Sicilian-style Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1½ tsp olive oil
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
4.5 oz log creamy goat cheese
2 cups Caponata Sauce (see recipe below)

Method

  1. Oil grill and preheat barbecue to medium-high. Brush both sides of chicken breasts with olive oil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir pepper with salt and oregano. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of meat. Grill chicken with lid closed until it feels springy when pressed, from 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove to plates.
  3. Spoon about 1 heaping tbsp goat cheese over each chicken breast. Then top each breast with about 1/3 cup Caponata Sauce. Serve additional sauce on the side, if you like.

Makes 6 servings.


Caponata Sauce

Ingredients

1 large onion
2 small eggplants
4 medium-size tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp capers, drained
3 to 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced

Method

  1. Lightly oil grill and preheat barbecue to medium-high. Slice onion crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rings. Slice unpeeled eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  2. Grill onion and eggplants with lid down, turning halfway through, until tender, from 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from grill and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  3. Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half. Gently squeeze out seeds and discard. Coarsely chop tomatoes.
  4. To pit olives easily, place on a cutting board and smash with bottom of a frying pan. Olives will split open. Remove pits. Coarsely chop olives.
  5. Place tomatoes and olives in a large bowl and stir in basil, capers, vinegar and garlic. When onion and eggplants are grilled, coarsely chop and stir into mixture. Serve with chicken or fish. Sauce will keep well, covered and refrigerated, at least 3 days.

Source: Chatelaine magazine

Listeria

Recent large food recalls in the U.S. have forced consumers to throw away hummus and ice cream that may be contaminated with the same potentially deadly bacteria — listeria.

Tainted Blue Bell ice cream products are linked to eight listeria illnesses in Kansas and Texas; three of those who contracted the illness have died. Blue Bell has temporarily closed its facility in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and shut down a production line at its facility in Brenham, Texas.

Sabra Dipping Co. announced a recall this past week of 30,000 cases of its Classic Hummus due to possible listeria contamination, though no illnesses have been linked to that recall.


What is Listeria?

Listeria is a hardy bacteria found in soil and water that can be carried by animals. It is often found in processed meats because it can contaminate a processing facility and stay there for a long period of time, and it can grow in the cold temperature of a refrigerator. It is also commonly found in unpasteurized cheeses and unpasteurized milk, and it is sometimes found in other foods as well — listeria in cantaloupes was linked to 30 deaths in a 2011 outbreak.

What are the consequences after contracting the bacteria?

The bacteria cause fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms and even death.

Who are at risk?

Listeria generally only affects the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women. It can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and serious illness or death in newborn babies. Healthy, younger adults and most children can usually consume listeria with no ill effects or mild illness.

How Can I Protect Against Listeria?

Throw away the food if you learn it has been recalled. Always clean surfaces that come into contact with food with hot, soapy water. With fruit, scrubbing is never a bad idea, but it may not rid produce of all contaminants. In the case of the cantaloupe, the listeria likely hid on the fruit’s thick, rough skin. Health officials think people may have been sickened when people cut into their cantaloupes, bringing listeria on the outside of the fruit to the inside.

The government says the listeria bacteria can be killed by heating food to 165 degrees Fahrenheit or until it is steaming hot just before serving it.

Why is Listeria so Deadly?

Listeria is less well-known than other pathogens like salmonella and E. coli, which cause many more illnesses in tainted food every year. But one in five people who get sick from listeria can die. The people who get sick from listeria are often already weaker and more vulnerable to disease.

Source: Business Insider

Sunday Funnies





Restaurant Jokes

Customer: “Why is this chop so terribly tough?”

Waiter: “Because, Sir, it’s a karate chop.”

* * * * * * * *

Customer: “Excuse me, but how long have you been working here?”

Waitress: “About three months, Sir.”

Customer: “Oh. Then it couldn’t have been you who took my order.”

* * * * * * * *

Customer: “Waiter! There is a fly in my soup.”

Waiter: ” Would you prefer it to be served separately? Sir.”

Study: $1 Test Outperforms PSA Screening for Prostate Cancer

Dr. Qun “Treen” Huo of UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center has developed a prostate cancer test using gold nanoparticles. Pilot studies found it to be more accurate than the standard PSA test.

A test that costs less than a $1 and yields results in minutes has been shown in newly published studies to be more sensitive and more exact than the current standard test for early-stage prostate cancer.

The simple test developed by University of Central Florida scientist Qun “Treen” Huo holds the promise of earlier detection of one of the deadliest cancers among men. It would also reduce the number of unnecessary and invasive biopsies stemming from the less precise PSA test that’s now used.

“It’s fantastic,” said Dr. Inoel Rivera, a urologic oncologist at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, which collaborated with Huo on the recent pilot studies. “It’s a simple test. It’s much better than the test we have right now, which is the PSA, and it’s cost-effective.”

When a cancerous tumor begins to develop, the body mobilizes to produce antibodies. Huo’s test detects that immune response using gold nanoparticles about 10,000 times smaller than a freckle.

When a few drops of blood serum from a finger prick are mixed with the gold nanoparticles, certain cancer biomarkers cling to the surface of the tiny particles, increasing their size and causing them to clump together.

Among researchers, gold nanoparticles are known for their extraordinary efficiency at absorbing and scattering light. Huo and her team at UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center developed a technique known as nanoparticle-enabled dynamic light scattering assay (NanoDLSay) to measure the size of the particles by analyzing the light they throw off. That size reveals whether a patient has prostate cancer and how advanced it may be.

And although it uses gold, the test is cheap. A small bottle of nanoparticles suspended in water costs about $250, and contains enough for about 2,500 tests.

“What’s different and unique about our technique is it’s a very simple process, and the material required for the test is less than $1,” Huo said. “And because it’s low-cost, we’re hoping most people can have this test in their doctor’s office. If we can catch this cancer in its early stages, the impact is going to be big.”

After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second-leading killer cancer among men, with more than 240,000 new diagnoses and 28,000 deaths every year. The most commonly used screening tool is the PSA, but it produces so many false-positive results – leading to painful biopsies and extreme treatments – that one of its discoverers recently called it “hardly more effective than a coin toss.”

Pilot studies found Huo’s technique is significantly more exact. The test determines with 90 to 95 percent confidence that the result is not false-positive. When it comes to false-negatives, there is 50 percent confidence – not ideal, but still significantly higher than the PSA’s 20 percent – and Huo is working to improve that number.

The results of the pilot studies were published recently in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Huo is also scheduled to present her findings in June at the TechConnect World Innovation Summit & Expo in suburban Washington, D.C.

Huo’s team is pursuing more extensive clinical validation studies with Florida Hospital and others, including the VA Medical Center Orlando. She hopes to complete major clinical trials and see the test being used by physicians in two to three years.

Huo also is researching her technique’s effectiveness as a screening tool for other tumors.

“Potentially, we could have a universal screening test for cancer,” she said. “Our vision is to develop an array of blood tests for early detection and diagnosis of all major cancer types, and these blood tests are all based on the same technique and same procedure.”

Source: University of Central Florida