Congo Expels UN Human Rights Official After Report on Police

October 19, 2014 Posted by admin

KAMPALA, Uganda—Congo on Friday expelled a top United Nations human rights official, accusing him of spreading “false allegations” against the country’s police.

Information Minister Lambert Mende told The Wall Street Journal the government had declared Scott Campbell, director of the U.N.’s Joint Human Rights Office in Congo, “unwelcome” in the country.

The expulsion comes two days after the U.N. issued a report implicating…

Article source:

Bishops scrap welcome to gays in sign of split

October 18, 2014 Posted by admin

VATICAN CITY — Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week.

Additional Images

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, is saluted by two Swiss guards as he arrives to attend an afternoon session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican on Saturday.

The revised paragraph had said “people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy.” But the paragraph failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Two other paragraphs concerning the other hot-button issue at the synod – whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion – also failed to pass.

It wasn’t clear, though, if the 118-62 vote on the gay section was more a protest by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording. The revised paragraph had deleted the words of acceptance of gays’ sexual orientation and acknowledgment that gay unions can provide “precious support” to partners that had been contained in the draft.

Francis insisted in the name of transparency that the full document – including the paragraphs that failed to pass – be published along with the voting tally. The document will serve as the basis for future debate leading up to another meeting of bishops next October.

The revised report of the two-week meeting of bishops had been rewritten to incorporate amendments to the draft released Monday that had shown an unprecedented openness toward gays and Catholics who live together without being married.

Conservatives had harshly criticized the draft and proposed extensive revisions to restate church doctrine, which holds that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered,” but that gays themselves are to be respected, and that marriage is only between a man and woman.

“We could see that there were different viewpoints,” said Cardinal Oswald Gracis of India, when asked about the most contentious sections of the report on homosexuals and divorced and remarried Catholics.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper, the leader of the progressive camp, said he was “realistic” about the outcome.

In an unexpected gesture, Francis approached a group of journalists waiting outside the synod hall to thank them for their work covering the synod.

“Thanks to you and your colleagues for the work you have done,” he said. “Grazie tante.” Conservative bishops had harshly criticized journalists for reporting on the dramatic shift in tone in the draft, even though the media reports merely reflected the document’s content.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our
accuracy form.

Send questions/comments to the editors.

Article source:

What to Do With an Overload of Cauliflower

October 17, 2014 Posted by admin

Winter is coming and we’re serious about keeping farmers market produce on the menu. Alexandra Stafford of Alexandra Cooks is showing us how to store, prep, and make the most of the bounty, without wasting a scrap. 

Today: Cauliflower’s delicate taste makes it an excellent foil to more flavorful ingredients. Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic will teach you the ways.

What to Do With an Overload of Cauliflower

In a food world where al dente, crisp, and caramelized reign, pasta tossed with long-cooked, falling-to-pieces cauliflower might not ever catch on. Add to it breadcrumbs and cheese, and the monochromatic sight might send a nutritionist on a plate-as-color-wheel rant.

But if you can get beyond the texture and the color, this dish, which comes from Pasta: Recipes from The Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome, might make you forget crispy edges altogether — or at least make you appreciate the beauty of tender cauliflower melting into a sauce. In the book, this recipe falls in the vegetable-based sauces chapter, which puts the long cooking time into perspective: The cauliflower florets, after a five-minute blanching and twenty-minute sauté, become the sauce, the teensy pieces disintegrating altogether, the bigger stalks, which could be spread like butter, remaining intact. During the lengthy cooking, the cauliflower sweetens before meeting a salty anchovy-garlic paste and a heavy pinch of red pepper flakes, a trinity of seasonings rooted in Roman cooking.

Market Fresh Cauliflower?yhoo=true

If you’re worried you’ll crave more contrast in texture, don’t — toasted breadcrumbs sprinkled at the very end provide the nicest crunch. And if you can’t get over the spectrum of pale colors, try a whole-grain pasta: Farro, kamut, buckwheat, and spelt pastas, with their nutty, earthy flavors, pair especially well with the boldness of this sauce.

Chopped Cauliflower?yhoo=true

Cauliflower, too, can not only handle assertive flavors, but can  also be a bit of a chameleon, capable of dramatic changes in nature depending on its preparation. When roasted at high heat, it becomes crisp and caramelized, a preparation that might lead you to eat a whole head in a single sitting. When boiled and puréed, it becomes velvety smooth, the creamiest cream-less soup imaginable, a boon for vegans and omnivores alike. When poached then roasted whole or cut into slabs and pan-seared like a steak, it becomes meaty, an all-star of Meatless Mondays.

More: Check out our weekly Meatless Monday menus here.

Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies and Garlic?yhoo=true

But cauliflower can be prepared simply, too, especially when it’s fresh. I had never boiled cauliflower before making this pasta recipe, always favoring roasting at high heat, guilty of wanting those crispy, caramelized edges. But boiled cauliflower cooked in heavily salted water emerges tasting buttery and creamy on its own. And though it barely needs a drizzle of anything, I’ve been loving dressing the poached florets with a few tablespoons of brown butter, sprinkling them with tarragon, and showering them with crispy breadcrumbs, a preparation for which I have Chez Panisse Vegetables to thank. Crispy and colorful, it’s a dream for gourmands and nutritionists alike.

To store your cauliflower:

  • Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family (broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, etc.) and comes in a variety of colors including white, gold, pale green, and purple. Look for firm, compact heads with fine-grained curds. If possible, avoid heads with brown spots or any discoloration, but small brown spots are fine — just cut them off. Store cauliflower in the vegetable bin of your fridge for a week or longer. If you can fit it in a bag, do so, otherwise wrap with a tea towel. Cauliflower that has been cut into florets should be used within a day or two. 

 To prep your cauliflower:

  • Remove outer green leaves and stems and, if you are feeling especially nose-to-tailish, reserve these greens and cook (steam, sauté, etc.) them alongside the cauliflower. If the recipe specifies cutting the head into florets, use a paring knife to remove the stems from the center stalk. The stalk can be cut up and cooked as well. 

 To cook your cauliflower:

  • Cauliflower pairs well with assertive flavors: garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes, olives, capers, saffron, paprika, curry powder, turmeric. As noted above, it’s versatile and can be cooked in so many ways.

Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic Ingredients?yhoo=true 

  • Cauliflower can be eaten raw or briefly blanched and served with aioli or bagna cauda. When shredded, raw cauliflower makes a great slaw.

More: Use bagna cauda to craft an entire salad.

  • Fresh cauliflower needs little doctoring. It can be blanched in heavily salted water for five minutes and tossed with a little butter or olive oil. Dress this preparation up with brown butter, herbs, and crispy breadcrumbs.
  • Cauliflower can be roasted whole, in slabs or in florets: 

Whole: After a twenty-minute poaching in a flavorful broth, a whole head of cauliflower can be roasted until brown all over, then served with a tangy, whipped goat cheese sauce. 

Slabs: Cut a head of cauliflower into one-inch thick slices, then pan-sear them and finish them in the oven until tender. 

Florets: Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper, spread onto sheet pan, and roast at 425º F until tender, about thirty minutes. To dress these florets up, toss them with any number of seasonings before roasting or toss them with herbs and breadcrumbs after roasting.  

Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic?yhoo=true 

Cauliflower can be boiled, mixed with water and sautéed onions, and puréed into the smoothest, creamiest vegan soup. For a richer preparation, simmer the cauliflower in milk with garlic and purée it with butter and herbs.

Cauliflower can be simmered with milk or broth or water, puréed until smooth, and used as a filling for ravioli, as a spread for crostini, or as a lightened-up bechamel. Cauliflower’s flavor pairs nicely with fruits such as apple or pears — simmer the florets and the peeled, diced fruit together, then purée them until smooth. Use as a purée or thin into a soup

More: Puréed soups can also be made with butternut squashparsnip, and kale

Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic?yhoo=true 

Cauliflower can be added to curries and stews or braised in flavorful broths, like one with wine, olive oil, onions, and olives.

Pan-roast or sauté cauliflower florets in a skillet with olive oil until browned and tender. Add pine nuts, breadcrumbs, herbs, and currants for a simple but impressive side dish. Or toss the browned florets with pasta, walnuts, and ricotta salata. Or bake them into a frittata.

Cauliflower can be blanched and mixed with flour and eggs and seasonings and fried into fritters or pancakes. It can be baked into pastas  and gratins. It, like everything, can be pickled.

Tell us: How do you like cooking with cauliflower?

Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies and Garlic?yhoo=true 

Pasta with Slow-Cooked Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Garlic

Serves 4

1 whole cauliflower, about 2 pounds before being trimmed
4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, depending on your preferences
4 to 5 anchovy fillets 
Minced fresh rosemary to taste, optional (a little goes a long way)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste
1/2 pound pasta, whole-wheat varieties are nice here, and small shapes (orecchiette, elbows, etc.) are nice, too
1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously (with at least a tablespoon of salt) and drop in the cauliflower florets — you might have to do this in two batches. Blanch for 5 minutes, remove using a spider or slotted spoon, and spread the florets on a baking sheet to cool. Reserve water to cook the pasta. Meanwhile, mince the anchovies and garlic together into a paste.
  2. Place 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the olive oil and the cauliflower in your largest sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is soft and falling apart. Try to resist stirring too often — letting the florets cook undisturbed allows them to brown nicely. This might take 15 to 20 minutes. Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan if necessary, and adjust heat during this cooking time if necessary, too.
  3. Make a well in the cauliflower and add the garlic-anchovy paste. Add a pinch of the rosemary and hot red pepper flakes to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, then turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper flakes, or rosemary.
  4. Drop the pasta into the boiling cauliflower water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer the pasta to the pan and toss well, until the cauliflower sauce has thoroughly coated the pasta, adding cooking water by the tablespoon (remember the water will be salty, so use caution when adding it to the pasta) if necessary. Top with breadcrumbs and serve immediately with freshly grated Grana.

Photos by Alexandra Stafford

Article source: