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Samuel Adams Summer Ale Steamed Chicken in Foil with Prosciutto, Vegetables, and Lemon

Samuel Adams Summer Ale Steamed Chicken in Foil with Prosciutto, Vegetables, and Lemon

This delicious Samuel Adams Summer Ale foil-wrapped recipe was created by Chef David Burke. It's perfect for easy assembly and grilling on-the-go this summer. It can stay in a cooler for up to 10 hours, until you’re ready to cook.

Notes

**Packages can be stored cold for up to 10 hours

Tasting Notes from Samuel Adams Brewer Jennifer Glanville

- Samuel Adams Summer Ale is a perfect complement to the ingredients in this dish.

- In the marinade, the lemon zest in the beer emphasizes the citrus flavors from the lemons and balances the pepperiness from the horseradish and the beer’s Grains of Paradise, both of which lend a subtle heat to the dish.

- Samuel Adams Summer Ale also adds brightness to the earthy vegetables and works well with the prosciutto, the saltiness of which is balanced by the spicy Grains of Paradise and citrus flavors in the beer.

-The maltiness of Samuel Adams Summer Ale brings out the sweetness of the chicken.

-The beer’s crisp wheat character balances all of the flavors of the dish and creates a wonderful, clean finish on your palate.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 Cup blanched green beans, cut into ½-inch lengths
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into ½ -inch slices
  • 1 zucchini, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 fennel bulb, slivered
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 Pound prosciutto ham, cut into thin strips
  • 4 Tablespoons bottled white horseradish
  • 6 chicken breasts, about 5-6 ounces each
  • 2 cans Samuel Adams Summer Ale (1/4 cup per foil pack)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons cracked black peppercorn
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Whole grain mustard

Servings6

Calories Per Serving457

Folate equivalent (total)64µg16%

Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg15.5%


Table to Table: The Week in Food Events

Monday, May 23
Samuel Adams representative Chad Murphy is at Clyde&rsquos in Reston for a four-course dinner ($40 per person). Each dish comes with a pairing from the Boston-based brewery, such as Berkshire pork belly, fried green tomato, ramp aïoli, and Sam Adams beer bread with Summer Ale and beer-battered Alaskan halibut with asparagus chips and Boston Lager (see a full menu here). The dinner begins at 7 purchase tickets ($40) here.

Learn about Prohibition-era speakeasies in Washington during a seminar and cocktail-making class at the Passenger with Garrett Peck&mdashauthor of the Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America From Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet, and the forthcoming Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren&rsquot&mdashand the Museum of the American Cocktail&rsquos Philip Greene. Both will discuss the dry years and cocktail culture at that time, then demonstrate four classic drinks, such as the bourbon-based Joe Rickey and rum-infused Flower Pot Punch. Each guest can sample the drinks as well as take home the recipes. To register for the event ($45 for nonmembers discounts for museum members), which runs from 6:30 to 8, click here. Guests can also pay $50 at the door.

Tuesday, May 24
Eatonville restaurant&rsquos monthly Food & Folklore dinner is titled Eating From the Garden and features Oren Molovinsky, co-founder of Farm to Table DC, an organization that connects chefs to area farmers. The menu for the four-course event, which starts at 6:30, includes such dishes as late-spring soupe au pistou, beet Napolean with citrus-pepper mascarpone and baby chard, and passed vegetables. For tickets ($57.60, including tax and gratuity), call 202-332-6432.

Wednesday, May 25
There are a few spots left at Jackson 20&rsquos five-course Pigs and Pinot wine dinner. Chef Dennis Marron&rsquos nose-to-tail includes poached PolyFace Farm egg with grilled pork terrine, frisée, and bacon vinaigrette quail wrapped in lardo with forbidden rice and grilled strawberries and squid-ink pasta with Pinot Noir-braised short rib, garlic purée, and tomato confit (see a full menu here *PDF). James Kellaris from Roanoke Valley Wines will talk about each pairing, and bottles will be available at the nearby Butcher&rsquos Block, a Market by RW. The dinner begins at 7 and is $85 per person. Call 703-842-2790 for reservations.

Jewish-cookbook author Joan Nathan and Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn come together for a discussion of Jewish-holiday traditions at the National Archives in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month. The event begins at 7, and is free. Copies of Nathan&rsquos most recent book, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France (see more about the book here), are available at the Archives&rsquo shop for signing after the discussion. Click here for more information.

The Washingtonian&rsquos Best Of Washington party, sponsored by LivingSocial, isn&rsquot until July 13. But there&rsquos a special happy hour from 6 to 8:30 at the Whitlow&rsquos on Wilson roofdeck, where there&rsquoll be discounted tickets for sale. There&rsquoll be complimentary food and drink, and DC Bocce will have courts set up. Visit the Facebook event page for more details.

Thursday, May 26
Robert Wiedmaier and his chefs from Marcel&rsquos, Brasserie Beck, and Mussel Bar are preparing a seven-course seasonal menu in Brabo&rsquos kitchen at 7 PM. The &ldquofull circle&rdquo dinner includes courses that reflect the chef&rsquos culinary past and present, such as Rappahanock River oyster Rockefeller with crispy prosciutto and brown-butter vinaigrette quails and snails with carrot-ginger purée and crystallized ginger and veal tortellini with morels, peas, and sweetbreads (click here for the menu *PDF ). Wine and beer pairings are included in the cost of the dinner ($125 per person), which are presented by Brabo sommelier David Kurka and Brasserie Beck beer master Thor Cheston. Reservations are limited call 703-894-3440.

Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan is demonstrating recipes from his new cookbook, Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One, at L&rsquoAcademie de Cuisine from 6:30 to 9:30. Yonan will discuss some tips for solo cooking&mdashsuch as how to properly stock your pantry&mdashand demonstrate dishes including duck-breast tacos with plum salsa, paella with squid and scallions, and cappuccino tapioca pudding with cardamom brûlée. The cost of the class, $95 per person, includes a copy of the book. Click here to reserve a space, and call 301-986-9490 for more information.

The Arlington restaurant group that includes Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, and Northside Social is hosting an event from 6 to 8 to sample artisanal products paired with Virginia wine. Samples include breads, spreads, sausages, and cheeses, and the entry fee ($23 for Eventbrite members $28 for nonmembers) includes a glass of wine. Click here to buy tickets. The event is at Northside Social.

Friday, May 27
Mount Vernon is celebrating Memorial Day weekend with an open house at George Washington&rsquos home and garden from 6 to 9 through Sunday. There&rsquoll be Champagne and wine (sold by the glass and bottle) as well as desserts such as American-heritage chocolate cake, white-chocolate cheesecake, and carrot-nut loaf with strawberries. Other entertainment includes dancing, games, and wagon rides. For tickets ($18 for adults $12 for children 6 to eleven), go to the Mount Vernon Web site.

Saturday, May 28

Italian cookbook author and Washington Post contributor Domenica Marchetti is at Hill&rsquos Kitchen to discuss her new book, The Glorious Pasta of Italy. Starting at 1, she&rsquoll talk about the recipes and techniques, and sign copies of her cookbook
s (she&rsquos also the author of Big Night In and The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy). Visit the Hill&rsquos Kitchen Web site for details as well as updates (the Eastern Market subway stop will be closed, so instructions for getting to the event will be posted, as well as possible changes to the time and date). Free.

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with back-to-back crawfish boils at Bayou Bakery. Today from 5 to 7 and Sunday from 1 to 4, chef David Guas is serving a traditional New Orleans meal of crawfish boiled in lemon, cayenne, paprika, bay leaf, and garlic, along with potatoes and corn on the cob ($15 per person). Wash it down with Abita beer by the bottle or draft. Rolling Thunder vets and riders receive 10 percent off their check. Call 703-243-2410 for more details.

Sunday, May 29
Even if you&rsquore not on the beach for Memorial Day weekend, you can still party at Coastal Flats&rsquo beach bash at the Fairfax Corner location, held on the town green behind the restaurant from noon to 6. There&rsquoll be music from the band Kicking Norma, and such drinks and food as meatball sliders, crabcake sandwiches, and brats. Call 571-522-6300 for more information, or visit the event Facebook page. Free.

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The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.


More than Water, Hops, Barley and Yeast:

The Reinheitsgebot, Germany's legendary beer purity law of 1516, stated that only hops, barley, water and yeast* may be used to brew beer sold in Germany. Considered the oldest consumer protection law still in use (though coming under fire from EU fair use laws), it ensured that only the highest quality beer would be available to the citizens of Germany. Up until the law's enactment, brewers added a host of cheaper ingredients in order to save money on pure barley and hops and realize a generous profit. It was possible to see the inclusion of anything from poor quality hops and herbs to tree bark or even fish bladders to brew what was often a foul tasting, if not toxic product (Beer Church).

Following the Reinheitsgebot, beer in Germany became world renown for the purity and quality of ingredients. Each of the 900 or so breweries in Germany adhered to this law and restricted the importation of any foreign beer that failed to meet the strict requirements of the purity law. However, in 1985, Samuel Adams, a little known beer brewed by the Boston Beer Company, became the first American beer available in (what was then) West Germany (Samuel Adams).

Using premium imported hops from German fields, the Boston Beer Company met the stringent requirements of the Reinheitsgebot that major American breweries could not. Due to the streamlined techniques of mass-production and usage of other widely available grains, the major breweries could not invest the time and money to create a beer that met the strict German purity law (Jones). This major coup brought to the public's attention a new trend in American beer brewing that had sat in the shadows for several years, but would soon see its true renaissance in the late 80's and throughout the 90's. The microbrew revolution had arrived.

Also known as "craft brewing", the advent of the microbrew introduced the beer drinking public to a new experience in authenticity that had been previously unavailable to them. This new identity beer assumed changed the face of what one sought in types, tastes, location and names in the brewing industry. No longer was "beer" automatically a yellowish, bubbly, light-tasting beverage but it had assumed a variety of new forms. This trend towards craft brewing and its wide variety of looks and flavors came about as the tastes and cultural attitudes towards beer shifted from the fallout of Prohibition through the revolution of the microbrew.

A Brief History of Microbrewing

Prohibition proved deadly too much of the uniqueness in brewing. The smaller, regional breweries that may have provided a local character to their products found it difficult to shift to the production away from alcohol. Many tried their hand at making "near beer" (a 'de-alcoholized beer' that bore no resemblance to its predecessor), soft drinks, or other product to keep the business running. The result was that only a handful of regional breweries that weathered the 13-year "Noble Experiment" of Prohibition (from 1920 through 1933) quickly gained favor with a new, national market. With the introduction of the beer can in 1935, home refrigeration and the power of mass media, the national marketing of beer shifted from drinking at the local tavern to the home (Robertson, 41). "Joe Six-pack", the average middle-class beer drinker, could now have his beer at a picnic, the beach or at home after a day on the job. As a result three major national brands emerged above the rest. From the mid-60's to the present, Budweiser, Miller and Coors vied with one another, virtually alone, for the beer-drinker's dollar. Although sales remained strong amongst these major brands, a malaise set upon the American beer-drinking public. People began to look for a taste in their beer that these major brands lacked. The result was a focus overseas as the 70's came to a close, the "import" rose to prominence.

The affluence of the post-WWII years brought a rise in tours of Europe. American consumer culture soon became inundated with a variety of new products that many thought better than those in the U.S. These new consumables had more complexity in design, sophistication in look, and, for beer in particular, flavor. With thousands of years of European craftsmanship, these new beverages appealed to the American beer drinker who tired of the weak tasting major beer and looked for an alternative (Ursin). The new brands, including Holland's Heineken and Germany's Beck's and Lowenbrau, came onto the scene and found a quick niche market in the young, upwardly-mobile hipsters of the 70's. These people (later to acquire the moniker "Yuppie") were greatly concerned with surface appearances, and a predilection for the "trendy, new thing," and valued the look of sophistication and foreign taste associated with these new imports. Usually encased in a green bottle, often with a foil label, the imported beer served as an icon of worldliness and style. But, as the imports acquired a broad audience, another shift was taking place amongst the palates of more domestically minded Americans that would quickly demand the brewing industry's attention.

The microbrew revolution began as many people rediscovered the time-honored tradition of home brewing. Popular even with the founding fathers (Thomas Jefferson's recipe for ale is on file at the Library of Congress), home brewers enjoyed the freedom from outside corporatism and the ability to choose all the ingredients for their beers. Especially in the Pacific Northwest, a unique confluence of circumstances and people came together in the late 70's that launched craft brewing into the 80's. The fertile lands of Northern California, Oregon and Washington provided all the ingredients for the craft brewer. 18% of American brewer's barley harvest came from Oregon with a wide variety of types and varieties (Jones, sidebar). The fresh mountain streams provided an untainted water supply and an aura of naturalism unavailable in other, urbanized areas. Yet more than the ingredients, it was the people who helped propel the microbreweries.

The people who were largely involved in the craft brew phenomenon, Baby Boomers who had grown up in the liberating 60's, had finally "found" themselves in the 70's. Best represented in Tom Wolfe's seminal essay "The Me Decade" and Richard Bach's best-selling, allegorical novella "Jonathan Livingston Seagull", the 70's represented, "an extension and transformation of the Sixties search for wholeness and authenticity" (Schulman, 78). Emphasizing personal experience, self-discovery and a resistance to established institutions, the 'seekers' of the Seventies looked inward for enlightenment as New Age religion and a "back to nature" aesthetic gained popularity. Communes sprang up in Northern California and Oregon as the 60's came to an end. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains, as well as the valleys and beaches that spread out to the west welcomed many more nature-lovers and 'hippies' who were searching for a genuine experience away from the "grim routine of the workaday world" (ibid.).

Many of these areas (particularly Sonoma and Napa Valleys in California and the Willamette Valley in Oregon) had seen the booming years of the domestic wine industry in the 60's. Wine, another of the products enjoyed by American tourists in Europe, had been welcomed by the sophisticated and social elites as their drink of choice. Those emerging from the "true" 60's experience wanted a beverage that shied away from the artifice of what was thought of as simply a "status symbol". Beer had a long history with common folk or people of the land, but the beer available didn't provide the uniqueness in flavor and style that many of those in the Pacific Northwest, so dedicated to the earth and nature, preferred. Home brewing had a foothold in this area where people could have control over the contents and styles of beer brewed. The successful home brewer, with a nose for business, started amongst the first of the microbreweries.

The microbrew renaissance had its first formal declaration when President Jimmy Carter signed a bill in early 1979 legalizing home brewing on a much larger scale than previously allowed. The Cranston Bill (named for Democratic Sen. Alan Cranston of California) gave license to the American public, and his constituents in Northern California, to begin the hobby of brewing their own, authentic beer (Jones, sidebar). A few years later, noticing the regional, grass-roots business of the craft brewing movement, the Oregon legislature enacted what became the most lenient brewing law for any state to date, allowing a greater output and easing distribution restrictions. This support further ramped up the microbrewery ideal and supported what became a genuine homegrown business (Jones). However the microbrewery was not a completely new invention.

In 1965 Fritz Maytag opened the small Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, a city synonymous with the ideologies of the 60's. Though it took them years to get more than a local reputation, the Anchor family of beer had widely been regarded as the grandfather of the microbrewery industry. Maytag began brewing Anchor's flagship beer (Anchor Steam Pale Ale), made his brewery profitable, then broadened his selection into a variety of new brands and types that, to this day, inspire some of the microbrewers to emulate (Epstein). With a foundation in Maytag's image of self-sufficiency, many of the craft brewers began their own microbreweries in locations that radiated away from San Francisco. In Maytag's footsteps microbreweries first thrived in even greater numbers further north, especially in Portland, Oregon.

The Pacific Northwest

It's no mistake that Portland is widely considered the home of the microbrew revolution. Widely known as having a population with the "inclination, education and opportunity" to enjoy the best beer available, Portlanders actively sought out authenticity in what they drank. The cold, wet climate, combined with Portland's general appreciation and celebration of community drove many people to gather together at bars and taverns for evenings of warmth and good friends (Eckhardt). With locals gathering in these establishments, the infusion of regional beer into the tavern and bar scene opened up a new expression of community in Portland. The "brewpub", an outgrowth of part of the Oregon microbrewery law that required the serving of food with the serving of alcohol, became a major part of the communal relationship of the Portland microbrewery scene. The McMenamin brothers capitalized on the new brewery/restaurant concept. Not only did they establish the first brewpubs in Oregon, but they also built a sprawling business out of the combination of on-location brewing, restaurants, and a lively atmosphere. They revived many aging properties (such as movie theaters, restaurants and even an old school) and created a unique environment where the customers can enjoy themselves (Jones). Furthermore, the McMenamin's broke the age-old tradition of the "tied house" (where a pub or tavern may only sell the product of one brewery or distributor, as is still used in the British Isles) by introducing this concept of the "free house" to Portland (Dalldorf). Installing multiple taps at a brewpub to host this wide variety of locally brewed beer celebrated the concept of "progressive collaboration" (a cousin to the 60's ideal of "participatory democracy") in helping smaller brewers promote their product without making them raise the money required to open their own brewpub, engage in expensive advertising campaigns or install costly bottling operations (Coleman). With further incentive, more brewers and their various brands appeared on the local tavern scene. The community ideal fostered the sharing of beer recipes and ideas amongst these small businesses. Now, with a wide variety of local brews available at any given location, beer drinkers began to develop specific tastes for the different kinds of beer available. Quality rose to the forefront and the microbrewery concept grew with it. This unique social environment and relationship amongst the small brewers in Portland generated what was widely regarded as the finest small brewers festival in the country.

The community ideal alive in Portland's "progressive collaboration" generated the first Oregon Brewers Festival in 1987. The focus of the Festival was never on competition, but as an opportunity for craft brewers to showcase their beer in a lively atmosphere to an ever-expanding group of visitors. With the many types of beer available, the visitors could never be disappointed in regards to the variety in selection or the quantity of brewers presented. As the festival grew to become the largest festival of independent brewers in the United States, so did the breadth of breweries present. The attendees grew east to include brewers from as far away as Vermont to provide the festival's guests with the broadest sampling possible. The on-site education tent, an idea to teach the techniques of craft brewing and the qualities of different beers, reached out to these visitors, many who were new to the idea of the microbrew (Jones). The issue of educating beer drinkers brought to light the true natural authenticity of the small craft brews and their choice of ingredients and brewing styles.

The craft brewers of the Pacific Northwest weren't the first to associate nature and beer, but these brewers were some of the first who emphasized this link more than before. The location of many of the first breweries all had close associations with nature. The city of Portland lies at the merging of the Cascade Mountain-fed Willamette and Columbia Rivers, within eye-sight of Mt. Hood Mendocino Brewing Company (in the aptly-named town of Hopland) sits amidst the towering redwoods and rolling foothills of Northern California and the Rogue River Brewery was established in the port town of Newport, Oregon, where the Rogue River meets the Pacific Ocean. Stemming from their location, the names of these and a vast majority of other breweries emphasize the nature of the Pacific Northwest. As one of the first great departures from the major brands, it's this connection with nature that comes to the fore.

Microbrews and Nature

Sierra Nevada, Wild River and North Coast are all breweries that pride themselves on the undiluted purity associated with their locations in the remote Northwest. Many other breweries' identities also refer to natural vistas, animals, small town locations, or geological formations in the names chosen to punctuate their genuine relationship with "realness". The disassociation with anything large comes across quite readily. The first thing that each and every one of these beers does not want to be is "another beer".

The major labels and breweries all pride themselves on the tradition associated with their beers. Yet, in large contrast to the microbreweries, a great majority of these brewing corporations derive their names from their founders. After immigrating with their northern European brethren to the Midwest in the second half of the 19th century, these men all established breweries in their own name. Adolph Coors, Eberhard Anheuser, Augustus Busch and Frederick Miller (along with many others) began the brewing legacies that remain today. Each beer celebrates the tradition associated with what each of these men established. In corporate communications, web sites and national beer advertising campaigns, each company leans on the time-honored tradition established by their brewery's founder in creating a history upon which the current brewery rests. Yet it's that exact legacy that the microbrew revolution came not to unseat, but provide an alternative.

The maverick spirit of the West, a strange yet potent bedfellow with the communal ideologies of the 'hippie generation', drives the desires of the microbrewers to stay small, and not become associated as a corporate conglomeration with the likes of the major breweries. The intense condemnation many of the 'free spirits' of the 60's had of incorporation fed their desires to live in the untainted nature of the Pacific Northwest, away from the despised modernity and materialism of the large city. Craft brewers sought the authenticity unavailable in corporate (or as many regard them, "industrial") beers, and wanted to create something that related their individualistic spirit of their beer and their location in the Pacific Northwest (Student).

Every new brewery (and their respective products) created a label that often displayed a picture of their environs. The same rugged mountains, winding rivers and great outdoors that the small towns reside among find their best representation on the labels of many of these brands. Two of the best examples of this type of depiction comes on the labels of Chico, California's Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's family of beer as well as those of Hood River, Oregon's Full Sail Brewing Company. Each one of the labels is situated upon a background of snow-capped mountains that yield a pure sparkling river, flowing into the foreground of verdant meadows. Trees populate the surrounding areas completing the cohesive natural landscape of mountain, river, and valley floor with the native flora. Each companies' label is then surrounded by iconographic drawings of barley, yeast and hops. The label design depicts the four basic elements of beer unified in a scene that emphasizes the untainted wilderness from which the elements, and thus the beer, come. And yet it isn't only the wilderness the begat the beer, but the independence the beer has from any industrial control. It's almost as if the individualistic spirit that created the beer in such a landscape must have harnessed the genuine purity of this beautiful land and placed it within the bottle the label sits upon. In contrast to the free spirit associated with the natural scene on the microbrewed beer, the major beer label intends to be a corporate logo.

Corporate branding depicts little to none of the natural elements their beer is meant to represent. Many major labels do share the small tokens of nature that comprise the beverage inside, but they're most often remnants from the more than 100 year-old traditional label. The modern labels of Budweiser, Coors and Miller Lite all have a representation of hops and/or barley on their label design. Stark drawing of these plants are bundled or loosely draped along the outside of the label itself. Similarly, Coors has a waterfall as part of its label, yet it too has a less prominent role than previous versions of the label. Oddly enough, each of these logos, what were at one point the centerpiece of their label design, have taken a reduced role in size and superiority on the label in order to feature the beer's name more prominently. Now a small oval or circle that at one time was the most graphically depicted label feature, showing the waterfall or the grains, has now been cast off to the side in a greatly diminished capacity. The beer's name, of course, has become by far the most prominent feature on the label to more prominently elicit name-brand recognition. This association between the major brand and the beer has come about due to a major shift in beer advertising.

"Industrial Beer" Advertising

One of the most visible differences between the microbrews and the major labels has been the method in which the breweries used advertising to market their products towards a public who is the ultimate authority in whether a brand succeeds or fails. The 1970's proved to be the turning point where marketing, branding and advertising took the United States by storm and paved the way for the modern beer industry.

After World War II, advertising agencies discovered that the average beer drinker saw little to no difference between one domestic beer brand and another. "Joe Six-Pack" understood that most brands were made with the same ingredients, using the same process, and ultimately looked and generally tasted the same. The marketers had to find some way to sell their beer as unique above all the other brands available. With the advent of television, beer commercials became the major medium for beer advertising. Hamm's had seen some success with a lovable cartoon bear throughout the 50's and 60's that was backed by the infectious jingle, "From the Lands of Sky Blue Waters." Carling also saw popularity with their commercial featuring a beautiful blonde waitress serving beer to those who ordered their Carling Black Label by saying, "Hey Mabel, Black Label"(Miller). Yet neither changed the beer advertising industry like Miller did in 1971.

After buying Miller Brewing Company in 1969, tobacco giant Philip Morris (best known as the company behind Marlboro cigarettes and the American icon "Marlboro Man") brought the same success to Miller High Life brand with a strikingly similar look of rugged individualism as that associated with their cigarettes. The new ads showed men drinking High Life not because of the taste, not because of the label and not because of the easy to open bottle, but they drank the beer because they had worked hard and now it was "Miller Time" (Budweiser followed in suit soon after with their slogan, "For all you do, this Bud's for you"). The over-riding theme of "have a beer, you earned it," was a dramatic step away from the commercials television had seen in its short life span. For the first time on TV, and everywhere else, beer advertisements were not about the beer, but about the beer drinker (ibid.). The years that followed introduced some of the most memorable characters into the modern pantheon of pop culture.

Certainly one of the greatest collection of "real" men to appear on TV was with Miller Lite's "Everything you always wanted in a beer, and less" advertisements of the 70's and early 80's. In order to make their low calorie beer agreeable to men (a great majority of the beer consuming public) instead of being viewed as a "sissy beer", Miller figured that a host of football players, baseball players, as well as other athletes and tough guys (especially gritty detective novelist Mickey Spillaine) could prove it. The shift towards the beer drinker proved to be such a phenomenal success it even made celebrities out of the rarely seen faces who hid beneath ball caps and face masks. If not remembered for their on-field heroics and Hall of Fame careers, these "Lite All-Stars" would be remembered as arguing one or the other side of the "Less Filling, Tastes Great" dichotomy. As Boog Powell, long time first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles said, "You make one Lite commercial, it's like then everyone forgets you played ball for 20 years" (ibid.).

The assortment of other characters to advertise beer ran the gamut from the funny to the ludicrous. Anheuser-Bush pitted its two most popular brands, Budweiser and Bud Light, in an animated, helmet-wearing clash against of one brand's bottle against the other in a football competition known as the "Bud Bowl". Tied into championship football season, Las Vegas casinos even began accepting bets as to the outcome of these "games" that ran as advertisements during the Super Bowl. Budweiser also introduced "Spuds MacKenzie, Party Animal" to the television public. A bull terrier dressed in a floral Hawaiian shirt, Spuds aroused the ire of other men in the commercial who couldn't attract the bikini clad women that the "Party Animal" could perhaps because they were holding the wrong beer. And, of course, the men stuck without beer on Miller's "Old Milwaukee" commercials were saved from their boredom by the appearance of the Swedish Bikini Team, carrying a cooler full of beer and the eventual good times that were to follow. In an age where beer advertising showed the beer drinker, and not the beer, it comes as no surprise that those who looked for an escape from such advertising inanity found the microbrew.

Advertising. microsized

From their humble beginnings, microbrewers relied almost wholly on word of mouth instead of broad-based advertising in order to gain product recognition. For the first brewers of the Pacific Northwest, the spread of a beer's popularity rested largely on the "beer educated". These men and women, better known as "hop-heads" (an offhand reference to "Deadheads", the eponymous followers of the Grateful Dead), had extensive knowledge of the brewing process, the proper proportions of the ingredients in different beers, and could detail specific tastes in each beer. Akin to the wine industry's sommelier, they helped put words to the different experiences encountered when tasting beer. Many bartenders were required to be able to detail the specific tastes present in the beer they had available and helped their customers find a particular taste they were looking for (Crecca). Furthermore, almost every microbrewery had an on-location tasting room where visitors could sample the newest concoctions, just as brewpubs had a "sampler" where a beer drinker could get a small taste of some of the beer on the menu. As the craft brewing trade spread, independent newspapers and larger regional newspapers and magazines employed columnists who would write about local microbrews. As the trend grew on a national scale, food and drink critics would often write on the appeal of nationally available microbrews (Eckhardt). What little advertising there was relied on the smallness and taste.

The high prices for television and radio advertising for many of these small breweries forced them towards site specific advertising. Using their label designs appealing to the natural elements of their beer or the uniqueness of their name, many people browsing the beer aisle bought their bottled product on this limited form of advertising (hoping word of mouth worked in their favor). For those breweries that didn't have the immediate funds or desire to bottle their product (only serving them in taverns or other "free house" brewpubs), they at least had a tap handle that was recognizable on site as the specific design of the brewery. The label design and color or, for some of the more creative breweries, another shape would decorate the tap handle and serve as a dominant form of advertising. Yet the finest example of advertising focusing on smallness and taste certainly belongs to Jim Koch and his Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Jim Koch: Brewer, Beer lover

With more funding than his fellow microbrewers across the country Jim Koch took to the radio with a unique series of advertisements that opened the floodgates to the broad public's discovery of craft brewed beers. Primarily using radio spots to establish his beer's name, his focus was on the small size of his brewing operation and the quality of his beer. Speaking for his brewery on their ads, Koch opened by saying, "I'm not a golden-throated pitchman," like those used to promote the major brands but the "brewer of quality beer." Noting that he traveled to Germany to hand pick the hops used in his beer, Koch reminded listeners that quality was of the greatest concern. He stressed the point that he will only brew beer that he likes, and that because he takes such detailed care with the brewing process, he can't brew as much beer as the major brewers can. The tag line, "most major breweries spill more beer in a day than I brew all year," became a reminder to the consumer of the "craft" required in craft brewing (Khermouch). These commercials aired across the United States and Samuel Adams became an immediate hit. For the millions of beer drinkers who had tired of "their fathers beer" in the form of the industrial beers, and those looking for domestic relief from the host of imports, an authentic American revolution had taken place with an authentic American revolutionary at the forefront.

With a label reading "Samuel Adams: Brewer, Patriot," hosting an image of the beer's Revolutionary namesake, Samuel Adams Boston Lager capitalized on the nationalism of the mid-80's in providing Americans with a tasteful alternative to the imports. Cold War tensions, fervent Americanism of the Reagan presidency and patriotic tendencies evoked by the "Made in the USA" advertising campaign begged for Americans to think locally before they bought globally. Though initially the only sign of beer drinking "sophistication", the imports had to share the title with the upstart Samuel Adams and the host of new American microbrews which arrived on the broad national market in its wake. Each of these new beers had a taste that was unique to the average beer drinker yet they each provided something different than the national brands or the imported beers.

What it all comes down to. Taste

Beyond all of the other factors in the microbrew revolution the quality of taste was by far the most important. Prior to 1978, few people had had the opportunity to try a beer other than the mass-brewed pilsner or lager beer that were mainstays at liquor stores and local bars. However, in 1978 James D. Robertson published the Great American Beer Book that detailed the qualities of over 330 American beers, 230 foreign beers, as well as provided the results of their double-blind taste tests amongst them all to see which was the best beer in the world. This guidebook, which includes histories and descriptions of breweries and beer, amongst several other elements of "beeriana" (or the "trivia of beer culture"), gave Americans their first broad glimpse into the many varieties of beer available. Like many different wine books before it, the Great American Beer Book brought the pastime of drinking quality beer to a certain level of cultural acceptance and awareness. Learning for the first time, in many regards, that there were such a wide variety of choices, beer drinkers began in earnest to seek these new beers for an authentic experience in tastes associated with different areas of the United States. An experience the major brands couldn't provide.

The national brands people had been drinking came about with the rise of soft drinks following Prohibition and World War II. They had a much more bubbly, sweet quality that hadn't been associated with beer in the past. Many of the "beer connoisseurs" stated that the major brands were simply beer for people who didn't like the taste of beer (Demetrakakes). Over the years there may have been minor differences with types of beer (such as super-economy, ice, and dry variations of the major brands), but the mass production that is used to create these beer and styles simply could not create the uniquely styled, carefully formed tastes of the microbrews. Statements like that of Fred Eckhardt, a beer writer in Portland, emphasizes this craft ideology of the new microbrewer: "Budweiser is trying to be the best brewer in the world, but if you try to please everybody, you end up not pleasing anybody. That's what we're working on, the 'anybody'" (Jones).

The most prominent display of authenticity in the microbrew revolution comes from creating the right beer for the, as Eckhardt calls them, 'anybody'. At an event like the Oregon Brewers Festival, one can sample every beer in the Festival and not run into two that have the same taste or are brewed in the same style. Craft brewers, trying to stray away from the same beer that the major labels had been brewing for years, experimented with age old processes in brewing from throughout the world to create a taste that appealed to them as unique from anything that had come before. Beer varieties such as porter, lambic, india pale ale, ESB, stout, hefeweizen, blonde and many others not only have different brewing processes, but may include special ingredients or different amounts of the same ingredients to create a beer that has a distinct flavor, texture and style. Adding other flavors in the brewing process, such as fruits (particularly berries and citrus), vegetables, nut and seed extracts, spices and herbs have further given craft brewing a greater range of tastes. Furthermore, the individual attention given to craft brewed beer allows for constant variation. Many microbreweries, along with the several varieties of beer regularly brewed, often produce seasonal beers. There are additions of seasonal fruits or altered recipes to coincide with the season in which it is released. Every year Samuel Adams will produce, amongst others, a Summer Ale with a hint of lemon and Anchor will have a Christmas Ale (Anchor emphasizing each release with a distinct taste and label from their Christmas release the previous year). Constant variety and regular novelty in craft brewed beer has become a lynchpin for many such microbreweries. With these many styles, textures and flavors, the 'anybody' that the microbrew shoots for is well within reach. With the microbrew revolution anyone from people who don't like the taste of beer to those who look for extreme particulars in theirs may find a beer that not only suits their tastes, but also establishes brand loyalty.

The Majors React

The renaissance of beer caught the major brands by surprise. Though the smaller brewers never amassed more than 4% of the beer market, the major brewers used their marketing muscle to create their own brands. Icehouse, from Plank Road Brewery is a fine example of one of the major breweries trying to edge their way into the microbrew world. With a label depicting the image of a rustic old cabin tucked away at the bottom of a tree and snow-covered hill, the notions of authenticity created by the labels of the Pacific Northwest arise. However, there is no Plank Road Brewery. It doesn't exist. Icehouse is entirely owned and brewed by Miller and their mass-production brewing plants. Coors and Anheuser-Busch also use these "smoke and mirror" tactics with Blue Moon Belgian White and Killarney's Irish Red, respectively. The reason these brews can attain the notoriety they do is because the power of the major breweries is in distribution and marketing. These two forces have also begun to make forays into the "true" microbrewery world. Redhook of Seattle, one of the Pacific Northwest's originals, now counts Anheuser-Busch as a majority shareholder, which, in turn, provides Redhook to their web of distributors throughout the United States and the world (Student). The broad-based advertising that Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors has also been affected by the rise of the microbrews.

Beer commercials beginning with a man sitting by a mountain stream in a denim jacket, wearing a cowboy hat and boots, talking straight to the camera are not an uncommon sight on the television airwaves. Moving back to nature has been a new fad for the likes of Joseph Coors and Augustus Busch, III, CEO's and heirs to their family's business. Previously unseen in their commercials, these men try and stress their company's focus on the quality of the beer they create and the purity of (at least some of) the ingredients. Invoking the spirits of their great grandfathers who started their own brewery "more than a hundred years ago" by doing what they loved to do, "brew good beer," these men have tried to relate the genuine origins of their beers or, as the Coors marketing slogan boasts, "the Last Original Beer," emphasizing that they're not "the beer of the month" (Dwyer). Miller, on the other hand, has taken another stance in the face of the rise of the microbrews.

"It's time for a good old macro-brew," was a Miller advertising campaign in the late 1990's for their Miller Genuine Draft label. Figuring that people were becoming either tired or confused by the wide variety of choices between the major brands, the imports and the microbrews, Miller tried to remove the decision-making problem from the beer-drinking process. They mocked the taste and quality oriented ads of Jim Koch and the microbrews with phrases like, "it's time for better beer breath." "You know what kind of beer we are, we won't surprise you," became their positive advertising idea to reclaim beer drinkers in the more complicated beer drinking game of the late 20th Century (Cox). The response of the major breweries legitimated the microbrew revolution as a powerful presence in the American cultural landscape and cemented the microbrew as an entity in the beer industry but this begs the question, can the "microbrew revolution" last?

Conclusion: Is It Still Authentic?

Many people claim that the microbrew revolution is over precisely because of their growth. The major brewers' complain that for a business to be considered a "microbrewery" they must brew less than (the somewhat arbitrary) 15,000 barrels a year, anything above that (up to two million barrels a year) are considered "regional breweries", and thus not deserving of the authentic term "microbrewery". Struggling, small brewers believe these regional breweries/larger-scale microbrewers besmirch the "good name" of the craft brew that each of them pride their creations on (Dwyer). The debate ultimately lies in the Catch-22 of the industry of craft brewing: In order to succeed the microbrew must grow but in growing, does the authenticity fade away? It is still possible to focus on the bottom line and make quality beer?

Microbrewers, major breweries and many beer lovers alike question Samuel Adams' authenticity as a "craft brew". For the last several years the Boston Beer Company has brewed a small fraction of their beer in Boston. They participate in what's called "contract brewing" where they have their beer brewed in larger breweries owned by other companies well outside of Boston. But the larger "micro" brewers defend the changing dynamic of their operation. "If Julia child comes to your kitchen, brings her own ingredients and makes dinner - but you own the kitchen," Koch was quoted as saying, "is it you or Julia Childs who made dinner?" (ibid.)

People ask for many different things in a beer. Yet since the repeal of Prohibition, people's relationships towards beer has changed. Their tastes have shifted, the brewers' advertising tactics have varied, and even the method of where and when they get their beer has changed. Yet the genuine experience of one person drinking a beer has always stayed constant. This experience was made more authentic by the introduction of an innumerable variety of beer styles, flavors and brands with the microbrew revolution. The revolution reintroduced personality and nature into a business that had moved to the corporation and proved to a world of beer drinkers that "realness" and imagination in creating a good beer were still close at hand. Wherever people sought "authenticity" in the microbrew revolution, whether it was from the home brewer, the small craft brewer, up through the larger microbrewery, one thing stands above all others, they could find it in the experience of enjoying a quality beer.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Machias blues: wild blueberry pie

The wild Maine blueberry is thickly sweet and juicy without being watery like cultivated blueberries. The flavor is incredibly concentrated. If you’ve ever tasted Stonewall Kitchen’s Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, then you know what I mean. In Maine, blueberry season lasts for about three weeks. Depending on which part of the state you're in, the season can begin as early as mid-July and extend into the last week of August. We just returned from a trip to Downeast Maine, where I was able to buy a quart of wild blueberries for $5 from a roadside vendor in Machias. At last, we would have enough blueberries for that elusive blueberry pie. My family was very happy. Here is the recipe for my simple blueberry pie in the Fanny Farmer tradition:

1 stick butter or ½ cup other shortening

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

flour for dusting berries

Bake pie in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes then, turn down the heat to 350 and continue to bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until pie is golden. Remove pie from oven and cool. Serve plain or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Great Lakes Brew Fest Countdown

It is hard to believe we are already in the month of August and that September is almost around the corner.

As depressing as it may be for some, I tend to welcome the end of summer.In fact, I anticipate it.

Autumn happens to be my favorite season — and for many reasons. Autumn equals college football season, fall foliage, apple picking, Halloween (my favorite holiday), pumpkin beers (pumpkin everything), wine harvest, Oktoberfest … and lots of other beer festivals.

One such beer festival is the Great Lakes Brew Fest in Racine, WI. This year the GLBF is being held on September 19th from 3-7pm at the Racine Festival Park.

The Great Lakes Brew Fest is in its sixth year and will feature unlimited sampling of more than 250 craft beers and sodas from nearly 100 brewers on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan. All paid attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass.

Food served by local restaurants will be available for purchase. The festival also features live music including performances by the world renowned Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps.

Attendance is limited at 4000 people. Tickets went on sale June 1st and the VIP tickets have already been sold out. Basic Fest passes are still available at $39 a pop. They are being sold at a rapid rate, so make sure to secure your spot at the festival ASAP.

And why do I think YOU should be attending this event? For starters, I’ll be there. And if that is not enough, then you should go anyways because the lineup is KICK-ASS.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself — HERE.

Although I intend on visiting every pavilion and as many breweries as physically possible, I can GUARANTEE that you will find me in the Michigan Beer Pavilion (Bell’s, Founders & Jolly Pumpkin — oh my!)

Here is The Wench’s list of GLBF breweries that I absolutely MUST VISIT:

  • Dogfish Head (ummm no brainer)
  • Bell’s
  • Jolly Pumpkin
  • Founders
  • North Coast
  • New Beligum
  • Stone
  • Ommegang
  • Victory

Of course, I intend on hitting up as many breweries as possible. But the ones listed above are my top priorities.

If you are planning on attending the Great Lakes Brew Fest and want to meet up, please leave a comment on the blog or shoot me an email at [email protected]


Ethnic Recipes

Berbere / Ethiopia
Use a processor or electric blender. Traditionally, a mortar is used.

1 clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion white part only
1T red wine vinegar
1/2 C water
1/2 paprika
2 T ground cayenne
2 Tsp. salt
1/2 Tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. ground fenugreek seeds
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch each of ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice
1 T palm, peanut, or vegetable oil

Combine the garlic, onion, vinegar and water and puree. In a small skillet, combine all dry ingredients EXCEPT oil. Stir over medium heat until mixture is warmed and aromatic but do not scorch. Remove from heat, cool, then stir in the blended mixture. Return pan to heat and cool over low heat, stir for 10 minutes. Transfer to a non metal container, pour oil over the surface to cover it. To use, saute the amount needed in oil or butter and add to sauces or stews.

Doro Wat / Ethiopia

2 T Niter Kibbeh
3 lb chicken, cut up
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch fresh peeled chopped ginger
1/4 C berebere
1/4 tsp. each: ground fenugreek, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg
1 C chicken stock
2 T lime or lemon juice.
To garnish: 4 hard cooked eggs, sliced

Rinse and dry the chicken. Heat spiced butter in a heavy skillet. Brown chicken in oil. When all pieces are browned, remove chicken and add onion to drippings in skillet. 30 minutes. Add broth and lime juice, simmer 3-4 minutes until thickened. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and simmer slowly for 30 minutes, turning the chicken in the pot from time to time. Transfer the stew to a platter, garnish with eggs, and serve with injira, or flatbread.

Coconut Bean Soup/ Tanzania
The use of coconut or bananas usually indicates a Swahili influence. (Use a 3 quart saucepan)

1/2 C chopped onions
1/2 C chopped green peppers
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper in 3 T butter.
add:
I C fresh seeded tomato cut into chunks
Simmer for two minutes.
add:
2 1/2 C kidney beans with liquid, or black eyed peas
2 C coconut milk
3 C water

Simmer for 10 minutes then add 1/2 C cooked rice
Correct seasonings, serve garnished with 1 tsp. coconut on top of each soup bowl.

Joll of Rice / West Africa
(cook in a 10 inch skillet)

2 Lb. cooked meat: chicken, shrimp, pork in:
1/2 C oil
In a separate soup kettle:
saute in 1/4 C oil:
1/2 C each: chopped onions, green peppers
1/2 Tsp. grated ginger in
1/4 C oil until soft.
Add 1 16 oz can whole stewed tomatoes.
simmer for 5 minutes.
Add:
12 oz tomato paste
2 quarts water
1 T salt
1/2 tsp. each black pepper and thyme
1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes.

Add to this mix the cooked meat and simmer 20 minutes longer.
In a 2 quart saucepan cook:
2 C white rice in
5 C chicken stock

Combine the sauce with the rice, pour the Jollof Rice in a deep platter, arranging the meat in the center.

Ndizi/ East Africa steamed bananas or Plantains

(These are usually served as a vegetable, you may sweeten them with some cinnamon, but not too much. If no banana leaves are available from specialty fruit shops, use aluminum foil, or substitute with wet corn husks as used for tamales.)

Line a 4 quart pan with banana leaves.
Place 8 peeled whole plantains or rather green bananas, side by side in the pan.
Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 C brown sugar. (optional)
Lay the banana leaves or corn husks over the fruit to form a tight seal, or cover with foil.
Pour 1 Cup of water at the side of the pan, to go under the leaves.
Cover tightly and simmer for one hour.
Remove leaves, arranging bananas on a platter, top with melted butter.

Eggs with Caviar
Makes 6 servings

6 eggs, hard-cooked
1-1/2 tablespoons each sour cream and mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 jar (2 ounces) lumpfish caviar
Watercress sprigs

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and mustard to the yolks and mix well. Pile into the egg white halves. Cover and refrigerate. At serving time, arrange 2 stuffed egg halves on each of 6 small plates and spoon the caviar over the yolk filling. Tuck a sprig of watercress on each plate.

Artichokes with Dipping Sauce
Makes 6 servings

6 medium-sized artichokes
Boiling salted water
1 1/2 tablespoons each oil and lemon juice
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon each minced fresh tarragon and chives

Slice the tops and stem ends from the artichokes and peel off outer leaves with scissors trim the tips of the other leaves. Simmer in a large pot of boiling salted water with the oil and lemon juice, covered, until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and cool slightly, then use a teaspoon to scoop out the center choke. Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mustard, and herbs, and spoon about 2 tablespoons each in artichoke. Or if desired, cool and chill the artichokes and serve cold with sauce.

Chicken and Leek Strudels
Makes 6 servings

6 split chicken breasts, cooked
4 tablespoons butter
1 bunch (about 3) leeks, chopped (white part only)
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) shredded jarlsberg or Gruyre cheese
12 sheets fila dough

Preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and dice the meat in large chunks. Place the chicken meat in a bowl. In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and saute the leeks and carrot until soft. Add to the chicken along with the parsley, tarragon, pepper, salt, eggs, and cheese and mix lightly. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Lay out 1 sheet of fila (keep remaining sheets covered with plastic wrap so they don't dry out). Brush lightly with melted butter, cover with a second sheet, and brush half of it lightly with melted butter then fold sheet in half. Brush top of folded sheet lightly with butter. Place one-sixth of the filling in a log shape along a long side, leaving a 1-inch strip uncovered along edge and at sides. Fold in 1-inch sides and roll up the dough like a jelly roll, encasing the filling. Place seam side down on a lightly buttered baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fila sheets and filling. Lightly brush tops of the fila rolls with butter. At this point, cover and refrigerate or freeze. Let thaw completely before baking. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Wild Rice with Pecans
Makes 6 servings

1-1/2 cups wild rice
Water
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 green onions or 1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3-3/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon each dried marjoram and thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped pecans or pistachios

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the rice in a bowl, cover with water, and let stand 1 hour drain. In a saucepot saute the celery and onions in oil until limp. Add the parsley, rice, stock, marjoram, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the rice is cooked through. Sprinkle with the nuts.

Pear, Toasted Hazelnut, and Blue Cheese Salad
Makes 6 servings

Raspberry Vinaigrette: follows
6 cups salad greens
2 winter pears, sliced
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped
Blue cheese, about 2 ounces

Prepare the vinaigrette. Toss with the greens and top with pears, hazelnuts, and cheese.

Raspberry Vinaigrette: Mix or shake together in a jar 1/4 cup olive oil or part canola oil, 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar, 1 teaspoon cassis syrup, 1 shallot, chopped, and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard.

Chocolate Ginger Cake
Makes 8 servings

5 eggs, separated
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds , hazelnuts, or pecans, or a combination
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup minced candied ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
French vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored and beat in 1 cup of the sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts, beating until thick. Mix together the nuts, chocolate, and ginger and fold in half the mixture. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add the salt and cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold one-third of the whites into the yolks to lighten them. Fold in the remaining nut and chocolate mixture and gently fold in remaining whites. Turn into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly. Remove from the oven and let cool upside down on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and accompany with frozen yogurt or whipped cream.


A Viennese Konditorei Party for Chocolate Lovers

Chocolate Grand Marnier Torte
makes 16 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 cups finely ground almonds
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 pound (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate Cream: follows

Preheat the oven to 350F. In the top part of a double boiler melt chocolate over hot water and let cool to room temperature. Mix nuts with flour. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar until creamy and beat in egg yolks. Mash orange zest with 1/2 teaspoon sugar to bring out its oils. Stir into the yolk mixture melted chocolate, half the nut-flour mixture, orange zest, and Grand Marnier. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add salt and cream of tartar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold one-third of the whites into the chocolate-yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently fold this into the remaining whites along with the remaining nut-flour mixture. Pour into a buttered and floured 9-inch spring-form pan.

Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan. Let cool completely, then spoon poufs of Chocolate Cream on top of the cake and serve remaining cream in a bowl alongside.

Chocolate Cream: Whip 1 cup heavy cream until stiff and mix in 2 tablespoons sweetened chocolate powder, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier.

Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Torte
makes 16 servings

1 can (8 oz.) almond paste
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup raspberry jelly
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sliced almonds

Place the almond paste in a mixing bowl, add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat after each addition until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice and zest. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add the salt and cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites into yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently fold this into the remaining whites. Stir together the flour and baking powder, sprinkle over the egg mixture, and gently fold in.

Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms of pans with waxed paper or parchment, then butter and flour the paper. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on racks.

To assemble, place 1 layer on a serving platter. Heat raspberry jelly until melted and spread it over the layer top with remaining layer. In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate and butter and melt over hot water stir to blend. With a spatula spread the chocolate mixture on the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the almonds around the outer edge of the top. Chill to set.

Chocolate-Sheathed Rum Prailine Cake
makes 12 servings

Two 9-inch sponge cake layers: follows
Rum Syrup: follows
Chocolate Butter Cream: follows
Praline: follows
1 cup whipping cream

Prepare the Sponge Cake layers. Spoon over the Rum Syrup and let cool. Prepare the Chocolate Butter Cream and Praline. Whip cream until stiff and fold in half the Praline. Spread one cake layer with half the whipped cream mixture. Top with a second layer and spread with remaining whipped cream mixture. Frost the sides of the cake with Chocolate Butter Cream and sprinkle with the remaining Praline.

Sponge Cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. Separate 6 eggs. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. In a bowl, beat the 6 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until thick and lemon-colored, then gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently fold this into the remaining whites. Fold in 1 cup all-purpose flour, one-third at a time, folding each part gently. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with waxed paper or parchment, and then butter and flour the paper. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and the tops spring back when touched. Let cool on a wire racks, then turn out of pans.

Chocolate Butter Cream: In the top part of a double boiler, melt 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate over hot water let cool. In a bowl, beat 4 tablespoons soft butter, at room temperature, until creamy, and mix in 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir in the melted chocolate and blend well.

Rum Syrup: Heat 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons rum.

Praline: Heat 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Add 1/2 cup chopped almonds or hazelnuts and shake the pan to coat the nuts with syrup Turn out of the pan onto a sheet of buttered foil. Let cool. Pulverize in a blender. Store in a jar tightly covered if made in advance.

Chocolate-Topped Custard Cake
makes 12 servings

2 9-inch layers yellow cake (a favorite butter cake or made from a mix)

Custard Filling:

2 cups milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum

Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Bake the cake layers and let cool. For the Custard Filling, mix part of the milk with the cornstarch scald remaining milk with sugar and salt. Blend in the cornstarch paste and cook until thickened. Whisk the egg yolks and whisk in part of the milk mixture, then return to the pan and cook until thick. Stir in vanilla and rum. Let cool, then spread between cake layers.

Prepare the Chocolate Frosting: Combine the sugar, cornstarch, chocolate, and butter in a pan and stir in hot water heat until blended, stirring. Stir in vanilla. Spread over the top of the cake only, not the sides.

Sacher Torte
makes 12 servings

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 eggs, separated
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup apricot jam

Chocolate Topping: follows
Whipped cream: optional

Preheat the oven to 300F. In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy, then beat in the sugar. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, add the salt and cream of tartar, and beat until stiff. Fold one-third of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold this into the remaining whites. Spread the batter in a greased and floured 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then remove sides and bottom of the pan and invert cake onto a rack. Let stand until completely cooled, then place bottom side up on a serving plate. Heat jam and press through a strainer. Brush the top of the cake with apricot glaze. Let stand until cool. Then frost sides and top with warm Chocolate Topping. Serve with whipped cream.

Chocolate Topping: In the top of a double boiler, heat together 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon coffee. Stir until blended. Let cool slightly.


Liptauer (paprika cheese spread) -- Appetizer
serves 4-6

Every classic collection of Austrian recipes includes at least one version of "Liptauer." All recipes call for three very important ingredients: a creamy type of ricotta known as "Topfen" (also called "Quark"), paprika, and chives. Liptauer is very much a question of taste some Austrians mix into it a lot of paprika, butter, sour cream others add chopped anchovies instead of anchovy paste, and even beer. This recipe retains the flavor of the Austrian specialty and is made with an American type of Topfen, called Quark, and has no butter.

2 cups (16 oz.) Topfen, also called Quark
1/2 small onion (about 1-2 oz.), trimmed, peeled, minced
15 medium-large sized pickled capers, drained, minced
1 medium size pickle, minced (optional)
1 bunch fresh chives, rinced, snipped finely (about 4 Tablespoons OR about 1 oz.)
1 teaspoon mild (Edelsuess type) paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1/2-1 teaspoon anchovy paste (1 large squirt)
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon beer (optional)
salt (to taste)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

In a food processor, mince onion, capers, and pickle. Snip fresh chives with kitchen scissors finely (do not chop with a food processor). In a medium size bowl combine and mix well "Quark," paprika, caraway, minced onion caper mixture, anchovy paste, mustard, salt (optional), pepper, and finely snipped chives. When the mixture is smooth, refrigerate, let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving over rye or whole wheat bread. Serve sprinkled with more fresh snipped chives with either beer or new wine (Heuriger Wein).

Tafelspitz (Viennese boiled beef) -- Main Course
serves 4-6

Cooked according to classic preparation rules, Tafelspitz (literally translated: the point of the table) is known to have been Austrian Hungarian Emperor Francis Joseph I's favorite meal. Viennese "Tafelspitz" for Austrians is not only a way to boil beef, but is a whole special culinary science prepared with a special cut of beef. It is not a pot roast. The authentic Tafelspitz requires a custom cut fresh piece of the hind part of beef (comparable to the American tri tip, also called silver tip) on the North American market a substitute can be fresh beef chuck brisket (not corned brisket).

The secrets of a juicy Tafelspitz are: heating the water to a rolling boil before the piece of meat is put in the water the sudden sealing of the meat's juices as soon as the the meat's pores close when the Tafelspitz touches the boiling water not too much salt, but enough to enhance the meat's flavor a few pieces of vegetables (sometimes also sections of bones with marrow), the right cooking time, and the gentle rolling of the boiling water which will cook but not break the meat's fiber. This recipe is a simplified version of this very Austrian dish.

2 1/2 pounds fresh beef brisket
enough water for your suitable Dutch oven pot (about 5 Qt. pot capacity with about 4 Qts. of water) + salt (about 1/2 Tablespoon for every Qt. of water)
3 whole cloves garlic, slightly crushed, peeled
3 whole green (freeze dried) or white pepper corns
2 juniper berries (you may substitute with 1 bay leaf)
3 whole medium size carrots, peeled, trimmed (about 4 oz.)
1 small-medium onion, trimmed, unpeeled, halved (about 2 oz.)
3 sprigs fresh parsley OR
3 sprigs fresh lovage

In a suitable covered Dutch oven, bring water to a rolling boil over medium heat. When the water boils, add meat, garlic, pepper corns, juniper berries, and cover. Bring the water to a boil again and add carrots, onion, and parsley. Cover and let everything simmer for 60 minutes. Turn the meat over, add salt, and let everything cook, covered, for 90 additional minutes. Switch off the heat and let the meat steep for 20 minutes. Remove the meat from the broth and cut meat across the grain when you serve it. Serve Tafelspitz with "Apfelkren" and your choice of raw and cooked vegetables.

Note: Keep the broth for soups. Cut cold meat leftovers in thin strips and use like a meat salad mixed with raw sliced onions dressed with a simple oil, vinegar, salt and pepper vinaigrette.

How to make "Apfelkren" (apple horseradish sauce) for Tafelspitz: Combine and blend 1 pound Golden Delicious apples, cored, peeled, grated and cooked until very mushy with 1 Tablespoon wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and 3 Tablespoons prepared horseradish.

B'soffene Brataepfel (Tirolean baked "drunken" apples) -- Dessert
serves 4

For this southwestern Austrian specialty absolutely do not use any of the flavored or green Peppermint Schnapps that are available on the American market. If you must, you may substitute the Austrian Schnaps with Italian "Grappa." The alcohol will evaporate during the cooking and the flavor will be superb.

4 whole Golden Delicious apples, cored, peeled
1/4 cup "Schnaps" (preferably made from apple or pear)
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1/2 cup white wine
enough oil to brush a pie pan (use any suitable unflavored vegetable oil)
enough aluminum foil to cover the pie pan

Place one oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the pie pan with oil. Place apples in the oil-brushed pan so that they are not touching each other. Drizzle the apples with the lemon juice to prevent apples from turning brown. Soak raisins in Schnaps.

In a small sauce pan, on medium heat, heat the wine, the cinnamon, and the sugar, stirring until everything is syrupy and the mixture boils (about 10 minutes). Divide soaked and drained raisins into four portions (keep the Schnaps juice) and stuff them into the apples.

Spoon half of the wine sugar syrup and the leftover Schnaps juice over the apples. Cover everything with aluminum foil and bake covered for about 30 minutes or until the apples are soft. 10 minutes before removing from oven pour over the apples remaining wine juice. Serve everything warm, not too hot, topped with sweetened whipped cream.

Wiener Phariseer Kaffee (Viennese rum liqueur spiked coffee)
serves 4

This recipe is an adaptation of the same Viennese coffee specialty served at Vienna's Cafe' Landtmann, located just across from the prominent "Volksoper" Theater-Opera house along the Dr. Karl Lueger Ring. There are many legends on why this coffee has its name. One that makes sense tells of a hypocritical priest who especially loved liqueur and wanted to hide it from his congregation. To brew this coffee use about 1 Tablespoon of freshly ground coffee per cup + 1/2 Tablespoon for the pot.

1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups freshly brewed Mocha type coffee (either Viennese Mocha, Mocha Java, or light French roast)
4 teaspoons sugar
4 Tablespoons either dark rum, Austrian red cherry liqueur, or Rum Topf juice enough sweetened whipped cream to top all coffees enough powdered cinnamon to dust the whipped cream

Place, in each of four coffee cups, 1/8 teaspoon cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 Tablespoon liqueur. Fill each cup with coffee and stir. Top each coffee with a portion of whipped cream and sprinkle with powdered cinnamon.

Here are specialties from Belgium. The Belgian Endive Marketing Board shares endive dishes.

Cream of Belgian Endive Soup
Makes 4 servings

2 Belgian endives, cored
1 white onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped chives
Dill sprigs for garnish

Mince the endives, reserving a few small leaves for garnish. Saute the onion, garlic, and endives in the butter for 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and chicken broth and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

Blend until smooth. Ad the milk, salt, and pepper and blend. Serve hot or cold garnish with chopped endive leaves, chives, and dill.

Leek and Potato Soup
Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch leeks (white part only), sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups home-made or canned low-salt chicken broth
2 large golden or russet potatoes or 3/4 pound sunchokes, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream or plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Plain low-fat yogurt or sour cream for garnish

In a large saucepot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, and leeks until soft. Add the garlic, chicken broth, potatoes or sunchokes, and tarragon and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender or a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Blend in the wine, if desired, and cream or yogurt. Serve hot or cold. Garnish with parsley and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.

Braised Belgian Endive
Makes 4 servings

8 whole heads of Belgian endive, cored
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Slowly saute the endive in butter in a shallow pan over a medium hot heat. Turn to cook both sides. Add the other ingredients, cover the pan, and simmer on low for 25 minutes, adding a few drops of water if necessary.

Serve with meat, poultry, or game.

Steamed Mussels
Makes 3 to 4 entree servings or 12 first-course servings.

3 quarts mussels in the shell (about 4 pounds)
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 shallots or green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup minced parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Melted butter

Soak the mussels for 30 minutes in salted water. Scrub the mussels well under cold running water with a stiff brush. In a large soup kettle, saute the garlic and shallots in oil until soft, stirring. Add wine, parsley, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add the mussels, cover, and simmer gently until the shells open, about 8 minutes discard any that do not open. Spoon the mussels into soup bowls and ladle the broth over them. Pass the butter, if desired, for dipping the mussels.

Scallops and Endive with Pasta
Makes 4 servings

2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pinch each of thyme, oregano, and basil
4 Belgian endive, cut up
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
Splash of sherry
2 tablespoons butter
Basil sprigs for garnish
Hot cooked pasta, such as penne or fettuccine

Saute the shallots and garlic in oil until the shallots are translucent. Add 3 cut up endive, tomatoes, scallops, spices, sherry, and butter. Saute until the scallops are cooked through, about 5 minutes remove from heat.

Add the reserved cut up endive and stir. Serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with basil.

Pine Nut and Chicory Salad
Makes 2 servings

About 2 cups torn chicory or frisee
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon or 1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or pistachios

Place the chicory in a medium bowl. In a 1-cup measure combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, tarragon, shallot, and nuts. Microwave on High 30 seconds to 1 minute or until hot. Toss with the chicory.

Flemish Beef Stew
Makes 6 servings

2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter and olive oil
4 medium onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 bottle (12 oz.) dark beer
Beef stock
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a bag. Add the meat and shake well. Melt half the butter and oil and fry the onions until tender do not brown. Remove the onions. Brown the meat on all sides in remaining oil and butter. Add the onions, herbs, and sugar. Pour the beer over. Add stock if needed to cover. Cook covered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender, adding more beer or stock if necessary. Just before serving add the vinegar. Serve with hot boiled potatoes and a green salad.

Streusel-Topped Apple Tart
Makes 8 servings

9 or 10-inch pastry-lined pan
10 large Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
Topping:
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Fit the pastry in the pan. Toss the apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix the topping until fine crumbs and scatter over. Bake in a preheated 425 degrees Farenheit oven for 15 minutes reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer, covering the top with foil if it browns too much, or until apples are tender.
Serve with cream or ice cream.


Chilled Cucumber Soup
makes 6 servings

1 large seedless cucumber
2 cups light cream
1 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

Peel, seed, and grate the cucumber. In a bowl, stir together the cucumber, cream, yogurt, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Chill one hour. Serve with some of the mint stirred in and the remainder sprinkled on top.

Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding
makes six servings

4 pound prime rib of beef
Salt and pepper to taste

Yorkshire Pudding:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Dash salt
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425F. Season the meat with salt and pepper and place on a rack on a baking pan. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, reduce the temperature to 325F and continue roasting 50 minutes to one hour, or until the meat thermometer registers 150F. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, milk, salt, oil and eggs, and beat until the batter is smooth. Let stand one hour. Preheat the oven to 425F. Spoon two tablespoons of the fat off the roasting pan and brush it in a 9-inch baking pan. Pour in the batter and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and set. Serve immediately with the roast beef.

Jacket Potatoes
makes 4 servings

4 equal-sized large russet potatoes
Sea salt
1/3 cup milk, approximately
2 tablespoons butter
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400F. Scrub the potatoes well and prick all over with a fork. Rub with salt. Place in a baking pan and bake in the oven for 50 minutes to one hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, cut in half lengthwise, and using a spoon, scoop out the flesh into a bowl, leaving the skin intact. Mash the potatoes lightly and mix in the milk, butter, pepper, half the cheese, and onions. Pile into the shell. Top each with grated cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese has melted and the top is lightly browned.

Welsh Rarebit
makes 6 servings

2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 ounce butter
1/2 cup ale
2 teaspoons prepared English mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large slices buttered toast

Melt the cheese and butter in the ale in a small pan over low heat, stirring. Add the mustard, salt and pepper. Cut each slice of toast in half and arrange in a shallow ovenproof dish. Pour the cheese over the toast and place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly.

Cumberland Sauce
makes about 1/2 cup

1/4 cup red currant jelly
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Dash powdered ginger

Heat the jelly over hot water in a double boiler and mix in the other ingredients. Use as a sauce with ham, pork, or game.

Sherry Trifle
makes 8 servings

1 small sponge cake
3/4 cup raspberry or strawberry jam
2/3 cup sherry
6 ounces macaroons
2 1/2 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds

Slice the sponge cake horizontally and cut it into large pieces, then spread it with jam. Place the cake pieces, jam sides up, in layers in a 2 to 2 1/2 quart glass serving bowl. Pour the sherry over and let stand for one hour. Meanwhile, heat the milk. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until light, pour in the hot milk and whisk. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the custard thickens. Let cool to room temperature, then pour over the trifle. Cover and refrigerate several hours. To serve, whip the cream, spread over the top, and sprinkle with nuts.

Lemon Curd
makes about 1 cup

2 lemons
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten

Grate the zest from the lemons and squeeze the juice. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and butter and heat slowly until the butter melts, stirring. Stir into the eggs, return to the pan, and cook, stirring, over low heat until the mixture thickens. Serve on scones or biscuits or with sponge cake.

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
makes about 1 dozen sandwiches

6 thin slices soft brown bread, crusts removed
3/4 cup low-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon each chopped parsley and watercress
6 thin slices smoked salmon
Dash cayenne

Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten and stretch the bread. Cream the cheese with lemon juice, parsley, watercress, and cayenne, and spread over the bread. Cover with salmon and carefully roll wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate two hours. To serve, remove wrapping and cut each roll in thin slices.


Ma po dou fu ( Sichuan)

(The following recipe is adapted from “The Chinese Kitchen” by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. For a more intensive Sichuan “numbing spicy” taste, substitute whole Sichuan peppercorns in the dish.)

1 tablespoon dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
2 ½ teaspoons Chinese rice wine vinegar, or distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 ½ teaspoons dark soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sesame oil
pinch Sichuan peppercorn powder
1 1/3 cups chicken stock or broth

¼ cup peanut oil
2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
5 small dried Chinese chilies, chopped (or use fresh red Thai chilies if Chinese are unavailable.)
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ pound lean ground pork
1 ½ tablespoons chili sauce
6 cakes fresh medium-firm tofu, cut into ¼ inch cubes
1/3 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat a wok or large pot over high heat for 30 seconds and add peanut oil. Coat the wok with the oil. When the oil is barely smoking, add the ginger, Thai chilies, and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the ground pork and cook for 1 minute, or until the pork is no longer pink. Stir in the chili sauce until well-combined then add the tofu and cook, mixing together, for 3 minutes or until it begins to boil. Make a well in the center of the tofu-pork mixture, stir the sauce ingredients, and pour them in. Stir and cook for 1 minute or until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Turn off the heat, garnish with chopped scallions, and serve with hot cooked rice.



Brioche Braid
makes 1 loaf

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup diced Fontina, Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese (optional)

Sprinkle the yeast into warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand until puffy. Add sugar, salt, and one cup of flour beat well. Add three eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth. Beat in the butter and gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on a floured board. Knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a greased bowl. Butter the top of dough lightly. Cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Mix in the cheese if used and turn out on a floured board. Knead lightly. Divide into three pieces and shape into long ropes braid the strands and tuck ends under. Place on a greased baking sheet and cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown, and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped.

Quiche Lorraine
makes 8 servings

4 eggs
1 pint light cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup ham, cut in julienne pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon butter
9-inch prebaked pastry shell

Beat the eggs lightly and blend in the cream, salt, and nutmeg. Mix the ham and cheese and place in the baked pastry shell. Pour in the custard and dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 35 minutes or until slightly puffed and browned. Let cool five minutes, then cut in wedges.

Baked Potatoes Anna
makes 6 servings

6 large baking potatoes
1/2 cup butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel the potatoes and slice crosswise 1/8 inch thick. Generously butter a 10-inch round baking dish and melt remaining butter in a small saucepan. Overlap the sliced potatoes in the dish, forming circles, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat layers until all the potatoes are layered. Pour over the melted butter. Bake in a preheated 425 degrees F oven for 50 minutes to one hour or until the top is crusty and the potatoes are tender. Invert on a serving dish. Cut in wedges.

Sirloin in Mustard Cream
makes 4 servings

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 pound sirloin steak or 4 boneless fillets
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dry Vermouth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon minced chives

Heat a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, and when it stops foaming add the meat. Saute on both sides until browned and cooked to desired state. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a platter and keep warm. Mix together the mustard, Vermouth, and cream and stir into the pan juices. Boil, scraping up the drippings. Add the remaining butter to the pan and heat, stirring until blended. Remove from heat. Slice the whole steak on the diagonal, or leave the fillets whole, spoon over the sauce, and sprinkle with chives.

Shallot Salad with Cheeses
makes 8 servings

2 heads butter lettuce or 2 quarts choice greens
1/4 cup each safflower oil and olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
Chevre or Brie

Tear the greens into bite-size pieces. In a bowl, whisk together the oils, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and shallots. Place greens in a bowl and pour over dressing, and mix well. Serve with a plate of cheese.

Chocolate Mousse
makes 8 servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
5 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Place the chocolate in a microwavable bowl and microwave on medium for two minutes or until melted let cool. Beat the egg yolks and stir them into the chocolate. Add the vanilla. Beat the egg whites until foamy, add the salt and cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff. Whip the cream until stiff. Fold the egg white meringue and the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Spoon into glasses and chill. If desired, cover and freeze let thaw 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Cheese Tart
makes 8 servings

butter tart shell
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

With an electric mixer or a food processor fitted with the steel blade, mix flour, butter and powdered sugar together and until particles are crumbly. Pat into the bottom and sides of an 11-inch flan pan with scalloped sides and removable bottom. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. Bake in a 425 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

filling:
8 ounces natural cream cheese or one cup Yogurt Cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
Mint sprigs

First prepare Butter Tart Shell. Using an electric mixer, beat the cheese until creamy and beat in the sugar, eggs, lemon peel and juice. Pour into the baked tart shell and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes or until set. Let cool and chill. Garnish with mint. Cut in wedges.


An Alsatian Sausage-Tasting Party

Quick Wine Cheese Puff
Makes about 1 dozen appetizers or 6 entree servings

3 eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 shallot or green onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated Jarlsberg or Swiss cheese or low-fat Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Beat the eggs until light and mix in flour, wine, milk, salt, and mustard mixing until blended. Add shallot, Jarlsberg cheese, and butter. Pour into a buttered 9-inch pie pan and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cut in wedges.

Raclette with Spuds and Fennel
Makes 8 appetizers

16 tiny new potatoes (red, purple or gold or an assortment)
8 ounces Raclette, Gruyère, samsoe or Jarlsberg cheese
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes drain. Thinly slice the cheese and place in 2 baking dishes. Heat in the oven until the cheese is melted and starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Serve cheese ramekins in the center of the table surrounded with potatoes and fennel.

The flours may vary in this wholesome bread. If barley is unavailable substitute whole-wheat flour.

Four Grain Bread
Makes 3 loaves

2-1/2 cups water
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
2 packages active dry yeast
Zest of 1 orange, cut in julienne pieces
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup canola oil or butter
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 cup milk
1-1/2 cups barley flour
1 cup rye flour
3 cups bread or unbleached flour

Place in a saucepan 2 cups of the water and the oatmeal bring to a boil, boil 1 minute, and turn into a mixing bowl let cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast into the remaining 1/2 cup water and let stand until dissolved. Add to the oatmeal mixture the orange zest, yeast, salt, oil and molasses. Heat the milk until warm and stir in. Gradually add the barley, rye, and bread flours, mixing to make a soft dough.

Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl, grease top lightly, cover and let rise until doubled in size. Turn out of pan, punch down, and knead to remove air bubbles. Divide into three parts and shape into loaves. Place in greased 9-by 5-inch loaf pans or shape into round loaves and place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when thumped.

Choucroute Garnie
Makes 8 servings

3 pounds sausages
2 slices salt pork or thickly sliced bacon
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 pound pork links, sliced or smoked pork chops
2 tart cooking apples, such as pippin, Jonathan, or Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 small smoked ham hock (about 3/4 pound)
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
4 black peppercorns
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 pounds assorted sausages: bratwurst, knackwurst, kielbasa, veal frankfurters, cocktail frankfurters, or Italian garlic sausages

Turn sauerkraut into a strainer, rinse thoroughly under cold running water, and drain well. Dice salt pork or bacon and sauté in a large flameproof casserole or pot. Add the onion and sauté in drippings until golden brown. Add the pork loin or chops and brown. Add the sauerkraut, apples, ham hock, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and wine. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cover and bake in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Add the sausages, spooning some of the juices over them. Continue baking 30 minutes longer, or until the sausages are thoroughly heated. To serve, mound the sauerkraut on a hot platter. Top with pork loin or chops and skinned ham hock. Surround with sausages.

Pine nuts and golden raisins lend a chewy sweetness to delicious baked apples. Choose a firm apple that will hold its shape such as Rome Beauty, pippin, or Granny Smith.

Riesling Baked Apples
Makes 8 servings

8 firm apples
4 tablespoons golden raisins
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup semi-dry white fruity wine, such as riesling
Cream, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel the top third of the apples and core. Place in a baking pan. Stuff the center of each with raisins and pine nuts. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over. Dot with butter. Pour in wine. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife. Serve warm with cream, if desired.

Apple Hazelnut Tart
Makes 8 servings

Butter Crust: follows
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
7 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted, skinned hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Prepare the Butter Crust. Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large skillet, melt the butter with 1/4 cup sugar and when it starts to melt add the apples. Let sauté, turning until the apples soften and start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Spoon into the crust, top with nuts and sprinkle with the remaining sugar and the cinnamon. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the nuts and topping are golden and the apples very tender. If the top should brown before the apples are tender, cover with a sheet of foil. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Butter Crust: Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a food processor combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 6 tablespoons butter, diced, and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, processing until fine loose crumbs form. Pat into an 11-inch flan pan with removable bottom. Freeze 10 minutes. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until browned let cool.


An Elegant French Dinner

by Lou Seibert Pappas

Pistachio-Olive Chestnut Galette

Makes 1 pizza-size bread

1 package active dry yeast
6 tablespoons warm water (105°F to 115°F))
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/3 cup chestnut flour
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pitted black salt-cured olives
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup golden raisins

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast into the warm water and let stand until bubbly. Beat in 2 tablespoons oil, honey, egg, rosemary, salt, lemon zest, and chestnut flour. Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough. Beat well with a heavy duty mixer or wooden spoon. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and turn out on a floured board. Knead lightly. Roll out into a 15-inch circle and place in a greased 14-inch pizza pan or on a baking sheet. Form a rim around the edge. Spread with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and scatter over the olives, nuts, and raisins. Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise slightly. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: Chestnut flour is available in specialty gourmet markets and by mail order. Contact Maison Glass at 1-800-822-5564.

Crostini with Chevrè and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Makes 12 appetizers

12 thin slices sourdough baguette
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and split
3 ounces chevrè
12 sun-dried tomato halves in oil
12 leaves basil or flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Brush the bread with olive oil on both sides and rub with garlic. Toast in the oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Spread with cheese, top with a tomato half, and dollop with an herb leaf.

Roasted Garlic Soup
Makes 6 servings

1 head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cups chicken stock
4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère or Jarlsberg cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the top from the garlic and rub with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Wrap in foil and place in a baking dish. Bake in the oven 35 to 40 minutes or until soft let cool. Squeeze the pulp into a bowl and reserve. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and sauté the onion until tender. Add the garlic pulp and sauté 1 minute. Add the stock, potatoes, and thyme bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Puree with yogurt in batches in a blender. Serve warm in bowls and top with fresh chopped chives or parsley. Sprinkle with cheese.

Tarragon Chicken in Wine Cream
Makes 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon butter or oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons dry Vermouth
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 medium tomato, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley

Place the chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly to an even thickness. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the chicken in butter or oil, turning to brown both sides. Add the shallot, garlic, and wine. Cover and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a heated platter and pour off the pan juices, reserving them. Pour the vinegar into the pan and cook down until reduced by half. Add the tomato and tarragon and cook until hot. Pour in the cream and the reserved pan juices, stir, and cook down the sauce slightly. Spoon it over the chicken and sprinkle with chives or parsley.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Makes 4 servings

4 3-inch Portobello mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and use for another purpose. Toss the mushrooms with oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Place gill side down on a broiling rack and broil, turning once, allowing about 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked through. Or roast in a 425°F oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Broccoli Flowerets Balsamic
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds broccoli flowerets
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan, cook the broccoli in boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 8 minutes drain and toss with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Pear, Persimmon, and Avocado Salad

Dress a green salad with a shallot vinaigrette and top with sliced Anjou or Comice pears, sliced Fuji persimmon, and avocado slices.

Frozen Grand Marnier Souffle
Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup water
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Cointreau
Toasted slivered almonds or cocoa powder

Combine the 2/3 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil until the temperature reaches 238°F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage). Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and pale yellow. Continue to beat and slowly pour the hot syrup over them in a fine, steady stream. Beat until the mixture cools to room temperature, about 7 minutes. Mash the orange zest with 1 teaspoon sugar to bring out its oils stir into the yolk mixture. Whip the cream until stiff and beat in Grand Marnier. Fold into the yolk mixture. Spoon into individual souffle dishes. Cover and freeze until firm. Garnish with nuts or sprinkle cocoa powder through a wire strainer, dusting the top lightly.



A French Country Dinner

Spring Greens Soup
makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup shredded spinach
3/4 cup shredded butter lettuce
1/3 cup chopped watercress
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 cups chicken stock or low-fat broth
2 tablespoons each plain yogurt and low-fat sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives

In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onions until tender. Add the greens and parsley cover and steam 5 minutes. Add the stock and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Puree in a blender or food processor.

Braised Leeks
makes 4 servings

8 medium leeks
1 cup chicken stock
8 whole allspice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Trim the root end from the leeks, remove tough fibrous outer leaves, and trim off the tough green leaves. Split lengthwise. Hold each section under running water and rinse away any sand. Lay the leeks in a saucepan, cover with chicken stock, add the allspice and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Place the leeks on a serving dish. Cook down the juices slightly and spoon a few tablespoons over the leeks. Sprinkle with parsley.

Chicken Breast Saute
serves 4

4 large split chicken breasts, skinned and boned, if desired
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon each unsalted butter and olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 medium tomato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste. Using a large skillet, saute the breasts in butter and oil, turning to brown both sides. Add the tarragon, shallots, garlic, and wine. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a heated platter and pour off the pan juices, reserving them. Pour the vinegar into the pan and cook down until reduced by half. Add the tomato and cook until hot. Pour in the cream and the reserved pan juices, stir, and cook down the sauce slightly. Spoon it over the chicken and sprinkle with the chives and parsley.

Mushrooms and Watercress in Mustard Dressing
makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon each red wine vinegar and Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onion tops
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch watercress or butter lettuce

For the dressing, mix together the oil, vinegars, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper, and chives. Add the mushrooms to the dressing, mixing lightly. Add several sprigs of watercress. Chill briefly. Arrange the remaining watercress or butter lettuce on a platter and and mound the mushroom salad on top.

Berries in Red Wine
makes 4 servings

1-1/2 pints strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups dry red wine such as Zinfandel or Gamay Beaujolais

Wash and hull the strawberries. Alternate layers of berries and sugar in a wide-mouthed tall cylindrical jar or glass serving container. Pour over enough wine to cover. Let stand at room temperature at least 3 hours. Serve in wide-mouthed wine glasses for a fun presentation.

Mocha Angel Cake
makes about 14 servings

1-2/3 cups egg whites (approximately 14)
1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons water
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened powdered European-style cocoa
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Beat the egg whites until frothy and beat in the ream of tartar, salt, and water. Beat until soft peaks form adding in 1-1/4 cups of the sugar and the vanilla extract. Stir together the flour, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the cocoa, and coffee powder add to the whites and fold in. Turn into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool upside down. To serve, remove from the pan and slice in wedges.

Red Creamer Potatoes Tossed in Sage
makes 4 servings

1 pound small Red Creamer or Red Bliss new potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a steamer, cook potatoes over barely simmering water for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Toss with olive oil and sage and season with salt and pepper.


Black Forest Stollen

2 ounces candied lemon, finely diced
2 ounces candied orange, finely diced
12 ounces raisins
5 ounces red currants
1/2 cup dark rum
2 ounces compressed yeast
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
13 ounces butter at room temperature
4 ounces granulated sugar
2 pounds flour
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 tablespoon roasted almonds, finely ground
2 1/2 ounces sliced almonds
4 ounces butter
2 ounces vanilla sugar
2 ounces confectioners sugar
softened butter and flour for baking sheet

1. Combine the diced candied lemon and orange with the raisins and currants. Marinate in the rum for a few hours.

2. Place the compressed yeast in a large bowl. Warm the milk to lukewarm temperature and add to the yeast. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the yeast dissolves completely in the milk. Add flour and sugar, mix thoroughly. Set in a warm place for ten minutes or until the yeast mixture is foamy.

3. Add 1/3 of the flour and beat thoroughly into a smooth paste. Cover and let stand in a draught-free warm place for about 30-minutes (to 1 hour), or until it raises and the yeast bubbles appear on the surface.

4. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, salt, lemon juice, vanilla sugar, mace, cardamon and ground almond. Add the remaining flour. Mix thoroughly.

5. Incorporate the raised yeast mixture. Flour a board, then knead the dough evenly (about 10-15 minutes) or until the dough is soft and pliable. Set in a warm place for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Punch down the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Knead again on a floured board until smooth.

6. Press rum out of the marinated fruits and place on top of the dough. Knead until thoroughly mixed. Place the slivered and sliced almonds on top, then incorporate into the dough. Make sure the fruits and almonds are evenly distributed.

7. Divide the dough into two parts. Press out each piece to a long oval: 10x5x1 inches. Press a rolling pin lengthwise, at the center of the dough roll out to three-quarter-inch from the edge. Press the thin part together with the finger tips, then shape the thick edges into well rounded "stollen" shape. Pull out the ends to narrow them a little. Put fingertips between the two thick edges and pull the top edge gently up, rounding as you go this will form a crescent shape.

8. Place each loaf on a buttered and floured baking sheet. Allow to rise again for about one hour.

9. Bake the Stollen in preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes, then at 325F for another 30-35 minutes or until the Stollen sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter, then cool on a rack.

10. Finally spread butter on the baked Stollens, sprinkle first with the vanilla sugar, then with the powdered sugar.

* Stollen doesn't have the same flavor and the dough is more difficult to handle if active dry yeast is used. However, if compressed yeast is not available, substitute with one-quarter oz. packets, only one cup milk and the same amount of sugar and flour same method as in step two.


Springerle
Yield: 80 cookies

4 eggs
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 pound cake flour
1/2 of an anise seed, powdered
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
softened butter and flour for baking sheets
German cookie molds with Christmas motif (Springerle mold)

1. Coat four large baking sheets with butter and dust with flour. Shake off excess flour.

2 .In a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric hand beater for about 15 minutes, until they are thick, fluffy and lemon in color.

3 .Add baking soda and anise, incorporate flour with a wooden spoon or hands, do not overwork dough.

4. Shape the dough into a ball, pat flour on top and bottom, then flatten. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.

5. Quarter the dough and roll each quarter out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured board. Press the cookie molds firmly down into the dough to print the pattern as deep as possible. Place cookies separately on the prepared baking sheets.

6. Let rest in a cool place overnight, then bake in a 325F oven for 10-15 minutes or until pale cream color.

7. Remove to wire racks and allow to cool.

8. Place in an air-tight tin or box. A piece of apple placed inside the tin will prevent the cookies from hardening, replace apple when necessary. A few crushed anise seeds inside the tin will improve the flavor.



German Rote Grütze Dessert--From Traditional to Trendy

ROTE GRÜTZE
(German Red Fruit Pudding)

6 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened berries (raspberries, strawberries, red currants, or any combination of these, with some pitted red cherries if desired)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish: Light or heavy cream, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or vanilla sauce

* Thaw frozen berries before using them. Some recipes include a few blueberries, blackberries, black currants, or dark cherries, too, but the primary color should be red.

Stem and wash the berries shake them dry in a colander. For a smooth Rote Grütze, process the berries in a blender, 2 cups at a time, until they are completely pureed. For a chunkier version, puree 4 cups of berries in a blender and coarsely chop the remaining 2 cups. Or process all 6 cups in a food processor, using the chopping blade and pulse button, until the mixture reaches the consistency you want. If you want a Rote Grütze without seeds, press the pureed berries through a fine strainer or sieve.

Combine the processed berries and sugar in a medium-size non-aluminum saucepan. Dissolve the cornstarch in cold water in a small bowl.

Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir the cornstarch in the bowl again to make sure it is dissolved, then slowly stir it into the berry mixture. Reduce the heat and let the Rote Grütze simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching—just until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.

Pour the Rote Grütze into a large serving bowl or individual dessert bowls or stemmed wine glasses. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Serve cold, with the garnish of your choice.

VANILLA CUSTARD SAUCE

2-1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan, then let it cool to lukewarm. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in the top of a double boiler until they are well combined. Whisk the lukewarm milk into the egg mixture very slowly. Cook the mixture in the top of the double boiler set over, not in, simmering water, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Serve chilled or at room temperature as a garnish for Rote Grütze.

Makes approximately 2-1/2 cups of Vanilla Sauce


Wurstsalat (Sausage Salad)
serves 4

Everybody in Germany likes to prepare Wurstsalat once in a while. It is very easy to make and is one of those German specialties that best reflects the German food industry. It is either made with fine grain sausages like Knackwurst or Frankfurter. German summer afternoons spent at home working in the garden often end with a meal of wurstsalat. Wurstsalat is also an ever present item in almost all the menus of German inns and restaurants.

4 precooked cold knackwurst, peeled, and sliced thin (about 3/4 of a pound)
1 small onion (about 2 oz.), trimmed, peeled, sliced thin
salt (to taste )
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
3 Tablespoons wine vinegar
4 Tablespoon vegetable oil

In a salad bowl combine sliced knackwurst and sliced onion. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over knackwurst, toss and serve with a good rye bread.

Klaus's Heringsalat (Klaus's herring salad)
serves 4

Heringsalat in Germany is very much a matter of personal taste. Basic ingredients are apples, herrings, and raw onions. Some Germans like to mix horseradish into their herring salad, others add chopped capers. Some include chopped pickled cucumbers and others add mayonnaise instead of Quark (a sour cream type cottage cheese). This recipe is the adaptation of a German family recipe that was brought to North America from Darmstadt.

Contents of one 8 oz. jar of pickled herring, drained, diced in bite size pieces (keep herring juice for dressing!)
1 medium size Golden Delicious apple (no more than 8 oz.), cored, peeled, diced
1 small onion (about 2 oz.) trimmed, peeled, chopped finely
1 sweet sour pickled cucumber, chopped finely
1 hard boiled egg, shelled, chopped
2 either red or yellow Yukon Gold type potatoes (about 1/2 pound), steamed with their jackets on, peeled, sliced
1 small leafless red beet (about 1/2 pound), steamed, trimmed, peeled, OR the contents of one 8 oz can of beets,
drained and diced
1 Tablespoon mustard
1-2 Tablespoons Quark
1 Tablespoon fresh dill (about 1 young stem) minced
salt (about 1/4 teaspoon, or to taste)
freshly ground white pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon, or to taste)

In a medium size bowl combine herring pieces, apple, onion, pickled cucumber, hard boiled egg, red beet and potatoes. In a separate bowl blend mustard, quark, salt, pepper, 2-3 Tablespoons herring juice and fresh dill to make a dressing. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Serve with rye bread.

Schweinsmedallions mit Sommermajoran (Boneless pork cutlets with fresh marjoram)
serves 4

This easy-to-make recipe is an adaptation of a Rhine country dish, updated for a reduced cholesterol diet. It is a beautifully color-contrasting meal if you serve it together with red stewed cabbage.

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin cutlets (cut no thicker than 1/3 of an inch)
1/4 cup golden raisins, soaked in white wine
1 large Golden Delicious apple, cored, peeled, quartered, sliced
1 large onion, trimmed, peeled, sliced
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup mustard
leaves of 10 full grown stems of fresh marjoram (about 1 oz. or 1 cup of loosely packed leaves), rinsed, chopped
salt (to taste)
freshly ground white pepper (to taste)

On a cutting board, season cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper to taste (both optional). Evenly spread the mustard on only one side of the meat. In a large, covered non-stick pan, over medium heat, heat the oil and saute onions until lightly golden and limp (about 5-10 minutes). Drain raisins (keep juice). To the translucent onions, add apple slices and raisins. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add cutlets, placing them first on the side without the mustard and making space for them by pushing the onions aside. Brown cutlets for about 5-10 minutes on each side. Drizzle the cutlets with raisin wine juice and sprinkle them with the marjoram. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan, and cook the cutlets until they are done. No pink should be visible when you serve the meat. The internal temperature should be at 160-165 degrees F.

Gedunstetes Rotkraut or Gedunsteter Rotkohl
(Stewed Red Cabbage)
serves 4

Cabbage (which on the German produce market is available either red or green) and Sauerkraut are absolutely star ingredients in typical German cuisine. Red cabbage has a somewhat sweeter taste than the green variety. It makes an interesting color contrast with a main course that is pale in color, such as herbed pork cutlets.

1 small whole (about 1 1/2 pound) red cabbage, trimmed, cored, rinsed and sliced
1 small onion (about 2 oz.) trimmed, peeled, sliced or chopped
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
salt (to taste)
freshly ground white pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup broth
2/3 cup white wine

In a covered medium-size non-stick stir fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onions until golden brown and translucent. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper to taste (both optional). Stir cabbage to coat everything with oil. Reduce the heat to medium, add broth and let simmer covered until cabbage has absorbed the liquid and has softened (about 10 minutes). Occasionally stir to prevent the cabbage from sticking or burning. Add wine, stir, cover again, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. If necessary, add more wine and stir occasionally until the cabbage has reached your desired doneness (the cabbage should have lost all its crunchiness).

Note: You may follow the same procedure with green cabbage and with sauerkraut. If you use sauerkraut, rinse it in abundant water and drain it before using it as instructed above.

Erdbeer Bowle (Strawberry Wine Punch)
serves 4

Bowle is a classic German party wine punch. During the month of May throughout Germany, bowle is served flavored with fresh woodruff (Waldmeister), a sweet scented herb with white flowers, which grows especially well in wooded and shady areas away from hot climates and sunshine. Later, during strawberry season, bowle is made with strawberries which grow abundantly everywhere. As German summer season progresses, bowle is prepared with other fruits like sweet imported peaches, chunks of juicy watermelon, pieces of bright orange cantaloupe, or plump raspberries.

1/2 pint fresh strawberries, stemless, rinsed, cut in half or in quarters (the cutting will not be necessary if you use wild
strawberries) 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 bottle German Riesling, well chilled
1 Tablespoon brandy (preferably Alsbach Uralt)
1/2 bottle German Sekt, well chilled

Place the strawberries in a large covered glass jar (a sun tea jar will be fine), sprinkle them with sugar and drizzle them with the brandy. Set them aside to marinate for two hours to allow the sugar to draw out the juice from the berries. Add white wine, stir, and set aside for two additional hours. When ready to serve, pour in serving punch bowl. Add Sekt and serve chilled in wide champagne type glasses, making sure to distribute strawberries with the wine.


Hummus or Garbanzo Sesame Spread
makes about 2 cups

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped green onion tops or chives
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash pepper
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
Italian parsley sprigs for garnish
Lavosh, sesame or oat crackers or sliced cucumbers, zucchini, jicama, or carrots

Drain the garbanzo beans and rinse well in a strainer under cold water. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the beans, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, onion tops, salt, cumin, pepper, and tahini. Process until almost smooth. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little reserved bean juice. Spoon the spread into a serving container. Cover and chill. To serve, garnish with parsley sprigs and accompany with lavosh, crackers or relishes.

Parsley Meatballs/Keftethes
makes about 3 dozen

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 cup soft white bread crumbs
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh or dried oregano

In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion until soft turn into a bowl. Add the bread crumbs, water, eggs, garlic, salt, oregano, and parsley, and mix well. Add the meat and mix thoroughly. Shape into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Saute the meatballs in the remaining oil, turning to brown all sides. Transfer to a serving dish. Pour the vinegar into the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up the drippings pour over the meatballs. Grind fresh pepper over and sprinkle lightly with fresh oregano.

Quantity Tip: Place the shaped meatballs on a baking pan and bake them in a 425 oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through. In a small saucepan boil the vinegar until reduced by half, add the pan drippings, and heat until blended. Pour over the meatballs in a serving dish.

Shrimp Pitas
makes 3 dozen

8 ounces ricotta cheese or natural cream cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 green onions, chopped
Dash Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 cup finely chopped jicama (optional)
1/2 pound small cooked shrimp
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
12 sheets filo dough
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together in a bowl the ricotta, egg, vinegar, parsley, onions, Tabasco, and tarragon. Mix in jicama, shrimp, and Romano or Parmesan cheese. Lay out the filo dough and cover with plastic wrap. Using one sheet at a time, brush with butter and cover with a second sheet brush lightly with butter. Cut into 5 or 6 strips, each about 3 inches wide. Place a rounded teaspoonful of shrimp filling at one end of each. Fold each strip like a flag and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Brush tops of filo with butter. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Spinach Pitas
makes 4 dozen

3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound spinach, chopped
1/4 pound ricotta cheese or cream cheese
1/4 pound feta cheese
1 egg
3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 pound filo dough
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large frying pan, saute the onions in oil until limp. Add the spinach and cook until limp drain off any liquid. Let cool. Beat together the ricotta, feta, egg, crumbs, Parmesan, pepper, parsley, and nutmeg. Mix in the vegetables. Using one sheet at a time, brush with butter and cover with a second sheet brush lightly with butter. Cut into 5 or 6 strips, each about 3 inches wide. Place a rounded teaspoonful of filling at one end of each. Fold each strip like a flag and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Brush the tops of filo with butter. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cucumber and Yogurt Dip

2 cups plain yogurt
2 large cucumbers or 1 English cucumber
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Crackers or pita bread

Put the yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl. Drain several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Peel, halve, and seed the cucumber and grate in a food processor set aside to drain. Add the garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and combine with the drained yogurt. Serve with crackers or pita bread.

Eggplant and Yogurt Dip

1 cup plain yogurt
1 eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 1/2 dried dill
3 to 4 tablespoons mixed minced parsley, chives, and oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Black olives for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375F. Prick the eggplant, place it on a sheet of foil in a baking pan, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until soft. Split lengthwise and cool. Scrape out the pulp. Strain the yogurt in a bowl lined with cheesecloth for 2 hours, or until as thick as sour cream. Mix the eggplant pulp with yogurt and remaining ingredients. Garnish with olives. Serve as a dip with bread or crackers.

Wreath Bread
makes 2 rings

1-1/2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105F)
1 3/4 cups milk, warmed
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups unsifted unbleached flour
Egg Glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sesame seed

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast to warm water, and stir to blend. Let stand about 5 minutes, then stir in the milk, salt, sugar, and oil. Add 3 cups flour and beat at medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Turn out the dough and knead lightly. Let rise, covered, until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Turn out and divide in half, knead lightly and shape into a round, poke a hole in the center and pull into a ring. Let rise, covered on a greased baking sheet. Brush with egg glaze and sprinkle with seeds. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until golden. Let cool on racks.

Sugar-Coated Butter Cookies
makes about 5 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup very finely chopped almonds, lightly toasted
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
About 2 cups confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 325F. Beat the butter until creamy, and beat in the 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, egg yolk, almond extract, and almonds. Mix in flour. Pinch off pieces of dough the size of a walnut and shape into rounds or crescents by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Sift a 1/8 inch thick layer of confectioner's sugar over waxed paper and transfer the cookies to it. Sift more sugar over the top to cover completely. Let stand until cool, then store in an airtight can.


A Greek Island Party

Cold Poached Chicken
makes 12 servings

12 split chicken breasts, boned and skinned (about 5 ounces each)
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon crumbled dried tarragon
Skordalia Sauce: follows

Arrange the breasts in a large skillet, or do them in two batches. Pour in the stock and wine and season with tarragon. Cover, bring to a gentle boil, and simmer 15 minutes, or until the chicken turns white clear through to the bones. Remove from stock and let cool. Chill. Reserve stock for another dish. Serve each breast with Skordalia Sauce.

Skordalia Sauce: Place in a blender container 1 egg, 1-1/2 tablespoons each fresh lemon juice and white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3 garlic cloves, minced, and blend a few seconds. With the motor running, gradually pour in 2/3 cup safflower oil and 1/3 cup olive oil in a fine, steady stream. When the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise, stir in 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts and blend 1 second, or until finely minced. Turn into a container, cover, and chill.

Hummus or Garbanzo Sesame Spread
makes about 2 cups

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped green onion tops or chives
1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground cumin
Dash pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Italian parsley sprigs for garnish
Lavosh, sesame or oat crackers or sliced cucumbers, zucchini, jicama, or carrots

Drain garbanzo beans and rinse under cold water drain again. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the beans, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, onion tops, salt, cumin, pepper, and sesame oil. Process until almost smooth. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little water. Spoon the spread into a serving container. Cover and chill. To serve, garnish with parsley sprigs and accompany with lavosh, crackers or relishes.

Dolmas
makes 36 to 48

1 jar grape leaves, about 48, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup short-grain white rice
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup dried currants
2 cups water
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Scald the grape leaves with hot water and drain. Cut off the stems from the leaves and pat each leaf dry with paper towels. In a large skillet, saut the onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until golden. Add the rice, parsley, dill, salt, pepper, pine nuts, currants, and 1 cup of the water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool. When cool, place 1 teaspoon of the rice mixture in the center of each leaf (shiny surface down), fold sides and top in like an envelope, and roll up. Do not roll too tightly as rice will expand. Arrange rolls in layers in a large saucepan, sprinkle with lemon juice and the remaining oil. Combine the stock and water and pour over the rolls. Weight them with a baking dish, cover the pan, and simmer 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Let cool in the pan and chill until serving time.

Serve them on a plate with lemon wedges.

Greek Country Salad
makes 12 servings

6 large tomatoes
2 large cucumbers
1 small sweet red onion
1 head curly endive or other greens
2 dozen Mediterranean-style olives
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons big capers

Core the tomatoes and cut into thin wedges. Peel and halve the cucumber lengthwise, then slice. Peel and slice the onion thinly. Tear the greens into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a salad bowl along with the olives. Mix together the oil, vinegar, salt, oregano, and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss. Dice or crumble the cheese and scatter the cheese and capers over the salad.

Watermelon Basket
makes 16 servings

1 small seedless watermelon (about 3 pounds)
1 green honeydew melon (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 large cantaloupe (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Mint sprigs for garnish

Cutting it horizontally, slice the top third from the watermelon. Scoop out the melon into balls and scrape out the flesh to make a smooth cavity. Fashion a handle by slicing a 1/2-inch arc of rind from the upper third of the melon and tuck it into the large watermelon shell. Halve and seed the honeydew and cantaloupe and scoop out the flesh into balls. Stir together the sugar, orange juice, lime juice, lime zest, and orange zest and let stand until the sugar dissolves. Spoon over the melon balls and let steep 1 hour. Serve in the watermelon shell and garnish with mint sprigs.

Rum Nut Cake Diamonds
makes 3 dozen

6 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon each salt and cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup ground almonds
1-1/4 cups ground walnuts
Rum Syrup: follows (optional)

First prepare the rum syrup and let cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Beat the egg whites until foamy add the salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until the meringue stands in peaks set aside. With the same beater, beat the egg yolks until pale yellow and gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until thick and lemon colored. Beat in the almond extract. Mix the crumbs with the baking powder and grated zest and beat into the yolks. Mix in half the nuts. Fold in the egg white meringue and remaining nuts. Turn into a buttered, floured 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched. Let cool 5 minutes. While hot, pour over the cool syrup, if desired. Let cool and cut into diamonds.

Rum syrup: Combine in a saucepan 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons grated orange peel, and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and boil until clear. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup rum.

A Greek-Style Feast

Lemon Soup
makes 8 first-course servings

4 cups rich chicken broth
4 eggs
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 whole lemon, thinly sliced

Heat the chicken broth to boiling. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a wire whisk until light, and beat in the lemon juice. Gradually stir in the broth, whisking constantly. Return to the saucepan and place over low heat until the soup is thickened, stirring frequently. Pour into small cups and garnish with a lemon slice.

Stuffed Grape Leaves
makes 12 servings

3 to 4 dozen canned grape leaves
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup short-grain rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons currants
1 cup water
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 to 3 lemons, cut into wedges

Remove grape leaves from the jar, scald with hot water, and drain. Cut off the stems and pat each leaf dry. In a frying pan, saute the onion in oil until golden. Add the rice, parsley, dill, salt, pine nuts, currants, and water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed let cool. Place one rounded teaspoon of the rice mixture in the center of each leaf, shiny surface down. Fold like an envelope and roll up. Do not roll too tightly as rice will expand. Arrange the rolls in layers in a large pot. Pour in the lemon juice and broth. Weight with a baking dish. Cover and simmer 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Let cool in the pan. Serve chilled, garnished with lemon wedges.

Spinach Pie/Spanakopita
makes 24 portions

2 pounds fresh spinach
1 bunch curly endive
1 bunch Italian parsley
1 bunch green onions
6 leaves fresh mint (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Dash nutmeg
12 sheets prepared filo dough
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Wash the greens and pat dry thoroughly. Finely chop the spinach, chicory, parsley, onions, and mint, and pat dry again. Place in a large bowl and mix in the salt, pepper, oil, eggs, crumbs, feta, and nutmeg. Lay out the filo and cover with plastic film to keep it from drying out. Line a buttered 9 by 13-inch baking pan with one sheet of filo, brush with melted butter, and cover with five more sheets of filo, brushing each with melted butter and letting filo overlap sides of the pan. Place the greens mixture in the filo-lined pan and smooth the top. Fold any overhanging filo back over the greens. Arrange six more buttered sheets of filo, cut or folded in to fit the top of the pan, one at a time on top. With a sharp knife, cut into squares through the top layers of filo only, making three lengthwise and five crosswise cuts. Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake in the oven for one hour, or until the greens are tender. Remove to a rack and finish cutting into squares. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Country Salad
makes 8 servings

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil or oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 head butter or romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, sliced
4 tomatoes, sliced
2 dozen Greek olives
1/4 cup feta cheese

For dressing, place in a jar the oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper shake well. Chill. Peel and slice the cucumbers and dice tomatoes and place in a bowl with greens. Pour dressing over the salad, mix lightly, and garnish with olives and cheese.

Roast Leg of Lamb
makes about 10-12 servings

1 leg of lamb (about 6 pounds)
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup lemon juice
Garnish: fresh rosemary, lemons, oregano

Trim any extra fat from the meat. Peel the garlic and sliver it. Insert several garlic slivers in the natural seams of the meat and make additional incisions and insert more garlic. Mix together the salt, pepper, and oregano, and poke half of the mixture into the slits. Rub the remaining salt mixture over the outside of the meat. Insert the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast.

Place on a rack in a roasting pan and pour 1/2 cup hot water into the bottom of the pan. Place in a 400F oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the meat is well browned. Reduce the temperature to 325F and roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, or until the thermometer registers 160F for medium rare meat. Remove from the oven. Pour lemon juice over the meat, cover pan, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove meat to a platter and keep warm. Skim fat from the pan juices and pour one cup water into the pan stirring, bring to a boil, scraping up drippings. Pour into a sauce bowl. Garnish the meat platter with a wreath of rosemary and lemons, cut zigzag style and sprinkle their center with oregano. Carve the meat and spoon the juices over each serving.

New Potatoes with Lemon and Herbs
makes 8 servings

16 new potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup mixed minced fresh parsley, chives, and thyme

In a saucepot, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and herbs.

Walnut Cake
makes 16 servings

6 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups ground walnuts

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff moist peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until stiff set aside. Beat the egg yolks until thick and pale in color gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating well. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt, and add to the yolk mixture, beating until smooth. Mix in half of the nuts. Gently fold the egg white meringue and remaining nuts into the batter. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven, invert, and let cool in the pan. Serve with strawberries alongside.


(These recipes are published in Greek Cooking by Lou Seibert Pappas Galahad Books 1995.)

Sesame Spread / Hummus Tahini
makes about 2 cups

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini paste
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parsley sprigs or cilantro for garnish
Lavosh (cracker bread) or pita bread, quartered

Place the beans in a blender or food processor with the lemon juice, tahini, onion, parsley, cumin, and garlic. Add salt and pepper and blend again. Turn into a bowl, cover and chill. When ready to serve garnish with a wreath of parsley or cilantro. Spread on lavosh or pita bread.

Spinach and Feta Salad / Spanako me Feta Salata
makes 8 servings

2 pounds fresh spinach
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cucumber, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
2 green onions, chopped

Remove stems from spinach. Wash and drain leaves, cut into 1-inch wide strips, and place in a salad bowl. Shake together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, cinnamon, mustard, salt, and pepper pour half the dressing over the spinach and mix well. Thinly slice cucumbers and arrange in a ring across the top with the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and onions. Pour remaining dressing over the salad.

Lamb on Skewers / Arni Souvlakia
makes 8 servings

3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, grated
2 red peppers, cut in 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 large white sweet onion, cut into eighths

Place the meat in a bowl. Mix together the lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and grated onion, and pour over the meat. Cover and chill several hours or preferably overnight, turning several times. Thread the meat on skewers, alternating on each one about 4 to 5 lamb cubes, 2 pieces of pepper, and 1 piece of onion. Barbecue over medium-hot coals, basting often with marinade and turning to brown on all sides, allowing about 15 minutes for medium-rare meat.

Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms / Pilafi me Manitaria
makes 6 servings

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped Italian-style flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound mushrooms
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Using a heavy saucepan, saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add half the garlic, the parsley, thyme, and rice and saute 1 minute, stirring. Bring both the broth and wine to a boil, pour over the rice, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and trim mushrooms leave whole if small or slice if large. Melt the remaining butter with garlic in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms and lemon juice and saute quickly 2 to 3 minutes, just until hot through and glazed. Add to the cooked rice, fluff with a fork, and sprinkle with cheese..

Rum Nut Cake Diamonds
makes 3 dozen

Rum Syrup: Combine in a saucepan
1 cup sugar,
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/3 cup water

Bring to a boil and boil until clear. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup rum.

6 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon each salt and cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2-1/2 cups ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 350F. First prepare the rum syrup and let cool. Beat the egg whites until foamy add the salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, eating until the meringue stands in peaks set aside. With the same beater, beat the egg yolks until pale yellow and gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until thick and lemon colored. Beat in the extract. Mix the crumbs with the baking powder and grated peel and beat into the yolks. Mix in half the nuts. Fold in the egg white meringue and remaining nuts. Turn into a buttered, floured 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched. Let cool 5 minutes. While hot, pour over the cool syrup. Let cool and cut into diamonds.


Spanish Tortilla
makes 4 servings

3 large white potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 eggs
1 small red pepper, seeded and sliced
Minced flat-leaf parsley

Leave the skin on the potato, if you prefer. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 9 or 10 inch skillet and saute the potatoes and onion, stirring, until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and gently mix the potatoes with the eggs. In another frying pan, heat the remaining oil and pour in the potato and egg mixture. Cook over medium heat without stirring until set. With a plate, flip over and cook on the other side until browned. Garnish with pepper slices and parsley.

Paella Marinera
makes 6-8 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound mild or spicy Spanish sausage, diced
2 cups rice
3 cups hot seafood broth or water
Pinch saffron
1 pound raw medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound clams in their shells
1/2 pound mussels in their shells
Salt to taste
1 cup artichoke hears, parboiled
1/2 cup green olives

In a paella pan or heavy bottomed large pot, heat the oil and saut the onion, peppers, and garlic until soft. Add the sausage and saut a few minutes. Add the rice, broth and saffron. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the seafood and simmer until cooked through and the rice is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Add salt to taste and garnish with artichokes and olives and heat through.

Flan (Caramel Custard)
makes 8 servings

1 cup sugar
3-1/2 cups milk
6 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup toasted chopped almonds or berries for garnish (optional)

Heat 1/2 cup of the sugar in a heavy saucepan until it melts and turns amber, shaking the pan. Immediately pour into a 1-1/2 quart ring mold and tilt to coat all sides. Pour milk into the pan and heat until scalding. Beat eggs and yolks until light and beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in the milk, vanilla and almond extract. Pour into the mold and place in pan of hot water. Bake in a 350 F oven for 50 minutes or until set. Let cool and chill. With a knife, loosen the edges and unmold onto a platter. Sprinkle with nuts or accompany with berries, if you wish.



Christmas Indian-Style

Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruits Curry

Nuts and dry fruits curry makes an elegant vegetarian entrée at the holiday table.

2 tablespoons mild oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 ½-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
2 green chiles, stemmed and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cups mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios and cashews)
1 cup plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 tablespoons butter or clarified butter
4 dried apricots, chopped
½ cup sultanas or raisins
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 squares silver or gold leaves
Cherries for garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy pan over moderate heat. Add the onion. Stir and cook until onion starts to brown about, 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and chiles. Cook 3 to 4 minutes more. Add the spices and cook until aromatic. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until soft. Turn off the heat and transfer to a blender container. Add 1 tablespoon of mixed nuts and puree until smooth. Set aside. Mix the yogurt and water and keep until needed.

Heat the butter in the same pan over moderate heat. Add the remaining nuts and toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apricots, and sultanas. Stir for 1 minute. Add the spice-onion puree. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the yogurt mixture and salt. Bring the curry to a gentle boil, and simmer, covered, until thick, for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with gold leaves and cherries. Serve hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Fragrant Cauliflower with Purple Poppy Seeds

I have replaced traditional white poppy seeds with the purple ones. The appearance is prettier.

1 pound cauliflowerets
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
3 tablespoons mild oil
1/2 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons purple poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup water

Place the cauliflowerets in a casserole. Combine the vinegar, lime juice, turmeric and salt in a small bowl. Pour on top of the flowerets and marinate for 10 minutes.

Combine the tomatoes, coconut and cilantro in a blender container and process into a smooth puree. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. When the seeds pop, stir in the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 4 minutes. Add the poppy seeds, coriander and cayenne. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the coconut-tomato mixture and cook for 5 to 6 minutes stirring constantly. Add the cauliflower and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until the sauce is thick, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serves 3 to 4.


Indian Vegetables

Stuffed Anaheim Chiles in Cream Sauce
(Bhareli Mirch)

Serve as a side-dish vegetarian entree along with bread, soup and rice.

1 pound (about 8) Anaheim chiles or other long peppers
1 cup warm mashed potato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons mild olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Scant 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 whole cloves, ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half

Slit the chiles lengthwise, leaving the stems intact, and discard the seeds. Season the potato with half the salt and pepper to taste mix well. Stuff each chile with a generous portion of the potato mixture.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the stuffed chiles, onions, ginger, and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chiles start to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the spices, remaining salt, and half?and?half. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the sauce is thick and the chiles are tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Stir-Fried Broccoli
(Hara Phoolgobi Kadai)

For a variation, brown some onions and sprinkle on top. Serve this dish with flatbreads such as pita, chapati, or Middle Eastern lavash.

2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 or 3 fresh hot green chiles, stemmed and slit lengthwise
1-1/2 pound broccoli, cut into 1/2?inch florets
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon garam masala*

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or saute pan over medium?high. Add the fennel seeds stir and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chiles and broccoli. Stir-fry until the florets are lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes.

Sprinkle in the salt and lemon juice. Toss to mix. Transfer to a heated serving bowl. Serve hot with a sprinkling of garam masala and browned onions, if desired. Makes 6 side dish servings.

*Available at Indian markets.



India

Tikka in No Time
by Monica Bhide

Roasted Eggplant (Baigan ka Bhartha)
4 servings

This nicely seasoned vegetarian entree is usually served with Indian breads such as tandoori roti or nan. Adapted from "The Everything Indian Cookbook," by Monica Bhide (Adams Media, 2004).

3 pounds eggplants (about 2 medium eggplants)

1 small red onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, such as Nirav brand

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper

2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

A few tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil.

Use a knife to cut a few shallow, inch-long slits in each eggplant brush the eggplants with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place in the pan and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the eggplants over and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft and their skin is charred. Transfer the pan to the counter for a few minutes. When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. Use a fork to mash the eggplant into a smooth pulp. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander and chili powder or cayenne pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, then use a spatula or potato masher to mash the tomatoes and incorporate them into the mixture. Cook, stirring continuously, for 10 minutes or until the oil starts to separate from the mixture. Add the eggplant pulp and cook, stirring, for several minutes, until the eggplant is incorporated and the mixture is heated through. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro, if desired, and serve hot.

Per serving: 230 calories, 4 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 11 mg sodium, 13 g dietary fiber

Easy Chicken Tikka
4 servings

This is author Mohica Bhide's go-to Monday night recipe, needing just a half-hour's marinating time. "It's what I do when I don't feel like making anything else, because it's so easy," she says. Serve with rice, a green salad and Deep Tandoori Roti, a brand of Indian bread. The chicken also can be threaded onto metal skewers and grilled over indirect heat for 8 to 10 minutes.

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste, such as Nirav brand

1 tablespoon chicken tikka masala, such as Shan brand

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces

Combine the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, tikka masala, lemon juice, mint, salt and oil in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a medium roasting pan.

Drain the marinade from the chicken, discarding the marinade. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in the pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes (start checking after 10 minutes), until the meat is cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over the meat.

Per serving: 232 calories, 22 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 3 g saturated fat, 185 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber

Pan-Fried Cheese With Potatoes and Cauliflower in Vinegar Sauce (Sirka Panir)
8 servings

This vegetarian curry is easiest to make if you use packaged, fried panir, which is an unripened Indian cheese. The recipe was provided by cookbook author Raghavan Iyer and is to appear in his next book, planned for publication this year. Serve with rice or, as Iyer does, with slices of toasted French bread to dunk into the creamy, sweet-tart sauce.

1/4 cup malt vinegar or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 fresh green Thai, cayenne or serrano chili peppers, stemmed

2 dried red Thai or cayenne chili peppers, stemmed

2 large cloves garlic, smashed

2 slices ginger root (each 2 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1/8 -inch thick)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

2 cups cut-up cauliflower florets (about 1 inch long)

2 medium-size potatoes, such as russet or Yukon Gold, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes, and submerged in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or sea salt

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

8 ounces store-bought frozen fried panir cubes*

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

Combine 1/4 cup water, vinegar, tomato paste, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fresh and dried chili peppers, garlic and ginger in a blender. Puree, stopping to scrape down the mixture as needed, until a smooth, reddish-brown paste is formed. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes, until it has browned lightly around the edges. Add the paste and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 4 minutes, until a thin, oily sheen coats the surface and a thin film of paste forms on the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, add the remaining cup of water to the blender and whir the blades to dislodge any remaining contents. When the paste has cooked, add the liquid from the blender and scrape the bottom of the pan to release the accumulated film of paste. Add the cauliflower, potatoes and salt, and heat the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low, cover the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the coconut milk and panir cubes. Cook, uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and the vegetables are fork-tender. Add the cilantro and serve hot.

*NOTE: If you can't find frozen fried panir, slice fresh panir into 1-inch cubes heat vegetable oil in a skillet and fry the cubes until lightly browned on each side.

Per serving (excluding panir): 143 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 g saturated fat, 322 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber

No Tandoor? No Problem.
by Monica Bhide

Sudhir's Green Chutney Fish
4 servings

Traditionally, this dish is steamed in banana leaves. Aluminum foil is easier to use on your grill -- and easier to find. As a variation, chef Sudhir Seth suggests adding a tablespoon of prepared mango chutney to the marinade.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves, packed
1/2 cup mint leaves, packed
1/4 cup raw unsalted peanuts (may substitute raw unsalted cashews)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 serrano chili peppers, stemmed (seeds removed for milder flavor)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
4 grouper or rockfish fillets (2 pounds total)

In a food processor or blender, puree all the ingredients except the fish to a smooth paste. To aid in the blending process, you can add a tablespoon of water.

Place the fish fillets in a large bowl and pour the marinade over them. Refrigerate for about an hour.

When ready to cook the fillets, prepare the grill. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, start the charcoal or wood briquettes. When the briquettes are ready, distribute the heated charcoal evenly under the cooking area for direct heat.

Cut four squares of aluminum foil, each large enough to accommodate one of the fillets. Remove the fish fillets from the marinade, shaking to remove any excess. Place a fillet in the center of each piece of foil. Fold the foil over as if you were wrapping a present, leaving a little room for the steam to expand. Discard the remaining marinade.

Place the foil packages on the grill. The timing will depend on the thickness of your fillets for 1-inch-thick fillets, cook 10 to 15 minutes. The fish is cooked through when it flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 316 calories, 47 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 79 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 219 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber


Indian Cheese and Pepper Skewers
4 to 6 servings

" Paneer [a pressed Indian cottage cheese] withstands heat well," says Seth, "so it is often cooked in the tandoor." You can purchase paneer at Indian markets.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala*
1 small garlic clove, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root, to form a paste
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt
12 to 16 ounces paneer, cut into 3/4 -by 1/2 -inch cubes
1 onion, quartered and separated into several individual layers
3 small red, yellow and green bell peppers, cut into quarters

In a large bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil with the turmeric, garam masala, garlic-ginger paste, lemon juice, heavy cream and salt to taste. Add the cubed paneer, onion and bell peppers, stir to coat, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Thread the paneer, onions and bell peppers alternately onto thin metal skewers. On a stove-top grill griddle over medium-high heat, cook the skewers, about 5 to 6 minutes, turning once and basting with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. (You may also place the metal skewers on a grill pan under the broiler, about 4 inches from the heat, for 5 to 8 minutes. Turn once and baste with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.) When the onions start to char around the sides, the paneer is ready. Serve warm.

*NOTE: Garam masala is an Indian spice blend available in some supermarkets and specialty stores.

Per serving (based on 6): 225 calories, 7 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 56 mg cholesterol, 10 g saturated fat, 104 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber

Pine Nut Chicken Kebabs
4 servings

Yogurt is a common tenderizer in Indian kitchens. "Drain the yogurt through cheesecloth placed in a colander," advises Seth. "The thicker yogurt that remains has less moisture and helps make a better marinade." Whole-milk yogurt may be substituted if you want to skip the cheesecloth step.

2 medium garlic cloves, mixed with 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root to form a paste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
1/4 cup pine nuts, ground
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves* (optional)
Pinch of paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Soak bamboo skewers in water for a few hours or until completely moistened.

In a medium bowl, combine the ginger-garlic paste, cayenne pepper or chili powder, pine nuts, lemon juice, dried fengreek leaves if desired, paprika and salt. Mix well. Add the chicken cubes, stir to coat, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add the yogurt and mix again. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.

When ready to cook the kebabs, prepare the grill. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill on medium. If using a charcoal grill, start the charcoal or wood briquettes. When the briquettes are ready, distribute the heated charcoal evenly under the cooking area for direct heat.

Clean the grate with a grill brush.

Thread the coated chicken cubes onto the skewers. Grill for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and its juices run clear.

*NOTE: Dried fenugreek leaves have a slightly bitter flavor. They are available in international sections of some grocery stores and at Indian specialty markets.

Per serving: 195 calories, 29 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 2 g saturated fat, 158 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Dip
Makes about 2 cups

This adapted recipe is a summertime favorite of Seth's. He serves it with warm French bread for dipping.

1 large eggplant (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 medium tomato, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and split (remove seeds for a milder flavor)
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

Prepare the grill for cooking over direct heat.

Clean the grate with a grill brush.

Brush the eggplant all over with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Using a knife, pierce the eggplant a few times.

Place the eggplant directly on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until the eggplant is soft and its skin is charred, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the grill and let cool. Discard the skin.

Using a fork, mash the eggplant flesh into a smooth pulp.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then add the tomato and cook, about 5 minutes. Use he back of a spatula to mash the tomato, stirring continuously. When the mixture is ready, oil will start to appear around the inside edges of the skillet.

Add the eggplant and salt to taste. Mix well, and stir while cooking, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a food processor or blender, puree the cooled eggplant-tomato mixture with the cilantro, ginger, lemon juice, jalapeño pepper and yogurt until smooth. (You may add a few tablespoons of water, a little at a time, to aid the mixing process if necessary.)

Per serving: 101 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 8 gfat, 2 mg cholesterol, 1 g saturated fat, 47 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber

Tandoori Phal (Grilled Fruits)
4 servings

Seth suggests using hard fruits because they work well on the grill. Figs and other soft fruits will fall apart on high heat, so cook them over indirect heat. A grill basket is necessary here to prevent the fruit from falling into the grill.

1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons (from 1 lemon) fresh lemon juice
1 cup orange juice
Pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
4 fresh figs, cut in half (may substitute other fruit such as mango)
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks (about 1/8 of a whole pineapple)
1 cup pitted dates, such as Medjool

In a small bowl, combine the honey, ginger, lemon and orange juices, cardamom and black pepper.

Place the figs, pineapple and dates in a large bowl and pour the marinade over them, tossing lightly to coat. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook the fruit, prepare the grill for indirect cooking. If it is a charcoal grill, build the fire on one side. If it's a gas grill, turn all the burners to preheat and then turn off one burner just before you begin cooking.

Clean the grate with a grill brush.

Drain the fruit, reserving the marinade in the bowl, and place in the grill basket on the side of the grill that does not have the fire. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the fruit is caramelized but not burnt.

While the fruits are grilling, prepare the sauce. In a small pan over medium heat on the stove, heat the reserved marinade until just heated through and the sauce comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.

Divide the fruit among individual bowls and pour the sauce on top. Serve with ice cream. Per serving: 246 calories, 2 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g saturated fat, 3 mg sodium, 7 g dietary fiber

Lamb Korma
Serves 6

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin
1 1/2 pounds boneless cubed lamb, excess fat removed
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons of a mix of cayenne and paprika -- determine according to your taste for heat
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup plain yogurt
3 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon garam masala (see below)

Heat oil in a 6-quart pot. When hot, add cumin seeds. When seeds pop, add ginger. Fry for about 15 seconds. Add onions and saute at medium high heat, stirring frequently, until they become dark golden brown.

Raise heat to high. When pot is very hot, add lamb and saut until nicely browned. Add coriander, paprika/cayenne, turmeric, black pepper and salt. Stir fry two or three minutes. Turn heat off, add and mix yogurt, turn heat back on (this prevents curdling).

Bring mixture to a boil (add one quarter to one-half cup water if there is not enough liquid), reduce heat, cover partially and simmer at low heat for about 45 minutes, or until lamb becomes tender. At this time, you will notice a thin film of oil on the surface. Add garam masala and cream, mix, cover, turn off heat and leave on the stove for about five minutes. Sprinkle with slivered almonds before serving.

Garam Masala

Lachu insists you make your own garam masala.

Equal quantities of whole cloves, hulled cardamom and broken cinnamon stick

Toast whole spices for about 10 seconds per teaspoon in the microwave. Grind in a coffee grinder and mix.

Chicken Baffat
Serves 6

The technique of frying spices together and pureeing them into a paste is classic South Indian. Of course, the coconut milk is a further hint as to this recipe's origins.

1/4 cup canola oil
3 dried red chilies, broken into pieces
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
9 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 medium onions, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced very thinly
2 1/4 pounds deboned, skinned chicken, preferably dark meat, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/4 teaspoons cayenne mixed with paprika, proportion to suit your taste for heat
Salt to taste (approximately 1 1/2 teaspoon)
1/3 to 2/3 can coconut milk
3 medium potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
A few curry leaves
Ball of tamarind pulp the size of a large lemon, dissolved in warm water and strained

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, add chilies, coriander and cumin seeds. Fry for 10 to 15 seconds. Add ginger and garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree to a thick paste, adding water if necessary.

In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil. When hot, add onions and saut at medium to high heat until slightly brown, about eight to ten minutes. Raise heat to high, wait for 1 to 2 minutes until pot is very hot, add chicken and stir-fry until chicken is browned.

Reduce heat to medium, add all spices and salt. Stir for three to four minutes and add coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil (add up to 1/3 cup water if there is not enough liquid). Reduce heat, add potatoes, cover and simmer slowly for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Add curry leaves and tamarind during last five minutes.

Raj Jhinga (Prawns Cooked in a Mustard-Flavored Sauce)
Serves 6

Mustard seed is the classic spice of Bengali food. This recipe uses it in two different forms and at different stages in the cooking. This one of many ways Indians coax multiple flavors from a single spice by varying the way it is processed.

5 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons nigella seeds
8 to 10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 medium onions, peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
3 teaspoons cayenne mixed with paprika, proportion to suit your taste for heat
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cracked mustard seeds (use blender or coffee grinder to crack them)
2 teaspoons salt
5 ounces ground almonds
2 pounds prawns, peeled and deveined

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 6 to 8 quart saucepan. When hot, add mustard and nigella seeds. When mustard seeds pop, add garlic and saut for about 30 seconds. Add onions. Saut at high heat until soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir fry for 6 to 8 minutes at medium high heat.

Add turmeric, paprika, cumin, cracked mustard seeds and salt. Saut at high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add ground almonds, reduce heat and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until oil separates from mixture.

In a separate saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. When hot to the point of smoking, add prawns and saut, stirring constantly until pink, one to two minutes. Add to sauce and cook for another one to two minutes.

Urid Ki Dal
Serves 4 to 6

Dals are small legumes which have been peeled and split and thus cook much more quickly than larger beans. Dals differ from one another in color, flavor and texture with urid the creamiest among them. This dish is typical of North Indian vegetarian cooking. Eat it with the green bean recipe that follows and saffron rice.

1 cup urid dal, picked over and rinsed 2 or 3 times
5 to 6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large tomato, chopped
1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind concentrate dissolved in water and strained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 green chili pepper, chopped (optional)

In a large 6- to 8-quart pot, heat water and dal together. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, removing scum. Add salt and turmeric. Cook covered for about 45 minutes checking to make sure that dal is cooked and adding more water if needed. If there is too much water, uncover and boil down. The final product should be thick, almost like a paste.

In a small pot, heat oil. When very hot, add cumin seeds. Fry all seeds until they pop, about 20 seconds. Add to dal. Add remaining ingredients to dal. Mix and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Green Beans with Potatoes
Serves 6

While you may use this hearty vegetable dish with any of the above recipes, it is particularly appropriate with the dal.

4 tablespoons canola oil
9 to 12 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 pounds green beans cut into 2-inch lengths
2 medium potatoes, peeled, halved and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne mixed with paprika, proportion to suit your taste for heat
1 1/2 teaspoons mango powder (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Heat oil. Saut chopped garlic for about 30 seconds. Add beans and potatoes. Saut for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients. Mix and cook at medium high heat for 12 to 15 minutes until done. Stir frequently (once every 2 to 3 minutes) and do not cover pot.

Zaffrani Chaval (Saffron Rice)
Serves 6

This is the standard rice Lachu serves at Ajanta. It would serve nicely as a side dish to non-Indian dishes as well.

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons black cumin seeds
2 1/4 cups Basmati rice
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water

Heat oil and fry black cumin seeds for 10 seconds.

Add rice and saute for a few minutes until rice starts to change color and become opaque. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and cover. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed (15 to 20 minutes) and rice is cooked.

Pour saffron water into middle 2-inch circle of rice. Leave covered for a few minutes for water to be absorbed. Fluff up rice with a fork and mix. Rice should be a marbled mix of white and yellow grains.

Satay Ayam (Chicken Satay)
Serves approximately six people, 10 to 12 as part of a rijsttafel

Satay, quick-grilled over a roadside fire, is popular street food today in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia, but its home is Indonesia. Tuti Taylor-Weber of Oakland, California's Dutch East Indies Restaurant provides us with her version.

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh meat
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. dark soy sauce
2 tsp. tamarind juice (see ingredients list)

Cut chicken into cubes of approximately 3/4" on a side. Mix together remaining ingredients and marinate chicken for two hours. Soak bamboo skewers in water for approximately 20 minutes.

Thread chicken onto skewers, four or five to a skewer, and grill over glowing coals or under preheated grill four minutes to a side or until chicken is brown on all sides.

Serve satay with peanut sauce and a fiery sambal to satisfy your need for heat.

Satay Sauce

8 Tb. crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups water
3 tsp. garlic salt
3 tsp. dark brown sugar
Tamarind juice to taste
Coconut milk (see ingredients list) or additional water

Put peanut butter and water in a saucepan and stir over gentle heat until mixed.

Remove from heat and add all other ingredients except coconut milk or additional water. Use coconut milk or water to make sauce thick yet pouring consistency. Check seasonings and add more salt and tamarind juice if needed.

Rendang
Serves eight to ten people, 12 to 15 is part of a rijsttafel

Sumatrans and Javanese have very different interpretations of this favorite beef dish. Sumatrans like it hot and dry, while Javanese like it sweeter with more gravy. While, a Javanese herself, Tuti leans toward the style of Padang in Sumatra, considered by most the source of the best food in the country. Out of sympathy for her guests, she cuts back on the hot pepper. But if you'd like to sample true Padang-style eating, load up on the sambal.

1 medium onion chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tb. fresh ginger, chopped
5 fresh red hot chillies chopped or 2 Tb. crushed dry chili
2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. galanga powder (see ingredients list)
4 tsp. paprika
6 kemiri (see ingredients list)
6 kaffir lime leaves (see ingredients list)
1 stalk of fresh lemon grass or 1 Tb. lemon grass powder (see ingredients list)
1/2 cup tamarind juice
1/2 cup water

3 lbs. round or chuck steak cut into strips approximately 1 1/2 wide and 2 1/2 long

Mix all ingredients but meat in a blender or food processor. Add to a large saucepan, add meat and bring quickly to a boil.

Reduce heat to moderate, stirring occasionally until sauce reduces by one-half. Turn heat to low and continue cooking until gravy is almost dry stirring frequently to ensure mixture does not stick to the pan.

Allow meat to fry in remaining oil until it is dark brown. Cooking time approximately two hours. Serve with white rice.

Kari Ikan (Fish Curry)
Serves 4 people, more for a rijsttafel

No sampling of Indonesian dishes would be complete without seafood or a curry. Syamsul and Beverley Bachri, owners of
Bachri's in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provide us with the perfect marriage, a fish curry, and a simple one at that.

1 Tb. oil
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
8 kemiri ground
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup water
4 fish fillets
2 scallions, chopped

Heat oil in a wok, add sliced onion, and stir-fry until tender. Add ginger, kemiri, and curry powder, and stir-fry over low
heat for 3 minutes.

Add kecap manis, lemon juice, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes.

Add fish fillets in a single layer in the wok. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes on each side or until the fish is done. Place on a platter, sprinkle with chopped scallions, and serve with sambal and sliced cucumber salad along with white rice.

Semur Daging (Slices Of Beef In Soya Sauce)
Serves 3 or 4, more for a rijstaffel

On my first night in Jakarta, my hostess prepared semur. No doubt she felt it would be easy on my wimpy western palate, but I found its sweetness strange and exotic. Of course a palate trained in the Midwest during the fifties and sixties would have found anything exotic! Now that I have toughened up, I know to serve a dish like this with plenty of sambal for a balance between sweet and hot. This is Syamsul and Beverley Bachri's version.

1 lb. beef roast, thinly sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tb. kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 Tb. butter
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
2 potatos, thinly sliced
2 tomatos, peeled and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
Thinly sliced fried onion

Fry shallots and garlic in butter until lightly browned. Add meat and potato slices, and saute briefly. Add the tomato, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add eggs and cook for 5 minutes more. Add scallions just prior to serving and garnish with fried onions. Serve with white rice.

And at last, the food that gives Indonesian cuisine its spark. There are sambals of all sorts to accompany different kinds of dishes. Some are used as an ingredient in dishes like sambal goreng ikan (fish fried in sambal). The heat can come from fresh red chillies for from bottled chilli paste. This is Syamsul and Beverley's basic recipe. Modify it to suit your needs.

2 large tomatoes
2 large Spanish onions
1 tsp. terasi (see ingredients list)
Several cloves of garlic
1/2 cup sambal oelek (raw chili paste) (see ingredients list)
1/4 cup oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend together in a food processor the tomatoes, onions, terasi, garlic and sambal oelek until slightly chunky. Do not overblend.

Place mixture in a pot, preferable with a non stick surface with the oil, salt and pepper and lightly boil until no water surfaces. The sambal is done when the consistency is constant and it no longer seperates.

(For Sambal Manis - Sweet Sambal -- a very common variation on the theme, add 1/4 cup of Kecap Manis when the sambal is almost done.)


Honeydew and Prosciutto

Serve wedges of melon, each topped with a wafer thin prosciutto slice or thinly sliced ham. Pass a pepper grinder. Accompany with a halved fig, draped with a sliver of prosciutto.

Antipasto Platter

Offer a selection of sliced Italian sausages, such as mortadella, gallantina with pistachios, coppa, and dry salami, and a chunk of cheese such as Asiago or a specialty goat or sheep's milk cheese. Include a choice of two of three kinds of olives and a basket of fennel, zucchini, and red peppers to slice, and marinated artichoke hearts and mushrooms, if you wish.

Italian-Style Marinated Mushrooms
Makes about 1 pint mushrooms

Trim stems of 1 pound small mushrooms. Simmer for 2 minutes in 1 inch boiling salted water with 1 slice lemon drain and cool. Place in a bowl and pour over a mixture of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, and 2 garlic cloves, minced. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally.

Leek and Zucchini Frittata
Makes 54 appetizers

3 large leeks, chopped (white part only
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium zucchini, sliced
2 bunches green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
6 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
12 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Monterey jack or Jarlsberg cheese
3/4 cup shredded Asiago or dry jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a large frying pan, saut the leeks in oil until soft remove from the pan to a bowl. Add the zucchini and saut until crisp tender add the onions and saut 1 minute and add to the leeks. Mix in the basil or oregano and parsley and set aside. Beat the eggs until light and mix in the sour cream, jack cheese, half the Asiago or Parmesan and the vegetable mixture. Pour into a greased 10 by 15-inch pan. Sprinkle with remaining Asiago or Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Cut in squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Red Pepper and Green Onion Frittata Variation: Instead of the leeks and zucchini, substitute 4 red peppers, seeded and diced, 2 red onions, chopped, and 2 bunches green onions, chopped. Saut as directed in the recipe for the leeks and zucchini.

Tomato-Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Thinly sliced red and gold tomatoes, arrange on a platter, top with sliced Mozzarella, and scatter over basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil.

Cannelloni
Serves 16 (2 per person)

3 pounds chicken thighs
2 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground pork, veal, or turkey
1 pint (1 lb.) ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 oz.)
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Fresh Egg Noodles: follow
Herbed Tomato Sauce: follows
3 pounds teleme or Monterey jack cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the chicken pieces in a shallow pan and roast in the oven for 35 minutes. Let cool, remove and discard skin and bones, and grind the meat. In a large frying pan, melt the butter and saut the onions until limp. Add the garlic and ground pork and cook until the meat loses its pink color let cool slightly. Mix in the ground chicken, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, salt, and nutmeg. Cover and chill, if desired.

Shape the cannelloni by placing about 3 tablespoons chicken filling in a ribbon down one side of each Fresh Egg Noodle roll up to enclose the filling.

To assemble, pour hot Herbed Tomato Sauce 1/4 inch deep in an ovenproof shallow serving pan. Place the canneloni in the sauce, allowing a 1 inch space between each. Top the canneloni with sliced cheese, covering pasta completely. (If desired, cover and freeze at this point. Let thaw completely before reheating.) Bake in a preheated 425F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Fresh Egg Noodles: Beat together just until blended 2 eggs, 6 egg yolks, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt. Spoon 3 cups all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the egg mixture and stir with a fork until the flour is blended in. Shape into a ball. Knead on a lightly floured board until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. For cannelloni, divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a paper thin 10-inch square Cut into 4 pieces, each 5 inches square. Cover until all the dough is rolled and cut. In a large, shallow pan, bring 1/2 inch salted water, flavored with 1 tablespoon olive oil, to a boil. Place 2 or 3 noodles in and cook for 2 minutes or until al dente. With a spatula, lift from water and let drain on a towel. Repeat until all noodles are cooked. Makes 32 noodles.

Herbed Tomato Sauce: Saut 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots or green onions in 2 tablespoons butter until limp. Add 1 can (28 oz.) pureed tomatoes, 1 chicken bouillon cube, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups. Melt 4 tablespoons butter and stir in 6 tablespoons flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Stir in 2 cups hot milk and cook until smooth. Add 1 chicken bouillon cube and cook a few minutes longer. Combine sauces taste for seasoning. Makes about 5 cups.

White Bean Salad
Makes 12 servings

1 pound Great Northern or small white beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped preserved lemon (optional)
1/3 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced (dehydrate in hot water to soften)
Garnish: Greens
1 cup each red and gold cherry tomatoes, halved
Optional: 4 cooked split chicken breasts, cut in 1/2-inch strips

Place the beans in a large pot, cover with water at least 2 inches above the beans and let soak for 8 hours. Drain, add fresh water, season with salt and pepper, and cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender drain. Mix together a vinaigrette of lemon juice, vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, preserved lemon, and onion. Toss and chill. At serving time, sprinkle with parsley and tomatoes, tuck in greens, and garnish with cherry tomatoes and chicken.

Green Beans and Pine Nuts
Makes 12 servings

3 pounds slender green beans, ends removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or dill
6 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

In a large saucepan, cook the beans in boiling salted water until tender drain and toss with oil, herbs, and nuts. Serve hot or chilled.

Pistachio Spumone
Makes 12-16 servings

2 teaspoons butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup pistachios or chopped blanched almonds
1/2 cup water
8 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup anise-flavored liqueur, such as Strega or Pernod
Strawberries or raspberries, about 1 1/2 quarts

Heat the butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small frying pan and add the nuts saut, stirring, until the sugar melts and caramelizes and the nuts turn golden. Turn out of the pan onto a sheet of buttered aluminum foil and let cool. Break apart.

In a small saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and water and bring to a boil. Boil until the temperature registers 238F on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale yellow. Continue to beat and pour the hot syrup over them in a fine stream, beating until the mixture cools to room temperature, about 7 minutes chill. Whip the cream until stiff and flavor with vanilla and liqueur. Fold the cream and 1/2 cup nut crunch onto the egg mousse. Pour into a 2 1/2 quart mold. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours. Unmold by dipping into a pan of hot water for 6 seconds, then invert on a serving platter. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes to refirm. To serve, garnish the top of spumone with remaining nut crunch. Spoon berries into a bowl and serve alongside.


An Italian Picnic

Capanota with Basil
Makes 8 to 10 appetizer servings

2 medium eggplant (about 2 pounds)
Salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion
1 stalk fennel or celery, chopped
1 pound chopped plum tomatoes, or diced canned tomatoes
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
3 tablespoons wine vinegar or part Balsamic
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
1/4 cup minced fresh basil and additional basil leaves for garnish
Crackers, sliced baguettes, or lettuce leaves

Cut the eggplant into 1-inch chunks, salt it lightly and let drain in a colander for half an hour rinse and pat dry. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and saut the onions and eggplant until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the fennel, tomatoes, capers, and vinegar, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, or until the fennel is still slightly crunchy. Chill several hours. Garnish with nuts and basil. Serve with crackers, baguettes, or on lettuce leaves as a salad.

Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta
makes 12 servings
Sealing over crusty baguette slices is a cloak of sun-dried tomatoes, Nicoise olives, sweet onions, basil, and pistachios.

1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for baguette slices
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil or flexible ones, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pitted Nicoise olives, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or pine nuts
12 baguette slices, brushed with olive oil
Basil sprigs for garnish

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute longer, stirring. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in olives and nuts. Brush baguette slices lightly with olive oil and bake in a preheated 350F oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Spread tomato mixture on the toasted bread and garnish with basil sprigs.

Artichoke Frittata Squares
makes 16 appetizers

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 6-ounce jars marinated artichioke hearts, drained and chopped
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dash hot pepper seasoning
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or basil

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and saut the onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the artichoke hearts, sauted onions, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, pepper seasoning, cheese, parsley, and oregano. Mix well. Spray a nonstick 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour in the artichoke mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until set. Let cool in the pan and cut into 1-1/2-inch squares.

Note: If desired, bake it in nonstick small muffin tins, allowing 20 minutes.

Mustard and Herb-Glazed Chicken Breasts
makes 4 servings

4 split boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 strips lemon zest, julienned and minced
1/3 cup mixed fresh herbs: rosemary, oregano, chives, sage, parsley, and thyme

Wash the chicken breasts and pat dry. Mix together the mustard, lemon juice, oil, lemon zest, and herbs and spoon the mixture over the meat. Place on a roasting pan and grill under a preheated broiler for 3 to 4 minutes. Then bake in a 375 degrees F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the juices no longer run pink.

Roast Potatoes and Garlic
makes 4 servings

1 head garlic
1 1/4 pounds assorted small potatoes, such as fingerling, purple, red Bliss, and Yukon Gold, about 1 1/4 inches in diameter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Trim the top of the papery wrapper from the garlic head. Place the garlic and potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil drain and pat dry. In a baking pan, heat the oil in the oven and roll the potatoes and garlic in it. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in a small piece of aluminum foil. Bake the potatoes and garlic in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife and the garlic is soft. Serve each person a selection of roasted potatoes along with several cloves of garlic to squeeze over them.

Dried Cherry and Almond Biscotti
makes about 3 1/2 dozen

This wonderful Italian cookie is a perfect coffee dipper. It keeps tightly sealed in a tin for a month, making it handy for any occasion.

3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
7/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash salt
1/3 cup toasted almonds or hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
3/4 cup dried cherries or golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a small bowl beat the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract with a wire whisk. In a mixing bowl place the flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix to blend. Add egg mixture and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Mix in the nuts and cherries. On a baking sheet lined with parchment, pat out the dough into two logs about 12 inches long, 1/2 inch high and 2-1/2 inches wide. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Then slice about 3/8 inch thick, cutting diagonally. Lay cut side down and return to a 275 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until toasted, turning them once to dry the other side. Let cool and store in a tightly closed container.



An Italian-Style Feast

Focaccia with Sage
makes 1 large rectangular or 2 round loaves
Crusty outside and springy within, focaccia is a beloved Italian bread with homespun goodness. Its dimpled surface can take on many flavor variations. This basic dough makes one big rectangle or two round discs.

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup water
Pinch sugar or honey
1-1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil for brushing
Coarse sea salt for topping (about 1 teaspoon)
20 sage leaves or fresh rosemary
Dried Tomato Roasted Garlic Pesto for topping (optional)

Sprinkle yeast into warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and let stand until dissolved and puffy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining water and oil. Add 1 cup of the flour and the salt and mix until smooth. Mix in 2 tablespoons chopped sage or rosemary. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together.

Using a heavy duty mixer, knead with a dough hook about 8 to 10 minutes. Or by hand, knead on a floured surface until smooth and satiny, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch down, turn out on a lightly floured board and knead to eliminate air bubbles. Roll out dough to fit a 10 by 15-inch baking pan. Or divide in half and shape into 9-inch rounds to fit two 9-inch pie pans. Place in a greased pan and with fingers dimple dough by making depressions about 1 inch apart. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and herbs. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled.

Place baking pans in the middle of a preheated 425F oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Dried Tomato Roasted Garlic Pesto
makes about 7/8 cup

1 head garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dried tomatoes (flexible and moist style)
1/3 cup each packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs and basil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic chives or green onion tops
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Place garlic in a small saucepan, cover with water, and simmer 5 minutes drain. Place the garlic head in a small baking dish and rub with 2 teaspoons of oil. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until soft. Let cool, then squeeze out the garlic from its papery wrapper into a bowl.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the garlic puree, tomatoes, parsley, basil, garlic chives, and nuts. Process until finely minced. Add the remaining oil and cheese and process until mixed in. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill. If desired, add 1/3 cup of basil.

Spinach and Orange Salad
makes 6 servings

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch spinach or other greens, trimmed and leaves torn
1 orange, sectioned
1/4 cup chopped red onions

Mix together in a bowl the mustard and vinegar and stir in oil, salt, and pepper. When ready to serve, toss with spinach and top with oranges and onions.

Chicken Rolls Saltimbocca
makes 6 servings

6 large split boned, skinned chicken breasts
6 wafer-thin slices prosciutto
6 slices Italian fontina, Jarlsberg, or Samsoe cheese
2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon each olive oil and butter
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup dry vermouth or wine

Bone and skin the chicken breasts. Lay each chicken breast out flat and pound lightly between 2 sheets of waxed paper to achieve an equal thickness. Cover each chicken breast with a slice of ham and one of cheese. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.

Mix together the crumbs, salt, pepper, and cheese in a bowl. Dip the rolled breasts in egg and then in a bread-crumb mixture. In a large skillet heat oil and butter and brown chicken rolls, turning to cook all sides. Transfer to a baking dish.

Pour stock and vermouth into the skillet and deglaze pan pour over chicken. If desired, refrigerate at this point until ready to finish cooking. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Risotto with Mushrooms
makes 6 servings

2 1/2 to 3 cups low-fat chicken stock (home-made is preferable)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup arborio or long-grain rice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 pound button mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup chopped dried tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Bring the chicken stock to a boil, reduce heat and hold it on simmer. In a saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium low heat, add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup hot stock and lemon zest and cook, stirring constantly, until the stock is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup stock, the mushrooms, and tomatoes, and cook, stirring until the stock is absorbed. Repeat, adding 1/2 cup stock two more times, until it is absorbed. Add additional stock as needed until the rice is al dente in the center and creamy on the outside. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cheese.

Green Beans with Herbs
makes 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds slender green beans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

Trim ends from beans. If slender, leave whole, otherwise cut in half lengthwise. Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 5 to 7 minutes drain. Add butter, parsley, garlic, and tarragon and heat, shaking pan to coat.

Strawberry Gelato
makes 1 quart

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 pounds strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons Framboise (optional)

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil, cook until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and let cool. In a food processor or blender, puree or crush the strawberries and stir in the sugar syrup. Chill thoroughly. Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker. Blend in the Framboise at the finish.

Freezer method: pour the prepared mixture into an 8-or-9-inch square metal pan. Cover with foil or plastic wrap. Place in the freezer and freeze until firm, about 2 to 3 hours. Scrape out into a food processor or electric mixer, and process or beat until light and fluffy but not thawed, blending in the Framboise, if desired, at the finish. Return to the pan, cover, and freeze until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Orange Almond Biscotti
makes 3 1/2 dozen biscotti

2/3 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Toast nuts in a preheated 325F oven until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool.

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, mixing until blended. Cut almonds into halves or thirds and fold in.

Divide dough in half. Place on a greased and floured baking sheet and form into two logs about 1/2 inch thick, 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack. Let cool 5 minutes. With a serrated knife slice diagonally at a 45 degree angle 1/2 inch thick. Lay flat on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, turning them once, to dry.

A Pesto Genoa Dinner
by Lou Seibert Pappas

Vegetable Platter Salad with Pesto Sauce
Makes 6 servings

4 large tomatoes, sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1 red or gold pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Pesto Sauce: follows
Salt and pepper to taste

Arrange the tomatoes on a platter and scatter over the onions, pepper, and parsley. Season with vinegar, pesto sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

Pesto Sauce: Place in a food processor 2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 2 tablespoons parsley sprigs, and process until fine. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, and dash salt and pepper, and whir to blend.

Eggplant-Tomato Bisque
Makes 6 servings

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small eggplant
1 cup pureed Roma tomatoes
3 cups low-fat chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly chopped basil

In a heavy saucepot, saut the onion in oil until golden. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant into wedges, sprinkle with salt, and let stand 15 minutes for the juices to exude. Rinse, peel, and chop. Add it to the onions along with the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. Puree in a blender or food processor. Return to the pan and reheat. Ladle into bowls and garnish with basil. If you prefer, add a dollop of Pesto Sauce instead.

Pasta with Pesto
Makes 6 servings
Vary the pasta with a vegetable or seafood addition, such as cooked artichoke hearts, shrimp, or scallops, on another occasion.

12 ounces fettucine
Boiling salted water
1 1/2 cups Basil Pesto
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 1/2 cups red cherry tomatoes, halved if large

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions, or until al dente (allow about 11 minutes for dried pasta and 3 minutes for fresh pasta). Reserve 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking liquid and drain pasta. Mix reserved liquid with pesto, add to pasta, and mix to coat. Mix in the tomatoes. Serve at once on hot plates. Pass cheese to spoon over.

Mushrooms Bolognese
Serves 6 makes 1 1/2 quarts of sauce

1 pound brown cultivated mushrooms
1 tablespoon each extra-virgin olive oil and unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
Bolognese Meat Sauce: follows

First prepare the Bolognese Meat Sauce. Slice the mushrooms and in a large skillet over medium high heat, saut them quickly in oil and butter with garlic, just until soft. Turn into a 10-inch greased casserole or baking dish. Spoon on the meat sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Slip under the broiler until the cheese melts.

Bolognese Meat Sauce: Using a large heavy saucepot, saut 2 large onions, chopped, in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil until soft and golden. Add 3 large shredded carrots and cook several minutes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown 1 pound ground lean pork or ground turkey, stirring until crumbly, then add it to the vegetables. Add 1 can (15 oz.) ground plum tomatoes, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 cup chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 garlic cloves, minced. Cover and simmer 1 hour, letting the juices boil down at the end. Stir in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.

Pears in Red Wine
Makes 6 servings

6 Anjou or Bosc pears
6 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
4 thin slices lemon
1-1/2 cups dry red wine or cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove the cores from the blossom end of the pears and slice off a little of the bottom evenly, so that the pears stand upright, leaving the stems in place and the peels intact. Combine in a saucepot or baking pan the cloves, cinnamon, lemon slices, wine, and sugar bring to a boil. Arrange the fruit in the pan, stem up, and pour in the sauce. Cover and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking 20 to 25 minutes longer, basting occasionally, until the fruit is tender. Serve hot or cold.



Italian Soups
by Anna Maria Volpi

Pasta e Patate - Potato Soup

2 oz (60 gr) pancetta (substitute with un-smoked bacon), finely chopped
4 oz (100 gr) onion, chopped
2 oz (60 gr) celery, chopped
4 oz (100 gr) carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
1 lb (450 gr) potatoes, diced
1 fresh tomato about 2 oz (60 gr), chopped
5 cups (1-1/4 liter) homemade broth or one bouillon dissolved in 5 cups (1 and 1/4 liter) water
4 oz (100 gr) short "ditali" pasta, or spaghetti broken in ½” (1-2 cm.) pieces
4 tablespoons pecorino romano cheese

Make the “battuto”, finely chopping together by hand or in a food processor the bacon, onion, celery, carrots, and parsley.
Put in a stockpot the extra-virgin olive oil, and turn the heat to medium.
Add the “battuto” (bacon / vegetable mixture) and the red pepper.
Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes until the onion is soft. Add tomatoes, and broth.
Cover the pan bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low, bringing the soup to a simmer. Salt lightly.

Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
Add the pasta and cook it for the time indicated by the manufacturer, but taste frequently until “al dente”, which is firm but not overcooked. Correct salt if necessary.
Add the grated pecorino romano cheese. Serve warm in soup plates or bowls.

Risi e Bisi - Rice and Peas Soup

2 oz (60 gr) butter
2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz (115 gr) pancetta (substitute with un-smoked bacon), finely diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 oz (115 gr) small peas
8 cups (approximately 2 liters) broth
11 oz (300 gr) arborio rice
salt and pepper
4–5 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped

In a saucepan, put the butter, olive oil, bacon, and onion. Turn heat to medium.
When the onion becomes translucent and the bacon is soft, add peas, 4–5 tablespoons broth, stir, and cover.
Cook for about 5–10 minutes.
Add the rest of the broth, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Add rice, and cook for about 20 minutes.
When the rice is al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked), and the soup has a dense consistency, taste and add salt if necessary.
Add pepper, parmigiano cheese, and parsley.
Stir briefly and serve warm.

Minestrone - Vegetable Soup

2 oz (60 gr) pancetta (substitute with un-smoked bacon)
4 oz (100 gr) carrots
4 oz (100 gr) onion
1 celery stick
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb (450 gr) potatoes
2 tablespoons Italian parsley
4 oz (100 gr) fresh tomatoes
1 cup (120 cc) homemade broth, or 1 bouillon cube, dissolved in 1 cup warm water
4 cups (1 liter) water
salt
1/2 lb (220 gr) zucchini
4 oz (100 gr) lettuce
4 oz (100 gr) beets
4 oz (100 gr) short "ditali" pasta, or spaghetti broken in ½ inch (1 - 2 cm) pieces
pepper
4 tablespoons fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Finely dice all vegetables: potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, and beets, keeping them separate.
Chop finely together, by hand or in a food processor, the bacon, carrots, onion, and celery, until reduced to a fine paste.
Put in a stock pot the extra-virgin olive oil, and turn the heat to medium.
Add the bacon / vegetable mixture.
Sauté shortly until the onion appears soft and translucent.
Add diced potatoes. Cook for about 1 minute.
Stir in the parsley, and tomatoes. Add water, broth, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
After about 10 minutes add zucchini, lettuce, and beets.
Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook for the time indicated by the manufacturer or taste until is firm but not overcooked (al dente).

Correct salts if necessary, add a pinch of pepper, and the grated parmigiano. Serve warm in soup plates or bowls, topped with freshly grated parmigiano cheese.

Use in minestrone any kind of seasonal vegetables. The tender vegetables are added in a second interval, to prevent overcooking them.



Parmesan Cheese & Prosciutto: Flavors of Northern Italy

BACCALA’ VICENTINO

Recipe approved by The Venerable Fraternity of Bacala’ Vicentino

Ingredients for 12 people

2 lbs codfish
1 lbs onions (diced)
4 cups extra virgin olive oil
3-4 anchovies, unsalted, boneless and diced
2 cups fresh whole milk
½ cup white flour
2 oz. Grated Grana Padano cheese
1 sprig of minced parsley
salt and pepper

Place soften cod in pan of cold water. Change water every 4 hours for 2-3 days. Remove skin if necessary.

After 2-3 days butterfly fish and remove spine and all bones. Cut into square equal pieces.

In medium size sauce pan brown thinly sliced onions with 1-cup olive oil. Add unsalted anchovies and mix through. Turn off heat and add minced parsley.

Dredge the cod in ½ cup of flour and add to the onion mixture (a few pieces at a time) until lightly fried. Place all lightly fried cod into an ovenproof dish.

Add milk, grated Grana Padano cheese, salt and pepper to cod. Add 4 cups of olive oil until the fish is almost covered in liquid. Cook at a low oven temperature of 275ْ for 4 hours, occasionally rotating pan every hour.

Serve hot with sliced polenta
Can be enjoyed for 1-2 days
Refrigerate unused portions


Pasta with Clams and Tomatoes
serves 6

8 beefsteak tomatoes, cut in half and squeezed of their seeds
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup dark green extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch basil, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons dark green extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 dozen small clams, cleaned
1 lemon, juice only
1/2 cup white wine
2 pounds linguine

Cut tomatoes into small cubes and mix with garlic, and let marinate in 1/2 cup oil, basil, salt, oregano and parsley for about half an hour at room temperature.

Put a pan of water on for your pasta. When water comes to boil, add pasta and cook according to manufacturers directions. Drain well but do not rinse.

While pasta is cooking, heat remaining olive oil in saut pan. Add minced garlic and clams. Shake pan quickly for about one minute then add white wine and lemon juice and shake pan once more, then cover to steam the clams for about two minutes. Remove lid and add marinating tomato mixture. Shake pan again to disperse sauce and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Toss with drained pasta.

Mixed Berries with Ricotta Creme
serves 6

My mother made this recipe with her Easter ricotta pie filling, which we all loved, and fresh berries that are available during summer. This is also good with wedges of winter pears, slices of star fruit, circles of navel oranges and bananas.

1 quart strawberries
1 quart raspberries
1 quart blackberries
3 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 orange zest only
3/4 cup toasted almond slivers
6 sprigs mint

Combine berries in a large bowl. Place ricotta and sugar in a processor and mix until smooth, or mix by hand. Remove from the processor and stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve half cup of berries per person. Top with a good sized dollop of the ricotta creme. Garnish with mint sprig.



Jewish Holiday Cooking

Crispy Matzoh Pancake
serves 2

2 matzohs
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon butter or oil
confectioners sugar
cinnamon

Break matzohs into one-inch pieces and place in medium bowl. Cover with cold water and let stand about one minute. Drain matzoh, squeezing out excess water, and return to bowl. Beat eggs with milk, salt, and pepper and stir into matzohs. Mix well. Heat butter in seven- inch non-stick skillet until hot. Pour matzoh mixture into skillet and smooth surface with spatula. Cook over medium heat until pancake is set, about six minutes. Slide onto plate and invert back into skillet. Cook another two minutes. Remove to platter and cut into wedges. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and cinnamon.

Mushroom Matzoh Lasagna
serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper
5 matzohs
1 cup grated Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup tomato sauce

Heat oil in large skillet. Cook onions, garlic and mushrooms until soft, about six minutes. Stir in tomatoes and oregano and simmer 10 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an eight-inch square baking pan. Soften matzohs by holding under warm running water for a few seconds. Spread two tablespoons tomato sauce on bottom of pan. Layer matzohs alternately with mushroom-onion mixture and jack cheese ending with a layer of matzoh on top. Pour remaining tomato sauce over all, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake about 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let cool slightly and cut into squares to serve.

Apple Walnut Matzoh Kugel
serves 8

4 matzohs
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large tart apples: peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a nine-inch round or square cake pan.

Break matzohs into one-inch pieces and soak in milk until soft, about five minutes. Drain well and place in bowl. Whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Combine with matzohs and stir in apples, walnuts, and raisins. Pour into baking pan and dot with butter. Bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool and cut into wedges or squares.

Mushroom Barley Soup

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3/4 pound mushrooms, chopped
2 ounces dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water until soft and drained
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
6 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped dill
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large pot. Cook onion, celery, and both mushrooms about eight minutes, or until very soft. Stir in barley and cook one minute. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 45 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in parsley and dill. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

Potato Latkes
makes about 16

1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 to 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Grate potatoes and place in strainer or colander. Squeeze out as much moisture from potatoes as you can. In large bowl, combine potatoes with remaining ingredients, except for oil. Heat about 1/4 cup oil in large frying pan until very hot. Drop two to three tablespoons potato mixture into pan for each latke. Use back of spoon to flatten mixture so that each latke is about three-inches in diameter. Fry over medium high heat about four to five minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven. Continue, using more oil if necessary for each batch. Serve hot with an apple-pear sauce.

Ginger Torte
serves 12

3 cups finely chopped almonds
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 eggs, separated
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
grated zest of 1 large orange
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. Oil or spray a 10 inch tube pan. Combine nuts with 1/2 cup of the sugar, flour, ground ginger and salt. Beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the remaining sugar until thick and pale, about eight minutes. Stir in the orange juice, zest and candied ginger. Fold nut mixture into yolk mixture with a spatula. In a large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Fold whites into yolk batter and pour into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan, then invert onto serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar.

Spinach and Tangerine Salad
serves 8 to 10

8 cups young spinach, torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch green onions, sliced
4 seedless tangerines, peeled and separated into sections
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

In large bowl combine spinach, onions, tangerines and cranberries. Whisk together oil and vinegar and toss with salad just before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

Butternut Squash Vichyssoise
serves 6

2 tablespoons oil
2 leeks white part only, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into one-inch cubes
1 cup half and half or cream
1 bunch watercress leaves
salt and pepper

Heat oil in medium saucepan. Cook leeks until soft. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add squash and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Puree mixture in blender or food processor with about 3/4 of the watercress. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve garnished with remaining watercress leaves. May be served room temperature, cold or hot.

Greek Tuna Salad Pita Sandwich
serves 6

1/2 pound imported Feta cheese, crumbled
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup imported black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 7 1/2 ounce can tuna, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
6 large pita breads
2 cups spinach leaves

In large bowl combine first 8 ingredients. In small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil and oregano. Toss with salad ingredients and taste for salt and pepper. Heat pita breads just until warm. Make a slit at one end and fill with salad and some spinach leaves.

Carrot and Zucchini Salad
serves 6

3 carrots, shredded
3 medium zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

In large bowl combine carrots, zucchini, parsley, walnuts and cranberries. In small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Toss with carrot mixture and taste for salt and pepper.

Ginger Almond Shortbread
makes 2 dozen

1 cup butter at room temperature
2/3 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 cup finely ground almond
24 whole almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar and almond extract until smooth. Add flour, ginger, and ground almonds and beat mixture until well combined. On a floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into two-inch round and place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press a whole almond into the center of each cookie and bake about 20 minutes or until very lightly colored. Remove to rack and cool.

Cucumber, Fennel and Orange Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
Serves 8

2 hot house cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 large naval oranges, zest and pith removed, halved and thinly sliced
2 bunches watercress or 8 ounces young spinach leaves
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Combine cucumbers, fennel, onion, oranges and watercress in large shallow bowl. Whisk together vinegar, orange juice, honey and olive oil. Toss with salad. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.

Honey and Lime Glazed Hens

Glaze:
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons cumin sees, toasted and crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 game hens, split in half
salt and pepper to taste

Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse game hens under cool, running water and blot dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using about 1/3 of the glaze, brush hens all over. Place, skin side down, on baking sheet with low sides. Roast 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 375 degrees. Brush hens again with 1/3 of the glaze. Roast another 10 minutes. Turn hens over, roast 10 minutes. Brush with remaining glaze and roast another 8 -- 10 minutes or until deep golden brown. Serve on a bed of Braised Cabbage and Apples.

Honey Cooked Cabbage

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium head, red cabbage, shredded
2 medium green apples (pippin, Granny Smith), quartered, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper

Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the cabbage, cover and cook about 4 minutes or until cabbage is wilted. Add the apples, vinegar, sugar and dill. Stir well and continue to cook until apples are tender, about 8 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

Wild Rice Pilaf with Vegetables and Dried Cranberries
serves 8

4 tablespoons vegetable oil or margarine
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
8 ounces wild rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large saut pan heat oil. Cook celery, carrots and onions until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the nutmeg, cayenne and rice and cook, stirring, to coat with oil. Add the stock, bring to a boil and then add cranberries. Remove from stove, cover and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. When done the grains of rice all the liquid should be absorbed.

Set aside, covered, for 15 minutes before serving. Fluff with a fork, taste for salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

Poached Figs with Sesame Seeds
serves 8

4 cups dry red wine
2 1/2 cups sugar
grated zest of half an orange
16 fresh purple figs
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

In large saucepan combine wine and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar dissolves. Add the zest and figs and simmer until tender about 10 minutes. With slotted spoon remove figs to a serving platter. Bring syrup back to a boil and cook until it reaches a thick syrupy consistency. Pour over figs. Let cool and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Tabouleh (Bulgur Wheat, Parsley, and Mint Salad)
Yield: 4-6 servings

3/4 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups warm water
2 cups chopped parsley
3/4 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoon lemon juice
2 diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Soak the bulgur wheat in the warm water for 1/2 hour, or until it is soft. When the bulgur wheat is soft, squeeze out any excess water.

In a large bowl, combine the bulgur wheat, parsley, mint, green onions, olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour before serving.

Fattoush (Toasted Bread Salad)
Yield: 4-6 servings

2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1 loaf flatbread
6 leaves romaine lettuce, torn into 1 inch pieces
1 diced cucumber
2 diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 cup chickpeas

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil. Let stand for 1/2 hour.

Toast the bread in a 350 oven for 5 minutes, or until it is golden brown and crispy. Break the toasted bread into 1 inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the bread, romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, bell pepper, and chickpeas. Drizzle the dressing mixture over the salad, toss it together, and serve at once.

Hummus bil Tahina
Yield: 3-1/2 cups

3 cups chickpeas
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 cup tahini (sesame butter)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Pure the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor, add the tahini, lemon juice, cold water, salt, and cayenne pepper pure another minute or two until the mixture is very smooth.

To serve: place the hummus on a plate that has been lined with lettuce leaves, make an indentation in the center of the hummus and pour in the olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley across the hummus. Serve with Arabic flatbread or pita.

Roast Red Pepper Hummus
Yield: 4 cups

3 red bell peppers
3 cups chickpeas, canned or cooked and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
1 cup tahini (sesame butter)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley

Place the whole peppers in an oven-proof skillet and set them to cook in a preheated 450 F. oven. Turn the peppers every 10 minutes roast them for approximately 30 minutes or until the skins have blackened. Place the roast peppers directly from the oven into a paper bag and seal it closed. Allow the peppers to rest for 10 minutes in the bag, this will loosen their skins. Remove the peppers from the bag and while holding them under cool running water, peel away the black skins and remove the stems and seeds all that should remain is the flesh of the roast peppers.

Combine the roast peppers, chickpeas and garlic in a food processor and pure until smooth. Add the tahini, lemon, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper pure another minute until the mixture is very smooth.

To serve: place the hummus on a large plate that has been lined with lettuce leaves. Make an indentation in the center of the hummus and pour in the olive oil. Sprinkle the parsley across the hummus and serve with Arabic flatbread or pita.

Baba Ghanouj (Roast Eggplant Pure)
Yield: 8 servings

3 medium eggplant
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup tahini
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt

Split the eggplant lengthwise brush them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the eggplant cut-side down on a sheetpan and roast at450 for 20-30 minutes or until the eggplant is very soft. Allow the eggplant to cool to room temperature.

When they are at room temperature scoop out the flesh of the eggplant with a spoon and discard the skins. Place the flesh of the eggplant in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.

Place the drained eggplant in a food processor along with the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Puree until the mixture is smooth and thick. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Green Beans with Onions, Tomatoes and Mint
Yield: 4-6 servings

1 pound fresh green beans
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1-1/2 cups canned, diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Wash the green beans and pick both ends. Cut them into 2 to 3 inch lengths.

Heat the olive oil, over high heat, in a large saut pan. Add the onions and saut them until they just begin to caramelize (3-4 minutes), add the garlic and saut another 2 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, salt, black pepper and mint saut for 2 minutes while stirring.

Add the diced tomatoes, water or stock, lemon juice and green beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and allow the beans to simmer until they are fully cooked (10-15 minutes).

Lebanese Chicken and Rice
Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 ounces diced onion
12 ounces ground beef or ground lamb
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups long grain rice
3 cups hot chicken stock, lamb stock or water
2 tablespoons minced parsley

Heat the olive oil over high heat in a heavy bottomed pan (pref-erably cast-iron). Saut the chicken breasts on both sides until they are golden brown. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion and ground beef or ground lamb to the same hot pan. Cook until the onions and meat is beginning to brown, then add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Add the cinnamon, allspice, cayenne pepper and salt saut two minutes while stirring.

Stir in the rice making sure that it is fully incorporated with the oil and spices, place the chicken breasts in the rice. Pour in the stock or water and cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil. Bake in a 375 oven for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with minced parsley.

2 cups medium bulgur wheat
2 pounds diced lean lamb
1 medium onion
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Ice chips (as needed)

Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain the bulgur in a colander and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place the drained bulgur in a dish and chill it along with the lamb for at least 1 hour.

Fit a meat grinder with its finest grate and grind the meat twice. Grind the onion twice and combine it with the lamb, bulgur, salt, pepper and allspice. Pass this mixture through the grinder twice, adding a little ice chips if mixture begins to feel warm.

Place the kibbeh in a bowl and knead it to a smooth paste, adding iced chips when necessary. Place the kibbeh on a plate, cover it with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly.

At this point the kibbeh may be consumed raw as kibbeh nayee, or used as the base to any number of cooked kibbeh recipes.


Mexico: The Mercados of San Miguel de Allende

Fruit and Chipotle Salsa
(reprinted with permission from Lisa Gahafer)

2 mangoes, diced
2 cups pineapple, diced
½ cup green onion, minced
3 chile chipotles in adobados, or to taste
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons piloncillo, or dark brown sugar, to taste
juice of 1-2 limes
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a medium-sized bow, combine fruits with the green onion. Remove seeds and veins from chipotles and mince. Add to fruit mixture along with the grated piloncillo and chopped cilantro. Add salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Ensalada de Nopales
(reprinted with permission from Lisa Gahafer)

4 cups diced nopales (Note: you can also just cut into strips)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, to taste
3 tomatoes, diced, or green onions, chopped
1 – 3 serrano chiles, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 – 2 freshly squeezed limes, to taste

1. Clean the cactus paddles by trimming the edges and scraping off the spines. Cut into dice or strips.
2. Toss the cactus with 1 tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with salt. Place the cactus on a baking sheet and into a 350 degree oven until it is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Or, you can sauté the cactus in a skillet until tender.

Mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl, adding the cactus and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

A Mexican Buffet Barbecue

Orange, Cucumber, and Jicama Salad
makes 8 servings

l large head romaine
2 navel oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
3/4 cup chopped peeled jicama
1 small red pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and diced
1/3 cup olive or canola oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tear the romaine into bite-sized pieces and place in a salad bowl. Arrange the oranges, cucumber, onion, jicama, and pepper on top. Mix together the oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt and pepper. Pour this dressing over the salad and mix lightly.

Smoky Barbecued Turkey Breast
makes 10 to 12 servings

1 turkey breast (about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, slivered
1 lemon, halved

Season the turkey with salt and pepper, tuck the garlic in the meat, and squeeze the lemon juice over the breast. Place on a barbecue grill, cover, and cook over medium-low coals until a meat thermometer registers 170F, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the heat. Remove to a platter. Serve hot or chilled.

Hot Tortillas

Wrap flour tortillas in foil and heat on the barbecue a few minutes, just until heated through.

Mexican Salsa
makes about 2 1/2 cups

4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons diced canned green chile pepper or fresh hot peppers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill several hours.

Black Beans
makes about 8 servings

1 pound dried black beans
Water
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 stalk celery or fennel with leaves, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 small dried red pepper, seeds removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 can (8 oz. ) tomato sauce
Yogurt and chopped cilantro for garnish

In a large saucepot, cover the beans with 2 inches of cold water and let soak overnight. Drain, and add 5 cups water to the beans, along with the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, allspice, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are almost tender, adding more water if necessary.

Add the wine vinegar and tomato sauce and simmer until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaf and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, make in advance and refrigerate. To serve, heat through and top each serving with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle with cilantro.

Colache
makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 medium zucchini, sliced
3 medium crookneck squash, sliced
1 red or green pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and diced
1/3 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ears of corn, cut from the cob or 1 1/3 cups frozen corn, thawed

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced In a large frying pan, heat the oil and saut the onion, zucchini, crookneck squash, and pepper a few minutes, stirring. Add the water, salt, and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Add the corn and tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are crisp tender.

Mango Sorbet
makes about 1 quart

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
4 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons lime zest
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons frozen orange concentrate

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook until the sugar is dissolved bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 5 minutes cool. In a food processor or blender, puree the mangoes, lime zest and juice, and orange concentrate, and blend in the cold syrup. Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions.

Mexico Mole: A Celebration of Mexico

If you’re going to make Maria’s Mole Casero, which means Homemade Mole, have some friends over and turn mole-making into a communal event. That’s what a Mexican fiesta is all about.

I’ve also included a recipe for enchiladas using Rancho la California mole.

Maria’s Mole Casero
Courtesy of Maria Ricaud

Equipment Needed:
Blender
Nut/Spice Grinder (the larger, the better)
Wire-mesh strainer
Cazuela or a large sauté pan
Comal or a griddle

Ingredients:
6 ancho chiles
3 pastilla chiles
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion
5 plum tomatoes
20 almonds
4 Tablespoons peanuts
4 Tablespoons pecans
5 Tablespoons raisins
3 corn tortillas
½ roll (small hero size)
1 large or 2 small, very ripe Plantains
2 Tablespoons chile seeds (optional)
8 block pepper corns
1 stick cinnamon (Mexican, if possible)
½ Teaspoon cumin
½ Teaspoon anise
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
a 3.3-ounce tablet Mexican chocolate (such as Ibarra)
4 to 5 Tablespoons pork lard or vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste

Sauté the almonds, peanuts, pecans in the lard or vegetable oil, remove and set aside. Sauté the raisins in the lard, remove and set aside.

In a dry small skillet over low heat, toast the chile seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves. Remove and set aside. Remove skillet from the heat and toast the cumin, anise and sesame seeds. Remove and set aside.

Grind the cumin, anise, and chile seeds until powder. Set aside. Grind all the nuts, separately but in any order, and reserve. Grind the raisins and reserve.

Boil approximately 2 cups of water. Remove from the heat. Clean the chiles with a brush and toast on a griddle for a few minutes. They should just start to smell smoky. Soak the chiles in the boiled water, removed from the heat and covered, soak for approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

On a comal or griddle, roast the garlic, onion and tomatoes until soft. Set aside.

Place lard or vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat, sauté the plantains until golden. Remove and set aside. Sauté the bread in the same skillet until golden, remove and set aside.

Combine vegetables (garlic, onion, tomatoes) and the plantains with 1 ½ cups chicken in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the vegetables. Heat remaining lard in a cazuela or sauté pan over low heat, add blended ingredients. Salt to taste.

By this time, the chiles should be soft. Remove the stems, seeds and veins from the chiles. Put chiles, including the chile water, in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the chiles and then add to the vegetables in the cazuela.

Grind the bread and tortillas until a paste, and then add to the cazuela.

Add 2 cups chicken stock to the cazuela.

Add 1 cup chicken stock to the ground nuts, whisk to dissolve. Add to the cazuela, along with 2 cups chicken stock.

Add the chocolate to the cazuela.

Cook, and stir continuously, for approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add stock and salt as needed.

The taste of the mole will change as it is stirred. The mole will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for 6 months.

Enchiladas with Mole Poblano

1 jar of Rancho la California mole sauce
2-4 cups of chicken stock (recipe follows)
2 cups shredded chicken
½ onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Making the Mole

This step can be done a day or so in advance.

Pour jar of mole sauce into large sauté pan and heat over low heat. Add chicken stock one cup at a time. Stir each cup of stock into sauce until it is totally incorporated. Keep adding stock and stirring for approximately ½ hour. During this time, remove any fat (it will be dark brown) and reserve in a bowl. You should have approximately ¼ to ½ cup of fat.

The mole and fat will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can use the mole over chicken breasts or thighs, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

Preparing the Enchiladas

Lightly grease the baking pan.

Sauté the onion and garlic quickly in the vegetable oil, remove and set aside.

Next, get your workspace set up. Put the shredded chicken in one bowl, next to the bowl with the onion and garlic. Have the tortillas ready, next to the stove, and a rectangular baking dish ready.

Pour the fat from the mole sauce into a small skillet and heat over medium heat. Using tongs, dip the tortillas into the fat until lightly covered. With the hot tortilla flat on a plate, add 1 tablespoon of chicken at one end. Then top with 1 tablespoon of the onion/garlic mixture. Roll up the tortilla from the filled end and place in the baking pan.

Repeat with the remainder of the tortillas. If you run out of fat from the mole, add a bit of vegetable oil.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Before serving, heat the mole over low heat until it is hot. When you are ready to serve, spoon the mole over the tortillas and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Quick Mexican Chicken Stock

8 Chicken thighs or breasts (with skin and bone)
½ medium onion, chopped
1 – 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1-2 sprigs cilantro (optional)
6 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Simmer for approximately ½ hour or until chicken is cooked.

You can use this chicken for your Enchiladas or Mole Poblano and the stock is ready to use in your mole.


My New Mexican Kitchen

Guacamole
Since we’ve arrived in Mexico, I’ve been working on my guacamole recipe. I think roasting the vegetables gives this guacamole more depth. If you don’t have a molcajete (or another mortar and pestle), cut the roasted onion, garlic and chile into a small dice before adding the avocado.

3 ripe avocados (preferably Hass)
½ medium onion
1 garlic clove, unpeeled
1 medium tomato
1 serrano chile
2-3 springs cilantro, minced
1-2 limes
salt, to taste

Heat a comal or griddle over medium heat. When hot, place the onion, garlic clove, tomato and chile on the comal. Turn the vegetables so that they brown on all sides, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a little. Peel the garlic clove. Coarsely chop the onion, garlic and chile. Coarsely chop the tomato and set aside.

In a medium-sized molcajete (or a ceramic mortar), grind the onion, garlic and chile to a paste (leave some chunks).

A few minutes before you’re ready to serve, peel the avocados and mash them in the onion mixture using a fork or the back of wooden spoon. Squeeze a lime or two into mixture and add some salt, to taste. Mix in the minced cilantro—you can save some as a garnish, if you like—and chopped tomato.

You can serve the guacamole right in the molcajete, with some tortilla chips.

Quesadillas
You can fill quesadillas with whatever you like. In this recipe, I’ve kept it simple and used cheese with a chopped serrano chile to add some bite.

I like to make these bite-sized, so use a small walnut-sized knob of masa. If you’re using ready-made tortillas, you can use a cookie cutter to make small circles. Depending on how small—or large—you make the tortillas, you may get more or less than 12 from this recipe.

1 pound (½ kilo) masa, or use 12 corn tortillas
10 ounces Mexican queso fresco or Monteray Jack, shredded
12 leaves of fresh epazote (optional)
1 serrano chile, dry roasted on a comal and finely chopped
vegetable oil

2 plastic Baggies, or plastic wrap

To Make the Tortillas
Place a plastic baggie on the bottom portion of a metal tortilla press.

Divide the masa into twelve pieces—each about walnut-sized—and roll into a ball. You can add a bit of water if it is too dry. Place the ball on a plastic baggie and place another baggie over it. Press down to form the tortilla. Be sure to keep the remaining masa pieces under a damp towel so they don’t dry out.

To Make the Quesadillas
Lay the tortilla on a flat surface. Add one portion of the cheese and chile to the one-half of the tortilla. Top with an epozote leaf. Fold the unfilled tortilla half over the filled one, forming a half-moon.

In a small skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil until hot. Fry two or three quesadillas at a time in the oil until golden, then flip and fry the second side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm. Serve immediately.


Susana Trilling: Seasons of My Heart Cooking Class

MARINATED CHICKEN WRAPPED IN BANANA LEAVES
(PILTE DE BARBACOA DE POLLO)

According to Susana, this is a wonderful party dish that is served when all the family is together, such as on Christmas Day or a baptism. The chicken packets can be assembled a day ahead and steamed on the day of serving.


8 fresh banana leaves (12 inches by 8 inches), washed in warm water, or substitute frozen banana leaves, completely defrosted

For the chicken:
5 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
5 chiles guajillos, stemmed, seeded and deveined
3 chiles anchos, stemmed, seeded and deveined
½ medium white onion, thickly sliced
15 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 ½ chickens (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces

For the topping:
2 medium white onions, thinly sliced
1 ¼ pounds tomatoes (2 ½ medium-large round or 10–13 plum), sliced
Salt to taste

To assemble the dish:
8 pieces of aluminum foil, 12 inches by 8 inches
8 avocado leaves, fresh or dried (hoya de aguacate)

Cover the banana leaves with water. Boil, for 20 to 30 minutes, covered, or until soft. Older, thicker leaves will take longer. Drain and cool.

For the chicken:
Bring 1 cup of water to boil.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium frying pan. Fry the chiles until they are browned on both sides, then remove from the oil and place in a small bowl. Cover with the boiling water and allow to soak 10 minutes.

In the same oil, fry the onion slices until soft. When they become transparent, add the garlic and fry until clear. Remove from the oil and place onion and garlic in a blender. Add the soaked chiles and just enough of their soaking water to be able to blend mixture well. Reserve the pan and the oil.

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until smoking hot Pour the chile mixture through a sieve or food mill, add the bay leaves, and fry the sauce 10 minutes. Add the stock and season with salt. Allow to cool.

Please the cut-up chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Pour on the sauce and marinate the chicken for ½ hour.

For the topping:
In the same oil as you fried the chiles, fry the sliced onions over medium to high heat until they are clear. Then add the tomato slices and fry until they are brown and dry, about 10 minutes. Add salt. Set aside.

To assemble the dish:
On a clean working space, lay a piece of tin foil horizontally on the table. Cover with a banana leaf in the same direction. In the center, place 1 avocado leaf and a chicken piece on top. Place 2 tablespoons of the marinade over the chicken. Add 2 tablespoons of the onion and tomato mixture. Fold the top third of the leaf down over the chicken piece fold the remaining third to cover it. Fold the right side in by a third to cover the chicken and the left side over to create a package. Fold the aluminum foil in the same fashion so you have a rectangular package. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

Meanwhile, put salted water in the bottom or a steamer pan or wok with a steamer tray inside. Bring the water to a boil and place the chicken packages on the steamer rack. Cover well and steam over high heat for 1 hour. Serve immediately in the packages.

Excerpted from Seasons of My Heart, A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico (Ballantine Books, November 1999)

SAFFRON RICE WITH CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE
(ARROZ AZAFRAN CON PINA)

For the rice:
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
7 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon saffron
½ chile poblano, roasted, seeded, peeled and julienned
1 red bell pepper, roasted, seeded, peeled and julienned
2 cups coconut water or unsweetened canned or powdered coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups rice
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
4 ¼-inch slices of pineapple, cored

For the plantains:
2 plantains, peeled
1 cup sunflower or vegetable oil

For serving:
1 cup chives, chopped

METHOD
For the rice:
In a heavy 4-quart stockpot, heat the butter over low heat. Add the onion and fry until soft and clear, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saffron, and continue to fry for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chile poblano and red bell pepper and fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the coconut water and stock and bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir well. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add salt. Cover and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the stock is absorbed. Do not peek at or stir the rice during the cooking process.

For the pineapple:
Place pineapple slices in an 8-inch, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes, turning the slices occasionally until caramelized. Add 2 tablespoon water to pan. Cook until absorbed. Chop the slices into small pieces.

For the plantains:
Cut the plantains in half. Cut each half lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices (about 4-5 slices). In an 8-inch cast-iron frying plan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the plantains and fry 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.

To serve:
Fold the pineapple pieces and juice into the rice. In a small bowl, place 1 tablespoon of chives and spoon rice on top to mold. Place 2 slices of plantains on a plate and invert the bowl of rice on top. Remove the bowl and serve.

© Susana Trilling
Seasons of My Heart, 2004 Oaxaca

LAYERED MANGO PUDDING OR A CHARLOTTE
(ANTE DE MANGO)


½ cup raisins
2/3 cup sweet sherry
7 cups Pan de Yema, or challah or other egg bread, fresh or a few days old or dry anise sponge cookies, biscuits, pannetone, or ladyfingers

3 large ripe mangoes, peeled and pit removed, cubed (5 ½ to 7 cups)
1 cup evaporated milk
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

METHOD
In a small saucepan, plump the raisins in the sherry for 15 minutes over low heat, covered. If you are using fresh bread, dry the bread in the oven for 10 minutes. (If using dry bread, anise sponge cookies, biscuits, pannetone, or ladyfingers, omit this step.)

Place half of the mango and all the evaporated milk in a blender. Puree until smooth. Empty this mixture into a bowl and repeat with the remaining mango, condensed milk, and vanilla. Add to the first mixture and mix well. Strain the raisins and reserve the sherry and raisins.

In a clear serving bowl with straight sides, make a layer of half the bread cubes. Sprinkle half of the reserved sherry over the bread, followed by half of the raisins. Add half of the mango mixture. Add another layer of bread, sherry, and the raisins, saving about 5 raisins for the top. Add the remaining mango mixture and the raisins to decorate the top. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. (You can make this in the morning and serve at night, but it really is better if you leave this a day or two.) Serve in wineglasses with a dollop of whipped cream, if you wish.

Excerpted from Seasons of My Heart, A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico (Ballantine Books, November 1999)


Herbed Olives

In a plastic bag with a resealable closure, toss together 1 cup cured black olives, 1 teaspoon julienned lemon zest, 1 teaspoon each minced fresh rosemary and thyme, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Chill until serving time.

Tabbouleh
makes 6 servings

1/2 cup finely ground cracked wheat or bulghur
3/4 cup boiling water
3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup diced seeded cucumber
1 small red or green pepper, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sumak (optional)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Romaine or grape leaves

Place wheat in a bowl, pour over boiling water, cover and let stand until cool. Halve the tomatoes and squeeze the juice over the wheat, stirring to mix. Let stand while preparing the other ingredients. Chop the squeezed tomatoes and toss with the parsley, onions, mint, cucumber, and pepper. Add to the wheat. For the dressing, combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sumak, if used, and allspice and pour over the wheat and vegetable mixture. Mix lightly. Line a platter with grape leaves or Romaine and mound the salad in the center. Pass additional grape or romaine leaves for scooping up the salad.

Note: Sumak is a tart spice available in Middle Eastern grocery stores. Without it increase the lemon juice slightly.

Bastilla
makes 8 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 large split chicken breasts, about 2 1/2 pounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chicken broth
8 eggs
6 sheets fila dough
1 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/3 cup toasted slivered blanched almonds

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large frying pan and saut the ginger, cumin, turmeric, allspice, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon for 2 minutes, stirring, to remove their raw taste. Add the onion and saut until soft. Skin the chicken breasts and place them in the pan, turning to coat with spices. Add the parsley, cilantro, and water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Let cool. Bone the chicken and cut into bite-sized strips reserve the pan juices. Beat the eggs until blended and beat in the reserved 1/2 cup chicken broth. Melt another 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large frying pan and scramble the eggs softly. Let cool.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Brush the bottom of a 14-inch pizza or other baking pan with the melted butter and place on it, one at a time, 3 sheets fila, buttering each one very lightly and overlapping them irregularly, forming a 12-inch round. Spoon the eggs on top of the fila. Cover with the chicken strips. Mix the powdered sugar with the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and mix half of it with the nuts. Scatter the almonds over the chicken. Fold the fila corners over the filling. Cover with 1 whole sheet of fila, tucking its edges underneath. Brush with melted butter. Cover with the remaining 2 sheets of fila, again tucking in the corners and brushing with butter.

Bake in a 425 degrees Farenheit oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes. Dust the remaining cinnamon sugar over the top. With a knife, score through the sugar, making a diamond pattern.

Zucchini and Carrots with Orange Dressing
makes 6 servings
This piquant citrus dressing, punctuated with ginger heat, refreshes a vegetable array whether served warm, tepid, or chilled.

4 medium carrots, sliced diagonally
3 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onion tops
Ginger Citrus Dressing:
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive or canola oil

In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice, lemon zest, ginger, and oil. Cook carrots and zucchini separately in boiling salted water until crisp tender drain. Mix with the dressing and place in a serving bowl. Serve warm, tepid, or chilled, sprinkled with chives or green onion tops.

Note: Other vegetables may be used as a duo, such as asparagus and yellow summer squash or peas or sugar snap peas and cauliflowerets.

Mangoes Flambe
makes 6 to 8 servings

3 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 large mangoes, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons rum or brandy

Combine in a frying pan or flame-proof serving dish the marmalade and lime juice. Add the mangoes and cook until hot. Heat the rum or brandy in a small long-handled pan. Take up a spoonful, ignite it, and pour it over the mangoes. Slowly pour in the remaining liqueur when the flame dies out, spoon the fruit and sauce into dessert bowls.

Mango-Orange Sorbet
makes about 1 quart
This looks festive served in a balloon-shaped wine glass with a nasturtium or calendula tucked on top.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup orange juice
2 large mangoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water, bring to a boil while stirring, and cook until the syrup is clear. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in orange juice. Peel and dice the mangoes, discarding the seed, and puree in a blender or food processor with the lime juice and syrup. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Triple Ginger Cookies
makes 7 dozen
Roll these as thin as you can and you achieve dozens of tantalizing, spicy-crispy wafers.

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt
1/3 cup finely diced crystallized ginger (cut in 1/8 inch bits)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and add the fresh ginger, ground ginger, vanilla, flour, soda, and salt mix just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto waxed paper, pat in a ball, wrap and chill 1 hour. Roll out on a floured board until very thin and cut into shapes-stars, hearts, or scalloped rounds. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and scatter over the crystallized ginger in a design. Bake in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until browned and baked through.

Note: Use a vegetable peeler to peel the brown skin from the ginger, then you can slice it into wafers the size of a dime and mince it finely using a French knife.

The following recipes have been provided by the cultural section of the Moroccan Embassy in Washington, D.C. Enjoy!

Bisteeya
serves 12

Note: this dish is made of fine layers of almost transparent pastry called warka, akin to the pastry used for Chinese spring rolls.

2 chickens (about 4 1/2 lbs. of meat)
6 C. chopped parsley
3 lbs. onions
8 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. saffron (crushed saffron flowers)
12 oz. almonds (and oil to fry them)
1 C. sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the chickens and put whole in a thick-bottomed saucepan with the salt, chopped parsley, grated onions, pepper, saffron, cinnamon and sugar. Add a small amount of water, and add more if there is no liquid left before the chickens are cooked. Cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time.

Take out the chickens when cooked, removing any stuffing which may have gotten inside. Allow the stuffing to cook longer, stirring constantly until all the water has evaporated. Add the eight beaten eggs and stir constantly, then remove from heat. Cut up the chicken meat. Skin the almonds and fry them in oil until they begin to color, then turn into a strainer. Crush the almonds coarsely in a mortar or through a vegetable sieve, using the widest grid. Mix with a little sugar. Add three tablespoons of the oil used to fry the almonds to the stuffing, putting the remainder of the oil aside.

To complete the bisteeya you can use a round, tin-lined copper utensil ("tbsil dyal bisteeya") with a diameter of about 19 inches. Oil the bottom and sides of this or a baking dish. Cover the dish with a first layer of twelve sheets of pastry, shiny side down, overlapping them and sticking them with beaten egg yolks. Make sure that the outer sheets hang over the edge of the dish. Cover with a second layer to strengthen, then a layer of stuffing,, another layer of pastry (but without going over the edges of the dish), then the pieces of chicken. Sprinkle with the crushed almonds. Fold back towards the center the pastry which overlaps the edge of the dish, sticking them together with beaten egg yolks. Place two more layers of pastry, shiny surface up, overlapping them again and with the edges hanging over the edge of the dish. Tuck these edges under the bottom of the bisteeya as if making a bed. Brush surface and edges with egg yolks and oil remaining from the almonds. You now have a flat pie about two inches thick.

Cook the bisteeya in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn out onto a baking sheet, and about 15 to 20 minutes before serving, brush with oil again, put back in the oven and brown the other side. To serve, turn the bisteeya out onto a large plate, sprinkle the top liberally with powdered sugar and finish off with fine criss-crossing lines of powdered cinnamon.

Harira Soup
serves 4

Note: this hearty Moroccan soup, of Berber origin, is typically served as the evening meal during the holy month of Ramadan. It is an excellent cold-weather soup.

1 C. chick peas/garbanzo beans
1 C. lentils
1 C. dried peeled fava beans
1 1/2 C. white flour
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. rice
1/2 C. vermicelli
2 T. tomato paste
1 lb. plum tomatoes, peeled
1 medium to large onion
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 small bunch parsley
2 sticks celery
4 quarts water (continue to add water as it evaporates)
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. yellow root ("kharqoum"), often used in Indian cuisine
1 T. salt
2 cloves garlic

Chop all the ingredients finely and place them in a large pot (note that the chick peas need to be soaked overnight to ensure their cooking well with the other ingredients). Save the vermicelli and the flour for the last stage. Let the soup boil for 40 minutes. When the chick peas are cooked, add the vermicelli. Mix the flour in a bowl with warm water until it is liquefied and there are no lumps. Add some lemon juice and pour the mixture into the pot very slowly while stirring with a large wooden spoon. The result should be a thick soup add more flour if it is too watery. Add a raw egg to the soup if desired.

Mechoui
serves 8-10

Note: this roasted lamb dish is usually served for special occasions or on religious holidays.

7-8 lbs. lamb (shoulder and rib portion is best)
1 T. paprika
1 t. cumin
4 ozs. melted butter
salt to taste

Rinse the meat. Mix together the paprika, cumin, butter and salt and spread over the lamb. Loosen some of the skin just under the shoulder and put a little of the mixture inside. Cook in a moderately hot oven with the fleshy part of the meat facing down. Add a glass of water and baste with the resulting juices from time to time so that the meat does not become dry. After two hours, turn the meat over and cook the other side until golden brown. Continue cooking for another thirty minutes, then remove once you have checked that the meat is tender enough to be torn off with the fingers. Arrange on a dish without the gravy. Eat while piping hot, seasoned with cumin and salt.

Mint Tea
serves 4-8

Note: this tea is typically served in small, slender glasses.

green tea
sugar cubes
fresh mint sprigs
water

Rinse a large teapot with two quarts of hot water. Place two or three teaspoons of green tea in the pot and pour a little boiling water over it remove the water afterwards. Add lump sugar to taste (usually 20 cubes for a large teapot) and fill the teapot halfway with boiling water. Add fresh mint sprigs and let steep for several minutes. Serve the tea in the glasses.



Sinigang na Isda (Fish Sinigang)

Sinigang can be made with fish, pork or beef. Most commonly it is made with a fresh-water fish called bangus which is now available in many cities in the US. A medium sized fish, it is simply chopped in pieces and boiled -- head, tail and all. But bangus is bony, so for those who would rather do without, we recommend salmon or rock cod. This recipe is adapted from one used by the Sulo Restaurant in Alameda, California. Modify the degree of sourness to suit your own taste.

1/2 cup or more lemon or lime juice (to taste) (or 1 cup or more green tamarind*, crushed and cut into two or three pieces)
5 cups rice water, the water left over from washing your rice
1 cup finely sliced onion
1/4 cup fresh ginger julienned
2 cups sliced tomato
1 large or two small daikon* (Chinese radish), peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 pounds bangus, salmon or rock cod steaks or filets
2 Tablespoons patis* (Filipino fish sauce)
2 bunches of spinach, cleaned and stemmed
Chopped scallions for garnish

If you would rather not have the chipped shells and seeds of tamarind in the final product, tie the tamarind loosely in a piece of cheesecloth which you can remove later. Simmer water, lemon or lime juice or tamarind, onion, ginger, and tomato lightly for one-half hour. Add water if it appears to cook away too quickly.

Add daikon and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add fish and cook for another five to 10 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Remove tamarind bundle at this point and add patis.

Add spinach and cook just until soft. Garnish with chopped scallions. Serve with rice and a small bowl or cup for the broth. Pass additional patis at the table.

Lumpia Shanghai

There are many types of lumpia, the Filipino version of China's spring rolls. Some are heavy on vegetables. Others are made with chicken or fish. For our version of Lumpia Shanghai we turned to Vicki Valdez, owner of -- what else? -- The House of Lumpia in San Francisco.

3/4 pound lean ground pork
3/4 pound shrimp, finely chopped
1/3 cup water chestnuts, chopped
1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 eggs
30 to 35 lumpia wrappers*

In a medium bowl, combine pork, shrimp, water chestnuts and onions. Mix them well. In a smaller bowl, beat eggs. Add salt, pepper and soy sauce and beat again. Add to meat mixture and mix thoroughly until ingredients are well blended.

Separate wrappers. Place one tablespoon of mixture at one end of wrapper. Roll tightly halfway. Fold over left and right ends of wrapper and continue rolling. Brush end of wrapper with water to seal.

Deep fry in moderately hot oil for 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. If you wish to serve them in bite-size pieces, cut each lumpia diagonally into three pieces with a sharp knife. Serve hot with a sweet and sour sauce or garlic vinegar or a choice of either.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 Tb. catsup
2-3 drops hot pepper sauce
2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tb. water

In a small pan combine vinegar, sugar, salt, water and catsup. Boil for two minutes. Add hot pepper sauce and corn starch. Stir well to blend. Cook for 3 more minutes at medium heat.

Garlic Vinegar Sauce

1/2 cup vinegar, preferably coconut or palm
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
Salt to taste

Mix it all together and set it out for dipping.

Adobo Pork Chops

Adobo can be made with pork or chicken or a mixture of the two. Most home cooks use pork butt cut into bite-sized chunks and stewed. Nick Mendoza, chef/owner of the Banaue Restaurant in Daly City, California, likes to use pork chops because they are more tender and cook quickly. He leaves out the traditional bay leaf and peppercorn and substitutes lemon juice for vinegar.

8 pork chops -- 1/2" thick
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 Tablespoon onion chopped
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup soy sauce

Pour just enough cooking oil into a large skillet to coat the bottom. Heat the oil and sear the pork chops, approximately 3 minutes per side.

Add garlic and brown lightly. Add onions, lemon juice, garlic and soy sauce, turn heat down and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Reduce the sauce as much as you like. Nick likes his adobo dry others like it with plenty of sauce to go with their rice.

Fried Chicken Manong Style

Emil De Guzman spent years living with and advocating the rights of the manongs -- the first generation of Filipino immigrants who worked the fields and filled service industry positions up and down the west coast. He learned their cooking secrets and his passion for food continued though times and careers changed. This is an adaptation of his version of fried chicken which includes rosemary and parsley - not exactly Filipino herbs. But with or without rosemary, you'll have to agree that Colonel Sanders would never recognize the dish.

1 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Juice of one lemon
2 generous Tablespoon ginger, sliced thin and lightly smashed
1/2 head garlic, peeled and minced
1 small bunch parsley, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 chicken cut in pieces, skinned, washed and dried thoroughly

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, parsley, rosemary and pepper. Place chicken in marinade using shallow bowl or plastic bag and turn the chicken to insure it is coated. Marinate chicken overnight, turning several times.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe lightly to remove herbs, ginger and garlic. Heat approximately 1/8" to 1/4" of oil on high. Fry 8 minutes to a side to achieve a crispy brown layer. Lower fire to medium and continue frying for another 20 to 30 minutes keeping close attention to avoid blackening or burning.

*Available in Filipino and many Chinese grocery stores.


Sesame Ring Bread
makes 2 rings

1-1/2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 F)
1 3/4 cups milk, warmed to room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sesame seed

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast to warm water and stir to blend. Let stand about five minutes, then stir in milk, salt, sugar, and oil. Add three cups flour and beat at medium speed for five minutes. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Turn out the dough and knead lightly. Place in a bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Turn out and divide in half, knead lightly and shape each piece into a round, poke a hole in the center and pull into a ring about 10 inches in diameter. Place the rings on greased baking sheets and let rise, covered with a towel. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden. Let cool on racks.

Note: The bread may be baked in advance and frozen. To serve later: let thaw, wrap in foil, and reheat in a 350F oven for 15 minutes or until hot through.

Shallot Salad
makes 4 servings

2 heads butter lettuce or specialty salad greens, washed and chilled
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup seedless red grapes
1/4 cup diced toasted walnuts

Tear the greens into bite-size pieces (enough to make 1-1/2 quarts). Place the oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, shallots and pepper in a small jar. Cover tightly and shake well. Place the greens in a bowl, pour the dressing over and mix well. Garnish with the grapes and toasted walnuts.

Seafood Platter
makes 4 servings

2 dozen mussels or small rock clams
1 dozen prawns
1 Dungeness crab, cracked, or 2 lobster tails, split
3/4 cup dry white vermouth or dry white wine
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
Lemon wedges

Scrub shellfish thoroughly and place in a large soup kettle along with the vermouth, two tablespoons of the cilantro and the garlic. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mussel or clam shells open. Transfer to a large platter and spoon the juices on top. Heat the olive oil or butter and the remaining cilantro just until warm spoon over the shellfish. Garnish with lemon wedges. Accompany with dampened towels.

Steamed Artichokes with Mustard Sauce
makes 4 servings

4 large artichokes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mustard Sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon hot sweet mustard
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Take off the outer leaves of the artichokes, cut off the end of the stem evenly and trim the tips of the leaves with scissors. Place the artichokes in a steamer, drizzle with oil and sprinkle the garlic on top. Steam over simmering water for 45 to 50 minutes or just until tender.

Hot Pears in Caramel Sauce
makes 4 servings

4 Anjou or Bosc pears
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
Vanilla or coffee-flavored frozen yogurt

Preheat the oven to 425F. Peel the pears and core the bases, leaving the stems intact. Melt the butter in a shallow baking dish or pie pan in the oven, allowing about three to four minutes. Roll the pears in the butter and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sugar caramelizes and the mixture turns amber. Pour in the cream and blend with the syrupy sauce. Continue baking for 15 minutes longer, basting the pears with sauce twice, until the sauce turns a rich amber color. Let cool slightly. Serve warm in dessert bowls with frozen yogurt.


Coming Home to Lisbon

Bacalhau à Brás
(Portuguese Scrambled Eggs with Salt Cod and Potatoes)
from Bota Alta, in Lisbon
Makes 4 to 6 servings

This delicious lunch, dinner, or even brunch dish is from the classic restaurant Bota Alta, in Lisbon's Bairro Alto district.

Ingredients:

one 1 pound box dried salt cod
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 6 cups)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
18 oil-cured black olives

Method:
1. Rinse the fish and place it in a bowl. Add enough cold water to cover. Chill overnight, changing the water several times.

2. The next day, drain the fish and transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until the fish flakes easily, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Flake the fish, discarding any bones.

3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes in batches and sauté until crisp and golden, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the potatoes to paper towels to drain.

4. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the same skillet. Add the onion and bay leaf and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the onion slices in the skillet. Mix in the fish and potatoes. Whisk the eggs, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl to blend. Add the egg mixture and 3 tablespoons of the parsley to the fish mixture in the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the eggs are softly set, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a platter. Garnish with the olives and the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

Note: Salt cod is available at Italian markets as baccalà and at Spanish markets as bacalao.

Peixinhos da Horta
(Deep-Fried Green Beans)
from Pap'Açôrda
Makes 6 to 8 servings

The literal translation of the title of this dish is "little fish from the garden." The name comes from the fact that once the beans are cooked, they resemble a tangle of slender fried fish that are popular in Portugal. Serve them as a side dish, a starter, or even a snack.

Ingredients:

1 pound green beans, trimmed
about 4 cups peanut oil, for frying
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Cook the beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, cool in a bowl of ice water, and drain again.

2. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a large saucepan over medium-high heat to 350°F (175°C). Combine the flour, water, eggs, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl whisk until a smooth batter forms.

3. Dip six beans at a time into the batter, shaking off any excess. Add the beans to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with more salt and serve hot.

© 1999-2005 David Leite & Leite's Culinaria, Inc. All rights reserved.

First appeared in Bon Appetit, June, 2004

by Alla Lopatin, photos by Marina Kocherovsky

Vinegret (vegetable salad):

6 red potatoes
5 medium beets
3 large carrots
2 cups pickled cabbage
1 medium red onion
1 cup peas (canned or frozen)
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes and beets in their skin until tender (about 45 minutes). In a separate pot, boil carrots until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain the cooking liquid and let vegetables cool about 15-20 minutes before peeling (the skins should come right off when the vegetables are at room temperature). Dice the cooked vegetables by hand. Protect your hands from beet juice stains handling beets with plastic wrap or rinsing hands every few minutes. Squeeze excess liquid out of the cabbage. Combine the diced vegetables with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled. Note: For best results, refrigerate salad over night or 4-6 hours before serving.

Shchi (Cabbage Soup)

3 quarts beef stock (or water for vegetarian version)
4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 large or 2 medium onions, grated
2 large carrots, grated
1/2 head cabbage, coarsely shredded
1 parsley root, shredded
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut in ½ inch cubes
½ cup tomato sauce
Bay leaf
Fresh herb parcel (parsley, dill)
Salt
Pepper

Melt the butter in a sauce pan set over high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and parsley root, reduce the heat to moderate, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft but not brown.

Pour the meat stock or water into a 4-quart pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat immediately to medium and add cabbage. After 10-15 minutes, add potato, bay leaf, and onion mixture. Simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are almost soft (10-15 minutes). Add tomato sauce, herb parcel and salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf and herbs once soup is ready. Serve hot with dollop of sour cream.

Kotlety Pozharskie (Ground Chicken Cutlets )

4 slices fine white bread with crusts removed
¼ cup of whole milk
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter (1/4-pound stick)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small bits (same amount of clarified butter can be used)

In a small bowl combine the slices of bread and ¼ cup of milk. Soak the bread for about 15 minutes. Squeeze out and discard any extra liquid.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and grind them through the finest blades of the meat grinder twice. Combine ground chicken and soaked bread, and grind through again. With a large wooden spoon (or with your hands), gradually incorporate 8 tablespoons of softened butter, salt and pepper and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth. Dip your fingers into cold water and shape the mixture into 6 oval patties, each about 1½ inches thick. Roll the patties in the bread crumbs, coating them thoroughly.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the pan. Place over moderate high heat and when the butter is hot, add the patties. Fry about 5 minutes on each side, turning them over with a spatula. Add remaining butter as necessary. The patties are done when the crusts are golden brown and the inside is cooked through. Serve immediately.


Vareniki (sweet dumplings)

5 cups Unbleached all-purpose flour 1 ts Salt 2 tb Butter 1 cup Evaporated Milk 1/2 c Water, as needed In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and butter, stirring a few times. With the machine running, add liquids until a ball forms. Allow to rest for a few minutes and then process until smooth. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover for about 30 minutes. (The dough can be made one day ahead, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated be sure to bring dough to room temperature before rolling it out.) Place a fourth of the dough on a floured work surface, covering the rest with a towel. Roll the dough evenly into a circle, until it is about 1/8-inch thick. With a 3-inch cookie cutter or glass, cut into rounds. Place 1 Tb of the filling* on one round and place another round on top, sealing them tightly with your fingers or a fork. Place dumplings on a floured cookie sheet and cover with a towel. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. Use as little flour as possible in this process to avoid tough, heavy dough. Gently drop varenyky into 4 quarts of boiling water, in a wide pot, making sure they’re not crowded. Boiling them in batches of 15 is best. Stir gently and cook for 3 to 4 minutes—don’t overcook. Drain in a colander and place in a lightly buttered serving bowl. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. *Sweet cheese filling is made by mixing ricotta or farmer cheese with sugar and vanilla. A fruit filling can be made with stewed black cherries or other fruit.

Medianyk (Honey Cake)

4 oz Butter
4 large Eggs
14 oz Honey
14 oz Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (about 3 cups)
1/2 ts Ground Ginger
1/2 ts Ground Nutmeg
1/2 ts Ground Cloves
1 ts Cinnamon
2 ts Baking Powder

Separate the eggs and let stand at room temperature. Cream the butter, and add in yokes one at a time, beating well. Mix in the honey. Sift the flour, baking powder, and spices and add to the butter mixture. Whip the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter. Preheat the oven at 350F. Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan. Bake until firm on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the cake to cool on a wire rack.

Pickled Halibut and Shrimp
Makes 16 appetizer servings

2 pound chunk halibut
1/2 pound large shrimp
2 slices lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole mixed pickling spices
1 small sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup sugar

Place the halibut and shrimp in a large saucepan and cover with water. Combine lemon slices, salt, bay leaf, and pickling spices in a cheesecloth bag or place in a tea ball and add to the pan. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish barely flakes with a fork. Drain off the stock and let the fish cool. Remove the skin and bones. Break the fish along its natural seams into 1 to 2-inch chunks. Peel and devein the shrimp. Alternate the fish, shrimp, and onion rings in a 1 1/2 quart jar or crock. Combine vinegar, wine, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a jar with halibut and shrimp so that the fish is covered with liquid. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 days to allow the flavors to permeate.

Note: Fresh mussels are excellent poached and pickled in this same fashion, letting them replace both the halibut and shrimp. Time their cooking to 5 to 6 minutes, or just until the shells open and the mussels turn a bright coral color.

Caviar Torte
makes 8 servings

6 eggs, hard-cooked and chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 green onions, chopped
12 ounces light-style cream cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
Dash hot pepper seasoning
1 jar (2 to 3 ounce) caviar
Parsley sprigs
Crisp flatbread or sesame crackers

Mix together the eggs, mayonnaise, yogurt, and mustard and spread in a straight-sided glass bowl, 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Sprinkle with green onions. Beat the cream cheese with sour cream and pepper seasoning until creamy and spread over the onions. Top with caviar, cover, and chill. To serve, circle the bowl with parsley sprigs and pass crackers.

Cucumbers in Dill
makes 12 servings

3 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1//4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

Place the cucumbers in a deep bowl. Mix together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, dill, pepper, and parsley and pour over the cucumbers. Mix well, cover, and chill for at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Pickled Beets
makes about 1 pint

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 whole cloves
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 cups sliced cooked or drained canned beets
1 sweet red onion, sliced and separated into rings

Combine the sugar, mustard, salt, cloves, garlic, vinegar, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over the beets and onion rings. Cover and chill.

Finnish Salmon Pirog
makes 12 servings

3 pounds salmon fillets
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound cultivated brown mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 cups cooked cracked wheat or bulghur
Rich Brioche Dough: follows
3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
Sour cream and caviar (optional)

In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the salmon fillets in 1 tablespoon of the butter for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side sprinkle with lemon juice and salt and set aside. Saute the mushrooms and onion in 1 tablespoon butter, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft. Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over cracked wheat and toss.

Preheat the oven to 375F. For free-form fish pastries, divide the Rich Brioche Dough in half. Roll out one half and cut the dough into 2 fish shapes, each about 14 inches long, 5 inches across the head, and 9 inches wide at the tail. Place one fish-shaped piece of dough on a buttered baking sheet. Layer with half the cracked wheat, mushroom mixture, parsley, and salmon. Cover with the other fish-shaped piece of dough, pinching the edges to seal. Repeat the procedure to make a second fish from the remaining ingredients. With scissors, turn each pastry to a neat fish shape and snip the top crust in 2 to 3 rows to make scales. With a knife, make a slit for a mouth and eye and make markings on the tail and fins. Brush pastries with the remaining melted butter. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the pastries are nicely browned. Garnish with parsley and serve warm or cold with sour cream and caviar, if desired.

Rich Brioche Dough: Sprinkle 1 package active dry yeast into 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl and let stand until yeast is dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and beat well. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Add 1/2 cup soft butter and beat until well blended. Gradually add 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour and beat hard for 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch down the dough and chill half an hour or longer, if desired, before using.

Roast Mahi Mahi with Potato Scales
makes 4 servings

4 to 6 small 1-inch red or Yukon gold potatoes, sliced wafer thin
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 4-ounce mahi mahi fillets, or other firm fish fillets about 3/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill or tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or tarragon
2 tablespoons minced chives
Watercress or arugula for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375F. Scatter the potatoes on a lightly oiled baking sheet, brush the top with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Turn up the oven temperature to 450F. Arrange the fish on a broiler pan, season with salt and pepper, lemon zest and herbs, and cover the top of each with overlapping slices of potato. Roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes with a fork. Sprinkle with chives. Serve with a garnish of watercress or arugula.

Marzipan Tarts
makes about 40 tiny tarts

1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Unbaked Tart Shells: recipe follows
Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large bowl, beat the almond paste with eggs and sugar until smooth. Mix in the melted butter and almond extract. Fill Unbaked Tart Shells with almond mixture, place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar. Makes about 40 tiny tarts.

Unbaked Tart Shells: Mix together 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft butter, 6 tablespoons sugar, and 3 cups all-purpose flour until crumbly. Add 2 eggs and beat until smooth. Pat into a ball. Pinch off pieces of dough and pat into 2 inch tart pans, pressing against the bottoms and sides.

Marzipan Chocolate Wafers
makes about 2 dozen wafers

1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup almond paste
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour

Marzipan Filling: follows
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 350F. Beat 1/3 cup butter and almond paste until creamy, then beat in sugar and egg yolk. Mix in the flour to make a smooth dough. On a lightly floured board, roll out about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out with a 1 1/2-inch round scalloped cutter. Place rounds on a buttered baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.

With fingertips or a spatula, spread Marzipan Filling on the bottom of wafers. Melt chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter together and stir to blend. Spread with a spatula over the marzipan filling. Place wafers in a single layer on a baking sheet and chill until set. Store in a covered container.

Marzipan Filling: Beat together 1/2 cup almond paste and 2 tablespoons butter. Mix in 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon light corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and beat until smooth.

Cold Peanut Soup (The Coach House)
makes 4-6 servings

3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dried salted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
Lemon or cucumber slices, to garnish

In a stockpot, simmer the stock and nuts for 5 minutes. Puree in a blender with chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Return to the stockpot and stir in the milk. Simmer 5 minutes. Chill. Serve garnished with lemon or cucumber slices.

Bobotie
makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups milk
1 slice bread, torn
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 pounds ground lamb or beef
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fruit chuntey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup currants
2 eggs, beaten
6 bay or lemon leaves

Soak 1/2 cup of the milk with the bread. In a skillet, brown the onions in oil, add the curry powder and meat saute until browned. Mix in the bread and season with salt and pepper, fruit chutney, brown sugar, and currants. Spread in a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine the remaining 1 cup milk with the beaten eggs and pour over. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until set. Serve with rice or couscous, sliced banana, and chutney.

Couscous Salad (The Africa Cafe)
makes 6-8 servings

2 cups couscous
3 cups hot water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup fresh, frozen or canned corn
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts or almonds
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh crushed garlic
2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

Place the couscous in a bowl, pour over the boiling water, and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Stir in the remaining ingredients and chill. Serve as a salad on its own or as a side dish.

Buttermilk Pudding (Alice Fullard, The Old School Tearoom, Stilbaai)
makes 6-8 servings

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs yolks, salt, vanilla, buttermilk, and flour. Dissolve the soda in the milk and stir in. Lastly beat the egg whites until soft peaks and fold in. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake in a bain marie in a preheated 325 F oven for 45 minutes or until set. Serve hot or cold with sour fig preserve or green fig preserve.


A Spanish Paella Feast

Sangria
makes 8 to 10 servings

2 bottles (4/5 quart each) dry red wine
2 bottles (10 ounces each) bitter lemon soda
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
Sugar to taste
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs or lemon balm sprigs

Combine in a large pitcher the wine, bitter lemon, and sliced orange and lemon. Add the sugar. Chill. To serve, pour over ice cubes in glasses and garnish with mint or lemon balm sprigs.

Mango and Smoked Meats
makes about 1 1/2 dozen appetizers

Peel and slice, then cut in 1 1/2 to 2-inch chunks 1 large mango. Or peel, halve, and seed 1 papaya and cut into 2-inch-long pieces. Wrap each piece of fruit in a paper-thin slice of prosciutto or a slice of Italian dry salami. Skewer with a toothpick.

Gazpacho Andalusian
makes 8 to 10 servings

1 large cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sweet white onion, coarsely chopped
6 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped or 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes
4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed beef broth
3 tablespoons each white wine vinegar and olive oil
2 slices sourdough French bread
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup water (approximately)
Salt and pepper to taste
Condiments: chopped green onions, croutons, diced avocado

Place in a blender container the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, garlic, broth, vinegar, oil, bread, and carrot and blend until almost smooth. Prepare in 2 batches if necessary. Thin to desired consistency with water and season with salt and pepper. Chill. Serve in bowls, passing condiments to be spooned into the soup.

Paella con Mollusks
makes 8 to 10 servings

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1 /2 cups arborio rice
1/8 teaspoon saffron
1 bottle ( 8 ounces) clam juice
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup dry white wine
16 large prawns, unshelled
16 small butter, rock, or steamer clams, unshucked
1 crab, cooked and cracked, or 4 very small lobster tails, cooked and split
1 package (10 ounces) frozen petite peas, blanched for 2 minutes
1/2 pound asparagus tips, parboiled
1 jar (2 ounces) sliced pimiento
Lemon wedges

In a large frying pan or 4 quart casserole, saute the onion, garlic, and tomato in oil until vegetables are glazed. Add the rice, saffron, clam juice, water, and wine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Arrange the prawns and clams on top, cover, and steam until clam shells open. Transfer to a large paella pan or serving casserole. Add the crab, peas, asparagus, and pimiento. Heat through or keep warm in a low oven until serving time. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Note: Instead of the crab and lobster, you may use 8 to 16 mussels, adding them along with the prawns.

Romaine with Parmesan Dressing
makes 8 to 10 servings

2 slices sourdough French bread
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
4 anchovy fillets, minced
2 heads romaine, inner leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the bread into 1/2 inch squares and saute in 1 tablespoon oil with garlic until golden. Shake together the remaining oil, vinegars, salt, mustard, Worcestershire, and anchovy fillets. Tear the greens into bite-size pieces and pile in a salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and mix lightly. Toss with the lemon juice. Add the cheese and croutons and grind over the pepper.

Flan with Strawberries
makes 8 to 10 servings

Caramel-lined pan
3 1/2 cups milk
6 eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups strawberries, hulled
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or kirsch
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped, with sugar and liqueur to taste

Prepare the caramel-lined pan. Scald the milk. Beat together the eggs and egg yolks until blended and beat in the granulated sugar, vanilla, and hot milk. Pour into the caramel-lined pan. Place in a pan containing 1 inch of hot water and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until the custard is set. Remove from the water bath, let cool, and chill. Loosen the custard with a knife and invert on a platter. Toss the berries with liqueur and powdered sugar and spoon in the center of the ring. Spoon the whipped cream in a bowl and serve alongside, if desired.

Caramel-lined Pan: Heat 1/3 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan until it melts, caramelizes, and turns amber. Immediately pour into a 1 1/2 quart ring mold, swirling the pan to coat.

Spanish Pineapple Surprise
makes 8 to 10 servings

1 tablespoon each butter and sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts or almonds
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 large pineapple
Caramel Sauce: follows

Place the butter and sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter starts to brown. Add pistachios and heat, stirring to coat them evenly. Cook just until lightly browned, then turn out onto a buttered sheet of foil. Let cool, then break up to separate the nuts.

Let the ice cream soften slightly. Whip the cream until stiff and beat in 3 tablespoons of the Cointreau and the powdered sugar. Turn the ice cream into a chilled bowl and quickly fold in the whipped cream and half the nut crunchy. Spoon into a freezer container, cover, and refreeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise, leaving the crown of leaves intact, and remove the fruit with a grapefruit knife reserve the pineapple shells. Cut out the core and slice the fruit 1/4 inch thick. Place the fruit in a bowl and drizzle with the remaining Cointreau cover and chill. To serve, spoon the pineapple into one pineapple shell and mound the ice cream in the other shell. Sprinkle the ice cream with the remaining nut crunch. Serve at once. Spoon into large dessert bowls and pass the Caramel Sauce.

Caramel Sauce: Place in a saucepan 1/3 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, and 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil briskly for 3 minutes, stirring. Serve warm.




Dinner in a Spanish Mood

Endive with Scallops
makes 2 dozen appetizers

3 heads Belgian endive (red and green)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 pound small scallops
Cornstarch seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Separate the endive into stalks. Microwave the curry 30 seconds to remove the raw taste and stir into the sour cream. Toss the scallops in cornstarch seasoned with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the scallops in oil, turning to brown both sides remove from pan and let cool. Place 1/2 teaspoon of curried sour cream on the tip of each endive and top with a scallop. Arrange like a sunburst on a platter.

