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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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







































































4 Chicken Breast 1/2" thick(maybe frozen)

Chicken Breast should be skinless and boneless

Honey Mustard

6 Pieces of Bacon Sliced in Half and Fried Crisp

1/2 tsp McCormick Season All

1 C. Sliced Mushrooms (Canned or In Jar) drained

3 C. Shredded Colby/Monterey Jack Cheese

Parsley for Garnish

Rub chicken breast with Seasonal All and set aside to marinated for 1 hr.

While the breast is marinating fry bacon crisp and drain. Shred cheese and

set aside. Gather all other items together and make ready for the preparation. Take chicken from marinate and sauté on medium heat in pan with just enough oil to prevent sticking. Cook on both sides until a slight golden color and cooked in the middle but not dry. Remove from pan. Spread chicken breast with honey mustard, cover with a layer of mushrooms, three slices of bacon and then sprinkle with shredded Colby/jack cheese, chicken should be covered with shredded cheese. Pop in heated oven at 350 degree's or a micro just until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with parsley and extra honey mustard may be served on the side.

Honey Mustard

1/2 C. Prepared Salad Mustard

1/4 C. Honey

1/4 C. Light Corn Syrup

1/4 C. Mayonnaise

Blend all together until completely until smooth and free from lumps. The

corn syrup may be adjusted depended on how sharp the mustard might be or to

your taste.


3 cups Bran Chex Cereal -- any bran cereal will work

1 cup Water, boiling

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

2 Eggs -- *or Soy Mixture below

2 1/2 cups Flour

1 1/2 cups Sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda

2 cups Milk, skim -- *or Rice/Soy Milk

1 cup Apple Slices -- cooked or canned

In large bowl, combine cereal and boiling water. Stir in shortening and eggs, using a wire whisk. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 - 22 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm. (Batter may be stored in refrigerator up to 6 weeks)

*Egg Substitute: Mix 1 heaping Tbsp. Soy Flour with 1 Tbsp. Water, to

replace each egg in a recipe, when baking. RF4RP


4 medium Apples, peeled -- sliced 1/3" thick

1 tablespoon Butter or Margarine

1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed

1/3 cup Nuts -- chopped

1 box Cake Mix -- Spice flavor

1 cup Water

1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs -- or egg whites

Prepare apples. Line the bottom of the Dutch oven with aluminum foil. Melt

butter and pour on bottom of Dutch oven. Spread brown sugar evenly over the

bottom. Arrange apple slices in rows. Sprinkle with nuts and cherries. In

separate bowl, combine cake mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs, mixing for 3

minutes on medium-high speed. Pour over apple slices. Bake, uncovered for

40 to 50 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.


(White Rice With Fried Plantains)

Makes 8 servings


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

11/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

2 cups white rice, uncooked

4 cups chicken broth, heated

2 sprigs fresh hierbabuena (mint) or 2 tablespoons mint leaves

Salt and pepper


1 pound ripe plantains, peeled

1 cup vegetable oil


To make rice: In a heavy 4-quart stockpot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion and fry until soft and clear, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to fry for another 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir well.


Fry slowly without moving it too much, about 10 minutes. Stir in the hot chicken broth and the hierbabuena or mint. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the broth is absorbed. Do not peek at or stir the rice during the cooking process.


To make plantains: Cut the plantains in half. Cut each half lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 4 to 5 slices). In an 8-inch cast-iron frying pan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the plantains and fry 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.


Mound the rice on a plate or a platter and serve with the fried plantains on top.

"Seasons of My Heart, A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico" by Susana Trilling


1 1/2 pounds Chicken -- boneless

Nonstick Spray Coating

2 tablespoons Nonfat Milk

2 tablespoons Onion Powder

1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme -- crushed

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt

1/8 teaspoon White Pepper

1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper

1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper

Remove skin from chicken. Rinse chicken, pat dry. Spray a 13 by 9 by 2 inch

baking dish with nonstick coating. Arrange the chicken, meaty sides up, in dish. Brush with milk. In small bowl mix onion powder, thyme, garlic salt, white pepper, red pepper, and black pepper. Sprinkle over chicken. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink.


Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound small white button mushrooms, cut in half (about 3 cups; divided)

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried leaf oregano, crushed

2 teaspoons dried leaf basil, crushed

6 cups fat-free chicken broth

1 cup pearl barley

2 bay leaves

3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup pinot noir wine or chicken broth

1 pound fat-reduced kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices


In a large pot with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add half of mushrooms (about 11/2 cups), onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oregano and basil; sauté for 2 more minutes. Stir in chicken broth, barley and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook 25 minutes.


Mix in carrots, wine and remaining 11/2 cups of mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add sausage and cook 5 minutes longer. Remove bay leaves. Ladle stew into bowls and serve.



Makes 8 servings


Here's an updated version of the refreshing chiffon pie, using garnet-red blood orange juice and a chocolate crumb crust. Blood oranges are at their peak during January and February, but you may substitute navel oranges if you like. Chiffon pie recipes used to have beaten raw egg whites for volume, but in this recipe, whipped cream is substituted and the egg yolks are cooked.

Chocolate Crumb Crust:

11/2 cups chocolate wafer or chocolate graham cracker crumbs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (3/4 stick)

1/4 cup granulated sugar


1/4 cup water

21/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) unflavored gelatin

1 cup granulated sugar (divided)

1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice (2 oranges)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)

4 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon freshly grated blood orange peel (orange part only; 1 or 2 oranges) 11/4 cups whipping cream Whipped Cream Topping (recipe follows)

6 to eight 3-inch strips of blood orange peel (orange part only), for garnish


To make crust: In a medium-sized bowl, mix the crumbs, melted butter and sugar until well-combined. Press firmly and evenly into an unbuttered 9-inch pie pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.


To make filling: Pour the water into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let stand for 5 minutes, or until the gelatin softens. Add 3/4 cup sugar with the orange juice, lemon juice, egg yolks and orange peel and whisk well.


Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to heavily coat the spatula (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the mixture will read 185 degrees). Do not allow the mixture to boil or the yolks will curdle. Strain through a wire sieve into a medium bowl to remove any bits of cooked egg whites.


Refrigerate uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture is cooled but not set and thick enough to form a small mound when dropped from a spoon, about 45 minutes. Be sure not to let the orange mixture set completely when chilling. Frequent stirring helps you keep an eye on its progress.


In a chilled medium bowl, beat the cream with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar just until soft peaks form. Do not over-beat or the cream won't fold smoothly into the lemon juice mixture. Fold the whipped cream into the orange juice mixture. Pour into the crust and cover with plastic wrap.


Refrigerate until the filling is chilled and completely set, at least 2 hours. (The pie can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.)


To serve, place a dollop (or pipe large rosettes) of whipped cream around the edge of the filling. Tie the orange peel strips into an overhand knot and garnish each dollop with a knot.


Lime or lemon variation: Instead of making crust with chocolate crumbs, use vanilla wafers or regular graham crackers. Substitute 3/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice for the blood orange/lemon juice combination and 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon or lime peel for the blood orange peel. Garnish with strips of lemon or lime peel.


Whipped Cream Topping


1 cup whipping cream (see note)

1 tablespoon granulated or powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


In a chilled medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed or a whisk, beat the cream, adding the sugar at the beginning of the whipping (so it has time to dissolve). Adjust sweetness as desired. Add vanilla and continue beating just until stiff peaks begin to form. Cover and refrigerate. (The whipped cream can be prepared ahead, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.) Makes about 21/2 cups.


Notes: Be sure the cream and bowl are well-chilled -- cold helps stabilize the cream and give it more body. If you have time, freeze the cream in the bowl (with the beaters or whisk, if you remember) for a few minutes before whipping.


Note: For the best flavor, use pasteurized (not ultrapasteurized) heavy cream, available at natural food markets and dairy stores.

Adapted from "The Baker's Dozen Cookbook" edited by Rick Rodgers


Makes 6 servings


Accompany these chops with sweet potatoes, and a broccoli-cauliflower-carrot combination. Ice cream for dessert would be a fine finish.

6 4-ounce boneless pork chops

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup beef broth (divided)

1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

1/3 cup evaporated skim milk

1/3 cup nonfat sour cream

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork chops; cover and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.


In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the broth and the barbecue sauce. Pour over pork chops; cover tightly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in center, or registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove pork chops from skillet; cover.


In same small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup broth, milk, sour cream and flour; beat until smooth. Pour into same skillet; cook and stir over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly and thickened. Serve over pork chops.


From "Pillsbury 30-Minute Meals"









1 to 2 cups cooked ham

2 (6-ounce) boxes Betty Crocker hash brown potatoes

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

3 cups milk

1 cup Bisquick

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs


Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Mix ham, potatoes, bell pepper, onion and 1 cup of the cheese. Spread in baking dish.


Stir milk, Bisquick, salt and eggs until blended. Pour over potato mixture.


Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours, no longer than 24 hours.


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover casserole and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges and cheese is melted.


Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Yield: 36 servings


8 oz Semi sweet Chocolate

1/4 c Margarine or butter

2/3 c Corn syrup light

2 Eggs; slightly beaten

1/4 ts Salt

4 c Oats old fashioned

2/3 c Brown sugar; firm pack

1 c Walnuts; coarsely chopped


In 2 quart saucepan, stir chocolate and butter over low heat just until chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Stir in corn syrup, eggs and salt. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour chocolate mix over dry ingredients and mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350~ for 15 minutes. Cookie will not change much during baking. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove; cool completely. For Chocolate Dipped Gems: Dip half of each cookie in 4 oz. melted semi sweet or German chocolate.


12 ounces Egg Noodles -- un-cooked

1 1/2 pounds Lean Ground Beef

1 medium Onion -- chopped

2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 cup Sour Cream

2 teaspoons Dill Weed

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

In a large skillet, brown lean ground beef with chopped onion. Drain any grease from mixture, and set aside. Cook egg noodles in Dutch oven size pan, according to package directions for firm noodles (about 5 minutes). Rinse noodles, and return to pan. Add ground beef mixture and all remaining

ingredients. Mix well, and heat mixture on low for 10 minutes to let flavors blend.



Makes 8 servings


When preparing Byaldi, the zucchini, eggplant and yellow squash should be sliced paper-thin. If you use a mandoline, place it on a towel to prevent it from slipping.


1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sliced onion

1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/4-inch strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut in 1/4-inch strips

1 green bell pepper, cut in 1/4-inch strips

Herb sachet (2 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs parsley and 1 bay leaf, tied together in a

cheesecloth bundle)

Coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 to 11/2 cups thinly sliced zucchini rounds

1 to 11/2 cups thinly sliced Japanese eggplant rounds

1 to 11/2 cups thinly sliced yellow squash rounds

6 small tomatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 275 degrees.


Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Add the onion, red, yellow and green peppers and the herb sachet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the sachet and spread the mixture in an even layer in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet or round baking dish.


Arrange the sliced zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes over the onion and peppers, beginning at the outside of the pan and working toward the center, alternating and overlapping them.


Mix the garlic, olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle over the vegetables. Cover with foil, crimping the edges to seal, or with a tight-fitting lid, and bake for 21/2 hours.


Remove the lid and check the vegetables (the eggplant will take the longest to cook): They should have softened and be almost cooked. Return to the oven, uncovered, and cook until very tender, an additional 30 minutes. The dish can be served immediately or cooled to room temperature and then refrigerated until ready to use, preferably within a day or two.


Easy Bake Oven

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup white sugar

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 drops of vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour

miniature chocolate chips

Mix the ingredients together, except the chocolate chips. Mixture will be

dry so add some milk until you get a cookie dough consistency. Then stir in

chocolate chips. Cook on lightly greased pan.


Source: www.melborponsti.com

3 c Chokecherry juice

1 pk Commercial pectin

1 c White corn syrup

3 c Sugar

Dissolve pectin in juice. Add corn syrup and bring to boil. Add sugar and

boil 2 minutes. Seal in hot sterilized jars and process in boiling water

bath for 8 minutes.



1 eggplant (1 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch chunks

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch chunks

2 large garlic cloves, minced

4 cups 3/4-inch zucchini chunks

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium Italian-style tomatoes with juice

1/4 cup tomato paste

3/4 cup vegetable broth or water

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

3/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional


Spread eggplant on a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons water. Cover with wax paper. Microwave on high two minutes. Stir to redistribute eggplant.


Re-cover and microwave one to two minutes longer or until pieces are just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain off all liquid. Pat dry with paper towels.


In a 12-inch, deep-sided, nonstick sauté pan or 4-quart pot over medium-high heat, combine oil, onions, bell peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring, about five minutes or until onions are limp and beginning to brown.


Add zucchini, parsley and eggplant to skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, five minutes longer.


Coarsely chop tomatoes and add them and their juices to pan.


In a small bowl, stir together tomato paste, vegetable broth, sugar, marjoram and black pepper until well-blended. Stir tomato paste mixture into pan.


Adjust heat so mixture simmers gently. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and flavors well-blended. Stir in salt, if desired.








1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

3 tbsp Sugar

3 tbsp butter, Melted


2 oz Unsweetened Baking Chocolate

2 tbsp butter

16 oz Cream Cheese, Softened

1 1/4 cup Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

5 Large Eggs

1 1/3 cup Flaked Coconut (3.5 oz Can)

1 cup Sour Cream

2 tbsp Sugar

2 tbsp Brandy


Combine crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake at 350 degrees F., 10 minutes. Melt chocolate and butter over low heat; stirring until smooth. Combine cream cheese, sugar and salt; mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in chocolate mixture and coconut; pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees F., 55 to 60 minutes or until set.

Combine sour cream, sugar and brandy; spread over cheesecake. Bake at 300 degrees F., 5 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.


If you want to prepare your own crab, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the crab. If the crab has been kept cold, it is easier to get into the pot.

Bring the water back to a boil. Cook a 1- to 2-pound crab for 10-12 minutes, until it turns pink. When you remove the crab from the water, lift up the back a bit to make sure its gills are no longer black. Let the crab cool slightly, resting on its back.


When cool enough to handle, pull off the tail section and discard it, along with the intestinal vein. Turn the crab over, grab the large top shell from underneath and snap it off. Remove the spongy gills and other organs. This is a messy job, so it's a good idea to work at the sink and rinse the crab with cold water as you proceed.


Before serving, snap the legs off the body and break the body into sections. Take each leg and bend it backward at the joints until it cracks. Then tap with a mallet along the length of the leg. A nutcracker works well, too.


Serve with lemon wedges and a couple of sauces for dipping, and you're set.

-- Aleta Watson


Serves 6

For rémoulade

1 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/3 cup green onions, finely chopped

1/3 cup celery, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

For crab cakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 green onions, thinly sliced

3/4 cup celery, chopped

1 cup saltine crackers, finely crushed

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 eggs, well-beaten

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 pound fresh cooked crabmeat

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

4 tablespoons vegetable oil or unsalted butter


To make rémoulade: Stir all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


To make crab cakes: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan over low heat. Add green onions and celery. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer celery and onions to a bowl and let cool. Discard butter.


To the cooled onion-celery mixture, add crushed saltines, mustard, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, mayonnaise, parsley, crabmeat, salt and pepper. Mix well. If mixture seems too wet to hold its shape, add bread crumbs (about 1/2 cup) as needed to absorb the moisture. Shape mixture into six cakes, each 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.


Place remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl and dredge cakes lightly in crumbs.


Warm 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil or melt 2 tablespoons butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add half the crab cakes and saute, turning once, until golden brown -- about 3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer cakes to paper towels to drain. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining crab cakes and oil or butter. Serve immediately with rémoulade.


From ``Williams-Sonoma Guide to Good Cooking''


Dungeness at its best



Let Maine boast of lobsters, Florida of stone crabs, Louisiana of crawfish. Northern California has Dungeness crab, a celebrated crustacean that rivals them all.


Plucked straight from the Pacific, cooked, cleaned and cracked within hours, Dungeness crab is one of the region's greatest contributions to good eating. Long before Northern California became a culinary mecca, food lovers reveled in the meaty Dungeness with its sweet, moist flesh and briny tang.


Now is the time to savor this hard-shelled gift from the sea. Although the Northern California season legally runs from mid-November to June, the commercial supply starts tapering off later this month, when the catch dwindles and crabbers begin shifting their sights to other species. Even though the crabbers' strike in the first weeks of this season pushed prices up, the best buys -- and the freshest crab -- should be available about now.


Of course, you can get Dungeness nearly year-round now, but it's worth waiting for the local season to get the sweetest crab.


The crab, which gets its name from a small fishing village on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, is found from Alaska to Santa Barbara. Alaska opens its season first, in the summer. Washington and Oregon follow. California, where Dungeness was a $13.5 million industry in 2000, is the last.


During the earlier seasons, fresh crabs are flown in from the north. But those imported crabs are never quite as tasty. And frozen crab is hardly worth considering.


Michael Sabella, whose great-grandfather began fishing out of San Francisco in the late 1880s, grew up eating crab and working in his family's Fisherman's Wharf restaurant. He contends that local crab is the best because it's hauled in by small day boats, which must return every day from fishing the frigid waters off the Farallon Islands.


``They're fresher, they're more alive'' said Sabella, who owns Sabella's Italian Market and delicatessen on West Portal Avenue in San Francisco.


``Some people tank them and feed them,'' he noted, ``but then you lose all the wildness of the crab.''


When crab is that fresh and sweet, there's only one way to eat it: right out of the shell. No crab Louis, crab cakes or even cioppino for me when local Dungeness is in the market. I see no point in diluting the extraordinary flavor of fresh crab with other ingredients.


Besides, with the price of Dungeness running from $8 to $12 a crab (or $3.99 to $5.99 per pound) at supermarkets, who wants to offer competition to the sweet, tender meat?


For an unparalleled feast, I just spread the table with newspapers to catch all the drips and flying shells and then pile freshly boiled crabs in the middle. One crab for every two people is about right unless you're famished.


Armed with a slender fork to tease the last morsel of meat out of the claws, I'm in heaven.


A squeeze of lemon is a nice accompaniment, but the traditional melted butter is too close to the buttery richness of the crab for me. I'm a convert to the tangy, slightly acid Asian-style dipping sauces recommended by a friend who's obsessed with crab.


A big round loaf of sourdough and a bottle of dry riesling complete the meal. A green salad is nice, but not essential.


Purists get their crabs alive so they can cook, clean and crack them at home. I understand the impulse, but it makes me queasy. I'd probably be a vegetarian if I had to confront all my meals eye to eye. So I usually get my crab freshly cooked from a reliable fishmonger.


If you're feeling especially self-indulgent, you might consider Sabella's garlic roasted crab. He gives the naked crab a generous cloak of butter and a bit of a kick from garlic and Pernod. The recipe is fairly simple, and gives the crab star billing. To make it easier, I ask my fishmonger to blanch and clean the crab for me.


Still, some people feel incomplete as cooks if they haven't done something to dress up their food. For these people, there are crab cakes.


We offer here a tried-and-true version of crab cakes for those who must mess with their ingredients. Unlike many such recipes, this one is more crab than filler and the cakes come out crunchy on the outside and moist inside.


However you eat your Dungeness, do it soon, before local crabs no longer can be found in the market. You can't really call yourself a Northern Californian until you've experienced the region's revered shellfish.


Know your crustaceans: a diner's guide, BY KRISTIN EDDY, Chicago Tribune

Here are some common labels applied to crabs:


Atlantic Blue: Among the best-known crab types, these can be found from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico. The largest concentrations are in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico. These crabs get their name from the blue color on the males' claws. The firm, sweet meat is equally good served hot or cold. Whole blue crabs may be steamed in bulk, cracked and picked, but the classic mid-Atlantic steamed crab recipe calls for them to be cooked with liberal doses of Old Bay seasoning, which is licked off the fingers as the crab meat is extracted from the shell and eaten.


Dungeness: These crabs can be found from the Aleutian Islands to Southern California and are at the peak of their season from mid-November to February. The meat is very sweet and feathery. The shelled meat is best served cold.


Jonah, rock or peekytoe: These are various names for a kind of crab found primarily from eastern Canada to Cape Cod. They have large claws and knuckles, which are the major source of their meat.


King: These large crabs are found in the northern Pacific, from Alaska to Russia and Japan. The crabs usually are broken into sections, glazed in brine and frozen before shipping.


She-crabs: Have you ever seen ``she-crab'' soup on a menu? You will if you travel to Charleston, S.C., where it's a popular specialty. It simply means soup made with female blue crabs and their roe, which gives the soup a pink tinge.


Soft-shell: Blue crabs that have shed their winter shell and not yet grown a new, hard shell for the summer. The season begins in April, but consumers usually don't see fresh soft-shell crabs until June. The crabs are ``dressed,'' or cleaned, by having the eyes and gills removed. After that, every bit of the crab may be eaten. They are preferably served pan-fried or deep-fried; they do not take well to boiling, steaming or grilling. The yellow matter in a cooked soft-shell is the liver and may be eaten.


Stone: In season from October to May, these hardy crabs are harvested off Florida and Texas. The crabs are pulled from the sea, shorn of one claw and returned to the water, where a claw grows anew in 1 year to 18 months. Claw sizes are classified from medium (about seven claws to a pound) to the far rarer colossal (one or two claws to a pound). Stone crabs are purchased already cooked and chilled.



2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup eggnog

1/2 cup butter -- melted

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons rum extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350º F.

2. Grease bottom of bread pan.

3. Beat eggs, add sugar, eggnog, butter, rum and vanilla.

4. Blend well, add flour, baking powder and nutmeg.

5. Stir until just moistened.

6. Pour into greased pan.

7. Bake at 350º F for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

8. Cool 10 minutes.

9. Remove from pan.

10. Cool bread completely before slicing.


Makes 4 servings

12 ounces fresh or frozen peeled, deveined shrimp

6 ounces dried plain and/or spinach fettuccine

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (6 ounces)

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules

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

11/2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (see note)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley


Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Cut shrimp in half lengthwise; set aside.


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.


Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook mushrooms, onion and garlic in hot oil until onion is tender.


In a small mixing bowl, stir together wine, bouillon granules, basil, oregano, cornstarch and pepper. Add to mushroom mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.


Add shrimp to mushroom mixture. Cover and simmer about 2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in tomatoes; heat through.


Spoon the shrimp mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and parsley. Toss to coat.


Note: To peel tomatoes, plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into cold water. Skins should slip off easily.



Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

12 extra-large eggs, well-beaten

6 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon white truffle-flavored olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Freshly ground black pepper



Melt butter in a heavy non-stick saucepan over very low heat. Add eggs and fontina and cook, stirring and scraping continuously with a wooden spoon, until eggs achieve a very thick, almost custard-like consistency, 7-10 minutes. Stir in white truffle oil.


Spoon eggs onto heated plates; garnish with chives. Pass a pepper mill and salt for guests to add to taste.



1/2 cup -boiling water

1 (4oz.) bar sweet cooking chocolate (Baker's German Chocolate is good)

1 cup Butter

2 cup Sugar

4 Eggs; separated

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 cup Cake flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp -salt

1 cup Buttermilk



1 cup Evaporated milk

1 cup Sugar

3 Egg yolks

1/2 cup Butter

1 tsp Vanilla

1 1/3 cup Flaked coconut

1 ci[ Pecans; chopped


CAKE: Pour boiling water over chocolate in small bowl; stir until melted. Set aside to cool. In large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add egg yolks 1 at a time, beat after each addition. On low speed beat in chocolate and sifted dry ingredients, beating whites. Divide among 3 (8 or 9 inch) greased and floured cake pans or line greased pans with waxed paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Frost with Coconut-Pecan Frosting.

ICING: Combine all but coconut and pecans in saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat until thick, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans. Spread between and on top of cooled cake layers.







Yield: 12 servings


1 pkg German chocolate cake mix

2/3 cup Evaporated milk

3/4 cup Margarine; melted

16 oz Bag caramels

1 cup Pecans; chopped

8 oz Chocolate chips


Combine cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and melted margarine. Spread half of mixture in bottom of 9 x 13" cake pan. Bake 5 minutes at 350~F. Heat the caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk until melted. On the baked layer, spread the pecans and chocolate chips and the melted caramels and milk mixture. Top with the other half of cake batter. Bake 20 minutes at 350~F.


1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons mirin (see Note)

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons chopped scallions


Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.


Note: You can substitute 3 tablespoons dry sherry with 2 tablespoons sugar for mirin.


1 3/4 cups Vegetable Oil

1 2/3 cups Honey

4 teaspoons Molasses

3/4 teaspoon Salt

1 tablespoon Cinnamon

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar -- (optional)

dry mixture:

19 cups Rolled Oats


16 cups Oats -- AND

3 cups Whole Wheat Flakes

3 cups any of the following:

Chopped Almonds

Shredded Coconut



Place all ingredients for the wet mixture in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat just until they can all be stirred together. Do Not Boil. While wet mixture is warming, mix dry ingredients together in a large stainless steel bowl. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until dry ingredients are coated well. Spread mixture onto large cookie sheets and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour, checking and stirring every 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and continue to stir mixture every 10 minutes while cooling. Store in airtight containers in a cool dry place. Use within 6 to 8 months.



1 1/2 pkg graham crackers, crushed

1/3 cup sugar

6 tbsp butter, melted

1 lg can pineapple, crushed

Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter, and pat into bottom and sides of spring-form pan. Top with the drained, crushed pineapple. Freeze.



32 oz cream cheese, unwrapped and warmed in microwave 2 minutes

3/4 cup sugar

5 jumbo eggs, shelled and warmed in microwave 25 seconds

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 tsp orange peel, grated

Beat cheese until light. Add sugar and beat again. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven with a pan of water on the bottom shelf (cake on middle shelf) for 1 hour or until cheesecake is firm on edges and still soft in middle. Run a knife around edge and cool 30 minutes.


1 1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup coconut

2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

1/2 cup grapes

1 can mandarin oranges, drained



2 cups all Bran

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup Whole wheat flour (stone ground)

1 cup whole rolled oats

2 cups walnuts halves & quarters

1 cup almonds whole

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins

Mix all the above in a large mixing bowl.

2 cups water

1 cup powdered milk

2 cups well-beaten eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

Add the water to the powdered milk. Add eggs and vanilla. Pour liquids into above dry ingredients and mix well.


5 well-mashed bananas

4-5 Tbsp honey

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or corn oil margarine, melted

Fold in bananas, honey, and butter. Let set for 20 minutes. Spray 2 cookie sheets very well with Pam or similar product Drop batter tablespoon size onto cookie sheet. Do not press down. Bake at 350 degrees until bottoms turn a golden brown. Do not over-bake or try to get the tops brown. After cooling place in a covered canister and keep in the fridge. Yield 4 dozen. Enjoy!


Makes 4 servings


The Heathman Hotel Restaurant is famous for its great soups. Liz Ozanich, Heathman's chef de cuisine, created this recipe, which she says is perfect in January, when all of the citrus varieties used in this recipe are available.


2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice (6 oranges)

Peel from 2 lemons (preferably Meyer)

3 cups water

1 cup filtered or regular honey

1 stalk lemon grass, sliced (both green and white parts)

2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

2 sprigs fresh mint, julienned (divided)

2 blood oranges

1 pink grapefruit

2 tangerines

1 pomegranate

In a non-aluminum saucepan on medium-high heat, reduce fresh orange juice to a syrup. Length of time will depend on the stove and the pan.


Meanwhile, remove yellow peel from lemons, being careful not to get any of the white pith. Cut peel in julienne strips. In a separate saucepan combine water, honey, lemon peel, lemon grass, coriander seeds and 1 sprig of mint. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and stir until smooth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Cool the strained liquid completely.


Cut the skin away from the oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, cut between membranes and remove the segments. Break open the pomegranate and remove the seeds. Keep seeds in a separate bowl.


Add the segments and orange syrup to the cooled liquid. Divide soup into eight bowls. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and julienned mint.


Yield: 15 servings

6 Tbsp Butter

3/4 cup Light brown sugar

1 Egg

1 Tbsp Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

1 cup Flour

1/2 tsp Soda

1/8 tsp Salt

10 oz Chocolate chunks or chips

1/2 cup Nuts; chopped (optional)


Mix flour, soda and salt, set aside. Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add flour mix and beat until creamy. Add chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Bake in 9x9" pan at 350~ for 20-25 minutes.










To make sourdough at home, you'll need to start three days ahead to let your starter develop and allow time for your dough to rise and rest.

Makes 3-4 loaves


2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast OR 1 1/2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast

1 1/2 cups cool water

1 tablespoon plain yogurt (without added gelatin, if possible)

2 cups bread flour


5 1/2 to 6 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups ice water

Yellow cornmeal, for sprinkling


To prepare starter: In bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sprinkle yeast over cool water. Add yogurt and flour. Beat on low speed until a smooth, thick batter is formed, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a large deep ceramic bowl or plastic bucket and cover with plastic wrap. Poke some holes in the plastic with tip of a knife. Set aside at room temperature 24 hours. Starter will be very bubbly in the first 12 hours. It's OK to stir it down once or twice. It will slow down the last 12. The starter will smell yeasty and develop a distinctive sour, tangy aroma.


To prepare bread: Place all the starter, 2 cups flour, salt and water in mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on low 1 minute. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Dough will be smooth and soft, yet slightly sticky, and will pull away from sides of bowl.


Remove paddle attachment and replace with dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed 6 minutes. Sprinkle in a bit of flour to keep dough from being too sticky and, as it works its way up the hook, scrape it down with a rubber spatula. Keep dough a bit moist and sticky.


Scrape sides of bowl, then cover bowl with plastic wrap, or a plastic bowl cover to prevent surface of dough from drying out. Let dough rise 4-6 hours at room temperature. Punch or scrape it down a few times. Then refrigerate overnight, 12-16 hours. The dough will smell sour and tangy and will be very moist.


It is best to bake this bread on doubled baking sheets to prevent the bottom from burning. Stack two baking sheets of the same size on top of the other. Line top sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 3 or 4 portions. Sprinkle with flour if it is too sticky. Form into round loaves and set a few inches apart on baking sheet or sheets. Let rise, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature until soft, springy and double to triple in bulk, 3-6 hours.


Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees. If using a baking stone, preheat oven 25 to 30 minutes.


Using a sharp or serrated knife, gently cut a slash no deeper than 1/4 inch across the top of each loaf. Bake until very dark and crusty, 30 to 35 minutes; dark crusts taste a bit better than pale ones. If using a La Cloche French Bread Baker, remove lid for last 15 minutes of baking to brown crust. Cool on pan or rack.


Makes 6 servings


The vegetables for roasting may be varied to taste. They also may be served over pasta or with rice and beans


6 cups assorted cut-up vegetables

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup honey mustard

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In roasting pan, toss vegetables with oil, garlic and salt. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Just before serving, toss vegetables with mustard, juice and orange zest.



1/2 C. Prepared Salad Mustard

1/4 C. Honey

1/4 C. Light Corn Syrup

1/4 C. Mayonnaise

Blend all together until completely until smooth and free from lumps. The

corn syrup may be adjusted depended on how sharp the mustard might be or to

your taste.






2 cups nonfat dry milk powder

1/2 cup low-fat powdered nondairy creamer

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

10 packets equal -- or 1 tablespoon -- equal measure

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Stir all ingredients together to prepare mix. Cover and store in airtight

container. For each serving, add 3/4 cup boiling water to 1/3 cup mix and

stir to dissolve. Makes 2 2/3 cups mix, enough for eight 6-ounce servings.

Variations: Place cinnamon stick in each mug instead of using ground


For mocha flavored mix, prepare as directed except decrease cocoa powder to

1/3 cup and add 1/4 cup instant coffee crystals.

Nutrition information: mocha mix: 93 calories, 7 g protein, 15 g

carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium. Diabetic exchange: 1

Milk. : http://www.newss.ksu.edu/WEB/News/NewsReleases/diabeticook.


Makes 6 servings


You can substitute tri-tip of beef for the lamb with excellent results.


3 pounds boneless shoulder of lamb

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 medium carrots

2 white turnips (about 2 cups sliced)

2 medium yellow onions

7 cups water

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

2 dried bay leaves, broken in half

Horseradish, for serving


Prepare the meat: Cut the meat into 11/2-inch cubes. Spread the meat on a piece of wax paper, then season it liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside.


Prepare the vegetables: Peel the carrots and slice them into 1/4-inch pieces. Put them into a bowl. Cut the stem and root off each turnip. Peel and slice into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Add to the carrots. Cut the stem and root off the onions and peel off the papery skin. Cut the onion in half horizontally. Put each half flat-side down and slice into 1/4-inch slices. Add the onion to the vegetable bowl.


Finish the stew: Pour the 7 cups of water into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Melt the shortening in a large pot (about 6 or 7 quarts). As soon as it has melted, add the meat. Brown the meat well on all sides, turning the pieces as they become a deep, dark brown. This browning caramelizes the meat and adds flavor.


As soon as the meat is well-browned, stand back and add the boiling water. There will be some spitting and hissing, but the mixture will bubble up and turn golden brown. Stir the meat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add half the vegetable mixture and the 2 bay leaves; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, taste and adjust the seasoning, add the remaining vegetables and stir.


Cook for 30 minutes more. The meat should be thoroughly cooked and the vegetables tender. Taste both the meat and the vegetables and cook longer, if needed.


Serve hot, with horseradish on the side and hot crusty bread.


Serves 6-8

1 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice


1 pound thoroughly trimmed leftover roast beef or steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 shallots, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, well drained and cut into 1/4-in. slices

1 red or green bell pepper, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-

inch squares

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup finely shredded fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

Freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Put potato cubes in saucepan and add cold water to cover and a little salt. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are barely tender, 5-7 minutes. Drain potatoes well and transfer to a mixing bowl.


Add beef, shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper, parsley, basil, milk and oregano. Season with salt and a generous grinding of black pepper. With a pair of large spoons, gently toss to mix well, taking care not to break up potatoes.


In a large non-stick skillet, heat half of olive oil over medium heat. Add hash and use back of a spatula to press it down evenly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, shaking skillet occasionally, until underside of hash looks crusty when lifted carefully with edge of spatula.


Invert large heat-proof serving platter over skillet. Using pot holders or oven mitts, carefully hold skillet and platter together and invert to unmold hash onto platter. Heat remaining oil in skillet and slide hash back into skillet to cook its other side until browned, about 10 minutes more. Unmold hash back onto platter and serve, cut into wedges.


Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 21/2-ounce packages slivered almonds (about 11/2 cups)

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

11/2 pounds bay scallops, rinsed, drained

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in almonds, cook 1 minute. Remove to small bowl; mix in lemon zest. Set aside.


Heat skillet over high heat; add scallops. Allow to brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Stir in nut mixture and lemon juice; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.



1 cup Butter or Margarine -- softened

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

2 cups Flour

1 dash Salt


4 Eggs -- beaten slightly

2 cups Sugar

6 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/4 cup Flour


Mix first four ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Press into

bottom of a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Set aside.



Beat all remaining ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Spread onto

top of hot bottom layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle

powdered sugar onto cooled squares just before serving. RF4RP


Makes 4 servings

3 to 4 pounds lean pork spareribs, trimmed of excess fat

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 or 2 large jalapeno chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped WEAR GLOVES

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

11/2 teaspoons fresh marjoram leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

1/4 cup vegetable oil


Place the ribs in a shallow, non-reactive pan that's just large enough to hold them. Put the lime juice, jalapenos, garlic, marjoram and vegetable oil in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour the marinade over the ribs. Cover and marinate for several hours or overnight, turning the ribs once or twice.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Place the ribs on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 11/2 to 2 hours, basting with the marinade every 20 minutes. Turn the ribs after the first hour. When they're thoroughly browned and crisp, cut them apart, if necessary, and serve.


Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin. From "Citrus: A Cookbook" by Ford Rogers


Serves 4-6

For whipped cream:

1 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For pancakes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 cup ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 extra-large eggs, separated

1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

2 teaspoons hot water

1/2 cup small semisweet chocolate chips

Ground cinnamon for garnish


Make whipped cream at least 1 hour before serving. Put cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled mixing bowl. With chilled beaters, use electric mixer to beat cream at medium speed until it forms soft peaks. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk, ricotta, melted butter and egg yolks. In a small cup, stir together espresso powder and hot water until powder dissolves, then stir into ricotta mixture. Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture and stir with a whisk just until combined.


Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. In another clean bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer or wire whisk until they form stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold egg whites into batter until only streaks of white remain.


Lightly spray skillet or griddle with non-stick spray. Spoon batter onto griddle, 2 heaping tablespoons at a time, forming circular cakes about 6 inches in diameter. Immediately scatter about 2 teaspoons chocolate chips evenly over each cake. Cook until cakes look slightly dry around edges and undersides are lightly browned, about 1 minute. Flip and cook until other sides are golden, about 1 minute more. Transfer to baking dish, cover loosely with foil, and keep warm in oven while preparing rest of batter. To serve, stack pancakes on heated serving plates. Generously mound chilled whipped cream on top and dust with cinnamon.



1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Butter

2 Large Egg

2/3 Cup Peanut Butter

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 Cups Flour, All-purpose

2 Cups Oatmeal


2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk

In a large bowl, cream sugars & butter until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well.

Add peanut butter, soda, salt and vanilla. Stir in the flour and oats. Spread

in a greased 11 x 14 jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 20-25 minutes until edges

just begin to turn golden. Do not over-bake. Cut into squares while warm &

immediately spread on icing.

Icing directions: In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, peanut butter and enough milk to make an icing of thin spreading consistency. Makes 42 bars



Makes 4 servings

12 ounces penne pasta

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, undrained

2 ounces arugula (rocket) leaves, torn

1/2 pound chicken or turkey (smoked if possible), cubed

5 tablespoons grated pecorino (sheep) and ground pepper to taste


Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the penne, stir well, and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 15 minutes or according to the package directions.


Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the beans with their liquid and cook, stirring constantly, until the beans are heated through, about 11/2 minutes. Add the arugula and continue to cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute.


Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan along with the chicken. Stir for about 30 seconds to warm the chicken. Sprinkle with the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Divide among warmed serving bowls and serve hot.







1- 20 ounce Crushed Pineapple (in it's own juice) -undrained

1 cup Cool Whip Free

1 sm. pkg. sugar free Pistachio Pudding mix

Empty pineapple into a mixing bowl, with the juice. Mix dry pudding mix

into pineapple. Fold Cool Whip Free into pineapple/pudding mixture. Dish

mixture into 4 fruit bowls and refrigerate until well chilled. Serves: 4


Makes 8 servings

2 cups cubed fresh pineapple, in 1/2-inch pieces (reserve 1 to 2 tablespoons


About 1/2 pound jicama (or apple, cucumber or celery ribs), peeled and cut into

1/2-inch cubes

2 ripe avocados, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 3-ounce package softened cream cheese

1/4 cup vinegar (mixed-fruit, pineapple or apple cider vinegar is best)

1/4 cup olive oil

4 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped

4 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted (see note)


Place the pineapple, jicama, avocados and onion into a medium bowl. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and add to the mixture.


In a small bowl, mix the reserved pineapple juice, the vinegar, oil, parsley and cilantro. Add salt and pepper. Toss the pecans into the salad. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss very lightly to keep the cheese in chunks. Serve immediately.


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 "Seasons of My Heart, A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico" by Susana Trilling


SERVES: 8 to 10


Sugar syrup:

2 cups sugar

1 cup water


5 slices pineapple

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons milk

2 egg yolks

2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1 cup flour, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans


For the sugar syrup: Stir the sugar and water together in a deep, heavy saucepan set over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. When the sugar has dissolved, bring the syrup to a boil.


Place pineapple slices in the sugar syrup and poach by simmering them for five minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.


For the cake: Place egg yolks in a large bowl. Beating steadily, add 1/2 cup of the sugar and the milk, heated, to the egg yolks. Thoroughly mix in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the flour and the vanilla extract. Then fold in the beaten egg whites.


Melt butter in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and blend well.


Remove the skillet from the heat and arrange the pineapple slices and the nuts in a symmetrical pattern on the butter and sugar.


Cover these ingredients with the batter and place the skillet in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert the cake immediately onto a serving dish.


Makes 6 lemons


FOODday (Portland Oregonian newspaper section) often gets questions about preserved lemons, classically used in traditional Moroccan dishes such as tagine chicken and other dishes, like vegetable salads or tossed with hot buttered pasta. Since the salty, tangy preserved fruit is difficult to find, you might want to make your own. Just make sure you plan ahead -- they'll need to refrigerate at least two weeks.


About 2 cups coarse sea salt

6 medium-sized lemons

Granulated sugar


Wash and dry a 1-quart glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. Pour a layer of sea salt over the bottom and set aside. Trim off 1 inch from 1 end of each lemon. Quarter each lemon lengthwise but not all the way; leave each intact at its uncut end. Hold 1 of the lemons over a mixing bowl, spread it open, and fill it up with sea salt. Place in the jar and repeat with another lemon. Press firmly on the lemons as you add them to the jar.


Pour salt into the jar to fill the spaces between the lemons. Repeat, making 3 layers of lemons and salt (using the salt collected in the bowl), sprinkling each layer with about 1 teaspoon of salt. Seal the jar. Refrigerate at least 2 weeks before using. The lemons are best after 3 months and will keep up to a year.


To use a preserved lemon, cut through the attached end. Use a paring knife to cut away all lemon flesh and pith from the yellow portion of the peel. Discard all but the yellow peel. Use as directed in the recipes or blanch the peel briefly, dice or julienne, and add to salads, stews or grain dishes.

From "Le Bernardin" By Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert


Basic Instructions

Here are some ways to quickly enhance Cornish game hens (or roast chicken).

Start with four hens weighing 1 to 1-1/4 pounds each and a quick fix of your choice below. Roast the hens at 375 degrees F. for about 1 hour, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife and a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees F.

Citrus Glaze

Mix 1/4 cup thawed, frozen orange juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons Dijon

mustard, and 2 tablespoons honey until well blended. Brush the glaze over

the hens during the last 15 to 20 minutes of roasting.

Asian Accent

Mix 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons chicken broth, and 1 teaspoon

sesame oil. Brush the mixture over the hens and pour a little into the

cavities before roasting as directed above.

Apricot Glaze

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup apricot jam, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2

tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoons honey. Roast hens as directed.

Brush the apricot glaze over the hens during the last 15 to 20 minutes of


Mexican Spiced

Rub the outside of the hens with packaged taco seasoning and lightly spray

with non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray. Roast as directed.

Lemon Basil

Rub the outside of the hens with a cut lemon and brush with melted butter.

Place one lemon half and sprig of fresh basil into each cavity. Roast as


Mustard Herb

Coat the outside of each hen with about 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

Sprinkle with a mixture of dried tarragon, basil and thyme. Roast as

directed. Deglaze the pan with 3/4 cup white wine and serve with the pan


Garlic Herb

Mix 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic, 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh

thyme, 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, and 2 teaspoons finely

chopped sage. Loosen the breast skin of each hen and rub one quarter of the

mixture under the skin of each bird. Roast as directed. Credits:


Makes about 11/4 cups


This bright red pesto is great with chili, quesadillas, tacos and enchiladas, or try it as a topping for polenta.


2 red bell peppers, quartered, cored and seeded

2 shallots or green onions (white part only), chopped

1/4 cup blanched, toasted almonds (see note)

3 large garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese or 1 to 2 ounces goat cheese (about 2 to 4 tablespoons)


Place the peppers, shallots or green onions, almonds and garlic in a blender or food processor. Whirl until finely minced. Add the oil and cheese, and process until blended.

Note: To blanch almonds, cover them with boiling water and let them sit a minute or two. Drain. The skins should slip off. 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 "Pesto" by Lou Seibert Pappas


1 1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/2 tsp salt

4 large eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 (10-inch) pie shell, unbaked


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter and salt and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs and mix until well-blended; then add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Turn mixture into pie shell and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until edges set and middle is still jiggly, about 12-15 minutes longer (a table knife inserted into pie should come out clean). Let pie cool, then chill slightly before serving.




If you prefer, with this batter you could make 12 muffins (bake 15 to 18 minutes) or 18 corn sticks (bake about 10 minutes).

11/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 151/4-ounce can whole-kernel corn, drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet, or heavy 9-inch square baking pan, with nonstick cooking spray. Place in oven for 5 minutes to preheat.


In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together milk, oil and egg. Add liquid to dry ingredients, along with the canned corn. Stir until all ingredients are moistened and combined. Spoon into preheated skillet or pan.

Bake until corn bread is firm and golden, and pulls away from the sides, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into wedges or squares to serve warm or at room temperature.


1 envelope unsweetened Kool-Aid

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients until completely dissolved. Store in a squeeze bottle and squeeze over shaved ice.

Several things work as flavorings for sno-cones: concentrated juices that have not been diluted; kool-aid that is unsweetened; virtually any drink powder or crystals that are just barely diluted will do it.


Starter and crust distinguish sourdough bread

BY BETH HENSPERGER, Special to the Mercury News

From Mendocino to Monterey, and everywhere in between, the meal of choice this time of year is steamed Dungeness crab, wine and San Francisco sourdough bread.


A quaint, crusty French-style loaf with a distinctive, almost startling sourness, San Francisco sourdough is unique to Northern California. Round or torpedo-shaped, it is a chewy, springy bread with a close, soft texture dotted with holes and containing a hint of moisture. The blistery crust is crackly and crisp.


Capturing the components of San Francisco sourdough has become a legendary quest among home bread bakers. I have plowed through much of the advice and recipes floating around since I started baking professionally in the 1970s, often ending up more perplexed than when I started. This time, however, I vowed to get it right.


My goal: a recipe for baking sourdough bread at home, without using special equipment, that was easy enough that a baker could succeed the first time. The taste, of course, had to be as close as possible to commercial San Francisco sourdough.


I did it, and you can, too. After a bit of experimentation, the recipe that I arrived at yields three or four loaves. It's not difficult, since most of the time is given to resting the dough, but it's no last-minute project, either. Start-to-finish time is 3 days.


My starter contains a dash of yogurt, but commercial breads are made from even simpler ingredients: just flour, salt, water and natural yeast. The ingredients are the same as when the bread first appeared during San Francisco's boomtown era around 1849. Back then, the Boudin bakery horse and wagon delivered fresh bread to homes around the city, hanging loaves on large nails by the front doors.


What makes sourdough unique is the ``mother,'' or starter. This thick mixture of flour and water is infused with tiny cells of wild yeast that settle in and grow, producing tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide that make the dough rise. Frontier families, chuck wagon cooks and Basque shepherds treasured their pots of sourdough starter. It was the crucial ingredient for not only bread but also flapjacks and biscuits, and was even used as a poultice for healing wounds and gluing broken furniture. After each use, the starter was replenished with more flour and water to restore it to its original consistency and volume, ready for the next bake day.


Authentic strain


You can make a fine sourdough bread anywhere in the state, but to be a real San Francisco sourdough, the starter must contain wild yeast cells and Lactobacillus sanfrancisco, a strain of harmless bacteria (related to one that is naturally present in raw milk) that is said to be part of the city's fog-drenched environment.


The bacterium, which is responsible for the bread's acidic flavor, was not isolated and named until U.S. Department of Agriculture biochemists analyzed the starters from five San Francisco bakeries for the first time in 1970.


Three years later, Sunset Magazine in conjunction with the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California-Davis, published directions for a yogurt-based starter and bread recipes. (The recipes are in later editions of the ``Sunset Cook Book of Breads,'' which is out of print. But if you own or can borrow a copy, the recipes will work with my starter.) The first commercially available freeze-dried starters appeared shortly after.


Who brought sourdough to San Francisco? That's not clear. It may have been the skilled French bakers who came to San Francisco via Mexico or directly from France and the Basque country. They brought with them the Old World levain bread baking traditions of France and the Mediterranean. Levain is the French equivalent of sourdough starter, and pain au levain, sourdough country bread, is prized in France.


These early San Francisco bakers built handsome, notoriously idiosyncratic brick ovens with deep and shallow dome-shaped interiors. Typically, the ovens were underground, just below street level, and the bakeries were clustered around North Beach and lower Chinatown. Modeled on the wood-fired ovens of Europe, these ovens had no temperature gauge. They were manipulated by intuition and experience.


Used daily in the warm, protected environment of a bakery, a sourdough starter retains its leavening power and consistency. Since the yeast cells in the starter are constantly being infused back into successive doughs, many bakeries can trace their starters back generations.


For someone growing up in the Bay Area, there were always many choices of sourdough, even at the supermarket. A portion of the rounded heel of these thick tapered loaves would protrude from the stacks of bread on the shelf. And names such as Parisian, Franciscan, Bordenave, Ruby, Colombo, Toscana and Venetian were household words.


Boudin is the oldest sourdough French bakery, tracing its starter back to 1849 when Isadore Boudin, an apprentice baker from France, opened his first bakery on Grant Street in Chinatown. Boudin had carried his starter pot in his pocket during the long sea journey to San Francisco. Along with Parisian, which is predominantly wholesale and owned by a large baking conglomerate, Boudin is the only original bakery still in production and still shapes and scores bread by hand. The others folded one by one over the years, edged out by the highly mechanized mass production of loaves with longer shelf life from gigantic gas ovens.


Out of thin air


To make sourdough at home, you have to begin with a good starter. Real sourdough uses no commercial yeast. It just catches whatever is floating in the air and, under favorable conditions, the process of fermentation begins spontaneously. Depending on your catch, you can have a delicious or terrible starter. Lots of baking aficionados get some starter from a friend because it is much easier and less risky than ``catching'' your own.


When properly made, the starter, which bubbles and expands with enzyme action, smells like an earthy perfume, slightly sour and apple-like from malolactic fermentation. A bad batch will smell like bad cabbage. In my kitchen, the starter repeatedly turned pink, a sign of unwelcome bacteria, and had to be discarded.


I decided to try another approach. I had a sourdough bread recipe that was more than 10 years old from master baker Richard Marnhout, known in the South Bay for creating the wonderful artisan breads now sold at Draeger's bakery and winning many bread competitions for his sourdoughs. This starter had added commercial yeast, creating what is called a yeast-fortified starter, also known as a levain-levure, which is made for each batch, an important technique if you only bake occasionally. I added a bit of yogurt for the touch of lactobacillus. If you have some dehydrated starter, such as one packaged under Gold Rush Sourdough, sprinkle it in. The starter was easy to mix with a Kitchen Aid and, after sitting at room temperature, it quickly developed lots of bubbles and a clean, fresh acidic aroma. Already, I could tell I had a winner.


The main technique in making sourdough bread is to let the dough fully rest for long periods of time to develop the best flavor and texture. As Julia Child and Simone Beck say, ``The villain in the bread basket is speed.''


I made both round and long loaves. Shaping is crucial, because it determines final crumb volume in the oven, and of course, appearance. Use a light, but firm hand, and make sure the loaves are pulled taut underneath. Rounds can go on a baking sheet. Long loaves are nice in the oblong Sassafras Superstone La Cloche French Bread Baker, which is available at Williams-Sonoma, but you can bake only one loaf at a time. The Chicago Metallic perforated Baguette Pan, a two-loaf cradle that shapes thick, long loaves, also works beautifully. Place the pan directly on a hot stone, and the heat comes in direct contact with the dough. A quick slash in the crust before baking lets the loaf develop its shape evenly. Without a slash, it will tear.


Steam crucial to crust


Crust is crucial to sourdough. And the secret to the crust has always been steam. If you are using a La Cloche baker, dip the unglazed ceramic lid in water, set it in place and during baking, it will create a ready-made steamy environment. You can also rub a few drops of cold water gently onto the dough before placing loaves on a baking sheet. Or you can heat an empty metal baking sheet or roasting pan, adding 1 cup of boiling water to the heated pan and placing it in the oven when you bake your bread. This creates an instant cloud of steam, which gives the loaves a bit more volume. I always use a baking stone on the lowest third shelf for a nice hearth-like surface if I'm not using my clay baker. Metal pans can be placed directly on it.


Store your sourdough in a paper bag, or just leave it on the counter. While plastic softens the crust, it will keep the inside of the bread moist. To freeze your bread, wait until it is completely cooled and place it in a freezer bag. Reheat in a 350-degree oven for 7-10 minutes. If you know you're going to freeze some of the loaves, it helps to leave them a bit pale, a tip I learned from Boudin. Finish baking them later at 375 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes. That way, the loaf will be as crisp as when first baked.

The care and feeding of sourdough starter

A good starter needs care and feeding. My recipe includes directions to make your first starter. If you have an existing starter or if you want to reserve 1/4 cup of mine for later use for bread, biscuits or pancakes, here are some maintenance tips:

Starters must be replenished after each use, or if they have been inactive for longer than about two weeks. Don't leave starter at room temperature longer than three days without feeding. Never add salt, which retards natural enzyme activity. If starter turns pink, it has bacteria and must be discarded.


You can keep sourdough starter going for years with careful feeding by adding equal parts of flour and water. Starter is at its most active six to 10 hours after feeding. To maintain, stir any separated yellowish liquid that has collected on top back into the starter. Then feed by adding equal amounts of bread flour and water in 1/2 cup or 1 cup increments. (If you have only a small amount, feed every three days to get the amount of starter you want.)


Place starter in a clean glass, ceramic or plastic container. Don't use stainless steel or aluminum, which will inhibit the growth of the wild yeast. Cover with several thicknesses of cheesecloth or plastic wrap pierced in a few places and held in place with a rubber band. Let starter stand at room temperature overnight to two days, depending on how sour you want it. Stir it several times a day. It will bubble and expand. Feed the starter again and let it sit.


At this point, use the starter, refrigerate it or freeze it. Place the starter in the refrigerator, covered with a layer of plastic wrap held in place with a rubber band, or transfer to a heavy-duty zipper freezer bag. Sourdough starters can be frozen for months. Just defrost and start feeding to use again.


Beth Hensperger of Mountain View has written 12 baking books.


Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small, thinly sliced yellow squash

1 small, thinly sliced zucchini

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 10- to 12-inch prepared pizza crust

1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts

1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried

1 package (8 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend (see Note)

Heat oven according to crust directions.


In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Cook squash and zucchini until limp, about 3 minutes. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Remove from pan; pat dry.


Brush remaining tablespoon oil on pizza crust. Top with squash slices, walnuts and sage. Top with cheese.


Bake pizza according to crust directions, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes.


Note: Crumbled blue cheese may be used instead of the Italian cheeses.


Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 cups chopped tomatoes, with their juice (canned are fine)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

4 cups white beans, nearly fully cooked (drained if canned; about 11/3 cups


1 cup broth, dry red wine, bean cooking liquid or water

Salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 pound Italian sausage, preferably in one piece

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 boned duck breast


Combine tomatoes and garlic in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and add beans. Bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat so mixture bubbles regularly but not furiously. Cook about 20 minutes, adding broth or other liquid when mixture thickens. Add salt and cayenne when beans are tender and flavorful.


While beans are cooking, put sausage in a skillet, and turn heat to medium-high; brown on both sides, turning only once or twice. Add to pot with bean mixture, along with pork cubes. Raise heat a bit if necessary to keep a simmer going. Stir beans occasionally so pork cooks evenly.


Cut a 1/2-inch crosshatch in skin side of duck breast, right down to fat layer. Put breast, skin side down, in skillet that sausage cooked in, and turn heat to medium-high. Cook until nicely browned, pouring any rendered duck fat and juices into bean mixture. Turn breast and brown other side. Then crisp up skin side for a minute or so, once more pouring any fat into beans. Total cooking time for breast will be 6 to 8 minutes. When it is done, add breast to beans.


To serve, carve sausage and duck breast into serving pieces, and place on plates. Top with beans and pork.





2 cups powdered milk

1 cup creamer

1/4 cup cocoa (baking)

55 packets sugar free sweetener, or to taste

Mix and store in an air tight container, 2 tablespoons into a cup and add

hot water, again this is a matter of taste.


40 large dried corn husks -- to yield 20

1 pound zucchini -- tender and young

1 teaspoon salt

1 large yellow onion

4 cloves garlic

8 green onions

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup green chilies -- diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

fresh ground black pepper -- to taste

2/3 cup cilantro -- chopped, fresh

for the masa

6 ounces butter

3 1/2 cups masa harina

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

To prepare the dried corn husks: Start with at least twice as may dried corn

husks as you will need (they usually come in packages of a few dozen). Soak

them in hot water for about 30 minutes. When they're soft, rinse them under

running water as you separate them, discarding the very small or torn ones. Lay them flat on a plate and keep them covered with a damp tea towel until you need them. The longer torn ones can be torn further, into 1/2 inch strips and used for ties. To prepare the filling: Wash and trim the zucchini and cut it into 1/4 inch dice. Toss it with a teaspoon of salt and leave it to drain in a colander for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the onion finely, mince the garlic and trim and thinly slice the green onions.

Heat the olive oil in an ample non-stick skillet and sauté all the onions and garlic in it until they begin to color. When the zucchini have released their water, press them gently in the colander, then add them to the onion mixture. Continue cooking the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini are tender and the mixture is quite dry. It is essential to have no excess liquid here. Stir in the green chilies, lemon juice, some pepper and the chopped cilantro. Taste, and correct the seasoning if needed. This makes about 2 cups or enough filling for at least 20 tamales. Any leftover filling is delicious in omelets, quesadillas, or burritos, or stirring into a vegetable soup.

To prepare the masa: Beat the softened butter in a mixing bowl until is light and fluffy. Whisk the dry masa harina with the salt and baking powder until well blended. Beat some of the dry mixture into the butter, then the milk then more of the dry mixture, then some of the broth and so on until everything is combined. The prepared masa should have the texture of a tender cookie dough; it should hold its shape well, but not feel dry or crumbly. If it is too dry, add a few more drops of broth, and if too sticky, add a little more masa harina. This makes enough masa for 18-20 tamales, using slightly less than 1/4 cup per tamale. To assemble the tamales: Lay a prepared corn husk flat on your work surface. Put about 1/4 cup masa in the center of it and spread it slightly. Be sure to leave at

least a 1 1/2 inch border on each side and a couple of inches at each end. Put a rounded tablespoon of filling down the center of the masa, then lift one side of the husk gently over the other until the edges of the masa meet around the filling. Pinch the masa together a little with your fingers, sealing in the filling. Fold the husk lengthwise over the tamale, then fold in the narrow end, then finish rolling up the whole husk, loosely. This makes a tamale that's open on one end. If you have extra-long husks, you can fold the wide end in as well, envelope style, before you finish rolling. Note: forming tamales is tricky the first time, but soon gets much easier, and then becomes a lot of fun. Tie a thin strip of corn husk around the middle to hold everything together, but not too tightly, as the tamales will expand in cooking. If you have trouble tying strips of corn husk, use plain

brown, twine or another kind of tie that won't react with the food in steaming. To seam the tamales: Arrange them loosely in a roomy vegetable steamer. If you left the side end unfolded, be sure to handle them carefully and fit them into the steamer with the open end up. Steam the tamales for 35-45 minutes, then test one. If the masa is cooked through and no longer sticky, they're done. Serve them hot. Tamales can be prepared a few hours ahead of time and held in the refrigerator, covered, until it's time to steam them - just add a few minutes to the cooking time to take the chill off. They can also be re-steamed briefly a day or two later.


Makes 4 servings


It's late, you have no time to cook, but you still want a nutritious dinner. This is Rosie's three-ingredient solution. Serve with rice and some fresh fruit for dessert and enjoy feeling virtuous.


4 6-ounce center-cut salmon fillets, skin-on

1 cup bottled teriyaki sauce

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup water


In a shallow bowl or baking dish, place the salmon skin-side down. Pour over the teriyaki sauce and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.


Transfer the salmon to a plate, reserving the marinade. Scatter 1/2 teaspoon pepper over the skinless side of each fillet. Press gently to adhere. Heat a large nonstick skillet (or 2 smaller skillets) over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, skin-side up, and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes.


Add the green onions, 1/4 cup water and the reserved marinade to the skillet and continue cooking the salmon to the desired degree of doneness, about 2 minutes longer for medium. Transfer the salmon to individual plates. Bring the sauce in the skillet to a boil. Spoon the sauce over the salmon. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Rosie magazine


(Shrimp and Potato Cakes)

Makes 12

Tortitas Sauce:


1 pound tomatoes (3 medium)

3 jalapeno chilies, stemmed and left whole (see note)

7 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 sprig epazote or 3 sprigs fresh cilantro

3/4 cup water


3 cups water

12 ounces new potatoes, skins left on

1 cup camaroncitos secos (dried whole shrimp) or 3/4 cup ground dried shrimp

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

5 cloves garlic

1 egg

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 pound queso fresco (Mexican-style cheese), cut into 12 strips

4 sprigs fresh cilantro or epazote (for garnish)


To make sauce: In a 10-inch dry comal, griddle or cast-iron frying pan, roast tomatoes until soft and blistered, about 4 minutes. Set aside. In the same comal, roast the chilies until they blister and give off their scent, about 12 minutes. Peel and seed them when done. Set aside.


Put the tomatoes, chilies, garlic and onion in a blender and blend well.


In a deep frying pan, heat the oil and add the tomato mixture. Cook for 10 minutes, until bubbling.


Add the epazote and 3/4 cup water. Cook for 10 minutes. Set aside.


To make tortitas: Preheat oven to 250 degrees.


In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until done. Remove them from the water; allow to cool a little and then peel.


Soak the shrimp or ground shrimp in 2 cups water for 10 minutes. Drain the shrimp in a wire mesh strainer. Soak a second time for 10 minutes. Drain again.


In a medium mixing bowl, mash the potatoes, then add the shrimp, onion and garlic. In a small bowl, beat the egg. Add the flour and mix well. Add to the potato mixture, along with the bread crumbs, lime juice, white pepper and cilantro, and blend well. Make 12 balls from the mixture and flatten them to make thick little patties, each about 2 inches around.


In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat until very hot. Place the patties in the oil and fry 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the cakes over to brown on the other side for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan and drain well. You can place the cakes in the oven to keep warm.


To assemble: Cover each plate with a little of the sauce. Place 3 tortitas and 3 pieces of queso fresco alternately on each plate. Place a sprig of cilantro or epazote in the center of each and serve immediately.


Note: These must be eaten fresh and do not keep well. Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.


From "Seasons of My Heart, A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico" by Susana Trilling



1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup reduced fat margarine -- melted

5 ozs evaporated skim milk

7 ozs marshmallow cream

1 1/3 cup white chocolate discs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Line a 9" square pan with foil extends over sides of pan; butter foil. In a

saucepan, combine sugar, margarine, and milk. Bring to a boil over medium

heat, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from

heat. Add marshmallow cream and white chocolate discs; blend until smooth.

Stir in vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan. Cool to room temperature.


January 16, 2002 Posted: 06:15:05 AM PST, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


"This retro 'Russian' dish may look like a stew, but it's actually a quick sauté that can be on the table in 20 minutes."


The statement tops a story in the February issue of Cook's Illustrated, a magazine renowned for its thoroughness and reliability. The essential problem with stroganoff, it said, is "because it's made with a pan sauce, not as a slow braise or stew, it doesn't have time to develop flavor."


The usual solution is to add a hodgepodge of flavoring ingredients. The magazine devises an improved version: beef tenderloin, cut into thin strips rather than thick ones; button mushrooms, browned in the pan before the beef; white wine rather than red, used with a combination of chicken and beef broth; onions rather than shallots -- plus tomato paste, dark-brown sugar and sour cream.


Buttered egg noodles are the classic accompaniment; the recipe suggests adding the noodles to boiling water at the same time the onion and tomato paste go into the pan, so that noodles and stroganoff are done at the same time.





1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

12 ounces white button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved if small, quartered

if medium, cut into sixths if large

Salt and ground black pepper

3/4 pound beef tenderloin (about 2 filets), cut into -inch strips

1/2 cup canned low-sodium beef broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small onion, minced (1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons dark-brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup sour cream


8 ounces egg noodles, cooked in salted water, drained, and tossed with 2 tablespoons butter


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering, but not smoking, about two minutes; swirl to coat pan.


Add mushrooms and cook over high heat without stirring for 30 seconds; season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are lightly browned, about four minutes longer.


Transfer to medium bowl.


Return skillet to high heat, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat pan. Place tenderloin strips in skillet.


Using tongs, spread meat into single layer, making sure that strips do not touch, and cook without turning until well-browned on first side, two minutes. Turn strips and cook on second side until well-browned, about a minute longer.


Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to bowl with mushrooms. Add beef broth to skillet, scraping up browned bits on pan bottom with wooden spoon; simmer until broth is reduced to 1/4 cup, about three to four minutes.


Transfer broth to bowl with mushrooms and beef, scraping skillet clean with rubber spatula.


Return skillet to medium-low heat and add butter; when butter foams, add onion, tomato paste and brown sugar.


Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is lightly browned and softened, about six minutes; stir in flour until incorporated.


Gradually whisk in chicken broth and wine; increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about two minutes.


Whisk liquid from mushrooms and beef into sauce and simmer to incorporate. Stir about 1/2 cup of hot sauce into sour cream, then stir mixture back into sauce. Add mushrooms and beef; heat to warm through, about a minute.


Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve over buttered egg noodles.


Makes about 1 pint


This delicious version uses spinach as the main ingredient.


11/4 cups olive oil

5 large cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups packed fresh spinach, cleaned and chopped

1 tablespoon dried basil

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Salt to taste


Measure the olive oil into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the garlic, spinach, basil, walnuts, cheese and black pepper. Process on high speed for 30 seconds, stopping 2 or 3 times to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if desired.

From "Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook" by Claire Criscuolo



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