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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 252

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).

ACADIAN GATEAU DE SIROP

APPLE OATMEAL

AUNT RUTHS POUND CAKE

BACON WRAPPED FRANKS

BANANA YOGURT WAFFLES

BANANAS FOSTER

BLACK BEAN SUMMER SALAD

BREAKFAST COOKIES

BREAKFAST IN A PITA

CAJUN AND CREOLE COOKING

CAJUN HISTORY

CAJUN PORK BOUDIN

CAPPUCCINO YOGURT COOLER

CHEF RICKS BOURBON CHICKEN

CINNAMON APPLE BREAKFAST QUESADILLA

COOKING WITH ALMONDS

CORN AND RADISH SALAD

CRAB MEAT IMPERIAL

DAZZLING SALADS ARE TOSSED

DILL PICKLES

FRIED GOATS CHEESE

FROGMORE STEW

GERMAN OVEN PANCAKE

GRILLADES

GUMBO YA YA

ISRAEL AT 50

JEZEBEL SAUCE

LAMB STEW WITH DILL AND OLIVES J

LAMPLIGHTER GUMBO

LEMON MERINGUE PIE

LIMPIN SUSAN

LOBSTER SAVANNAH

LOW COUNTRY COOKERY

LOW COUNTRY SEAFOOD CASSEROLE

MALAWACH J

MESCLUN SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE

NEW ORLEANS STYLE BREAD PUDDING

NO BAKE KEY LIME YOGURT CHEESECAKE

ORANGE BOURBON CHICKEN

ORANGE FRENCH TOAST

PAELLA SALAD

PAPRIKA CHICKEN AND ORANGE SALAD

PASTA SOUP MIX IN A JAR

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA AND DRIED PLUM

PORK CHOP ETOUFFEE

PORK CHOP JAMBALAYA

RED RICE

REFRIGERATOR PICKLES 1

RICKS SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

SAINT SIMON ISLAND SHRIMP BOG

SALAD NICOISE WITH MINT

SHAKSHOUKA J

SHISHLIK J

SHRIMP AND GRITS

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN

SOUTHERN MILK GRAVY

SOUTHERN MOON PIES

SWEET POTATO PONE

SWEET POTATO SPICE CAKE

THE BLESSINGS OF YOGURT

TOMATO ROASTED BEET

VEGETARIAN CHILI

WACKY WAFFLE STACKS

WONDER CAKE J

ZUCCHINI PRITTI J

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACADIAN GATEAU DE SIROP

 

Cane Syrup is one by-products of sugar cane refining. The C. S. Steen Company of Abbeville, Louisiana, produces Steen's Syrup, a pure and excellent ribbon cane syrup. This recipe is an adaptation of one of theirs. Rick McDaniel

 

21/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

11/2 cups ribbon cane syrup

1 egg, beaten until frothy

2/3 cup chopped pecans

11/2 teaspoons s baking soda

3/4 cup hot water

Vanilla ice cream

 

Preheat oven to 350 F Butter and flour a 13" x 9" baking pan; shake out excess flour. Set pan aside. Sift flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt into a bowl; set aside. In bowl of an electric mixer, combine oil, cane syrup and egg. Beat just to blend. Add pecans and beat to incorporate. Combine baking soda with hot water and stir to blend. Add flour mixture to oil-syrup mixture alternately with hot water mixture, adding each in 3 additions and stopping to scrape down side of bowl after each addition. Then beat just to smooth out batter (about 15 seconds longer). Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until cake springs back when touched (about 45 minutes). Serve hot or warm and top with vanilla ice cream.

 

APPLE OATMEAL

 

1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons raisins

1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 apple, chopped

Pinch of salt

Cinnamon

 

In a saucepan, combine oats, milk, water, raisins, brown sugar, apple and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, simmering 10 minutes and stirring frequently.

 

Remove from heat when thickened. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

AUNT RUTHS POUND CAKE

This pound cake is the best I have ever eaten!

 

The recipe is from my Grand Aunt, the late Ruth Hill of Shelby, North Carolina. It has a very fine crumb and a wonderful flavor. Since Aunt Ruth wasn't able to have children to pass this great recipe on, I wanted to pass it along to the world so that she'll live on through her wonderful cooking. Rick McDaniel

 

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup shortening

3 cups cake flour, preferably Soft As Silk brand

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon extract

 

Cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients together. Add vanilla and lemon extract to milk. Add dry ingredients to sugar and egg mixture, alternating with liquid, beating just to blend, until all ingredients are combined. Beat batter on medium speed for 5 minutes. Place into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan and place into COLD oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

BACON WRAPPED FRANKS

 

4 slices bread -- cut in 1/2" cubes

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper

6 frankfurters

6 slices bacon

 

Combine first 4 ingredients; add enough water to moisten, and mix well.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Slit frankfurters lengthwise, cutting almost through; stuff with bread

mixture. Wrap a bacon slice around each frankfurter, securing with a wooden

pick. Place in a shallow pan and bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 to 20

minutes. Yield: 6 servings.

 

BANANA YOGURT WAFFLES

 

2 eggs

2 cartons (8 ounces each) Foster's Banana Cream Pie fat-free yogurt

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Preheat waffle iron.

 

Separate eggs; reserve whites.

 

In large bowl, combine egg yolks, yogurt, milk, sugar and butter; stir until smooth.

 

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients into yolk mixture just until moistened (do not over mix).

 

Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold into batter. Carefully pour batter into prepared waffle iron, spreading near edges of iron with back of metal spoon. (This batter is slightly thicker than the usual waffle batter.)

 

Close waffle iron lid and cook according to waffle iron directions.

BANANAS FOSTER

 

This is my version of this famous New Orleans dessert which was invented by Eileen Brennan, Chef Owner of the legendary New Orleans restaurant "The Commander's Palace." The recipe is easy, but requires flaming, and you should read the safety instructions (shown below) carefully before attempting it.

 

4 ripe bananas, sliced lengthwise

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly ground

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup brandy

1/2 cup banana liqueur

 

Pour brandy and banana liqueur into a single measuring cup or bowl and set aside.

 

In a 10- inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until sugar is melted. Add bananas and spoon the warm sugar mixture over them. Heat until bananas are warmed through and covered with syrup but not mushy.

 

CAUTION! REMOVE the skillet from the burner before adding the liquor!

Carefully add the brandy and banana liqueur . If the butter is very hot, they will flame on their own. If the liquor doesn't flame, either CAREFULLY light it with a match and flame it until the flame dies out or reduce the heat and cook until the alcohol evaporates. After the alcohol has evaporated, add lemon juice and stir until it mixes with the sugar mixture.

 

Serve over premium vanilla ice cream in a brandy snifter, large wine glass or glass bowl. Serves 4

 

SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS:

1. If you have long hair, put it back in a pony tail.

2. Do not wear loose clothing or baggy sleeves while cooking.

3. Remove skillet from heat before flaming, especially if you have a gas range or cook top.

4. Make sure no part of your body is over the skillet before adding the liquor to the skillet.

5. As with all things in cooking (and life!), just use common sense and you'll do just fine.

 

BLACK BEAN SUMMER SALAD

 

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1 (8-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

3/4 cup sliced green onions with tops

3/4 cup thinly sliced celery

1 small red bell pepper, diced

3/4 cup Pace Picante Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove garlic, minced

 

Combine beans, cheese, corn, green onions, celery and red pepper in a large bowl. Combine Pace Picante Sauce, oil, lemon juice, cumin and garlic. Mix well. Toss with bean mixture.

 

Chill, if desired. Serve with additional Pace Picante Sauce.

 

BREAKFAST COOKIES

 

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 tablespoon orange zest

11/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup wheat and barley nugget cereal (such as Grape-Nuts)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

In a medium bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, juice concentrate and zest until light and fluffy. Add flour and baking powder, beating until blended. Stir in cereal. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

 

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheet for cooling.

BREAKFAST IN A PITA

 

1 pita bread, cut in half

cooking spray

2 eggs

1/2 cup diced cooked potatoes

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pita bread in oven to warm.

 

Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray and place over high heat. Add potatoes; sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add eggs. Mix gently until eggs are firm, about 45 seconds.

 

Season with salt and black pepper. Remove pita from oven. Stuff pita with potato and egg mixture.

CAJUN AND CREOLE COOKING

Highway 61 rises from mists as gray as the uniforms of the men who once fought here as it leaves Vicksburg. Meandering through the Mississippi Delta, you pass through hundreds of sleepy towns on your way to the city that never sleeps The Big Easy -- New Orleans!

 

Being a seaport, this Southern city's cuisine was flavored by people from many lands. African slaves, Native Americans, and Caribbean seamen added their flavors to the cuisine of the melting pot that became New Orleans.

 

The first settlers were French, usually the second-born sons of aristocrats who left France to seek adventure in the New World. They brought their traditional style of cooking from the continent, and being rich aristocrats, they also brought along their chefs as well! These Frenchmen came to be called Creoles, and made up the upper crust of New Orleans. Their descendents can still be found in the French Quarter today.

 

The next group was displaced French-speaking people from the Acadia region of Nova Scotia. The Acadians were called Cajuns by the local Native American tribes. Both groups mixed their traditional dishes with the cuisines of African slaves and Caribbean seamen to form the Cajun and Creole dishes that New Orleans is famous for.

 

Cajun vs. Creole Cooking

 

In general, Cajun dishes are the country cooking of Louisiana, highlighted by dirty rice, gumbos, jambalaya, andouille (pronounced ahnd-wee or ahn-do-wee, it's a spicy smoked sausage) and simple foods such as fried catfish. Cajun cooking traditionally uses pork fat and simpler ingredients.

 

Creole is the food of the city, a more refined cuisine represented by Oysters Rockefeller, Shrimp Remoulade and Bananas Foster. It traditionally used the butter available to the wealthy Creoles, and more expensive ingredients.

 

Some people will tell you that if a dish has tomatoes, it's Creole, not Cajun. That isn't always true. Tomatoes have been known to turn up in jambalaya or gumbo, which are both Cajun.

 

Both Cajun and Creole use the "Holy Trinity" of New Orleans cooking: green peppers, onions and celery. They both also rely on the roux (pronounced 'Roo) as the base of the dish. A Roux is simply flour cooked in fat, either pork fat or butter, until it browns. This adds flavor and thickness to the dish.

 

Blackened What?

