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).

ALMOND CHICKEN WITH YOGURT DIPPING

ANTS IN THE SAND

APRICOT TARTE TATIN

BARBECUE VEGGIE PITA SANDWICHES

BASKIN ROBBINS SHREK SWAMP PIE

BATTER FRIED SHRIMPS

BRAISED CHICKEN WITH APRICOTS

BUGS ON A SWAMP LOG

CARAMEL CORN

CHICKEN BREASTS INFORMATION

CHICKEN WITH CURRANTS AND JALAPENOS.

CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA BARS

CHOCOLATE ORANGE ANGEL FOOD CAKE

COUSCOUS STUFFED ARTICHOKES

CURRIED CHICKEN WITH APPLES AND SWEE

CUTTING BOARD COMMON SENSE

DREDGED UP COOKING TIP

FAJITAS ON A STICK

FLANK STEAK IN ORANGE

FRESH APRICOT SAUCE SUNDAE

GREAT VEGAN CAKE

GREEN CORN TAMALES

GRILL FLANK STEAK ON FATHERS DAY

GRILLED SHRIMP WITH CITRUS SALSA

HAMILTON HOUSE CAKE

HAWAIIAN CAKE

HEAVENLY DESSERT

HILO TROPICAL FRUIT SLAW

ITALIAN CHICKEN MOZZARELLA MELT

JALAPEÑO STUFFED FLANK STEAK

JEWISH OKIE FRIED ZUCCHINI

LIGHT PARMESAN FISH STICKS

MAKING GOAT CHEESE

MARINATED GINGER TOFU

MEXICAN STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS

MILLET PILAF

MINAKAS MACNUT BROWNIE

MOLASSES RUB SIRLOIN STEAK SANDWICH.

NORTH SHORE SMOOTHIE

ONION DOLMAS WITH LAMB AND APRICOTS.

PAN SEARED RIB EYE STEAKS

RICE INFORMATION

ROASTED BEETS WITH CRISPY MANCHEGO C

SEARED SCALLOPS

SESAME LOAVES

SHREKS BAKED WEED RAT MEATLOAF

SOUTHWESTERN QUINOA SALAD

STIR FRIED SNOW PEAS

SWEET MEMORIES OF APRICOTS

TURNIP CASSEROLE

VEGAN APPLESAUCE SPICE CAKE

VEGAN CAKE

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

VEGAN LEMON TOFU CHEESECAKE

WHITE VEGAN CAKE

ZIPPY MAC and CHEESE

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALMOND CHICKEN WITH YOGURT DIPPING SAUCE

 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup soft bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped almonds

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 cup cooking oil

Yogurt dipping sauce (recipe follows)

 

In a shallow dish, place the flour. In another shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, almonds, cilantro and curry powder; set aside. In another shallow dish, beat together egg and milk; set aside.

 

Cut chicken, lengthwise, into 1-inch-wide strips. Coat strips with flour, dip in egg mixture, then coat with almond mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet. Carefully add strips to hot oil. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Serve with yogurt dipping sauce.

 

YOGURT DIPPING SAUCE

 

8-ounce carton plain yogurt

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon honey

 

Stir together yogurt, cilantro and honey; use immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator until needed.

 

ANTS IN THE SAND

 

2 graham crackers

1 small bottle of chocolate sprinkles

 

Place graham crackers in a plastic sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin. Add chocolate sprinkles to bag to make ants.

 

Variations: raisins (beetles), red hots (ladybugs), mini-chocolate chips (spider eggs).

 

APRICOT TARTE TATIN

For crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup shortening

4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and very cold

For filling:

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/4 pound fresh apricots, ripe but still firm, pitted and halved

 

In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt and 3 tablespoons sugar. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle mixture with 3 to 4 tablespoons of ice water, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each addition, until dough just holds together. Shape dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 3 days, or frozen.

 

While dough chills, prepare filling. Place sugar, butter and lemon juice in 12-inch skillet with oven-safe handle. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Add apricots, pitted side down. Cook 10 minutes, then carefully turn apricots over, cook 8 to 10 minutes more until syrup is caramelized and thickened.

 

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

 

Just before apricots are done, roll dough out into a 14-inch round with a floured rolling pin on lightly floured surface. Place dough on top of apricots in skillet, tucking edge down to form rim around apricots. Cut several inch slits into dough. Bake tart about 25 minutes, or until crust is golden.

 

When tart is done, place a large platter over top and quickly turn skillet upside down to invert tart. Cool 1 hour to serve warm, or let cool completely to serve later.

 

BARBECUE VEGGIE PITA SANDWICHES

 

1 cup Zucchini -- cut in strips

1/2 cup Mushrooms -- sliced

1 cup Yellow Squash -- cut in strips

1 small Onion -- sliced thin

1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce -- your choice

2 Pita Bread Rounds

Salt

Black Pepper

Red Pepper Flakes

 

Lightly spray a skillet or wok with non-stick vegetable spray. Heat to

medium-low heat. Add veggies to pan, and season lightly with salt, pepper,

red pepper flakes or any other seasonings you prefer. Saute until

crisp/tender. Drain juice from veggies. Add barbecue sauce and mix, then

heat through. Cut Pita in half and spoon veggies into Pita.

 

BARBECUE VEGGIE PITA SANDWICHES

 

1 cup Zucchini -- cut in strips

1/2 cup Mushrooms -- sliced

1 cup Yellow Squash -- cut in strips

1 small Onion -- sliced thin

1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce -- your choice

2 Pita Bread Rounds

Salt

Black Pepper

Red Pepper Flakes

 

Lightly spray a skillet or wok with non-stick vegetable spray. Heat to

medium-low heat. Add veggies to pan, and season lightly with salt, pepper,

red pepper flakes or any other seasonings you prefer. Saute until

crisp/tender. Drain juice from veggies. Add barbecue sauce and mix, then

heat through. Cut Pita in half and spoon veggies into Pita.

 

BASKIN ROBBINS SHREK SWAMP PIE

 

1 quart Baskin-Robbins Shrek'd Out Chocolate Mint ice cream

Pre-made chocolate-cookie crust in pie pan

1 tub thawed whipped topping (8 ounces)

1 bottle green food coloring

1 bottle yellow food coloring

1 pack gummy worms, snakes and frogs

1 green gel tube

 

Set the Baskin-Robbins Shrek'd Out Chocolate Mint ice cream on the counter for 5 minutes to soften, then empty the ice cream onto the chocolate-cookie crust, smoothing to fill entire pan. Place swamp pie in freezer for 15-20 minutes.

 

Mix whipped topping and green and yellow food colorings together until you reach your desired swamp color.

 

Cover ice cream with a thick layer of the whipped topping. Place swamp pie in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to set.

Decorate the swamp pie with your gummy worms, snakes, frogs and drizzle with the green gel. Return to freezer or serve immediately.

 

BATTER FRIED SHRIMPS

ADD A SNAPPY CRUNCH TO SALAD

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, (Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2001)

 

Stand by, sophisticates. Rice crisps and cornflakes are key ingredients in an informal, tasty dish from acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud, who presides over New York's elegant restaurant Daniel, Cafe Boulud and his new DB "bistro moderne."

 

(Hint: This would be a fine offering to whip up for Dad, for a Father's Day treat.)

 

The shrimps are coated and fried golden-brown, then arranged around a salad dressed with a honey-mustard vinaigrette. The crispy batter for the shrimps contains some mustard, too -- "That's always a good way to put seasoning in," Boulud pointed out.

 

It also adds to the nice balance the shrimps make with the salad, "which has a certain sweetness."

 

CRISPY MUSTARD SHRIMP SALAD

 

For the salad:

 

1 cup diced apples (about 1 large apple)

1 cup thinly sliced crosswise endive (about 2 small heads)

1 cup thinly sliced celery (about 11/2 stalks)

1/2 cup honey-Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon water

Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

 

In a medium-size bowl, combine the apples, endive and celery.

 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and water.

 

Toss together apple mixture with 31/2 teaspoons of the dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

For the shrimps:

 

20 large shrimps, peeled and deveined

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

2 eggs

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

 

1 cup crisped-rice cereal

3/4 cup cornflakes

Vegetable oil for frying

1 lemon, cut into wedges

 

Season the shrimps with salt and pepper. Lightly beat the eggs with the mustard. In a medium-size bowl, crush the crisped rice and cornflakes into tiny crumbs (you can use the bottom of a heavy jar). Dip each shrimp first into the flour, then the egg, then the cereal mixture. Set aside on a plate until ready to fry.

 

Pour 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil into a deep pot or casserole and heat the oil to 350 degrees as measured by a deep-fat frying thermometer. Fry the shrimps in batches until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on plate lined with paper towels.

 

To serve: Mound some of the salad on the center of each of 4 plates; place 5 shrimps around the salad. Garnish with a lemon wedge and drizzle the remaining dressing around each plate.

 

BRAISED CHICKEN WITH APRICOTS

5 ounces dried apricots

1 cup hot chicken stock or hot water

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 1/2 pound frying chicken, quartered

1 cup coarsely chopped onion

2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon hot paprika

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked basmati rice

 

Pour hot stock or water over dried apricots. Set aside.

 

Heat oil in large skillet or large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Brown chicken pieces on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

 

Cook onion in skillet until just soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, apricots in soaking liquid, salt, paprika, cinnamon, coriander and pepper, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan as you stir.

 

Return chicken to skillet, turning to coat with sauce. Cover, lower heat and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, turning chicken once. Skim any fat from sauce, serve immediately over hot rice.

 

BUGS ON A SWAMP LOG

 

1 jar of peanut butter

1 bunch of celery stalks (washed)

1 small bag of chocolate chips

 

Spread peanut butter along the center of the celery. Place chocolate chips on top of the "log."

 

Variations: cream cheese or processed cheese spread with raisins.

 

CARAMEL CORN

 

6 quarts popped popcorn (yellow preferred)

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick margarine

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Heat all the above (except popcorn) in a sauce pan until it boils Add 1/ 2

teaspoon baking soda and cook 2 minutes while stirring Put popcorn into

large brown grocery sack Pour hot caramel mixture into sack as you stir with

a wooden spoon Cook sack on high in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Shake sack

, stir again, and cook 1 1/2 more minutes in microwave. Pour caramel corn

into large bowl and stir until cool Throw away sack and ENJOY!!!!!!

 

CHICKEN BREASTS INFORMATION

BONELESS, SKINLESS, READY TO COOK

BY SAM GUGINO, Special to the Mercury News

 

Boneless and skinless chicken breasts have been the biggest boon to kitchen convenience since ice cubes. Slap some prosciutto and sage on them, and you have chicken saltimbocca. Brush them with soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil, and they become chicken teriyaki. Slather them with yogurt and cumin and it's chicken tandoori.

 

Almost anything you have around the kitchen, from artichoke hearts to olives to roasted peppers, can dress up this otherwise prosaic but versatile cut of poultry.

 

Chicken breasts cook even more quickly when they are pounded to half their original thickness. Put them between two sheets of aluminum foil or plastic wrap and pound with a meat pounder, a meat cleaver, or even a cast-iron skillet.

 

Another convenience provided by many supermarkets is boneless chicken breasts cut into strips, often labeled chicken tenders. They can be used for dishes such as chicken fajitas. They also speed up cutting for stir-frys and Chicken Curry with Apples and Sweet Potatoes below.

 

While eliminating skin and bones enables chicken breasts to cook faster, and keeps the fat lower, bones and skin help keep chicken moist during cooking. When you have neither, it's important not to overcook the chicken or you'll wind up with something like cardboard. How do you know when the meat is done? Cut into it with the tip of a sharp paring knife to see that no pink remains.

 

CHICKEN WITH CURRANTS AND JALAPENOS

 

1 chicken (about 4 pounds / 1800 g), cut up

3/4 teaspoon (3.75 ml) paprika

2 T (30 ml) olive oil or salad oil

5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 fresh jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced WEAR GLOVES

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium-size carrots, sliced

4 oz (112 g) fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 can (14-1/2 oz / 406 g) stewed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) fines herbes or dry thyme leaves

3/4 cup (180 ml) dry white wine or regular-strength chicken broth

1/2 cup (120 ml) dried currants (raisins are ok)

 

Rinse chicken, pat dry, and sprinkle all over with paprika. Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart (4- to 5-liter) pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces, a portion at a time; cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides (about 6 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.

 

Add garlic, chilies, onion and carrots to pan. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to brown lightly (about 12 minutes). Add mushrooms, tomatoes, cumin, fines herbes, wine and currants; then add chicken and any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until meat near

thighbone is no longer pink; cut to test (about 40 minutes). Makes 4 servings.

 

CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA BARS

 

4 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick; see note)

3 eggs

11/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup macadamia nuts, diced

Vanilla ice cream (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

 

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs with sugar and vanilla until thick and pale yellow, 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually stream the melted chocolate into the egg mixture while beating. Fold the flour into the batter, then pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool. Cut into 12 bars. Top with vanilla ice cream before serving, if you wish.

 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

 

CHOCOLATE ORANGE ANGEL FOOD CAKE

1 1/4 cups sugar (divided use)

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 egg whites, at room temperature

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

1 1/2 (3-ounce-size) dark orange chocolate bars OR (1.2-ounce-size) Newman's

Own Organics Dark Orange Chocolate Bars, grated finely

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Sift together three times: 1/4 cup sugar, flour and salt. Sifting onto wax paper makes it easier.

 

In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Add lemon juice. Beat until soft peaks form. Sprinkle remaining cup sugar lightly onto whites, 1/4 cup at a time and continue beating at medium speed just until blended.

 

Sift 1/4 cup flour mixture over whites and gently fold in by hand. Fold in vanilla and orange rind. Continue folding in flour mixture, alternating it with grated chocolate until incorporated. Make sure to fold gently to avoid reducing volume of egg whites.

 

Pour into clean, dry, ungreased, 10-inch tube pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until lightly browned. Knife inserted into center should be clean when removed. Remove pan from oven and invert pan. Cool 30 to 45 minutes. Run knife around edges and center of tube to remove.

 

Serve with strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired, or for real decadence, with hot chocolate fudge sauce and ice cream.

 

 

FUSION TOMATO SOUP COOKIES

 

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup shortening

1-1/3 cups white sugar

1 egg

1 cup condensed tomato soup

2-1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped pecans

 

Preparation:

 

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

 

Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add in the egg and beat well. Add the tomato soup and blend. Gradually mix in the mixed dry ingredients. Then add the oats, raisins and pecans and mix well.

 

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them 1-1/2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Flatten the balls slightly. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly colored. Cool on wire racks.

 

COUSCOUS STUFFED ARTICHOKES

 

4 large artichokes

11/2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon curry powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 cup instant couscous

1/4 cup currants

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Plain low-fat yogurt, optional

 

Wash artichokes under cold, running water. Pull off lower outer leaves. Cut stems to 1 inch or less. Cut off top quarter and tips of remaining leaves. To preserve their color, use a stainless-steel knife. Immediately rub cut surfaces with lemon juice or place artichokes in water in which vinegar or lemon juice has been added (1 tablespoon per quart of water).

 

In a deep saucepan, stand artichokes in 3 inches of water. Cover and simmer 25 to 40 minutes, depending on size, or until leaf near center pulls out easily. Invert to drain.

 

In medium saucepan, combine broth, curry, cumin and garlic salt, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in couscous and currants. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in green onions and almonds. Combine lemon peel, lemon juice and vegetable oil; stir in couscous.

 

Remove center petals and fuzzy centers of cooked artichokes. Fill centers of artichokes with couscous mixture. Serve with plain yogurt, if desired.

 

CURRIED CHICKEN WITH APPLES AND SWEET POTATOES

1 cup basmati rice

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 large sweet potato, 12 to 16 ounces (see Note)

1 medium onion, about 8 ounces, peeled and chopped

1 rib celery, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch crescents

1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

One 14-ounce can low sodium, fat-free chicken broth

1 large crisp apple such as Granny Smith

One 5-ounce can evaporated milk or canned coconut milk

3 or 4 sprigs chopped, fresh cilantro

 

Put rice, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups hot tap water in a 2-quart saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and cook 10 minutes. Keep covered until ready to serve.

 

Meanwhile, put a 12-inch saute pan over high heat and add oil. Season chicken with salt. Add to pan and cook 3 minutes, stirring once or twice to brown evenly.

 

While chicken cooks, peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Remove chicken to a platter. Add potato to pan and stir, then add onion and celery. Cook for 1 minute. Add curry powder, cayenne and flour, stirring well. Cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, stir and cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, core and cut apple into 1 inch cubes. Don't peel.

 

Add chicken, apple and milk to pan. Stir well, cover and bring to a boil again. Uncover and cook about 3 minutes, until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice sprinkled with cilantro.

 

CUTTING BOARD COMMON SENSE

 

By Martin McKenna, ucook.com contributor

 

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. If the sound of a chef's knife chopping vegetables on a wooden cutting board brings comfort, then go ahead and use it. Or use one made of plastic or even glass. When it comes to safely preparing food, it's cleaning the board that matters most, experts say, not the material it's made of.

 

"Neither wood nor plastic cause any problems if washed and maintained normally," says Robin Bell, a microbiologist and immunologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. "The current hysteria regarding a few bacteria on chopping boards is tremendously overdone in my opinion."

 

A lot of home cooks may be putting their food at risk of contamination simply by sidestepping simple soap and water. One study, writes Susan Brewer, a foods and nutrition specialist at the University of Illinois, showed that only 54 percent of consumers said they would wash a cutting board with soap and water after chopping fresh meat and before cutting fresh vegetables.

 

Roughly 20 percent of food-borne illness incidents in the United States occur in the home. Bacteria such as salmonella, the most common in food poisonings, come through the kitchen door on a chicken or an egg or some other meat and manage to survive long enough to pose a problem.

 

These bacteria cannot survive the heat of the frying pan or oven if cooked properly, but a brief stay on the cutting board can pose a danger to the unwary. The most sensible precaution is to assume that all raw meat has bacteria on it and thus wash everything it touches with hot, soapy water.

 

A debate has raged about whether polymers and plastics make safer cutting surfaces than wood. Both materials have their advantages and drawbacks.

 

Studies have shown that bacteria, in fact, are more easily washed from plastic. The Food and Drug Administration advises consumers to use plastic or glass surfaces for cutting raw meat or poultry. But a wood board is OK, says the FDA, if it is used exclusively for meat. Bread and vegetables should be cut on separate boards so no cross-contamination occurs.

 

A home cook can feel assured, though, that use of a wood board is not going to put his family at risk: researchers found that regardless of the kind or age of wood, cleaning with hot water and detergents was effective in removing virtually all bacteria.

 

Even a plastic cutting board has limits, and those come with age. The strike against wood boards are the grooves that form in them, places where bacteria can lodge and become dormant, only to emerge later. Plastic boards, too, will eventually become scarred, potentially creating the same situation. Another advantage of plastic, of course, is that it can be popped into the dishwasher, which washes with hotter water than dishes done by hand.

 

No matter what the material of the board, guard against bacteria lodging in grooves by sanitizing all boards routinely with a solution of water containing two teaspoons of bleach. Flood the boards and let them stand for a few minutes.

 

Glass, with the smoothest surface, is presumed to be the safest cutting board surface, but no one knows for sure because no researcher has bothered to include it in the great cutting board debate. The bigger issue with glass, is that it's hard on your knives.

 

DREDGED UP COOKING TIP

 

Q: What is dredging?

 

A: The culinary technique known as dredging is a simple process of coating a piece of food that is to be fried -- such as poultry, meat or fish -- with seasoned flour, cornmeal or bread crumbs.

 

To make the dry mixture stick better, the pieces often are dipped first in liquid, such as buttermilk, milk, beaten eggs, or a mixture of eggs and milk. This also makes for a thicker, crunchier crust.

 

To keep your fingers from getting more coating on them than the food, use one hand for dipping the food in liquid and the other for dipping it in breading. Your dry hand can be used to sprinkle the breading onto the food.

 

FAJITAS ON A STICK

 

1 1/4 pounds beef top sirloin steak -- cut 1 inch thick

1/3 cup prepared Italian dressing

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 green or red bell peppers -- cut into quarters

2 medium onion, cut crosswise into 1/2" slices

8 medium flour tortillas -- warmed

prepared salsa

 

Soak 8 (9") bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Trim fat from beef steak. Cut steak crosswise into 1/2 " thick strips. Thread an equal amount of beef, weaving back and forth, onto each skewer. In small bowl, combine dressing and

lime juice, mixing well; brush onto beef, peppers and onions. Place vegetables on grid over medium ash-covered coals; grill peppers uncovered 12 to 15 minutes and onions 15 to 20 minutes or until tender, turning both once. Approximately 10 minutes before vegetables are done, move vegetables to outer edge of grid. Place beef in center of grid; grill 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once. Brush both meat and vegetables occasionally with dressing mixture. Season beef with salt, as desired; remove beef from

skewers. Serve beef and vegetables in tortillas with salsa.

 

FLANK STEAK IN ORANGE

GARLIC AND CHILI MARINADE

For marinade:

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

Juice of 3 limes

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons crushed garlic

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

For meat:

1 (2- to 3-pound) flank or skirt steak

 

To prepare marinade, whisk all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Place steak in a large, shallow, non-reactive pan. Pour marinade over top and turn steaks to evenly coat. Marinate steak in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

 

To prepare steak, preheat broiler. Place steak on a broiling pan (reserving marinade). Set pan on highest rack in oven (5 to 8 inches below heat source) and broil about 5 minutes per side for rare (if you cook it too much it will become quite tough). While steak is cooking, pour reserved marinade into a saucepan over high heat, bring to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes.

 

To serve, slice steak very thin across grain. Serve with marinade on side.

 

FRESH APRICOT SAUCE SUNDAE

Serves 4

10 fresh, ripe apricots, rinsed, quartered, pitted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, skins on

1 1/2 pints best-quality vanilla cream

 

Process apricots, sugar, juice and almond extract in food processor or blender until very smooth. Taste. Add sugar or juice if needed. Transfer to small bowl. Let stand at room temperature until ready to serve.

 

Spread almonds in a small, dry skillet. Over low heat, stir almonds until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove and place in small bowl.

 

To serve, scoop ice cream into 4 dessert bowls or parfait glasses. Top with apricot sauce. Sprinkle with almonds.

 

 

 

GREAT VEGAN CAKE

 

1-1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup oil

1 cup sugar

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 scant cup soy milk/rice milk/water

 

Mix ingredients and bake at 375°F (190° C) for 30 minutes in a greased pan.

 

Variations:

 

Sweet and Light Lemon Cake

add 1/4 cup of lemon juice in place of 1-4 cup of the water/soy milk/rice milk

 

Orange Cake

add 1 cup orange juice instead of the liquid and cut back sugar to half a cup

 

Torte

cut 1 or 2 apples into slices and lay them on top. You can sprinkle with cinnamon and/or sugar if you like.

 

GREEN CORN TAMALES

(Tamales de Elote)

 

12 ears green corn, preferably the white, not husked

1/2 Lb. cheese (either Longhorn or a Mexican melting cheese)

6 green chilies, roasted and peeled

1 1/2 Cups lard

1 tsp. salt

 

The corn should be bought unhusked. To get the husks off without tearing,

cut about one inch from the stem end of the ear; take the husk off

carefully, wash and clean, rejecting and torn or imperfect or very narrow

ones. These husks are used for wrapping the tamales. Cut the corn off the

cob with a sharp knife into a bowl, then put through a food chopper and

grind fine, together with the cheese. Mix the lard thoroughly into the

ground corn and cheese paste, adding the salt. This is the "masa" made from

green corn. Cut the peeled peppers into 1/2 inch strips lengthwise, and be

sure to take out the white veins and seeds first. Put the masa on the corn

husks, half-way down from the top (the narrow end of the husk) to the edges.

Lay a strip of green chili on the masa. Prepare another husk with masa and

wrap around the one with the chili strip, masa side on the top of the chili

strip, and with the narrow end at the wide end, that is, in opposite direction; fold over the loose narrow ends of the husks, to make a jacket and prevent leakage. Repeat until all masa and chili strips are used.

 

The tamales are now ready to be cooked. Put in a steamer, cover, and cook

45 minutes. If a streamer is not available, a rack may be set in another

vessel with the tamales on it, and cover tightly. The water below the

tamales is kept at boiling heat, which forms the steam to cook the tamales.

NOTE: If shucked corn is the only type available, and the pre-packaged

dried husks are not available, you may use parchment paper to prepare your

tamales. Buen Provecho!

 

GRILL FLANK STEAK ON FATHERS DAY

AND MAKE BURRITOS WITH LEFTOVERS

By CHERI SWOBODA of The Oregonian staff

 

Dust off the barbecue -- the summer cooking season is here.

 

Grilling in the "outdoor kitchen" is one way to celebrate Father's Day this Sunday, June 17.

 

Start with a flank steak and add flavor by using a rub -- make it spicy hot or mild.

 

With a little family teamwork, put together a fresh vegetable platter of carrots, cucumbers, red and yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, radishes, green onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and fruit kebabs made with watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe and strawberries.

 

Coleslaw or three-bean salad -- made ahead or bought at the deli -- gives Dad even more choices.

 

A light dessert, such as frozen lemon yogurt, lime sorbet or angel food cake, adds the finishing touch to a special meal.

 

Oh, and don't forget the paper plates and napkins.

 

As an added bonus, use the leftover Taco-Rubbed Flank Steak to make burritos for dinner the next night. Let everyone make their own wrap by setting out lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, salsa, mashed beans.

 

Two meals from one entree -- that's quick and easy.

 

Rub:

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 medium lime

 

2 pounds flank steak, all visible fat removed (plus 6 ounces reserved for Flank

Steak Burritos )

Preheat grill to high or preheat broiler.

 

To make rub: Combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Squeeze lime over steak and rub juice into meat. Rub with chili powder mixture to coat completely.

Grill steak (see note below) or broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until desired doneness (about 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare to 15 minutes per side for well-done). Reserve 6 ounces (about one-fourth) for Flank Steak Burritos.

 

Note: Timing your grilling or broiling can be tricky. Different grills and broilers give off different amounts of heat, and the distance from the heat affects how quickly the meat cooks, as does whether the meat is chilled. Plus, the thickness of the cut also makes a difference. Watch your meat, and cut into the center to check for doneness.

 

Burrito stuff:

2 cups shredded romaine or other lettuce

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

chopped green onions (optional)

Nonfat or light sour cream (optional)

Salsa (optional)

Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

6 ounces reserved meat from Taco-Rubbed Flank Steak

1/2 cup cooked beans, such as pinto or kidney, mashed if desired

4 8-inch nonfat or low-fat flour tortillas

 

Put lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, salsa and cilantro in separate bowls.

 

Cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a microwave-safe container. Microwave 1 to 2 minutes, on high, until warm. Or stir-fry on top of the stove 3 to 4 minutes.

 

Put beans in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, covered, on high for 1 minute or until hot, stirring once. Or warm in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once. If you prefer mashed beans with a slightly thinner consistency, warm them with several tablespoons of salsa or water. Start with 2 tablespoons, adding more if you wish.

 

Using package directions, heat tortillas in microwave or oven until soft and pliable.

 

To serve, let each diner fill and roll up (jellyroll style) his or her own tortilla, using the steak, beans, lettuce, tomatoes and optional ingredients.

 

GRILLED SHRIMP WITH CITRUS SALSA

 

2 oranges

2 peaches

1 jalapeno chili pepper -- minced

2 tablespoons purple onion -- minced

1 clove garlic -- minced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary -- chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 bunch fresh rosemary -- stemmed

5 cloves garlic -- pressed

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Vegetable cooking spray

 

Grate rind from orange, reserving grated rind; peel, section, and coarsely

chop oranges. Peel and chop peaches.

 

Stir together 2 tablespoons grated orange rind, chopped orange, peach,

jalapeno pepper, and next 4 ingredients; cover and chill.

 

Peel shrimp, and de-vein if desired.

 

Combine remaining orange rind, orange juice, and next 4 ingredients in a

shallow dish or large heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag; add shrimp. Cover or

seal; chill, turning shrimp occasionally, 30 minutes.

 

Remove shrimp from marinade, reserving marinade. Bring marinade to a boil

over high heat. Boil 1 minute; set aside.

 

Grill shrimp in a grill basket coated with cooking spray, covered with grill

lid, over medium-high heat (350 degrees to 400 degrees F.) for 5 minutes on

each side, basting with reserved marinade. Serve with citrus salsa. Yield:

4 servings.

 

HAMILTON HOUSE CAKE

 

1 Angel food cake cut into 3 layers

1 tub Cool Whip or 1 small carton sweetened whipping cream whipped to soft

peaks

1 1/2C crushed peanut brittle (about -- adjust to your tastes)

sliced strawberries

 

Mix crushed brittle with cream. Spread a small amount on the first layer,

top with strawberries and top with more cream and another layer of cake.

Repeat with next layer and top of cake. "Decorate" with strawberries.

Refrigerate for 2-4 hours and serve. My family always makes 2 because they

disappear so fast. TIP: Do not crush the brittle too much. (not in a food

processor, it makes a dust out of the brittle) It doesn't taste as good,

just hit it with a rolling pin.

 

HAWAIIAN CAKE

 

1 yellow cake mix

1 large can crushed pineapple, drained

1 large box cream cheese (8 ounces), softened

3 small boxes coconut or vanilla instant puddings

4 cups milk

1 large container Cool Whip

Flaked coconut, to taste

Maraschino cherry halves, to taste

Chopped or ground pecans or walnuts, to taste

 

Prepare cake mix according to directions. (You may use juice from crushed pineapple, supplementing with water, for liquid in cake mix.) Pour into a greased and floured 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, let cool.

 

Spread pineapple over cake. Mix cream cheese, instant pudding and milk. Fold in 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread mixture over pineapple. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Sprinkle with coconut, cherries and nuts.

 

HEAVENLY DESSERT

1/2 pound vanilla wafers, crushed and rolled fine

1 stick butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

2 eggs

1 pint whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

9 ounces crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup pecans

12 maraschino cherries or other fruit, such as strawberries

 

Place half wafer crumbs in bottom of a 13-inch by 9-inch pan. Cream butter, eggs and sugar. Spread over crumbs. Whip cream; add vanilla, pineapple and nuts. Spread over butter mixture. Add remaining crumbs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

 

Top each serving with one piece of fruit.

 

HILO TROPICAL FRUIT SLAW

1 papaya, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup peeled and thinly sliced pineapple

1 medium mango, peeled and thinly sliced

1 kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced

6 strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/2 cup green grapes

1 banana, sliced

1 star fruit, ribs trimmed, thinly sliced and seeded (optional)

Fruit Slaw Dressing (recipe follows)

1 medium head radicchio, leaves separated (optional)

 

In a large salad bowl, combine papaya, pineapple, mango, kiwifruit, strawberries, grapes, banana and star fruit. Fold in the prepared dressing. Serve on radicchio leaves, if using.

Fruit Slaw Dressing

 

1 ripe papaya, seeded and peeled

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

 

Place papaya, yogurt, honey, salt and white pepper in a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds. Makes 3/4 cup.

 

ITALIAN CHICKEN MOZZARELLA MELT

4 chicken breast halves without skin -- boneless

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano -- divided

1 cup pizza sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

4 French rolls -- halved and toasted

1 small zucchini -- shredded

1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Brush each piece of chicken with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and 1/4

teaspoon oregano.

Cook chicken in a grilling skillet or lightly greased nonstick skillet over

medium-high heat about 4 minutes on each side or until done. Set chicken

aside.

Combine pizza sauce, basil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano in skillet;

cook over medium-high heat until thoroughly heated.

Remove from heat; add chicken, and keep warm.

Place rolls on a baking sheet; spread sauce evenly on bottom half of each

roll; top evenly with chicken, zucchini, and cheeses.

Broil 3 inches from heat (with electric oven door partially open) 2 to 3

minutes or until cheese melts. Cover with tops of rolls. Yield: 4 servings.

 

JALAPEÑO STUFFED FLANK STEAK

 

2 lb. Flank Steak, pounded flat

1 small Yellow Onion, Diced

1/4 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup fresh Jalapeños, chopped WEAR GLOVES

2 Tbs. Garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried Oregano

1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1/3 cup Italian Bread Crumbs

3 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/2 cup White Wine

1 tsp. Hot Sauce

 

Pre-heat oven to 450-F degrees; lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil, and set aside.

 

Lay the steak or steaks flat and pound the meat until it is about one-quarter to three-eighths-inch thick and of consistent width throughout. The pounding accelerates your cooking time and makes for a tender steak, so don't skimp on this step.

 

In a medium mixing bowl, blend together the diced onions, chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, oregano, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. Spread the stuffing mixture in an even layer over the steak.

 

Roll the steak up, jelly-roll style, and tie the roll every two to three inches with butcher's twine.

 

Warm the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and sear the outside layer of the rolled and stuffed flank steak evenly on all sides. Expect to cook a few minutes and turn regularly to evenly brown the rolled meat.

 

Place the seared meat roll on the prepared baking sheet and slice 2- to 3-inch wide medallions from the roll, trying to make sure your butcher's twine ends up centered around the medallion. Place the medallions on the baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, turning once if desired.

 

Meanwhile, scrape any residue from the skillet used to sear the steak and de-glaze with the white wine. Add hot sauce and reduce the heat. As an option, you can add a bit of cornstarch with a few teaspoons of water if you prefer a thicker sauce. Otherwise, stir the sauce until smooth and strain before serving over the warm steak medallions.

 

JEWISH OKIE FRIED ZUCCHINI

(Spike's famous mixture)

 

Zucchini

Flour

Egg white, beaten with 1/4 tsp water

Herbed crumbs OR omit the egg white/water mixture and add herbs to flour

Veggie oil

 

Slice the zucchini in 1/4 inch slices. Toss out the zucchini ends. If you decide

to do herbed crumbs, dip slices first in flour, then in egg white/water, then in the

crumbs. If you decide not to be so fancy, add some salt, pepper, garlic powder,

Spike (an herb blend available at health food stores and gourmet shops), and parsley to the flour before dipping slices into it.

 

In a large fry pan or wok, over medium-high heat, place about 1/4 cup oil. If you have fresh ginger root and fresh garlic, put one slice of root and one peeled clove

garlic into the oil. Take out the ginger and garlic when they reach the point of

fragrance. Put in the zucchini. Fry and stir, moving quickly. After the first batch is nicely browned, remove to a paper-towel-lined platter. Put another paper towel on top of that layer, and when the next batch is done, put it onto the second towel. After all is cooked, zip out the paper towels and sprinkle the fried zucchini with paprika. NOT MUCH PAPRIKA - just a little bit.

 

LIGHT PARMESAN FISH STICKS

 

1 1/3 pounds catfish fillets

1/3 cup nonfat milk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup cornflake crumbs

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

 

Put the oven rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

 

Cut the fish into pieces about 3 to 4 inches long and 1/2 inch around. Tray

to cut into similar-size pieces so that they bake evenly. Soak the fish

sticks in the milk.

 

Finely chop the remaining ingredients in a processor or blender. Put on a

dinner plate.

 

Dip the fish, wet from the milk, into the crumb mixture. Place the fish on

the baking sheet in one layer with space between the pieces. Spray very

lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and firm.

Yield: 4 servings.

 

LIGHT PARMESAN FISH STICKS

 

1 1/3 pounds catfish fillets

1/3 cup nonfat milk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup cornflake crumbs

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

 

Put the oven rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

 

Cut the fish into pieces about 3 to 4 inches long and 1/2 inch around. Tray

to cut into similar-size pieces so that they bake evenly. Soak the fish

sticks in the milk.

 

Finely chop the remaining ingredients in a processor or blender. Put on a

dinner plate.

 

Dip the fish, wet from the milk, into the crumb mixture. Place the fish on

the baking sheet in one layer with space between the pieces. Spray very

lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and firm.

Yield: 4 servings.

 

MAKING GOAT CHEESE

 

By Ann Bokman, ucook.com contributor

 

To me, a goat is just a four-legged word for "ornery." I wouldn't dream of inviting my dinner guests to quaff a pint of fresh goat's milk. But I do serve them goat cheese. Only it is a tangy, feather-white cheese called chèvre.

 

I wondered just what went into making this chèvre I'd been serving my guests and decided to visit Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy near Boulder, Colo., to find out.

 

First off, goats are no crankier than you or me. The minute the dust settled on Haystack's dirt driveway, goat kids crowded to the fence to be scratched behind the ears. "Goats don't like to be alone," explains owner Jim Schott, in what I found was his usual understated fashion.

 

He and his staff at Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy have named every one of their 120 goats. Each year they settle on a theme (one year it was flowers, another it was the periodic table) and name the kids accordingly. Herd Manager Amy Siegfried gives each goat the "personal time" it demands, from bottle-feeding the newborn kids to patting the rump of a 10-year-old.

 

But a goat isn't just a pretty face, either. Schott's goats produce enough milk to make 30,000 pounds of Haystack Chèvre a year. The best-producing goats can give up to a gallon of milk twice a day. The pointy-eared Saanen goats are the highest milk producers; the floppy-eared Nubian goats produce milk higher in protein and butterfat.

 

Schott also owns two "black sheep" - an earless, coal-black goat named Tar Baby (a variety called La Mancha), and a longer-haired matron named Lucy (an Alpine goat). The herd recognizes the difference and picks especially hard on Tar Baby, Schott says. She evens the score during milking, when she swats at her neighbors' ears and provides no target to swat back.

 

The Key to Good Cheese

 

Though goat milk tastes almost as rich as cream, goat cheese is lower in fat and cholesterol than cheese made from cow's milk. Compared to an ounce of cream cheese, at 9.9 grams of fat, Haystack goat cheese is a dieter's delight, at 5.5 grams of fat per ounce. It also contains about twice as much protein as cow's cheese and is more easily digested, making it a good choice for those with a sensitive stomach or an aversion to cow's milk.

 

"The key to good cheese," says Schott, "is to make sure the goats are healthy and clean and then get out of the way." He feeds them a mix of corn, oats, and soy, as well as high-quality alfalfa grown by a local farmer. Schott never uses hormones or antibiotics. He claims the musky, strong flavor that some people associate with goat cheese is not characteristic of the cheese, but a result of poor diet or herd management.

 

At Haystack Mountain Goat Diary, the milking room is spotless, even mid-milking. The goats nose the feed trough while Siegfried cleans their teats with an iodine solution and slips them into a milking hose. For the next half-hour, I am lulled by the rhythmic sigh of the pump and the wavelike rush of fresh milk.

 

Cheese making begins at 4 a.m. when Eva Klemmens turns on the boiler. It ends 12 hours later. After the milk is heated to 155 degrees for 30 minutes to pasteurize, it is cooled in a water bath to exactly 84 degrees. Klemmens stirs the milk, and lets it sit another half hour. Then she adds natural vegetable rennet (a coagulant), stirs for two minutes, and lets the curds separate from the whey.

 

Though the process is scientific, Klemmens says that cheese making is "half chemistry and half art." As Klemmens' coworker, Pat Henisse, explains with obvious admiration, "Eva talks to the cheese until it feels good. She can tell if things are right just by looking at it."

 

One hundred pounds of milk yields only 15 pounds of usable curds and 85 pounds of whey, a byproduct that the staff imaginatively proffers to local farmers. One farmer uses the silky-smooth liquid to settle the dust on his dirt road. Another fed it to his pigs before he sold his small farm. Schott hopes more local farmers don't close up shop. Making 30,000 pounds of cheese a year produces one heck of a lot of whey.

 

Although certain stages in cheese making are routine (Klemmens says 40 percent of what they do is cleaning), the consistency of goat cheese changes with the breeding cycle.

 

In winter, at the end of a goat's 300 days "in milk," the curds will be moister and more fragile. It takes a skilled hand to pipe the chèvre into logs about an inch in diameter. To pack the cheese, Klemmens uses a length of PVC pipe ("the cheapest piece of equipment we have in here") to slip the cheese into a plastic bag. The vacuum packer costs more than Klemmens' car.

 

A Labor of Love

 

Many of the employees gave up well-paying careers in order to rise before the sun and work long, hard days. Klemmens left a 17-year career as an institutional kitchen manager in order to work in an environment with a high commitment to quality and integrity.

 

Pat Henisse was an occupational therapist who felt stymied by insurance regulations that, she says, compromised patient care. After years as a college professor, museum curator, and educational consultant, Jim Schott concluded that conventional institutions demand that we all think and do things in much the same way.

 

He recently wrote a letter to his crew to express how grateful he was for their initiative and hard work. Schott said simply: "Haystack Mountain Goat Farm is the best thing I've ever done."

 

The renegade crew's commitment shows in their cheese. Haystack's most popular variety, Boulder Chèvre, is a delicate, crumbly cheese formed into the classic French log. It is available plain or coated with cracked pepper, rosemary, or Herbes de Provence.

 

Using Chèvre

 

Chèvre Spread is a mild, creamy cheese with a bright, clean flavor. It is offered plain or with a variety of additions, such as garlic and dill, garlic and herbs, and cracked pepper.

 

Grateful Chèvre is an aged grateable log that is piquant and intense. Chèvre Marinade is marinated in extra-virgin olive oil with herbs and fresh garlic and packaged in an imported French canning jar.

 

Haystack Mountain Goat cheese is sold at retail stores and restaurants throughout the Rocky Mountains, from Albuquerque, N.M. to Ft. Collins, Colo. Customers can also order directly by calling Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy at (303) 581-9948. Because the cheese is fresh, it should be used within three weeks of purchase.

 

Once you buy goat cheese, you'll be tempted to use it in many ways. It is remarkably versatile, brightening such standbys as stuffed shells and lasagna. Simply halve the amount of ricotta used and fill the void with chèvre.

 

Mexican dishes also benefit from the substitution. For a twist on the traditional chile relleño (stuffed chile pepper), halve the pepper of your choice (mild poblano peppers and sweet red peppers do nicely) and place it cut-side down on an oiled cookie sheet. Brush the surface with olive oil, roast the pepper al dente, and stuff it with a soft goat cheese.

 

Goat cheese makes a simple meal special. Start with lacey salad greens tossed with snowy chèvre and finish with a board of chèvre surrounded by fat, ripe peaches. Goat cheese doesn't stay long in my refrigerator. And I bet it won't in yours.

 

If you're in the area, plan a visit to the Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy's annual open house, Sunday, June 24 from 10 to 2. The open house is the farm's celebration of the birth of its new kids. All are invited.

 

For more information:

 

Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy

5239 Niwot Rd

Niwot, Colorado 80503

(303) 581-9948

 

MARINATED GINGER TOFU

OVER CRISPY SOBA NOODLES

2/3 cup soy sauce

2 1/4 cups water

Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime

Juice from 1 orange

2 tablespoons minced ginger

1 pound firm tofu, cubed and chopped

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 large red pepper, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided use

2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices

3 stalks bok choy, sliced

1 zucchini, quartered and sliced

8 ounces soba noodles

1/2 cup fresh cilantro for garnish, optional

 

Mix soy sauce, water, lemon or lime juice, orange juice and minced ginger. Marinate cubed tofu while preparing other ingredients.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large Dutch oven, saute onion, red pepper and garlic in 1 tablespoon sesame oil until golden. Add celery, bok choy and zucchini and mix. Add tofu with marinade and place in oven. Cook 40-50 minutes or until tofu is lightly browned and sauce is bubbly.

 

While tofu is cooking, boil water and cook soba noodles until al dente. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Heat last tablespoon sesame oil in a 12-inch non-stick pan and add noodles, spreading to cover surface of pan. Cook until browned on one side. Cut into wedges. Invert wedges onto serving plates. Serve tofu and vegetables over noodles. Garnish with chopped, fresh cilantro.

 

MEXICAN STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS

 

4 large green peppers

1 lb. hamburger

1/3 c. chopped onion

1/3 c. chopped celery

3 c. cooked rice

1 c. salsa

2 t. chopped green chilies WEAR GLOVES

2 c. shredded Monterey jack & cheddar cheese mix

1/4 c. salsa

 

Cut tops off peppers & remove seeds. Put in boiling water, and boil 6 minutes. Remove and set aside. Combine hamburger, onion, and celery, and cook until done. Drain off grease. Stir in rice, 1-cup salsa and chilies.

 

Fill peppers with hamburger mixture. Arrange in pan. Top with cheese and salsa. Put a little water in pan. Cover tightly. Bake at 350 F. for 45 - 55

minutes.

 

MILLET PILAF

 

1 cup millet

2 cups boiling water

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch saffron

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup minced onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup minced celery

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup minced red or green bell peppers

1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas

1/4 cup currants

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

 

In a heavy skillet, toast millet on medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it is fragrant and begins to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Carefully pour the boiling water into the very hot skillet in a thin, steady stream. Add the salt and saffron, cover; cook on very low heat 15 minutes.

 

While millet is cooking, warm the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, garlic, celery, oregano and cinnamon. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.

 

Add bell peppers and peas, cover and continue to cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, fluff the millet with a fork, replace cover and remove from heat. When vegetables are tender, stir in currants and lemon juice and cook for one minute, until thoroughly hot.

 

Mix the vegetables into the millet and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

MINAKAS MACNUT BROWNIE

4 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick, see note)

3 eggs

11/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup macadamia nuts, diced

Vanilla ice cream (optional)

 

Before you start: Wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water.

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

 

Melt the chocolate and butter in the top pan of a double boiler over simmering water. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs with sugar and vanilla until thick and pale yellow, 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually stream the melted chocolate into the egg mixture while beating. Fold the flour into the batter, then pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool. Cut into 12 bars. Top with vanilla ice cream before serving, if you wish.

 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

 

MOLASSES RUB SIRLOIN STEAK SANDWICH

Makes up to 6 sandwiches

For rub:

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

For steak:

2 pounds sirloin steak

4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 to 6 sweet or sourdough sandwich rolls

 

To prepare rub, combine all ingredients in bowl of a food processor and process until mixture is well blended. Rub can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container until ready to use.

 

Using your hands, completely cover steaks with rub, place them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours. Remove steaks from refrigerator and allow to return to room temperature while you prepare a grill. Grill 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium rare.

 

To serve, slice steaks very thin across the grain. Spread 1 tablespoon butter on each roll and toast on grill for a minute or so, then assemble sandwiches. Add some lettuce and sliced tomatoes, if you like.

 

NORTH SHORE SMOOTHIE

Ice

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons cranberry juice

1/2 cup strawberries

2 tablespoons grenadine syrup

Garnish:

1 whole strawberry

 

Fill a blender one-third full of ice. Add orange juice, cranberry juice, strawberries and syrup; blend. Pour the mixture into a tall glass. Garnish with the whole strawberry.

 

ONION DOLMAS WITH LAMB AND APRICOTS

6 medium yellow onions

5 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon minced lemon zest

16 dried apricot halves, coarsely chopped

1/2 pound ground lamb

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

3 tablespoons minced fresh mint

2 tablespoons coarse fresh bread crumbs

 

Without peeling onions, cut 1 inch off top of each, and enough off bottom so onions stand upright. Remove all but outer 2 layers of each by scooping out centers with a paring knife or pushing onion up through top. Discard bottoms, set outer layers and tops aside. Finely chop centers.

 

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add chopped onions. Cook about 15 minutes, or until soft.

 

In separate pan, bring chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add lemon zest and apricots and cook until apricots are soft, about 10 minutes. Lower heat and/or cover pan if stock evaporates too quickly.

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Add lamb and cinnamon to skillet with onions. Increase heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper. Cook lamb until crumbly, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in stock-apricot mixture and 2 tablespoons each minced parsley and mint. Cool slightly.

 

Spoon filling into onion shells. Place in oven-proof dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of each shell. Dot with remaining butter. Add onion tops to dish and 1/4 cup water. Bake, basting twice, for 20 minutes. Cover with foil and continue baking until onions are tender, about 20 minutes. Garnish with remaining mint and parsley. Serve with onion tops.

 

PAN SEARED RIB EYE STEAKS

For cowboy coffee pan blend:

1/2 cup freshly ground coffee

1/2 cup coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

For steaks:

4 (14- to 16-ounce) rib-eye steaks

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

To prepare coffee blend, combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well.

 

To prepare steaks, heat oven to 450 degrees. Season each steak with coffee blend, evenly coating all sides and edges. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat until just to smoking point. Add as many steaks to pan as will fit without overcrowding and sear well, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining steaks. Place steaks in oven, cook for 5 to 10 minutes for medium rare. Let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

RICE INFORMATION

Will the Right Rice Please Stand Up

 

By Kitty Broihier, MS, RD, ucook.com contributor

 

Can't decide which rice to use for what purpose? No wonder, considering that there are more than 40,000 varieties of rice worldwide. Here's a quick guide to commonly available rices.

 

Arborio: A plump-grained rice that's translucent in color with a white dot at the center of the grain. It's classified as a medium-grain rice in the United States, although elsewhere it's considered a short grain rice. Arborio is most often used in cooking risotto, as this rice develops a creamy texture and maintains a degree of chewiness.

 

Aromatic: Aromatic rices have a natural aroma and flavor similar to that of popcorn or roasted nuts. The most common aromatic rices in the US include basmati, jasmine, and della.

 

Basmati: Basmati only swells lengthwise when cooked, resulting in long, thin grains. It cooks up dry and is therefore useful in pilafs or other mixtures where separate grains are desired.

 

Brown rice: The least processed form of rice, has the outer hull removed, but still retains the bran layers that give it color and a nutty flavor. (All white rice has had the husk removed, and was milled to remove the bran.)

 

Brown rice has a longer cooking time than white rice, is chewier and has up to three times more fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium than white rice. Quick-cooking brown rice can now be found in some markets. Brown rice can be used interchangeably with white in most recipes.

 

Della: Developed in the US, this is a cross between a long-grain rice and basmati rice. It cooks up dry and separate, but the grains are not as long or slender as basmati.

 

Jasmine: A long-grain rice that cooks up soft and moist, its grains cling together.

 

Long-grain: These long, slender kernels are four to five times longer than their width. The grains cook up separate, light and fluffy, making it ideal for use in recipes that require texture. Long-grain rice is the most popular rice in the US and Canada.

 

Medium-grain: The length of medium-grain rice is two to three times its width, and it cooks up moist. Because it clumps more than long grain rice, it is often used in recipes that call for a creamy consistency, such as desserts and puddings.

 

Parboiled, or converted: The steam treatment conducted prior to milling hardens the grain so that there is less grain breakage. The process also forces some of the vitamins and minerals into the grain before the bran and germ are removed. In this way, some of the nutrients are retained. Parboiled rice cooks up extra separate and fluffy.

 

Polished: This is regular white rice and is the most common form of rice. In the US, it is enriched with vitamins and minerals.

 

Precooked, or instant: This rice has been milled to remove the bran, is cooked and then dehydrated before packaging. Highly processed, it is more porous, so that boiling water penetrates the grains in a shorter time.

 

Short-grain: The almost round kernels of short-grain rice cook up soft and tend to cling together. Short-grain rice is used in Japanese, Taiwanese, and some Chinese dishes. Look for it in Asian markets.

 

Sweet: Sweet rice has a short, plump, opaque kernel. When cooked, this rice loses its shape and becomes very sticky, hence its other names: glutinous rice, sticky rice, or waxy rice. Although it doesn't taste sweet, it's often used in Asian desserts.

 

Texmati: This is a hybrid of basmati rice, it's available in brown or white varieties.

 

Webani: This California-bred rice is similar in taste to cracked wheat when cooked.

 

Wild: Wild rice is actually not a rice but the seed of a wild grass. It is expensive, but it can be extended by combining it with varieties of rice, which is how it is usually sold. Its chewy texture and smoky flavor make wild rice ideal for pilafs, stuffings, and salads.

 

ROASTED BEETS WITH CRISPY MANCHEGO CHEESE

Serves 4

For beets

4 large yellow beets, stemmed

4 baby candy stripe beets, stemmed

2 baby red beets, stemmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

For vinaigrette

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small shallot, peeled and minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

For cheese crisps

1 cup manchego cheese, shredded (or fresh parmesan)

To serve

2 cups organic micro greens (see Note)

toasted walnuts

 

To prepare beets: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss beets in olive oil. Add salt and pepper and transfer to baking sheet or pan. Place in oven and roast till tender (about 45 minutes for the average-size beet). Remove and allow to cool slightly. Remove skins from all beets. Thinly slice yellow beets, cut gold beets into quarters and slice red beets into long thin strips. Reserve beets separately in shallow dishes.

 

To prepare vinaigrette: Place all ingredients except oil in a tall cup. Using a hand blender, puree until smooth. Slowly add oil until well combined. Season. Set aside.

 

To prepare cheese crisps: Divide cheese into equal 1/4 cup portions. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, make 4 flat piles, separated by about 1 inch. Place in 350-degree oven until they are medium-tan color. Set aside to cool completely before handling. When cool, they will turn crispy. Carefully remove from sheet and reserve.

 

To serve, place several slices of yellow beets flat in center of plate. Arrange striped and red beets around plate. Set greens in center on top of the beets, drizzle with vinaigrette. Place walnuts on plate. Garnish with one cheese crisp per plate, leaning crisp up against greens.

 

SEARED SCALLOPS

WITH TRUFFLED POTATOES AND MICROGREENS

Serves 1

4 sea scallops

1 teaspoon white truffle oil

2 cups warm mashed potatoes

Demiglace (Knorr-Swiss brand is reliable)

Mixed microgreens

Dash of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat non-stick skillet till hot but not burning. Spread a little butter on the flat sides of scallops and place, flat side down, in skillet. Sear until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Sear scallops until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

 

Stir truffle oil into mashed potatoes. Set aside.

 

Heat demiglace in pan. Meanwhile, lightly dress microgreens with oil, add salt and pepper.

 

To serve, spoon mashed potatoes onto center of a large dinner plate. Set dressed greens on top. Surround potatoes with scallops. Drizzle with demiglace.

 

SESAME LOAVES

1 cup boiling water

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 cup unhulled sesame seeds

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

Butter or non-stick cooking oil for greasing pans

1 handful cornmeal for dusting pans

 

Mix boiling water, oats and sesame seeds and allow to cool. In a large bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar and put in a warm place. When yeast mixture is bubbly (5 to 15 minutes), add flour, salt and sesame mixture and mix until dough forms a ball. (This may require a bit more flour.) Flour the surface on which you will be kneading your dough, as well as your hands and the dough. Transfer dough to floured surface. Knead well for 10-15 minutes. Allow to rise for 45 minutes, and knead again.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-by-4 1/2-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pans and sprinkle with cornmeal. Shape dough into 2 long loaves and place in loaf pans. Bake for 30-50 minutes, until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped with a wooden spoon or fingers

 

SHREKS BAKED WEED RAT MEATLOAF

 

Weed-rat bodies

1/2 cup Heinz Shrek Green EZ Squirt Ketchup

2 egg whites, beaten

6 ounces ground turkey

6 ounces ground beef

1 onion, chopped fine

2/3 cup oatmeal, uncooked salt and pepper to taste

 

Garnish:

2 carrots

8 raisins

1 small pack of spaghetti noodles, uncooked

1 can of spaghetti sauce

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Mix the ingredients for the bodies and shape into 4 little rat-shaped loaves on a baking sheet. Shape them to a point (the nose) in the front and rounded in the back. Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven or until desired doneness.

 

While meatloaf is baking, cut 8 coins (circles for rat ears) from the carrots. Use the remaining carrots to make 4 long, thin strips for tails. Steam the circles and strips until they are crisp and tender.

 

Do not overcook! Cut little slits in each loaf for ears near the pointed end, and place carrot coins in them for ears.

 

Make a tiny slit in the rounded wide end for the tail and place a carrot strip in it for the tail. Use the raisins for the eyes. Break the uncooked spaghetti noodles into pieces and place around the "nose" (pointed end) for whiskers.

 

Heat the spaghetti sauce and place a large spoonful of sauce on a plate.

 

Place a meatloaf rat on top of the spaghetti sauce and serve.

 

SOUTHWESTERN QUINOA SALAD

Quinoa is a grain used frequently in South American cuisine. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain.

 

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup quinoa

1 cup diced tomatoes, seeds removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed

1 cup cured black olives, diced

4 fresh limes, juiced

2 jalapeño peppers, optional WEAR GLOVES

2 avocados, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Bring broth to a boil. Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold water in a fine sieve. Put quinoa into boiling broth, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

 

Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet on high and put in jalapeño peppers, if using. Char until the skin is black on all sides. Remove peppers from pan, let them cool inside a paper bag for about 10 minutes.

 

Dice jalapeños finely and remove seeds and pith. Set aside.

 

Microwave each lime for 20 seconds before juicing to extract more juice. Combine lime juice with olive oil, seasonings, diced jalapeño and garlic to make dressing. Whisk thoroughly.

 

Mix cooled quinoa with tomatoes, olives and dressing. Gently fold in diced avocado just before serving.

 

STIR FRIED SNOW PEAS

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

1 pound fresh snow peas, rinsed and stems removed

1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

 

In a frying pan or wok, warm the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, snow peas, water chestnuts and soy sauce, and stir-fry for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until the peas turn bright green.

 

SWEET MEMORIES OF APRICOTS

THE TASTIEST ONES ARE HARD TO FIND

BY ELIZABETH SOFTKY, Special to the Mercury News

If the United States had an endangered foods list, fresh apricots would surely be among the Top 10.

 

This once-beloved fruit could face commercial extinction within a generation, done in by suburban development and modern agricultural practices. Imagine, the fruit that Persians called eggs of the sun gone the way of the dodo.

 

If you greet this news with a big ``So what,'' you've clearly never bitten into a truly ripe apricot -- juicy, dripping, musk-scented, with that sweet-tart tingle on the tongue. They're even better straight from the tree, still warmed by the sun.

 

But even here, in the valley that used to be the center of apricot production, that fresh flavor is getting harder to find.

 

I lucked into apricot heaven. The back yard of my childhood home in Los Angeles was separated from the property behind by a sun-bleached wooden fence, its boards shrunken with age. By early summer, the wild grasses in the unkempt yard had turned yellow and crisp, a sharp contrast to our yard, which had one tree each of fig, peach, avocado and Seville orange interspersed among several bananas.

 

Surviving in that untended plot was a tall, spreading old apricot tree. Never pruned, some of its dark, rough branches stretched into our yard. My sisters and I eagerly watched the fruit develop, from inedible pea green into brown-speckled, deep orange opulence.

 

With our best friends, Cookie and Karen, we'd climb up and stand on the ledge of the rickety fence to pick what fruit we could from among the silvery green leaves. We couldn't jump down into the yard for more because, like Hera's golden apples in Greek myth, this tree had its own fierce guardian -- a German shepherd with alert ears and a no-fooling bark. We'd beat a retreat to the top of our quaint, free-standing garage and in the peace of that tar paper oasis, we sealed our friendship with bites of our succulent bounty.

 

When I first started looking in the mid-1980s to recover that childhood taste, I discovered the apricot world had changed a lot. I searched supermarkets. Sure, their fruit looked pretty, but it had an unbroken losing streak in taste and texture. Most farmers market apricots turn out to be big teasers, too.

 

I wasn't the only one to notice. Fresh apricots have been so uniformly cottony, mushy and tart that U.S. consumption now is way down. Overall production has dropped to half of its peak in the 1920s and '30s.

 

Part of the problem is that it has become far more difficult to find what I'm looking for. Newer varieties bred for shelf life and high yields have displaced tastier but commercially vulnerable fruit. Growers say they're responding to shoppers who want nice-looking fruit.

 

The gold standard for apricots is the blenheim, introduced into this country from England in the 19th century. A shallow-rooted tree that thrives in a variety of soils, it produces fruit after four years and can be productively harvested up to 20 years. (Blenheims will be available in a couple of weeks at farmers markets.)

 

Santa Clara Valley was the center of America's apricot universe, affectionately dubbed ``The Valley of Heart's Delight.'' Some might remember spring blossom tours, when tourists would come by plane, train, automobile and horseback to see and smell the frothy, fragrant blossoms on up to 8 million trees.

 

At its height, this was the nation's ``fruit bowl,'' where hundreds of family farms grew a variety of fruit. By the late 1930s to 1940s, there were 7,000 small family and commercial fruit farms of from 10 to 50 acres, according to Sunnyvale's historical society. About 20,000 acres of those farms were planted in apricots. The valley's warm days and cool nights let apricots mature slowly, the key to their rich flavor and sweetness.

 

By 1999, the most recent year for which figures are available, there were 500 acres of apricots in Santa Clara County. Statewide, there were 19,000 acres of apricot orchards, concentrated in the San Joaquin Valley.

 

That wonderful weather and level land also made the Santa Clara valley a target for housing developers and the new high-tech industry that had been incubating here during World War II. The rising tide of people swept the orchards off to the hotter San Joaquin Valley.

 

There, the blenheims suffered, affected by pit burn -- which happens when the pit heats up and scorches the inside of the fruit. Most growers switched to hardier, more productive varieties such as pattersons, tiltons and early-maturing castlebrites.

 

But the taste isn't the same. I recently bit into a katy. It was mildly sweet with an OK apricot taste, but the insides were gooey. Yuck!

 

Growers have tried to entice us with exotic apricot spinoffs, such as plumcots, which are half apricot, half plum; the even plummier pluot, which is an often request item at farmers markets; and exotic-sounding peacotums, a mix of apricot, peach and plum. But my taste buds aren't having it.

 

The short-term solution may be to take matters into our own hands: Plant an apricot tree in your back yard. Get to know farmers market vendors who supply the good stuff. Many are willing to bring in even riper fruit for you. Be nice to your apricot-growing neighbors. Maybe, just maybe, we'll share.

 

I lucked out again when I got married 11 years ago. There's an apricot tree hidden on my mother-in-law's property. It's more than 30 years old -- ancient by apricot standards. Pale green lichen covers most of its black limbs. But it's mid-June, and the tree's fruit-laden branches soar above me, catching the sun. It's almost time to go raiding.

 

TURNIP CASSEROLE

(Riewe Schales)

 

1 1/2 cups Grated raw turnip

1 1/2 cups Grated raw potato

3/4 cup Chopped green onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup Unsalted Butter melted

1 cup Milk

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 tablespoon Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1/2 cup Fried breadcrumbs

Fine breadcrumbs

 

Lightly grease a 9'' shallow casserole or gratin dish and dust with the fine breadcrumbs. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To prepare the vegetable batter, combine the turnip, potato, green onion and parsley. Melt the butter and add it to the mixture. Combine the milk and sour cream with a whisk and fold into the vegetables. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then pour the filling into the baking dish. Pat the mixture down with a spatula or spoon so that it is smooth on top. Scatter the fried bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

VEGAN APPLESAUCE SPICE CAKE

 

1/2 cup molasses

1 cup applesauce

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1-3/4 cup flour (whole wheat pastry flour is good)

2 tsp ginger (optional)

 

Combine the molasses and applesauce in a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and stir into the liquid. (If the batter seems very dry, add a little more applesauce or a little water.) Bake in a nonstick 8 x 8-inch baking pan or one sprayed with a non-stick spray, in a 350° F (175°C) oven, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it tests done.

 

The optional ginger makes an acceptable gingerbread. You can also leave out the ginger and add 3 or 4 tablespoons of cocoa to make a tasty but not very sweet or rich chocolate cake.

 

VEGAN CAKE

 

1-1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup oil

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup cold water

 

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Grease and flour a loaf pan, and bake for 45 minutes at 350° (175°C). You can also add chocolate chips and/or nuts.

 

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

 

1-1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup cold water (or ice coffee)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp vinegar

 

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Use a small brownie size pan (no greasing required). Mix all the dry ingredients right in pan. Mix all the wet ingredients in separate bowl except the vinegar (important!). Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until all dry ingredients are mixed. Add the vinegar quickly and stir in - immediately put the pan in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 min. Cool thoroughly.

 

Optional: after you add the vinegar, you can put some frozen cherries, raspberries or cranberries on top of the batter (or you can mix them in beforehand)

 

VEGAN LEMON TOFU CHEESECAKE

 

Crust:

 

2 cups graham crackers

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp almond extract

 

Filling:

 

1 lb. firm tofu

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond exact

1 Tbsp tahini or almond butter

1/2 salt

1 to 2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in

2 Tbsp soy or rice milk

 

Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Crush the crackers and mix them with the syrup and almond extract in a bowl until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate, press evenly to form a crust and bake for 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling.

 

Filling: Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth (about 30 seconds). Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.

 

WHITE VEGAN CAKE

 

1-1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup soy milk

2 tsp vanilla

Egg replacer ** equivalent to 1 egg, beaten

 

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a cake pan. In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine remaining ingredients, and add to flour mixture. Beat for 2 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out dry.

**Make sure the egg replacer you purchase has no eggs in it.

 

ZIPPY MAC and CHEESE

8 ounces elbow macaroni -- (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded -- extra sharp

10 ounces evaporated milk -- (2-5oz cans)

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Cook

macaroni in medium pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still

firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain macaroni and place in a large

bowl. Add butter and toss until melted. Mix in 2 cups cheese. Beat milk,

eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne in medium bowl to blend.

Stir egg mixture into macaroni. Transfer to prepared dish; sprinkle

remaining 1/2 cup cheese over top.

Bake macaroni until golden on top and set in center, about 1 hour. Yield: 6

servings.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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