Elegant Walnut Salad

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Simple and satisfying, a salad made with Romaine lettuce and crushed walnuts may be enhanced with Cheddar cheese to make a nutritious luncheon dish.  The best dressing for M-J’s Walnut-Romaine salad recipe is a honey-laced vinaigrette.  For an elegant salad-design, toss the lettuce in dressing before arranging the crushed walnuts around the edges of your bowl. ©M-J de MestertonRomaine__Elegant_Salad_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton

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Home-Made Pizza

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I made my own pizza-dough as usual, and fitted it into a copper pan, decorated with sauce, cheese, parsley and pepperoni, then popped it into a 400-degree oven. This is the gorgeous pie that slipped right out of my pan onto a trivet.

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Here is another home-made pizza, fashioned with dough from my versatile pain de mie recipe. The soft stuff was stretched onto a 14″ round Granite-Wear pizza pan that gives the bottom of the light dough a crispy finish.Home-Made_Pizza_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_Mesterton

©M-J de Mesterton, March 2017

 

Deep-Fried Gyoza

gyoza_deep-fried_copyright_m-jeanne_de_mesterton_elegant_cookGyoza skins were filled with health-promoting ingredients: purple cabbage, cooked adzuki beans, celery, carrot, red onion, cooked brown rice, chopped umeboshi plums and miso; I sealed them with an egg-wash and then the gyoza dumplings were deep-fried in peanut oil and drained on paper towels. I served half of these and froze the rest (it’s the only way to keep them; storing these deep-fried pockets of finely minced vegetables, legumes and rice in the fridge will make them too soft). The frozen “gyozas” will be spread in a single layer and reheated in a hot oven. @M-J de Mesterton 2017

Eggs Help Prevent Stroke and Heart Disease

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One large egg typically contains six grams of high-quality protein, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin (a substance in egg yolks), as well as significant amounts of the important vitamins E, D, and A.

Vitamin E has been proven to reduce the risk of coronary attacks in people with heart disease, while lutein helps to protect against clogging of the arteries.

A study concluded at EpidStat Institute in November, 2016 found that consuming just one egg a day reduces risk of stroke by 12 percent. The study’s principal investigator, Epidemiologist Dr. Dominik Alexander, said: “Eggs do have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure.”

U.S. scientists have found that, contrary to traditional perceptions acquired from decades of less rigorous research, consuming eggs had no association with coronary heart disease, which is on record as the leading cause of death worldwide.

©M-J de Mesterton 2017

M-J’s Article about Eggs, Published in 2010

Eggs don’t cause heart disease, as the medical industry previously believed. And here is more good news: a research team at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge determined that women on a weight-loss regimen who ate an egg with toast and jelly each morning lost twice as many pounds as those who had a bagel breakfast with the same number of calories without the accompanying egg.

Huevos (Eggs), by Spanish Court Painter Diego Velasquez

Eggs are nutritious, convenient, useful in thousands of recipes, and are a relatively inexpensive source of high-quality protein.

One large egg, which represents less than 4 percent of the total daily calorie intake of a person who consumes 2000 calories per day, provides 10 percent of the Daily Value for protein, 15 percent of the Daily Value for riboflavin, and 4 percent or more of the Daily Value for several other nutrients, including vitamins A, B6 and B12; folate; iron; phosphorus; and zinc. Eggs also provide choline, which is  essential in the human diet, and is credited for helping to create healthy babies during pregnancy. Because the percentage of the  recommended  daily amount for many nutrients provided by an egg is greater than the proportion of total calorie intake that the egg represents, the egg more than pulls its weight nutritionally. Most of the vitamins and minerals in eggs are found in the yolk; protein, however, is found in both the yolk and the white.

Recent research indicates that egg eaters are more likely than non-egg eaters to have diets that provide adequate amounts of essential nutrients. This seems to be partly due to the nutritional contribution of the eggs themselves and partly due to the fact that the inclusion of eggs in the diet is an indicator of a desirable eating pattern that includes breakfast.

