A Sauce to Savor
What can be better than a beef rib roast for that special-occasion dinner? How about a sauce to go with it?
Here's a Balsamic Reduction With Wild Mushroom Duxelles that will make your roast the hit of the party.
Bring 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes or 9 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons (consistency will be syrupy). Remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add one 4-ounce package of assorted wild mushrooms. Cook and stir 5 minutes to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned.
Add 4 large, minced cloves of garlic; cook and stir an additional 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup dry red wine; cook 3 minutes to 5 minutes or until liquid has completely evaporated.
Meanwhile, combine 1 can ready-to-serve beef broth and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved. Add balsamic reduction, broth mixture and desired amount of salt and pepper to skillet; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes to 20 minutes or until mixture is reduced by one-half. Remove skillet from heat; add 1 tablespoon butter and stir until melted. Makes 1 1/4 cups.
Per serving (1 / 6 of recipe): 94 calories; 7 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 238 milligrams sodium; 6 grams carbohydrate; 0 grams fiber; 1 gram protein
-- Recipe and analysis from Cattlemen's Beef Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association
The lowdown on spuds
Low-carb diets notwithstanding, it's hard to imagine making it through the holidays without potatoes. If potatoes are on your holiday menu, here are some tips from the Idaho Potato Commission:
Save stove space by preparing your mashed potatoes in advance and keeping them warm in a crockpot set on low for up to two hours.
Cut baking time by a third by running a metal skewer from end to end through the length of the potato.
When preparing mashed potatoes, add a bouillon cube to the boiling water. Save the liquid and add it as needed when mashing to enhance the flavor of the potato and eliminate the need for sour cream or butter.
Slice potatoes and keep them in a bowl of water until you're ready to cook. To prevent them from turning brown, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice for each quart of water. Rinse potatoes and pat dry before cooking.
New for foodies
If you're 21 to 49 years old and want an irreverent approach in a food magazine, check out the new Chow.
The publication is aimed at young foodies and is packed with saucy writing and offbeat features, such as how to get your guests to clean up after a dinner party and items to keep on hand if unexpected guests knock.
Chow, which is to be published again in spring 2005, is available in bookstores and some food markets for $3.95. Visit www.chowmag.com.
Bark worth a bite
Peppermint isn't limited to candy canes this season. Both the Swiss Colony and Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. have come up with treats that combine chocolate and peppermint perfect for baking or just snacking.
Ghirardelli's Peppermint Bark is one of three limited-edition holiday flavors the company has introduced this year. The others are eggnog and cinnamon-spiced almond. The squares will be available in select grocery stores and drugstores and at mass merchandisers. A 9.4-ounce assortment costs $5.99, as does a 9.3-ounce Peppermint Bark-only bag.
Meanwhile, the Swiss Colony has introduced its own version of Peppermint Bark as well as peppermint-and-chocolate cookies and petits fours. The bark is available in a 15.5-ounce tin for $14.95 and in a 1-pound, 11-ounce tin for $24.95. For a catalog or to order, call 800-804-5188 or visit www.theswiss colony.com.
Kids of all ages are invited to Teddy Bear Teas noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 18 at Harbor Court Hotel, 550 Light St. While kids enjoy hot chocolate, grown-ups can sip champagne. $32 a person. Reservations required. Call 410-347-9748.
Build a gingerbread house noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at For the Love of Food in Reisterstown. $55. Space is limited. Call 443-865-0630 or 410-833-5579.
The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail email@example.com.