Steven Raichlen's philosophy of low-fat cooking is simple: "Make food tasty and satisfying by using flavorings instead of fat." The award-winning cookbook author first applied his theory in "High-Flavor Low-Fat Cooking" a couple of years ago; now he's expanded it to include vegetarian dishes with "High-Flavor Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking" (Viking, $24.95). Mr. Raichlen is a cooking teacher who lives in Florida; he has ties to Baltimore through family members. Here is a sample recipe:
Not Chopped Liver
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 ounces fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (about 2 cups before chopping)
1 cup cooked green peas (if using frozen peas, thaw them but don't cook)
approximately 1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
1 to 2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
salt, freshly ground black pepper, or cayenne pepper
Boil the eggs, starting with cold water, for 11 minutes. Rinse under cold water and peel. Halve the eggs and remove the yolks, reserving half of 1 yolk, discarding the remaining yolks. Coarsely chop the whites.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the mushrooms. Cook until most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and vegetable stock and simmer until most of the stock is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in enough bread crumbs to hold the mixture together. Coarsely puree the mushroom mixture with the hard-cooked egg whites in the food processor and let cool. Correct the seasoning.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl or plate for serving. Push the reserved half egg yolk through a sieve over the Not Chopped Liver or finely chop it and sprinkle it on top. Serve with saltine crackers or with pita chips.
Dine well and do good
It's time again to take a culinary trip around Annapolis, with "Dine Around Annapolis," the second annual benefit for Share Our Strength/Taste of the Nation's Hunger Relief. Stops on this year's tour will be Fergie's, Loew's Annapolis Hotel, Traditions at the Holiday Inn, Carrol's Creek Cafe, Pusser's and the Chart House. The event takes place March 26; participants are to gather at 4:30 p.m. at the Chart House, 300 Second St., Annapolis. The cost is $50 per person, with a portion tax-deductible. Proceeds benefit hunger relief. Call (410) 360-3572.