Spike's & Jamie's Recipe Collection & a Whole Lot More!

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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How to use these pages:  Below is a list of the recipes on this page.  You can either scroll down the page and look at all of the recipes, or look at the titles.  When you find one that seems interesting, use your web browsers FIND function to take you directly to that recipe (on my IE browser it's Edit/Find (on this page)   or Ctrl - F on your keyboard).






































































1 (12 fluid ounce) can cola-flavored carbonated beverage

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup minced onion

garlic powder to taste

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


In a medium saucepan, combine the cola, ketchup, onion, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce. Cook over medium heat until reduced by a third and thickened.

Makes 3 cups




1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup steak sauce

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

4 tablespoons hot sauce

1 1/4 cups beer

3 cloves garlic, minced


1 In a tall glass combine barbeque sauce, steak sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, hot sauce and beer. Mix well.

2 Place the meat of choice in a container and rub the diced garlic firmly into it.

3 Pour the marinade over the meat until fully covered, and marinate for about 5 hours; cover and refrigerate while marinating. Cook as desired. Makes 3 cups




1/3 cup steak sauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, combine the steak sauce, brown sugar, lemon-lime soda, butter, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and ground black pepper. Mix together well and use on your favorite meat. Makes 2 cups





2 tbl achiote paste

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbl orange juice

2 LB lean boneless pork shoulder

Cilantro-- Garnish

16 to 18 warm tortillas

2 large banana leaves



Rough chop garlic and smoosh garlic and salt together until a paste results.

Combine garlic and achiote paste enough water to form a thick, spreadable paste.

Combine above mixtures with citrus juice in large bowl.

Coat meat with new mixture. Rub the mixture into every part of the meat.

Cover the meat in the large bowl--refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 f.

Wrap pork in banana leaves--add any excess spice paste.

Place pork in roasting pan with 1 cup water. Cover.

Cook approximately 3 hours or until pork falls apart. You may want to add water occasionally during roasting.

Let the meat cool and skim the fat from resulting liquid.

Shred pork. Serve warm with remaining liquid from roasting.

Reduce liquid if needed. Use to fill tacos, burritos or tamales



3 cups flour

3 cups apple sauce

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup raisins

1/2 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mix butter and sugar together, add eggs and mix well. Sift dry ingredients

and add to mixture. Add oil and apple sauce and mix well. Stir in raisins

and add nuts. Pour into a well greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1

hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees.




1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup ketchup

2 cups brown sugar

6 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix applesauce, ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice, salt, ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder and cinnamon. Stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and use to baste the meat of your choice. Makes 3 1/2 cups




Chicken and other poultry should be cooked to 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). Clear juices are not a good indicator of doneness. Depending on the age of the fowl, the juices might not run clear until the bird is overcooked.


Chicken and Poultry

Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.


Whole Broiler or Fryer



3 to 4 pounds Indirect Medium 60 to 75 min. 180 F (80 C)


Whole Roasting Hen



5 to 7 pounds Indirect Medium 18 to 25 min./pound 180 F (80 C)





4 to 8 pounds Indirect Medium 15 to 20 min./pound 180 F (80 C)


Cornish Hens



18 to 24 ounces Indirect Medium 45 to 55 min./side 180 F (80 C)





6 to 8 ounces Direct Medium/High 10 to 15 min./side 180 F (80 C)


Boneless Breast



4 ounces Direct High 6 to 8 min./side 180 F (80 C)


Legs or Thighs



4 to 8 ounces Direct Medium/High 10 to 15 min./side 180 F (80 C)





4 ounces Direct Medium/High 8 to 12 min./side 180 F (80 C)





2 to 3 ounces Direct Medium/High 8 to 12 min./side 180 F (80 C)




Lamb is medium rare when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F 63 degrees C), and is well done at 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).



Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.


Chops - shoulder, loin, or rib



1 inch thick Direct High 5 min./side 145 F (63 C)


Steaks - sirloin, or leg



1 inch thick Direct High 5 min./side 145 F (63 C)





1 inch cubes Direct High 4 min./side 145 F (63 C)





1/2 inch thick Direct High 3 min./side 160 F (70 C)


Leg, butterflied



4 to 7 pounds Indirect Med. 40 to 50 min./total 145 F (63 C)




Pork needs to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Because of the risk of trichinosis, pork should be cooked to well done.



Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.


Fully Cooked



Any size Indirect Medium 8 to 10 min./pound 140 F (60 C)





10 to 14 pounds Indirect Medium 30 to 35 min./pound 160 F (70 C)

5 to 7 pounds Indirect Medium 12 to 18 min./pound 160 F (70 C)

3 to 4 pounds Indirect Medium 10 to 12 min./pound 160 F (70 C)


Fresh Pork

Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.





3/4 inch thick Direct High 3 to 4 min./side 160 F (70 C)

1 1/2 inches thick Direct High 7 to 8 min./side 160 F (70 C)





1/2 to 1 1/2 pounds Direct High 7 to 12 min./side 160 F (70 C)





2 to 4 pounds Indirect Medium 1 1/2 to 2 hours 160 F (70 C)





1/2 inch thick Direct High 4 to 5 min./side 160 F (70 C)




Turkey, duck and goose should be cooked to 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). Clear juices are not a good indicator of doneness. Depending on the age of the bird, the juices might not run clear until the bird is overcooked.



Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.


Whole Turkey



8 to 12 pounds Indirect Medium 2 to 3 hours 180 F (80 C)

12 to 16 pounds Indirect Medium 3 to 4 hours 180 F (80 C)

16 to 24 pounds NOT RECOMMENDED





6 to 8 ounces Direct High 10 - 15 min. side 180 F (80 C)


Thighs and Drumsticks



8 to 16 ounces Direct High 10 - 15 min. side 180 F (80 C)


Boneless Turkey Roll



2 to 5 pounds Indirect Medium 1 1/2 to 2 hours 180 F (80 C)

5 to 10 pounds Indirect Medium 2 to 3 1/2 hours 180 F (80 C)


Duck or Goose

Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.


Whole Duckling



4 1/2 pounds Indirect Medium 2 1/2 hours 180 F (80 C)

Quartered Duckling Indirect Medium 85 min. 180 F (80 C)

Whole Goose



8 to 12 pounds Indirect Medium 18 to 20 min./pound 180 F (80 C)





The staff here at Allrecipes.com has put together some guides for planning your meals on the grill. Your days of sawing through an overcooked grilled steak are over (unless, of course, that's the way you like it!). We've included approximate grilling times for Beef and Veal, Ham and Fresh Pork, Lamb, Chicken and Poultry, Venison, Turkey, Duck and Goose.


The times given are approximate. Until you become comfortable with cooking on the grill, the best way to determine if your meat is done is to measure the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Remember to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, for an accurate reading.


Fish requires a different doneness test. There is no temperature guideline due to the great variability between types of fish. During cooking the fish will turn from translucent to opaque. When done, a toothpick inserted in the thickest portion should meet no resistance and come out clean when removed. Yes, the doneness test for cakes works equally well for fish!

Beef should have an internal temp between 145 to 160 degrees F (63 to 70 degrees C), depending on how well done you prefer your steak and burgers.



Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp. (minimum)




3/4 in. thick Direct High 3 to 5 min./side 145 F (63 C)

1 1/2 in. thick Direct High 7 to 8 min./side 145 F (63 C)

2 in. thick Direct High 10 to 12 min./side 145 F (63 C)





1 in. cubes Direct High 3 to 4 min./side 145 F (63 C)


Hamburger Patties



1/2 in. thick Direct High 3 min./side 160 F (70 C)





4 to 6 pounds Indirect Medium 18 to 22 min./pound 145 F (63 C)


Sirloin Tip



3 1/2 to 4 pounds Indirect Medium 20 to 25 min./pound 145 F (63 C)


Back Ribs



single ribs Direct High 10 min./side 160 F (70 C)

rib rack Indirect Medium 3 hours 160 F (70 C)





2 to 3 pounds Direct High 10 to 12 min./side 145 F (63 C)

4 to 6 pounds Direct High 12 to 15 min./side 145 F (63 C)




Cut Method Heat Time Internal Temp.





1 inch thick Direct High 5 to 7 min./side 145 F (63 C)




1 inch thick Direct High 5 to 7 min./side 145 F (63 C)


Boneless Roast



2 to 3 pounds Indirect Medium 18 to 20 min./side 145 F (63 C)




" This is a west Indian marinade used for generations. It's best suited for fish and game. I like it on chicken and pork. Allow meat to marinate for at least an hour before cooking. Make sure you adjust the amount of chili peppers to your taste. Also, I sometimes replace the orange juice with marmalade for a sweeter marinade. "


6 green onions, chopped

3 tablespoons minced shallots

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 scotch bonnet chili peppers, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon molasses


In a medium, nonporous bowl, combine the green onions, shallots, garlic, ginger, allspice, ground black pepper, chili peppers, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, brown sugar, orange juice, vinegar, wine, soy sauce, oil and molasses. Mix well, cover and allow to sit for one hour. Mix well again before adding to fish or meat. Discard any remaining sauce. Makes 2 cups



1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti (thinner pasta such as capelli would get too

mushy, you need a bulkier rope pasta)

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1 (8 ounce) carton sour cream

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


ground black pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain and place spaghetti in a greased 1.5 quart casserole dish. I just spray mine with Pam or some other nonstick spray.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, and stir in sour cream, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture over spaghetti in casserole dish. Toss to evenly coat the pasta.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from oven, and add grated parmesan cheese and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve immediately.




6 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder


In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and mustard powder and stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool. Makes 2 cups




2 (18 ounce) bottles honey barbecue sauce

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup steak sauce

2 tablespoons onion flakes

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle cola-flavored carbonated beverage


In a mixing bowl combine barbeque sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce and onion flakes. Pour in the cola and stir to mix. Makes 6 cups




1 (28 ounce) bottle ketchup

1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce

1/3 cup prepared mustard

1 tablespoon ground dry mustard

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar

1 dash hot pepper sauce

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

1 cup lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed


In a large bowl, mix ketchup, chili sauce, prepared mustard, ground dry mustard, brown sugar, black pepper, white wine vinegar, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, vegetable oil, beer and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until use. Approximately 1 hour before use, mix in the garlic. Apply generously to desired meats during the final minutes of cooking. Makes 3 quarts.




1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 dash hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon salt


In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, garlic powder, mustard powder and salt. Mix together well and allow to cool slightly before brushing on to your favorite meat. Makes 1 cup




2 cups masa

2 cups lukewarm broth (best fresh from chosen meat)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup vegetable shortening


Combine all dry ingredients

Mix in broth

Beat shortening in separate bowl until fluffy

Beat in masa mixture--dough should have spongy texture.




2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 lemons, juiced

3 tablespoons coarse grained prepared mustard

4 ounces minced fresh basil

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt to taste

1 pinch white pepper

3 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined


1 In a shallow, non-porous dish or bowl, mix together olive oil and melted butter. Then stir in lemon juice, mustard, basil and garlic, and season with salt and white pepper. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2 Preheat grill to high heat.

3 Remove shrimp from marinade, and thread on skewers.

4 Lightly oil grate, and arrange skewers on grill. Cook for 4 minutes, turning once, until done. Serves 4




1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons French dressing

4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon minced white onion

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt


In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, French dressing, sweet pickle relish, white onion, white sugar and salt. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours, or overnight, stirring occasionally, before serving. Makes 3/4 cup




The day is here when everyone will be situated in a back yard or a park, proudly watching over a grill full of his or her favorite summer foods. Everyone is relaxed, the children can run wild and spill soda pop to their hearts' content while the adults sip cool drinks, chat, and most importantly, tend to the barbeque. Open flames, bacteria-breeding warm weather, and outdoor dining can present a host of hazards to the unwary picnicker, but we know you've been looking forward to summer since last winter began, so we have a few pointers for you to help make your outdoor occasion a subject of good times and happy memories by keeping it safe!


Plan Ahead for a Perfect Party

You can save yourself some heartbreak, or at least some inconvenience, by planning ahead for a few things you'll need to have on hand to make your cookout a breeze. Start by setting up a small table next to the barbeque so that you'll have a place to put plates, hot pads, food, utensils, and an icy beverage for yourself. This avoids disasters like stepping on the plate full of juicy grilled burgers that you set on the ground for just a minute while you jostled with the hamburger buns, and it saves you from having to run inside for a clean plate while your shish kebabs go from beautifully seared to carbonized. In addition, make sure you have long-handled utensils (spatula, tongs, fork) for the barbeque to avoid splatters and burns. You can also avoid the disasters brought on by floppy paper plates by investing in some inexpensive, reusable wicker or plastic plate-holders, or, just spend a little extra money for really sturdy paper plates.


Your meal should go off without a hitch if you make sure that everything else is ready before you put the food on the grill. It's better to put someone else in charge of setting the table, getting the side dishes ready, herding the children, pouring the drinks, etcetera, so you have nothing to concentrate on besides making perfectly grilled food. Grills are hot, and the temperature is difficult to control with much accuracy, so the best way to ensure flawless food is to tend to it constantly.


Beastly Bacteria

Bacteria thrives and multiplies in food between the temperatures of 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F (4 degrees C to 60 degrees C), so make sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, and never leave perishable foods out for longer than two hours (this includes preparation time). Also remember that ready-to-eat foods should never be placed on a plate that held raw meat.


The foods that are most prone to cause illness if left unrefrigerated are: raw and cooked meat, poultry, and fish; salads made from starchy ingredients such as pasta, potatoes, and grains; anything containing raw or cooked eggs such as homemade mayonnaise, cream pies, and anything else containing dairy products. If you're serving appetizers and munchies that will likely be sitting out for a while, stick to foods that don't need refrigeration, such as veggie platters, fruit skewers, breads, and chips. If serving sour cream or mayonnaise-based dips, be sure to keep the bowl on a bed of ice and avoid direct sunlight if at all possible. If cooking at the park or some other remote location, bring a cooler full of ice and keep all spoil-able foods cold until they are ready to be cooked or eaten. If possible, use two separate coolers-one for drinks and snacks, which people will be dipping into frequently, and a second one for meat and other dishes that will not be needed until it's time to sit down for the meal.




4 strip or rib steaks with or without bone, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick (12 to 16 ounces each), patted dry


Salt and ground black pepper


Light large chimney starter filled with hardwood charcoal (about 21/2 pounds) and allow to burn until all charcoal is covered with a layer of fine gray ash.