Eggs can be prepared easily, in a variety of ways. They keep well  in the refrigerator for about three weeks, and therefore an individual can easily use up the dozen eggs in a carton before they spoil. Because most egg recipes involve short cooking times, eggs are convenient for the person with little time to prepare meals.

Eggs have several important physical and chemical properties that help make recipes work. They thicken custards, puddings and sauces; emulsify and stabilize mixtures such as mayonnaise and salad dressings; coat or glaze breads and cookies; bind ingredients together in dishes such as meat loaf and lasagne; eggs are used to clarify coffee and soups; retard crystallization in boiled candies and frostings; and leaven some types of baked goods such as cakes, cookies, soufflés, buns and sponge cakes.

Eggs are economical, especially when compared to other high-protein foods. For people who are trying to balance their budgets as well as their diets, serving eggs occasionally instead of meat, poultry, or fish is very economical.

One other  benefit of eggs is that they are a functional food—that is, a food which provides health benefits that go beyond basic nutrition. Eggs contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, two components which are believed to have health benefits.

Stocking up on dehydrated eggs would be a wise move right now.  There are many sources of dried or powdered eggs on ebay and the internet. I prefer to dessicate and process them at home. Here is my procedure:

Emergency Powdered Eggs

Cook the desired amount of eggs in a non-stick pan until they are scrambled dry. On a a large baking-sheet, place your scrambled eggs in a thin layer. Use a French chef’s knife or a pastry cutter to break them into smaller pieces. In a low oven around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, bake this tray of eggs for eight hours or until it is devoid of moisture. Using a hand-mill, meat-grinder, food-mill or a blender, process the eggs until they turn to powder. Store the dried egg powder in an air-tight, food-grade container.

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Reversal of Long-Held Beliefs on Dietary Fats

Additional Information on Foods Containing Cholesterol

A heart specialist from the University of Ireland, Professor Sherif Sultan, notes:

  • Current dietary guidelines are outmoded and desperately need to be revised.
  • Despite decades-old recommendations, high carbohydrate diets should be avoided.
  • Diets consisting largely of foods high in good-quality fats are the healthiest.
  • This essential changeover will stem the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and weight-related heart problems.

Making Croutons

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A half-loaf of home-made sourdough bread was a couple days old, and tired of being stored in the fridge. I decided to make croutons with it for the week’s luncheon salads. I poured olive oil, spices, parsley and fresh rosemary into a Pop-It storage box (made with safe materials in Italy), then tossed the bread squares in and shook the thing with all my might to coat them well. With ambient heat from the oven while baking the croutons, a new loaf of bread was rising nearby. Sliced thinly, the croutons were ready after ten minutes in a 350° oven. Cooled croutons were poured into elegant jars to be used at table. And they won’t need to be stored for long; these croutons will quickly be poured out onto salads. @M-J de Mesterton

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Don’t Waste Lemon Peels: Make Marmalade

 

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Lemons are dear. I never waste any part of them. Squeezed-out lemons are cut finely, with just the seeds removed, then boiled for an hour with non-GMO sugar, water, and fruit pectin. Refrigerated in a recycled jar with a pretty lid, my citrus marmalade easily replaces an expensive glass of “Bonne Maman”. So, after you make lemonade, you might just want to make marmalade. ~~M-J

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Article at Natural News, by Regular Contributor J.D. Heyes

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Above: M-J’s High-Protein Waffles are Sliced Thin and Filled with Ham, Cheese, and Dijon-Laced Mayonnaise for Low-Carb Panini (Grilled Sandwiches)

M-J’s Gluten-Free Peanut Flour Waffles

One egg

1/2 cup of buttermilk

1 1/2 cup of water

1 cup of peanut flour*

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon of melted butter

1 teaspoon of brown sugar (optional; this bit of sucrose helps the waffles to caramelize)

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional, but it does add to the leavening)

1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)

Approximately 5 drops or 1/4 cup of of sucralose sweetener (optional)

If your batter is too thick, add more water or milk. If you think it’s too thin, add a bit more peanut flour.

