For those Americans still sticking to their New Year's resolution to diet, the first real test of the year is on its way. Over the next few days, people will be swarming bakeries around the country for their favorite Fat Tuesday treat-- the paczki (pronounced POONCH-key).
Dr. Peter McCullough says that people have to be disciplined on Fat Tuesday.
"They certainly can wreck a person's commitment to a diet," says Peter McCullough, M.D., Medical Director of the Beaumont Weight Control Center. "A typical five ounce paczki contains about 420 calories, 25 or more grams of fat, and is loaded with refined carbohydrates which are directly converted into fat."
The paczki are rich pastries similar to donuts. They are made from richer dough and are typically filled with jelly, preserves, custard or prune butter. Traditionally, they are eaten the day before Lent begins. The annual Fat Tuesday event was brought to North America by Polish Catholics who emptied their pantries of lard, eggs and sugar in anticipation of the 40-day Lenten period.
Dr. McCullough says the deep-fried paczki dough soaks up fat like a sponge. After eating a couple of these glorified donuts, the name "Fat Tuesday" is really apropos. It's exactly what the eater will be filling his body with fat! ..."
(Like the Romans, you can omit the cream but on this "Fat Tuesday" ~ Why?)
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6-8 ounces pancetta or crisp bacon
1 chopped red or yellow onion
2 plump minced garlic cloves
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese for topping
- Cook pasta in large pot of rolling heavily salted water until tinder but still firm about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking until soft. Add pancetta and cook until lightly browned. (If using bacon, reduce olive oil).
- Beat eggs with cream in large bowl until blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese & pepper. Drain pasta and pour into bowl with egg-cream mixture. Toss. Add pancetta or bacon & drippings.Toss again to coat well. Serve immediately, passing cheese and more freshly ground pepper & a loaf of crisp garlic bread. (serves 4-6)
CANNOLI with HAZELNUT CREAM
1 cup toasted & coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup toasted & coarsely chopped natural pistachio nuts
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 crisp cannoli shells (Italian specialty shelf at market)
Whip cream with chilled beaters in chilled bowl, 2-3 minutes or until thick. Beat in sugar & vanilla. Fold in hazelnuts & pistachios. Stuff cannoli shells with nut cream. Serve cold, topped with light dusting of sifted confectioners' sugar.