Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 21, 2014

Kay's Cooking Corner

Spice up your life!

Last fall, my sister and I drove our mom to Grand Junction, Colo., to visit our other sister and all the family living out that way. And there are plenty of them – nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws and many, many others. As you can imagine, we have a great time when we all get together.

There’s always a lot of laughter and love and cooking! I’m proud to say all the young ladies are quite good cooks. In fact, all of the ladies and young people in my family are good cooks, including the men! My two sons and my nephew Stephen are great cooks.

One of the things I really enjoyed was a corn salsa recipe Candice made. She gave me the recipe, so that is one of the recipes I’m sharing with you this week. It’s super yummy.

Candice is a young mother, and is so sweet. There are several young mothers in the family, and they’re all sweet and loving and busy growing their families. It’s a pleasure to be around them, watch the babies growing and changing, and most of all – to be a part of them. I feel blessed!

Now down to business. I don’t know if I’ve ever written about cilantro or not, but since it’s in all three of the delicious recipes below, I thought it would be a good time to do so.

Cilantro is coriander is cilantro. Or Chinese parsley. Or dhania, if you live in Africa. Let me explain.

Cilantro is an herb with wide, delicate, lacy green leaves and a pungent flavor. The seeds of the cilantro plant are known as coriander. Although cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, their flavors are quite different and usually cannot be substituted for each other. Some countries refer to cilantro as coriander, so any references to “fresh coriander” or “coriander leaves” are actually referring to cilantro.

Coriander is a fragrant seed that’s reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage. The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds that, when dried, are used as the spice. When ripe, the seeds are yellowish-brown in color and have longitudinal ridges. Coriander seeds are available whole or in ground powder form.

Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

Coriander, or cilantro, contains an antibacterial compound that may prove to be a safe, natural means of fighting salmonella. Researchers have isolated the compound dodecenal, which was twice as effective as the commonly used antibiotic drug gentamicin at killing salmonella, in both the leaves and seeds of coriander.

In addition to dodecenal, eight other antibiotic compounds were isolated from fresh coriander, suggesting to the researchers that dodecenal might be developed as a tasteless food additive to prevent food-borne illness. This is a great idea, but who wants to settle for “tasteless” food protection when all you have to do is eat more fresh salsa and other recipes using coriander?   

Candice’s Corn Salsa

1 can of white corn

1 can of Mexi-corn

1/3 cup of red onion, diced

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 jalapeño, minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 cup (or more if desired) of cilantro, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black

    pepper, to taste

Juice from one or two limes

Chop, dice, and mince all of the ingredients. Mix them together well in a large bowl. Serve with the chips of your choice. So yummy!

Lemon Cilantro Rice Pilaf

1 tablespoon of oil

1 cup of raw long grain rice

1 1/2 cups of water

1 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of sliced green onion

1/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a nonstick saucepan. Add the rice and sauté until the kernels are opaque. Add the water, grated lemon rind, lemon juice, turmeric, and salt. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the green onions and cilantro.

Easy Chili-Mac

Here’s an extra recipe I found at Kraftrecipes.com that I want to share. This is a hearty, quick, and easy (for all you moms on the run) chili recipe great for these cool winter nights we are having. It’s one that every member of the family will enjoy!

1 pound of extra-lean ground beef

2 tablespoons of chili powder

1-1/2 cups of water

1 can (15.5 oz.) of kidney beans, rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) of tomato sauce

1 cup of TACO BELL® Thick & Chunky Salsa

3/4 cup of elbow macaroni, uncooked

1 cup of KRAFT Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

Fresh cilantro, diced

Brown the meat with the chili powder in large saucepan. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese; mix well. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve topped with cheese and cilantro.