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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 235

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).

AFTER DINNER MINT BROWNIES

BABOOTIE

BAKED POTATO SALAD

BALSAMIC PICKLED PEACHES

BLITZ TORTE

BLUE FOOD JUST ISNT APPETIZING

BLUE SUMMERS FRESH BERRIES

BLUEBERRY COBBLER

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL LOAF

BLUEBERRY KETCHUP

BOILED CUSTARD

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA

CATFISH COUBYON

CAULIFLOWER

CELERY

CHICKEN POT PIE

CLASSIC AND COLORFUL POTATO SALAD.do

CREAMSICLE PIE

CURRIED SWEET POTATO SALAD

FAMOUS BACK EDDY HOUSE PICKLES

FINGERLING POTATO SALAD WITH TARRAGO

FINOCCHIO SALAD RINGS

FISH NEWBURG

FROZEN FRUIT SALAD

GENUINE IMITATION CRAB CAKES

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

GIANT ROAD TRIP BROWNIES

GOOSE PIQUANT

GRAPE PIE

GRIMSLICH

HAMBURGER RICE CASSEROLE

HEINZ KETCHUP

KALSHONERS

KILLER BROWNIES

MARBLED TEA EGGS

MEAT AND CHICKEN SATAY

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SANDWICHES

MEDYAS

MICROGREENS INFORMATION

MILANO SHRIMP FETTUCINE

MOCK GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

OVEN FRIED GEFILTE FISH

PEPPER AND CHEESE SALAD

PICKLED WATERMELON RIND

POTATO SALAD INFORMATION

POTATO SALAD NICOISE

POTATOES APPEAL IS AN EYE OPENER

ROAST PORK WITH CHUNKY STRAWBERRY SA

SAUTEED ASPARAGUS WITH MANGOES

SAVORY POT ROAST

SESAME PICKLED CARROTS WITH GINGER S

SHEEPHERDERS POTATOES

SPECIAL LEMONADE

STRAWBERRY JAM SQUARES

STUFFED YELLOW TOMATOES

TATER TIPS

THEEEE CAKE OF CAKES

TUNISIAN MAGUINA

TURKEY BURGERS

UNCOMPLICATED FLAVORS OF PROVENCE

YELLOW SQUASH PUFFS

ZABAGLIONE

ZELEBI for Hanukkah

 

 

 

 

AFTER DINNER MINT BROWNIES

Makes 45 bars

6 one-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate

2 3/4 cup sugar

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

Mint buttercream frosting

2 cups confectioner's sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

6 tablespoons butter, softened

Green food coloring

Chocolate glaze

3 one-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate

1 one-ounce square semi-sweet chocolate

4 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons dark corn syrup

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly roll pan. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, over low heat, heat chocolate squares until melted and smooth, stirring frequently.

 

In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and butter just until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, salt and eggs; beat until well-mixed, constantly scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to high; beat 2 minutes. At low speed, beat in melted chocolate until blended. With spoon, stir in walnuts. Evenly spread batter in pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool brownies in pan on wire rack.

 

When brownies are cool, prepare mint buttercream frosting. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat confectioner's sugar, milk, peppermint extract and butter until smooth. Stir in enough green food coloring to tint a pretty green. Evenly spread frosting over cooled brownies. Refrigerate while preparing chocolate glaze.

 

For glaze, heat chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat; stir frequently until glaze cools slightly.

 

Spread over frosting to completely cover top. Refrigerate until glaze is set, about 1 hour. Cut brownies lengthwise into three strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 15 bars.

BABOOTIE

2 pounds ground beef

2 onions -- chopped

16 ounces canned tomatoes

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons curry powder

2 tablespoons vinegar

Salt to taste

2 bananas -- firm, sliced

1 apple -- peeled, cored, diced

1 tablespoon apricot jam

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Tomato juice for thinning

Brown meat and drain off fat. Add all other ingredients and simmer gently, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. Add tomato juice if too thick. Serve over hot cooked rice. Yield: 8 servings.

BAKED POTATO SALAD

Serves 6

 

This recipe uses favorite baked potato toppings and turns them into dressing for a potato salad.

 

2 pounds new white potatoes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons each: plain yogurt, milk

Salt, freshly ground pepper

6 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked, crumbled

1/2 cup chopped chives

 

1. Cover potatoes with cold water; heat to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain; set aside to cool slightly.

 

2. Quarter potatoes while still warm. Place in medium serving bowl. Toss potatoes with vinegar; set aside.

 

3. Blend sour cream, yogurt, milk and salt and pepper to taste in small bowl. Add to potatoes; toss to coat. Mix in bacon and chives. Refrigerate salad for at least 1 hour. Bring to room temperature before serving.

BALSAMIC PICKLED PEACHES

Makes about 4 cups

1 cup balsamic vinegar (or substitute white balsamic)

3/4 cup sweet vermouth (or substitute dry vermouth)

1 cup pineapple juice

8 small peaches, pitted and cut into 6 to 8 wedges each

 

In a non-reactive saucepan, combine vinegar, vermouth and pineapple juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Add peaches and immediately remove pan from heat. Cool to room temperature, uncovered. Then cover and refrigerate.

 

These pickles will develop a nice flavor within an hour or two of cooling but are far better if left for 48 hours. They will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 6 weeks. Serve alongside any meat, particularly roast pork or lamb.

BLITZ TORTE

1/2 cup soft butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/3 tsp baking powder

1/16 tsp salt

5 tbsp milk

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Cream the butter with 1/2 cup of the sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat after each addition until fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add about 1/4 at a time, alternately with the milk. Beat only until blended. Spread the batter in 2 9-inch layer cake pans which have been lined with waxed paper. Beat the egg whites stiff, and add the remaining sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Beat constantly until the meringue is free from graininess. Spread half the meringue evenly over each layer. Bake at 325 Deg. for about 35 minutes, until the meringue is a rich brown. Carefully invert on racks, remove the paper, and immediately re-invert onto other racks, so that the cake cools with the meringue on top. Cool, and place one layer on a cake dish, with the meringue on top. Whip the cream stiff, and spread half on this layer. Cover with the pineapple and coconut. Add the second layer of cake, also with the meringue on top, cover with the remaining cream, and serve at once.

[[Spike would serve this about an hour after dinner is finished, along with some

lovely freshly-brewed tea. I wonder if berries would be good here, in place of

the pineapple? My thought is that sometimes we don't have all the ingredients but with some thought and experimentation, we could find alternatives. I used to be afraid to do that, but it doesn't make any sense that garnish, which is not an integral part of a dessert, could not be substituted with another of a similar type.]]

BLUE FOOD JUST ISN'T APPETIZING

COLOR RARELY APPEARS IN NATURE

BY ROBERT L. WOLKE

 

Q In the fruit market, the display is beautiful -- full of brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and greens. But there are very few blues. Is there a special reason for that?

 

A Most scientists would say there are special reasons for everything. The problem is we don't know them all.

Starting green

 

All fruits start out being green, along with other parts of the plants, because of the green chlorophyll that plants use for photosynthesis. When they ripen, many fruits turn red, orange or yellow. These colors come from underlying chemicals -- carotenoids -- that were there all along, but had been masked by the chlorophyll. They are revealed when the chlorophyll has done its job and retreats.

 

``But,'' you may ask, ``why aren't some of those underlying colors blue?''

 

A few are. But in general, Mother Nature wants ripe fruits to be as attractive as possible to animals, who will eat them and spread the seeds in their droppings. Brighter colors seem to work best. Blue is just too drab to attract attention.

 

Unattractive light

 

Blue food is unappetizing even to humans. If you shine blue light on a plate of food, no matter how delicious it looked before, most people will find it suddenly unappetizing. On the other hand, producers of novelty foods for children often color them purple or blue, because kids love to do things that gross out grown-ups.

BLUE SUMMERS FRESH BERRIES

SATISFY THE SOUL

BY ELIZABETH SOFTKY, Special to the Mercury News

As a teenager, while other kids rebelled against their parents with drugs and sex, I rebelled with food. My parents were enamored of processed food products. Anything canned, frozen or faked was all right by them.

 

But the flabby bread and tasteless veggies they craved left me feeling unsatisfied. By the time I was 13, I started to shop and cook my way out of their Brave New World of prepackaged eating, spending my allowance on groceries and cookbooks.

 

A few years into this cooking spree, I noticed that blueberries were a dominant theme. They'd become my fresh-food Holy Grail, symbolizing everything delightful and authentic I was searching for -- and rebelling against.

 

I'd never even heard of blueberries until I started school. My parents didn't bring blueberry products home because they didn't grow up with them. In the South, it's too hot for the plants to grow in the wild. They had made wine with elderberries, scratched their arms picking blackberries and searched the woods for wild grapes. But blueberries were unfamiliar and somehow suspicious.

 

I, of course, had the opposite reaction. When my kindergarten teacher, Miss Ing, read ``Blueberries for Sal'' at circle time, I was fascinated. What was it about those little bluish balls that would make people leave their cozy homes and face down bears? Sadly, my curiosity would be unrequited for years. The Hostess pies I ate, filled with thick ``blueberry'' glop, gave no clue. The canned blueberries in junior high home economics class were good, and the so-called fresh ones in the supermarket were better. But it took a trip to a berry farm in northern Maryland to find out what the fuss was all about.

 

Seven years ago I moved east with my husband, so he could do postdoctoral studies at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. One Saturday I went with friends to a pick-your-own berry place near the Pennsylvania border. There, in air thick with heat, my blueberry infatuation turned into true love.

 

There were no middlemen, no plastic containers to come between us, just the fruit and I. These berries were tender and juicy, surprising my taste buds with notes of spice and pine resin. I wandered up and down the rows, the sun hot on my shoulders, eating as I went. When it was time to go home, my galvanized tin pail was empty, but my stomach and soul were satisfied.

 

Related to cranberries, and the more elusive huckleberry, blueberries have only been grown commercially since 1920, taking advantage of otherwise unproductive marshland.

 

In the wild, the plants can be found from Canada to Colombia, producing berries on either scrubby (low-bush) or bushy (high-bush) plants. They like acid or sandy soil that stays moist throughout spring and summer.

 

Native Americans used the leaves as well as the fruit for cooking, and the colonists substituted them for bilberries, another blueberry cousin that grows all over Northern Europe and the British Isles.

 

In California, local berries are available from late May through August. There is no real difference in berries grown on the East and West coasts (or New Zealand, for that matter), since growers in both areas favor shelf life over taste. Many varieties in the supermarket now are unpleasantly crunchy.

 

For truly sweet blueberries, you have to either go to a pick-your-own farm, grow them yourself, or order more-intensely flavored wild blueberries (see information below).

 

When we moved back to California and bought a house, some of the first plants to go into the garden were blueberries. They have a sunny spot where they lord it over the thyme, spearmint and strawberries.

 

They are very easy to grow. I keep their feet (or roots) wet, and I compost my spent tea leaves and coffee grounds at the base of each plant. I grow five varieties -- out of necessity as well as for pleasure, since most blueberries need to cross-pollinate to bear fruit.

 

The Earliblues ripen first. The classic cultivated berry -- big and juicy, but on the bland side -- they are really better for baking. The fruit on the Georgia Gem has a spicy floral perfume flavor, while Sunshine Blues are tangy and the Olympics are the sweetest. Then there is the Bush of the Unknown Berry (the kids ripped the tag off). Though unnamed, it is much loved because it gives the most fruit -- big clusters of sweet, medium-sized berries, with a black-pepper, pine-resin finish.

 

In past harvests, my family and I have simply stood among the bushes to eat the fruit out of hand. But this year, with some self-restraint, I actually baked something with my berries -- a cobbler of Lilliputian size, more of an amuse-bouche than a dessert. But the just-picked berries did make a difference. It was one of the best things I had ever eaten. Here's the recipe I used, from the 1963 edition of the McCall's Cookbook, which I bought as a present to myself on my 13th birthday. I promise it will make even ordinary berries sublime.

 

BLUEBERRY COBBLER

Serves 8-12

For the pastry:

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt

1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

6 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt

Juice from half a large lemon (optional if using best-quality berries)

3 tablespoons butter

 

Make pastry first by sifting flour again with salt into a medium bowl. With fork or pastry blender, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Quickly sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over pastry mixture, tossing lightly with a fork after each addition. Pastry should be just moist enough to hold together but not sticky. Shape into a thick disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

 

For filling, place blueberries in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, tapioca, salt and lemon juice, if using. Stir thoroughly, then set aside.

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pastry from refrigerator and divide into quarters. Set aside one quarter for another use. Pat another quarter along the bottom and sides of a 3- to 4-quart casserole or soufflé dish. Stir berry mixture again and spoon half of it into dish. On a lightly floured surface, pat out another pastry quarter to a size that will just cover first berry layer, then place atop berries. Spoon in remaining berry mixture. Dot with butter. Then cover with third pastry quarter. Place cobbler on a baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the berries are tender and the crust golden brown.

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL LOAF

Makes 1 loaf or about 8 servings

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

6 tablespoons ( 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 large eggs

2/3 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries

Sugar and cinnamon, for sprinkling

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with foil or parchment paper. Butter it and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, combine yogurt and lemon juice.

 

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lower speed to slow. Reserve 1 tablespoon of flour mixture. Add remaining flour mixture alternately with yogurt and mix until just blended.

 

Toss reserved flour mixture with blueberries. Then gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over top.

 

Bake for 25 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and continue baking until loaf is golden and a toothpick inserted in center emerges clean, about 35 minutes longer. Cool loaf in pan on wire rack. For best flavor, wrap loaf, still in pan, and store overnight before cutting.

BLUEBERRY KETCHUP

Makes 3 1/2 cups

This ``ketchup'' is really an Americanized chutney. It freezes well and goes with any poultry, ham or burgers.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 pints fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)

2 large plums, pitted and chopped

Zest of 1 large lemon, cut into strips

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or a mix of black, white, red and green peppercorns

1 small dried red chili, crumbled

Coarse (kosher) salt to taste

 

Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir often and adjust heat if necessary so onions do not brown. Add garlic and ginger; cook 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Increase heat to medium and cook until mixture starts to simmer. Reduce heat to low and keep simmering for 30 minutes; then remove from heat.

 

Allow blueberry mixture to cool slightly; then puree in blender or food processor. Return puree to saucepan and bring to brisk simmer. Cook until thick, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and cool.

BOILED CUSTARD

 

1 qt milk (whole or reduced fat)

3 whole eggs

1 cup sugar

2 large tbsp flour

1 tsp vanilla

10 oz canned milk (just regular canned milk)

 

Mix dry ingredients. Slowly mix in boiler with milk and egg mixture. Slowly

bring to a boil, stirring constantly, as it can stick. Take off the heat when it starts to boil, and add the vanilla and the canned milk. Cool and drink or put in ice cream freezer and mix as you regularly do. Makes excellent ice cream.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA

1 small Butternut squash

1 3/4 cup All purpose flour

1 tsp Hazelnut butter

1 pinch Black pepper

1 pinch Nutmeg

1 pinch Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut squash into quarters, remove seeds and place in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover and bake till tender (50 to 60 minutes). Let cool and mash flesh. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup squash with remaining ingredients to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and pliable like a firm bread dough. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Shape and cook dough as desired.

CATFISH COU'B'YON

(coubillion)

 

3 or four medium catfish fillets

 

1 cup VERY finely chopped onions

1/8 to 1/4 cup clarified butter (virgin olive oil can be substituted)

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour or gravy flour that comes in sprinkle-cans

1 tbsp chopped garlic

3 tbsp Finely chopped parsley

1/8 cup finely chopped green pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 to 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

 

1 1/2 cups rice

3 cups water

 

In medium (coverable) saucepan combine everything EXCEPT

 

Catfish fillets

Flour

Rice

Water

Parsley

 

Stir over medium heat until all ingredients have become clear.

 

Combine flour slowly to make thin gravy-like sauce. Add 3 cups water, bring to boil. Add 1 1/2 cups rice. Cover, simmer until rice is halfway cooked (water is one half absorbed, about 10-15 minutes)

Lay catfish fillets on top of simmering mixture. Cover and simmer until rice is fully cooked (all liquid is absorbed). Garnish with parsley.

 

Serve with white wine, fresh hot buns (or country biscuits) and a little bit

of candlelight. Experiment with additional vegetables or other types of seafood.

CAULIFLOWER, CREME DU BARRY

"Comtesse du Barry was a French courtesan who became the mistress of Louis XV. She loved cauliflower as much as the king loved her, and so gave her name to many dishes in which the vegetable is featured. Madame du Barry lost her own head, but her name lives on in the glory of a cauliflower." (Israeli Cookbook 1964)

1 cauliflower

2 tbsp margarine

2 tbsp flour

1 cup chicken stock

dash nutmeg

salt and pepper

chervil or other herbs

Cook the cauliflower in salted water for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Melt

the margarine and stir in the flour smoothly. Add the stock and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Season and pour over the cauliflower. Garnish with chopped chervil or other herbs. Serves 4 to 6

[[Spike believes that some people would think that losing one's head would be a suitable fate for women who consort with married men. Spike thinks that being obsessed with cauliflower is reason enough. Perhaps they used it to sharpen the guillotine, and it was only practical to use it for its intended purpose.]]

CELERY

Although celery is usually eaten raw, it is quite good as a cooked veggie. Remove the leaves and save them for a soup or salad. [[Or save them in

the fridge until they turn brown and then throw them in the garbage.]] Cut the

ribs into pieces of about 1 inch in length, and allow about 1/2 cup for each diner.

Barely cover the celery with boiling water, cover the saucepan tightly, and cook about 12 minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain, reserve the liquid for the same soup

for which you saved the leaves, and serve the celery with salt and pepper to taste, creamed, au gratin, scalloped, in mushroom sauce, or mixed with other

veggies.

[[Spike does not think that a real man would eat creamed celery - or quiche.]]

CHICKEN POT PIE

 

2 unbaked frozen pie shells

1-2 cans Veg All brand Mixed Vegetables, drained (use 2 cans if using deep

dish pie shells)

1/2-1 cup leftover cooked chicken in bite sized pieces

1/2 cup stuffing (optional)

Note: Sauté 1/2 cup each onion and celery in 2 Tbsp butter with 1 chicken

bouillon cube, then mix the softened veggies with pre-packaged herb

stuffing cubes, about 2 cups. To this, add 1 beaten egg and water until

the consistency is moist enough so it sticks together. You can freeze

whatever is left over. You can also use Stouffer's Stove Top Stuffing, or

skip it altogether.

1-2 cans Franco American Chicken Gravy, depending how moist you like your

pot pie

 

Turn one of the pie shells over onto a floured surface until defrosted enough

to come out of the pie tin. Roll out the shell until flat. Fill the other shell with the veggies, chicken, and some of the gravy. Top with the stuffing and cover with the remaining gravy. Fold the flattened crust carefully over the rolling pin and place on top of the filled crust. Fold the edges under the filled crust. Either pinch the edges together to form flutes with your thumb and index fingers or simply crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Make a few slits in the top to let steam escape. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is slightly browned. If a darker browned crust is desired, you can egg-wash the crust before baking by brushing it with beaten egg and milk. When baking, be sure to place the pie on a baking sheet so if any filling escapes, the sheet will catch it. This is really good when served with canned sliced cranberry sauce

and is a great way to use up leftover turkey as well. These pies freeze well, too.

 

CLASSIC AND COLORFUL POTATO SALAD

Serves 6

 

If you're feeling especially patriotic, find purple potatoes at a farmers market or a store with a well-stocked produce department to add the "blue" to this salad.

 

3/4 pound each: red, purple, new white potatoes

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 each, chopped: green onions, celery ribs

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper

 

1. Place potatoes in large pot; fill with cold water to cover. Heat to a boil; simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain; set aside to cool slightly.

 

2. Cut potatoes into quarters while still warm. Place in medium serving bowl. Toss potatoes with vinegar. Mix together mayonnaise, mustard, green onions, celery, parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss with potatoes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

CREAMSICLE PIE

 

8 oz. cream cheese

16 oz. Cool Whip, thawed

1 cup orange juice

1 (4-serving-size) vanilla instant pudding, regular or sugar free

1 (4-serving-size) orange Jell-o, regular or sugar free

2 small Ready-Crusts (graham cracker or vanilla wafer) or one 10 inch crust

 

Soften cream cheese to room temperature. Beat with electric mixer until very

soft and creamy. Mix with thawed Cool Whip; blend until creamy. Add orange

juice and blend with mixer until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside.

 

Make the orange Jell-o as follows: Add Jell-o to 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir

to completely dissolve, may take several minutes. Add 6-8 ice cubes and

stir until the Jell-o starts to thicken. If necessary, add more ice until Jell-o

starts to thicken. Remove any un-melted ice cubes. Set aside.

 

Sprinkle dry pudding mix into cream cheese mixture, blending well. Add

soft-set orange Jell-o, mix till well blended.

 

Divide between the two pie crusts, or heap into the large one; chill several hours before serving. Very rich, a small piece will do. It keeps well.

CURRIED SWEET POTATO SALAD

Serves 6

 

Sweet potatoes give potato salad an Indian twist with a sweet and spicy curried dressing.

 

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, diced

1/2 cup each: yogurt, mayonnaise

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger root, minced

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see note)

4 green onions, chopped

Salt, freshly ground pepper

 

1. Place potatoes in large pot; fill with cold water to cover. Heat to a boil; simmer potatoes until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain, set aside.

 

2. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, curry powder, ginger root and brown sugar in medium bowl. Add potatoes, raisins, almonds, onions and salt and pepper to taste; toss to coat.

 

Note: To toast almonds, place in small, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 minutes.

FAMOUS BACK EDDY HOUSE PICKLES

Makes 12 cups

2 pounds pickling cucumbers (less than 5 inches long)

3 tablespoons kosher or other course salt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut on diagonal into 1/4-inch slices

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

4 cups cider vinegar

2 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed

2 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons whole allspice berries, cracked with the flat blade of a chef's knife

2 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted and cracked with the flat blade of a chef's knife

 

Trim and discard blossom ends of cucumbers. Then cut cucumbers into rounds about 1/4- to 3/8-inch thick.

 

In a medium non-reactive bowl, combine cucumbers and salt; toss to coat. Cover with ice cubes and let stand in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours.

 

Drain cucumbers. Rinse well. Drain again. In a medium sautépan, combine oil, garlic, carrots, peppers and onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent browning, until carrots ``sweat'' and soften a bit, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and combine with cucumbers.

 

In a non-reactive pan, combine vinegar, brown sugar and spices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue boiling 5 minutes. Pour boiling syrup over vegetables. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate. This pickle will keep, covered and refrigerated, 1 month.

FINGERLING POTATO SALAD WITH TARRAGON

Serves 6

 

The tender little potatoes known as fingerlings have a creamy texture that needs little embellishment.

 

2 pounds fingerling potatoes

3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 each, minced: shallot, clove garlic

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon minced tarragon

 

1. Place potatoes in large pot; fill with cold water to cover. Heat to a boil; simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with thin end of knife, about 15 minutes. Drain; set aside to cool slightly. Slice.

 

2. Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Whisk together remaining vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in small bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add shallot and garlic; whisk to combine. Pour over potatoes; gently toss to coat. Add parsley and tarragon; toss. Serve at room temperature.

FINOCCHIO SALAD RINGS

1 large finocchio (fennel)

dash celery salt

1/2 lb Bel Paese cheese

1 medium tomato, diced

4 black olives, sliced

lettuce

olive oil

Separate the thickened stalks at the base of the finocchio. sprinkle with celery salt. Put slices of the soft Bel Paese cheese on each stem, and press in pieces

of tomato and black olive. Fit 3 stalks together to make a roll. Chill and then cut into 1/2 inch rings. Serve on lettuce with a little olive oil. Serves 8

'BELL pah-AY-zay' Translated as "beautiful country," this popular semisoft Italian CHEESE has a mild, buttery flavor that is delicious with fruity wines. Though originally and still made in a small town outside Milan, Bel Paese is now also produced in the United States. It can be served as a dessert cheese or for snacks and melts beautifully for use in casseroles or on pizza. (This information is from Atomica.com,

a web-based encyclopedia one can download at no cost.)

FISH NEWBURG

2 tbsp butter

1 pound cooked filet of flounder or halibut

2 tbsp flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup light cream

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp dry sherry

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

Place butter in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add the fish, cut into bite-sized pieces, and cook for 2 minutes. (Raw pieces of fish may be used, and cooked for 5 minutes.) Stir in the flour. Add milk and cream, and stir until smooth and thick. Beat egg yolks and sherry until well-blended. Stir a little of the sauce into the yolks, then stir the yolks into the remaining sauce. Turn heat very low, and stir only until the mixture becomes hot. Do not boil. Add paprika and salt, and serve on toast points or in a casserole. Serves 4.

[[Spike is always skeptical of foods that are served "on toast points" because it

seems a good way to hide stuff. It smacks of "ladies" wearing bird-cage hats, lined up at a tea party with the guest of honor "pouring." I think this sounds like

good food, and I would serve it from a casserole, mixed with herbed croutons.]]

FROZEN FRUIT SALAD

One 6 oz. can of frozen lemonade concentrate

Two 6 oz. cans of frozen orange juice (or One 12 oz can)

One large can frozen strawberries (sweetened or unsweetened)

One large can fruit cocktail and juice (heavy or lite syrup)

Two small cans of mandarin oranges

One can of 7-Up or similar lemon-lime soda

Stir together in big bowl and freeze for at least 8 hours; scoop out into

bowls or cups using ice cream scoop .