Build a two-level fire by stacking most of coals on one side of the grill, arranging the remaining coals in single layer on the other side of grill. Set cooking rack in place, cover grill with lid, and let rack heat up, about 5 minutes. Use wire brush to scrape cooking rack clean. Grill is ready when pile of coals is medium-hot and single layer is medium-low.


Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt and pepper to taste. Grill steaks, uncovered, over hotter part of fire until well browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn steaks; grill until well browned on other side, 2 to 3 minutes. (If steaks start to flame, put them to cooler part of grill and/or extinguish flames with squirt bottle).


Once steaks are well browned on both sides, slide to the cooler part of grill. Continue grilling, uncovered, to desired doneness, 5 to 6 minutes more for rare (120 degrees on instant-read thermometer), 6 to 7 minutes for medium-rare on the rare side (125 degrees), 7 to 8 minutes for medium-rare on medium side (130 degrees), or 8 to 9 minutes for medium (135 to 140 degrees).


Remove steaks from grill and let rest 5 minutes.



1 pkg active dry yeast

1/4 C hot water

2 1/3 C unsifted flour - divided

2 T sugar

1 t salt

1/4 t baking soda

1 C sour cream

1 egg

1 C grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2-1 t ground black pepper

melted butter

Preheat over to 350°. Dissolve yeast in hot water in large bowl. Add 1 1/3 C flour, sugar, salt, soda, sour cream and egg. Blend 30 seconds on low speed. Stir in remaining flour, cheese and pepper. Divide batter evenly between 2 8x4" greased loaf pans. Let rise about1 hour, or until doubled. Bake 30 minutes. Brush top lightly w/ butter.



Sweet and Sour Beginnings of Summer


By Jennifer Gallo

ucook.com staff writer

As a sign of spring and the season's ensuing succulent fruit, cherry trees fill with lovely white blossoms. But once the petals pass and the trees' cherries grow to plump perfection, it's that shiny red fruit that's appealing to both the eye and the palate.


Then, ripe for picking and for indulgence, cherries are for eating straight off the branch. Dangle them by their perky stems over your mouth. Pluck them off one after another with pursed lips or with your teeth. Nibble around their center pits. Or set your sights on jubilee; pies, tarts, turnovers and cakes; preserves, compotes, chutneys and salsas; and chilled cherry soup.


Depending on your preferences and tolerance for sweets and sours, choose your favorites for cooking and baking or eating fresh from these varieties.


Sweet Cherries


Available beginning in late May through the end of summer, sweet cherry varieties are most commonly found in abundance in grocery stores and produce stands. They're suitable for eating fresh or for using in cooking and baking. They're found by these names:


Bing, also called Black Cherries

Tasting both sweet and sour, Bing cherries are good for cooking, baking, and eating fresh. The fruit is large and firm with skin ranging in color from deep garnet to purple-black.



Similar to Bings, Lambert cherries are large and round with dark red or purple-black skin. Their firm, meaty flesh makes them suitable for eating fresh or for use in cooking and baking.


Tartarian or Black Tartarian

Large, heart-shaped Tartarians are available for a longer period, from May to September. They're similar in coloring to Bings and Lamberts with a deep red-colored and juicy flesh.


Royal Ann or Napoleon, also called White Cherries

Paling in comparison - in color - to other varieties, Royal Ann cherries are often yellow with a slight golden-red hue. The large, heart-shaped fruit is firm and juicy and used mainly for commercial canning and to make maraschino cherries, but are also good for eating fresh off the stem.


Made mainly from Royal Anns, these cherries are pitted then macerated in a flavored syrup (almond flavoring for the red cherries; mint flavoring for the green). They're used as a garnish for desserts and cocktails, as well as in baked goods and fruit salads.


Sour Cherries


Available from June through August, sour cherries comprise the bulk of the world's crop. Because of their acidity, they're best used in cooking and baking rather than eating fresh and as such are commonly referred to as pie cherries or tart cherries. These varieties are smaller, softer, and rounder. They're found by these names:


Early Richmond


Starting their season in late spring, bright red Early Richmonds are the first sour cherries available and are the most common. They're best for use in cooking and baking rather than eating fresh.


Montmorency or French Montmorency

A popular cherry and the only sour variety commonly sold fresh, medium-red-colored Montmorencys are juicy and good for use in chilled soups, entrée sauces, and desserts.


Morello or English Morello

Seldom found fresh, these sharply sour cherries with dark mahogany-red skin and flesh are too tart for eating raw. Whole Morellos, however, can be canned, packed in syrup, dried or made into preserves. The fruit's juice is used in making liqueurs and brandies.


Selecting Cherries


Regardless of the variety, select brightly colored, shiny, plump cherries that are dry and not sticky. Sweet cherries should be firm but not hard; sour cherries should be softer and juicy but not mushy. Stems should be attached for longer lasting freshness and should not appear dried out.


Store fresh cherries unwashed in a plastic bag and keep refrigerated. Rinse well before use.


1/3 cup butter

1 12 ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla)

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans*

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.

Combine the butter and 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan and

place over low heat; stir almost constantly until melted and smooth OR

microwave the butter and chocolate chips in a bowl, on high power for about

2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add

the flour and salt and beat until blended. Stir in the walnuts or pecans

and the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips. Spread in the prepared pan and

bake for about 35 minutes - the center should remain moist. It is better to

under-bake than over-bake. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then cut into

2-inch squares. Makes 16 brownies.

* Toast the walnut or pecans in a 350 oven for about 5-6. It brings out

the flavor of the nuts. After the nuts have cooled, you can chop them and

add to the batter.



(Makes 2 cups, 6 to 8 servings)


1 cup cola

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/4 cup steak sauce

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan; gradually bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat slightly to a gentle simmer.


Simmer the sauce until reduced by a quarter, 6 to 8 minutes.


Transfer the sauce to clean jars and let cool to room temperature; refrigerate until serving time. The sauce will keep for several months. Brush on chicken during the last 2 minutes of cooking.


Serve barbecue sauce on the side, too.




1/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

8 ounces walnuts

1/2 to 1 tablespoon oil


Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add walnuts and simmer until water has evaporated and syrup starts to caramelize.


Add a few drops of oil; spread on a sheet pan.




3/4 cup salad oil

8 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour

1 clove garlic, minced

6 cups chicken broth


Combine all ingredients except broth in a saucepan, and heat over low setting stirring often. Gradually add chicken broth. Simmer until mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. It blends better if a whisk is used often throughout the simmering process. Can be frozen for three months. When defrosted, stir well with whisk while heating.



2 cups flour, sifted

1 tsp. salt

4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 egg, well beaten

3 TBsp. butter, melted

2/3 cups milk

Sift dry ingredients together. Add egg, melted butter and enough milk to make a moist, stiff batter.

Drop by teaspoon into boiling liquid. Cover very tightly and cook for 18 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen dumplings.





3 medium size apples, if possible Mutsu or Empire

24 crystallized walnuts, warm (recipe follows)

24 thin slices of Parma ham

12 kumquats cut in half

6 wood skewers soaked in water for about 1 hour, drained

Olive oil

Peel apples, cut each into 8 wedges, remove pips.


