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Written by Texas Highways

French Chef Michel Bernard Platz, co-owner with Jose Sanabria of Out of Flower cooking school and specialty catering in Dallas, recommends traditional Alsatian fare. In Alsae, the Yuletide dinner starts with an onion and leek tart, followed by a hearty one-dish creation called Baeckaoffa served with walnut bread. For dessert, try an Alsatian Cheese Tart.

According to Polish custom, Christmas Eve vigil opens the holiday season. The family gathers to share an evening meal of seven to 21 courses. A typical menu consists of herring and pickled mushrooms, clodnik (cucumber beet soup), pike with horseradish sauce, baked sauerkraut with yellow peas, rutabagas with carrots, and fried fish with lemon rings. For dessert, celebrants might enjoy an Almond Mazurek, like this one from a recipe by Rita Montgomery, an American-born Dallasite of Polish descent.

Rice not only makes good eating; it also is one of the most nutritious foods around. It supplies us with complex carbohydrates, and important energy source, plus small amounts of high quality protein, vitamins, and minerals (thiamin, niacin, and iron). Rice contains no cholesterol or sodium, and only a trace amount of fat. The staple food source for more than half of the world's population, rice appears in traditional dishes in countries as diverse at China, Greece, India, and Spain. The Rice Council offers a wide range of recipes containing rice, including some that call for rice bran, the fiber and nutrient rich outer layers of brown rice. A sampling of recipes from their files follows. Enjoy them with rice grown or milled Texas-style! Makes 16 squares.

Makes about 6 dozen.

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