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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 85

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).















































Is there a grain of truth in the notion that you need carbohydrates in your diet?




Grains like cereal, bread and pasta are some of the most important carbohydrates that you can eat.


Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy, which is measured in calories.


There are two kinds of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are called sugars and complex carbohydrates are known as starches.


Your body needs both sugar and starch for energy, but they function differently.


Simple carbohydrates, or simple sugars, often taste sweet. They digest easily and are absorbed into your bloodstream to provide quick energy to your cells. Simple carbohydrates are found in milk, fruit, candy, soda and cookies.


Complex carbohydrates -- starchy foods such as bread, cereal, rice, pasta and grains -- provide energy more slowly because they take longer to digest. Foods high in complex carbohydrates often provide other nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.


The Food Guide Pyramid recommends young children (ages 2 to 6) eat six servings of grains from the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group each day, while older children and adults need six to 11 servings.


What is a serving? For adults and older children, it's 1 slice of bread,1/2cup cooked rice, pasta or cereal, 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal, 3 or 4 small plain crackers. For younger children, a serving is one-quarter to one-half the size of an adult serving.


Grains are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates -- and an important part of your daily diet.


By eating waffles, toast or cereal for breakfast, you get an energy boost to help start your day.


Feeling hungry between classes? Pack graham crackers, saltines or plain popcorn to fill the gap until lunch.


Also, eat a variety of breads. Enriched and fortified bread has iron (which keeps you from getting tired); B vitamins (which contribute to healthy skin); and at least 1 gram of fiber (for good digestion). Some breads may be fortified with calcium (for healthy bones).


Whole-grain and whole-wheat breads provide 2 to 3 grams of fiber per slice and contain vitamin E, which has been shown to help fight heart disease and cancer.


Challenge yourself to rearrange your dinner plate. Give grain foods such as pasta or rice the spotlight instead of meat.


Explore the world of international grains with your family. Try unusual grains such as quinoa, amaranth, bulgur or couscous for dinner. These are available at many supermarkets and in health food stores. Cooking directions and nutrition labels are on the packages.


Add grains to your daily diet -- and continue to achieve the goal of good health.


(Makes 32 wedges)


1 (16-ounce) can flavored refried beans, such as Rosarita's Green Chili and Lime

Refried Beans

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon salsa of choice

8 (about 8-inch diameter) whole-wheat tortillas

1/4 cup grated Jack cheese with chilies

1/4 cup grated queso ranchero

Vegetable oil


In food processor fitted with metal blade, process beans, red onion, cilantro, parsley and salsa until smooth.


Place half of tortillas on work surface and spread with bean mixture. Top each with cheeses. Top each with tortilla.


Heat about 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in medium-large skillet, preferably non-stick, on medium-high heat. Add one quesadilla. Cook until beans are heated and bottom tortilla is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn to brown opposite side. Repeat with remaining quesadillas, adding more oil when necessary.


Cut each quesadilla into 8 wedges and serve hot.



5 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut in 2-inch pieces

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 medium onions, sliced

6 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon salt

2 101/2-ounce cans beef consomme (not broth; undiluted)

3 cups beer

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


Coat meat with flour and brown in oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until brown on both sides. Put meat in a 3- to 4-quart casserole, layering with onions. Mix garlic, brown sugar, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, salt, consomme, beer and wine vinegar. Pour over meat. Cover and bake for 21/2 hours.


Keep warm in 250 degree oven until ready to serve. May be made the day before and reheated. Serve with a side dish of rice, couscous or kasha.



These biscuits are toothsome and rich-tasting, delicious with butter and honey. They are also a wonderful accompaniment to soups, stews and chowders.


Remember: The secret to soft and fluffy biscuits is to minimize handling of the dough and to be gentle when you do handle it.


This recipe can be halved, using a 9-inch square baking pan for 9 biscuits.


3/4 cup butter (11/2 sticks; divided)

1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)

2 packages active dry yeast (41/2 teaspoons)

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (divided)

7 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

11/2 teaspoons baking soda

11/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups buttermilk

3/4 cup vegetable oil


Prepare a 9-by-13-inch pan by melting 1/2 cup butter in pan. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in a 7-by-11-inch or 8-inch square pan.


Sprinkle yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over the warm water. Stir and let stand while you mix the dry ingredients.


Place flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients thoroughly.


Stir buttermilk and oil into yeast mixture. Add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir only until moistened. Dough will be very soft and sticky. Turn out gently onto well-floured board. Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto top of dough mound. Gently pat dough into a circle 1 inch thick. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or use a clean tin can with both ends cut out), cut out 18 biscuit rounds. Brush excess flour off biscuit rounds.


Place 12 biscuit rounds in the large pan and 6 in the small pan. Flip rounds over so the top is buttered as well. Make sure they are close together in each pan. Let sit for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until biscuits are no longer doughy in center -- 18 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.


Store leftover biscuits in an airtight container and reheat a few seconds in the microwave.


(Makes about 30 cookies)


1 cup butter, softened

11/2 cups dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups rolled oats

11/2 cups dried Black Mission figs, roughly chopped, or raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a mixer, cream the butter with the brown sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and milk. While mixing on low speed, add the egg mixture to the butter.


In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the rolled oats. With the mixer on low speed, add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients one cup at a time.


Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and continue mixing until the dough is just combined. Add the chopped figs or raisins and mix just enough to evenly distribute them throughout the dough.


Grease a nonstick cookie sheet. Drop the dough on the pan in 2-tablespoon portions at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browning.


Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan or on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.



(Makes 21/2 quarts)


21/2 quarts popped popcorn

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon lemon pepper


Pour butter over warm popcorn. Combine remaining seasonings and sprinkle over popcorn; toss to mix. If desired, bake in 300-degree oven for crispier popcorn.



