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).

































































By Bradford Seaman, ucook.com staff writer


Picture yourself in Greece. You're sitting on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean, sipping ouzo (a licorice-flavored brandy) when a waiter plops down a dish of flaky phyllo triangles with artichoke hearts dressed with a Béchamel sauce.


The air is pleasant, so you opt for another round. This time, you're presented with a small bowl of meaty Kalamata olives and octopus pickled with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and oregano. Each bite makes it easy to think about postponing dinner, or canceling it completely.


These are examples of mezedes, small portions of food that complement (and take the edge off) ouzo and wine. They fall somewhere between hors d'ouevres and appetizers, and can be anything from small servings of stew to breaded and fried cheeses. Dips and spreads, such as hummus (pureed chickpeas), tzatziki (yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic) and small keftedakia (baked or fried meatballs) are also a favorite meze.


Salads and vegetables are also popular choices for mezedes, and in Greece they adhere pretty strictly to the seasons. There is red cabbage salad in winter, sautéed and grilled mushrooms in the fall, and classic, juicy Mediterranean tomatoes in the summertime. The Greeks are also very adept at pickling.


In their homeland, Mezedes are not thought of as appetizers, in as much as they do not necessarily precede a meal. But as flexible as they are, mezedes can easily be served as a first course. Incorporating salads, stews, and hot snacks, they offer wonderful variety and can complement a meal without being filling.


Today, when an appetizer portion can often serve three and leave your appetite questioning another course, mezedes are dishes upon which to build a meal. God bless them for that.




By Dianne Jacob, ucook.com contributor


My husband's eating philosophy revolves around four major food groups: hot dogs, cold cereal, potato chips and Crystal Light. He's been this way for several years, including the 10 we've been married and the two years he lived with a roommate who was a gourmet cook.


Although I'm the cook, I cannot have the satisfaction of preparing any of these beloved foods for him. Hot dogs hold a special passion in his heart, and they are not to be tampered with by an amateur like me. The long, skinny ones with the tight skins that pop are a favorite.


In this arena, he is the chef, and he prepares his dogs precisely: nuked in the microwave, wrapped securely in a paper towel; lovingly removed into a heated bun; then reverentially adorned with regular mustard, sweet relish, chopped raw onion and chopped tomato.


Growing up, if he didn't like what appeared on the dinner table, his mother told him and his siblings they could "always make a hot dog." So he did. Today, he sometimes looks in the fridge, surveys various leftovers I've made, and opts for a hot dog. I don't take it personally. I know that nothing I've made delivers quite the same wallop of sodium, nitrates and fat. Plus, I like to see him enjoy himself. He always eats his dogs with relish.


A serious part of the appeal of the other three groups is their accessibility. They require little, if any, preparation. He can consume his varieties of sugar bomb cereals, for example, simply by opening the box.


The same is true of potato chips. Here, my trim husband is on a perpetual quest to find the perfect barbecue flavor. He even tried Olean (a fat substitute) and the baked versions, in a half-baked attempt at fat control. But in his heart, the original recipe is still the best.


He's a purist, I suppose.


Crystal Light, the fourth of his continuing passions, is actually the adult version of Kool Aid, he philosophizes. He even takes the powder with him on trips in his suitcase, so he can whip up a few glasses in our hotel room, and drink it with the inevitable bag of potato chips he's bought for a treat.


The other day I asked him about my food groups. After some thought, he announced: fruits, vegetables, herb tea and candy. He can see right through me. I consume the first three to counterbalance my disproportionate interest in sweets. I may be wavering towards one of his food groups, I confess, as he has caught my hand in his cereal boxes more times than I like to admit.


I decided this food group thing had the potential to reveal things about a person. Over dinner, I asked a fashionable friend about her food groups. She coyly suggested - a la Audrey Hepburn - that hers were warm Diet Coke, cottage cheese, something orange and Vogue magazine. Whoa! Now, I'm asking everyone I know.




1 can condensed tomato bisque soup*

1 cup buttermilk

1 t. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 t. salt

1-8 oz. can minced clams

lemon or lime juice

Whisk together soup and buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice to

taste, and salt. Stir in clams and liquid. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Ladle into small cups and garnish with sprig of parsley.

*If you can't find tomato bisque soup, use plain tomato soup.



1 package 8 oz refrigerated crescent rolls

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

8 bacon slices, cooked, drained & crumbled

1 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup green onions slices

Preheat oven to 350 F. Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles.

Arrange triangles in a circle on greased 14" pizza pan with point toward the

center and wide ends toward the outside. Pat out dough with fingers to 12

inch circle, pressing seams together to seal. Bake 12-15 minutes or until

golden brown. Removed from oven; cool completely. In small bowl, combine

mayonnaise and mustard; spread evenly onto crust. Sprinkle with bacon. Top

with lettuce, tomato, cheese and onion. Cut into wedges to serve. Yield 10




2 lbs. rump roast

1 package of taco seasoning

1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes, Mexican style

1 small can of green chilies

1-8 oz. can of tomato sauce

1 onion, chopped

two beef bouillon cubes

2-15 oz. cans red kidney beans; rinsed and drained

Shredded cheddar cheese

Cut the roast into bite-sized chunks. Roll in the taco seasoning and add to

crock-pot. Then add the tomatoes, chilies, tomato sauce, onion and bouillon

cubes. Cover and cook on low 6 hours or until meat is tender. Add the

drained beans and cook until the beans are heated through; around 30

minutes. Serve topped with the cheese, and/or other toppings that you like.



1 cup fresh raspberries

1 cup cold 1 percent milk

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

1 banana

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

6 to 8 crushed ice cubes

Place berries and 1/2 cup milk in blender. Blend on high for 1 minute until smooth. Add remaining milk, yogurt, honey, banana and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Add crushed ice cubes. Blend slowly until smooth.



2 cups Broccoli florets

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds -- toasted

4 ounces Fettuccine -- broken up

3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese -- grated

1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder

to taste Black Pepper

In a large saucepan cook broccoli and pasta in a large amount of boiling

water for 6-8 minutes or just until tender, stirring once or twice. Drain.

Add oil to pasta mixture and toss. Add cheese, sesame seeds, garlic, and

pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.





500 g (1 lb) soba noodles

1 tablespoon finely sliced spring onions

1 dessertspoon pickled ginger, roughly chopped (available in most


1 dessertspoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 chili, deseeded and finely chopped (WEAR GLOVES)

1 dessertspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

500 g (1 lb) uncooked prawns with shells still on

satay sticks soaked in water for 20 minutes (wooden skewers)

vegetable oil, for brushing

soy sauce, for brushing


My first pleasurable encounter with cold pasta was on a trip to Tokyo. It was Sunday morning and we were on our way to Kamakura, a seaside resort outside the capital. Breakfast was soba noodles eaten with a soy dipping sauce not unlike this one. The noodles are eaten cold, dipped in the sauce. Being the clumsy European I am, I enthusiastically dunked my noodles in the sauce and slurped away - which, I understood, was what you were supposed to do. My hosts started to laugh, not because of my slurping which was quite correct, but because of my dunking. The point, they explained, was to use the soy as a seasoning, not to turf the entire contents of my chopsticks into the bowl. Controlled dipping to about a third of the way in was the tactic they suggested and, sure enough, the flavour of the buckwheat noodles was revealed. I still dislike most cold pasta dishes, but Japanese soba noodles are an exception. To the eagle-eyed among you, the photo is not of soba noodles but of pasta, a perfect substitute.

Cook the noodles in plenty of salted boiling water as you would any pasta. When they are cooked, drain and plunge into cold water to stop them cooking. Drain and place in a bowl along with the spring onions, ginger and sesame seeds.

Combine the soy sauce with the chili, sesame oil, wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of water. Add to the noodles, toss well and check seasoning, you may need more soy. Alternatively, you can keep the soy sauce mixture separate and dip, as for soba noodles.

Thread the prawns onto the satay sticks or skewers, lightly brush with vegetable oil and soy sauce and grill for 2 minutes each side, or until cooked. Serve on top of the noodles. Serves 4




1 Pound chilies, Jalapeno



3 Cups Vinegar

2 Cloves

1/4 Tsp Oregano

1 Small Cinnamon Stick -- piece

1/4 Tsp Ginger

1/2 Cup Oil

1 Medium Onion

8 Ounces Carrots -- sliced

1 Head Garlic -- peeled

4 bay leaves


Wash chilies and cut stems so they are no longer than 1/4 inch. Cut a slit

in each chili and place in bring made by dissolving 2 tbsp salt in 3 cups

water. Let chilies stand in brine for 4 or 5 days and change brine two or

three times a day. On final day, drain chilies and rinse. Combine vinegar, cloves, oregano, thyme, cinnamon stick and vinegar and boil until even in color, about 10 minutes. Heat oil, add onions, carrots, garlic cloves and bay leaves and cook until onion and carrots are tender. In a hot, sterilized 1-quart jar, make

layers of onion mixture and chilies until jar is filled, starting and ending with onion mixture. Add boiling vinegar to cover and seal. Let stand in a cool place at least 2 weeks before using to let flavors blend.



2 slices whole-wheat bread

1/4 C liquid egg substitute OR 1 egg

1/4 tsp. vanilla

3 TB milk

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Dash of salt, optional

Vegetable oil spray

Pre-heat waffle iron while mixing up the following: In a medium-sized shallow bowl, stir together the egg, milk vanilla cinnamon and salt. Dip bread into mixture, making sure to soak up all of mixture between the two slices. Spray the bottom of waffle iron and place one slice of bread in the center of iron. Spray top of waffle iron and close it. Cook accordingly. This recipe can easily be double and tripled.



Makes about 20 servings

1 head cabbage

2/3 cups Hunt's ketchup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce or to taste

Salt to taste


Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove core. Cut each quarter into large chunks. Add enough cabbage to the bowl of a food processor to reach the top of the blade handle, but do not fill the bowl completely. Pulse the food processor to chop the cabbage into small bits about the size of a pencil eraser. Repeat with remaining cabbage.


In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, black pepper, Tabasco and salt. Stir well.


Add the dressing to the cabbage and stir to moisten completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



2 egg whites

1-1/2 cups sugar

5 Tbsp water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1-1/2 tsp light corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

Off the heat, combine the egg whites, sugar, water, cream of tartar, and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler and mix until thoroughly blended. Place the top of the double boiler over rapidly boiling water and beat with a hand mixer or energetically with a wire whisk for 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the icing reaches a good consistency for spreading.

Note: Because of concerns over salmonella, some people use pasteurized

meringue powder instead of fresh egg whites in any recipe where the eggs are

uncooked or only partially cooked.





For the Cake:


1 cup butter

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups white sugar

5 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

2 Tbsp rum

1 Tbsp grated key lime zest

2 tsp key lime juice

1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp lemon juice


For the Glaze:


1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons key lime juice

3 tablespoons rum


Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Mix together the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in 2 tablespoons rum, key lime zest, 2 teaspoons key lime juice, vanilla extract and lemon juice.


Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


In the meantime, make the glaze by combining 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter and 2 tablespoons key lime juice in a small saucepan. Let it boil for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons rum.


Allow the cake to cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn it out onto wire rack. While warm, prick the top of cake in many places with a toothpick. Pour the glaze over the warm cake. Cool completely before serving.







4 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate

4 oz white chocolate

8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup chopped nuts

2/3 cup chopped dates

1/2 pound lady fingers, coarsely crushed


Line the bottom of a round cake pan with parchment paper. Butter it or spray with a non-stick baking spray.


Break the chocolate into small pieces. Place the semi-sweet or milk chocolate in one bowl and the white chocolate in another. Add 4 Tbsp of butter to each. Stand the bowls over pans of hot water until the chocolate and butter have melted, stirring occasionally, or melt them in a microwave oven. Place the bowls on the counter and stir half the cream, nuts, dates and crushed cookies into each.


Spoon the darker chocolate mixture into the pan and spread level with the back of a spoon, pushing the mixture down into the corners. Top with the white chocolate mixture. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and chill until set. Remove from the pan and serve cut into slices.






1/2 cup Onion -- chopped

1 cup Celery -- chopped

1/2 cup Butter or Margarine

3 1/2 cups Seasoned Bread Stuffing -- (dry)

3 cups Corn -- cooked, whole kernel

3 Eggs -- beaten

1/2 cup Water

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

In a medium sized saucepan, cook onion and celery in butter until tender.

Set aside until cool. In a large bowl, combine stuffing croutons, corn,

eggs, water, salt, pepper and onion mixture, and mix well. Shape into eight

balls, and place in an un-greased shallow baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375

degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Serve as a side dish.



32 ounces pork and beans -- (2 16oz cans)

2 tablespoons molasses

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 small chopped onion

2 ounces country ham -- diced fine

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients; bring just to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20

minutes. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.



1 can cherry or apple pie filling -- (21 ounce)

1 package yellow cake mix -- (18 1/4 ounce)

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Place pie filling in your slow cooker. Combine dry cake mix and butter

(mixture will be crumbly); sprinkle over filling. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Serve in bowls.



1 - 16 oz. can crushed pineapple (with juice)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread canned pineapple

with juice in cake pan. Sprinkle yellow cake mix all over top of

pineapple. Then dot the top of the cake mix all over with the butter.

Sprinkle top with the pecans. Then sprinkle over the top of the pecans

with the coconut. Bake for 1 hour.



Makes about 4 cups

3 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup Hunt's ketchup

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 or 3 dashes moonshine (optional)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons Tabasco sauce


Combine the vinegar, ketchup, sugar, moonshine (if desired), Worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, crushed garlic, black pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Cool.


Use to prepare North Carolina-style Pork Barbecue (which see) and save some to serve as a table sauce for those who want a little more on their meat.



1 pound mild sausage

6 slices of bread, toasted

6 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 tsp dry mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Brown the sausage and drain. Cut each slice of bread into 4 slices. Beat

eggs, milk, and seasonings. Layer half the sausage, toast, and cheese.

Pour half the egg mixture over the toast. Repeat layers. Bake at 325

degrees for 45 minutes. Can make up the night before and bake in the




1 sm pkg instant chocolate pudding

1 sm Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 gal chocolate milk

1 can condensed milk(not evaporated)

Mix the Instant pudding according to package directions. Add Cool Whip,

chocolate milk, condensed milk. Makes 1 gal. This tastes just like Wendy's




5 eggs -- beaten

2 tablespoons butter or margarine -- melted

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

8 ounces cream-style cottage cheese

2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

4 ounces diced green chilies -- canned, drained

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium mixing bowl; beat well. Stir in

remaining ingredients, and pour into a well greased 9-inch pie plate.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake

about 20 minutes more or until set. Cut into wedges to serve. 6 servings



Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound fava beans

4 cups arugula leaves

1 green onion, finely chopped

Wedge of pecorino romano cheese


In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and salt until the salt is fully dissolved in the liquid. Add several grindings of black pepper and the olive oil and whisk until well blended. Set the bowl aside.

Shell the fava beans. Bring a small saucepan three-quarters full of water to a boil. Add the shelled favas, blanch for not a second more than 1 minute (don't wait for the water to return to a boil). Drain favas in a colander and run cold tap water over them until they cool.


Using your fingertips, pinch off the bright green ends of the spongy shells and squirt the bean into a measuring cup. You should have about 1/2 cup shelled favas.


Give the vinaigrette a final quick whisk. Add the arugula, green onion and favas and toss well. Divide into four bowls. With a vegetable peeler, shave thin curls of the pecorino over the salads. Serve immediately.



20 ounces frozen cauliflower flowerets

20 ounces frozen broccoli flowerets

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups chopped ham

3 cups fresh bread crumbs

4 tablespoons butter

Cook cauliflower and broccoli in boiling salted water until slightly underdone. Drain and set aside. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in 1-quart saucepan. Stir in flour and blend well. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add Cheddar, Parmesan, and salt and stir over low heat until cheese melts. Place vegetables in ungreased 4-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with chopped ham. Pour cheese sauce over all. Combine bread crumbs with 4 tablespoons of butter. Make a border of buttered crumbs around edge of casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until crumbs are lightly browned. Yield: 12 servings.




3 large heads broccoli

6 medium-size potatoes, peeled

6 garlic cloves, well minced

1 pint heavy cream

olive oil

salt to taste

pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated cheese, to cover top of dish


1. Cook the broccoli and the potatoes in boiling water until they are soft and tender. Drain and chop them coarsely.

2. Place the broccoli and the potatoes in a deep bowl, add the minced garlic, heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix very well.

3. With olive oil, grease thoroughly a long flat dish and generously sprinkle grated cheese over its entire surface. Closely pack the vegetable mixture into the greased dish and smooth evenly. Cover the entire top with grated cheese and bake in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.




In a 9 X 13 pan spread about

32 ounces of cream cheese.

Chop one tomato and spread over cream cheese.

Chop one onion and spread evenly.

Get 24 ounces of Old Elpaso salsa, either medium or hot and spread layer.

Top with slices of Monterey jack cheese.


Heat oven to 325 degrees. Heat until cheese melts. Enjoy with tortilla chips!!! Also can prepare in microwave, then heat for 5 to 7 minutes depending on how long cheese takes to melt.



1/4 cup milk

1 large egg -- lightly beaten

1 pound Italian sausage -- casings removed

3/4 cup soft bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic -- minced

8 hot dogs

1 small onion -- cut into 1/2" thick slices

14 ounces pizza sauce

8 hot dog buns -- split and toasted

Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Combine milk and egg: stir in sausage and next 4 ingredients until blended.

Divide sausage mixture evenly into 8 portions; shape each portion around a

hot dog, leaving ends uncovered. Place each between two pieces of heavy duty

plastic wrap; roll on a flat surface to even thickness. Chill at least 20


Grill hot dogs, covered with grill lid, over medium heat 5 minutes. Turn hot

dogs; place onion slices on grill, and grill 5 minutes. Brush hot dogs and

onion slices with pizza sauce, and cook 5 more minutes or until done.

Place hot dogs and onion slices in hot dog buns; top with remaining sauce

and Mozzarella cheese. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 pizza dogs (1 per





Makes 6 servings



3 tablespoons shallots, finely minced

1 cup dry white wine

1 quart fish stock

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup chopped Oregon black truffles



2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

18 ounces fresh halibut fillets, sliced paper thin

12 asparagus tips, blanched (see note)

1/2 cup fresh shelled garden peas, blanched (see note)

1/2 cup fresh shelled fava beans, blanched and halved (see note)

1/2 cup fresh peeled, seeded, and small diced tomatoes (see note)

1/2 cup julienne carrots

1/2 cup fresh morel mushrooms, cooked in butter


For the nage: Place the shallots and white wine in a non-reactive (see note) saucepan over medium heat, and reduce the wine to 2 tablespoons. Add the fish stock and reduce by half. Add the cream and truffles, bring to a boil and cook on low heat for 10 minutes, skimming the top carefully.


For the halibut: Heat 6 soup bowls and butter them thoroughly. Cover the bottom of each bowl with 3 ounces of halibut, making sure the "leaves" don't overlap. Also, tuck the fish on the side of the bowl so that all fish is covered once you pour the nage over it.


Divide the asparagus tips, peas, fava beans, tomatoes, carrots and morels equally among the bowls. Pour the simmering broth equally in each bowl and serve immediately.


Note: To blanch asparagus, place in pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Blanch peas and fava beans in boiling water 1 minute. Drain and rinse in cold tap water.


Note: To peel tomatoes, plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into cold water. Skin should slip off easily.


Note: Do not use aluminum or iron cookware for this recipe. The acids in the ingredients could react with the metal, giving the food an off-taste.

From Pascal Sauton, chef, Esplanade at River Place Hotel



The late Milo Miloradovich, author of Cooking with Herbs and Spices, offered the following lists of herbs and spices that work particularly well with different foods. Again, as 50 years have elapsed since the book was first published, readers may notice that some popular herbs are missing from certain categories, but it still may be a good place to start.

Fish &



Bay Leaf

Cayenne Pepper




Curry Powder


Fennel Seed
























Caraway Seed

Cayenne Pepper



Chili Powder




Cumin Seed

Curry Powder


Fennel Seed












Poultry Seasoning





Sesame Seed






Game & Poultry



Bay Leaf

Caraway Seed




Curry Powder



Lovage Seed


















Bay Leaf


Caraway Seed


Chili Powder



Curry Powder






Mustard Seed






Poppy Seed





Sesame Seed




Soups & Chowders



Bay Leaf

















Mustard Seed




Poppy Seed

Poultry Seasoning





Sesame Seed










3 x 6-inch sponge tart shells or shortbreads

6 cups strawberries

5 cups vanilla or strawberry ice cream

confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1. If using sponge tart shells, trim the raised edges with a serrated knife.

2. Hull and halve the strawberries. Spoon one-third of the ice cream onto a tart shell or shortbread layer, placing it in scoops, with one third of the, strawberries in between.

3. Spoon more strawberries and ice cream onto a second tart or shortbread layer and place it on top of the first, then add the final layer, piling the strawberries up high.



6 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup strong black coffee

1 1/2 ounces plain gelatin

1 1/2 cup heavy cream

7 teaspoons Irish whisky

finely chopped walnuts, pecans, etc or fruit of your choosing (optional)

whipped cream

1. In a Pyrex bowl, cream the egg yolks with sugar. 2. Heat the coffee and

dissolve the gelatin in it.; then add to the egg yolk mixture. 3. Beat the

mixture well. 4. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and beat; stir

constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. 5. Remove from heat allow to

cool. 6. When the bowl has cooled a little, put it over cracked ice and

continue to stir. 7. When the mixture is almost set, whip the cream and fold

in the whiskey, then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. 8. Pour into

dessert dishes and let set. 9. Garnish with additional whipped cream and

nuts and fruits of choice. If you have the time and inclination you could

fold some whiskey in the whipping cream that you use for decoration.



1 (7 and1/4 oz.) pkg. Kraft macaroni and cheese (blue box)

1 (10oz. pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained

1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces

1 can cream of celery OR cream of mushroom soup

1/4 c. chopped onions or green onions (sliced)

milk and margarine as called for on Kraft box

Prepare dinner as directed on pkg. Add broccoli with remaining ingredients

to dinner; mix well. Spoon mixture into a 2- qt. (un-greased) casserole.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Serves 6-8. Fresh broccoli can be substituted. Microwave: Prepare casserole

as directed, except for baking. Microwave on high for 8 minutes, or until

thoroughly heated turning dish after 4 minutes if your microwave doesn't

have an automatic turntable.




3 pounds short ribs, cut into 4 pieces

1 cup teriyaki sauce

1 cup prune juice

Cover the meat in a mixture of teriyaki sauce and prune juice. Refrigerate,

covered, overnight.

Remove the ribs from the marinade. Bring the marinade to a boil in a large pot with 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns. Lower the heat, add the meat, and cover. Simmer for 2 hours, or until meat is very tender.

Remove the ribs to a platter. Reduce the sauce for 5 minutes or until syrupy over medium-high heat. Pour it over short ribs. This is also delicious the next day. Remove any congealed fat from the top of the sauce and slowly reheat the ribs in the liquid. Serves 4



3/4 Cup vegetable oil

1/2 Cup wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Dash of red pepper

1 tsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. paprika

2 cloves chopped fresh garlic

3 jars or cans whole mushrooms (with juice)

Combine all ingredients and stir well. Marinate 24 Hrs. or more.



Serves 8 regular, 16+ mini cheesecakes

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons lemon flavored gelatin (1/2 - 3oz package)

1/2 cup BOILING water



1. Dissolve lemon Jell-O in boiling water. Let cool but not gel.

2. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.

3. Add cooled Jell-O to cream cheese mixture.

4. Fold cream cheese mixture in whipped topping.

5. Pour over graham cracker crust.

Refrigerate until set. Freeze for quick set or for later use. For mini

cheesecakes fill muffin cups with 2 tablespoons crust mixture and press up

sides then add about 1/4 cup filling. Will freeze wonderfully.

Notes: the lemon adds such great flavor to it, You can also top with canned

blueberry pie filling. You can make it in mini muffin pans and freeze.



Makes about 20 servings


2 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes

3 pork sirloin tip roasts or pork shoulder roasts (6 to 7 pounds total)

About 2 cups hickory smoking chips soaked in water for 1 hour or more

Dipping Sauce (which see)


Hamburger buns

Coleslaw (which see)


In a small bowl, stir together the black pepper, chili powder and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle the spice mixture lightly over the pork roasts and rub it into the surface. Let stand for a few minutes while preparing the smoker.


Plug in the smoker (or light a bed of charcoal if using a charcoal smoker). Fill the water pan with hot water. Sprinkle a layer of drained smoking chips around the electric element (about 11/2 cups). Place the water pan in the smoker and place the rack into the top of the smoker. Place the pork roasts onto the rack and cover the smoker with the lid. Smoke for 4 to 5 hours, checking after about 3 hours to be sure the water pan is not dry. Add more smoking chips at this point if necessary. Do not open the smoker to check the meat before this or the heat will be lost.


When the meat is done (it should reach 160 degrees F on a meat thermometer), unplug the smoker and let the meat cool for about 30 minutes. Remove to a platter.


When the pork is cool enough to handle, pull the roasts into strips with your hands. Pull each strip into thin strips about 1/2 inch thick. Chop the strips into small pieces (about 1/4 inch wide) and place in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


When ready to serve, place the chopped pork into a large skillet, wok or stockpot. Heat over medium heat. Pour about 1 cup of Dipping Sauce over the pork and stir until the pork mixture is hot, adding more sauce as necessary until the meat is just barely moist.


Serve the pork piled on a bun, topped with a scoop of coleslaw. Alternately, serve the pork and coleslaw side by side on a platter with buns, if desired. Serve extra sauce on the side.





2 cups long-grain rice

4 cups chicken stock

4 pork chops or loin pieces (7 oz each)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp dark rum or sherry

1 small onion, chopped

3 large ripe peaches

1 tbsp green peppercorns

1 tbsp white wine vinegar


freshly ground black pepper


Cover the rice with 3-3/4 cups chicken stock. Stir, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Switch off the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Season the pork with a generous twist of black pepper. Heat a large bare metal frying pan and moisten the pork with 1 tbsp of the oil. Cook the pork for 12 minutes, turning once.

Transfer the meat to a warm plate, pour off the excess fat from the pan and return to the heat. Allow the sediment to sizzle and brown, add the rum or sherry and loosen the sediment with a flat wooden spoon. Pour the pan contents over the meat, cover and keep warm. Wipe the pan clean.

Add the peaches and peppercorns to the onion and coast for 3 - 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the pan and soften the onion over a steady heat. Add the remaining chicken stock and simmer briefly. Return the pork and meat juices to the pan, sharpen with vinegar, and season to taste. Serve with the rice. serves 4



Makes 10 servings


1/2 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter

4 ounces 1/3 Less Fat cream cheese, softened (1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons orange juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup raisins

10 plain bagels, toasted, if desired


In a small bowl, stir together peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth.

Add honey, orange juice and cinnamon and stir until well-blended. Stir in raisins. Spread mixture on bagels, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.




Pickling Ingredients (per pint jar):


1/4 medium-sized garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon minced onion or onion flakes

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon of ground oregano

1/8 teaspoon of thyme leaf

1/8 teaspoon of marjoram

1 tablespoon of olive oil




3 tablespoons sugar

9 tablespoons salt

2 pints water

2 pints vinegar


Drop pickling ingredients into each jar needed. Use a needle to puncture each pepper. Drop peppers into boiling water for three minutes. Put peppers immediately into jars. Fill each jar with boiling brine solution. Close jars and process (boil) 10 minutes. Cool and store.




Add carrot slices to pickling spices.




1 Box Yellow cake mix prepared according to package directions

1 8 oz can crushed pineapple (to be mixed into cake mix)

1 can 14 oz Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 7-oz can creme of Coconut

1 pkg 8 oz Cool whip

Shredded coconut.

Bake a yellow cake mix adding the crushed pineapple in 13 X 9 dish. Mix

together Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk and one creme of coconut.

Remove cake from Oven, While hot poke holes all in cake and pour in Coconut

mixture. Place in fridge to cool. When cool ice with Cool Whip whipped

topping and then top with shredded coconut. Can't get any easier than that!



8 ounces Cream Cheese -- softened

4 1/2 tablespoons Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla

2 cans Biscuit Dough -- refrigerated type

16 ounces Crushed Pineapple in Juice -- (1 can, drained)

1/4 cup Almonds -- sliced

to taste Ground cinnamon -- (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese,

sugar and vanilla. Separate biscuits, place on baking sheets and flatten

each one to 4-inches in diameter. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over

biscuits. Distribute pineapple evenly over cream cheese. Top with almonds.

Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon, if desired. Bake 12-15 minutes or until

biscuits are browned.

Note: You may substitute other fruits for the pineapple- canned pie filling

works well for apple or cherry Danish.



We make Pita bread regularly and have found that it is not the bread recipe

so much as the method that makes the difference. I use some of whatever

bread dough we happen to have going, most often light wheat or white.

Divide dough into egg size lumps and let rest until it softens and doesn't

resist shaping. Roll each lump into a round ball and let rest again. On a

heavily floured board roll each dough ball to 1/8 thickness. Make sure

dough is well floured before placing on a baking sheet. Make sure pieces

do not touch. Let rise 30 minutes. (Too long and they won't poof). One

baking sheet at a time, put them into a 450 degree oven (F). Watch them

poof. When the last piece has poofed (we generally have 2-3 to a sheet)

wait about 30 seconds longer then remove from the oven and place in the

folds of a towel. Repeat until all pieces are baked. The really hot oven

is very important. You may have to experiment with your oven as actual

temperatures vary from oven to oven.



By Dianne Jacob, ucook.com contributor

You love to have people over, but not necessarily the idea of cooking for

everyone? The appetizers, the three-course meal, the dessert - who has time

to make all that?

The obvious answer is to throw a potluck party. You'll spend less time on

planning, and you'll have fewer things to prepare.

When you're inviting guests over the telephone, you might feel squeamish

about saying the word "potluck," since it implies that you are asking for food. Don't be - in this day, a potluck party is a civilized, efficient way to get together with friends. And many people recognize that the alternative to a potluck is often no get-together at all. If you're truly shy, you can call people up and invite them over, then hope they'll say those precious words, "Can I bring anything?"

The last time I held a party (a Sunday brunch for neighbors) almost every guest asked that worthwhile question. One couple brought orange juice, one brought two lovely crusty loaves of bread, and one brought a huge fruit salad.

It made preparation of the rest of the party food much easier. I had fewer items on my shopping list, and only three things to prepare, plus tea and coffee.

I saved time by having a friend help me make the apricot tarts on Saturday

afternoon. She enjoyed it because we got to spend time together, and she was

delighted to learn something new that was easy and elegant. The night before, I prepared the ingredients for the fritatta and cut up the salmon for the eggs. The next morning, there was little left to do other than preparing the table.

Another time-saving way to host a potluck is to make a one-pot meal, such as

chili or spaghetti and meatballs. At this time of year, a grilled main course is often the way to go. Your guests bring the extras: wine, bread, salad, and dessert. People love coming to a party where there's a big pot of something aromatic bubbling on the stove. One guest could be in charge of setting up a condiment bar with bowls of grated cheese and chopped onions for the chili. It makes one less thing to do and allows guests to help themselves.

Think ahead to how you want the potluck to turn out. Sometimes it works fine

just to say it's a potluck and then deal with whatever people bring over. After all, that's what the word means: everyone takes potluck.

This approach has its downside. I've twice gone to a dinner of all women where they all brought salads, followed by chocolate cake for dessert. It sounds stereotypical, but no one complained. Other times I've been to potlucks where guests brought plenty of fabulous desserts, but hardly any entrees. If you're comfortable enough to go with the flow, an unstructured potluck could be just the thing.

If not, feel free to pass out assignments of entrees and desserts when you issue the invitations. Create a list of who's bringing what. You can even have a guest bring paper plates, napkins and utensils.

A few days before, decide where to set up the food, and make a grocery list of what's left to purchase and prepare. If you're still feeling overwhelmed, buy something ready made, or ask a friend to be in charge of drinks, or tea and coffee for after the meal.

Don't assign drinks and appetizers to someone who's chronically late. In fact, it's best to take those on yourself, since you know that at least you will be there when the party starts. If you're having fancy drinks, enlist a friend to come over early and prepare them.

Simple appetizers and snacks - such as bowls of tortilla chips, salsa, nuts, and pretzels - are perfectly acceptable for a potluck party. If you are feeling exotic, put out some flavorful types of cheeses, a few different kinds of olives, and some crackers. If you're going wild, add a jar of roasted red peppers.

Then you can feel comfortable, knowing that as guests arrive and the music

plays, they can consume your hors d'oeuvres while awaiting other unknown but

certainly delicious foods. If you are a control freak, this image might drive you crazy. But if you can relax and enjoy it, potlucks can be so easy that you'll be willing to entertain more often. And that's something everyone will appreciate.



2 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. shortening or butter

2 eggs

1/2 c. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

2 3/4 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 c. crushed potato chips

1 c. chopped nuts

Cream sugar, butter, eggs thoroughly. Add milk, vanilla. Mix well. Combine flour with soda. Add this to the creamed mixture. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto un-greased bake sheet. Bake 400 F. for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes about 7 doz.




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


For the past few years I've felt the urge each summer to learn to "put up" the fruits of the season. I remember my mother perfecting her top-notch canned peaches and watermelon rind pickles. The glossy photographs of simmering, jewel-toned preserves featured in food magazines have always been my goal. This year, I decided to learn.


First Things First


This being Maine and the heart of strawberry season, I decided to try my hand first at classic strawberry preserves. My aim was to learn the old-fashioned technique for making preserves, which calls for processing the filled jars in boiling water for a few minutes.


While there are simpler, newer methods that don't call for processing, I felt I needed to learn the basics. Also, there's something romantic, in a way, about preserving food in the same way that people have done at home for many, many years. I was hoping the experience would mentally transport me back to a simpler time when women proudly brought out their home-canned goods for company and holiday time, happy that they had planned ahead so diligently.


So my first step was to read up on the subject. I bought the "Ball Blue Book," (a reference and cookbook published by the Ball canning jar company), a "boiling water canner" - which consists of a large pot with a canning rack - and a box of pint-sized jars with lids and rings.


I also bought a package of powdered pectin, two quarts of local berries and cute canning labels.


Truth be told, despite the fact that I've read numerous recipes for preserves and was vaguely familiar with the techniques required, I was dumbstruck by the volume of reading that the Ball company deemed necessary before I even washed the berries! I felt almost like I was cramming for a final in one of my college food science classes.


After much puttering and fussing in the kitchen -gathering utensils, washing, drying, boiling equipment, etc. - I was ready to begin. Making the actual preserve mixture was a breeze, but getting it into the jars and processed as fast as humanly possible (in order to prevent microbial contaminants from finding their ways into the jars) wasn't easy.


Remember that "I Love Lucy" episode in which Lucy and Ethel worked in the chocolate shop and the conveyer belt kept speeding up on them? That was how I felt, only instead of a chocolate which I could easily pop into my mouth like Lucy did, I was dealing with boiling strawberries.


Nevertheless, I survived, and by the time I finished the batch, I felt much more confident in my ability to ladle the preserves into the jars and complete the processing steps without any Lucy-sized disasters.


The Moment of Truth


After waiting the specified length of time for cooling, in this case 12 to 24 hours, I tested each jar to see if it was sealed. Out of my seven jars, only one failed to seal properly, much to my delight. I opted not to re-process that one jar - so it is sitting in my refrigerator now, having already been sampled and approved of by my two-year-old son.


All in all, I'm glad I finally went ahead and learned how to make preserves. While there wasn't much time during the process to gaze out the window and feel re-connected with women from times gone by, it was a fulfilling experience.


I learned a new skill, I've saved a taste of summer for my family to enjoy later in the year, and I feel a little bit more like a provider. And I didn't need any new-fangled gadgets, a freezer or anything complicated. It's amazing really, that such a rudimentary process that focuses on boiling water actually works!


The key to making it easy, it seems, is preparation. Setting out all the tools, having everything prepped as far ahead as possible, will make the whole process much easier to manage. Now that I have a little better idea of the timing of the steps, I'm confident that I can do it again and I plan to. Now, where's Mom's recipe for watermelon rind pickles?



1 3/4 cups Milk -- scalded

1/3 cup Sugar

1 tablespoon Salt

6 tablespoons Shortening -- softened

2 Eggs -- beaten

2 packages Active Dry Yeast

1/2 cup Warm Water

8 cups Flour, all-purpose -- more or less

Scald milk, then add sugar, salt, and shortening. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in the warm water and add to the cooled milk mixture. Beat eggs until light and add. Beat in about half of the flour, making a light batter. Mix in rest of flour or enough to make a soft, easily handled dough. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead until smooth & elastic. Put in greased bowl, and brush with soft shortening- cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Roll out on board to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with round cutter, and brush with melted margarine or butter, crease and fold over. Put close together on greased pan. Let rise until light. Bake 12 - 15 minutes in 375 degree F oven. Cool on wire racks.




1 (14-oz.) can raspberries packed in fruit juice

1 (1/2-oz.) package sugar free raspberry gelatin

1-3/4 cups reduced-fat evaporated milk, chilled

Fresh raspberries and Mint sprigs, to decorate


Drain raspberries over a bowl, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to make 1-1/4 cups. In a saucepan over low heat, stir juice mixture and gelatin. When gelatin dissolves, remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat evaporated milk until thick. Add raspberries and cooled gelatin mixture and mix well. Pour mixture into a glass serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until set. Turn out mold onto a serving plate. Decorate with raspberries and mint sprigs before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings








Raspberry Lemon Parfait

2 cups fresh raspberries

2 8-ounce cartons lemon low-fat yogurt


Layer raspberries and yogurt into four 6-ounce parfait glasses, beginning and ending with raspberries.


Raspberry Sauce


3 1/2-pint containers fresh raspberries

1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries

1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Puree the raspberries in a food processor. Sift the sugar over the berries and pulse until smooth.


Pour through a strainer into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice to taste. The sauce will thicken on standing; add water, as needed, to thin to desired consistency just before serving. (The sauce will keep for 1 week, covered, in the refrigerator.)


Raspberry Lemonade

3 cups cold water (divided)

1 cup fresh raspberries

2 1/4 cups water

1 6-ounce can thawed lemonade concentrate, undiluted

Mint sprigs (optional)


Combine 3/4 cup water and the raspberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve and discard seeds. Combine raspberry liquid, 2 1/4 cups water and lemonade concentrate in a pitcher; chill. Garnish with mint, if desired.




2 or 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 15-oz can Hunt's tomato sauce,

1 bunch green onions, sliced (green parts, too)

1 7-oz. can chopped green chilies

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon of EACH: lemon juice, oil, and vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 5-6 dashes Tabasco sauce

Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine ingredients; chill about an hour. Stir and serve.



1 10-ounce pkg. frozen chopped spinach

4 beaten eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (mild)

1 cup fine dry bread crumbs


Butter a 9 inch glass pie plate or a 9 inch square dish well. Thaw and drain

very well the spinach. Beat the eggs well and beat in the salt, pepper and

cream. Stir in the spinach and cheese. Pour into dish. Top with the crumbs

and sprinkle generously with paprika. (I would personally dot the top with a

little butter.) Bake at 375 degrees 35- 50 minutes. (Start checking at 35

minutes.) Don't over-bake




3 1/4 cups Flour

1 1/4 teaspoons Salt

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk -- (14 oz)

1 Paper Towel -- folded 3" square

To Make Mix:

2 3/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

3/4 cup Warm Water -- 110 degrees

2/3 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk -- (from can above)

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

To Make Mix: Place folded paper towel in bottom of a wide mouth quart size

jar, and set unopened can of milk on top of paper towel. In a large bowl,

mix flour & salt, then place mixture in jar, covering can of milk. Apply

lid. To make the bread later, you will need to use the second set of

ingredients above as follows:

Place all wet ingredients into the bread pan of your bread maker, then add

the dry ingredients on top, reserving the yeast for last. Insert the bread

pan into the bread maker and select "Sweet", desired crust color, baking

cycle (according to yeast type) and loaf size. Select desired delay option

and press start.

Note: To give this mix as a gift, you may want to include the yeast in a

separate package, and place inside jar on top of flour. If your can of milk

does not fit into your jar, you can attach it to the top of the closed jar

by taping it to the lid and top of jar with packing tape. Decorate by

cutting a circle of cloth, placing it over the top of the jar and securing

with a rubber band. Add a bow of raffia or ribbon over the rubber band.

Attach the directions for baking the bread, on a cute card.

A Note about Bread Makers: Each bread maker has it's own personality, and

the first few times you use your machine, you will be getting to know what

it does and does not 'like'. Some bread makers also require the ingredients

to be added in a different order, so please follow the directions for your

particular bread maker. Copyright: "(c)1999 Kaylin Cherry/Real Food for Real People"



Swordfish has a firm, meaty texture that makes it ideal for cooking on a grill. Marinate the fish first to keep it moist.


1-1/2 pounds swordfish steaks

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon paprika

2 onions

3 tomatoes


freshly ground black pepper

salad, to serve

Pita bread, to serve


1. Use a large kitchen knife to cut the swordfish steaks into large cubes. Arrange the cubes in a single layer in a large shallow dish. Blend together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and seasoning in a bowl, and pour this over the fish. Cover the dish loosely with plastic wrap and marinate in a cool place for up to 2 hours.

2. Peel the onions and cut them into large wedges.

3. Cut each tomato in half and then cut again into quarters.

4. Thread the fish cubes onto metal skewers, alternating them with the pieces of tomato and onion wedges. Cook the kebabs on a hot grill for 5 - 10 minutes, basting frequently with the remaining marinade and turning occasionally. Serve with salad and warm pita bread. Serves 6


A Thai Seasoning Sampler


By Jennifer Gallo, ucook.com Staff Writer


Thai cuisine offers an array of traditional starches, proteins and fresh native produce. But it's the distinctive herbs and spices that makes the food so exciting. Here's a look at some of the flavorings central to Thai cooking:


Lemon Grass


A staple herb of Thai cuisine, lemon grass is a long, thin, gray-green stalk with a scallion-like base. Its fragrance and flavor is a blend of lemon and ginger, which is perfectly suited for infusing sauces, soups, and curries as well as for marinating meats and fish. Lemon grass is sold fresh or dried in Asian markets.




Another very important Thai ingredient, the shallot, part of the onion family, has a mild onion flavor and is used in making curry pastes and for seasoning marinades.


Thai Basil and Holy Basil


The leaves of Thai basil, also called anise basil, are sweet and have a taste similar to licorice. Fuzzy-leafed holy basil - cousin to Thai basil - is spicier and has a bit of a lemony flavor. Both are used, in abundance, in stir-fries and are available at Asian markets.


Kaffir Lime Leaves


Picked from wild lime trees, kaffir lime leaves are used to add a bit of a tangy sour flavor to curries, soups, and stir-fries. The glossy, dark green leaves have a fragrant citrus aroma and can be found - though not always readily - at Asian markets in this country.


Thai Bird Chili


As a rule, the smaller the chili the hotter it is; slender and tiny, Thai bird chilies are no exception. Although whole or sliced chilies are sometimes used to garnish a dish, they are more often mashed, then added to stir-fries and dipping sauces for flavor and heat. Thai bird chilies can be either green or red and are available at Asian markets.


Ginger or Ginger Root


Thai cuisine makes use of fresh ginger by peeling the root and grating it into savory dishes for added aroma and a peppery yet slightly sweet flavor. Dried, ground ginger is also delicious in soups, curries, fish dishes, and as a rub for braised meat but should never be used as a substitute in recipes calling for the fresh form.




A cousin of ginger and sometimes actually referred to as Thai ginger, galanga is used in soups, curries and stir-fries for its warm "peppery" flavoring and aromatic edge. Galanga roots are available fresh, frozen or dried, at Asian markets.


Coriander and Cilantro


These two terms are often used interchangeably.


Coriander most commonly refers to the plant in its entirety. Its root, when combined with garlic and pepper, is used to season soups, salads and meats. The ripened, dried fruit or "seeds" of the plant - also called coriander - are ground and used in curried dishes to add a flavor described as being a combination of lemon, sage and caraway.


The plant's stems and soft green, lacey leaves are called cilantro. Considered by some to have a soapy, acquired taste, cilantro has a pungent fragrance and flavor. It's either used simply as a garnish or in soups and stir-fries to balance other spicy-hot seasonings. Cilantro is thought to aid in digestion.


Curry Paste


Green and red Thai curry pastes are mixtures of lemon grass, garlic, galanga, shallots, shrimp paste and chilies. Green curry paste is fairly mild and is used to enhance meat, fish and vegetables. The smoky, spicy-hot flavor from roasted dried red chilies makes red curry paste very suitable as a rub for red meats, especially beef and lamb.


Influenced by the curry mixtures of Indian cuisine, yellow curry paste - used to enhance fish, chicken and vegetarian dishes - is the mildest tasting. It is made with many of the same ingredients as the green and red varieties, but also includes turmeric, which gives it its yellow color.


Coconut Milk


In Thai cuisine, coconut milk - a combination of equal parts water and shredded coconut meat simmered until foamy - takes the place of cow's milk. This sweet, creamy milk is used to enrich Thai dishes and especially complements and tempers the heat of chili-laced soups and curries. If purchasing coconut milk in a can, be aware that the unsweetened product is the type to buy.


Fish Sauce


Fish sauce, or "nam pla," is a strong-flavored, salty liquid extracted from fermented fish. An important ingredient in Thai cuisine, it's used like soy sauce as a seasoning or in making dipping sauces. Fish sauce can be purchased in bottles, unflavored or flavored with chilies or sugar, at Asian markets.



1 Sponge Cake (10-12 Inch) -- about 3" tall

3 Ounces Strong Black Coffee -- or instant espresso

3 Ounces Brandy Or Rum

1 1/2 Pounds Cream Cheese Or Mascarpone -- room temperature

1 1/2 Cups Superfine/Powdered Sugar

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Cut across middle of sponge cake forming two layers, each about 1 1/2 inches

high. Blend coffee and brandy. Sprinkle enough of mixture over bottom half

of cake to flavor it strongly. Don't moisten cake too much or it may

collapse on serving. Beat room-temperature cheese and 1 cup sugar until

sugar is completely dissolved and cheese is light and spread-able. test for

sweetness during beating, adding more sugar if needed. Spread cut surface of

bottom layer with half of the cheese mixture. Replace second layer and top

this with remaining cheese mixture. Sprinkle top liberally with sifted

cocoa. Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.



1 package Chicken Flavor Top Ramen

2 cups boiling water

1-2/3 cups cooked or canned red, pinto or pink beans, drained

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup green pepper, chopped

1/4 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup carrots, chopped

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. sweet pickles, diced

2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted

Fresh spinach leaves

Pickle wedges and carrot curls for garnish

Remove flavor packets from package. Cook Top Ramen noodles in water for 3

minutes. Drain and cool. In medium-size mixing bowl, combine the cooked Top

Ramen noodles with the beans, mayonnaise, green pepper, celery, carrots,

green onion, pickles and pine nuts. Sprinkle the flavor packet over tossed

mixture and toss again. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. To serve,

spoon mixture onto spinach leaves and garnish. Serves 4



1 package Oriental Flavor Top Ramen, broken up

2 cups boiling water

1 cup fresh spinach, shredded

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 lb. deli roast beef, sliced into bite-sized strips

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. Canola oil

1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish

1/4 cup pickled beets, julienned, drained

1 tsp. poppy seeds

Cook Top Ramen noodles in boiling water as directed for 3 minutes. Drain.

Combine with spinach, onion, roast beef in serving bowl. Mix Top Ramen

flavor packet with vinegar, oil and horseradish. Pour mixture over noodles

and toss. Sprinkle beets and poppy seeds just before serving. Serve at room

temperature. You'll love it! Serves 3



This delicious dish will make you think you're in the Far East.

1 package Shrimp Flavor Top Ramen

3 Tbsp. oil

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 cup green onions, finely chopped

1 cup tiny shrimp or small shrimp, finely chopped

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/3 tsp. ginger

1-1/4 cups of boiling water

3 medium eggs

Hot frying pan with 1/16" of oil


Sauté celery, onions and shrimp in oil, adding the soy sauce and ginger. At the

same time, begin preparing the Top Ramen noodles, but using only 1-1/4 cups

of water. Cook noodles only 2-3 minutes. Beat eggs until pale yellow, set

aside. Let sautéed mixture cool. Stir Top Ramen to break noodles. Drain

excess liquid. Add sautéed mixture with liquid to noodles. Stir ingredients

until well-coated. Add beaten egg. Spoon mixture into hot pan to make 4"

omelets. Fry until golden brown. Serve with brown gravy. Garnish with fresh

parsley. Serves 4




2 packages Garden Vegetable Flavor Top Ramen

2 cups red or green cabbage, shredded

1 cup carrots, shredded

4 green onions, chopped

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

1/2 cup mandarin orange slices (canned)

2 Tbsp. unsalted sunflower seeds, shelled

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup light vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. mustard powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice from 1 fresh lime

1 Top Ramen seasoning packet

1/2 cup almonds or pine nuts, slivered

1/2 cup Provolone cheese, grated

Cook Top Ramen noodles according to package, but do not add seasoning

packet. Drain noodles. Place noodles in large salad bowl. Add cabbage,

onions, sesame seeds, orange slices and sunflower seeds and toss. In a

mixing cup add sugar, oil, mustard powder, salt, pepper, lime juice and one

Top Ramen seasoning packet. Mix well and add to noodle mixture. Just before

serving, sprinkle with nuts and cheese. Serves 4





The title of the salsa for these turkey fajitas is sort of playful, since most people don't consider tomatoes a fruit (although they qualify botanically) and avocados just barely make it as a fruit by culinary tradition. These two delicious ingredients make up two-thirds of the three-fruit salsa.


3/4 lb. thinly sliced turkey breast cutlets, cut into 1/2" strips

1 large red onion, halved lengthwise then sliced crosswise into thin half-rounds

2 T/ plus 2 tsp. fresh lime juice

3-1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups quartered red and yellow cherry tomatoes

1 mango, diced

1/4 cup diced green bell pepper

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Four 8" flour tortillas (98% fat free)

Half a medium avocado, diced


In 7" x 11" baking pan, combine turkey, onion, 1 Tbsp of lime juice, 2 tsp of cumin, black pepper, and 1/8 tsp of salt; toss to combine. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375ºF and start to prepare salsa.


In medium bowl, gently toss cherry tomatoes,(mix the cherry tomatoes for color), mango, bell pepper, red pepper flakes and remaining 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp lime juice, 1-1/2 tsp cumin and 1/8 tsp salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature until serving time.


In small bowl, blend olive oil with 1 Tbsp water. Drizzle turkey with olive oil mixture, cover loosely with foil and bake 17 to 20 minutes, stirring several times, until turkey is cooked through and onion is crisp-tender. Halfway through turkey cooking time, wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven to warm up.


Gently fold avocado into salsa. Place tortillas on warmed plates and top each tortilla with 2 Tbsp of salsa. Top with turkey and onion mixture and roll up. Top with remaining salsa. (Use salsa of your choice).



Makes about 7 half pints


This delectable condiment was created to complement the sweet, crunchy character of the Walla Walla Sweet onion. Because the marmalade is not cooked for very long, the onions retain a gentle crunch, which provides a nice contrast to the tangy-sweet, shimmering jelly.


It is delicious over cream cheese or brie as an hors d'oeuvre, and as a condiment for pork or grilled chicken. Whisk a little into sour cream to use as a dip for crackers, bagel chips or pretzels.


2 1/2 pounds Walla Walla Sweet onions (or other sweet onion, such as Vidalia)

11/2 cups apple juice

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic

2 teaspoons rubbed sage (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

Heaping 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1.75-ounce box Sure Jell For Lower Sugar Recipes (see note)

1 teaspoon butter, margarine or vegetable oil


Wash 7 half-pint canning jars and keep hot until needed. Prepare 2-piece canning lids as manufacturer directs.


Peel the onions. To create strips that are about 1/4 inch thick and about 1 1/2 inches long, cut each onion into quarters lengthwise, from stem through the root end. Then cut crosswise down through each quarter chunk about every 1/4 inch. Cut enough onion to measure 7 cups. Place the prepared onions in a 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in the apple juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, sage, salt, white pepper, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes, and mix thoroughly.


Measure the granulated sugar into a bowl, then remove 1/4 cup and set aside in a small bowl. To the larger amount of granulated sugar, add the brown sugar and mix. To the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, stir in the pectin. Stir the pectin-sugar mixture into the onion mixture in the pot. Add the butter or oil (the fat reduces foaming). Place the pot over high heat; bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in the remaining sugars. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil and then boil for exactly 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam if necessary.


Ladle the hot marmalade into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lids. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes, (15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet). Remove and let cool overnight on the counter without disturbing the jars.


Alternatively, omit the boiling-water processing and simply store the jars in the refrigerator.


Note: This commercially prepared pectin used to be called "Sure-Jell Light" fruit pectin. It's designed to be used with recipes that contain at least 25 percent less sugar than is required with other fruit pectin products.



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