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The Free Press WV

►  Step aside, cranberries. Try these Thanksgiving chutneys

If you don’t like cranberries, Thanksgiving is probably your worst nightmare. It’s basically the only time of the year that they make an appearance, and if you don’t eat cranberry sauce, well, why even bother? After all, the undisputed best part of Thanksgiving is assembling the perfect bite of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

Not being into cranberry sauce doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t appreciate what is great about it. Cranberry sauce works because it’s the lightly sweet, ultra-tart foil to the other rich foods on our plate. Think about it. Your plate has turkey smothered in gravy (rich), stuffing (so rich), mashed potatoes (the king of rich), plus whatever other butter-covered, cream-filled, buttermilk-soaked foods your family makes every year.

But that bite of cranberry sauce helps to cleanse your palate of that somewhat grimy feeling that can come in between bites of biscuit and corn pudding. For the same reason, it’s the perfect spread for your post-Thanksgiving sandwich (the undisputed second-best part of Thanksgiving).

But despite totally cornering the market on Thanksgiving fruits, cranberries are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to saucing your holiday table. These three chutney recipes from The Culinary Institute of America are fresh alternatives to sliced “can-berry” that hit the same spot from a different angle.

Chutneys are typically a sweet, sour, and savory combination of fruits, vegetables, and spices that are cooked to a stewed consistency. CIA Chef John Kowalski explains, “Chutney contains fruit and sugar to give it a sweet taste, and almost all chutney contains vinegar and perhaps onions to give it a corresponding sour flavor. Like jams and jellies, chutney can be chunky or smooth. In India, spicy chutney is usually served with curry and often with cold meats and vegetables.”

The Fall Vegetable Chutney, which is similar to an Italian caponata, uses the last of the season’s farmstand ingredients, like tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant. Because chutneys are cooked until they’re soft, it’s a great opportunity to use some of the produce you may have stored away in the freezer.

All of these recipes are great as written, but they’re also a good jumping-off point for your own experimentation. The Mustard Fruits recipe uses dried dates, apricots, and apples, but you can use any of your favorite dried fruits, like raisins, pears, or figs. And the Cranberry-Pineapple Chutney would be just as delicious with mangoes and the addition of savory ground cumin.

Whether you make one of these relishes or all three, keep in mind that they are the perfect make-ahead items. Prepare the chutneys a week ahead of time, and you’ll find that they only get better once the flavors have time to mingle.

And they aren’t only good on the dinner table. Use the Cranberry-Pineapple Chutney as a pairing with dried sausages or pâtés, the Mustard Fruits for a savory baked brie, and the Fall Vegetable Chutney for a crostini topper with a sprinkle of goat cheese. With all of these uses, you might even find room on the table for the cranberry sauce.


Makes about 3 cups

Start to finish: 40 minutes (Active time: 15 minutes)

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), chopped

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large saucepan, combine the bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the sauce has reduced to a syrup consistency, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Start to finish: 55 minutes (Active time: 20 minutes)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup apricots

1/2 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup dried apples

In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, vinegar, water, mustard, garlic, and salt. Stir to combine, then add the apricots, dates, and apples. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruits are soft and the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 50 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Makes about 3 1/2 cups

Start to finish: 20 minutes

1/2 pineapple, chopped (about 4 cups)

1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen

1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the pineapple, cranberries, peppers, raisins, vinegar, water, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pineapple is soft, the cranberries have burst, and the sauce is syrupy, about 15 minutes (the mixture will thicken more as it cools). Serve warm or at room temperature.


Nutrition information per serving of the Fall Vegetable Chutney: 13 calories; 1 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 0 g protein.

Nutrition information per serving of Mustard Fruits: 38 calories; 0 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 43 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 0 g protein.

Nutrition information per serving of Cranberry-Pineapple Chutney: 27 calories; 0 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 18 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 0 g protein.

Living: Food, Health, Lifestyle, Garden, Pets

The Free Press WV

►  The quest to visit all 50 states: How many have you seen?

I recently reached a goal that I’ve been working on for most of my life: I visited all 50 states.

And I’ve been surprised by how many others I know who have been on the very same quest. “We’re seeing more and more people with this goal,” said Alicia Rovey, founder of the All Fifty States Club, in an interview for AP Travel’s “Get Outta Here!” podcast. “It seems like any room you go in, there’s at least one person that is trying to get to all 50.”

