December 2003

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Recipes & Drink Recommendations
Drinks recommended by: Star Liquor, 1209 Williamson Street, 255-8041
Take 10% off Recommended Beverages… Just show your member card at Star Liquor


Osoti Rioja
This vegan red offers vibrant berry fruit, great balance, and a long, fine finish.
Sonop Sauvignon Blanc
This lovely South African white wine shows lemon and apple flavors with a nice, crisp finish...and it’s vegan!
Frey Cabernet Sauvignon
Biodynamically grown, this full bodied cabernet gives up dark fruit flavors with hints of earth, and a long finish.
Chateau Barthe Blanc
A rich combination of toasty vanilla, peach, and pear powers this French white wine.
Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone Villages
Expect flavors of black cherry with hints of pepper from one of the Rhone’s most noteworthy producers.
Frey Zinfandel
Not only is this what we love about Zin(rich red berry fruit/Medium body), but it’s also biodynamic.
Clocktower Tawny Port
Smooth and spicy, gentle and sweet, with lovely plum and leather notes.
Yorkville Malbec
This rich red has hints of blue fruit on a fairly earthy backbone, and it’s 100% organic!
Chateau Bastet Cote du Rhone
This biodynamic Rhone-styled red shows loads of dark berry fruit with a well-rounded, spicy finish.
Le Bousquet Chardonnay
This organic French white has intense tropical fruit notes with a fresh, dry finish.

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables, Tomatoes and Basil
Bon Appétit
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2- inch pieces
1 large yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups half-inch pieces peeled butternut squash
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound penne pasta
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray large roasting pan with nonstick spray. Combine red bell peppers, eggplant, crookneck squash and butternut squash in prepared pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Combine pasta, roasted vegetables, tomatoes and basil in large bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar and garlic. Toss to combine. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten, if desired. Mound pasta on serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Star Recommends: Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone Villages

Crisp Spiced Nuts

2 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups hazelnuts (about 1/2 pound)
1 1/2 cups pecans (about 1/2 pound)
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with salt until very foamy and gradually beat in sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and cayenne. Stir in nuts and butter, combining well, and spread in a large shallow baking pan. Bake nuts in middle of oven, stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Spread nuts on a sheet of foil and cool. Break up nut clusters. Nuts may be made 1 week ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

Star Recommends: Clocktower Tawny Port

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Bon Appétit
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups canned vegetable broth
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas, cut into 1/2- inch-wide strips
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2/3 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained
2/3 cup chopped zucchini
1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño

Directions: Spray large nonstick saucepan with vegetable oil spray. Add onion and garlic; cover and cook over medium-low heat until almost tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cumin and chili powder. Add broth and 2 tablespoons cilantro; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until flavors blend, about 15 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Add tortillas, tomatoes, beans, zucchini and jalapeño to soup. Cover; simmer until zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro. Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Osoti Rioja

Full O’ Beans Chili
Bon Appétit
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 14 1/2-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can black beans, well drained
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, well drained
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans well drained
1 10-ounce pkg frozen lg. lima beans thawed
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon (or more) red wine vinegar

Directions: Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Add next 7 ingredients and bring to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors are blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne. Add vinegar to taste. Serves 6.

Star Recommends: Frey Zinfandel


Roasted Spiced Pears and Figs With Almonds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 firm-ripe pears
1/2 lb. dried figs (as soft as possible)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Accompaniment: sour cream

Directions: Preheat oven to 450°F. In an ovenproof 10-inch heavy skillet toast almonds in one layer in middle of oven until golden, about 5 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Halve pears lengthwise and cut each half into 3 wedges, discarding cores. Quarter figs lengthwise. In skillet melt sugar and butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted completely and remove skillet from heat. With a knife halve vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into butter mixture. With a wooden spoon stir in vanilla pod, cinnamon, allspice, pears, and figs until coated and roast in middle of oven 20 minutes, or until pears are just tender. Remove pod and with spoon stir in almonds until coated well. Serve fruit mixture warm with sour cream. Serves 8.

Star Recommends: Chateau Barthe Blanc


Baked Polenta with Shiitake Ragout
For the mushroom ragout:
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and if large, the caps quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/3 cups beef or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
For the polenta:
6 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 pound mozzarella, diced fine

Directions: Mushroom ragout: In a large deep skillet cook the onion, the garlic, and the rosemary in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, add the mushrooms and salt to taste, and cook the mixture over moderately high heat, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated. Stir in tomato paste and wine and boil the mushroom mixture until most of the liquid is evaporated. In a small bowl stir the cornstarch into the broth, add the mixture and the Worcestershire sauce to the mushroom mixture, and bring the ragout to a boil, stirring. Simmer the ragout for 2 minutes and season it with salt and pepper.

Polenta: In a large heavy saucepan bring the water with the oil to a boil and add 1 cup of the cornmeal, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining 1 cup cornmeal in a slow stream, stirring constantly, and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, 2/3 cup of the Parmesan, the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread one third of the polenta evenly in a buttered 13 by 9 inch baking dish and chill the polenta sheet for 20 minutes, or until it is firm. While the polenta is chilling, working quickly, spread half the remaining polenta in a buttered 3-quart shallow baking dish, top it with half the mushroom ragout, and top the ragout with the mozzarella. Spread the remaining polenta quickly over the mozzarella and top it with the remaining ragout. Invert the polenta sheet onto a work surface and with 1 or more star-shaped cutters cut out as many stars as possible. Arrange the stars decoratively on the ragout and sprinkle them with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the layered polenta in the upper third of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the polenta stars are golden. Serves 6 to 8.

Star Recommends: Chateau Bastet Cote du Rhone


Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Lasagne

For squash filling
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 cup hazelnuts (4 oz), toasted , loose skins rubbed off with a kitchen towel, and coarsely chopped
For sauce:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
For assembling lasagne:
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
12 (7- by 3 1/2-inch) sheets no-boil lasagne

Directions: Make filling: Cook onion in butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add squash, garlic, salt, and white pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is just tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, sage, and nuts. Cool filling.

Make sauce while squash cooks:
Cook garlic in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes. Whisk in salt and white pepper and remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. (Cover surface of sauce with wax paper if not using immediately.)
Assemble lasagne: Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cheeses together. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a buttered 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass baking dish (or other shallow 3-quart baking dish) and cover with 3 pasta sheets, leaving spaces between sheets. Spread with 2/3 cup sauce and one third of filling, then sprinkle with a heaping 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times, beginning with pasta sheets and ending with cheese. Top with remaining 3 pasta sheets, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese. Tightly cover baking dish with buttered foil and bake lasagne in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Star Recommends: Yorkville Malbec

Apricot-Glazed Turkey with Roasted Onion and Shallot Gravy
Bon Appétit
Apricot Glaze:
1 cup apricot nectar
1 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
Herb Butter:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Onion Mixture:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 large onions, thinly sliced
6 ounces shallots, thinly sliced
1 21- to 22-pound turkey
1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth

Directions: For Glaze: Combine all ingredients in heavy small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes.

For Herb Butter : Blend all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
For Onion Mixture: Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and shallots and sauté until very soft and light brown, about 20 minutes. (Glaze, herb butter and onion mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring herb butter to room temperature before continuing.)

For Turkey: Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 400° F. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Season turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen skin. Spread half of herb butter over breast under skin. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing into main cavity. Place remaining herb butter in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted. Brush butter over outside of turkey. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey.

Roast turkey 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Roast turkey 1 hour 30 minutes, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Tent turkey with heavy-duty foil; roast 45 minutes longer. Add onion mixture, 1 can broth, thyme and sage to pan. Roast 15 minutes. Bring glaze to simmer. Brush 1/2 cup glaze over turkey. Continue to roast turkey uncovered until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180° F. or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with skewer, brushing occasionally with glaze and adding more broth to pan if liquid evaporates, about 40 minutes longer for unstuffed turkey (about 1 hour 10 minutes longer for stuffed turkey). Place turkey on platter, tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes. Reserve mixture in pan for gravy.

For Gravy: Pour contents of roasting pan into strainer set over large bowl. Spoon fat from pan juices in bowl. Transfer onion mixture in strainer to blender. Add 1 cup pan juices to blender and puree until smooth, adding more pan juices and chicken broth if necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. Transfer sauce to heavy large saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until color deepens, skimming off any foam, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve turkey with gravy. Serves 16.

Star Recommends: Le Bousquet Chardonnay

Sweet Potato and Sausage Gratin with Thyme

Bon Appétit
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 1/3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/3 cups dry white wine
1 1/3 cups apricot nectar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 4 leeks)
2 1/2 pounds tan-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook sausages in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and cooked through, crumbling with back of spoon, about 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, place sausage in small bowl. Pour off any drippings in skillet. Add broth, wine, apricot nectar and 2 tablespoons butter to same skillet; boil until liquid is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Pour into another bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate sausage, broth mixture and leeks separately.) Arrange half of potatoes in 13 x 9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with half of thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Top with half of leeks and all of sausage. Cover with remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with remaining leeks. Top with remaining cheese. Pour broth over. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until potatoes are tender and liquid thickens, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serves 8.

Star Recommends: Frey Cabernet Sauvignon