Brush a waffle iron with butter to prepare its surfaces. Heat your waffle iron, and be careful to add just enough batter to it for each waffle–I find that stopping short of the edges by an eighth of an inch will keep the batter from overflowing once the iron is closed. These waffles take approximately six minutes to bake. You can check on them by opening the waffle iron after four minutes.  For a savoury experience, these waffles are good with bacon and sour cream, and with chicken or roast beef as well.  Of course, these waffles are excellent with strawberries and whipped cream, or dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

©M-J de Mesterton 2016

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Wrapping the Waffles in Layers with Waxed Paper

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M-J’s Gluten-Free, Peanut Flour Waffles are Ready for the Freezer

*I use Protein Plus Peanut Powder. Here is their proprietary description:

Peanut flour is a dry powder formed after the partial extraction of oil from the roasted peanut seed. It is used to add flavor and protein to processed baked goods, nutrition bars and snacks, as well as to marinades, sauces and dressings. Worldwide, peanut flours have been limited to use by industrial food processors as a major food ingredient. While peanuts are about 25% protein, peanut flour is about 50% protein. That’s because the process of mechanically removing fatty oil from roasted peanuts enriches the levels of the remaining peanut components. The resulting flour is naturally low in fat, high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates.

Protein Plus roasted peanut flour provides a healthful, lower-fat, and gluten free boost to a variety of foods. It is a great thickener for soups, a flavorful and aromatic ingredient for breads and pastries, as well as a creative coating for meats, fish, and other dishes. Peanut flour is a good source of Vitamin E, Folate, Fiber, Niacin, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.

Substitute at least 30% of your plain or self-rising wheat flour for peanut flour in any of your favorite recipes. Peanut flour is not self-rising and will need a rising agent added if called for in your recipe. When baking with peanut flour, you may want to add an extra egg or other moistening agent to prevent dryness.

Boiling Potatoes for Freezing

Boiling a Whole 10-Pound Bag of Potatoes, Economizing on Energy ©M-J de Mesterton 2015
Boiling a Whole 10-Pound Bag of Potatoes Uses Less Energy than Little Batches
©M-J de Mesterton 2015

To boil a whole sack of spuds at once, I added a tablespoon of salt and a quarter-cup of vinegar to the water in this huge stock-pot. The potatoes came out of the sack clean enough to dump directly into the pot. I turned on the gas and waited for them to start boiling, then let them simmer for thirty minutes.

Reserve the Potato-Water to Use as Fertilizer for Your Garden ©M-J de Mesterton
Reserve the Potato-Water to Use as Fertilizer for Your Garden
©M-J de Mesterton

When the boiled potatoes were soft enough to eat but still firm enough to slice, I turned off the gas. I then transferred the potato-water to a more manageable pot. Because the large stock-pot filled with potatoes and water was too heavy for me to handle, I used a heat-proof pitcher to ladle it out, and poured the remaining hot water into a bowl in the sink. Later, when this nutrient-rich water is cool, I shall take these vessels of liquid to the garden and water plants  with them.

The potatoes, after having been drained of hot water, sat covered in the stock-pot to cool for a few minutes. To peel them, I simply throw some ice and cold water over the potatoes, let sit for ten minutes, then the jackets will usually slide off easily, leaving a very attractive spud indeed, ready to be frozen for later use. I developed this method of preparing potatoes for the future when an economy-sized bag of them threatened to sprout. To prevent the spuds from going bad, I boiled and peeled and froze them. They are perfect when turned into gratin Dauphinois, hash-browns and mashed potatoes.

©M-J de Mesterton 2015

Austerity Cookery

These boiled potatoes are ready to be doused with ice-water for easy peeling. When the spud-jackets are removed this way, there is no waste like there is when a peeler is used on raw potatoes. These particular potatoes have such delicate skins that, testing them for softness, I smashed one in a bowl, seasoned it with Himalayan salt and pepper: the little spud, jacket included, was delicious!

Elegant Blanched Potatoes

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Potatoes, when cooled, may be packed in zippered bags or BPA-free food-storage boxes for freezing. In the freezer, there are a few spuds in a bag and the majority of today’s produce in a BPA-free Ozeri Green Earth container, flanked by haricots verts and home-made bread, topped by stacked home-made pizza slices and yesterday’s chocolate pie.

Pre-Boiled and Peeled Potatoes in the Freezer

Elegant Dining: Tablecloth Size-Chart

 Choosing the Proper TABLECLOTH SIZES Fabric or Linen, Total Sizes
70″ Round 90″ Round 108″ Round 120″ Round 132″ Round
Table Size, with a
Standard
30″ Height
30″ Round 20″ Drop To the Floor Too Large Too Large Too Large
36″ Round 17″ Drop 27″ Drop Too Large Too Large Too Large
42″  Round 14″ Drop 24″ Drop Too Large Too Large Too Large
48″ Round 11″ Drop 21″ Drop To the Floor Too Large Too Large
54″ Round 8″ Drop 18″ Drop 27″ Drop Too Large Too Large
60″ Round 15″ Drop 24″ Drop 30″ Drop Too Large
66″ Round 12″ Drop 21″ Drop 27″ Drop Too Large
72″ Round 18″ Drop 24″ Drop 30″ Drop

The typical size for 10-person table is 72″ round.
A white tablecloth is formal, while a coloured or black one is less-formal, and a patterned cloth is casual. White-on-white weaves  such as brocade, jacquard or white embroidered on white cloth make very elegant formal tablecloths.
©M-J de Mesterton 2013

Dumplings and Dipping Sauce

Yesterday’s dumplings or gyoza were filled with mung beans, water chestnuts, celery, red onion and ginger, all processed in a mini-prep Cuisinart. For a dipping-sauce, I combined hand-squeezed orange juice, organic shoyu sauce, and home-made red-chile sesame oil. I also offered Edmond Fallot authentic moutarde de Dijon.

Courtesy of M-Jeanne de Mesterton, The Elegant Cook



Amazon.com Widgets

Won Ton Skins are dipped in water and laid on a cutting board for a few minutes to soften before filling, which makes them easier to crimp. Then, filling is applied to the centre of each skin using a teaspoon or Swedish “meatballer” before the dumplings are folded over and sealed. As you see here, the dumplings/gyoza do not necessarily all look alike when finished. My gyoza are sautéed on each side in safflower and/or sesame oil until golden brown. These dumplings may be steamed after frying by adding a half-cup of water or green tea to the pan and covering with heat for three minutes, or just be dipped or drenched with sauce. A sprinkling of gomasio or toasted, salted sesame seeds is a welcome garnish for these simple dumplings. Dumplings are a great vehicle for leftover meats, beans and vegetables. “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”, and with your chosen leftovers or ingredients combined into a dumpling, you may just invent a family-favourite.
Courtesy of M-Jeanne de Mesterton, The Elegant Cook

Burgundy-Style Wine in a Box


Elegant, Inexpensive Burgundy in a Box, by Almaden Vineyards

Wine isn’t used just for drinking in France; it is used in cookery, including the famous braised-beef dish boeuf bourguignon. Marinating and cooking meat  in Burgundy wine makes it very tender, with a robust flavour.
In the U.S., you may wish to keep a five-litre box of Almaden Mountain Burgundy (available at Sam’s and elsewhere for between 12 and 15 USD) in the kitchen for cooking. This way, a whole bottle of Burgundy, which can be expensive, doesn’t need to be opened when you just wish to add a half-cup of it to your dish. The wine is protected in an air-free vessel  inside the box, and is always at-hand for occasional use in cookery. Wine on-tap on top of the refrigerator is a great boon to any creative home-cook. 
©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Click Here to Read M-J’s Main Website, Elegant Survival

