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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 280

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).

BABY REUBENS

BITTER CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

BOHEMIAN CHOCOLATE COOKIES

BROWN EDGED COOKIES

BROWN SUGAR BUTTERMILK SPICE CAKE

BUTTER BALLS

BUTTERNUT MASH

CHICKEN FLAVORED RICE MIX

CHOCOLATE CRACKLES

CHOCOLATE PECAN MERINGUES

CILANTRO STUFFED TRITIP ROAST

CLASSIC ORANGE CHIFFON CAKE

CLONED BAMBOO SHOOTS AND SCALLOPS

CLONED BEEF WITH MOLE SAUCE

CLONED ROAST DUCK

CLONED SCALLOPS AND MEXICAN

CLONED STIR FRIED BAMBOO SHOOTS

CLONED STUFFED RED PEPPERS

CLONED UZUKI STYLE STEW

COCKTAIL SAUCE

CONFECTIONERS SUGAR ICING

COOKIE CRUMB CRUST MIX

CROSTINI

DESSERTS TO DAZZLE

FIG NORTONS

FLORENTINE TOFFEE

FRESH FIG CAKE

FRUITED RICE MIX WITH RECIPE

GINGERBREAD PERSONS

GINGERED CHICKEN CAKES

GREEN PEPPER RICE

HERB MAYONNAISE

MEXICAN CUISINE VEERS AWAY

MEXICAN ORANGE SNAPPER

MIXED GREENS WITH PEARS AND PECANS

NEW WAVE EGGNOG

NUTTY HERB RICE SEASONING

ORANGE MELTS

ORIGINAL TUNNEL OF FUDGE CAKE

PARMESAN CHEESE STRAWS

PECAN SQUARES

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH PUMPKIN CAKE

POTATO ROLLS

POUND CAKE ABOUT AS PLAIN

PRUNE CAKE

QUICK CHOCO PEAR TART

RICE MIXES

RICOTTA WALNUT AND CHIVE BUNDLES

ROAST LOIN OF PORK WITH FENNEL

SHRIMP TAPAS

SMOKED SALMON MOUSSE

SOUR CREAM POPPYSEED BUNDT CAKE

SPONGE CANDY

STEAK AU POIVRE CROSTINI

STICK CANDY

SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH

SWEETEN THE HOLIDAYS

THIMBLE COOKIES

TINY PARMESAN SHORTBREADS

TOMATO BASIL AND OLIVE TARTLETS

UNO MAS QUESADILLAS

WHITE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT

WONTON WONDERS

 

 

 

 

BABY REUBENS

 

1/2 of a 12-ounce can corned beef

3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup well-drained sauerkraut, packed

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 cans (10 biscuits each) refrigerated biscuit dough

1 egg white, beaten

 

In a bowl, mash corned beef with a fork until fairly smooth. Stir in cheese, sauerkraut and mayonnaise, mixing well.

 

Separate biscuit dough. Stretch and pat a piece of dough into a 4-inch circle. Place 1 tablespoon corned-beef mixture on one side of the circle. Brush the edges of the circle with egg white. Fold dough circle over filling, pressing edges to seal. Crimp edges with a fork.

 

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

 

Continue with remaining dough and filling. Just before baking, recrimp edges with a fork to strengthen the seal. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

 

Makes 20 large hors d'oeuvres.

 

BITTER CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

WITH HONEY (Makes about 1 lb - 500 g.)

 

Truffles are quite simple to make, although they do take a little time to shape and coat. You start by making a rich ganache -- a chocolate and cream mixture -- which is then chilled, shaped, coated in melted chocolate and given a final dusting of cocoa powder. You need two qualities of chocolate: bitter or "super amer" chocolate for the ganache and couverture chocolate for dipping the truffles. This recipe appears in the style of the cookbook in which it was printed.

 

1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream

2 tbsp. light cream

2 tbsp. liquid glucose or light corn syrup

8 oz. (250 g) good-quality bitter ("super amer") chocolate, such as Valrhona

Guanaja (see editor's note)

3 tbsp. clear honey, warmed

41/2 tbsp. (65 g) chilled clarified butter, diced (see note)

about 4 oz. (125 g) couverture chocolate (see note)

unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1. Put the two creams in a saucepan with the glucose or corn syrup and heat until boiling. Break up the bitter chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl. Slowly pour on the hot cream, stirring in a circular movement, in one direction only. Then mix in the warm honey in the same way. Stir the chocolate up from the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed.

 

2. Let the ganache cool until it feels lightly warm (95-104F), then mix in the diced clarified butter, stirring until melted. Spoon the ganache onto a plate and let it cool and firm up a bit, until a slight crust has formed on the surface.

 

3. For "matchsticks," spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 in. (1 cm) tip and pipe short lengths, about 2 in. (5 cm), on a board. For balls, shape small spoonfuls into rough spheres, then roll them lightly in your hands; place on a plate. Chill the truffles until set.

 

4. Melt the couverture in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Skewer one truffle at a time with a long, thin wooden toothpick or fine skewer and dip in the melted couverture. Immediately toss in the sifted cocoa and set aside to firm up. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Eat within 3-4 days.

 

Note: Clarify unsalted butter by melting it and carefully pouring off the melted butterfat into a bowl, leaving the milky deposits behind (discard these). Chill the butterfat before use.

 

Editor's note: Valrhona Guanaja chocolate is available locally at Pastaworks and Williams-Sonoma. Couverture chocolate is available at the Decorette Shop in Tigard or on Southeast Foster Road in Portland. From "Gordon Ramsay's Just Desserts"

 

BOHEMIAN CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Makes about 54 cookies

 

Finely ground chocolate and a low baking temperature -- 275 degrees -- give these cookies their meltingly rich texture.

 

1 cup walnut pieces

2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate

1 cup butter or stick margarine, softened (2 sticks; no substitutes)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

11/4 cups all-purpose flour

Whirl walnuts in food processor using short, on-off bursts, until almost powdery (or use a nut mill to grind finely); set aside. Whirl chocolate in food processor or blender until powdery; set aside.

 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In mixer bowl combine butter and sugar, and beat until fluffy and well-blended. Add vanilla and chocolate and mix thoroughly.

 

Gradually mix in flour, then walnuts, until well-combined.

 

Drop cookies by heaping teaspoons, placed slightly apart, onto ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are firm and lightly browned (35 to 40 minutes). Let cookies stand on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before removing them to wire racks to finish cooling.

 

BROWN EDGED COOKIES

Makes 5 to 6 dozen

 

1 cup lightly salted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg whites and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour.

 

Drop by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

 

Bake about 10 minutes (but check after 5 minutes) until edges are brown.

 

BROWN SUGAR BUTTERMILK SPICE CAKE

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons each ground cinnamon and ginger

1 teaspoon each ground cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts

Glaze

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

 

In work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs, butter, buttermilk and vanilla on medium-low speed until thick and creamy.

 

In another bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. Attach pour shield and change to the paddle attachment. On lowest speed, add flour mixture, beat for a minute, just until evenly combined. Stir in nuts.

 

Scrape batter into pan, smoothing the top. Bake on center rack until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched in center, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan by inverting the cake onto a wire rack; cool completely.

 

To make glaze: Combine butter, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in confectioner's sugar until smooth (add more milk if too thick); add vanilla. Cool slightly and pour over cake, letting glaze drip downsides. Let stand until glaze dries, at least 30 minutes.

 

BUTTER BALLS

Makes 4 dozen

 

1 cup finely ground walnuts

2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 cups for dredging

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Combine walnuts, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and beat until mixture is fluffy. Beat in vanilla, then reduce speed and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

 

Using your hands, shape dough, 1tablespoon at a time, into small balls, then place about 1 inch apart on nonstick baking sheets. Bake until cookies are slightly golden, about 10 minutes.

 

Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool for five to 10 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, place remaining 2 cups confectioners' sugar on a large plate. Roll cookies, while still warm, in sugar, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cookies are completely cool, roll them again in sugar.

 

Note: Take care not to over-bake. Handle gently when dredging in sugar.

 

BUTTERNUT MASH

Makes 8 servings

 

Don't be fussy when you mash the squash into the potatoes; you want the combination of colors and tastes that you get from undermixing. This is terrific as the bed for a pork stew.

 

1 small butternut squash (about 11/2 pounds)

2 pounds russet or yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Coarse salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick)

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Freshly grated nutmeg

Freshly ground white pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

Halve the squash lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds, and place it cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Bake until the skin is browned and wrinkled and the flesh is very soft, about 50 minutes.

 

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by at least an inch, add a good pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cover partway, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are tender.

 

Drain well and return the potatoes to the pot. Dry them over heat, shaking the pan and stirring, until the potatoes are floury and have made a film on the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to very low.

 

Put the potatoes through a ricer and return them to the pan, or mash them with a hand masher until lump-free. Beat in the butter, then the sour cream, vinegar, a grating or two of nutmeg, and a few grinds of white pepper. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until fluffy.

 

Peel the skin from the squash and cut the flesh into chunks. Add it to the potatoes and whisk a few times to combine, but be sure to leave visible lumps of squash. Taste for seasoning and serve hot. From "One Potato, Two Potato" by Roy Finamore with Molly Stevens

CHICKEN FLAVORED RICE MIX

 

4 cups Long-Grain Rice --raw

4 tablespoons Chicken Bouillon granules -- instant

1 teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Tarragon -- dried

2 teaspoons Parsley -- dried

1/4 teaspoon White Pepper

 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until evenly distributed. Put

about 1-1/3 cups mixture each into three 1- pint airtight containers. Label.

Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6 to 8 months. Copyright:"(C)1999,

Kaylin Cherry/Real Food for Real People"

 

Chicken Flavored Rice

 

1 1/3 cups Chicken Flavored Rice mix (above)

2 cups cold Water

1 tablespoon Butter or Margarine

 

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over

medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat and cook 15 minutes, until liquid is

absorbed.

Copyright:"(C)1999, Kaylin Cherry/Real Food for Real People"

 

CHOCOLATE CRACKLES

Makes about 4 dozen

 

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

1 cup confectioners' sugar

 

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl, or the top of a double boiler, over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

 

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and light-brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, three or four minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well-combined. Add melted chocolate. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Mix on low speed until just combined. Shape dough into a flattened disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about two hours.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Using 1 heaping teaspoon of dough apiece, shape 1-inch balls. Roll each in confectioners' sugar until completely coated. If any cocoa-colored dough is visible, roll dough in confectioners' sugar again.

 

Place the cookies on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until flat and the sugar coating splits, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through.

 

Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to one week.

 

CHOCOLATE PECAN MERINGUES

Makes 2 dozen cookies

 

Chocolatey meringue and pecan halves are the stuff of which these airy cookies are made.

 

72 pecan halves

2 egg whites (1/4 cup)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

Place parchment paper on baking sheets. On parchment arrange clusters of 3 pecans each, spacing clusters 2 inches apart. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

 

In mixer bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Beat at high speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is stiff and glossy.

 

Reduce speed and beat in vanilla and cocoa until cocoa is completely incorporated.

 

Drop a rounded teaspoonful of meringue mixture over each cluster of pecans. Bake until cookies are firm to the touch (25 to 30 minutes). Remove to wire racks to cool.

 

 

CILANTRO STUFFED TRITIP ROAST

Makes 6 servings Pictured on the cover

 

1 beef tri-tip (2 pounds)

11/2 cups herb-seasoned croutons, crushed

3/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 green onion, finely chopped

11/2 teaspoons lime juice

Salt

Pepper

1/4 cup green jalapeno pepper jelly

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

 

Trim excess fat from meat. Cut a pocket parallel to the surface along the long side of the meat.

 

Combine croutons, cheese, cilantro, egg, green onion and lime juice; mix well. Pack stuffing mixture into pocket. Skewer opening or tie with string. Season exterior with salt and pepper.

 

Roast in shallow pan 25 minutes. Brush with melted jelly. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; roast an additional 5 to 8 minutes to desired doneness (145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, 160 degrees for medium). Allow to stand 10 minutes. Carve cross-grain in 1/2-inch slices.

 

CLASSIC ORANGE CHIFFON CAKE

 

Cake:

5 egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 pkg. plain yellow cake mix

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 tsp. grated orange rind

 

Glaze:

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

3 tbls. orange juice

 

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees

2. Cake: Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a medium bowl. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over-beat.

3. Place cake mix, egg yolks, orange juice, oil, orange juice concentrate and orange rind in a large bowl. Beat on low speed 1 minute. Stop machine and scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes; batter should look well blended.

4. Turn beaten egg whites out on top of batter; fold whites into batter until mixture is light but well combined, with no white streaks remaining. Pour batter into ungreased 10 inch tube pan, smoothing top.

5. Bake in 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and top of cake springs back when lightly pressed with tip of finger. Remove pan from oven and immediately turn upside down on the neck of a glass bottle to cool for one hour. Run long sharp knife around edge of cake; invert onto wire rack; then invert again onto serving platter, right side up.

6. Glaze: Place confectioners sugar and orange juice in medium bowl. Beat on low speed 1 minute. Spread glaze over top and sides of cake. Let glaze set for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

 

CLONED BAMBOO SHOOTS AND SCALLOPS

HORS DOEUVRE

created by Iron Chef Chinese I, Chen Kenichi

Battle Bamboo Shoots -- reverse-engineered by David J Rust

 

1 Cup dried scallops re-hydrated and minced

3 Cups bamboo shoots boiled and thinly sliced into strips

1/2 tsp Japanese peppercorns crushed finely

1/2 Cup mayonnaise

1/4 Cup Chinese mustard

1/2 tsp hot pepper powder (7-spice powder)

 

1. Once the scallops are re-hydrated in water and have become soft, mince them with a sharp knife and set aside in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

 

2. Soften the bamboo shoots -as needed- by boiling them and then allowing them to cool to room temperature.

 

3. Remove the scallops from the refrigerator and combine them in a glass bowl with all the other ingredients. Blend together evenly and serve at room temperature.

 

Serves 6 as a small appetizer.

 

Cooking Notes:

 

In America, most people use canned bamboo shoots in their recipes; only a few stores will actually carry this ingredient fresh. As such, I have never had the opportunity to cook with them aside from the canned version. There are a few notes I would add, however, based upon comments made in the show. Dr. Hattori mentioned that whole bamboo shoots take a long time to prepare so that they are soft enough to eat. Boiling or simmering them for an hour is not uncommon. Also, the outer husk is inedible (save as a young plant) and should be peeled and discarded.

 

CLONED BEEF WITH MOLE SAUCE

AND TORTILLAS

created by Challenger, Yosei Watanabe

Battle Mango -- reverse-engineered by David J Rust

 

for the mole

1/2 Cup ancho chili, dried chopped

1/2 Cup merato chili, dried chopped

1/2 Cup pasilla chili, dried chopped

1 Tbsp white sesame seeds

1/2 Cup raisins

1/2 Cup tomatoes seeded, peeled and chopped

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

for the tortillas

3/4 Cup masa

1/2 Cup water

1/2 Cup mango puree

 

for the rest of the dish

2 lbs beef tenderloin cut into 1" cubes

3 mangos peeled, seeded and chopped

to taste salt and pepper

1/2 Cup consumme

 

Steps

 

1. Re-hydrate the dried, chopped chilies in hot water (enough to cover) for about 20 minutes.

 

2. In a blender combine the remaining ingredients for the mole (white sesame seeds, raisins, tomatoes, cinnamon) and add the re-hydrated chilies with 1 tablespoon of the re-hydration water from each. Puree until the contents of the blender are a thick paste. Put this in a bowl and set aside. This is the mole sauce.

 

3. Prepare the tortillas. In a bowl, mix the masa, water and mango puree. Blend together thoroughly. Spoon 6 mounds of this mixture onto wax paper, each spoonful about the size of a golf ball. Round them out into balls and then flatten them with even pressure to form them into flat circles about a quarter of an inch thick.

 

4. On a flat skillet or a griddle on medium heat, place each flattened tortilla on the surface. There is no oil used in this step. Gently heat each tortilla through until the surfaces start to brown lightly. When each one is done, place it in a sealed container until needed.

5. For the meat, trim some of the excess fat from the beef, cube it and sauté in a skillet until it browns. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped mango and continue to sauté for 6-8 minutes.

 

6. Add the mole sauce, thoroughly combining it with the meat and mango. Slowly add the consumme and stir to combine. Keep simmering until the meat and mole mixture is thick. Pour onto a serving platter and sprinkle with more white sesame seeds and garnish with cilantro.

 

7. Serve the warm tortillas on the side so each diner can use one to wrap around the meat.

 

Serves 6 as a small entree.

 

Iron Chef Notes:

For some reason, I always associate mole sauce with chocolate flavor. However, the challenger included no chocolate in this dish. Upon further research, I found that my preconception was incorrect. Mole refers to the smoked and dried chili peppers that are used. Yes, many moles use chocolate, but hardly all of them.

 

Cooking Notes:

Making your own tortillas certainly sounds like fun, but it takes a little practice. There's no reason you can't find a good, corn tortilla in your own neighborhood market and use that, instead.

 

CLONED ROAST DUCK

created by Iron Chef Italian, Masahiko Kobe

Battle Mango -- reverse-engineered by David J Rust

 

1 mango peeled, seed-in

1 4-lb duck, whole

1 tsp cloves powdered

1/2 tsp nutmeg grated

1 tsp cardamom powdered

1 mango peeled, seeded and chopped

2 Tbsp butter

to taste salt

 

1. Place the peeled mango in a 400 degree oven, on a baking sheet, for about 20 minutes to roast.

 

2. While the mango is roasting, season the inside cavity of the duck with half of the cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. Reserve the rest for later. Truss the duck so the wings and legs are held securely but the cavity is still accessible.

 

3. In a blender, combine the chopped mango with the remaining cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. Puree.

 

4. Season the skin of the duck with a bit of salt to taste. In a hot skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and brown the breast-side of the duck until it is dark brown.

 

5. Remove the roasting mango from the oven and insert it into the duck's cavity.

 

6. Make two, deep slits down the breast of the duck, following the breast bone along each side. Stuff this with some of the puree and then smear the remainder of the puree over the surface of the duck. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes in a roasting dish on a roasting rack. Internal meat temperature should be about 180 degrees.

