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Recipes from Spike & Jamie
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Contents Disk 79
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).
AHI POKE DIP 03
AHI TUNA POKE ON WON TON CRISP 03
ALMOND BUTTER CRUNCH 03
BAKED CARROTS and APPLES 04
BAKED HERB POLENTA 04
BARLEY STROGANOFF STEW 05
BRANDY PUNCH 05
BREAKFAST CASSEROLE 05
BUTTERFLY CHICKEN 06
BUTTERFLY MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN BREA 07
BUTTERFLY SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN 07
CANDY CORN POPCORN 08
CHAMPAGNE PUNCH 09
CHICKEN FANDANGO 09
CHILI BEEF IN SPANISH RICE RING 10
CHOCOLATE ANGEL PIE 11
CORNISH HENS WITH CRANBERRY BRANDY S 11
CRAB CHEESE SALSA DIP 12
CRANBERRY CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL 12
CRANBERRY SALAD 12
CUCUMBER DISKS WITH CHILI SHRIMP 12
DARK FRUITCAKE 13
DOBOS TORTE 14
FOOLS TOFFEE 15
FRUIT PUNCH 15
GOURMET CHRISTMAS POPCORN 16
HOLIDAY FRUIT PUNCH 16
HOLLY WREATHS 16
HONEY HOT CHOCOLATE 17
HONEY MULLED CIDER 17
HORSE DOOVER INFORMATION 18
HORSE DOOVER RECIPES 20
HOT CIDER RUM PUNCH 24
KNOCK YOU NAKEDS 25
LEMON SQUARES 25
LIGHT ORANGE SCAMPI 26
MERINGUE A LA PRINCESA 26
NICKS CRAB AND PINE NUT LASAGNA 27
NUTS INFORMATION 28
OATMEAL CRANBERRY COOKIES 29
PARMESAN POTATO STICKS 30
PARMESAN STARS 31
PASTA WITH PECANS AND SPINACH 31
PASTA WITH SMOKED SALMON AND SUGAR S 32
PERSIMMON RAISIN NUT BREAD 32
PINEAPPLE PUNCH 33
PREGO MIRACLE LASAGNA 33
RASPBERRY CREAM PUFFS 33
ROASTED APPLESAUCE 34
SAVORY DRIED PLUM AND SAUSAGE OMELET 34
SEAFOOD GUMBO 35
SIMPLE SYRUP 36
SMOKED TROUT PATÉ 36
SOUR APPLE MARTINI 37
SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE 37
SOUTHERN COMFORT PUNCH 38
SPARKLING CIDER POACHED FISH 38
SPICY SEARED AHI TUNA 39
SYRUP FOR PANCAKES 40
TEXAS CHILI 40
THYME AND PEPPERCORN SEARED TUNA 41
WILD RICE CHESTNUT STUFFING 42
ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE 43
AHI POKE DIP
4 tablespoons pickled ginger (gari shoga ) chopped (available in Asian markets, usually in the refrigerated section)
4 tablespoons green onion, chopped
4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch of white pepper
4 tablespoons cream
6 tablespoons raw tuna (sushi quality), finely diced
Mix all but last 2 ingredients together. Can be stored up to 1 week. Just before serving, whip the cream and fold it and the tuna into the mixture.
AHI TUNA POKE ON WON TON CRISP
For wasabi cream:
1 tablespoon wasabi powder (Japanese green horseradish, available at Asian markets)
2 teaspoons water
3 tablespoons sour cream
For ahi poke:
8 ounces ahi tuna, diced small
2 green onions, diced small
1 teaspoon finely diced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup canola oil, or more as needed for deep frying
12 won ton wrappers
For wasabi cream: Combine wasabi powder and water into a smooth paste; then mix in sour cream. Set aside.
For poke: In a small bowl, thoroughly combine ahi tuna, green onions, fresh ginger, soy sauce and brown sugar. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saute pan. Cut wrappers in half from corner to corner and deep fry them until golden brown and crispy. For presentation, place some poke on each won ton crisp and serve topped with a small dollop of wasabi cream.
ALMOND BUTTER CRUNCH
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/2 c butter -- no substitutes
1/2 c sugar
1 T light corn syrup
Lightly spray 8 inch square pan with Pam Combine all ingredients in a nonstick 10 inch skillet or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly until mixture turns golden brown about the color of caramels, about 5 or 6 minutes. Working quickly, spread candy in prepared pan. Cool about 15 minutes or until firm. Break into pieces.
This recipe can be doubled but please use a bigger pan to cook it in. If you do this, you will need to boil the mixture longer. Approximately 14-16 minutes. DON'T add the nuts until the last 4 minutes of cooking time or they will get a little darker than you want.
I used macadamia nuts in the 4th batch and it is absolutely AWESOME!!!
BAKED CARROTS and APPLES
8 medium carrots, pared and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 (20oz.) can pie sliced apples, drained
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBsp. butter
Cook carrots in boiling, salted water till tender. Combine carrots and apples; pour into a 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle with sugar; dot with butter. Dash carrots and apples with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 to 1 hour. Makes 6 servings...
BAKED HERB POLENTA
12 ounces instant polenta
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 ounces unsalted butter
10 short bamboo skewers
20 thin slices prosciutto
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook polenta according to package directions. When almost cooked, mix in parsley, garlic, Parmesan and butter. Pour polenta into a lightly oiled pan measuring 11 inches by 7 inches by 2 inches, and smooth surface with a spatula. Set aside to cool for about 1 hour.
Soak skewers in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain.
Turn polenta out onto a work surface and cut into 20 uniform, bite-size cubes. Wrap each cube in a slice of prosciutto and thread 2 cubes onto each skewer. Place skewers on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve hot, with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
Note: Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate, then bake and serve.
BARLEY STROGANOFF STEW
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 C finey chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (10 1/2-oz.) can condensed beef broth
1/2 C water
1/2 C pearled barley
2 TB ketchup
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt, dash of pepper
2 C sliced mushrooms
1/2 C sour cream
Mix all ingredients except the sour cream in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Turn off heat then stir in sour cream
Juice of 2 oranges (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Juice of 6 lemons (about 1 to 11/2 cups)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 pint (1 cup) triple sec or clear Curacao
1 (750ml) bottle, or about 3 cups, brandy
1 to 2 tablespoons grenadine
1 (1-quart) bottle seltzer or sparkling water
In a large pitcher, combine orange and lemon juice and powdered sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add triple sec or curacao, brandy and grenadine. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Place in serving bowl or punch bowl. Add seltzer just before serving.
6 large croissants sliced lengthwise
1 (18-ounce) jar orange marmalade
1/2 cup of peach preserves
3 ounces orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon almond extract
Thin orange slices and strawberries for garnish
Place lower halves of croissants in buttered baking dish.
Beat together orange marmalade, peach preserves orange juice and orange zest. Spoon two-thirds of mixture over croissant bottoms. Place croissant tops on bottoms.
Beat together eggs, half-and-half and 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Pour over croissants. Spoon remaining marmalade mixture over croissants to glaze.
Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes to firm up before serving. Garnish with thin orange slice twists and strawberries.
Butterfly technique dresses up chicken
BY JAN NIX
Boneless chicken breast is one of the most versatile low-calorie foods around. Sure, they're easy to grill or saute for a quick everyday entree. But for an elegant dinner to celebrate the season's year end, now is high time to dress them up.
Give them a fresh look by tucking a savory filling inside the breasts and rolling them into bundles. You can do this a day ahead. When it's party time, pop them in the oven and you're home free.
Well, not quite.
Because the filling is concealed, you need to slice the breasts before serving. Whether you serve them on individual plates or on a platter for buffet service, arrange each breast in its original shape, overlapping the slices slightly to show off the filling.
To prepare the chicken for stuffing, start with boneless, skinless breast halves, 5 to 6 ounces each. Pull off the small muscle (fillet) from the underside and save for other uses.
To butterfly a half breast, hold it firmly on a cutting board with the palm of your free hand on top. Angle a chef's knife almost parallel to the board, then move the blade back and forth in a slicing motion. Cut the breast almost all the way through, then open it up like a book. Place the breast halves between wax paper and pound gently to an even thickness, about 3/8 inch, with the smooth side of a mallet.
In my two recipes (which see), the one with Mediterranean flavors would be good to serve with polenta. Rice is a natural accompaniment to the sweet-and-sour chicken breasts.
BUTTERFLY MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dry white wine or dry sherry
1/2 cup chopped cooked spinach, squeezed dry
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
3 thin slices (25 grams each) prosciutto, halved crosswise
For tomato sauce:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
Salt and pepper
Butterfly the chicken breasts. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a wide frying pan over medium-high heat. Add green onions and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, Italian seasoning and wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid. Continue cooking until pan juices evaporate. Stir in spinach and remove from heat. Let mixture cool, then stir in cheese.
Place chicken on work surface. On each piece, place a half slice of prosciutto. Mound a sixth of the spinach mixture across one wide end of breast. Roll up breast; do not fold in sides. Place rolls, seam side down, in an oiled shallow baking pan. Brush remaining 2 teaspoons oil over rolls. Cover and chill as long as overnight.
Prepare sauce: Heat oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes. Simmer until most of the pan juices have evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This sauce is slightly chunky. If you prefer a smoother sauce, puree in a blender.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon a little sauce over each roll. Bake chicken, uncovered, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 30 to 35 minutes. Cut each breast into 4 or 5 slices and rearrange in its original shape. Reheat remaining tomato sauce and spoon over each serving. Makes 6 servings.
BUTTERFLY SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN BREASTS
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
For stuffing mixture:
6 dried black mushrooms
1/2 pound medium raw shrimp, shelled, deveined and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup sliced water chestnuts
1 tablespoon minced ginger
For sweet-and-sour sauce:
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 green onion, cut into 2-inch slivers
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Butterfly the chicken breasts. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Soak mushrooms in warm water to cover for 30 minutes; then drain, discard stems and thinly slice caps. Place mushrooms in a bowl with shrimp, water chestnuts and ginger; mix well.
Place chicken on work surface. On each piece, place 1/6 of shrimp mixture. Roll up breasts; do not fold in sides. Place rolls, seam side down, in an oiled shallow baking pan. Cover and chill as long as overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake chicken, uncovered, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile prepare sauce: Combine vinegar, water, brown sugar, ketchup, salt and hot pepper sauce in a small pan; bring to a boil. Add green onion and cook for 30 seconds. Add cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens.
Cut each breast into 4 or 5 slices and rearrange in its original shape. Spoon sauce over each serving.
CANDY CORN POPCORN
4 qts. Popped corn - 1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter or margarine - 2 c. whole pecans (opt.)
1 1/3 c. granulated sugar - 3 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. light corn syrup - 1 1/2 c. spiced gum drops
Mix popcorn, nuts, marshmallows and spice drops in a large mixing bowl. Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan and add sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring and simmer 3 minutes. Add vanilla and blend well. Pour over popcorn mixture, mixing well. Let stand 2 minutes to cool. With hands dampened in cool water, shape into candy cane or wreath or tree or whatever. Arrange on a baking sheet to set. Wrap with plastic wrap and store in a cool dry place.
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup orange liqueur
2 bottles (750 milliliters each) brut champagne
1 quart frozen seedless grape clusters (see note in next recipe)
In a large pitcher or small punch bowl, combine halved grapes and orange liqueur; let stand 30 minutes in refrigerator. Pour chilled champagne over grapes and liqueur. Add frozen grape clusters to punch.
1 chicken, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10 green olives
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup white wine
leaves from one small sprig of rosemary, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
Over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pan, saute chicken pieces in olive oil until lightly browned. Remove chicken and reserve. In the same pan, add onion and celery. Saute until the onion has just caramelized. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add rest of ingredients, except for chicken. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 7 minutes. Add chicken and allow to simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes, or until heated through.
CHILI BEEF IN SPANISH RICE RING
2 pounds boneless beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 1/2 butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup tomato juice
1 2/3 cups instant rice
1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas
Combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Dredge beef cubes in seasoned flour and brown in shortening or your choice of oil. Pour off drippings and add 1-cup water. Cover tightly and cook slowly (simmer) 2 1/2 hours.
After beef has cooked 2 hours, prepare rice ring; Cook onion and green pepper in butter or margarine; add 1/2-teaspoon chili powder, 1/4-teaspoon salt, 1-cup water and the tomato juice. Bring to a boil and add rice and cover tightly. Remove pan from heat
and let stand 5 to 7 minutes.
Cook peas according to package directions. Drain and add peas to cooked rice and mix lightly. Pack peas and rice mixture in a greased 1 1/4-quart ring mold; let stand 2 minutes or so. Unmold ring onto a heated platter and fill with chili beef cubes. Thicken
cooking liquid with flour for gravy. Serves 6 to 8 people.
3 sm. pkgs. Tortillas (soft taco shells)
3 lb. Hamburger
48 oz. Spaghetti sauce
1 Onion, diced
1 Tb. Salt
1 Tb. Garlic powder
2 Tb. Chili powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1 c Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 c Mozzarella, shredded
Brown burger w/onion; drain. Add sauce and spices - simmer awhile. Add cheddar cheese; melt in thoroughly. Cool Completely. Add mozzarella. In small fry pan, heat tortilla on both sides on medium-low heat till pliable. Place spoonful of filling on center of tortilla. Fold envelope style (sides in, top and bottom down). Hold shut with toothpicks.*** Fry until golden on low heat in small amount of oil. *** Can be frozen - bring to room temperature before frying.
CHOCOLATE ANGEL PIE
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pecans
1 bar (4 ounces) Baker's German Sweet Chocolate
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
For shell: Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla and nuts. Spoon into a greased 8-inch pie pan to form shell, building up sides. Bake in preheated 300-degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes.
For filling: Melt chocolate with water and remove from heat. Add vanilla and cool. Whip cream and fold in chocolate mixture. Spoon into cooled shell and refrigerate for three hours. Prepare the day you're serving it.
CORNISH HENS WITH CRANBERRY BRANDY SAUCE
1 Cornish game hen, thawed
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup apricot brandy
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon butter
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Wash hen and with a large, sharp chef's knife, cut through breastbone and open bird fully. Turn bird over and cut through back to split hen into two pieces. Wash bird, season with salt and pepper.
Place hen pieces in a baking pan large enough to hold pieces in one layer. Bake at 325 degrees until cooked through and skin is browned, 45 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil and set aside.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, warm brandy and cranberries. Carefully light a match and flame brandy. When flame subsides, add balsamic vinegar and honey and cook, stirring, until thickened. Serve over hens.
CRAB CHEESE SALSA DIP
1 lb imitation crabmeat
1 lb cream cheese
1 lb salsa
Mix all three ingredients together in saucepan or crock pot. Heat thoroughly on low.
CRANBERRY CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
1 sugar cube
1 splash cognac
1 splash bitters
1 splash cranberry juice
41/2 ounces champagne or sparkling wine
Place sugar cube in champagne glass. Add the cognac, bitters and cranberry juice. Top off with champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a fresh raspberry.
2 cups fresh cranberries, finely ground (I use a food processor)
1 cup sugar
5 cups miniature marshmallows
Mix together and let sit overnight.
2 cups grapes, halved (and seeded, if necessary)
3 apples, diced
1 8 oz. tub frozen whipped topping
CUCUMBER DISKS WITH CHILI SHRIMP
3 large hothouse cucumbers
20 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
Trim away root end of scallions. Cut scallions into 1-inch lengths, then slice lengthwise into long, thin shreds. Place in bowl of ice water to curl, about 10 minutes. Dry on paper towels. Using a zester, remove zest from lemon and lime in long, fine strips. Slice cucumber into rounds 1/2-inch thick. Trim to make uniform rounds using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter. This also will remove peel.
Place cucumber rounds on a serving platter. Top each with a shrimp, then drizzle with chili sauce and garnish with scallion curls and lemon and lime strips.
Note: Prepare scallion curls and zest strips, and peel and devein shrimp 1 hour ahead. Keep these ingredients covered and refrigerated. Assemble dish just before serving.
2 cups golden raisins
2 cups currants
2 cups dried apricot halves
2 cups dried figs, halved
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup pitted dates
4 cups walnuts, in large pieces
2 cups pecans, in large pieces
3 oranges, grated zest only
3 lemons, grated zest only
1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup molasses
2 cups brandy (or substitute apple juice or water)
1/2 cup orange liqueur (or orange juice)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound butter
3 cups dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
THE DAY BEFORE combine all dried fruits, nuts and zest in a mixing bowl. Add the candied ginger and the spices and toss well to mix. Add molasses and liquids and mix well. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 275F. Grease 4 (9-by-5-by-3-inch) loaf pans, line them with waxed paper and grease the paper. Coat lightly with flour. Sprinkle 1 cup flour over fruit mixture and stir it. Combine the remaining 3 cups of flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt and sift
them together on a sheet of waxed paper. Cream the butter, add the brown sugar and beat well. Add eggs, 2 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add all dry ingredients and beat until batter is blended and smooth. Pour batter over fruit, mix well until everything is coated with batter. Divide batter among loaf pans, filling to 1/2 inch below top. Bake for 2 hours. Don't worry if they crack on top. Cakes are done when a straw inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 4 Cakes. 40 servings
6 eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate Butter Frosting
Grease and flour 4 round layer pans, 8 or 9 x 1-1/2 inches.* Heat oven to 325°F. Beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes; pour into large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in flour, baking powder and salt alternately with water and vanilla on low speed. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Gradually fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites. Divide batter among pans. Bake until top springs back when touched lightly in center, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool cake 5 minutes. Loosen edges of layers with knife; invert on wire racks. Cool completely. Prepare
Chocolate Butter Frosting. Slice each layer of cake to make 8 layers. Reserve layer with smoothest top for top of cake. Fill 7 layers with 1/3 cup frosting each. Frost side of cake with remaining frosting. Prepare Caramel Glaze. Place reserved layer on ungreased cookie sheet. Pour glaze evenly over layer, spreading to edges (glaze should be handled carefully when hot, but becomes brittle when cool). Working quickly, snip into 12 to 16 wedges with kitchen scissors. Arrange wedges on top of filled layers.
*If you have only 2 round layer pans, cover and refrigerate remaining half of batter until first layers are baked.
Chocolate Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter softened
5 ounces unsweetened melted chocolate (cool)
5 cups powdered sugar
5 to 6 tablespoons cold coffee or water
Mix butter and chocolate. Stir in powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of the coffee. Beat until smooth. Stir in additional coffee until frosting is of spreading consistency.
Heat 1/2 cup sugar over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons butter.
1 c. butter (no substitutes)
1 c. dark brown sugar
36 saltine crackers
11 1/2 oz. milk chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, blend butter and brown sugar
together. Heat to boiling and boil 4 minutes. Cover 10x13" jelly roll pan
with foil and butter the foil lightly. Place a single layer of saltines
closely together on foil. Pour butter mixture over crackers, spreading
evenly. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes. After removing from oven,
immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Allow chocolate to soften and
spread evenly over cooked crackers. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.
Refrigerate until cool. Break into pieces. Store in the refrigerator; will
keep 1-2 weeks.
2 (6-ounce) cans frozen orange juice concentrate
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
6 cups cold water
1 (10-ounce) package frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
2 large ripe bananas
3 cups ginger ale
Ice cubes or ice ring Dissolve orange juice and lemonade concentrates in cold water in a punch bowl or large serving bowl. Place the strawberries and bananas in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the fruit into the liquid.
Can be made to this point up to 4 hours ahead and refrigerated. Just before serving, stir and add the ginger ale and ice. Serve cold.
GOURMET CHRISTMAS POPCORN
popped popcorn, whatever amount you want
a few ounces each of red and green candy melt discs (the kind you buy for molding)
In a small bowl, melt the red candy discs in the microwave, only about 30
seconds at a time, and stirring before you heat it more.
Spread popped corn out on a large tray, no more than about 3 pieces deep, then, using a spoon, drizzle the melted candy over the popcorn. Now melt the green discs and do the same thing. You don't want it to be coated, just try to get a little drizzle of it on most of the pieces. Do not stir!!! Let this cool just the way it is, some of it will be in clusters, which is what you want. If you can make room in your fridge or freezer, this will set up
really quick, otherwise let it sit at room temp until set. Store tightly covered, or bag it up real fancy like it cost you a fortune. Since that time, I've also made this by melting semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, instead of the candy discs, since I prefer the flavor of REAL chocolate!
HOLIDAY FRUIT PUNCH
3 cups white grape juice
2 cups cranberry juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 quart lemon lime soda, or 1 bottle (750-milliliter) champagne
1 quart frozen seedless grape clusters (see note)
Mix juices in a small punch bowl; dissolve sugar in mixture.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, add soda or champagne and frozen grapes.
Note: To freeze grapes, rinse and drain grapes. Cut into small clusters of 3 to 6 grapes and place on dish towel or several layers of paper towels to absorb as much water as possible. Place on baking tray. Freeze 6 hours or longer until completely frozen.
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine
1 16 oz. bag miniature marshmallows
green food coloring
1 box frosted corn flakes
cinnamon red hots
Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter or margarine over medium-low heat, then dump in a 16 oz. bag of miniature marshmallows, stir constantly until all the marshmallows have melted, then add green food coloring until you get the desired color. Remove from heat and stir in one box of frosted corn flakes. Next you have to work very fast. Spray some cooking spray on your hands and mold the mixture into wreaths onto parchment paper. Decorate with red hots. I used to make one or two large wreaths, but this year I got 10 individual 6-inch sizes.
HONEY HOT CHOCOLATE
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups hot low-fat milk
To make chocolate syrup: In small saucepan, combine honey and cocoa; mix well. Stir in water; cook over low heat 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Set chocolate syrup aside until ready to serve.
To serve, stir chocolate syrup into hot milk.
Note: Chocolate syrup may be prepared in advance and stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. For single serving of hot chocolate, stir 1/4 cup chocolate syrup into 3/4 cup hot milk.
HONEY MULLED CIDER
1 large lemon, cut in half
1 medium orange, cut in half
16 whole cloves
4 cups apple juice
1/2 cup honey
4 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Cut two slices, 1/4-inch thick, from each lemon and orange half.
Insert whole cloves into slices; set aside. Squeeze juice from remainder of fruit halves into medium non-reactive saucepan. Stir in apple juice and honey; mix well. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger and reserved fruit slices. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.
Serve immediately in heatproof serving bowl.
HORSE DOOVER INFORMATION
How to throw a nibbler's party
By KRISTIN EDDY
(Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2000)
Put on your party hats; New Year's Eve is on the horizon -- the end of one year, the start of another, and the merciful climax of the holiday entertaining season.
Even those of us who are reluctant to so much as plug in a Crock-Pot the rest of the year somehow get the urge to clear off the dining room table, dust off the good wine glasses and work some magic in the kitchen during December.
Still, there's no reason to make entertaining exhausting. Sit-down dinners are special, but more loved ones can make your invitation list if the eats are limited to hors d'oeuvres. Think trays of nibbles, pop-in-your mouth bundles of flavor that give the cook a chance to be creative and the guests something to nosh on.
Best of all are the hors d'oeuvres that can be prepared in advance and frozen until party time, requiring only reheating in the oven or a turn on the griddle.
Kitchen conversations start with nibbles -- and so do good New Year's Eve parties.
The emphasis is on smallness -- something that can be enjoyed in a bite or two, no more.
So we are not talking about a heaping plate of nachos here, or any of the gargantuan, appetite-killing appetizers that appear on restaurant menus these days. Nor are we talking about the kind of party buffet most of us are schooled in: heaping helpings of dips and chips; cheese and crackers; cookies and cakes.
Of course, those are good, too.
Food is supposed to be easy for the holidays when you're entertaining.
For example, transform wild mushroom, walnut and goat cheese empanadas into a simple snack with the use of frozen puff pastry.
With the wrapping made easy, the sky is the limit with other fillings such as ground lamb, garlic and rosemary; smoked chicken with salsa; and braised rabbit with dried figs.
Hors d'oeuvre, by the way, is the $10 French name for appetizers served with cocktails, the high-society equivalent of chips and beer nuts. It is pronounced "or derv."
The literal translation from the French is "outside (hors) the work (d'oeuvre)" -- the "work" being, in this case, the main course or dinner. It is correct to use hors d'oeuvre without an "s" at the end to describe several snacks, but the familiar Americanization is hors d'oeuvres.
Some tips for throwing an hors d'oeuvres-only party:
Allow 10 to 14 hors d'oeuvres per guest.
Allow guests to mingle with a drink before you begin passing the munchies.
The first appetizers out should be cold or room temperature, letting others warm in the oven.
Cocktail plates can be difficult for guests to manage, so anything that can be eaten with fingers right from the tray is easiest. If plates are used -- a necessity for messier morsels -- try to make hors d'oeuvres that can be eaten in a bite or two without a cocktail fork, which adds another element to the balancing act. Offer plenty of napkins, regardless.
When placing a platter of nibbles, set out only small portions at a time, then keep refreshing the platter to prevent uneaten food from getting stale.
Not every one of the nibbles has to be elaborate. Serve fast, three-ingredient mixes, such as cashews with sun-dried cherries and coconut; warm walnut halves with garlic oil and chili powder; and mixed nuts with minced candied ginger and rosemary.
Tartlet shells from "Martha Stewart's Hors d'oeuvres Handbook" (recipe on Page E-2) can be filled with any number of savory ingredients.
Consider using miniature crepes, fresh tortillas, frozen puff pastry, won-ton wrappers and sturdy, good-quality white bread as the base for toppings and fillings. These can be frozen safely and warmed up easily.
Don't feel obliged to make everything from scratch. Many fine salsas and bottled sauces at the store can dress up plainer ingredients such as deli meats, cheese rounds or raw vegetables.
Fancier foods, such as smoked salmon, sliced beef tenderloin or poached shrimp, need only a simple dipping sauce for accompaniment. Also, check supermarkets and food clubs for bulk frozen hors d'oeuvres to supplement your offerings.
Key point: Remember that a main goal of throwing a party is to make sure you enjoy the evening as much as your guests.
HORSE DOOVER RECIPES
Finger food for your friends
(Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2000)
These hors d'oeuvres will jumpstart your New Year's Eve bash:
TOMATO, BASIL AND OLIVE TARTLETS
(Yield 3 dozen)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
11/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
4 ounces Emmentaler or other Swiss cheese, grated
3 ripe tomatoes, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
2 ounces (about 25) black olives, pitted, thinly sliced
1/2 cup milk
Salt, freshly ground pepper
For dough: Place flour and salt in bowl of food processor fit with metal blade; pulse to combine. Add butter, pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Slowly add water, pulsing just until dough comes together. Transfer to sheet of plastic wrap; form into flat disc. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
Place dough on lightly floured surface; cut into 2 pieces. Wrap 1 piece in plastic; return to refrigerator. Roll out other half to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out rounds with 3-inch round cookie cutter.
Press into 13/4-inch tartlet molds; trim excess. Repeat with remaining dough. Place molds on baking sheet. Prick bottom of each tartlet with fork. Cover with plastic wrap; chill until dough is firm, 15 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake tartlets, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until crust is set and dry, about 12 minutes. Do not brown. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.
For filling: Combine cheese, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the basil and olives in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper to taste in small bowl; set aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill each tartlet with 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture; fill each with egg mixture to top. Place tartlets on baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through for even browning, until filling is golden and set, about 25 minutes. Transfer tartlets to wire racks to cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle with remaining basil.
WILD MUSHROOM, WALNUT AND GOAT CHEESE EMPANADAS
(Yield 45 pieces)
1 package (17.3 ounces; 2 sheets) frozen puff pastry
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/4 pound chanterelle, shiitake or other mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon each: chopped fresh chives, chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon milk
Thaw puff pastry at room temperature until softened, but still cold, about 30 minutes. Roll out on lightly floured surface until slightly less than 1/8-inch thick. Cut out about 45 23/4-inch circles with biscuit cutter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to use.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots; cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in chives, rosemary and thyme; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; set aside.
Place cheese and walnuts in medium bowl. Stir in mushroom mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Beat together egg and milk in small bowl; set aside.
Place about 2 teaspoons mushroom mixture in center of each dough circle. Lightly brush inner rim of circle with some of the egg wash.
Fold circle in half, forming half moon. Pinch edges together with fingers. Seal edge with fork tines or flute edges with fingers. Repeat with remaining dough.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush top of empanadas with remaining egg wash. Bake until browned, about 15 minutes.
Make-ahead note: Prepare the empanadas through Step 4. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment or waxed paper; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm, 3 hours. Pack in storage containers or plastic freezer bags. Freeze up to 3 months. Bake as in Step 5; there's no need to thaw beforehand.
SPINACH RISOTTO CAKES
(Yield 90 cakes)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each: dried basil, thyme
4 cups arborio rice
7 cups chicken broth, warmed
1 package (10 ounces) frozen, chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1 cup grated Romano cheese plus more for topping
11/2 teaspoons salt
Tomato sauce or relish, optional
Heat 11/2 tablespoons of the butter and olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add onions, garlic, basil and thyme; cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth; cook, stirring frequently, until almost absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, until rice is almost cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, 1 cup of the cheese, remaining 11/2 tablespoons butter and salt. Spread in jellyroll pan to cool.
Form risotto mixture into small cakes 1 tablespoon at a time.
Place on greased baking sheets.
Heat broiler. Sprinkle tops with cheese; broil until lightly browned, about 20 seconds. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake cakes until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve plain or with tomato sauce or relish, if desired.
Make-ahead note: Prepare cakes through Step 2, but line baking sheet with wax paper instead of greasing it. Cover cakes with plastic wrap. Freeze until hard, about 3 hours. Pack in storage container, separating layers with wax paper or parchment. Freeze up to 3 months. Bake as in Step 3.
CHICKEN, ORANGE AND BLACK BEAN POT STICKERS
(Yield 100 pot stickers)
2 tablespoons each: soy sauce, chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon each: sesame oil, dry sherry or Chinese rice wine
2 cloves garlic, smashed, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1 3/4 pounds ground chicken breast
100 won-ton wrappers
1/4 cup each: minced green onions, cilantro
2 tablespoons black beans, rinsed, chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup peanut oil
Bottled plum sauce or soy sauce
Mix marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Add chicken; toss to mix. Refrigerate 4 hours. Cut 23/4-inch circles from won-ton wrappers using biscuit cutter, keeping covered with plastic wrap or damp paper towel. Remove meat from refrigerator; mix in onions, cilantro, beans, ginger and zest.
Place heaping teaspoon of the filling in middle of wrapper.
Moisten edges with water. Fold over; squeeze edges together to seal dumpling. Pinch small pleats along sealed edge with wet fingers.
Repeat with remaining wrappers.
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in each of 2 large skillets over high heat until very hot. Add pot stickers. Cook, shaking skillet once, until pot stickers are golden on bottom, about 1-2 minutes. Add enough hot water to come about halfway up pot stickers; partly cover.
Cook 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook until bottoms of pot stickers are golden brown and water has evaporated, 5-6 minutes.
Gently remove with spatula; place on baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil. Keep in warm oven. Clean skillets. Repeat with remaining oil and pot stickers. Serve with plum sauce or soy sauce.
Make-ahead note: Make pot stickers through Step 2. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment or wax paper; cover with plastic wrap.
Freeze until hard, about 3 hours. Remove. Wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil; place in storage container or plastic freezer bags. Freeze up to 3 months. Cook as in Step 3; there's no need to thaw beforehand.
QUESADILLAS WITH CHICKEN-APPLE SAUSAGE AND CORN
(Yield 108 pieces)
9 ounces chicken apple sausage, removed from casing
1 cup each: shredded Monterey Jack cheese, shredded Cheddar cheese, cooked
2 jalapeño chilies, seeded, minced
18 (7-inch) flour tortillas
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cook sausage in skillet, breaking up pieces with spoon or spatula, over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine cheeses, corn and peppers in medium bowl. Add crumbled sausage; set aside.
Divide filling among 9 tortillas, leaving 1/4-inch border from edge. Top each with remaining tortillas.
Heat 2 teaspoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Place quesadillas in 2 large skillets; cook on one side until cheese begins to melt and quesadilla is browned, about 3 minutes. Turn; cook other side until cheese is melted and quesadilla is brown, about 2 minutes.
Remove to cutting board; let cool slightly. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 12 wedges. Serve with salsa.
Make-ahead note: Prepare through Step 2. Stack, dividing each with sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Wrap tortillas tightly with plastic wrap, then with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. Cook as in Step 3 about 4 minutes per side.
HOT CIDER RUM PUNCH
2 cups (16 ounces) light rum
4 cups apple cider
1 1/4 cups cranberry juice
1 1/4 cups orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 orange studded with cloves (optional, garnish)
Place the rum, cider, cranberry and orange juices, cinnamon and cloves in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine, then lower heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serve hot or warm, keeping in a slow cooker to keep hot if necessary. Can be made in advance and refrigerated, then rewarmed before serving.
Note: For a nonalcoholic version, substitute an additional cup each of cranberry and orange juice for the rum. For a cold version, chill and mix with 1 quart of ginger ale.
KNOCK YOU NAKEDS
1 package (18-1/2 oz.) German chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup evaporated milk, divided
3/4 cup butter, melted
60 vanilla caramels, unwrapped (one 14 oz. package)
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and melted butter. Press half of the batter into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 8 minutes.
In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt caramels with remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When caramel mixture is well blended, pour over baked layer. Cover with chocolate morsels. Pour remaining batter on top of morsels. Return to preheated 350° oven and bake 18 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.
1 cup Butter or Margarine -- softened
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
2 cups Flour
1 dash Salt
4 Eggs -- beaten slightly
2 cups Sugar
6 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Flour
Mix first four ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Press into bottom of a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Set aside.
Beat all remaining ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Spread onto top of hot bottom layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar onto cooled squares just before serving.
LIGHT ORANGE SCAMPI
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds medium fresh shrimp -- peeled and deveined
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives -- plus 1 teaspoon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Saute garlic in oil in a large skillet until tender; stir in salt and pepper. Add shrimp; cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain off liquid and discard.
Combine juice, chives, and cornstarch in a small saucepan, stirring well. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add orangesauce to shrimp, stirring well. Yield: 4 servings.
MERINGUE A LA PRINCESA
For custard filling:
1 (12.3-ounce) package firm tofu
4 tablespoons water
1 (4-ounce) package instant low-fat chocolate pudding mix, such as Mori-Nu Mates
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To prepare custard: Using a food processor or electric mixer, blend tofu and water until creamy. Add pudding mix. Blend until smooth and well mixed. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Meanwhile, to make the meringue, preheat oven to 225 degrees. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and half of the sugar. Continue to mix for about five minutes. Add remaining sugar. Mix until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla, but don't over-beat at this point because it could deflate the egg whites.
Using a spatula, place egg whites into a pastry bag with a large plain tip. Pipe tablespoon-sized balls onto a foil-lined baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed. Coat your index finger in flour and poke 1/2-inch holes into the center of each meringue. Set the meringue aside, uncovered, for 30 minutes to dry, then bake for approximately 45 minutes, or just until they start to turn golden brown on the edges and become firm. When the meringues have cooled to room temperature, fill them with the chocolate custard mixture, again using a pastry bag.
NICKS CRAB AND PINE NUT LASAGNA
Makes 8 to 10 servings
3 tablespoons butter plus extra for buttering pan (divided)
1/2 pound fresh lasagna noodles (about 9 noodles)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic (see note)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (yellow part only)
2 cups whole milk
Salt and white pepper to taste
3/4 pound fresh Dungeness crab meat
2 to 3 cups grated parmesan cheese (divided)
1 to 11/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup pine nuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Lay on clean towels and pat dry.
To make bechamel sauce, melt the 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the roasted garlic and lemon peel. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat slightly and simmer 3 or 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
Cover the bottom of the prepared pan with 3 cooked noodles. Reserve 8 to 10 large pieces of crab. Layer the remaining crab meat evenly over the noodles. Place the large pieces of crab so that each serving will get one piece. Pour 2/3 cup of the bechamel sauce over the crab and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Place a second layer of noodles over the parmesan cheese. Spread the sliced mushrooms over the pasta and generously dollop the ricotta over the mushrooms. Spread 2/3 cup bechamel sauce over the ricotta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Layer the remaining noodles over the parmesan cheese and spread with the remaining bechamel sauce. Top with a generous layer of parmesan cheese and sprinkle the pine nuts over the cheese.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, cut and serve.
Note: To roast a whole head of garlic, peel the excess papery skin and cut a thin slice off the top to expose some of the cloves. Drizzle top with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Cool.
NANCY FELDMAN: Nuts, nuts and more nuts for holidays
By NANCY FELDMAN
THE MODESTO BEE
(Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2000)
Planning to set out a bowl or two of nuts for your New Year celebration? Are you making a healthy choice, or should you reconsider?
First, what's in a nut? The answer: protein, fiber, some vitamins and minerals in varying amounts. There is also fat, but the good news is that it is mostly unsaturated (the more heart healthy fat) and contains no cholesterol.
If we buy unsalted nuts, they are also low in sodium. We do need to remember nuts are high in fat and are therefore high in calories. But, as part of an overall daily diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts in moderation can be a great choice for a snack or to add interest to some of your favorite dishes. Some tips:
When you buy nuts in the shell, look for those that are clean and free from scars, cracks or holes. Nuts in the shell should be heavy for their size, indicating a fresh, meaty kernel. Nutmeats that rattle in their shell are usually stale.
Crisp, plump and meaty nutmeats indicate high quality; limp, rubbery or shriveled nutmeats indicate poor quality.
When you buy cracked nuts in the shell in plastic bags, remove the cracked nuts from the plastic bags immediately and spread them out on trays in an airy location until you can shell and store them properly. If left in the plastic bag, nuts may become moldy. Discard any nuts showing mold growth.
Unshelled nuts with no cracks that have been dried properly will keep at room temperature for several weeks.
All nuts are rather fatty, and it's this fat that turns rancid and spoils the nutmeats. Even unshelled nuts can spoil after a while. To prevent this, store unshelled nuts in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark location, below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If stored properly, nuts should keep for about four months. For longer storage, put unshelled or shelled nuts in a moisture-vapor proof container and store in refrigerator or freezer -- the lower the storage temperature, the longer the shelf life.
Bugs in your nuts? Store in the freezer at 0 degrees for at least 72 hours.
OATMEAL CRANBERRY COOKIES
1/2 lb unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups dried cranberries
Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, beat in eggs, vanilla and milk. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and stir until combined. Stir in cranberries. Divide dough in half, roll into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate until firm. Heat oven to 350, slice logs into cookies, bake on parchment lined cookie sheets leaving 1 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake for
12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Panettone originated in Milan, Italy, and is a sweet bread made with raisins, citrons, pine nuts and anise. It is traditionally served at Christmas but also for celebrations such as weddings and christenings. It is usually baked in a panettone bread mold or pan, but if you don't have one, you can use a 12-inch loaf pan.
Carol Rose of Woodland shares this recipe, which she found in the 1981 Italian Cookbook "Cucina Italiana," which was assembled by the Kerak Temple, the Shriners of the Reno area.
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon anise seed
1 teaspoon anise extract
1/4 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk, scalded and cooled
1/4 cup candied fruit, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons candied citrons, diced
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 egg yolk, beaten, to brush on top of bread
Sift together the flour and salt and set aside. Soften the yeast in the water for 5 minutes.
Cream the butter then add anise seed, extract and sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in the 2 eggs, then the yeast and water mixture. Work in the flour and just enough milk to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, cover and let rise again.
Roll out the dough and sprinkle the candied fruits, pine nuts, raisins, citrons and lemon peel over the top. Fold in half and roll gently a couple of times.
Grease and flour a 6-inch-wide-by-4-inch-deep panettone mold or form into a loaf and place in a 12-inch greased and floured loaf pan. Let rise for 1 hour. Brush top with beaten egg yolk.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until browned and shrunk away from the sides of the pan. Cool on a cake rack.
PARMESAN POTATO STICKS
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 medium potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; mix well and set aside. Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise into quarters; cut each quarter lengthwise into 3 strips. Dip each strip in the melted butter, then in Parmesan mixture, coating completely. Place in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour any remaining melted butter over potatoes. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, turning them over once or twice.
10 slices white sandwich bread
Olive oil for brushing
4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using 2-inch star and heart cookie cutters, press out shape in each slice of bread. Brush one side with olive oil and place shapes, oiled side up, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon grated parmesan onto oiled side of bread, covering bread as well as possible, then sprinkle with sea salt.
Cook in preheated oven until golden, 7-10 minutes. Keep an eye on shapes while they bake, as they can burn very quickly. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Note: Can be stored for 2 days in an airtight container or frozen for up to 1 month.
PASTA WITH PECANS AND SPINACH
This is a good vegetarian meal, it is sweet and has a nutty flavor.
12 ounces gemelli pasta (short twisted strands)
1 (15 ounce) can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (7 ounce) bag baby spinach
1 cup red grapes
Cook pasta according to directions until barely al dente, about 7 minutes, add chickpeas and finish cooking the pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the water, then drain pasta and chick-peas. Meanwhile, place pecans in a small dry skillet over medium high and cook them, shaking the pan, for about 1 minute, or until they become fragrant, transfer pecans to a large mixing bowl. Add the oil, thyme, salt orange zest and juice to pecans and toss
thoroughly. Add spinach and toss until it is lightly coated with dressing. Pour hot reserved cooking water over spinach and toss until it is evenly though barely) wilted. Toss with pasta and grapes, season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve hot or at room temperature. (When serving, include the grapes and pecans, which inevitably sink to bottom of the bowl.) Makes 4 servings.
PASTA WITH SMOKED SALMON AND SUGAR SNAP PEAS
8 ounces sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
4 ounces fettuccine (may substitute similarly shaped pasta)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon coarse-grain mustard
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready.
Add peas to water and cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peas to ice water. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, drain peas and cut them diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add cream, dill and mustard and cook, stirring constantly, until warm, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and remove from heat.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. In a large bowl, gently toss pasta with salmon, reserved peas and cream mixture. If necessary, add reserved cooking liquid. Serve immediately.
PERSIMMON RAISIN NUT BREAD
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pound persimmons
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and shortening. Beat eggs and stir into creamed mixture. Add lemon peel and spices. Cut persimmons into halves and scoop out flesh, removing any seeds. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Measure 1 cup puree. Stir puree into creamed mixture.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into persimmon mixture. Fold in raisins and nuts. Turn into a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done. Cool slightly before turning out of pan.
2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1 lime, thinly sliced
2 cups sparkling water
In 11/2-quart pitcher, combine pineapple juice, lime juice, honey and lime slices; mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add sparkling water, stirring well to blend. Serve immediately.
PREGO MIRACLE LASAGNA
1 jar (28 oz.) Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
SPREAD about 1 cup pasta sauce in 2-qt. shallow baking dish (11"x7"). Top with 3 uncooked noodles, ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup pasta sauce. Top with remaining 3 uncooked noodles and remaining pasta sauce. Cover. BAKE at 375°F. for 1 hr. Uncover and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Let stand 5 min. Serves 6. Kitchen Clip: To make Miracle Lasagna with Mushrooms, use a 3-qt. Shallow baking dish (13x9). Top Parmesan cheese with 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms or 2 jars (4 1/2 oz.) each sliced mushrooms, drained.
RASPBERRY CREAM PUFFS
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Margarine
1/2 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Powdered Sugar
2 cups Cool Whip Lite -- non-dairy topping
1/2 cup Raspberries, frozen -- thawed & mashed
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, bring water and margarine to a full rolling boil. Reduce heat to low, and using a wire whisk, stir in flour vigorously, until mixture forms a ball (about one minute). Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, all at one time, and continue beating until smooth. It is best to use a sturdy spoon, such as a wooden spoon for this step. Drop dough by heaping teaspoon-fuls onto an ungreased
baking sheet. (About 12 evenly spaced mounds). Bake until puffy and golden colored, 30 - 35 minutes. Cool in draft-free area. Using a serrated knife, cut off tops and pull out filaments of soft dough, leaving a hollow shell with a lid. Fill each shell with filling (below) and dust with the powdered sugar (optional) a few minutes before serving.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, fold together whipped topping and raspberries until mixed well. Spoon into baked shells according to instructions above.
NOTES : This recipe can also be made for non-diabetic diets by using raspberry jam in place of frozen raspberries.
2 large tart apples -- peeled, cored, quartered
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Place apple pieces on baking sheet. Roast in oven at 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove. Finely chop apples.
Place apples in small pan with apple juice, cinnamon, and sugar and cook over medium heat while mashing with back of fork until coarse sauce forms, 10 to 15 minutes. Add lemon juice. Yield: 2 servings.
SAVORY DRIED PLUM AND SAUSAGE OMELET
1 mild Italian sausage (about 4 ounces), casing removed
1/3 cup (2 ounces) chopped dried plums (prunes)
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
1 ounce (about 11/2 tablespoons) soft goat cheese, cut into pieces
In skillet, brown sausage over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking up into crumbles; pour off drippings. Add dried plums and red peppers; set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, chives, salt and pepper until well blended.
In large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted; add egg mixture. As eggs begin to set, lift edge with spatula and tilt pan to allow uncooked portion to run underneath. Continue lifting and tilting until top is almost dry and bottom is golden.
Spoon dried plum mixture over one half-side of egg; sprinkle with parsley and goat cheese. Loosening edge with spatula, carefully fold omelet in half to enclose filling.
Cover pan; cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese just begins to melt. Cut omelet in half; serve each half on individual plate.
1/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
2 medium onions, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups water
1 tablespoon instant beef bouillon granules (or 3 bouillon cubes)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 bay leaf
1 10-ounce package frozen cut okra, thawed
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, with liquid, chopped
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
11/2 pounds fresh or thawed frozen shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 pound cooked crab meat
1 dozen shucked oysters, with liquid
3 cups hot cooked rice, for serving (from 1 cup raw)
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter or margarine. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the flour, and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture is bubbly, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the water, bouillon, salt, pepper, hot sauce, bay leaf, okra, tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir until well-blended.
Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. Add the shrimp, crab and oysters; cover the pot and cook another 5 minutes. Serve the gumbo over mounds of rice.
(FROZEN LEMON COCKTAIL)
6 small spoons of lemon sorbet
1 tablespoon vodka
2 tablespoons Prosecco (sparkling wine), chilled
Blend all the ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds, until creamy and thick. Serve immediately in a champagne flute.
Time Required: 5 minutes
Put one cup of water in a small saucepan. Add two cups of sugar. Heat to a boil while stirring. Reduce heat and continue to stir until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature. Find a clean container that will hold at least a cup and a half. Using a funnel, pour liquid into container. Seal and store in refrigerator indefinitely. Use whenever a recipe calls for simple sugar or simple syrup.
SMOKED TROUT PATÉ
3 tablespoons butter
1 bunch chives, trimmed and snipped
2 smoked trout
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 teaspoon Thai sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For seeded lavash toast:
6 pieces lavash bread
Olive oil, for brushing
Mixed seeds such as sesame and poppy and/or cracked black pepper
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chives and cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and set aside. Remove skin from trout and carefully take flesh away from bone. Place trout, eggs, chili sauce, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and fold in chive and butter mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled with seeded lavash toast. Note: Paté can be made 1 day ahead. Keep covered in refrigerator.
For toast: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut lavash bread into triangles. Brush lightly with oil and place, oiled side up, in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with seeds and/or cracked black pepper. Bake until golden, 6-8 minutes.
SOUR APPLE MARTINI
2 parts vodka
1 part sour apple schnapps
1 part ginger ale
Splash of lime juice
Put vodka, schnapps and lime juice in an ice shaker and shake vigorously, then strain into a cocktail glass and add ginger ale. Garnish with a thin slice of green apple.
SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE
1 stick butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 pint sour cream (1 cup)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 oz choc chips
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
Cream butter and sugar. Add sour cream, vanilla, and eggs. Sift and add dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Grease and flour 9" pan. Pour half batter in pan. Put half topping then rest of batter, rest of topping. Bake 45-50 min in 350 degree oven.
SOUTHERN COMFORT PUNCH
A fifth of Southern Comfort
6 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 quarts of lemon-lime soda, such as 7UP
Combine Southern Comfort, lemon juice, lemonade and orange juice concentrates. Place in a punch bowl or large serving bowl. Just before serving, pour in the soda. Add ice or float an ice ring in the bowl.
SPARKLING CIDER POACHED FISH
1 teaspoon butter, or more (see Note)
1/2 cup sliced or minced shallots
1 cup roughly chopped portobello or other mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds any white-fleshed fillet of fish, such as red snapper (about 1 fish, in 1 or 2 pieces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry sparkling hard cider
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Smear bottom of an oven-proof skillet with the butter; sprinkle shallots and mushrooms around sides of the skillet. Season fish with salt and pepper to taste and lay it in the center of the skillet. Pour cider around fish.
Bring to a boil on top of stove, then transfer to oven. Bake for about 8 minutes; it's highly unlikely the fish will need more time than this unless it is very thick (or you like it very well done). Baste with the pan juices and serve.
Note: Bittman says that for his taste, after experimenting for a while, the only improvement he found was to add more butter. He stopped at 4 tablespoons, ``but the dish is awfully nice when made on the lean side, too.''
Substitute for the shallots any aromatic vegetable or a combination -- onion, leeks, carrot (cut very small), celery, fennel or scallions.
Use a mixture of mushrooms or reconstituted dried mushrooms.
Enhance the apple flavor by adding chopped peeled apples to the sauce. Even better, peel, core and slice some apples, saute them in butter until tender and lightly browned; spoon a little over each portion of fish.
Add to poaching liquid a teaspoon of thyme leaves, or small amounts of parsley, chervil or dill, and use the same herbs as garnish.
Add seeds to poaching liquid; try caraway, coriander or fennel.
SPICY SEARED AHI TUNA
For spicy mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or more as needed)
Sambal to taste (a Southeast Asian red-chile condiment found in Asian markets)
Pickled ginger juice to taste (available at Asian markets)
1 pound tuna (sushi quality) in four 4-ounce blocks
Cajun seasoning to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces daikon, shredded, or substitute zucchini, jicama or red radishes
12 lemon slices
For spicy mayonnaise: Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Set aside.
For ahi: Season ahi blocks with Cajun seasoning. Heat olive oil in a saute pan until very hot. Sear tuna in the oil, cooking quickly on both sides (approximately 30 seconds on each of four sides) so it is evenly browned on the outside and rare on the inside.
Slice seared blocks into five pieces each and lay over the shredded daikon. Drizzle with spicy mayonnaise and garnish with lemon slices.
Cubed leftover bread*
Milk (1/3 cup per egg)
Grated or chopped cheese (amount is up to you)**
Chopped, cooked meat (opt.)***
Chopped, cooked veggies (opt.)****
Select a casserole dish that bread will almost fill. Grease dish and spread
half of bread cubes over bottom. Sprinkle with half each of veggies, meat,
and then cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. In a bowl, beat eggs
with milk and a dash of salt & pepper. (I usually use 8-10 eggs for 9x13
pan, so you can start with less for a smaller one & add more if necessary.)
Pour egg mixture over all, so that it just comes almost to the top of the
layers but doesn't necessarily cover. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 min.
to 1 hr. or until top is lightly browned and center is set. Allow to cool
slightly (strata will fall a bit), cut and serve. (Note: Can be assembled
and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking. Be sure to allow dish to
warm just a bit at room temperature before baking.)
Some of my favorite combinations are: 1) bacon, Swiss, and sauteed
onion/mushrooms; 2) ham, American or cheddar, and chopped broccoli; 3)
chopped turkey/chicken, cheddar or jack cheese, and chopped green chiles; 4)
Italian sausage, mozzarella, onions/bell peppers/mushrooms [with or without
fresh basil]. That's just a start, though...you can mix any flavors you
already like together.
*Bread -- use any kind of savory yeast bread you like because no one will
recognize it after it's cubed. I've used dinner rolls, wheat bread, white
bread, hamburger/hotdog buns, etc. Combine different types if you like.
**Cheese -- whatever kind you like as long as it can be grated or chopped.
I've used Swiss, American, cheddar, pepperjack, mozzarella, and Provolone at
***Meat -- crumbled bacon or cooked breakfast sausage, diced ham or other
deli meat, cooked chicken or turkey...use whatever you like!
****Veggies -- I've used thawed spinach/broccoli/asparagus, fresh
onion/green onion, bell pepper, jalapeno or chile peppers, mushrooms, and
SYRUP FOR PANCAKES
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 of a cube of butter or margarine
1 tsp Maple flavoring
Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a pan on the stove, and slowly add the water so that there are no clumps. Bring to a boil, and boil the mixture for one minute. Remove from heat, add the butter and the flavoring - more or less to taste. You can also use any kind of flavoring, it doesn't have to be maple. Cool down just a bit before you put into a container. You can store this in the refrigerator.
3 pounds chuck roast -- cut into 1" cubes
3 onions -- minced
5 cloves garlic -- minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
2 tb masa harina
1 jalapeno peppers -- minced
cheddar cheese -- shredded
When preparing the meat, remove as much fat as possible, as it seems to dull the delicate flavors of this chili. Heat olive oil to smoking in a heavy kettle and add meat. Cook until meat is light colored. Add onions and garlic. Add 2-3 cups water to cover and mix. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Add Chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt; cook slowly for 1 hour more, stirring occasionally. You may want to adjust the seasonings after a half hour.
Stir masa harina into 1/4 cup of cold water. Add to chili. Add jalapeno peppers. Continue to cook until the chili thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
Note: Masa Harina, a finely ground white cornmeal, is available in the Mexican section of many supermarkets, but coarse cornmeal, ground in a blender or food processor for several minutes can be substituted.
Notes : This chili is mysteriously delicate rather than searingly hot, and like most Texas chili, contains NO beans and, surprisingly no tomato. It is wonderful served immediately, at room temperature, or even cold, but seems to lose some of it's flavor edge on reheating.
THYME AND PEPPERCORN SEARED TUNA
For peppercorn sauce:
6 shallots, minced fine
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 bottle (325 ml) port wine
1 bottle (750 ml) merlot
8 ounces veal stock, reduced by half (available at specialty groceries, such as
2 ounces green peppercorns
Salt to taste
1 large Idaho potato
2 cups canola oil or enough to fill a medium, heavy-bottomed saute pan about halfway
Salt to taste
For seared tuna:
4 (6-ounce) Ahi tuna steaks
Pinch of sea salt, pinch
4 tablespoons colored peppercorn blend, cracked, optional
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound watercress, stems removed and leaves washed in water
Salt and pepper to taste
For peppercorn sauce: Sweat shallots and black pepper in the butter over medium heat. Cover with port and merlot. Reduce until almost all of the wine is cooked out, then add veal stock and green peppercorns. Cook for five minutes more, until sauce thickens. Season with salt. Set sauce aside.
For potatoes: Peel potato and cut into 1 1/2-inch julienne strips, using either a slicing knife or a mandolin equipped with a julienne blade, creating fine, matchstick-like strips. Drop strips into canola oil that has been preheated to 350 degrees. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until potatoes are light brown and crispy. Season with salt. Keep potatoes warm in a medium oven until serving.
For seared tuna: On both sides of the steak, season tuna with sea salt and peppercorns and sprinkle with the thyme. Heat olive oil in a saute pan until very hot. Sear tuna in oil, cooking quickly on both sides (approximately 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side) so it is evenly browned on the outside and rare on the inside. Remove from the pan to rest and add the watercress to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan after 1 1/2 minutes.
To assemble: Divide watercress evenly among four plates, placing a mound in the middle of each plate. Slice tuna steaks evenly several times on an angle. Fan out one steak per plate on top of the watercress. Top with fried julienne potatoes. Ladle peppercorn sauce around the plate. Sprinkle with cracked pink peppercorns for color, if desired.
WILD RICE CHESTNUT STUFFING
4 cups canned chicken broth
1 cup raw wild rice, rinsed
1 cup raw brown rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium-sized leeks (white part only), washed and coarsely chopped (about 1
pound) or 4 cups chopped onions
1 pound country-style sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 (10-ounce) can chestnuts, packed in water, or 35 whole chestnuts, roasted, shelled
2 cups diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons crumbled sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
If you use fresh chestnuts, first use a knife to cut an "x" in the shell, place them on a cookie sheet and roast them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool before peeling.
In a medium-size saucepan, bring broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in wild rice and brown rice; cover pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until rices are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium-high heat. Add leeks and saute until well-coated with butter, 1 to 2 minutes. Add sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. Add mushrooms; cook until sausage is no longer pink, 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat. Stir in cooked rice, chestnuts, carrots, parsley, sage and pepper. Let stuffing cool slightly before using.
3 cups of shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/2 Cup cooking oil
1/4 Cup onion
1/2 Cup shredded cheese (I use mild cheddar)
parsley to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Beat eggs, oil, and seasonings till well mixed; add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Pack into Pam-sprayed casserole dish and bake at 350* for 40 minutes.
SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE
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