6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 cup)

2 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 large onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

4 teaspoons grated orange peel (orange part only)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

5 cups chicken broth (divided)

1 cup half-and-half or yogurt

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley


Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onions and garlic. Cover and cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix in ginger, orange peel and coriander. Add 2 cups broth. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Add remaining 3 cups broth and half-and-half. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley. From "The St. Louis Herb Society Cookbook"


Serves 6

3 carrots, shredded

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt


Mix carrot, sugar, water, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl. Toss well and set aside until serving time. Add some of the carrots to your Vietnamese sandwich.


(Makes about 6 quarts)


5 quarts popped popcorn, unsalted

2 cups sugar

11/2 cups water

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup red glace cherries, cut in quarters

1/2 cup toasted blanched whole almonds


Keep popcorn warm in a 300-degree oven. In a heavy medium-size saucepan, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil; clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook syrup to 250 degrees (hard ball stage). Stir in almond extract. Scatter cherries and almonds over the popcorn. Slowly pour syrup over all; toss lightly to coat evenly.


Spread popcorn on buttered cookie sheet. Cool. Separate into clusters with a fork.




Good fortune in store for faithful in year of snake



(Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2001)


For me, Chinese food represents a venerable antidote to myriad winter woes. It can bolster a fragile immune system with a fragrant bowl of ginger-infused chicken broth, or fuel an energy-depleted body with a heap of chili-spiked dan-dan noodles.


Today ushers in 4699, the Year of the Snake, a time when "many challenges lie ahead," according to a prediction from Jimmy Meng, president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, of New York City.


"There are a lot of potential opportunities this year, but you will experience some hardship, or encounter obstacles in trying to achieve your goals."


Where's the party? For Chinese food lovers, an immediate challenge may be identifying exactly when Chinese New Year "happens" in Chinatowns around the country.


(In Modesto, a New Year's Mass will be said Sunday at Our Lady of Fatima Church, followed by a Tet Culture Festival sponsored by the local Vietnamese community. Call 524-7421. The Stanislaus Chinese Association New Year's Dinner is Feb. 16 at Modesto Centre Plaza. Call 521-2226. And the biggest shindig of all, the San Francisco Chinese New Year's Parade, is Feb. 3. Click on www.chineseparade.com.)


Year of the Snake celebrations will start after a pregnant pause -- not until after New Year's Day itself -- because "traditionally, the Chinese stay home on New Year's Eve to clean their house, put everything in order and prepare that evening's meal," Meng says.


Gathering at home with the family harks back to ancient times when the Chinese wait- ed for the "eve" -- which, in Chinese, means "evil" -- to pass.


Then, New Year's Day would be spent visiting with extended family, a symbolic act of leaving the house to greet the new year.


"The whole meaning of this holiday is about renewal and celebration of the family -- it's Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving all rolled into one," said Grace Young, author of "The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen" (Simon & Schuster, 1999).


Like a homing pigeon, she ritually sojourns from Manhattan to be with her parents in San Francisco for Chinese New Year. She's a firm believer that "no matter where you live, you have to go home."


Getting lucky


The labor-intensive, home-based New Year's Eve meal is the most important one during a 15-day celebration.


Throughout the holiday, however, auspicious foods are chosen for their color (green for money, for example) or shape (roundness represents continuity or coins).


Eating a whole chicken or duck is significant because "you always want to bring 'wholeness' into the new year," said Ming Tsai, the peripatetic, fusion-hip chef-host of Food Network's "East Meets West."


In addition, the "good luck" menu focuses on homonyms and double-entendres. For example, stir-fried lotus root, "lin ngau" in Chinese, is a favorite lunar new year's dish because its name sounds very much like "lin yau," which translates as "every year there will be abundance," said Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, Chinese cooking authority and cookbook writer.


Another requisite dish that capitalizes on puns is fish. "Yu," the Chinese word for fish, sounds like the word for "wish," and has evolved into another auspicious food by phonetic coincidence.


Fish is considered a favorable food for other reasons. A whole cooked fish, with head and tail intact, symbolizes good luck and abundance "from beginning to end." Because fish often swim in pairs, they are regarded as a symbol of marital bliss as well as fertility (because they produce many eggs).


According to Young, the Chinese value cooking -- then eating -- a live fish, especially one that puts up a valiant fight to its delicious end in the pot. Its tenacity represents immortality, enabling you to metaphorically swallow the ultimate in long life and good fortune.


Show me the money


Chinese New Year celebrations resonate with wishes for success, good fortune and prosperity.


Hoe see fat choy, a dish of dried oysters shrouded in strands of fine black seaweed (also called black moss) is commonly eaten throughout the holiday.


"Hoe see," the Cantonese word for oysters, sounds similar to "good business," and "fat choy" (the same as the New Year's greeting "gung hay fat choy") symbolizes prosperity.


Dried scallops stir-fried with lettuce are also popular because lettuce -- "saang choy" in Cantonese -- sounds like "growing fortune."


For the enterprising, success is an anticipated outcome in the Year of the Snake. That's not surprising, because Chinese astrology asserts that those born in the Year of the Snake (1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001) are characterized by their good business sense, intelligence and shrewdness.


In personal relationships, "Snakes" can be disarmingly romantic and charming, but turn possessive, demanding and vengeful if crossed. The most beautiful women and powerful men tend to be born under this sign (for example, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, two iconic "Snakes").


Chinese who abide by ancient tradition may avoid having a baby during the Year of the Snake. A son is desirable, but a daughter is not. It is thought that a girl born in the Year of the Snake will be gorgeous, but unfaithful, with many lovers -- even after she's married!


In addition, you are not supposed to eat the animal being celebrated in the lunar year.


Chinese New Year Do's and Don'ts


Chinese believe that if you approach New Year's in the "correct" way, you can change your fortunes in the coming year.


They also believe it is truly possible to wipe the slate completely clean and begin anew. Some words of advice from Grace Young and restaurateur Ming Tsai:


Don't eat the animal being represented in the lunar new year (this year, no snake on the menu).


On New Year's Eve (last night), do clean your house thoroughly and get rid of clutter.


Before New Year's Eve, do pay all your bills.


On New Year's Day (today), don't touch a knife or a cutting board, and refrain from doing household chores.


On New Year's Day, do wear your new clothes.


On New Year's Day, don't read a book, because the Chinese word for book sounds like the word for "loss" in Chinese.


On the first three days following New Year's, avoid spending money. Money that leaves your hands the first three days forecasts a "year of loss."


Do think positively; banish all negative thoughts and avoid getting into arguments.


And, most certainly, do eat auspicious "good luck foods" throughout the Chinese lunar new year to ensure good fortune, prosperity and abundance.



2 cups skim milk

4 tablespoons margarine, cut into pieces

1 egg

2 egg whites

1/2 cup granulated sugar; or 5 teaspoons Equal for Recipes; or 12 packets Equal,

Sweet 'n Low or Splenda

11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3 dashes ground mace (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups cubed, day-old French or Italian bread, (3/4-inch cubes)


Heat milk and margarine to simmering in medium saucepan; remove from heat and stir until margarine is melted. Cool 10 minutes.


Beat egg and egg whites in large bowl until foamy; mix in Equal, cinnamon, cloves, mace and salt. Mix milk mixture into egg mixture; mix in bread.


Spoon mixture into ungreased 11/2 quart casserole. Place casserole in roasting pan on oven rack; add 1 inch hot water. Bake, uncovered, in preheated 350-degree oven until pudding is set and sharp knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.



2 packages active dry yeast (41/2 teaspoons)

1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)

2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (divided)

1 cup warmed milk

2/3 cup butter (11/3 sticks; never use margarine)

2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

7 to 8 cups all-purpose or bread flour, or more if needed



1 cup melted butter (2 sticks; divided)

13/4 cups granulated sugar (divided)

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

11/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

11/2 cups raisins (optional)


Creamy glaze:


2/3 cup melted butter (11/3 sticks)

4 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 to 8 tablespoons hot water


To make dough: Combine yeast, warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a cup and stir; set aside.


In a large bowl, mix warmed milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a slightly stiff dough (dough will be sticky).


Turn out onto a well-floured board and knead 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.


Place in a well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk in a warm place, free from drafts, about 1 to 11/2 hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15-by-20-inch rectangle.


To make filling: Spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 11/2 cups sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins.


Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edges together to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Coat bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and an 8-by-8-inch pan with remaining 1/2 cup melted butter, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place slices close together in pans.


Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until nicely browned. Let cool slightly, then spread with glaze.


To make glaze: Mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until glaze is of desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.



Vegetable oil

4 (10-inch) flour tortillas

6 ounces shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided use

1 (6-ounce) can crab meat, well-drained, divided use

1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chilies, divided use

3 tablespoons minced cilantro, divided use

3 green onions, chopped, including some of dark green part, divided use

Optional garnishes: Sour cream and/or salsa

Set all ingredients, except garnishes, next to stove.


Heat about 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in medium-large skillet, preferably nonstick, on medium-high heat. Add 1 tortilla. Sprinkle with half of cheese, crab meat, chilies, cilantro and green onions. Top with tortilla and press down lightly with spatula. Cook until tortilla is nicely browned and cheese is starting to melt, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn with flat spatula and cook opposite side until nicely browned and cheese is thoroughly melted.


Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling ingredients.


Cut each quesadilla into 8 wedges and serve hot, offering bowls of sour cream and salsa as optional garnishes.


(Serves 6)


3 pounds tomatoes

1 medium onion

1 small carrot

1 small clove garlic

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 quart chicken stock

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup light cream


Coarsely chop the tomatoes, onion, carrot and garlic.


Melt the butter in an 8-quart soup or stock pot. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook slowly until lightly browned.


Add the flour and mix well. Add the stock and tomatoes, cover, leaving the lid askew, and cook over low heat for 1 hour.


Puree soup mixture in a blender or food processor and then pass through the medium blade of a food mill. Return to the pot.


Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Add the light cream and reheat slowly to serve.



Nutty, spinach-like dou miao (pea shoots) are delectable

BY SIRINA TSAI Special to the Mercury News

Pea shoots, like many Asian vegetables, go by a number of names.


Some call them ``pea vines'' or ``pea tips'' because they are the tender tips of the edible pea plant -- the top several leaves and the tendril that ends the vine. ``Pea shoots'' is a translation from the Chinese dou miao (Mandarin) or dau miu (Cantonese). Pronounce

"dough meow."


By all these names, they are delicate, nutty and spinach-like. But unlike spinach, they do not harbor grit, and they do not leave an astringent coating on the tongue. Also, the stems are as tender as the leaves and do not have to be removed, as spinach stems often do.


Over the last 10 years, pea shoots have appeared with increasing regularity in Bay Area Chinese restaurants, but they are not often listed on the English menu. One has to ask for them, or be able to read Chinese. For this reason, I think it best to refer to them as dou miao because that's the name that will get results. Asking for ``pea vines'' is very likely to result in quizzical looks.


In Chinese restaurants, dou miao are usually sauteed quickly with garlic; sometimes they appear in soup. Some say they are best sauteed in lard. I have no doubt this is true, though I have never asked any restaurant what fat it uses. I eat whatever oil comes in the dish, no complaints.


