Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Hold this homemade salmon loaf for Lent

Saucy Cook

By Mary Jo Spiegel
Enquirer contributor

I may not have thought this motherhood thing through. See, before kids, I assumed they'd do whatever I said and eat whatever was served. I'd be the all-powerful ruler of my own little kingdom. Hey, I even thought I'd have more free time!

Instead, my kids are turning me into my own mom. The woman who would serve mashed turnips and tell us it was mashed potatoes. OK, that didn't fool us.

We just thought something was terribly wrong with the potatoes. But now I understand. I, too, have been forced to become one sneaky mother.

My every waking moment is spent trying to outfox my son, who isn't even in school yet. The kid won't eat vegetables. Period. So I've finally figured out he doesn't need to know he's eating them.

"Spices" on his pizza? It's finely chopped spinach.

"Chocolate" milkshake? Full of tofu.

His own "special" orange juice? Cut in half with carrot juice.

Which is why I'm going to try a baked salmon loaf, as requested by Georgia Sizemore in Norwood. It's a prime opportunity for disguising some finely diced veggies.

• Helen Mullikin in Newport reminds us this is a perfect dish for the approaching Lenten season. Perhaps a sneaky mother herself, she says leave the skin and bones in the canned salmon for more calcium. Here's a version from Heather Egan of Mount Washington, readily made, she says, from items usually in the pantry.

Baked Salmon Loaf

1 16-ounce can salmon, drained

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 cup bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes

1/2 cup skim milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Turn into greased loaf pan. Press salmon mixture into greased loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes or until done. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot or cold. Makes 4 servings.

• Virginia Hudson in Harrison wants the balsamic vinaigrette recipe from Dewey's Pizza.. My sources have been undercover, trying to crack the bulk-made dressing's ratios, but report "some management type is always watching." Too risky.

Special agent Beverly Ocker of New Haven, W. Va., intercepts the recipe request when the newspaper is left on her flight to Omaha. She responds with her favorite and a warning: "Use only the best olive oil."

OK, maybe the other ingredients should be pretty good, too.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons honey

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 small shallots finely minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic and shallots. Gradually whisk in olive oil until incorporated. Makes 1 2/3 cups.

Can you help?

• It all started with Linda Braunwart in North College Hill. Now everyone wants the recipe for recreating the Seven Hills Burger from the former Shillito's department store. Some readers will take "any Shillito's recipe."

So was the restaurant the Tea Room? The Copper Kettle? Please share your Shillito's memories.

Send food questions, tips, recipe requests and recipes to Saucy Cook, the Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202. E-mail: Include name, neighborhood, e-mail and phone number.

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