Friday, September 30, 2011

Low Country Smothered Pork Chops

No food history today. Today's recipe comes from my favorite lady Paula Deen. I was watching Paula's Home Cooking and she was making Low Country Smothered Pork Chops. The recipe look so easy to make. No knife needed, Paula was cutting the pork chops with her fork. So you know they are tender and moist. And the bell peppers and onions are so tasty. So I had to give them a try, so glad I did. Yum factor!

I just adore Paula Deen and her family. I love her sunny personality and her laugh. Her humor makes me laugh. I enjoy trying different recipes from her cookbooks, her shows and her website. Her recipes are to die for. Not only is she a great cook, but she is honest. Paula is a true southern lady. She puts her family first. She never forgets where she came from. Paula works hard. I'm addicted to the Food Network and The Cooking Channel. Paula Deen is one of my favorite cooks. Paula says... she isn't a chef she's a cook. I just love her. 

Low Country Smothered Pork Chops

Recipe adapted from


4 pork chops

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons butter

1 /4 cup flour, spread on a plate

1 yellow bell pepper, or green bell pepper, clean and remove seeds, cut into strips

1 onion, cut lengthwise

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 cups chicken broth

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes Louisiana hot sauce


Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Lightly roll the chops in flour, shake off the excess, and slip them into the pan. Brown, about 3 minutes per side, remove them to a plate. Add the bell pepper and onion, to the skillet, and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet. Add pork chops to skillet and place vegetables on top of pork chops. Pour in the broth, sprinkle Worcestershire sauce, add garlic and Louisiana hot sauce. Cover pan with foil and simmer for 45 minutes or until chops are tender. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Debo's Southwestern Shiner Enchiladas

Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times. The people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented a feast enjoyed by Europeans hosted by Hernan Cortes in Coyoacan, which included foods served in corn tortillas. (Note that the native Nahuatl name for the flat corn bread used was tlaxcallil, the Spanish give it the name tortilla.) In the 19th century, as Mexican cuisine was being memorialized, enchiladas were mentioned in the first Mexican cookbook, El cocinero mexicano ("The Mexican Chef"), published in 1831, and in Mariano Galvan Rivera's Diccionario de Cocina, published in 1845.

Debo's Southwestern Shiner Enchiladas
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups chicken stock
10 ounces tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 to 15 dashes chipotle sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a saucepan, heat oil, add flour. Stir well using a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, salt, chipotle sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Stir well. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve over enchiladas.

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 can beer (I used Shiner Bock)

Add ground beef to skillet, breaking meat up as it cooks. Add salt, pepper and half the beer. Once ground beef no longer pink, add remaining beer. Stir well. Cook until beer has reduced. Remove meat from heat and stir in onions.

15 yellow corn tortillas
cheese, cut into cubes (I used Aldi's version of Velveeta)
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In skillet heat vegetable oil, over medium heat. Place one corn tortillas in hot oil for 10 seconds, then dip tortillas in sauce to lightly coat, then place on plate, cook in batches. On sheet pan add thin layer of sauce. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon meat mixture to corn tortillas, then roll tortillas, place tortillas on sheet pan, seam side down. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Place sheet pan in preheated 350 degree oven, cook about 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Catfish Tacos

Farm raised catfish is the largest aquaculture industry in the United States. In 2005, the U.S. catfish industry produced 600 million pounds of catfish from 165,000 pond water acres. The farm-raised catfish industry at $450 million in annual production value has the highest economic value of any aquaculture industry in the United States. The next highest valued aquaculture industry in the country is trout, valued at $74 million in annual production.

Mississippi produced 350 million pounds, or 55 percent, of all U. S. catfish production in 2005, and Mississippians produced this amount in only 100,000 pond water acres. Since its origin in the 1960s, the catfish industry has grown rapidly and now has an economic impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars in Mississippi each year.

Arkansas, in 1963, was the first state to produce farm-raised catfish on a commercial level. Mississippi was not far behind when its commercial production began in 1965. After 1970, rapid expansion of catfish production in the Mississippi Delta occurred, and Mississippi has led the catfish industry ever since.

