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).

24 HOUR COLESLAW

5 COURSES TO LOVE

ASPARAGUS SALAD

BARBECUE SAUCE FOR CHICKEN

BITTER CHOCOLATE WAFFLES

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

CHICKEN WINE SOUP

CHICKPEAS BALANCE MILD FLAVOR OF COD

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH BERRIES

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY TARTS

COD WITH CHICKPEAS AND SHERRY

EASY ALMOND CAKE

EASY PIE CRUST

EXOTIC MUSHROOM SOUP

FARE TENDERLOIN

FEDELINI WITH TUNA AND CHICKPEAS

FENNEL BISQUE

FIRE ROASTED ARTICHOKE CLONE

FRENCH MEAT PIE

FUDGE BARS

FUDGE TRUFFLE CHEESECAKE

GLAZED PAN COOKIES

GRANDS LITTLE PIES

HAWAIIAN SWEET BREAD

HEARTY RED PEPPER SOUP

HOT COCOA SHOTS

MAPLE BEEF TERIYAKI

MAPLE CREAM SCONES

MAPLE ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

MEATBALL STEW

MEATBALL SUBS

MEXICAN STYLE HOMEMADE CANDIES

MUSHROOM TOASTS

NO BAKE CLUB CRACKER COOKIES

ORIENTAL PORK CHOPS

OYSTERS WITH CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR AND C

PASTA E FAGIOLI clone

PEPPER STEAK WITH SAGE BEURRE ROUGE

PORK TENDERLOIN MEDALLIONS

QUEBEC TOURTIERRE

QUICK PHO RECIPE

RASPBERRY TRUFFLE CAKE

RED LOBSTER SHRIMP PASTA

RISOTTO WITH COCONUT MILK AND SEAFOOD

ROAST BEEF QUESADILLAS

ROSEMARY MARINATED LAMB CHOPS

SALMON FILLETS WITH CHANTERELLE RAGO

SHRIMP PAPANTLA WITH RIPE PLANTAINS

SIMPLE FRUIT TART

SIMPLE ORZO

SUGAR FREE APPLE PIE

THE REAL THING POT PIE

TOASTED COCONUT WAFFLES

TORTILLA SOUP

TOURTIERRES

VANILLA SCENTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH RIS

VEGETABLE CHILI

VERY RED VELVET CUPCAKES

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

VIETNAMESE RICE SOUP WITH CHICKEN

WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO

YAK CHEESE INDUSTRY BOOSTS TIBET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 HOUR COLESLAW

1 head Cabbage -- shredded

1 medium Green Pepper -- diced fine

1 small Onion -- chopped fine

1/2 cup Sugar

1 teaspoon Celery Salt

1/2 cup Vinegar

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1 teaspoon Mustard

1 teaspoon Salt

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, pepper, onion, sugar and celery

salt. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan; boil for 3 minutes and pour over first mixture while hot. Cool and put in refrigerator for 24 hours before serving. RF4RP

5 COURSES TO LOVE

(A Valentine article, Spike discovered too late. Love is okay on any day.)

Deft kitchen work could lead to even better things, By Ron Ottobre

TIMES CORRESPONDENT

 

Oysters and Caviar

 

IT'S THE PREGNANT pause I dread most. The one that begins after "I'm sorry, we only have 10:30 left."

 

We both know it's too late. But that won't break the quiet. Where there's silence, there's hope.

 

As the chef at Mudd's in San Ramon for a decade, I've seen too many Valentine's-dinner hopes shattered. I couldn't face another year of broken hearts. So this year I offer an at-home alternative: a dummy-proof dinner laced with aphrodisiacs.

 

Before I set out shopping for this test dinner, I give myself some guidelines: There will be five courses; each course will have an ingredient with a romantic reputation; they will all satisfy without being too filling; and, above all, none will take more than a few minutes to prepare. I also want dishes that work well on a single plate -- so my wife Nancy and I can share.

 

Diablo Foods in Lafayette is my first stop (like Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl and Andronico's, this market is always inspiring). And dessert is the first course I plan. Perusing the produce section, I grab what looks and smells erotic. The strawberries are a brilliant crimson. OK, strawberries and chocolate. Yeah. Chocolate mousse and strawberries, that's it. Nancy would love it.

 

I discover beautiful asparagus -- the first sign spring is on its way. The spears would be fantastic dressed up with a few drops of truffle oil and shaved parmesan. A good, easy salad course.

 

I spy crisp fennel bulbs, their aphrodisiac history well documented in Mediterranean cultures, their subtle flavor ideal for soup.

 

Passing the fresh fish in the iced case, I spot a mound of Blue Point oysters. Agreed. They would be a perfect first course, and to be absolutely decadent, I would top them with a little caviar.

 

But what about the main course?

 

So far I had conceived two appetizers, a soup and a dessert. Then, there they were -- beautiful New York steaks in the meat display case. Well-marbled and thick, nearly a pound apiece. One would do for the both of us. Not having any time to make stock, I consider beurre rouge -- a savory red-wine butter sauce -- infused with fresh sage. Medieval Europeans believed that a sage leaf entwined with a hair of your beloved created an amulet that would procure her undying love. Sage beurre rouge it was.

 

Now I had a menu. I buy my groceries and head up the street to Trader Joe's to buy some specialty items. Exotic vinegars, wines and quality chocolate fall into my cart.

 

Walking in the door, my honey smiles at the bulging grocery bags and wants a peek. Grinning, I tell her it's a secret and head into the kitchen.

 

The game is on

 

I decide to make the dessert first, since the chocolate mousse needs to chill awhile to firm up.

 

I grab a whisk and three stainless steel bowls: one for the mousse base; one for whipping the cream, and one to whip the egg whites.

 

I pour a little leftover coffee into one of the bowls with a packet of plain gelatin and place it over water in a sauce pan over the stove. I gradually warm up the pan, and add my chocolate to the bowl letting it slowly melt. I beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, add a little sugar and remove the bowl from the heat. While it's cooling, I whip the cream until firm, and whip my egg whites until just stiff.

 

Now comes the fun part. I whisk in a little of the whipped cream to the room-temperature chocolate mix. Then I fold in the rest of the cream, followed by the egg whites. Into the fridge it goes (minus a fingerful). The hardest part of the dinner is done.

 

I rinse my strawberries and slice them, cutting the biggest one into a fan. At the last minute, I decide to puree most of the sliced berries in the blender with a little sugar and lemon juice. I strain the sauce and put it and the fanned berry in the fridge.

 

Into second gear

 

I mince some shallots. Half go into a vinaigrette for my oysters. The rest into a pan with merlot, vinegar and chopped sage leaves -- for my butter sauce.

 

I tackle the soup course with gusto (fennel is said to increase amatory vigor.) With its mild licorice flavor, the soup will clear the palate for later dishes.

 

I sauté some diced sweet red onion in a little olive oil. I add my garlic and chopped fennel (saving some nice thin raw slices for garnish). After a few minutes I toss in some white wine and a cup of vegetable broth, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

 

I carefully puree the soup in the blender, checking the consistency and adding a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. I pour it back into the saucepan and set it aside.

 

Having two courses ready, I treat myself to a sip of merlot. I put a pot of water on to boil for the asparagus and start reducing my wine and vinegar for the beurre rouge.

 

I trim off the tough ends of my asparagus and blanch the spears for just a minute or two, until tender but not flaccid. I flash chill them in ice water (to keep them crisp and retain their color), dry them off and toss them in a bowl with a sprinkle of sherry vinegar, a few drops of truffle oil, sea salt and fresh cracked blacked pepper. I set them aside at room temperature, and ready the salad's garnishes: parmesan shavings and thinly sliced rounds of blood orange.

 

I now turn my sights to the steak.

 

My plan is to sear it rare, and let the steak slowly heat through in the oven -- which I turn on to its lowest setting.

 

Using the flat side of a large knife, I crush a teaspoon of whole black peppercorns. As I crack the pepper into bits, that distinctive smoky aroma tickles my nose.

 

With paper towels, I dry off my New York steak. I always buy Angus, Niman Ranch or Harris Ranch beef. They're expensive and worth it.

 

Now we're cookin'

 

I press the cracked black pepper into both sides of the steak and season it with sea salt. I heat a cast iron sauté pan until smoking -- turn on the exhaust fan -- and add a tablespoon of oil to the pan. I sear the steak on high heat for two to three minutes on each side, so it has a nice crust and then transfer it to the oven. I'll let it rest there while I finish up my prep and get through the first three courses. I remember to put two soup bowls in the oven as well.

 

I check my sauce reduction and see the liquid is nearly gone. I quickly cut a very cold stick of butter into cubes. Then, keeping the pan over low, low heat, I add a few cubes at a time, whisking all the while until the butter is just incorporated and the sauce is creamy. I take it off the heat and add a pinch of salt.

 

I put the sauce on top of the stove in a warm -- not hot -- spot so it neither congeals nor breaks, but stays warm and creamy. I ready the garnishes for my steak so I can quickly assemble the main course when the time comes. I put a little cleaned spring mix in a bowl and put it in the fridge along with an avocado that I have halved and carefully spooned out.

 

The curtain is about to rise.

 

I rinse and open my oysters, leaving the meat in the largest shell and taking care to remove any broken bits of shell. I arrange the oysters on a white napkin that I've arranged on a black plate. I put a little vinaigrette on each oyster, top them with a dollop of caviar, and garnish the plate with some lemon wedges and a parsley sprig.

 

I double-check all my prep and have another fingerful of mousse. It's time to break out the red tablecloth and set the silver.

 

Final preparations

 

I place some roses on the table, light the candle and pop the Champagne -- just as my sweetie, having long ago figured it all out, saunters in dressed in black and pearls. We make a toast and she knowingly asks me what this is all about. I blush, disappear into the kitchen and answer her question with a plate of glistening oysters.

 

After slurping down the last two of the sweet-salty creatures, we set the shells on the table and lean forward for a kiss. I refill her glass, take a sip of Champagne myself, and return to the kitchen.

 

I give the asparagus a quick toss in the bowl and arrange the spears on a white plate, pouring the excess dressing on top. I grind some pepper on the plate then garnish the spears with my shaved parmesan. On the side of the asparagus I lay two rounds of blood orange, a symbol of passion. I decide to add a few more droplets of truffle oil. I've been gone from the table less then two minutes.

 

With the asparagus plate in hand, I get some fire under the soup, give it a quick stir, and head out.

 

The truffle oil hits my nose as I walk in the dining room. Tangled with the nutty air of parmesan, it's a scent only Cupid could contrive.

 

Sharing

 

I place the plate between us, and we playfully eat the perfumed spears with our fingers. When there's less than a handful left, I decide to bring on the steaming soup, an easy task. I'm back in the kitchen and I turn up the flame, give the soup a stir, slice my French bread and bring it with some butter out to the table. I return to give the soup another stir, and ladle it into my hot bowls. I sprinkle the bisque with my garnishes and go. I don't want to lose any momentum.

 

We eat the soup silently, watching each other's expressions in the candlelight. It's going well.

 

She offers to help me clear the table, but I hear none of it. I whisk all our plates and debris away, leaving only the two oyster shells.

 

In the kitchen, I pour glasses of merlot from the bottle used for my sauce, and then ready the steak.

 

I slice my avocado on the diagonal and fan it out on the top of the plate.

 

I cut the steak in similar fashion and fan it along the base.

 

I toss my lettuce with a few droplets of olive oil and tuck it in, along with a couple of sage leaves, between the steak and avocado.

 

I bring the merlot to the table and retrieve the Champagne flutes and bottle, which I see is not empty. I put it in the freezer to rechill. I spoon my beurre rouge along the edge of the steak and bring it out.

 

The food, the candlelight, the wine. It's all just right. I see the clock on the wall and realize I had started shopping just three hours ago.

 

The main course -- the softness of avocado, the crunch of lettuce and the chewy steak -- make her swoon. We only stop eating when, after some determined prying on her part, I reveal what's coming next.

 

I disappear into the kitchen again, leaving the table clean.

 

The last course

 

With two large spoons, I make quenelles -- egg shapes -- out of the chocolate mousse and arrange them on a pretty plate. I spoon my sauce in a fanciful design and arrange my fanned strawberry on top. I pour the last of the Champagne and bring the two flutes out. I go back for the mousse and when I leave, I turn out the kitchen lights for the last time.

 

The candle is burning to the nub. I set down the mousse.

 

It's delicious. But we don't even get half way through.

 

 

SHOPPING LIST

 

• SEAFOOD & MEAT

8 live oysters

1 ounce sturgeon caviar

1 pound New York steak

 

• DAIRY

1 wedge parmesan

2 sticks (1/2 pound) sweet butter

3 eggs

1 cup whipping cream

 

• GROCERY

1/4 cup brewed cold coffee

1 can vegetable broth

1 packet plain gelatin

1 tablespoon sugar

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, 60 percent cocoa

Kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon whole or cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon salad oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon truffle oil

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup red wine

1 cup white wine, chardonnay or sauvignon blanc

1 whole loaf good French bread

 

• PRODUCE

1 handful mixed baby greens

1 ripe avocado

1 pound asparagus

1 blood orange

2 shallots

1 lemon

1 red onion

1 head garlic

1/2 pound fennel

1 sweet red bell pepper,

1 pint fresh berries

1 bunch fresh sage

1 bunch Italian parsley

ASPARAGUS SALAD

Serves 2

 

3/4 to 1 pound asparagus

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon truffle oil

Salt

A wedge of whole parmesan

1 blood orange

Black pepper

 

1. Cut or snap off the tough white ends of the asparagus. Steam or boil for 2 minutes until tender but not flaccid. Drop into ice water to cool. Dry well.

 

2. Place in a bowl and toss gently with vinegar, truffle oil and salt to taste Arrange on a plate and pour vinegar and oil from the bowl over them. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the chunk of parmesan over the asparagus. Slice thin rounds from the blood orange and garnish the plate. Grind fresh black pepper over all.

BARBECUE SAUCE FOR CHICKEN

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

1 egg

Paprika to sprinkle on chicken - as much as you want

Combine all ingredients, beat in a jar. Store in refrigerator. Brush on

chicken. Chicken will not burn.

BITTER CHOCOLATE WAFFLES

Makes 4 large waffles

 

2 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cake flour

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

Melt chocolates in top of double boiler over simmering water.

 

Grease, then preheat waffle iron to medium-high, or according to manufacturer's instructions. In large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat egg yolks, milk, vanilla and melted butter with a whisk until foamy.

 

With an electric mixer, in a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour milk mixture into well, stirring just until moistened. With large spatula, fold in whites until no streaks are visible.

 

Add melted chocolate and swirl through batter. For each waffle, pour about 1 cup batter onto grid. Close lid and bake until waffle is crisp and well-browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from iron with fork to protect your fingers. Serve immediately.

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

2 pounds frozen broccoli cuts

Salt, to taste

1 cup butter or margarine, divided

2 pounds Velveeta cheese (1 box)

8 ounces Ritz crackers (1 small box)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole dish.

spread broccoli in dish (there's no need to thaw the broccoli). Season with

salt. Combine 1/2 cup butter and all the cheese in a bowl and microwave on

high, stirring every minute or 2, until cheese is melted; mixture does not

combine smoothly, but any lumps will cook out in the oven. Spread over

broccoli.

Melt remaining butter. Crush Ritz crackers and mix crumbs with butter. Sprinkle over cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes; remove foil and bake 15 more minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Serves 12.

(Heated leftovers are good spread on a baked potato.)

CHICKEN WINE SOUP

(GAI ZUL)

4 to 6 servings as a tonic

 

1/2 ounce wood ears, about 1/2 cup

8 dried Chinese mushrooms

1/2 cup lily buds

2 pounds chicken, cut up

5 ounces ginger

1/4 cup raw, skinless peanuts

1 ounce pork butt, julienned

1/2 (750-ml) bottle "Tung Kiang" glutinous rice wine

 

In a medium bowl, soak the wood ears in cold water to cover for two hours to soften. Drain and discard water. Remove any hard spots and carefully rinse under cold water to remove any dirt. Roughly cut into 11/2-inch-square pieces.

 

In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup cold water for about 30 minutes to soften. Drain and squeeze dry, reserving soaking liquid. Cut off and discard stems, leaving caps whole.

 

In a small bowl, soak lily buds in 1/4 cup cold water for 30 minutes to soften. Drain and discard water. Remove hard ends from the buds and tie each lily bud into a knot.

 

Set aside chicken wings. With a cleaver, chop chicken through the bone into bite-size pieces (or disjoint into serving pieces). Using a paring knife, scrape the ginger to remove the peel and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick.

 

In a large pot, combine the wood ears, lily buds, chicken wings, ginger, peanuts, pork, the mushroom soaking liquid and 3 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes.

 

Uncover the pot and increase heat to high. Add the chopped chicken (or pieces) and rice wine and return to a rolling boil. When chicken is just cooked, remove from heat.

 

Serve immediately, piping hot (no more than 11/2 cups for each person). Be advised that the ginger is very spicy, but a serving includes something of everything in the pot.

CHICKPEAS BALANCE MILD FLAVOR OF COD

By Mark Bittman, New York Times

 

Sherry, garlic and chickpeas, a decidedly Andalusian combination of flavors, can be served by itself, as a side dish or with almost any cut of meat, fish or poultry. But I like it best with cod. The subtlety and tenderness of the fish are wonderfully offset by the almost meaty flavors of the scented chickpeas.

 

Cod, though mild, is distinctive. By getting a well-browned crust on the fish, you highlight its flavors and its texture. The simple technique of browning it on one side and then finishing it in the oven is pretty much infallible. A non-stick pan is essential, but a lot of fat is not. Served browned-side up on the bed of chickpeas, the fish looks fantastic.

 

The cod, which must be fresh, should be of uniform thickness. If you ask for a cod ``loin'' or a ``captain's cut,'' you will get a thick piece without the thinner tail and belly sections; it might cost a dollar a pound more, but it's worth it.

