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The Pick of the Garden

September 12, 1996|BARBARA HANSEN

My garden is bursting with squash, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and other wonderful summer crops, so I'm constantly looking for ways to use this abundance.

Scanning the menu at Delphi, a Greek restaurant in Westwood, I spotted chicken breast cooked with zucchini. Just what I needed. Even better, the dish came with dill-flavored lemon sauce. This would use up some of the dill growing wild in a flower bed and the few lemons still clinging to my tree.

Greek salad is the perfect outlet for tomatoes and cucumbers. Just drizzle on olive oil and wine vinegar, then crumble feta cheese over the top.

Delphi's chicken has rice and steamed broccoli on the side. There's no broccoli in my garden, but I buy it regularly from the weekly farmers market in my neighborhood. The same source is loaded with juicy peaches, which I slice and marinate, then spoon over cake. This is an easy variation on a much more elaborate dessert made by Delphi's owner, Estelle Prineas.

A Sauvignon Blanc would go well with the chicken, but I prefer a Greek red wine to keep in the spirit of the menu.

Menu

Estelle's Delphi Chicken Avgolemono

Rice Cooked in Chicken Broth

Steamed Broccoli

Greek Salad

Cake with Fresh Peaches

Staples

Olive oil

Garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

Dried oregano

Cornstarch

Eggs

Wine vinegar

Orange liqueur

Sugar

Shopping List

6 small chicken breast halves

2 small zucchini

4 mushrooms

2 lemons

1 bunch fresh dill

1 head lettuce such as romaine or iceberg

3 medium tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 cucumber

1 red onion

6 ounces feta cheese

3 peaches

1 (10-ounce) pound cake

1 small package slivered almonds

1 (8-ounce) carton whipping cream

GAME PLAN

2 hours before: Marinate chicken.

1 hour before: Make salad dressing, marinate peaches for dessert, start cooking chicken.

30 minutes before: Steam or simmer broccoli and keep warm. Cook rice in chicken broth.

15 minutes before: Whip cream and refrigerate.

After main course: Assemble dessert.

ESTELLE'S DELPHI CHICKEN AVGOLEMONO

6 small chicken breast halves, boned and skinned

Olive oil

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 small zucchini

4 medium mushrooms, sliced

3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

3 egg yolks

Juice of 2 lemons

1 bunch fresh dill, cut up

Cut chicken breasts in cubes and mix with 2 teaspoons olive oil, garlic powder, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Marinate 30 minutes. Cut zucchini in half crosswise, then into sticks lengthwise.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet. Add marinated chicken and brown over low heat. Add mushrooms and zucchini and saute until tender.

Slowly bring chicken stock to boil in saucepan. Add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Beat egg yolks gently. Stir a little hot stock into eggs. Then slowly add to stock simultaneously with lemon juice. Mix in dill. Add chicken, cook in sauce until heated through, about 5 minutes. Do not allow to boil. Serve on bed of rice cooked in chicken stock.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Each of 6 servings contains about:

210 calories; 480 mg sodium; 173 mg cholesterol; 13 grams fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams protein; 0.23 gram fiber.

GREEK SALAD

3 cups cut-up lettuce

3 tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 small green bell pepper, cut into strips

1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup slivered red onion

6 ounces feta cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more if needed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, finely crumbled

Arrange bed of lettuce on each of 6 salad plates. Top each with tomato wedges, pepper strips, cucumber slices and red onion slivers. Sprinkle center of each salad with feta cheese.

Combine olive oil, vinegar, salt and oregano. Mix well. Spoon over each serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

216 calories; 519 mg sodium; 25 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 1.09 grams fiber.

CAKE WITH FRESH PEACHES

3 peaches, sliced

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

1 tablespoon sugar

1 (10-ounce) bakery pound cake

1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped

2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds, optional

Combine peaches with liqueur and sugar and allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, preferably longer. Cut cake into 6 slices and arrange on individual dessert plates. Top each with marinated peaches, then 1 spoonful whipped cream. Sprinkle with almonds.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

310 calories; 178 mg sodium; 122 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 30 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.33 gram fiber.

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