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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 40

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





























































































3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine -- melted

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 cups cooking apples -- peeled and diced

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegetable oil

Sifted powdered sugar

Combine first 4 ingredients; make a well in center of mixture. Combine egg, milk, and butter, stirring well; stir in orange peel and next 3 ingredients. Add to flour mixture, stirring mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches into a large Dutch oven; heat to 350 degrees F. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into hot oil; fry fritters in batches 1-1/2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain

fritters well on paper towels and cool slightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yield: about 3 dozen (about 12 servings).


8 breast halves,

Salt & Pepper

Fry in sprayed pan.

1 onion, diced

2 apples, sliced

1 c dry white wine or apple juice

1/2 c apple liquor

Add these, simmer covered for 20 minutes.


1/2 c cold fat free stock

2 T cornstarch

In small bowl, combine well stock & cornstarch, then whisk in and heat to thicken.





This cobbler has two crusts -- one embedded in the apricots and a second latticed on top.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt, preferably coarse or kosher

1/3 pound (1 stick plus 8 teaspoons) unsalted butter

Ice water

6 cups apricots, sliced but not peeled

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 cups water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Liberally butter the inside of a 9-by-12-inch baking pan.

Mix the flour and salt, then use a pastry cutter or your fingers to lightly work in the butter until well blended and crumbly. Add ice water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until the dough holds together (about 6 to 7 tablespoons). Divide dough into 2 portions, pat them into rounds, cover or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the fruit. In a heavy saucepan, bring apricots, sugars, water and remaining butter to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll one ball of pastry to pie-crust thickness and cut into inch-wide strips. Pour half the fruit mixture into the baking pan, then cover with the strips. (Note: Apricots can produce a lot of juice. If you like juicy cobbler, use it all. If not, drain some off.) Roll out the second ball of pastry and cut it the same way. Put the remaining fruit mixture into the pan, then lay the strips over it. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top crust is golden and the apricot filling is bubbling through. Serve warm.


12 bacon slices (about 3/4 pound)

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 cantaloupe

8 soft lettuce leaves, such as Boston or bibb

8 slices crusty bread

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a shallow baking pan cook bacon in one layer in middle of oven, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and honey until smooth. Seed cantaloupe. Cut melon into 12 slices and discard rind. Cut out and discard lettuce ribs. Spread mayonnaise mixture on all 8 slices of bread. Stack lettuce, melon and bacon on 4 of the bread slices and top with remaining slices, gently pressing them together. Makes 4 sandwiches.


2 1/2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine

1 large banana

1 cup sweetened whipped cream

1/4 cup chopped nuts

2 cups sweetened sliced strawberries

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Stir baking mix, sugar, 3 tablespoons butter and the milk to a soft dough. Gently smooth dough into a ball on floured cloth-covered board. Knead 8-10 times. Divide dough in half. Roll one half into 9-inch circle. Place in ungreased round layer pan, 9x1 1/2 inches; dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Roll other half of dough into 9-inch circle and place on top of dough in pan. Bake 15 minutes or until light brown. Split

warm shortcake crosswise. Slice half the banana over bottom layer and spread with 1/2 cup of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the nuts. Place second layer on whipped cream and nuts; slice remaining banana half over top. Spoon strawberries over layers and spread with remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Cut into wedges. Makes 6-8 servings.


1/4 pound green beans, ends trimmed

1 cup frozen lima beans

1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained, rinsed and drained well again

1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained, rinsed and drained well again

4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

* Barbecue Sauce Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup smoky tomato-based barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Bring a medium size pan of water to the boil. Cut the beans into about 1-inch lengths. Put into the boiling water and time about 4 minutes, or until the beans are tender but still have a little crunch. Remove the beans to a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Bring the water back to a boil and add the lima beans. Time 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place the green beans and lima beans on a paper towel-lined plate for a few minutes to absorb excess moisture. In a salad bowl, combine the green, lima, white and pinto beans. Stir together the barbecue sauce, mustard, olive oil, sage, salt and pepper. Pour over the beans, gently mixing. If serving right away add the iceberg lettuce and stir to coat. The beans can also be marinated in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Stir in the lettuce just before serving. Makes 6 servings


1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion -- 2 medium

2 tbsp. Chicken Stock

5 cups Chicken Stock -- see notes

6 cups Water -- for cooking pasta

1/2 pound Pasta -- *fresh or frozen

1/4 cup Herbs, fresh -- *or 1 Tbsp. dried

1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes -- crushed

2 cups Vegetables -- mixed, chopped

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 tablespoon Parsley sprigs -- chopped

*Can use 1 cup dried pasta also

Saute onion in 2 Tbsp. chicken stock, over medium heat until it is translucent (5 - 6 minutes). Bring 5 cups chicken stock, herbs, pepper flakes, and salt to a boil. Add onions and vegetables (carrots, winter squash, or winter roots), turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until it is al dente (3 - 5 minutes for fresh pasta; 12 - 15 minutes for dried). Drain and add to the soup, along with herbs and crushed pepper flakes or add leftover cooked rice or barley at this point. Simmer for 4 - 5 minutes, until all vegetables are cooked. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Add the parsley and serve in heated bowls.



* A tablespoon of oil or butter added during cooking reduces foaming and boil-overs.

* Simmer beans gently to prevent skins from bursting. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

* Beans soaked overnight keep their shape and more uniform texture than quick-soak beans.

* Increase soaking time and cooking time in hard water or high altitudes.

* Add any acid substances, such as lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes or wine at the end of cooking time. Acid makes beans firm.

Do the math

* A pound of beans is about 2 cups.

* Beans triple in volume when soaked and cooked. A cup of dried beans will yield 3 cups cooked. A pound will yield 6 cups.

* For soaking, use 3 cups of water per cup of dried beans.

* Simmer each pound of beans 2 hours after soaking.

* A pound of dried beans = 9 servings of baked beans.

* A pound of dried beans = 12 servings of bean soup. __


1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

1 15-ounce package fudge brownie mix

1-1/2 cups assorted toppings (semisweet

chocolate pieces; candy-coated milk

chocolate pieces; tiny marshmallows; candy bars, cut up;

small gumdrops, halved)

Grease a 12-inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with the finely chopped nuts; set aside. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.

Carefully spread batter into prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 15 minutes or until edges are set. Sprinkle partially baked brownie with desired topping. Return to oven. Bake 8 minutes more or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. To serve, cut into wedges. Makes 16 servings.


1 lemon

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

4 boneless chicken breast halves

1 can Campbell's(r) Cream of Broccoli or 98% Fat Free Cream of Broccoli Soup

1/4 cup milk

1/8 tsp. pepper

CUT 4 thin slices of lemon. Squeeze 2 tsp. juice from remaining lemon. HEAT oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned. ADD soup, milk, lemon juice and pepper. Top chicken with lemon slices. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 5 min. or until done. Serves 4.


Serves 8

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream or fat-free half-and-half

4 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Grand Marnier orange liqueur

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Dash of salt

1 pound Bing cherries, rinsed and pitted (see Note)

Vanilla ice cream, optional, to serve

Gently warm milk and cream in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave.

Beat eggs with an electric mixer with the whip attachment until light. Add sugar slowly and beat until light colored. Add Grand Marnier. Then add warm melted butter, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into a storage container and refrigerate, covered, six hours to overnight. The batter can stay in the refrigerator for up to three days. It will thicken.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter eight shallow fluted porcelain tart dishes (4 1/2-inch dishes, made by Apilco, are available at Williams-Sonoma) and place on a baking sheet. (Alternately, make in a fluted clafouti baking dish or 10-inch pie pan.) Divide whole cherries evenly among the eight tart dishes. Pour 1/2 cup batter over fruit. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed, brown, and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Note: You also can make this recipe with sliced apricots, plums or pears.


Filling: one can (21 ozs.) cherry pie filling

3 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sugar

4 T. butter or margarine

Crust: 1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup milk

Spread fruit in a 13x9 inch pan. Sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter. For crust, cream shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add egg and beat well. Set aside. Combine flour and baking powder; add alternately with milk to cream mixture. Pour over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.


1 lb. crab meat

1 stick (1/4 pound) extra sharp cheddar cheese

3 Tablespoons heaping mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon mustard

1 Large can pet evaporated milk

1 Tablespoons white wine Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients well, pour into a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups blanched slivered almonds, toasted, divided

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

8 scoops amaretto ice cream

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate sauce

Confectioner's sugar

8 sprigs mint

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 10-inch cake pan with aluminum foil. Generously butter the foil. Sprinkle half of the almonds and 1/2 cup of sugar across the bottom of the pan. In a medium bowl, cream together the rest of the butter with the remaining sugar, the salt and the vanilla, until light. Stir in the flour just until combined. Divide the batter and spread half across the almonds in the cake pan. Cover the batter with the remaining almonds. Spread the remaining batter across the almonds in a second layer and press the batter to hold together. Place the cake on the lower rack of the oven and bake until it's golden, about 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Invert onto a cookie sheet and remove the foil. Break the torte into medium-size pieces. To serve: Scoop amaretto (almond flavored) ice cream into bowls. Divide the torte pieces among the bowls. Place the pieces on top of and sticking into the amaretto ice cream. Drizzle with the chocolate sauce. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Garnish with mint and serve immediately.


8 ounces elbow macaroni -- uncooked

1 cup cooked and chopped chicken breast

1/2 cup evaporated skimmed milk

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon chopped pimientos

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook macaroni according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; rinse in cold water, and drain again. Combine macaroni and chicken in a large bowl; set aside. Combine milk and remaining ingredients in a small jar; cover tightly and shake vigorously. Pour over macaroni mixture; toss gently. Cover; chill 2 hours. 5 servings.


1 cup boiling water

1 3-ounce package

raspberry or strawberry-flavored gelatin

3/4 cup cold water

1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (set aside)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3/4 cup fresh red raspberries or sliced strawberries

3/4 cup fresh blueberries or blackberries

2/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 of an 8-ounce tub cream cheese

1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/4 cup chopped sliced almonds or pecans, toasted

Stir boiling water into gelatin for 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water and lemon juice. Chill until partially set (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Stir berries into partially set gelatin. Pour berry mixture into an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Chill until firm.

Meanwhile, beat whipping cream just until soft peaks form. Add cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy (mixture will thicken as it is beaten). Stir in lemon peel.

Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture over berry mixture; spread to edge of dish. Cover; chill at least 6 hours. To serve, sprinkle nuts over salad; cut into squares.

Makes 9 servings. Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare salad. Cover and chill 6 to 24 hours.

Top with nuts just before serving.


3 medium ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

4 cloves garlic, cut in half

8 slices Vienna bread, 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

In small bowl, combine tomatoes with salt and freshly ground black pepper, onion and basil and mix well. Toast bread; rub one side of each bread slice with cut side of garlic clove and drizzle with olive oil. Top bread with tomato mixture. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings. (Note: Nuts, cheese, roasted eggplant slices, sauteed mushrooms, capers and olives make good additions to bruschetta.)


1 small red onion, diced

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 medium ripe, fresh tomatoes, seeded, cored and diced

6 radishes, diced

2 fresh jalapenos (more or hotter peppers, if you like), finely chopped

10 sprigs fresh cilantro, freshly chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive (glass, ceramic or plastic) serving bowl. Mix gently but well. Season with additional salt if desired.


Are they it ripe yet?

Fruits and vegetables are most nutritious and delicious at their peak quality.

When selecting fresh produce, you'll want to consider ripeness. While some fruits and most vegetables do not continue to ripen after they are picked, there are certain fruits that do.

Items that do not ripen after picking include apples, berries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, strawberries, tangerines and watermelon.

Fruits that do continue to ripen after picking include apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, honeydew, kiwifruits, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pears, plantains, plums and tomatoes.

For fruit that requires additional ripening, you have storage options: at room temperature, in the refrigerator or in a paper bag.

All fresh fruits and vegetables should be washed before eating. Fruits and vegetables, as part of their growing process, can be exposed to soil and pesticides. When produce is handled by consumers in the course of shopping, harmful bacteria may also be left behind. Careful washing of fruits and vegetables is important, even for fruits such as melons and pineapples that have rinds that you cut away. Dirt and bacteria on the surface of fruits or vegetables can be drawn to the inside by the knife used to cut them open. Many types of produce are coated with food-grade wax as a preservative: Coatings keep in moisture and protect against spoiling. And although the wax is not harmful if eaten, some consumers prefer the taste and texture when it is removed. The wax can also trap unwanted residues and chemicals.

Fruits and vegetables that may have wax coatings applied include apples, avocados, bell peppers, cantaloupes, cucumbers, eggplants, grapefruits, lemons, limes, melons, oranges, parsnips, passion fruit, peaches, pineapples, pumpkins, rutabagas, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips and yucca.

There are different methods of removing residues from your fruits and vegetables. To clean fresh fruits and vegetables, wash and scrub them thoroughly under running water. This works much better than soaking because running water has an abrasive effect that removes bacteria, chemical traces and dirt from the surfaces and crevices of fruits and vegetables.

Not all pesticide residues can be removed by washing. Dish detergent may remove more residues than water alone, but it is not designed for use to clean fruits and vegetables. It's not formulated to clean produce and the ingredients are not intended for direct application to food. Some detergent may remain on the outside of fruits and vegetables even after rinsing, which may affect the taste.


2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup chopped peeled peaches or chopped apple

1/4 cup raisins or snipped pitted whole dates

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup skim milk

In a medium saucepan bring water and salt to boiling. Stir in oats, peaches or apple, raisins, and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes.

Divide oat mixture among 4 bowls. Pour 2 tablespoons milk over each serving. 4 svg.



2 1/2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped

1 large cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped

5 to 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 1/4 cups tomato juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 slice bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed dry

Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, mix tomatoes, green pepper, onion, cucumber, vinegar, garlic, tomato juice, olive oil and bread. Put mixture in batches in a blender and blend on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until very smooth. Strain through a coarse strainer. Season with salt, pepper and vinegar as needed. Chill. Garnish soup with croutons and serve. Makes 6 servings.


2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup sugar

Combine oil and 1 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl; add egg and beat well. Stir in molasses. Combine flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, and ginger; add to molasses mixture, nixing well. Roll dough into 1-inch; roll each ball in remaining in remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place balls 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire rack to cool. Yield: 4 dozen


4 to 6 fresh ears of corn

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp if dried, crushed)

salt and pepper to taste

Peel husks back, but do not remove. Using a stiff brush or your fingers, remove silk from corn. Pull husks back up around corn. In a large saucepan or container, cover corn

(husks on) with cold water. Soak for at least 1 hour. Drain, shaking corn to remove excess water. Cover corn as much as possible with husks. If necessary, tie the tips of the husks together with wet kitchen string. Grill corn (with husks) on an uncovered grill directly over medium-hot coals about 25 minutes or till tender, turning several times. Carefully remove the husks and strings. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine margarine or butter, lemon juice, and thyme. Heat on the grill or stovetop till margarine is melted. Brush mixture over the corn before serving and look out! 4 to 6 servings.






8 slices sourdough bread

8 (1-ounce) slices mozzarella cheese

4 plum tomatoes, sliced

Basil leaves

3 tablespoons butter, softened

Top each of 4 bread slices with 1 slice cheese, tomatoes, basil and another slice cheese. Top with remaining bread slices. Spread butter on outside of sandwiches.

Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook, until underside is golden, 3 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook until other side is golden and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes more. Makes 4 servings.




4 ounces wild rice

2 ounces sour cream

2 ounces heavy cream

1 ounce butter


1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon whipped cream


Wash rice and boil in plenty of water for 35-40 minutes. Strain through colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well. Bring sour cream and heavy cream to boil and reduce by half. Reduce heat and stir in butter and cooked wild rice. Season with salt and lemon juice. Fold in whipped cream and parsley before serving.


24 ounces halibut filet (4 at ounces each)

8 ounces crab meat

2 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

6 slices dry white bread

3 tablespoons coconut flakes

Cut bread into small chunks, add parsley, herbs, and coconut flakes and grind together in a food processor. Butterfly halibut, fill each with 2 ounces crab meat, fold together and season with salt and lemon juice. Bread halibut filets in herb crust and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side.


1/2 cup carrots

1/2 celery

1/2 leek

2 shallots

2 apples, granny smith

2 slices pineapple

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 tablespoon flour

3 cups fish stock

3/4 cup white wine

3 cups cream

1 ounce butter

1 ounce port


1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon whipped cream

Cut vegetables and fruit into 1-inch dice and saute in olive oil for 4-5 minutes. Add curry and flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add fish stock, cream and white wine, bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, return liquid to the sauce pot and reduce to 1 1/2 cups. Before serving, whisk in cold butter, season with port, salt and lemon juice and fold in whipped cream.


