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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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

ALMOND PUDDING

BAKED BARBECUED CHICKEN

BROCCOLI SALAD

BROWN BAG TIPS

BUTTERSCOTCH COFFEE POUND CAKE

CAST IRON APPLE PIE

CHICKPEAS MAKE TERRIFIC CHILI BASE

CINNAMON DANDIES

COLLARD GREEN SALAD

CORNBREAD PIE

CREAMED GREEN BEANS

EGGPLANT CASSEROLE

EGGPLANT SKILLET

FILLET OF SOLE IN SWISS CHARD LEAVES

FRESHNESS IS THE LIFE OF SPICE

FROSTY MANDARIN DESSERT

GRANNY SMITH APPLE SORBET

GREEN CHILI BURGER

HOT AND SOUR SOUP

HUNGARIAN APPLE CAKE

HUNGARIAN CHICKEN PAPRIKA STEW

HUNGARIAN PORK ROAST WITH ONION GRAV

HUNGARIAN POTATO SOUP

HUNGARIAN STYLE CAULIFLOWER OR BROCC

HUNGARIAN ZUCCHINI SQUASH WITH DILL.

HUNGRY MANS MANICOTTI

LEMON CORIANDER SEED CAKE

LEMON CUSTARD ICE CREAM

MAKING APPLE DESSERTS

MANGO COCONUT ICE CREAM PIES

MARINATED LONDON BROIL

MELON ARUGULA AND SERRANO HAM

MEXICAN STYLE POTATOES

NEW FOR SPRING 1999

PAPPYS POTATO SOUP

PEACH CRISP

PEACHES IN PEACH SCHNAPPS WITH SLIVE

PEDERNALES POTATOES

PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE PIE

PINTO BEAN BREAD

PINTO BEAN SALAD

POACHED APPLES

POLENTA DULCE

PORK CHOP AND POTATO BAKE

SAMBUCA POACHED FIGS

SAUTÉED CHICKPEAS WITH GROUND MEAT

SIMPLE NO BAKE VEGGIE LASAGNA

SKILLET PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

SOUR APPLE SOUFFLÉ

SOUTHERN POTATO SALAD

SOUTHWEST BEEF STEW

SPICY BEER MARINADE

STEAK PARMESAN

SUN DRIED TOMATO AND OLIVE FOCACCIA

TABBOULEH SALAD WITH COUSCOUS

TAPENADE MAYONNAISE

TEAROOM SANDWICHES

THE PERFECT LEMON TART

TRAIN WRECK

VANILLA AROMATIC AND WILDLY POPULAR

VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

VIETNAMESE CINNAMON

WHOLE WHEAT BISCUITS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALMOND PUDDING

Serves 6

1 3/4 cups blanched almonds

5 1/2 cups whole milk, divided

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 egg yolk, beaten

Pinch of salt

Ground pistachio nuts

 

Place almonds in blender with 1 1/2 cups milk. Grind well for about 4 minutes to make a smooth paste. Turn this mixture out into a medium-size saucepan and add 3 1/2 cups milk, the sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon.

 

In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/2 cup milk to form a smooth paste. Gradually add this mixture to boiling almond milk, lower heat and simmer, stirring frequently. Carefully add about 1 cup of the hot almond milk to beaten egg yolk, then pour mixture back into saucepan. Add salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens.

 

Pour into individual serving dishes. Let cool, then refrigerate several hours to chill pudding. Sprinkle ground pistachio nuts on top and serve.

 

BAKED BARBECUED CHICKEN

 

Cut-up roasting chicken

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 beaten egg

1 cup milk

1/2 cup salad oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1/4 cup minced green or red bell peppers

1 cup ketchup

1 cup water

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

 

Dip chicken pieces into flour mixed with salt, then into another bowl of the beaten egg and milk. Then, dip back into the flour and place in skillet of hot oil.

Fry all pieces until golden brown, turning often, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Drain chicken on paper towels and then put into large (3-quart) casserole.

Pour all but 2 tablespoons oil (drippings) from skillet. Add sliced onions to drippings and sauté until golden brown and tender.

 

Add bell pepper, ketchup, water, Worcestershire, brown sugar, pepper, celery seed and garlic powder to skillet and cook on medium for 3-4 minutes. Pour skillet mixture over chicken in casserole dish. Refrigerate.

 

(About 2 hours before serving). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover chicken in casserole dish and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 15 minutes longer., or until very tender.

 

BROCCOLI SALAD

 

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup peanuts

1 cup chopped red onion

1/2 pound bacon, cooked crisp and broken

4 cups broccoli flowerets

 

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

 

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Mix dressing with salad when ready to serve.

 

BROWN BAG TIPS

 

Here are suggestions for making lunch at work more satisfying:

 

Eat away from your desk: Carry your food to a break room or company cafeteria, or outdoors if benches or a park are nearby.

 

Go beyond white, wheat and rye: Use challah, breadsticks, pita, tortillas or other soft flatbreads. Toast an extra bagel or English muffin in the morning for a sandwich.

 

Most bread shops will slice specialty loaves for sandwiches.

 

Freeze sliced breads at peak freshness by wrapping them in foil or tucking slices into freezer bags. Take two slices out at night and place in a plastic bag to thaw.

 

Buy large bags of chips and pack small amounts in plastic bags for lunch.

 

Change the condiments: Instead of lettuce and tomato, top roast beef with Boursin cheese and alfalfa sprouts.

 

Try flavored cheeses that incorporate cracked peppercorns, jalapeño peppers, sun-dried tomatoes or dill.

 

Spread pesto on a chicken sandwich, or hummus or goat cheese on a grilled vegetable sandwich.

 

Experiment with fruit-flavored mustards, or make homemade flavored mayonnaise in the food processor. Pack a tiny container of regular or low-fat ranch dressing to use as a dip for raw or blanched vegetables.

 

Sandwich substitutes, salad sandwiches: Pasta salad travels well, but if you're tired of rotelli and penne, switch to couscous. It's lighter, cooks in a flash and is tidy to eat with a spoon.

 

Treat yourself to a cheese course: three fancy cheeses, breadsticks and fruits -- seedless grapes, figs or apple slices.

 

For easier eating, stuff salads into a pita or torpedo roll: Make these in the morning so the bread doesn't get soggy.

 

Hot soups are wonderful in winter: Carry them in a thermos if your office doesn't have a microwave.

 

Start a lunch pool: Find four friends with similar tastes, then assign each one a day of the week to make lunch for everyone. Give it a focus by doing theme weeks, such as picnic foods or ethnic cuisines.

 

Anticipate emergencies: For those days when you leave your lunch behind, keep a desk stash of items such as apples, bananas, energy bars, pretzels, boxes of raisins and bottled water.

 

Add a knife, fork, spoon, paper plates and napkins if you have space. Baby wipes can be used to clean hands or the desk. Drop your car keys in the lunch bag at night, and you will never forget your lunch again.

 

And pack your own lunch: It's good for the environment if you reuse plastic bags, containers and utensils. Iced tea or hot coffee carried in a thermos will keep a lot of disposable cups and bottles out of the landfill.

 

 

 

BUTTERSCOTCH COFFEE POUND CAKE

 

6 oz. Butterscotch morsels (small package or 3/4 cup)

2 Tbsp Instant coffee (granules, powder, crystals)

1/4 cup Water

1 cup Butter (2 sticks), softened

1-1/2 cup Sugar

3 cup Flour

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

3/4 cup Buttermilk

4 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a large Bundt pan or other 12-cup cake pan.

 

Melt butterscotch morsels, instant coffee and water together in top of a double boiler over simmering water.

 

In electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Blend in butterscotch mixture. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

 

Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 55-60 minutes. Test with cake tester or toothpick. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

 

CAST IRON APPLE PIE

For the filling:

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)

5-6 good-sized apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

For the Streusel Topping:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons butter, cubed

3 tablespoons brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1 apple, peeled, cored and diced small

1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the filling, melt together the butter, spices and the sugar in the cast iron skillet. Add apples and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. For the topping, put the dry ingredients in a mixer and add the cubed butter. Mix until it is crumbly, then add the diced apple and shredded cheese. Put the topping on the filling in the pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or till the top is golden. You can use any kind of firm apple for this. Serves 8.

 

CHICKPEAS MAKE TERRIFIC CHILI BASE

GARBANZOS RETAIN FIRMNESS, FLAVOR

BY MARK BITTMAN, New York Times

 

Chickpeas have characteristics other legumes don't share. When cooked until tender, they don't turn to mush, and their cooking broth is delicious. This recipe takes advantage of both assets. Related to a classic chili, it combines chickpeas, meat and spices. The cooked chickpeas (garbanzos) are sautéed over high heat until browned and slightly crisp, and the pan is deglazed with chickpea cooking liquid.

 

I first made this dish with chickpeas I had cooked myself, then wondered: Will this work with canned, cooked chickpeas? It will. Canned chickpeas are sturdy enough to withstand the skillet's heat, and their broth tastes good enough to pass muster.

 

Still, the broth can be improved. I simmered the canned broth with a carrot, onion and celery stalk for about 20 minutes. Not surprisingly, the flavor was better. Better still was cooking dried chickpeas in water flavored with those vegetables. Choosing between dried and canned chickpeas is a matter of time: dried peas can take up to two hours to become tender in the pot.

 

The dish is strongly seasoned with cumin, chili and garlic. I wasn't looking for super-heat but for rich flavor. I settled on the mild ancho chili. A considerably stronger chipotle could be used. (The easiest way to prepare a dried chili is to soak it in hot water until it softens, split it and discard the seeds and stem.) For more heat, use more chilies.

 

I tried the dish with beef, pork and turkey and found little difference. Beef browned the best in the least time. Use the ground meat you prefer: the smaller amount for flavor and texture, the larger for bulk and protein.

 

CINNAMON DANDIES

 

1 cup butter

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Cream butter. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt. Cream all ingredients well. Add applesauce and vanilla. Gradually add flour. Shape scant teaspoonfuls into little balls. Place on un-greased cookie sheets. Flatten to 1/4-inch with bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 325 for 15 to 18 minutes.

Shake mixture of sugar and cinnamon over warm cookies.

 

COLLARD GREEN SALAD

WITH YOGURT-GARLIC SAUCE

Serves 4-6

For yogurt-garlic sauce:

1 2/3 cups plain yogurt

4 garlic cloves, minced

Salt

For salad:

3 tablespoons virgin olive oil or vegetable oil

1 small Spanish onion, finely diced ( 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup long-grain rice

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (1 cup)

2 long Italian green peppers, seeded and finely chopped ( 1/2 cup)

2 cups water or chicken stock

2 pounds collard greens, coarsely chopped (include tender stems)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Paprika for garnish

 

To make sauce: In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, garlic and salt until mixture is very smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

 

To make salad: In a large, heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook gently for about 2 minutes, or until it has softened but not browned. Stir in rice, tomatoes and peppers. Add water or stock. Add chopped greens and season with salt and pepper. Cover saucepan. Lower heat, and cook gently for about 20 minutes, or until collard greens are tender and all liquid has been absorbed.

 

Transfer contents of saucepan to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. To serve, pour yogurt-garlic sauce over salad and sprinkle with paprika. This dish is best served chilled or at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

CORNBREAD PIE

 

1 pound ground beef

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, chopped

1 can tomato sauce

1 can refried beans

4 ounces Swiss cheese

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/3 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

1 egg (slightly beaten)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

 

Brown beef with sage, basil and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Drain well. Stir in onion, tomato sauce and refried beans. Cook until mixture bubbles. Place beef mixture in 9-inch deep pie pan, pressing to flatten top. Sprinkle cheese over top. Heat oven to 350.

For cornbread topping, mix corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl. Combine and stir in milk, egg and oil. Spoon topping mixture around edge of baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

 

CREAMED GREEN BEANS

 

1/2 cup onion

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup sour cream

5 cups green beans, cooked and drained

1/2 cup mushrooms (sautéed)

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted

 

Cook onion in butter until tender but not brown. Add flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add sour cream and mix well. Stir in beans and mushrooms.

Place in a 7 x 11-inch casserole and top with grated cheese. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle on top of green beans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

 

EGGPLANT CASSEROLE

1 large eggplant

2 cups cornbread, crumbled

2 cups tomatoes

1/2 cup onions, chopped

1 small jar pimento (optional)

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup grated cheese

2 Tbsp butter

Peel eggplant and cut into small pieces. Cook in salted water until tender.

Drain and mash. Add the remaining ingredients except for cheese. Sprinkle

cheese on top. Bake in 9x13" dish uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

 

EGGPLANT SKILLET

1 lb. ground beef

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

3/4 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

small eggplant (about 1 lb.) cut into 1/2 inch slices

4 oz. sharp American cheese (1 cup) grated

paprika

parmesan cheese

Cook beef, onion and celery until meat is browned. Drain the fat off the meat. Stir in tomato sauce, water, oregano and chili powder. Season eggplant slices with salt and pepper. Arrange eggplant on top of meat sauce. Cover and summer until eggplant is tender (about 15 - 20 minutes). Top with grated cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with parmesan. Serves 4.

Another way that we enjoy eggplant is to cut it into 1/2 inches slices, brush each slice with Italian dressing on both sides, and then we grill it on our barbecue grill.

 

 

 

FILLET OF SOLE IN SWISS CHARD LEAVES

Serves 4

4 large Swiss chard leaves

1/4 cup virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 shallots, finely chopped ( 1/4 cup)

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

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus extra for garnish

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 skinless sole or flounder fillets (about 2 1/2 pounds total)

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut white stalks from Swiss chard leaves. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch chard for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove each leaf from water and plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Arrange leaves over rim of a colander and let them drain well. Cut leaves in half lengthwise to make a total of 8 pieces.

 

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in garlic and shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, or until they're softened but not brown. Add tomatoes and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.

 

Place a fillet alongside each Swiss chard leaf. Carefully wrap chard around fish, and place packets side by side, seam side down, in an ovenproof dish. Pour tomato mixture over fish, then add wine and lemon juice. Cover dish and bake about 15 minutes.

 

Arrange fish, still wrapped in leaves, on warmed plates and surround each piece with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley.

 

FRESHNESS IS THE LIFE OF SPICE

BY BETSY JONES, Special to the Mercury News

Recently I made a Hungarian dish called paprikash that called for a goodly amount of paprika. My supply looked a bit peaked, so I purchased a new jar of good (read: expensive) paprika. After a few bites, my husband looked up and said, ``I didn't know paprika had a flavor. I thought it was just a color.''

 

His epiphany inspired me to do some sleuthing into the spice trade. And specifically, into how long you can expect spices to last.

 

While spices don't go bad or turn rancid, they do lose their potency. Dried herbs go first, yellowing and losing flavor. Ground spices begin to lose their volatile oils, which results in a decrease of fragrance and flavor.

 

The Food Marketing Institute, based in Washington, advises that ground spices have a shelf life of six months; whole spices, a life of one to two years.

 

While some spice makers say ground spices can last far longer, Morton Gothelf, president of San Francisco spice company Morton & Bassett, recommends that all spices be replaced after six months to a year.

 

``If you're going to make a good meal, you want to use very fresh spices,'' he said.

 

Gothelf says storage is the most important factor in a spice's shelf life.

 

``You want to keep your spices away from three things: heat, light and moisture,'' he said. Storing spices on a rack is all right, as long as they are out of direct sunlight. ``The worst place you can store them is over the stove where they are continually exposed to heat and moisture.'' The best place? In drawers, cupboards or, optimally, in the refrigerator where temperature and humidity are controlled.

 

Although it is economical to purchase spices in bulk, most herbs and spices are yearly crops, says John Tilison, operations manager at Penzeys, a spice purveyor that has been in business since 1959. Therefore, it makes sense to buy no more than you would use in a year and avoid throwing away large quantities that have lost their freshness. [] Spike suggests you visit Penzeys.com - it is a wondrous site. []

 

Penzey's markets more than 250 varieties of herbs, spices and blends. And Tilison says that blends -- which contain many different types of spice, each with unique qualities -- change most rapidly. Over time certain ingredients can become more pronounced while others fade. The best test of freshness, says Tilison, is to ``open the top and smell.''

 

While I have not trashed my venerable collection of spices (including a metal tin of cream of tartar handed down to me from my mother), I will start updating my arsenal of seasonings recipe by recipe. I've learned that a cake made with ground nutmeg purchased circa 1991 and a cake made using freshly ground nutmeg are two entirely different cakes.

 

 

 

 

 

FROSTY MANDARIN DESSERT

 

1 can (11-ounce) mandarin orange sections

1 (6-ounce) package Jell-O Orange Gelatin

2 cups boiling water

1 pint orange sherbet

 

Drain oranges, measuring syrup. Add water to syrup to make 1 cup. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add measured liquid. Add sherbet by spoonfuls, stirring until melted. Chill until thickened. Fold in orange sections, reserving a few for garnish. Pour into serving bowl or individual serving dishes and chill until set--at least 1 hour. Garnish with reserved mandarin sections.

 

GRANNY SMITH APPLE SORBET

 

If you are like me and LOVE ice cream, I have a couple of recipes for you. The first is a sorbet. Sorbet, Granita and Sherbet, oh my! What is the difference you ask? Well, sorbet is the French term for sherbet. Sorbets differ from sherbets in that they almost never contain milk or milk products. Granita is the Italian word for ice, and it usually more granular than either sorbets or sherbets.

 

2 cups water

2/3 cup sugar

Bring this to a boil and let boil until soft ball stage is reached, which is about 230 degrees. If you do not have a candy thermometer, you can just let the sugar boil for about 10-15 minutes. This is what is known as a simple syrup.

6-7 Granny Smith apples

1 lemon

About 2 stalks of parsley (the whole thing, leaves and stem)

Juice the apples with the parsley; squeeze the lemon juice into the apple juice. If you do not have a juicer, go ahead and puree the apples with the parsley in a blender, and then squeeze the lemon juice into it. Then strain the mixture. If you use a blender instead of a juicer, go ahead and leave the skin on, but remove the cores. Add the sugar mixture to the strained liquid or the juice and pour into an ice cream maker. Run the mix until set which, depending on your ice cream maker, could take about an hour or more.

If you have an ice cream maker that decides to not work like mine did last night, add one frothy egg white to the liquid and put it in a plastic container and place that in the freezer. Stir it about once every half hour. Serve when ready, it can keep in a tightly stored container for up to six months. Makes 1 quart.

 

 

GREEN CHILI BURGER

Servings: Serves 4

4 fully cooked burger patties

1/2 small sweet onion

1 Tbsp. butter

1 can (4 oz) whole green chilies, drained

4 slices Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese

4 Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns

-- salsa picante

 

Heat burgers in microwave according to package directions. Cut onion into 1/4-inch thick slices. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Grill onions about 2 minutes on each side, until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, split green chilies and lay flat over top of burger pattie. Lay 1 slice cheese over each; return to microwave briefly to melt cheese. Heat buns in microwave or oven until warm. Spread salsa on buns. Place burger patties on buns and top with grilled onions.

