Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Slimmed-down dressing thicker but tasty

Recipe Rehab

        We have an interesting salad dressing for you to try. Jane Maddock sent this recipe, developed at the defunct English Pub restaurant in Key Biscayne, Fla. Served over a wedge of lettuce, this thick mayonnaise-based dressing is brimming with chopped parsley and onion. Honey imparts a mellow sweetness. Each serving contains 15 grams of fat.

        Mayonnaise is the only high-fat ingredient in this recipe. We reduced the regular mayo from 3/4 cups to 1/4 cup, and added 1/2 cup of Hellmann's Just 2 Good! Reduced Fat Mayonnaise. This was just enough regular mayo to give the dressing a “real” mayonnaise taste, and the combination of flavors from the parsley, onion and honey predominated.

        Our rehab of the dressing was slightly thicker than the original (due to the thickening agents in the low-fat mayonnaise), but it carried the same interesting flavors.

        With only 6 grams of fat per serving, this salad dressing is fine served on a wedge of lettuce, but would be more nutritious on a bed of mixed salad greens and veggies.

        Recipe Rehab Tip of the Week: Hellmann's Just 2 Good! Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (2 grams fat per tablespoon) has replaced the company's former Low Fat Mayonnaise (1 gram fat per tablespoon). The only apparent change is in the fat grams.
       Karen Weber, Pat Streicher and Ellen Illig are registered dietitians at Jewish Hospital's Cholesterol Center. Recipe Rehab Cookbook ($18), five yearly recipe supplements ($25 or $6.25 each), or complete set ($40) are available by sending check or money order to: RR Cookbook, PO Box 58100 Cincinnati 45258.

       English Pub House Dressing

        1/2 cup low fat (2 grams per tablespoon) mayonnaise
        1/4 cup regular mayonnaise
       1 1/4 cups chopped fresh parsley
        1/2 cup chopped onion
        1/4 cup honey2 tablespoons white vinegar

        In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise. Add parsley, onion, honey and vinegar; whisk until blended. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Makes 10 servings.
       Before and after
Values based on 1 serving (2 tablespoons)
       English Pub House Dressing...Adapted
       Calories...159 ..............100
       Fat .......13 g.............. 6 g
       Carbohydrate ...11 g..........14 g
       Sodium.....100 mg ............149 mg
       Cholesterol...10 mg ..........3 mg
       from fat....72%...............49%

       Required reading

        If you cannot eat wheat or any other kind of gluten because of celiac disease or an allergy, it's probably desserts that make you feel most deprived. Two new cookbooks offer plenty of recipes for cooking cakes, cookies, pies and puddings, as well as some breads, savory tarts and quiche.

        Gluten-Free Baking (Simon and Schuster; $27.50) is by Rebecca Reilly, a French-trained pastry chef who adapts many classic recipes.

        The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Dessert (Henry Holt; $29) is by Bette Hagman, who has written four other gluten-free cookbooks.

        Both have their own gluten-free flour mix, as well as special formulations in the recipes that work with the different properties of unusual flours.

       Good dishes

        Most seafood pasta dishes are too rich, too creamy and not seafoody enough. But the seafood fettuccine at Rookwood Pottery Bistro in Mount Adams is wonderful, coated with real cream and infused with the flavors of tarragon, fresh salmon, shrimp and mussels. ($14.50)

       We Tried It

        For Valentine's Day, the Italian coffee company illycaffe is promoting its two-pack of espresso coffee with a measuring spoon. It's not a bad idea. Coffee from illy is in the same price bracket as roses and Belgian chocolates. Throw in an espresso maker and it's in the same bracket as fine jewelry. And drinking coffee together is kind of romantic, especially if the coffee's this good.

        I've had illy at restaurants (they serve it at the Celestial and Rookwood Pottery Bistro, for instance) but never made it at home. I made several French-press pots and one in the coffee maker at work. What's remarkable about the coffee is its smoothness. Even brewed strong and served black, it doesn't have that harsh acid-caffeine edge that you put up with because you need the buzz. It's dark, but without the almost-burned taste of some strong espresso.

        Illy costs about $11 for an 8.8 ounce vacuum-sealed silver and red canister. It's available at Williams-Sonoma, or online at, where you can sign up to have coffee delivered to your home.


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