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November 10, 2012

Culinary Conversation: Beat the clock, not the cook

NEW CASTLE — How many times a day have you wished you had more — well — time?

Even with super turbo-charged electronic gadgets that are supposed to make a life a little easier, somehow, there’s still not enough hours in the day. Some of that could be due to the fact that we’re so obsessed with the new and improved technology that we spend more time with these helpers than we actually realize.

The gadgets apply to the kitchen, too. We have convection ovens, microwaves, panini makers, grillers, roasters, blenders, juicers, food processors and so many conveniences that many of our grandmothers would have envied.

Thankfully, the second group can really cut down the amount of time spent in the kitchen. There are even apps for your phone that allow accessing a recipe in record time. It just doesn’t have the same effect as those worn, stained recipe cards of the past.

All the recipes included today can be made in 10 minutes or less. Really. And no, these aren’t the kind of choices that require defrosting and nuking. They even have a “gourmet” touch, if you will. All of these are generally for two people, so just adjust the recipes accordingly for the number you are serving.

There’s even a dessert — one of my favorites, which is chocolate mousse.

Speaking of time, remember Culinary Conversation is your column, too, so please tell us about your time-saving recipes. And with the holidays approaching, we’re looking for your favorite Christmas cookies. It’s not too early to submit those, too, and we’ll share them with your friends and neighbors.

Meanwhile, these contributions are just a few of many examples of the newest version of playing beat the clock.

Shrimp Scampi

  • 14 very large shrimp or prawns, raw
  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsps. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

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Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado has been suspended five games for sucker punching Pittsburgh’s Travis Snider during a bench clearing brawl on Sunday. You OK with that suspension?

Yes. Seems fair.
No. Baseball NEVER gets it right in these situations. Should have been at least 20 games for his sucker punch into a pile of players.
Not sure, but I’d love to see baseball be like hockey and allow two guys to fight for a while before breaking it up. Let’s see how tough Maldonado is then.
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