 

HOT AND SOUR SOUP

 

3 ounces shredded cooked pork

2 ounces shredded bamboo shoots

4 ounces shredded tofu

1 ounce dried mushroom (soak to soften)

1 ounce dried lily flowers (soak to soften)

1 quart chicken broth

1 teaspoon white wine

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon chopped green onion

1 teaspoon sesame oil

 

Place pork, bamboo shoots, tofu, mushrooms and lily flowers in chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add wine and soy sauce. While boiling, combine cornstarch and cold water to make a paste. Stir soup gently and add cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup.

 

When soup thickens, add beaten eggs slowly, while continuing to stir soup gently. Turn off heat when egg becomes "egg flowers."

 

Before serving, add vinegar, pepper, green onion and sesame oil.

Stir and serve.

 

HUNGARIAN APPLE CAKE

(Apfel Kuchen)

 

3 cups flour

1/4 cup of warm water

1 pkg. of yeast or 2 1/2 tsp. granulated yeast

1/2 stick of butter

3/4 cup scalded milk

3 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 egg yolks

3 to 4 lbs. of baking apples, washed, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (An apple

peeler, corer and slicer is a wonderful tool to have)

Heat milk to scalding, then add butter and 1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar, stir well until butter and sugar are dissolved. In small bowl, add yeast to water, with the other 1 1/2 Tbsp. of sugar. Put 2 cups of flour in large bowl and add cooled milk, yeast mixture, eggs and salt. Beat well. Add the additional flour and work until dough comes away from sides of the bowl. Dough should be very soft and sticky. (If too thick, add a few teaspoons of warm water). Cover and let rise till double in bulk. This recipe will make 3 nine inch cake pans of Kuchen.

 

When dough is ready, grease pan generously with butter, do not flour. Put a third of the dough in each pan, butter your hands; otherwise the dough will stick to your hands. Using your fingers push dough to outer edges of pan, the dough will not want to stay there, but as you push apple slices down into the dough diagonally and over-lapping like tiles on a roof, it will remain in place. Arrange the apple slices in a concentric spiral close together. Sprinkle each Kuchen with a third of the topping and dot with butter (about 1/3 cup each).

 

Topping

 

1 cup sugar

2 heaping Tbsp. flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix and sift ingredients together twice. Let rise for another 1/2 hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until sides and bottom are golden brown and apple slices are tender. Do not let it burn.

 

We often double this recipe and make 6 or more. They freeze well and are nice to share. Makes 3 cakes.

 

HUNGARIAN CHICKEN PAPRIKA STEW

WITH TOMATO

(Paprikas csirkeporkolt paradicsommal)

Chicken appears in Hungarian cookery often but it is never boring because there are so many ways to serve it. Authentic Chicken Paprika never has tomatoes in it. Chicken Paprika Stew does. Make plenty of dumplings to go with it.

 

2 onions chopped

4 Tbsp. shortening, corn oil or lard

3 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika

2 tsp. sugar, do not omit

1/8 Tsp. black pepper or whole pepper corns

1 bay leaf

2 Tsp. salt

4 to 5 lbs. chicken disjointed, use legs, thighs, breast and back for best flavor

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

2 cups water

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 pt. sour cream

Brown onions in shortening. Add seasonings and chicken, brown 10 minutes. Do not let burn. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and water, cover and let simmer slowly until it is tender. It will smell wonderful! To thicken gravy, mix into a paste 2 Tbs. soft butter with 2 Tbs. flour and stir into the stew liquid. Cook a few minutes until the liquid thickens. Serve with dumplings or wide noodles. Top each serving with sour cream.

 

HUNGARIAN PORK ROAST WITH ONION GRAVY

CARAWAY SAUERKRAUT AND DUMPLINGS

 

It took me 61 years to find out that this most loved and often made dish was not Hungarian but Bohemian. It was a legacy of my Godmother, Violet Zellner who was Bohemian and who's name I bore as June Violet. Aunt Vi had three sons and she loved to have me come for a visit to their home on the far south side of Chicago, miles from our home on the near north side. I would take the old red Halsted Street cars to the end of the line and then have to walk a block or two. She used to call me "Dolly" or "Sweetie Pie"". She was the first person I knew who had an electric stove. I remember her serving this dish with a dumpling as huge as a loaf of bread.

 

1 large pork roast about 6 or 7 lbs. (If not lean, trim some fat)

7 large onions, peeled and chopped (do not lessen amount of onions, it is your

gravy)

2 Tbs. sugar (do not omit, caramelizes the onions)

salt and pepper

Sear all sides of roast in a hot roasting pan over high heat. Do not add any fat.

(May set off smoke detectors).

Put all the chopped onions and 2 Tbs. of sugar into roasting pan with meat and cover. Place in a medium heat 325 degree oven and slowly roast for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check the roast periodically to turn it over and push the onions around. The onions should be taking on a rich brown color.

 

CARAWAY SAUERKRAUT

 

2 lbs. of Sauerkraut, rinsed and drained (pouched kind rather than canned).

1 cup of water

1 Tbs. of Caraway seeds

1 Tbs. of sugar

2 Tbs. of lard or butter

2 Tbs. of flour

Rinse the sauerkraut once with water, and put into a pot along with the Caraway seeds and tablespoon of sugar, and cup of water. Slowly cook till kraut is soft about 1/2 hour. When Kraut is soft, blend 2 Tbs. of butter or lard with 2 Tbs. of flour and stir into the Kraut mixing it in and stirring while the roux cooks to thicken the Kraut. Be sure it simmers a few minutes to cook away the raw flour. Keep warm.

 

FARINA DUMPLINGS

 

4 Tbs. soft butter

4 eggs

Farina

1/2 teas. salt

But a pot of water on to boil. Mix the soft butter, salt and the 4 eggs well.

Add farina 1/4 cup at a time till you have a dumpling dough consistency. Thick, not runny. Then add a little water for moisture. When the water boils, cut the dumplings into the water with a tablespoon. When they come to the top, cook about 5 minutes more. Drain and arrange on meat platter. Keep warm.

 

When the Pork Roast is finished, remove the roast to a board and carve it into slices.

 

To the onions in the roasting pan add 2 cups of water into which 2 Tbs. of flour have been stirred. While stirring the gravy use a spatula to "wash down" the caramelized meat and onion juices which have colored the sides of the roaster. This contains a lot of flavor and color for your Onion Gravy.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt.

 

Serve dumplings on the meat platter with a few spoonfulls of gravy poured over. Caraway Sauerkraut is served in a side dish and the Onion Gravy is served in a gravy boat.

 

Beer is the preferred drink. This is a feast fit for a Hungarian or Bohemian King.

 

If you have left-overs (which I doubt) this reheats nicely. If you have cooked too many dumplings, they can be frozen and used in soup or Gulyas.

 

HUNGARIAN POTATO SOUP

 

1 small whole stalk of celery, cut in small pieces, about 2 cups

2 onions, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley leaves

3 Tbsp. oil, (I use corn or peanut oil)

5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in small cubes

1 mild pepperoni sausage cut into 2 inch chunks (pepperoni is the closest to

smoked Hungarian sausage)

1/4 tsp. black pepper corns

4 Bay leaves

2 quarts of water

3 Tbsp. of good white vinegar

6 raw eggs

1/2 pint of sour cream

1 tsp. Salt (celery and the vinegar are naturally salty)

In soup pot, sauté celery and onions in oil until limp. Add to soup pot: parsley, potatoes, pepperoni chunks, pepper corns, Bay leaves and 2 quarts of water.

Simmer slowly for at least one hour, until potatoes are soft.

 

Add the 3 Tbsp. of vinegar. Taste and if soup does not have enough salt, add to taste. While soup is simmering, break 6 raw eggs, one egg at a time, into the pot. Space them so they will cook to a firm stage, without touching one another. Do not stir soup! Serve soup, eggs and chunks of sausage in each soup plate. Put a heaping tablespoon of sour cream in each plate. Serve with good bread.

Serves 6.

 

HUNGARIAN STYLE CAULIFLOWER OR BROCCOLI

(Magyaros karfiol vagy brakoli)

 

We always had a copious amount of homemade breadcrumbs made from the bread that was baked in a large turkey roaster. The dried bread was stored in a paper bag in the oven. When ever we needed crumbs for Apple Strudel, fried chicken, Wiener Schnitzel, Hungarian Hamburgers, cauliflower or broccoli we would grate the hard bread on the side of the grater to make as much as we needed. The best crumbs are the kind you make your self from good white bread. The crumbs should be large, not ground to a sand like texture. Cauliflower or broccoli was served in this simple but very flavorful way. (June Meyer)

 

Hungarian Style Cauliflower

Serves 4 to 6

 

Cook a whole head of cauliflower in a pot of salted water till tender. Drain and place whole head on a serving dish. In a sauté pan melt 1/4 lb. butter and medium brown 1 cup of bread crumbs, season with 1/8 tsp. salt. Stir and toss crumbs. Do not let it burn or it will be bitter. Spoon butter and crumb mixture over the top of cauliflower and serve.

 

Hungarian Style Broccoli

Serves 4 to 6

 

Substitute broccoli in place of cauliflower. Trim off thick stems of broccoli. You can keep the broccoli in one head or break it into flowerets. Cook in salted water till tender. Drain and place on a serving dish. In a sauté pan melt 1/4 lb. butter and medium brown 1 cup of bread crumbs, season with 1/8 tsp. salt. Stir and toss crumbs. Do not let it burn or it will be bitter. Spoon butter and crumb mixture over the top of broccoli and serve.

 

HUNGARIAN ZUCCHINI SQUASH WITH DILL

(Tokfozelek)

 

Summer meant zucchini squash canning season. Zucchini grown as big as a small watermelon. Bunches of fresh dill would be hanging in the summer kitchen waiting to be stuffed into the canning jars along with the noodled zucchini and vinegar. I never knew what fresh zucchini tasted like until I was a grown woman. Our zucchini was always pickled with dill to see us through the winter months. Remember, I am talking about 50 years ago. The only way we served zucchini was canned with dill and vinegar and then cooked with onion and sour cream. It looked like translucent noodles in a creamy white sauce. There is no way to compare the taste to anything similar. It is very distinctive. We had it often and loved it.

 

Today, it is impossible to buy giant zucchini. This recipe omits the canning process for an overnight brine soaking in the refrigerator. You will find it easy and very good. (June Meyer)

 

6 zucchini squash (6-8" long or about 2 1/2 lbs.)

1 heaping Tablespoon of salt

1/2 cup good white vinegar

Few sprigs of fresh dill

1 Onion, 2" diameter, sliced

Wash and peel zucchini. Cut ends off and slice on a grater with large holes.

Place zucchini noodles in a bowl, add 1 heaping Tbsp. salt, 1/2 cup of vinegar and the dill. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight. When you are ready to prepare it, transfer squash to a cooking pot, and add enough water to just come to the top of the squash. Don't drown it! Add the sliced onion, mix well and cook. You can tell it is done when the squash changes color and takes on a creamy color. Pour off the brine, but do not throw it away as you may need some of it.

 

After The Squash Is Cooked

 

1/2 cup of sour cream

1 Heaping Tbsp. Flour

1 3/4 Tbsp. sugar

In a small separate bowl, put 1/2 cup of sour cream plus 1 Tbsp. flour and mix well. Add to hot drained squash stirring vigorously so you won't have any lumps. If it is too thick thin it out by adding 1 Tbsp. of sour cream at a time alternating with the brine 1 Tbsp. at a time. Then add your sugar and pick out the dill and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

 

HUNGRY MANS MANICOTTI

2 packages Manicotti -- (14 each)

1 pound Lean Ground Beef

2 Eggs

1 box Stuffing -- Mix- Chicken

2 cups Cottage Cheese

2 cups Cheddar Cheese -- shredded

1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese -- grated

8 cups Spaghetti Sauce -- prepared

Note: This recipe will make either 2- 9 x 13 pans of manicotti, or 3- 8x8

pans. Have pans sprayed with non-stick spray and ready to fill before

following the directions below:

In a large bowl, mix dry stuffing mix (similar to Stove Top brand) and

seasoning packet, ground beef, eggs, cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese and

cheddar cheese, to make a thick paste. Set mixture aside for 5 minutes so

bread crumbs can absorb moisture. Begin stuffing uncooked manicotti shells

by hand, and place them side by side into prepared baking pans. Continue

until all shells have been filled and are placed as desired into baking

pans. Next, spoon spaghetti sauce evenly over shells until all sauce has

been distributed.

To bake: Cover and bake in 350 degree F oven for 2 hours.

To freeze: Cover with foil tightly and mark each package. Freeze for up to

6 months. To bake, thaw overnight in refrigerator and bake according to

instructions above.

 

LEMON CORIANDER SEED CAKE

 

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground mace

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup dried currants

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

 

Lemon butter (recipe follows, optional)

 

Position a rack in middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 41/2-by-81/2-inch loaf pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.

 

Beat the butter and zest with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, eggs, coriander and mace and beat until smooth. Add half of the milk and beat until just blended.

 

Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture in 2 batches, scraping down the side of the bowl, and beat just until blended. Add the remaining milk and beat just until blended. Stir in the currants and the caraway seeds with a rubber spatula. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

 

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and turn out onto the rack to cool to room temperature.

 

To serve: Cut into thin slices, serve with lemon butter, if desired. (The tea bread will keep, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

 

Lemon butter: Stir together in a small bowl until combined well:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 teaspoon confectioner's sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

LEMON CUSTARD ICE CREAM

 

2 cups whipping cream

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup sugar

1/8 cup finely grated lemon zest

6 large egg yolks

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

 

Bring the cream, half-and-half, sugar and zest just to a boil over medium heat in a heavy medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

 

Whisk the egg yolks and salt together in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the cream mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk until blended.

 

In a slow, steady stream, add the remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly, and continue whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a wooden spoon when a finger is drawn across it; do not allow the mixture to boil.

 

Immediately pour the custard through a strainer into a bowl and stir in the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.

 

Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours, until thoroughly chilled.

 

When ready to freeze, stir the lemon juice into the cold custard, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ice cream will be soft but ready to eat.

 

For a firmer texture, transfer to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

MAKING APPLE DESSERTS

By Dorothy Sibole

 

It's the time of the year when the triple-digit temperatures start to dwindle here in Texas. Children go back to school, and fall is just around the corner. September always makes me think of apples. How do apples relate to Texas cooking?

Apples are not native to Texas, but a food item does not have to be native to a land to be part of that land. For centuries, apples have been a staple in France, Germany and even Spain -- nations whose cultures are planted deep in the soil of Texas, making it the melting pot that is Texas.

 

When we think of apples as a dessert, we usually think of pies and tarts. But, the fruit is so versatile that I want to suggest some different ways to enjoy them. There are many different varieties of apples, more now than I recall from my childhood. The flavors and textures can differ greatly. Braeburn, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Fuji are a few types found in supermarkets today. And because there are so many varieties, I am going to concentrate on three of them for the recipes I am using today. Two of them are my personal favorites because of their texture and flavor. The third is a variety I wanted to try a bit more.

Granny Smith apples have been cultivated for at least 140 years. They are green in color, varying from light to dark. Their origin traces to a mess of French crabapples that were tossed out in Grandmother Marie Ana Smith's Australian garden. She nurtured the sprouts from those crabapple seeds and the rest is history. The recipes I am making with Granny Smith apples today are a Granny Smith Sorbet and part of the mix for the Cast Iron Apple Pie. It happens to be my favorite type of sour apple with firm texture. One of my buddies from culinary school would sprinkle a little salt on a slice of a Granny Smith, and it would bring out a new taste dimension of this great apple.

 

The Royal Gala apple has in its heritage Cox's Orange Pippin, a wonderful old-fashioned English favorite, and both Red and Golden Delicious in its family tree. It has a gold base with red in stripes or in masses on the skin. I discovered it when I was working in the Grand Canyon. I was going on a mountain bike ride and wanted a snack for the road. It is such a clean, crisp, fresh and juicy apple that I was able to go a few more miles after I ate it. I am using this type in the Cast Iron Apple Pie, and you can also use it for the Poached Apple dessert.

 

The Ginger Gold apple is the last of the three apples. It is a new variety to me, and is a beautiful green like the Granny Smith with some gold and a red blush to it. These apples were discovered in a Virginia orchard in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is possibly a cross between Golden Delicious and Pippin apples. It, too, is a firm fleshed juicy apple. And the really great thing about it is that it can be put in almost any apple recipe. It holds well for both baking and cooking.

 

The first recipe today is something I was thinking about when talking to my friend who used to go camping with me in the Grand Canyon. With today's camping supplies, it's not hard to bring along a small folding oven to fit your camp stove. You could also use a traditional cast iron Dutch oven with the lip on the lid to hold hot coals. Food tends to taste better when cooked outdoors. A warm and delicious meal at the end of the day is always looked forward to at the campsite. This recipe is for the campers or tail-gaiters, but it can also be made at home for a nice easy "pie." The crust is omitted for simplicity of preparation at the campground. The topping and filling should be prepared in advance at home and packed into separate containers for the cooler.

 

 

MANGO COCONUT ICE CREAM PIES

WITH BLACKBERRY SAUCE

 

For pies

1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut (about 4 1/2 ounces), lightly toasted

1 pint coconut ice cream, slightly softened

1 pint mango sorbet, slightly softened

 

For sauce

2 cups frozen unsweetened blackberries, thawed, juices reserved

5 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon blackberry liqueur, crème de cassis (black-currant-flavored liqueur) or brandy

 

Make pies:

Line six 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins with double layer of plastic wrap, leaving 3-inch overhang. Spoon 2 tablespoons toasted coconut into bottom of each cup. Divide coconut ice cream among custard cups (about scant 1/3 cup each); spread evenly and press to compact. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon coconut over ice cream in each cup. Spread mango sorbet evenly over, dividing equally. Cover with plastic wrap overhang. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

 

Make sauce:

Puree blackberries with juices in processor. Strain puree into medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much fruit and liquid as possible. Discard solids in strainer. Stir sugar and liqueur into blackberry puree. (Pies and sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Keep pies frozen. Cover and chill sauce.)

 

Using plastic wrap overhang as aid, pull out pies from custard cups and invert pies onto plates. Peel off plastic. Spoon blackberry sauce around each pie; serve. Makes 6 pies

 

MARINATED LONDON BROIL

Servings: Serves 6

 

2 lbs. flank steak

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

3 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed

 

Mix the marinade ingredients. Place beef in zip-style plastic bag; add marinade. Seal and refrigerate 8-12 hours to overnight.

Grill, or broil, over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes for medium-rare (140°F).

 

MELON ARUGULA AND SERRANO HAM

WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA DRESSING

 

The smoked paprika in this recipe adds depth. Unlike Hungarian paprika powder, which is prepared by drying the chilies in the sun, the Spanish smoked version (like La Chinata brand) is prepared by roasting the peppers over smoldering oak fires before being ground to a velvety powder.

 

For dressing

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet or hot)*

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

5 tablespoons mild extra-virgin olive oil

 

For salad

4 cups 1-inch pieces cantaloupe flesh (from 2 1/2- to 3-lb melon)

4 cups 1-inch pieces honeydew flesh (from 2 1/2- to 3-lb melon)

4 large bunches arugula (1 1/2 lb), coarse stems discarded

8 oz sliced serrano ham (1/16 inch thick), cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide strips

 

Make dressing:

Whisk together lime juice, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and add oil in a slow stream, whisking until well blended.

 

Make salad:

Toss cantaloupe and honeydew with half of dressing in a bowl. Toss arugula and ham with remaining dressing in a large bowl, then add melon and salt and pepper to taste, tossing gently. Serve immediately. Serves 4

 

Cooks' note:

• It's important that the ham not be sliced as thin as prosciutto usually is. Slightly thicker ham is easier to cut into strips and will stay separated in a salad instead of clumping together.

 

MEXICAN STYLE POTATOES

6 Medium unpeeled potatoes

4 Sliced bacon

3/4 tsp Salt

1-1/2 tsp Chili powder

1 Tbsp Fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 

Boil the potatoes, whole and unpeeled, until fork tender. Cut them into 1/4-inch slices; set aside.

 

Cook bacon in skillet until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon, and set aside.

 

Add salt and chili powder to skillet, stirring well. Add potatoes to skillet; gently stir to coat with seasonings. Spoon potatoes into a lightly greased 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with bacon; cover and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

NEW FOR SPRING

by John Raven, Ph. B.

It looks like that nasty old winter is finally going away. Everyone is ready for spring and all the good things it brings. [] This was written early 1999.[]

 

I have a new recipe for you this month that I think is an original recipe. It's something I put together to win the "Best Potato Dish" competition at the Valentine Hug-In in Luckenbach, Texas. Some of us old chili competition regulars have been meeting in Luckenbach the Saturday closest to Valentine's Day for many moons. It's just a day or so of fellowship and relaxing around the campfires. The Hug-In features a potluck dinner for the troops. For some time now, the competition for the best potato dish has been between my friends, Jo Ann and Nina. I entered the competition this year after discovering my new recipe.

 

The recipe came about serendipitously, as do most good things in the food world. I was looking for a quick and easy way to prepare some round steak that came from the freezer frozen solid. I can never remember to put things out to thaw, so often I am faced with the task of cooking frozen foods. The round steak had been sliced very thin to start with, as is the custom around here. It was no more than a quarter inch thick. I made very thin slices of this so it would cook quickly. I seasoned the meat with whatever caught my eye or imagination from the spice rack. The resulting meat sauce was served over refried beans on a flour tortilla and was very good.

 

When the potato competition neared, I got to thinking that my new meat sauce would really go good over some potatoes. See Pedernales Potatoes.

 

PAPPYS POTATO SOUP

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

6 large potatoes, peeled and diced

Water

2 to 3 cups milk

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the onions in the 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until softened. Add potatoes and just enough water to cook, about 1 cup. Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the milk, remaining butter, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook over medium heat until hot; do not boil. With a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes right in the pot to slightly thicken the soup.

 

PEACH CRISP

 

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter

4 cups fresh peaches, sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

 

Combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Cut in butter. Combine peaches, lemon juice and water. Spoon mixture into greased baking dish. Sprinkle flour mixture over peaches. Bake covered at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake 35 to 45 minutes longer.

 

PEACHES IN PEACH SCHNAPPS WITH SLIVERED BASIL

Yellow or white peaches work equally well.

 

12 large ripe peaches, pitted, thinly sliced

2 1/4 cups peach schnapps

6 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

 

Mix all ingredients in serving bowl. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Makes 12 servings.

 

I offer my alternative, which overcomes two potential problems (i) fruit of unequal ripeness and (ii) discoloration. Make a syrup of white wine and sugar, adding juice of a lemon. Simmer peach slices for a minute or two in this and leave to cool. Fresh mint is just as good as basil.

 

 

 

PEDERNALES POTATOES

 

4 cups potatoes, diced

1 lb. lean, tender beef, ground

3/4 cup minced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons beef bullion granules

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tablespoon Tabasco green jalapeno sauce

Olive oil, butter

Salt, Fresh ground black pepper

The potatoes should be of a variety that does not go mushy when cooked. Dice the potatoes into 3/8-inch cubes. Cook in lightly salted water until just tender. Drain and rinse.

The meat should be a tender cut such as sirloin or top round, ground fine with no fat. Sauté in olive oil the onion, garlic, beef bullion granules and meat in heavy skillet until meat is done. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the Tabasco sauce and mix well.

 

Place the potatoes in a suitably sized baking dish, and dot them with butter. Top with meat mixture. Cover with the shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until bubbly and the cheese has melted. Note: You may want to adjust the amount of Tabasco -- just put in enough to get the "wang" you like. Dish can be topped with bread crumbs to get a brown top. Serve hot. If the meat mixture seems too dry, add a little water while cooking it.

 

And there we are. This dish is primarily a meat sauce. It could be served with good results on pasta or other vegetables. I think you could mix the meat and potatoes, adding a little more water, and bake the mixture in a crust for a great meat pie. The only limit is your imagination.

 

PINEAPPLE CREAM CHEESE PIE

 

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 (9-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 (9-inch) pastry shell, unbaked

1/4 cup chopped pecans

 

In a saucepan, blend 1/2 cup sugar with cornstarch. Add crushed pineapple, including juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and clear. Cool.

 

In a bowl, blend cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Blend in milk and vanilla. Spread cooled pineapple mixture over bottom of pastry shell. Pour cream cheese mixture over pineapple mixture and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

 

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 50 minutes. Cool before serving.

 

PINTO BEAN BREAD

 

The recipe makes a great bread. It should be very nutritious with the addition of the beans. It has a nice tan color, and the texture is great. The only thing we found that detracted is the fact that the bread tends to crumble easily.

 

Blend in large bowl:

 

2 cups lukewarm milk

2 packages dry yeast

Add

2 cups cooked, mashed, unseasoned Pinto beans

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons shortening

Stir in

5-6 cups flour

Add enough flour to handle dough easily. Turn onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size, about one hour. Punch down, cover, and let rise again until almost double. Divide dough into two portions and shape into loaves. Place in greased pans; cover, let rise until almost double, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

 

PINTO BEAN SALAD

1-1/2 cup Dried pinto beans, soaked overnight & drained

2 Tbsp Salt

1 Bay leaf

2 Medium tomatoes, chopped

1 Medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 Green onions (with tops), sliced

 

3 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice

1 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Olive oil

1 Large garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup Fresh cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Put the pintos in a large Dutch oven and cover with fresh water. Add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer the beans for 30 minutes. Stir in the salt and simmer another 30 minutes until beans are tender. Fish out the bay leaf and discard. Drain the beans and allow to cool until warm, but no longer hot.

 

Combine the lemon and lime juice and salt. Beat in the olive oil gradually until well mixed. Add the garlic and cilantro. Check seasonings and add more salt and pepper, if desired.

 

Pour dressing over the warm beans and mix until well coated. Add the chopped tomatoes and onions and toss well.

 

Notes:

If you forget to put your pintos in to soak the night before, there is a shortcut: Put the beans in a large pan with plenty of water, bring them to a boil and boil for 20 minutes; then turn off the heat, cover, and let them soak for 1 hour. Then drain and cook as above.

 

POACHED APPLES

 

1 apple per person, peeled, halved and cored

Liquid to reach three-quarters of the way up the apples in a sauce pan (see below)

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise seed

1/2 vanilla bean, if possible but not necessary

In a pan, heat the liquid with the cinnamon stick, anise seed and vanilla bean to a slow boil. For the liquid you can use a liqueur, wine, fruit juice or even water that is flavored. Add the apples and poach them for about 10 minutes or until tender. I would use a good firm apple like a Granny Smith or the Ginger Gold. When done, let them cool and place the apples in their liquid in a container in the fridge and chill until ready to serve.

 

CINNAMON SAUCE

 

1 cup heavy cream

2 cinnamon sticks

Put the heavy cream and cinnamon sticks into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 10 minutes. Then add the following ingredients:

1 cup cinnamon schnapps

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

Bring this to a boil then add 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon. Remove from heat and chill until ready to use. I use this sauce in two ways mainly. One is to use as a topping for ice cream, and the other is as a sauce for the Poached Apple dessert. Remember to stir it up before serving and you can also heat in the microwave to serve it hot. Makes about 3 cups.

The last two dishes are the adventurous recipes, a little challenge for everyone, but not hard to make at all.

 

CHANTILLY CREAM

 

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons confectionary sugar

Whip until medium stiff peaked.

There are several ways to serve this dish. You can place the two halves on a plate and drizzle it with the cinnamon sauce and a dollop of Chantilly cream. Or scoop some vanilla ice cream into a bowl, place an apple half on top, then drizzle some of the cinnamon sauce on top.

POLENTA DULCE

Serves 6

4 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup finely ground semolina

1/2 cup regular Cream of Wheat

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups corn flakes, finely crushed

1/2 to 3/4 cup canola oil, for frying

 

Bring milk to a simmer in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar. Slowly add semolina, Cream of Wheat, lemon zest and juice. When thickened to pudding consistency, remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a greased 13-by-9-inch dish and refrigerate until firm or chill, wrapped, overnight. Cut into 1-inch squares.

 

Beat eggs. Finely crush corn flakes. Dip custard squares in beaten egg, letting excess drip off. Roll in cornflake crumbs. Heat oil in a skillet until hot, and fry squares until golden brown on both sides.

 

PORK CHOP AND POTATO BAKE

6 pork chops

vegetable oil

seasoned salt

1 can cream celery soup

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 package frozen O'Brien or hash brown

potatoes,(thawed)24 oz.

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 can(2.8oz.) French fried onions

Brown pork chops in lightly greased skillet. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and

set aside. Combine soup, sour cream, milk, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon seasoned

salt. Stir in potatoes, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 can of onions. Spoon mixture

into 9x13 baking dish. Arrange pork chops over potato mixture. Bake covered

at 350 degrees for forty minutes or until pork chops are cooked. Top with

remaining cheese and onions, bake uncovered 5 minutes longer. Serves 6

 

SAMBUCA POACHED FIGS

WITH RICOTTA AND PINE NUTS

Serve this dish at the end of a meal - it's a fruit and cheese course in one.

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

3/4 cup Sambuca (An Italian liqueur made from elderberries and flavored with

licorice.)

2 tablespoons sugar

12 firm-ripe fresh purple figs

3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)

 

Heat oil in a small skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook pine nuts, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and season with salt.

 

Simmer Sambuca with sugar in a saucepan (pan should be just large enough to hold figs upright), stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cut a very thin slice from bottom of each fig and stand figs in liquid in saucepan (figs will not be covered by liquid).

 

Poach figs at a bare simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Cool slightly in liquid.

 

Season ricotta with salt and pepper. Divide figs among 4 plates alongside mounds of ricotta and drizzle figs with some of poaching liquid, then sprinkle with pine nuts and serve. Makes 4 servings.

 

[]Interestingly enough, sambuca is also the name of an ancient stringed instrument! []

 

SAUTÉED CHICKPEAS WITH GROUND MEAT

Serves 4

1/2 to 1 pound ground beef or other meat

4 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1 28-ounce can), drained (reserve 1 cup liquid)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 ancho or chipotle chili, soaked, seeded & minced or1 tsp chili powder

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Minced cilantro or parsley for garnish

 

Turn heat to high under a large, deep skillet, and add meat a little at a time, breaking into small pieces. Stir and break up meat a bit more, then add chickpeas. Keep heat high, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until chickpeas begin to brown and pop, 5 to 10 minutes. Don't worry if mixture sticks a bit, but if it begins to scorch, lower heat slightly.

 

Add cumin, chili or chili powder and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add reserved chickpea liquid and stir, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits. Season with salt and pepper, then turn heat to medium-low. Continue to cook until mixture is no longer soupy but not dry.

 

Stir in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish if you like, and serve immediately, with rice or pita bread.

 

SIMPLE NO BAKE VEGGIE LASAGNA

One box of no-bake lasagna noodles (Barilla).

One jar of 28 oz. Spaghetti sauce of your choice

One, 1 lb. bag of frozen mixed veggies (Peas, carrots and green beans are good)

Two, 15 oz containers of Ricotta cheese, Plain or herbed

One bag (2 cups) of Mixed cheese, or cheddar, what ever you like best

Grated Parmesan for top if wanted

Preheat oven to 350. Take a 13 x 9" casserole dish and add 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce with 1/2 cup of water, mix. Then one layer of no-bake noodles (I usually do two rows of 4 and one of 3, whatever fits) Then 1/3 of the Ricotta, spread over noodles Then another 1/3 of spaghetti sauce and add 1/2 cup of water again to it (you can mix the two in a cup before hand for more even distribution) Then add 1/2 of the bag of frozen veggies, spread evenly Then add another layer of no-bake noodles Then add another 1/3 of ricotta cheese At this point I add my own spices if I want, garlic powder, onion salt, basil, oregano, etc. Then add the rest of the spaghetti sauce with 1/2 cup of water added. Then add the other 1/2 bag of veggies Then add one more layer of noodles The rest of Ricotta cheese Then top with mixed or cheddar shredded cheese Cover tightly with Foil and bake for 60 min or until bubbly. The pan will be very heavy and full. (The water added to the sauce is what helps cook the noodles, it all cooks in and is really great even for leftovers. It sounds complex, but it's really just layering about 3 times for all things except veggies.)

 

SKILLET PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

 

1/2 stick butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 (15-1/2 ounce) can pineapple slices (undrained)

3 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

6 or 7 Maraschino cherries.

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a 9-inch cast -iron skillet. Add brown sugar and pecans to the skillet and mix well. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pineapple juice. Set juice aside. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer over brown sugar mixture and set skillet aside. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to egg mixture. Stir in reserved pineapple juice.

Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff peaks form and fold into flour mixture.

 

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Immediately invert cake onto a serving plate. Place cherries in centers of pineapple rings.

 

Note: Iron skillet will be VERY hot when it comes out of oven. Wear heavy insulated mitt to remove.

 

SOUR APPLE SOUFFLÉ

This makes six small soufflés or one, seven-inch soufflé.

 

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter

Mix these two ingredients together to form a smooth paste. This is called a Beurre Manie or kneaded butter.

 

1 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

Bring the milk and sugar to a boil and add the Beurre Manie, whisking until a thick smooth paste has developed. Remove from heat and let cool. You can pop the pan right into the refrigerator. In another bowl, blend together the following ingredients:

4 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons sour apple liqueur or apple juice

1/2 apple, peeled, cored and diced very small

When the milk paste has cooled, add the egg yolk mixture. This is the base for the soufflé. It can be held, tightly wrapped, for about a week in the refrigerator.

4 large egg whites

2 tablespoons sugar

Whip the egg whites until frothy and then add the sugar. When it has achieved a soft peak, it is ready to be folded into the base mixture. The whipped whites do not have to be a totally incorporated; you can have it looking marbleized and it will still rise nicely.

You should prepare the soufflé dish or dishes by first buttering them, then putting sugar inside to coat the dish. This idea is similar to buttering and flouring a cake pan, except you are using butter and sugar. This is so the soufflé will have something to cling to as it rises -- kind of like a mountain climber needing the rocks of a mountain to reach the top.

 

The soufflé mixture is poured into the prepared dish or dishes all the way to the top and the top is smoothed. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes for the single, large soufflé, or 15 minutes for smaller, individual ones.

 

Just remember, the only thing limiting your ability to create new dishes is your imagination and someone to eat the mistakes. For this I give thanks to my Dad, Dave and Johanna!

 

 

 

SOUR APPLE SOUFFLÉ

This makes six small soufflés or one, seven-inch soufflé.

 

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter

Mix these two ingredients together to form a smooth paste. This is called a Beurre Manie or kneaded butter.

 

1 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

Bring the milk and sugar to a boil and add the Beurre Manie, whisking until a thick smooth paste has developed. Remove from heat and let cool. You can pop the pan right into the refrigerator. In another bowl, blend together the following ingredients:

4 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons sour apple liqueur or apple juice

1/2 apple, peeled, cored and diced very small

When the milk paste has cooled, add the egg yolk mixture. This is the base for the soufflé. It can be held, tightly wrapped, for about a week in the refrigerator.

4 large egg whites

2 tablespoons sugar

Whip the egg whites until frothy and then add the sugar. When it has achieved a soft peak, it is ready to be folded into the base mixture. The whipped whites do not have to be a totally incorporated; you can have it looking marbleized and it will still rise nicely.

You should prepare the soufflé dish or dishes by first buttering them, then putting sugar inside to coat the dish. This idea is similar to buttering and flouring a cake pan, except you are using butter and sugar. This is so the soufflé will have something to cling to as it rises -- kind of like a mountain climber needing the rocks of a mountain to reach the top.

 

The soufflé mixture is poured into the prepared dish or dishes all the way to the top and the top is smoothed. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes for the single, large soufflé, or 15 minutes for smaller, individual ones.

 

Just remember, the only thing limiting your ability to create new dishes is your imagination and someone to eat the mistakes. For this I give thanks to my Dad, Dave and Johanna!

 

SOUTHERN POTATO SALAD

10 Large redskin potatoes

1 tsp Salt

8 Eggs, hard cooked, chopped

1-1/2 cup Miracle Whip

3/4 cup Prepared mustard (regular yellow mustard)

1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar

2 Large onions, chopped

6 oz. Chopped pimentos (1 4-oz. jar plus 1 2-oz. jar OR 3 2-oz. jars)

1 tsp Celery seed

1 Jar of sweet pickles, finely chopped (14- to 16-oz. jar; bargain brand is fine)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water and add the salt. Boil until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Do not overcook -- potatoes should not be mushy. Peel and dice the cooked potatoes.

 

Put the chopped potatoes, eggs, onions, pimiento, sweet pickles, celery seed and black pepper in a large bowl.

 

Mix together the Miracle Whip, mustard and vinegar, and stir until smooth. Pour mixture over the chopped vegetables and gently fold (or mix with your hands) to coat. Chill several hours or overnight before serving.

Notes:

Lots of chopping, peeling, etc., going on here, but this potato salad is the best.

 

SPICY BEER MARINADE

Servings: Makes 2 - 3 cups

 

1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

3 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 12-ounce bottle of beer

1 Tbsp. coarse-grained mustard

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. minced onion

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

 

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Place steak in a zip-type plastic bag and pour marinade over steak. Turn to coat. Refrigerate six hours to overnight. Grill as usual. This marinade works great with chuck steak, top round, sirloin and flank steak.

 

STEAK PARMESAN

Servings: Serves 4

 

4 frozen, fully-cooked chicken fried steak patties

3 cups prepared marinara sauce, warmed

8 slices mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup prepared pesto sauce

-- fresh basil, finely shredded

 

Prepare each steak according to manufacturer's directions. Ladle 3/4 cup marinara sauce into each of 4 individual baking dishes. Add one steak to each dish. Cover each with 2 slices of mozzarella and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese. Broil about 2-1/2 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Top each with 1 Tbsp. pesto sauce, sprinkle with a few basil strips.

 

Other ways to serve chicken fried steaks: cut into strips and add to a tossed salad; Create a new sandwich with a specialty bread like an onion roll; Cut into cubes and serve with marinara sauce for an appetizer; Serve as a breakfast steak with biscuits and gravy.

 

SUN DRIED TOMATO AND OLIVE FOCACCIA

from GE newsletter

 

1 (10-oz.) can Pillsbury(r) Refrigerated Pizza Crust

1/4 cup purchased Caesar salad dressing

3 tablespoons finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

3 tablespoons sliced ripe olives

3 tablespoons sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

3/4 cup Old El Paso(r) Thick 'n Chunky Salsa, if desired

Fresh basil sprigs, if desired

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Unroll dough; place on

greased cookie sheet. Starting at center, press out dough with hands to form

11x10-inch rectangle. Brush lightly with 3 tablespoons of the salad

dressing. With fingers or handle of wooden spoon, make indentations in dough

every 3 inches.

2. In small bowl, combine tomatoes, ripe and green olives, chopped basil

and remaining salad dressing; mix well. Spoon mixture over crust; spread

evenly.

3. Bake at 425°F. for 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cut

into rectangles. Arrange on serving platter around bowl of salsa; garnish

with basil sprigs. 16 servings

 

 

TABBOULEH SALAD WITH COUSCOUS

 

1 1/4 cups dry couscous

1/2 cup boiling water

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch dice

Half of a small onion, finely chopped

4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Place the couscous in a large, heat-safe bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

 

Fluff mixture with a fork. Add the tomato, onion, herbs, salt and pepper. Toss lightly. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. (Salad can be prepared the night before and refrigerated.) Fluff with a fork. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

Variations: For a more substantial salad, add diced cooked chicken, turkey or pork, or leftover cooked vegetables.

 

For a sweeter flavor, omit the tomato and add 1/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit.

 

For more texture, add 1 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds.

 

[] Note: The definition of Tabbouleh is "a Lebanese salad made with bulgur wheat and finely chopped" veggies. []

 

TAPENADE MAYONNAISE

 

2 egg yolks

1 cup olive oil

1 cup corn oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 teaspoon Tabasco or other red hot-pepper sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 (2-ounce) can anchovies, drained, rinsed and finely chopped

1/4 cup small capers, drained, rinsed and chopped

1/4 cup pitted, finely chopped Greek or French black olives (about 15 olives)

 

Bring all ingredients to room temperature before you begin. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks or beat with a fork until light-colored, about 10 to 15 seconds.

Pour the oils into a container that will allow controlled pouring, such as a large measuring cup. Very gradually, almost drop by drop, add about 1/2 cup oil to the yolks, beating continuously, until the mixture begins to blend and thicken. (Use a damp dish towel to steady the bowl if necessary.)

 

Add the rest of the oil in a thin trickle, beating it in and working up to a gradual stream at the end. (Mayonnaise should be thick and glossy.)

 

Combine the vinegar, pepper, lemon juice, pepper sauce and garlic. Beat vinegar mixture into the mayonnaise.

 

Stir in the anchovies, capers and olives. Use at once or, to thicken mayonnaise, cover and refrigerate up to 6 days.

 

Spread on turkey or roast lamb sandwiches, add to tuna salad, drizzle over sliced tomatoes, or toss a small amount with raw or grilled vegetables before stuffing them into pita bread.

 

Cook's note: If the mayonnaise "breaks" and looks curdled, beat another egg yolk in a clean bowl and very gradually beat broken mayonnaise into it. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.

[] Note: Definition of tapenade is “A spread of Provençal origin consisting of capers, black olives, and anchovies puréed with olive oil." There is an acute over the first "e" but I don't know how to make my computer do that! []

TEAROOM SANDWICHES

WITH CARROT-AND-APPLE SLAW

 

Slaw:

4 medium carrots, peeled and trimmed

1 McIntosh or Granny Smith apple

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Sandwich filling:

2 to 3 tablespoons regular or low-fat mayonnaise

1/3 teaspoon curry powder or more to taste

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1 cup diced cooked chicken

4 slices white or whole-wheat bread

 

Prepare the slaw: Slice the carrots wafer-thin or grate with the shredding disk in a food processor. Peel and core the apple; finely dice it or grate in a food processor.

 

Combine the oil with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Toss with the carrots and apple. Season with salt and pepper; refrigerate.

 

Make the sandwich filling: Place the mayonnaise, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the curry powder and walnuts in the food processor. Process until combined, about 10 seconds, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

 

Add the chicken and process until finely chopped, about 10 seconds. Mixture will be thick. (Filling can be made the night before and refrigerated.)

 

Spread the filling on 2 slices of bread. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining bread. Serve with carrot-and-apple slaw on the side.

 

Variations: For a tearoom sandwich look, slice the crusts off the bread and cut each sandwich into 4 squares.

 

To reduce the filling's fat content, omit the walnuts and substitute yogurt cheese for the mayonnaise. (To make yogurt cheese, place yogurt in a fine sieve set over a bowl and let drain overnight in the refrigerator.)

 

For a spicier sandwich, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the spread.

 

Note: This recipe's serving sizes are generous. The spread could stretch to make a third sandwich; the slaw can yield 4 small portions.

 

THE PERFECT LEMON TART

 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest, divided

13/4 cups all-purpose flour

11/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

2 pinches salt, divided

6 large eggs

1 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Confectioner's sugar for dusting

 

Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.

 

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of zest and let stand for 5 minutes.

 

Whisk together flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 pinch salt in a medium bowl. Pour in butter mixture in a fine stream, stirring with a fork, and continue stirring until dough begins to come together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers. Transfer mixture to pan and press it with your fingertips evenly up side and into bottom.

 

Bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is light golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.

 

Process remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of zest in a food processor until zest is finely ground.

 

Whisk eggs, sugar mixture, lemon juice and 1 pinch salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

 

Beat cream with an electric mixer on medium-high in a medium bowl just until it forms soft peaks. Whisk cream into egg mixture just until blended.

 

Place a baking sheet in oven, place crust on baking sheet, and pour filling into warm crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until filling is just set in center. Let cool.

 

Just before serving, sift confectioner's sugar over tart. Cut into wedges.

 

TRAIN WRECK

1 lb. Ground Beef

1 tablespoon Butter

Onion

1 tablespoon Oregano

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

Salt

Pepper

l can Tomatoes (crushed)

1 can Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 cups uncooked Elbow Macaroni

8 oz Co-Jack Cheese (shredded)

Cook macaroni to package directions. In skillet , sauté onion in butter, add ground beef to lightly brown, drain fat, add oregano, garlic powder salt and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce to beef mixture. Add

cooked noodles and sprinkle shredded cheese on top serve when melted.

 

VANILLA AROMATIC AND WILDLY POPULAR

TAKES A VARIETY OF TEMPTING FORMS

BY BETH HENSPERGER, Special to the Mercury News

 

I make no bones about it: I love vanilla. I'd take a bath in it if I could.

 

Vanilla is as familiar a flavor to the home baker as chocolate. With its comforting perfume and delicate floral flavor, it is the most widely used spice. And that popularity has created greater demand for all sorts of vanilla products.

 

These days, vanilla is available in myriad forms: the familiar liquid extract, a dry powder, whole beans or ground whole beans. To help you sort through the choices, here's a guide.

 

What is vanilla?

 

Vanilla is an extract, made from a flowering tropical orchid vine that is indigenous to Mexico. (It also was planted on the island of Bourbon -- now Réunion -- Madagascar, Indonesia, Tahiti, the Seychelles and the Comoro Islands.) The blossoms open only one day a year and must be handpicked.

 

The long, edible green fruit pods are fermented, or cured, in the sun. Over weeks, the pod shrivels, turns brown and develops its complex flavor, which includes natural vanillin, the primary flavor we associate with vanilla.

 

The word vanilla comes from the Spanish words vainilla, meaning small scabbard, and vaina, or string bean, which is what the pods look like, especially in a bunch. Historically, vanilla has been used as a syrupy tincture to calm upset stomachs. It was a main ingredient in the original Coca-Cola recipe. More recently, it has shown up in perfumes, candles, tobacco and tea.

Extract

 

Amber-colored, liquid vanilla extract is the most readily available form of vanilla and provides the strongest pure flavor. If you buy only one type of vanilla, buy extract, as it's the most convenient and versatile. It is made from beans, alcohol and water in a cold-percolated method similar to brewing coffee.

 

I asked vanilla expert and food writer Patricia Rain how to determine the best extract for baking. She said quality has to do with using the finest beans and with the extract's alcohol content. You want a brand that is 35 percent to 44 percent alcohol, a level that preserves vanilla's 250 fragrance and flavor components.

 

Most labels identify the extract's country of origin. Bourbon (from Madagascar, where labor is inexpensive) is the most common and affordable. It has a strong, almost musky, yet classic vanilla aroma that I like with nuts, in cinnamon rolls and in icings.

 

The best Mexican extract is rare and expensive, but lately it has become available in the United States. The cheaper liter bottles that you can buy in Mexico are usually synthetic. They contain 2 percent or less alcohol and some also have toxic coumarin as a booster.

 

Expensive, high-end Tahitian extract, which has a more floral, licorice-like aroma, is increasingly available. It is considered a delicacy, even by professional bakers, and is especially nice used in doughs with fresh and dried fruits.

 

My vanilla of choice is Cookie Vanilla, by Cook's, a blend of Tahitian and Bourbon.

 

Vanilla melds with most foods from the New World, such as chocolate or corn. (Vanilla corn bread is fantastic.) And it complements other accent flavors, such as coffee, cocoa, sweet spices, raisins, rum, brandy and other extracts.

 

One teaspoon of vanilla extract is enough to flavor a pound of bread dough or batch of muffins. If you use too much, the flavor becomes harsh. Be especially careful if you get double-strength or ``twofold'' extract, which requires only half as much as regular extract.

 

Good choices include brands such as Cook's and Spice Islands (in supermarkets), Nielsen-Massey (Rain's choice, available at Williams-Sonoma and gourmet markets), and Penzeys Ltd. Spice House (mail order only). McCormick-Schilling stabilizes its vanilla extract with sugar, which can detract from the pure flavor.

 

Extract lasts about three years if kept in a tightly capped bottle in a cool, dry place away from light, or in the refrigerator. I store pieces of vanilla bean in my extract, both to add flavor to the extract and preserve the bean.

 

Imitation extracts, which contain artificial vanillin and are made from wood pulp by-products of the paper industry, just can't compare.

 

Vanilla powder

 

Powdered vanilla, which is popular in Europe, is made by spraying ribbons of vanilla extract from jets onto a belt lined with dextrose. It's then baked.

 

Long used in commercial cake mixes, creamy-white powdered vanilla is nice in streusel crumb toppings, in batters with vanilla extract and with chocolate.

 

In the jar, powdered vanilla can end up in a big, dry lump. That's OK. Just crumble off what you need. If substituting powdered vanilla for extract, use measure for measure.

 

Powdered vanilla is available from Nielsen-Massey, McCormick and Cook's. Nielsen-Massey's brand contains no added sugar.

 

Whole beans

 

Sleek, flexible whole beans tend to be best used in custards and puddings, cakes, ice creams and other desserts.

 

Choose from Madagascar-Bourbon, which has a strong, musky flavor and a high concentration of natural vanillin; Mexican, which has a lighter, more complex flavor; and Tahitian, with beans that are the most plump, moist and expensive, producing a fruity flavor.

 

Store beans in a cool, dark place in plastic or in a glass jar. If a bean is brittle, soak it in warm water or milk until pliable.

 

To use, cut the bean in half crosswise, then split it in half lengthwise with a small knife. Scrape the seeds into milk or other liquid, then throw in the oil-rich skin. Let steep 10 minutes before removing the bean. I like the flecks from the seeds, which remind me of real vanilla ice cream.

 

You can also spruce up coffee and sugar with vanilla beans.

 

When making coffee, put pieces of vanilla bean in the drip basket. Or store vanilla beans along with whole coffee beans. For sugar, I keep a quart spring-top jar that contains pieces of vanilla bean covered with 3 to 4 cups of granulated sugar or powdered sugar. The bean pieces are potent for about 6 months. Use vanilla sugar in addition to extract whenever regular sugar is called for in a sweet bread or icing. Or dust a fresh loaf of holiday bread with vanilla powdered sugar.

Ground beans

 

Whole vanilla beans can be finely ground, which gives a distinct vanilla flavor. Ground beans are sometimes available from Nielsen-Massey and Cook's. Use a pinch in muffins, batters or yeast doughs. You will see vanilla flecks in the finished loaf.

 

I am using this type of vanilla more and more. It's easy to make your own ground beans. The technique comes from Rain: Place them on a clean baking sheet and dry them in a 200-degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool before breaking the bean into pieces and grinding it in a coffee grinder.

 

VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Makes 24 cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1 cup water

1/2 cup dark coffee, room temperature

1 1/4 tablespoons vanilla extract

Vanilla and chocolate frosting

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

 

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise gradually. Then whisk in water, coffee and vanilla. Beat 1 minute until smooth.

 

Fill each muffin cup 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from muffin tin and cool on wire rack. Frost cupcakes at room temperature with vanilla and chocolate frosting.

 

Variation:

 

Black bottom cupcake

 

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Combine ingredients in a bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Fill each cup 1/2 full with vanilla and chocolate bake sale cupcake batter. Then drop cream cheese filling by round tablespoonful into top of each cupcake before baking. Bake and frost as directed.

 

Vanilla and chocolate frosting

Frosts 24 cupcakes

3 tablespoons soft butter

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

2 to 4 tablespoons hot milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Combine butter and chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave at 50 percent power for 1 minute until melted. By hand with a whisk or using an electric mixer, beat melted chocolate, sugar, 2 tablespoons of hot milk and vanilla. Adjust consistency with more milk if needed. You want a thick, fluffy frosting. Use immediately.

 

VIETNAMESE CINNAMON

AS TRADE REGULATIONS RELAX, SPICE MERCHANTS SEEK OUT HIGH-QUALITY CINNAMON

BY KRISTIN EDDY, Chicago Tribune

 

HANOI -- The search for cinnamon isn't easy here. You can find long, parchment-like rolled bark in spice markets in the city's Old Quarter. You can find cinnamon trees in the mountains to the north or in the central highlands. But mostly, when people here are asked for their sources of cinnamon, their response is a puzzled ``Why?'' Given that their cuisine is lavish with fresh green herbs, many Vietnamese seem hard-pressed to understand such interest in a dried spice.

 

Not much Vietnamese cinnamon is sent to the United States. Until recently, the big American spice companies had obtained most of their cinnamon from Indonesia and China because of restrictions on trade with Vietnam -- another legacy of the American War, as the Vietnamese call it -- that were eased only last year.

 

But the cinnamon trade is growing, and it is of particular interest to boutique spice merchants seeking high-quality cinnamon. Specialty marketers such as Bill Penzey of Milwaukee-based Penzeys Spices, and Lucia Cleveland, founder and product researcher for the California-based Spice Hunter company, visit Vietnam because the country's cinnamon is some of the best in the world.

 

The misty green highlands near the Chinese border provide the perfect climate for growing the trees these spice hunters are looking for.

 

This cinnamon is more precisely called cassia (Cinnamonum cassia) and is a relative of the ``true'' cinnamon (C. zeylanicum), an evergreen native to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan cinnamon has a smooth, mild flavor. Cassia is sweeter but with a spicy bite. And Vietnamese cassia's high essential-oil content, which gives it a potent punch, is just the thing to attract importers on the lookout for new sources and new flavors.

 

``What is cinnamon? It's tree bark,'' said Tom Erd, co-owner of the Spice House in Evanston, Ill. ``Ground cinnamon is sawdust. But there is good sawdust and bad sawdust.''

 

To harvest the bark, producers have to find trees that are at least 10 years old. The Spice Hunter's Cleveland found 25-year-old trees. Although the cassia was ``growing everywhere,'' she said, ``very little of it was being harvested.''

 

Turmeric and ginger are more likely to star as ingredients in Vietnamese cooking. When cinnamon is used, according to food writer and Sacramento restaurateur Mai Pham, it is in slow-cooked dishes, many of which reflect the dishes of China.

``The first thing that comes to mind is pho or as a marinade for meats and chicken or in braised, clay-pot cooking,'' said Pham, author of ``Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table'' (HarperCollins, $27.50).

 

Cinnamon has been exported from this part of the world for centuries. The Chinese were sending cassia in caravans to Central Asia by A.D. 100, according to James Trager's ``The Food Chronology.''

 

As the spice moved west, it entered the cuisine of the Middle East, India and Europe. Solomon mentions the perfume of cinnamon in the Bible, and ancient Egyptians used it occasionally in their embalming rituals.

 

The Chinese cassia, like the Vietnamese and Indonesian varieties, is preferred for the American market, where, despite its pungency, it is consumed primarily with sweet foods and beverages. Even when cinnamon plays up its spicy potential, it's for candy: Hot Tamales, Red Hots and cinnamon gum.

 

The mellower ``Ceylon-type'' cinnamon, native to Sri Lanka and also found in Madagascar, China and the Seychelles Islands, is mostly exported to Mexico, Central America and South America.

 

A third species -- called canella, after the Spanish word for cinnamon -- has bark with a similar fragrance but is known as ``white cinnamon.''

 

Cinnamon growers north of Hanoi gladly show off the tall cassia trees with their dull gray trunks and broad, waxy, dark green leaves. The bark is rough and spotted with pale patches.

 

When grower Tuyen Minh shaved off a length of bark with his machete to expose a layer of soft, white pulp, the air was touched with only a faint aroma of cinnamon. But break the bark and the sharp smell is there. Even more powerful is the oil sucked from the leaf's stem, powerful and spicy enough for a red hot candy.

 

It's a long ride from here back to Hanoi, and a question remained: where to find cinnamon in Vietnam's cuisine?

 

Pho, which can be found everywhere in the city, is one answer. And so, on a morning made steamier by the tail end of a downpour, I visited Mai Anh Pho to complete the quest.

 

Outside the open windows, the whir of countless bicycles barely competed with the incessant honking from weaving cars. Exhaust fumes made it difficult to uncover the fragrance of the soup.

 

But as chopsticks stirred slender white noodles and pieces of thinly sliced beef, up came a whiff of cinnamon. Subtle and comforting, mingled with the scents of star anise and ginger, the cinnamon, grown in the mountains, cut by hand and laboriously ground, sweetly made a bow.

 

WHOLE WHEAT BISCUITS

2 cups Whole wheat flour

4 tsp Baking powder

1 small Egg

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Shortening

1 cup Milk; about

Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. rub in shortening; add egg and

milk and mix to a light dough. Roll out on a floured board, cut into

biscuits and bake about 15 minutes in a hot oven, about 425 degrees.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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