In one of my early encounters with dou miao, I went to a restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown with a Chinese-American friend and her aunt. My friend's aunt ordered a flurry of dishes, including sauteed dou miao, which was on the special Chinese-language menu. Our enormous, busy meal attracted the attention of the next table, which had no Asians. They wanted to know what that green vegetable was. We recommended it highly; they practiced saying ``dou miao'' (dough meow). They got spinach. Hopefully this was a rare incident. But if you order dou miao and get something that tastes suspiciously familiar, it's worth raising the issue with the restaurant, both to curb such practices and to taste the real thing.


Or you can try dou miao at home. Fresh pea tips are available in several local Chinese grocery stores. They cost $3 to $4 a pound and are available most of the year -- somewhat less in the winter, when it's difficult to keep pea plants happy. The stems are branching and hollow all the way up to the curly tendrils. The oval leaves are bright green, slightly larger than silver dollars, and grow in pairs every inch or two up the stems. It is normal for the leaves to have a powdery blush.


When they first arrived in stores several years ago, dou miao were often pre-packed in plastic bags. Now they sell well enough that most stores keep them in loose piles. This is the better way to buy, since you can choose only the handfuls that look good to you. As with any green vegetable, the leaves should be green and unwilted. Dou miao are usually very clean, since they come from the top of the plant, away from dirt. They do occasionally shelter a few bugs. I am no insect lover, but I take their presence as a sign that the produce is very fresh. Dou miao keep well in the refrigerator if packed closely, but not crushingly tight, in a plastic bag. They are best used within a few days. I have, however, kept them this way for up to two weeks.


Dou miao's popularity in the Asian community has spawned a variation. Instead of waiting for pea plants to reach adulthood, some growers harvest young plants whole when they have about six leaves. The young sprouts are cheaper than shoots, sometimes as little as 99 cents a pound. Their leaves are dime-sized and blush-less, and the stems pale, straight, skinny and solid. They tend to be less buggy than large dou miao, and also very clean, even though they grow low to the ground (sometimes a sprout will come with the seed still attached). This is because they are grown either hydroponically or indoors, where the rain cannot splash dirt on them.


Although the two types of dou miao can be used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. Shoots from mature plants are sweeter and softer when cooked, and have a higher proportion of leaf to stem. A plateful of sauteed shoots is uniformly dark green, whereas sauteed sprouts look like spinach mixed with a lot of lime-green spaghetti bits. Raw sprouts, on the other hand, make better salads; they are crisper and taste like fresh peas, and their daintiness makes them pretty as well as tasty. Also, they are more likely to be available when large ones are not because young plants are easier to nurture in greenhouses year-round.


In Chinese, the two types are distinguished by calling them ``large'' and ``small'': da dou miao and shao dou miao. Da dou miao, the large shoots, are also sometimes called wan, (late) because they come from the mature pea plant. This linguistic tidbit is not important in the grocery store because you can easily see the difference between the large shoots and the small sprouts. But in a restaurant, you might want to ask if the dish is made with large or small dou miao, for two reasons:


To ensure you get the type you want in the dish you want -- in stir-fries, da dou miao are more tender; in soup, both are fine; in salads, shao dou miao have the better flavor.


To know what you are getting for your money -- large dou miao are much more expensive, as raw ingredients, than the small ones, but this difference is not always reflected in the menu price.



" This is a very, very good teriyaki marinade. It's good for chicken,

steaks, fish and making beef jerky."


2 cups soy sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar, divided

3/4 cup white sugar, divided

1 cup honey

8 green onions, cut into 1 1/2 inch sections

4 slices fresh ginger root


1. Combine soy sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, green

onions, ginger and garlic in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring the mixture to a

slight boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Pour the remaining white and brown sugars and the honey into the

saucepan. Bring to a boil. When the mixture rises and foams, and doubles

in size, remove the pan from heat and cool.


From fonder - the French word for "melt," the term "fondue" has several meanings. It is basically a casual dining procedure in which the food is dipped (or even cooked) in a single heated pot at the table.

In French cooking, the term "fondue"

refers to finely chopped vegetables that have been reduced to a pulp by

lengthy and slow cooking. This mixture is often used as a garnish, usually

with meats or fish.


Wrapped in Bacon, With Wild Rice and Celery Root Stuffing



1 cup wild rice

3 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 stalk lemon grass, split lengthwise

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

2 small knobs of celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into thin slivers (use a food

processor or mandoline, if you wish)

4 medium leeks, trimmed, well-washed, dried and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

(use3/4of the stem)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Roast chicken:

1 5-pound chicken, giblets removed and saved for another use

2 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise

2 lemons, cut in half

1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme leaves

6 to 8 thick slices bacon

16 small red-skinned potatoes

6 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths

1 cup dry white wine (optional)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (optional)


To make the stuffing: In a medium pot, bring the wild rice, water, salt, and lemon grass to a boil, then cover, and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is fluffy and tender, 35 to 55 minutes. Discard the lemon grass and set the cooked rice aside.


Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it's soft, about 5 minutes. Add the celery root to the skillet and cook until the slivers have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the leeks and cook them until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the wild rice and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.


To make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Rub the chicken all over with the garlic cloves, and place the garlic in the body cavity. Squeeze the juice from the lemons all over the chicken, inside and out, and place one of the lemon halves in the body cavity. Spoon the stuffing into the chicken. Close the body cavity with metal skewers. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle the thyme over the chicken. Wrap the bacon strips around the chicken to almost cover it completely. You may poke additional twigs of thyme in the bacon strips -- it looks very pretty. Place the chicken, breast up, on a rack in a large roasting pan, preferably nonstick. Surround the chicken with the potatoes and carrots.


Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cook, occasionally stirring the vegetables, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees, about 90 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large serving platter and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes.


To serve: Remove the bacon from the chicken (if it sticks, let it stay) and set it aside. Using a sharp knife, carve the chicken. Spoon the stuffing out of the cavity onto a platter. Serve the chicken with the bacon, stuffing, carrots, and potatoes.


If you wish to make gravy, set the roasting pan over a low flame and add the wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom. Whisk in a tablespoon of flour and whisk like mad over a low flame until all the flour is combined. Simmer for 1 minute.


(Makes 2 quarts)


2 quarts popped popcorn

1 teaspoon mustard (dry)

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Dash of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon low-sodium salt


Keep popcorn warm. Mix seasonings together. Add to popped popcorn and mix thoroughly.


Among the many treasures Courtney Robison brought back from Ghana is a traditional wooden grinding bowl. This is a mortar and pestle with grooves carved into the bowl. Sometimes made of clay and sometimes wood, it makes fast work of mashing garlic, ginger, tomatoes, herb leaves, etc. -- much faster than the traditional European, smooth-sided mortar and pestle. And, we both agreed, faster to clean than a food processor. (I have used a similar invention -- the Japanese suribachi, an earthenware bowl with grooves in it and a wooden pestle, which for more than 30 years has made fast work of any mashed vegetable sauces, such as pesto or guacamole. Suribachis are readily available at Asian import stores.) Of course, you can use a food processor or a blender if you prefer.


1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 large red onion, chopped (divided)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium tomato

Hot pepper (minced fresh or ground) to taste

1 bunch coco yam leaf (not available in Portland; use fresh spinach instead)

1/4 cup palm oil (see note)

About 2 cups water

2 tablespoons agushi (ground melon seeds; see note)

Salt and black pepper to taste (optional)


For serving: African yam, steamed plaintain or hot rice


Grind the ginger, half of the onion, the garlic and the tomato in a grinding bowl or food processor. If using fresh hot pepper, include it here (wear rubber gloves when handling fresh chilies to keep the hot oils off your skin; they can burn). Set aside.


In a separate pan on medium-high heat, steam spinach until soft. Remove from stove; set aside.


Heat the palm oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add a few pieces of the remaining onion -- onion should sizzle -- and a spoonful of water. When the hissing stops, add the rest of the onions and the ground mixture. Rinse the blender or grinding bowl with the 2 cups of water and add to the pan.


Grind the steamed spinach in the grinding bowl and add it to sauce. Add agushi, stir. Add salt and ground pepper, if using, to taste.


Serve with boiled and drained chunks of African yam, or sliced, steamed plantain (see note). Or serve over steaming hot rice.


Notes: Palm oil is hard to find in the Northwest. It's also a very hard fat, as saturated as lard. While its flavor is unique, I found the ginger, onion, garlic flavor base of the sauce strong enough to carry very well when I substituted peanut oil.


Note: Find palm oil, agushi (ground melon seeds), plantain, and precooked frozen African yam at the African Food Market, 1910 N. Killingsworth St., 503-283-8585.


Serves 4

For spicy hoisin sauce:

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons ground red pepper or red chile paste

For beef skewers:

1/2 cup lemongrass, finely minced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon oil

2 scallions, finely diced

12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 10 minutes

French baguette or hot steamed rice


For hoisin sauce: Mix hoisin sauce and water until smooth. Stir in ground red pepper or red chile paste to taste.


For ground beef skewers: Preheat grill or broiler. Using a mini food processor, finely mince lemongrass, onion and garlic.


In a large mixing bowl, knead together lemongrass mixture, ground beef, salt, pepper, sugar, oyster sauce, cornstarch, oil and scallions. Set aside for 15 minutes.


Make 12 meatballs approximately 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Thread them onto skewers, leaving 2 inches free at each end. Oil your hands and gently squeeze meatballs along skewer to form a sausage 6 inches long. Place beef skewers on grill, and turn occasionally until they are a rich golden brown. Or broil them.


To serve: Pop the meat into a baguette or serve on top of bowls of steaming white rice. Drizzle on some spicy hoisin sauce.


(Makes 21/2 quarts)


21/2 quarts popped popcorn

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

6 ounces light pancake syrup

2 teaspoons maple or caramel extract


Put popped popcorn in a large bowl and keep warm. In a 21/2 quart saucepan, combine yogurt and light pancake syrup. Bring to 225 degrees on a candy thermometer and remove immediately from the heat. Add maple or caramel extract. Pour over popped popcorn, stirring to coat.


Serves 4

For pineapple-tomato sauce:

1 medium tomato

3/4 cup pineapple juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon oil

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

2 scallions, finely sliced

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons fish sauce

For meatballs:

1 pound ground pork or beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 scallions, finely sliced

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 teaspoon oil

For serving:

Hot steamed white rice or baguette

Red vinegar

Hot chili sauce


For pineapple-tomato sauce: Use food processor or blender to puree tomato. In a small bowl, mix pineapple juice and cornstarch.


Heat oil in a small saucepan and stir-fry garlic, onion and scallions until fragrant. Stir in tomato puree, pineapple-cornstarch mixture, sugar and fish sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat. Sauce is ready when it becomes clear and thick.


For meatballs: In a large bowl, combine ground pork or beef, onion, scallions, oyster sauce, flour, sugar, salt and red pepper. Knead mixture until well-combined.


Form mixture into 12 meatballs and place in one layer in a small oiled bowl in a steamer. Steam meatballs for 30 minutes.


To serve: Transfer meatballs to a serving dish and top with pineapple-tomato sauce. Serve meatballs atop hot rice or tucked into a baguette. Pass red vinegar and hot chili sauce.



1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 cup roasted vegetable broth or other vegetable stock

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dash of paprika


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook over medium heat for a minute, stirring constantly, then mix in the dry mustard. Gradually whisk in the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Dijon mustard and season to taste with salt, pepper and paprika. Serve with Roasted Winter Vegetables.


