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Cooking

  • Celery is more than a pretty garnish for a Bloody Mary

    The custom of using a celery stick as a garnish for a Bloody Mary supposedly originated at Chicago’s Ambassador East Hotel in the 1960s. As the story goes, an unnamed celebrity ordered a Bloody Mary. With no swizzle stick available to stir it, he grabbed a stalk of celery from a nearby relish tray and history was made.
    Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, celery was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a flavoring. The ancient Greeks also awarded winners of sporting events with a stock of celery. Marathon runners were often seen carrying it.

  • Chicken and shrimp with a seven-ingredient de jonghe sauce

    Have you ever had a really fantastic meal at a restaurant that you wish you could duplicate at home? If only you knew the exact ingredients…how to prepare that special sauce…and how long to cook it. No matter what, there will be an ingredient or two that you’ve left out, or it just doesn’t taste quite the same as what you had in the restaurant.

  • Masson wins coastal award for The Brentwood—again

    The 2012 Coastal Uncorked Chef’s Challenge took place on Sunday, April 28, at the site of the Old Pavilion in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Four area chefs competed to cook against Chef Eric Masson in the last round.
    Masson, having won the title in 2011, was allowed to skip the qualifying rounds and face off with the challenger for the title of winner of the Coastal Uncorked Chef’s Challenge.

  • Finding a use for that leftover rice from Chinese takeouts

    All of us enjoy a takeout meal once in a while, and one of my favorites is Chinese takeout. While clearing the table after dinner recently, I noticed the container of white rice that came with our takeout hadn’t been touched. Nobody ever touches it. It usually gets put in the refrigerator only to be thrown away a week or so later.

  • Stir-fried pepper steak is a most colorful and flavorful dish

    Lean and boneless, a flank steak is one of only two steaks cut from the underside of a steer, the other being a skirt steak. A thin, oblong-cut mingled with tough meat fibers, a flank steak is loaded with great flavors and responds well to marinades and to high-heat cooking, if only for a brief amount of time.
    It’s best when eaten medium-rare, so be sure to take it off the heat while it’s still rare and allow it to set for a few minutes to retain its juices. For maximum “chewability,” flank steak should be cut into thin slices across the grain.

  • Most gardeners consider asparagus a springtime delicacy

    Lightly steamed, boiled or roasted, fresh asparagus is a tasty, nutritious side dish.
    In this area, fresh asparagus season begins in March or early April and ends around late June or when the hot summer weather begins.
    Asparagus, imported mostly from Mexico, Chile or Peru, is now available all year round, but you’ll find a good supply of fresh “homegrown” asparagus in local supermarkets this time of year.

  • Strawberries are ready for picking at local produce farms

    With our warmer-than-normal temperatures in recent weeks, it’s no surprise that strawberry season has arrived just a wee bit earlier this year. Strawberries typically peak during May in the South and in June in the North.

  • Senior site menus

    Here are lunch menus for Brunswick County’s seven Senior Nutrition Sites for next week.
    Monday, April 16
    Sloppy Joe, corn casserole, green beans, fruit cocktail, hamburger bun/whole-wheat bun, beverage.
    Tuesday, April 17
    Turkey tetrazini, field peas/snaps, baby carrots, Mandarin oranges, whole-wheat bread, beverage.
    Wednesday, April 18
    Barbecue pork, baked beans, cole slaw, fresh orange, hamburger bun/whole-wheat bun, beverage.
    Thursday, April 19

  • Marinated grilled chicken and carrots is enhanced with feta cheese

    Unlike most other vegetables, carrots are available all year long. Related to the parsley family, with feathery green leaves and an orange root, carrots can be eaten either raw or cooked. Not all carrots are orange; some are purple, yellow, or even white in color.

  • Omelets with meat, veggies and cheese are not just for breakfast

    Omelets aren’t as difficult as they look. I’ve been making them for a long time and have enjoyed them for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.
    Fillings and toppings range from meats, vegetables and seafood to cheese and even leftovers.
    Since omelets take no more than a couple minutes to cook, the key is to work quickly while the egg mixture is setting.