 

7. Remove from the oven and place on a serving tray to serve. Carve slices of breast, wings, thighs and legs for the guests.

 

Serves 6 as a medium entree.

 

Iron Chef Notes:

 

Kobe made some comment about it isn't duck if there are no onions. What he served as a side-dish with the duck was leeks sautéed and cooked in a mango puree. This sounds pretty tasty and would really echo the puree that he put on the outside of the duck. I'm guessing that he sautéed the leeks in butter, first, and then added some extra mango puree over them, simmering on a low heat until they were tender.

 

Cooking Notes:

 

Ok, I originally had no idea how a roast duck can be prepared in such a short time, but I think it's accomplished by two factors: the hot mango inside and the skillet-sauteeing. By cooking the surface of the duck in the hot skillet, some of the cooking is already accomplished and the hot mango, stuffed into the duck's cavity, helps add heat from within.

Also, the seasoning that Kobe used in the cavity of the bird could not be seen clearly. I am making the assumption that he used the same seasonings that went into the mango puree which he smeared over the surface. I could be wrong...

 

CLONED SCALLOPS AND MEXICAN

VEGETABLES RICE

created by Challenger, Yosei Watanabe

Battle Mango -- reverse-engineered by David J Rust

 

4 mangos peeled, halved and seeded

1 Cup cactus, jarred or canned chopped

2 Cups mango juice strained

2 Cups short grain rice rinsed

1/2 Cup zucchini peeled and finely chopped

1 lb bay scallops

2 roma tomatos peeled and seeded

 

1. Take three of the halved mangos and scoop out the seeds, leaving a divot into which the rice can be later served. Cover with plastic wrap and place the 6 halves into the refrigerator until later.

 

2. Chop all remaining mango pieces into small pieces.

 

3. Combine all other ingredients into a rice cooker and stir to evenly distribute. Cook the rice according to the cooker's instructions.

 

4. When done, allow the rice to rest, covered. Spoon even amounts into each of the reserved halves of mango. Serve.

 

Serves 6 as a medium side-dish.

 

Iron Chef Notes:

 

The challenger served this dish with a side of salsa that was described as very hot by the tasting panel. I think this is a good idea to combine the spicy with the sweetness of the rice. On a closer look, the salsa looked almost like pure tomatoes. What I would suggest is combining tomatoes with Tabasco sauce, a few minced shallots and maybe a minced jalepeno pepper. This would make a simple, spicy salsa. Be sure to season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Cooking Notes:

 

When peeling and seeding tomatoes, start with some boiling water and submerge each, whole tomato for about a minute or until the skin starts to split. Remove them from the boiling water and plunge them into ice water. The skins should be easily removable at this point. Then, simply slit the tomatoes open, remove the seeds and continue with the recipe.

 

I only wish that peeling and seeding mangos were as easy. It isn't. It requires a sharp knife and steady hands. Try cutting it lengthwise from tip to tip and then, gripping each half, twisting it lightly to pull it apart. The huge seed should be attached to one half or the other. Using a spoon, carefully scoop it out. Only practice can really make this any easier.

 

CLONED STIR FRIED BAMBOO SHOOTS

AND GROUND MEAT

created by Iron Chef Chinese I, Chen Kenichi

Battle Bamboo Shoots - reverse-engineered by David J Rust

 

21 bamboo shoot slices, very thin

18 bamboo shoot wedges, medium-thick

6 asparagus stalks peeled

2 egg whites

4 oz ice fish

4 Tbsp dried shrimp re-hydrated and minced

2 Tbsp sesame oil

12 oz dried pork, ground

1 Tbsp Chinese pickles minced

2 Tbsp Tian-Mian-Jiang sauce

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp Japanese peppercorns crushed

 

1. Boil all bamboo shoots until tender. Remove from water and drain.

 

2. Take the thinly sliced pieces of bamboo shoot and make a small sheet out of 3 of the slices. Repeat until you have a total of 6. With a sharp knife, make horizontal slices along the grain of the bamboo from about 2/3 of the way down to the end, making a brush-like pattern.

 

3. In a blender, combine the egg whites, ice fish and re-hydrated shrimp and puree until you get a thin, mayonnaise-like consistency.

 

4. With a rubber spatula, spread the fish puree over the 6 sheets of bamboo.

 

5. Roll the bamboo sheets along the cuts with the fish puree in the center, forming a thin tube shape with the frayed ends of the slices showing.

 

6. Steam the asparagus stalks until cooked but still with some body. Discard the lower half of each stalk.

 

7. In a hot wok, stir-fry the pork in the sesame oil until browned. Add the Tian-Mian-Jiang sauce, large wedges of bamboo shoots, and the minced Chinese pickles. Stir-fry for 4 minutes and remove to a serving platter.

 

8. In the same wok, stir-fry the crushed Japanese peppercorns for a minute or two and add the soy sauce at the end. Pour it over the pork and bamboo shoot wedges.

 

9. Place the stalks of asparagus evenly around the edges of the serving platter and place one of the small, rolled-up bamboo-shoot "brooms" on top of each. Serve immediately.

 

Serves 6 as a medium entree.

 

Iron Chef Notes:

 

Chen was not shown adding the dried shrimp; I only know it was there since Fukui-San mentioned it during the final presentation of Chen's dishes. Since it would probably be over-powered by the peppercorns and stir-fried pork, I'm guessing that it was pureed along with the egg whites and fish.

 

Ok, I'm at a loss for this one. We didn't see the puree getting prepared; we only saw it in its finished state. From this, I had to guess at the amounts included, but the proportions of fish to egg white are a mystery. You may have to tinker with it to get it right for your tastes. Also, what in the world are "Ice Fish"? I'm not terribly sure, so I'm going to guess again that any cold-water ocean fish will do.

 

When Chen made the small "brooms" out of the thinly sliced bamboo shoots, he had a thin band of some red vegetable around the base of each. I could not tell what it was; feel free to speculate and add something of nice color and complimentary flavor.

 

Cooking Notes:

 

In America, most people use canned bamboo shoots in their recipes; only a few stores will actually carry this ingredient fresh. As such, I have never had the opportunity to cook with them aside from the canned version. There are a few notes I would add, however, based upon comments made in the show. Dr. Hattori mentioned that whole bamboo shoots take a long time to prepare so that they are soft enough to eat. Boiling or simmering them for an hour is not uncommon. Also, the outer husk is inedible (save as a young plant) and should be peeled and discarded.

 

CLONED STUFFED RED PEPPERS

created by Challenger, Yosei Watanabe

Battle Mango -- reverse-engineered by David J Rust

 

2 mangos peeled and seeded

1-1/2 lb ground pork

1/4 Cup pine nuts

to taste salt and pepper

6 red bell peppers

to coat flour or masa

2 Tbsp peanut oil

 

1. In a blender, puree the peeled and seeded mangos. Pour this puree into a mixing bowl and add the pork and pine nuts.

 

2. In a pot over medium heat, cook the mango/pork/nut mixture until the pork is cooked through. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

 

3. Slice each pepper down it's side from top to bottom; reach inside and remove the veins and seeds. Stuff each one with the pork mixture.

 

4. Place the stuffed peppers into a roasting dish, packed tightly against each other so they wont fall apart as they cook. Drizzle with a little oil and then place them into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

 

5. Flour the roasted peppers lightly, using masa if you prefer. In a skillet, fry the floured peppers in the peanut oil until lightly browned. Remove, drain and serve. Garnish with fresh chives.

 

Serves 6 as a medium entree.

 

Iron Chef Notes:

 

The challenger served this dish with another spicy side-dish: a red sauce that he felt would be unique to the tasting panel. I have no idea what was in it, but given the roasted red peppers, I'd guess it was a spicy red pepper sauce. Take some roasted red peppers, a few chipotle peppers, a shallot and a clove of garlic, puree them together in a blender and them simmer over medium-low heat for about fifteen minutes, keeping the mixture covered. Strain through a colander with large holes and serve on the side.

 

Cooking Notes:

Every time I try to flour and fry a cooked-and-stuffed red bell pepper, it tends to fall apart. I think the best way to keep it whole is to let it cool once it's been removed from the oven. This will help the peppers to hold together better when you flour them.

 

 

 

CLONED UZUKI STYLE STEW

created by Challenger Munetaka Takahashi

Battle Bamboo Shoots -- reverse-engineered by David J Rust

 

6 Cups bonito shavings

3 Cups water

1/2 Cup fish sauce

36 oz bamboo shoots softened by boiling and thinly sliced

12 prawns cleaned and shelled

3 sheets Wakame seaweed re-hydrated and sliced into bite-size pieces

9 eggs beaten

to taste salt and white pepper

 

1. Over medium heat, bring the water to a simmer and slowly add the bonito shavings. The resulting mix should be thick enough so that a chop stick, inserted into the middle, stands on its own. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

 

2. Strain the bonito broth and set the liquid aside. Discard the used bonito shavings.

 

3. Return the broth to a simmer and add the fish sauce. Stir to incorporate and return to a simmer. Taste and season -as needed- with salt and white pepper.

 

4. Add the thinly sliced bamboo shoots, stir and cover, simmering over low heat for 15 - 20 minutes.

 

5. Add the peeled and shelled prawns and cover, still simmering, for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and remove the prawns. Slice each prawn into thirds and set aside.