 

While canned chickpeas are suitable for this dish, dried chickpeas, cooked in advance, are worth the extra work. They take a long time to become tender, often two hours or more, but are superior in taste and texture. While most canned chickpeas, which are precooked, swim in a somewhat suspicious liquid (drain and rinse them before using), freshly cooked chickpeas produce a broth that is so delicious that some of it should be included in the sauce.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH BERRIES

Serves 4

 

1 packet plain gelatin

1/4 cup cold coffee

8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate (60 percent cocoa is best)

3 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon white sugar

1/2 pint whipping cream

Raspberries or strawberries for garnish or sauce

Mint sprigs, optional

 

1. Dissolve gelatin in the cold coffee for 2 minutes. Add chocolate and melt in a double boiler over simmering water. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the sugar. Remove from heat and cool slightly. It should still be slightly warm to the touch.

 

2. Whip egg whites until just stiff. Whip cream until firm. Whisk a little cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining cream. Fold in the whites.

 

3. The finished mousse may be spooned into wine glasses and put into the fridge to cool. Or let the mousse partially set in a bowl and then pipe from a pastry bag into whatever container you like. Garnish with berries and mint if desired or make sauce below.

 

4. You can also wait an hour or so until the mousse is nice and firm. Then use two large spoons to create egg shapes out of the mousse and lay them directly on a flat plate. If serving like this, try first pureeing a few raspberries or strawberries with a little sugar and lemon juice, and then straining. The sauce can be dribbled around the plate. Garnish with mint if desired.

 

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY TARTS

4-6 servings

"I won't pretend that the chocolate pastry here is easy to work with. Yes, it does tear easily, but that doesn't matter because it patches up perfectly, too.

 

"Maybe the first time you make these, you should try to get just four little tarts out of the dough; later, when you're more confident, you should be able to make six without trouble." (The quote is by a British woman who has a tv show.)

 

For the tarts:

 

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, plus additional for working the dough

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (1/2 cup)

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon ice water

 

For the filling:

 

2 ounces white chocolate

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons mascarpone

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy (whipping) cream

About 2 pints raspberries

4 to 6 tartlet pans (21/2-by-5 inches) with removable bottoms

 

For the tarts: Your best bet is to make the pastry in a food processor, so put the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt into the bowl and pulse to blend. Cut butter into small pieces and pulse with flour mixture until it looks crumbly.

 

Beat yolk and ice water together and add it down the funnel. When pastry starts to clump together, turn it out of processor onto lightly floured surface.

 

Work it together with your hands and shape into two discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 

On a very lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll out one dough disc to 1/4-inch thickness. Pastry will be quite dry because of the cocoa, so don't be too heavy-handed with the flour on your rolling surface.

 

Using a tart pan as a guide, cut two or three rough circles about 3/4 inch larger than the pan. Ease the pastry into the pans -- don't worry if the dough breaks, just patch it as best you can -- and cut off the excess pastry. Do this with the remaining dough and freeze them until they feel frozen, about 30 minutes.

While pastry is in the freezer, turn on oven to 350 degrees and slip in a baking sheet to heat up at the same time.

 

Put tartlets straight into oven on baking sheet; cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until pastry feels cooked and dry.

 

The freezing plus the fact that the individual area is small means that they shouldn't puff up, which in turn means we're doing without the beans and all that blind-baking palaver. Transfer the pastry shells to a wire rack to cool. When the pastry shells are cool, carefully slip them out of their pans.

 

While the pastry's cooking, melt the white chocolate for the filling, either in the microwave or in a double boiler.

 

To finish the filling: Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat the mascarpone and cream just until combined. Whisking constantly, slowly add the melted, slightly cooled, white chocolate. Go gently with your whisking: you don't want this too thick; however, a little extra unwhipped cream stirred in at the end will thin it down if necessary.

 

To assemble: Fill the pastry shells with the cream mixture. Top with raspberries. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

COD WITH CHICKPEAS AND SHERRY

Serves 4

 

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

2 cod fillets, each about 1 inch thick, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total

Salt and pepper

4 cups freshly cooked chickpeas with their liquid, or canned chickpeas, well-drained and rinsed

3/4 cup sherry, preferably amontillado

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick skillet large enough to hold cod in one layer. Turn heat to medium-high. When oil is hot, add fish, shiny side up. Cook, undisturbed, about 5 minutes, or until evenly browned. Turn fish onto an ovenproof plate browned-side up, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put it in oven.

 

Immediately add chickpeas to skillet (with about 1/2 cup of their liquid, if freshly cooked) and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add all but a tablespoon of sherry and raise heat to high. Cook, shaking pan now and then, until liquid is all but evaporated and chickpeas begin to brown. Stir in garlic and some salt and pepper and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sherry.

 

By this time, fish will be done. (If not, keep chickpeas warm over low heat until it is.) Serve fish on top of chickpeas, garnished with parsley, if you like.

EASY ALMOND CAKE

10 to 12 servings

You could easily use a plain cake pan for this cake, but I always use my spring-form tube pan (not hard to find) because the particular scent and delicacy of this cake make it perfect as a dinner-party dessert.

 

"One gentle reminder here: you just will not get the marzipan to ooze into the cake batter if it starts off ice cold. In dire straits, I have cubed it and given it a quick whirl in the microwave. And if you wanted to replace the vanilla extract with the zest of an orange, I wouldn't mind in the slightest." (The quote is from some

British woman who has a tv program.)

 

 

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 14 ounces) marzipan, at room temperature (see

note above)

18 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for the pan (1 cup, 2 tbsp +)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 large eggs

1 cup self-rising flour, preferably cake flour, plus additional for the pan

10-inch spring-form tube pan or patterned ring mold, buttered and floured

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Coarsely chop the marzipan to make it easier to break down. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the marzipan, butter and sugar until combined and pretty well smooth.

 

Add almond and vanilla extracts, process again. Add the eggs, one at a time through the funnel, processing again each time. Add the flour down the funnel, processing yet again, then pour the mixture into the buttered and floured pan, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

 

Bake for 50 minutes, but check after 40 minutes. Then, when the cake looks golden and cooked and a cake tester or fine skewer (or a piece of spaghetti) comes out cleanish, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan before turning out.

 

Note: Marzipan is available at most grocery stores.

EASY PIE CRUST

Melt 1 stick of butter in a baking dish (9 x 13).

Add together:

 

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

 

Pour dough onto melted butter. Pour favorite pie filling over dough.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake @ 350, 30-35 minutes.

EXOTIC MUSHROOM SOUP

To save time, you can add cooked rice to the soup instead of cooking it in the soup. Nathan notes that dried herbs intensify with cooking time, while fresh herbs weaken. Serves 6-8

 

1 cup wild rice

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 shallots, sliced thin

1 carrot, rough chopped

1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced

2 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth

3/4 to 1 pound mixed sliced mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster and chanterelle

1/4 cup brandy for deglazing

2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh savory

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

White pepper and salt to taste

Chives for garnish

 

Soak rice in very warm water for several hours, until grains begin to split.

 

In a very large sauté pan or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and sauté shallots and carrots for two minutes. Add white mushrooms and sauté until tender.

 

Deglaze pan with 3/4 cup chicken broth and reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer for five minutes.

 

In a covered stockpot, warm remaining chicken broth.

 

In a blender or food processor, puree mushroom mixture by adding 11/2 cups of warmed broth in 1/2-cup increments. Return pureed mixture to stockpot and continue heating.

 

In a sauté pan or skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons butter and sauté exotic mushrooms until they just begin to brown. Deglaze pan with cognac. Add to stockpot. Add rice, chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer covered until rice is fully cooked. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped chives.

FARE TENDERLOIN

12 slices bacon

6 pork tenderloin patties

seasoned salt

pepper

prepared mustard

6 slices canned pineapple

parsley sprigs

Crisscross 2 slices of bacon and place a tenderloin patty in center of cross. Sprinkle meat with seasoned salt and pepper. Spread with mustard. Place a pineapple slice on top. Bring ends of bacon up over top and secure with a toothpick. Arrange the 6 completed tenderloins in a 8x12 inch casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Garnish with a sprig parsley when ready

to serve. Makes 6 servings

FEDELINI WITH TUNA AND CHICKPEAS

Serves 4

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 small onion, cut into thin slices

3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

Grated zest from 1/2 orange

11 /2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

6-ounce can tuna packed in oil

1 2/3 cups canned drained chickpeas (one 15-ounce can), rinsed

3/4 pound fedelini

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

 

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat.

 

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about five minutes. Add the fennel seeds, orange zest and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute longer.

 

Add the tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the tuna and its oil and the chickpeas, cover and remove pan from the heat.

 

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fedelini until just done, about six minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

 

Drain the pasta and toss with sauce, 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and parsley. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water.

 

Cook's note: Different brands of tuna vary tremendously. Here we use tuna packed in oil, and we count on that oil as part of the sauce. If your tuna has less than 11/2 tablespoons oil per can, add a little extra cooking oil to make up for the difference.

FENNEL BISQUE

Serves 2-4

 

1 red onion, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound fennel bulb

1 or 2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped finely

1 cup white wine, chardonnay or sauvignon blanc

1 cup vegetable broth, homemade or canned

Juice of 1/4 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

a pinch of ground black pepper

1/4 sweet red bell pepper, seeds and rib removed, diced fine

1/2 baguette French bread

 

1. In a small soup pot, gently sauté the onion in olive oil, taking care not to brown. Meanwhile, trim off the excess green of the fennel, and cut in half. Slice some thin pieces off for garnish and reserve in ice water. Dice the rest. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the fennel and stir.

 

2. Add the white wine and vegetable broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the fennel is completely soft. Puree with a blender (an immersion blender works best), taking care not to splatter yourself with hot soup.

 

3. Return to the pot and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the reserved fennel and diced sweet red pepper. Serve with sliced French bread.

FIRE ROASTED ARTICHOKE

Claim Jumper(r)

For quite some time now I've been searching for the chain restaurant

with the best recipe for roasted artichokes, and I think I've finally found

it. The Cheesecake Factory came close there, but with roasted garlic

mayonnaise and delicious tomato relish that comes alongside this dish, Claim

Jumper takes the prize. This recipe is for just one artichoke, but feel free

to add another if more than a couple hungry mouths await. Just be sure to

double up on the tomato relish.

From Top Secret Recipes:

Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 head garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

dash salt

Tomato Relish

1 medium tomato, diced (about 1/2 cup)

1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon minced onion

2 basil leaves, minced

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

dash ground black pepper

1 large artichoke

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1. Roast the head of garlic by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Cut the top off of a head of garlic and cut the bottom (the root end) so that the garlic will sit flat. Remove most of the papery skin from the garlic, but leave just enough to hold the garlic together. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the garlic, then place it in a small oven-safe casserole dish. Cover it with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour or until the garlic begins to brown.

2. While the garlic is roasting prepare the tomato relish by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

3. Prepare the artichoke by cutting about an inch off the top with a sharp knife. Use scissors to clip the thorny tips off of all the outer leaves so no one gets poked. Cut the artichoke in half down through the middle, then bring some water to a boil in a large saucepan to steam the artichokes. The water should be a couple inches deep in the pan, but not so much as to cover the artichokes. If you have a steamer, that will work as well. When the water is simmering, add the artichokes, cover, and steam for 40 to 45 minutes or until the artichoke is tender. Preheat your barbecue grill to high heat.

4. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of roasted garlic from the head and combine it

with the mayo, lemon juice and salt. Stir well.

5. When the steamed artichokes are cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scrape out the fuzzy choke inside each half. Brush melted butter over the entire surface of each steamed artichoke half and place each half, flat side-down on the preheated grill. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes or until dark charring marks appear on the face of each half. Serve grilled-side-up with tomato relish (strain the liquid from the relish before serving) and roasted garlic mayonnaise on the side. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Serves 2 as an appetizer.

FRENCH MEAT PIE

Makes 2 Pies

 

9-inch pie shells, not baked

2 1/2 lbs. ground chuck (1/2 ground pork if you like)

1 small onion finely chopped*

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 chopped clove garlic*

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

Combine all but the pie shells in a heavy saucepan, just cover with boiling water. Cook slowly until meat loses its pink color and water has evaporated by half. Remove from heat and stir in enough dry bread crumbs to make a moist mixture. ( 1/2 to 3/4 cup). Pour into 2 - 9" pie shells, cover with top crust, flute edges and cut steam vents in top. Bake in preheated oven at 450º for about 30

minutes. (425° for glass pans) *You can substitute 2 tbsp dry onion and 1/2

tsp. dried garlic for fresh

FUDGE BARS

Part One

1 cup Butter or Margarine -- softened

2 cups Brown Sugar -- packed

2 1/2 cups Flour

2 Eggs

2 teaspoons Vanilla

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

3 cups Quick-Cooking Oats

Part Two

12 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Nuts -- chopped (optional)

To make dough: In a large bowl, cream butter, eggs and brown sugar with an

electric mixer- then add vanilla, salt and baking soda. Using a large wooden spoon, stir in flour and oats. Spread dough in a large greased baking sheet, reserving 1 1/2 cups of mixture for later. Set aside.

To make filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a medium saucepan,

melt filling ingredients over low heat.

Pour filling over dough on baking sheet, and spread evenly. Now crumble

remaining dough and sprinkle over filling as a topping. Bake at 350 degrees

F for 20 - 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into 24 squares and

remove from pan.

To freeze: These cookies freeze wonderfully! To freeze them for eating

later, divide cookies into groups of 4 - 6 squares, and wrap each group as a

'group square', using foil, and making certain to smooth our any air

pockets. Next, flash freeze the wrapped squares by placing them onto baking

sheets and placing them in your freezer until they have hardened- 1 - 2

hours. Once your squares have frozen, you can place the wrapped squares

into large zip baggies, or sealed containers. Label, and freeze for 6 - 12

weeks. To eat your cookies later, keep cookies inside foil wrappers and

thaw at room temperature for 2 hours.

(C)1999-2002, Kaylin White/Real Food for Real People All Rights Reserved.

FUDGE TRUFFLE CHEESECAKE

10 to 12 servings

 

Chocolate crumb crust:

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup butter, melted

 

Filling:

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Garnish:

10 to 12 chocolate truffles, optional

 

For crust: In a medium bowl, stir together wafer crumbs, powdered sugar, cocoa and melted butter or margarine. Press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

 

For filling: Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

 

In a microwave-safe bowl, place chocolate chips. Microwave at high for 11/2 minutes, stir. If necessary, microwave at high an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted and smooth when stirred.

 

In a large mixer bowl, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add melted chocolate, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour into prepared crust. Bake 65 minutes or until center is set.

 

Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely, remove side of pan.

 

Refrigerate before serving. Garnish with coated chocolate truffles, if desired. Cover and refrigerate leftover cheesecake.

 

 

GLAZED PAN COOKIES

for cookies:

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 sticks margarine

1 egg

Pinch Salt

1 t. Vanilla

1 1/2 c. flour

for glaze:

1 cup confectioner's sugar

maraschino juice (pink), orange juice (orange), or lemon juice (yellow)

Cream together sugar and margarine until soft. Add egg, salt and vanilla.

Gradually add flour. Spread evenly on greased 13x9x2 cookie sheet. Bake at

350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Top with glaze and cut into squares 5

minutes after removing them from the oven.

Glaze

Measure 1 c powdered sugar into a bowl. Gradually stir in maraschino juice

(pink glaze), orange juice (orange glaze) or lemon juice (yellow glaze)

until desired consistency.

GRANDS LITTLE PIES

Serves 16

 

3/4 cup all-purpose or unbleached flour

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired

1 (17.3-ounce) can Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Flaky Biscuits

1 (21-ounce) can apple, blueberry or cherry pie filling

1 to 1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Cinnamon-sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts.

 

Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Split each biscuit in half to make 16 rounds. With floured fingers, flatten each to form a 4-inch round. Press each round into ungreased 2 3/4 by 1 1/4 inch muffin cup. Spoon 2 tablespoons pie filling into each biscuit-lined cup. Sprinkle each with about 2 tablespoons flour mixture. (Cups will be full.)

 

Bake for 15-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; place on wire rack. Cool 10 minutes.

 

In small bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Top each serving with whipped cream; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Store in refrigerator.

HAWAIIAN SWEET BREAD

This comes from The Cozy Home Cookbook by Gooseberry Patch.

1 pkg. active dry yeast

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. warm water, divided

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour, divided

5 eggs, divided

1. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water; set aside.

2. In a saucepan, combine milk, butter, sugars and salt; heat until warm,

approximately 110 deg. Remove from heat, place in a large mixing bowl and blend in yeast mixture. Stir in 5 cups of flour and mix well.

3. Lightly beat 4 eggs and add to dough; mixture will be sticky. Set aside

to let rise until double in bulk.

4. Knead dough, adding enough remaining flour until dough is elastic and no

longer sticky. Form into 2 round loaves and place in greased pie or round

cake pans. Let rise again until double in bulk.

5. Combine remaining egg and one tbsp. of water; beat well and brush over

risen loaves. Bake at 350º for 40 to 50 minutes. Yield: 2 loaves.

HEARTY RED PEPPER SOUP

Serves 8

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 large red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

3 shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1 ripe pear, cored, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup orange juice (optional)

Sour cream or plain yogurt, for garnish

 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell peppers, carrots, shallots and garlic. Cover and cook about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add broth and pear and simmer 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

 

Puree soup with a stick blender or food processor. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper. If soup is too thick, thin it with orange juice, if desired. Carefully place a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt in center of soup and, with a knife placed at the top of the blob, quickly draw it downward to create a heart shape. Sprinkle with cilantro if desired.

HOT COCOA SHOTS

WITH HOMEMADE MINI MARSHMALLOWS

Makes 4 cups, serving 4

 

For marshmallows:

1/4 cup light corn syrup

3/4 cup sugar

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon gelatin

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For hot chocolate:

4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 recipe homemade marshmallows, placed in a pastry bag fitted with a small

plain tip OR use store-bought mini marshmallows, for serving

Cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)

 

To make marshmallows: Combine 1/4 cup water, corn syrup and sugar in a saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil and boil to ``soft-ball'' stage, about 235 degrees.

 

Meanwhile, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water and let dissolve. When syrup reaches 235 degrees, remove from heat, add gelatin and mix. Pour syrup into whipped egg whites. Add vanilla and continue whipping until stiff. Transfer to pastry bag.

 

To make hot cocoa: Place milk in a saucepan and heat to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, stir together cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon. A few teaspoons at a time, stir some hot milk into cocoa mixture to make a smooth paste. Scrape cocoa mixture into saucepan with remaining milk and simmer for 2 minutes; do not let it boil. Turn off heat and add vanilla.

 

Pour cocoa into small serving cups and pipe or place 4 mini marshmallows in each cup. Add a cinnamon stick (you can sip hot cocoa through it). Serve immediately with cookies, any dessert or on its own. (Any leftover marshmallow can be molded or piped into any shape and decorated with colored sugar.)

MAPLE BEEF TERIYAKI

Serves 8 as a main course or 16 as an appetizer

 

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon five-spice powder

2 pounds lean beef, sliced across grain into 1/4-inch strips

 

Mix maple syrup, tamari, vegetable oil, sesame oil and five-spice powder in a large non-reactive bowl. Add beef and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight; stir occasionally.

 

Prepare a grill or broiler for medium-high heat. Drain beef and pat dry with paper towels. Thread meat onto eight long or 16 short skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for 30 minutes before threading beef). Grill or broil beef until tender, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes total for medium rare.

MAPLE CREAM SCONES

Makes about 12 scones

 

2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, plus 2 tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

 

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter pieces into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in mixture.

 

Blend cream and 1/4 cup maple syrup and pour mixture into well. Stir, just until dough coheres. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead four or five times, gently. Pat or roll to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into 2 1/2-to-3-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet.

 

Stir together melted butter and remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup; brush a little on each scone. Keep remaining syrup mixture warm. Bake scones for about 15 minutes, until golden. Serve hot. Spoon remaining warm syrup mixture over scones.

MAPLE ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

Serves 4

 

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks

3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks

1 small ( 1/2 pound) yellow turnip, peeled and quartered

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup bourbon or rum

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange carrots, parsnips and turnips in a single layer in shallow roasting pan.

 

Heat butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan just until butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add rum.

 

Pour maple mixture over vegetables and toss thoroughly to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Stir vegetables and bake, uncovered, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes longer.

MEATBALL STEW

Yields 6 Servings

1 lb lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 egg

1/2 tsp seasoned salt

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 tsp Italian seasoning

salt

4 carrots, pared and sliced

1/4 tsp pepper

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tbsp butter

16 oz canned whole tomatoes, chopped

1 medium onion, sliced

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 cup water

1/4 cup cold water

2 tablespoons kitchen magic

Combine the ground beef with the chopped onion, egg, bread crumbs, salt and

pepper. Shape into meatballs. Brown in butter. Drain well. Stir the tomatoes, water, beef base and seasonings together. Place the carrots, potatoes and sliced

onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the meatballs. Pour the tomato mixture over. Cover. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. Remove the meatballs (use a slotted spoon). Make a smooth paste of the cornstarch and water. Stir into the vegetables. Cover. Cook on HIGH until thickened (about 10 minutes). Return the meatballs. Stir. Serve.

MEATBALL SUBS

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c. finely chopped onion

1 lb extra lean ground beef

8 oz ground turkey

1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 can (15oz) tomato sauce

1/4 c. dry red wine

6-8 hoagie rolls, split and warmed

In bowl, beat egg with salt, seasoning, red pepper flakes and garlic. Add

chopped onion, beef, turkey, crumbs and parmesan cheese; mix well. Shape

into 1-1/2" balls. Place meatballs in 5 qt or larger crock pot. In same bowl, mix tomato sauce and wine; pour over meatballs. Cover and cook at low setting til meatballs are no longer pink in middle, cut to test (5-6 hours). Carefully lift meatballs from cooker and place 3-4 in each split roll; moisten with a little sauce from cooker. If desired add condiments (pepper strips, slices mozzarella cheese, olives, etc) to each sandwich. Makes 6-8 servings.

 

 

MEXICAN STYLE HOMEMADE CANDIES

SPREAD SWEETNESS, WITH LITTLE FUSS

By Jennifer Viegas

 

A wonderful Aztec poem contains the line, ``Friendship is like a shower of precious flowers.'' So on Valentine's Day, why not shower those who are special in your life with a box of homemade Mexican candies?

 

One of the easiest candies to make is fruta cubierta, or crystallized fruit. It stores well and looks great. Cut strips of peel from any citrus fruit. Place up to 1 1/2 cups of peel in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook about 15 minutes. Remove the peel; place it between a few layers of paper towels and let it rest for 5 minutes before rolling the peel in granulated sugar. Place the peel on more paper towels and dry for about 24 hours. When dry, it can be stored for several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer, until it is ready for your Valentine's Day candy box.

 

One candy-making trick is the chocolate-flavored candy coating made by Borden's Eagle Brand. It is sometimes hard to find, so I stock up when I see it in stores. It eliminates the need for using paraffin, or edible wax, in chocolate to produce the right consistency and hardening for coating. When it's melted, everything from orange slices to pretzels to strawberries can be dipped into it.

 

Bombones de coco, or chocolate-covered coconut candy, offers another use for the coating. Palanqueta is a traditional candy similar to peanut brittle but with almonds.

 

According to one popular Mexican legend, San Valentin restored a young blind girl's sight and she planted an almond tree with pink flowers next to his tomb. Almonds have since become symbols for lasting love and friendship.

 

MUSHROOM TOASTS

Serves 6

 

1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

Olive oil for brushing toasts, or olive oil spray

1 pound fresh chanterelles, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium shallot, chopped

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

To make toasts: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush bread rounds on both sides with olive oil (or spray). Bake on a cookie sheet until crisp, about 6 minutes. Then remove from oven and turn on broiler.

 

To prepare mushrooms: Heat a dry pan over high heat. Add mushrooms to pan and sauté, stirring, until mushrooms have released their juices and reabsorbed them. When pan is dry, add olive oil and shallots and cook, stirring, until shallots are soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Scoop a tablespoon or so of mushroom mixture onto each toast round. Sprinkle with cheese and place under broiler for 1-2 minutes, until cheese begins to bubble. Serve immediately.

NO BAKE CLUB CRACKER COOKIES

 

54 Club crackers

1/2 c Margarine

1/3 c Milk

3/4 c Brown sugar

1/2 c Sugar

1 c Graham cracker crumbs

6 oz Semisweet chocolate chips

2/3 c Chunky peanut butter

1/2 c Peanuts; crushed

 

Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan with 27 of the crackers. Melt

margarine in a small saucepan. Add milk, brown sugar, sugar and graham

cracker crumbs in that order. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Pour over

crackers. Top with second layer of 27 crackers. Melt chocolate chips and

peanut butter together. Spread over crackers. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts.

Chill 3 hours. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. Makes 32.

ORIENTAL PORK CHOPS

4-6 pork tenderloins

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can of fancy Chinese vegetables

1 pkg of long grain wild rice

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except pork. Place pork in a deep dish

pan and cover with mixture. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake 1 hour at

350 degrees F.

OYSTERS WITH CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR AND CAVIAR

Serves 2

 

Your fishmonger will probably open the oysters for you if ask. Just be sure to carry them carefully and buy them the same day as your dinner.

 

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or good white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 shallot peeled and chopped finely

a pinch of salt

8 fresh oysters

1 ounce of American or imported sturgeon caviar, optional

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Parsley sprigs

 

1. Mix the vinegar and water, add the chopped shallot and season with salt.

 

2. Open the oysters. This can be done with an oyster knife or flathead screwdriver. Rinse first to remove excess sand. Hold firmly with a kitchen towel, using it to stabilize the oyster and to protect your hand in case you slip.

 

3. Find the hinge and twist the oyster knife or screwdriver to open. Gently separate the two shells, scraping the oyster off the shells and leaving it in the larger or more attractive half.

 

4. Place the oysters on a cloth napkin on a large plate and spoon a little of the vinaigrette over each oyster. Top with caviar, if desired, and garnish with lemon and parsley.

PASTA E FAGIOLI clone

from the Olive Garden.

From Top Secret Recipes:

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, diced (1 cup)

1 large carrot, julienne (1 cup)

3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes

1 15-ounce can red kidney beans (with liquid)

1 15-ounce can great northern beans (with liquid)

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 12-ounce can V-8 juice

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta

1. Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Drain

off most of the fat.

2. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.

3. Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.

4. About 50 minutes into simmer time, cook the pasta in 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of

boiling water over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or just until pasta is al

dente, or slightly tough. Drain.

5. Add the pasta to the large pot of soup. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and

serve. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Serves 8.

PEPPER STEAK WITH SAGE BEURRE ROUGE

 

1 thick New York steak, about 1 pound

1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon salad oil

1/4 cup red wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 shallot, peeled and chopped fine

1 tablespoon julienned fresh sage leaves

4 ounces (1 stick) cold sweet butter diced

1 avocado, peeled and seed removed

1 handful of mixed baby lettuces

A few drops virgin olive oil

 

1. Rub the steak with the salt and cracked pepper. Heat a skillet until smoking and add the oil. When hot, sauté the steak two to three minutes per side. Remove to a plate and place in a warm oven.

 

2. In a small heavy sauce pan, reduce the wine, vinegar, shallot and sage by a little more than half, until the liquid begins to thicken slightly. Turning the heat to low, add the butter a little at a time, whisking after each addition until all of the butter is incorporated. If the sauce is not yet creamy, whisk in more cold butter. Remove pan to a warm place.

 

3. Slice the avocado and fan it out on the edge of the plate. Slice the avocado and fan it out opposite the steak. Toss the lettuce in a few droplets of olive oil and place between the steak and avocado. Spoon the sauce over the steak. Garnish with sage sprigs.

PORK TENDERLOIN MEDALLIONS

Serves 4

 

2 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds total), patted dry and cut crosswise into 1 1/2 inch medallions, each pressed with fingertips to 3/4- to 1-inch thickness

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

Salt and ground black pepper

A pan sauce, uncooked relish or flavored butter (optional)

 

Set a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, while preparing the medallions. Three to four minutes before searing the medallions, turn on fan and increase heat to high.

 

Set medallions on a plate, drizzle with oil and turn to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. About 1 minute after the residual oils in the skillet send up wisps of smoke, put medallions in the pan. Cook over high heat until meat develops a thick, rich brown crust, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Turn medallions and continue cooking over high until remaining sides develop a thick, rich brown crust, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes longer. (For medium-well-done medallions, turn the heat to low and cook, turning once, for 1-2 minutes longer.) Remove to a plate.

 

If desired, serve with an uncooked relish or make a pan sauce by adding 1/2 cup liquid (chicken broth, wine, or other liquid of choice) to skillet. Boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Tilting skillet so that reduced liquid is at one side of the pan, whisk in butter until sauce is smooth and glossy. Pan sauce suggestions include red wine Dijon pan sauce, port wine with dried cranberries, or apple-cider pan sauce.

QUEBEC TOURTIERRE

Yield: 4 servings

 

Pastry for 9"pie

1 lb Pork; lean ground

1 Onion; medium, chopped

Salt & pepper

1/2 tsp Savory Cloves; ground

1/4 cup Water; boiling

 

Mix meat, onion, spices in a saucepan. Add boiling water. Simmer, uncovered

for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim off any fat. Preheat oven to 375

F. Roll out half of the pastry and line 9" pie plate. Place filling in pie

plate and cover with the remaining pastry. Prick with a fork. Bake at 375F

for 30 minutes or till golden. Serve piping hot topped with homemade ketchup

or chili sauce.

 

Note: Traditionally this is eaten hot after midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

 

 

 

 

 

QUICK PHO RECIPE

Serves 6 as a main dish

 

For the broth:

6 whole star anise

6 whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 (3-inch) piece ginger, cut in half lengthwise, lightly bruised with the flat of a

knife

1 small yellow onion

2 quarts purchased low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

3 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 chicken thighs or breasts

 

Noodle assembly:

 

1 pound dried 1/16-inch-wide rice sticks, cooked and drained according to

package directions

1/3 cup thinly sliced yellow onion

2 scallions, cut into thin rings

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

 

For garnish:

 

1/2 pound bean sprouts

10 sprigs Asian basil

3 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, cut into thin rings

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Toast star anise and cloves in dry pan over medium heat for two minutes. Place in a spice bag (see note) with peppercorns and set aside. Char ginger and onion by holding them with tongs directly over an open gas flame or directly on a medium-hot electric burner. Turn until edges are slightly blackened, three or four minutes. Peel and discard blackened skins.

 

Place broth, water, ginger and onion, fish sauce, sugar, salt and spice bag in a large pot and bring to boil.

 

Add chicken and cook for five minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done, about 15 minutes.

 

Continue to simmer broth, but remove chicken and, when cool, hand-shred into 1/2-inch-thick strips.

 

When ready to serve, bring a large pot of water to boil and dip noodles to reheat; drain. Divide among six preheated bowls. Garnish each bowl with a few onion slices and shredded chicken. Ladle in a generous amount of boiling broth. Garnish with scallions and cilantro. Invite guests to add sprouts, basil, chilies, squeezes of lime and black pepper.

 

Note: To make a spice bag, tie cheesecloth with cotton string, or empty out a teabag and tie up or restaple when filled, or use a teaball.

RASPBERRY TRUFFLE CAKE

Makes 16 servings (two 9-inch round cakes or one 9x13-inch cake)

 

for cake:

Canola cooking spray

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 16-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed in refrigerator (place bag in a bowl in

case some juice drips through the bag)

1 box devil's food cake mix (18.25 oz.)

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup Chambord (raspberry liqueur)

2 large eggs

2 egg whites (1/4 cup egg substitute can also be used)

 

for topping:

1/2 cup seedless raspberry or boysenberry jam

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon canola oil

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (metal or glass pan). Generously coat bottom of pan(s) with canola cooking spray (or lightly grease). Add cocoa powder and tilt pan(s) to completely coat the bottom.

 

2. Empty the entire bag of raspberries into a food processor and pulse until a puree forms (or mash with potato masher until a puree forms). If you don't mind the tiny seeds in the cake, proceed to Step 3. Otherwise, add the raspberry puree in batches to a fine wire mesh strainer and push on the puree with the back of a large spoon to push through everything but the seeds (discard the seeds).

 

3. Add cake mix, canola oil, Chambord, eggs and egg substitute, and raspberry puree to a large mixing bowl and beat on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly (or beat 1 minute by hand using a wire whisk). Pour evenly into pan(s).

 

4. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (30-35 minutes for a 13-by-9-inch pan, 25-30 minutes for two round 9-inch pans. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Run knife around side of pan(s) before removing. Carefully turn pan over to release cake onto serving plate(s). Cool completely before adding the topping.

 

5. Add seedless raspberry or boysenberry jam to microwave-safe small bowl and microwave on low for about 1 minute or until the jam is nice and loose. Spread evenly over the top of the cake(s). If you are using two 9-inch round cakes, you will top each one with 1/4 cup of the jam.

 

6. Add a cup of semisweet chocolate chips to a 1 cup glass measure and drizzle with 1 teaspoon canola oil. Microwave on high for 1 minute and stir. Microwave a minute or two longer (stirring after each 30-second interval) until chocolate is nicely melted and smooth. If it is too thick, you can add a couple of tablespoons of hot-but-not-boiling liquid -- such as coffee or liqueur -- to flavor and thin out the chocolate. Be careful: Too little will make it seize up; too much will make it too thin. Stir vigorously with a fork after adding liquid. Add more liquid if it doesn't eventually smooth out.

 

7. Drizzle evenly over top of cake(s) and smooth topping with spreader or back of a spoon. Let cool a few hours or overnight. If you are in a hurry, chill cake in refrigerator for about an hour to harden chocolate.

RED LOBSTER SHRIMP PASTA

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. shrimp, peeled, de-veined and remove tails

2/3 cup clam juice or chicken broth

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. each lemon juice and chopped parsley

1/4 tsp. each dried basil leaves and dried oregano leaves, crushed

1 package linguine pasta (8 ounces) cooked and drained

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; reduce heat to

low. Simmer until garlic is tender. Add shrimp in same skillet and cook over

medium-low heat until opaque. Remove; reserve liquid in pan. Add clam juice

(I use the chicken broth when I'm out of clam juice); bring to a boil. Add

wine; cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat

to low; add cream, stirring constantly. Add cheese; stir until smooth. Cook

until thickened. Add shrimp to sauce. Heat through. Add remaining except

linguine. Pour over linguine in large bowl; toss gently to coat. Serve with

additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

RISOTTO WITH COCONUT MILK AND SEAFOOD

Serves 4

 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup short-grain rice, such as arborio

1 cup dry white wine

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk

1 cup diced tomato (canned are fine; drain well), optional

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and diced

Salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

1/2 cup minced cilantro, basil or scallion, optional

 

Put oil in a 10-inch skillet, preferably non-stick, and turn heat to medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice glistens and sizzles, 2 or 3 minutes.

 

Add wine and let it boil away, stirring once or twice, until mixture is just about dry. Add 1 cup hot water and repeat, stirring frequently. Add half the coconut milk and cook, stirring frequently, until it is just about gone. Add remaining coconut milk and repeat.

 

At this point, rice should be nearly tender. If not, add another 1/2 cup water and let it boil away, stirring once or twice. Add tomato if desired, shrimp, salt and cayenne and cook until mixture is creamy and rice is tender but not mushy. Garnish with cilantro, basil or scallions and serve.

ROAST BEEF QUESADILLAS

6 ounces Deli Roast Beef -- thinly sliced

1 small Onion -- thinly sliced

1/2 medium Green Bell Pepper -- chopped

1/2 cup Salsa -- divided

3/4 cup Colby-Jack Cheese -- shredded

4 medium Flour Tortillas

Place onion and bell pepper in small microwave-safe bowl. Cover and

microwave at HIGH 3 to 4 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

Stir in 3 tablespoons salsa; reserve. Sprinkle equal amount of cheese evenly

on each tortilla. Arrange deli roast beef over cheese; top with equal amount

of reserved vegetable mixture. Fold tortillas over to close. Meanwhile heat

10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat 5 minutes. Cook two quesadillas in

skillet 2 to 2-1/2 minutes, turning once. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.

Serve hot, with remaining salsa.

Note: Shredded Monterey Jack, Colby or Cheddar cheese may be substituted

for Colby-Jack cheese (Co-Jack).

Microwave Directions: Place two quesadillas on 12-inch microwave-safe plate.

Cover with moistened paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or

until hot. Repeat with remaining 2 quesadillas.

Source: "adapted from recipe by: National Cattlemen's Beef Association"

ROSEMARY MARINATED LAMB CHOPS

From McCormick Schilling

Makes 8 servings

2 teaspoons Gourmet Collection Crushed Rosemary Leaves

1 teaspoon Gourmet Collection Thyme Leaves

1 teaspoon Gourmet Collection Ground Black Pepper

1 teaspoon Gourmet Collection Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

8 loin lamb chops, cut 1 to 1 1/4-inch thick, trimmed

1. Mix crushed rosemary, thyme, black pepper, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl. Add onion, orange juice, white wine, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk together and reserve 1/2 cup marinade mixture for later use.

2. Place lamb chops in self-closing plastic bag; add marinade. Turn to coat. Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes. Remove lamb from marinade and blot dry with a paper towel. (Do not remove onion pieces from chops).

3. Heat remaining oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb in skillet. Sear one side of lamb approximately 4 minutes or until well browned. Turn chops over and cook 4 minutes longer or until desired doneness. Add reserved marinade and simmer 2 minutes. Remove lamb to a serving plate. Pour reduced marinade over lamb.

SALMON FILLETS WITH CHANTERELLE RAGOUT

Serves 4

 

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

1 pound fresh chanterelles, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 medium shallots, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup heavy cream or half-and-half, (see Note)

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse salmon, pat dry and place in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes, until just cooked through.

 

While salmon is in the oven, heat a heavy dry skillet over high heat. Add chanterelles and sauté until mushrooms have released their juices and soaked them back up again. Add olive oil and butter. When butter has melted, add shallots and cook, stirring, until shallots are soft and translucent. Stir in thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until salmon is cooked.

 

When salmon is cooked, reheat mushroom mixture over medium-high. Stir in cream and cook for 1-2 minutes longer, until cream bubbles and thickens. Spoon mushroom mixture over salmon and serve immediately.

 

Note: For a lighter version, substitute evaporated non-fat milk for cream.

SHRIMP PAPANTLA WITH RIPE PLANTAINS

IN VANILLA CHILI CHIPOTLE SAUCE

Serves 8

 

1 1/2 pounds shrimp, medium-size (about 20-24 to the pound)

2 Mexican vanilla beans, plump, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 plantains, ripe (should be soft with blackened skin)

1 cup safflower or corn oil

2 pounds plum tomatoes (or canned tomatoes, drained), peeled, seeded and quartered

3 chipotle chilies in adobo (available in Latino markets)

1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract, preferably Gaya, (if using an unsweetened extract,

add 1 teaspoon light brown sugar)

Salt to taste

1 medium white onion, peeled and julienned

 

Peel and de-vein shrimp, leaving on tails, and set aside. Cut vanilla beans into 1-inch pieces with a knife and then chop to a fine bread-crumb texture in a small food processor or spice grinder, about 2 teaspoons. Set aside.

 

Cut off brown ends of plantains and slit skin length-wise from end to end along its ridges, preferably with a table knife. With fingertips, work off skin. Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds. Heat safflower or corn oil over moderate heat in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan or deep skillet until barely rippling. Fry plantains until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to drain. Keep in a warm place.

Place tomatoes and chilies in a blender or food processor and puree. Heat olive oil in a 9-inch skillet or medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in puree and salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes or until sauce thickens and oil starts to separate from solids and begins to fry again. Stir in onions, ground vanilla or extract and cook about 2 minutes while stirring. Add shrimp and plantains. Cook 3 more minutes. Serve immediately.

SIMPLE FRUIT TART

Serves 8

 

1 (17 1/4-ounce) package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup sugar

4 ounces almond paste, grated on the coarse side of a box grater

Fruit of choice (see Note)

 

Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

 

Working with one sheet at a time on a lightly floured work surface, cut each pastry sheet into quarters. Working with one square of dough at a time, fold each side of the dough 1/2 inch, then unfold to form a crease. Brush four corners of the dough with egg and then pinch each corner to form a four-cornered lipped square. Push up edges to reinforce lip. With a spatula, transfer dough squares to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

 

Working with one square at a time, sprinkle the dough base with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of grated almond paste. Arrange fruit of choice over almond paste. Sprinkle fruit with another tablespoon of almond paste, then sprinkle paste with another teaspoon of sugar.

 

Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes, switching and rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Slide parchment with tarts onto a wire rack; cool briefly and serve.

 

Note: Almost any fruit or combination of fruits will work with this recipe. Among others, Anderson suggests sliced apples, sliced pears with dried cranberries or a combination of dried blueberries with fresh raspberries.

SIMPLE ORZO

Serves 6

 

1/2 pound orzo (1 1/3 cups)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Ground black pepper

 

Bring 1 quart water to boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and orzo. Boil until orzo is tender and has absorbed cooking liquid, 8 to 9 minutes. Stir in olive oil, Parmesan, and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings and serve.

 

Variation: Toss orzo with 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves and 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts. Use butter instead of olive oil but keep the Parmesan. Anderson says it will taste like you've tossed the orzo with fresh pesto ``without all the work.''

SUGAR FREE APPLE PIE

1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate

Sugar substitute equal to 8 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pastry for 9-inch double-crust pie

8 cups thinly sliced peeled baking apples

1 tablespoon margarine

Combine the first four ingredients. Line the pie plate with bottom crust; add apples. Pour juice mixture over apples; dot with margarine.

Roll out the remaining pastry to fit top of pie; cut slits or an apple shape in top. Place over filling; seal and flute the edges.

 

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Increase the temperature to 400 degrees; bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the apples are tender. Yields 8 servings.

THE REAL THING POT PIE

1 Pkg Pillsbury Pie Crust (2 crusts)

1 Large can Veg All--HOMESTYLE (large veggies)

1 Can or jar Turkey OR Chicken Gravy

2 Cups Turkey OR Chicken, cooked (more or less--can use fresh or canned)

Seasoning to taste: poultry seasoning, pepper, etc.

Follow instructions on crust box for preparing "two crust pie." In large

bowl mix well the veg all, poultry, gravy, and seasoning. Spoon into

prepared bottom crust. Place top crust as package indicates. Bake in

preheated oven until heated through and crust browned. Sorry no other

specifics as I just toss it together and bake it! Great served with rolls

and even cranberry sauce (for those of us who like it year round).

TOASTED COCONUT WAFFLES

Makes 4 large waffles

 

2/3 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups milk (can be half canned coconut milk)

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast in oven 8-10 minutes, until light golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

 

Grease, then preheat waffle iron to medium-high or according to manufacturer's instructions. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and toasted coconut. In another bowl, beat egg yolks, milk, coconut extract, vanilla and melted butter with a whisk until foamy.

 

With electric mixer, in a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Make a well in center of the flour mixture and pour milk mixture into well, stirring just until moistened. With a large spatula, fold in egg whites until no streaks are visible.

 

For each waffle, pour about 1 cup batter onto grid. Close lid and bake until waffle is crisp and well-browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from iron with fork to protect fingers. Serve immediately.

TORTILLA SOUP

(SOPA DE TORTILLA)

Serves 6

 

Vegetable oil for frying

12 small corn tortillas, cut into strips and dried

3/4 pound plum tomatoes (about 4), charred (see note)

1/4 cup roughly chopped white onion

1 clove garlic

6 cups chicken stock

2 large sprigs epazote *** (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

3 pasilla chilies, fried crisp and crumbled

6 heaped tablespoons grated Chihuahua cheese or Muenster

 

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven and fry tortilla strips until they are lightly browned but not too crisp. Drain them on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil.

 

Blend the tomatoes, onion and garlic to a smooth sauce, then add to the oil and fry for about five minutes, until the sauce is well seasoned and has reduced somewhat.

 

Add the stock to the sauce, and bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning.

 

(At this point, the soup can be refrigerated, and even frozen. Bring it to a simmer before finishing.) Add the tortilla strips and cook them for about three minutes.

 

Just before serving, add the epazote. Cook for a minute more. Serve each portion topped with pieces of crumbled chili and grated cheese.

 

Note: To prepare tomatoes, place whole, unskinned tomatoes directly on an ungreased cast-iron pan over medium heat until skin is lightly charred and tomato is soft right through, or place tomatoes in one layer in a shallow pan and place under a broiler about 3 inches from the heat and broil, turning once, until mushy and slightly charred.

 

Cantonese serve this blood tonic soup, with rice, to new mothers during the first 10 days after birth, when it is believed that no vegetables or fruits should be eaten because they are too cooling to the body. Young's mother prescribes this when her daughter complains of having cold hands in the winter.

***Epazote is the pungent leaf of a wormseed plant, a tropical American plant, also called the Jerusalem Oak or Mexican Tea. It is used as a zesty flavoring

and to expel or destroy intestinal parasites, including worms.

TOURTIERRES

Montreault Jones

 

1 recipe for a double pie crust [the crust is traditionally made with lard, as

opposed to shortening, but in these health conscious times you could use

the shortening.

3/4 lb of ground pork

1/4 lb ground venison e.g.; moose, elk, deer

[if venison is not available to you , you may use all pork or 1/4 lb extra

lean ground beef

1 large onion diced fine

salt and pepper to taste

savory and sage to taste

 

In a large skillet with just a brush of margarine, cook together meats and

onions, add seasonings to your taste; savory, sage and pepper. Don't brown or dry up the meat; it should be fully cooked with the onions translucent, but still juicy. When the meat is cooked, let cool slightly and put between piecrust, slice vents in the top, and bake till the crust is golden and crispy. You can also make individual pies. They freeze well, both before and after baking.

VANILLA SCENTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO

 

Serves 6

 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup scallions, sliced thinly OR 1/4 cup shallots finely chopped

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

3 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks or bite-size pieces

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

 

In a heavy-bottomed pan, cook scallions or shallots in oil over low-medium heat until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.

 

Add rice and turn several times to coat with oil. Turn heat to medium-high and add a ladle of broth, stirring constantly to keep rice from sticking to the bottom or sides of pan. When broth has been absorbed, add another ladle of broth, the squash and the parsley. Stirring steadily to keep the rice from sticking, add balance of the broth, a ladle at a time. Rice is done when it is firm but tender, without a chalky center.

 

Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir quickly and thoroughly to combine.

VEGETABLE CHILI

 

1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 c.)

2 large cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

2 tsp. olive or canola oil

1 lb. very lean ground beef or turkey (meat can be left out altogether for a

meatless version)

1 28-oz. can tomatoes, chopped

2 1/2 cups kidney beans (if canned, drain and rinse)

1 small can chopped green chilies

1 cup each: diced green pepper, sliced carrots, diced celery, corn (fresh or

frozen)

 

Seasonings:

4-5 tsp. mild chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. dried oregano, crushed

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

 

In large heavy skillet, sauté onion and garlic in oil till softened. Add meat if using, browning and stirring to break up pieces. Drain off fat. Add tomatoes and all seasonings. Heat until bubbly, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add beans, chilies, green peppers, carrots and celery. Simmer about 20 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender. Add corn the last 10 minutes.

 

Note: This is fast, easy, and delicious. The seasonings, while unusual, give

the chili a wonderful flavor. The original recipe calls for brown sugar, but

this made it too sweet for us, although it might appeal to others.

From Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet

 

VERY RED VELVET CUPCAKES

Makes 12 large cupcakes

 

For batter:

1 cup vegetable shortening

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 ounces red food coloring (2 small bottles)

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon wine vinegar (red or white)

For frosting:

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cool unsalted butter

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

To make cupcakes: Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Cream shortening, eggs and sugar together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy.

 

Whisk cocoa powder and food coloring into a smooth paste in a small bowl. Add paste to shortening mixture and mix.

 

Sift flour, salt and baking soda together. Combine buttermilk, vanilla and vinegar in a bowl. With mixer at low speed, add about a third of dry ingredients to shortening mixture and mix. Then add about half of wet ingredients and mix. Add another third of dry ingredients and mix. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

 

Pour or ladle batter into cupcake papers, filling three-quarters full. Bake until cupcakes are firm to the touch in center, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan.

 

To make frosting: Put milk in a saucepan and whisk in flour. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes, whisking often. Cover and let cool to room temperature.

 

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add cooled thickened milk and mix until smooth. When cupcakes are cool, frost tops with an icing spatula.

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

WITH FRESH HERBS (Pho Ga)

Serves 4

 

For the soup:

1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs, on the bone and with skin

8 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, and slices crushed with side

of knife

1/2 cup sliced shallots (about 8 medium) or thinly sliced scallions (about 4)

1/4 pound dried flat Asian rice noodles

 

For the garnishes:

1 scallion, sliced

10 fresh cilantro sprigs

10 fresh basil sprigs

10 fresh mint sprigs

1 cup mung bean sprouts

Thinly sliced fresh red or green chili, remove seeds if less "heat" desired

Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam) or hoisin sauce

Hot chili oil

 

In large pot, combine thighs, water, salt, pepper, ginger and shallots. Cover pot and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and set aside. Keep broth simmering. Meanwhile, prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, then rinse under cold water. Set aside.

 

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and discard them. Cut meat into small pieces. Arrange garnishes on large platter.

 

When ready to serve, bring a large pot of water to boil and dip noodles to reheat; drain.

 

Among four soup bowls, equally divide the chicken and hot noodles. Ladle the simmering chicken broth, including ginger and shallots, into each bowl.

 

Let each diner select his or her own garnishes and stir them into the hot soup when first served, and as it is eaten.

VIETNAMESE RICE SOUP WITH CHICKEN

AND GINGER (CHAO GA)

Serves 4 to 6

Serve this salad on the side with rice soup. If pressed for time, use purchased chicken stock and cooked chicken to garnish the soup.

 

1/2 whole chicken, excess fat trimmed

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup rice, preferably jasmine, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon fish sauce or to taste

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 scallions, cut into thin rings

4 sprigs cilantro, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons fried shallots (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Bring 2 quarts water to rolling boil. Add chicken and salt. Reduce heat and let the broth simmer. Skim any foam or fat that rises to the surface.

 

Place oil, garlic and rice in a frying pan over moderate heat. Stir gently until the grains start to turn opaque, about three to four minutes.

 

Add the rice to the simmering pot of chicken stock. Cook until the chicken is just done, about 25 minutes total. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Add the fish sauce and ginger. Let the rice continue to cook until the kernels are open and tender, about 30 minutes.

 

Remove skin from chicken; shred meat into bite-size strips. When ready to serve, ladle soup into preheated bowls and garnish with chicken, scallions, cilantro, fried shallots and pepper. Serve immediately.

WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO

Serves 6

 

6 cups chicken stock

1 pound fresh chanterelles, chopped

1/2 pound fresh porcini, chopped, OR 2 ounces dried porcini soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

 

In a small saucepan, bring stock to a simmer. Keep warm on stove.

 

Heat a large, dry skillet over high heat. Add 3/4 of chanterelles and all porcini. Sauté until mushrooms release their juices and soak them back up again. Continue cooking until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.

 

Heat a large, heavy pot over high heat. Add remaining chanterelles and sauté until they release their juices and soak them back up again. When pan is dry, reduce heat to medium-high and add olive oil and butter. When butter has melted, add rice and cook, stirring until grains are coated with oil. Add wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed. Add warm stock, 1/2 cup at a time, and cook, stirring, after each addition until liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding stock in this manner until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in reserved sautéed mushrooms, cheese and parsley. Serve hot, sprinkled with more cheese and garnished with parsley.

 

 

 

 

 

YAK CHEESE INDUSTRY BOOSTS TIBET

By Carolyn Jung, Mercury News

 

If you've had your fill of goat's, sheep's and cow's milk cheeses, get your appetite ready for yak's milk cheese.

 

In Tibet, where no cheese-making tradition existed previously, this all-natural cheese is being made to help improve an ancient way of life.

 

The sweet, delicate, herbal-tasting cheese is made from the rich milk of those shaggy-haired, big-horned, buffalo-size animals that roam the plateau at 14,000 feet above sea level.

 

New York's Trace Foundation, which works with Tibetans in China, has joined with Jonathan White, a former cheese-maker at New York's Egg Farm Dairy and founder of Grasslands Cheese Consortium, a non-profit organization that helps American grass-based dairy farmers become cheese-makers. On this remote treeless plateau, where per capita income averages $90 a year and the only source of fuel is yak dung, the Trace Foundation is teaching nomads how to turn milk into cheese and cheese into added income.

 

``They're cash-poor, but they have these enormous herds that they treat as capital and don't want to sell off,'' says Ethan Goldings, senior program officer of the Trace Foundation. ``Cheese will provide them with a disposable income so they can send their kids to college and take care of their family when they're ill.''

 

The average family owns about 80 yak, Goldings says. The animals provide milk, butter and meat, as well as hair for tents, and fleece and skin for clothing. Although a yak is as large as a dairy cow, it gives only as much milk as a goat, just a few liters per day. The milk has the grassy, floral flavor of edelweiss and other wildflowers that the yaks graze on. It also has double the protein and minerals of cow's milk, but spoils easily.

 

In the summer, when the yaks can graze and grow strong, milk is abundant. But in the winter, Goldings says, the yaks are not milked. The Tibetans struggle just to keep the animals alive. As a result, the cheese is made only during the summer.

 

The Trace Foundation built three low-tech cheese factories that are lit only by daylight and where all the work is done by hand. They are operated by a monastery, an orphanage-old age home and a medical clinic, with all profits going back to support each of the group's work.

 

The firm cheese, named Ragya Metok (``flower of Ragya'' in Tibetan) is made from yak's milk that is heated and ripened in big copper vats, curdled, then drained and molded into 15-pound wheels. The cheese is dry cured in a coating of Tibetan red salt, from an ocean that has been dry for 15 million years. Known as Tears of Droma, it is similar in texture to fleur du sel, the pricey artisan salt from Brittany, but is tinged pink by the presence of iron. The cheese is then aged in the thin, mountain air, wrapped in ceremonial scarves (khata), and packed in bamboo dumpling-steamer baskets.

 

Two chefs in Beijing have spotlighted the cheese, featuring it in multiple courses, including a tempura-like dish. And in San Francisco, the cheese was featured in January at the 27th Fancy Food Show, where producers showed off their wares to chefs and prospective retailers.

 

The first shipment of yak's milk cheese was imported into the United States just last month. Limited supplies are selling for $25 per pound at www.cowsoutside.com, the Grasslands Cheese Consortium's Web site.

 

``We know people will try it once just for the novelty and story behind it,'' Goldings says. ``But we hope to make a cheese good enough that they'll come back to it again and again.''

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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