Swedish Meatballs, an Elegant Austerity Dish

Elegant Swedish Meatballs and Potatoes 

An elegant way to stretch your meat budget in these austere times is to make Swedish or Scandinavian-style meatballs. Each household cook has his or her recipe, but the basics are ground meat such as beef, veal and/or pork mixed with bread crumbs or bits of bread (I use bits of brioche pulled out from my brioche hamburger buns, which have been reserved in a freezer-bag), an egg and some cream or milk.  Finely-minced onion is optional. Spices include nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper. Onion powder can take the place of minced onion, or that flavour may be omitted altogether. Meat mixtures are shaped into small balls and rolled in flour, then fried in butter. A pan-gravy is made while the finished meatballs rest in a warm oven until serving time. I prefer to use ground beef, brioche bits, sour cream, minced onions or onion-powder, nutmeg, salt and white or green ground pepper.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Serve Swedish meatballs with new potatoes and perhaps a little lingonberry or cranberry sauce on the side.
This Danish baking-dish has the traditional cream gravy at its bottom, topped with the meatballs (this type of meatball recipe is found in Swedish, Danish and Finnish cookbooks).
Very small new potatoes are usually just boiled in salted water, and not cut into pieces.
These Yukon Gold new potatoes have been cut and boiled, then sautéed in butter and smashed lightly.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Elegant Austerity Dish: Pot Roast

Slow-Cooked and Sumptuous: Pot Roast
A reduced-price cut of beef is slow-cooked in red wine and vegetables for an elegant, versatile austerity dish. Refrigerated and thinly-sliced, this beef is also excellent in salads and sandwiches. Just sauté the beef in butter, coconut oil or bacon grease, then add wine and vegetables. Cover pot and simmer for about three hours.

Home-Grown Radishes

The Elegant Radish, Edible in its Entirety
The Elegant, Entirely Edible Radish, an Easy-to-Grow Vegetable

I grew these radishes using only home-made, all-vegetal compost for fertiliser.

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Salad with Radish Greens, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Three ounces of radish greens contain on average 200mg (20% RDA) of calcium. They also provide 13% of the human RDA (recommended daily allotment) of iron, and  vitamins A (280% RDA) and C (173% RDA). All vegetable-greens are high in vitamin K. magnesium and other beneficial minerals.

This elegant salad is composed of radish greens, cucumbers, and home-roasted almonds. My dressing is a vinaigrette made with white wine vinegar, olive oil, dry mustard, salt, and a few drops of honey.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Radishes with Soft Butter, a Traditional Component of Breakfast in France: the Elegant Radish is a Liver-Tonic

The Beautiful, Beneficial Beet

This home-garden-grown baby beetroot was washed, steamed for five minutes, then dressed with olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. The root, bulb and leaves were consumed by your faithful editor. Grown in soil with only kitchen compost as a fertiliser, and no pesticides, this exquisite, nutritious beet was part of a health-promoting luncheon. Here is an article in the Wellness Times about the many health-benefits of beets, by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO. Dr Schor recommends drinking beet juice as well as eating the richly-coloured, elegant vegetables.

©M-J de Mesterton

Merguez avec Brioche
M-J's Home-Made Brioche with Sausage

Why bother making your own sausage? Because you can choose the sort of casings and ingredients, ensuring that you won’t be ingesting something that makes you cringe. For example, I think the beef-collagen casings sound more appetising (if there is such a thing where sausage casings are concerned) than “natural” ones. Here is a SAUSAGE-LINK. The SausageMaker.com has everything one needs to make sausage at home, except the meat.

I received an email notice from Chefs.com this morning, which contained a plug for the Kitchenaid Mixer’s Breakfast Kit. It includes a sausage-making attachment, a juicing tool, and something to help one make salsa. I am intrigued by this, and it is now on my wish-list. If I ever acquire the breakfast tool kit, I shall review it here at Elegant Survival News.

©M-J de Mesterton

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