 

There has been a trend lately that started when some hapless cook burned a piece of meat, then to cover up his mistake, smothered it in pepper and tried to pass it off as "Cajun Blackened Moose" or whatever. If you serve this mess to a Cajun, he'll laugh in your face, smack you upside the head, and tell you to get back into the kitchen and cook him some real food. There is no such thing as blackened anything in real Cajun cuisine. Don't be fooled.

 

Carnival Fever!

 

The most popular time to visit New Orleans is during Mardi Gras, which is called Carnival by the natives of Louisiana. It runs from Epiphany (Jan. 6) until Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. But no matter when you go, you'll never meet a stranger and you'll never go to bed hungry. As they say in New Orleans, "Laissez les bon temps rouler." (Let the good times roll!)

CAJUN HISTORY

 

Who are the Cajuns?

 

"Cajuns" are the descendants of a group of French people who were exiled from the Acadia region of Nova Scotia for political reasons, starting in 1755. The first Acadians were French Catholics who made a living fishing, farming and trapping. They settled the Acadian Peninsula in modern day Nova Scotia in the early 1600s.

 

In 1713, Acadia was ceded to Great Britain by France. The Catholic, French-speaking Acadians did not submit well to British rule. The British tried to impose their Protestant religion on the Acadians, who were not receptive. The religious and political persecution continued. Many Acadians secretly left Nova Scotia between 1713 and 1755. They headed west into French territories.

 

In 1753, the notoriously cruel Charles Lawrence took over as governor of Acadia. In 1755, Lawrence rounded up the French Acadians at gun point and shipped them to ports along the Eastern Seaboard. In all, approximately 10,000 Acadians were arrested, imprisoned and deported over an eight-year period, starting in 1855.

 

The Protestant, English-speaking British colonists along the East Coast were not receptive to the French Acadians. Therefore, many of the Acadians headed for Louisiana, which was populated largely by French and Spanish people. Fifteen years after the Acadian exile began, approximately 1,500 to 1,600 exiles had settled in Louisiana. This group was later joined by another wave of exiles in 1785.

 

Once in Louisiana, the "Cajuns" found peace, prosperity and an abundance of fish and wildlife to turn into the down-home cooking they are famous for. Their music , dialect and culture are counted as treasures of the South.

 

Speaking Cajun

 

If you want to party with the Cajuns, you've got to learn how to talk the talk, I guarantee! Here's a quick tour of Cajun and Creole terms from A to Z. Enjoy!

 

Andouille (ahn-DWEE or ahn-DOO-wee)- Cajun sausage used as meat in gumbos.

 

Beignets ( ben-YAYS) - Puffy, deep-fried pastries served in coffee shops.

 

Boudin ( boo-DAHN ) - A white sausage made with rice, pork and chicken. It can range from mild to hot.

 

Cafe au Lait - Hot coffee mixed with boiling milk, sometimes flavored with chickory and served with beignets.

 

Crawfish - The guests of honor at many New Orleans springtime gatherings, often served on newspaper right from huge pots of spicy boiling water with new potatoes and half ears of corn. The local nick name for crawfish is "mudbugs."

 

File' ( fee-LAY ) - Powdered sassafras leaves used to thicken gumbo.

 

Gumbo - A Creole-Cajun soup usually made from a roux, seafood, okra, tomatoes and file ; it can also be made with other ingredients such as chicken or sausage. It is served over rice.

 

Hurricane Mix - Mix a packet of this powder with some water and booze and relive a truly wicked New Orleans hangover.

 

Jambalaya - A Cajun rice dish usually made with seafood and sausage; a close cousin of Spanish paella.

 

King Cake - A sweet roll-like cake made in a ring served during Carnival season. It contains a plastic doll, and the person who finds the doll in his or her piece of cake must provide the king cake on the next occasion.

 

Mirliton ( merle-a-TON - A tropical, pear-shaped squash popular in Louisiana. They are often stuffed with cheese, meat or seafood.

 

Muffuletta (muffa-LETTA) - A sandwich invented in the 1930s by Salvatore Tusa, owner of the Central Grocery on Decatur Street in New Orleans. It is made with thick round Italian bread, imported olive oil, several layers of cheeses, ham and salami, and homemade olive salad.

 

Oysters Bienville (ben-VILL) - Oysters on the half-shell topped with a rich shrimp, cream and cheese sauce. The dish was invented by "Count" Arnaud Cazenave, founder of Arnaud's restaurant. A legendary dish.

 

Po-boy - A sandwich made with long loaves of French bread filled with meat and gravy or fried seafood. It was invented in New Orleans in the 1920s to feed the "poor boys" who couldn't afford a large meal. Po-boys are served either "dressed" with a full range of condiments (usually mayonnaise, lettuce and tomatoes) or "undressed" (plain).

 

Praline ( PRAW-leen, NOT PRAY-leen) - A confection made of sugar, cream, sugar, butter, pecans and more sugar. Extremely sweet, a few will do!

 

Remoulade (ree-moo-LAHD) - A spicy sauce usually made of mustards, horseradish, oil, ketchup, chopped vegetables, eggs and seasonings, usually served over boiled shrimp as an appetizer.

 

Roux (ROO) - A gravy made from browning flour in fat. It is used as a base for many Creole dishes such as gumbo and etouffee.

 

Shrimp Creole - A sauce of tomatoes and shrimp served over rice.

Tasso - Very heavily smoked beef or pork with a peppery coating,

usually used in tidbit-sized cubes to give a jolt to red beans or other pot food.

 

Zatarain - Local maker of cajun spices and hot mustard. Available in most supermarkets; try their creole mustard- it's wonderful.

CAJUN PORK BOUDIN

2 lb Pork meat, 30 % fat (Pork Butt works well)

1 1/2 lb Pork liver

2 teaspoons Salt

2 teaspoons Black pepper

1 large Onion, finely chopped

3 Green onions, chopped

12 cups Cooked rice

2 tablespoons Cajun spice

1 Lot sausage casing

 

Place meat in enough water to cover and season with salt and pepper. Cook until meat falls apart. Remove meat and reserve some of broth. Grind meat, onion, and green onions. Mix the ground meat mixture with the Cajun spice, rice and enough broth to make a moist mixture. Taste mixture and adjust seasoning. Using a sausage stuffer, stuff the mixture into sausage casing.

Refrigerate or freeze.

CAPPUCCINO YOGURT COOLER

 

1 carton (8 ounces) Foster's Creamy Cappuccino fat-free yogurt

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 to 5 ice cubes

Whipped topping, if desired

Ground chocolate or cinnamon, if desired

 

Combine yogurt, sugar and vanilla in blender. Whirl until smooth. Add ice and whirl until smooth.

 

Pour into glass and top with whipped topping and sprinkle with chocolate or cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.

CHEF RICKS BOURBON CHICKEN

3 Chicken breasts, halved and skinned

1/3 cup Bourbon

1/3 C up vegetable oil

1/4 Cup Soy sauce

 

Place chicken in baking dish, meat side down. Mix ingredients and pour mixture over chicken . Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until chicken registers 180 degrees on meat thermometer. Serve over rice. Makes 6 servings (c) 2001 Rick McDaniel

CINNAMON APPLE BREAKFAST QUESADILLA

 

2 (6-inch) flour tortillas

1/2 cup chunky applesauce, divided

1 tablespoon cinnamon-sugar, divided

1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Place one tortilla on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup applesauce over tortilla. Sprinkle 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar over applesauce. Top with cheese and remaining tortilla.

 

Sprinkle remaining 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar on top.

 

Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve with reserved applesauce and vanilla yogurt.

 

 

 

 

 

COOKING WITH ALMONDS ...

 

Just a few almonds, whether whole or cut into delicate white slivers, can alter dramatically the look, feel and flavor of a dish. Here are a few ways to apply the various forms of almonds to everyday cooking:

 

Whole, split or coarsely broken almonds: Salads, trail mix, snack mix, biscotti, shortbread, confections, chocolates, toffee, truffles.

 

Sliced: Granola, pizza, calzone, pestos, egg rolls, schmears, muffins, coating for log rolls, nougats.

 

Slivered: Oatmeal, pasta, rice, couscous, filled pastries, artisan breads, brittles.

 

Chopped: Coating for fish or chicken fillets, salads, dessert sauces, pies, cakes, brownies, fudge.

 

Diced: Waffles, pancakes, French toast, salsas, chutneys, dressings, dips.

 

Meal: Stuffing, hummus, smoothies, cheesecake crust.

 

Paste: Sandwich spread, cookies, cheesecake crust, croissants, marzipan bars.

 

Oil: Pestos, flavored coffee creamer.

CORN AND RADISH SALAD

WITH JALEPENOS AND LIME

Serve this alongside quesadillas.

 

4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 4 ears)

3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes

6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chilies

 

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Makes 6 servings.

 

CRAB MEAT IMPERIAL

 

2 sticks butter

1 cup All-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 cup of parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cups of green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup of pimentos, finely chopped

2 pounds of lump crab meat

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

Bread crumbs

 

Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add flour and whisk together to make a roux. Cook roux, whisking constantly over low heat until golden brown.

 

Add milk, whisking constantly, until well blended.

 

Add celery and mushrooms, parsley, green onions and pimentos. Cook until vegetables are translucent, then carefully fold-in crab meat, being careful not to break it up too much.

 

Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Pour mixture into individual baking dishes and top with bread crumbs.

 

Bake at 350-degrees until bread crumbs are golden brown and mixture is heated through.

DAZZLING SALADS ARE TOSSED

WITH SPANISH FLAIR

 

Crisp greens arranged on a plate, topped with artful arrangements of vegetables, grains, seafood and meat. What are they? Main-course salads - and they're changing the way we eat.

 

These all-in-one creations let cooks draw on their imaginations, or on what happens to be in the refrigerator. With a little advance planning, you can tilt your salads in a Spanish direction. Just stock your pantry with ready-to-use ingredients such as saffron, sherry wine vinegar, piquant green olives and unique fire-roasted piquillo peppers. After tasting the results, you'll see why these products have been dubbed "Spain's gift to the American table"!

 

Paella Salad offers a fresh interpretation of the famous rice dish, described as a "movable feast that takes many exciting and unusual twists and turns," by Penelope Casas, author of Paella and other Spanish cookbooks. In this recipe, a mixture of saffron-flavored rice, seafood and meat is arranged on crisp greens. Green olives and piquillo peppers add their eye-catching colors and forceful flavors to a warm, comforting salad.

 

The dressing for Paella Salad (presented in this collection) gets its subtle but distinctive taste from extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and paprika. This same trio of ingredients plays a starring role in Paprika Chicken and Orange Salad, another dish with unmistakable Spanish flair. Chicken breasts are dusted with Spanish paprika, then sautéed and tossed in a piquant sherry-vinegar dressing and served over greens.

Arrange the salad on a platter or individual plates, and top it with garnishes found over and over in Spanish cuisine: orange sections, almonds, raisins, and mint leaves. Then close your eyes and imagine you're eating this unique main-course salad on a terrace in southern Spain.

DILL PICKLES

 

Bring to boil:

13 cups spring water (no chlorine),

6 cups cider vinegar,

1 cup pickling salt.

 

Put lots of garlic and dill in the bottom of sterile quart jars, pack in whole pickles, 1 tsp. alum, and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Pour hot vinegar mixture over, put on hot lids, seal, put on tray in hot oven for 2-3 minutes, to ensure sealing.

 

These pickles stay crunchy. Do not use chlorinated water, as that is what

makes pickles soft, according to Mary. And use smaller pickles, packing them

as tight as possible.

 

Note from Kaylin: It is always best to use a steamer canner, or water bath

canner when processing your pickles. Any other processes for canning should

be discussed with your local county extension office.

[] Kaylin is correct. 20 minutes in boiling water bath is necessary.[]

FRIED GOATS CHEESE

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

125 grams kasseri cheese or other hard, salty goats' cheese

 

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and in this sauté the garlic until it is lightly browned. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.

Cut the cheese into squares about 5 centimeters on each side and about 1 centimeter thick.

 

Place the slices in the hot oil and cook, turning once, until the exterior of the cheese is almost but not fully melted.

 

Remove with a slotted spoon and serve hot as an appetizer, garnished with lemon wedges.

 

FROGMORE STEW

 

A Classic dish of the South Carolina Low Country

3Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning

3Tbsp.Salt

1 1/2 gallons water

2lbs. Keilbasa or smoked sausage

12 Ears shucked corn broken into 3 - 4 inch pieces

4 lbs. shrimp in shells

In a large stock pot, add the seasonings to the water and bring to a boil. Add sausage and boil, uncovered, five minutes. Add corn and count five minutes (begin counting immediately, don't wait until water is boiling). Add shrimp and count three minutes. Drain immediately. Serves 8. Recipe by Matthew Hughes

GERMAN OVEN PANCAKE

 

2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for greasing skillet

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Confectioner's sugar, melted butter and lemon juice (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 9-by-10-inch oven-safe skillet.

 

In a medium bowl, gradually add flour to beaten eggs, beating with rotary beater. Stir in milk, 2 tablespoons butter and salt. Pour batter into skillet. Bake 20 minutes.

 

Serve hot, cut into wedges. If desired, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, fresh lemon juice and melted butter.

 

GRILLADES

(gree-YHADS)

 

1 pound pork steaks, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning

1/2 cup vinegar

Cooking spray

2 tablespoons chopped onion

 

Season pork with Creole seasoning and place in shallow baking dish. Marinate overnight in vinegar.

 

Place drained meat into a skillet coated with cooking spray.

 

Brown on each side. Add onion and enough water to cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Serve over grits. Serves 4.

GUMBO YA YA

 

This dish was invented by chef Paul Prudhomme at the legendary New Orleans eatery, K-Paul, in the 1970s. He says its so good, it makes you say YaYa! This is my version of this great dish.

 

1 chicken , cut up

2 tablespoons Creole seasoning

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups onions, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups celery, coarsely chopped

2 cups green pepper, coarsely chopped

6 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced

1 pound andouille sausage finely, diced (or any spicy sausage such as Kielbasa)

4 cups hot cooked rice

 

Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise to get a total of 10 pieces of chicken. Season with Creole seasoning. Measure flour into a large paper bag. Add chicken pieces and shake until well-coated. Remove chicken and reserve the flour.

 

In a large skillet, brown chicken in very hot oil, remove and set aside. Stir oil remaining in the skillet with a wire whisk to loosen any brown particles remaining in the bottom of the pan. Make a roux by whisking in 1 cup of the remaining flour and stirring constantly until the roux turns a dark brown. Remove from heat; add onions, celery and green bell pepper, stirring constantly until vegetables are tender.

 

Transfer roux and vegetables to a Dutch oven. Add stock to roux and vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add garlic, sausage and chicken. Continue cooking, covered, until the chicken is tender, 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

Adjust seasonings and serve in bowls over the rice. serves 10.

 

ISRAEL AT 50

[] This is a lengthy (ten pages) article, but extremely interesting. []

The International Israeli Table

 

It is an interesting fact that the people who lived in Jerusalem 3,000 years ago probably dined better than those - who lived there just half a century ago, when the State of Israel was founded. In ancient Jerusalem, excellent markets were filled with fresh vegetables, fruits, poultry, lamb and fish; the narrow streets of the city were lined with numerous stalls where vendors sold fried fish, pickled cucumbers and freshly grilled meats and the roads from Jerusalem to Jericho and Hebron were peppered with stands where grilled lamb, pickled watermelon rind and cakes made from chickpeas were readily available. Whether for at-home dining or while traveling, hungry men and women had no problem in finding good things to eat.

 

Alas, the founders of the modem state had no such good fortune, and even though fresh fruits and vegetables of high quality remained readily available, the quality of many of the other culinary basics of the Mediterranean way of life had either vanished or deteriorated in the intervening millennia. Visitors to Israel in the 1950s rarely returned to their homes abroad to boast about the fine meals they had eaten in modern-day Israel.

 

Restaurants, mostly serving the foods of North Africa and the Mediterranean, were available, but dining out was rarely a positive experience. Worse, large companies dominated the comestibles market, producing products that lacked excitement or originality. In 1948, for example, there were only two cheeses available, one referred to rather vaguely as white cheese and the other as yellow cheese, neither of which had either charm or appeal.

 

Thankfully for those who enjoy fine food, the intervening half century has seen four separate but related culinary revolutions within the country. Interestingly, it was not until the mid- 1970s that any of these revolutions started. But today, twenty years later, one can enjoy a wide variety of fine foods in Israel.

 

The Goats' Cheese Revolution

 

In mountainous and stony areas, and wherever pasture is poor and the land is dry, goats are easy to raise, and their milk and cheese are highly valued. All around the Mediterranean, in Greece, the southern Balkans, parts of Italy, Spain and much of France, such cheeses are made in abundance; many have attained international acclaim for their fine rich flavor. In North Africa and the Middle East, such cheeses are especially popular among Bedouins, nearly all of whom keep goats, and farmers whose land is too poor to raise cows.

 

Until about six years ago, unless you were on friendly terms with a Bedouin family, it was exceedingly difficult to find well-made goats' and sheep's milk cheeses in Israel. The large dairies that dominated the local market had decided, without consulting the consumer, that such cheeses would not be popular, and made very few goats' milk cheeses. Frankly, most of the cheeses they produced, whether from cows', goats' or sheep's milk, were so bland and unexciting that they had little to do with the Mediterranean cheese-making tradition.

 

As if to demonstrate that consumers are more important than large corporations, sixteen different small dairies are now producing goats' and sheep's milk cheeses, many of which are of a quality to rival the best cheeses of the Pyrenees, Provence, Spain and Italy. Depending on the season, the part of the country in which the cheeses are made, and the style of individual cheese-makers, there are now so many good goats' and sheep's milk cheeses available that no list could hope to be complete. Although feta, brinza, kashkeval, labane and several Bulgarian varieties remain the best known, they are only the tip of an iceberg of cheeses waiting to be tasted. Ranging in style from soft and sweet to firm and salty; from hard and pungent to gently herbed cream-style cheeses; and from ridiculously low to marvelously high fat content, such cheeses are now readily available, if not at supermarkets, at delicatessen shops that have become a major source of supply for cheese lovers.

 

As to Olive Oil

 

"It is easier," the Talmud says, "to raise a legion of olive trees in Galilee than to bring up one child in the Land of Israel." Precisely what this says about the difficulties of raising children in ancient or modern Israel is hard to say, but it is clear that the olive has been an inescapable fact of life in the Mediterranean region for thousands of years.

 

From ancient times, one of the most lasting symbols of the Mediterranean Basin and the Holy Land has been the olive tree. The source of the wealth of many regional peoples, these delectable fruits are frequently mentioned in the Bible, the New Testament and the Koran, and one of the most universal emblems of peace is the olive branch.

 

Because olives grew so easily in the rocky, sandy lands of the Mediterranean Basin, olive oil became to the region what butter is to northern Europe. In ancient Israel, where nearly every kitchen was equipped with a small press for extracting oil, the olive provided food and lighting fuel as well as cooking oil. Even the hard wood of the olive trees was valued and often used in construction. By the time of the Roman conquest (first century BCE), the olive had become one of the most basic dietary items, and the meals of the poor consisted primarily of olives, beans, figs and cheese eaten with a porridge made from millet.

 

The olive never fell out of favor as a regional staple; until a very few years ago, however, finding a bottle of olive oil that had been made by the cold press method or was categorized as either Extra Virgin or Virgin was cause for celebration. Even though olive oil has been made in the region since Biblical times, most local consumers remained so naive that they willingly purchased oils so high in acid content that they were categorized as "candle oil." Even worse, much of the oil that was available was bitter and harsh and left a distinctly greasy feeling in the mouth.

 

Here again, change did not come from large companies but from adventurous souls who decided that there was no reason that Israeli oil could not compete in quality with the best of Europe. Today, thanks to a handful of small companies, Israeli olive oil has attained a quality so high that it can now be found in the most prestigious gourmet shops of New York, London and Paris.

 

Wine Production

Israeli Wine On The International Agenda

Wine has been made in Israel since pre-Biblical times but, if the truth be told, until about fifteen years ago, there was no reason to be proud of those wines. The wines shipped to ancient Egypt were so bad that they had to be seasoned with honey, pepper and juniper berries to make them palatable, and those sent to Rome and England during the height of Roman civilization were so thick and syrupy sweet that no modern consumer could possibly approve of them. So bad were most of these wines that it was probably a good thing that the Moslem conquest in 636 CE imposed a twelve-hundred-year halt to the local wine industry.

