. You, however, can have much the same meal and feel nothing but relief.

I've jazzed things up a bit here and there, though, so lunch may not taste exactly the way it did in the school cafeteria. But hey, you've earned it. Summer's just about over. Heck, have a glass of Champagne!

Menu

Golden Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil

Seared Ahi Tuna Sandwich with Caesar Salad

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

Beverage suggestion: beer, crisp Chardonnay or Champagne

STAPLES

Balsamic vinegar

Salt

Black pepper

Black peppercorns

Eggs

Red wine vinegar

Dijon mustard

Garlic

Salad oil

Olive oil

Shortening

Butter

Granulated sugar

Brown sugar

Vanilla extract

Flour

Baking soda

Baking powder

Lemon juice

SHOPPING LIST

2 pounds golden tomatoes

1 quart chicken stock (or use homemade)

2 bunches basil

10 ounces fresh ahi tuna

2 French rolls

8 ounces romaine lettuce

Anchovy fillets, optional

Macadamia nuts

White chocolate chips

GAME PLAN

2 hours before serving: Make cookies.

90 minutes before: Prepare soup and salad dressing.

15 minutes before: Sear and slice tuna. Assemble sandwiches.

GOLDEN TOMATO SOUP WITH FRESH BASIL

2 pounds golden tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup chopped basil

1 quart chicken stock

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup thin strips basil

Simmer tomatoes and chopped basil in chicken stock 40 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or refrigerate to serve cold. Garnish soup with strips of basil.

Makes about 4 (10-ounce) servings.

Each serving contains about:

88 calories; 869 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 1.35 grams fiber.

SEARED AHI TUNA SANDWICH WITH CAESAR SALAD

10 ounces fresh ahi tuna fillets

2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed

2 French rolls

8 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped

1/4 cup Caesar Salad Dressing

Dredge tuna fillets in crushed peppercorns to cover all surfaces. Place fillets in extremely hot saute pan over high heat. Cook until 1 side is lightly browned, then flip fillets over and repeat with other side. Remove tuna from pan and slice into thin strips. Although browned on exterior, flesh should still be red on inside.

Cut French rolls in half and lightly toast top and bottom in 350-degree oven.

To assemble, lay strips of tuna on bottom half of roll, toss lettuce with salad dressing, place salad on top of ahi and cover with top half of roll.

Makes 2 hefty sandwiches.

Each sandwich contains about:

389 calories; 450 mg sodium; 65 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 38 grams protein; 0.91 grams fiber.

CAESAR SALAD DRESSING

Note: Although many recipes such as this one call for uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found them to be a potential carrier of food-borne illness and recommends that diners avoid eating raw eggs. You may omit the egg.

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Dash Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 anchovy fillets, optional

1 cup oil (no more than 20% olive oil), plus more if desired

Mix yolk, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, pepper, salt, garlic and anchovies together in bowl with whisk. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling oil into bowl. Once emulsion is established, oil may be added more quickly. If, after adding 1 cup, dressing is too thin for your taste, add more until desired thickness is reached. Adjust seasonings.

Makes 1 to 2 cups dressing.

Each tablespoon of 1 cup dressing contains about:

125 calories; 38 mg sodium; 17 mg cholesterol; 14 grams fat; 0 carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.01 gram fiber.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP MACADAMIA COOKIES

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1 cup white chocolate chips

Cream together shortening, butter and granulated and brown sugars by beating in bowl until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, water and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and add to creamed mixture. Add nuts and mix thoroughly. Add white chocolate chips and mix by hand. Drop batter by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully during last 5 minutes of baking to prevent over-baking.

Makes about 30 large cookies.

Each cookie contains about:

212 calories; 133 mg sodium; 23 mg cholesterol; 11 grams fat; 27 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.11 gram fiber.

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