GENUINE IMITATION CRAB CAKES

 

1 lb package imitation crabmeat

2 large eggs

1/2-3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 tbsp minced fresh onion or 1tsp onion flakes

small pinch garlic powder

1 tsp OLD BAY seasoning

1/4 or less tsp salt

1tbsp parsley flakes

3 tbsp mayonnaise

Put the crabmeat (Krab) through a hand-cranked food processor to break up the pieces. Mix all ingredients and shape into 6 or 7 patties, and fry in oil. Serve

with tartar sauce (or mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup pickle relish).

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

 

1 pkg Baker's German sweet chocolate

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup butter

2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks, unbeaten

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp soda

2 1/2 cup sifted cake flour

1 cup buttermilk

4 egg whites

 

Mix chocolate in 1/2 c boiling water. Cool. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix well. Mix salt, soda, and flour together. Then add alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture, beating until batter is smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Pour into three 8" or 9" round cake pans, lined on bottom with waxed paper. Bake in moderate oven (350 degree) for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool. Frost tops only with

 

Coconut Pecan Frosting

 

1 c sugar

1 c evaporated milk

3 egg yolks

1/4 lb butter or oleo

1 tsp vanilla

 

In sauce pan, cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 12 minutes. Add about 1 1/3 c chopped pecans and 1 c coconut. Take off stove.

Beat until frosting is cool and thick enough to spread. Makes 2 2/3 cups.

GIANT ROAD TRIP BROWNIES

Serves 4

Cooking spray

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 eggs

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1/2 cup whole grain pastry flour

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

 

Combine melted butter, cocoa and oil in small bowl.

 

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk eggs with salt until frothy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, whisking vigorously until mixture is pale yellow.

 

Stir butter mixture into egg mixture. Fold in orange zest and flour until just combined. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

GOOSE PIQUANT

1 goose - 12 lbs

12 cups water

1 tbsp salt

8 whole black peppers

12 whole cloves

2 thick slices lemon

1 tsp ground ginger

6 tbsp flour

lemon juice and sugar (optional)

This is a good way to use goose if the fat and skin are rendered. Remove all the skin and as much fat as possible. Disjoint the goose, and cut the breast and back in half. Place all the pieces, plus the gizzard, neck, and heart, in a 10-quart saucepan. Add water, salt, pepper, cloves, sliced lemon, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the meat is tender, about 3 hours. Remove the meat from the bones. Cut the gizzard and breast and leg meat into fairly large pieces. Strain the broth, measure 3 cups, and use the rest as soup stock. Make a thin paste of the flour and cold water. Stir this paste into the 3 cups of stock, and cook and stir over medium-high heat until smooth and thick, and the taste of flour has disappeared. This may be made sweet and sour by adding lemon juice and sugar to taste. Add the goose meat to the sauce, heat just to the boiling point, and serve at once. This is especially good with Kashe and a tart salad. Serves 8.

[[One of the nicest things in the world is hearing a flock of geese flying overhead.

They clatter, and it is a truly wonderful sound! You know, when you see a flock of geese flying in the vee formation, have you noticed that one arm of the vee is longer than the other arm? Very few naturalists know why this is. I know. It is

because there are more geese in the long arm than there are in the shorter one!]]

GRAPE PIE

pastry for two-crust pie

3 cups stemmed concord grapes

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp flour

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

grated zest of one lemon (lime would do just as well)

1 egg, well-beaten.

Separate the skins from the pulp of the grapes. Place the pulp in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the seeds are free. Rub through a sieve. Cool. Add the grape skins, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and egg. Mix thoroughly. Divide the pastry and fit the bottom crust into an 8-inch pie tin.

Pour in the grape filling. Make lattice strips of the remaining pastry and place over the filling. Press the edges well together. Bake at 425 deg. about 50 minutes, until a rich brown. Serve warm or cold.

GRIMSLICH

1/2 of a 1-pound loaf of white bread

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup seedless raisins

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup finely ground blanched almonds

2 tbsp shortening

Cover the bread with cold water until soft, then place it in a very fine sieve, and press out as much water as possible. Add to the egg yolks, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and almonds. Blend well. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Melt the shortening on a pancake griddle, and when it is hot, turn the heat to medium. Drop large tablespoonfuls of the batter into the shortening. Flatten slightly. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is brown, turn over, and brown the other side. Serve with stewed fruit. This makes 14.

[[Spike would use about 2 cups baking mix - such as Bisquick - and all the other ingredients, instead of bread. I guess this recipe is for people who have too much bread. It would be a good way to use stale bread, also. Cinnamon and

raisins, maybe even some fresh berries would be good on this.]]

HAMBURGER RICE CASSEROLE

2/3 cup seedless raisins

4 tbsp salad oil

1 cup rice

1 tbsp chopped green pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 lb lean ground beef

2 cups canned tomatoes

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 cup cold water

Rinse raisins in boiling water and drain thoroughly. Place 2 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the rice and cook and stir until the rice becomes yellow. Remove the rice, add remaining oil, and the green pepper, onion, garlic, and meat. Cook and mash the meat with a fork until all the meat is browned and in tiny particles. Add remaining ingredients, rice,

and raisins. Mix well and pour into a greased 2 quart casserole. Bake, covered, in a moderate oven (350) for about 1 hour, until the rice is tender. Serves 6.

[[Rice always seems to cook better if it is browned in oil before steaming or

boiling it. Perhaps one should check on the moisture content of this dish about

half way through the baking. It does not appear to have enough liquid to cook

that much rice.]]

HEINZ KETCHUP

 

By the age of 12 John Heinz was peddling produce from his family's garden in post-Civil War Pittsburgh. By age 25, he and a friend launched Heinz & Noble to sell bottled horseradish in clear glass bottles to reveal its purity. Henry's pickling empire grew as he added jams, jellies and condiments to the line, including ketchup which was added in 1876. You'll still see the famous Heinz pickle logo on every product, and if you want a quick tip on how to get the thick stuff out of the bottle easily don't pound on the backside like a maniac. Instead Heinz recommends a good smack to the embossed "57" found on the neck of every bottle. Today Heinz is the world's largest tomato processor, with the famous ketchup bottles in over half of U.S. households. But if you find your house is all out, just create a simple clone with a few common ingredients. You'll get a whole 12-ounce bottle worth of thick, tasty ketchup with this secret recipe.

From Top Secret Recipes:

 

One 6-ounce can tomato paste

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Homemade ketchup in a pinch.:

 

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth.

2. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.

3. Remove pan from heat and cover until cool. Chill and store in a covered container. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Makes 1 1/2 cups.

 

KALSHONERS - CHEESE TURNOVERS

dough:

1 egg

2/3 cup flour

dash salt

filling:

1 1/2 cups salt white goat cheese

4 tbsp sour cream

2 eggs

For the dough, mix all ingredients together and roll out thin. Cut into 2-inch squares. For the filling, mash the salt cheese with a fork, then beat in the sour cream and eggs. Put some of the filling on each square, then fold into triangles and press the edges together. Boil in salted water and then fry. Serve with

yogurt. serves 6

[[Spike thinks one could substitute cottage cheese for salt goat cheese. Spike

is averse to eating unfamiliar substances, and realizes it is an idiosyncrasy. I guess that goat cheese (or sheep's cheese) would be a boon to those who cannot tolerate cows-milk products. I just learned that feta cheese is often made of goat's milk or sheep's milk. It could probably be used in this recipe.]]

KILLER BROWNIES

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and salt in bowl. Set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in top of double-boiler or in heavy saucepan over low heat. (Or microwave on high for 2 minutes and stir. Microwave another minute if needed.) Set aside and cool to room temperature (or at least as long as it takes you to combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl.)

 

Beat egg combination well. Fold in chocolate and butter. Gradually add flour and salt mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into greased 8-inch by 8-inch pan. If you double the recipe, use a 9-inch by 12-inch pan. Bake 20 to 22 minutes.

MARBLED TEA EGGS

Serves 6

Gently cracking the shell before steeping the eggs in the tea solution creates a marbled effect on the surface of the cooked eggs.

6 large eggs

Water

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon black tea leaves

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 stick cinnamon

3 star anise pods

 

Place eggs in large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Drain water and remove eggs. With back of spoon, carefully crack shell all over without removing shell.

 

Place eggs back in pan and cover with fresh water. Add soy sauce, tea leaves, salt, caraway, cinnamon and star anise. Bring to boil for 10 minutes, cover and remove from heat. Steep eggs in tea solution for at least 45 minutes and up to 3 hours. Remove eggs and refrigerate until departure.

MEAT AND CHICKEN SATAY

1 walnut sized piece of tamarind pulp

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

juice and zest of 1 lime

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 cm (1 in) piece of fresh root ginger, roughly grated

500 g (1 lb) shoulder of lamb, cubed

500 g (1 lb) boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3 cm (1 in) cubes

For the sauce

3 tablespoons plain unroasted peanuts, roughly crushed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

juice and zest of 1 lime

125 ml (4 fl oz) coconut milk

 

Fancy a snack while traveling through Indonesia? If you ever find yourself in this enviable situation the likely answer is going to be satay on skewers. Carefully char-grilled over an open fire, you can eat as you go, or make more of a meal of it, traditionally with cucumber pickle and square chunks of rice cake. A cold beer and some salad are ideal partners. You need to soak the skewers in cold water for about 1 hour to prevent them burning. Can't wait for that long? Wrap the exposed ends in a bit of foil, fiddly, but it does the trick.

Place the tamarind in a small cup of warm water and as the pulp becomes malleable squeeze out as much as you can. Drain through a sieve, squeezing out as much liquid from the solids as possible. Discard the pulp. Combine the tamarind liquor with the garlic, shallots, lime juice and zest, soy sauce and ginger.

Thread the meat on to soaked skewers and brush over the marinade. To make the sauce, fry the peanuts in the oil until browned. Place the chilies, garlic and shallots in a processor and blitz. Add to the peanuts and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent sticking. Add the lime juice and zest and the coconut milk and stir well so everything is amalgamated.

Cook the skewers over a moderate heat for 20 minutes, turning frequently and basting with any remaining marinade. Serve with the sauce. Serves 4

 

 

 

 

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SANDWICHES

Serves 4

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

4 (4-oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 (4'') squares focaccia bread

1/4 cup prepared pesto sauce

4 ounces block feta cheese

2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

4 romaine lettuce leaves

 

To prepare chicken: Combine salt, pepper and lemon juice in medium bowl. Add chicken breasts and coat. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken; cook 8 minutes per side, or until done. Remove from pan and cool. Cut chicken diagonally into 1/4-inch slices.

 

To assemble sandwiches: Split bread squares in half. Scoop some bread out of each square to make room for filling. Spread top and bottom of bread with 1 tablespoon pesto. Layer bottom with remaining ingredients in order: 1-ounce slice of feta, cucumber, four ounces sliced chicken, tomato, lettuce. Cover with top half of focaccia. Press down on each sandwich to compact fillings. Refrigerate until ready to pack in cooler.

MEDYAS - Aromatic Filled Squash

"Sephardic Jews in Israel have come from many lands, although their place of origin was Spain. From each country of their sojourn, they took on local nuances of cooking. Thus the summer squash (zucchini, vegetable marrow), which was even a Biblical favorite, takes on many different flavors." (Israeli Cookbook 1964)

2 lb baby squash

2 slices white bread

1 cup ground meat

1/2 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp flour

1 egg diluted with 1 tbsp water

oil for frying

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp sugar

water to cover

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Moisten the bread and squeeze dry. Mix the bread with the meat and add spice and seasoning. Put the mixture into the hollowed-out squash. Dip the filled marrows first in flour and then in the diluted egg. Fry the squash on the meat side only. Put into a shallow casserole and sprinkle with the lemon juice and sugar. Just cover with water. Cook gently until squashes are tender and most of the sauce is absorbed (35 to 40 minutes). Serves 4 to 6 [[Spike would use lemon pepper for the seasoning.]]

MICROGREENS INFORMATION

Itty bitty bites pack big flavor

By Sheila Himmel, KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS

Sprouts were watery, stringy, impossible to keep fresh. So '60s.

 

These days, menus don't tout sprouts. The '00s version is microgreens, which have a similar look but a powerful taste.

 

So tiny they have to be harvested with scissors, microgreens include doll-size lettuces, which became popular a few years ago at high-end restaurants, and the newer development, infant herbs. They run upwards of $20 a pound, but a little goes a long way. And they do accessorize a plate.

 

Ron Siegel, chef at Masa's in San Francisco, will be sprinkling in lots of microherbs and microgreens this summer. With frisee and olive oil on top of a soft-shell crab appetizer, with cucumber-cilantro water and mango chutney. On top of a quail salad or a shrimp canapé. "Small looks better. It's not as cumbersome. And the flavor's so amazing."

 

He's especially fond of microcelery. "It's like eating the best stalk of celery in the world, and it's just the leaf. This is a pretty big revolution."

 

But even Masa's has its limits. Siegel draws the line at micro white asparagus, $48 a pound. "Sometimes it just gets too fussy."

 

At Stratta Grill in downtown San Jose, executive chef Michael Alsop buys a five-way blend grown by Classic Salads in Hollister, and uses the greens as a garnish, especially on fish dishes. Or he might mix some microherbs with pea shoots in a light vinaigrette because "one flavor doesn't interfere with the other." His roasted beet salad with a microgreen and herb topknot has become a signature dish.

 

As more restaurants have adopted micros, prices have come down. Tim Benham, executive chef at Tarragon in Sunnyvale, says when he first came across microgreens three years ago, they cost him $20 for a quarter-pound. Now he buys a one-pound mix of five greens and herbs from Pride of San Juan for $23. It lasts up to a week, loosely packed in rows. A one-pound box -- of cilantro, beet greens, kohlrabi, tatsoi and arugula, for example -- is enough for 40 orders of his popular seared scallop appetizer.

 

"They give a clean flavor that's intense but not overpowering," Benham said.

 

Microarugula, for example, has a peppery bite at first, but it doesn't stay with you. Cilantro is easier to take and, as Benham says, lacks the soapy flavor many people dislike.

 

Lee Jones' family farm, Chef's Garden, has become the country's most prominent micro grower. The Huron, Ohio, farm supplies top restaurants such as Alain Ducasse in New York and Charlie Trotter's in Chicago. In Northern California, clients include Masa's, the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay and the French Laundry.

 

Erie County's fertile lake-bed sand once supported more than 300 vegetable growers. Jones and his brother, Bob, and father, Bob, are the only survivors. When their traditional farm went belly up in 1980, they knew they had to come up with new products to survive. The key was listening to chefs.

 

"First, we did squash blossoms," Jones says. "Then chefs started wanting different-size lettuces."

 

Charlie Trotter was the key. The Joneses had tried and failed at pitching microgreens to local restaurants. Then Trotter called to say, as Jones remembers it, "We're over mesclun. Every grocery store has it. What have you got that will blow everyone away?"

 

Trotter not only spread the joy of micros at his own Chicago restaurant, but he went around the country as a visiting chef. Restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, even Atlanta started calling the Joneses.

 

"I used to think we'd get done someday, trying new products. But it's truly endless," Jones says. "We now have 265 varieties of eggplant, from the size of a pea to a football." They also have about 80 microgreens and 37 microherbs.

 

The attraction for chefs, Jones says, is the wow factor. "They're putting on a show every night. If you go to a play one week, you don't want to see the same play again the next week. That's how it is with restaurants."

 

In growing microgreens, the soil is sterilized with heat. No manure or pond water is used. "You could eat the dirt," Jones says. "They do sprout, but they aren't sprouts." Sprouts grow in water.

 

It's a different mentality from most farming, Jones says. "We speak in terms of flavor per bite rather than tons per acre."

 

Measurements are so exact, they come in six sizes ranging from micro (1 inch or smaller) to young (5 or 6 inches). In between are cotyledon, petite, ultra and baby.

 

Jeff Pieracci of Galli Produce in San Jose had despaired of getting South Bay restaurants to buy micros until recently. While always looking for the next new thing, restaurants can have a herd mentality when a new food is expensive and a little strange. Pieracci says, "They all wait for everybody to use them."

MILANO SHRIMP FETTUCINE

 

4 ounces egg or spinach fettucine

1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 clove garlic minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 14-1/2 ounce can Del Monte

Pastas' Style Chunky Tomatoes

1/2 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup sliced green onions

 

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Cook shrimp and garlic in hot oil in large skillet over medium high heat until shrimp are pink and opaque. Stir in tomatoes. Simmer 5 minutes. Blend in cream and green onion. Heat through but do not boil. Serve over hot pasta. Makes 3 servings. This is a fast and easy recipe can be doubled if needed.

MOCK GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE

 

1 pkg white cake mix

1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix

3 egg whites

2 c milk

 

Mix together and beat 4 minutes. Add:

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp red food coloring

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes in a 9" x 13" pan. Make homemade

frosting (so much better!!) or use canned.

 

OVEN FRIED GEFILTE FISH

2 slices white bread

1 tsp sugar

1 lb carp, chopped

1 lb fish of some other kind, chopped

2 tsp salt

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 tsp pepper

2 onions, chopped

1 celery root, grated

oil for frying

Soak the bread in water and squeeze dry. Mix all the ingredients except the oil and form into patties. Place the patties in a baking pan with hot oil and bake in a 400 degree oven until the fish is nicely browned (about 45 minutes), turning once. Serve hot or cold. This dish is often served for the second or third Sabbath meal.

[[Spike is surprised to see that carp is listed in this recipe. There was a Filipino

man living next door for awhile. He had a concrete container in his yard, that was like a pond, only square. It was about 2 ft. x 2 ft. by 2 ft. in size, and it had a drain in the bottom. I asked him what it was for and he explained that he would

fish in the nearby river (Willamette in Oregon) and catch carp. He would put the

carp in there, fill it with fresh water. Every day he would feed corn meal to the carp, clean and drain the pond, and fill it with fresh water. He would do that for 3 weeks. By that time, he said, all the 'impurities' were purged from the fish and

it could then be decapitated, cooked, and eaten. The reason for the pond size was so that the fish could not do a lot of swimming and thereby lose weight.]]

[[Carp has another useful purpose. My mother, an avid gardener, would always

have a line in the water (we lived on a lake). If she caught a carp, she would

dispatch it with a pitchfork and bury it in her garden to enrich the soil. Sometimes

she didn't bury it deep enough, and our dog, a rather uppity Brussels Griffaun,

would dig it up and roll in it. She must not have been very smart, because that behavior led invariably to the hated DOG-BATH.]]

PEPPER AND CHEESE SALAD

2 medium green bell peppers

6 oz cream cheese

4 tbsp light cream

1/4 cup minced, stuffed (or not stuffed) olives

Wash and dry peppers thoroughly. Cut a slice off the top and carefully remove all seeds and membrane. Blend cheese, cream, and olives. Stuff the peppers solidly with this mixture, and chill for a few hours. At serving time, cut into 1/4 inch slices, and place on a bed of greens. Pass mayonnaise. [[This will serve

5 people who like it, and several people who do not.]] About 1/2 pound of pot

cheese may be used in place of cream cheese.

[[Spike, the comedienne, would pass some roasted and salted sunflower seeds and some ranch-type dressing as well as mayo.]]

PICKLED WATERMELON RIND

1 1/2 lbs prepared watermelon rind (1/4 medium-large melon)

1/2 cup salt

6 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups white vinegar

1/3 lemon, sliced thin

1/2 tsp whole cloves

1/2 tsp whole allspice

1 stick cinnamon

Pare the watermelon rind, and remove any pink flesh. Cut the rind into pieces 1 inch square, or into circles 1 inch in diameter, and 1/2 inch thick. Mix the salt and water in a large bowl, and add the rind. Let stand overnight. Drain thoroughly and rinse. Drain again. Place in a preserving kettle, cover with cold water, and cook, about 30 minutes, until the rind becomes tender and translucent, but is still firm. Drain once more. Place the sugar, vinegar, and lemon in the kettle. Tie the spices in a cheesecloth bag with white thread and add. Bring to a boil, then cook 2 minutes. Add the rind, and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, for 15 minutes after it comes to a boil. Remove the rind with a slotted spoon and place in hot, sterilized jars. Boil the syrup 5 minutes longer, remove the spice bag, and pour the syrup over the rind to overflowing. Seal at once. This makes 2 pints. If a sweeter pickle is preferred, increase sugar to 2 cups.

[[Spike would like to know why the thread tying the cheesecloth has to be white.]

POTATO SALAD INFORMATION

Hey, salad! This spud's for you And there's no need to slather that tater in mayo

 

By Kristin Eddy, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

One of the great things about being an American means being able to reinvent yourself -- even if you're everyone's favorite picnic side dish, potato salad.

 

Not that we don't love the tried-and-true version, a giant scoop of mayonnaise-slathered old potatoes, crunchy with bits of celery and frequently smoothed out with bits of hard-cooked eggs; or that other classic, the German-style salad, glossy with oil and vinegar and flecked with never-enough bits of crisp bacon.

 

But for the same reason Mr. Potato Head occasionally needs a makeover, it's fun to play around with the standards. For chefs and home cooks everywhere, the potato salad you grew up with is what determines your preference. A survey of Chicago chefs reveals how the cold spud has heated up.

 

"I totally grew up with the creamy thing," chef Susan Goss said of her salad days. "No eggs, though; my mother was totally against eggs in potato salad, so that was a new thing when my friends pulled that on me."

 

But as a chef, Goss has turned to lighter dressings, dressing up the tubers with a citrus vinaigrette -- a blend of orange, lemon and lime juices -- seasoned with fresh mint, that she calls "really light and refreshing, really summery."

 

Executive chef Greg Lutes was used to German potato salad as a kid. But now Lutes serves his cool potatoes with cucumbers, fresh dill and cider vinegar dressing alongside soft-shell crabs. Another of Lutes' summer salads features high-society spuds tossed with summer truffles and truffle oil.

 

For chef Barry Rosenstein, a mayonnaise-based salad works with both Mediterranean and Asian ingredients.

 

"I'll make the mayonnaise myself and flavor it with saffron and roasted garlic or black olive puree or sun-dried tomatoes," he said. "Even a little sambal oelek (an Asian chili sauce) or some vegetables -- anything to give it a little texture."

 

Or, like executive chef Michael Dean Hazen, you can make the dressing even more luxurious by mixing up equal parts mayonnaise and crème fraîche. Then he throws in eggs, capers, celery, red onion, mustard, parsley and some chopped arugula or watercress to doll up the dish he serves alongside the restaurant's buttermilk fried chicken.

 

Goss says experimenting is even more rewarding, especially now that there are such wonderful potato varieties. "I only use yellow potatoes and fingerlings," she said. "The potatoes themselves have such great simplicity and flavor."

 

Potatoes are such versatile vegetables that there's no point in arguing over which way is the best potato salad. At home, you can have fun by adding color with purple or sweet potatoes. Two-bite fingerling potatoes are another favorite, especially when dressed with a sparkling vinaigrette and fresh herbs.

 

The steakhouse classic -- a bacon, sour cream and chive baked potato -- can be copied for a cold picnic salad. The ingredients that make up a lively curried chicken salad also work beautifully mixed with sweet potatoes. And for a whole meal salad, tuna fish, green beans, tomatoes and olives add plenty of flavor to summer spuds.

 

Stick with the old favorites if you like, but there are plenty of ways to play a new potato salad game. Whatever makes you happy -- because, as chef Hazen said, "When I think of the summer and American comfort food, I think of potato salad."

 

POTATO SALAD NICOISE

Serves 6

 

A classic salade nicoise, named for the city of Nice in the south of France, is a composed plate with the ingredients in this recipe. Here they have been mixed together to make a lively potato salad.

 

2 pounds new red potatoes

4 ounces thin green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 can (6 ounces) albacore tuna, drained

1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, diced

1 anchovy fillet, minced

1/2 cup pitted sliced black Kalamata olives

1 tablespoon each: white wine vinegar, minced parsley

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 shallot, minced

Salt, freshly ground pepper

2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

 

1. Place potatoes and salt in large pot; fill with cold water to cover. Heat to a boil; simmer potatoes until tender, about 18 minutes. Add green beans; cook 2 minutes. Drain; set aside to cool slightly. Cut potatoes into quarters. Place potatoes, beans, tuna, tomato, anchovy and olives in large bowl; toss to combine. Set aside.

 

2. Whisk together vinegar, parsley and mustard in small bowl; slowly whisk in oil. Whisk in shallot, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over potato mixture; gently toss to coat. Garnish with eggs.

POTATOES APPEAL IS AN EYE OPENER

NICHOLAS BOER: FOOD EDITOR

FOR SUCH A PLAIN JANE, the potato is so come-hither. French fries, mashed potatoes, potato salad -- who can resist?

 

What makes these dishes so seductive, of course, is fat. One's dipped in oil, one's pumped with butter, the last often bound with mayo.

 

Even chefs who pride themselves on serving their produce nearly naked -- "lightly grilled," "gently tossed," "on a bed of" -- are tempted to pour on the olive oil or cream when faced with a spud.

 

It's time we celebrated the potato in all its glory.

 

"The Great Potato Book" (10 Speed Press, $15.95, 2001) does just that. It's filled with photos -- not of steamy cheese-laden casseroles, but of colorful and misshapen varieties just sitting around being potatoes. New York Times food columnist Florence Fabricant has unearthed dozens of forgotten tubers, from the fry-friendly Kennebec to the delicate French fingerling. And while she says the russet will do for most all of her recipes, Fabricant shares the virtues of each one (the Russian Banana, for instance, has "a hint of sweetness typical of the gold group").

 

As anyone who has lifted a forkful of fluffy Yukon Golds should know, all spuds are not created equal. For instance, a good fingerling -- named for its finger-sized form -- has a rich flavor and silky texture before you spread on the butter.

 

Fabricant suggests serving fingerlings whole: roasted, boiled or sautéed. They do show well. I love them split lengthwise and braised in chicken stock -- with just a drizzle of truffle oil. Their crooked beauty adds personality to any plate.

 

If you're worrying that "The Great Potato Book" will try to reform your buttery ways -- don't. When you open it up, you're likely to find a potato recipe calling for eggs, slab bacon or crème fraîche. But you'll also find that each recipe is geared to a specific variety with its own subtle characteristics. And, just in case you can't get your hands on, say, a Desirée, you can find a worthy substitute (each variety falls into one of four color categories).

 

My first potato eye-popper came at the first restaurant I worked, as a busboy. The little red creamers served there were so fluffy and flavorful. And when I found out they were simply steamed, it was a watershed moment. Shouldn't coaxing flavor from a potato be difficult?

 

Steaming little potatoes has been a favorite of mine ever since. Farmers markets and specialty markets often have interesting varieties, but little red and gold creamers are easier to come by. Even these precocious potatoes could be called bland in relation to other veggies, but they do have bite.

 

One of my favorite potato salads is steamed creamers, split in half and tossed with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, chopped Italian parsley and virgin olive oil. It's a simple preparation that brings out all their earthy goodness.

 

But being somewhat bland, as Fabricant points out, is not a fault. It makes them great supporting players. Creamy or crisp, hot or cold, the plain potato becomes a foil for flavor as well as fat. Sour cream and smoked salmon are lost without a crispy potato pancake. And what's a puddle of gravy if there isn't a pile of whipped potatoes to soak it up?

 

Fabricant points out that the French are great potato eaters, gobbling up 275 pounds each year; more that twice as much as the average American.

 

That still leaves us eating up a couple of pounds of potatoes each week. But do we ever pause to consider the potato itself? Fabricant does. She takes us to the Andes, where it was probably first cultivated more than 7,000 years ago, and bemoans its dwindling diversity. While there were 1,000 potato varieties traded at the beginning of last century, only four kinds account for 75 percent of the potatoes sold today.

 

Along with the lore is plenty of practical advice. Fabricant warns that a green tinge indicates poor storage, tells us that the most nutritious potato part lies underneath the skin, and that water used for boiling potatoes is an excellent soup base.

 

All in all, it's a book that finally gives the poor tuber its day in the sun. Whether it's a purple Peruvian or just a brown russet, Fabricant shows us that a potato's beauty runs deeper than its skin. And her skinny book puts fat in its place.

 

Nicholas Boer is the Times food editor.

ROAST PORK WITH CHUNKY STRAWBERRY SALSA

Serves 2

3/4 pound pork tenderloin

Olive oil spray

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided use

1 cup ripe strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

 

Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and place under broiler.

 

Trim fat from pork and spray all sides with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Remove baking sheet from broiler and place tenderloin on sheet. Broil 10 minutes. Turn and cook another 10 minutes. Test pork. A meat thermometer should read 160 degrees.

 

While pork broils, place strawberries in a medium-size bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Add onion and jalapeño pepper. Mix remaining cumin and lime juice together and drizzle over ingredients. Add salt to taste. Toss well and sprinkle with cilantro.

SAUTEED ASPARAGUS WITH MANGOES

1 bunch fresh asparagus

2-3 mangoes, depending on size

4 tsp butter

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tsp cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

4 cups boiling water with pinch salt (to blanch asparagus)

 

Cut mangoes around stones to make halves; half again to make quarters (if mangoes are large, can slice again to make eighths). Peel; set aside. Peel around stone and scrape flesh from around stones with a spoon. Mash and reserve separately.

 

Bend asparagus at bottom to break at natural breaking point. Blanch asparagus in salted boiling water 30 seconds, rinse in cold water and drain.

 

Meanwhile mix cornstarch, 1/4 cup water, lemon juice and mango mash in bowl.

Melt butter in medium-low frying pan and lay asparagus in single layer. Roll asparagus to cover evenly in butter. Add mango slices on top of asparagus and

cover 1 minute until steam escapes from lid. Uncover, add cornstarch mixture and heat to thicken sauce, 30 seconds.

SAVORY POT ROAST

3 1/2 pounds Roast, trimmed -- chuck, bone in

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

2 large Onions -- diced

2 cloves Garlic -- minced

14 1/2 ounces Tomatoes, canned -- diced, un-drained

1 cup Water -- divided

2 tablespoons Prepared Horseradish

1 teaspoon Browning Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Salt -- optional

1/8 teaspoon Pepper

1/4 cup Flour

In a Dutch oven, brown roast in oil. Remove and set aside. In the drippings, sauté onions and garlic until onions are tender. Return roast to Dutch oven. Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, horseradish, browning sauce, salt if desired and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2 - 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove roast to a serving platter and keep warm. Drain all but 2 cups of pan juices. Combine flour and remaining water; stir into pan juices. Cook for 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Slice roast and serve with gravy.

Source: "Recipes We Grew Up With, from Taste of Home books"

SESAME PICKLED CARROTS WITH GINGER STRIPS

Makes about 4 cups

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil

1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

3 tablespoons peeled, slivered fresh ginger

2 tablespoons orange marmalade or orange juice concentrate

Grated zest of 1 orange

2 tablespoons black and/or white sesame seeds, toasted

1 or more dried red chilies to taste, optional

1 teaspoon kosher or other coarse salt

 

In a medium sauté pan or wok, heat vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add carrots and half of ginger and sauté, stirring frequently, until carrots are crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a non-reactive bowl.

 

Add remaining sesame oil plus all remaining ingredients and toss well to combine. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.

 

The flavor of these pickles does not blossom fully for 24 hours. After that, they will keep for a month, covered, and refrigerated. Shake or stir once in a while to redistribute oil. These carrots make a terrific cocktail snack or a nice accompaniment to shrimp, scallops or grilled fish.

SHEEPHERDERS POTATOES

 

10 or 12 medium to large sized Potatoes

1 or 2 large Onions

Salt & Pepper to taste

Vegetable Oil

 

Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces (no larger than 1" x 1/2") then peel

and dice onions. Place in Dutch oven sized pan which has been prepared with

vegetable oil. Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir to coat evenly with vegetable oil. Season a second time. Bake in 350 degree F. oven for 1 hour or until tender, checking and stirring once or twice. (You can use this recipe for camping with a cast iron Dutch oven, cooking in coals of fire). For a change of pace, try adding two cups shredded cheese about 20 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL LEMONADE

"Lemonade began to penetrate to the public palate by the fourteenth century. Indeed, the Italian rabbis of the period had to decide whether the making of lemonade was considered cooking, and therefore not to be done on the Sabbath. But the final ruling was that squeezing lemons for lemonade was merely the seasoning of water and therefore permitted. Lemonades are so much used in Israel that they syrup comes ready bottled and a huge variety of iced drinks are concocted on the spot, such as this which follows:" (Israeli Cookbook, 1964)

6 Tbsp lemon syrup OR juice of 3 lemons and 6 Tbsp sugar

6 Tbsp white wine

juice of 6 granadillas or other fruit (passion fruit)

6 cups water

crushed ice

6 lemon slices with rind

6 preserved cherries or pitangas

6 melon cubes

6 sprigs of mint

Mix the lemon syrup (or juice and sugar), wine and granadilla (or other fruit juice) with the water. Fill six glasses with crushed ice and add lemon slices, cherries, and melon cubes to each glass. Pour the lemonade over, and garnish with mint.

[[Spike thinks this sounds wonderful, but we can't seem to find out what pitangas

are. This lemonade is substantially more fancy than the diluted lemon juice with

sugar mixture to which we are accustomed.]]

STRAWBERRY JAM SQUARES

 

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 cups un-sifted flour

1 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup strawberry jam (better if it's homemade!)

 

In a medium bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks. Gradually stir in the flour, then the nuts. Form mix into a ball, and cut in half. Wrap 1/2 of the dough in plastic and chill in the freezer. Pat the remaining half into an un-greased 8x8x2 pan. Spread on the jam. Take the remaining half and roll between 2 pieces on plastic wrap. Then place on the covered half in the pan.

 

Bake at 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until lightly browned.

 

STUFFED YELLOW TOMATOES

Use as many small, yellow tomatoes as desired. Carefully scoop out the centers, salt lightly, and invert for 1 hour to drain out the juice. Fill with caviar seasoned to taste with onion juice, salt, and pepper.

[[Spike does not like caviar. It tastes just like fish eggs.]]

TATER TIPS

Make sure all the potatoes are the same size; if large and small potatoes are mixed together, they will cook unevenly. Or, if you must use mixed sizes, add the smaller potatoes to the pot later, so they don't overcook. Scrub the outside of the potato to remove grit and any small growths. Use the tip of a paring knife to cut out green spots or the "eyes." If potatoes are left unpeeled, it will be easy to remove the skin after boiling. If the potatoes are peeled first, place peeled potatoes in a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration while peeling the rest. Potatoes should not be left in water more than two hours, however, or they may lose water-soluble nutrients. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan covered by at least 1 inch of salted water. Heat to a vigorous boil, reduce heat and boil uncovered at least 15 minutes, depending on the size of the potato.

Test for doneness by inserting a thin knife into the potato. It should slide in easily.

 

Purple potatoes: The color is the most interesting thing about these potatoes; the flavor can range from slightly sweet to nutty. Not all purple potatoes are colored through and through; some have purple skin and white interiors. The potatoes vary in starch content, which affects their texture; be sure to avoid overcooking if the potatoes are to be used in salads.

Fingerling potatoes: Short and knobby, these potatoes have become increasingly available in recent years, especially at farmers markets and natural food stores. The slightly waxy flesh of the potatoes, with names such as French and Russian Banana, may be white or yellow, covered by a thin skin that can be eaten.

New potatoes: These are any potatoes harvested before reaching maturity, but most often refer to small, round white and red potatoes with a medium starch content and white flesh. They hold their shape during cooking, making them ideal for salad. Long white potatoes, with a thin skin, also are good for salads.

Sweet potatoes: These potatoes add a nice flavor and pretty color to salads, but become mushy if overcooked. Boil them only until soft.

 

 

 

THEEEE CAKE OF CAKES

One yellow cake mix (box, eggs oil, water, etc.)

One small package of Jell-O (strawberry or cherry)

One small box of pudding (chocolate is best)

One container or Cool-Whip

9 x 13 inch pan for baking the cake

Make cake according to box directions. While cake is baking, boil 1 cup water and dissolve Jell-O then add 1/2 cup cold water. Let Jell-O cool while cake is continuing to bake. Poke holes in cake when done baking, pour Jell-O over cake. Cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Make pudding according to directions on package, spread pudding (before it sets up) over the cake. Let set about another hour in refrigerator. Spread cool-whip on top and serve. variations: can use packaged snack-pack type puddings, and use colors of

Jell-O depending on season, orange during the Fall, etc.

TUNISIAN MAGUINA

(BEEF BAKE)

1 lb beef, thinly sliced

4 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 lb tomatoes, diced,

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 lb potatoes, sliced

salt and paprika to taste

dash nutmeg or cinnamon

10 eggs

Fry the beef slices in the oil, add the onions and tomatoes and stew 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, potatoes, and seasoning. Simmer until the potatoes are done. Remove from the heat and cool. Grease a baking dish very well. Beat the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients, put into a baking dish, and bake in a 350 degree oven about 30 minutes. The dish is done when a silver knife is inserted into the center and comes out clean. Serves 4 to 6

[[Spike thinks this looks like a custard. Maybe quiche would be a closer term.

A maguina, by any name, would taste as savory. Don't quote me...]]

TURKEY BURGERS

1 lb. ground turkey

8 button mushrooms, minced

1 small onion, minced

1 tsp cajun seasoning

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. Heinz 57 sauce

 

Mix all together with your clean hands. Spray broiler pan with Pam. Make patties (should make 5 good sized ones). Spray bottom of patty, place on pan, spray top. Broil on high for about 7 minutes or until browned; flip and broil another 6 minutes or so. Serve on warm (white or wheat) hamburger buns with lots of yellow mustard. Serve Doritos on the side.

UNCOMPLICATED FLAVORS OF PROVENCE

 

By Dianne Jacob, ucook.com contributor

 

As we drove through Provence this spring, my husband and I saw traces of the cuisine in the land: orchards of olive trees, wild herbs, and rows of terraced vineyards. The flavors of this sun-soaked part of France emphasize seasonal ingredients.

 

Here, it's traditional to shop at the market every day, where shopkeepers display their wares with style and precision, and where cooks demand the best and freshest ingredients for their table.

 

You can find much of this Provençal cuisine in the kitchen of Martine Alexandrian, who makes dinners for guests at the bed and breakfast she owns near Aix-en-Provence. Her family origins are rooted in the Mediterranean.

 

During her childhood, she split her holidays between her relatives. Her grandparents had a fisherman's cottage on the island of Porquerolles, a small island off the coast in the Mediterranean. Her great-grandmother, to whom she says she owes her culinary skills, had a home in Toulon, near Marseille.

 

Martine retains her passion for the flavors of the region, with her cuisine still deeply-anchored in tradition. An imaginative chef, she continually delights her guests. She cooks both Provençal and Italian food.

 

Because Provence borders Italy, mixing the two cuisines is typical and popular. Martine saw no conflict in directing us to her favorite restaurant in downtown Aix-en-Provence: an Italian place. The mix of foods continued there.

 

The roasted, intensely-flavored (French) ratatouille we ordered as an appetizer was a sensuous mix of roasted and fresh tomatoes, smoky eggplant, Niçoise olives and celery. Our entrée was Italian: spaghetti carbonara. It came with a raw egg in a half shell sitting on top. For added richness, we stirred it into the pasta.

 

Back at the B&B, on our first night as Martine's guests, our meal began with a perfectly ripe melon wrapped in proscuitto. The orange melon is a specialty of the area. It is a small and round fruit with green stripes, deeply sweet, and intensely perfumed. She paired it with a small green salad with shaved Italian Parmesan, dry and piquant.

 

For the entrée, she simmered chicken parts in a Provençal sauce of tomatoes, red pepper, onion, eggplant, garlic, and thyme. She sautéed chicken livers quickly in olive oil, mashed them, and slathered them on a toast triangle. For dessert, Martine perched a raspberry Napoleon on a base of crème anglaise, and added swirls of raspberry purée to please the eye.

 

Watching her cook in her immaculate kitchen, with a calm confidence and without recipes, I was struck by the simplicity of the dishes. "Provençal cooking is not complicated," she said with a shrug. Flavors were robust but never heavy-handed, and the ingredients were so well melded that one flavor never dominated, even the garlic.

 

The next day, we returned in the late afternoon to find that she had already baked a cherry clafouti (with pits still inside). Her husband picked the cherries a few days earlier from a tree on the edge of their property.

 

The oven held a layered casserole of tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, and garlic, prettily arranged in scalloped rows of green and red. She was cooking it down for about 2.5 hours. Occasionally she'd remove it to pat down the surface with a fork, condensing it and moving the juices to the bottom.

 

On the stovetop was a pagre, a red whole fish lying in a rustic ceramic dish, on a bed of dried wild fennel stalks Martine collected from her garden. It's a Mediterranean fish, similar to the American pomfret. Later she sauced it with pistou (like pesto, but without Parmesan and pine nuts) that she had mashed by hand with a mortar and pestle. When we pointed to a food processor nearby on her counter, she shook her head emphatically.

 

Using the mortar releases the flavor and scent of the basil, she explained, which becomes lost in the processor. As we finished another simple yet spectacular meal, we agreed that Martine is an expert on flavor, freshness - and tradition.

 

YELLOW SQUASH PUFFS

1 C. cooked and mashed yellow squash

1 egg -- beaten

1/3 C. all-purpose flour

1/3 C. cornmeal

1 Tsp. baking powder

1/2 Tsp. salt

1 Medium onion -- grated

vegetable oil

Combine the cooked squash and egg, stirring well. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt, stir well. Add squash mixture and onion; stir until blended. Drop squash mixture by level tablespoonful into hot oil. Cook until golden brown, turning once. Drain well on paper towels. makes 2 dozen.

ZABAGLIONE

In the upper part of a 1-quart double boiler, beat 4 eggs with a rotary beater until thoroughly blended. Add 2 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 cup sweet white wine or fruit juice. Place over hot, not boiling, water, and beat constantly with the beater until thick and fluffy. Pour at once into sherbet glasses and serve warm. Serves 5.

[[Spike thinks the fruit juice, being used in place of sweet white wine, should be white also - like white grape juice. I think grapefruit juice would not be good.]]

ZELEBI for Hanukkah

Mix a few handfuls of flour, a lot of water, and a little oil so that dough is liquid.

Pour through a funnel into a pot of boiling oil, and pour so as to curl into snail shape - and stop the funnel with the forefinger after each snail. Fry long enough to go to the window and call a proper Hanukkah greeting to your neighbor, and get back to the pot. By this time, the dough should be golden brown. Scoop up and throw for a minute only into another pot of hot honey. Remove and cool.

The Iraqi name for this fritter is "Zingzoola." (Israeli Cookbook, 1964)

[[Isn't this name wonderful?!!!]]

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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