Press a walnut into each apple wedge and roll in a slice of Parma ham. Alternate apple wraps with kumquats on skewers. Brush skewers with olive oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side or until tender.





16 large shrimp

1 teaspoon powdered green tea or 1 teaspoon fine ground tea

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil


Peel shrimp and place together with tea, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss and marinate for 30 minutes. Place shrimp on a medium-temperature grill; grill for 3 minutes on each side. Serve with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce and hot rice.



... Right On Cue



The message is not news by now: America's open season on grilling is ever longer, in many areas year-round, and there's almost no kind of food we are not marinating, basting and browning on the grill.


Still, however often grilling mitts are pulled on, tongs are brandished and eyes start to smart from that appetizing smoke, the May-June trifecta -- Memorial Day, graduation, Father's Day -- gives most of us a holiday around which to focus festive preparations.


The art of grilling inspires major statements.


"Grilling is the world's oldest cooking method," says Steven Raichlen, grilling authority and cookbook writer. "I believe barbecuing begot civilization. It's central to the human experience."


And grilling gives us the chance to conquer something, to get in touch with our inner caveman, he asserts.


"There's a challenge element," Raichlen says. "I would say it's the culinary equivalent of scaling a mountain. No fire is ever the same. Particularly if you work over charcoal or wood, every fire is different, so it's sort of man against the elements."


Raichlen has about 15 different grills where he can feel primal.


They include a charcoal grill, a Weber Performer with a gas ignition system and an Indonesian satay grill he picked up in Jakarta.


His books include "The Barbecue! Bible" and his newest, "How To Grill." The word barbecue can mean several things, he pointed out: a style of cooking; the equipment on which you cook; the food or preparation you cook, and an occasion.


"Its meaning differs by region," he added. "Real barbecue may be one of the few last truly regional American foods."


He defined terms: "Grilling can be direct -- right over the heat -- or indirect, always covered, a sort of outdoor oven. True barbecue is always indirect, slow, with a lot of smoke."


Barbecue blankets the menu


Among points made:


Your chicken will burn if it's basted too early, especially if there's a lot of sugar in the sauce.


Use a rub before cooking, perhaps some combination of a little sugar, paprika, salt and pepper.


Later, with a brush, "mop" on a sauce that could be a mix of vinegar, salt, pepper and chili; another sauce might be a mixture of ketchup (it has everything in it), Coke (or Sprite or beer), steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, liquid smoke ("it's very effective, it's a natural product, made from wood").


Use soaked wood chips to give extra smokiness.


And, "Don't throw away the pineapple trimmings," he said. "Throw them on the coals, too, to add to the smoke flavor."


Take care of the grill itself, for good grill hygiene: Always make sure it's clean before you begin (give it a final scrub with crumpled foil), then oil it, using paper towel and oil.


Arrange your chicken pieces or whatever you're cooking at an angle across the grate, so the sear marks are diagonal -- that makes for a nicer look.


The art of the grill


"Barbecuing is to me the perfect technique -- your kitchen never gets dirty," he said. "The key to it, all you have to have is an understanding of your food and then marinating.


It's a very easy process, to cook when you get home from work, almost everything can go on the grill."


With enviable ease he put together imaginative selections of grillable ingredients, skewering combinations of apple, walnuts, kumquats and ham; and plump shrimps marinated in green tea ("a fantastic concept of a very old idea from the Chinese tradition"), to serve with sweet-and-sour sauce.


Sprinkle the apple-ham skewers with a pinch of ground coffee -- "It's less sharp than, say, chili powder; it gives a nice little extra flavor and crunch."


He likes to put a little coffee in his barbecue sauce, too.


The cook should: "Taste. Think. Taste again. Don't use your fingers, our skin is salty. Take a spoon -- sniff, taste and adjust."

He finds charcoal and gas grills work equally well, but recommends a few safety habits.


Always have some baking powder next to the grill in case of a flash fire. Throwing baking powder on it kills it straight away (milk works, too).


Use tools with long handles so you don't get burned, and take care of your knives.





Few things are more satisfying than a juicy burger grilled to perfection and tucked into a toasted bun slathered with your favorite condiments. Everyone knows how to make hamburgers, but when was the last time that you actually ate a burger that made you drool with anticipation to gaze at it on the plate, moved you to tears of joy while savoring each bite, and caused you to have recurring dreams about it afterwards? Hamburgers can and should be that good, especially during barbecue season when hamburger heaven is only as far away as your own backyard! People around the world who scoff at hamburgers for being lowbrow American food have obviously never experienced a burger done right: smoky, char-grilled exterior, succulent interior, dripping with juice and sauce and cheese, all barely contained by a chewy, toasty roll-that's what a hamburger is all about!


Mix and Match

The kind of ground beef you use for your hamburger patties is completely up to you. Meat with a higher fat content will be juicier, but it will also shrink more when it cooks. If you shop at a grocery store or a butcher that grinds their own beef, choose coarsely ground beef for juicier burgers with a more pleasing texture.


Raw hamburger patties do not stand up well to marinades since, of course, they are made of ground beef and will fall apart if left to soak in liquid. However, that doesn't mean that you need to forego the extra flavor that marinades add to meat. Burgers should never be mundane! You can mix all sorts of seasonings and surprises right into the ground beef before you form the patties. Here are a few suggestions:


Fresh or dried herbs and spices

Dehydrated or fresh minced onion and garlic

Seasoning mixes for soups or salad dressings

Your favorite cheese, such as Blue cheese, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Feta, Stilton, Cheddar, or pepperjack

Prepared sauces including barbecue sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, Hoisin sauce, plum sauce, oyster sauce, salsa, or salad dressing

Other tidbits like olives, capers, chopped tomatoes, diced chiles, crumbled bacon, or minced ham


You can add just about anything you like to your burgers, but whatever you do, DON'T mix salt into the beef, especially if you're not going to grill the patties right away. Salt will extract moisture from the meat, leaving you with bone-dry burgers. Instead, sprinkle each burger with salt right before you put it on the grill. Use a light touch when combining seasonings and tidbits with the ground beef. If you mix it too much, your burgers will be dense and heavy.

Once you have concocted your ground beef masterpiece, you can leave it in the refrigerator for several hours to allow all the flavors to mingle and intensify. To form the patties, wet your hands a little to keep the meat from sticking to them. For juicier burgers, make those patties nice and thick! The more fat your ground beef has in it, the more your burgers will shrink, so either buy extra-lean beef, or make the patties quite a bit bigger than the buns. You can form the patties ahead of time; just stack them on a plate with waxed paper between each one, and cover the whole plate with plastic wrap before you put it in the refrigerator.


Wonderful Buns

Choose a bun that will do justice to your burger! A hamburger bun is more than just an edible meat vehicle; opt for something that will enhance the total burger experience, adding taste and texture. Also, make sure you pick something substantial that will not disintegrate when those juices start flowing. Some of our favorites are sesame seed buns, French rolls, onion rolls, Kaiser buns, pumpernickel rye, ciabatta rolls, slices of focaccia bread, and slabs of hearty country-style bread. It's a crime not to grill the bread before you tuck a hamburger into it, so go the extra mile and start toasting those buns when the meat is almost done.


The Secrets of Sizzling Success

It's always better to be organized before you start cooking, but with barbecuing, it's imperative. Barbecuing is a beloved activity for most people; for the wonderfully primal experience of cooking their food over open flames, and the refreshing sensation of standing outside with a cold drink in one hand and a spatula in the other, chatting with friends and family as they leisurely prepare dinner. So, make barbecuing the idyllic experience it should be by getting yourself organized before the meat ever touches the grill. You must gather everything you will need before you begin cooking, because you shouldn't leave the grill unattended--for the sake of safety, and for the sake of perfectly cooked, succulent burgers. In addition to the plateful of hamburger patties, you will need: dishes of salt and pepper for seasoning; whatever sauce you are using; veggies you want to grill alongside your burgers, such as sliced onions and bell peppers; buns to grill when the burgers are almost done; a clean plate or platter to place the burgers on when they are ready; and a heat-proof spatula.


Hamburgers should be cooked at high heat to give them a nice char-grilled exterior and seal in the juices. When you first slap your burgers onto the grill, they will stick there. Don't try to move them right away, though, or you'll make a mess and tear apart your beautiful patties. After a few moments of sizzling over the coals, the burgers will begin to release some fat and firm up, and they will no longer be stuck to the grill. Check the facedown sides of the patties after a couple of minutes; if they're dark brown, it's time to flip them. Once you've flipped the burgers, keep a close eye on them; if it looks like they're getting a little too blackened before the inside can catch up, you can move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking.

Don't baste the burgers with sauce until they are partway done. As soon as the first side is cooked and you have flipped each burger, you can carefully brush sauce onto it, or lay a slice or two of cheese over the top. Just make sure not to flip it again, or your grill will be covered with a charred, sticky mess! And by the way, treat those burgers with loving care: don't press down on them with the spatula to speed up cooking time, or you'll squeeze out all those precious juices and waste them on the hot coals below, leaving you with a tough, dry patty. Once your burgers begin to feel firm to the touch, check one of them for doneness. (If you put them all on the grill at the same time, they should all be ready at the same time.) The only thing left to do is flip them onto a clean plate (NOT the one that held them when they were raw!) and grill those buns to roasty, toasty perfection. Now slather on your favorite condiments and brace yourself for burger bliss!


What are you waiting for? Go fire up that grill!




3 oz hazelnut oil

1 oz Banyuls vinegar (French red wine vinegar)

1 shallot, finely minced

4 oz hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped


Mix ingredients together and whisk vigorously to combine




2 slices pancetta, diced (Italian bacon, cured in salt & spices, then air-dried)

1 oz olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 c toasted garlic

6 fresh tomatoes, large dice

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 oz sherry vinegar


cracked black pepper


Cook pancetta in olive oil until crisp. Remove from pan. Add onion to pay and caramelize to deep brown. Add remainder of ingredients and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, until thick, sweet, and flavorful. (May omit pancetta and use 3 oz olive oil.)


Some favorite uses: Spread on heavy bread, top with fresh mozzarella and toast in oven. Toss with pasta and Parmesan cheese. Use as filling for quiche. Use as a condiment for roast chicken, lamb, or pork.



At last, barbeque season is here! Shine up your favorite pair of tongs and get back into the swing of things with our essential hints that will make any backyard barbeque better.


Marinade Magic. Marinades are a perfect way to infuse flavor into your food without having to fuss with barbeque sauces that can burn and stick to the grill. Try using a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag instead of a bowl for marinating your food. It's a snap to clean up, and a much easier way to get the marinade to completely cover your food. Wondering how long you should let the marinade work its magic? Most seafood shouldn't stay in for longer than an hour; boneless chicken breast only needs about two hours. Pork loin can soak for four hours, and you can leave beef for 24 hours or more. More delicate meats like seafood and skinless chicken will become mushy from the acid in the marinade if they soak too long.

Tending the Grill. To make your grilled foods the best they can be, take care when building the fire and preparing the grill. Once the coals are ready, spread them out so that half the barbeque has a double layer of coals and the other half has a single layer. This will allow you to have a high-heat section and a medium-heat section so any type of food you're cooking, from steaks to chicken to veggie burgers, will be able to find a spot on the grill that's the perfect temperature. Once you spread out the coals, place the grill on top and allow it to heat up for a few minutes before you put anything on it - food will stick to a cold grill. Once the last bun has been toasted, use a stiff wire brush to scrape off all the burned-on bits of food while the grill is still hot.

Don't forget the Side Dishes! It happens all too often: You were so excited about planning what to grill, you forgot all about the side dishes, and had to settle for a hastily-bought bag of potato chips to set next to your magnificent platter of grilled meat. With a little planning ahead, you can be ready to serve up some side dishes that almost rival the flame-kissed main dish. The best barbeque side dishes are the ones you can make ahead of time, so there's no fussing over last-minute preparations while you're tending to the grill. Think breads and salads: biscuits, focaccia, rolls, garlic bread, pita, or cornbread; green salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, potato salad or fruit salad.




" This is a basic recipe and stands alone for chicken - go from there to add your own seasonings for steak, pork, etc. I put beer in just about every marinade. "


1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

4 1/2 tablespoons dried chopped parsley

1/3 cup soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced


1 In a mixing bowl, combine beer, garlic, parsley, and soy sauce.

2 Marinate meat in the mixture for a few hours to overnight; cover and refrigerate meat while marinating. Cook as desired. Makes 2 cups




8 corn tortillas

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups refried San José Fresh Beans

1 1/2 cups cooked grilled chicken

2 cups shredded lettuce

5 tablespoons diced onion

1 avocado, diced

8 slices red tomato

1/4 cup fresh cheese.



3/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chicken broth

Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush tortillas on both sides with olive oil. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Remove and let cool, they will crisp as they cool.


Combine sour cream, lime and cumin in a mixing bowl; mix until smooth. Whisk in enough chicken broth to make a pourable dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Warm the refried beans in a sauce pan. Just before serving, spread about 4 tablespoons of beans on each tortilla. Top with shredded lettuce, onion, avocado and chicken. Drizzle the dressing on top. Place a tomato flat on top of each tostada and sprinkle it with fresh cheese.




1 ripe red tomato

1/4 white onion

1 clove garlic

1 jalapeno

3 sprigs cilantro

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon oil

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water


Blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and salt to a smooth paste.


Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the rice and cook over medium heat until the rice grains are shiny, two to three minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.


Increase heat to high. Stir in tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook the rice, without stirring, until most of the tomato liquid has evaporated and holes appear in the surface of the rice. Add the stock or water; bring to a boil.


Cover pot and cook rice on low until tender (about 18 minutes)


Remove the pot from heat and cover. Drape a dish cloth over the pot and let cool. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.



(Makes 1 pint)


2 cups cider vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes


Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Use this sauce to "mop" over meat during cooking, but not during last 3 minutes of cooking.



or La Pastiera di Grano, in Italian, this cakes secrets are in the mix. All the exotic ingredients, orange-flower water, candied citron, chopped candied orange peel--can be found at most Italian or Middle Eastern markets. This makes 12 servings. This is an old Italian Recipe


8 ounces hulled wheat berries from soft wheat (available in Italian markets and health food stores.)

For crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon-orange-flower water

For filling

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 pound (2 cups) whole milk ricotta cheese

4 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons orange-flower water

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped candied citron

1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel

Up to 1 cup milk (optional)

Confectioners' sugar

Place the wheat in a large bowl, and let soak overnight in a cool place.

To make dough

Combine flour, cinnamon and salt, in a large bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until smooth. Beat in orange-flower water, add dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Shape dough into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour, or


To Make filling

Drain soaked wheat and place it in a saucepan with salt and water to cover. Simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until wheat is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and place in large bowl. Stir in butter and orange zest. Let cool.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, eggs,

sugar, orange flower water and cinnamon. Beat until blended, stir in wheat

mixture, citron, and orange peel. Mixture should resemble a medium-thick

porridge. It it is too stiff, thin with a little milk.

Roll out larger piece of dough to a 15-inch circle. Fit into a 9 inch by 3

inch springform pan. Pour in filling and smooth the top.


Roll out remaining dough into 10 inch circle, cut the dough into 1/2 inch

wide strips (with a fluted pastry cutter, if possible) Place the strips

over the filling in a lattice pattern. Press ends against the bottom pastry

to seal.


Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until well-browned on top. Let cool in the pan for

15 minutes, then remove rim of pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before serving. Makes 12 servings, or

more, this is a very heavy "cake".




4 (1 1/2-oz) disks of chevre cheese (cheese made from goat's milk)

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 oz egg wash

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


Dip cheese in flour, then egg wash and then pecans. Place on baking tray and bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes, just until hot, but not melted. Keep warm.



FRESH PORK Pork roasts work well for small gatherings AND the first time you try this; however, you CAN order a fresh Hog and have it quartered. The following ingredients will vary in the amount-depending on how much Pork you're cooking.

Dale Steak Seasoning.

Goyo Adobo Seasoning

Mrs Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning

Garlic Pepper Seasoning

Several bottles of BBQ sauce ( different varieties- to serve with cooked Pork)

Coat pieces with Dale Sauce and then sprinkle heavily with all other ingredients. Wrap each piece with several layers of Heavy Duty foil wrap.(wrap in different directions to hold in juices)


The most important part to this is the FIRE ! Use hard wood like oak, hickory. ( don't use Pine, etc, it won't hold the heat and the coals go out too quickly).

Dig a pit about 3 feet deep and wide enough to lay all pieces side by side without touching.

Start the fire around 12:00 noon the day before. You'll need a big roaring fire that will fill the hole with red hot ashes. Pile it high and stop adding wood in time to let the pieces burn down by around midnight.

When fire is ready, shovel out half the ashes quickly, and lay the meat on top of the remaining ashes in the pit. Lay a piece of tin on top of all meat pieces and cover with removed ashes. then cover with dirt (saved when digging the pit). Make sure all holes are filled in with dirt to avoid any smoke escaping.[The tin is to protect the meat from the shovel when digging up]

Cooking time: Regular size Pork Roasts will cook within 10 to 12 hours. Quarter hog pieces will take around 14 hours. At the end of cooking time remove top dirt and ashes and tin. Place meat thermometer in each piece and check for doneness. ( there should still be heat underneath).

As with any recipe like this, it takes some experimenting to get it right, but it's well worth it. The first year we tried it, we told everyone we would have Pork IF it turned out, otherwise we would have hot dogs. Everyone jumped in and helped and watched the fire like it was a baby, wondering if it would work. It was delicious and everyone felt like we had really accomplished something together. Have freezer bags handy and send a bag home with everyone at the end of the weekend.



The following recipes, prepared together, are served as above-titled entrée, at the City Hotel in Columbia, California.




4 4-oz portions salmon fillets, skinned and boned

4 oz egg whites, beaten until smooth

8 oz pistachios, toasted and chopped


Dip flesh side of salmon in egg whites, then in the pistachios. Press lightly. Place on roasting pan and roast in preheated 350 degree oven until just cooked. Keep warm.


Roast Mushroom Salad


2 cups oyster mushrooms

2 oz hazelnut oil

salt and pepper

3 cups mesclun salad greens

12 spears asparagus, lightly grilled


Heat oil in ovenproof sauté pan until very hot. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat mushrooms with the oil and roast in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm.


Pecan Coated Chevre Cheese


4 (1 1/2-oz) disks of chevre cheese (cheese made from goat's milk)

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 oz egg wash

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


Dip cheese in flour, then egg wash and then pecans. Place on baking tray and bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes, just until hot, but not melted. Keep warm.


Hazelnut Vinaigrette


3 oz hazelnut oil

1 oz Banyuls vinegar (French red wine vinegar)

1 shallot, finely minced

4 oz hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped


Mix ingredients together and whisk vigorously to combine


Primitivo Wine Reduction


1 large yellow onion, small dice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

2 oz canola oil

2 oz sherry

1 large celery stalk, small dice

1 large carrot, small dice

2 medium tomatoes, small dice

4 oz balsamic vinegar

750 milliliters Primitivo wine


Sweat together onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and carrot in oil until tender. Add tomatoes, sherry and vinegar to reduce to a glaze. Add wine and reduce to approximately 1/2 cup. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.


To assemble: On each of four plates, place greens on one half of plate, top with roasted mushrooms and grilled asparagus. Place cheese on quarter of plate and drape salmon over. Garnish and season each plate with 1 1/2 oz of Primitivo wine reduction.




4 4-oz portions salmon fillets, skinned and boned

4 oz egg whites, beaten until smooth

8 oz pistachios, toasted and chopped


Dip flesh side of salmon in egg whites, then in the pistachios. Press lightly. Place on roasting pan and roast in preheated 350 degree oven until just cooked. Keep warm.



1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. dried parsley

1 bay leaf

1 lb. cod filets

Combine broth, onion, lemon juice, parsley and bay leaf. Bring to a boil Place fish in boiling liquid. Reduce heat to low. cover pan. Simmer until fish flakes easily when slightly lifted with a fork (about 8 to 10 minutes). Using slotted spoon, carefully lift fish to serving plate. Serves 4



This dish is delicious made with a mixture of wild and regular button mushrooms.


2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms (omit if using wild mushrooms)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1-1/2 pounds mushrooms, wild or button, or a combination of both

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 large pinch dried thyme

1 bay leaf

2-1/2 cups polenta or yellow cornmeal


ground black pepper

fresh parsley sprigs, to garnish


1. Soak the dried mushrooms, if using, in a small bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Filter the soaking water through a layer of paper towels placed in a sieve and reserve. Rinse the mushrooms well in several changes of cold water.

2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion over low heat until soft and golden.

3. Clean the fresh mushrooms by wiping them with a damp cloth. Cut into slices. When the onion is soft, add the mushrooms to the pan. Stir over medium to high heat until they release their liquid. Add the garlic, parsley and diced tomatoes. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes.

4. Soften the tomato paste in the warm water (use only 1/2 cup water if using dried mushrooms). Add the paste mixture to the pan with the herbs, Add the dried mushrooms and soaking liquid, if using, and season. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 - 20 minutes. Set aside.

5. Bring 6-1/4 cups water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer and begin to add the polenta in a fine stream. Stir constantly with a whisk until the polenta has all been incorporated.

6. Switch to a long-handled wooden spoon and continue to stir the polenta over low to medium heat until it is a thick mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan. This may take 25 - 50 minutes, depending on the type of polenta used. For best results, never stop stirring the polenta until you remove it from the heat. When the polenta has almost finished cooking, gently reheat the mushroom sauce.

