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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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How to use these pages:  Below is a list of the recipes on this page.  You can either scroll down the page and look at all of the recipes, or look at the titles.  When you find one that seems interesting, use your web browsers FIND function to take you directly to that recipe (on my IE browser it's Edit/Find (on this page)   or Ctrl - F on your keyboard).


APPLE PANCAKES
BANANA BREAD
BASIL CHICKEN OVER ANGEL HAIR
BISCUITS
BROILED COCONUT FROSTING
BRUSCHETTA II
BUTTER ROLL
CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE
CHEESEBURGER SOUP
CHERRY CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE 
CHERRY GOODSTUFF
CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
CHICKEN SATE
CHICKEN WITH ONION SAUCE
CHOCOLATE OATMEAL CAKE
CRANBERRY MANGO SALSA
CREAMY ZUCCHINI
CROSTINI WITH TOMATO BASIL TOPPING.d
DUTCH TUNA SANDWICH
FAMILY CRAB SAUCE
FREDERICKSBURG PEACH CREPES
FREEZE FRIED OYSTERS
FRESH CALIFORNIA SALSA
HOT KISS GOODNIGHT
INDIAN SPICED CHICKEN ON NAN BREAD.d
KEEP THE CASSEROLE KICK THE CREAM.do
LEMON BERRY CHEESECAKE BARS
MARINADE FOR GRILLED PORK CHOPS
MEDITERRANEAN LASAGNA
MICROWAVE FLOUNDER AND TOMATOES
OATMEAL CAKE
OLD FASHIONED
OLD FASHIONED BUTTER ROLL
OLD FASHIONED BUTTER ROLL II
OLD FASHIONED BUTTER ROLL III
OLD TIMEY BUTTER ROLLS
PASTA WITH EGGS PECORINO AND SAGE.do
PINEAPPLE SOUR CREAM CAKE
RACK OF LAMB WITH HERB CRUST
RICE NOODLES AND DUMPLINGS
RICE STUFFED TOMATOES
SAUSAGE STUFFED SQUASH
SCALLOPED CORN
SPAGHETTI CARBONARA
SPAGHETTI WITH FRIED EGGS
SPIEDIES
TERIYAKI CHICKEN
TEXAS FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
TEXAS TAMALE PIE
THE SIMPLEST DINNER IN ITALY STARTS
TOMATO BASIL STRATA
TOMATO SHRIMP MARGARITAS
UNDERGROUND CHICKEN SALAD
VEGETARIAN MOUSSAKA
WATERMELON AND RED ONION SALAD
WATERMELON CUCUMBER SALAD
WATERMELON FIRE AND ICE SALSA
WATERMELON SALAD
WATERMELON SALSA





APPLE PANCAKES

1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 cups Apples -- shredded
2 1/2 cups Low-Fat Sour Cream
2 Eggs -- slightly beaten
2 teaspoons Vanilla

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In
medium bowl, combine apples, sour cream, egg and vanilla, then mix well.
Add apple mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Lightly
grease griddle or large skillet, then heat over medium heat. For each
pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto griddle and flatten slightly. Cook until
bubbles form and tops look dry. Turn pancake and cook until golden brown on
bottoms.

BANANA BREAD

1 LB loaf [ 1 1/2 LB. loaf ]

1/2 cup+ 1 Tbsp. [1/2 cup+2Tbsp] milk
1/2 cup [3/4 cup] mashed banana
2 cups [2 1/2 cups] bread flour
1/4 cup [1/2 cup] Whole wheat flour
1/3 cup [1/2 cup] chopped nuts
2 Tbsp. [ 3Tbsps ] brown sugar packed
3/4 tsp. [1 tsp.] salt
1/2 tsp. [1/2 tsp.] ground nutmeg
1 1/2 Tbsp. [2Tbsp butter or margarine cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp. [ 2tsp] Active Dry Yeast
or
1 tsp. [1 1/2 tsp.] fast rise yeast

1. Add milk and mashed banana to pan.
2. Add bread flour, whole wheat flour, chopped nuts, brown sugar, salt and
nutmeg to pan. Tap pan to settle dry ingredients, then level dry
ingredients, pushing some of the flour mixture into the corners. Place a
piece of butter or margarine into each corner of the pan on top of dry
ingredients.
3. Make a slight well in center of dry ingredients and add the yeast.
4. Place bread pan into oven chamber. Program bread select for either basic
or basic rapid and program bread color***.
***If making a 1 pound loaf, use light or medium bread color setting to
prevent over-browning of the smaller loaf.

BASIL CHICKEN OVER ANGEL HAIR
Makes 4 servings 

1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta 
2 teaspoons olive oil 
1/2 cup finely chopped onion 
1 clove garlic, chopped 
2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes 
2 cups boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed 
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

1 In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook angel hair pasta until it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside. 
2 In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken, basil, salt and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium, and cover skillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft. 
3 Toss sauce with hot cooked angel hair pasta to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese. 

BISCUITS

1 cup self-rising flour -- must be self rising
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk

Mix these ingredients and spoon into a greased muffin pan. Bake until brown
(350 degrees).

** If you can find self rising corn meal, you can do the same for cornbread.
They are perfect every time. NOTES: In case anyone is interested in how it
works, my understanding is that the mayonnaise contains much of the
necessary ingredients (eggs, oil, etc.)

BROILED COCONUT FROSTING

1/4cup (4 tbsp.) butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
3 to 4 tbsp. half-and-half 
1/2 cup chopped pecans 
3/4 cup shredded coconut 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Spread on the freshly baked cake and put under the broiler for a very brief time. Watch it; it scorches easily. Usually 3 or 4 minutes is enough.

BRUSCHETTA II
Makes 10 slices 

10 slices Italian bread 
2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil 
4 vine-ripened tomatoes 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil 

1 Preheat broiler. 
2 Cover a medium sized baking sheet with a single layer of bread slices. Brush the slices with olive oil. 
3 Dice the tomatoes. In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Mix for two minutes. 
4 Place bread under broiler until lightly browned. Remove from broiler and top with the tomato mixture. 

BUTTER ROLL

1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 T cinnamon
2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Make dough, using flour, 1/4 cup shortening, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/3 cup milk. Roll out dough, about 1/4-inch thick. Chip butter on rolled out dough. Roll up like jelly roll. Slice into slices about 1 1/2 inches apart. Stand each slice on end in a casserole dish. Mix 3/4 cup sugar, 1 T cinnamon, 2 cups milk and vanilla; pour over slices. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown.

CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE

1 can (21 oz.) Comstock Apple fruit filling, divided
1 10" graham cracker crust
2 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup caramel topping
12 half pecans plus 2 tbsp. chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350. Reserve 3/4 cup apple filling. Spoon remaining
filling into crust.
2. Beat together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs
and beat well. Pour over apple filling. Bake 35 minutes or until center is
set. Cool.
3. Mix reserved apple filling and caramel topping in a small saucepan.
Heat about 1 minute. Arrange apple slices around outside edge of
cheesecake. Spoon caramel sauce onto the cheesecake and spread evenly.
Decorate with pecan halves around edge (place on top of apples with long
sides pointing to center). Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

CHEESEBURGER SOUP

1/2 lb. ground beef 
3/4 cup chopped onion 
3/4 cup shredded carrots 
3/4 cup diced celery 
1 tsp. dried basil 
1 tsp. parsley flakes 
4 tbsp. butter or margarine 
3 cups chicken broth 
4 cups peeled, diced potatoes 
1/4 cup flour 
8 oz. process cheese, cubed 
1 1/2 cups milk 
3/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. pepper 
1/4 cup sour cream 

Brown beef in a 3-quart saucepan; drain and set aside.

In same pan, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and drained beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet melt remaining butter. Add flour and cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, until bubbly. Add to soup. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Serves 8

CHERRY CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE CRESCENTS

Rolls:
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
4 ounces Cream Cheese
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
1/4 cup Macadamia Nuts -- (optional)
1 roll Crescent Roll Dough -- 8 ounces
Glaze:
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 teaspoon Vegetable Oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a baking stone or lightly grease a cookie
sheet. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese & extract.
(The almond extract gives it a cherry-like flavor. There are no cherries in this recipe. Blend well. Stir in macadamia nuts.

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon cream cheese
mixture onto shortest side of each triangle. Loosely roll up, starting at
shortest side and rolling to opposite point. Place, point side down, on
baking stone or greased cookie sheet; curve into crescent shape. Bake 12 to
15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in small
saucepan over low heat, melt glaze ingredients; stir until smooth. Drizzle
over warm rolls. Serve warm or cool. Store in refrigerator.

CHERRY GOODSTUFF

1 ready-made graham cracker pie crust
1 8 oz block cream cheese (softened)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 can cherry pie filling

With a mixer, beat cream cheese. Add condensed milk and lemon juice and
beat together. Pour in pie crust. It starts to set in about 10 minutes. Put in refrigerator to chill. Pour pie filling over top when ready to serve.

You can also substitute fresh fruit for pie filling. It is very good with fresh strawberries and/or blueberries.




CHICKEN ENCHILADAS 
(in casserole form)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix:

3 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips and cooked in skillet over medium heat)
1 c grated cheese
chopped onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 c milk
12 oz sour cream (+ a little more if needed)
salt

Cut 6-8 fajita size tortillas into bite-size pieces and stir into mixture. Pour into a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 40 min or till hot, stirring occasionally. *** if it needs more moisture, you can add more sour cream and/or another can of soup and a cup of milk.

CHICKEN SATAY 

This Indonesian chicken on a stick with a peanut dipping sauce is great for large groups.

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

Marinade:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar

Dipping Sauce:

2 cloves garlic -- chopped
4 green onions (white part only) -- chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup coconut cream or milk -- (unsweetened)

Pound the chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap until thin and even. Cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide and several inches long. In a medium sized bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Add chicken strips to marinade and allow to marinate at room temperature, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes. You can marinate longer in the refrigerator, but remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. 

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine garlic, green onions, lime juice, brown sugar, curry powder, and hot pepper flakes. Process until garlic and onions are finely chopped. Add peanut butter and coconut milk. Process until smooth. 

Thread chicken on 10 or 12-inch wooden skewers which have been thoroughly soaked in advance. Grill over direct medium-high heat for approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the peanut sauce. Cook until just tender and opaque. The chicken will barely turn color so doneness should be determined by the firmness of the meat. Be careful to not overcook or the meat will be dry. 

Serve chicken with remaining peanut sauce for dipping. Serves 8

CHICKEN WITH ONION SAUCE 

8 chicken thighs, boned 
Sake 
Shoyu (soy sauce)
Sesame oil 
1 egg, beaten 
9 oz. broccoli, separated into flowerets 
Cornstarch for coating 
Vegetable oil for deep-frying 
Red bell pepper, shredded, to garnish 

Green Onion Sauce: 
1 - 2 green onions, finely chopped 
2 tablespoons shoyu 
2 tablespoons sake or white wine 
2 tablespoons mirin or 2 teaspoons sugar 
2 teaspoons sesame oil 

Cut the chicken, with skin on, into bite-size pieces and put into a large bowl. 
Sprinkle generously with sake, shoyu and sesame oil and leave to marinate about 15 minutes. Fold in the beaten egg and leave 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the green onion sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Cook the broccoli in lightly salted boiling water 3 minutes. Drain and keep warm. Roll the chicken pieces in cornstarch and shake off the excess. 
Heat vegetable oil in a wok or deep-fryer to 340F (170C) and fry chicken pieces, several at a time, until well cooked and light golden, turning frequently. (Do not add too much chicken at a time - the pan should not be more than two-thirds full at any time.) Drain well on a wire rack or paper towels and arrange in the center of a serving platter along with the broccoli. Pour the sauce over the top, sprinkle with the red bell pepper and serve at once. Serves 4

CHOCOLATE OATMEAL CAKE

1/2cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1cup uncooked oats (not instant)

1 3/4 cups boiling water 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1 cup granulated sugar 
2 eggs 
1 3/4 cup flour 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
2 tbsp. cocoa powder 
12 oz. chocolate chips 
3/4 cup chopped walnuts 

Put butter and oats in a mixing bowl. Pour in boiling water and let stand for 1 minute. Mix well. Beat in sugars, then eggs.

In another bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and cocoa and whisk well. Add to batter in two batches, mixing well after each addition. Stir in half the chocolate chips and the walnuts.

Pour batter into a greased and floured, 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.


CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE'S ICED MANGO SOUP SPICED WITH GINGER 

1 quart Mango Ice Cream 
1-1/2 cups heavy cream 
6 cups milk 
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled 
mint sprigs 
1 mango 

Chop the ginger very fine. Combine all ingredients (except mint) and blend at the last possible moment. Served in chilled soup cups and garnish with a mint leaf. 

We don't know whether the cruise line makes or buys the mango ice cream, but you can certainly make some yourself. Here's a recipe from the China Moon Cookbook, that miraculously makes just about the amount you need for the soup. It includes some lime juice and rum, but we have no way of knowing whether Carnival's ice cream is as exotic. You can always tone it down if you want. 

MANGO ICE CREAM 

6 to 8 tablespoons sugar 
1 very large fragrant mango (about 1 pound) 
2 cups half-and-half 
3 to 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice 
1 teaspoon dark rum (optional) 

Put 6 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Holding the mango over the work-bowl, remove the peel with a sharp paring knife and discard, then cut the soft flesh from around the seed and let it plop directly into the work-bowl along with all of its juices. Process the sugar and pulp to a purée. 

Add the half-and-half and process to blend. Taste and adjust as needed with an additional tablespoon or more of sugar until the mixture tastes a bit too sweet (the mixture should taste a bit too sweet at room temperature if it is to taste perfect when frozen). Run the machine after every small spoonful to incorporate any extra sugar. 

Add the lime juice in teaspoonfuls until the flavor rounds on the tongue. Stir in the rum if you wish to further deepen the flavor. 

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Store with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface. Let soften slightly before serving. 

CRANBERRY MANGO SALSA

1 cup finely chopped cranberries
1 cup chopped mango or papaya
1/4 cup minced onion
garlic to taste
2 tbsp minced parsley
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss well.

CREAMY ZUCCHINI
Makes 6 servings 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1/2 red onion, sliced 
salt and pepper to taste 
1 pound zucchini, sliced 
1 tablespoon crushed garlic 
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes 
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained 
1/2 cup heavy cream 

1 Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in red onion, salt and pepper, and cook about 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Stir in zucchini, and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and tomatoes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil. 
2 Stir corn and cream into the mixture. Reduce heat to low, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until thick and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. 

CROSTINI WITH TOMATO BASIL TOPPING

1 (20-inch-long) loaf French or Italian bread
1 1/4 cups finely crumbled feta cheese
1 large, fully ripened tomato, seeded and chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup chopped pitted black olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons prepared balsamic vinaigrette
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice bread on the diagonal into 1-inch slices; place on a shallow baking pan in a single layer. Bake until toasted, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oven; press about 1 tablespoon feta cheese on each slice.

In a medium bowl, combine tomato, olives, basil, balsamic vinaigrette and garlic until blended. Top bread slices with tomato mixture, dividing evenly.

Serve immediately. Makes about 20 crostini.

DUTCH TUNA SANDWICH

7 oz. can of tuna, drained and flaked
2 1/2 c shredded cabbage
3 T. chopped dill pickle
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 t. pickle liquid
6 slices cheese, American or Swiss
6 hamburger buns
Butter

Combine tuna, cabbage, dill pickle, liquid and mayonnaise; mix well and
chill.

Spread bottom half of bun with butter. Arrange bottom half of buns on
sheet cake pan. Place 1/4 c. tuna mixture on bottom half of bun. Top
with slice of cheese. Bake at 400° 11 to 12 minutes or until cheese
melts. Place on tops of buns; serve hot.

You can serve them without the bun tops and make open faced sandwiches.

FAMILY CRAB SAUCE

10-12 blue claw crabs, cleaned, live or frozen
1 onion, cut up
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 oz olive or vegetable oil
1 6 oz can tomato sauce
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tb parsley flakes
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 cup Italian red wine(optional)

First, you have to clean the crabs, unless you are using frozen. Carefully, remove the claws, then turn the crab upside down and remove the apron, removing the top of shell as well, tear off and discard the white spikes (gills) on both sides and rinse under running water to get out the mustardy looking stuff. Refrigerate. 

Now for the sauce: note: all the cooking is over low heat. Saute` the onion and garlic in oil, when browned add the paste and stir for a minute or two, add the sauce, crushed tomatoes and the spices, keep stirring until blended. Simmer for about 2 hours, then add the wine and the crabs and simmer partially covered for
another 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add some water when the sauce starts
to get too muddy.

Serve over your favorite pasta, along with some freshly grated Romano cheese, with the crabs themselves being the second course.

FREDERICKSBURG PEACH CREPES 
[[Pronounced "crepps" - not "crapes."]]

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sour cream
10 prepared crepes
7 to 8 cups sliced, sugared peaches

Using food processor or electric mixer, blend cream cheese with sugar and almond extract. Mix in sour cream, blending well. 

Place 1 crepe in large individual serving bowl. Place approximately 1/4 cup cream filling down center of crepe. Top filling with about 1/4 cup sliced peaches. Gently fold crepe and flip over, seam side down, in bowl. Top with about 1/2 cup sliced peaches with juice. Place a dollop of cream filling in center of crepe and top with fresh mint and fresh edible flowers, if available. Makes about 10 crepes. 

FREEZE FRIED OYSTERS

Oysters (whatever amount) rinsed
Cornmeal (according to the amount of oysters)
Salt & pepper
Oil

Put cornmeal in shallow dish, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix. Dredge oysters in mixture and place single layer on wax paper lined cookie sheets. (This is the secret.) Freeze until firm. 2 to 3 hours. You need a deep boiler for deep frying. Put in lots of oil. Get it good and hot but not smoking. Drop frozen oysters into hot oil. Fry quickly. These will be brown and crispy on the outside and soft and juicy inside.



FRESH CALIFORNIA SALSA

4 large tomatoes, diced 
1/2 large onion, minced 
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced WEAR GLOVES
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
salt to taste 

In a small mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Add jalapenos 2 teaspoons at a time, tasting after each addition to see how hot the salsa has become. Jalapeno peppers vary in heat, so it is important to taste the salsa to ensure you do not make it too hot to handle. Salt to taste. 
Makes 2 to 3 cups 

HOT KISS GOODNIGHT

1 oz. Irish whiskey
1/2 oz. Crème de Cacao (White)
1/2 oz. Crème de Menthe (Green)
4 oz. Hot Black Coffee
Whipped Cream
1 Hershey's Kiss (Optional)

Combine the whiskey, crème de menthe and crème de cacao into a wineglass,
add the coffee, top with whipped cream.

INDIAN SPICED CHICKEN ON NAN BREAD

1 small eggplant, trimmed, diced 
1-1/2 teaspoons salt 
1/4 cup corn oil 
1 lb. skinned boneless chicken breasts, cut in thin strips 
1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced 
2 medium-size onions, cut in half, then thinly sliced 
1 (2-inch) piece gingerroot, peeled, finely chopped 
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon ground coriander 
1/4 teaspoon turmeric 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
3 tablespoons plain yogurt 
3 tablespoons cold water 
2 nan breads 
3 tablespoons butter, softened 
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, cut in slivers 
Sprigs of fresh cilantro to garnish 

In a colander, layer eggplant with 1 teaspoon of salt. Drain over a plate 30 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry on paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium-size saucepan. Add chicken and stir-fry 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining oil to pan. Heat oil and add eggplant, bell pepper, onions, gingerroot, spices and garlic. Stir-fry 3 minutes. Add chicken and stir in remaining salt, yogurt and cold water. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, toast breads until lightly golden and heated through. Butter bread. Cut each buttered bread in 2 or 3 serving pieces. Stir tomatoes into chicken mixture. Serve hot on buttered bread. Garnish with cilantro. 

KEEP THE CASSEROLE KICK THE CREAM 
By Kitty Broihier, MS, RD, ucook.com contributor

When it comes to convenience, nothing beats the ease of a quick casserole. Nearly anyone can work wonders with a can of cream of mushroom soup, a little meat or fish, some leftover noodles, and whatever vegetables happen to be hanging around. 

However, a little label reading will reveal that most condensed soups are heavy in both fat and sodium - not to mention calories. What to do? 

There are three easy options. The first is simply to buy the newer reduced-fat versions of cream soups. Usually, they have two grams of fat per serving or less. Some of these soups are still quite high in sodium, but they're nice to have in the pantry. 

The other two options are do-it-yourself projects, but they're both very simple. The first is to base casseroles on an easy no-fail white sauce. The second is to have a dry "cream" soup base at the ready for whenever the casserole mood strikes. Either way, a lower-fat, lower-sodium "enlightened" casserole will be the satisfying reward. Perfect a low-fat white sauce

Knowing how to make a good low-fat white sauce by heart is a very handy skill. All kinds of mixed-food dishes - including nearly every kind of casserole and scalloped-potato-based creations - can be held together nicely with this basic sauce. Here's a basic recipe that's quick and easy:

1 12-oz. can evaporated skim milk 
1 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp seasoning of choice (nutmeg, celery seed, poultry seasoning, etc., or 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms)

Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking continually. Cook about 4 minutes (still whisking!) until mixture becomes thick and bubbly. That's it! This recipe makes about 1-1/2 cups, or enough to hold together an average 6-serving casserole.

Keep "casserole sauce" mix on hand

One of the easiest ways to get the quick benefits of canned soup without the can is to keep a supply of cream soup mix around. When it's needed, all you have to do is mix it with water and cook until thickened. It works equally well for casseroles and as a soup base to which other ingredients are added. Also, it's easy enough for beginning cooks - and very young cooks - to handle, too (with supervision, of course, depending on the age of the cook).
Here's the basic recipe for casserole sauce:

2 cups non-fat instant dry milk powder
3/4 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp instant chicken bouillon powder
2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp dried basil (or other desired herb)
1 tsp dried thyme (or other desired herb)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

This recipe makes 3 cups of dry mix. Be sure to store the mix in an airtight container until ready to use.

To replace one can of cream soup, combine 1/3 cup of the dry mix with 1 to 1-1/4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. To make a mushroom variation, add 1/2 cup of finely diced mushrooms before bringing to a boil.

No matter which substitute is used, if casseroles are on the menu for your family, it makes sense to trim fat, sodium and calories whenever possible. 

LEMON BERRY CHEESECAKE BARS 

Crust:
1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 tsp. baking soda
6 tbls. margarine or butter, melted

Filling:
2 (8-oz.) pkgs. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Topping:
1 cup light blueberry syrup
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 13x9-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. 

For crust, combine oats, flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, pecans and baking soda in medium bowl; mix well. Add margarine; mix until crumbly. Press into a firm, even layer onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. 
For filling, beat together cream cheese, 3/4 cup brown sugar and flour with electric mixer in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon peel; beat well. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until set in center. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Chill. 
To serve, cut cheesecake into squares. In medium bowl, combine blueberry syrup, lemon juice and blueberries. Spoon over bars. Refrigerate leftovers. 
Makes 24 squares.

MARINADE FOR GRILLED PORK CHOPS

1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup barbecue sauce
1/8 cup mustard
1/4 cup melted margarine
1 tsp. rosemary
Pepper to taste
Pork Chops

Stir ingredients and pour over pork chops. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature
or overnight in the fridge. Grill.

MEDITERRANEAN LASAGNA 

3 cups chopped leek
3 cups chopped onion
11/2 tsps. dried mint flakes
1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
2 (14-oz.) cans artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
1 (14-oz.) can Great Northern beans or navy beans, rinsed and drained
5 cups chopped fresh spinach
4 tbls. butter
5 tbls. flour
3 cups (1 percent) milk
6 ozs. crumbled feta cheese
5 tbls. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 lb. lasagna noodles, either cooked or no-boil
Nonfat vegetable cooking spray
6 ozs. mozzarella cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Sauté leeks, onions, mint flakes, fennel seeds and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add artichoke hearts, red bell pepper, beans and spinach. Mix and remove from heat.

3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook until slightly thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add feta and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

4. Spread 1/3 cup of cheese sauce in bottom of a (9x13-inch) pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange noodles over sauce. Top with half of leek mixture, 1/2 cup cheese sauce and 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers ending with noodles. Pour remaining cheese sauce over noodles and sprinkle with 2 ounces of mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.

5. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes or until top is golden. Let stand 5 minutes. Serves 9

MICROWAVE FLOUNDER AND TOMATOES

1 pound fresh tomatoes
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup black olives, pitted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4(6-ounce) flounder fillets

In an 11-by-7-by-2-inch microwaveable dish, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olives, olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until well blended. Cover loosely with waxed paper. Microwave on high 4 minutes. Stir; cover loosely and microwave 4 minutes longer.

Sprinkle fillets with remaining 1/2 teaspoon seasoning. Tuck under both ends of fillets; arrange on top of tomato mixture. Cover loosely with waxed paper. Makes 4 servings.

OATMEAL CAKE

1 1/4cups boiling water
1cup uncooked oats (quick or old-fashioned, not instant)
1/2cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1cup granulated sugar
1cup packed brown sugar
1tsp. vanilla
2eggs

1 1/2 cups sifted flour 
1 tsp. baking soda 
3/4 tsp. cinnamon 
1/4 tsp. nutmeg 

Broiled icing (which see)

Pour boiling water over oats in a bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

Beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating until fluffy. Blend in vanilla and eggs. Add oats and blend well.

Sift together flour, soda, salt and spices. Add to creamed mixture. Pour into a buttered and floured 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. Do not remove cake from pan.

Spread frosting over cake. Broil until frosting is bubbly. Serve warm or cold.

OLD FASHIONED BUTTER ROLL

2 cups self rising flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
Butter (NOT MARGARINE)

Mix as for biscuits. Pinch off biscuits size pieces. Roll out thin, put
1/4 cup sugar and 1 - tablespoon butter on each. Roll up as for Jelly Roll.
Place in baking dish.

Sauce

4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all sauce ingredients and heat to almost boiling. Pour rolls and bake
until rolls are brown and sauce it thick. Make a big casserole dish. 13 x 9 inches. You can halve the recipe.

OLD FASHIONED BUTTER ROLL II

If you like butter, you'll love these simple but delicious butter rolls.
They're baked in a sweet milk sauce. Just the thing for a cold morning. Prep
Time: approx. 30 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 40 Minutes. Original recipe
makes 12 rolls ( 12 servings). Recipe has been scaled to make 12 servings.
Printed from Allrecipes, Submitted by Donna Young

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 7x11 inch
baking pan.
2 In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut shortening in thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in water and press dough together with your hands. Roll out pastry into a large rectangle. Spread the butter evenly over the pastry, then sprinkle on 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg. Roll up the dough jelly roll style and pinch to seal. Cut into 12 even slices. Place the rolls in the prepared pan. 
3 In a small saucepan, heat milk, 2/3 cup sugar and vanilla until mixture begins to bubble. Pour milk mixture over rolls.
4 Bake in preheated oven until brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.

OLD FASHIONED BUTTER ROLL III

1 can biscuits (any kind but Big Country or Hungry Jack will make larger rolls)
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
Sugar and nutmeg

Topping:
2 c. milk
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Roll out biscuits as thin as possible on floured board. Spread each one with butter or margarine and sprinkle with sugar and a little nutmeg (butter may be chipped onto biscuits). Roll up like jelly roll. Place rolls into a buttered casserole dish. Topping: Mix the 3/4 cup sugar, 2 cups milk and the vanilla; pour over rolls. Bake at 350 degrees until brown. Serve warm. The rolls may be made from any biscuit dough recipe.

OLD TIMEY BUTTER ROLLS

Make a rich biscuit dough for about 9-10 biscuits. Roll about 1/2 inch
thick. Spread with lots of butter and cinnamon,. Cut as you would any
cinnamon roll. Place in baking pan. Cover with about 2 cups milk to which
has been added 2 tbs. sugar. The baking powder from biscuits will make a
porous dough and will thicken the sauce. Bake at 350 until slightly brown
Simple and good.

PASTA WITH EGGS PECORINO AND SAGE

1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
7 to 8 large fresh sage leaves, torn into small pieces
Crushed red pepper
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti, linguine or tagliarini
7 large eggs
2 cups (about 8 ounces) shredded pecorino cheese

1. Heat large pot of salted water to boil. Add olive oil to 12-inch skillet; heat over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic and sage; sprinkle with red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until onions wilt, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cover.

2. Cook pasta in boiling water, stirring often, until slightly underdone. Scoop out about 1 cup of pasta water; reserve. When pasta is close to being done, return skillet with onion mixture to medium-low heat. Break eggs into skillet; cook until whites just turn solid, about 3 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, drain pasta in colander. Turn into skillet with eggs; toss over medium-low heat until eggs coat pasta. Add enough reserved pasta water to loosen mixture, if necessary. Taste for seasoning. Serve in heated bowls, passing cheese at the table.

PINEAPPLE SOUR CREAM CAKE

1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 package (2-layer) yellow cake mix
1 package (4 servings) pistachio instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup oil

Combine pineapple with juice and soda. Mix well. In a large bowl,
combine cake mix and remaining ingredients. Add pineapple mixture. Blend.
Beat at medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 1-
inch Bundt pan. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes. Do not under bake.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Finish cooling on rack.

RACK OF LAMB WITH HERB CRUST 

2 x 6-rib racks of lamb, trimmed and cleaned and with the trimmings retained 
(see Chefs tip) 
2 tablespoons oil 

Lamb Jus 
1/2 onion, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 

Herb Crust 
1-1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs 
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley 
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened 

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Score the fat on the outside of the racks in a crisscross pattern. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, season the lamb, place in the pan and cook quickly to seal and brown the surface. Remove from the pan and set aside. Place the lean trimmings in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes, then remove to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 500F. 
2. To make the lamb jus, remove the trimmings from the roasting pan, leaving the fat behind, and place them in a saucepan with the onion, garlic and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes. 
3. To make the herb crust, mix together in a bowl the bread crumbs, chopped garlic, parsley and thyme leaves. Season and mix in the softened butter to form a paste. 
4. Press a layer of the herb crust onto the fat side of the racks, leaving the bones and the bottom clean. Place the crusted racks in a roasting pan and lightly brown in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. 
5. Strain the jus into another saucepan and cook until reduced in volume by three-quarters, skimming off the fat or impurities that float to the surface. Serve on the side in a gravy boat. 
Chef's tip- Ask your butcher to trim and clean the racks for you. You can also do it yourself by cutting away the fat and meat to expose the bones, then scraping the bones until perfectly clean. Serves 4 

RICE NOODLES AND DUMPLINGS
EIGHT-TREASURE RICE
(Babaofan) 

5 oz (150 g) glutinous rice 
7/8 cup (200 g) sugar 
5 dates, pitted 
2 whole green preserved plums 
4 preserved white gourd strips 
4 dried longan, (shelled and pitted) 
25 raisins 
10 shelled walnuts 
1/2 tsp watermelon seed kernels 
10 cooked lotus seeds 
1/2 oz (15 g)haw (fruit of hawthorne) jelly, diced 
2 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour), dissolved in 2 tbsp water 

Wash the rice and place in a heat-proof bowl with 7 oz (200 ml) of water. Place the bowl in a steamer and steam for 25 minutes, or until just cooked. Add half the sugar about 3 1/2 oz (100 g) and mix well. Set aside. 

Cut the dates, plums, white gourd strips, and dried longan into 1/2 inch (1 cm) cubes. Wash the raisins, shelled walnuts, walnuts, watermelon seed kernels, and lotus seeds. Set aside. 
Arrange the fruits and nuts around the sides of a large, greased bowl. Add the cooked rice, which should be level with the bowl's rim. Place in a steamer and steam until the rice is cooked. Cover the bowl with a dish, invert and remove. 
Mix 1 cup (250 ml) of water and the remaining sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the cornstarch-water mixture and cook, stirring, until it thickens into a thin paste. Pour over the rice, sprinkle with the diced haw jelly, and serve. 

RICE STUFFED TOMATOES

6 large tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped WEAR GLOVES
1 cup cooked rice
6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Breadcrumbs

Cut off tops of tomatoes; scrape pulp out of inside. Add pulp to skillet with bell pepper, onion and jalapeño pepper. Cook, covered, over low heat about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add rice and bacon to tomato mixture; season with salt and pepper. Stuff mixture into hollowed tomatoes; sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Place tomatoes in a casserole or baking dish with a small amount of water to prevent sticking. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes are tender. Makes 6 servings.

SAUSAGE STUFFED SQUASH

6 medium yellow squash
1/2 pound bulk sausage
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup herb stuffing mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Wash squash thoroughly; cook them whole in boiling salted water to cover 8
to 10 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain and cool slightly. Trim
off stems. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and reserve pulp, leaving a
firm shell.

Cook sausage and onion in a skillet over medium heat until sausage is
browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat and drain off pan drippings.
Stir in squash pulp, stuffing, and salt.
SCALLOPED CORN

2 cans creamed corn (15 ounce size)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cracker crumbs (saltines and Ritz crackers work well)
3 T melted butter
3 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste.

Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks and stir in the corn, milk and cracker
crumbs. Whip egg whites to a peak and fold into the corn mixture. Blend in
the melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
It's fluffier when the eggs have been separated.

Place squash shells in a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Spoon sausage
mixture into shells; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F.
for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 6 servings.

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

10 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound thin spaghetti
4 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
Coarse sea salt, freshly ground pepper

1. Heat large pot of salted water to boil. Place bacon in large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until crisp; drain on paper towels. Pour out rendered fat, leaving thin coat of fat in skillet.

2. Add spaghetti to boiling water; cook until al dente. Scoop out about 1 cup of cooking liquid; reserve. Whisk together egg yolks, cream and cheese.

3. Drain pasta; add it to bacon pan. Add bacon and egg mixture. Place over medium heat; toss with tongs to coat pasta and distribute bacon. If sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among serving bowls.

SPAGHETTI WITH FRIED EGGS
AND ROASTED PEPPERS

2 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon salted capers, thoroughly rinsed, chopped if large, see note
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper
3 rounded tablespoons coarse bread crumbs
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces spaghetti
2 eggs
Freshly grated Parmesan and pecorino cheese

1. Roast peppers under broiler or on gas burner with flame on low. Turn them regularly so they char all over. When fully blistered, place them in paper or plastic bag. Let cool, then peel the peppers. When you cut them open, catch any pepper liquid in small bowl. Trim off stem end, scrape out seeds and cut out ribs. Then slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

2. Combine peppers, capers, garlic and parsley in small baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Set aside.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat large pot of salted water to a boil. Just before water boils, sprinkle 2 tablespoons olive oil over red peppers; heat in oven 10 minutes. Add pasta to boiling water; cook until al dente. After a few minutes, scoop out a cup of water and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, add 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot. Crack in eggs; fry, sunny side up, until whites are set and yolks are still runny. Remove from burner.

5. Drain pasta; pour into large, warm serving bowl. Using 2 forks, toss in baked peppers and fried eggs, adding some of the egg-cooking olive oil. Break whites into pieces while tossing. Add a little reserved pasta water if it gets too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve; pass cheese on the side.

SPIEDIES

These well-seasoned skewers of chicken or lamb are traditional upstate New York fare. The grilled meat is served in fresh Italian bread. This must be started at least 3 days in advance.

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
1 cup oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cut chicken into large bite-sized pieces. 

Blend remaining ingredients in a large sealable plastic bag. Toss in chicken, press out excess air and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days, tossing occasionally. 

Thread meat onto metal skewers. If you use wooden skewers, first soak them in water. Grill skewers over hot coals, turning to cook evenly, until meat is cooked. This should take about 10 minutes for the chicken, about 15 for the lamb. 

To serve, slide meat from skewers into a chunk of fresh Italian bread. You can optionally add mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Serves 6

TERIYAKI CHICKEN 

2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless 
1 (16-ounce) polybag frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower 
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained 
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 
1 cup chicken broth 
4 tablespoons brown sugar 
4 tablespoons bottled teriyaki sauce 
2 tablespoons dry mustard 
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel 
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
Hot cooked rice 

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Wash hands, cutting board and knife with hot, soapy water. Place frozen vegetables and water chestnuts in a large slow cooker. Sprinkle with tapioca granules. Place chicken on top of vegetables. 
In a small bowl, mix chicken broth, brown sugar, teriyaki, dry mustard, orange peel and ginger. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover with slow-cooker lid and cook on low 4 to 6 hours or on high for 2 to 3 hours. Stir and spoon over hot cooked rice. Yield: 8 servings. 

TEXAS FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

3 large green tomatoes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
Vegetable oil for frying
Cut tomatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and seasoned salt. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and milk. Dip each tomato slice into milk mixture, then into flour. Repeat, coating each slice well.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees; add battered tomato slices a few at a time. Cook 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: Tomatoes also can be cooked in a heavy skillet, turning once. Makes 4 servings.

TEXAS TAMALE PIE

Spray a deep glass 9x11 cake dish with Pam.

Pour in 1/2 a regular size package of Frito's Scoops.

Open a large can of tamales and peel off the paper and cut into bite size chunks. Put in 1/2 the tamales.

Open a can of whole kernel corn, drain, and sprinkle 1/2 over the tamales.

Open a large size can of "no beans" chili. Pour 1/2 can over the chips and chunks and corn.

Open a bag of shredded cheese and sprinkle 1/2 on the chili.

Repeat the layers with rest of the ingredients. Always finish with cheese on top.

Bake about 20 minutes in 350 degree oven until bubbly and cheese melted.

Serve with a lettuce and tomato salad with French dressing.

THE SIMPLEST DINNER IN ITALY STARTS WITH AN EGG
By Amanda Hesser, New York Times News Service
Published July 25, 2001

It started showing up in cookbooks a few years ago. A separate chapter devoted to stocking your kitchen. The idea is simple and cloyingly romantic: Keep your pantry and refrigerator well stocked and at any time you can piece together a delicious meal. After toiling for hours at the office. After a Saturday afternoon running around doing errands. After the winds kick up and you don't feel like leaving the house.

Surely you will have won-ton skins, dried shiitakes and miso in there. Or a pork shoulder and juniper berries. And if you did, takeout wouldn't be nearly the booming business it is.

More likely you will have some ketchup, olive oil, a spotted banana and past-dated milk. You may even have two very durable items: pasta and eggs.

And if you do, you have access to one of the world's best dishes: spaghetti ro puveriello. Translate it as you wish: "poor man's spaghetti" or "spaghetti with fried eggs." It is one of the few classic rustic Italian dishes that has evaded most cookbook authors and chefs, and so is still mostly a dish of home cooks.

It is literally spaghetti tossed with gently fried eggs, so that the whites break up into delicate curds and the yolks coat the strands of pasta. You add salt and lots of freshly ground pepper, and a little grated cheese if you want. And you twirl away with your fork until it's gone, which happens all too soon.

That is the combination at its simplest, a peasant dish most common in southern Italy, where the impoverished population was once large and staples like eggs were scarce.

"An egg was such a cherished thing," said Arthur Schwartz, the author of "Naples at Table." "If you had an egg you could live."

The pasta-and-egg recipe is in every old Neapolitan cookbook, Schwartz said. "It's just like aglio e olio," the garlic-and-oil pasta classic. "It's something you do when you're home alone at night. It's quick. It's like pasta and beans. You don't eat it for sustenance anymore. You eat it because it's good."

Variations on a theme

What better reason? It is also a dish that can take many forms.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper, author of "The Italian Country Table: Recipes From Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens," said her grandmother, who lived near Lucca, made her variation on the dish once a week.

"This was her Friday night pasta, the evening we didn't eat meat," Kasper said.

Her grandmother warmed olive oil, then added a little onion and garlic; a few torn sage leaves went in for fragrance. Then a few eggs were cracked into the pan and cooked gently so that they just set before being tossed with the spaghetti and dusted with pepper and cheese.

From the simple spaghetti and fried eggs you can go to one with roasted peppers. Schwartz came across this combination at a farm in Paestum: Red peppers are charred and peeled, then baked in a casserole dish with garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, capers and olive oil. Just before serving, the spaghetti, fried eggs and pepper gratin are merged in a large, deep serving bowl.

Rather than frying the eggs, you can beat them with grated cheese and pepper and toss them with hot, just-cooked pasta. Then you have cacio e uova. Any shape of pasta will do. It becomes dressed like coleslaw, and the eggs cook in its heat.

Add bacon or pancetta and it becomes spaghetti carbonara, a dish that is easy to find everywhere these days. It is the kind of dish that sticks with you for a long, long time. Even if you don't have the bacon around, you probably do have the pasta and eggs.

You need nothing more.

This peasant dish was most common in southern Italy, where the impoverished population was once large and staples like eggs were scarce.

TOMATO BASIL STRATA

6 slices crusty Italian or French bread, toasted and cut into cubes
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat (1 percent) milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine bread, tomatoes, green onion and mozzarella. Spray a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray; spoon bread mixture into dish. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, butter, basil, garlic salt and pepper; pour over bread mixture.

Press bread lightly with back of a large spoon to make sure it's moistened. Bake, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 side-dish servings.





TOMATO SHRIMP MARGARITAS

2 pounds fully ripened fresh tomatoes (about 4 large)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur (optional)
1 1/2 pounds cooked large or jumbo shrimp, peeled

Remove stem ends from tomatoes and finely chop. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, jalapeño, lime zest, salt, pepper, tequila, lime juice and liqueur until blended. Chill. Spoon an equal amount of tomato salsa into 6 margarita or wine glasses. Surround with chilled shrimp, dividing evenly. Makes 6 servings.

UNDERGROUND CHICKEN SALAD 

4 chicken-breast halves, boneless, skinless 
1 cup diced pickled beets 
2 cups diced, cooked potatoes (not bakers) 
1/2 cup sweet or red onion, minced 
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle 
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup sour cream 
Salt and pepper 
1 bunch watercress, washed, trimmed 
3 strips bacon, cooked, crumbled 
1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted 

In a medium saucepan, place raw chicken and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes, just until the meat is opaque and firm. Remove chicken from pan. Cool. 
Dice salad-bar beets or canned pickled beets to make 1 cup. Place in a small bowl and set aside. Chop cooked chicken into smallish bite-size chunks. Place in a large bowl. Stir in the cooked potatoes (red-skins are best for this salad; leave on peel), beets, red or sweet onion, dill pickle, mayo and sour cream. 
Add salt unless potatoes were cooked in heavily salted water and chicken was salted; grind in black pepper or a mixture of pink, white and green dried peppercorns. 
Line a large platter with watercress. Top with salad, then sprinkle with bacon bits and walnuts, which have been toasted until crisp and fragrant in a small, ungreased skillet over medium heat. Serve at room temperature for best flavor. 
Tip: Do not make this salad ahead of time unless you hold out the diced beets and toss them in at the last minute. Serves 4
VEGETARIAN MOUSSAKA
Makes 8 to 10 servings 

1 eggplant, thinly sliced 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced 
2 potatoes, thinly sliced 
1 onion, sliced 
1 clove garlic, chopped 
1 tablespoon white vinegar 
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped 
1/2 (14.5 ounce) can lentils, drained, juice reserved 
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
salt and pepper to taste 
1 cup crumbled feta cheese 

1 1/2 tablespoons butter 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1 1/4 cups milk 
black pepper to taste 
1 pinch ground nutmeg 
1 egg, beaten 
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 

1 Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. 
2 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 
3 Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown eggplant and zucchini slices on both sides; drain. Adding more oil if necessary, brown potato slices; drain. 
4 Saute onion and garlic until lightly browned. Pour in vinegar and reduce. Stir in tomatoes, lentils, 1/2 the juice from lentils, oregano and parsley. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. 
5 In a 9x13 inch casserole dish layer eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onions and feta. Pour tomato mixture over vegetables; repeat layering, finishing with a layer of eggplant and zucchini. 
6 Cover and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. 
7 Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine butter, flour and milk. Bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly until thick and smooth. Season with pepper and add nutmeg. Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes, and stir in beaten egg. 
8 Pour sauce over vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for another 25 to 30 minutes. 



WATERMELON AND RED ONION SALAD 
Yield: 6 servings 

1 Tablespoon shallots, chopped 
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar 
1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, puréed and strained 
2 teaspoons honey (or to taste) 
1/3 cup olive oil 
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced 
2 bunches watercress, stems removed 
2 bunches watercress, stems removed 
8 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes 
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper 

Whisk together the shallots, vinegar, raspberry purée, honey and oil in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Separate the onions into rings. Pour the vinaigrette over the onions and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. 

To serve, arrange a bed of watercress on each plate. Top with the cubed watermelon and drape the onion rings on top. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish with the mint leaves, if desired. 

Wine Suggestion 
A slightly fruity Gewurztraminer or Johannesburg Riesling accentuates the sweet melon and raspberry flavors in this salad. 

WATERMELON CUCUMBER SALAD

1/4 c distilled white vinegar 
1/4 c sugar 
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper 
4 cucumbers, peeled, halved and seeded 
salt 
8 cups seeded and cubed watermelon 
1/4 red onion sliced thinly 

Combine vinegar, sugar and pepper in saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil 1 minute, remove from heat and cool. Slice cucumbers and toss with 1 tsp of salt. Let sit in colander for 30 minutes. Pat dry. Just before serving toss watermelon with salt in a large bowl. Add cucumbers, red onions, and pepper syrup and toss. 





WATERMELON FIRE AND ICE SALSA 

3 cups chopped watermelon
1/2 cup green peppers
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoons chopped green onions
1-2 tablespoons (2-3 medium) jalapeno peppers
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 

Combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour. 
Makes 6 (1/2 cup) servings. 

WATERMELON SALAD

2 lbs of watermelon flesh, seeded and cut in 3/4" cubes (4 Cups or so) 
1/2 tsp cumin, ground 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp ground chili 
1/8 tsp cayenne 

Toss melon with spice mixture

3 T. fresh lime juice 
2 T. shredded cilantro 

Add, combine well and serve.

WATERMELON SALSA 

2 cups watermelon -- seeded and finely -- diced (1/4" dice) 
1/4 cup red onion -- minced 
1/4 cup cilantro -- chopped 
1 jalapeno -- seeded and minced 
1 teaspoon honey -- optional 
1 teaspoon candied ginger root -- optional 

Blend all ingredients and serve with grilled chicken and rice. Only add honey if watermelon needs a little sweetening. Great used as a topping for basmati rice. 





 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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