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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 240

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).

ALLGOOD RAISIN PIE

ASIAN CUCUMBER SALAD WITH SESAME

BACON ONION AND TOMATO PIZZA

BASIL

BOW TIES WITH CHICKEN

BRAISED GREEN BEAN

BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

BULGUR SALAD

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

CAST IRON SKILLET FISH FRY

CHEESE RICE STRATA

CHERRY RICE PILAF

CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW NUT SQUARES

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

COOKING FROM THE HIP

COOL OFF WITH VEGETABLES THIS SUMMER

CRESCENT ROLLS

CURRIED CHICKEN AND COUSCOUS PIE

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

FAST FISH TACOS

FAST FISH TACOS RECIPE

FIESTA RICE AND CORN SALAD

FRESH CORN GRIDDLE CAKES

GLAZED ONIONS WITH BACON

GREEN BEAN AND SAUSAGE SOUP

GREEN BEANS CELERY AND OLIVE SALAD.d

GREEN BEANS WITH ORANGE AND HAZELNUT

GREEN BEANS WITH PECORINO CHEESE

GRILLED CORN WITH CILANTRO CUMIN BUT

GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SALAD

GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD

HARVEST PIE

HOMEMADE LIP GLOSS

ICE CREAM PUDDING

INSALATA DEL CARSO

LEFT OVER CHICKEN

LEMON GRASS TAMARIND PORK CHOPS

LIQUID TEA SYRUP

LOBSTER CHOWDER

LOBSTER ROLLS

MANGO SALSA

MARYLAND IS FOR LOBSTERS

MOZARELLAS CAFE TOMATO DILL SOUP

ONIONS IN THE SUMMER

PICKLED CAULIFLOWER AND CARROTS

PICKLED DILLED GREEN BEANS

POTATO CASSEROLE

POTATOES DIANE

RISOTTO CON GRANCEVOLA E PISELLI

ROBERTAS RICE

SCALLOPED POTATOES AND HAM

SOFT POLENTA WITH BUTTER AND CHEESE

SOUR CREAM POTATO SALAD

SOUTHWEST SALMON WITH MANGO SALSA

SPAGHETTI CON FAGIOLINI

SPAGHETTI WITH SHRIMP

STEAMED CLAMS

SUMMER CASSEROLE

TERIYAKI SAUCE

TGI FRIDAYS FLINGS

WILD BLUEBERRY MARMALADE

 

 

 

 

 

ALLGOOD RAISIN PIE

1/2 c. butter

1 c. sugar

2 egg yolks

2 T. vinegar or lemon juice

1 c raisins

1 c. pecans chopped

1 tsp vanilla

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1 9 inch pie shell

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vinegar. Beat well. Add raisins, nuts and vanilla. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour in unbaked pie shell. Bake at 300-325 for 1 hour.

 

ASIAN CUCUMBER SALAD WITH SESAME

Serves 6

 

This light side dish gets its Asian influence from the sesame oil, but would work well with a variety of simply prepared recipes, from broiled chicken to poached fish.

 

3 medium cucumbers (about 11/2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded,

and cut on the diagonal 1/4-inch thick

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet until golden brown

 

1. Toss the cucumbers and salt in a large strainer or colander set over a bowl. Fill a gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag with ice water and set the bag on top of the cucumber slices. Drain for 1 hour.

 

2. Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar, oil, sugar and pepper flakes together in a small bowl and set the dressing aside, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.

 

3. Thoroughly rinse the cucumber slices under cold, running water and pat dry with paper towels. Toss the cucumbers with the dressing and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

 

BACON ONION AND TOMATO PIZZA

Serves 4

 

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus about 1 tablespoon more for brushing on pitas

2 cups sliced onions

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 Greek-style pita breads (at least 6 inches in diameter)

Garlic powder to taste

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

2 large tomatoes, washed, sliced 1/4-inch thick, halved if desired

1 to 11/2 cups sliced fresh spinach, optional

8 slices cooked bacon, each slice cut in half, divided

3/4 to 1 cup fontina cheese, shredded; or your favorite shredded cheese

 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the onions until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and continue cooking until the onions turn a golden brown. Remove them from the heat and set them aside.

 

2. Place the pita breads on a baking sheet and brush each with olive oil. Sprinkle each with the garlic powder and, if desired, Italian seasoning, then about 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese. Top with a portion of the onions, then arrange the tomato slices on the pita. If desired, garnish with spinach in the center. Arrange four bacon slices on top of each pizza.

 

3. Bake the pizzas about 8 to 10 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to soften. Remove them from the oven and sprinkle each with about 3 tablespoons of the fontina cheese, or more if desired. Return them to the oven and bake them until the cheese melts. Remove the pizzas from the oven and serve.

 

BASIL

Wednesday, August 1, 2001; Page F05

 

[[Spike reminds you that this herb is pronounced "BAZZ-il" not "BASE-il."]]

 

This week's look at what's new, mysterious or bountiful in the produce aisles.

 

If you were living on the planet Mars in the 1970s perhaps you did not know that pesto -- a sauce made of basil, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan or pecorino cheese -- held the United States in its thrall. In time, the overkill gave basil a bad name. This herb, a member of the mint family, has hundreds of uses that don't require you to beat it to a paste with pine nuts.

 

For purposes of limiting discussion, we will dwell here on Italian sweet basil, though there are dozens of varieties, topics for another day, which include Thai basil, purple basil and bush basil.

 

How to select: If you have basil plants in your yard or in a kitchen pot, do not pull the leaves from the plant when you harvest them. Instead, cut the stem with scissors, leaving behind 2 to 4 leaves. The pruned stem will grow again and give you more basil.

 

If you are buying basil, look for evenly colored leaves with no sign of wilting. Basil leaves are sold in packages or, increasingly, as a whole plant with roots attached.

 

How to store: Put the basil branches, stems down, in a glass of water. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag. Refrigerate for up to a week, changing the water daily.

 

How to prepare: Basil darkens quickly. So snip its leaves at the last minute and put them on pizzas or bruschetta, in cold summer soups or in pasta, Bloody Marys, sorbets and vinegars. Add leaves with other members of the mint family to salad greens. In fact, the hard part is not how to use basil in summer. The hard part is figuring out how to save some for winter. So . . .

 

How to preserve: If you harvest basil plants before the frost, you can enjoy this herb in the dead of winter. Finely chop the leaves and combine them with a small amount of olive oil. Freeze in tiny portions -- even in a tightly covered ice cube tray -- and use the mixture to enliven soups, sauces and dressings when the snow is on the ground.

 

[[Spike reminds you that planting basil among your roses will discourage aphids.]]

 

BOW TIES WITH CHICKEN

WATERCRESS AND WALNUTS

Makes 4 servings

1/2 pound bow tie pasta or multicolored pasta

1/4 cup whole walnuts

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional, if needed

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 11/3 pounds)

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 bunch watercress, large stems removed (about 5 ounces)

 

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the bow ties until just done, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

 

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan, toast the walnuts over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan and chop.

 

In the same pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the chicken until browned and just done, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting the meat into chunks.

 

In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken.

 

Toss the pasta with the walnuts, the chicken-and-vinaigrette mixture and the watercress. Add additional olive oil, if needed. Serve warm

 

BRAISED GREEN BEANS

WITH OLIVES AND CAPERS

Serves 4

 

This chunky, flavorful braise of vegetables, which would be terrific served alongside grilled tuna or chicken, can be made one day ahead, refrigerated and brought back to room temperature.

 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 pound green beans, ends snapped off

4 canned tomatoes, chopped, with enough packing juice added to equal 1 cup

8 large black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and chopped

1 teaspoon drained capers

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add the beans and stir to coat them well with the oil and garlic.

 

2. Add the tomatoes, olives and capers to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring two or three times, until the beans are tender but still offer some resistance to the bite, about 20 minutes.

 

3. Uncover and cook to evaporate any remaining tomato liquid, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

1 lb sausage or 12 oz. pkg link sausage cut into small pieces

8 slices bread-cut or torn into small pieces (1" cubes)

8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

2 1/2 cups milk (divided use)

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Brown sausage, place in colander, rinse and drain well (set aside). Place

bread pieces in a greased 13x9x2 baking dish or disposable foil pan. Top

with cheese and drained sausage. Combine 2 cups milk and next 4 ingredients,

and pour over mixture in pan. Cover and let set in refrigerator overnight

or at least 8 hrs. The next morning (or after 8 hrs), combine soup and

remaining 2 cups milk, and pour over casserole. Bake at 350" for 1 hour.

Serve hot.

 

BULGUR SALAD WITH GARBANZO BEANS

FETA, AND PLUM TOMATOES

Offer pita bread alongside.

2 cups water

1 cup bulgur*

1 teaspoon salt

1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained

1 cup diced plum tomatoes

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

 

Bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add bulgur and salt and stir to blend. Cover and let stand until bulgur is just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, pressing to extract excess water. Transfer bulgur to large bowl; cool. Mix in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

 

*Also called cracked wheat; available at natural foods stores and supermarkets.

Makes 4 main-course servings.

 

 

CARAMELIZED SWEET ONIONS

Makes 4 side-dish servings

 

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 large sweet onions, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

 

1. In a large heavy skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté slowly for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

2. Add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon lemon juice and continue cooking 5 minutes. The onions should be very soft and golden brown in color.

 

CAST IRON SKILLET FISH FRY

(4 servings)

 

Four white-flesh fish fillets (4 to 6 ounces each, skin removed), such as sea bass,

flounder or rockfish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup flour

About 3 tablespoons butter

1 lemon, cut into wedges

 

Rinse each fish fillet and pat dry with paper towels. Using tweezers or needle-nose pliers, remove any visible bones. Season each fillet with salt and pepper to taste on both sides.

 

Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge each fish fillet in the flour, turning to coat both sides and shaking to remove any excess flour. Transfer the fillets to a baking sheet, being sure to place them skinned-side down.

 

In a large cast-iron skillet or heavy frying pan over medium heat, melt enough butter so that the bottom is thickly and evenly coated.

 

Transfer the fillets to the skillet, skinned-side up, being careful not to crowd the pan. (May need to fry in batches.) Fry the fish, without turning or peeking, until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. It may be necessary to adjust the heat slightly to prevent the butter from burning; add additional butter if necessary. Turn and repeat. It is important to turn the fish only once. Transfer to a platter, skinned-side down. (If cooking in batches, transfer the fried fish to a 250-degree oven to keep warm.) Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the fish.

 

CHEESE RICE STRATA

 

3 cups cooked rice

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup diced pimiento

2 1/2 cups milk

4 eggs -- slightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

 

Place half the rice in a lightly greased 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish; top with half the cheese, and sprinkle with pimiento. Repeat layers. Combine remaining ingredients, mixing well; pour milk mixture over rice layers. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until firm. Yield: 10 servings.

 

CHERRY RICE PILAF

1 cup White Onion -- chopped

1 cup Celery -- chopped

1/2 cup Dried Tart Cherries

1/2 cup Walnuts -- chopped

1 tablespoon Thyme -- fresh, chopped

1 tablespoon Marjoram -- fresh, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper -- freshly ground

1 tablespoon Margarine

3 cups Cooked Rice

Place onion, celery, cherries, walnuts, thyme, marjoram, pepper and

margarine in a large nonstick skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 10

minutes, or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. Add rice; mix

well. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

 

CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

Serves 4

 

10 cups torn romaine

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 1/2 cups roasted chicken, cut in chunks

1 1/2 cups red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup bottled reduced-calorie Caesar salad dressing

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup broken tortilla chips

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro or parsley

Fresh cilantro sprigs, optional

 

1. In a large bowl, combine romaine, black beans, chicken and tomatoes.

 

2. For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together salad dressing, chili powder and cumin. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with tortilla chips and snipped cilantro. If desired, garnish with cilantro sprigs.

 

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

Serves 4

 

3 1/2-41/2 pounds chicken parts

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled

1 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup dry red or white wine

8 ounces canned whole tomatoes, with juice, crushed with your hands

3/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and sliced (optional)

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

 

1. Rinse and pat dry chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmery and fragrant. Add the chicken pieces in small batches, and brown on all sides; remove them to a plate as they are done.

 

2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add onion, bay leaf, rosemary and sage. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook about 30 seconds more, being careful not to brown the garlic.

 

3. Return the chicken to the skillet and pour in wine. Cook over medium-high heat until all the wine is evaporated, turning the chicken and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and reduce the heat to low. Cover, and simmer gently for 25 minutes.

 

4. Add olives and mushrooms and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and boil the pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

 

CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW NUT SQUARES

1/3 cup Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons Corn Syrup

1 1/2 cups Red Kidney Beans, cooked -- rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 1/2 cups Miniature Marshmallows

1/4 cup Nuts -- chopped

Prepare a 9 inch square cake pan with non-stick vegetable spray, or line pan

with waxed paper. Melt chips and peanut butter in a large saucepan over low

heat, stirring until smooth. (Or microwave at medium about 2 1/2 minutes

until mixture can be stirred smooth.) Stir in corn syrup. Remove from heat.

Cool 5 minutes. In food processor, puree beans and cinnamon. Stir into

chocolate mixture until well blended. Stir in marshmallows and walnuts until

coated. Press evenly into prepared pan. Chill about 45 minutes or until

firm. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. Cut into 24

squares.

 

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1/2 cup Butter or Margarine -- room temperature

1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening -- room temperature

2 teaspoons Vanilla

1/2 cup Brown Sugar -- packed

1/2 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 1/2 cups Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

2 cups Chocolate Chips

This recipe makes either 5 dozen normal sized cookies, or 12, 6-inch monster

sized cookies. Please follow directions appropriately to make the desired

size of cookie.

To prepare cookie sheets for baking, cover one or two cookie sheets with

foil and grease foil lightly. Now you are ready to make the dough.

In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon or electric mixer to cream butter

and shortening together until well mixed. Add brown sugar and sugar, and

beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

Mix in vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir flour, baking soda, baking

powder and salt into creamed mixture, making sure all dry ingredients are

moistened evenly. Add chocolate chips and mix well. Wrap dough in plastic

wrap and chill for 3 hours to overnight.

When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make Monster-Sized Cookies:

Measure chilled dough in a 1/3 cup measuring cup, level at the top OR use a

large ice cream scoop to measure dough. Space dough about 3 inches apart on

the foil-covered greased cookie sheet. Flatten mounds of dough with your

palm and fingers so cookie forms a 3 to 3-1/2 inch circle. Bake cookies for

12 - 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned and centers are springy

when touched lightly. Slide foil off cookie sheets and cool cookies on the

foil for five minutes, then place them on wire racks to finish cooling.

To make 2-inch normal size cookies:

Drop chilled dough by slightly rounded teaspoonfuls (or use cookie scoop)

onto foil-covered greased cookie sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches

apart. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until they are lightly browned and center

is springy to the touch. Slide foil off sheet and cool for five minutes,

then place cookies onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

When your cookies have cooled, store them in an airtight container or

baggie, at room temperature for up to one week, or store in freezer for up

to six months.

 

COOKING FROM THE HIP

IT'S AUGUST. Nectarines are nearing their peak. Ready, set: gorge. "Too much of a good thing," just doesn't apply here.

 

I grew up eating nectarines in Mississippi, but they didn't fully reveal themselves until I was a young chef in California. While working in Napa Valley, my boss came to me and said, "here try this, you won't believe the taste."

 

I ate three in row.

 

The nectarines looked like the ones my family used for homemade ice cream, but this fresh-from-the-tree fruit was something special. Then I tried what I had never seen or tasted before: a white nectarine. Its flawless pink skin and pearly white center made me a little dizzy.

 

Nectarines are actually smooth-skinned peaches. Being from the rose family, along with cherries and apricots, these two fruits are one and the same, except for the fuzz. They are so connected, at times a peach tree will actually grow a branch of nectarines, and nectarine trees have been known to grow peaches.

 

The season for nectarines normally begins in May, although in the last few years I have not seen great fruit until late June or early July. This year I still have not tasted the drop-dead white nectarines that I lust after every summer.

 

One dish that always shows up on my summer menu is grilled nectarines and prosciutto.

 

I consider myself very lucky to be living in an area so rich with local farms. The places I go to get dizzy-good nectarines are the weekly farmers markets. That is what I like most about living in California: incredible local ingredients and hard-working farmers.

 

The first step to grilling nectarines is picking fruit that is ripe, yet not overripe. This can be a little tricky. I always make sure they have a flowery aroma and that the fruit is firm but not rock hard. It should yield only slightly to gentle pressure.

 

When I get the nectarines home, I slice them in half, cutting around the pits to release the flesh. After discarding the pits, I lightly coat each half with a spicy green olive oil, kosher salt and ground black pepper. Then I place the nectarines in the center of a very hot grill, flesh side down to get those lovely grill marks. I then pull them down to a corner of the grill, where the heat is less intense and let them gently warm through so that they are soft and juicy.

 

I like to use Parma prosciutto, arguably the world's best. It is produced according to specific guidelines and is the most expensive along with San Daniele, which is also a favorite of mine. Slicing prosciutto thin is very important to this dish. It must be paper thin. Big, thick slices are nearly inedible because prosciutto is so chewy. And it's such a rich meat, it's better served delicately. So I slice the meat either on a meat slicer, which is the optimum way (your local butcher would be willing to do this for you), or I use a very sharp slicing knife. Place a slice on your hand; if you can see through it, it is perfect.

 

To plate the nectarines, I place them flesh side up on a plate and drape two generous slices of prosciutto on top. Then I garnish it with shaved parmesan and take my plate out on the patio where I pour a chilled glass of pinot grigio -- a light, fruity Italian wine that contrasts the smokiness of the grilled fruit. Now I am going to have too much of a good thing and enjoy every minute of it.

 

COOL OFF WITH VEGETABLES THIS SUMMER

By Kristin Eddy, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

We go through so many long, gray months when the vegetable choices seem starchy and repetitive that summer's profusion of brightly colored produce can at first be a little overwhelming. In a good way, of course.

 

That's why it helps to pull out favorite vegetable recipes from your collection for inspiration, or turn to a new book, "Vegetables Every Day," by Jack Bishop (HarperCollins, $30).

 

This artichokes-to-zucchini encyclopedia presents simple, engaging recipes for whatever is crowding the kitchen counter, from spicy snow peas with cashews and roasted beet salad with lemon and olives, to red pepper spread with goat cheese and herbs. Bishop, a regular contributor to Cooks Illustrated magazine, among other publications, avoids elaborate preparations and ingredient lists, allowing the vegetables to shine with just a few flavorings.

 

He jump-starts the reader's appreciation for each item, presented alphabetically throughout the book, with chapter introductions discussing the origin of the vegetable; other names, if any; the months of availability; and tips on selection, storage and the best cooking methods.

 

These vital statistics are followed by several recipes -- sometimes half a dozen, sometimes as few as two -- that are plainly illustrated with single-color sketches of the vegetable itself.

 

What the book lacks in dazzle it makes up for in sweet simplicity, from the design to the recipes. Stir-fried spinach with caramelized shallots and green onions, broccoli with orange-ginger dressing or dandelion greens with bacon and onion would cross over from workday dinner to stylish dinner party with no effort at all.

 

We were drawn to corn pancakes seasoned with Parmesan cheese and chives and loved their hot-off-the-griddle crispness and sweet corn flavor. Bishop doesn't offer frozen or canned corn as an alternative in this recipe, but just between the rest of us, they would work in a pinch.

 

A stellar selection was the braised green beans with tomatoes, olives, capers and basil. This classic Mediterranean combination of ingredients works beautifully as a side dish to grilled chicken or fish, and best of all, is just as good the next day once all the flavors have time to meld. Summer picnics also would be enhanced with the Asian cucumber salad tossed with sesame oil and seeds, hot pepper flakes and a tart splash of rice wine vinegar.

 

The book doesn't cater to spring and summer alone -- the title does promise something to eat every day, after all. So hardier vegetables, such as celery root, parsnips, kale and sweet potatoes also get their due.

 

But vegetables somehow never seem more delectable than in the warmer months, especially when home cooks are able to pull the fixings from their own kitchen gardens. Here, then, is a fine culinary companion to add to the rows on the bookshelves.

 

CRESCENT ROLLS

1/4 cup warm water

2 packages yeast -- or 2 tablespoons

3 whole eggs

1 stick butter

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 cups flour -- + more for kneading

Combine yeast and water in small bowl; let stand until dissolved. In large bowl combine all but flour. Mix the two together, add flour, a little at a time. Mix well. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled in size. Remove from bowl. Knead until smooth adding flour as needed. Divide into 3 balls. Roll each into a circle. Spread each with soft butter. Slice each into 12 wedges. Roll up each piece to form crescents, place on baking sheets. (At this point you can freeze. Before baking, thaw and let rise as directed.) Let rise until doubled. Bake in preheated 350 deg. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

 

CURRIED CHICKEN AND COUSCOUS PIE

Serves 2-4

 

Nonstick cooking spray

1 pound cooked chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

11/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 can (141/2 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup uncooked couscous

1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro

6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

 

1. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray. Heat over medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute to heat through. Sprinkle curry powder, salt and ground red pepper over chicken and cook 1 more minute to combine.

 

2. Add broth and peas; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in cilantro, fluffing the couscous with a fork.

 

3. Place one phyllo sheet on a work surface; spray lightly with nonstick spray. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place the layered sheets in the pan, allowing the ends to extend up and over the sides of the pan. Repeat layering three more phyllo sheets as above; place in the pan across the first three sheets to cover the bottom and edges of pan. Spoon chicken mixture into pan, spreading evenly.

 

4. Fold overhanging phyllo dough over top to cover the filling. Spray top of pie with nonstick spray. Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. If phyllo is browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges. If desired, serve with plain low-fat yogurt and cranberry or mango chutney.

 

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

1 1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar (white or brown or combination)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup (or more) chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugar, add eggs, vanilla. Combine flour cocoa, soda, blend

into creamed mixture. Add chocolate chips (you can add nuts if you wish)

Drop by teaspoon unto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 for 8-9 minutes.

Do not over-bake. Cookies will be soft. They will puff during baking,

flatten upon cooling. Cool on cookie sheet until set (1 minute). Remove

to wire rack for complete cooling.

 

FAST FISH TACOS RECIPE

Makes 4 tacos

 

1 box (7.6 ounces) Gorton's Grilled Lemon Pepper Fillets (another frozen fish

product or grilled fresh fish can be substituted)

1 tablespoon real mayonnaise

1/4 cup fat-free or light sour cream

1 tablespoon lime juice (add more to taste if desired)

1/4 teaspoon seeded and minced jalapeño pepper, or add more to taste, opt.

2-4 tablespoons loosely packed fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

11/3 cups finely shredded cabbage

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped

4 corn tortillas

Canola cooking spray (optional)

 

1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees, place fish fillets in a shallow metal baking pan and bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until fish is white and flakes easily with a fork. Break into small pieces with fork and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

 

2. While fish is baking, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, if desired, and cilantro in a small bowl or small food processor. Pulse briefly to combine if using a food processor, or stir well to combine all ingredients if doing it by hand. Add salt and pepper and more lime juice or jalapeño to taste. Set aside.

 

3. In another medium-sized bowl, combine the cabbage with the chopped tomatoes. Drizzle the sauce over the top and toss to blend well.

 

4. In a large nonstick frying pan, coat with canola cooking spray, then heat each of the corn tortillas (recoat frying pan with canola cooking spray before each tortilla) on both sides until nice and soft; set aside.

 

5. Assemble fish tacos by putting fish, then the cabbage and sauce mixture into each of the tortillas.

 

FIESTA RICE AND CORN SALAD

2 cups cooked white or brown rice

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups cooked pinto, red or kidney beans

2 cups corn

1 cup ripe tomato, diced

1/4 medium jicama, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

1/2 medium green bell pepper, minced

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1/2 cup Homemade or bottled vinaigrette dressing

Mix all ingredients except dressing in large bowl. Add dressing. Marinate at

least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with Pepitas and/or sunflower seeds.

About 6 1/2 cups, 4-6 servings.

Notes:

1. Use long grain rice.

2. Better made the night before.

3. While I prefer jicama (look in an ethnic or Mexican market), I have made

this with finely diced celery and it worked.

4. Roma tomatoes work best

5. Drain and rinse beans until water runs clear.

6. Sliced olives work but so do whole small olives.

7. I have used black beans or white navy beans as well. White beans taste

okay but aren't as attractive.

8. I usually use bottled Italian dressing rather than a vinaigrette.

 

FRESH CORN GRIDDLE CAKES

WITH PARMESAN AND CHIVES

Serves 6

 

Author Jack Bishop suggests serving these summertime pancakes with roast chicken and a tomato salad. The milk of freshly scraped corn on the cob adds nicely to the texture, but we think roughly chopped canned or frozen corn would do in a pinch.

 

4 medium ears corn

1 large egg

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

 

1. Remove the husks and silks from the corn. Grate the corn on large holes of a box grater set over a large bowl until the cobs are clean. (Discard the cobs.) Stir in the egg, flour, cheese, chives, salt and pepper to taste until the batter is smooth.

 

2. Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet. Fill a 1/4-cup measure with batter. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the pan to form a round cake. Repeat using all the batter. (You should get 6 cakes from the batter.) Cook over medium heat, turning once, until the cakes turn a rich golden brown color on both sides, about 9 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

GLAZED ONIONS WITH BACON

Serves 4

 

2 slices bacon, trimmed of excess fat

2 teaspoons olive oil

3 medium sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

1. Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch wide pieces. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels; pour off the excess fat.

 

2. Pour the olive oil into the pan. Sauté the onions over medium-low heat 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium and stir in the brown sugar and vinegar. Continue cooking 8 minutes. Stir the bacon into the onions and continue cooking 2 minutes. The onions should be soft and almost syrupy.

 

GREEN BEAN AND SAUSAGE SOUP

4 servings

 

I use whatever rice I have at home. If you prefer brown rice, you will need to cook it separately, then add it to the soup just prior to serving.

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

3 links Italian-style sausage

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (may substitute 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes)

8 ounces green beans, ends trimmed, beans cut into bite-size pieces

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Salt to taste

3 cups cold water

1/4 cup medium-grain rice, such as Arborio (may substitute long-grain rice)

 

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and sausage and cook, stirring and turning the sausages occasionally, until the onions and peppers have softened and the sausage is lightly browned but not cooked through, about 10 minutes.

 

Add the tomatoes, beans, red pepper flakes and salt to taste and stir to combine. Add the water and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a plate, thinly slice and return the slices to the soup. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

 

GREEN BEANS CELERY AND OLIVE SALAD

(6 servings)

 

Here are three shades of green: beans, celery and olive. Each brings a unique flavor and texture to this salad.

 

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

Salt to taste

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic, minced

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 stalk celery, trimmed and chopped

1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped

 

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans and salt to taste and cook until the beans are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat the beans dry. (If not using immediately, wrap the beans in a kitchen towel and set aside at room temperature for as long as 3 hours.)

 

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Add the beans and toss to combine. Add the celery and olives and toss again. Serve immediately.

 

GREEN BEANS WITH ORANGE AND HAZELNUTS

(4 servings)

 

While not overwhelming in flavor, this combination is unique. And it's definitely an excuse to add a sprinkling of hazelnuts to your plate in summer.

 

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) chopped toasted hazelnuts*

 

In a large saucepan, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the beans and salt to taste and cook, uncovered, until the beans are tender yet retain some bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the beans; pat them dry. (If you are not using them immediately, cool them under cold running water. Wrap the beans in a kitchen towel and leave at room temperature for as long as 3 hours.)

 

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat the butter. Add the beans and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the beans are heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the orange zest and toss to combine. Add the hazelnuts and toss again. Serve immediately.

 

*‚Note: To toast nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and place them in a 350-degree oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully because nuts will burn quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

GREEN BEANS WITH PECORINO CHEESE

PARSLEY AND GARLIC

(4 servings)

 

This side dish may easily be made ahead of time; be sure to rinse the cooked beans under cold water to stop the cooking, preventing the beans from becoming soggy and pallid.

 

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

Salt to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 to 4 tablespoons (about 1 ounce) freshly grated pecorino di fossa or other

pecorino cheese

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans and salt to taste and cook until the beans are bright green and barely tender yet firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the beans and pat dry. (May rinse the beans under cold water, wrap in a clean towel and set aside at room temperature for up to 3 hours.)

 

Just before serving, in a large pan over medium heat, heat the oil with the garlic and parsley just until warmed, about 3 minutes. Add the beans and cook, tossing gently, just until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese and pepper to taste and toss again. Serve immediately.

 

GRILLED CORN WITH CILANTRO CUMIN BUTTER

Makes 6 servings

 

Fresh corn on the cob is one of the many glories of summer. Grilling it, liberally brushed with a garlic and herb butter, makes it especially delicious. Serve this with grilled chicken or steak and plenty of napkins! 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick) 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons ground cumin Salt and freshly ground black pepper 12 ears fresh corn, husked

 

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil spray to prevent sticking. If using charcoal, let the coals burn until they are hot to medium-hot, covered with a thin layer of white ash, and glowing deep red.

 

Put the butter in a small bowl, add the garlic, cilantro, and cumin, and mash with a fork until mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Brush each ear of corn with the garlic butter. Lay the corn on the grill rack and grill over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, turning several times, and basting with additional butter, until nicely browned. Just before serving, brush with the remaining butter, season with salt and pepper, and serve at once.

 

GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SALAD

WITH HERBED GOAT CHEESE

Makes 6 servings

 

We like the idea of spooning a little herbed goat cheese on the plate next to this mixed salad. The tastes and textures mingle seductively on the tongue. Meaty portobello mushrooms are great for grilling. They aren't really a variety of mushroom, but rather a name given to large cremini mushrooms, which are among the most popular of cultivated culinary mushrooms. Salad: 1/2 cup olive oil 1 clove garlic, crushed Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 red bell peppers 1 yellow bell pepper 6 large portobello mushrooms 6 green onions, white and some green parts, sliced Herbed Goat Cheese: 3 ounces mild, fresh goat cheese 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme 1 teaspoon minced garlic About 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper Dressing: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 ounces mesclun or other mixed salad greens (about 2 loosely packed cups)

 

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil spray to prevent sticking. The coals should be moderately hot to hot, and if charcoal, covered with a thin coating of white ash and glowing deep red.

 

To make salad: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Halve the peppers, and stem, seed and derib them. Cut the peppers lengthwise into quarters and arrange on a large tray or rimmed baking sheet. Trim the stems from the mushrooms and lay the caps on the tray. Lay the green onions on the same tray. Brush the oil over the peppers, mushrooms, and green onions.

 

Grill the peppers for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred and softened. Lay the mushrooms on the grill and grill for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until softened, and the green onions for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once, until softened. Set the peppers, mushrooms, and green onions aside to cool. Slice the peppers and mushrooms into 1/2-inch-thick strips. Leave the green onions whole.

 

To make the goat cheese: In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, thyme, and garlic, using a fork to mash the mixture. Drizzle with enough olive oil to moisten the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and olive oil together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

In a shallow bowl, combine the lettuce with the grilled peppers, mushrooms, and green onions. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to mix. Use only as much dressing as necessary to moisten the salad. Divide among 6 salad plates. Spoon herbed goat cheese on the side of each plate and serve.

 

GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD

Makes 6 servings

 

Dressing:

1 medium Anaheim chili, roasted, peeled and seeded (see note)

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped dry-roasted cashews

1 large clove garlic, peeled

3 or 4 grinds of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons white champagne vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons grated cotija cheese or mild feta

1 small bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons water

 

Salad: A half head romaine lettuce per person

Olive oil for brushing

Coarsely chopped dry-roasted cashews for garnish

 

To make dressing: In a blender or food processor, place chili, cashews, garlic, black pepper, salt, olive oil, vinegar and cotija cheese. Blend 10 seconds, then add cilantro in batches until dressing is smooth.

 

In a deep bowl, mix mayonnaise and water with a wire whip. Add blender ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place in a glass jar and refrigerate. Dressing keeps about 3 days. Makes 11/2 cups.

 

To make salad: Trim outer leaves from romaine heads. Take a 1-inch slice off the top, and trim bottoms, leaving the core intact. Rinse lightly and let drip-dry onto paper towels. Slice in half lengthwise.

 

When completely dry, brush cut side very lightly with olive oil. Watching carefully, brown quickly over a hot grill fire, about 1 to 11/2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook as lettuce will become warm and limp.

 

Set wedges cut-side up on dinner plates. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with cashews and serve.

 

Note: To roast peppers, grill them 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until lightly charred. Place in a bag or covered bowl for about 10 minutes. Skin should peel right off. Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.

 

HARVEST PIE

 

2 cups halved strawberries

2 cups apple slices (2 large apples, peeled and cored)

2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar

Pastry for a 2-crust pie

1 tablespoon milk

 

1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, apples and blueberries. Add lemon juice and toss. Add cornstarch and 2/3 cup sugar and toss well.

 

2. Roll the pastry into two circles. Ease one circle into a 9-inch pie pan, allowing the excess to hang over the rim. Pile filling in pan. Top with second pastry circle, folding edges under and crimping to seal. Cut two or three slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to escape. Brush with milk and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

 

3. Bake in a preheated, 450-degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35-40 minutes, shielding top crust with foil if the pastry becomes too brown. The pie is very juicy when served warm. The filling will set up at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.

 

HOMEMADE LIP GLOSS

1 tsp. Bee's Wax

1 Tbsp. Petroleum Jelly

Crayon Shavings or Lipstick (for coloring)

Essential Oil (for fragrance)

Melt wax, jelly & coloring in a small metal bowl or cup in a skillet filled with 1 - 2 inches water, on low heat. Add one or two drops essential oil once all is melted. Stir well with toothpick, and pour into a small container. Cool well before using (30 minutes).

*Great containers for lip gloss, are small pill containers, recycled lip gloss pots, or film canisters. Get creative and you will find many interesting containers which are appropriate.

**Essential oil can be found where candles and potpourri are sold in your store. Candy flavoring oil is also a great choice for lip gloss.

ICE CREAM PUDDING

50 Ritz crackers, crushed

1 quart ice cream

1/4 C. margarine

1 Pkg. instant pudding (any flavor)

3/4 C milk

Line 9 inch pie pan with crackers mixed with margarine. Save some to

sprinkle on top. Mix rest of ingredients together and pour into pan.

Sprinkle with crumbs. Triple pudding ingredients and double the crust to

put into a 9X13 pan.

 

INSALATA DEL CARSO

(Carso Salad)

(2 servings as a main course, 4 as a small plate or 6 as a side dish)

 

Use a variety of lettuces, ranging in color from white to dark green with small amounts of red radicchio. Do not use strong-flavored greens, such as arugula or watercress. You may also add corn and, if you wish, hot sautéed bits of bacon or boiled ham. You also may wish to add a few pieces of chopped hard vegetables (carrot, celery and fennel), but these should be small accents. The dressing is distinctive. From the Vegetables chapter.

 

1 pound mixed greens, such as lettuces (romaine, Bibb or Boston) and endive,

red radicchio and chicory, washed, dried and torn into small pieces

1/2 cup freshly cooked corn kernels

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup cubed pancetta, bacon, speck* or prosciutto

1/3 cup finely chopped mixed hard vegetables, such as carrot, celery or fennel

(optional)

1/2 cup delicate extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

 

Toss the greens in a large bowl. Top with the corn kernels. Set aside.

 

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pancetta and saute until the meat is browned. Toss the meat onto the salad, reserving the pan drippings for another use. Add the chopped hard vegetables, if you are using them, to the salad.

 

Make the dressing by combining the oil, lemon juice and dill in a cruet or jar and shaking vigorously until the ingredients are combined. Toss the salad with some of the dressing and add more if you think it is necessary. Do not overdress the salad.

 

Distribute minced parsley on the rim and base of individual plates. Place some salad on top and serve immediately.

 

* Note: Speck, a type of smoked bacon, is available at some Italian and specialty stores.

 

LEFT OVER CHICKEN

Yesterday's chicken could be tonight's feast

By Jan Norris, COX NEWS SERVICE

Not only is roast chicken simple, it's a veritable running start at casseroles, wraps, salads and soups.

 

In other words, it's the king bird for leftovers. Some cooks even plan on them by roasting two chickens at once, serving one and freezing the meat from the other. And roast chickens are available at almost every supermarket these days.

 

Need some ideas for using it?

Wrap 'em up: Serve soft tortillas (sun-dried tomato ones are pretty enough for company) stuffed with chunks of roast chicken, a couple of tablespoons of goat cheese, torn soft lettuce and several slices of fresh pears. Add a low-fat mayo if desired.

 

Dressed chicken salad: Cut only the white meat into large chunks, add a dressing made with half yogurt, half mayo, fine celery, some dried cherries (or cranberries), walnut pieces and a tiny touch of honey mustard for flavor.

 

Chicken chili: Add chunks of cooked chicken to your next chili. Skip the tomatoes and other liquids, and substitute chicken broth, white beans (cannellini or northern), fresh chopped garlic and cilantro along with the chili seasoning packet. Garnish with Jack cheese.

Chicken "shepherd's" pie is another easy casserole. Toss together some fresh or frozen vegetables, onions, mushrooms, a cup or two of chunked cooked chicken, and a white sauce. Add herbs of your choice for flavoring. Put it into a baking casserole dish and top with either mashed potatoes dotted with butter, or cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until casserole is thick and bubbly.

 

 

 

 

LEMON GRASS TAMARIND PORK CHOPS

WITH GREEN APPLE SLAW

(4 servings)

 

Ever find yourself craving something in particular but lacking an essential ingredient, precious minutes or both?

 

Think substitutions.

 

Here, we've swapped common for relatively unusual ingredients. We used green apple instead of chayote and cider vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar. Although tart tamarind concentrate is difficult to replicate, a sweet, tangy alternative is equal amounts of molasses and lime or lemon juice; you could also use equal amounts of smashed dates and lime juice. You could approximate lemon grass with about 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

 

We chose thin pork chops instead of slow-cooking thick-cut ones and sacrificed the flavor of the grill for the convenience of the broiler. You could also use chicken breasts. Adapted from "Asian Vegetables" by Sara Deseran (Chronicle, $18.95).

 

For the pork chops:

3 to 4 tablespoons minced lemon grass from the inner leaves of 3 stalks (discard

the tough outer leaves)

1 tablespoon crushed, chopped garlic

1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate (see above note)

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 thin-cut, bone-in or boneless pork chops

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the slaw:

1 green apple, cored and cut into matchstick-size pieces

1/2 pound green cabbage (about 1/4 head), cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup snow peas, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 cup slivered fresh basil leaves (optional)

 

For the pork chops: In a food processor or blender, process the lemon grass, garlic, onion, tamarind and salt until it forms a smooth paste. Season the pork on both sides with pepper to taste, then slather the paste on both sides. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

For the slaw: In a large bowl, combine the apple, cabbage, peas, carrots and onion; set aside.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt until smooth. Pour as much as desired over the slaw and toss to combine. Add the basil and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

 

Preheat the broiler. Scrape most of the marinade off the chops and transfer them to a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve immediately with the slaw.

 

LIQUID TEA SYRUP

3 large tea bags or 1/4 cup of loose tea

1 quart of boiling water

 

Cover and steep for at least 15 minutes. Pour into a covered container (strain the loose tea, of course) and add a "pinch" of baking soda (less than 1/8 teaspoon) and 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar. Put ice and water in a glass, pour in tea syrup to taste.

 

[[Spike says you can do this without the baking soda and without the sugar. You

can also put the tea into a quart jar of cold water and put it out in the sun.]]

 

LOBSTER CHOWDER

Serves 4-6

 

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup minced carrot

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 cups dry white wine

2 lobsters (11/4 pounds each)

1/3 cup flour

1-11/2 cups cream

1/2 cup diced red potatoes

Salt, pepper

1/4 cup sherry

 

1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large stock pot. Add half the onion and the carrots and sauté until onions are limp. Stir in tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Add wine and the lobsters. Add enough boiling water to cover lobsters. Return to a gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Remove the lobster and cool to room temperature. Remove meat from the lobster claws and tail. Chop and set aside. Return the lobster shells and body to the pot and simmer 1 hour. Strain the broth, reserving the liquid.

 

3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan. Add remaining onion and sauté over medium heat until limp. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes. Add the lobster broth, whisking until smooth. Whisk in cream.

 

4. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in reserved lobster meat and sherry and heat through.

 

LOBSTER ROLLS

Serves 2

 

1 (1-pound) lobster

Salt, pepper to taste

4 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste

1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce

2 hot dog buns

 

1. Plunge live lobster head-first into a large kettle of boiling, salted water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from water and cool. Remove lobster meat from claws and tail. Cut into bite-size pieces and chill.

 

2. Combine lobster with salt, pepper and mayonnaise, mixing well to moisten lobster meat. Place half of lettuce on each bun. Top with the lobster salad.

 

MANGO SALSA

Makes about 1 cup

 

1 large mango or 2 small mangoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, minced or to taste

Juice from 1 lime

1 teaspoon honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped

 

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except cilantro. Let sit at least 1/2 hour at room temperature to allow flavors to develop. Add cilantro just before serving.

Cook's Note: Ripe mangoes should have a little give to them, and the stem-end should smell sweet.

 

MARYLAND IS FOR LOBSTERS

By Douglas Hanks III, Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 1, 2001; Page F01

 

OCEAN CITY, Md.

 

This isn't the place for lobstermen: a sun-baked pier off the inlet, where ski-boat wakes scratch the water white and breezes blow west and balmy. But here a pair of aging surfers are readying their trawler for another two-day lobster run off the coast, 60 miles from this beach resort.

 

Ocean City fishermen caught almost 19 tons of lobsters last year -- a pitiful figure next to Maine's 28,500-ton haul but enough to scramble the popular vision of Maryland's seafood repertoire.

 

"You hear it all the time: Oh, I didn't know you had lobsters down here," Roger Wooleyhan, 48, says from the cabin of the 62-foot Muggy Lee. He and partner Layton Moore converted the old fishing tour boat to lobstering eight years ago. "I hear it every week."

 

Though Maine lobsters favor the frigid waters of New England and Newfoundland, a small portion of the population migrates as far south as North Carolina. Those southern wanderers barely register in the lobster industry, but they have long attracted a tiny band of lobstermen working off the Maryland and Virginia coasts.

 

The lobster fishery here is so obscure that retailers rarely acknowledge it. Martin Fish Co. sits next to the Muggy Lee dock just west of Ocean City and buys up much of the catch each week. But the Martin seafood store sells the lobsters without any hint that they were caught half a day before off Ocean City.

 

"I don't think anyone markets it as a Maryland lobster," owner David Martin says. "It's a Maine lobster. That's the area known as lobster country."

 

Martin steps into the thick air of his freezer, where he keeps tanks of local lobsters alongside the ones he trucks down from Philadelphia. "I got Maryland in here. There's Maine over here. Same thing," he says. "Unless I keep them separated in the tank, I can't tell [the difference]. And I don't care."

 

Neither does Maryland. In a state that prides itself on fresh seafood and spends $560,000 a year marketing it, lobsters remain a stealth harvest. Most of the Maryland lobsters are trucked north to major seafood wholesalers. Those that remain are sold anonymously in restaurants and seafood markets: fresh local lobsters assumed to have arrived from 700 miles away.

 

"The consumer identifies with a Maine lobster more so than a Maryland lobster," says Carl Roscher, a Maryland seafood marketer. Roscher says Maryland's lobster harvest is too small and spotty to promote. "The worst thing you can do in marketing is promote a product and then not be able to provide it."

 

Wandering Lobsters

 

Wooleyhan and Moore start their lobster runs just before midnight. Every few days, one of them heads out with two deckhands for a five-hour trip to one of several undersea canyons about 60 miles off the coast of Ocean City. The underwater valleys sit at the edge of the continental shelf, thousands of feet deep. At this latitude, lobsters need the cold, rocky bottom of the canyons, which are named for the cities they line up with ashore: Baltimore Canyon, Washington Canyon, Norfolk Canyon.

 

Restless lobsters live there, ones that decided to leave their more accommodating northern homeland for the dark, deep water of the mid-Atlantic.

 

"It could very well be that those animals are sort of frontiersmen, the ones who wander off and look for other places to be," said Josef Idoine, a National Marine Fishery Service biologist out of Woods Hole on Cape Cod. "Once the animals get there, they probably just hang out there to live out their lives."

 

These aren't warm-water spiny lobsters, clawless cousins of the Maine variety that thrive in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The lobsters in the ocean here tend to grow large, perhaps because so few boats are trying to catch them. The Muggy Lee routinely unloads lobsters weighing five pounds or more, too big (and too expensive) for most restaurants. That usually leaves Martin Fish Co. (12929 Harbor Rd., Ocean City; call 410-213-2195) with a solid reserve of jumbo lobsters for beachgoers looking to splurge. Even at $8.95 a pound, the big ones can top $40 a piece.

 

Yet it's the same old lobster, said Harold Martin, David's brother and a longtime Ocean City lobsterman who gave it up two years ago to concentrate on fishing. "I've eaten enough lobster, and I can't tell the difference."

 

The Lobstering Life

 

Inside the boxy wooden cabin of the Muggy Lee, two men sleep on fold-down metal bunks while a third steers through the night to the pots in one of the canyons. They'll fry eggs on a propane stove for breakfast before hauling their first trap at dawn. A motorized winch cranks in the lines that stretch 1,200 feet to the pots on the ocean floor.

 

There are 400 pots to haul on deck during a day that lasts as long as the light does, with the men stuffing hunks of rotting skate fin into the empty pots before tossing them back into the ocean for the week. Then it's another five-hour run back to the dock, where they sell their catch to wholesalers at dawn. It's an unlikely scene: tanned lobstermen in neon beach gear unloading fresh lobsters across the inlet from the boardwalk Ferris wheel.

 

The height of the Ocean City lobster season runs from June to November, though Wooleyhan and Moore make lobstering a year-round venture. "In the winter, you get a calm day before the northwest wind comes through," says Moore, 48. "We try to slide on out."

 

The Muggy Lee and their other boat, which Wooleyhan and Moore own with a third partner, are among the few that lobster here full time, according to wholesalers and state officials. Moore and Wooleyhan never imagined themselves as the last of the Maryland lobstermen.

 

Longtime surfing buddies, the two met as teenagers busing tables for a restaurant near Rehoboth Beach, Del. They both turned to the ocean for livelihoods, mostly clamming and fishing. They ended up buying a boat together and marrying the daughters of a lobsterman. The sisters' nicknames were Muggy and Lee.

 

Like most of the fishermen, Moore and Wooleyhan tended to a few lobster pots while making their fishing runs. This was the 1980s, when some of the full-time lobstermen here were switching to the increasingly lucrative "long-line" trade -- trolling in deep waters for tuna and swordfish. The competition for ocean bottom in the canyons had gotten tighter too: large commercial boats were dragging the ocean floor for squid, often snapping lobster pots from their tethers in the process.

 

This was the backdrop to a particularly fortuitous season for Moore and Wooleyhan in the early 1990s. They were working a gill net about 20 miles off the coast when they found some lobsters tangled in it.

 

"We said: 'Hold the phone! We're making $100, $200 every time we pull a trap up,' " Moore recalls.

 

So they decided to switch their muscle to lobsters, investing in more traps and gear. But the next year was a bust. Turns out that first successful season had seen the Gulf Stream shift briefly offshore, said Moore, sending the lobsters toward the coast for colder water. When it switched back, Wooleyhan and Moore were forced to follow the lobsters back out to the canyons to recoup their investment.

 

They're still out there, and without much company. Occasionally, some trawlers will head down to the canyons here from New Jersey. Sixteen boats from Ocean City have federal lobster permits, mostly for converting their black sea bass pots to lobstering when the fishing season shuts down for the summer. But there just aren't enough lobsters to keep many boats in business full time.

 

The combined harvests from Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina in 1999 barely equaled one-fourth of Maryland's meager haul of 16 tons. New Jersey, a minor lobster-catching state, brought in almost 500 tons that year, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

 

Said Bob Bayer, head of Maine's Lobster Institute: "I didn't even know there were Maryland lobsters."

 

That figures. Southern Connection Seafood in Crisfield, a town that fancies itself as Maryland's seafood capital, buys all its lobsters from local boats. There is a 3,000-gallon, multilevel lobster tower in the back for keeping the catch alive. Yet that's mostly a secret in Crisfield, where a red crab graces the water tower.

 

"I've never thought about it," owner Pat Reese Jr. said when asked why he doesn't promote Maryland lobsters in his market. "Some people would be turned off by it, I guess. They'd rather have a Maine lobster, even though ours are as good. Or better."

 

MOZARELLAS CAFE TOMATO DILL SOUP

1/2 c. butter

1 c. minced onion

1 c. minced carrot

1 c. minced celery

2 t. minced garlic

1 t. basil

1 t. thyme

1/2 t. tarragon

1/2 c. flour

3 c. chicken broth

35 oz. canned tomato, chopped and with juice

2 1/2 c. tomato juice

1 c. heavy cream

1 t. sugar

1 t. dried dill

Melt butter. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook 10 min. Add garlic, basil, thyme, and tarragon and cook 1 minute. Add flour and cook 5 minutes. Gradually add broth. Then add tomato and tomato juice. Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cream and sugar. Cook 5 minutes more. Add

dill and serve.

 

 

ONIONS IN THE SUMMER

OH, HOW SWEET THEY ARE

By Jack Broom, THE SEATTLE TIMES

Once again, it's time to ask: When a Walla Walla Sweet Onion comes into the room, should I bow, curtsy or simply fall to my knees?

 

I get that way around celebrities. Never sure whether to duck into a corner or attempt an awkward bit of conversation: "Pretty interesting growing up over there by the penitentiary?" I might ask, while the onion glares back with a chilling silence.

 

What once was a mere onion display in the supermarket now is a pedestal for the pedigreed. The Walla Walla Sweet is the currently reigning Lord of the Aisle, one that we'll see around until the middle of the month.

 

But over the course of the year, plenty of grand and glorious sweet onions from elsewhere pay us visits. How are we to behave, say, around a Georgia Vidalia? A California Imperial? A Texas 1015? An Ecuadorean Sweet? An OSO Sweet from Chili?

 

If you believe their boosters and backers, each variety has a scientific and historic importance akin to Christopher Columbus discovering America.

 

First, though, it's important to know what a sweet onion is and why they're so popular. Low in sulfur and usually higher in sugar, these are the onions that can be eaten raw without tears.

 

"In the winter, you want a stronger-flavored onion because people are making stews and roasts, things that tend to cook longer," said Joe Pulicicchio, a longtime produce buyer in Washington State -- home of the Walla Walla. "Once you've moved into spring and summer, people aren't making those dishes as much; they're slicing onions on hamburgers, using them in salads or lightly sautéing them."

 

For the most part, the major sweet onions rotate through stores in their own season from January through August, with minimal overlap. But the competition for store space and consumers' attention has been increasing, and will likely continue to do so. Some reasons:

New varieties are constantly being developed; ditto for ways to package and market them.

 

Americans have dual passions for specialty labels and for trying new gourmet foods.

 

Although sweet onions typically have a short shelf life, producers are trying to extend their seasons through "controlled-atmosphere" storage. Long used for apples, the process lowers the oxygen content in storage areas to retard the aging process.

Every onion marching down the supermarket aisle seems to come with its own claim to fame.

 

Take the Texas 1015 SuperSweet. It goes by the nickname "million-dollar baby" because of the time, effort and money spent on its development at Texas A&M University back in the early 1980s -- when a million bucks was real money, not just a down payment on a condo. The "1015" comes from its ideal planting time, Oct. 15.

 

And the OSO Sweet from South America, the first sweet onion of the new year? Tests at Michigan State University indicate this Chilean-grown specialty has a sugar content 50 percent higher than other sweet-onion varieties.

 

Maui Onions carry the charm of reminding people of their Hawaiian vacation. But because of the shipping charges, they cost several times the price of regular onions. And here's a bit of cocktail-party chatter: California's Sweet Imperials, hybrid offspring of a flat Bermuda and a top-shaped Grano, grow in the loamy desert soil of the Imperial Valley -- at an elevation lower than sea level.

 

PICKLED CAULIFLOWER AND CARROTS

Makes 8 pints

 

12 cups 1- to 2-inch cauliflower florets (1 large head)

4 cups distilled white vinegar

2 cups water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon pickling salt

4 cups sliced carrots

4 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

 

Wash 8 pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

 

Blanch cauliflower in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool in ice water. Drain well.

 

In a large, non-aluminum saucepan (see note), combine the vinegar, water, sugar and pickling salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

 

While mixture is coming to a boil, fill the hot jars with cauliflower and carrot slices, leaving 1/2-inch head space. To each jar, add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

 

Immediately fill 1 jar at a time with some of the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Carefully run a plastic knife or spatula down the inside of the jars to remove trapped air bubbles. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (20 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet).

 

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

 

PICKLED DILLED GREEN BEANS

Makes about 4 pints

 

2 pounds straight, young, tender green beans

8 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

8 sprigs fresh dill (about 3 inches each) or 4 heads fresh dill

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

12 whole black peppercorns

2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

2 1/2 cups water

2 tablespoons pickling salt

 

Wash 4 pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare jar lids as manufacturer directs.

 

Rinse the beans and trim the stem and blossom ends. Measure the beans to 4 inches in length and cut off the excess from the stem ends for a uniform look in the jars. Pack the beans snugly into the jars.

 

Into each jar, place

4 garlic halves

2 sprigs of dill (or 1 head of dill)

1/4 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes

3 peppercorns.

 

In a non-aluminum pot (see note), bring the vinegar, water and pickling salt to a boil.

 

Ladle the hot liquid into 1 jar at a time, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Carefully run a plastic knife or spatula down the inside of the jars to remove trapped air bubbles. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).

 

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

 

POTATO CASSEROLE

Serves 8 to 10

2 pound bag of frozen Oreida Hash brown potatoes

1 can Campbell's cream of chicken soup

1 small onion (medium sized if you like onions like we do

1/4 cup melted butter

1 pint sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( Use a good brand)

1 sleeve of Ritz crackers. Crushed

1/4 cup butter, melted

Put the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Put in a 13x9 inch pan. Sprinkle the crushed Ritz crackers over top and pour the melted butter over crackers. Bake at 400 for 40 to 50 minutes or until well browned and bubbly. Cover with foil and they will stay hot for quite a while but even good warm. This dish goes great with chicken, fish or any other plain meat. It also freezes well,

so you can make an extra batch to have on hand.

 

POTATOES DIANE

Layer Onions and Potatoes in a pan.

Sauce:

1 Can Chicken Broth

2 Cups Flour

1 Tsp Black Pepper

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1 Cup Margarine

In a saucepan, melt margarine, add flour, salt and pepper. When that is mixed together good, it will form a pasty looking doughy texture. Add the chicken broth. Stir until there are no lumps. I have better luck getting the lumps out when I use a whisk. Anyway, once the lumps are gone, pour the sauce over the potato and onions, cover with foil and bake for about an hour. I sometimes brown pork chops in a skillet and place them on top of the potatoes and cover with foil.

 

RISOTTO CON GRANCEVOLA E PISELLI

(Risotto With Crab Meat and Peas)

(6 to 8 servings)

 

This lovely dish is popular in small trattorias and restaurants in Trieste. From the Polenta, Rice and Barley chapter.

 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or a

combination totaling 3 tablespoons)

1/2 cup minced onion

2 1/2 cups Italian short-grain rice

1/2 cup white wine

6 1/2 cups hot fish or vegetable stock or broth

3/4 cup fresh baby peas

1 pound cooked crab meat, cut or torn into shreds or strips

 

In a large wide pot over medium-low heat, heat the oil and/or butter. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the rice and continue stirring so that the rice toasts. It should become opalescent after a couple of minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring, until the wine has evaporated. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and keep stirring until it has been absorbed. Lower the heat so the ingredients are simmering. Continue adding the broth, one ladle at a time, until the liquid is almost evaporated and the rice is almost the desired consistency. (Total cooking time will take about 20 minutes from the time you finish toasting the rice.) Five minutes before the risotto is done, toss in the peas and stir thoroughly. One minute before the risotto is done, gently stir in the crab meat. Serve immediately in flat bowls or on a broad plate. Do not serve cheese.

 

ROBERTAS RICE

1 can Campbell's French Onion soup

1 can Campbell's Beef Consume

1 small can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained

1 cup raw rice (regular rice, not minute rice)

1/4 cup margarine

Mix everything together in a 9 x 13" pan. Cover and bake at 400 degrees F

for 40 minutes. Serves approximately 6. When I serve my plate, I enjoy a

little sour cream on top. I have used this recipe for over 30 years and

everyone raves about it. It is also so quick to mix together and bake and a

lot better than just baked potatoes.

 

SCALLOPED POTATOES AND HAM

1 pound ham -- cubed

5 pounds potatoes -- sliced with skin

1 large onion -- chopped

1 pound cheddar cheese -- grated* (divide into 5 small

freezer bags and freeze for later)

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk

salt and pepper -- to taste

SAUCE: Melt butter in heavy pan. Add flour, stirring constantly. Heat to

boiling point; add milk; mix constantly with wire whisk. Heat until

thickened, stirring constantly. Add spices. In separate pan, sauté meat with

onions. Boil potatoes, but remove from heat while still firm, toss with

sauce, ham and onions. Divide between five freezer bags. Label and freeze

quickly.

SERVE: Thaw. Pour into baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/5 pound grated cheese.

Bake @ 350 ° for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

NOTE : *Save for use at cooking time.

 

SOFT POLENTA WITH BUTTER AND CHEESE

Serves 4

 

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

1 cup polenta

1/2 cup grated parmesan, or to taste

1 teaspoons salt, or to taste

 

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 cups water and bring to a boil.

 

2. Gradually stir in the polenta, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is very thick and leaves the side of the pan as it is stirred, about 25 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and salt. Cover and let sit 5 minutes. Serve hot.

 

SOUR CREAM POTATO SALAD

 

1/3 cup Italian Salad Dressing

7 medium Baked Potatoes -- peeled & sliced

3/4 cup Celery -- sliced

1/3 cup Green Onion -- sliced

4 Eggs, hard-boiled

3/4 cup Mayonnaise

3/4 cup Sour Cream

1 1/2 teaspoons Horseradish Mustard

Pour Italian dressing over warm potatoes; chill 2 hours. Add celery and

onion, chop egg whites. Mash yolks, then mix with mayo, sour cream and

mustard. Fold into salad. Add salt and celery seed to taste. Chill 2

hours.

 

SOUTHWEST SALMON WITH MANGO SALSA

Serves 2-4

 

1 pound fresh salmon fillet, no less than 1-inch thick, skin and bones removed

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher or sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mango salsa (which see)

Cilantro sprigs for garnish

 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Spread on waxed paper and dredge the fillet on the non-smooth side (the side that didn't have the skin).

 

2. Select a large sauté pan that is oven-safe. In this pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Cook the salmon, spiced side down for about 30 seconds, until crust forms.

 

3. Turn salmon, spice side up and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, taking care not to overcook -- it should still look slightly translucent. Cut the filet into serving portions, and garnish with mango salsa and cilantro sprigs.

 

SPAGHETTI CON FAGIOLINI

(Summer Spaghetti With Green Beans)

(6 servings)

 

With its contrast of textures and fresh flavors, this is an ideal pasta for late summer.

 

I prefer to use to use ricotta salata, a salted, pressed form of ricotta cheese. But you could easily substitute feta or Parmigiano-Reggiano, a grated cheese. A drizzle of fine extra-virgin olive oil adds a delicious final touch.

 

12 ounces green beans, ends trimmed

1 pound spaghetti

Salt to taste

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

5 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled ricotta salata or feta cheese or grated Parmigiano-

Reggiano cheese

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and barely tender yet firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a strainer, transfer the beans to a plate and pat dry. Reserve the cooking water. Cut the beans into 1-inch pieces; set aside.

 

Return the water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and salt to taste and cook according to package directions.

 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has almost evaporated. Add the beans and heat until warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Drain the spaghetti and add it to the skillet with the basil and cheese and toss to combine. Heat over medium heat, tossing gently, until the cheese becomes warm and creamy. Remove the skillet from the heat and drizzle the pasta with oil to taste. Serve immediately.

 

SPAGHETTI WITH SHRIMP

IN A GARLIC SAUCE

(4 to 6 servings)

 

I first sampled this in Trieste, Italy, in 1983, and it has become a standard in my repertoire. Many people back away in horror at the prospect of any dish made with 15 cloves of garlic, but they are pleasantly surprised if they agree to taste it. The sauce becomes smooth and creamy, and the garlic flavor is more mild than sharp. The key is to remove the green core of each garlic clove, which is where the bitterness resides. Split the clove in half and use the tip of your knife to remove the green portion from both halves of the clove.

 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

15 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 cup unflavored dried bread crumbs

1 1/4 cups dry white wine (Tocai, Pinot Bianco or Pinot Grigio)

1/4 cup cognac

Zest from 1 lemon, grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/4 pounds large or jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 large), peeled and deveined

1/4 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley

Water or fish stock (optional)

1 pound spaghetti

 

In a large pot over low heat, heat the oil, garlic and tomato paste, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the garlic starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the bread crumbs and stir to combine. Add, stirring after each addition and in the following order, the wine, cognac, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste, shrimp and parsley. Increase the heat to medium-high or high, bring almost to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes. The sauce should be creamy; if the sauce becomes too thick, add water or, if you have it, fish stock until it reaches a creamy consistency. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to cool slightly. Refrigerate for 2 hours to concentrate the flavors.

 

When the sauce is ready, bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. When the water reaches a boil, add a pinch of salt and let it return to boiling. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.

 

Meanwhile, return the pot of sauce to low heat to warm.

 

Drain the pasta well in a colander; do not rinse! Add the spaghetti to the sauce pot, toss well and serve immediately in warm bowls.

 

SUMMER CASSEROLE

1 large eggplant or 2 fairly large zucchinis

sliced tomatoes

sliced green pepper

sliced onion

yellow cheese

fresh bread crumbs

salt& pepper

pats of butter

Layer in casserole dish (greased), alternating vegetables starting with the

peeled eggplant until full. Use at least 3 slices of bread and I usually use

cheese slices. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes. You may add or

subtract ingredients as this is a very forgiving dish.

 

TERIYAKI SAUCE

1 part soy sauce

1 part sugar (brown works best, but white will work also)

1 part water

Ground ginger - to taste (optional)

Dry Cooking Sherry - to taste (optional)

Mix well. Can be used as a marinade, stir-fry sauce, basting sauce, dip, etc. Makes excellent teriyaki chicken. Just brown your chicken, pour sauce over top (I usually make a 1c./1c./1c mixture for this), cover and simmer. Uncover the last 10 minutes of cooking or so until the sauce is reduced to desired consistency. I have used this sauce on chicken, beef, pork, seafood (shrimp, salmon, halibut), and vegetables. Have yet to find one that doesn't work. Is excellent over rice. I always have to make extra. To use as a fondue dip, just simmer until it is reduced to the consistency you like.

 

TGI FRIDAYS FLINGS

 

Tired of drinking typical sodas to cool off this summer? Try something new, refreshing and more nutritious with these clones for two of Friday's most popular "Flings." Use a jigger to measure your juices.

 

From Top Secret Recipes:

November Sea Breeze

This soda drink requires a little extra sweetening from simple syrup. You can make this easily by combining sugar with hot water in a 2 to 1 ratio.

1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice

1 1/2 ounces apple juice

1 1/2 ounces sweet & sour mix

1/2 ounce simple syrup*

1 1/2 ounces club soda

Garnish

lime wedge

1. Fill a 14-ounce glass with ice.

2. Pour juices, sweet & sour mix and simple syrup into a shaker and shake

well.

3. Pour drink over the ice, add a lime wedge and the soda on top and serve

with a straw.

Makes one drink.

*Tidbits

Make the simple syrup by combining 1/4 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of

boiling water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Strawberry Surprise

Use the frozen, sweetened strawberries that come in boxes in the

freezer section for this one. Be sure to thaw 'em first.

2 tablespoons frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed

1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

1 1/2 ounces papaya juice

1 1/2 ounces apple juice

1 1/2 ounces club soda

Garnish

1 fresh strawberry

1. Fill a 14-ounce glass with ice.

2. Pour strawberries with syrup, and juices into a shaker and shake well.

3. Pour drink over the ice, and add a fresh strawberry to the rim of the

glass. Splash the soda over the top and serve with a straw. Makes one drink. www.topsecretrecipes.com

WILD BLUEBERRY MARMALADE

Makes about 5 half pints

 

Deep color and flavor are the trademarks of this fabulous marmalade. The citrus flavors blend very nicely with the blueberries. This is a great spread for biscuits or toast.

 

1 large orange

1 lemon

3/4 cups water (divided)

1/4 cup strained fresh orange juice

1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice

4 cupsblueberries, fresh or frozen (2 to 3 pint baskets fresh berries)

1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter

5 cups granulated sugar

1 3-ounce pouch liquid pectin

 

Wash 5 half-pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

 

Using a zester, remove only the outer colored peel of the orange and lemon. Or, with a sharp paring knife, thinly slice off the peel, then cut it into fine strips.

 

Peel the fruit, removing all of the white pith. Separate the orange and lemon segments from the white membrane and remove any seeds. Discard the membrane and seeds. Finely chop the fruit and set aside.

 

In a small bowl, combine the orange and lemon peel and 1/4 cup water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Drain the peel and discard the water.

 

In a large, non-aluminum pot (see note), combine the drained peel, chopped citrus fruit, orange juice, lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup water. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

 

Sort, stem and rinse the blueberries. If using frozen blueberries, do not defrost.

 

Add the blueberries and butter to the citrus mixture and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. Gradually stir in the sugar. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.

 

Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Skim off any foam.

 

To prevent floating fruit, allow the marmalade to cool 5 minutes before filling jars. Gently stir the marmalade to distribute the fruit. Ladle the hot marmalade into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).

 

Note: Do not use aluminum or iron cookware for this recipe. The acids in the ingredients could react with the metal, giving the food an off taste. Adapted from "Blue Ribbon Preserves" by Linda J. Amendt

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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