7. To serve, spoon the polenta onto a warmed serving platter. Make a well in the center. Spoon some of the mushroom sauce into the well, and garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve immediately, passing the remaining sauce in a separate bowl.

Cook's Tip: Just a few dried porcini mushrooms will help give button mushrooms a more complex and interesting flavor. Serves 6



(Auntie Anne's)


The first Auntie Anne's pretzel store opened in 1988 in the heart of pretzel country -- a Pennsylvanian Amish farmers' market. Over 500 stores later, Auntie Anne's is one of the most requested secret clone recipes on the Internet. Many of the recipes passed around the Web require bread flour, and some use honey as a sweetener. But, by analyzing the Auntie Anne's home pretzel-making kit in the secret underground laboratory we can determine a better solution for recreating the delicious mall treats than any other recipe out there. For the best quality dough, all-purpose flour is what you need. And powdered sugar can be used to perfectly sweeten the stuff. Take your pick from salted pretzels, or the cinnamon/sugar coated kind, and crank the oven up real hot.


From Top Secret Recipes:


1 1/4 cups warm water

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon yeast

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons vegetable oil



4 cups warm water

1/2 cup baking soda


1/4 cup butter, melted

kosher or pretzel salt


Cinnamon Topping

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl or cup. Let it sit for a few minutes.

2. Combine flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add water with yeast and vegetable oil. Stir with a spoon and then use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Dough will be nice and smooth when it's ready. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it and, and store it in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.


3. When dough has risen, preheat oven to 425 degrees.


4. Make a bath for the pretzels by combining the baking soda with the warm water and stir until baking soda is mostly dissolved.


5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 8 even portions. Roll each portion on a flat non-floured surface until it is about 3 feet long. Pick up both ends of the dough and give it a little spin so the middle of the dough spins around once. Lay the dough down with the loop nearest to you. Fold the ends down toward you and pinch to attach them to the bottom of the loop. The twist should be in the middle. Give the dough a twist, then fold the top down and pinch to attach. Glue is not required.

6. Holding the pinched ends, dip each pretzel into the bath solution. Put each pretzel on a paper towel for a moment to blot the excess liquid. Arrange the pretzels on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. If you want salt, sprinkle pretzels with kosher or pretzel salt. Don't salt any pretzels you plan to coat with cinnamon/sugar. You will likely have to use two baking sheets, and be sure to bake them separately. Bake the the pretzels for 4 minutes, then spin the pan halfway around and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.


7. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and let them cool for a couple minutes. If you want to eat some now, brush 'em with melted butter first, if desired, before serving. If you want the cinnamon/sugar coating make it by combining the 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the unsalted pretzels you plan to coat with a generous amount of melted butter. Sprinkle a heavy coating of the cinnamon/sugar onto the entire surface of the pretzels over a plate. Munch out. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Makes 8 pretzels.




1 large yellow onion, small dice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

2 oz canola oil

2 oz sherry

1 large celery stalk, small dice

1 large carrot, small dice

2 medium tomatoes, small dice

4 oz balsamic vinegar

750 milliliters Primitivo wine


Sweat together onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and carrot in oil until tender. Add tomatoes, sherry and vinegar to reduce to a glaze. Add wine and reduce to approximately 1/2 cup. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.




1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 teaspoon dried Italian-style seasoning

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 pinch ground black pepper

8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into strips


1 In a large, resealable plastic bag, combine the soy sauce, wine, lemon juice, oil, Italian-style seasoning, ginger, garlic, onion powder and ground black pepper. Place chicken in the bag. Seal, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

2 Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.

3 Thread the chicken onto skewers, and set aside. Pour marinade into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.

4 Cook chicken on the prepared grill for approximately 5 minutes per side, basting with the sauce several times. Chicken is done when no longer pink and juices run clear. Serves 8




2 cups oyster mushrooms

2 oz hazelnut oil

salt and pepper

3 cups mesclun salad greens

12 spears asparagus, lightly grilled


Heat oil in ovenproof sauté pan until very hot. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat mushrooms with the oil and roast in a preheated 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm.




2 oz butter

2 leeks, large dice

1 tsp chimayo chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted

1 1/2 cups almonds, toasted

50 oz chicken stock

salt and white pepper


1 roasted chicken breast, sliced thinly

3/4 cup her pesto of choice


Sweat onions in butter until translucent. Add cumin and chili powder to release flavors. Add nuts and stock, bring to simmer for 30 minutes. Puree. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Garnish with cream, chicken and herb pesto.




Apple Curry Sauce

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

2 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

1 tart apple, preferably Granny Smith, peeled and diced

1/2 cup/120 mL/4 fl oz dry white wine

1/2 cup/120 mL/4 fl oz apple cider

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 cup/120 mL/4 fl oz heavy (double) cream

salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 boneless chicken half breasts


freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

slices of red apple, for garnish

chopped green (spring) onions, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350F/175 C/gas mark 4.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter until very hot. Sauté the shallots, garlic, and ginger for about 2 minutes. Add the diced apple and toss to coat with the butter. Add the wine and cider and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until half the liquid has evaporated.

In a small sauté pan over high heat, dry-sauté the curry powder for 2 or 3 minutes, until it begins to give off its aroma. Add it and the cream to the apples and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside, keeping it warm.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, In a large sauté pan over high temperature, heat the olive oil until smoking hot. Place the chicken breast halves skin side down in the pan and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, or until well browned. Turn the chicken over. If your sauté pan is ovenproof, place it in the oven; otherwise, transfer the chicken to a roasting pan. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155F/80 C.

Place the chicken breasts on a serving platter and pour the Apple Curry Sauce over all. Garnish with slices of red apple and a sprinkling of chopped green onions. serves 4




1 tomato

1/4 white onion

1 clove garlic

1 jalapeno

1/2 Avocado

1/2 lime

1/2 cilantro

1/2 pound cooked shrimp

Tomato salsa


Roast the tomatoes, onions, garlic until they are lightly charred on all sides. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Purée the charred vegetables and jalapeno in a blender, adding salt to taste.


Add the shrimp, cilantro, lime, avocado and gently stir to mix.


Spoon the seafood mixture into a wine goblet adding the salsa over the top. Serve at once.




Relishing The Crunch (or Not)


By Kitty Broihier, ucook.com contributor

There are those who love softshell crabs and those who prefer the hardshell version of Blue Crab, taken from the water only slightly later in its life. In fact, crabs are only without a shell for a few hours, so crabbers who hope to whisk the vulnerable shell-less crabs off to market must keep a 'round-the-clock watch.


Despite their name, softshell crabs are somewhat crunchy. And the softshell lovers seem to relish the crunch.


"I love the texture, especially if they're breaded and pan-fried and served in a sandwich. The legs are crispy like French fries. They're my favorite part," says Don Morrison, of Gray, Maine, who works in the seafood industry.


Julie Scofield, of Deland, Florida agrees. "We like to go to the fish camps on the coast and eat deep-fried softshell crab sandwiches. My kids like the way the crab legs look hanging out of the sandwich buns."


The crunch, though, makes others prefer the regular hardshell blue crabs to the softshell variety. Aileen Peters, a long-time Maryland resident, admits that despite the availability of softshell crabs in her area, she much prefers regular hardshell blue crabs to the softshell ones. "I could have all the softshell crabs I want right off my dock, but I can't get past the crunch," said Peters.


The gap between the softshell crab "lovers" and "haters" will likely never be bridged. Fortunately, it only depends on the timing of the catch.


Nature's signals give the crabbers their advantage. About two weeks before molting, white lines appear on the crab shells. Then, two days before, the crab's paddles (the flat end pieces on the hind legs) change in color from pink to red. At this point the crabs are generally checked every hour. When the shells are shed, the "softshell" crabs are removed from the holding tanks and shipped to market.


Not all softshell crabs originate in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, although the state is probably the best-known blue crab producer, and crabbing towns such as Crisfield, Md. boast of being the "Softshell Crab Capital of the World." Some states, such as North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia and Florida also market softshells.


Sometimes softshells from these other states are shipped to Maryland for processing, and then are sold as "Maryland" crabs, so it can be difficult to determine the origin of some crabs. Chances are, however, that if softshells show up in April, they're not originally from Maryland. Why? The Chesapeake Bay water temperature doesn't reach molt-inducing temperature (near 70 degrees) until sometime in May, while more southern waters warm up earlier.


Softshell crabs can be a fancy dish or a simple one. Softshell crabs can be sautéed, grilled, pan-fried and deep-fried. Residents of crabbing towns such as Crisfield prefer fried softshells (either pan-fried or deep-fried), while upscale restaurants often serve them sautéed.


Clean fresh softshell crabs unless they were harvested within the last two hours. Cleaning crabs isn't very difficult, the problem is that the crabs are alive when the job is done. If this isn't appealing, ask the fish market to clean them, or find a willing friend to help out.




8 oz. beef steak, cut into small, thin slices, about 1 inch square

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 small onion, sliced

1 green bell pepper, cut into cubes

4 oz. sliced bamboo shoots, drained

1 firm tomato, cut into 8 wedges

2 green onions, cut into short lengths

2 tablespoons soy or oyster sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Mix beef with black pepper, sugar and fish sauce and marinate 15 - 20 minutes. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat and stir-fry garlic and onion about 1 minute. Add the beef and stir-fry 1 minute.

Add the bell pepper, bamboo shoots, tomato and green onions. Stir-fry 2 - 3 minutes, then blend in the soy or oyster sauce. Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and stir into mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Serve with rice noodles.



1 medium sized chicken trimmed of all fat

1 cup mayo

1 cup hot chutney (preferably peach)

1 cup brown onion soup

1 clove garlic (optional)

Cut up chicken in small pieces, transfer chicken to baking tray. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over chicken and bake on 350F or 180 deg. C for approx. 1 hour or until done, turning the chicken over halfway to get an even colour.



(Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups)


3 tablespoons oil

1 onion diced

1/4 cup minced ginger

1 cup sweet pickle relish

2 cups tomato juice

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a saucepan, heat oil; add onion and ginger and saute for 2 minutes. Add relish, tomato juice, honey, vinegar and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Mix cornstarch with a little water. Use to thicken the sauce lightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




3/4 cup strained blackberry puree

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

1 cup blue corn masa harina

2 tablespoons softened butter

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

8 dry corn husks


Bring water, sugar, molasses and puree to boil over medium high heat.

Reduce heat, stir in masa harina. Simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Mixture should roll into a ball without sticking to your fingers.

Spread onto softened husks (soften dry husks in water) evenly (not as easy as it sounds). Leave a "rolling margin" at each side.

Set filling of your choice in a line through middle of dough.

Fold in both sides and press seam together. Leave ends open.

Roll husk and tie ends tightly.

Steam 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on thickness. Ideally, tamales will slide out of husk and have a spongy texture to the dough.




Tamales can be an intimidating food for the beginning Mexican chef. They are time consuming and difficult to taste test and alter half way through. The good news is that there are so many variations, it's really hard to go wrong with tamales.


Here's a step by step guide through making tamales from scratch. The recipes are on separate pages--they tend to be the easy part the first time most people make tamales.


Prepare Corn Husks--Choose largest corn husks available and soak

Decide whether you will make your own masa or buy it prepared.

You can use a spoon to spread the masa, shortcut with a tortilla press or use a tamale spreader made specifically for this purpose (win one here).

Follow Masa Spreader instructions, or use a spatula to evenly spread masa over corn husk. Stop spreading about 1/4 inch away from the side edges and 1/2 inch away from top and bottom edges. Spread thick or thin according to taste and recipe. Masa will expand.

Spoon approximately two teaspoons of filling in a line through middle of masa.

Fold over one side of corn husk allowing masa to drop off to cover filling. Place the husk (now with no masa attach flat again.

Fold over opposite side overlapping the masa attached to this side with the masa just dropped.

Fold free side of husk over top.

Fold in both top and bottom ends of husk.

Place gently in steamer with folds down.

Steam 1 1/2 hours for most recipes--you will need to add water at least once to your steamer. Of course, you will need to test for doneness!

Serve wrapped in corn husks and enjoy!

Tamales are best fresh with a large group--but they can be frozen and served after reheating in a steamer.



(Small Fresh Corn Tamales)


5 or 6 medium-size ears of corn in husks (about 5 lbs total)

1/4 c lard or solid vegetable shortening, melted

2 tsp sugar


3/4 c shredded Longhorn Cheddar cheese

1/3 c green chilies, diced (frozen, thawed, or canned)


With a sharp knife or cleaver, remove about 1/4 inch from ends of each ear of corn, cutting through husk, corn and cob. Peel off husks without tearing them; rinse; if soiled. To keep moist, put in plastic bags and seal; set aside. Pull silk from corn and discard; rinse corn.


With a knife or corn scraper; cut kernels from cobs to make 4 cups, lightly packed. Put corn through a food chopper fitted with a fine blade or whirl in a food processor until finely ground. Mix with lard and sugar; season to taste with salt. stir in cheese and chilies.


For each tamale, select a wide, pliable husk. Center 1 1/3 tablespoons of the corn filling near stem (firmer) end. Fold a side of husk over to completely cover filling, then fold over other side. Fold up flexible end to seal. Gently stack tamales, folded ends down, on a rack in a steamer, supporting them against other tamales so ends stay shut.


Steam as you would regular tamales until centers are firm to touch; unwrap to test ( about 1 hour ). Serve at once or keep warm in steamer over low heat for up to an hour.


To freeze, let cool completely. Place in a single layer or baking sheets and freeze; when frozen. Transfer to plastic bags and store in freezer for up to 6 months. To reheat, let thaw; then steam for about 15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen tamales.



(Makes 10 cups)

My husband thumbed his nose at this when I listed the ingredients, but since he has smelled the garlic sauteeing in the olive oil, he has requested it many times! This is quick (20 minutes!) and easy, and the ingredients can be purchased well ahead of time.


3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 t. olive oil

6 cups water

1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes

4 chicken broth cubes

1/4 t. dried sage

1 c small tubular pasta (ditalini or tubetti)

1 10-oz. box frozen chopped spinach

1 15-oz. can white beans, rinsed

grated parmesan cheese (garnish)

In a 4 qt. pot, heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat until aromatic. Add water, tomatoes, chicken broth cubes and sage. Bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, breaking up spinach as it thaws. Pasta should be tender. Stir in beans and heat through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.



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