A simple caramelized sugar syrup can elevate fresh oranges to a memorable finale for almost any meal. This variation on a classic Neapolitan dessert, the orange liqueur adds an extra dimension to this dessert, although it will still be delicious without it. This recipe can be easily doubled or quadrupled as the oranges will intensify in flavor over a week or two in the refrigerator. Experiment by adding spices such as a cinnamon stick, nutmeg or a few black peppercorns to the syrup, or perhaps add an herb such as a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Prune butter (pureed dried plums) helps to make these brownies especially fudgy. Look for prune butter (also called lekvar) in the jams and jelly aisle of the supermarket.
The Caribbean influence in this spicy chicken appetizer is in the form of dark rum, underscored by the dark brown sugar. The “deviled” aspect comes from the Dijon mustard, whose spiciness is emphasized by cayenne and fresh ginger juice. You can easily make fresh ginger juice, as we do here, but if you can find bottled ginger juice in the supermarket, use 1 tablespoon of it instead. Serving suggestion: Serve as part of a buffet with a variety of salsas or dipping sauces.
Wheatberries, whole grains of wheat, can be found in health food stores and some specialty food shops. They are generally soaked overnight before cooking to reduce the cooking time, but if you have time to tend them on the stove, you can start them from scratch with no soaking. Depending on the age of the wheatberries, they can take 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours to soften. The cooked wheatberries remain slightly chewy and give this salad a nice bite. Brazil nuts were used in this recipe because they have a lot of selenium, but if you can't find them, use another nut. Toss with fresh watercress or arugula if you like. For a main-course salad, add crumbled feta cheese.
Bored with your usual salad makings? Remember, your primitive ancestors dined on hundreds of different bitter greens. Here's an easy way to introduce interesting, colorful greens into your salads because, as you know, more bitter, more better! Also, for a difference, serve the salad the authentic way, by placing each green on one-third of a large salad plate, like slices of pizza. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with shaved Parmigiano.
The amount of time it takes apples to collapse when you cook them for applesauce depends entirely on the apples you use. McIntosh, for example, collapse into applesauce very quickly, whereas sturdier Granny Smith apples hold their shape for quite a bit longer. If you do not have any cinnamon stick on hand, use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Dried fruit compotes make quick, simple fruit desserts. You can eat them warm or chilled, by themselves or with yogurt or frozen yogurt. They also make a great substitute for jam on toast or pancakes. If you prefer tart fruit, do not add the sugar until step 2, after you’ve cooked the apricots. Then add half the sugar, stir to dissolve, and taste again before adding any more sugar.
Serve this broiled fish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice-or even a splash of fat-free salad dressing.
If you have leftover pasta or rice on hand (you’ll need about 3 cups), use it here in place of the fresh cooked ditalini.
A rainbow of colors in this salad is a sure sign that you are getting a healthy helping of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. And by using a relatively lean cut of beef, you can have a meat dish that has a modest amount of saturated fat. To get the most mileage out of the grilled steak, slice it as thin as possible.