Several lines were dropped from the recipe for Mushrooms and Rice, part of the 30 minute meal, in last Sunday's food section. In order to cook brown rice in the alloted 30 minutes, it is necessary to soak it for several hours. The best and easiest thing to do is cover the rice with water in the morning and allow it to sit until it is time to cook. Drain off the liquid and proceed with directions.
Thanksgiving means roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, Brussels sprouts, creamed onions, cranberry relish . . . Need I go on?
Need it be so?
Suppose you weren't invited to any groaning board festivity or declined the invitation or have to work on Thanksgiving and can't possibly prepare all of those things.
You can always go out to dinner. I did that once with my mother and father. It was so depressing I've never done it since. There were all these people eating Thanksgiving dinner by themselves. So I don't recommend it.
But if you think you'll feel guilty eating a grilled steak and baked potato on Thanksgiving with those nearest and dearest, and want to make a stab at something faintly reminiscent of the holiday (that doesn't take too much time), I'd like to mention an abbreviated Thanksgiving dinner, ready in 30 minutes.
Well, not quite 30 minutes if you have as many as six people, which I did. The main course of turkey cutlets, mushroom rice and hot cherry tomatoes took 37 minutes. If I'd prepared it for three or four people it probably could have been done in 30 minutes. If I'd prepared it for two it would have been done in half an hour.
Because it was a special holiday it seemed appropriate to add an hors d'oeuvre, a first course and a dessert. That's not included in the 37 minutes, but should add only another 15 minutes, tops, to the entire dinner.
Prepare the hors d'oeuvre and dessert some time before you begin dinner preparation, even the night before, if you like. The first course is a matter of putting the already shucked oysters on individual plates and adding a wedge or two of lemon.
Here is a list of staples you should have on hand, a shopping list and a game plan for the main part of the meal.
STAPLES: soy sauce, flour, eggs, salt, pepper, ginger, bread crumbs, oil (salad and olive), rice, butter, garlic, lemon, sugar, orange-flavored liqueur, rosemary.
SHOPPING LIST: 3 pounds turkey cutlets, 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sesame oil, sesame seeds, 1 1/2 baskets cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons parsley, roll or slice of goat cheese (like Boucheron), hazelnut or olive oil, 30 oysters on the half shell, 1/2 pound fresh cranberries, 1 medium orange.
GAME PLAN: Turn oven to 500. Cook rice. Prepare turkey. Wash mushrooms, trim and grind. Cook turkey. Cook mushrooms. Prepare and cook tomatoes. Mix rice and mushrooms. TURKEY SESAME CUTLETS (6 servings) 3 pounds turkey cutlets 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce 3 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons water 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft fine bread crumbs* 6 tablespoons sesame seeds 1 1/4 teaspoons powdered ginger 2 to 3 tablespoons flour 6 tablespoons salad oil
Wash turkey cutlets and flatten a little with rolling pin. Brush with soy sauce on both sides. Combine eggs, water, sesame oil, salt and pepper and beat to blend. Mix together bread crumbs, sesame seeds and ginger. Sprinkle flour on both sides of cutlets. Dip cutlets in egg mixture and then in crumb mixture. Heat oil in 2 large skillets. Saute cutlets over medium heat until golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes.
Note: Be sure you are buying turkey breast cutlets, not turkey breast slices, which are thinner and smaller than the cutlets.
*If you would like to use whole wheat bread crumbs, perhaps you can find them in a natural food store or you can make them yourself in a food processor and keep them in plastic bags in the refrigerator to use as needed. TOMATOES PROVENCALE (6 servings) 1 1/2 baskets cherry tomatoes 2 large cloves garlic 3 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 1/2 cups soft, fine bread crumbs* 3 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Turn oven to 500 degrees. Wash tomatoes and stem.
Put garlic through press. Chop parsley. Mix garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, oil, salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture and bake at 500 degrees about 7 minutes, until tomatoes begin to sizzle and look as if they are about to pop. MUSHROOMS AND RICE (6 servings) 1 1/2 cups white or brown rice* 1 1/2 cups water 1 1/2 pound mushrooms 4 tablespoons butter Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook rice in water. Bring to boil; reduce heat and cook covered, until liquid has been completely absorbed. Wash mushrooms, trim off stem ends. Grind mushrooms in food processor with steel blade, or in blender. Heat butter in large skillet and cook mushrooms until color changes. Mix cooked mushrooms with cooked rice and season with salt and pepper. CHEVRE WITH HAZELNUT OIL
Proportions are of no importance in this recipe. The ingredients are: 1 piece of chevre (goat cheese) Hazelnut oil Fresh rosemary
Serve a piece of chevre on a plate. Spoon out a few tablespoons of hazelnut oil into a small dish and mix with several sprigs of rosemary (be generous). To eat, cut off a piece of chevre, place on a cracker, dribble on a few drops of oil, being sure to get a little rosemary with it.
Hazelnut oil is costly, but a very little goes a very long way. If you'd rather not bear the expense, substitute good quality olive oil. CRANBERRY ORANGE SHERBET (6 servings) 1/2 pound fresh cranberries (2 cups), rinsed and drained 1 medium orange, quartered seeded, but not peeled 4 or 5 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur 5 tablespoons sugar Pinch salt 4 egg whites
In a food processor with steel blades or in a blender reduce cranberries and orange to puree with the liqueur. When mixture is partially pureed, add the sugar and salt. Continue to puree. Adjust sugar to taste.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat 1/4 of them into the fruit; fold in remaining egg whites. Freeze until needed.
If the mixture is frozen overnight, defrost slightly and beat to a sherbet consistency.
If mixture was frozen for only an hour, or even a couple of hours, serve directly from freezer.
This is a very tart and tangy recipe: some may find they want more sugar.
Even when it freezes overnight, it is easy to spoon out because the egg whites keep it from solidifying completely.