Spicy Tomato Soup
Makes 6 servings

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon olive oil
6 medium tomatoes, peeled, or 1 can (13 ounces) whole tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plain yogurt or 1 small avocado, peeled and diced for garnish

In a large saucepot over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, curry powder, and ginger in the oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold, garnished with a spoonful of yogurt or avocado.

Boned Stuffed Lamb
makes 8 servings

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound mild turkey sausage or Italian sausage
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 slices country-style white bread, cubed
1 leg of lamb, boned and butterflied, yielding about 3 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rosemary sprigs and lemons for garnish

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion and carrots in oil until golden brown remove from the pan and set aside. Add the sausage and saute until crumbly pour off any fat. Add the garlic, oregano, bread, and sauteed vegetables to the sausage and mix lightly. Lay out the meat flat, cover evenly with stuffing, roll, and tie with string to make a compact roll. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and insert a meat thermometer. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Roast in the oven until the meat thermometer registers 140 degrees Fareneheit for medium rare meat or 150 degrees Farenheit for medium meat, about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Place on a platter and ring with rosemary sprigs. Halve the lemons zigzag style and arrange on the platter with the lamb.

Pilaf with Pine Nuts
makes 8 servings

1 quart chicken broth
2 cups white rice, preferably arborio
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup dried cherries or currants

In a large saucepot, heat the broth to boiling, add the rice, and when it "dances" and comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until the rice is just tender. Add the nuts and cherries or currants and toss lightly.

Whole Steamed Artichokes
makes 6 servings

6 medium artichokes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Break off the outer leaves of the artichokes, cut off the stem end evenly, and trim the tips of the leaves with scissors. Place the artichokes in a steamer, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle the garlic on top. Steam over simmering water for 40 to 45 minutes, or just until tender. If desired, serve with a dish of hot mustard sauce, made by blending hot mustard with plain yogurt.

Orange, Arugula, and Red Onion Salad
makes 8 servings

1 bunch arugula or small bunch curly endive
6 navel oranges, peeled to remove white membrane and thinly sliced
1 medium sweet red or white onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt to taste

Line a large platter with arugula or endive and arrange the orange slices in an overlapping pattern on top. Scatter over the onion rings. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. For the dressing, shake together in a jar or whisk in a bowl the oil, lemon peel, orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Pour over the salad.

Flan
Makes 8 to 10 servings

3-1/2 cups milk
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons kirsch or Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Few sprigs mint (optional)

Prepare the caramel-lined pan, below. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Scald the milk. Whisk together the eggs and egg yolks until blended and whisk in the granulated sugar, vanilla, and hot milk. Pour into the caramel-lined pan. Place in a pan containing 1 inch of hot water and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until the custard is set. Remove from the water bath, let cool, and chill. Loosen the caramel custard with a knife and invert on a platter. Toss the berries with the liqueur and powdered sugar and spoon in the center of the ring. Tuck in a few sprigs of mint, if available.

Caramel-lined pan: Heat 1/3 cup of sugar in a heavy saucepan until it melts, caramelizes, and turns amber. Immediately pour into a 1-1/2 quart ring mold, swirling the pan to coat.

Sangria
makes 8 servings

2 bottles (4/5 quart each) dry red wine
2 bottles (10 ounces each) bitter lemon soda
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
Sugar to taste
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs

Combine the wine, bitter lemon, and sliced orange and lemon in a large pitcher. Add sugar. Chill. To serve, pour over ice cubes in glasses and garnish with mint.

Serve a selection of little morsels: shrimp, white albacore tuna, roasted red peppers, green olives, chunks of sweet French bread, anchovies green onion, spinach, or potato fritatta.

Potato Omelet (Tortilla Espanola)
makes 4 servings

1/3 cup olive oil
4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
Coarse salt
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 eggs

Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a 9-inch non-stick skillet and add the potato slices and onions, salting lightly. Cook slowly, lifting and turning occasionally, until tender but not brown. Beat the eggs, add the potatoes and let sit a few minutes. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, heat until very hot, and add the potato and egg mixture, spreading it with a pancake turner. Lower heat to medium, shake pan to keep potatoes from sticking, and when brown underneath, place a plate on top and invert, then slide back into the skillet and brown the other side.

Gazpacho Andalusian
makes 8 servings

1 large cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sweet white onion, coarsely chopped
6 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed beef broth
3 tablespoons each white wine vinegar and olive oil
2 slices sourdough French bread
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Condiments: chopped green onions, croutons, diced avocado

Place the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, garlic, broth, vinegar, oil, bread, and carrot in a blender and blend until almost smooth. (Prepare in two batches if necessary.) Thin to desired consistency with water and season with salt and pepper. Chill. Serve in bowls, passing condiments to be spooned into the soup.

Rice with Shellfish (Paella con Molluscs)
makes 8 servings

1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 bottle (8 oz.) clam juice
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup dry white wine
16 large prawns, unshelled
16 small butter, rock or steamer clams, unshucked
1 crab, cooked and cracked or 8 very small lobster tails, cooked
1 package (10 ounces) frozen tiny peas, blanched for two minutes in boiling water
1/2 pound baby asparagus, parboiled (optional)
1 jar (2 ounces) sliced pimiento
Lemon wedges

In a large frying pan or four-quart casserole, saute onion, garlic, and tomato in oil until vegetables are glazed. Add the rice, saffron, clam juice, water, and wine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Arrange prawns and clams on top, cover and steam until the clam shells open. Transfer to a large paella pan or serving casserole. Add the crab, peas, asparagus, and pimiento. Heat through or keep warm in a low oven until serving time. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Rice with Chicken (Arroz Con Pollo)
makes 4 to 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pound broiler-fryer, cut in pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 green or red pepper, seeded and chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoon salt
Pinch saffron

Garnish:
3/4 cup cooked tiny peas
1 pimiento, cut into strips

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon oil and brown the chicken well on all sides. Remove from pan and add the garlic, onion, and pepper and saute until the onion is golden. Return the chicken to the skillet, add remaining oil, and saute for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil. Add rice and seasonings. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken and rice are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Garnish with peas and pimiento.

Flan
makes about 8 servings

1 1/4 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups milk
6 eggs
2 egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon

In a saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the sugar over moderate heat, shaking the pan frequently, until the sugar melts and turns amber. Pour at once into a 1-1/2 quart ring mold and quickly tilt the mold in all directions to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Heat the milk, but do not boil. Beat together the eggs and egg yolks just until blended, then beat in the remaining sugar and vanilla. Gradually stir in the hot milk. Pour the mixture into the caramel-lined mold and place in a pan of hot water. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for one hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let the custard cool, then chill it. To serve, run a knife around the sides of the mold to loosen the custard. Place a large round platter over the mold and quickly invert lift off the mold.

Fricase
(Pork Stew)

4 pounds pork loin cut in pieces
2 cups chopped onions
2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 T. parsley
½ T. cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
2 small sprigs of mint
1 T. ground chili powder
( if available use the yellow ground chili powder from Bolivia)
Several boiled potatoes
Hominy

Cover meat with water and a little salt. Let boil for a while and then add all other ingredients, except potatoes and hominy. Let cook until onion disappears and meat is well done. It should have a lot of soupy juice. Serve in bowls with wedges of peeled, boiled potatoes *and drained hominy added.

*Usually it is served with chuno, which is a freeze-dried potato. You can make chuno at home by putting raw potatoes in the freezer until they shrink and dry. They will turn almost black. Then they must be washed, soaked overnight, peeled and pounded so that they break up into little pieces before cooking. Boil in water about 15 minutes. On the Altiplano, the potatoes are set outside overnight to freeze in the cold, dry air. This is an acquired taste and you may be happier with just regular boiled potatoes.

This dish is made with the dehydrated potatoes( chuno) see above and served as a side dish.

Scramble 2 eggs in oil, add l cup of white, fresh cheese and l pound of cooked chuno. Mix well.

Peanut Soup

8 soup bones with meat, either lamb or beef
2 liters of water
l cup raw peanuts, ground in blender with water
¼ cup fava beans, peeled
¼ cup green peas
¼ cup diced carrot
¼ cup onion
¼ cup rice
4 potatoes, French cut

Boil soup bones in water until meat is tender. Add peanuts and all vegetable, except potatoes. About 20 minutes before soup is done, add potatoes and rice. Add boiling water as needed to maintain same level in pot. Serve hot garnished with freshly chopped parsley and thinly sliced French fries. Serves 8

Papas a la Huancayna
(Potato Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce)

2 cups of peanuts with skins on, toasted
5 pods of dried peppers, found in the Latino ethic markets
2 to 3 cups of water
¼ cup of oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 cube of chicken bullion

Blend peanuts in the blender with water a little at time until you have a thick paste. Remove seeds from peppers and soak in water 15 minutes. Drain and cook in oil until soft. Add peanut paste, salt and chicken bullion. Stir and cook over low heat, about 20 minutes until it reduces some and is thick.

8 medium boiled potatoes, peeled
3 hard boiled eggs
Fresh farmers cheese for garnish
2 large, tomatoes , quartered
8 lettuce leaves
Green olives, if desired

Place two whole potatoes on lettuce leaf, top with slightly warm sauce. Garnish with eggs, tomatoes, and sliced white cheese. Serves 4 . This can be served as an entrée or first course salad.

“Penco” Dessert
(Thin Layers of Cracker Type Dough with Caramel Filling)

6 egg yolks
1 T. vinegar
1 T. oil
¾ to 1 cup flour
Dulce de leche, a caramel sauce found in most Latin markets, Smuckers brand can be used.
Heavy whipping cream
Walnuts

Beat yolks until very foamy and almost cream colored, you may use a beater for this but change to wooden spoon and add ½ cup of flour very slowly. Continue beating while adding oil slowly. Let dough pull together and add vinegar, beating until it pulls together again. Now add enough flour to make a very soft dough. On a lightly floured board knead until it is elastic and forms bubbles, about 5-7 minutes. Divide into 4 small balls. Roll out each ball into a very thin, round circle about 8 inches in diameter. Put on cookie sheet and prick with fork all around except the edges. You should be able to get two on a sheet. Bake about 5-7 minutes in a hot, 450 degree F oven. The edges should curl up. When cool, fill with a mixture of “dulce de leche” and whipping cream, usually about half and half or to taste. Cover top layer as well and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.


Paella Recipe

8 chicken legs
3 chorizo sausages, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon saffron threads
4 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups clam juice)

1 pound shelled & cleaned shrimp marinated in:
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup white wine

1/2 pound fresh mussels and/or clams
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 jar whole pimentos, drained
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas, cooked and drained
8 lobster claws or crab claws

In a large pan, brown the chicken legs and sausages in the olive oil. Add chopped onions and garlic, brown. Remove meat mixture from pan and reserve. Add rice to pan and cook until slightly golden and transparent. Add salt and pepper. Bring stock to a boil. Dissolve saffron in the boiling stock. Cover rice with the stock and put the meat mixture back in the pan. Cover and cook slowly until the liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes) on the cooktop.

Marinate shrimp for at least one hour. Remove from marinade before adding to paella pan after the liquid has absorbed into the rice.

Garnish paella with mussels/clams, artichoke hearts, pimentos, peas, crab and lobster. Cover and let the garnish ingredients steam for 20 minutes over a low fire (so the rice on the bottom does not burn). Serve with lemon sections.

Chocolate-Chorizo Tostadas

Country-style (chewy-textured) French bread, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
Vanilla-bean-flavored fleur de sel (or other fleur de sel) sea salt
Spanish chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices (not Mexican soft chorizo sausage)

Toast the bread slices on both sides and let them cool. Lightly brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil, then spread a thin layer of Nutella on top (like spreading mayonnaise on sandwich bread). Sprinkle a small amount (a pinch or two) of sea salt evenly over the Nutella, then place two or three slices of chorizo in a single layer on top. Serve at room temperature, as an appetizer or snack, accompanied by a robust Spanish red wine from the Rioja region.

NOTE: Make vanilla-scented fleur de sel sea salt by finely crushing a vanilla bean and combining it with the salt in a tightly covered glass container. Let the mixture stand for several days for the flavors to meld.

Source: Jason Dady, The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills (San Antonio) and Bin 555 Restaurant and Wine Bar (Dallas and San Antonio)

Stuffed Grape Leaves
makes 3 to 4 dozen

1 jar grape leaves (about 3 or 4 dozen)
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup short-grain rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup currants
Water
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Lemon wedges

Remove the grape leaves from the jar, scald with hot water, and drain. (Or blanch fresh grape leaves in hot water for 1 minute, lift out with a slotted spoon and drain.) Cut off the stems from the leaves and pat each leaf dry with paper towels. In a large frying pan, saute the onion in 1 tablespoon of the oil until golden. Add the rice, parsley, dill, salt, pine nuts, and currants, and 1 cup water. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed let cool.

When cool, place 1 teaspoon of the rice mixture in the center of each leaf (shiny side down), fold like an envelope, and roll up. (Do not roll too tightly as the rice will expand.) Arrange the rolls in layers in a large Dutch oven. Sprinkle with lemon juice and the remaining olive oil. Pour broth and 1 cup water over the rolls. Weight with a baking dish. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until the rice is tender. Let cool in the pan. Serve chilled, garnished with lemon wedges.

Fruit and Feta Salad
makes 8 servings

4 navel oranges, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups each red and green seedless grapes
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
Curly endive or watercress
3/4 cup feta cheese, broken into chunks
4 tablespoons pistachios

In a bowl place the oranges, grapes, and onion. Stir together the oil, orange juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste, and mint spoon over and mix gently. Arrange endive on individual plates. Spoon over the fruit mixture and sprinkle with cheese and nuts.

Cheese Boerek
makes 8 servings

1 package (10 ounces) frozen puff pastry shells or a sheet of puff pastry
4 ounces Gruyre or Jarlsberg cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces feta cheese
8 ounces (1 cup) small curd or large curd cottage cheese
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1/4 cup chopped chives or green onions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Lay out the pastry shells on a board, cover with plastic wrap, and let warm to room temperature. Using a food processor, shred the Gruyre or Jarlsberg cheese and turn into a mixing bowl. Or grate by hand. Place in a container of the food processor the cream cheese, feta cheese, cottage cheese, egg yolks, parsley, chives or green onions, salt, and pepper. Process just until smoothly blended. Turn into the bowl with the shredded cheese and mix lightly. Stack 3 pastry shells on a lightly floured board and roll out into a 14-inch round. Place dough round on a 12-inch pizza pan with edges overlapping. Spread with cheese filling. Stack remaining 3 pastry shells on a lightly floured board and roll out into a 14-inch round. Place the round on top of the filling, brush overlapping edges of dough with water, and press to seal the edges of the pastry rounds. Turn back pastry edges and crimp edges. Chill thoroughly, at least 30 minutes, or freeze 10 minutes for pastry to firm up. (If desired, the boerek may be wrapped and frozen at this point. Thaw before baking.)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Brush the top of the pastry with melted butter and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cut into wedges to serve.

Mushroom and Meat Boerek
makes 8 servings

1 package (10 ounces) frozen puff pastry shells
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter
1 large onion or 2 leeks (white part only), finely chopped
1/4 pound brown or white cultivated mushrooms, chopped
1 pound ground pork, turkey, or beef
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced sage or oregano or 1 teaspoon dried sage or oregano
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Thaw the pastry shells as directed for the Cheese Boerek, preceding. To make the filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet and saute the onion until glazed. Add the mushrooms and saute 1 minute turn out of the pan into a mixing bowl. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in the same skillet, add the pork, beef, or turkey, and cook, stirring, until the meat loses its pink color. Season with salt, sage or oregano, parsley, pepper, allspice, and garlic, remove from heat, and turn into the bowl with the sauteed onion. Mix in the Parmesan or Romano cheese and let cool. Prepare the pastry as directed for the Cheese Boerek, preceding, filling with the mushroom-veal mixture, and proceed as directed, brushing the top with melted butter before baking.

Tomatoes and Cucumbers with Herbs
makes 8 servings

6 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced
Romaine leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or chives
Olive oil

Arrange the tomato and cucumber slices on a large platter lined with Romaine leaves. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with basil. Drizzle with olive oil.

Lentil Stew with Sausages
makes 8 servings

1 pound small green or brown lentils
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
8 sun-dried tomatoes, snipped (optional)
5 cups water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoon each red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup tomato paste
4 smoky chicken-turkey sausages or other specialty sausages, sliced
1/4 cup mixed minced fresh chives, flat-leaf parsley, and oregano

Place in a saucepot the lentils, onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, water, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Add the vinegars, tomato paste, and sausages and simmer 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with herbs.

Yogurt Walnut Cake
makes 16 servings

1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain yogurt
2-1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350F. Beat the butter until creamy and gradually beat in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Mix in the lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla, and yogurt. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and add to the creamed mixture, beating until incorporated. Mix in the nuts. Turn into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a rack, then remove from the pan.

Eggplant Salad (patlican salatasi)
Serves 4 as main dish, 6 as appetizer

This classic dish is famous -- charring adds a smoky flavor. In Arabic versions, tahini, sesame paste, is used.

3 large eggplants, unpeeled
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups plain yogurt

Pierce the eggplants with a fork. Place them in a dry iron skillet over a high burner or under the broiler. If you can cook over charcoal, even better. Turn them and continue cooking for half an hour until the skin is charred on all sides and the eggplant is soft. Place on a plate to cool. Cut the eggplant lengthwise, and scoop out the pulp, avoiding the skin. Squeeze out the excess moisture, and mash with a fork. In a large bowl or processor, place the eggplant, and other spices with yogurt. Blend until it is a puree. Place on a bowl and garnish with olive or tomato slices. Chill for 1/2 hour before serving. This will keep for several days.

Shepherd's Salad (choban salatasi)
serves 6

A classic Turkish salad, very refreshing. Have all the vegetables cut into similar sized dice. English cucumbers work best, remove seeds from the larger ones.

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
3 small green peppers, wax peppers or other mild hot green pepper.
6 radishes thinly slices
1 white onion., sliced into rings, or three green onions white part only, sliced
1/2 C flat Italian parsley, finely chopped.

Dressing:
6 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix dressing and gently toss just before serving.

Lentil and Mint Soup (ezo gelin chorbasi)
serves 6

Red lentils are available in import markets of India or the Middle East. Dried mint, not fresh is used for the topping.

1 C red lentils, soaked in water for one hour and drained
8 C chicken stock
1 onion, grated
1/4 C rice or bulgar
2 T tomato paste, diluted in 1/4 cup cold water.
1/4 C butter
salt to taste
1 tsp. paprika
1 T dried mint

Place lentils, stock, onion, rice or bulgar, tomato paste, butter, and salt into a sauce pan. Cook stirring occasionally on very low heat until lentils are tender and soup is creamy. (about one hour or less) Add paprika and mint, and let soup simmer for 5 minutes before serving.

Lamb Casserole (kuzu guvec)
serves 6

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed, cut into 3" lengths
3 large tomatoes, skinned and cut into wedges
1 medium eggplant, peeled, and slices crosswise
1/4 lb. okra (optional) tops trimmed
2 medium zucchini, slices
3 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into eighths
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T butter
2 lb. lamb, cut into one inch cubes
1/2 C water
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes sliced into 1/2" thick rings
salt and pepper
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onions and garlic in butter in a large pot. Add meat, saute for 15 minutes. Add water and bay leaves. cover, simmer until the meat is tender. Transfer the meat mix into a casserole. Arrange potatoes in a layer on top of the meat then, place remaining vegetables in layers over the potatoes. Add salt and pepper, dot with butter, cover and bake in a medium 350 degree oven until vegetables are tender. Add hot water if necessary. Serve hot as a man course with pilaf and salad.

Cream Stuffed Apricots (kaymakli kuru kayisi)
serves 6

This is a simple and unusual dessert. Marscapone sweet cheese replaces the hard to find Turkish kaymak.

1 lb. dried apricots.
2 1/2 C sugar
3 C water
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 lb. heavy whipped cream or marscapone
3/4 C grated pistachio nuts

Soak apricots in cold water overnight and drain. Heat sugar and water together over medium heat for ten minutes, then add apricots. Cook until apricots are tender and syrup is formed. Add lemon juice and remove from heat. With a perforated spoon. transfer apricots to a plate to cool. With a spoon, half open the apricots and fill the inside with the cream or cheese. Arrange the apricots, slit side up on a platter, pour over them as much syrup as they absorb. Garnish with the grated nuts.


19 Best Cheap Eats in Chicago

Track down the Windy City's best food bargains, from breakfast through late night.

Photo By: Nick Murway ©Nick Murway 2014

Photo By: Nick Kindelsperger

Photo By: Monica Kass Rogers

Photo By: Nick Murway ©Nick Murway 2014

Best Cheap Eats in Chicago

Cheeseburger at Au Cheval

For the last couple of years, the wait outside Au Cheval in Chicago’s West Loop could last up to three hours. Most waiting were in search of a legendary burger dubbed one of the nation’s best, though their patience would also be rewarded with maybe the best hash browns, larded with duck heart gravy, and mille-feuille, anywhere. To combat the lengthy waits, owner Brendan Sodikoff opened a spinoff, a tiny shack aptly named Small Cheval, which serves only the burger ($9.95 with cheese, $8.95 without), fries, shakes and some choice cocktails. The lines are a bit shorter, but the medium-rare burger — dripping with Kraft cheese and an artery-delighting slather of housemade Dijon mustard-spiked aioli — is still just as great. It’s the backyard burger your dad would make if he’d trained at The Culinary Institute of America.

Muffuletta at Rosie’s Sidekick

Technically we&rsquore cheating here, as the cost ($12.95) exceeds our cap of $10, however, the UFO-sized circle of sesame seed-studded bread overflowing with sliced-to-order mortadella, salami, capicola, and olive salad at Rosie's Sidekick is so massive, it will feed two people. If you&rsquove ever had the original muffuletta at Central Grocery in New Orleans, you&rsquoll appreciate the version from Rosie&rsquos (ask them to hold the balsamic drizzle), which is best held for a few hours before eating, so the briny olive oil juice soaks in to the bread and marinates it.

Pork Gyro at Piggie Smalls

Often when people are scarfing down a gyro, they are doing it on the run or after a night of debauchery. Occasionally, though, a gyro is thoughtfully crafted to deserve proper recognition, thanks to whole cuts of freshly butchered meat, salted, cured and marinated carefully, then carved off a flame-roasted spit. Enter Jimmy Bannos Jr. and his Piggie Smalls with the throwback gyro, a much closer cousin to the turkish doner kebab than the commodity food-service gyro. The pork gyro ($7.99) in particular is incredibly juicy. Dripping in a creamy tzatziki, the gyros richness is cut with onion and tomato and tangy banana peppers.

Beignets at Ina Mae Tavern

These golden freshly fried beignets ($7) arrive at the table at Ina Mae Tavern covered in what feels like a kilo of confectioner&rsquos sugar. In fact, you might have to do some exploration with your fork just to confirm there are in fact doughnuts below the sugar blizzard. There are. And when you bite in to those beignets, you inhale a yeasty perfume and regard the delightful contrast of the crisp exterior and the bubbly soft threads of the interior. You might even convince yourself they&rsquore better than the ones served at New Orleans&rsquo famous Café du Monde

Bao at Wow Bao

King Ranch Casserole at Texican

Chef Kim Dalton&rsquos mother was Korean and her dad a Swedish-Irish Bostonian, so naturally she decided to open a Tex-Mex restaurant in Chicago. Mexican night was popular at her critically acclaimed but short-lived restaurant Dodo, so she took it to the next level with a full-fledged Mexican-skewing spot. Instead of serving some fake chain-like vision of Tex-Mex, her fare, like the King Ranch casserole ($8.50), a Mexican-lasagna of sorts, is rooted in authentic ingredients like El Milagro corn tortillas layered and tangy crema slathered over tender slivers of chicken enrobed in bubbly broiled cheddar cheese.

Carmelized Onion and Parmesan Empanada at 5411 Empanadas

Cemita Milanesa at Cemitas Puebla

Carne Asada Tacos at Taqueria El Asadero

There are hundreds of steak taco options in Chicago, but most of them stem from sad-looking remnants that have been over-steaming for indefinite periods in the warm corner of a grill. But not at El Asadero. The carne asada tacos ($2.25) are so popular that the guys behind the counter are constantly caramelizing a fresh whole skirt steak on the grill, letting it rest, then slicing hunks of well-seasoned smoky meat off the side of beef. They spritz the sliced-to-order meat with fresh lime before swaddling it in a warm corn tortilla and sprinkling it with a shower of sharp onion and zesty cilantro.

Hot Dog at Superdawg

Capone, Sears — err, Willis — Tower, deep-dish pizza, Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. Chicago was built on icons, though many of those culinary icons now trade on nostalgia, rather than flavor. One true exception is Superdawg. This old-school drive-in featuring statues of hot dog mascots Maurie and Flaurie, carhops, thick cement shakes and fabulous golden crinkle-cut fries has plenty of history on offer. But they also serve up one of the best salad dogs in town. The namesake Superdawg ($5.75, with fries) is a thick, snappy beef frank — a superior departure from the typical Vienna dog served elsewhere. It bears the mustard, neon-green relish, onions and sport peppers — and a pickle — present on all great Chicago-style dogs, but it also comes with a secret weapon, a spicy, tangy pickled green tomato you’ll wish they sold by the jar.

Ramen at Furious Spoon Ramen

This is one exception to the $10 cutoff, as the namesake Furious Ramen (so named because you should consume it quickly before it cools down) clocks in at $12.25 (though the restaurant also serves three excellent ramens under $10). The combo of apple chile-spiked “furious” sauce, garlic relish, runny poached egg, marinated mushrooms, tender chashu pork belly and silky shards of white pepper chicken soaked with a soulful spicy miso broth is the best ramen in the city.

Pot Pie at Pleasant House Bakery

There’s no reason to settle for frozen pot pies when you can stop by this Bridgeport gem, where Art and Chelsea Jackson whip up flaky, buttery pastry stuffed with thick hunks of all-natural beef, carrots, vegetables and herbs grown in their own local farm plot, all drizzled with a comforting ale gravy ($7.95). Though the meat is excellent, the mushroom and kale pie, mixed with scallions and a white wine, herb and Parmesan sauce, is pretty soul-satisfying.

Apple Fritter at Old Fashioned Donuts

Secret Chicken Sandwich at Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken

The Mr. G Sub at J.P. Graziano Grocery & Sub Shop

Fried Chicken at Crisp

Smoked Brisket at Small’s Smoke Shack

Despite its Midwestern location, Chicago is a serious barbecue town until recently, the epicenter of that movement was Smoque in Irving Park. Smoque still holds the throne, but Small’s Smoke Shack, which mashes up Korean, Filipino and Mexican flavors, is a fast up-and-comer, making some of the meanest, juiciest hickory-smoked brisket in town. The brisket ($9.50, with house-cut fries), topped off with a drizzle of lime-y, chile-spiked “tiger cry” sauce, a helping of pickled cucumber and carrot — aka “not slaw” — and sandwiched between thick planks of grilled Texas toast, makes a serious claim to the crown for Chicago’s best brisket.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dining Out at Costco: Healthy Choice Fudgesicles and Samsung HDTV

We went back to Costco with a single-minded purpose – buy a nice flat-screen for Tina’s aunt, who recently moved to an assisted-living facility and left her old tube dinosaur behind. And we ended up getting a great deal on a 21.5-inch Samsung LCD HDTV ($169 with $20 off on sale). After all, college football is coming fast, and she's a huge USC Trojan fan with a mad crush on QB Matt Barkley.

The free samples were more of an afterthought this time – it was, after all, a Tuesday afternoon, traditionally not the best day for free tastes. But we were pleasantly surprised. The bounty far surpassed our last visit, and it tided us over until dinner.

The highlight was clearly a nice portion of Healthy Choice fudgesicle preceded by a double serving of barbecue popcorn chips. Overall, we give it a strong C-plus.

Since we didn’t bring our notepad, we didn’t take down specifics, but we did nosh on the following:

 Kirkland canned chicken on white bread
 Belgian waffles and maple syrup
 Mandarin orange chicken
 Gummy bears
 Smoked ham
 Hawaiian teriyaki chicken
 Jamba Juice strawberry smoothie


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Aarti Sequeira's Hot Dogs a la Rose

So Tina has gathered all the ingredients for Rachael Ray’s tortilla soup recipe and is planning on making it today. Looking forward to that. We’ll definitely let you know how that turns out. Meanwhile, check out this cool recipe for Hot Dogs a la Rose from Food Network star Aarti Sequeira, star of “Aarti Party,” which showcases Indian fusion food. This looked amazing on the flat screen and promises to be a flavor fest in real life.

Anyway, Tina was looking for a creative way to use some of the Nathan’s Beef Franks we have left from the heavily discounted three-pack we bought on sale at Costco. If you’re looking for something tasty that’s a little out of the ordinary, try this. We certainly will. Pair this with a six-pack of Corona Light, one of our favorite choices.

• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1 large onion, diced
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly
• 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
• 1 handful shredded carrots, optional
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
• 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
• 1 large tomato, diced
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• 1 (12 oz.) package hot dogs, sliced about 1/16-inch thick (recommended: Hebrew National or Nathan's)
• 1/4 cup water, if necessary
• Handful cilantro leaves, minced

Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, until shimmering.

Add the onions, garlic, ginger and carrots, if using, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Saute until onions are softened and slightly brown around the edges (takes about 5 minutes).

Add the turmeric, garam masala and paprika, quickly stirring for about 20 seconds to keep the spices from burning.

Stir in the tomatoes and ketchup, and taste for seasoning add more salt and pepper, if needed.

Add hot dog rounds, stirring to cover them with the tomato mixture. Add 1/4 cup water if the mixture is too dry. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat 15 minutes.

Taste and season accordingly. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Serve and enjoy.

Top image courtesy of meggoesnomnom.com. Left image courtesy of Food Network, and bottom image comes from hulahangout.com.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Sliced duck breast and scallion with Ponzu sauce

Sliced duck breast with Ponzu sauce 鴨とネギのおろしポン酢 (Mark's book p145)

Japanese consider scallion or "negi" 葱 and duck or "kamo" 鴨 to be the ultimate culinary combination. The Japanese expression "Kamo ga negi o shotte kuru" 鴨が葱を背負ってくる or a short form, "Kamo-negi" 鴨葱 literally means "A duck flies in with bundles of scallion on its back", which describes the situation in which "A perfect victim falls into your hands willingly and carrying a present to boot". I had to make a small deviation from the original recipe since I did not have a "Tokyo" scallion or naga-negi 長ネギ (You could get one at a Japanese grocery store) and I did not want to use leeks as the substitute as suggested.

I cook the duck breast in my usual way. I clean the duck and score the skin in a cross hatch pattern (rather than simply piercing the skin as indicated in the recipe since this will allow more complete and easy rendering of the fat), salt and pepper, cook it in a dry frying pan, the skin side down, on a medium-low flame. I cook it for 6-7 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. During the cooking, I remove excess fat using paper towels. I turn over the duck and place it in a preheated (400F) oven for 6 minutes. While it is hot, I marinade it in a Ponzu sauce (Mark's book p145 but I used a commercial one from the bottle) for several hours. Meanwhile I brown the white parts of scallion (as many as you need but I used 6) in a frying pan on a medium flame with a small amount of oil (5-6 minutes), cut them into pieces a few inches long. I thinly slice the green parts of the scallion on a bias as a garnish as seen above.