 

The production of wine in the Land of Israel only started again in 1870, when the Mikveh Israel Agricultural School, near Jaffa, began experimenting with vines that had been imported from Europe. The nascent industry got an enormous boost in 1882, when Baron Edmond de Rothschild donated large sums of money to be invested in the development of local vineyards.

 

The Baron, who hoped to make wine one of the main economic staples of the newly-established Jewish settlements, financed the construction of two wineries, one in Rishon Lezion and the second in Zichron Ya'akov; both were completed during the last decade of the 19th century. Both of those wineries still exist and are now part of Carmel Mizrachi, the largest producer of wines in modern-day Israel. Even with the continued financial support of the Rothschild family, all did not run smoothly. By the turn of the century, vineyards covered more than half of the total Jewish land under cultivation. Before long there was such a surplus of grapes that the Baron paid farmers to convert their fields from grapes to olives, citrus fruits and almonds, and nearly thirty percent of the vines were uprooted. Nor did the Baron's idea of providing kosher wines to Jews the world over prove profitable for very long. The lucrative Russian and American markets were both lost, the first to the excesses of revolutionary zeal and the second because of prohibition. By 1948, only 4,250 acres were planted in grapes and Carmel Mizrachi was the new nation's only large winery.

Most of the wines produced in the country at the time remained of low quality and held little interest for those concerned with the consumption of fine wine. Even though Jews have many traditional religious, communal and family activities that include wine, wine consumption was very low and what was drunk was usually sweet, red and often fortified, certainly not the kinds of wines to interest connoisseurs. This is despite the fact that there is no contradiction whatsoever between the laws of kashrut and the ability to produce truly fine wines.

 

In 1983 the Golan Heights Winery opened, heralding a local wine revolution. Not limited by either outdated winemaking traditions or an unwieldy corporate structure, the young winery imported good vine stock from California, built a state-of-the-art kosher winery, and added to this the enthusiasm and knowledge of young American winemakers who had been trained at the University of California at Davis.

 

Equally important, the Golan winery began to encourage vineyard owners to improve the quality of their grapes and, in the American tradition, paid bonuses for grapes with high sugar and acid content and rejected those grapes they perceived as substandard. The winery was also the first to realize that wines made from Grenache, Semillon, Petite Sirah and Carignan grapes would not put them on the world wine map and focused on planting and making wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, white Riesling, Merlot, and Gewurztraminer.

 

The Golan wines were a success from the beginning. The winery, which is owned by the kibbutzim and other cooperative farms that supply it with grapes, now produces over three million bottles annually, and is currently increasing its output by about 20% each year. Since 1991, 30% of the wines produced at the winery has been designated for export, primarily to the United States and England.

 

Carmel Mizrachi remains the nation's largest wine producer, producing about 13 million bottles of wine annually and still controlling about 50% of the local wine market. Partly in reaction to the success of the Golan Heights Winery, and partly because of changes in upper level management, Carmel has stirred from its long period of non-progress. Today, the winery produces a line of up-market dry wines, although about 20% of their production is still devoted to sweet wines.

 

The medium-sized, family-owned Baron Winery and Segal Brothers both produce respectable white and red wines, both varietal and blends. Two other privately owned large wineries, Barkan and Binyamina, have decided to upgrade their images and are now releasing wines that are being well-received on the local market. Even the long-established Ephrat winery, which for many years catered to that segment of the religious population that sought out sweet, sticky wines, has begun to produce better wines.

Among other interesting developments in recent years has been the opening of a number of boutique wineries, each of which produces between eight and twenty thousand bottles of wine annually. Since it opened eight years ago, Meron Wineries has consistently given the market excellent Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons; the kibbutz-owned Tzora Winery is now producing noteworthy Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blancs; the winery of Ya'ir Margalit has produced what many consider the most individual and among the very best Cabernet Sauvignon wines of the nation; and Eli Ben Zaken is now producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignons.

 

Between the establishment of the State of Israel and the early 1990s, wine consumption in the country remained steady at about 3.9 liters per person annually. Recently, however, the figure has risen to almost 5.5 liters; while this remains low (compared to 7.5 liters in England, 11 in the US and 60 in France), it seems that more and more Israelis share a growing appreciation of high-quality wine, and there has been a marked shift to dry wines.

 

While not even the most optimistic among Israelis would claim that the nation is producing wines at the level of those of the great Chateaux of Bordeaux or the finest estates of Burgundy, many respected wine critics in Israel and abroad concur that the best Israeli wines now compete easily with the wines of California, Chile, Australia and other New World wine producing nations.

 

Dining In and Dining Out

There are two oddly persistent misconceptions about dining in Israel - the first being that dining out in Israel consists largely of eating falafel, shawarma, borekas and humous, and the second being that there is something special about what has become known as the "luxurious Israeli breakfast." Despite these longstanding myths, there is nothing Israeli about falafel, shawarma, borekas or humous and, despite its charms, there is nothing especially Israeli about the breakfasts served at most Israeli hotels.

 

In order to set the culinary record straight, let it be known that falafel - deep fried balls of minced chickpeas, parsley, coriander, onions and garlic - outdates the existence of the State of Israel by several thousand years, archeologists having discovered the remains of ground chickpeas in the tombs of several of the Pharaohs. The equally popular shawarma, marinated lamb slices roasted slowly on a rotating vertical skewer, are Turkish in origin, as are borekas, which are cheese- or potato-filled phyllo dough pastries. As for humous, most food historians agree that the dish originated some 4,000 years ago, probably in North Africa.

 

With regard to the breakfast habits of Israelis, no one who lives in the country, not even the most dedicated kibbutz members, eats a breakfast anything like those extravagant feasts served in most hotels. In fact, the only thing that sets such breakfasts apart from those served in other hotels around the world is their lack of meat, absent because the combination of meat and dairy foods is not kosher.

 

The good news on the Israeli culinary scene is that awareness of international trends in cookery has increased dramatically in recent years. Although two fine French restaurants, Alhambra and Casbah, opened in the early 1960s, they stood as lone culinary oases for many years. In fact, until about a decade ago, when most Israelis dined out, it was at Middle Eastern, North African, Balkan or Eastern European restaurants. In other words, people were eating the same things at restaurants that they were eating in their homes.

 

Starting about fifteen years ago (by coincidence, perhaps, parallel to the opening of the Golan Heights Winery), five young chefs (Itamar Davidov, Tsachi Buchester, Israel Aharoni, Chaim Cohen and Simon Reisher) opened restaurants that changed the dining experience in Israel.

 

Even though ethnic foods, falafel, humous and shawarma remain popular, the very best restaurants in the country now offer dishes that are as heavily influenced by the most sophisticated levels of French and Italian cookery as they are by the traditions of the Mediterranean Basin. What has developed is not so much a fusion cuisine as a natural blending of ingredients and cooking styles indigenous to the region. Incidentally, although one can dine fairly well and maintain kashrut, none of the very best restaurants in the country are kosher.

 

Equally crucial in the elevation of the best restaurants in the country to an enviable level of quality are the talents of their chefs. The skills of Chaim Cohen, for example, are based on a combination of skill and refinement. His is not so much a nouvelle cuisine as it is a "new classicism," a light, fresh and natural style that is steady and intelligent. Because Cohen's style is marked by the free use of aromatic herbs and light sauces, his dishes are distinctly Mediterranean while remaining uniquely his own. Dishes such as his canapes of eggplant filled with goats' cheese, his exquisite tomato espresso, his foie gras with vanilla sauce, and his lamb chops garnished with polenta show occasional signs of chutzpah, but one finds no need to resent that because his dishes are so full of gentle and natural flavor.

 

Equally imaginative, although leaning a bit more towards the classic and the outspoken, are the dishes offered by Israel Aharoni. Among his most exquisite offerings are a dish in which paper-thin slices of grouper carpaccio are served on a seviche of sea bass together with fingersized red mullets. The combination would be lovely on its own, but by serving it with an essence of green herbs the dish is transformed into an absolute marvel. Others of Aharoni's most charming dishes are zucchini flowers filled with finely chopped morille mushrooms; his foie gras pate (arguably the best in the country) served with lentils and a rich Port wine sauce; and his medallions of lamb served with caramelized shallots, forest mushrooms and green broad beans.

 

Eyal Shani is another chef who has found an almost ideal way in which to combine the best of French and Italian cookery with the natural flavors of the Mediterranean. Since it opened eight years ago, nearly everything about Shani's restaurant has been outrageous. The prices sometimes soar to epic heights and some of Shani's fanciful ideas, such as sprinkling some of his dishes with tiny wild flowers, grilling certain dishes only over apple wood charcoal, and using specially imported yellow salt from Brittany, have bordered on the outrageous. But he is an extraordinarily talented chef and his flights of fancy frequently produce dishes that make for marvelous adventures in dining. The large round flat focaccia sprinkled with fine olive oil and herbs is so good that one might be tempted to make a full meal of it, with nothing more than a bottle of wine. This would be an error, however, for the pigeon consommé is so luxurious that calling it merely a "soup" would be a sin; the fillets of locus with white butter sauce are good enough to make one cry for joy; the "potato cream," a light and fluffy rosemary-flavored puree that accompanies the fish, delights the eye as much as the palate; and his lamb chops, intentionally browned on one side and left completely pink on the other, are served with a sauce so light and delicate that it tantalizes all of the senses.

 

Shani, Cohen and Aharoni, like others of their colleagues, are each constantly reinventing their dishes, and one cannot help but admire their passion for purity, their discrete use of oils and herbs and their passion for maintaining the natural flavors and textures of whatever ingredients they are using. One of the younger generation of chefs now making his mark is Ofer Gal, who offers a superb lasagna that comes with two sauces, one of sumac and the other a reduction of tarragon; lightly breaded slices of lamb brain in a tantalizing sweet-sour sauce; and whole quail that are filled with fresh goose liver. Two other young chefs, Ezra Kedem and Tamar Blay, show equal talent, and dishes such as their seafood, which is lightly grilled and then set on a bed of endive, their carpaccio of lamb in a gentle marinade of basil and olive oil, their zucchini flowers filled with seafood mousse and their raviolis filled with pumpkin cream provide fine examples of their talents.

 

An Israeli Cuisine?

