Dinner in 50 Minutes

Mustard-and-Beer Chicken

4 servings

Here, a simple mustard-and-beer concoction is slathered over pounded chicken thighs. Though the pungent flavors take hours to fully permeate the meat, they still impart somewhat of a kick in as little as 30 minutes. Making the meat an even thickness ensures more even cooking.

Adapted from the summer issue of Donna Hay Magazine:

2/3 cup coarse-grain mustard

1/4 cup beer

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine the mustard, beer, garlic and oil.

Pat the chicken dry. Trim any excess fat and season on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and, using your hand, a skillet or a rolling pin, flatten it to an even thickeness. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Preheat the grill.

Scrape any excess marinade from the meat and grill the chicken, turning once, until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

Per serving: 269 calories, 30 gm protein, 4 gm carbohydrates, 15 gm fat, 115 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 680 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

SHOPPING CART | A Pretty (and Good) Source

Those wooed by the simple recipes and sparely styled photos of Donna Hay, Australia's best-selling food writer, no longer have to wait patiently for her next cookbook to get their fix.

The glossy bimonthly Donna Hay Magazine bears more than a little resemblance to Hay's books -- New Food Fast, Entertaining and Modern Classics 1 and 2, to name a few. It exudes a breezy, common-sense approach to food that is long on weeknight recipes and short on blather. Its ambition: Turn simple into special.

The magazine, now in its fourth year, at first made frustratingly infrequent U.S. appearances. But it can now be found fairly regularly at Barnes & Noble, Borders and some Whole Foods Market locations (about $9.99). It is also available by subscription for about $80; see www.donnahaymagazine.com.au.

INGREDIENT | Rose Water

An ingredient in the cuisines of China, India and the Middle East, rose water is just what its name indicates: a distillation of rose petals. Its intense and perfumy flavor is used in Indian rice puddings and lassi, an Indian shake made with yogurt. But since it began to appear on our local supermarket shelf, we've added it to the simple syrup that we sprinkle on fruit, to frosting for cupcakes and to homemade vanilla ice cream.

Advice to newcomers: Use sparingly until you get acquainted with its flowery power. If it's not to your taste, combined with water it makes a nice splash for dry skin on a hot day.

TASTE TEST | Frozen Soy Treats

Summer just isn't summer without ice cream. But if you are looking for dairy-free alternatives, there is an overwhelming assortment of soy- and rice-based treats.

Of the four brands we tried, we liked the remarkably creamy frozen cultured soy made by Whole Soy. It had the most pleasing texture, minimalistic ingredient list and least offensive flavors of the bunch. And unlike its lactose-containing counterpart, Whole Soy's cultured product contains active live cultures like those found in yogurt. Whole Soy makes nine flavors; of those, we preferred the more robust Black Cherry and Lemon-Ginger.

A close second was Soy Delicious's line, in which Ben & Jerryesque flavors only sometimes masked an unappealing texture. We also tried Tofutti and Soy Dream.

Whole Soy Frozen Cultured Soy ($2.99 per pint) is available at most natural foods stores and Whole Foods Market.

HmM&Ms

M&M's have gone through some permutations in their 63-year history, but the recent "Shrek 2" movie tie-in marks the first time that every promotional M and M was made 50 percent bigger (plain and peanut).

We didn't mind the previous color changes, but the oversized thing is not working for us. In our multi-generational random sampling, the ratio of a bigger chocolate bite with more candy-shell crunch was noted with slight dismay. The swampy color palette, not so appetizing. Clever concept, though. We'll see Ogre-sized M&M's Milk Chocolate Candies at least till the end of July.

The Shrek candy did inspire mathmetician-scientist Olga Livanis of Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan to compute how many oversized M&Ms it would take to fill the Grand Canyon (474.3 quadrillion). That was parlayed into a guessing contest of which the winner -- a family from Dunbar, Pa., (440 quadrillion) -- was presented with a trip to the Grand Canyon last month.

DEFINED

VERB To lightly coat a piece of food -- such as chicken -- with flour, cornmeal or bread crumbs prior to frying.

Dredging typically refers to dragging the ingredient through the coating, but it also means to sprinkle the coating over the ingredient or to combine the ingredient and coating in a resealable plastic bag and shake. The term was common parlance when "The Joy of Cooking" was first published in the early 1930s, but today's cooks might not see it as much.

Sources: The New Food Lover's Companion; Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion

Today's Tip

The oils that give hot peppers their zip dissolve in fat, so a swig of whole milk will help to put out the fire in your mouth better than skim milk, soda pop or even water. -- Based on "Cooking Mexican" (Better Homes & Gardens Books, 1986)

TO DO

THURSDAY: Around the World in 80 Sips -- wine tasting class at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Sponsored by Best Cellars. $50 for nonmembers. 7 p.m. 500 17th NW. Call 202-639-1770 or see www.corcoran.org

SATURDAY: Aphrodisiac bacon dinner at David Greggory Restaurant. Sponsored by the Grateful Palate. First in a series. $75 excludes tax and tip, includes wine pairings. 7 p.m. 2030 M St. NW. Call 202-872-8700. RESERVE NOWJULY 15: Barboursville Vineyards wine dinner at Founders' Restaurant and Brewing Company. $40 per person, $65 per couple, excludes tax and tip. 6:30 p.m. 607 King St., Alexandria. Call 703-684-5397

JULY 15: Lite Fare -- cooking demonstration and discussion with Michel Richard at Cintronelle. First in a series. $110 per class or $300 per 3-class series includes tax, tip and lunch with wine pairings. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 3000 M St. NW. Call 202-339-6323. JULY 15-18: Slow Food on Film -- festival featuring short narrative, animated and documentary works about food from around the world. $8.50 for nonmembers. Thursday: 9:15 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. 301-495-6720 or see www.afi.com/silver

JULY 18: Grilling 101 -- cooking class at the Art Institute of Washington. $50. 1820 N. Fort Myer Dr., Rosslyn. Call 703-247-6860.

PLEASE NOTE: Space limitations sometimes prevent Food from publishing all submissions. For possible inclusion, send notices -- including organization name, date, cost, time, address and phone number -- to: To Do, Food, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20071 or food@washpost.com. Submissions must be received at least 14 days prior to publication date.