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Wild Rice Athena


This mouthwatering Mediterranean-inspired recipe makes a delectable side dish

 or light, meatless main dish.


3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

3/4    cup California wild rice

3/4    cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice

2                   tablespoons olive oil

1                   medium onion, chopped

2                   cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1                   6.5 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts

1                   tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2                   teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

1                   cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2    cup thinly sliced green onions


In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan, bring broth to a boil over high heat.  Add wild rice; reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer until grains begin to open and feel tender to bite, about 45 minutes.


Stir in white rice.  Cover tightly, and simmer until white and wild rice are tender to bite and liquid is absorbed, 20 to 25 more minutes.


Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade.  Chop artichoke hearts and add to onion and garlic along with the oregano and lemon peel.  Stir often over medium heat until heated through.  When rice is done, remove from heat and gently stir in onion-artichoke mixture, 1/4 cup reserved marinade, feta cheese and green onions.  Serve immediately.


Makes 6 to 8 side dish or 4 main dish servings.

A RICE MIRACLE by Bonnie Carroll

Never have I been able to conquer the quest of making great rice. It is always a bit soggy or too crisp. Recently, I had the pleasure of testing the AROMA 7-cup digital rice cooker & food steamer, and I am compleley sold on this great kitchen asset. The rice, either brown or white, turns out perfect. The vegetables are evenly steamed, and you can actually do both at the same time. The AROMA comes with an easy to follow manual that contains some great recipes, including Spanish rice, saute/simmer risotto, spinach & mushroom breakfast frittata or Monterrey green chile chicken wraps and you can find more recipes at www.AromaCo.com.  I love this cooker!



Souper Bowl
Spoonful of Comfort Chicken Soup

Warm your way back into a loved one’s heart with Spoonful of Comfort chicken soup. A Florida woman came up with the idea when her mother fell ill, and she wanted to send her a bit of good cheer.

The old-fashioned blend is handmade fresh from all-natural ingredients (no additives or preservatives). Recipe you’d expect — chicken, noodles, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper — prepared in small batches for best flavor, then shipped right to your door. 64-ounce jar $32.

Available online at spoonfulofcomfort.com.

Buon appetito!  Rao’s Caesars Palace, the East Harlem icon that calls now Las Vegas home, is serving its award-winning Southern Italian-style fare for lunch with “Pizza in the Park.”  Available Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can enjoy the new menu while experiencing the Rao’s indoor patio modeled after New York’s Jefferson Park.  Chef Carla Pellegrino’s menu showcases the perfect array of dishes including antipasti, pizza and desserts for that enjoyable lunch with friends, family or colleagues.  Prices range from $7 to $17, making for an affordable yet delectable meal.
“Pizza in the Park” begins with gli antipasti including Affettati Misti (thinly sliced parma prosciuto, soppressata, cubed provolone cheese, gaeta olives, pickled cornichons, sweet marinated garlic and mache greens); Caesars salad and Insalata della Casa (green leaf lettuce, iceberg, cucumber, endive, fennel, radicchio, red onion and tomatoes with the house vinaigrette).
The signature pizzas created in the Rao’s wood-burning ovens offer guests an assortment of options including Bianca (Focaccia), a White Pizza (no cheese) topped with coarse salt, extra virgin olive oil and rosemary sliced and served in a basket; Margheritta with pomarolla sauce (Neapolitan style strained tomato sauce specially made to top pizza), mozzarella, fresh tomato and fresh basil; Quatro Formaggi with fontina, gruyere, gorgonzola, mozzarella cheese and white truffles extra virgin olive oil; Quatro Stagione with pomarolla sauce, artichokes, parma prosciutto, gaeta olives and champignon mushrooms; Salciccia and Ricotta topped with mild Italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta cheese, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil and Piadiana Romagnola, a thin crust pizza sandwich stuffed with mozzarella, parma prosciutto, arugula lettuce and extra virgin olive oil.
If there is still room, the desserts or dolce include Torta di Ricotta Dolce, Italian-style ricotta cheesecake; Torta di Noccioline, a peanut butter tart with chocolate crust or Chef Pellegrino’s popular Tiramasu.

Give Saints
Saint Cupcake Delivers Nationwide


New delivery will help sing your praises when you serve them Saint Cupcakes. The Portland-based bakery’s treats are deliverd to your door.

Select (in multiples of three), flavors, and toppings at the site. Shortly you’ll receive a kit that includes the moist baked plain cuppies, frosting, and sprinkles, along with an icing wand and decorating tips. So it wouldn’t really be a sin to claim them as your own.

Favorite combos include carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut, vanilla chocolate chip with hot fudge icing and rainbow quinns, and chocolate with mint buttercream and white jimmies. For the vegans: chocolate or vanilla cake and frosting.

Available online at saintcupcake.com. To see the goods up close, check out our gallery.

