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Valentines food recipe #1
Wednesday. 2.7.07 12:46 pm



All but the most experienced of crêpe chefs will admit that the first crêpe in a batch is often not of the best quality. The level of heat under the skillet needs to be fine-tuned as you go. With that in mind, our recipe makes enough batter for 2 crêpes, even though you'll only need 1 for this hors d'oeuvre. If the first crêpe comes out well, freeze the extra, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, to use another evening.

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 1 hr

click photo to enlarge
For crêpes
1/3 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus additional for cooking crêpes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

For filling
1 oz cream cheese (1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons), softened
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
2 medium radishes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks (1/4 cup)

Make crêpes:
Blend milk, flour, egg, and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender until smooth. Add chives and dill and pulse 1 or 2 times to just combine. Chill batter, covered, 30 minutes.

Stir batter to redistribute herbs. Lightly brush a 10-inch nonstick skillet with oil, then heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Holding skillet off heat, pour in half of batter (1/4 cup), immediately tilting and rotating skillet to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crêpe.) Return skillet to heat and cook until crêpe is just set and pale golden around edges, 10 to 15 seconds. Loosen edge of crêpe with a heatproof plastic spatula, then flip crêpe over carefully with your fingertips. Cook until underside is set, about20 seconds more. Transfer crêpe to a plate. Make another crêpe in same manner, brushing skillet again with oil.

Prepare filling and assemble hors d'oeuvre:
Stir together cream cheese, lemon juice, zest, and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.

Put 1 crêpe, browned side up, on a work surface, and spread with all of cheese mixture. Arrange salmon in an even layer over bottom half of crêpe (side nearest you), then scatter radishes over salmon. Beginning at bottom, tightly roll up crêpe, then cut roll crosswise into 4 pieces, trimming ends if desired.

Cooks' notes:
• Crêpes can be made (but not filled) 1 day ahead and chilled, layered between sheets of wax paper and then wrapped in plastic wrap.
• Cheese mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
• Crêpe can be rolled with filling (but not cut) 1 hour ahead and kept, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature. Cut into pieces just before serving.

Makes 2 servings.
Gourmet Entertains
January 2004

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Salmonella in my Peanut Butter
Thursday. 2.22.07 3:10 pm


Peanut butter is supposedly as safe as flowers – well it was, because nowadays eating from the wrong jar could very well send you to the hospital. Although salmonella is usually associated with eggs, chickens, undercooked meat, reptiles or unwashed hands and eating, peanut butter has become a source too.

The infamous contamination at the ConAgra plant may have been caused by dirty jars or equipment, according to government and industry officials. In the production process, peanuts are usually heated to temperatures that are so high that they kill germs, therefore they can’t be suspected of having generated the contamination.

A Texas couple filed charges against ConAgra after their 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son got sick. The lawsuit seeks damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and caps the damages at $75,000 for each child, their lawyer said.

It's one of at least three lawsuits filed against ConAgra Foods, which is recalling all Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter made at its Sylvester, Georgia, plant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 288 persons, from 39 states, had become infected with salmonella since last August. About 85 percent of the infected people said they ate peanut butter.

No deaths have been reported.

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