What’s behind the trend? Gas is cheap. The 50-state bucket list appeals to all age groups, from millennials who love to travel, to folks who travel a lot for work, to empty nesters and retirees with time for road trips.

For Americans, traveling around the U.S. is also cheaper and less daunting logistically than traveling internationally. And because the U.S. is so big and diverse, every region has something different to offer, from cities to farms, from mountains to beaches, from Southern food to Tex-Mex.

Some travelers use apps or online maps to track their travels. Others use real maps. Alyssa Kauanoe sells a product online called JetsetterMaps ($28) that lets travelers “scratch off the states you’ve been to and get your own personalized travel map.”

Because there’s no real way to check on those applying for membership in the All Fifty club, “we don’t ask for proof,” said Rovey. “It’s kind of an honor system.”


For a visit to count, Rovey says, “You have to touch the ground and breathe the air.” That “rules out airplane layovers.” But she says most 50-staters set their own stipulations: having a meal, spending the night, going to a historic site or spending time with a local.

Jefferson George visited 50 states in 50 days. He drove to the lower 48, starting in Maine and ending in Seattle, then flew to Alaska and before noon on day 50, made it to Hawaii. But he didn’t just set foot in a place to check it off: “I wanted to see something of note in each state, whether it was an established attraction like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon or something maybe a little more obscure like the first paved road in America in a little town, Bellefontaine, Ohio.”

Kelly Will did the 50 states in a year, using social media to find families to stay with everywhere she went and immersing herself in each community for a few days. She’s written a book about the experience that she hopes to publish titled, “Little Miss Willful: An exploration of feminism, fear and faith across 50 states,” and said the education she got spending time with folks around the country was equivalent to “about six different master’s degrees in college.”

For some, the trips offer solace. Jen Miller, author of “Running: A Love Story,” set out to see the 18 states she hadn’t visited after her dog died and she was forced to sell her house “because of a terrible neighbor.” She got through the 18 in just one summer, and along the way, adopted a new dog in Boise, Idaho.

Kris Nazar, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Poland in 1986, worked as a truck driver and drove a semi through the lower 48. He crossed off Alaska when he got a job helping to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 and plans to see Hawaii with his wife in 2019 as a 25th wedding anniversary trip.


Rovey says more than half of the club’s 4,000 members name Hawaii and Alaska as their final stops. That makes sense: Those destinations require more planning, time and money than just driving across state lines. But the other place at the end of the 50-state road for many travelers is North Dakota.

“That seems to be a state that is not on the way to places for people,” said Rovey. “Many of our members have had to make a special trip to get there.” One recommendation for travelers hoping to reach all 50: If you’re close to another state, make that extra trip.

Former AP newsman Dick Lipsey is running a marathon or longer race in each state: “I have four states left and plan to finish up in North Dakota.”

Melinda Frederick and her husband have been knocking off the 50 states along with another couple. “We are simultaneously keeping track of each other,” she said. “We have an agreement we will all cross into North Dakota together.”

I thought North Dakota would be my last, too. But my travels through the 50 states have been somewhat random compared with those who themed their trips or set deadlines. As it turned out, I got to North Dakota’s beautiful Theodore Roosevelt National Park a few days before I made it to Idaho. But I did mark the moment when I ended my quest. I made my husband pull the car over and posed for a photo beneath the sign that read, “Welcome to Idaho.”

►  Sweet potato and Brussels sprouts hash gets a bacon blast

A chill is finally in the air, which transforms what goes on our table.

Winter squash, hardy greens like kale and chard, cabbage, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes are filling the markets and my recipe-testing table. The colder weather has me craving filling side dishes to go alongside juicy roasts and festive winter meals.

Baking sheets covered in cubed veggies offer a nutritious and weeknight-friendly solution. Cut almost any firm veggie into cubes, toss in a little olive oil and seasoning, and roast on high heat until the inside is tender and the edges are golden and caramelized. Time varies by vegetable, but most are done in the 20-30 minute range. Serve your roasted veggies with sliced beef or pork roast, or serve simply with some steamed quinoa.

Today’s Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts Hash is filling enough to step in for less healthy options at your holiday table, but broad enough in its appeal to be eaten year-round (OK, so maybe not at your 4th of July barbecue).

Brussels sprouts and their ever-popular companion bacon are teamed up with sweet potato to make a tasty oven-roasted hash that requires just minutes of prep time to cube the veggies, all of which can be done a day in advance.

Fans of sweet potatoes love that they have a lower glycemic index than their white counterparts, while fans of bacon love that I’m not such a stickler for healthy that we can’t indulge a little here. It only takes two thick slices of bacon, boosted by a little smoked paprika and smoked turmeric (a worthy splurge if you can find it), to impart a lovely salty-smokiness on the whole dish.

Garlic cloves roast up into mellow creamy pods of flavor while tart apple cubes add a welcomed touch of acidity. The hash is meant to be a plug-and-play recipe — swap out ingredients as you wish — but this combination is exactly right, so you may find yourself making this version over and over.



The Free Press WV

Start to Finish: 40 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

3/4 pound medium-sized Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, about 2 cups

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes, about 11/2 cups

1 medium granny smith (or other tart) apple, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes, about 1 cup

1/2 cup whole garlic cloves, peeled

2 thick-cut slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon smoked turmeric (optional)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

chopped fresh chives and rosemary for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the chives and rosemary, and stir until vegetables are coated evenly with olive oil and spices. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture out into a single layer. Bake until sweet potato, Brussels sprouts and garlic are tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time. Sprinkle with fresh herbs if desired and serve.


Nutrition information per serving: 114 calories; 36 calories from fat; 4 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 3 mg cholesterol; 242 mg sodium; 18 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 3 g protein.

Living: Food, Health, Lifestyle, Garden, Pets

The Free Press WV

►  Beer-Roasted Mushrooms

This simple recipe uses beer, rosemary and garlic to infuse deep flavor into portobello mushrooms. Feel free to substitute other herbs; thyme is another classic with mushrooms. You can also experiment with other types of mushrooms and other libations, including wine and bourbon.

Make Ahead: The roasted mushrooms can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

The Free Press WV

Servings: Tested size: 4 servings


  8 large portobello mushrooms
  6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed
  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  8 cloves garlic, smashed
  6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  One 12-ounce bottle beer, such as brown ale, pale ale, IPA, stout or porter


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Brush the mushrooms lightly to remove any dirt. Pull off the stems and discard or save for another use. Use a small spoon to gently scrape away the gills from the mushroom caps.

Lay the mushrooms in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a flameproof roasting pan, gill side up. Drizzle with the oil, using your clean hands to coat the mushrooms evenly. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then scatter the garlic and rosemary around the mushrooms. Pour about three-quarters of the beer over the mushrooms (reserving the rest for deglazing).

Roast (middle rack) for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have started to collapse. Use tongs to turn the mushrooms over and carefully push them around a bit to coat the gill sides in the roasting liquid. Flip the mushrooms back (to be gill sides up) and roast for 10 minutes, or until their juices have caramelized and reduced to about 1/4 cup. Taste, and add more salt and pepper, as needed.

Remove the skillet or roasting pan from the oven and divide the mushrooms and garlic individual plates. Set the skillet or roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Pour in the remaining beer and use a wooden spoon to dislodge any stuck-on bits. Once the beer is bubbling and has reduced a little, pour the pan sauce over the mushrooms.

Serve whole, the way you would a steak, use for sandwiches, or cut into thick slices to present on a platter or use to top a salad.

►  Crispy Vietnamese Crepes With Shrimp, Pork and Bean Sprouts (Banh Xeo)

Make Ahead: The dried mung beans need to be soaked for 30 minutes. The crepe batter needs to rest for at least 20 minutes, and up to overnight. The dipping sauce can be refrigerated up to 1 week in advance (or up to 2 days, if using lemon juice instead of vinegar).

Where to Buy: Dried mung beans are available at natural foods markets and at Asian markets, as well as via online purveyors.

The Free Press WV

Servings: Tested size: 12 servings


  For the dipping sauce:
  1/2 cup fish sauce
  1/3 cup sugar
  1/4 cup distilled white vinegar (may substitute fresh lemon juice)
  1/2 cup water
  2 cloves garlic, minced
  1 or 2 red Thai chiles, stemmed and minced

  For the crepes:
  1/2 cup dried mung beans (see headnote)
  1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, stirred before using
  2 cups white rice flour
  1 cup cornstarch
  4 cups water
  2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light-green parts)
  1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  Kosher salt
  Vegetable oil
  12 ounces boneless pork loin, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
  12 ounces medium shrimp, shelled, deveined and cut lengthwise in half
  1 medium white onion, cut from top to bottom, and then into thin half-moon slices
  3 cups fresh bean sprouts
  Red leaf lettuce and mint leaves, for serving


For the dipping sauce: Combine the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar and water in a medium bowl, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the garlic and chiles (to taste). The yield is about 1 cup. The sauce is ready to use, or it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

For the crepes: Place the dried mung beans in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for about 30 minutes, until they are softened. Drain the beans and transfer them to a blender. Add the coconut milk and puree until smooth. Transfer the bean puree to a large bowl and whisk in the rice flour, cornstarch, water, scallions and turmeric, and season lightly with salt. The batter will be thin; let it rest for at least 20 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

Pour about 1 cup of oil into a small dish. Dip a silicone brush in it and then use it to grease a 10-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add a couple slices of the pork, a couple of shrimp and a few slivers of onion—all on one side of the skillet. Cook for 30 seconds, then turn them over and cook for 15 seconds on the second side.

Stir the crepe batter, then carefully pour about 2/3 cup of it into the pan, tilting it slightly so the batter coats the bottom and a bit of the sides in the pan, but pork, shrimp and onion stay in place.

Scatter 1/4 cup of the bean sprouts on the side with the pork, shrimp and onion. Increase the heat to medium-high; cover the skillet and cook for about 1 minute, until set. Uncover and brush some oil around the sides of the crepe (to help crisp the edges). Cook for 1 more minute or so, until the bottom of the crepe is golden and crisp.

Use a spatula to gently fold the empty side of the crepe over the filling, then slide the crepe onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining crepe batter, pork, shrimp, onions, bean sprouts and more oil. Serve the crepes as soon as they are cooked, with lettuce leaves, mint and the dipping sauce.

►  Country-style pork ribs, amplified, make a terrific Sunday meal

Nomenclature-wise, country-style pork ribs are a mystery. They don’t come from the rib section of the animal, and they are often sold boneless. But tastewise, they make all the sense in the world. Delicious to a fault and wonderfully moist, these “ribs” look like thick and fatty pork chops. If you have never tried them before, you are in for a treat.

You can cook this cut a bunch of ways, but it happens to be especially well suited to braising, becoming tender and generating a deeply flavored sauce as it goes. Here, we have amped up its natural porkiness with the cured form of Spanish chorizo, a pork sausage spiked with paprika. In this recipe, though, we saute the dried chorizo, which releases some of its fat, and then braise it with the ribs.

On the chance that fresh late-summer tomatoes are still gracing your local market, those are the ones to use. But canned chopped whole tomatoes will fill the bill, too. Just be sure to add their juices.

This recipe in whole — pork ribs, chorizo, veggies and chickpeas — is notably hearty. Even so, you will want to do your best to soak up all of its sauce, which is why I recommend serving it with a starch such as Spanish rice. Also, good as it is freshly made, this dish improves over time. You can refrigerate it two or three days ahead, or freeze it.

Country-Style Pork Ribs With Chorizo Tomato Sauce

The Free Press WV

8 servings

Serve with Spanish rice and broccoli rabe.


2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs (1 to 1½ inches thick)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces Spanish-style cured chorizo, halved lengthwise and then sliced crosswise into ¼ -inch half-moons (see TIPS)
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup seeded, thinly sliced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups chopped fresh or canned, low-sodium tomatoes, with their juices
1 cup dry rosé or white wine
3 tablespoons flour
Two 15½ -ounce cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups total)
1 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro, for serving


Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, straight-sided saute pan (not cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Season the ribs lightly on all sides with salt and pepper, then add them to the skillet and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer them to a plate. Discard the fat, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Add the chorizo to the pan; cook over low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring often, until it has given off some of its fat and turned a shade darker. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chorizo to the plate with the ribs, leaving its fat in the pan.

Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil, the onion and bell pepper to the pan; increase the heat to medium-low heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes and their juices, the wine, the browned ribs, the rendered chorizo and any accumulated juices from the plate, and enough water to just cover the ribs. Increase the heat to high; once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium so the liquid is barely bubbling at the edges.

Cut a round of parchment paper the size of the top of the skillet. Crumple the paper so it will fit/stay in place over the ribs and sauce, tucking it down around the sides, and cover the skillet with a tightfitting lid. Cook the ribs for 2 to 2½ hours or until they are very tender, checking a few times to make sure the liquid level remains adequate; add water as needed.

Transfer the ribs to a plate.

Place the flour in a medium bowl; whisk in ¼ cup water to form a smooth slurry.

Increase the heat to high so the sauce in the pan comes to a boil; add the flour slurry in a steady stream, whisking to incorporate. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes to form a thickened sauce, stirring to avoid scorching.

Add the chickpeas and then return the ribs to the skillet; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook just until heated through.

To serve, divide among individual plates. Spoon a generous amount of the chickpea sauce over the ribs and top with cilantro.

Living: Food, Health, Lifestyle, Garden, Pets

The Free Press WV

►  ‘Easy Rider’ generation has a higher risk of fatalities on motorcycles, AAA says

The baby boomers who made motorcycles cool are also dying on them at a higher rate than other motorcycle riders, according to a new report from AAA.

The organization, analyzing federal crash data, says the mortality rate for riders who are 60 or older is more than four times the overall increase in motorcycle deaths for 2016.

For one thing, older drivers were more likely to sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries in a crash than younger riders, AAA says, citing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Overall, motorcycle deaths rose to the highest level in eight years in 2016, although some of the increase was also in line with an increase in motorcycle registrations. The number of motorcycles on the road increased to 8.6 million motorcycles in 2015 compared with 8.4 million in 2014, according to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data cited by the organization.

“The obvious thing is we’re putting more motorcycles out on the road. It’s not that anything really changed,“ said Kip Bickford, who is program manager with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the Florida Rider Training Program.

But the report also showed the higher risks for older drivers. Between 1998 and 2007, the number of injuries for motorcycle riders older than 60 increased from 2,000 to 8,000, AAA says. In the same period, the number of injuries rose 150 percent for riders who are 50 to 59 years old.

Bickford - who is 64 and traded in his last Harley for a trike - said a lot of cultural factors play a part, too. His generation grew up when motorcycles made the shift from the playthings of outlaws and gearheads to countercultural cool, as glorified in books and movies such as “The Wild Ones” and “Easy Rider.“ Then the baby boomers grew up, had families, built careers and put the bikes aside. And then, as they became empty-nesters or felt midlife crisis seeping in, they took the bike back out of the garage.

“This the point when people say, ‘I rode a motorcycle for 20 years.‘ They mean: ‘Twenty years ago, I rode for a year. And now I’m just getting back on the bike,‘ “ said Bickford, whose first motorcycle was a Honda S90. Since then, he’s owned a series of Hondas, Yamahas and Harleys. “We started out with motorcycles because it was really cool.“

From 2015 to 2016, motorcycle fatalities rose 5.1 percent, while deaths among older baby boomers increased more than 20 percent, AAA says. There were 156 more fatalities among motorcycle riders 60 or older in 2016 compared with 2015, an increase of nearly 22 percent, AAA says. It says the average age of people killed in motorcycle crashes also rose to 36.5 years in 1999 compared with 29.3 years in 1990.

Bickford said older drivers in particular need to drive more defensively than others to adjust for slower reactions and the likelihood that a crash will take a bigger toll. He said it’s also important to stress the importance of continuing training - and perhaps recognize, as he has, that the time has come to move from two wheels to three. Or, of course, four.

►  COOKING ON DEADLINE: Cauliflower with Sesame Drizzle

Food writers (and I include myself) are often talking about what new things you can do with that package of chicken breasts or that pound of ground beef to get out of the same-old, same-old cooking rut. But we might not spend enough time talking about what to do with that head of cauliflower or broccoli. We can all feel as uninspired looking at those stoic spheres as we do with our proteins, right?

So off we go, on the hunt for a new and simple side dish. This is definitely one to keep in mind when you’re making a stir fry or other Asian-influenced dish. It’s especially useful since you can make the drizzle ahead of time, pop the vegetable in the oven, and get to work at the stove making the rest of the meal. The cauliflower or broccoli needs no attention as it roasts, only the sound of the buzzer to remind you to take it out of the oven.




The Free Press WV

Start to finish: 30 to 35 minutes

Serves 4


1 large (1 3/4 pound) head cauliflower (or substitute the same amount of broccoli heads)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons untoasted sesame seeds (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Place the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss well, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and browned at the edges.

Meanwhile, if you are using the sesame seeds, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir frequently for about 1 or 2 minutes, until they start to become golden; don’t let them get too brown. Transfer them to a plate.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and Sriracha sauce. When the cauliflower is roasted, transfer it to a serving platter and drizzle the sauce over it (or pass the sauce on the side for everyone to drizzle over their own portion). Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, if desired, and serve hot or warm.


Nutrition information per serving: 145 calories; 87 calories from fat; 10 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 490 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 5 g protein.

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