Divide risotto in center of 4 plates, pour sauce around rice and put fish on top of rice. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serves 4


Makes eight


1 1/2 cups Flour

1 Tbsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 stick Butter or Margarine

1/4 cup Cream Cheese

5 Eggs (divided)

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

1 can Evaporated Milk

1/4 cup Sweet Onion

1/4 cup Parsley (or part Broccoli)

4 oz. shredded Swiss Cheese

Preheat oven to 400-F degrees. In a food processor, whirl the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Drop chunks of butter and cream cheese onto the flour mixture, and with quick bursts, incorporate it until it resembles fine crumbs. Add egg and vinegar, and whirl again just until it all holds together.

Spray individual tart - or cupcake - tins with a non-stick coating. Divide dough between the pans, pressing evenly over bottoms and up sides of pans.

Back to the food processor: Empty the can of milk, the onion, and the remaining four eggs into the bowl, and whirl until wet ingredients are mixed and the onion is chopped.

Add parsley (and/or broccoli), and whirl just until the vegetables are reduced to flecks of green. Watch carefully so you don't get an egg-based puree!

Now, divide cheese between the dough-filled pans, then carefully, carefully (so it won't escape and cause sticking), pour milk-and-cheese mixture over the cheese.

Set pan in preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325-F degrees. Bake about 30-40 minutes, watching carefully in the last few minutes so your tarts will be set in the

center but not overdone. (The tops should be lightly puffed and browned, but definitely not burnt!)

After their first ten minutes out of the oven, remove the tarts from their pans and allow to cool completely on a rack before refrigerating.


3 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

3 cups Bisquick

1 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal

1/2 pound butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together eggs and milk. Combine dry ingredients; add egg/milk mixture and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.


8 ounces dried kidney beans

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound ham hock

1 pound soup bone

1 onion, chopped

2 whole cloves

1/2 pound celery, sliced

2-3 carrots, sliced

1 potato, cubed

1/2 green pepper, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bunch parsley, minced

3 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

8 ounces tomato sauce

12 ounces hot Portuguese sausage, sliced

1 small cabbage, chopped

Soak beans overnight in 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Drain. Add remaining ingredients except sausage and cabbage and add 8 cups water. Simmer partially covered for 4 to 5 hours, adding water as necessary. Add sausage and simmer 30 minutes. Remove ham hock and soup bone. Remove meat from soup bone and return to stockpot. If possible, refrigerate to degrease (skimming off the fat once it has cooled and congealed). Then reheat and add cabbage and more water, if necessary. Simmer 30 minutes


Who doesn't enjoy the refreshing sweetness of ice-cold melon on a hot day? Watermelon, cantaloupe ... you name it.

Go to any farmers market or produce stand and you'll see piles of cantaloupes and watermelon, ripe for the picking. (Time for the truth: Cantaloupe is a fruit; watermelon is a vegetable, related to the cucumber.)

A cantaloupe's strong fragrance is a good indication of its ripeness. Melons picked before their prime won't ripen much more. A telltale sign of a cantaloupe that is not quite ripe is a green tint behind the melon's tan "webbing." A ripe cantaloupe will have a tan, slightly orange background.

For a pleasant surprise, leave out a whole cantaloupe. The musky aroma is a natural room freshener. Whole melons can be kept at room temperature for two or three days. After that, they can spoil quickly and should be sent to the refrigerator. Cut melon should be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator. Cut melons, good for about three days in the fridge, can absorb other food odors easily, so wrap pieces tightly or seal them in a storage container. Leaving the cut melon in halves helps keep it fresh longer.

Melons in salsa? The sweetness and coolness of the melon balance the spiciness of chilies in salsa. It's an invigorating combination in summer. Start with all of your favorite salsa ingredients, well chilled. Cut them up before chilling, or chill them whole. Then simply combine them in a bowl and adjust the seasoning to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Warning: When the ingredients are blended, the melon tends to become mushy. For best results, combine the ingredients about 15 minutes before serving.

Or toss red and/or yellow chunks with a dressing of simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water simmered until the sugar dissolves), lime juice and red onion. Either salsa makes a refreshing topper for tortilla chips as well as for grilled, broiled or baked chicken or fish.


1 pkg (2 pounds) brown sugar

2 cups white sugar

1/2 pound butter (or 3/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup oil)

1 (16 oz) jar peanut butter plus 1/3 jar (16 oz) peanut butter

6 eggs

1-1/2 tsp vanilla

4 tsp. baking soda

1 pkg (12 oz) chocolate chips

1/2 pound M & M's

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

9 cups rolled oats

Beat together the sugars and butter/oil/peanut butter. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the remaining ingredients, except the oats. Mix well. Add the oats and stir until well-blended. Use an ice cream scoop to form balls of dough, then gently flatten slightly on cookie sheet - 3 to 4 cookies per sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Jamie's changes:

3 pkgs (2 pounds) brown sugar

6 cups white sugar

1 pound butter, softened

1 cup oil

4 (16 oz) jar peanut butter (I use the old-fashioned natural kind)

12 eggs for hard cookies - (18 for normal people)

6 tsps vanilla

12 tsp. baking soda

2 pkgs (12 oz) chocolate chips (or 3 for normal people)

1/2 pound M & M's (optional - Don doesn't like them)

1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional - Don prefers not)

26 cups rolled oats


2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 ear of corn, blanched, cooled and kernels cut from cob

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

Butter lettuce leaves

1 bunch asparagus tips, blanched and cooled

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced on the diagonal

2 yellow squash, thinly sliced on the diagonal

4 small tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 medium orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips

3/4 pound mozzarella (fresh, water pack type) cheese, sliced (use more if you prefer)

* Note: This is not the firm form of mozzarella used for pizza. This is the fresh, moist form also called "water-pack" mozzarella that usually comes in 4- or 8-ounce balls.

* To make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar and juice. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl combine corn, onion and parsley with 2 tablespoons of the dressing; set aside relish and remaining dressing.

* Assemble salads: Line 4 dinner plates or large platter with lettuce leaves. In bundles, decoratively arrange vegetables on greens. Drizzle remaining dressing over greens and vegetables. Place cheese slices in center of plates. Sprinkle relish over cheese and vegetables. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


Tracing roots to ancient times

Nuts -- specifically, almonds and walnuts -- loom large in Central Valley agriculture, and pistachios are on the rise in Merced County.

Almonds and pistachios, both native to the Middle East, became staple foods for ancient Arabs and Persians. When the Romans conquered northern Africa, they adopted the local technique of using ground almond meal as a thickener in stews and sauces.

Centuries later, crusaders returning from the Holy Wars introduced another Arab concoction to Europe's kitchens -- marzipan, a sweet paste made from ground almonds and pulverized date sugar. Almond milk, the strained product of ground almonds infused with hot water, frequently replaced cow's milk in medieval recipes.

Walnuts are one of the most versatile nuts. To some, they have a slight bitter flavor. Pair them with sweeter or saltier foods to overcome this. They toast and fry to perfection, and their earthy flavor sets off greens, onions and leeks. Walnut butter works on roast pork that's been cooked with cranberries, or duck with oranges.

Pistachios are ideal for salads and in dishes where toasting isn't needed. Its green color is a plus for presentation. Add them to a curried chicken salad with apples.



Serves 4

8 cups water

7 ounces dry packaged soba noodles (200 grams) that contain both buckwheat and wheat flours

For sauce (see Notes):

2 cups water

2 tablespoons katsuo (dried bonito flakes)

3 tablespoons soy sauce or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)

For toppings:

1/2 cup grated daikon (Japanese radish)

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion

Fill a 3-quart pan two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil (about 8 cups water). In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil for sauce preparation. Place whole soba noodles into first pot of boiling water and allow to boil for about 4 minutes. Swish them around, but do not stir. Test one -- you want it to be a little chewy but not too floury-tasting or too soft. Remove from boiling water, place in a bowl of ice water immediately and swish noodles around.

Put bonito flakes into the small saucepan of boiling water and allow to boil for 2 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid in a bowl. To the strained liquid, add soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Cover bowl of sauce and place in freezer to cool unless you will be serving the soba hot (See Notes).

When sauce is cold, taste and add more soy sauce if desired. Then divide among 4 bowls (a little larger than Japanese rice bowls, but rice bowls will work).

Drain soba noodles and divide among bowls of sauce. Top each with daikon and green onion. Enjoy with chopsticks, and don't forget to slurp.

Notes: Bottled Soba Tsuyu sauce (available at Japanese groceries) also can be used, as can Kikkoman Memmi sauce (available at stores such as Safeway and through www.Webvan.com). You can also bring the soba to the table in individual mounds on a bamboo platter or mat (a sushi-making mat on top of a serving platter works well), along with the sauce in bowls for each person to put noodles into. And don't forget to provide chopsticks.

Oroshi soba is best served cold, but it also can be served hot. To serve soba hot, rinse soba noodles in ice water after boiling them. Then dip them in a pan of boiling water to heat through. Add them to warm katsuodashi sauce and top with cold daikon and green onion.


Other variations:

For Sansai soba (mountain vegetables), buy a bag of Sansai, found in the refrigerated section of Japanese groceries. They contain fern and bamboo shoots, among other vegetables. Boil the vegetables until tender. Then serve atop soba, either hot or cold.

Or try sprinkling pieces of the marinated, roasted seaweed called nori on top of the soba.

Tsukemono, Japanese pickles, often are served as side dishes.

To drink with soba, try Japanese beers such as Sapporo or Asahi Dry, or be very traditional and drink sake.

Tempura soba

Serves 4

4-8 cups canola oil

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided use

1 egg yolk

1 cup ice water

2 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1 zucchini, cut into 8 slices

1 onion, cut into 8 slices

8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Prepare oroshi soba as directed in accompanying recipe.

Heat oil to 350 degrees on medium to medium-high heat in a deep pot. Once at 350 degrees, lower heat to maintain this temperature. Mix 1 cup flour, egg yolk and ice water until just combined; batter should remain lumpy. One by one, dip vegetable slices and shrimp first into the remaining 1 cup flour. Next, dredge in batter and roll in panko bread crumbs. Lower gently into hot oil with a metal utensil or tongs. (If the oil is hot enough, you should hear crackling and popping sounds.) As soon as each piece turns a light golden brown, remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve atop soba noodles or as an accompaniment.


1/2 pound fettuccini, dry

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

4 to 5 ounces frozen shrimp, thawed (or scallops)

1/2 yellow onion, cut into strips

1/4 cup black olives, sliced

1/2 cup mild salsa

1/2 cup water

Pinch Mexican oregano

Pinch cumin

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare fettuccini according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and shrimp. Cook until garlic is golden. Add onion and olives and cook until onion is soft. Add cooked pasta, salsa, water, oregano and cumin. Cook until liquid is reduced by half. Sprinkle cheese over top and serve.


4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored and halved

1 small red onion

6 garlic cloves, halved

3 sprigs fresh basil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes collapse, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is thick, 1-1 1/2 hours.

Pass sauce through a food mill fitted with the finest blade. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary. Sauce can be refrigerated a week or frozen 2 months. Makes about 4 cups.

(Cook's note: This is the sauce to make at the height of the season and freeze in containers to use later in the year. Starting all of the ingredients in one pot at the same time is the secret. Substitute any type of tomato except cherry tomatoes. Serve with your favorite pasta.)


2 cups sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter or margarine

18 marshmallows

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

8 ounces peanuts, dry-roasted

Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches soft ball stage (234 degrees F.) Remove from heat; add chocolate and beat on medium speed of an electric mixer until chocolate melts. Stir in peanuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased waxed paper; cool thoroughly and store at room temperature. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen (about 21 servings).





Serves 2

1 cup flat-leaf parsley

1 cup fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons water

3 medium cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon pine nuts

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash and dry parsley and basil and chop in a food processor. Add lime juice, water and garlic. Blend to a sauce consistency, adding more water if too dry. Remove from processor and stir in pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and oil. Set aside.

Remove as much fat as possible from chicken and pound with a heavy skillet to a 1/2-inch thickness. Heat a non-stick skillet on high heat and add chicken. Brown 2 minutes, turn and salt and pepper cooked side. Brown 2 minutes on second side. Lower heat and saute another minute to cook through. Spoon pesto sauce over the top. Remove from heat and cover with a lid for 1 minute.


Serves 6

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

14 prune plums, pitted and cut in half (see Note)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

For rum whipped cream:

1 cup cold whipping cream

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons golden rum

1/2 cup sour cream

To make torten: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch springform pan.

Cream butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, beating until incorporated, and then the extracts. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; beat on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Spoon batter into prepared pan and arrange plum halves, cut side down and touching each other, over the top of the batter.

Drizzle top with lemon juice and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve warm or room temperature with rum whipped cream.

To make rum whipped cream: Place bowl and beater in freezer for at least 1 hour to thoroughly chill. Place cream, brown sugar and rum in the bowl. Whip on high speed with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Makes 2 1/4 cups. Note: The torten also can be made with peaches. Make two torten at once and freeze one.


Makes 32 squares

2 boxes pound cake mix (or ingredients to bake from scratch)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 cups whipping cream

1 cup sugar

2 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)

Bake each pound cake in a loaf pan according to directions. Cool. Using large serrated knife, trim crusts from all sides of cakes to make even rectangles. Slice each in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Cut each long section crosswise into 4 to make 16 small squares. Repeat with second loaf.

Using small serrated knife, cut a square from center of each cube, leaving 1/2-inch wall around edges. Remove cut sections carefully, making sure to leave enough cake in the bottom to hold filling.

Place squares on unlined baking sheet. Brush upper edges of cake squares with melted butter using a pastry brush. Place under broiler for a few minutes until toasted. Watch closely -- the squares brown quickly. Remove from oven and cool.

These can be made up to 2 days ahead. If storing, cake squares can be transferred to airtight containers or placed closely together on a baking sheet and covered with plastic wrap, and stored in the refrigerator.

Place whipping cream in bowl of electric mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Add sugar slowly and whip until slightly stiff. Place spoonful of whipped cream in each square, topping with sliced and whole berries, and serve.




Serves 20

1 (64-ounce) carton guava juice

1 (2-liter) bottle ginger ale

Ice cubes or shaped mold, like a heart or ring

Pink rose petals (from flowers that have not been sprayed with pesticides)

Combine juice and ginger ale in punch bowl. Add ice cubes to cover surface, and float rose petals on top.


2 c. sliced fresh strawberries

6 oz. graham cracker pie crust

4 serving pkg. vanilla cook-and-serve pudding mix

4 serving pkg. strawberry Jell-O

1 c. water

2 c. finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1/2 c. Cool Whip Lite

Evenly arrange strawberries in pie crust. In a medium saucepan, combine dry pudding mix, dry gelatin and water. Stir in rhubarb. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and rhubarb becomes soft, stirring often. Spoon hot mixture evenly over strawberries. Refrigerate for at least 2 hr. Cut into 8 servings. To serve, top each with 1 T. Cool Whip.


2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour

2 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt, if desired

2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. allspice

1/4 t. nutmeg

1 egg white

2 whole eggs

1 c. vegetable oil

1 1/4 c. dark-brown sugar

2 t. vanilla

2 1/2 c. diced rhubarb (about 3/4 lb.)

3/4 c. chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg white, whole eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture until just moistened. Stir in rhubarb and walnuts. Divide batter between two greased 9x5x3" loaf pans. Bake at 350 for about 50 min. or until it tests done with a pick. Cool on racks for 10 min. before turning out to cool completely.


3 c. frozen cut rhubarb

1 (20 oz.) can cherry pie filling

1 t. allspice


Mix all ingredients, except granola, together in baking dish. Top with granola. Bake at 375 until bubbly. --"Woman's Day" magazine


4 c. rhubarb, cut up

1/2 t. salt

1 1/3 to 2 c. sugar

3/4 c. flour

1 t. cinnamon

1/3 c. margarine

Place rhubarb in 10x6" baking dish. Sprinkle with salt. Measure sugar, flour and cinnamon into bowl. Add butter and mix thoroughly until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over rhubarb. Bake at 350 for 40 to 50 min. or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with milk, light cream or sweetened whipped cream. Serves 6.


4 c. rhubarb, cut fine

3 oz. pkg. Strawberry Jell-O

Scant 1 c. sugar

9 oz. pkg. white cake mix

1/3 c. melted margarine

Put rhubarb in 9" sq. baking pan. Sprinkle with Jell-O, then with sugar and finally cake mix. Drizzle melted margarine over top. Bake at 350 for 45 min. Serve hot or cold with ice cream.





1 cup rhubarb, cut up

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1 6 oz can frozen pink lemonade

Cook all ingredients. Strain. Chill. Just before serving add 16 oz lemon-lime soda. Need to triple recipe for large crowd.

Strained rhubarb can be used cup for cup like applesauce in a cake or cookie recipe.


4 cups cut-up rhubarb

1 cup sugar

1 package strawberry jell-O (small size box)

1 package yellow or white cake mix

1 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup melted butter

Put rhubarb in 9x13 baking pan. Add sugar and jell-O (sprinkle evenly over rhubarb). Sprinkle the cake mix over all and pour lukewarm water over top. Drizzle melted butter on and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.


1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 egg

1/2 c. orange juice

1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1 1/2 c. finely chopped rhubarb

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Beat together sugar, oil, egg and juice. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, rhubarb and walnuts. Stir to blend well. Pour into oiled bread pan. Bake in 325-degree oven for 45 to 55 min. or until brown. Makes 1 loaf or 12 1" slices.








1 cup flour

1/3 cup powdered

1/3 cup butter


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups finely chopped rhubarb, or whole raspberries

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour & powdered sugar. Cut in butter until it crumbles, add the teensiest bit more if too dry (you want it fairly dry). Press into greased baking pan. Bake 12 minutes. Combine sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, mix well. Fold in fruit to coat. Pour over crust. Bake 35 minutes.



1 egg

1/4 c. milk

Pinch salt

9" pastry shell

3/4 c. sugar

1 T. cornstarch

2 c. rhubarb, cut in 1" pieces


Beat egg, milk, salt, sugar and cornstarch together. Pile rhubarb in pie shell. Pour mixture over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 for 1 hr. "The Oregonian"


Cut fresh or frozen rhubarb into 1/2 to 1" pieces. Add 1/2 c. sugar (or more depending on how your sweet your rhubarb is) to each quart rhubarb which has been placed in a saucepan. Let stand to draw out juice for 2 hrs. Boil, and cook gently about 10 min








1 1/2 c. rhubarb cut into 1/2 " pieces

1/4 c. butter or margarine

1 c. firmly packed brown sugar

Single-layer yellow or white cake mix (like Jiffy)

Melt butter in bottom of a 9" sq. pan. Sprinkle brown sugar into melted butter. Add rhubarb. Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions and pour over rhubarb. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 min. or until tests done with pick.--"The Oregonian"


1/4 cup butter, divided

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese, divided

4 eggs

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 ears corn, blanched, cooled and kernels cut from cobs, divided

1/4 cup chopped and seed tomato

4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

In a small skillet over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter; saute onions 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

* Corn batter: In food processor fitted with a blade, puree 1 cup of ricotta, the eggs, flour, cornmeal, basil, salt and black and cayenne peppers until smooth. Add 2 ears of the corn kernels; pulse 3 or 4 times just to incorporate.

* Cakes: In a large skillet over medium heat melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Working in batches, spoon generous 1/4 cupfuls of batter into skillet, flattening slightly to form 3 inch cakes. Cook about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Keep cakes warm until all are prepared.

* Serve: On each of 4 dinner plates, overlap 3 cakes. Top each serving with the remaining ricotta in crumbles, corn, tomato and chives, dividing equally. Serve immediately. Serves 4 (3 cakes per serving).


Serves 2

2 teaspoons cooking oil

1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger

1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic

1 tablespoon coriander

1 small onion, small, diced

1/2 tablespoon lemongrass, minced

2 pods crushed cardamom

1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)

1 teaspoon or more Panang curry (available in Asian supermarkets)

1 cup short-grain rice

6 cups chicken broth, divided use

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch saffron soaked in white wine

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 pound whitefish, cut into cubes

8 shelled shrimp

4 mussels

2 sprigs basil

2 red chilies

Into a thick-bottomed pan on high heat, pour cooking oil. Add ginger, garlic, coriander, onion, lemongrass, cardamom, chili powder and Panang curry. Allow to cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

Reduce heat to medium, then add rice. Stir to coat well. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, melt in butter and cook 30 to 40 minutes on medium heat, adding an additional 3 1/2 cups broth by the 1/2 cup as it is absorbed by the rice. While cooking, taste and season with turmeric, more Panang curry and saffron soaked in white wine as needed. When almost cooked, add grated Parmesan and stir into rice.

In separate saucepan, bring remaining 2 cups chicken broth to a boil and add the fish cubes. When nearly cooked over medium heat, add the shrimp and mussels. Cook lightly in boiling broth until mussel shells open.

Dish out risotto onto plates. Place a portion of fish on each dish. Garnish with basil and a red chili quartered 2/3 down its length, then spread out like the petals of a flower.


1 1/4 pounds turkey Italian sausage, either hot or mild (about 5 individual sausages)

1 1/2 pounds red-skin potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

* Spicy Apricot Sauce:

1/2 cup apricot preserves

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup commercial teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cook the sausages on a barbecue grill. Be careful not to overcook, or sausages will be dry. (Alternately, the sausages can be cooked in a microwave oven according to package directions.) While the sausages are cooking, boil the cubed potatoes for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

In a microwave-safe container, combine the ingredients for the spicy apricot sauce. Cook 1 minute on high power (100 percent), stir and cook another minute on high power. Pour about 1/3 cup of the spicy apricot sauce over the potatoes and toss to coat well. Serve the remaining sauce on the side with the potatoes and sausages. 4 svgs.


8 dried apricots

12 ripe apricots, halved and pitted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

3 to 4 cups diced smoked chicken

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Lettuce leaves

In a small saucepan, cover dried apricots with water; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes to plump. Drain; cool under cold, running water. Chop coarsely and set aside.

In food processor or blender, combine 4 of the fresh apricots and lemon juice; puree.

In large bowl, combine mayonnaise, parsley and chicken. Add apricot puree and plumped apricots; mix to coat chicken. Salt and pepper to taste. To serve, arrange lettuce on individual salad plates; top with chicken mixture. Garnish with remaining fresh apricot halves. Serves 4.


1/2 small onion

1 garlic clove

3/4 cup cilantro

1 can (28 to 32 ounces) can whole tomatoes, not drained

3 1/2 ounces Anaheim chilies, stems, ribs and seeds removed

1 teaspoon horseradish

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a food processor or blender, chop the onion, garlic and cilantro. Add the tomatoes, chilies, horseradish and salt. Process a few minutes until completely pulverized. This tastes better the next day.


1/4 cup shortening or salad oil

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or chuck

1 large onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced or mashed

1 can (15 ounces) pear-shaped tomatoes

1 can (12 ounces) whole kernel corn

2 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup water

1 cup pitted black olives, drained

* Cornmeal topping:

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 eggs, beaten

Heat shortening or salad oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the meat, onion, green pepper and garlic together until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, corn, salt, chili powder and pepper. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Blend the 1/2 cup cornmeal with 1 cup water. Stir cornmeal mixture into meat mixture and simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in olives and turn into a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

Spread cornmeal topping over meat. Bake uncovered in a 375-degree oven for 40 minutes.

Cornmeal topping: In a saucepan, scald the milk with the salt and butter. Gradually add the 1/2 cup cornmeal and cook, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and eggs.


Makes 30 pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup short-grain rice

2 cups vegetable stock, heated

1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted

1/2 cup black sesame seeds, toasted

8 ounces crystallized ginger, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (see Note)

In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute rice, making sure all grains are lightly coated with oil. Lower heat to medium and add vegetable stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to let absorb before adding more. Continue cooking and stirring for about 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove rice from heat and let cool. Pour regular and black sesame seeds on separate plates and set aside.

Roll a spoonful of rice around a piece of ginger and form it into a ball about 1 inch in diameter. Roll rice ball in sesame seeds until completely coated, alternating colors for each ball. Repeat with remaining ingredients. If making a day ahead, place rice balls in an airtight container and refrigerate.

To serve, make a pyramid by placing balls in a square formation on a leaf-covered serving platter. Each side of the square should have four balls. Fill in the square. Stack another layer on top of the square just in from the outside edge. Each side of this square should have one fewer rice ball on each side. Continue until a pyramid shape is formed.

Note: Instead of crystallized ginger, rice balls also can be filled with chopped green onion, dried fruit or diced ham.


* Selection: Choose well-shaped heavy tomatoes that feel slightly soft when squeezed gently.

* Storage: Store them stem end up in a cool spot on a shaded windowsill or countertop. (Note: Do NOT refrigerate uncut tomatoes; that robs them of taste and aroma. Their flavor begins to deteriorate at temperatures below 54 degrees. Store them on a tray or in a bowl at room temperature.)

* Preparation: The best ways to eat vine-ripe tomatoes are the simplest: on a sandwich with white bread and mayonnaise or diced and tossed with cucumbers and green onions, salt and pepper.

* Peeling: The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to drop them into boiling water for five to 15 seconds, depending on ripeness. Remove, let cool and the skin will slip off. (Note: Carefully cut an -- through the skin on the bottom of the tomato before blanching to make removing the peel easier.

* Seeding: Cut tomato in half horizontally. Hold each half over a bowl, cut side down and gently squeeze out the seeds.

* Nutrition: Tomatoes are low in calories (35 for one medium tomato). rich in lycopene and vitamin C, and are a good source of vitamin A and B-complex vitamins and potassium.

* History: Tomatoes, which still grow wild along the coastal plains of Ecuador and Peru, were first cultivated by the people of the Caribbean, the Incas and the Aztecs who called the fruit "tomatl." They were carried back to Europe shortly after Cortez conquered Mexico's Aztecs.

'Love apples':

* Because tomatoes are so round and plump and juicy and so completely foreign from Europe's native turnips, cabbages and carrots, people assumed the New World fruit was an aphrodisiac. Such a racy reputation inspired the French to call tomatoes "pommes d'amour," and young men presented his sweetheart with "love apples," hoping it would inspire more than mere affection.

* Straight-laced Puritans were afraid that eating tomatoes would arouse their carefully checked passions.

* Tomato's lusty notoriety lingered into the 20th century when the term "hot tomato" entered American slang as "a sexy female."



1 cup plain yogurt

Salt and pepper

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1 large tomato, finely chopped

1/8 onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cilantro leaves

Whisk yogurt, adding a little water if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cumin. Combine with tomato and onion and pour into serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve to accompany spicy dishes. Makes 2 cups.


To serve eight


6 oz. Cream Cheese

1/2 tsp. freshly ground Pepper

2 Tbsp. Horseradish



2 or 3 large Flour Tortillas

1 pound (or less) Roast Beef, sliced very thin

4 Tomatoes

Fresh Spinach

Soften cream cheese in a small bowl; beat with pepper and horseradish, adding milk by the teaspoonful until the mixture reaches a good spreading consistency.

Moisten both sides of the tortillas with water, then spread with cheese mixture.

On top of the cheese, make even layers of beef and vegetables. Then roll up, wrap in damp toweling (cheesecloth or paper), and seal inside plastic wrap. Refrigerate, then cut the wraps into 2- to 3-inch pinwheels to serve.


1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup couscous

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 of 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 cup radishes, sliced

Salt to taste

2 cups spinach leaves

Heat walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes until walnuts are slightly toasted. Set aside and reserve.

In a covered 2-quart saucepan over high heat, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in couscous and cumin; cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand until couscous absorbs liquid, about 5 minutes. With a fork, fluff couscous. Chill 15 minutes.

Stir in juice, vinegar, bell pepper, cucumber, radishes and walnuts; season with salt. Serve on a bed of spinach. Makes 4 servings.


1/4 cup corn or olive oil

4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch-thick sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

4 large cloves garlic, crushed

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

4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet. Add zucchini and stir until lightly browned. Push to one side of pan. Add onion and garlic to other side of pan, saute until slightly golden. Sprinkle with basil and fry over low heat until zucchini is crisp-tender. Gently stir in tomatoes, just to heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings. (Note: Using yellow and red tomatoes in this dish would make it especially colorful.)



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