2 pounds cooked beef brisket, plus all pan juices (see note)

2 cups uncooked dried kidney beans

10 cups water (5 cups for soaking the beans; 5 cups for cooking them)

Chili powder seasoning (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups diced onions

1 cup diced mild or hot chile peppers, or a mixture of both (see note)

6 large cloves garlic, minced

1 14-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes with juice

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste


Garnishes: Fresh or canned salsa, diced onion, grated cheddar or jack cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro


Prepare the brisket as directed below. Cool the cooked brisket, trim off the fat, and chop the meat into small pieces, saving the juice. Refrigerate meat and juice.


Wash the beans, checking for stones that sometimes are mixed in with dry beans. Soak the beans in 5 cups of water to cover for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Drain the beans. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, cover the beans with 5 cups fresh water. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for approximately 11/2 hours, or until the beans are soft and begin to split open (some beans may cook in less time). Remove the lid and allow the liquid to cook down until it begins to thicken, 20 to 35 minutes.


While beans are cooking, prepare chili powder seasoning.


Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onions, chilies and garlic over high heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover, and continue to cook for an additional 8 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and very soft. Stir in the 61/2 tablespoons of chili powder seasoning, then the chopped meat and brisket pan juices. Remove from heat.


Add the meat mixture to the undrained beans (in the bean pot), then add the tomatoes, Tabasco, cumin, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat until thick, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, but not too often. (That is called "bothering the pot.")


Add salt to taste, if necessary. Fifteen minutes later, taste and adjust the flavoring. If you prefer a spicier chili, add either more chili powder seasoning (mix it into a paste with a little water before adding to the pot) or Tabasco.


Have your choice of garnishes ready in bowls for serving. Serve the chili in large soup bowls. Sprinkle cheese and onion over the top, put a small dollop of sour cream in the center of each bowl, and top with cilantro. Serve the salsa on the side.


To make beef brisket: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a whole beef brisket (4 or more pounds) in a roasting pan. Cover the top with any commercial dry onion soup mix (the kind that makes great onion dip works well; it will take 2 packets). Put 1 cup water in the bottom of the pan. Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil, making sure it is sealed all around the edges to keep the steam in. Roast for approximately 21/2 hours, or 35 minutes for each pound of beef. When finished cooking, allow the brisket to sit in the covered pan for an additional 20 minutes before removing the foil. Use leftover brisket to make sandwiches or burritos.

Chili Powder Seasoning

4 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon salt

11/2 teaspoons dried oregano


Combine paprika, cayenne, salt and oregano. This can be made in larger portions; if so, store what is left over in an airtight jar; it will keep for months.


Note: Wear gloves when handling fresh, canned, dried or pickled chilies; the oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.


One last thought: Chili always tastes better the next day, after the seasonings have blended. For this reason, it is a good idea to make it ahead of time when possible. When reheating, you may need to add a little water, as the beans will absorb the juices while cooling.


The meat in this dish can be cooked the day before and reheated. Buy some slaw at the deli to go along, and put out olives and pickles.


1 bone-in or boneless beef chuck roast, about 5 pounds

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 large onion, chopped

3 cups ketchup

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)

12 to 15 hamburger buns


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


Place roast in baking pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast, uncovered, 2 hours. Let set 30 minutes, then slice fairly thin.


Make a sauce by mixing together the onion, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, water, cornstarch, chili powder, paprika, pepper, vinegar, brown sugar and allspice. Return meat to roasting pan, layering with the sauce. Cover tightly with lid or foil and roast at 325 degrees another 3 hours. Keep warm until serving time at 250 degrees.



With Tomato-Anchovy Sauce Makes 4 servings


This is an incredible side dish first served to me by Sharon Van Loan, co-owner of the Steamboat Inn in Southern Oregon. It appears in her cookbook, "Thyme and the River Too," which she co-authored with chef Patricia Lee. It's a unique and wonderful accompaniment to poached salmon or other delicately flavored seafood, and is certainly worth the time and effort required to make it. Coincidentally, Sharon told me that this recipe was originally adapted from "Great Recipes for Great Weekends," by the editors of Food and Wine magazine.


4 cups parsley, large stems removed, plus 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (divided)

4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick; divided)

1/3 cup minced shallots

1/2 cup whipping cream

3/4 teaspoon salt (divided)

3/4 teaspoon white pepper (divided)

11/2 cups fine bread crumbs (divided)

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup olive oil (divided)

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon rinsed and chopped capers

1/2 cup chopped canned Italian peeled tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

Sprigs of parsley for garnish


Blanch the 4 cups of parsley in large pot of boiling water until wilted, about 2 minutes; drain, rinse under cold water, drain again, then coarsely chop.


In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, add the shallots, and saute until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the drained parsley and the cream. Cover and simmer over medium-low to low heat until most of the cream is absorbed, about 10 minutes.


Scrape the parsley mixture into a bowl. Stir in1/2teaspoon salt,1/2teaspoon pepper,1/2cup bread crumbs and the swiss cheese. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Mixture may be prepared to this point up to 24 hours ahead.


When the parsley mixture is cold, press it into 8 round cakes, each measuring 2 inches in diameter. Coat the parsley cakes with1/2cup flour, then dip in the egg and then coat with the remaining 1 cup bread crumbs.


Refrigerate the cakes while preparing the sauce.


In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat. Add the anchovy paste and garlic and saute about 1 minute, just until garlic has softened slightly and released its aroma. Add the capers, tomatoes, lemon juice and wine; simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are combined, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season with the remaining1/4teaspoon salt and1/4teaspoon pepper. Add the 1 tablespoon chopped parsley; keep warm while frying the parsley cakes.


(The sauce may be prepared up to 24 hours ahead. To use, gently reheat just to simmer, then remove from heat.)