 

Several local and American food writers and chefs are claiming to have discovered the "true Israeli cuisine." After a visit several years ago, American chef Roseanne Gold became poetically inspired about her discoveries. So enthusiastic was Gold that she talked about American chefs who are currently adding "Israeli dishes" to their menus.

 

Todd English of "Olives" in Charlestown, Massachusetts offers a dish of baked lamb with cucumber sauce and pieces of flat bread that are topped with goats' cheese and tomatoes; Andrew Nathan, chef and owner of New York City's "Frontiere," makes his own harissa to serve with merguez sausage and couscous salad; Monique Barbou of "Fuller's" in Seattle lists one dish of "spicy falafel with lemon-techina dressing, homemade pita and dukkah spice"; and Don Pintabonna of New York's "Tribeca Grill" says he has created a halvah parfait.

 

What seems to have escaped the attention of Gold and her colleagues is that there is precious little Israeli influence in these dishes. Lamb and cucumber sauce is a traditional Syrian combination; harissa sauce originated in Tunisia; merguez sausage and couscous are from the cuisines of Morocco and Algeria; and dukkah spice was probably first made in Egypt. The closest that any of these chefs have come to anything really Israeli is the halvah parfait. Even though halvah itself has its roots in Turkey, credit for the parfait must go to Tsachi Buchester, who invented the dish.

 

What Gold, who is the consulting chef to several of New York's most prestigious restaurants, actually discovered during her two-week visit to Israel was not so much Israeli cuisine as the cooking styles and the ingredients of the Middle East and North Africa. As to the "real" Israeli cuisine, most Israeli chefs and restaurant critics acknowledge that the last time all Israelis shared a common cuisine was during the forty years that they wandered in the Sinai desert.

 

The truth is that fifty years after the founding of the modem State of Israel, the Israeli table is still graced with dishes of people who have immigrated from some 80 different nations and a host of distinct culinary backgrounds. While there is a kindling of awareness of the more developed cuisines of France, Italy and the Far East, many of the dishes served have their roots in the peasant traditions of the countries of people who brought their favorite dishes with them when they immigrated.

 

The most pervasive culinary influences in Israel are the cooking styles of the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, and Central and Eastern Europe. So devoted are many to the food of their origins that there has been little cross-fertilization between these varied styles.

 

Of all these cookery styles, probably the best-known throughout Israel remains that of the Middle East. Because most of the inhabitants of the Middle Eastern nations are Moslems and are, like Jews, forbidden to eat pork, Israelis have been readily able to adopt these culinary styles to their own tables. In addition to the indigenous cookery of Israeli Arabs, Jews from Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya and Yemen have all made unique contributions to the national table.

 

A second major influence on Israeli cuisine comes from the peoples of the Maghreb, the North African nations of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Among the most renowned dishes of these countries are couscous and shakshouka. Originally devised by wandering Berber tribesmen millennia ago, couscous is a stew based on hard wheat semolina, topped with simple-to-prepare meats and a variety of vegetables and accompanied by side dishes. As with nearly any stew, couscous comes in an infinite number of varieties. Algerian versions invariably include tomatoes; Moroccan offerings rely on saffron; and Tunisian couscous is highly spiced. The side dishes also vary widely, depending on the whims of individual cooks. Wherever it is served, however, couscous will be accompanied by a bowl of hot sauce to be added to each diner's portion in accordance with his or her tolerance for such condiments. Side dishes include steamed chickpeas, meatballs, sausages, lamb chops and a variety of fried or grilled vegetables. Shakshouka is another beloved dish of the Maghreb. In this dish, ubiquitous in Israel, eggs are poached over tomatoes that have been sauteed together with onion, garlic and a generous variety of herbs.

 

Balkan cookery forms another important element of the Israeli table. From Greece and Turkey have come such popular dishes as moussaka (a baked eggplant, cheese and meat pie), dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) and incredibly light, honey-soaked baklava pastries. Israelis are also fond of the Greco-Turkish style of frying or grilling fish after seasoning with fresh herbs and lemon.

 

Because it reflects a blending of European and Middle Eastern influences, and because of substantial numbers of immigrants from these countries, the cookery of the Balkan states, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria, is particularly well-known in Israel. Mititei, the thumbshaped minced meat patties of Romania, and the mixed meat grill kebabsha of Bulgaria are both grilled on skewers and are not dissimilar to Middle Eastern shish kebabs. Other well-known dishes include Romanian tarator, a cold yoghurt and cucumber soup sprinkled with chopped walnuts and dill; Bulgarian djevetch', a medley of stewed vegetables similar to ratatouille, sometimes served with yoghurt; and Yugoslavian sarma, a variety of meat mixtures stuffed into cabbage leaves that have been pickled in brine. Especially popular are ciorba, the somewhat sour and hearty Balkan meat or fish and vegetable soup, and mamaliga, a sweetened solidified cornmeal Romanian dish similar to the Italian polenta. The culinary style of Central and Eastern Europe that has made itself most evident is that of the Eastern European kitchen. Diverse but rarely subtle, having evolved primarily in the shtetls (the small towns and villages inhabited primarily by Jews in Eastern Europe), these are the foods that most Americans and Europeans consider to be typically Jewish. Much in evidence are dishes like gefilte fish (fish balls made of finely minced carp, pike or a mixture of both, generally served in their own jelly and often accompanied by horseradish); cholent (a slowly simmered beef stew traditionally prepared for the Sabbath meal); kishke (a peppery blend of bread crumbs, chicken fat and onions prepared sausage-like in beef casings); and knaidlach (egg and matzo meal-based dumplings). Other popular offerings from this variegated kitchen are kreplach, dumplings filled with ground meat or cheese and boiled or fried; latkes, fried potato pancakes; and a large assortment of salted, pickled and matjas herring dishes.

 

Immigrants from Russia, Poland and Hungary brought with them dishes from their countries of origin and have also made a major contribution to the culinary repertoire. From Hungary, whose cookery is marked by the liberal use of dozens of types of paprika, have come goulash soup and stew, a variety of carp dishes, dumplings and tarhonya (a kind of noodle). Polish cooking, from which Israelis have adopted freely, features the heavy use of sour cream and dill as main cooking ingredients.

 

A variety of cooking styles has come from the former Soviet Union. The dishes from Russia itself include borscht, the famous beet-based soup served hot or cold and sometimes containing meats, other vegetables or sour cream; golubtsy, stuffed cabbage rolls often served in a tangy tomato sauce; kulebiaka, a salmon mousse baked with a flaky pastry dough; and several chicken dishes including Chicken Kiev and Chicken Pojarsky. Among the best-known Russian dishes throughout Israel are pirogi, miniature turnovers stuffed with chopped meat, vegetables or fruit.

 

From the Ukraine come kasha (buckwheat) dishes and vareniki, dumplings stuffed with a savory or sweet filling such as cheese, potatoes, meat or fruit. From the Caucasian republics of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan have come barbecue specialties such as skewered lamb shishlik and tabaka, pressed fried whole chicken served with a walnut-based sauce.

 

Other culinary styles that have made themselves felt, albeit on a lesser scale, are those of India and Ethiopia. With the exception of commercially prepared food products and the abominable fast-food joints that are developing in Israel as in the rest of the world, American culinary trends have not developed and the best culinary endeavors of the United States remain largely unknown locally.

 

Daniel Rogov is the restaurant and wine critic for the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. He also writes a regular column for Wine Magazine and contributes culinary and wine articles to newspapers in Europe and the United States.

 

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JEZEBEL SAUCE

 

1 (10 oz ) jar pineapple or apricot preserves

1 (10 oz ) jar apple jelly

1/3 cup prepared horseradish

1/4 cup dry mustard,

2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper

 

Place ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth. Spoon into clean glass jars. Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

LAMB STEW WITH DILL AND OLIVES J

1/2 cup olive oil

3 1/2 lbs (about 1 1/2 kilos) of lamb, cut as for stew

2 medium onions, chopped finely

1 tsp. turmeric

3/4 tsp. pepper

salt to taste

1 cup beef stock

3/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 lb (675 gr.) spinach, chopped

the leaves of 2 bunches of celery, chopped finely

the white parts of 8 spring onions, chopped finely

1/2 lb (1/4 kilo) green olives, pitted and halved

1/2 cup dried peas, soaked in water

2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped finely

 

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil and in this brown the lamb and onions. Season with turmeric, pepper and salt to taste and then pour over the stock and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring several times.

In a heavy skillet cook the spinach, celery leaves, and spring onions over a very low flame, without adding water, just until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and fry for 5 minutes. Add these ingredients to the meat and then add the olives, dried peas and dill. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the meat and beans are tender (about 45 minutes). Serve hot.

 

LAMPLIGHTER GUMBO

 

The Lamplighter was a legendary New Orleans restaurant that closed in the 1980s, but a few of their recipes still live on. This is my version of their Seafood Gumbo.

Lamplighter's Seafood and Sausage Gumbo

 

4 red bell peppers, finely chopped

2 bunches spring onions, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 good handful parsley, chopped

1 stick butter

2 pounds andouille or other hot smoked sausage, sliced thin

2 cups vegetable oil

1 can peeled tomatoes

4 bay leaves

1 1/2 pound cut okra

1 3/4 cups plain flour

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon creole seasoning

1teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon thyme

5 quarts chicken stock

1 pound crab meat (NOT fake crab!)

2 pounds shrimp peeled and cleaned

112pounds crawfish tails

 

Combine 1 1/2 cups oil and 1 3/4 cups flour in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat and stir constantly until the flour thickens and turns light brown. Add more flour if needed to absorb the oil and make a smooth paste. It may take 20 minutes or so, but be careful - if the flour burns you'll ruin the taste. The darker the roux, the darker the gumbo. Set aside.

 

Sauté peppers, onions, garlic and parsley in butter. In another pan, sauté

sausage in 1/2 cup oil, then add to the skillet with the peppers, onions, garlic and parsley along with tomatoes and bay leaves. Let simmer. In the sausage pan, sauté okra in 1/2 cup oil. Now, add everything except the shrimp and crawfish to the main pot. Simmer for about an hour.

 

When the vegetables and chicken are done, reduce heat, add the roux and simmer slowly to thicken to desired consistency. Taste the gumbo, adjust the seasoning, and add the shrimp and crawfish. Turn off the heat an simmer with the lid on for 5 minutes to cook the shrimp and crawfish. Serve over rice garnished with green onions.

