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).

4TH OF JULY DISHES DIG INTO HISTORY

A SWEET SALUTE TO THE FLAG

ASIAN SALADS

BACON AVOCADO POTATO SALAD

BAKED BEANS WITH A TWIST

BASIC PIE CRUST RECIPE

BLACK BEAN AND RICE SALAD

BLUEBERRY SURPRISE CAKE

BRIDGE CLUB HOT DOGS and SANS

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

CALIFORNIA MARINADE

CLAM RICE

CORNBREAD CASSEROLE

CRISPINESS KEY TO FRIED CATFISH

CRUST

DILL POTATO SALAD

DINNER IN ONE POT

EMERIL LAGASSES DUO BBQ RIBS

EXTRA MOIST BANANA CAKE

FLANK STEAK GRILLED

FRUITFUL LESSONS LEARNED FROM MOTHER

FRY BREAD

GARBAGE BURGERS

GREEN RICE CASSEROLE

HOMINY SALAD

HONEY PECAN CRUSTED CHICKEN

HUNGARIAN BEEF STEW

JULEP WITH A KICK BBQ SAUCE

LEMONGRASS SALAD

NEW ENGLAND BOILED BEEF DINNER

OLALLIEBERRY FILLING

ORZO AND FETA STUFFED TOMATOES

PASTA E FAGIOLI

PEANUT BUTTER SOUP

PECAN CORNMEAL CATFISH

PICKLED PRODUCE BRINE

PIE BIRDS

PIE DOUGH

PIE TIPS

POTATO SALAD

RED PEPPER PORK AND NOODLES

RED SKINNED POTATO SALAD

SESAME LOAVES

SIPHNIAC HONEY SQUARES

SMOKED AND FROZEN SWEET ONIONS

SOUTHWESTERN LONDON BROIL

SPANISH RICE

SQUID SALAD WITH LIME DRESSING

STUFFED ARTICHOKES

STUFFED CRUST PIZZA

SUMMER BERRY GRATIN

SUMMER FRUIT PIE

SWEET AND SOUR FISH

SWEET POTATO PIE

TEX MEX MAC N CHEESE

THAI HERB DIPPING SAUCE

THAI SHRIMP KEBABS

TUNA BURGERS

TUNA TOMATO CHEESE ON MUFFINS

TURTLE SOUP AND RIBS FOR A NOVEL 4TH

VIDALIA ONION POT ROAST

WALLA WALLA SWEET REFRIGERATOR RELISH

WHAT YOU NEED FOR YOUR PIE

WINDMILL COOKIE BARS

ZUPPA TOSCANA

 

 

 

 

4TH OF JULY DISHES DIG INTO HISTORY

By ARLENE COCO, DULUTH (MINN.) NEWS TRIBUNE (Wed. June 27, 2001)

 

Happy 225th birthday, America!

 

When John Adams signed the Declaration of Independence, he wrote to his wife, Abigail, that the day of the signing "will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.

 

"... I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other ..."

 

And with food.

 

Though the Adamses celebrated the Fourth of July each year with enthusiasm, their tastes at the dinner table reflected New England thrift and simplicity. On the menu: turtle soup, broiled salmon steaks or poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas, boiled new potatoes in jackets, Indian pudding or apple pandowdy and tea.

 

As celebrations across the country grew and got more elaborate, there usually was a "committee of arrangements" that had the privilege of drawing up the Fourth of July program. And it was at these first ceremonies that the myriad of Fourth of July food traditions started.

 

TURTLE SOUP: In the early years of the new nation, the people of Philadelphia enjoyed turtle soup for Independence Day.

 

Local restaurants advertised the exact hour at which the rich concoction would be available. It could be sampled or "gentlemen" could send their servants to buy it for home consumption.

 

Turtle meat was also advertised for sale on that day if you wanted to make your own.

 

The popularity of turtle soup diminished as concern about protecting certain species of turtles grew. Today, mock turtle soup is still popular down South, but you can make it with veal stew meat, too.

 

PIG ROASTS: In the early 1800s, Fourth of July celebrations were popular, particularly in New York, where the immigrants were celebrating their promised land.

 

Frederick Marryat described a Fourth of July celebration in 1837: "But what was most remarkable, Broadway being three miles long, and the booths lining each side of it, in every booth, there was a roast pig, large or small as the center attraction. Six miles of Roast Pig!"

 

Cooking outside is still the favorite way to celebrate. Pig, potatoes, peas and ice cream are still on the hit list. Today, though, paper plates and potluck parties have taken the place of china and servants.

 

A SWEET SALUTE TO THE FLAG ON THE 4TH

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2001)

 

A Fourth of July dessert of stars served on stripes, made with berries, cake and ice cream, should inspire happily patriotic reactions.

 

The ice cream stars can be made a day ahead and assembled at the last minute.

 

The marionberries in this recipe are a high-quality kind of blackberries; you can substitute regular blackberries.

 

Equipment you should have at hand includes a 3- or 4-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, jellyroll pan (or disposable aluminum baking sheet), plastic squirt bottle, mesh sieve or food mill, food processor and 2 cookie sheets.

 

FOURTH OF JULY ICE CREAM TOWER

serves 6 to 8

 

7 cups fresh or frozen red raspberries (thaw frozen berries)

5 cups fresh or frozen marionberries or any other blackberries (thaw frozen

berries)

2 gallons vanilla ice cream, softened

Red food coloring (optional)

1/2 cup heavy cream

Purchased angel-food cake (any shape, standard size)

 

Marionberries, red raspberries and red currants for garnish (other blackberries may always be substituted for marionberries)

 

To make red-raspberry ice cream: Puree red raspberries in a food processor, and strain through a fine sieve or grind berries in a food mill to make puree. Reserve 1 cup puree and put in squirt bottle. Mix remaining puree with softened ice cream in a food processor.

 

Optional: Use a few drops of red food coloring when mixing to increase the coloration of the ice cream.

 

Pour ice cream-puree mix in a jellyroll-type pan (disposable aluminum baking sheets work well) as deep as the cookie cutter.

 

Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

 

To make marionberry ice cream: Proceed as in above recipe substituting 5 cups of marionberries, fresh or frozen. It is not necessary to reserve any of this puree, and food coloring will not be needed.

 

Cutting star shapes: Cover 2 cookie sheets with wax paper; wrap ends underneath. Precool in freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. Place star-shaped cookie cutters in warm water. Remove ice cream-filled jellyroll pans from freezer one at a time, only as using.

 

Remove cutter from warm water, shake off excess water, and working quickly depress cutter into ice cream, carefully sliding up to unmold. Use spatula to place ice-cream cutouts on pre-chilled cookie sheets, cover with a sheet of wax paper and return to freezer for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. Repeat, to cut out all star shapes.

 

When ready to serve: Slice angel-food cake in slices as deep as the cookie cutter you are using. Cut star shapes out of angel-food cake. Spoon a pool of heavy cream on each serving plate. Using red-raspberry puree in squirt bottle, draw wavy red lines across plate, and through cream.

 

Take ice-cream stars from freezer and stack one marionberry star, one angel-food cake star and one red-raspberry star on prepared plate, being careful not to disturb red lines.

 

Garnish with berries and currants. Serve immediately.

 

ASIAN SALADS

STRETCH THE WESTERN IMAGINATION

BY MARTIN YAN

My neighbor Jack is legendary for his Fourth of July cookouts -- elaborate feasts that he organizes each year, with a little help from his friends and neighbors. ``I'll bring something typically Asian,'' I told Jack this year. ``I'll bring salads!''

 

The look on Jack's face told me that he was, to say the least, underwhelmed. Asian salads? Do they even eat salads in Asia? The answer is yes, and not exactly. Yes, most Asian cuisines have a variety of salad dishes, but they are seldom the tossed green varieties Americans are most accustomed to.

 

In Asia, salads are not strictly vegetarian fare. Seafood and poultry -- and at times beef and pork -- are common ingredients. Vegetables served in an Asian salad do not have to be, and often are not, raw. Fresh fruits are often mixed in, as are nuts, which provide an interesting contrast in texture.

 

Many of these salads are served as vegetable side dishes to perk up the appetite. We find that in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, as well as most Southeast Asian menus, such as Thai and Vietnamese. The squid salad with lime dressing that I am preparing for Jack's party is a good example.

 

In recent years, Asian food has made quite an in-road into Western cuisine. But that road travels in both directions. Many Western dishes, like salad, have traveled East and ended up, after the addition of a twist or two, on the typical Asian dinner table. Such is the case with lemongrass salad. Though lemongrass is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking, the concept of using it in a salad is relatively modern.

 

BACON AVOCADO POTATO SALAD

 

10 medium red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed

2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, cubed

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

8 slices bacon, cooked crisp, diced

1/2 cup sliced green onion

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

 

Quarter or cube the potatoes. Place the potatoes in cold water to cover in large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and cook until potatoes are tender. While potatoes cook, place cubed avocados in a bowl, sprinkle with the lime juice and toss to coat; set aside.

 

Drain the potatoes and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the potatoes, bacon, green onion and cilantro in a large serving bowl.

 

Season with salt and pepper and toss lightly to combine.

 

Mix together the dressing ingredients. Taste the dressing and adjust the lime juice and cilantro if necessary. Add dressing to potatoes and thoroughly mix. Fold in the cubed avocados.

BAKED BEANS WITH A TWIST

SPICE 'EM UP FOR FOURTH

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2001)

 

Vegetarians may wish to keep in mind that baked beans are one of those American classics that could have a deserved, and tasty, place in a Fourth of July menu. It needn't be the version with white beans and traditional seasoning.

 

Rio Arriba Baked Beans is a regional variation of this favorite, which combines the robust flavors of the Southwest with a touch of brown sugar.

 

The truth is that, like barbecue and other deep-rooted American fare, no single recipe for baked beans defines the dish for the whole country.

 

When making baked beans you have the freedom to experiment with different bean varieties, spices and ingredients to create a dish that suits your taste.

 

RIO ARRIBA BAKED BEANS

 

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped poblano chili or green bell pepper

1 jalapeño chili, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

Two (15-ounce) cans pinto or black beans or 3 cups cooked dry-packaged

pinto or black beans, rinsed, drained (see note)

1/2 cup beer or water

1/4 cup sliced softened sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Saute onion, chilies and garlic in oil in large skillet until tender, about 8 minutes. Combine onion mixture with beans, beer or water, tomatoes, sugar, cumin, thyme leaves, bay leaf and salt in 1 1/2-quart casserole.

 

Bake at 350 degrees covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is nearly absorbed.

 

Note: Although the recipe calls for specific varieties, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.

 

BASIC PIE CRUST RECIPE

(another one)

Makes 1 double-crust, 9-inch pie

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2/3 cup vegetable shortening (see Note)

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons water, approximately

 

Sift flour. Then measure it, pouring measured flour back into sifter. Add salt, sift again into large, deep bowl.

 

Add half shortening. Using a meat fork or pastry cutter, cut and toss flour and shortening until thoroughly combined. Add remaining shortening and continue to cut and toss until mixture looks like fine, moist sand. Do not add water until this texture is achieved.

 

Add water in small amounts, about a tablespoon at a time. Water can be room temperature, iced or straight from tap. Pull driest flour up from bottom and sides of bowl.

 

Keep adding water in small amounts, cutting and tossing until no dry flour remains and pastry forms separate 1/2-inch lumps. Flour changes with seasons so you may need more water in the summer than in winter. If you have to choose, err on the side of too much water.

 

Using floured hands, gently squish lumps together and form into two separate balls: one for top crust and a second for bottom crust. Allow a little more dough for bottom crust. Do not knead or fold pie crust dough.

 

Let dough rest for 15 minutes, which helps it become more pliable and easy to roll out. This is a great time to prepare your filling.

 

Once dough is done resting, place it on floured surface and with rolling pin, roll out one crust and place it in a glass pie pan, preferably with edges extending at least 1/4-inch beyond dish. Roll out second crust and leave it on floured surface.

 

Place fruit mix in bottom crust, cover with top crust (again, with a 1/4-inch overhang). And crimp edges with your fingers or a fork to seal. Pierce top crust with a knife, making 4 slashes to vent pie.

 

Note: You can substitute butter.

 

 

 

 

BLACK BEAN AND RICE SALAD

Serves 150 This is for a lot of people!

 

6 pounds uncooked black beans

1 bunch celery, finely chopped

12 to 15 carrots, finely chopped

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 cup ground cumin

3 bay leaves

2 ham hocks or other flavorful bones, optional

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

Uncooked rice

Water

 

In an 8-gallon soup kettle, saute onions, celery, carrots and ham hocks until onions are translucent but not browned. Add black beans and continue to saute for another couple of minutes. Fill kettle halfway with water. Add cumin, thyme, pepper and bay leaves. Cook this mixture with a very gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just soft enough to eat, but not falling apart.

 

Add half the amount of rice compared with the mixture in pot. (If you have 4 quarts of mixture in the kettle, add 2 quarts of uncooked rice.) Remove the kettle from the heat and let stand until rice is tender.

 

Remove bay leaves and ham hocks. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

If you want a little more zip, chop up your favorite peppers and add to the mixture when you first start to saute.

 

BLUEBERRY SURPRISE CAKE

-----surprise-----

1 C. Fresh Blueberries

3 Tbs. sugar

1 Tsp. cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. nutmeg

1 Tsp. lemon juice.

-----cake-----

2 C. white flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/3 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1 c. sour cream

zest of one lemon

-----glaze-----

1 c. confectioners sugar

1 Tbs. lemon juice

few drops boiling water

 

Surprise: Combine all ingredients, except lemon juice. Drizzle on lemon

juice, let stand.

Cake: Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9"x3" spring form pan. Sift

dry ingredients together. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and beat.

Add sour cream. Add sifted dry ingredients. Add lemon zest. Pour 1/2 batter into pan. Spoon in blueberry mixture, keeping 1/2 inch away from edge of pan. Add rest of batter. Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes.

Glaze: Combine ingredients and pour on warm cake.

 

BRIDGE CLUB HOT DOGS and SANS

 

6 hotdogs, split lengthwise, but not all the way through

3-4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes

American cheese slices, cut in half

 

Place potatoes on the split hot dogs. Place cheese slices over, Run under

broiler until hot and cheese is melted, or place in microwave.

 

OPEN FACED SANDWICHES

 

6 slices bread

12 slices bacon, cut in half,

6 slices ripe tomato

6 slices Velveeta or American cheese

 

Construct sandwiches as follows: Place cheese slices on bread. Place tomato

slices on cheese. Place raw bacon in an X on top. Broil until bacon is done

and cheese is melted.

 

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

 

Steam 1 10-ounce package frozen broccoli

 

Make sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

when sauce is creamy, add 1/2 cup shredded American cheese

 

Pour sauce over broccoli in 9x9" baking dish.

Top with:

1/4 cup slivered almonds

2 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs.

 

Bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.

 

CALIFORNIA MARINADE

1 cup oil (any brand)

3/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh)

1/4 cup mustard (I use Gulden's Spicy)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3-4 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)

Put everything in a blender or food processor with a steel blade. Process

for at least 3 minutes.

Pierce meat and pour sauce over it. Turn meat, pierce again and add more

sauce on it. (The meat should be covered then with the balance of sauce.)

Let marinade for a least a couple of hours -- the longer the better. I usually do it a day ahead of time Grill meat, brushing on sauce occasionally.

 

CLAM RICE

 

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup parsley

1/4 cup oil

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup grated cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (6 1/2-ounce) can minced clams, undrained

 

Chop onions, garlic and parsley and simmer in oil about 10 minutes. Combine onion mixture with rice. Add all other ingredients to mixture except clams. Place in a 2-quart casserole dish and top with clams and juice. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Serves 3

 

CORNBREAD CASSEROLE

 

1 pound Ground beef

1 Small onion -- chopped

1/2 Green pepper -- chopped

2 cans Cream of celery soup

3 dashes Tabasco Sauce

1 tablespoon Prepared mustard

Salt and pepper.

1 package Jiffy cornbread mix, prepared according to package directions.

Crumble meat and brown in skillet with onion and green pepper. Drain off fat. Add soups, Tabasco, and mustard. Stir to mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into greased 9x9 pan. Pre heat oven to 400^. Prepare cornbread mix according to pkg. directions and pour over meat mixture spreading evenly to edges of pan. Bake appx. 30 min or until top of cornbread is golden brown. Check by inserting toothpick or knife for doneness.

 

CRISPINESS KEY TO FRIED CATFISH

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2001)

 

Pecan-cornmeal catfish is an appealingly crispy preparation, assembled quickly. The fish is coated with a nutty mixture and deep-fried in small batches.

 

If the thought of deep-frying leaves you even slightly dubious, be reassured. The editors of Better Homes and Gardens' "Simple Secrets to Better Everyday Cooking" (Meredith Books, $29.95) are ahead of you. The premise of this cookbook is to make sure recipes and techniques are made super clear, with explanations packed into helpful places.

 

Next to this recipe, for example, you'll find these comments: "The trick to producing crispy deep-fried foods is no trick at all. Just keep the fat at a constant high temperature. This is done best by using a heavy, flat-bottomed pan and a deep-fat thermometer to monitor the oil temperature."

 

To ensure crispiness:

 

Heat cooking oil to the temperature listed in your recipe, typically 365 degrees to 375 degrees. You'll need enough oil to cover the food you're frying.

 

To avoid a pasty coating, dip the food in the batter and wait for the excess to drain off.

 

Cook in small batches and add the food slowly. Avoid crowding; freely bubbling fat makes for a crispy crust.

 

Watch the oil temperature and don't let it drop below the temperature specified.

 

Stir the food several times to ensure even cooking. After frying, drain the food on paper towels. Keep finished batches warm in a 300-degree oven while you finish frying.

 

CRUST

Try to make it yourself, and eventually you will be successful

BY CAROLYN JUNG, Mercury News

 

It crumbles, but in a bad way.

 

It comes out so dry it makes Mojave sand seem moist.

 

It shrinks in the oven like your favorite jeans in the dryer.

 

And, in my case, there is never enough darn counter space to roll it out with justice.

 

Enough already. The time has come to vanquish crust phobia -- that affliction that prompts excuse after excuse about why you rely on store-bought or frozen crust.

 

You're thinking you've tried. You can't do it. You're a total dough dud.

 

But remember, even the best bakers have had crust catastrophes. Beth Hensperger, a baking authority and Mercury News Food & Wine columnist, readily admits that in her early days, she'd do anything to avoid making crusts.

 

``In the baking world, pie crust is one of the hardest things to do,'' she says. ``Only puff pastry is harder. But once you've got it, you've got it.''

 

So how do you gratify that lust for crust? With a little know-how. And a lot of practice.

 

First, there are many recipes and many techniques, each of which will make a good crust, depending upon the objectives. We're sticking to the simplest methods here. Although blind-baking -- cooking the bottom crust, and in some cases the top, separately from the filling -- guarantees no underdone crusts, it's more complicated, so we'll leave that for another time.

 

Second, remember that working fast is a good thing, and the refrigerator and freezer are your friends. That's because you never want the butter or shortening to get too soft or too warm. Some pastry chefs chill their flour, mixing bowl and rolling pin beforehand, too.

 

Third, forget that adage to ``mix well'' as you do in most other cooking. For a super flaky crust, you never want one homogenous blob of dough. What you want are streaky ``leaves'' or ``flakes'' of visible butter.

 

That's why the butter needs to be extremely cold going into the oven. It needs to hold up long enough for the dough on either side of it to begin to set. Once those leaves melt, steam from the dough forms, and puffs the layers apart. Voilà -- flakiness.

 

Choices, choices

 

With all that in mind, let's get started:

 

All-purpose or pastry flour? Either will work, although pastry flour or any such flour lower in protein produces less gluten, and therefore a more tender crust, explains Shirley Corriher, author of ``Cookwise'' (William Morrow and Company, Inc., $28.50).

 

To sift or not to sift? Skip it, most experts say.

 

Butter or shortening? That's personal taste. Gayle Ortiz, co-owner of Gayle's Bakery in Capitola, is an all-butter gal. She hates the greasy film shortening leaves on the palate. Corriher, however, likes some shortening because it holds its shape better over a variety of temperatures, creating flakiness more easily.

 

Mix by hand? In a food processor? Or by electric mixer? Depends. Corriher says she was taught to make tender, flaky crust as if it were one word, tenderflaky. ``Nothing could be further from the truth,'' she writes. ``The techniques needed for tenderness are completely different from those for flakiness.''

 

For ultimate flakiness, do it by hand to keep the fat in large flakes.

 

A food processor or electric mixer is quicker, but produces a less flaky crust. Yet if you're after a very tender crust, use appliances, because they incorporate the fat better.

 

But don't think you have to choose between ``tender'' or ``flaky.'' ``If you watch someone like Marion Cunningham, she's an artist,'' Corriher says. ``She'll work the shortening into the flour, flattening it, so she's making big oatmeal-like flakes, and some of it she's smearing in, so she's really coating it with flour. So you can do both at the same time.''

 

How much should you touch the dough? As little as possible, because the warmth of your hands warms up the butter or shortening. Many bakers dump the flour and butter chunks out onto a counter, then use a rolling pin to flatten butter into the flour. Use a dough scraper to push the mixture back into a pile or to transfer it to a bowl. Use a spatula to stir in the water.

 

How should the dough feel after water is added? It should have some resistance, but still be pliable, and not sticky.

 

Choosing a pan

 

Pan type? Corriher likes a heavy, dull or dark aluminum one because it absorbs heat faster and bakes more evenly. Hensperger likes Pyrex or glass pans because you can see how well the crust is browning. If you're using a glass pie plate, which cooks very fast because it cooks both by conduction and radiant energy that goes through the clear glass directly to the crust, Hensperger advises turning the oven temperature down 25 degrees. The only drawback to glass pans? They will shatter if unbaked pies are frozen in them, then placed directly into a hot oven. Whatever pan you choose, be sure to lay the dough gently into the pan; never stretch it, or it will shrink in the oven.

 

If you're still feeling overwhelmed, remember it doesn't all have to be done at once. Make the dough one day, then roll it and bake it the next.

 

Or do what I do. Make a galette or crostata instead. I love the rustic look of these open-face, free-form tarts. I also love their simplicity. No double crusts. No crimping borders. No pie pan, even. Just an open-sided baking sheet lined with parchment paper to make it easier to transfer to a wire rack or serving plate.

 

Just roll dough into a circle and place on a baking sheet. Slather on some mascarpone sweetened with sugar before adding dried or not-too-juicy fruit (plums, pears, apples, apricots rather than berries). Whatever the filling, be sure to leave a 1 1/2-inch border between the edge of the dough and the filling.

 

Fold dough edges back over onto the fruit, creating a pleated border and leaving most of the fruit center exposed. Brush crust with cream, milk, egg or egg white, sprinkle with sugar, and bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the filling.

 

For those still feeling crust-challenged, take solace in this: The first crusts were horrid. In ``Pie Every Day'' (Berkley Books, $14), Pat Willard writes, ``When the first European settlers came to America, the pie recipes they brought called for crusts that acted as cooking pots.'' They were as dense and tasty as baked clay -- if they could be eaten at all.

 

Any crust you make will be better than that.

 

 

 

DILL POTATO SALAD

 

3 pounds favorite potatoes

2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill

3/4 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup green onion

4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing

2 tablespoons stone ground mustard

 

Place the potatoes in cold water to cover in a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and remove the skins of the potato. If you choose to remove the skins while they are still warm, wear oven mitts or hold the potato in a clean kitchen towel.

 

Cube or dice the potatoes as desired and place them in a large serving bowl. Add the dill, celery, green onion and eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss lightly to combine. Add the mayonnaise and mustard and mix. Add more if desired.

 

DINNER IN ONE POT

 

1 cup uncooked white rice

1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes (I like to use RoTel with diced chiles)

2 cups water

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (10 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (4.5 oz) Mexicorn, drained

1/2 packet taco seasoning mix

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese

sour cream and black olives (optional)

Add onion, garlic and olive oil to deep skillet or wok and cook over medium high heat until just translucent. Add tomatoes, rice, beans, corn and seasonings, stirring to coat. Add water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve sprinkled with shredded cheese and a garnish of sour cream and chopped black olives if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

EMERIL LAGASSES DUO BBQ RIBS

 

2 full racks of pork spare ribs (3 pounds or less each rack)

3/4 cup Essence (recipe follows), more if needed

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 slabs baby back ribs

2 cups white vinegar

2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Salt and fresh black pepper

 

Prepare the charcoals according to the directions on the grill for slow barbecuing. In a mixing bowl, combine the Essence with the sugar.

 

Blend thoroughly. Season the spare ribs entirely with the Essence mix.

 

It is best to season the ribs, cover and refrigerate overnight or at least for 12 hours. But this recipe is great just seasoning and placing right on the grill.

 

Place the ribs on the grill and cook for about 3 hours, turning occasionally. Remove the ribs from the grill and slice. Season the baby back ribs with salt and pepper. In a mixing bowl, whisk the vinegar, Tabasco and brown sugar together. Season the sauce with Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Place the ribs in a large dish and pour the sauce over the top. Cover the ribs and place in the refrigerator. Marinate for at least 12 hours.

 

Place the ribs on the prepared grill and cook for 45 minutes on one side and flip over. Continue to cook for 45 minutes. Feed the fire every 30 minutes. Baste the ribs every 15 minutes. Remove the ribs from the grill and slice.

 

EMERIL'S ESSENCE CREOLE SEASONING

(Bayou Blast)

 

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

 

1 tablespoon dried thyme

 

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

 

EXTRA MOIST BANANA CAKE

3 large ripe bananas (the riper the better)

6 tablespoons butter (I think about 120g), softened

1 cup sugar

1.5 cups flour

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream the butter and sugar together until nice and fluffy. Beat the egg into the butter and sugar, then slowly add the flour. Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the mix. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk, and add to the cake batter. Grease a medium cake tin (about 20cm diameter) and pour in cake mix. Bake at medium heat (150 degrees C) for about 45 minutes or until a deep golden brown.

This cake is so moist and rich I don't tend to ice it all usually, but if wanted for a special occasion, a lemon or cream-cheese icing is nice as a contrast.

 

FLANK STEAK GRILLED

For speed, flavor, taste grill a flank steak

Try cooking it London broil style

BY SAM GUGINO, Special to the Mercury News

 

One of the pleasures of warmer weather is the speed and simplicity of meal preparation. And what could be easier than steak on the grill?

 

There are many possibilities. Top loin steaks (which go by many names, such as New York strip) are wonderful, especially when the bone is left in for flavor and juiciness. Ditto for rib steaks, though they aren't as tender. The most flavorful are Porterhouse steaks, but they can be expensive.

 

For value, I'd choose a flank steak. It's long and thin with an obvious longitudinal grain that can make the meat tough if it isn't cut properly. But that's easily taken care of by cutting the cooked steak against the grain to break down the meat's fibers.

 

Flank steak is the cut originally used for London broil, which isn't a cut of meat, as many think, but a style of preparation and cooking. Steaks for London broil are typically marinated, but we don't have that time when we're cooking to beat the clock. Instead, I've used a Southwestern-style spice rub.

 

 

 

 

 

FRUITFUL LESSONS LEARNED FROM MOTHER

BY CAROL BEDDO, Special to the Mercury News

Starting when I was 10 years old, Mother and I made assembly-line fruit pies by the dozen on the old-time pine kitchen cabinet, its pull-out metal top extended to maximum size. That was the summer I committed to becoming a country girl, the summer I learned that it's the fruit trees that decide when we make summer pie, not we.

 

That was back in the 1950s, decades before anyone thought to hang a word like silicon on our region as a defining label. It was a peaceful, postwar boom time, and Santa Clara Valley was beginning its demise as an agricultural center. But I was just a kid. All I knew was our prune orchard was like everyone else's prune orchard, except it also contained a selection of peach, apple, walnut and pear trees.

 

That was the summer my mother taught me, just as I would later teach my daughters, the secrets of summer pie: Use ripe fruit, skimp on the sugar and don't fuss over your crust. Sure, pie is only as good as its crust, but pie crust is an amazingly resilient product made of basic kitchen staples that will almost always turn out fine if you just relax.

 

Once you develop a comfort level with two-crust summer fruit pies, you won't need a recipe. The basic ingredients are always the same -- fruit, sugar, thickener, butter -- though the quantity of each may vary because of personal preference and the ripeness of the fruit.

 

On assembly-line day, we allowed ourselves to bake only one pie -- the rest went in the freezer. Of course, throughout summer we could make fruit pies just about any time we wanted from the just-picked cherries, apricots, peaches and berries that were so abundant then. Mother left the crust trimmings from those marathon sessions to me, and I looked forward to ending our work with my own sheet of crust ``cookies'' sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. She never wanted any, and I refused to share with my little brother because he was outside playing, not inside making pie.

 

On those 100-degree, bone-dry, breezeless summer days, it was impossible to imagine the next soggy winter. But Mother, a serious, competent homemaker, planned ahead. She knew deafening rain would roar down in a few months time, transforming Black Road into a muddy river only a raft could travel. No doubt she pictured the four of us in front of the popping creek-rock fireplace, smelling a fresh peach pie bubbling in the oven. We liked our pie steaming hot, probably because we couldn't wait for it to cool. What we didn't eat would sit out on the counter for next day's breakfast, first come, first served.

 

Today, pie remains a decadent breakfast food in my kitchen. It also has become our family festivity food. Whether it's a graduation, birthday or national holiday, we expect pie. At their wedding, our eldest daughter and her groom served apricot pie to 200 guests because, she reminded me, she hates cake.

 

Both our daughters insist they hate cake, but it may simply be because they've never had a home-baked cake. Early on I found most cakes to be tedious, unreliable and seriously lacking in payoff. Cake is take it or leave it. Pie elicits happy groans, signaling, ``You shouldn't have but since you did I think I'll just go ahead and have a piece.''

 

Baking a pie is easy. What's the problem, I wonder when friends push a fork through my crust and announce that they can't make pie. For my mother, pie, jam and jelly were what you did with over-ripe fruit, and her attitude became mine. Just make a top and bottom crust to seal up the fruit and its juice.

 

As a teenager, I stood for hours at the kitchen sink pitting cherries, cutting cots and peeling peaches, pitting the freestones by cutting them in half or slicing pink flesh off the clings. It didn't take long to figure out that blackberry was the easiest, least complicated fruit pie -- no peeling or pitting required. These days I keep a couple plastic bags of berries in the freezer and pour them, still frozen, into the bottom crust, and our family has fresh berry pie year-round.

 

But to make and eat, apricot is my favorite. That would be the apricot pie that surely has set a neighborhood record in the Fourth of July pie-baking contest. Is there another Naglee Park household that has won three blue ribbons for the same apricot pie, each to a different entrant?

 

I entered one year on a whim. And won. Soon, my eldest daughter got her blue ribbon in the children's division. Our youngest daughter, who never saw a contest she wouldn't enter and win, had to wait a few years until she was tall enough to roll out crust on the kitchen table.

 

When they were old enough, I told them they had to keep a secret. It's the only secret we cop to having, the secret ingredient in our apricot pie. They keep it to this day, and love to torment friends while serving apricot pie.

 

But the truth is that it's simply the way my Mother taught me. Surely there are others who grew up here and learned that the zest of one medium lemon is all an apricot pie needs to make it a winner.

 

Despite that blue ribbon, I've had pie failures. It's never the pie that fails, but the crust. It happens when I'm thinking about something else, or talking to someone. Next thing I know I've got a pasty mess in the bowl.

 

There's only one thing to do: Throw it out. It's just flour and shortening. I don't try to fix what's broken when it comes to pie crust. Crust should not be a challenge. It should be child's play.

 

I started our daughters when they were in nursery school, just as my mother started me, with the leftover scraps. They could roll it out and cut it into any shape, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar and bake their own pie crust cookies. They took so much pride in their product, I never could get so much as a nibble of those cookies. I still can't. Like mother, like daughter.

 

FRY BREAD

Makes 8 fry breads

 

You can make up a dry mix of the flour, salt and baking powder to keep on hand.

 

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough in

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 cups water

Corn oil for frying

 

Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Then add the water to make a soft, pliable dough. Mix briefly with your hands or a spoon.

 

Dust a cutting board or kitchen surface with the extra flour.

 

Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and form into balls. Roll each in the flour so you can pick them up without the dough sticking to your hands.

 

Flatten the dough balls with your hand until they are about 6 inches across and 1/2 inch deep (they puff up a lot). Stab them with a fork in the center or dent them with your finger so they cook in the middle.

 

Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes while you're heating the oil (the longer you let the dough sit, the puffier the bread will be).

 

Into a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, pour enough corn oil so it's deep enough to float the dough (at least 11/2 inches). Heat oil until it is hot but not smoking (360 degrees F). You might want to use 2 skillets so you can cook more at once. Fry each piece of dough until golden brown, turning once (total cooking time is 3 to 5 minutes). Repeat with all dough pieces. Drain fry bread on paper towels.

 

 

 

GARBAGE BURGERS

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 c milk

1/2 c bread crumbs

2 tsp minced onion

1/2 c sliced mushrooms (set some aside for garnish)

3/4 c tomato juice or leftover spaghetti sauce

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

dash each of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then knead in meat, making sure it

becomes equally saturated. Form into patties and bake in 375 oven for about

30 minutes, then top patties with leftover mushrooms and Swiss, mozzarella, or

(your favorite kind) sliced cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.

Serve on wheat or potato buns.

 

GREEN RICE CASSEROLE

 

1 bunch scallions -- chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon oil

2 1/2 cups brown rice -- cooked

1/3 cup fresh parsley -- chopped

1/2 cup Swiss cheese -- grated

2 eggs -- beaten

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

 

Preheat oven to 350. Chop scallions and saute with garlic in oil until

soft; crush the garlic with a fork. Combine with remaining ingredients in a

greased 2 quart casserole. (Be sure to reduce the amount of salt if you use

rice that is already salted) Bake about 45 minutes.

 

HOMINY SALAD

1- 15 oz can white or yellow hominy, rinsed & drained

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1-2 jalapenos, seeded & chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 - 2 1/2 oz. can sliced ripe olives (optional)

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

lettuce leaves

Combine hominy, tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, cilantro and olives. Add lime

juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss until well-mixed. Serve on

lettuce leaves. Serves 4.

 

HONEY PECAN CRUSTED CHICKEN

 

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

4-6 oz. skinned chicken breast halves

8-4 oz. chicken drumsticks, skinned

1/4 c. honey

2 T. Dijon mustard

3/4 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1-1/4 c. finely crushed cornflakes

1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

Cooking spray

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken; set aside. Combine honey,

mustard, paprika and garlic powder in a sm. bowl; stir well. Combine

cornflakes and pecans in a shallow dish; stir well. Brush both sides of

chicken with honey mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture.

 

Place chicken pieces on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat

chicken with cooking spray, and bake at 400 degrees for 40 min. or until

done. 8 servings

 

HUNGARIAN BEEF STEW

"GOULASH"

 

8 slices bacon, chopped

2 large onions, thinly sliced, about 1 1/2 cups

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 pounds beef shank or chuck, cut into stew meat

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon ground marjoram

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup tomato puree

2 cups beef broth

1 cup diced potatoes

In the bottom of a heavy casserole saute the chopped bacon to render the

fat. Add the onion to the bacon fat and brown until golden. Stir in the

garlic but do not burn. Quickly add the beef in one layer, season with salt

and pepper and brown all sides well.

 

Sprinkle the paprika, marjoram and lemon zest in and quickly stir to coat

the meat evenly. Add vinegar and wine and cook until nearly dry.

 

Add the tomato puree and beef broth, bring to a boil quickly before lowering the heat to a simmer and cook gently for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes. Continue to

cook for an additional 20 minutes before serving with buttered noodles.

 

JULEP WITH A KICK BBQ SAUCE

MISTER JACK'S

Makes about 3 cups

 

1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey

2 10-ounce jars jalapeno jelly

1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)

2/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla Sweets)

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

 

Combine whiskey, jelly, lime juice and onion in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mint. Brush on fish, shellfish, lamb or chicken near the end of grilling.

 

LEMONGRASS SALAD

(Salad trakrai)

Serves 8

Dressing:

1/4 cup minced lemongrass, bottom 5 to 6 inches

1/2 cup lime juice

1/3 cup roasted chile sauce

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

For salad:

1 1/2 cups water

1 cup minced chicken

3/4 pound large raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 teaspoons oil (for grilling)

2 cups shredded cabbage

5 Chinese long beans or 20 green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths and blanched

Salad condiments:

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1 cup roasted peanuts or macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup kaffir lime leaves, minced, (see Note)

 

Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

 

In a 1-quart saucepan, boil water. Add chicken and cook, stirring once or twice, until chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again.

 

Heat grilling pan over medium-high heat until hot. Brush with 1 teaspoon oil. Grill shrimp until flesh turns red, about 2 minutes each side. Brush shrimp with oil while grilling to prevent sticking. Remove and set aside.

 

Spread coconut in small pan and toast over medium heat, shaking pan frequently, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

 

To assemble, combine cabbage and beans with salad condiments in a large bowl. Add chicken and dressing, toss well. Transfer to serving platter, top with grilled shrimp.

 

Note: You can substitute lime zest if you prefer or cannot find the glossy, dark green leaves at an Asian grocery store.

 

NEW ENGLAND BOILED BEEF DINNER

 

5 pounds beef short ribs

2 quarts cold water

1 onion, quartered

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced diagonally

3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon black pepper corns

1 tablespoon dry thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon rosemary

4 cloves

5 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 leeks, split well washed

4 large white turnips, peeled, cut into quarters

4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths

6 large red bliss potatoes, washed and quartered

1 small head cabbage, cut into wedges

Tie the beef into individual packages with string to prevent them from

falling apart.

 

In a large pot, combine the beef and water and bring to the boil. reduce to

a simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Skim any residue that collects on

the surface. Add the onion, celery, garlic and salt.

 

Tie the thyme, bay, rosemary, black pepper and cloves into a small sachet

with cheesecloth. Add this bouquet garni to the pot and allow to simmer slowly for 1 1/2 hours.

 

Add at this time the carrots, leeks, turnips and parsnips and continue to

simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cabbage and allow to cook

for 20 minutes more before serving in bowls with a slice of cabbage, some

broth and mustard and pickles. Serves 6

 

OLALLIEBERRY FILLING

Fills a 9-inch pie

 

Olallieberries are a cross between blackberries and European red raspberry, or

a cross between loganberries and youngberries.

7 cups olallieberries, rinsed and thoroughly drained

1 teaspoon ginger, freshly minced

1 teaspoon lemon zest, scrubbed

1 cup superfine sugar (not powdered sugar)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

In a large bowl, gently toss berries with minced ginger and lemon zest. In separate bowl, sift together sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Add dry ingredients to berries. Gently toss or mix with a flexible spatula so all berries are coated but not bruised. Let filling sit for at least 15 minutes before placing in bottom crust.

 

Add top crust and brush with egg wash, being careful not to let it puddle. Place pie on baking tray in top half of oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, rotating pie to ensure even browning. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. If edges darken too much, cover with pieces of foil. Continue baking until juices bubble at least 15 minutes. Pie should be golden brown and liquid should be jammy and thick.

 

Cool completely (4 hours) before cutting or juices will run and pie won't set.

 

 

ORZO AND FETA STUFFED TOMATOES

Serves 6

1 1/4 cups (8 1/2 ounces) dried orzo

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Ice water as needed

6 ripe but firm tomatoes, any color

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup finely diced English (hothouse) cucumber

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add orzo and cook until al dente, 5-8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and place in a bowl. Immediately add olive oil and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or for up to 24 hours.

 

Meanwhile, have ready a large bowl of ice water. Bring another large saucepan of water to a boil. Add tomatoes and blanch for no more than 15 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice water to cool. Cut a slice 3/4 inch thick off stem end of each tomato and set aside. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out pulp, leaving sturdy shells; discard pulp or reserve for another use. Place shells, cut sides down, on paper towels to drain until ready to use.

 

In a large bowl, mix chilled orzo, feta, cucumber, onion, lemon juice, dill and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Place each tomato, cut side up, on serving plate. Spoon orzo and feta mixture into tomatoes, distributing evenly. Place tomato tops over filling, cover and chill 30 minutes before serving.

 

PASTA E FAGIOLI

1 Smoked ham bone or two smoked hocks

1 lb. dry pinto or cannellini beans

7 cloves garlic

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup grated carrots

2 tbsp basil

1 tbsp parsley

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. rosemary

4 slices bacon

1 sm. can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 box Ditalini pasta

Wash beans & soak overnight in room temp. water. Drain.

In large pot put basil, 3 cloves garlic finely chopped, onions, celery, carrots, & parsley. Add tomato sauce & stir. Heat slowly. Simmer 20 min.

Add ham bone or hocks. Add water to just cover hocks or ham bone (about 3 c.).

Add beans & cook slowly about 2 hr. or until beans split.

Take 4 slices bacon & chop with 4 cloves garlic until it is like a thick cream.

Add slowly to pot while stirring, so as to dissolve. Add additional pinch of rosemary and basil. Add pasta and simmer until done (al dente). Add Parmesan.

Serve with crusty Italian bread, & grated Parmesan cheese.

Goes well with a robust red wine.

 

PEANUT BUTTER SOUP

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons minced onion

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup smooth peanut butter

4 cups chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup whipping cream (see Note)

1 tablespoon Madeira

 

Cook onion in butter in a two-quart saucepan until soft. Add flour and cook, stirring until smooth. Stir in peanut butter. Add chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, over low heat until thickened and smooth. Add cream. Just before serving, add Madeira.

 

Note: You can substitute fat-free half and half.

 

PECAN CORNMEAL CATFISH

 

1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen catfish fillets

3/4 cup ground pecans or peanuts

a cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 cup milk

1 beaten egg

Cooking oil for deep-fat frying

 

Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. Cut fish into 6 serving-size pieces, if necessary.

 

In a shallow dish, combine ground pecans or peanuts, cornmeal, salt, black pepper and red pepper. In another shallow dish, combine milk and egg.

 

Dip each fish portion in milk mixture; coat with nut mixture.

 

Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan or deep fryer, heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees. Fry fish in hot oil, 1 or 2 pieces at a time, about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

 

Carefully remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 300-degree oven while frying remaining fish.

 

PICKLED PRODUCE BRINE

Makes about 5 3/4 cups brine

This makes enough brine to make 2 to 3 quarts of vegetables.

 

3 cups white vinegar

2 3/4 cups water

2 to 3 tablespoons pickling salt, to taste

2 to 4 tablespoons mustard seeds per jar

1 teaspoon peppercorns per jar (any color)

Crisp vegetables (such as bell peppers, sweet onions, green beans and

asparagus), cut into pieces or slices

Fresh herbs (such as rosemary or thyme)

Louisiana red sauce (optional; see note)

 

Wash quart canning jars and 2-piece lids and keep hot until needed.

 

In a non-reactive pan, combine the vinegar, water and salt and bring to a rolling boil for several minutes. While the juice is boiling, add the mustard seeds and peppercorns to the jars. Stuff the jars with the vegetables, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Put some herbs into each jar and fill each jar with the boiling vinegar-spice mixture (again, leaving 1/2-inch head space). Add a couple of drops of red sauce to each jar.

 

Wipe the rims of the jars and attach lids. Cool 5 minutes and refrigerate.

 

Go in every couple of days and aggravate them (shake the jars up a little bit). After a week to 10 days, they're done. They'll keep refrigerated for several months.

 

Note: Do not use Tabasco brand hot sauce, which tends to overheat the pickles. I recommend Louisiana Red Hot or Bullards brands. They're not expensive, and they're mild.

 

PIE BIRDS

Sing a song of pie birds for collectors

BY STEVEN WAYNE YVASKA, Mercury News

The oven temperature is exact. The filling is fresh, and the crust promises to be faultless. Your pie is ready to be baked. Or is it? The answer may rest on whether you own a gizmo known as a pie bird.

 

Pie birds -- also called pie funnels, pie cups, pie tubes or pie vents -- are small devices placed in the center of a pie dish. They poke up through the pastry to support the crust, help prevent it from sagging and allow steam to escape through an exit vent. As a result, the filling doesn't bubble out of the pie plate and sully your oven.

 

Used since Victorian times, most notably in England, the first pie birds were crafted from plain white china. Over the years, they were manufactured in glass, aluminum and plastic. Pie birds usually stand about three to five inches high and have a series of arches around their base.

 

By the 1930s, the most famous pie birds had made their debut -- those created in the image of the warblers in the old English nursery rhyme, ``Sing a Song of Sixpence'':

 

``Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye;

 

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.

 

When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing.

 

Now wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the King?''

 

While the blackbird is the most commonly found pie bird, it wasn't long before the ``birds'' took on other whimsical forms like elephants and bears. Now, you can find pie birds in the shapes of snowmen, flamingos, unicorns, golfers and even Santa Claus.

 

While all pie birds are collectible, serious enthusiasts keep an eye out for those issued prior to 1950. Collectors prefer signed examples made by top English firms such as Royal Worcester and TG Green. Pie birds by American potters Shawnee and Cleminson also are in big demand. Expect to pay around $40 for the average bird. And remember: Collectors expect these items to have a bit of crazing, but no major chips, cracks or stains.

 

A recent search along San Jose's Antiques Row on West San Carlos Street and along Gilroy's Monterey Street proved fruitless.

 

Frustrated, I called antiques maven Shirley Henderson at the Antiquarium in Los Gatos. I figured if anyone in the area had an early pie bird, she would. But, Henderson said, ``I haven't had an old pie bird in nearly five years. I just don't find them.'' Still, she says she gets multiple pie bird requests every week.

 

Newly made pie birds, on the other hand, are easy to find. Stacey Aldrich of Soquel and her mother Barbara Rebuppo from Watsonville sell at least 20 per week on e-Bay.

 

In business for close to a year, they start the bidding for their pie birds at $2.99. When the online auction ends, however, some bring in as much as $30. Each is molded and hand-painted with original designs featuring fruits, patriotic motifs and flowers. They've sent their work to folks in Canada, Ireland and Hong Kong.

 

The women will hawk their cheery wares at the Elks Lodge Flea Market, 121 Martinelli St., Watsonville, on July 21. At least 80 pie birds will be up for grabs, tagged $7-$12 each.

 

I must admit. I'm a pie eater, not a pie baker. But if I ever decide to make one from scratch, I think I'll ask a little birdie for some help.

 

PIE DOUGH

Texture and taste of crust varies according to which fat you use. Vegetable shortening gives you a crust that is light in both flavor and texture. Butter gives you a more flavorful crust that bakes to a deeper brown.

Makes 1 double-crust pie

 

2 1/2 cups flour or pastry flour, chilled in refrigerator about 30 minutes

1 teaspoon salt

1-2 teaspoons sugar (use more if you prefer a sweeter crust)

1 cup (2 sticks) very cold, unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch cubes OR shortening

OR a combination of the two

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

 

Hand method: In a bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Dump ingredients out onto counter or board. Add butter. Using a rolling pin -- not fingers -- press and roll butter into flour, creating large 2- to 3-inch flakes of butter. Using a dough scraper, scoop mixture back into bowl. Sprinkle mixture with ice water. With spatula, toss to combine but don't press on mixture too much.

 

Alternate food processor method: While faster, crust won't be as flaky because fat ends up in smaller pieces. Place flour, salt, sugar and butter or shortening in work bowl and pulse until fat pieces are lima bean size. Add water, pulse until most of butter is size of large peas.

 

To continue: Dump mixture onto counter. Quickly and gently press mixture together until it somewhat holds shape. Sprinkle in more water if needed. Pat into loaf shape. Using dough scraper, divide dough into two equal portions. (Some recipes call for a larger bottom, others for a larger top. It depends on the depth of your pan and how high you mound filling.) When you cut into dough, you should see layers of butter. Flatten dough into thick discs. Wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

 

Put dough for bottom shell on well-floured table or board, sprinkle top with flour. Shape into thick patty, about 6 inches in diameter. Beginning in middle and working to opposite sides, roll into elongated oval, about 12 inches long. Lift carefully, with straight fingers under both ends, and gently swirl dough on table to coat bottom with flour as you give it a one-quarter turn. Sprinkle more flour on top, roll to opposite sides again, shaping into a circle. Continue rolling, from center to edge, until dough is smooth circle of uniform thickness. Locate too-thick places by running fingers gently over dough, working down thick spots with back and forth motion of rolling pin. Finished circle should be about 12 inches in diameter.

 

Brush flour off dough. Fold into quarters. Transfer gently to pie pan. Unfold dough to cover bottom and sides of pan. Working around pan, carefully lift edges so dough settles into pan without stretching. Gently press dough against side of pan; trim excess with scissors.

 

For double-crust pie: Leave about 1-inch overlap around pan. Roll remainder of dough as directed above, this time to a 13-inch circle. Brush edge of bottom shell with beaten egg and lay top crust over filling. Egg seals crust better than water. Some bakers think egg washes toughen crusts, so they prefer brushing on milk, then sprinkling with sugar.

 

Crimping or fluting edges: Lift overlapping top and bottom edges and press together all around pie to seal. If needed, trim overlap to 1 inch. Lift sealed overlap and fold under so edge of crust rests on rim of pie plate. For crimping, use index finger on right hand and a finger and thumb on left. Place tips of finger and thumb of your left hand against inside of sealed edge; with right index finger push dough gently to a peak between finger and thumb. Work around pie. When done, go back and pinch outer points to make more distinct. Fluted edge should not overlap pan.

 

If recipe calls for sprinkling top of pie with sugar, keep sugar off fluted edge, where it may burn. Before baking, cut 4 to 8 slashes in center of pie to vent. If fruit is particularly juicy, place baking sheet under pie. Bake as directed in recipe, generally in preheated 400- to 425-degree oven for about 20 minutes on lowest shelf in oven, before rotating pie and reducing temperature to 350 to 375 degrees. Continue baking for 20 minutes to an hour. Firmer fruit such as apples and peaches takes longer than softer, smaller fruit such as berries. Bake until crust is golden brown and fruit is tender. Cool on wire rack.

 

To store unbaked dough: Mold dough into hockey-puck shape, place in resealable plastic bag and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight before using.

 

PIE TIPS

Here are some tips for what works and what doesn't.

Sugar: My No. 1 rule of pie-making is be careful with the sugar. Almost everyone uses too much, and most recipes produce overly sweet pies. If I can find ripe enough fruit, I'll make apricot, peach, even apple pie without sugar.

 

Thickener: This is what congeals the hot fruit juices and makes them more jam-like. I've used flour, corn starch and tapioca, and I don't think one is superior. I don't like the slight color change flour imparts to berry pies, so I use corn starch or tapioca for them. However, since the final juiciness of an apricot pie is notoriously unpredictable, I've found that 1 tablespoon each of flour and corn starch produces the best result. The bottom line: If you don't want to be surprised, or don't like juicy pies, stick with 3 tablespoons of tapioca.

 

Cinnamon: Often the mystery ingredient in many pies, particularly apple, cinnamon can be good sprinkled over a peach pie. But it has never improved apricots.

 

Butter: Almost every fruit pie recipe calls for dotting the top of the fruit with a couple tablespoons of butter. I often do this, but now and then, I've forgotten. Leaving it out won't ruin your pie or alter the taste much.

 

Lemons: Amazingly handy to have around for pie. If you're making several pies at once with a fruit, such as peach, that will discolor if it sits in a bowl too long, add a little lemon juice. And some summer pies -- notably, apricot -- are better if you add the zest of one lemon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

POTATO SALAD

Just count the ways

By SUSAN SELASKY, DETROIT FREE PRESS (Wed. June 27, 2001)

 

We love potato salad -- summer's perfect comfort food.

 

But what is it about potato salad? It's just cooked potatoes mixed with dressing, maybe a few other vegetables and seasonings, for heaven's sake.

 

Or is it? Potato salad junkies will bicker over using red skins or russets, peeling the potatoes hot or cold, and even how the potatoes should be diced. Then there's the dressing. Is it mayonnaise, salad dressing or vinegar?

 

Ask 10 people how they make basic American-style potato salad and you'll get 10 answers -- all deemed to be the best.

 

RED PEPPER PORK AND NOODLES

 

12 ounces pork sirloin

1 cup chicken broth, canned

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

5 ounces angel hair pasta

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3/4 teaspoon lemon peel

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 garlic cloves

8 green onion -- sliced

2 red and green bell peppers -- cut into strips

 

Trim fat from pork; partially freeze meat. Thinly slice across the grain

into bite-size strips. Set aside.

 

For sauce, in a small bowl, stir together broth, 2 tablespoons soy sauce

and cornstarch; set aside.

 

In another bowl, combine pork strips, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, lemon peel,

sesame oil and crushed red pepper. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

 

In a skillet coated with cooking spray, stir-fry garlic until tender. Add green onion and pepper strips; stir-fry for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from skillet. Add meat mixture to hot skillet. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until no pink remains. Push meat to sides of pan; add sauce to center of pan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat. Serve immediately.

RED SKINNED POTATO SALAD

 

3 pounds red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed

3/4 cup sliced green onion

1/2 cup sliced celery

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Nature's Seasons blend (see cook's note)

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 cup light salad dressing

1 cup sour cream

 

Cube or dice the potatoes as desired and place in cold water to cover in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow the potatoes to cool to room temperature.

 

In a large serving bowl, combine the potatoes, green onion, celery and eggs. Toss gently to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper and the Nature's Seasons blend.

 

Add the mustard, salad dressing and sour cream. Mix thoroughly to combine. Adjust seasonings.

 

Cook's note: Look for Nature's Seasons in the spice aisle. It's made by Morton's.

 

SESAME LOAVES

 

1 cup boiling water

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1 cup unhulled sesame seeds

11/2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

Butter or nonstick 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-41/2-by-23/4-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.

 

SIPHNIAC HONEY SQUARES

 

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ice water

2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Work butter into flour until it becomes the size of peas. Add ice water. Mix until particles stick together.

 

Roll out dough 1/8-inch thick on a floured board. Line bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with the pastry.

 

With an electric mixer at medium speed, blend cream cheese with sugar and eggs until light. Add honey and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and mix well.

 

Spread mixture over dough and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden.

 

SMOKED AND FROZEN SWEET ONIONS

Makes about 4 cups

 

Roast and smoke up a huge batch of Walla Walla Sweets early in the season, then pack into small freezer bags so you've got that decadent smoky-sweet onion flavor all summer and fall. They're a fabulous accompaniment to simple dinners of oven-roasted chicken, fish or steak. For the ultimate experience, the onions must achieve a deep golden hue, which translates to about an hour of grill time. However, they can be prepared on any evening when you already have the coals stoked, then stored in the refrigerator for later in the week, or frozen for several months.

 

6 large Walla Walla onions, peeled and halved

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Salt and white pepper to taste

 

Create a 10- by 14-inch roasting pan with at least 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil by bending the edges up into 2-inch-high sides and crimping the corners to hold them in place. Lay the onions cut-side up in the pan. Combine the olive oil, vinegar and butter and pour over the onions. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Bank hot coals on 2 sides of the bottom of a barbecue. Place the foil pan of onions on the grill, centered between the banks of coals below. Cover the grill and bake, gently turning the onions and basting them with the pan juices about every 15 or 20 minutes, until they are deep golden and very soft when pressed. This will take about 1 to 11/2 hours. Ultimately, then will break apart somewhat, so don't be too concerned with keeping them whole.

 

Serve them hot or at room temperature, as an accompaniment to grilled or oven-roasted fish, poultry or beef. For long-term storage, pack into smaller portions in freezer bags, seal and freeze up to 3 months.

 

SOUTHWESTERN LONDON BROIL

WITH WARM POTATO AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

Serves 4

Two 8-ounce, unpeeled, red-skinned potatoes

Salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional to taste

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 pounds flank steak

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained

1 rib celery, cut into crescents

1/2 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon minced, pickled jalapeño peppers

2 limes, juiced

 

Preheat gas grill or broiler.

 

Cut potatoes in quarters lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Place in saucepan, barely cover with water, add 1 teaspoon salt and cook 10 minutes, until barely tender. Drain and set aside.

 

Combine cumin, chili powder, cayenne, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and salt to taste in small bowl. Rub steak with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, then with spices. Grill over high heat 5 minutes each side for medium-rare or place 3 inches from heat source and broil 5-6 minutes each side. Set aside.

 

Put beans, celery, onion and cilantro into mixing bowl. Add potatoes. In separate bowl, mix jalapeño, lime juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to bean mixture, toss. Slice steak on diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices. Serve with salad.

 

SPANISH RICE

 

1 cup rice

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 onion -- chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable oil -- or bacon fat

1 garlic clove -- minced

1/2 green bell pepper -- chopped

2 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons chili powder

 

1. Wash rice, drain, and allow to dry thoroughly.

2. Heat oil in heavy skillet; add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until

lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

3. Add onions, garlic, green peppers and beef. Stir often to break up and

brown meat; cook until onion is limp and lightly browned.

4. Add un-drained, chopped tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and simmer about 25 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes before serving.

 

SQUID SALAD WITH LIME DRESSING

Serves 4

Lime dressing:

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

For salad:

1 pound small squid, cleaned

2 ounces snow peas, ends and strings removed

1 carrot, cut into matchstick pieces

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into matchstick pieces

4 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

In bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.

 

Cut squid bodies into 1/4-inch rings. Leave tentacles whole. Cut snow peas in half diagonally.

 

In a pot of boiling water, cook squid and tentacles 1 minute. Drain, rinse with cold running water, drain again. Remove squid to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of dressing, toss to coat. Let stand 30 minutes.

 

In another pot of boiling water, cook snow peas and carrot until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again.

 

Place squid in salad bowl. Add peas, carrot, cucumber, sprouts and cilantro; mix well. Add remaining dressing, toss and serve.

 

STUFFED ARTICHOKES

First, when you buy artichokes, look for the ones that are no bigger than a

baseball, or a little smaller. Choose those that feel very solid, not spongy.

Figure on one artichoke per person.

 

6 artichokes

2-3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs, mixed with

1 cup grated Romano cheese.

3-4 oz olive oil

water

Cut the stems off so the artichoke will stand up straight, then remove the

outer layer of the petals. Cut off the points and discard. Soak the artichokes

in water and drain, but leave them wet. Spread the petals, and fill up with the

crumb mixture. When they are all filled up, make sure that they are filled, and pour some olive oil on top of each and stand them up in a pot of slightly salted

water about half way up the artichokes.

In a pressure cooker, cook under full pressure for 25 minutes. Or, cook in a covered pot for about 1 hour, or until tender, adding more water as needed.

 

 

STUFFED CRUST PIZZA

1-10 oz. Pillsbury Pizza Crust

7 pc. string cheese

1/2 c. pizza sauce

Pizza seasonings

4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 13x9 pan. Unroll dough & press in bottom

1" upsides of greased pan. Place piece of string cheese along the inside

edges of dough. Fold 1" of dough over and around the cheese; press dough

edges to seal. Top the crust with sauce, seasonings (and any topping you

like) and cheese.

 

Bake at 425 degrees for 15-18 min. or until crust is golden brown and cheese

is melted. Serves 6

 

SUMMER BERRY GRATIN

Serves 6

5 egg yolks

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon kirsch, framboise or crème de cassis

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

4 cups mixed berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

 

In a bowl, using a whisk or electric mixer, beat egg yolks until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. In another bowl, stir together cornstarch, granulated sugar and flour. Add flour mixture to egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

 

Pour milk into saucepan over medium heat and heat until small bubbles appear along edges of pan. Gradually add milk to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture back into saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring, until mixture thickens and bubbles around edges, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla, liqueur and butter. Fold in mascarpone.

 

Preheat broiler. Divide custard among 6 flameproof 4-inch gratin or tartlet dishes. Gently press berries into custard mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle tops with confectioners' sugar. Slip under broiler 4 inches from heat source and broil until tops are golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

SUMMER FRUIT PIE

Fills 1 9-inch pie

 

Going to the trouble of making pie requires going to the trouble of finding the best fruit, which means fruit that isn't just ripe but is over-ripe. If there are fruit trees in your yard or neighborhood, you've got a great supply. If not, stalk farmer's markets or fruit stands, asking for over-ripe fruit that isn't pretty enough to display.

5 cups prepared fruit -- cherry, peach, apricot, berry -- washed, pitted or peeled

as needed

1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, depending on the ripeness of the fruit

2 tablespoons corn starch (see Note)

2 tablespoons butter, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Mix fruit, sugar and thickener in a bowl, stirring as little as possible.

 

Place mixture in pie plate containing bottom crust. Add slices of butter. Cover with top crust and crimp edges. Make sure to pierce the crust with a knife to allow ventilation.

 

Bake on middle shelf of oven for at least 40 minutes, until crust is a dark, golden brown.

 

Note: You can also use flour or tapioca, or any combination, as a thickener. If you don't like juicy pies, increase the amount of thickener to 3 tablespoons.

 

SWEET AND SOUR FISH

serves 4 to 6

2 pounds fish fillet(sea bass, red snapper or yellow pike work well)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 piece ginger

4 to 6 tablespoons ginger

4 cups oil for deep frying

Sauce:

1 cup water

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

4 tablespoons ginger (shredded)

2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

2 scallions (shredded)

1/2 each of a red and green bell pepper (shredded)

1) Rub fish completely with salt and slice of ginger.

2) Sprinkle flour all over fish on both sides

3) Heat oil to 400 degrees in wok. Deep fry fish until crispy and brown

about 5 minutes per side. Turn occasionally and remove to drain

4) Bring oil to boil. Deep fry fish again 1 minute on each side(may

need longer frying time to make fish crispy.) Remove and drain.

5) For sauce: pour water, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce into saucepan.

Bring to boil. Add ginger. Simmer on low heat 2 min. Thicken with

dissolved cornstarch. Add scallions and peppers. Bring to boil once

more.

6) Pour sauce over fish immediately.

***This can be prepared ahead of time through step 3 and refrigerated. It

does not freeze****

 

SWEET POTATO PIE

 

1 9-inch unbaked fluted pie shell

2 medium sweet potatoes, diced

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the potatoes in cold water, bring to a

boil and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, and mash the potatoes

while hot with the butter and sugar. Let this mixture cool slightly and stir

in the beaten eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Bake 45 minutes to one hour, or

until set.

 

TEX MEX MAC N CHEESE

 

1 pound Ground beef

OR ground turkey

1 Bell pepper -- chopped

1 Onion -- chopped

1/2 cup Mushroom -- sliced

1 can Tomato paste

1/2 cup Water

1 can Whole kernel corn -un-drained

Salt, pepper -- seasonings -- As desired

1 package Macaroni and cheese OR Velveeta and Shells

 

In large skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey with the chopped pepper,

onion and mushrooms. Stir in the tomato paste and water and corn. Cook the

macaroni and cheese according to package directions, adding milk and

margarine if required. Add the macaroni and cheese to the beef mixture. Mix

well and serve.

 

THAI HERB DIPPING SAUCE

 

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 T. minced fresh mint

1 T. minced fresh cilantro

1 T. minced fresh basil

1 tsp. fresh lime juice

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

 

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Let stand at room temperature for

30 min.

 

THAI SHRIMP KEBABS

 

2 T. unsweetened coconut milk

1 T. fish sauce

1 T. sweet chili sauce

 

1-1/4 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 ripe star fruit, cut into 1/4" slices

5 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths

1/2 c. Thai Herb Dipping Sauce*

 

Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat gas grill or preheat grill pan.

 

In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, fish sauce and chili sauce. Add

shrimp and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the

refrigerator for 20 minutes.

 

Thread shrimp, star fruit and scallions alternating onto 4 or 8 skewers,

leaving a little space between ingredients. Discard marinade.

 

Using a barbecue brush, coat the grill rack lightly with oil (or grill pan).

Grill kebabs, turning occasionally, until shrimp are firm and pink, about 3

min. per side. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

TUNA BURGERS

Serves 6

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1 1/2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 good-quality hamburger rolls, split

2 pounds tuna fillets, about 3/4-inch thick, cut into 6 equal pieces

Olive oil

6 large lettuce leaves

6 thin slices red onion

 

Prepare fire in a charcoal grill.

 

In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, sesame oil, ginger, mustard, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

 

Lightly brush cut sides of rolls with mayonnaise mixture. Lightly oil grill rack. Place rolls, cut sides down, on rack about 4 inches from fire and grill until light golden. Set rolls around perimeter of rack, away from coals, to keep warm. Lightly brush tuna with olive oil and grill until golden on first side, about 4 minutes. Turn, season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue grilling until golden on second side but still slightly pink at center, 3-4 minutes longer, or until done to your liking.

 

Remove tuna and rolls from grill. Place each piece of tuna on bottom half of a roll. Top each with equal amount of mayonnaise mixture, lettuce and onion slice and other half of roll. Serve immediately.

 

TUNA TOMATO CHEESE ON MUFFINS

 

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

4-6 ounces Velveeta

1 7-oz can white tuna in water, un-drained

1 fresh ripe tomato, sliced thick

English muffins, split, toasted and buttered.

 

In a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer, one can of Cream of Mushroom soup.

Add 4-6 ounces of Velveeta. Melt cheese and stir together. Add one 7 oz. can

of white tuna, packed in water, un-drained and broken up a bit. When warmed

through, pour over a toasted and buttered English muffin on which has been

placed 1 thick slice of ripe tomato.

TURTLE SOUP AND RIBS FOR A NOVEL FOURTH

DULUTH (MINN.) NEWS TRIBUNE (Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2001)

 

You got a glimpse on another page of how the original Independence Day celebrants threw a party to mark the birth of a nation.

 

Now, here are some recipes for your own unique Fourth of July feast, starting with an historical recipe for Turtle Soup, taken from the 1939 cookbook of the Baton Rouge Junior League. You may substitute veal stew meat for the turtle.

 

TURTLE SOUP

 

Select a turtle of desired size. Clean it well and cut into small pieces. If when bought, some of the inside is added to the meat, scrape well and cut small also.

 

Fry a large onion in hot lard, when done add a spoonful of flour and let the whole brown nicely; put in the meat and let it fry awhile.

 

Add tomatoes, the quantity of bouillon needed, and a glass of each white and Madeira wine.

 

Season to taste with pepper, a few cloves and bouquet consisting of a couple of bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Last, add 2 spoonfuls of Worcestershire sauce. Serve with toast bread.

 

VIDALIA ONION POT ROAST

 

1 fresh beef brisket, about 4 pounds, well trimmed

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons dry thyme

1 tablespoons dry rosemary

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 large Vidalia onions (or other sweets), peeled and sliced, about 4 cups

1 cup dry red wine

3 carrots, thinly sliced, about 1 cup

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 cups hot beef stock lightened with 1 cup water added

2 celery stalks tied with 3 bay leaves into a bouquet garni

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Season the beef brisket well with salt and pepper. Crush the thyme and

rosemary together with a mortar and pestle and rub the herb mix into the beef, coating it evenly. Rub the beef well with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

 

Heat a large saute pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat for

2 to 3 minutes until the pan is nearly smoking. Add the beef to the hot pan

and sear well on one side until browned before turning the beef over and

searing the other side. When the beef has been well browned on both sides,

remove from the pan and set aside.

 

Add the onions to the saute pan and cook them until golden brown. Add the

red wine to the onions and reduce by half.

 

Pour the onions into a large heavy roasting pan and spread evenly across the

bottom before putting the beef on the bed of onions. Add the carrots,

garlic, hot beef/water and celery bundle to the beef in the roasting pan and

place, uncovered, into the oven. All the combined liquid should rise only

2/3 as high as the meat is thick. Add additional water to maintain the

braising liquid height.

 

Cook for 1 hour before turning the beef over. Cook the second side uncovered

for 1 hour before covering the pan with a cover or foil and turning the oven

down to 325 degrees. Continue slowly braising the beef brisket for 1 1/2 to

2 hours.

 

WALLA WALLA SWEET REFRIGERATOR RELISH

Makes about 51/2 cups

 

This is a delicious accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish, chops or steak. It's also a colorful, flavorful base for salad mixtures (serve on a bed of greens, with a drizzling of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan or Ss cheese.)

 

2 cups chopped Walla Walla Sweet onions

1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (use Roma varieties until local beefsteak varieties

are available)

1 4.25-ounce can chopped black olives

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 cup cooked corn kernels, cut from cob (about 3 ears)

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

11/2 teaspoons ranch dressing seasoning mix (from a 0.4-ounce packet; any

brand calling for buttermilk)

 

Combine the onions, tomatoes, olives, bell pepper, corn, vinegar and ranch dressing seasoning in a 1-quart bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to blend flavors. Will keep in refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR YOUR PIE

Here are quantities of ingredients for various summer fruit pies recommended in ``The Pie and Pastry Bible'' by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

 

Fruit

Peak season

Fruit Amount

Sugar

Cornstarch

Apricot

June-early August

4 cups

6 tablespoons

2 tablespoons

Blackberry

late July-August

4 cups

cup

2 tablespoons

+ 1 1/2 teaspoons

 

 

 

 

Cherry

late June-early July

3 1/2 cups

cup

2 tablespoons

 

 

 

+ 2 tablespoons

+ 1 1/2 teaspoons

Peach

June-September

6 cups

cup

4 teaspoons

 

 

 

+ 1 tablespoon

 

Plum

late June-August

4 cups

cup

2 tablespoons

 

 

WINDMILL COOKIE BARS

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, separated

2 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup slivered almonds

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk; mix well. Combine the flour,

cinnamon and baking soda in another bowl; gradually add to creamed

mixture. Press into a greased 15x10x1 inch pan. Beat the egg white;

brush over dough. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the

center comes out clean. Cook for 5 minutes and cut into bars; cool

completely.

 

ZUPPA TOSCANA

1 1/2 cups spicy sausage links

3/4 cups onion, diced

6 slices bacon

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder

1 quart water

2 medium potatoes, cut in half length-wise, then cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 cups kale leaves, cut in half, then sliced

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place sausage links on sheet pan and bake 25 minutes or until done. Cut in half length-wise, then cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices.

 

Place onions and bacon in large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Remove bacon and crumble. Add garlic to onions and cook 1 minute. Add chicken bouillon powder, water and potatoes. Simmer 15 minutes. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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