In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the parsley cakes and cook until the first side is well browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. Drain the cakes on paper towels. Spoon one fourth of the heated sauce onto each of 4 plates, then place 2 parsley cakes on each, and garnish with parsley sprigs.


(Makes 16 wedges)


Vegetable oil, for greasing pan

2 (10-inch) flour tortillas

1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 16 lengthwise slices

About 6 ounces cold Brie, cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch lengthwise slices

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced serrano chili; see cook's notes

1/2 teaspoon salt, coarse salt preferred


Cook's notes: Wear gloves. Use caution when working with fresh chilies. Wash hands and work surface thoroughly upon completion and do NOT touch your face or eyes.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Generously grease large jellyroll pan.


Place tortillas on prepared pan. Arrange pear wedges like the spokes of a wheel, radiating from the center. Arrange Brie slices between the pear slices. Sprinkle on onion, chili and salt.


Bake 3-5 minutes, or until edges of tortilla are browned and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes.


Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges. Yields 16 open-faced wedges




2 tablespoons granulated sugar or 3 packets Equal, Sweet 'n Low or Splenda

1 cup red wine

1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 whole clove

2 firm Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored (may substitute canned pear halves)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


To prepare using sugar, combine sugar, wine, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.


If using artificial sweetener, add it AFTER the wine mixture has simmered for 5 minutes.


Arrange pear halves in a baking dish, core side up. Pour liquid over pears, cover with lid or foil and bake 10 minutes.


Remove from oven and uncover. Turn pears over and spoon the cooking liquid over the fruit. Re-cover and return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes (if pears are ripe or soft or if using canned pears, cooking time will be shorter).



2 tablespoons granulated sugar or 3 packets Equal, Sweet 'n Low or Splenda

1 cup red wine

1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 whole clove

2 firm Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored (may substitute canned pear halves)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


To prepare using sugar, combine sugar, wine, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.


If using artificial sweetener, add it AFTER the wine mixture has simmered for 5 minutes.


Arrange pear halves in a baking dish, core side up. Pour liquid over pears, cover with lid or foil and bake 10 minutes.


Remove from oven and uncover. Turn pears over and spoon the cooking liquid over the fruit. Re-cover and return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes (if pears are ripe or soft or if using canned pears, cooking time will be shorter).





The oldest ears of popping corn were found by archaeologists in a bat cave in New Mexico. Radiocarbon tests dated the corn at about 5,600 years old.


Commercial popcorn poppers used at the movie theaters create fewer UPKs, or unpopped kernels, also referred to as "old maids."


Until the 1950s, movie theaters had a virtual monopoly on popcorn sales, but as Americans turned to television and then videos for entertainment, more popcorn was eaten in the home. Today, 60 percent of popcorn is consumed at home.


The first popcorn machine made its debut in 1885. Home poppers were introduced in 1925. By 1945, inventor Percy Spencer discovered that when popcorn was hit with microwave energy, it popped, thus leading to experiments with other foods.


Orville Redenbacher introduced the first microwave popcorn brand in 1976.


Popcorn kernels can pop up to 3 feet in the air.


Popcorn comes in two basic shapes: a snowflake and a mushroom.


Cracker Jack, a mixture of candy popcorn and peanuts, was first sold at vaudeville shows.


Too pooped to pop? Not on Super Sunday



(Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2001)


This is strictly a puff piece, just in time for the perfect pairing of Super Bowl Sunday and the laziest couch potatoes.


Whether you like yours fluffy white or buttery yellow -- no, not couch potatoes! -- it takes a whole lotta hot air to pump up the 1.12 billion pounds of popcorn that Americans eat every year.


Feel like keeping track of the "old maids" (unpopped kernels) or need a recipe for cherry almond popcorn clusters? Just pop over to the Popcorn Board's Web site, www.popcorn.org.


Legend has it that Quadequina, brother of Wampanoag Chief Massasoit, brought a deerskin bag of the puffed stuff to the first Thanksgiving feast.


Call it intuition, but the Pilgrims figured they'd gussy up that plain popcorn. The next morning, they served it for breakfast with cream and sugar.


English colonists eventually popped their corn on a circular sheet-metal contraption that revolved on an axle in front of the fire.


Along the way came commercial movie-house poppers, then jet-set Jiffy Pop, health-conscious air-poppers and handy microwave pouches.


All do the same neat trick: when a popcorn kernel is heated, the drop of water inside expands, causing pressure equal to about 135 pounds per square inch to build. When the hull finally gives way, there's an explosion of steam.


Poof! The kernel is turned inside out. Let's just say that what you serve with your popcorn is up to you.


Gussying up to the kernel:


Mix popcorn with nuts, dried fruit or toasted coconut.


Sprinkle warm popcorn with grated Parmesan.


Mix 4 cups popcorn with grated cheddar cheese; place in the oven until the cheese melts.


Add 1 teaspoon curry powder to heated butter or oil and pour over popcorn.


Skip the croutons; sprinkle popcorn over soups or salads.


Dust popcorn with a sprinkling of cinnamon.


Add a dash of hot sauce to butter before pouring over popcorn.


Pour warm butterscotch or caramel sauce over popcorn; spread on waxed paper or roll into balls.


Sprinkle 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast over popcorn instead of salt and butter.


Popcorn equivalents: 1 ounce of unpopped popcorn kernels (2 tablespoons) makes approximately 1 quart of popped popcorn




3/4 cup granulated sugar; or 18 packets Splenda; or 6 tablespoons sugar plus 9 packets


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (see note)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 eggs

1 15-ounce can pumpkin

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk (may substitute low-fat or fat-free)

1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell (4-cup volume)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl; set aside. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.


Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


Note: If using metal or foil pan(s), bake on preheated heavy-duty baking sheet(s).


Note: 13/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice may be substituted for the cinnamon, ginger and cloves; however, the taste will be slightly different.



Line up 'Kickoff Quesadillas' for a game-long feast


THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER (Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2001)


Super Bowl Sunday brings out the nibbler in all of us.

And what nibbles better than quesadillas?

Even in Baltimore, they'll be forsaking their beloved crabcakes for crab quesadillas.


In New York and New Jersey ... well, they'll always have each other and the Holland Tunnel.


Quesadillas may well be the ultimate comfort food.


Warm tortillas, crisp and golden, snuggling with luscious, oozing cheese.


To add to its irresistibility, the melted mixture may have a little cilantro or salsa, or a smattering of spicy sausage or caramelized onion. Maybe some diced mango, sliced olives or chopped avocado. Cooked chicken. Crab meat.


It's pure comfort for the cook and soothing delectability for the recipient.


Because they are fast and easy to prepare, they're great for folks glued to TV football. Paired with a salad, they become a satisfying meal.


Heating techniques vary. Some cooks saute quesadillas in a skillet in a little sizzling vegetable oil (or a combination of butter and oil). Others prefer the brown-them-in-the-oven approach. Others like to combine the two techniques, sauteing first, then finishing them in the oven for added crispness.


I've even heard of students in college dorm rooms, wrapping one of those beauties in a pillowcase, then pressing them with a hot iron on the cotton setting.


Whether they're flat or folded, fried or baked, it's the combination of ingredients in the filling that seems to be most important.


Try using fresh Mexican cheeses (white, slightly salty, fresh cheeses called queso fresco that are now available in many supermarkets).


Equal parts of shredded pepper Jack cheese and queso ranchero (a type of queso fresco that is commonly available) is a delicious combination in quesadillas.


Recipes for a wide variety of quesadillas follow. Some are cozy, some are chic.


Serves 4

4 cups lightly packed, small dou miao, torn (4 ounces)

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, cut into 1- to 2-inch lengths

1/4 cup finely chopped black olives, preferably oil-cured (about 18 olives)

Half a lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Toss together the dou miao, onion and olives. Drizzle with lemon juice and pepper, then toss again with olive oil. This is good both freshly made and after the dou miao wilts from the lemon juice.






Serves 4

Red is a lucky color to the Chinese. During the New Year's celebration, we exchange gifts in red envelopes to ensure good fortune. In this dish, a spicy sweet and sour red sauce is the ``red envelope'' bearing a gift of succulent deep-dried fish fillets.


1/2 cup slivered Chinese sweet mixed pickles (see Note) or sweet gherkins, drained

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water


1 1/2 pounds mild-flavored firm white fish fillets such as red snapper, halibut, or sea bass, each about 3/4-inch thick

Salt and pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

Flour for dry-coating

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Slivered green onion for garnish


To prepare sauce: Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens slightly. Keep warm while preparing fish.


To prepare fish: Cutting only 1/2-inch deep into fish, score fillets lengthwise at 1-inch intervals. Then score fish crosswise at 1-inch intervals. Lightly sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Place egg and flour in separate shallow bowls. Dip fish in egg, drain briefly, then dredge with flour, shaking off excess. Set aside.


Set wok in a ring stand and add oil to a depth of about 2 inches. Over high heat, bring oil to 375 degrees. Slowly dip fish fillets into hot oil and cook, turning occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Lift out and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a platter. Pour warm sauce over fish. Garnish with green onion.


Note: Mixed pickles are sold in jars in Asian markets.









Deli and take-out foods have become a regular part of many families' meals. But mishandling these foods can affect their safety as well as their quality. Any perishable foods handled incorrectly can cause illness.


Those with a weakened immune system are especially vulnerable. Pregnant women and newborns, older adults, those undergoing cancer treatment, or people with AIDS, diabetes or kidney disease are in this category. Following are some tips to prevent problems.

Handling foods safely

Harmful bacteria can grow rapidly in the "danger zone" (between 40 and 140 degrees F). So remember the two-hour rule: Discard any perishable foods left at room temperature longer than two hours.


If you wish to keep hot food you have purchased longer than two hours, hold it in the oven at 200 to 250 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is 140 degrees F. or higher. Cover foods with foil to help keep them moist.


If you are serving the hot foods much later, they will taste better if they are refrigerated and then reheated. When reheating, make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, or heat the food until it is hot and steaming.


When reheating in the microwave, cover food and rotate it so it heats evenly. Allow standing time to give the heat more time to spread throughout the food.


Consult the microwave oven's manual for recommended cooking time, power level and standing time. Insufficient heating could cause illness if harmful bacteria are present.


Refrigerate any cold foods immediately.


Food safety rules

We say these things often, but they are worth repeating.


Always wash hands, cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water after they come in contact with raw meats, poultry, seafood and eggs.


Because some bacteria -- such as Listeria monocytogenes -- can slowly grow at refrigerator temperatures, always use hot, soapy water to clean up any liquid that spills in the refrigerator, especially from packages of luncheon meats and hot dogs. Ready-to-eat foods, raw meat, poultry and seafood can contain dangerous bacteria, so keep them away from vegetables, fruits, breads, and other foods that are already ready to eat.



Extra precaution

For those with a weakened immune system, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends reheating deli meats, cold cuts, hot dogs, luncheon meats, fermented and dry sausage, and meat and poultry products until steaming hot to destroy bacteria. If these foods cannot be reheated, do not serve them.


Do not drink raw, unpasteurized milk or eat foods made from it, such as unpasteurized cheese that has been aged less than 60 days. Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined varieties and Mexican-style cheese. Hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt are safe.


Observe all expiration dates for perishable precooked or ready-to-eat foods.



Set your refrigerator to 40 degrees or below. Deli meats should be kept no longer than three to five days. Deli salads should be used within three days. