From Holiday Issue 2013
By Henry Schliff
A FOOD AND COOKING PERSPECTIVE
In the spirit of great flavor and good health below are some suggestions for the holidays:
- Buy the best ingredients for holiday dinners. It is easier to achieve great flavor without additional fat, salt, or sugar if you cook with ingredients that are inherently delicious.
- When preparing holiday dinners provide healthful choices along with old-time favorites.
- Provide foods that are high in fiber. High fiber foods can help reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and since high fiber food is digested more slowly it also helps to prevent the absorption of fat and cholesterol. A further benefit is that foods high in fiber reduce the feeling of hunger.
- Provide some healthful choices for breakfast such as fresh fruit, old fashioned oatmeal, and whole grain breads.
- Avoid all processed food. In general the more additions something has the less flavorful it will be and the more likely it will be harmful to your health and the health of your loved ones.
- When eating out at a good restaurant order meat and seafood that is broiled, grilled or lightly sautéed rather than deep fat fried.
- At holiday parties enjoy raw vegetables and fresh fruits.
- Drink lots of water when consuming alcohol. Doing so helps to keep the body hydrated and helps to avoid intoxication and hangovers.
The holidays are a special time of year to celebrate with friends and loved ones and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. I hope you enjoy them to the fullest and take good care of yourself body, mind, and spirit.
Christmas Morning Breakfast
Cottage Cheese Crepes with Homemade Blueberry Syrup (Serves 4)
1 cup of cottage cheese
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla
Place all ingredients into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Blend until a smooth batter is formed. Place a large non-stick skillet over moderately-high heat and add 1 Tbs. of butter. When the butter melts swirl it around to coat the entire surface of the pan. Drop the batter 2-3 Tbs. at a time, onto the hot surface, leaving enough room for the crepes to spread out and be turned easily. Cook until the crepes firm up and are lightly browned underneath. Turn the crepes over and continue cooking until the second sides are also firm and lightly browned. Place the crepes on an oven-proof serving platter. Cover the platter with foil and place it into a warm oven. Continue the process, adding more butter as is needed to keep the surface coated, and continue cooking until all the batter is used. Serve the crepes with blueberries (fresh or previously frozen and defrosted) or homemade blueberry syrup (recipe below) and Greek-style yogurt.
Homemade Blueberry Syrup
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup sugar
½ cup filtered water
1 tsp. lemon juice
Place all ingredients into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the pan over moderately- high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to a light syrup and the blueberries begin to fall apart. Lightly mash the berries.
Henry Schliff has been the chef of a French, Italian, and Mexican restaurant and was most recently the owner of the Orange Blossom Bakery in Buxton. He is the author of two cookbooks