More and more restaurants are making social consciousness a part of their corporate culture.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in six Americans -- including one in four children -- doesn't know where his next meal is coming from.
St. Louis Bread Co.'s parent company, Panera, is launching a social media campaign called Food Chain Reaction. It urges individuals to join with others to create online circles of five friends on Panera's Facebook page. For every circle of five friends formed, Panera Bread Foundation will provide a bowl of its hearty and nutritious Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean soup to a person in need through its alliance with Feeding America. The goal is to offer a total of 500,000 bowls by April 11.
Last November, the company and the Foundation launched a strategic alliance with Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief charity, to stock food banks in more than 75 markets with the soup.
Panera's efforts to combat local hunger and help fix a broken food system have grown out of its original commitment to donate bread and baked goods each night from its bakery/cafes. Go to the Facebook page for more information.
Ellise Pierce is author of "Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking With a French Accent" (Running Press, $25; www.cowgirlchef.com). She offered the Fort-Worth Telegram a great family recipe perfect for Lent recipe.
BAKED FISH STICKS WITH PARMESAN OVEN FRIES
1 cup bread crumbs
Sea salt and pepper
10 ounces medium-firm white fish, such as halibut
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut into sticks a la French fries
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
About 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Arugula, for serving (optional)
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, a smallish one and a larger one for the fries.
2. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, mix the bread crumbs with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
3. Cut your fish into about 12 stick-like pieces (I like mine about 1/2 inch thick by 1 inch wide), coat in 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and dredge each piece in the bread crumbs. Place fish sticks on your smaller cookie sheet.
4. Make the Parmesan fries: Place the potato pieces on the large cookie sheet, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and toss with your hands, making sure to evenly spread out the potatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and bake for about 45 minutes, making sure to check on them frequently and toss them so they brown evenly.
5. When the potatoes are nearly done, put them on the bottom rack of your oven and place the fish on the middle rack. Let the fish cook for 2 minutes; then carefully turn each stick and cook for 2 more minutes. Then remove everything from the oven.
6. Sprinkle Parmesan and parsley all over the fries, and serve on a plate with the fish sticks. I like mine garnished with a handful of arugula and a lemon wedge to squeeze over the top.
Makes 2 servings, each with 788 calories, 22 grams fat, 102 grams carbohydrates, 46 grams protein, 53 mg cholesterol, 584 mg sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber.
This recipe from Stephanie Witt Sedgwick for The Washington Post is simple and elegant.
Lemon Oregano Pork Tenderloin With Lemon Jus
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Zest of 1 large lemon (a loosely packed 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and silver skin, each about 1 pound
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup no-salt-added or homemade chicken broth
Juice from 1 large lemon (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
For the pork: Rub together the oregano, lemon zest, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Lay the tenderloins out on a platter or large sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle the rub and 1 tablespoon of the oil over the tenderloins; rub the seasonings and oil over the pork to coat it evenly. Wrap or cover the tenderloins. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a roasting pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the pork tenderloins; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning them every 1 to 2 minutes to evenly brown the tenderloins on all sides. Transfer the pan to the oven.
Roast for 14 to 18 minutes, until the internal temperature of the pork registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the pan from the oven; transfer the pork to a platter to rest and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
For the jus: While the pork rests, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil; boil for about 8 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Slice the pork on the diagonal; serve with the jus poured over it or passed at the table.
Makes 8 servings, each with 170 calories, 24 g protein, 7 grams fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium.
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