LEMON MERINGUE PIE

1 crumb or baked pastry 8" pie shell

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tsp grated lemon rind or 1/4 tsp lemon extract

1 1/3 cups (15 oz can) Eagle Brand Milk

2 eggs, separated

1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)

4 tbsp sugar

Combine lemon juice and grated lemon rind or lemon extract; gradually stir into Eagle Brand milk. Add egg yolks and stir until well blended. Pour into chilled crumb crust or cooled pastry shell. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat until almost stiff enough to hold a peak. Add sugar gradually, beating until stiff but not dry. Pile lightly on pie filling. Bake in slow oven (325 deg. F) until lightly browned; about 15 minutes. Cool.

LIMPIN SUSAN

 

1/2 small green bell pepper

1/2 small yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

1 pound okra

1 pound medium sized shrimp

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup long-grain white rice

2 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

 

Seed the bell pepper. Mince the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cut the okra into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Peel the shrimp. Make a shallow incision along the back of each shrimp and lift out and discard the black vein in the back.

 

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and pepper and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes to release its flavor. Add the rice, stir well until the grains are coated, and cook, stirring often, until opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the okra, stock, salt, and black and cayenne peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

 

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the shrimp and cook until the shrimp curl and turn pink, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Serves 4

LOBSTER SAVANNAH

1/2 lb. butter

1 bell pepper

1 small white onion

1/2 lb. mushrooms

1/4 cup flour

2 cups half-and-half

2 tablespoons pimento

dash of salt and white pepper

1/2 cup sherry

4 lobsters, boiled

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

 

In a large skillet, sauté pepper and onion in butter; add mushrooms and flour. Heat half-and-half separately and add gradually to keep consistency smooth.

 

Stir in pimento, salt and white pepper to taste. Cut lobsters in half; remove meat and cut into small pieces. Add lobster meat and sherry to sauce and heat through. Scoop into lobster shells; top with grated cheese and put under oven broiler for a few minutes to brown. Serves 8.

LOW COUNTRY COOKERY

The Tidal Plain of the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina is called The Low Country by the folks who live there. It's a place of rare beauty and friendly people who have a natural way of making you feel at home. Charleston is the Capitol of the Low Country, a beautiful city where it's easy to imagine that time has been on vacation for the last few centuries, and that you might just meet Rhett Butler or Scarlet O'Hara strolling down one of the oak-lined streets.

Charleston has more restaurants per capita than any city I know. Although you can get anything from Kosher to Chinese Dim Sum, the attraction for many is the Low Country cuisine. This flavorful, hearty cooking is characterized by the use of the abundance of seafood and rice that are the main staples of the natives of the tidal plane. The African and Caribbean influences of the Gullah, a group of descendents of former slaves who live on the barrier islands flavor low country cooking and give the dishes some of their colorful names. Gullah ladies can be found at the Market in Charleston, weaving sea grass baskets much like their grandmothers and great grandmothers did, and their accents are sheer music to hear.

In this collection you will find some recipes from the Low Country. If you ever get a chance to go to Charleston, do yourself a favor and discover the friendliest place in the Carolinas. And if you see someone who looks a lot like me sucking own a shrimp boil, be sure to say "hi"- you never know! - Rick McDaniel

LOW COUNTRY SEAFOOD CASSEROLE

 

This is a great way to enjoy the abundance of seafood we have here in the Carolinas. Since the seafood is already cooked, you just want to warm this through, just until it starts to bubble. Rick McDaniel

 

3 pounds cooked fresh seafood (shrimp, scallops, oysters, clams)

1 cup cooked rice

Sauté in butter:

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion

3/4 cup cream

1 can Cream of mushroom soup

1 cup mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

White pepper (to taste)

 

Cook sea food, etc. in boiling water . Sauté peppers, onions, and mushrooms until tender. Toss all ingredients together and put in buttered baking dish. Cook at 375oF, uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Serves 8.

MALAWACH J

 

Malawach is one of a number of dishes brought to Israel by the Jews from Yemen. The popularity of this versatile dish, which may be served with a variety of fillings and toppings, testifies to the love for Yemenite food which Israelis have acquired.

[] This appears to be very similar to the chapatti of India and the tortilla of Mexico.

anything one puts on it is gilding for the lily. []

 

4 cups flour

1-1/4 cups water

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick margarine

tomato sauce (optional)

sour cream (optional)

 

Mix flour, water, and salt until dough becomes soft. Add more flour if dough is sticky. Cut dough into two sections. Knead and roll each section into a 20x20 inch sheet. Spread margarine on the sheets. Fold each sheet like an envelope with ends meeting at center. Repeat folding process to get two layers of folds. Cover with a paper towel, let sit for 1/2 hour. Cut each sheet into 10 parts. Form each piece of dough to the shape of your frying pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Serve with tomato sauce or sour cream.

 

MESCLUN SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE

STUFFED FIGS WRAPPED IN BACON

 

The aged goat cheese called for in this recipe is firmer than fresh and has a dry rind. Two kinds work best in this dish, Bucheron and Pouligny-St.-Pierre, both of which have just the right amount of tang - but ask at the cheese counter for comparable substitutes if you have trouble finding them. Cafe Pasqual's, in Santa Fe, serves its version of this dish - "pigs 'n' figs" - with blue cheese.

 

8 bacon slices

8 firm-ripe fresh figs, trimmed and halved lengthwise

1/4 lb aged goat cheese such as Bucheron or Pouligny-St.-Pierre

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 oz mesclun (4 cups)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

Preheat broiler.

 

Cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until most of fat is rendered but bacon is still pliable, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

 

Remove 1 scoop of flesh from each fig half with small end of a melon-ball cutter and discard. Scoop cheese with same end of melon-ball cutter and just fill each fig half. Press fig halves together to form whole figs.

 

Stir together brown sugar, cumin, and salt, then rub onto 1 side of each bacon slice. Wrap 1 bacon slice, sugared side out, around each fig and secure with a toothpick.

 

Broil figs, bacon sides up, on rack of a broiler pan about 3 inches from heat, turning them frequently, until bacon is browned, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly, then discard toothpicks.

 

Toss mesclun with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, then gently toss with oil. Serve figs with salad. Makes 4 first-course servings.

NEW ORLEANS STYLE BREAD PUDDING

A wonderful Creole dessert

 

French bread , broken into very small pieces (about 6 cups)

1 stick butter, melted

8 eggs

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 can (6 ounce) evaporated milk

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup raisins

3/4 cup chopped pecans

 

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Pour into a greased glass baking dish. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until top is golden brown and springs back when touched.

 

Bourbon Sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup half and half

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 egg, beaten

2 ounces bourbon

 

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar and half and half and whisk until blended. Add a little of the mixture to the beaten egg to temper it, then add the egg and whisk for about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and add bourbon. Return to heat and whisk until sauce is of desired consistency.

 

Spoon sauce over pudding in bowls and serve warm with good quality vanilla ice cream if desired.

NO BAKE KEY LIME YOGURT CHEESECAKE

 

Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust:

1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

 

In small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and sugar and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. Place in freezer for at least 10 minutes.

 

Key Lime Yogurt Cheesecake Filling:

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup boiling water

2 packages (8 ounces each) nonfat cream cheese

2 cartons (8 ounces each) Foster's Key Lime Pie fat-free yogurt

 

Mix gelatin and sugar in small bowl; add boiling water and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.

 

Using an electric mixer beat cream cheese until light; add yogurt, beating until creamy and light. Slowly pour in gelatin and continue beating until thoroughly blended.

 

Pour into prepared crust. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.

ORANGE BOURBON CHICKEN

 

2 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts

6 tablespoons Butter

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper

12 oz. Orange juice (frozen -concentrate), thawed

6 tablespoons Bourbon

 

Buttered Almonds

1/2 cup Almonds, slivered

2 teaspoons Butter

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In large, heavy, oven-proof skillet melt butter; let cool, but do not let solidify. Turn chicken in butter to coat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Tuck edges under, forming compact shape about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place chicken in skillet, skinned side up.

 

Bake at 425 degrees F, basting occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until meat thermometer registers 190 F. Remove chicken to warm serving plates; keep warm.

 

Sauté almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Sprinkle with salt. Let cool to crisp.

 

Add orange juice concentrate to drippings in skillet; stir over high heat until reduced by 1/3. Stir in bourbon; heat through. Stir in remaining salt and pepper; pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with the almonds.

ORANGE FRENCH TOAST

 

11/2 cups orange juice, divided

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup strawberry jam

2 teaspoons butter, divided

8 slices whole-wheat bread

 

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup juice with eggs, milk, cinnamon and sugar. In a small saucepan, combine remaining cup of juice with jam.

 

Heat to a simmer, stirring until jam is mostly liquefied. Continue simmering over low heat.

 

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt about 1/2 teaspoon butter. Dip bread, one slice at a time, in egg mixture, turning to coat both sides.

 

Cook each slice of bread in skillet, flipping until both sides are golden brown and adding remaining butter as desired. Spoon sauce over French toast.

PAELLA SALAD

 

1/2-cup medium- or short-grained whole rice

1/4-teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads

1 package (10 ounces) frozen green peas

1-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)

3 cups diced cooked chicken and/or peeled shrimp (about 1 pound)

1/2-package (8 ounces) chorizo or pepperoni, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise in 1-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)

1/2-cup pitted small green Spanish olives

1/2-cup piquillo peppers, cut in small pieces

8 cups mixed salad greens

 

In a 1-quart saucepan, over high heat, bring 1-cup water, rice, salt and saffron to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook for 10 minutes. Add peas; cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 5 minutes longer. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add garlic; cook and stir until golden. Stir in chicken and/or shrimp and chorizo and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in olives, piquillo peppers and Sherry-Paprika Dressing. Arrange greens on a large platter. Spoon mixture onto greens; serve warm.

 

Sherry-Paprika Dressing

 

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons each: sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, 1-teaspoon Spanish paprika, 1/4-teaspoon salt and 1/8-teaspoon ground black pepper. Yield: 4 servings.

PAPRIKA CHICKEN AND ORANGE SALAD

 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 pounds)

1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 cups mixed salad greens

4 small oranges, peeled and segmented (about 1 1/3 cups)

1 medium-sized red onion, very thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)

Sherry Vinegar Dressing (recipe follows)

 

Sprinkle chicken with paprika and salt. In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add chicken breasts; cook just until no longer pink in the center, turning often, about 5 minutes (high heat will cause the paprika to burn). Remove chicken to a plate; cool. Immediately pour Sherry Vinegar Dressing into skillet; stir to remove brown bits. Strain into a measuring cup; add enough water to measure 1/3 cup; reserve. To serve: cut each breast diagonally into 1-inch slices. Arrange greens on 4 dinner plates; top with orange segments and red onion rings. Fan one chicken breast on each salad. Drizzle with reserves sherry vinegar mixture. If desired, sprinkle with toasted almonds, raisins and mint leaves. Yield: 4 servings

 

Sherry Vinegar Dressing: In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons each of Spanish olive oil and sherry vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8-teaspoon ground black pepper.

 

PASTA SOUP MIX IN A JAR

 

1/2 cup Macaroni -- small shells, etc.

1/4 cup Lentils -- dry

1/4 cup Mushrooms -- dried, chopped

2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese -- grated

1 tablespoon Minced Onion -- dried

1 tablespoon Chicken Bouillon granules -- instant

1 teaspoon Parsley, freeze-dried -- flaked

1/2 teaspoon Oregano -- crushed

1 dash Garlic Powder

 

Mix all ingredients together in a one pint canning jar, and store with tightly sealed lid, until needed. Use the following recipe to make soup, or place recipe on a card and attach to your decorated soup mix jar to give as a gift:

 

Basic Pasta Soup

 

Combine contents of jar with 3 cups water, in a 2 quart saucepan. Bring to

a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until lentils are

tender, stirring occasionally.

 

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA AND DRIED PLUM SANDWICHES

 

4 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 medium banana, sliced

1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) quartered pitted dried plums

2 tablespoons honey

teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

On each of two bread slices, spread 2 tablespoons peanut butter.

 

Top with banana slices and dried plums. Mix honey with cinnamon if desired.

 

Drizzle honey over dried plums. Top each with remaining bread slices.

PORK CHOP ETOUFFEE

An etouffee (ay-too-FAY) is a Cajun dish which is a meat with a thick gravy.

 

6 pork chops, cut about 1/2 inch thick

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/3 cup diced onion

1/3 cup diced celery

1/3 cup diced green pepper

1 can (15 oz.) chicken broth

1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk

2 tablespoons bacon grease (for frying)

2 tablespoons flour (for the roux)

Tabasco to taste

 

Wash chops and dry on paper towel. Mix flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and thyme in bowl. Coat chops with flour mixture and place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Discard coating mix.

 

In a large skillet, heat bacon grease until almost smoking. Fry chops until brown and remove. Add remaining flour and stir until it is brown. Add the chicken broth and evaporated milk, stirring until it forms a gravy. Add onion, celery and bell pepper and stir until tender. Add Tabasco to taste and add the pork chops back to the skillet. Simmer on low for 1 hour until chops are falling off the bone. Serve over rice with hot corn bread and greens. (c) 2001 Rick McDaniel

PORK CHOP JAMBALAYA

 

2 pounds pork chops

salt and pepper

1/4 inch oil in bottom of pot

1 cup chopped onions

3/4 cup chopped bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 cup water

4 cups cooked rice

1 1/2 cup chopped green onion tops

 

Brown pork chops that have been seasoned to taste. Remove chops from pot. Sauté onions, bell pepper, and celery in oil that chops were browned in. Remove all oil from the pot that you can and add a small amount of water to form a gravy. Put chops back into the pot. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add cooked rice and onion tops and stir well. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serves 4. (c) 2001 Rick McDaniel

RED RICE

 

5 slices of Market Style Bacon

2 cups cooked rice

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 cups canned tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp Texas Pete Hot Sauce

 

Cook Bacon, in skillet, reserve grease. Crumble bacon and set aside. Cook onions in bacon fat until tender. Add remaining ingredients and bacon. Cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes, Stirring, and adding water as needed.

REFRIGERATOR PICKLES 1

 

3 quarts water

1 quart white vinegar

1 cup pickling salt

4 pounds cucumbers -- (4 to 5 lbs.)

1 bunch fresh dill

1 head garlic

4 tablespoons peppercorns -- (optional)

 

Combine water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and

refrigerate overnight in sterilized glass jars. Next day, scrub cucumbers.

Put some dill flowers and at least 5 peeled garlic cloves into each canning

jar along with peppercorns if desired.

 

Pack cucumbers into jar nice and tight, cover with cold brine, secure lids

and refrigerate at least 3 days.

 

As you take out and devour pickles, put more cucumbers in the jar, and keep

the cycle going

 

 

 

 

RICKS SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

This is a variation on my grandmother's recipe, and is always a hit at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Rick McDaniel

 

6 medium sweet potatoes

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp orange extract

1/2 cup half and half

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup coconut

Boil sweet potatoes until fork tender. Plunge into cold water and peel. Put them in a large mixing bowl and mash thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended.

 

Place in a covered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

SAINT SIMON ISLAND SHRIMP BOG

1/2 pound slice bacon, finely diced

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice

3 1/4 cups defatted chicken broth

1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes, with juice

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp each cayenne and black pepper

2 lbs. medium-sized shrimp, cleaned

1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot, fry bacon over medium heat; drain and set aside. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat, add the onions to the pot, then cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Add the rice, 2 1/4 cups of the broth, tomatoes with juices, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and black pepper; bring to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Stir in the bacon, shrimp and the remaining cup of broth; continue cooking, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the bog with a fork, adjust seasonings and sprinkle the parsley on top. (c) 2001 Rick McDaniel

SALAD NICOISE WITH MINT-LEMON DRESSING

 

6 ounces slender green beans, trimmed, halved

5 6-ounce cans solid white tuna packed in oil, drained, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil reserved

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup Niçoise olives* or pitted Kalamata olives

7 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint

 

1/2 cup olive oil

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, peeled

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

 

1 5-ounce bag mesclun salad mix

Lemon wedges

 

Place green beans in processor. Using on/off turns, coarsely chop. Place in large bowl. Mix in tuna, tomatoes, olives, and 4 tablespoons mint. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Place olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, cumin and remaining 3 tablespoons mint in processor. Process until well blended. With machine running, slowly add 1/4 cup drained tuna oil. Process until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Place mesclun in another bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons tuna oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice; toss. Transfer to platter. Arrange tuna salad over mesclun. Drizzle dressing over. Garnish with lemon wedges.

 

*Small brine-cured olives; available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets. Makes 12 buffet servings or 8 main-course servings.

SHAKSHOUKA J

(Eggs in Tomato Sauce)

 

A Sephardi favorite. No Middle Eastern restaurant menu is complete without it, though Hungarians also delight in this dish with the addition of lots of paprika. Leshakshek means "to shake" in Hebrew. Every cook from North Africa has his or her own personal version of this egg and tomato dish. Whatever vegetable is used, it must be fresh, not canned.

 

1 lg. onion (finely chopped)

4 eggs

cooking oil

6 medium tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

 

In a large frying pan, sauté onion until lightly browned. Grate tomatoes on largest holes of a grater. Mix grated tomatoes and onion, cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Remove cover and break eggs over the surface. Stir gently to break yolks, cover and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until eggs are set. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 

Variations: One minced garlic clove may be added to the onion, or 3 to 4 slices of red pimento may be sautéed with the onion.

SHISHLIK J

 

The simple method of preparing meat on an open grill goes back to ancient biblical times. To this day, Israelis tend to prefer their meat prepared in this manner. Shishlik is one of the most popular dishes requested at restaurants.

 

1 lb. tender meat (beef or lamb), in 1-inch dice

salt and pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbs. oil

 

Marinate diced meat in garlic and oil mixture for 1/2 hour. Remove and put meat on skewers. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Place over charcoal or in broiler.

SHRIMP AND GRITS

 

6 cups water

6 cups milk

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups white grits (NOT instant or Quick Cooking)

16 Oz. finely grated white cheddar cheese (optional)

1 pound fresh shrimp, shelled and de-veined

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, milk, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Stir in the grits. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (**The grits will stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure not to scrape the bottom of the pan. If the grits absorbed all of the water, add some hot water to thin out the grits.) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cheese if desired.

 

In a separate pot add shrimp to boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Add shrimp to grits and season to taste with salt and pepper. Yield: 8 servings

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN

 

I have had more compliments on this chicken than anything else I cook. The crust is crispy, and the meat is tender and juicy. I hope you enjoy it too! Since I first published this recipe in 1997, it has been cooked by folks as far away as Australia. Rick McDaniel

 

1 whole chicken, cut into 9 pieces or 2 packs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups self-rising flour

2 tsp. salt, divided

I tsp. pepper, divided

1tbsp. poultry seasoning

Canola oil for frying

 

Place buttermilk in a l-gallon plastic bag. Mix buttermilk with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Pour over chicken in bag and seal. Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

 

Measure flour, 1 tsp. salt,1/2 tsp. pepper and 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning and place in a large double paper bag. Place half the chicken pieces in the bag and shake to coat. Remove the chicken from the bag, shaking off excess flour. Place chicken on wire rack and repeat with the remaining chicken.

 

Pour enough oil to measure 1 inch deep in skillet. Heat on stovetop to 350 degrees (oil will shimmer but not smoke). Place chicken pieces, skin-side down, into the hot oil. Cook for five minutes, lift with tongs to see if chicken is cooking evenly; rearrange if necessary. Continue cooking until chicken is evenly browned, about five more minutes. Turn chicken with tongs and continue cooking until brown all over, about 10-12 minutes longer. Remove to wire rack placed on top of a baking sheet to drain. (c) 1997 Rick McDaniel

 

SOUTHERN MILK GRAVY

 

A great way to start the day. Serve over hot biscuits or at supper with my fried chicken. Rick McDaniel

 

1 lb. hot sausage

1/2 cup flour

11/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Crumble sausage in pan. Cook until done, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on paper. Reserve 8 tablespoons of fat. Put fat back on high heat and add flour, salt and pepper. Stir until golden brown. Add milk, stirring until thick. Stir in drained sausage. Cook until hot. Serve hot with biscuits.

 

SOUTHERN MOON PIES

 

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup marshmallow creme

 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2 To Make Cookie Crusts: In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine and white sugar. Add egg, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Add flour mixture slowly to sugar mixture while stirring. Mix just until all ingredients are combined.

3 Drop the dough onto greased cookie sheet by rounded tablespoonfuls. Leave at least 3 inches in between each one; dough will spread as it bakes.

4 Bake in preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until firm when pressed with finger. Allow to cool at least one hour before filling.

5 To Make Marshmallow Filling: In a medium mixing bowl, blend together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, confectioners' sugar, flavored extract, and marshmallow creme. Mix until smooth. Assemble pies by spreading 1 to 2 tablespoonfuls of filling on flat side of a cookie crust, then covering filling with flat side of another cookie crust. Makes 2 dozen pies

SWEET POTATO PONE

 

This is a recipe from the Gullah, who inhabit the islands in the South Carolina Low Country

 

2 large sweet potatoes

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark cane sugar

 

Peel and grate sweet potatoes. Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into greased baking dish and cook in slow oven at 300 degrees F until done, about 1 hour.

 

SOURCE: Catherine Carr's (of lady's Island) recipe in The Legacy of Ibo Landing: Gullah Roots of African American Culture, edited by Marquetta L. Goodwine (1998).

 

SWEET POTATO SPICE CAKE

 

21/2 cups flour

21/2 teaspoons baking powder

11/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup coarsely grated fresh sweet potatoes (yam variety)

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup raisins

Whole almonds for garnish (optional)

Rum cream cheese frosting

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

3/4 teaspoon rum flavoring

 

Sift dry ingredients together, set aside.

 

Cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together until fluffy. Blend in dry ingredients alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition. Fold in sweet potatoes, nuts and raisins. Pour into greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

 

Cool on wire rack 15 minutes.

 

Invert onto serving plate. Cool completely. Frost with rum cream cheese frosting. Garnish with whole almonds or walnut halves if desired.

 

Rum cream cheese frosting: Beat all frosting ingredients together until smooth and of spreading consistency.

THE BLESSINGS OF YOGURT

We're all looking for ways to keep cool this summer, and that includes our taste buds. Yogurt can help. Check out Foster Farms Dairy's "10 Delicious Ways to Beat the Heat with Yogurt.

 

Yogurt is one of the most versatile foods, especially when it comes to creating refreshing summertime meals and treats, says Ron Foster of Modesto, president of Foster Farms Dairy.

 

"The rise in yogurt consumption has to do with the simple fact that yogurt is a highly nutritious food choice that fits the needs of today's busy consumer," Foster says. "Also, consumers find yogurt a meal replacement available in a wide variety of flavors."

 

Yogurt consumption is on the rise. Americans eat 1.34 million pounds annually -- an average of about 5 pounds per person; 55.3 percent are eating low-fat yogurt and 41.5 percent are eating fat-free yogurt.

 

Founded in 1939 on an 80-acre farm near Modesto, Foster Farms began producing dairy products in 1941. Today, Foster's produces a full line of dairy products and processes 21/2 million gallons of fresh milk weekly at its three plants.

Consumers should look for yogurt containing "live active cultures," says Ron Foster, head of Foster Farms Dairy.

 

Live active cultures, (also known as probiotics, which literally means "for life") are beneficial bacteria that help your body fight off a number of health conditions. The most common live active cultures found in yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus.

 

Here are five specific health benefits of consuming yogurt:

 

1. IMPROVED TOLERANCE TO MILK

 

Several studies have demonstrated that yogurt enhances lactose digestion in individuals who cannot tolerate milk because of a protein allergy or being lactose intolerant.

 

The live cultures create lactase, the enzyme that lactose-intolerant people lack and other enzymes like beta-galactosidase, which also helps lactose absorption in lactase-deficient persons.

 

 

2. INTESTINAL HEALTH

 

Yogurt with specific strains of live active cultures has been demonstrated to help maintain intestinal mircoflora balance and suppress harmful bacteria in the intestine.

 

Lactobaeillus, a particular strain of bacteria used in yogurt, aids in treatment and prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, traveler's diarrhea and acute diarrhea in children.

 

In adults, Lactobacillus has been shown to stimulate bowel function by altering the microflora and suppressing fermentation in the intestine.

 

3. ANTI-CANCER EFFECTS

 

The possibility that lactic acid bacteria in cultured dairy foods such as yogurt may protect against certain cancers such as colorectal cancer and possibly breast cancer has been investigated.

 

Studies indicated that Lactobacillus reduces the growth of cancer cells and the activity of fecal carcinogenic enzymes implicated in the development of colon cancer.

 

4. ENHANCED IMMUNITY

 

Consuming yogurt may improve some of the body's immune defense responses, since bacterial cultures in yogurt stimulate infection-fighting white blood cells in the bloodstream.

 

When adults consumed one cup of yogurt with live cultures per day for one year, allergic systems decreased. However, further studies are necessary to confirm this beneficial effect of yogurt on the immune system.

 

5. PROTECTION AGAINST ULCERS

 

Specific strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus may protect against stomach ulcers by suppressing the growth of Helicobacterpylori, a known ulcer-inducing bacteria.

 

SOURCE: National Dairy Council, 2001 (Specific Health Benefits of Cultured and Culture-containing Dairy Foods)

 

CUCUMBER YOGURT SOUP

 

Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic; salt and pepper to taste.

 

Stir in 11/2 cups peeled and diced cucumber and 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts; cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

 

Just before serving, stir in 2 cups plain yogurt. To serve, place 1 to 2 ice cubes in each bowl and add soup. Serve immediately.

 

TANGY FRUIT DIP

 

Combine 1 cup plain yogurt, 11/2 tablespoons almond-flavored liqueur, 1 teaspoon almond extract and 3 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar.

 

Serve with a variety of fresh fruit as a dip or toss with fresh fruit for a refreshing summer salad.

 

NECTARINE CRÉME FRAÎCHE

 

Combine 2 sliced nectarines, 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt and a few drops of almond extract in blender; whirl until smooth. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons honey.

 

Sprinkle 1 envelope unflavored gelatin over 2 tablespoons water in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until dissolved.

 

Add gelatin to blender and whirl to blend, about 10 seconds. Chill until mixture begins to thicken.

 

Spoon into stemmed glasses and chill until set. Garnish with additional nectarine slices and mint springs for a light and refreshing dessert.

 

MIDMORNING PICK-ME-UP

 

Stir low-fat granola into fat-free fruit-flavored yogurt for a quick breakfast or midmorning snack.

 

HIGH FIBER PLUM FRAPPÉ

 

In a blender, combine 1 cup diced fresh California plums, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons each honey and wheat germ, and 3 ice cubes. Whirl until smooth.

 

YOGURT-DIPPED CHURROS

 

Prepare frozen churros according to package directions. Dip into low-fat strawberry or blueberry yogurt for breakfast or treat.

 

YOGURT POPS

 

Puree fresh fruit and stir it into low-fat fruit-flavored yogurt. Pour into small paper cups; add ice-pop sticks and freeze. Peel away paper cups and enjoy. Perfect for kids of all ages.

TOMATO ROASTED BEET

AND PICKLED ONION SALAD

 

6 medium beets (2 1/4 lb with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached

1 1/4 cups cider vinegar

6 tablespoons water

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 small red onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

 

Preheat oven to 425°F.

 

Wrap beets tightly in foil to make 2 packages and roast in middle of oven until tender, about 1 1/4hours.

 

While beets roast, simmer vinegar, water, sugar, and spices, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add onions and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes. Pour pickled onions with liquid and spices into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, to room temperature.

 

Unwrap beets and, when just cool enough to handle, slip off skins and remove stems. Cut beets into 1/2-inch-thick wedges and transfer to a serving bowl with tomatoes. Drain pickled onions in a sieve set over another bowl and discard allspice. Add onions (with remaining spices) and 2 tablespoons pickling liquid to beets and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 6 servings.

Cooks' notes:

• Pickled onions can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.

• Salad can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

 

VEGETARIAN CHILI

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 14-1/2-ounce cans chili-style chunky tomatoes

1 12-ounce can beer

1 cup water

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can canellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole kernel corn

1-1/2 cups chopped zucchini or yellow summer squash

3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (6 ounces)

 

1. In a Dutch oven cook garlic in hot oil for 30 seconds. Stir in the undrained tomatoes, beer, water, tomato sauce, chili powder, mustard, oregano, cumin, pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Stir in the pinto beans, cannellini beans, and red kidney beans. Bring mixture to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the corn and zucchini or yellow summer squash. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or till vegetables are tender. Spoon into serving bowls. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese. Makes 6 Servings

WACKY WAFFLE STACKS

 

3 round frozen toaster waffles

1/4 cup plain or strawberry-flavored soft cream cheese, divided

2 tablespoons strawberry preserves or fruit spread

1 medium banana, sliced, or 6 strawberries, sliced

4 whole strawberries for garnish (optional)

Toast waffles according to package directions. Place 1 waffle on plate.

Spread with 2 tablespoons cream cheese and 1 tablespoon preserves.

Arrange 1/2 of sliced fruit on top. Top with another waffle; repeat process with remaining preserves and cream cheese. Top with remaining waffle.

Cut waffle stack into quarters. Garnish each quarter with one whole strawberry. Serve immediately.

WONDER CAKE J

 

Because of conventional meal times in Israel (main meal between 12:00 and 2:00 pm; supper at 7:00 pm), many Israelis have coffee or tea with cake between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. It is not considered proper in Israel to offer someone coffee or tea without cake. This is one of the most popular cakes in Israel.

 

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

5 egg yolks

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour

3/4 tsp. salt

confectioner's sugar

 

Cream shortening and beat in sugar. Add one yolk at a time, beating after each addition. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and add to batter, alternating with milk. Beat in vanilla. Grease a 10 inch loaf pan and dust lightly with flour. Pour in batter. Bake at 350 deg F (180 deg C) for 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

 

ZUCCHINI PRITTI J

 

Zucchini was mentioned in the Bible (Book of Leviticus), and, until this day has remained part of the fare in Israel and neighboring lands.

 

6 small zucchini

1/2 cup olive oil

2 chopped onions

salt and pepper

1 chopped green and/or red pepper

1 cup chopped tomatoes

 

Cut zucchini into rings and fry in oil. Set zucchini aside. Fry chopped onion until transparent. Add tomatoes, black pepper, salt and green and/or red pepper. Sauté until soft. Pour over zucchini rings.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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