       Sydney SeafoodSchool’s Autumn program launched



Sydney Seafood School has had a busy few months since reopening last October after a $1-million, Michael McCann-designed refurbishment, with much excitement among guests and chefs alike. It’s hard to know what’s most popular: the magnificent Sydney sandstone entry wall; the sea-green tanned Icelandic salmon skin lining the auditorium; the sleek new stainless steel cooking islands equipped with state-of-the-art Fisher & Paykel appliances; the funky blackboard graffiti wall art; or the dining room with a huge 180-degree view of Blackwattle Bay and fishing net chandeliers. If you haven’t been to a class since the relaunch (or even if you have) there’s plenty to tempt on the upcoming program.


Christine Manfield from Universal gets things started in March with her unique blend of flavours and textures, followed by Lucio Galletto from Lucio’s and Matt Moran from ARIA. In April there’s Sardinian chef Giovanni Pilu from Pilu at Freshwater, as well as Lyndey Milan with another of her popular Spanish food and wine workshops.


If you’re wondering what to cook Mum on Mothers Day, inspiration is at hand with Kathy Snowball’s delicious, seasonal 3-course dinner party class in May. And Alessandro Pavoni from Ormeggio at The Spit makes his Seafood School debut in May, showcasing the food of northern Italy. Meanwhile Justin North is back with more of the sophisticated modern cuisine that has made Bécasse so popular. If you love the flavours of Vietnam, don’t miss Mark Jensen from Red Lantern in June. Or for something a little more edgy, there’s Mark Best from Marque with his modern French-inspired cuisine.


Of course, all the School’s popular regular classes, including Seafood BBQ, Thai, Chilli Crab, Tapas, Moroccan and Sushi are back. Many are better than ever now that the School has gas cooktops and ovens on every bench. The Moroccan class now uses beautiful white All-Clad tagines, the garlic prawns in the Tapas class are cooked in fun, retro cast-iron pots in the oven, and authentic thin metal woks are used for Singaporean Chilli Crab and Thai curries. And if you’re a fan of spicy food, check out the delicious new Laksa class in May.


The March-June program of classes and latest FISHline News can be viewed at www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au. Classes can be booked online and gift certificates purchased from the website (a great Mothers day gift idea).

Contact Sydney Seafood School on (02) 9004 1111 or sss@sydneyfishmarket.com.au and FISHline on (02) 9004 1122 or fishline@sydneyfishmarket.com.au

Naples, Italy has long been known for its hearty, homey, Southern Italian dishes, leaving the epicurean traveler occasionally hungry for innovation. Those torn between a craving for traditional Neapolitan tastes and something beyond the norm, should venture to the restaurant lauded by the Italian culinary elite: Il Comandante at Romeo Hotel. Recently named the “Best Hotel Restaurant in Naples, Italy” and “Fourth Best in the Campania Region” by Italy’s exclusive 2010 L’Espresso Guides*, Il Comandante received a top rating of 16/20 points for its utilization of Naples’ bounty in surprising ways.

Known now as the “best restaurant that Naples has ever had”, reviewers praised the creativity of Executive Chef Andrea Aprea. Favorite dishes included his signature Ravioli filled with “Genovese Style Beef,” Beetroot Compote, and Baby Spinach with Pine Nuts and Amberjack Fish with Mashed French Beans, Saffron, Raisins Pesto and Pecorino Cheese.

"Every course that I create is invariably influenced by being Napolitano. It has shaped my understanding of the art of cuisine and what can be done with prime ingredients," said Aprea. The 32-year-old has returned from positions abroad to his hometown specifically to head the kitchen at Il Comandante. Trained at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, Aprea’s resume boasts tenures at the Fat Duck (three Michelin stars) and The Waterside Inn (three Michelin stars) in London. By re-inventing local classics such as the Caprese Salad with the creation of Roll of Milk and Buffalo Mozzarella with Tomato Dressing and Basil Pesto, Aprea has swiftly become known for transforming traditional Neapolitan cuisine into refined, fine-dining fare.

*The L’Espresso Guides are Italy’s top restaurant, wine and hotel guides published yearly by L’Espresso newspapers.

Designed to reflect the new face of Naples, the eighty-three room boutique hotel is literally a work of art. The manifestation of the melded visions of renowned architects, designers and artists, Romeo Hotel reflects the dual personalities of its home as both a historic city and lively commercial center.  Conceived by famous architect Kenzo Tange and created by his son Paul, it showcases quality design from the glass paneled façade to the TABU wood finishes in each room. Rare and commissioned pieces from top, internationally-known contemporary artists and Neapolitan photographers are found throughout capturing the essence of the city.  From classic Neapolitan fare in Il Comandante to traditional Japanese sushi in Zero Sushi Bar, dining at Romeo Hotel is an international affair, while the Cigar Room and Cristallo Bar provide social spaces for mingling and cocktails. Offering a place to escape the hectic pace of Naples, the hotel also features Romeo Wellness, the hotel's spa that juxtaposes the themes of water and fire. An outdoor pool deck that seems to blend seamlessly with the Bay of Naples in the horizon completes the experience.



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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved