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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 246

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).

ALOO CHAT

AVOIDING A MIDSUMMER MELTDOWN

BARBECUE SOY SAUSAGE CHILI

BEAUTIFUL BORSCHT

BEET BORSCHT

BEET MEAT BORSCHT

BETTER THAN SEX CHOCOLATE CAKE

BETTER THAN SEX DESSERT

BLACK BEAN SALSA

BRING ON THE BORSCHT

BROWNIES FOR A CROWD

BRUSCHETTA WITH ROASTED CHERRY TOMAT

CARIBBEAN KIWI SALSA

CASHEW SHRIMP SUPREME

CILANTRO BURGERS

COOL AND SIMPLE SEVICHE

CUCUMBER AND CARROT CHAT

DID YOU KNOW

FAMOUS KUGEL

FAVORITE ZUCCHINI LOAF

FREEZER FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

FRESH FRUIT KEBABS

FRUIT SALAD CHAT

GOLDEN KIWI SMOOTHIE

GREEN BEAN PUFFS

GRILLED CHICKEN IN JERK SAUCE

GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN

GRILLED TACO BURGERS

HAUPIA

ICED TEA GRANITA

ISRAELI STYLE SALAD

ITALIAN PRUNE PLUM NUT BREAD

ITALIAN STYLE STUFFED TOMATOES

JAPANESE PICKLED PLUMS

KIWI GRAPEFRUIT SALAD

MEAT THERMOMETERS TO THE RESCUE

MU SHU PORK WITH WOOD EAR MUSHROOMS

NAPA TURKEY BURGERS

OLIVE OIL BRAISED MEDITERRANEAN VEGE

PEACOCK VEGETABLES

PINEAPPLE TERIYAKI BURGERS

PORK TENDERLOIN THRIVES ON FLAVORS

PURPLE KIWI

RASPBERRY RIBBON PIE

RICE SALAD

RIPE FRESH TOMATOES UNMATCHED IN FLA

ROSEMARY VEAL CHOPS

SAUSAGES WITH GOLDEN ONIONS

SAVORY SHORTCAKE

SAVORY ZUCCHINI FRITTATA

TARO MOUSSE CAKE

TENDERLOIN STEAKS

TOMATO ARTICHOKE RICE SALAD

TRIPLE CORN CHOWDER

VEGGIE BAKED BEANS

VEGGIE ENCHILADAS

WATERMELON COUSCOUS SALAD

WATERMELON GOES BACK TO ITS ROOTS

ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

ZUCCHINI WRAPS WITH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALOO CHAT

Makes 4 appetizer servings

2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 small onion, chopped

1 green chili, seeded and minced (see note)

11/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

2 teaspoons Chat Masala, or to taste (recipe follows)

Tamarind or green-chili chutney (optional)

 

Place potatoes, onion, chili, cilantro, tomatoes and Chat Masala in a medium bowl and toss lightly until well-mixed. Taste and add more Chat Masala, if desired. Serve plain or with tamarind chutney or green-chili chutney.

 

Variations: For texture and crunch, add roasted chopped cashews or peanuts, puffed rice, papri (flour chips), crushed potato chips, chunks of mango or a handful of pomegranate seeds.

 

Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.

 

Chat Masala

11/2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 tablespoons dried mint, crushed

1/2 teaspoon asafetida (see note)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons amchur (green mango powder; see note)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon kala namak (black salt; see note)

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Roast cumin seeds and peppercorns in a small, heavy frying pan over high heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce to low heat, add mint, asafetida and nutmeg. Toast another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

 

Grind into a fine powder in a spice grinder, coffee mill or with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in amchur, cayenne, black salt and regular salt, mixing well. Store in a glass jar in a cool place for about 6 months. Makes 1/2 cup.

 

Note: Asafetida, amchur (green mango powder) and kala namak (black salt) are sold at Indian and Asian markets.

AVOIDING A MIDSUMMER MELTDOWN

Every traditional Jewish cook relies on fruit desserts as a pareve finale for meat meals. In the summer, though, traditional desserts like compote and baked apples don't seem as appetizing--in fact, the mere thought of turning on the oven for a long simmer is unappealing. Granita, a grainy and intense-flavored frozen dessert, is the perfect summertime dessert solution: it requires no special equipment to make, is dairy-free, and contains none of the dairy substitutes in pareve ice cream that are loaded with saturated fat. Unlike ice creams and sorbets, which require trotting out the ice cream maker, making granita requires no specialized equipment and very little advance planning.

Granita (granite in French) is an Italian dessert that's similar to sorbet. What's the difference? Sorbet typically contains beaten egg whites to smooth out the texture and is best made in an ice cream maker, which by its churning action breaks ice crystals into tiny particles and creates a smooth mixture. In contrast, granita--the name is related to the word "granulate" in English--is frozen in a shallow pan and stirred occasionally--but only enough to make it scoopable. The resulting mixture contains ice crystals suspended in chilled liquid.

 

Dressed up, granita is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party--consider serving in demitasse cups or hollowed-out lemons. Fortunately, it's also easy enough to make with kids.

 

Granitas are made by freezing a mixture of sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water) with fruit that has been pureed to remove chunks that become rock-solid when frozen. Making granita allows you to take advantage of summer produce and experiment with fruit flavor combinations. Mangoes, peaches, berries, watermelon--they're all delicious when frozen in a refreshing granita. Claudia Roden, author of The Book of Jewish Food, notes that Sephardic Jews typically use oranges, melons, or apricots for granita. You can also use wine, coffee, tea, or citrus juice for granitas if you don't want to bother with preparing fruit.

 

To make granita

Fine Cooking notes that because fruits and wines all have different degrees of natural sweetness, tartness, and pectin (which helps bind the mixture together), it's difficult, if not impossible, to standardize a recipe for granita. Some simple steps to follow:

 

Make a "simple syrup" composed of equal parts water and sugar. Try one cup of each. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat slowly until sugar dissolves. Cool completely. If desired, you may flavor this simple syrup with spices: try a stick of cinnamon, a teaspoon of freshly-grated ginger, or a vanilla bean for additional flavor. Discard the flavorings (strain if necessary) before proceeding.

 

Start with about three cups of fruit (whole if berries, chopped into bite-size pieces if melons) or three cups of liquid, such as lemonade, coffee, wine, or citrus juice.

 

If you are using fruit, whizz through the blender or mash thoroughly, then force through a sieve to extract seeds, skins, and pulp.

 

Slowly add the sugar syrup to the fruit mixture, tasting as you go until the mixture suits your palate.

 

Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt to taste.

 

Pour sugar and fruit mixture into a shallow, freezer-proof container or wide stainless steel bowl.

 

Freeze for about three hours, stirring every half hour to create a granular texture.

 

Before serving, rake the surface of the granita with a fork to create a fluffy texture.

Some tips to remember when making granita:

 

For some reason, foods taste less sweet when frozen. Before you pop your granita mixture into the freezer, make sure it's a tiny bit sweeter than you would normally prefer.

 

If the granita becomes frozen too solid to scoop, scrape it into a blender and process until it softens. Serve immediately. The next time you make granita using the same ingredients, remember to add a bit more sugar or some alcohol to the mixture--both disrupt the crystalline structure or ice and make it more difficult to freeze completely, resulting in a softer texture. Conversely, if your granita is too soft, add more water to the mixture before freezing, or reduce sugar and alcohol content.

 

Granita is best when served soon after it's made, and does not keep well. If you would like to make a batch in advance, consider a tip from cookbook author Claudia Roden: Freeze the granita in ice cube trays. Before serving, place several of the granita cubes in the blender and process until spoonable.

BARBECUE SOY SAUSAGE CHILI

Serves: 6

This dish can be made ahead and reheated at any time. It is especially satisfying on a Summer's night. Look for the low sodium version of beans and barbecue sauce to keep down your salt intake.

2 T. soybean oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 packages Gimme Lean!TMBeef Style, broken into pieces

1 8oz. can kidney beans, drained, low sodium

12 oz. barbecue sauce, low sodium

 

1. In a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion in the oil until soft and slightly brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the Gimme Lean!TM and continue to stir until it browns.

3. Add the beans and barbecue sauce; mix thoroughly.

4. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.

 

Serve with Spicy Soy Cornbread and Coleslaw.

BEAUTIFUL BORSCHT

Source: "Garden Fresh Cooking"- Organic Gardening Magazine, January, 1998

Yield: 8 servings

 

8 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed and grated

2 cups shredded cabbage

2 turnips, peeled and sliced

2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced

2 cups chopped onion

2 tablespoons margarine

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2-3 quarts stock or water

1 teaspoon dried dill (or 2 tablespoons fresh)

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup tomato puree

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Salt to taste

Scrub the beets and trim off their tails and crowns. Chop, shred or slice the other vegetables. Beets can be messy, so grate them last (and don't wear a white shirt!). In a large stockpot, sauté the onion in margarine for a few minutes, then add the caraway and the rest of the vegetables. Add the stock and the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, testing occasionally for doneness. If you use fresh dill, add it at the very end. Once cooked, you can puree this soup in a blender or food processor for more delicate texture. Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream or a sprig of dill.

BEET BORSCHT

8 small beets

4 cups boiling water

Salt to taste

1/2 cup mild vinegar (or 1/4 cup lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid crystals)

Sugar or sugar substitute to taste

Cover beets with water and boil until tender. Remove beets from pot and strain liquid into soup pot. Slip beet skins off and grate beets on fine grater or food processor, and put into the beet juice (which has been strained). Add approximately 1 tablespoon salt (optional) and 4 cups of boiling water. Bring to quick boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and sweeten to taste. Cool and chill in closed jars. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons sour cream and a boiled potato to each plateful before serving.

 

This recipe is also good for diabetics, using sugar substitute. I always use extra water. For a refreshing drink, pour into a tall glass.

Note: Beets are very messy. Be sure to wear protective clothing while you

are grating beets. Maybe even rubber gloves, since they stain hands temporarily.

BEET MEAT BORSCHT

2 lbs. beets

2 pieces flanken

2 onions diced

2-3 cloves garlic

Juice of 2 lemons

Sugar and salt to taste

Clean and cube beets. Put in blender half full with water. Grate. Save water for soup. Put flanken in pot with onions and salt. When boiled skim off foam. Add the beets; cover and cook for about 2- 1/2 hours. Add cloves of garlic, sugar, juice of lemons and cook for another 15 minutes.

BETTER THAN SEX CHOCOLATE CAKE

1 Chocolate cake mix - make and bake according to directions on the box.

Let cake cool for 1 hour, poke holes in it with the end of a wooden spoon

and pour the following ingredients over the cake in layers:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 jar Butterscotch Caramel Fudge sauce

1 - 9 oz carton Cool Whip

Top with 2 or 3 crushed Heath candy bars

Best if refrigerated overnight before serving.

BETTER THAN SEX DESSERT

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

3 oz. Phil. cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1- 8 oz. cool whip, thawed

1- 4 oz. instant chocolate pudding

1- 4 oz. Instant vanilla pudding

2 cups milk

For garnish on top: 1 grated chocolate candy bar, whole cherries and

chopped nuts.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine softened butter, flour and pecans. Press in a 13" x 9" x 2" pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350º and let cool. In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and mix until fluffy and then add 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spread over the baked crust. Combine chocolate and vanilla pudding and add cold milk and mix until thick and creamy. Pour over the cheese mixture. Top with the remaining whipped topping. Place one cherry in the center of each slice, sprinkle with grated chocolate bar and chopped nuts. Chill and serve.

BLACK BEAN SALSA

 

1 large tomato, diced

1 small white onion, diced

1 green tomato or 2 tomatillos, diced

1 small hot chili (preferably serrano), diced wear gloves

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup parsley, minced

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1 lime, juiced

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (one 12- to 14-ounce can), drained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring to mix. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

BRING ON THE BORSCHT

 

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Jews from New York City migrated upstate en masse to enjoy their own version of the American summer vacation--fresh air, lavish spreads, and family entertainment in accommodations ranging from ritzy resorts to bungalow communities. The "Borscht Belt," named for the ubiquitous Eastern European soup that graced menus throughout the "Jewish Alps," is now in memory's province, but the tangy soup lives on.

Borscht is actually a generic name for an Eastern European soup. Hundreds of variations exist: meat and dairy, hot and cold. Meat versions, most often served in autumn and winter, typically contain cabbage in addition to beets, and are often enhanced with tomatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. During the summer, though, only one version will do: deli-style borscht, a magenta broth prepared without meat and served chilled with bits of shredded beets.

 

Deli-style borscht is fairly easy to prepare, with only a few ingredients. The soup usually gets its sweet-and-sour flavor from a touch of honey combined with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar. Some cooks prefer to use sour salt, or citric acid, which can be found in kosher grocery stores and online at stores like Kosher Supermarket.

The real flavor of the dish, of course, comes from beets, the star ingredient. Beets are at their peak between July and October. Heirloom varieties are available in gold, orange, white, and striped in addition to the familiar magenta. Look for unusual varieties at farmers' markets and gourmet grocery stores. When selecting any variety of fresh beets, look for those with intact, healthy greens and avoid bunches with straggly or yellowed tops.

To the uninitiated, beets may seem intimidating; they are notoriously messy veggies, and the same deep color that's so charming when contained in a soup bowl loses some of its appeal when it dyes your hands, clothing, and kitchen a brilliant scarlet. You may want to wear rubber gloves to handle cooked beets, as the juice can stain your hands for several hours. Be sure to don an apron or other protective garb--the juice is even harder to remove from clothing.

 

Unless they are very young and tender, most beets must be cooked to achieve maximum flavor. Before cooking, be sure to scrub the beets thoroughly--their tough skin harbors a lot of dirt. Use a vegetable brush or a steel wool pad to really get into the crevices. You can now prepare the beets in one of several ways:

 

Boiling: Most borscht recipes call for boiling beets to produce the broth from the cooking liquid. First, cut off the tops of the beet greens, leaving a couple of inches of greenery attached. Leave the roots attached. Place whole and unpeeled beets in a large pot of boiling water and boil until they are soft--anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets. Allow to cool, cut off root and stem ends, and remove jackets.

 

Roasting: This method of preparation adds an extra-rich dimension to the beets' flavor. Place whole scrubbed beets into roasting pan or wrap in aluminum foil. Cover tightly. Roast at 400 degrees until the skin can easily be pierced with a fork, about one hour. Allow to cool, then remove jackets and chop as desired.

 

Steaming: Arrange the beets in a single layer in a stove-top steamer over about 2 inches of boiling water. Cover and steam until tender (up to about 60 minutes for large beets), adding additional water as necessary.

 

In the summer, beet borscht is best served chilled. Possible garnishes include dill sprigs, sliced cucumber, scallions, or whole boiled eggs. To true borscht aficionados, though, there's only one way to serve borscht: cold, with a steaming hot potato in the center and a mound of sour cream on the side. Leah Loeb Fischer, author of Mama Leah's Jewish Kitchen, notes that "This mixture of hot and cold is unique to this dish." Once you've tried it, Mama Leah insists, "you'll never want to have borscht any other way.

 

BROWNIES FOR A CROWD

Makes 5 dozen

1/2 cup margarine

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting:

6 tablespoons margarine

6 tablespoons milk

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

To make brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 2 at a time, and vanilla. Mix well. Add chocolate syrup. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together; stir into chocolate mixture. Add nuts. Pour into well-greased 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch jelly roll pan and spread evenly.

 

Bake 22-25 minutes, or until slight imprint remains when touched lightly with finger. Remove pan to rack and cool.

 

To make frosting: Combine margarine, milk and sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Stir to mix, then bring to a boil for 30 seconds. Add chocolate pieces; stir until mixture thickens slightly and cools. Add vanilla. Spread frosting over cooled brownies, then cut into 2 1/2-by-1-inch bars.

BRUSCHETTA WITH ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

Serves 4

For roasted cherry tomatoes:

1 pound cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and black pepper

For bruschetta:

4 slices day-old bread, in 1/2-inch thick slices

1 garlic clove, halved

Extra virgin olive oil

 

For tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan, combine tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, oil and vinegar.

 

Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Roast until soft and wilted, 20 minutes.

 

For bruschetta: Toast bread on a preheated, ridged, cast-iron grill pan or outdoor grill until crisp and striped, 2 minutes per side. Alternately, use a preheated broiler. Rub one side of each slice with cut garlic and drizzle olive oil over each slice.

 

Spread tomatoes over bread. Serve at room temperature.

CARIBBEAN KIWI SALSA

Makes 6 servings

 

Pineapple and kiwifruit give this salsa a sweet-and-sour flavor. Use to top grilled fish, chicken, beans or rice.

2 cups pineapple chunks, drained and chopped

2 yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

3 kiwifruit, peeled and chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Dash of cayenne pepper

 

Combine pineapple chunks, bell peppers, kiwifruit, onion, cilantro, lime juice and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Toss thoroughly and serve with fish or chicken.

CASHEW SHRIMP SUPREME

 

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt ‹ teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 cup diced zucchini

3 1/2 cups cooked rice

3/4 cup cashews

Sweet red bell pepper rings

 

Cut shrimp in half lengthwise and reserve. In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper. Add shrimp and toss gently to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add shrimp and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons oil.

 

Stir-fry onion, pepper and garlic in oil remaining in skillet. Add zucchini and stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in shrimp, rice and cashews. Cook over low heat, stirring, until heated through. Spoon into serving dish. Garnish with red pepper rings. Srves 4.

CILANTRO BURGERS

Makes 6

 

2 pounds ground chuck

1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/8 to 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions

1 clove finely chopped garlic

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Mix all ingredients well, shape into patties. Grill.

 

Use your favorite bun along with your favorite condiments and enjoy.

 

COOL AND SIMPLE SEVICHE

 

By Bradford Seaman, ucook.com staff writer

 

Hundreds of years ago, along the western coast of South America, the Incas were using lime juice to "cook" raw, fresh seafood from the bountiful Pacific. Today, this dish is still served throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It is called seviche.

 

Seviche (pronounced "se-VEE-chay"; also spelled "ceviche") has changed very little over the centuries. And why should it? It is simply lime-marinated, raw seafood or shellfish, to which chili peppers and some spices are often added. It is what the lime juice does to the seafood that makes seviche much more than a Latin sushi, though.

 

When fish is cooked over heat, the flesh coagulates, or firms up, giving it the texture we recognize as cooked fish. The acid in citrus fruits - such as oranges, but especially limes and lemons - has the same effect on the fish. The result is a firm fillet that bears no texture or taste resemblance to raw fish.

 

Any seafood is fair game in seviche. Although all kinds of ocean fish are used (pompano, snapper, sole), shellfish (especially shrimp, squid, clams, oysters, and scallops) are becoming increasingly popular. Freshwater fish are not traditionally used for seviche, possibly due to potential health risks (such as tapeworm) that are not rendered harmless by the curing of the lime juice. Other raw fish preparations, including sushi, do not use freshwater fish for this reason.

 

The appeal of seviche is great. Besides being delicious, it is amazingly easy to prepare: anyone who can dunk shellfish and raw, diced fish into lime juice, can do it. Although it is not a rapid process (the fish needs to sit in the juice for a good four hours or so), it is almost impossible to "overcook" it. The seviche can marinate for up to two days. And with nothing but fresh fish, citrus, and an optional array of fruits and spices, it is an extremely nutritious dish.

 

Seviche's origins may be in Peru, where it was a favorite in the Inca civilization (1200-1600 AD), though it probably dates further back than that. Besides adding terrific flavor to seafood, this cool method of cooking was certainly popular in the tropical climate near the equator.

 

The so-called "New Florida Cuisine," a large part of which relies on Latin influences, finds a lot of different ways to use seviche (and limes for that matter, when you factor in margaritas, salsas, and key lime pie.) Chef Norman Van Aken of Norman's restaurant in Coral Gables mixes Peruvian influences: a scallop seviche with Peruvian purple potatoes. Allen Susser, of Chef Allen's in Miami Beach, adds such Mediterranean touches as fresh arugula to his conch seviche with shaved mango.

As with sushi, it is important that any seafood used in seviche be as fresh as possible, and that the fish be skinless. The ratio of fish-to-vegetable ingredients is up to the chef, and can vary from spicy to hot. Tomatoes, roasted chilies, red onions, cilantro, bell peppers, plantains, and ginger root are just a few popular options. Some chefs bend the rules a little and heat the fish or shellfish briefly on a grill before serving, adding a touch of warmth.

 

Even if you cheat with heat, seviche is a cool meal idea, in Florida and everywhere else.

CUCUMBER AND CARROT CHAT

Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons coarsely or finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed

2 medium cucumbers, ends trimmed, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 large carrot, shredded

2 or 3 fresh jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded and minced (see note)

Salt

 

Soak the coconut in 1/4 cup water until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

 

In a large bowl, combine coconut, vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds; mix until sugar dissolves. Add cucumbers, carrot, jalapenos and salt to taste; mix well.

 

Pour into a serving dish. Serve, or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

 

Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chilies; the oils an cause a burning sensation on your skin. Sunset magazine, May 1989

DID YOU KNOW

 

There are just 19 calories in a cup of sliced zucchini, which means dieters can eat a whole plate of it without feeling a bit guilty. Although it's not high in nutrition, 1 cup of sliced zucchini does have about 10 milligrams of vitamin C and 3 grams of carbohydrate. It's also fat-free.

 

When buying fresh summer squash, either green or yellow, look for firm vegetables, with no brown spots. Smaller squash, under 6 inches, usually are sweeter than larger ones. Squash can be stored in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

For most recipes, zucchini does not need to be peeled. Just wash it and slice off the ends. It can be eaten raw or cooked.

 

Zucchini is about 95 percent water. Because of that, it needs to be salted or blanched before adding it to a casserole. That will prevent the dish from becoming waterlogged.

 

To salt zucchini, slice it, then sprinkle it with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of squash. Place it in a colander and let it stand for about 30 minutes. Then rinse off the salt and pat it dry with paper towels.

 

To blanch zucchini, drop whole squash into boiling water and cook for 2 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. If you are planning to cook it later or use it in a casserole, chill it in ice water after blanching. Slice it after it has cooled.

 

Blanched zucchini also can be frozen in freezer bags. But freezing causes it to soften, so it won't be good to eat just warmed up. It can be added to soups and stews, however.

 

Zucchini also can be cooked in the microwave. Cut it in half or in slices. Add about 1/4 cup of water per pound of squash and cover it loosely. Microwave on high 8 to 10 minutes for one pound.

 

Even zucchini blossoms are edible. Try frying them as you would a fritter, or just chop and toss in a green salad.

 

 

 

FAMOUS KUGEL FROM AUNT SUE

 

I was cleaning out my recipe files yesterday and came across this great recipe from a friend. My friend got the recipe from a book of family favorites that her MIL put together--a great way to preserve family traditions!

1 lb broad egg noodles, cooked, rinsed, and drained

1 pint sour cream

1 lb container small curd cottage cheese

1 large package cream cheese (8 oz)

6 eggs

1 cup butter, melted

1 1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cinnamon to taste

Raisins to taste (golden raisins are best)

 

Melt half the butter in a 9x13 inch pan. In a mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, the remainder of the melted butter, cream cheese, cinnamon, and vanilla. When mixed, add cottage cheese and sour cream. Blend thoroughly, then add cooked and drained noodles to the mixture. Pour into baking pan, sprinkle more cinnamon on top, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

 

Comments: It doesn't hurt the taste of the kugel at all to substitute Egg Beaters, non-fat cottage cheese and sour cream, etc.

 

FAVORITE ZUCCHINI LOAF

 

4 eggs

1 cup oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups grated zucchini

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup honey

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup coconut

 

Beat eggs until light and foamy. Add oil, sugar, zucchini, vanilla and honey; mix well. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to zucchini mixture and mix well. Fold in nuts and coconut.

 

Pour batter into two greased 9-by- 5-inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert on a wire rack to cool. Makes 2 loaves.

FREEZER FRESH TOMATO SAUCE

Makes about 5 cups

4 pounds tomatoes, cored

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup dry white OR red wine (optional)

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few tomatoes at a time. Time 30 to 60 seconds, or until skins begin to crack. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander. Rinse briefly with cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut in halves. Squeeze out seeds if desired. Chop tomatoes coarsely.

 

In a large pan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cover; cook 10 minutes. Add wine and cook, uncovered, until reduced by half. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 to 60 minutes, until sauce has thickened and concentrated. Stir in parsley and pepper.

 

Let cool and ladle into freezer containers, leaving about 3/4-inch head space. Cover and freeze.

 

FRESH FRUIT KEBABS

WITH CITRUS HONEY DRESSING

Makes 4 servings

Citrus Honey Dressing:

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

Kebabs:

2 green kiwifruit

2 gold kiwifruit

1 cup strawberries, hulled (see note)

1 small bunch seedless red grapes (see note)

To make dressing: Mix the lemon juice and honey in a small bowl.

 

To assemble kebabs: Peel kiwi and cut in eighths. Thread alternately with other fruit onto wooden skewers. Drizzle with Citrus Honey Dressing and serve fresh.

 

Note: You can substitute berries and/or grapes with other fresh fruit, such as melons or nectarines.

FRUIT SALAD CHAT

Makes 6 servings

 

You can also use cored and sliced apples or pears, chopped bananas, grapes, guavas and chopped pineapple.

1 large firm-ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced (about 1 pound)

1 small honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and cut into thin wedges (13/4 lbs)

2 large kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 ounces total)

2 cups strawberries, hulled and rinsed

2 lemons Fruit

Chat Masala (recipe follows)

Salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 or 2 fresh jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded and minced (see note)

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

On a large platter, arrange papaya, honeydew, kiwis and strawberries. Squeeze lemons and sprinkle juice over fruit. (If made ahead, cover and chill up until the next day). Sprinkle with Fruit Chat Masala and salt to taste.

 

Offer ginger, jalapenos, mint and cilantro to add to salad.

 

Alternative serving style: Serve in chilled sherbet glasses, garnished with sprigs of fresh mint.

 

Fruit chat masala:

Mix 1 teaspoon ground cumin,

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste), and

1/4 teaspoon pepper.

 

Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin. From Sunset magazine, May 1989

 

 

 

GOLDEN KIWI SMOOTHIE

Makes 2 servings

2 gold kiwifruit

1 small banana

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup plain, vanilla or orange yogurt

Ice cubes

 

Peel and slice the kiwifruit into a blender or food processor. Add the banana, orange juice and yogurt. Blend until smooth.

 

Pour over ice cubes into 2 tall glasses.

GREEN BEAN PUFFS

The green bean tu (``to stick out'' in Mandarin) or pong (``to puff up'' in Taiwanese) is a traditional Taiwanese pastry. It is a puff pastry in the shape of a little dome, like a flaky sweet knish, and is eaten year-round, but particularly during the Moon Festival season.

 

Makes about 20-25 puffs

First dough:

3 cups cake flour

2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 sticks butter

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup hot water

Second dough:

3 3/4 cups cake flour

1 1/2 sticks butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Filling:

2 pounds green mung beans (see Note)

Water

1 1/2 cups oil

3 1/2 cups sugar

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

 

For first dough: Mix flours. Add butter and vegetable oil to flour. Combine ingredients with pastry cutter until dough is crumbly. Then add hot water to bind dough together. On a floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch or less. Fold the dough into quarters and roll over folded dough. Do this twice. Then roll out the dough again; roll it up into a log shape and slice to about 1 inch thick.

 

For second dough: Mix flour, butter and oil with pastry cutter and spoon until smooth. Roll out dough slices from above just until flattened slightly. Distribute flour-butter-oil roux evenly over dough slices. Fold slices in half so that roux mixture is enclosed and roll again.

 

For filling: Soak beans for about 2 hours to soften. Drain. Place beans in large pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cook for about 1 hour until beans soften and open. Drain water. Add 1 1/2 cups oil and 3 1/2 cups sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until any remaining water has evaporated.

 

To prepare: Place teaspoonful of green bean filling in the middle of each slice and wrap it up into a small pouch, bringing the sides together and pinching dough to close. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Note: You can substitute sweet red bean paste, which is sold in cans.

GRILLED CHICKEN IN JERK SAUCE

Makes 4 servings

1 4-pound chicken, backbone removed and quartered

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons browning sauce, such as Kitchen Bouquet (divided)

1 cup raisins

2 cups hot water

7 yellow or green Scotch bonnet chilies, stems removed (see note)

8 red habanero chilies, stems removed (see note)

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 bunches green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

12 garlic cloves

1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped

4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only

20 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

6 crumbled bay leaves

1 tablespoon freshly ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/3 cup blackstrap molasses

1/3 cup double-dark soy sauce (preferably Amoy brand; see note)

1/2 cup white vinegar

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup chicken broth

 

Place the chicken in a large bowl and rub each piece with the 1/4 cup browning sauce, making sure that each chicken piece is thoroughly coated with sauce. Set aside.

 

Place the raisins in a small pan, add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until raisins are plump and water is reduced by about half. Remove from heat and cool raisins and liquid to room temperature.

 

Combine the Scotch bonnet and habanero chilies in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the onion, green onion, garlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, soy sauce, vinegar, and the raisins and their liquid. Process until the mixture is thoroughly pureed.

 

Add 2 cups of the jerk sauce to the chicken quarters and coat each piece well. Marinate overnight or for up to 2 days.

 

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for low heat. Remove chicken from the marinade and place on the grill. Cover and grill the chicken pieces until cooked through, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Keep the fire low or the sugar in the molasses may burn and char the chicken. Baste the chicken with jerk sauce every 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a gravy by combining 1 cup of the jerk sauce in a small saucepan with the butter, 2 remaining tablespoons of browning sauce and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until thick. If the gravy becomes dry, add a little water.

 

The leftover jerk sauce can be brushed on firm-fleshed fish, such as shark or marlin. To prepare pork, add 1/2 cup yellow mustard to the jerk sauce before marinating and proceed as directed above for chicken. Leftover sauce will keep in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

 

Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.

 

Note: Double-dark soy sauce can be found at most Asian markets. Do not substitute Kikkoman brand, which is much too light.

GRILLED PORK TENDERLOIN

Serves 4

1 to 1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of membrane and any visible fat

Marinade:

6 ounces ( 3/4 cup) pineapple or orange juice

1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons rice or cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Fold back the tapered end of the tenderloin and secure it with kitchen string. Place the meat in a large plastic sealable bag or in a shallow dish and set it aside.

 

In a glass measure, combine all marinade ingredients. Set aside half to brush on the meat during grilling. Pour remaining marinade over pork and seal bag or cover dish. Refrigerate meat in marinade for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

 

Prepare a charcoal grill for medium-hot heat or preheat a gas grill on high. When heated, oil the grate by wadding up a paper towel and soaking it with vegetable oil. Using long tongs, rub oil-soaked paper towel on grate. Let grate heat for a few minutes.

 

Remove pork from marinade and discard marinade. Place meat on the grill, cover and sear about 3 minutes on each side. Occasionally brush with reserved marinade.

 

(For charcoal grilling, sear on all sides; then move tenderloin to a cooler part of the grill -- about medium heat -- to finish cooking.)

 

Continue grilling 5 to 8 minutes for a tenderloin weighing 1 1/4 pounds, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

GRILLED TACO BURGERS

Serves 4

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup crushed corn chips

1/4 cup water

1/2 package taco seasoning mix

1 pound ground beef

4 hamburger buns, toasted

1 large tomato, sliced

1 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salsa

 

In mixing bowl, combine egg, corn chips, water and half the seasoning mix (save the remaining half for another use). Add meat; mix well.

 

Shape meat mixture in 4 patties. Cook over medium coals 5-6 minutes. Turn; cook 4-5 minutes more or till done. Serve on buns. Pass tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

HAUPIA

 

4 cups coconut milk*

2-1/2 cups water

1-1/4 cups sugar

1 cup cornstarch

 

*Coconut milk, as you rightly recall, is made by mixing equal parts of shredded coconut and water, and simmering until foamy. Then the mixture is strained through a cheesecloth, and you squeeze as much liquid out of the pulp as possible.

 

Combine the coconut milk and water. Stir until smooth. Add the sugar and cornstarch. Cook over low heat until thickened and shiny. If the haupia is grainy, you need to keep cooking the mixture because the fat in the coconut milk has not yet melted.

 

Now, those impulsive cooking students at the Maui Community College have also provided the means for you to take this one step further. It may not be traditional, they say, but you can "take ordinary haupia and make it a special 'company coming' dessert." What's the secret? Make a dough with 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of chopped nuts. Press the dough into a pan and bake it for 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C). When the crust is cool, pour the just-made haupia over the top, chill it, and then serve with whipped cream and a sprinkling of plain or toasted shredded coconut.

ICED TEA GRANITA

 

8 cups tea (8 cups boiling water +16 teabags, left to steep for 5 minutes)

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx 2 large lemons)

1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)

Grated peel from lemons

 

Add sugar to hot tea and stir until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and grated lemon rind. Pour into two shallow pans (13 x 9 x 2) work fine. Put in freezer. Stir with a potato masher or strong whisk every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes until entirely crystallized. It should have the texture of snow.

 

Put gently into containers in the freezer, quickly so it doesn't melt, and scoop out

some on a hot summer's day and share with your friends.

ISRAELI STYLE SALAD

1-2 Red ripe tomatoes

1 Cucumber (preferably English seedless)

Half a red onion or a couple shallots

3-4 Radishes

Pickled cucumber (preferably one of those smaller Israeli style pickles)

Juice of one fresh lemon

Good olive oil

salt/fresh ground pepper

red chili flakes (optional)

 

Dice all vegetables into roughly the same size pieces. Squeeze lemon juice (careful to catch the seeds) over the veggies. Add salt and pepper (and chili flakes, if using) to taste, and then drizzle the olive oil over it for taste. Toss. Chill for one hour or eat immediately.

 

Comments

I find that this salad tastes best after the flavors have been allowed to marry. Also after a while the juices of the vegetables come out to make one of the best tasting "vinaigrettes" I've ever had. Immediate consumption of the salad will allow you to enjoy the individual crunchiness of the veggies. This salad is great on falafel in a pita! I also like having this salad the next morning with a poached egg and some toast.

The best thing about this is that the recipe is totally flexible - you can add and omit anything you want - although I recommend always keeping the tomatoes and cucumbers to retain the character of the salad.

ITALIAN PRUNE PLUM NUT BREAD

Makes 2 loaves

1 cup butter or margarine (see note)

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup plain or lemon yogurt

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (yellow part only)

2 cups diced Italian prune plums (1/2-inch pieces)

1 cup chopped nuts

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

 

Sift together flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda.

 

Blend yogurt and lemon peel; add to creamed mixture alternately with dry ingredients. Stir until well-blended. Add diced prune plums and nuts; mix well.

 

Divide between 2 greased and floured 9-by-5-by-21/2-inch loaf pans.

 

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.

 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

ITALIAN STYLE STUFFED TOMATOES

WITH WHITE BEANS

Serves 4

4 large ripe tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 (19-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons Italian-flavored bread crumbs

 

Cut off top 1/4 of tomatoes. With a spoon, scoop out most of pulp and seeds and discard. Brush outsides of tomato shells with 1 tablespoon oil; place tomatoes in a microwave-able dish.

 

In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and cook, stirring until it starts to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper; cook 30 seconds longer. Stir in beans; heat until hot. Add 3 tablespoons of cheese. Fill each tomato shell with bean mixture, dividing evenly.

 

In a cup, combine bread crumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle tomatoes with crumbs. Lightly cover and microwave on high until tomatoes are tender but retain shape, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

JAPANESE PICKLED PLUMS

Makes 31/2 cups, 7 servings

6 fresh plums or Italian prune plums, pitted, thinly sliced

1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch julienne

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped, or

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

11/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/3 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/3 cup water

 

Toss plums, carrot, onion and ginger together until well-mixed.

 

In separate bowl, mix salt, sugar, rice vinegar and water. Stir until translucent. Pour over plum mixture.

 

Place mixture in covered container and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Drain and serve as a condiment to grilled chicken, pork or beef, or as a starter salad.

 

KIWI GRAPEFRUIT SALAD

WITH YOGURT LIME DRESSING

Makes 2 servings

 

This fruit salad makes a great dessert or light meal. The yogurt-lime dressing with honey tops off this light, healthy and easy-to-make dish.

3 kiwifruit, pared and sliced (about 3 ounces each)

1 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds (see note)

Yogurt-Lime Dressing (recipe follows)

 

Arrange kiwifruit, grapefruit and blueberries on a platter; sprinkle with almonds. Serve with Yogurt-Lime Dressing.

 

Yogurt-Lime Dressing: Combine

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel (green part only)

Mix well. Makes about 1/4 cup.

 

Note: To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch them.

 

 

 

MEAT THERMOMETERS TO THE RESCUE

 

By Martin McKenna, ucook.com contributor

 

A reliable thermometer is a handy thing to have. They are, of course, a line of defense against undercooked food. They also assure that food is not overcooked, which is especially important for today's lean-bred meat. And for a re-warmed casserole, they beat sticking your finger in to it to see if it's hot.

 

Modern meat thermometers are faster and more accurate than their predecessors. Consumer models are inexpensive. They include the favored instant-read dial and digital models that usually cost from $9 to $18. They aren't oven-proof, but they take only 10 to 20 seconds to gauge the temperature of cooked food. Some have to be inserted a couple of inches, others as little as a quarter inch.

 

Bruce Aidells, co-author of The Complete Meat Cookbook, swears by instant-read digital thermometers as the only sure way to make meat taste good. Cook red meat just a few degrees beyond the temperatures recommended in his recipes and it will taste something like cardboard, he says. In earlier days meat was fatter, which gave cooks a margin of error. The fat kept the meat moist, even if it was a tad toasted.

 

Digital thermometers, which are usually the more expensive of the instant-read models, also allow for recalibrating the devices. Not all of the dial thermometers do, but it's an important function, so you might want to make sure your intended purchase has a temperature adjustment.

 

That's why those spattered old meat thermometers lying in utensil drawers should be suspect. As a type of thermometer they are fine, if they are inserted correctly (away from bone, fat or gristle). But the older they are, the less likely they're accurate. And once a liquid-filled thermometer is off, there's no way to recalibrate it.

 

In fact, even those pop-up plastic thermometers that come in turkeys are fine. Like the liquid-filled models, they may be off a degree or two, but that should be OK as long as you're aware of it.

 

Inserting your thermometer into a large glass filled with finely crushed ice and clean water can test any thermometer's accuracy. It should read 32° F (0°C). This will take a minute or two for a liquid-filled device, just seconds for an instant-read. Thermometers can also be tested in boiling water, but be aware that 212°F (100°C) is the boiling point only at sea level. In the mile-high city of Denver, for example, water boils at 202°F (95°C).

 

Like author Aidells, the US Department of Agriculture says that digital instant-read thermometers are the only way to go. In fact they say they are essential. Food safety officials are particularly concerned about people eating ground beef that hasn't been heated uniformly to a temperature of 160°, which kills bacteria. The color of the meat is not a reliable test of doneness. Only temperature is.

 

The USDA likes digital thermometers because they need only be inserted a quarter of an inch or so to get an accurate reading. The agency has enough sense to realize people are unlikely to try to stick a probe two inches into the side of a burger. Yet the agency also has enough, shall we say, whimsy, to have suggested that the ideal present for Father's Day was a meat thermometer.

 

MU SHU PORK WITH WOOD EAR MUSHROOMS

 

Here's the traditional use for the intriguing wood ear mushroom. The tough center portion is the "stem." cut it out and discard it.

 

1 pound thin-cut boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce

3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3 cups shredded Napa cabbage or green cabbage

4 green onions, sliced

1 cup Wood Ear mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced (see note)

4 to 6 (10-inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Bottled plum sauce

 

Pound the pork slices between sheets of waxed paper with a meat mallet to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the pork into 1/4-inch-wide bite-size strips. Combine the pork and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a shallow bowl and mix well. Stir together the orange juice, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, soy sauce and hoisin sauce.

 

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Whisk the eggs into the wok and scramble for 1 to 2 minutes until cooked. Remove to a cutting board and quickly chop finely.

 

Add 1 more tablespoon of the oil to the wok. Stir-fry the pork for 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from the wok. Add another tablespoon of oil. Stir-fry the cabbage and green onions for 2 to 3 minutes or until cabbage is wilted.

 

Stir the orange juice mixture. Push the cabbage mixture to one side of the wok. Pour the sauce into the center of the wok and cook until mixture thickens and bubbles, stirring constantly. Add the pork, chopped eggs and wood ear mushrooms and stir to coat with the sauce. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes more or until mixture is heated through.

 

For each serving, place one flour tortilla on a serving plate. Spoon one-fourth (for 4 servings) or one-sixth (for 6 servings) of the pork mixture into the center of a flour tortilla. Drizzle some plum sauce over the filling. Roll to enclose the filling. Place seam side down on the plates. Spoon more plum sauce on top. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Wood Ear mushrooms (also called cloud ears) resemble a miniature elephant's ear and are supposed to be dry, brown and rubbery. They have been used for centuries by Asian herbalists. If stored properly, dried Wood Ears will last for up to one year. Reconstitute them to add some "chew" to stir-frys, pilafs, pasta, soups and bean dishes. Wood Ear mushrooms give the classic taste and flavor to Cantonese Mu Shu pork.

 

From "The Purple Kiwi Cookbook" by Karen Caplan

NAPA TURKEY BURGERS

Makes 6

 

2 pounds lean ground turkey

1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine

1/8 to 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped basil

1/4 to 1/3 cup finely minced red onion

1/4 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine, then covered in olive oil just to cover

2 crushed garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Barbecue sauce

6 wheat buns

 

Mix all ingredients except barbecue sauce and buns. Divide into 6 equally sized portions, then shape into patties.

 

Brush the rack of a medium-hot grill with a light coating of vegetable oil and place patties on grill. Cook completely through, about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, turning once, lightly brushing with barbecue sauce. Add cooked patty to bun and dress with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and thinly sliced red onion.

OLIVE OIL BRAISED MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLES

Serves 4 as a main course

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional to serve

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp crumbled dried rosemary OR 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 ripe fresh tomatoes or canned plum tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup water

1 14-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 handful fresh basil, mint or parsley or a combination, chopped

Salt and black pepper

 

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until soft, about 5 minutes.

 

Add rosemary, pepper flakes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, potato, tomatoes and water. Turn heat to low and cover. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 30 minutes.

 

Stir in beans and cook until hot through, 5 minutes. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot in warmed bowls, drizzled with olive oil.

PEACOCK VEGETABLES

 

2 purple onions, cut into eighths

2 small yellow squash, cut in 1/2-inch strips

2 small zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch strips

1 each red, yellow and green bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch strips

4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 3 tablespoons fresh

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Place onions, squash, bell peppers and garlic in a bowl and toss well. Combine remaining ingredients in a lidded jar and shake well. Pour over vegetables and toss. Spoon into a greased, 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

 

 

PINEAPPLE TERIYAKI BURGERS

Makes 10

 

2 1/2 pounds ground turkey

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon red pepper

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 egg

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

1 can pineapple slices, drained

Onion buns

Mix all ingredients (except pineapple and buns) with hands.

 

Shape into patties and grill. Grill the pineapple slices and place on top of burgers. Serve on onion rolls.

PORK TENDERLOIN THRIVES ON FLAVORS

RUBS WORK ESPECIALLY WELL

BY SUSAN SELASKY, Knight Ridder

 

Pork tenderloin, the filet mignon of the pig, is everywhere this summer, it seems.

 

This is a good thing, because the tenderloin, when prepared on the grill, cooks quickly and pairs well with a variety of flavors.

 

To prepare tenderloin for grilling, remove the silver skin, the thin but tough membrane. That will prevent the meat from curling during cooking. To avoid overcooking the tapered end, fold it back and secure with kitchen string.

 

Along with marinades, rubs work well with pork tenderloin.

For a simple rub, mix

1/2 teaspoon salt,

1/2 teaspoon pepper,

1 teaspoon brown sugar,

1/2 teaspoon paprika,

1/4 teaspoon cumin,

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper,

1/4 teaspoon onion powder and

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.

Rub over tenderloin, and refrigerate meat at least 30 minutes before grilling.

 

To serve tenderloin, slice on the diagonal for a nice presentation and serve with grilled onions.

PURPLE KIWI

CATERS TO PEOPLE WITH A PASSION FOR THE EXOTIC

Makes 4 servings.

 

Passion Fruit Dressing:

2 ripe, wrinkled passion fruits

3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon honey

1/8 teaspoon pepper

 

Scoop out the passion fruit pulp into a blender or food processor container (seeds and all). Add the oil, honey and pepper. Cover and process until seeds are pulverized. Makes about 1/2 cup.

From "The Purple Kiwi Cookbook" by Karen Caplan

RASPBERRY RIBBON PIE

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3-ounce package raspberry Jell-O

1 1/4 cups boiling water

2 cups fresh raspberries (see Note)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of salt

1 cup whipping cream

1 baked pie shell

 

Dissolve granulated sugar and Jell-0 in boiling water. Let cool; add berries and lemon juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Whip cream, fold in cream cheese mixture. Spread half the cream cheese mixture in pie shell, top with half berry-Jell-O mixture. Repeat layers. Chill until set.

 

Note: You can substitute blackberries or strawberries. If you do, switch from raspberry to cherry or strawberry Jell-O.

RICE SALAD

WITH DRIED CHERRIES AND HAZELNUTS

Makes 6 servings

2 cups cooked and cooled white rice (2/3 cup uncooked; try basmati or jasmine) 2 cups cooked and cooled wild rice (1/2 cup; see note)

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts (see note)

Dressing (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Mix cooked white and wild rice with the cherries and hazelnuts. At the last minute before serving, toss with dressing and chives; season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Note: To cook the wild rice, cook 1/2 cup rice in 2 cups boiling water, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes. The rice is done when two-thirds of the grains have "exploded." This will give the rice a nice variety of textures, from chewy to melt-in-your-mouth.

 

Note: To toast hazelnuts, spread shelled nuts in dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, about 10 minutes or until skins crack. Be careful not to burn. To remove skins, rub warm nuts with a rough cloth.

Dressing:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cloves

1 pinch ground cardamom

Salt and pepper to taste

 

To make dressing: Mix the oil, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and salt and pepper to taste by hand with a whip.

From chef Peter Leigh Gallin Applewood Catering, Vancouver, Wash.

RIPE FRESH TOMATOES UNMATCHED IN FLAVOR

Los Angeles Daily News

Ah, the taste of summer: sun-drenched tomatoes from the garden. Your plants are bulging with an abundant crop of beautiful, ripe, juicy red tomatoes. Or you're the recipient of shared bounty from a neighbor's, friend's or relative's prolific homegrown crop.

 

But even if you don't have a homegrown source, you can head to a farmers market. Pick the tomatoes that are firm, but not hard, and heavy for their size.

 

There's nothing quite like the taste of a homegrown tomato. They're great plain and equally tasty dressed up in salads, hot or cold pastas, sandwiches, salsas, pizzas or stews. If you have large numbers, consider turning them into tomato or spaghetti sauces to stash in the freezer for a taste of summer later in the year.

 

No matter what you do with a tomato in the privacy of your own kitchen, it is a fruit -- a ``fruit of the vine,'' as some experts call it. Tomatoes most often turn up in savory dishes, possibly a result of their filtering through the cuisines of Europe and especially Italy. Yet their occasional appearance in a spiced bread pudding or a tropical fruit salsa should remind us that they are not a vegetable.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court actually grappled with the tomato's identity, tackling how tomatoes should be handled in tariff law. For that purpose, the court in 1893 declared the tomato a vegetable. Just try telling that to a botanist.

 

Native populations of South America were the first to enjoy the fruit's flavor. Tomatoes were impressive enough that conquistadors carried samples back from South America and Mexico to Europe -- where they were considered an aphrodisiac by some and poisonous by others, probably because, like potato and eggplant, they are a member of the nightshade family.

 

The name ``tomate'' was administered by the Spanish, who probably gave up trying to pronounce the original Aztec name xitomati, meaning ``plump.''

 

Centuries after tomatoes began in the Americas, the Spanish rode back in. Spanish colonists carried tomatoes into the Caribbean and, over time, into Texas and Florida.

 

When preparing tomatoes, add a sprinkling of salt to bring out their flavor. While some recipes advise peeling and seeding the tomatoes, others leave the skin on and use seeds and all.

 

To seed tomatoes and remove liquid, cut in half crosswise, place one half in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze out the liquid and seeds.

 

To peel tomatoes, submerge them in a pot of boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds. Remove and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Lift out and slip off the skins.

 

For the best flavor, store tomatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator, unless they have broken skins. Tomatoes become mushy and lose flavor at temperatures below 55 degrees.

 

Plum or Roma tomatoes are best for sauces because they are less watery and have more pulp. Yellow and orange tomatoes are excellent in salads since they generally are sweeter and less acidic than red varieties.

 

When cooking with tomatoes, figure that three to four medium tomatoes weigh about a pound. One large tomato yields about 1 cup of coarsely chopped tomatoes. A plum or Roma tomato, depending on size, will yield about half as much.

ROSEMARY VEAL CHOPS

With QUICK PAN SAUCE

 

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 pounds (4 thick) veal chops

3 cloves garlic -- sliced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary -- finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2/3 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In your nonstick frying pan, warm 1

tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Pat the chops dry. Add them to

the pan and cook, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the

chops to a shallow baking dish, set them in the oven, and bake until done to

your liking, 15 to 20 minutes for pale pink and juicy. Remove from the oven

and let rest for 5 minutes.

 

Shortly before the chops are done, pour off any oil but do not clean the

pan. Set the pan over low heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and when

it is hot, add the garlic, rosemary, and hot pepper. Cook until the garlic

is soft and just golden, 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Add the broth, wine, and lemon peel. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook,

stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan until the sauce has

thickened slightly and is becoming syrupy, about 3 minutes. Remove from the

heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce around and

over the chops and serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

SAUSAGES WITH GOLDEN ONIONS

RED PEPPERS AND TOMATOES

Serves 4

8 Italian sausages, pricked with fork

2 onions, finely sliced

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into fine strips

1 14-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped

Salt and black pepper

1 handful chopped fresh parsley, optional

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and cook until browned all over, 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

 

Add onions to pan, cover and cook until soft and wilted, 5 minutes. Remove cover and stir in pepper strips. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden and pepper is tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, another 10 minutes.

 

Turn heat to low and return sausages to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot on warmed plates, sprinkled with parsley, if using.

 

SAVORY SHORTCAKE

 

For the shortcake:

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornmeal

1/2 cup toasted wheat germ

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons 70 percent vegetable oil spread (stick form), melted

1 egg

1 1/4 cups low-fat milk

 

For the topping:

8 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 4 cups chopped)

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup sliced fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup reduced-fat Italian vinaigrette dressing

Salt and pepper to taste, optional

3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Fresh basil leaves for garnish

 

Heat oven to 425 F. Spray 8-inch round metal baking pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cornmeal, turning pan to coat bottom evenly.

 

To make shortcake: In medium bowl, combine 1 cup cornmeal, wheat germ, flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. In small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil spread, egg and milk; mix well. Add to wheat germ mixture, mixing just until all dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into baking pan.

 

Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until lightly browned, and wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, to make topping: In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, green onions, basil, dressing and, if desired, salt and pepper to taste; mix well.

 

To serve: Cut shortcake into 6 wedges; split each wedge in half. Place 1 wedge half on each plate; spread with half of tomato mixture and sour cream. Top with second shortcake wedge; garnish with remaining tomato mixture, sour cream and fresh basil. Makes 6 servings.

 

SAVORY ZUCCHINI FRITTATA

 

6 eggs

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons soft bread crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

1 cup 1/4-inch zucchini slices (about 1 medium)

Flour

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

 

Beat eggs, water, parsley, bread crumbs, salt and garlic.

 

Heat oil in 8-inch nonstick oven-proof skillet over medium heat until hot. Coat zucchini lightly with flour; cook until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Pour egg mixture over zucchini. Cook without stirring until eggs are thickened throughout but still moist, 3 to 5 minutes. Gently lift edge with fork so that uncooked portion can flow to bottom. Sprinkle with cheese.

 

Set oven control to broil. Broil omelet with top 5 inches from heat until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Loosen edge with spatula; slip cheese side up onto serving plate.

TARO MOUSSE CAKE

For the genoise or sponge cake:

6 eggs, separated

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups cake flour, or all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (optional)

Mousse filling:

1/2 cup whipping cream

12 ounces steamed, mashed taro root (see Note)

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons powdered milk

7 tablespoons butter

 

To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Beat egg yolks and 1 cup sugar. Fold in flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks with remaining sugar. Gently fold egg whites into batter. If you are using oil or butter for added richness, fold that in last.

 

Pour batter into ungreased 9-inch, round cake pan. Bake about 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean and cake is a light golden brown.

 

To prepare filling: In a chilled bowl with a hand mixer, whip cream until it forms soft peaks. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, powdered milk and warm mashed taro until blended. Add butter and combine. Wait until mixture has cooled to room temperature, then fold in whipped cream.

 

Slice cake in half horizontally. Spread filling on bottom layer with spatula. Add top layer of cake.

 

Note: Peel taro root, cut into 1/3-inch thick slices and steam until soft, about 30 minutes. When root is cooked, mash it with a fork or ricer.

TENDERLOIN STEAKS

WITH ARUGULA CORNICHON RELISH

Most guests love a good steak, but it's better yet with this caper and fresh-herb relish. Peppery arugula, a built-in salad, offers a pleasant bite. Serve the steaks with mashed potatoes.

4 beef tenderloin steaks (or 2 halved ribeye steaks), cut 1 inch thick (about 1

pound total)

1 tablespoon cracked pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

3 tablespoons finely chopped cornichons or sweet pickles

2 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped

1 medium green onion, chopped

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 cups torn arugula and/or torn mixed greens

 

Trim fat from steaks. Rub both sides of steaks with pepper and salt. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Cook to desired doneness, turning once. (Allow 8 to 11 minutes for medium rare or 12 to 14 minutes for medium doneness.)

Meanwhile, for relish, in a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the parsley, cornichons or pickles, capers, green onion, and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

To serve, transfer steaks to a cutting board; cut into thin slices. Arrange the arugula or mixed greens on dinner plates. Top with the steak slices, then spoon the relish over steak and arugula. Makes 4 servings

TOMATO ARTICHOKE RICE SALAD

Serves 6

1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cups cooked, cold rice

1 1/2 pounds (3 large) fresh tomatoes, seeded, diced and drained

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 (5 3/4-ounce) can pitted whole ripe olives, drained and cut in quarters

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

 

Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade. Roughly slice artichoke hearts lengthwise; set aside. Combine lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Beat in reserved artichoke marinade. Gently combine dressing with rice, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onion, olives and parsley.

TRIPLE CORN CHOWDER

 

Cornmeal imparts a new and interesting texture to this pleasantly flavored soup. But, if you're out of cornmeal, use 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour instead.

1 cup loose-pack frozen whole kernel corn

1/4 cup chopped green or sweet red pepper

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules

Dash pepper

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup chopped sliced dried beef or fully cooked ham

2 tablespoons corn nuts or coarsely broken corn chips (optional)

 

In a medium saucepan stir together the frozen corn, green or sweet red pepper, water, onion, bouillon granules, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or till the corn is tender. Do not drain.

In a small mixing bowl stir together the milk and cornmeal. Stir into saucepan. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in the dried beef or ham. Heat through.

To serve, ladle chowder into individual bowls. If desired, garnish with corn nuts or chips. Makes 2 side-dish servings

VEGGIE BAKED BEANS

Serves: 7 hearty servings

1 pkg. Yves Veggie Wieners, cut in 1/2" pieces

1 medium onion, diced

1-2 T. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 cup tomato paste

1/3 cup molasses

3 T. red wine vinegar

2 T. maple syrup or brown sugar

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 T. mustard powder

1 T. cumin powder

1 T. salt (or to taste)

1 1/2 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. clove powder

4 1/2 cups water

9 1/2 cups cooked or canned white beans

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

2. In large saucepan, sauté onion over medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions are soft.

 

3. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

 

4. Stir in tomato paste, molasses, vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cumin, salt, thyme, pepper, clove powder and water. Stir well to mix.

 

5. Add cooked beans and transfer to casserole dish.

 

6. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

 

7. Stir in Yves Veggie Wieners and bake for 30 minutes more.

ENCHILADAS

4-6 servings

This Mexican mainstay provides a great way to introduce soy protein enhanced versions of familiar favorites to the entire family.

 

Chili Gravy:

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. chili powder

3 cups water

1 scoop GeniSoy(r) Ultra-XT Protein Powder (1/4 cup)

1 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. salt

Filling:

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped sweet peppers

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups pinto beans or 1 (16 oz) can, drained, liquid reserved

1/2 cups cooking water from beans

1 scoop GeniSoy(r) Natural Protein Powder (1/4 cup)

1/2 tsp. salt

6 flour tortillas

 

1. To make the chili gravy, sauté the green pepper, onion, and garlic in the olive oil; add the chili powder

2. In a blender, combine the water, protein powder, flour, and salt.

3. Stir the blended mixture into the peppers an onion, and heat to simmering, while stirring constantly to avoid lumping

4. To make filling, sauté the onions, peppers, garlic, and cumin in the olive oil until tender

5. Process the beans, liquid, protein powder, an salt in a food processor until creamy

6. Lay out the tortillas and divide the bean mixture evenly among them

7. Roll up the tortillas

8. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

9. Pour half of the chili gravy into a 2-quart pan

10. Place the rolled tortillas in the pan in a row

11. Pour the rest of the gravy over the top

12. Bake for about 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

WATERMELON COUSCOUS SALAD

WITH PINK PEPPERCORN CRUSTED SCALLOPS

For the Salad:

1 cup juice from yellow watermelon

1 cup couscous

Pinch of saffron

2 Tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup 1/4" dice of red seedless watermelon

1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup chiffonade of fresh mint

 

Bring watermelon juice to a boil, add saffron, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over couscous and cover for approximately 20 minutes, fluff up with fork and let cool. Once cool add toasted pine nuts, chiffonade of mint and diced red watermelon.

 

For the scallops:

12 sea scallops with muscle removed

1/4 cup dry pink peppercorn

1 tbsp black peppercorn

Salt

 

Rinse and pat scallops dry. On a cutting board, using the bottom of a heavy pot, coarsely crush the pink and black peppercorns. Place peppercorns in a shallow dish and dredge top and bottom of sea scallops, season with salt. They should

be mostly pink with black flecks. Heat up a lightly oiled, heavy bottomed frying pan to just about the smoking point. Using tongs, slowly place sea scallops in pan. Sear on both sides until they form a crust, about 45 seconds per side or until middle is opaque. Remove to warm plate.

 

To assemble plate:

 

Place mound of couscous salad in the middle of a plate, place three warm scallops on top of couscous. Garnish with watermelon salsa and more chiffonade of mint.

WATERMELON GOES BACK TO ITS ROOTS

African native is a global favorite

 

How much water is in a watermelon? About 92 percent. That's an impressive figure for any fruit or vegetable, especially when you consider that the watermelon was born in the dry Kalahari Desert.

 

A veritable canteen of the plant kingdom, the watermelon sustained many a European explorer, including Dr. Livingstone, we presume. Its legend and its seeds spread throughout the world. Today, Turkey and Iran are ranked among the top producers of watermelon, supplying this popular dessert fruit throughout the Mediterranean.

 

Watermelon is so good and refreshing on its own, it hardly calls for any fancy recipes. You can dress up simple watermelon slices Moroccan-style with a dash of lime juice and some chopped fresh mint leaves. In Cyprus, slices of ripe watermelon are a traditional accompaniment to halloumi cheese.

 

Juicy watermelon flesh is sometimes found in sharab or sharbat, the Middle Eastern icy drink treat that was the precursor to Western cuisine's sherbet and the fruit smoothie.

 

Watermelon makes a great base for frozen blender drinks. Chunk three or four cups of watermelon, without the seeds, and freeze in a single layer on a jelly roll pan. Store the frozen cubes in a zippered bag in the freezer until ready for use. Toss a handful of frozen watermelon in a blender with other fresh fruits, such as strawberries or bananas, and blend. Add a little fruit juice, ginger ale or yogurt, if you like, to liquefy.

ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

 

3 cups chunky spaghetti sauce

1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)

6 uncooked lasagna noodles

1 cup ricotta or small-curd creamed cottage cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix spaghetti sauce and zucchini. Spread 1 cup mixture in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 11-by-7. Top with 3 noodles. Mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and oregano; spread over noodles in dish. Spread with 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce mixture. Top with remaining noodles, sauce mixture and mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

ZUCCHINI WRAPS WITH

BLACK BEAN SALSA

 

3 medium zucchini

1 medium onion

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

8 flour tortillas (8-inch diameter)

1/2 pound Monterey jack cheese, grated

Black bean salsa (which see)

 

Grate zucchini into large shreds. Slice onion into thin strips. Heat olive oil in medium skillet, and slowly sauté onion and garlic over medium heat until translucent (about 8 minutes). Add zucchini and cook about 3 minutes, stirring to mix with onion and garlic. Season with salt. Cool slightly.

 

Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of zucchini filling over half of each tortilla, sprinkle with grated cheese, and fold in half. Place 2 or 3 folded tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat, and heat just until cheese starts to melt. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve at once with black bean salsa.

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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