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Chef Barmy Bluestein shares his secrets.
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STEP OR STRIDE INTO A
Barry Bluestein (right) with his partner Kevin Morrissey.
arry Bluestein believes
the secret to fat-free eat-
ing lies in fat-free cook-
ing, and he's willing to
share his hints. He is the co-au-
thor of Light Sauces (Contem-
porary Books) and The 99
Percent Fat-Free Cookbook
(Doubleday), to be published
"The onus is always on the
eater, who is depriving himself.
We decided to put out a book
where the onus is on the cook.
You can cut out fat in the cook-
ing," says Mr. Bluestein.
Step one is analyzing how
you cook. Mr. Bluestein sug-
gests asking yourself "Do you
really need the fat to cook? Can
I eliminate it or use less? Can
I replace it?" He uses the ex-
ample of sauteing onions and
suggests using a non-stick pan
with water or sauteing the
onions in wine.
By removing fat from the
recipe, you remove many of the
calories. "Recipes with little or
no fat can be satisfying. When
the natural flavors in other in-
gredients aren't masked by but-
ter and cream, the flavors may
be cleaner and less muddy. It's
a question of retraining the
cook, not the palate," he ex-
Many of Mr. Bluestein's se-
crets include substitution. For
reduced fat desserts, Mr.
Bluestein substitutes egg yolks
with fruit puree. Instead of eggs
and butter, he substitutes yo-
gurt. For chocolate lovers he re-
duces fat with a mixture (3 to 1
ratio) of cocoa powder and corn
An interesting low-fat
dessert is his poppy-seed cake
with lemon glaze. He uses five
apricot halves in the recipe to
keep the cake flavorful and
moist. For the cocoa decadence
with raspberry sauce dessert,
cocoa powder, applesauce and
buttermilk are utilized instead
of large proportions of eggs and
He uses butte/ milk often in
baking and cooking and for
sauces and salad dressings.
"There is a big misconception
about buttermilk. There is no
butter in the milk. It is made
from skim milk and is low in fat
and calories," he explains.
The Pennsylvania Dutch
uses buttermilk in ice cream for
a rich texture. Buttermilk was
also an important ingredient for
the Jews in Eastern Europe
who did not have refrigeration.
Mr. Bluestein remembers
watching his grandparents
bake "the world's best chocolate
cake" with buttermilk. He was
raised among cooks. His grand-
father was the baker for the
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New
York, while his grandmother
was the head cook for the New
York archdiocese. "She was a
kosher cook," says Mr.
Like his grandparents, Mr.
Bluestein has built a business
around cooking. At one time he
and his partner, Kevin Morris-
sey, operated the largest Mid-
western bookstore devoted to
cookbooks in Chicago. Now the
partners collaborate on cook-
books. Their first books, Dip It!
HOME COOKING page 16
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