Channel catfish, which is ideally suited to a pond environment, quickly became the standard species for commercial use. These fish are hardy, tolerate dense stocking, and thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions. They are easily spawned under proper conditions, yet will not spawn when placed in the grow-out ponds, which gives the farmer control over the production process. Fish newly hatched from the egg, called fry, readily accept manufactured feed and continue to eat feed until they are harvested at a weight of one to three pounds. The catfish’s most important asset is its good taste which drives the demand for this healthy food. The white channel catfish flesh is firm with a mild flavor allowing it to be prepared and seasoned in a number of ways, such as fried, broiled, grilled, or baked.

Before catfish were produced in ponds, Mississippians supplied their kitchens and their fish-fry events by either catching their own catfish in nearby rivers using cane poles, or buying catfish from fishmongers or commercial fishermen. Restaurants serving catfish have always been popular in Mississippi and require lots of catfish. At times commercial catfish fishermen could not supply enough wild-caught river catfish and pond-raised catfish began to fill the need. Over time the consistent quality and quantity of pond-raised catfish produced by farmers was preferred over the commercial fisherman’s wild-caught river catfish.

Mississippi had many early pioneers in the farm-raised catfish industry who came from a variety of backgrounds. Many of them entered into the catfish industry because they were looking for crop diversification or for profitable alternatives to growing cotton on marginally productive lands, while others entered the business because of the novelty of growing fish in a pond as a crop.

Catfish farming practices have changed since the days of the early pioneers. In the 1960s, catfish ponds ranged from twenty to forty acres while today the typical pond has been reduced to ten to fifteen acres because it is easier to manage, feed, and harvest catfish from smaller ponds. Catfish harvesting and loading methods have changed as well. In the 1960s farmers entered the drained pond with wash tubs, loaded the tubs with fish, and carried them up the pond embankment. The fish would be weighed on cotton scales and then lifted up and dumped into the back of a hauling truck. Today seine nets are used to capture the fish, without draining the ponds, and cranes equipped with scales hoist large nets full of catfish from the pond directly to truck hauling tanks, making the whole process much easier and quicker.

Catfish Tacos
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

3 or 4 catfish fillets, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
seafood seasoning (I used old bay)
flour tortillas
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
green onions
peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
cole slaw
2 eggs, beaten

Heat oil to 350 degrees. In a bowl, add eggs and beat. In a separate bowl, add panko bread crumbs and seafood seasoning, mix well. Season catfish with salt, pepper and seafood seasoning. Dip catfish in eggs, then dip in panko bread crumbs. Add catfish to hot oil and fry for 3 minutes. Remove catfish and place on paper towels to drain. Add one strip catfish to tortillas, then add cole slaw, green onions and sauce. Enjoy!

1/2 cup light mayo
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (I used old bay)

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Christine's Sub

This vegetable is widely popular throughout the world and is readily available in supermarkets year round with hundreds of varieties to choose from. Iceberg used to dominate the selections but other varieties are now moving to the forefront. Most domestic varieties are from California and imported lettuce typically arrives from Europe.

The lettuce that we see today, actually started out as a weed around the Mediterranean basin. Served in dishes for more than 4500 years, lettuce has certainly made its mark in history with tomb painting in Egypt and identification of different types of lettuces by various Greek scholars. Christopher Columbus introduced lettuce to the new world and from there, lettuce in the United States began cultivating.

Most dark greens are good sources of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, folate, and dietary fiber. The rule of thumb is, usually, the darker the greens, the more nutritious the leaf.

Lettuce is a delicate vegetable and great care should be taken when selecting and storing. Most lettuce is showcased on ice or in refrigeration. When selecting your leaves, be sure that they are fresh and crisp, with no signs of wilting, slim, or dark spots or edges. Remember when selecting your lettuce that the darker outer leaves are the most nutritious.

Lettuce tends to keep well in plastic bags in the crisper section of the refrigerator. Iceberg lettuce keeps the best, lasting around two weeks, while Romaine, ten days, and butterheads types and endives lasts approximately four days. The very delicate greens don’t last very long, so it’s best to buy only as much as you need at one time and use immediately.

Salad greens should not be stored near fruits that produce ethylene gases (like apples) as this will increase brown spots on the lettuce leaves and increase spoilage. Greens that are bought in bunches should be checked for insects. Those leaves that have roots should be placed in a glass of water with a bag over the leaves and then placed in the refrigerator.

Christine's Sub
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

steak buns, or hot dog buns
American cheese, sliced
smoked deli ham
light mayo
baby dill, sliced
french onion fries

Spread light mayo on buns, then sprinkle pepper. Add ham, cheese, lettuce, baby dill and french onion fries. Enjoy!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guest ~ Woodford Pudding

If you would like to be a guest on Christine's Pantry, please email at

No food history today. Today's post by my friend, Judy from

Thank you, Judy for being a guest on Christine's Pantry, and thanks for sharing your recipe.

Hello! My name is Judy and I am the lady behind the blog and Page on Facebook, The Southern Lady Cooks.

First of all thank you so much to Christine for inviting me to be a guest of Christine's Pantry today. Christine's blog is one of my favorites.  

I live in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky where I retired from a job in state government. I am a "Mom" to three wonderful adult children; twin daughters, Anne Parker and Leigh Harper, and a son, Charles Robert. A beautiful daughter-in-law, Sarah, and a 4 year old grandson, Thomas Wyatt. I call him Tater Tot!
Blogging, along with lots of other hobbies, keeps me busy. I love meeting new people and love to cook down home Southern recipes. Southern folks love company, love to eat and love the South and that is what my blog is all about.

I hope you will enjoy the recipe I am bringing to you today. This recipe for Woodford Pudding is a Kentucky recipe that has been around since 1835. The spongy, spiced pudding is named after Woodford County in Kentucky. John Egerton speaks about Woodford Pudding in his book, “Southern Food”. 

Woodford Pudding
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup blackberry jam
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and blackberry jam. Mix well. Add flour, cinnamon, and allspice and continue mixing. Pour in buttermilk and add soda. Mix well and pour into a sprayed 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. 
Butterscotch Sauce:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 stick butter or margarine
2 tablespoons cream or evaporated milk (I use evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar and flour in saucepan. Add boiling water and salt. Mix well with spoon or whisk. Bring to a boil on stove. Cook to desired thickness, about five or six minutes. If too thick add more boiling water. Remove from heat, add butter, milk and vanilla and stir. Serve pudding warm with sauce on top. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicken Veggie Rice

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More than 20 billion pounds of rice is produced each year by farmers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri and Mississippi.  The US produces high-quality varieties of short, medium and long grain rice, as well as specialty rices including jasmine, basmati, arborio, red aromatic and black japonica, among others.

Look for the Grown in the USA logo on packages of 100-percent U.S.-grown rice.  The logo identifies rice that is grown and packaged in the US.

Rice storage, uncooked milled rice (white, parboiled or pre-cooked)... If stored properly, milled rice will keep almost indefinitely on the pantry shelf. Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly-closed container that keeps out dust, moisture and other contaminants.

Whole grain rice (brown, red or black)... Because of the oil in the bran layer, this rice has a shelf life of approximately 6 months. Refrigerator or freezer storage is recommended for longer shelf life.

Cooked rice may be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or frozen up to 6 months. USDA recommends to cool to 70 °F within 2 hours and from 70 °F to 40 °F within an additional 4 hours.  Hold cold rice at 41 °F or below.

How do I heat rice after it is refrigerated? For each cup of cooked rice, add 2 tablespoons liquid. Cover and heat on top of range or in oven until heated through, about 5 minutes. In a microwave oven, cover and cook on high about 1 minute per cup. Frozen rice may be cooked 2 minutes on high power for each cup. Fluff with fork.

Should I rinse my rice? US grown rice does not need washing or rinsing before or after cooking. Rinsing may wash away nutrients.

What is wild rice? Not a true rice, wild rice is the grain of an aquatic grass native to North America. Today most of what is sold as "wild" rice is actually cultivated and then mechanically harvested and processed.

Awards... I received two awards. I'm happy and honored. 
Thank you, Thank you both for thinking about me.

