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

JANUARY MENUS Sausage supper by the fireplace. An indoor alternative forshish kebab. Simple soup and salad Mired in the winter doldrums? Bring back the spirit of summer withfavorite warmweather foods such as frankfurters, skewered meats, andlight salads. With a few concessions to the weather and seasonalproduce, you can dream of summer.

For a dreary Saturday, roast frankfurters in the fireplace.Children can pretend they are camping. And when the thought ofbarbecued meats whets your appetite but it’s snowing or pouringoutside, 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 breakthe pace of typically heavy winter dishes with a light soup-and-saladsupper. Fireplace sausage roast Substitute a fireplace for an open campfire in this typicallyoutdoor 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.

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Heat the sausages, wholeor split, in the fireplace in a hinged grill or on long forks. Rolls canbe 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 crispvegetables (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 seasoningsto sprinkle over the popcorn. Try sancho, a tangy Japanese pepperblend; Szechwan peppercorns roasted with salt in a frying pan untilfragrant and finely ground in a blender; Mexican or Italian seasoningmixtures; and other herb blends.

Set small bowls alongside the butteredpopcorn, 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 2hours. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine ginger ale, vinegar, onion,garlic, bay, cinnamon, dill, and tarragon. Boil until reduced to 3cups, 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 waterand cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2 cups, about 45minutes (if necessary, add more water to bottom of double boiler).

Stirin 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. Choptomatoes.

Cut cucumber in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scrape outand 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 vegetablemixture. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until vegetables are tenderto bite, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool; serve, or cover and chill up to 2months.

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 thebarbecue 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 dayin 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 11/2-inch squares (optional) Trim excess fat from meat; cut meat into 1 1/2-inch cubes. In abowl, combine lamb, orange sauce, and apricots. Cover and chill atleast 4 hours or up to overnight; mix occasionally.

On 6 sturdy metalskewers, thread meat cubes, apricots, onion, and pepper, alternatingfoods. Place skewers on a rack on a 10- by 15-inch broiler pan. Broil 4inches from the heat, turning until browned on all sides and meat isstill pink in center (cut to test), about 20 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

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

Romaine with Oranges and Shredded Beets Cut peel and white pith off 3 large oranges. Thinly slice orangescrosswise. Peel 1 medium-size beet and shred. Wash and dry small andmedium-size leaves from 1 large head (about 1 1/2 lb.) romaine. Arrangea sixth of romaine leaves on one side of each of 6 dinner plates; placeequal portions of orange slices and beets on romaine leaves.

Passremaining 2/3 cup orange-rosemary sauce (recipe precedes) to drizzleover the salad. Serves 6. Bulgur and Pasta Pilaf In a 2- to 3-quart pan, melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine overmedium heat. Add 1 small onion, chopped; stir until limp. Add 1 cupdry thin egg noodles and 1/2 cup bulgur; stir until lightly browned, 3to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups regular-strength chicken broth, 1 cinnamonstick (3-in.

size), and 1/3 cup raisins. Bring to boiling, cover, andsimmer until bulgur is tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Serves 4 to6.– Susan Seubert, Mountain View, Calif. Soup-and-salad supper Use vegetable standbys–cabbage and carrots–and mix with left-overholiday ham or turkey to make a light salad to eat with rice.

Accompanywith 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 andgently 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. Addlemon juice. Pour into cups; garnish with coriander sprigs and lemonslices. 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 thinshreds 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 ofthe mint dressing. Set cabbage leaves on 4 dinner plates; spoon equalportions of salad into leaves. Place a scoop of rice alongside (ifdesired, press in a 1/2-cup mold or ice cream scoop and invert toshape). Pour 1 tablespoon mint dressing over each scoop of rice.Sprinkle nuts over rice and garnish each serving with mint sprigs. Passremaining dressing to spoon over individual servings.

Makes 4servings.–Anne Dobrinen, Fresno, Calif. Mint dressing. Stir together 1/2 cup each sugar and white winevinegar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3/4 cup choppedfresh 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 sausageswith homemade relish and mustard.

Choose seasonings to sprinkle overpopcorn

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