 

6. In each bowl to be served, place an equal amount of the bamboo shoots. Layer equal amounts of Wakame seaweed on each. Add equal amounts of the prawn slices on top of the Wakame. Pour equal amounts of the bonito broth over all the ingredients.

 

7. Pour equal amounts of the beaten eggs into the broth, allowing the heat to cook it. Do not stir or break up the eggs. Serve each bowl, hot.

 

Serves 6 as a medium soup.

 

Iron Chef Notes:

 

The challenger used 2-part, clay or ceramic bowls for this dish. He prepared the entire dish in the top portion and then placed extremely hot stones in the bottom of the lower portion of the clay bowls. In this way, he was able to place the top portions over the bottom as he added the eggs and -thus- maintain the simmer while the dish finished cooking.

 

Cooking Notes:

 

In America, most people use canned bamboo shoots in their recipes; only a few stores will actually carry this ingredient fresh. As such, I have never had the opportunity to cook with them aside from the canned version. There are a few notes I would add, however, based upon comments made in the show. Dr. Hattori mentioned that whole bamboo shoots take a long time to prepare so that they are soft enough to eat. Boiling or simmering them for an hour is not uncommon. Also, the outer husk is inedible (except as a young plant) and should be peeled and discarded.

 

COCKTAIL SAUCE

Makes about 11/3 cups

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or other vinegar

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or to taste

 

Combine the ketchup, vinegar and butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts.

 

At this point, you can keep the sauce warm for more than an hour on as low a heat as possible.

 

Add horseradish. Serve with cracked crab.

 

Variation: Use fresh lemon juice instead of vinegar and/or Tabasco or other hot sauce in place of the horseradish.

 

Adapted from "The Minimalist Cooks Dinner" by Mark Bittman

 

CONFECTIONERS SUGAR ICING

Makes about 1 cup

 

1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar, sifted, if lumpy, plus more if needed

Water

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1/8 teaspoon vanilla, almond, or lemon extract (optional)

Liquid food coloring (optional)

 

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on low speed, beat together the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons of warm water, the corn syrup and the vanilla, almond or lemon extract, if using. Increase the speed to medium and beat until well-blended and smooth.

 

(Alternatively, in a medium bowl, stir together the confectioners' sugar, water, corn syrup and extract until well-blended and smooth).

 

Adjust the icing consistency as needed by adding a bit more water to thin it or more confectioners' sugar to stiffen it. A fairly fluid consistency is needed to spread the icing easily and form a perfectly smooth, glossy surface; a stiff consistency is needed to pipe and form lines that hold their shape.

 

If desired, divide the icing among separate small bowls and tint each a different color by stirring in one or two drops of food coloring. The icing gradually dries out as it stands; thoroughly stir in one or two drops of water to thin it as necessary, and cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

 

Using a table knife, apply the icing to cookies. Or, to apply piped icing outlines or trims to cookies, spoon into paper cones or pastry bags fitted with fine writing tips.

 

To prevent piping from running or blurring on cookies decorated with confectioners' icing, be sure that it is completely set, at least six hours, preferably longer, before storing.

 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Let warm up slightly and stir before using.

 

COOKIE CRUMB CRUST MIX

 

6 cups Flour

1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar -- packed

1 1/2 cups Nuts -- chopped

1 pound Butter or Margarine -- softened

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients and

blend well. With a pastry blender cut in butter or margarine until mixture

resembles cornmeal in texture. Press mixture firmly into 2 un-buttered

shallow baking pans (9 x 13 inches). Bake about 15 minutes. Cool. Crumble

and put in a large airtight container and label. Store in refrigerator and

use within 4 to 6 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months.

 

Cookie Crumb Crust:

 

2 Cups Cookie Crumb Crust Mix

 

Press about 2 cups crumb mix in a baking pan or 9-inch pie plate and bake

10-12 minutes or according to directions for the filling you have chosen to use.

Yield 10 1/2 cups

 

CROSTINI

Makes about 32

 

One 16-inch baguette

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

 

Preheat the broiler.

 

Cut the baguette, on the diagonal if desired, into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and the garlic. Brush each slice with the oil mixture.

 

Place under the broiler until lightly toasted. Use crostini as a base for appetizers.

 

DESSERTS TO DAZZLE

CHERI SWOBODA

 

You don't have to be a pastry chef to create holiday desserts that look great and taste great.

 

Whether your dessert is simple or sophisticated, here are a few tips to help you create delectable tastes that are big on glamour and flavor.

 

As always, read the recipe all the way through before getting started.

 

Pay attention to what temperature ingredients should be. For example, if butter is too cold or too soft, it won't mix properly.

 

Use good-quality -- and fresh -- ingredients, especially chocolate, cocoa, nuts, coconut, and herbs and spices.

 

Remember, many gourmet shops, as well as grocery stores, carry packaged, decorative baking ingredients, which can save you time in the kitchen.

 

If the recipe calls for a certain ingredient, such as butter, and you substitute margarine, your dish may lose flavor and quality. Use real stick margarine; do not substitute reduced-fat spreads.

 

Get organized before you start baking. Set out the pans, mixing bowls and utensils you need.

 

With some recipes, such as a sponge cake, you need to move quickly. If a recipe calls for beaten eggs whites, do those first. The whites will hold a few minutes while you clean the beaters and beat the yolks.

 

Preheat the oven 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time so it is at the proper temperature when you put your cake in to bake.

 

Some desserts, such as tortes or strudels, can stand alone. Others, such as pound cake or cheesecake, are often served with an accompaniment. Try custard sauce, good-quality chocolate sauce, lemon curd, ice cream, creme fraiche or whipping cream.

 

For a festive twist, sprinkle crushed peppermint on cakes or cookies, or add colorful strips of orange or lemon citrus peel.

 

Other finishing touches include edible glitter or sparkles, chocolate shavings or curls, or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

 

Depending on the dessert, you can work a few days ahead, making the whole dish or parts of it. Cakes can be made at least one day in advance, or you can freeze them if you want to keep them longer.

 

Fillings and some glazes can be made two to three days in advance. Assemble your dessert the day you want to serve it.

 

Here are two easy but eloquent desserts.

 

Quick Choco-Pear Tart is a splendid mixture of packaged frozen puffed pastry, whipping cream, chocolate and pears. Even the novice cook will get rave reviews for it.

 

Imagine, one cake you can do so much with: Pound Cake, About as Plain and Simple as You Can Get. It's rich enough to slice and serve alone, or you can add a touch of red raspberry glaze, a hint of fresh citrus with orange or lemon sauce, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

 

Desserts are pure pleasure -- sweet endings that complement your meal. You can reach Cheri Swoboda at 503-221-8377 or by e-mail at cheriswoboda@news.oregonian.com.

 

FIG NORTONS

Makes about 65 cookies

 

With the classic Fig Newtons in mind, Gale Gand created these cookies, which have extra crunch and spice.

 

Dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 tablespoons cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces (11/2 sticks; no substitutes)

4 eggs (divided)

 

Filling:

1 cup dried figs, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

To make the dough: Blend the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). Add the butter and mix at low speed until it has the texture of sand.

 

Whisk 3 eggs together until foamy and add to the bowl. Mix to combine. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

 

To make the filling: Combine the dried figs, orange juice, apple juice and cinnamon in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed by the figs and the mixture is thick. Let the mixture cool slightly, then puree it in a food processor (or use a hand blender) until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

 

The recipe can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make an egg wash by whisking the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rough rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough lengthwise into strips, at least 21/2 inches wide.

 

Paint around the edges of one strip with egg wash. Pipe or spoon the fig filling down the center of the strip and then fold the dough over to enclose the filling, slightly overlapping the long edge. Place the tube, seam side down, on the cookie sheet, then press down lightly to flatten somewhat.

 

Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let the pastries cool to room temperature. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1-inch segments.

 

 

FLORENTINE TOFFEE

Makes about 36 candies

 

White chocolate, toasted hazelnuts and sweet dried apricots make mouth-watering clusters. Use other nuts and candied or dried fruits to make other different-tasting ones.

 

8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup toasted and skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped, chilled (see note)

1 cup roughly chopped dried apricots, at room temperature

 

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water, stirring often with a rubber spatula. Take the double boiler off the burner, take off the top pan and place it over a larger bowl with about 1 inch of cool water. Gently stir the chocolate to reduce the temperature to 92 degrees F, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to allow any water to mix with the chocolate. To test if the chocolate is at the right temperature, use a candy or instant-read thermometer or place a dab below your lower lip. The chocolate should feel comfortable, not hot and not cold. When it reaches this temperature, replace the pan of chocolate over the pan of warm water.

 

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Thoroughly mix the hazelnuts and dried apricots together in a bowl, then stir them into the chocolate, coating them completely. Using a spoon, form 1-inch-diameter clusters and place them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set the clusters.

 

Place the clusters in paper candy cups and serve at room temperature. Store the clusters between layers of wax paper in an airtight container wrapped with aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 

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

 

FRESH FIG CAKE

Makes 2 8-inch layers; serves 6

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup chopped fresh figs

For filling:

2 cups chopped fresh figs

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil.

 

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

 

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts and chopped figs.

 

Divide batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.

 

To make filling, combine 2 cups figs, brown sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Spread thinly between layers of cake and on top.

From www.theholidayspot.com

 

FRUITED RICE MIX WITH RECIPE

 

1 cup Long grain rice

1/2 cup Finely chopped apricots

1/4 cup Raisins

1/4 cup Slivered almonds

1 Chicken bouillon cube; crumbled

2 tsp Parsley flakes

1 1/2 tsp Dried orange rind

1/2 tsp Onion powder

[ Mix only: Combine and store in an airtight container.]

 

Fruited Rice:

 

Bring 2 1/2 cups water and 2 tbsp butter to a boil. Add rice mix. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and water is absorbed.

Makes 6 servings.

 

GINGERBREAD PERSONS

Makes 40 5-by-3-by-1/4-inch cookies

 

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

3 cups bleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar

1/2 cup unsulfured molasses -- use a greased liquid measuring cup

1 large egg

 

Soften the butter. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices, then whisk together to mix evenly. In a mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar and softened butter until fluffy.

 

Add the molasses and egg and beat until blended. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture until incorporated.

 

Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and use the wrap, not your fingers, to press the dough together to form a thick flat disc.

 

Wrap it well and refrigerate it for at least two hours.

 

Place two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

On a floured pastry cloth, roll out the dough to about -inch thickness. Use gingerbread cutters to cut out the dough. With a small, angled metal spatula or pancake turner, lift the cut dough onto the cookie sheets, placing the cutouts about 1 inch apart.

 

Bake for about eight to 10 minutes for small cookies, up to about 10 to 12 minutes for the larger ones, or until firm to the touch and just beginning to color around the edges. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period.

 

Cool the cookies on the sheets for about a minute. When they are firm enough to lift, use a small, angled metal spatula or pancake turner to transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

 

While the cookies are still hot and slightly soft, if desired, press raisins, cinnamon red hots, currants or other candy into the dough (for eyes and buttons).

 

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

NOTE: If you like your gingerbread people soft, chewy and pudgy, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and underbake it slightly so that upon cooling the cookies remain soft.

 

Allow the cookie sheet(s) to cool completely before using for the next batch.

 

NOTE: Roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper to desired thickness, then refrigerate again. After it is chilled, cut out the gingerbread people, then chill again before attempting to put them on the cookie sheet.

 

GINGERED CHICKEN CAKES

WITH CILANTRO-LIME MAYONNAISE

Makes 20 cakes

 

Shortening for baking sheet

 

Cakes:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 3/4 pound

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped

3 green onions, washed, ends removed, coarsely chopped

1 large garlic clove, peeled, crushed

Salt to taste

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce or to taste

 

Topping:

4 tablespoons mayonnaise, low-fat or regular

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons diced mango, optional

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using shortening, lightly grease one large or two small baking sheets; set aside.

 

To prepare the cakes: In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place all the cake ingredients and pulse until finely chopped.

 

Divide the mixture into 20 walnut-size pieces. With wet hands, shape each piece into a ball and flatten into a cake. Place the cakes on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook until golden on each side and cooked through. Remove and set aside to cool to warm or room temperature.

 

Meanwhile, make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cilantro and lime juice. Spoon a small dollop on each cake and, if desired, garnish each cake with the diced mango.

 

GREEN PEPPER RICE

 

1/2 cup long-grain white rice

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup diced green pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Bring 2 to 3 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan. Add rice and boil, uncovered, about 10 minutes.

 

Test a grain; rice should be cooked through, but not soft.

 

Drain rice into a colander in the sink. Return it to the pan. Mix in oil and green pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

HERB MAYONNAISE

Makes about 11/4 cups

 

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon capers, drained

2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

2 green onions, chopped

 

Blend mayonnaise, capers, basil, dill and green onions in a small bowl to accompany cracked crab.

 

From "Dungeness Crabs and Blackberry Cobblers" by Janie Hibler

 

MEXICAN CUISINE VEERS AWAY

FROM AMERICANO FAVORITES

By LINDA GASSENHEIMER, THE MIAMI HERALD

 

Snapper sautéed in a savory orange sauce is an unusual, tangy Mexican dish. Rice tossed with green peppers makes a simple side dish.

 

This recipe is adapted from one given me by Mexican caterer and cookbook author Susanna Palazuelos.

 

"Until recently, most food lovers thought of Mexican cooking in terms of tacos, tamales and tongue-scorching salsas, but now people are beginning to understand the subtle flavor distinctions that make Mexican food a truly great cuisine," she said.

 

This meal answers the yearn for Mexican flavors and is quick and easy to make.

 

Hints: Any type of non-oily fish fillet can be used. Timing is for a fish 1 inch thick. Add a few more minutes for a thicker cut.

 

Wine suggestion: The sweetness of this dish means a nice, fat California chardonnay would be a good match (See Page E-2).

 

MEXICAN ORANGE SNAPPER

2 servings

 

3 tablespoons flour

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3/4 pound snapper fillets

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 cup orange juice

4 orange slices for garnish (optional)

 

Place flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Rinse fish fillet and pat dry with a paper towel. Dip into seasoned flour, making sure both sides are coated. Shake off excess flour.

 

Heat olive oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet on medium high.

 

Add the fish, onion and garlic. Brown fish two minutes, turn and brown second side two minutes.

 

Remove to a plate and season with salt and pepper.

 

Add orange juice to skillet, stirring to scrape up the brown bits.

 

Lower heat to medium and return fish to skillet.

 

Cover with a lid and cook five minutes. Serve with rice.

 

 

 

 

MIXED GREENS WITH PEARS AND PECANS

Makes 8 servings

 

The sweetness of ripe pears and the crunchiness of buttery pecans make this an irresistible holiday salad.

 

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/3 cup olive oil

3 ripe medium pears, each peeled, cored and cut into 16 wedges

1 wedge parmesan cheese (4 ounces)

2 small heads radicchio, cored and torn into large pieces

2 small heads Belgian endive, separated into leaves

2 small bunches arugula, trimmed (4 ounces each)

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

 

To make dressing: In very large bowl, with wire whisk, mix vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. In thin, steady stream, whisk in oil until blended. Add pears, tossing to coat.

 

With vegetable peeler, remove enough shavings from wedge of parmesan to measure 1 cup, loosely packed. Set aside.

 

To make salad: Add radicchio, endive and arugula to pears; toss until mixed and coated with dressing. Top salad with parmesan shavings and pecans.

 

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

From "The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook"

 

NEW WAVE EGGNOG

Makes about 16 servings

 

Add ice cream just before serving. Enough said.

 

4 cups half-and-half or whole milk

11/2 cups granulated sugar

12 egg yolks

1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 cup brandy

1/4 cup bourbon

2 cups whipping cream

1 pint high-quality vanilla ice cream

Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir the half-and-half with the sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot.

 

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in some of the hot mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook slowly over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon (a thermometer will read 180 degrees F). Strain into another medium bowl.

 

Cool completely. Whisk in the rum, brandy and bourbon. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 4 hours.

 

In a chilled, medium bowl, beat the heavy cream just until stiff. Fold into the chilled custard. Pour into a punch bowl and add the ice cream. Grate the nutmeg over the eggnog, and serve chilled.

 

Make ahead: Eggnog should be chilled at least 4 hours before serving, and served within 24 hours. From "Christmas 101: Celebrate the Season from Christmas to New Year's" by Rick Rodgers

 

NUTTY HERB RICE SEASONING

 

1 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup instant chicken bouillon

1/3 cup Chicken Soup mix (dry)

1/2 cup Parsley

1 tablespoon Basil

1 tablespoon Minced Green Onion

1 tablespoon Dill Weed

2 teaspoons Season Salt

1 teaspoon Garlic Granules

1/2 teaspoon Lemon Peel

1/2 teaspoon granulated black pepper

 

Place all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag or jar; seal and shake to mix.

Yields about 2 cups of seasoning.

To make the rice:

Combine 1 cup uncooked rice,

2 cups water

3 tablespoons seasoning

1 tablespoon butter or margarine in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook 20 to 25 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff rice with fork before serving.

 

 

ORANGE MELTS

Makes about 24 candies

 

Florida's answer to Kentucky's bourbon balls, these quick, no-bake Orange Melts showcase the flavor of the state's most important fruit, along with another Southern favorite, pecans. They are best if allowed to mellow overnight.

 

1 2/3 cups coarsely crushed or broken-up vanilla wafers

1 1/3 cups chopped pecans (about 51/2 ounces; divided)

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange peel (orange part only)

3 tablespoons thawed orange juice concentrate, undiluted

2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau or triple sec

2 teaspoons light corn syrup

 

In a food processor, process the vanilla wafers and 1 cup of the pecans until finely ground. Add the powdered sugar and orange peel and process until evenly incorporated. With the motor running, add the orange juice concentrate, orange liqueur and corn syrup through the feed tube and process just until well-blended. If the mixture seems too soft to handle, let it stand for a few minutes until firm; if it seems dry and crumbly, sprinkle in a little water and process briefly to incorporate.

 

Finely chop the remaining pecans. Spread them in a shallow bowl. Shape portions of the mixture into scant 1-inch balls with lightly greased hands. Press the balls into the pecans, turning until coated lightly all over (if the pecans don't stick well, moisten the balls by rolling them in slightly damp hands.) Let the Orange Melts mellow in an airtight container for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight before serving.

 

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month. Adapted from "The All-American Cookie Book" by Nancy Baggett

 

ORIGINAL TUNNEL OF FUDGE CAKE

When their commercial mix line was discontinued, the Pillsbury test kitchen was deluged with requests for a from-scratch Tunnel of Fudge cake, precursor to the now-hot restaurant dessert of individual chocolate cakes with an oozing, under-baked center like a thick sauce. I add a dash of chocolate extract, an elixir that accents the cocoa powder without changing the recipe proportions. Chocolate extract is available at Williams-Sonoma.

 

1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

6 large eggs

2 cups powdered sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon chocolate extract

2 cups chopped walnuts

Glaze

3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon chocolate extract

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons warm milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup standard Bundt pan and set aside.

 

In work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, add eggs, one at a time. Gradually add powdered sugar, blending well. Add flour, cocoa, extract and walnuts until just combined.

 

Scrape batter into pan. Bake on center rack 58 to 62minutes; cake will not be done in the center. Remove from oven and let stand in the pan on a rack for 1 hour. Remove from the pan by inverting the cake onto a serving platter; cool completely.

 

Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a large spoon until smooth. Spoon glaze over top of cake, letting it drip down the sides.

 

PARMESAN CHEESE STRAWS

makes 40 straws

 

1 sheet puff pastry (half of a 14-ounce package), thawed if frozen

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons paprika

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to 6 by 20 inches.

 

Whisk together the egg yolk and water. Brush the pastry with some of the egg mixture. Sprinkle the pastry with paprika and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Spread the cheese with your hands to evenly cover the pastry.

 

Fold the pastry in half crosswise and press down. Use a rolling pin if necessary to seal layers.

 

Brush the folded pastry with the egg mixture. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and press into the top layer.

 

With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 1/2-inch strips. Hold the ends of each strip between your fingers and twist the ends in opposite directions. Lay twisted strips onto greased baking sheets.

 

Bake until crisp and golden, about seven minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

The straws can be baked up to three days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Crisp in a preheated 400-degree oven for three minutes.

 

PECAN SQUARES

Makes about 5 dozen

 

For the crust:

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

6 tablespoons vegetable shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the topping:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups light-brown sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

4 cups chopped pecans

 

Crust: Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and mix well; set aside. Beat butter and shortening together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then reduce speed and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

 

Gather dough into a ball, flatten slightly, then, using your fingers, press into a buttered nonstick baking sheet about 10 by 15 by 3/4 inches (sometimes called a jelly roll pan). Refrigerate dough overnight or place in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick crust all over, then bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

 

To make the topping: Combine butter, honey and sugars in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat until sugars melt and mixture darkens and foams, five minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in cream and stir in pecans.

 

Spread filling evenly over crust with a rubber spatula and bake until topping is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into 11/2-inch squares or diamonds to serve.

 

Note: Walnuts may be substituted for pecans.

 

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH PUMPKIN CAKE

4 large eggs

1 cup canola oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger

1 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar, for dusting

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 12-cup standard or star bundt pan and set aside.

 

In the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs, oil, and sugar on medium-high until thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. On low speed, add pumpkin and vanilla and mix to blend.

 

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, spices, and salt. Attach the pour shield and change to the paddle attachment. On lowest speed, add flour mixture. Beat 1 minute, just until combined.

 

Scrape batter into pan, smoothing the top. Bake on center rack until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched in center, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan by inverting cake onto a wire rack. Cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar.

 

POTATO ROLLS

Makes 18 rolls

 

2 cups mashed potatoes

2 cups milk

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided use

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 packages yeast

1/4 cup warm water

4 cups flour, divided use

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Mix potatoes, milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan and heat to lukewarm, about 110 degrees.

 

Mix yeast, warm water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in large bowl. Let stand till foamy.

 

Mix together 2 cups flour, eggs and vanilla. Add with potato mixture to yeast and beat until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups flour. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about an hour.

 

Punch down. Shape into rolls using about 1/4 cup dough per roll. Place on oiled cookie sheet. Let rise till doubled in bulk. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

 

POUND CAKE ABOUT AS PLAIN

AND SIMPLE AS YOU CAN GET

Makes 24 slices

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks; no substitutes)

5 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

13/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar

 

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat so that it doesn't brown or scorch. Cool until lukewarm.

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11-by-4-inch loaf pan (see note) and coat the pan with flour.

 

Break the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and vanilla, and beat everything with a mixer until it's light, foamy and has increased in volume (about 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed).

 

Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add a bit of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until smooth. Then mix in the remaining flour mixture alternately with the melted butter, mixing between additions until smooth.

 

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. Bake the cake on the middle oven rack for about 1 hour. It is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Leave the cake in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn it out, turn it back over and let it cool completely on a rack. Before serving, sift a thin layer of powdered sugar over the cake.

 

Takes 11/2 hours, of which only 30 minutes involves doing something.

 

Note: If you don't have an 11-inch pan, use a 9-by-5-inch pan and add 10 to 15 minutes cooking time. From "Basic Baking" by Sebastian Dickhaut, Jennifer Newens and Cornelia Schinharl

 

PRUNE CAKE

12 ounces pitted prunes

2 cups water

5 large eggs

1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil

2 1/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon each ground allspice and nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon each ground cardamom and cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

 

Brandy butter glaze

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1/3 cup brandy, Armagnac, or Cognac

1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup reserved prune liquid

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup standard or Star Bundt pan and set aside. Combine prunes and water in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, until prunes are tender, about 15 minutes. Cool. Drain prunes, reserving 1/4 cup liquid for the glaze. Coarsely chop prunes.

 

In work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. Attach pour shield and change to the paddle attachment. On the lowest speed, add in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beat for a minute, just until evenly combined. Fold in chopped prunes.

 

Scrape batter into pan, smoothing the top. Bake on center rack until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched in center, 65 to 70 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in pan on a wire rack.

 

To make glaze: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring toa boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 2 minutes and remove from heat. Pierce cake in several places with a bamboo skewer; slowly pour hot glaze over the hot cake. Let glaze be absorbed and pour more over top. Let cool 30 minutes in pan. Remove from pan by inverting the cake onto a wire rack; cool completely.

 

QUICK CHOCO PEAR TART

FOR SUDDEN CRAVINGS

Makes 10 to 12 slices

1 sheet (half of a 17.3-ounce package) frozen puff pastry

1 4-serving box chocolate "cook & serve" pudding

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 cups milk (divided)

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 15-ounce can pear halves

 

Follow the package directions for thawing the puff pastry.

 

Thoroughly mix the pudding powder with the sugar and 1/2 cup of the milk. Put the remaining 11/2 cups of milk in a saucepan, add the pudding mixture and stir until smooth. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the pudding mixture to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature; stir the pudding from time to time to help the cooling process.

 

Beat the whipping cream until stiff. Fold the whipped cream, vanilla and cocoa powder into the pudding until the ingredients are well-blended.

 

Drain the pear halves and cut them into slices.

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse a 10- or 11-inch tart pan with cold water and do not dry it.

 

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry so that it will fit the pan, even at its shortest part. Transfer the pastry to the pan, trimming the edges with a small knife. Poke several holes in the bottom of the pastry with a fork, then line the pastry with parchment paper and pie weights (or dried beans). Bake the pastry on the middle oven rack for about 12 minutes. Remove the pastry from the oven, take out the pie weights and parchment paper and let it cool completely.

 

Spoon the chocolate filling into the cooled pastry and top with the sliced pears, arranged in a decorative pattern. Chill for 1 or 2 hours before serving.

 

Time needed: 50 minutes, including 20 active

 

From "Basic Baking" by Sebastian Dickhaut, Jennifer Newens and Cornelia Schinharl

 

RICE MIXES

 

To Use For The Following Mixes

 

Mix 1 cup of any of the rice mixes with 2 cups liquid, either water, juice, broth, or a combination. A tablespoon of butter or margarine is a nice addition. Place the rice, liquid, and butter on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Immediately reduce the heat to very low, cover, and simmer the rice for 10 to 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

 

In a 1 cup container, attach the following directions:

 

Add Rice Mixture to 2 cups liquid, water, juice or broth and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to very low, cover, and simmer the rice for 10 to 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

 

Onion Rice Mix

 

4 cups uncooked rice

1 env. onion soup mix

1/4 cup dried minced onion

1 tablespoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Lemon Dill Rice Mix

 

4 cups uncooked rice

1/4 cup grated lemon peel

1/4 cup powdered chicken soup base

2 tablespoons dill

1 tablespoon chives

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Vegetable Rice Mix

 

4 cups uncooked rice

1 env. vegetable soup mix

2 tablespoons dried minced onion

2 tablespoons dried minced celery

2 tablespoons dried minced pepper

1 tablespoon parsley

1 teaspoon salt

 

 

Spanish Rice Mix

 

4 cups uncooked rice

1/2 cups Mexican seasonings mix (taco seasoning)

1/2 cup dried corn

2 tablespoons parsley

1 tablespoon basil

 

Creamy Herb Rice Mix

 

4 cups uncooked rice

1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk

1/4 cup dried minced celery

2 tablespoons parsley

2 tablespoons thyme

1 tablespoon marjoram

 

Combine the ingredients specified for each mix. Store in different glass

jars or tightly closed containers on pantry shelf for up to 4 months.

 

RICOTTA WALNUT AND CHIVE BUNDLES

Makes 12 rolls

 

3/4 cup ricotta cheese, low-fat or regular

1/3 cup walnut halves

2 ounces Emmentaler or Swiss cheese, shredded

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Pinch of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 sheets phyllo dough

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the ricotta, walnuts and cheese. Pulse to finely chop and combine the ingredients. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, chives and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

 

Cut the phyllo sheets in half crosswise. Place one half sheet on a work surface, keeping the remaining sheets covered with a clean, damp towel so they do not dry out.

 

On half of the sheet, spread one-twelfth of the cheese mixture in a rectangle about 3 inches long and 3/4 inch wide, leaving the bottom edge and side uncovered. Fold the bottom edge over the mixture, then fold in the sides and roll up into a cylinder about 11/2 inches in diameter.

 

Repeat with the remaining sheets and cheese mixture. Alternatively, roll the phyllo around the cheese mixture to desired shape, such as triangles or small bundles.

 

Lightly oil a baking sheet using a small amount of peanut oil.

 

Place the rolls on the baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart. Lightly brush the rolls with the remaining oil.

 

Bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

 

 

 

 

 

ROAST LOIN OF PORK WITH FENNEL

Makes 8 servings

 

I didn't grow up eating pork, so I was pleased to find out how lean and flavorful it was when I made this roast loin of pork. I cooked it the way I cook lots of meats -- roasted with carrots, potatoes and fennel. It's important to let meat rest after it's cooked; you'll find that all meats become juicier and more tender after 15 to 20 minutes. The rub on this comes from my dear friend Anna Pump and her wonderful "Loaves and Fishes Cookbook."

 

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 3-pound boneless pork loin, trimmed and tied

3 small fennel bulbs, tops removed

10 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced diagonally

10 small potatoes, quartered

2 onions, thickly sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

 

With a mortar and pestle or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, grind together the garlic, salt and thyme leaves. Add the mustard and combine. Spread the mixture over the loin of pork and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, cut the fennel bulbs into thick wedges, slicing through the core. Toss the fennel, carrots, potatoes and onions in a bowl with the olive oil, melted butter, salt and pepper.

 

Transfer the vegetables to a large roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes. Add the pork to the pan and continue to cook for another 30 to 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork reads exactly 138 degrees F. (Editor's note: This is safe, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking pork to 160 degrees F; it will be pink.)

 

Remove the meat from the pan and return the vegetables to the oven to keep cooking. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

 

Remove the strings from the meat and slice it thickly. Arrange the meat and vegetables on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

From "Barefoot Contessa Parties!" by Ina Garten

SHRIMP TAPAS

Makes about 32 pieces of shrimp

 

1 pound (about 32) uncooked medium shrimp

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 heaping tablespoons chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Salt for sprinkling

 

Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails intact; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat; do not let brown. Add the chipotle peppers and shrimp. Increase the heat to high.

 

Stirring constantly, cook the shrimp until just firm, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Sprinkle with salt and toss.

 

Put the shrimp and sauce on 8 small plates or one large platter and serve with wooden picks.

 

SMOKED SALMON MOUSSE

Makes about 2 cups

 

14 ounces smoked salmon, divided

1/2 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 lemon

1/4-inch-thick cucumber rounds (1 large cucumber) for serving

 

Roughly chop half of the smoked salmon and place it in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the yogurt, cayenne, paprika and olive oil.

 

Grate the zest of the lemon into the processor bowl, then halve the lemon and squeeze it to measure 2 tablespoons of juice. Add the juice to the bowl and process the ingredients for as long as necessary to form a thin puree.

 

Transfer to a bowl. Chop the remaining salmon and fold in. Place a dollop of the mousse on a cucumber round for serving.

 

SOUR CREAM POPPYSEED BUNDT CAKE

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs, separated

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

Glaze

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon orange liqueur

1/2 cup sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

 

In the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, add egg yolks, vanilla and almond extract; mix to blend.

 

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Attach pour shield and change to paddle attachment. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream to butter mixture. Then add poppyseeds. Set aside.

 

In a clean bowl with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff; fold into batter with a rubber spatula until no white streaks remain. Scrape batter into pan, smoothing the top. Bake on center rack until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched in center, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 15 minutes.

 

To make glaze: Combine all ingredients. Stir.

 

Remove cake from pan by inverting it onto a wire rack placed over a piece of waxed paper. Brush twice with glaze while cake is hot.

 

SPONGE CANDY

 

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of dark corn syrup

1 Tbl. vinegar

1 Tbl. baking soda

 

Combine sugar, syrup and vinegar in a 2 qt. bowl. Cover and microwave on High for 3 minutes. Stir well. Then, microwave uncovered for 4 1/2 to 10 minutes until thickened. Test by dropping a small amount into cold water. If it is not brittle, microwave a little longer. I do mine for 8 minutes. Add baking soda and stir well. The mixture will foam up. Pour into a buttered 9 in. sq. pan. Let stand until firm. Remove from pan and break into pieces. You can also cover with a layer of melted chocolate chips if desired. Melt them in the microwave with a small amount of butter or shortening for 1-2 minutes on medium or medium high.

 

STEAK AU POIVRE CROSTINI

Makes 24 appetizers

 

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup cognac or brandy

1 1/2 cups reduced sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

24 crostini (little toasts)

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

 

In a medium, oven-proof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat. Rub the tenderloin with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pan and sear on all sides until brown, about two minutes per side.

 

Place in the oven and roast until medium-rare, seven to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the beef to a baking sheet to rest. Cover with foil.

 

Meanwhile, reheat the skillet over high heat for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the cognac, return to the heat and ignite. Stand back, and as the flame dies, stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any particles in the bottom of the pan.

 

After the cognac is reduced to 1 tablespoon, add the beef broth, simmering until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy whipping cream; set aside.

 

Using a very sharp knife, slice the tenderloin as thin as possible into 24 pieces. Place one slice on a crostini and top each with the warm sauce.

 

STICK CANDY

(CANDY CANES)

Makes 1 pound - about 33 canes

 

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

1 lemon, peel grated, juice squeezed out and pulp strained

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

A few drops red food coloring

 

In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the corn syrup and water over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil the syrup without stirring until a few drops become brittle in cold water (hard crack stage).

 

Stir in lemon peel and juice. Remove pan from heat. Add the peppermint extract.

 

Using a spiral motion, pour half of the syrup onto a cold oiled platter. Add the red food coloring to the other half of the syrup and pour the red syrup onto another oiled platter.

 

When the syrups have cooled a few minutes, fold the edges of each pool of syrup into the center using a metal scraper. Continue turning the syrup until it is just cool enough to handle.

 

Oil your hands, and starting with the uncolored syrup, lift the syrup with the aid of the scraper and push the syrup into a cylinder. Stretch it. It will be very soft and will sag in the middle when pulled.

 

Gather the syrup back together and pull it again, repeat these steps until the syrup begins to harden and hold its shape when stretched.

 

Fold the pulled syrup in two and twist the two halves together. Pull the twisted syrup to make a long, even rope about 1/2 inch in diameter. Continue to fold, twist and pull the syrup for as long as it is supple, up to 20 minutes.

 

The syrup will change from yellowish and translucent to an opaque, creamy white. Fold the syrup in two and then fold it again. Gently twist the 4 strands together. Pull the strands again, twisting them gently as you pull to make a long, thin rope.

 

Repeat this process with the red syrup. Twist one around the other. Cut the sticks into pieces with oiled scissors. Form them into canes or sticks.

 

SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH

Makes 30 to 35 2 3/4- to 3 1/4-inch cookies

 

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, or 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 cup regular

stick margarine, slightly softened

Scant 1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon milk

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon or almond extract (optional)

Assorted jimmies, colored sugar, or sprinkles for topping (optional)

 

In large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter or butter and margarine and sugar until very light and fluffy.

 

Beat in the egg, milk, vanilla and lemon or almond extract, if using, until very well blended and smooth.

 

Gradually beat or stir in the flour mixture to form a smooth, slightly stiff dough. If it seems soft, stir in up to 3 tablespoons more flour.

 

Let the dough stand for about five minutes, or until firmed up slightly.

 

Divide the dough in half. Place each portion between large sheets of wax paper. Roll out the portions a scant 1/4 inch thick; check the underside of the dough and smooth out any wrinkles that form. Stack the rolled portions (paper still attached) on a baking sheet.

 

Refrigerate the dough for 45 minutes, or until chilled and firm, or freeze for 25 minutes to speed chilling.

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray.

 

Working with one portion at a time and leaving the remaining dough chilled, gently peel away, then pat one sheet of wax paper back into place. Flip the dough over, then peel off and discard the second sheet. Using assorted 21/2- to 3-inch cutters, cut out the cookies.

 

(If at any point the dough softens too much to handle easily, transfer the paper and cookies to a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm again.)

 

Using a spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Reroll any dough scraps. Continuing cutting out the cookies until all the dough is used. Sprinkle cookies with jimmies, colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired, patting down lightly.

 

Or add dry stenciling, faux etching, or other decorations, if desired.

 

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for eight to 11 minutes, or until lightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges.

 

Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, one to two minutes.

 

Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled.

 

Decorate previously undecorated cookies with icing, glaze or wet stenciling, if desired.

 

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks or freeze up to two months.

 

SWEETEN THE HOLIDAYS

WITH HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CANDY

CHERI SWOBODA

 

Homemade candies, so small and sweet, are bite-size wonders. They're the perfect adornment for a party tray, a festive gift for friends and neighbors or a little reward for yourself.

 

The best candy is made with the finest -- and freshest -- ingredients, whether they're nuts, candied fruit, liqueurs or chocolate.

 

Especially with chocolate, it's important to buy a quality brand that offers maximum flavor, texture and aroma. But the many different varieties on the market can be confusing.

 

Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate are interchangeable in most recipes. However, unsweetened -- also called baking -- chocolate cannot be substituted for bitter or semisweet.

 

Milk chocolate, the sweetest variety of chocolate, is made with dry milk solids. This added protein means milk chocolate cannot be substituted for semisweet or bittersweet.

 

White chocolate is not true chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor, which is the essence of chocolate's flavor. While some brands of white chocolate contain cocoa butter, which is derived from the cacao bean, it is usually mixed with sugar, vanilla and milk solids and has little chocolate flavor. If cocoa butter isn't listed, the product must be labeled "white confectionery coating."

 

Cocoa powder is an unsweetened powder obtained from the roasted cacao bean after the cocoa fat has been extracted. There are two types of cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-process, which is darker and richer. Dutch-process cocoa has been treated with alkali to help neutralize its acidity; for this reason, it is rarely used interchangeably with natural cocoa.

 

Couverture is a type of chocolate used by baking professionals as a thin, glossy coating. It is found only in candy-making specialty shops.

 

Chocolate can be melted in several ways:

 

in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat (be sure not to allow condensation to get into the chocolate);

 

combined with some of the liquid from your recipe, such as butter or cream, in a heavy-bottomed pan set over lowest heat;

 

in the microwave (check and stir frequently to prevent scorching).

 

When making sugar-syrup-type candy such as fudge, caramels, divinity, taffy or peanut brittle, it's helpful to use a candy thermometer. Most candy thermometers are in the shape of a clear glass tube with a bulb at the end, or a dial gauge. Look for one with readable numbers and an adjustable clip so that it can be attached to the side of the pan.

 

Now, that you've got the right ingredients and equipment, you're ready to get started in the kitchen. The accompanying recipes are easy to make, store and serve.

 

Florida Orange Melts, made with orange liqueur, are touted as "Florida's answer to Kentucky's bourbon balls."

 

Florentine Toffee, rich with honey and almonds, can be made in mini-sized muffin pans for individual pieces.

 

White Chocolate Hazelnut Apricot Clusters combines three major food groups -- white chocolate, nuts and dried fruit!

 

Make them all, or make just one. They're perfect for this season of sharing. You can reach Cheri Swoboda at 503-221-8377 or by e-mail at cheriswoboda@news.oregonian.com.

 

THIMBLE COOKIES

Makes 120 to 150 cookies

8 ounces cool, unsalted butter, cut into pieces (2 sticks; NO SUBSTITUTES)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel (yellow part only)

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

21/4 cups all-purpose flour

Colored sugars of your choice

 

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer) until smooth. With the mixer running at low speed, add the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon peel and juice, baking powder and flour and mix until smooth. Form the dough into 2 disks, wrap them separately in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour. (The recipe can be made up to this point and kept refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

 

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to a little less than 1/4 inch thick.

 

Using a thimble, and dipping it in flour often to keep the cookies from sticking, cut out tiny rounds of dough. Carefully transfer to the cookie sheets. Reroll the scraps once and cut out more cookies, then discard the scraps (they will become tough if you keep rerolling them).

 

Sprinkle the tops with plain or colored sugars, then press the sugar lightly into the cookie with your thumbs. Bake until light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

 

Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Let the cookies cool on wire racks and store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week. From "Just a Bite" by Gale Gand

 

TINY PARMESAN SHORTBREADS

Makes 40 rounds

 

1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper or more to taste

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Shortening for baking sheet

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, butter and Parmesan. Pulse to form a smooth dough.

 

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 40 rounds with a 11/2-inch pastry cutter or biscuit cutter.

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with shortening. Place the dough rounds on the baking sheet 3/4 inches apart and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

 

Use the rounds as a base for your favorite hors d'oeuvres.

 

TOMATO BASIL AND OLIVE TARTLETS

Makes about 60 tartlets

 

Shortening for baking sheet

4 ounces Emmentaler cheese, grated to yield 1 1/3 cups (see cook's note)

3 medium, vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, divided

2 ounces (about 25) black olives, pitted and thinly sliced into strips

3 large eggs

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Favorite 1 1/2-inch tartlet shells such as phyllo shells (see cook's note)

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

In a medium bowl, toss together the cheese, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the basil and the olives.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk. Add the salt and pepper.

 

Place the tartlet shells on a lightly greased baking sheet. Fill each shell with about 1 teaspoon of the tomato mixture and top each with 2 teaspoons of the egg mixture. (For easier filling, pour the mixture from a glass measure.)

 

Bake until the filling is golden and set, about 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through for even browning. Transfer the tartlets to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle the tartlets with the remaining basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Cook's note: Emmentaler is a cow's-milk cheese with a nutty, mild flavor. Any Swiss-style cheese with small holes may be substituted. Miniature phyllo shells work well. Look for them in your grocery's freezer section.

 

UNO MAS QUESADILLAS

Makes 32 wedges

 

Salsa:

3/4 cup seeded and finely chopped plum tomatoes

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup favorite picante sauce

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

 

Quesadillas:

8 flour tortillas (6 inches in diameter), divided

1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

In a strainer set over a bowl, place the tomatoes and sprinkle with the kosher salt; let sit. In a medium bowl, mix together the black beans, picante sauce, parsley, red onion, lime juice, oregano and garlic. Add the tomatoes and stir until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Place four tortillas on a work surface. Sprinkle each with about 2 tablespoons of cheese or more as desired.

 

Top each with 1 tablespoon of the green onion slices. Season with black pepper. Cover each with the remaining tortillas and press down gently.

 

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. When hot, add the quesadillas to the skillet and cook until crispy golden brown, about two minutes on each side. Remove and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool slightly. Cut each into eight wedges.

 

Top the wedges with the salsa or serve it on the side.

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT

APRICOT CLUSTERS

Makes about 36 candies

 

White chocolate, toasted hazelnuts and sweet dried apricots make mouthwatering clusters. Use other nuts and candied or dried fruits to make other different-tasting ones.

 

8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup toasted and skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped, chilled (see note)

1 cup roughly chopped dried apricots, at room temperature

 

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water, stirring often with a rubber spatula. Take the double boiler off the burner, take off the top pan and place it over a larger bowl with about 1 inch of cool water. Gently stir the chocolate to reduce the temperature to 92 degrees F, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to allow any water to mix with the chocolate. To test if the chocolate is at the right temperature, use a candy or instant-read thermometer or place a dab below your lower lip. The chocolate should feel comfortable, not hot and not cold. When it reaches this temperature, replace the pan of chocolate over the pan of warm water.

 

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Thoroughly mix the hazelnuts and dried apricots together in a bowl, then stir them into the chocolate, coating them completely. Using a spoon, form 1-inch-diameter clusters and place them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set the clusters.

 

Place the clusters in paper candy cups and serve at room temperature. Store the clusters between layers of wax paper in an airtight container wrapped with aluminum foil in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 

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

 

WONTON WONDERS

Makes 48 appetizers

 

12 wonton wrappers (3 by 3 1/2 inches), cut into quarters

Vegetable oil to brush on wontons, about 2 tablespoons

6 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 pound (3 medium) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, washed, patted dry

1/4 cup Major Grey's chutney

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt

3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons green curry paste

1/4 cup chopped green onions for garnish

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

 

Place the wonton wrappers on a work surface and brush lightly with the oil. Mold the wontons, oiled side up, into the bottoms of miniature (1-inch) muffin tins. Bake until light brown, about five minutes.

 

Remove from oven, let cool slightly and remove from the muffin tins. Cool on a wire rack. Place on a baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap until ready to assemble.

 

In a medium saucepan, heat the water and 11/2 teaspoons kosher salt over medium heat. Just before the water comes to a boil, add the chicken and simmer until cooked through, about 12 minutes.

 

Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry. Cool the chicken slightly, then finely chop and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. In a medium bowl mix together the chutney, yogurt, peanut butter, lime juice and curry paste. Add the chicken and mix well.

 

Refrigerate until slightly chilled.

 

To assemble: Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the chicken mixture in each wonton cup and garnish with green onions. Serve at room temperature.

 

Cook's note: The wonton cups can be baked up to three days in advance and stored in an airtight container. The chicken mixture can be made up to a day in advance. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. The wonton cups can be filled up to an hour in advance.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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