Chicken Veggie Rice
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons steak seasoning
1 onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, sliced
1 cup cooked rice

Cook rice according to package directions. In skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken, season chicken with salt, pepper and steak seasoning, cook about 5 minutes, turning once. Remove chicken and place on plate, keep warm. Add onions and bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, cook until tender. Place cooked rice on dinner plate, add chicken, onions and peppers. Enjoy!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Southwestern Deviled Eggs

According to the show The Secret life Of... the deviled egg originated in ancient Rome. It is still popular across the continent of Europe. In France it is called ceuf mimosa, in the Netherlands “stuffed egg”. In Belgium, Netherlands and Germany sometimes a variation is served known as “Russian eggs”, where the eggs are filled with caviar. Deviled eggs are a common dish in the USA. In the Midwestern and Southern USA, they are commonly served as horsd'oeuvres before a full meal is served, often during the summer months. Deviled eggs are so popular in the USA that special carrying trays are sold for them. Prepared and packaged deviled eggs are now available in some USA supermarkets.

The term “deviled” in reference to food, was in use in the 18th century, with the first known print reference appearing in 1786. In the 19th century, it came to be used most often with spicy or zesty food, including eggs prepared with mustard, pepper or other ingredients stuffed in the yolk cavity.

In some parts of the Southern and Midwestern USA, the term “salad eggs” or “dressed eggs” are used, particularly when the dish is served in connection with a church function, persumably to avoid dignifying the word “deviled”.

Southwestern Deviled Eggs
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
light mayo, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon green onion, chopped

Cut eggs in half. Remove yolk and add to a bowl. Using a fork, mash yolk. Stir in light mayo, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and green onions. Stir well. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Garnish with green onions. Place eggs in a container, cover and chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest ~ Cantaloupe Gazpacho

No food history today. Today's post by my dear friend, Kymberlee from

Thank you, Kymberlee for being a guest on Christine's Pantry, and thank you for sharing this recipe and story. I know you will enjoy her post and recipe. Thanks for being a part of Christine's Pantry.

If you would like to be a guest on Christine's Pantry, email me at for details.

Cantaloupe Meh... Cantaloupe gazpacho. Now that’s more like it. If you’ve never heard of gazpacho, it’s pretty much a blended salad. It usually contains cilantro, peppers, onions, jalapeno, cucumber, and some type of fruit such as watermelon or cantaloupe. It’s simple, throw everything in a blender and season to perfection. It might sound odd, but has an interestingly refreshing flavor.

I first made gazpacho in culinary school. My instructor handed my partner and I a list of ingredients for us to prep. We quickly finished and looked at her with eyes that simply said, “Now what?” She looked back at us saying, “Just blend it,” and walked back to the stove. We looked at each other, “Que dijo?” “What did she say?” We were too embarrassed to ask the chef for specific instructions since the other students seemed to be doing just fine without them. So we placed our ingredients together and brought out the sparkling water and hand mixer. It took us quite a while to make such a simple recipe because we second guessed ourselves. Too afraid we’d add too much or too little Perrier. It wasn’t seasoned enough for either of us and we disappointedly presented our dish to the class and the school. (Did I mention it was the semester where the entire school, staff and students taste your dishes?)

Most people rejected the soup without even trying it for fear of the unknown. The few that made the attempt left most of it behind in their bowls. You may ask why I am re-attempting what some may see as a failed dish. That’s because I see this as an opportunity to grow. I automatically rejected the thought of an unfamiliar dish like the others did. Yet the few who tried it could not taste the love and passion it was made with. Well that is because there wasn’t any. That was the day I learned that even if I made a dish I did not like to begin with, I must still create a meal I am proud of. So I re-attempted gazpacho, this time on my own and without a recipe. Instead of using watermelon like I did in my first attempt, I used cantaloupe. Perfect since I had some left over from my Cantaloupe Pops with Strawberry Honey Nectar. This recipe in particular has the subtle sweetness of the cantaloupe followed by a hint of crisp greens, particularly the cilantro. This recipe can be passed among friends as shooters. Since I had decided to peel the tomatoes prior to chopping and tossing in the blender, it was the perfect opportunity to practice my knife cuts. I made a tomato rose using the skin. It's really quite simple, here is a minute and a half long video on how to make a tomato rose

