Stir Crazy: Mark your calendar now for Collinsville cooking classes

News-DemocratApril 14, 2014 

It's that time of year for the Collinsville Public Library to start its cooking classes. From April through July, they are held the last Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the community room of the library.

Space is limited and registration is required by stopping by the main desk at the library or calling 618-344-1112. Cost of each class is $5 and due at the time of the class.

Certified culinarian Kathy Seibel will do the instructing. Here is a list of the classes:

April 24 -- Spring into Health. Start the season off on the healthy side with a turkey burger recipe, but leave room for a spring cupcake.

May 29 -- Party Time. Summer will have arrived by the time this class takes place, so learn some recipes for light dishes that are just right to bring to summer get-togethers.

June 26 -- Fresh and Delicious. Learn to use fresh produce in recipes for vegetable and fruit salads. Plus, get tips on how to pick the best produce.

July 31 -- Homemade Ice Cream. It'll be plenty warm when you learn how to make ice cream.

I have shared this recipe with a variety of people who, like me, enjoy cooked carrots but are stuck on how to fix them other than adding a sweet flavor, such as honey.

This is an incredible dish that will have family and guests wondering what they're eating, then asking how you made it. Make sure to buy big, long carrots to get the "fettuccine" effect when you peel them.

The recipe was created by Executive Chef Sara Moulton, who currently stars in public television's "Sara's Weeknight Meals" and has written three cookbooks, including "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners."


1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 pounds large carrots, peeled, stem ends discarded

1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Salt and ground black pepper

2 ounces Neufchatel (low-fat cream cheese)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a shallow baking dish, spread the walnuts in an even layer and bake on the oven's middle shelf for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they smell fragrant. Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, using a swivel blade or a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long fettuccine-like strands, discarding the core (or saving it for a snack or a stock).

In a large skillet, combine 1 cup of the chicken broth with the lemon zest, a hefty pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Whisk the mixture until the lemon is well distributed.

Cut up the cheese into small pieces and add it to the skillet along with the carrots. Cover the skillet tightly and bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the carrots, covered, for 3 minutes. Remove the lid, and stir the carrots gently with tongs to make sure the cheese is well distributed. Cover and simmer, adding the additional broth if the mixture seems dry, for another 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the carrots are tender.

Stir in the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Divide the carrot "fettuccine" between 4 serving plates, then top each portion with a quarter of the toasted walnuts and the chives.

Servings: 4, each with 200 calories, 13 grams fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar, 7 grams protein, 330 mg sodium.

Food & Wine magazine's Grace Parisi loves popovers, but baking them can be tricky: They don't always rise as they should. For these foolproof ones, Grace added a bit of baking powder to the batter and chose to use a regular muffin tin. Avoid a nonstick tin, as the batter must creep up the sides as it bakes and these pans add too much slickness to help that along.

Orange Popovers

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1 1/4 cups milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and orange zest.

Whisk in the milk and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter.

In another bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.

Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until only small lumps remain.

Brush the cups of a muffin tin with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter and heat the muffin tin in the oven for 5 minutes; the butter will turn a nutty brown.

Carefully fill the muffin cups halfway with the popover batter. Bake the popovers for about 30 minutes, until they are risen and browned. Turn the popovers out onto a serving platter and serve them right away. Makes 12 popover.

Here's how to reach me: Phone, 239-2664; e-mail,; or write, Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

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