January menus: sausage supper by the fireplace. An indoor alternative for shish kebab. Simple soup and salad Essay


Sausage supper by the fireplace. An indoor alternative for
shish kebab. Simple soup and salad

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Mired in the winter doldrums? Bring back the spirit of summer with
favorite warmweather foods such as frankfurters, skewered meats, and
light salads. With a few concessions to the weather and seasonal
produce, you can dream of summer.

For a dreary Saturday, roast frankfurters in the fireplace.
Children can pretend they are camping. And when the thought of
barbecued meats whets your appetite but it’s snowing or pouring
outside, consider shish kebab grilled under the broiler.

Flavored with winter oranges and cooked with dried apricots,
it’s a fresh departure from more traditional versions. Or break
the pace of typically heavy winter dishes with a light soup-and-salad

Fireplace sausage roast

Substitute a fireplace for an open campfire in this typically
outdoor menu.

Grilled Sausages

Toasted Rolls Horseradish Mustard

Catsup Vegetable Relish

Pickles Raw Vegetables

Buttered Popcorn with Seasoned Salts

Crisp Apples

Cider Beer

Choose from a variety of cooked sausages such as frankfurters,
Polish, or garlic; allow 1 or 2 for a serving. Heat the sausages, whole
or split, in the fireplace in a hinged grill or on long forks. Rolls can
be toasted in the same way, or in the oven.

You can prepare the homemade mustard and relish ahead of time;
they’ll keep for several months. Offer a selection of crisp
vegetables (about 1 cup for each serving) to eat with your fingers.

Pop corn in a pan designed for the fireplace, on top of the stove,
or in a popper. You might offer a selection of interesting seasonings
to sprinkle over the popcorn. Try sancho, a tangy Japanese pepper
blend; Szechwan peppercorns roasted with salt in a frying pan until
fragrant and finely ground in a blender; Mexican or Italian seasoning
mixtures; and other herb blends. Set small bowls alongside the buttered
popcorn, so diners can season each serving with a different flavor.

Horseradish Mustard

2 cups dry mustard

1 cup cold water

3 cups ginger ale or beer

3 cups cider vinegar

2 large onions, chopped

10 cloves garlic, crushed

10 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long

1 teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon dry tarragon

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

Mix mustard and water. Let stand at least 15 minutes or up to 2
hours. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine ginger ale, vinegar, onion,
garlic, bay, cinnamon, dill, and tarragon. Boil until reduced to 3
cups, 20 to 30 minutes.

Pour through a fine strainer into the top of a double boiler;
discard onion mixture. Stir in mustard mixture. Set over boiling water
and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2 cups, about 45
minutes (if necessary, add more water to bottom of double boiler). Stir
in horseradish. Cool; serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 6 months.
Makes 2 cups.–Mindi Jackson, Pahoa, Hawaii.

Vegetable Relish

2 small firm tomatoes

1 small cucumber, peeled

1 small zucchihi, shredded

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon each dry mustard, mustard seed, and celery seed

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Cut tomatoes in half crosswise; squeeze to remove seeds. Chop
tomatoes. Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scrape out
and discard seeds; chop cucumber. In a large bowl, mix tomatoes,
cucumber, zucchini, onion, and salt. Cover and chill overnight.

Rinse well and drain. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine vinegar,
sugar, mustard, mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric, and vegetable
mixture. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until vegetables are tender
to bite, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool; serve, or cover and chill up to 2
months. Makes 2 1/2 cups.–Frances Whitney, Los Angeles.

Broiler shish kebab supper

A summer favorite, shish kebab, adapts to winter with new flavors.
With undependable January weather, use the broiler instead of the
barbecue to cook the lamb.

Shish Kebab with Apricots

Romaine with Oranges and Shredded Beets

Bulgur and Pasta Pilaf

Powdered Sugar Nut Cookie Coffee

In this menu, an orange-rosemary sauce has two uses: to marinate the meat and to dress the salad. You can prepare the meat up to 1 day
in advance. Cook the pilaf and assemble salad shortly before serving.

Shish Kebab with Apricots

2 pounds boned lamb shoulder or leg

1 cup orange-rosemary sauce (recipe follows)

18 to 24 dried apricots

1 small onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares

2 medium-size red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1
1/2-inch squares (optional)

Trim excess fat from meat; cut meat into 1 1/2-inch cubes. In a
bowl, combine lamb, orange sauce, and apricots. Cover and chill at
least 4 hours or up to overnight; mix occasionally. On 6 sturdy metal
skewers, thread meat cubes, apricots, onion, and pepper, alternating

Place skewers on a rack on a 10- by 15-inch broiler pan. Broil 4
inches from the heat, turning until browned on all sides and meat is
still pink in center (cut to test), about 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Orange-rosemary sauce. Stir together 1 teaspoon grated orange
peel, 2/3 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup olive oil or salad oil, 3
tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 1/4 teaspoons
crushed dry rosemary, 1/2 cup minced shallots, 2 cloves garlic (minced
or pressed), and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Use, or cover and chill up to
overnight. Makes 1 2/3 cups.

Romaine with Oranges and Shredded Beets

Cut peel and white pith off 3 large oranges. Thinly slice oranges
crosswise. Peel 1 medium-size beet and shred. Wash and dry small and
medium-size leaves from 1 large head (about 1 1/2 lb.) romaine. Arrange
a sixth of romaine leaves on one side of each of 6 dinner plates; place
equal portions of orange slices and beets on romaine leaves. Pass
remaining 2/3 cup orange-rosemary sauce (recipe precedes) to drizzle
over the salad. Serves 6.

Bulgur and Pasta Pilaf

In a 2- to 3-quart pan, melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine over
medium heat. Add 1 small onion, chopped; stir until limp. Add 1 cup
dry thin egg noodles and 1/2 cup bulgur; stir until lightly browned, 3
to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups regular-strength chicken broth, 1 cinnamon
stick (3-in. size), and 1/3 cup raisins. Bring to boiling, cover, and
simmer until bulgur is tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Serves 4 to
6.– Susan Seubert, Mountain View, Calif.

Soup-and-salad supper

Use vegetable standbys–cabbage and carrots–and mix with left-over
holiday ham or turkey to make a light salad to eat with rice. Accompany
with a hot broth.

Chili-Lemon Broth

Mint Slaw with Rice

Hot Tea

Ginger or Banana Ice Cream

The salad and soup go together quickly. Core the cabbage and
gently peel off large outer leaves to use as containers for salad.

Chili-Lemon Broth

3 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1 small dry hot red chili

1 strip lemon peel (about 3 in. long), yellow part only

1 thin slice (1 by 3 in.) fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 pound small whole cooked shrimp

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Fresh coriander (cilantro) sprigs

Thin lemon slices

In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, combine broth, chili, lemon peel,
ginger, and garlic. Bring to boiling, then cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Strain, if desired. Add shrimp; heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add
lemon juice. Pour into cups; garnish with coriander sprigs and lemon
slices. Serves 4.

Mint Slaw with Rice

6 cups (about 2 lb.) finely shredded cabbage

2 large carrots, peeled and shredded

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

3/4 pound cooked boneless ham, chicken, or turkey, cut into thin

Mint dressing (recipe follows)

4 large cabbage leaves

2 cups cooked short-grain rice, hot or at room temperature

1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts (optional)

Mint sprigs or whole green onions

In a large bowl, mix cabbage, carrots, onions, ham, and 1 cup of
the mint dressing. Set cabbage leaves on 4 dinner plates; spoon equal
portions of salad into leaves. Place a scoop of rice alongside (if
desired, press in a 1/2-cup mold or ice cream scoop and invert to
shape). Pour 1 tablespoon mint dressing over each scoop of rice.
Sprinkle nuts over rice and garnish each serving with mint sprigs. Pass
remaining dressing to spoon over individual servings. Makes 4
servings.–Anne Dobrinen, Fresno, Calif.

Mint dressing. Stir together 1/2 cup each sugar and white wine
vinegar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3/4 cup chopped
fresh mint or 1/3 cup dry mint, and 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced.
Makes 1 2/3 cups.

Photo: In the fireplace, roast sausages and pop corn. Top sausages
with homemade relish and mustard. Choose seasonings to sprinkle over


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