Feel free to add watermelon, melon, jalapenos, cucumber or sweeten with agave nectar or honey, see what you can come up with. I’ve had people ask me why I encourage others to change my recipes while giving idea ingredients but not exact measurements. I do this because I don’t want my readers to second guess themselves the way that I did. There is nothing more liberating than creating a dish yourself, without being held down by a book or laptop. It’s okay to add a bit more seasoning or extra veggies. Experimenting in the kitchen is not only therapeutic but an opportunity to create new and exciting recipes. I know I sound cheesy but I just want others to feel the pure child-like excitement that pours out of me the moment I step foot into a kitchen. I hope you enjoyed this post and remember to never settle for anything less than delicious! =]

P.S. If you have any culinary related questions you can find me on Bromography's food advice column Advice You Can Chew On or e-mail your question to 

Cantaloupe Gazpacho
½ teaspoon of red wine
¼ of a green pepper, de-seeded & small diced
2 radishes, peeled and small diced
½ a stick of celery, small diced
½ a cantaloupe medium diced
½ a lemon juiced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder
1 tomato peeled and diced
¼ of a red onion small diced
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Honey or sweetener, optional
1 cup of sparkling water
1. After all ingredients are prepped, place all ingredients except sparkling water in blender and blend until there are no small particles left (you may also use a hand blender)
Add sparkling water and blend until just combined. Taste, then add salt and pepper to taste and you may add a sweetener if you prefer to have it on the sweeter side. Blend again until just combined, taste again to ensure desired flavor. Pour and serve in a bowl or in large shot glasses. You may also cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to marinate, just give it a good mix before serving.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stovetop Beefy Mac & Cheese

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Who invented macaroni & cheese? No one knows for sure, although the food historians generally credit the ancient Greeks and Romans for coming up with the idea of combining these two foods. The origin of pasta noodles macaroni is a matter of culinary controversy (Ancient Rome? Etruscans? China? Korea?). According to the Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, (Oxford University Press:Oxford) 1999 (page 159). Cheese is one of the oldest of made foods, dating back to the prehistoric beginnings of herding. As with all fermented products, it seems likely that the discovery of cheese was accidental.

We do know that medieval macaroni dishes (lasagnes & raviolis) were made with cheese and sweetened with nuts and spices (The Medieval Cookbook, Maggie Black, Lasagne with cheese, pages 90-91). These would have tasted quite different from the mac and cheese we eat today. Colonial American cookbooks contained recipes for macaroni and cheese in the English tradition.

Despite the many varieties, the most common name for pasta in later Medieval Italy seems to have been macaroni, although this now means the round as contrasted with the flat kind. The fourteenth century English Forme of Cury gives a recipes for macrows (an anglicized plural) that unquestionably produces a flat result, the recipes even recommends serving it strewn with morsels of butter, and with grated cheese on the side. In its native land it does not seem to have been regarded as a very high class food, in the sixteenth century.

Cheese is the earliest condiment for pasta of which we have documentation. Even before the earliest recipes were written, cheese with pasta was the delight of the bon vivants of the Middle Ages...Present in all the medieval collections of recipes that feature pasta, grated cheese was often mixed with spices... These tortelli must be yellow and strongly spiced, serve them in bowls with plenty of pepper and grated cheese...Although it was abandoned by the elite beginning in the seventeenth century, the mixture of cheese and spices continued in popular use. Pasta was served with a carpet of well aged grated cheese in taverns frequented by Pere Labat in the turn of the eighteenth century.
Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food, Silvano Serventi & Francoise Sabban (Columbia University Press:New York) 2000 (p. 258-9).

Stovetop Beefy Mac & Cheese
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

1 pound ground beef
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup American cheese spread (I used Aldi's version of Velveeta)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter

Cook pasta according to package directions. Melt cheese in a microwave safe bowl. In skillet add ground beef, breaking meat up as it cooks, season ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Cook until meat no longer pink. Drain grease. Add tomato sauce, stir well. Once pasta cooked, drain well and return pasta to pot. Add butter, stir until butter melted. Add melt cheese to pasta, stir well. Then add pasta to meat mixture, stir well. Sprinkle paprika. Enjoy!



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