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Scrumptious Scones

In the mood for homemade bread, but don't have the time to wait hours for yeast to do it's thing?  Well then scones may be the answer for you.  Tara Hayes introduces us to scones in an upcoming column (contact your local paper and ask them to carry "The Kitchen Scientist")  Click here for a sneak peek and a colletion of scones recipes.

 

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FEATURED FOODS:

OCT. 2003 - STUFFED PEPPERS

by Tara H. Hayes

If you think stuffed bell peppers are nothing more than cement-hard shells filled to the rim with
greasy meat chunks reminiscent of dog food, then itís pretty safe to say that youíve had some bad
experiences with them. But all stuffed bell peppers are not Hall of Horror nominees. Indeed, the stuffed bell pepper is one of the
consummate comfort foods. Itís easy to prepare, satisfying, and uncomplicated. If youíre not a stuffed bell fan, itís probably because you havenít had one
done the right way. So, give stuffed bells another look. You just might be surprised. Preparing the peppers for stuffing is a simple
process.

First, remove stem and top of the pepper, scrape out seeds and fleshy ribs. Next, parboil the pepper by plunging it into boiling water for about five minutes. Parboiling means to partially boil food.
Itís a technique that helps reduce overall cooking time and ensures the pepper will be fully cooked when the filling is done.
Once the bell is ready, spoon in the precooked, nearly done filling and bake for about 30 minutes or
until the filling is heated through and steaming. Note
that adding a small amount of broth to the baking dish
helps speed cooking time by allowing the pepper to
steam while baking. It also provides extra seasoning
and prevents the pepper from drying out. See how easy
that was? Remember the following:
* Pick one. Select firm, vividly colored, smooth,
shiny skinned bells. Avoid peppers with wrinkled,
puckered skin, soft spots.
* Green versus red, yellow, and orange. All bell
peppers are sweet peppers. Itís just that the green
bell (sometimes tinged with purple or black) is
immature and unripe. Therefore, itís less sweet, more
firm but also cheaper than its brightly colored
siblings.
With age comes ripening and a spectacular color
change to shades of yellow, orange, and red. These
bells are more expensive, but they do impart a
pleasant, slightly sweet nuance to fillings and add
visual interest to the meal.
* Look for bells with broad bottoms. A wide
bottom serves as a stable base and prevents tipping
over in the oven. It also allows for maximum stuffing
space.
* Canít find broad bottomed bells? Donít panic.
Use a baking dish thatís just large enough to hold the
stuffed peppers snugly so theyíll hold each other up;
or convert a lightly oiled muffin pan into a stuffed
pepper holder.
Before baking, fill empty muffin compartments
with baking beads or water (be careful, itíll be hot
later!) so the pan wonít tip over. For added
stability, cut the pepper in half lengthwise, stuff
each half and cook while resting on their sides.
* Fill Ďer up! The star of the stuffed pepper
show is the precooked filling. So, let your creativity
shine through! Try white bean, sausage, garlic,
rosemary; or tomatoes, rice, parsley, onion and ground
beef or turkey topped with cheddar.
Pile in shredded BBQ pork or load it up with
taco fixings like seasoned ground beef, tomatoes,
lettuce, cheese, top with crushed tortilla shells and
sour cream. Breakfast bells: scrambled eggs, hash
browns, sausage, onions, chopped bacon, cheese.
* Size counts. Each pepper will need between one
third and three fourths cups of filling, depending
upon its size. However, donít overstuff because the
filling will need room to expand within the pepper.

Previous Featured Foods:

Sept. 2003 - Applesauce

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Food News

30 Oct. 03

Low carb is becoming more and more popular as recent studies confirm what Dr. Atkins has said all along. Click here for the latest on the low carb craze.

 

1 Oct. 03 -

Food science is becoming an increasingly attractive major for college students. Jobs in research, culinary arts and industry are well-paying and in demands. Schools are taking notice. Read about one recent example

25Jul02 - Obese customers sue fast food giants

15Jul02 - Veggie Dogs

24Jun02 - Wal-Mart Courts Your Kitchen

14Jun02 - Crustless Bread?

12Jun02 - Red Alert

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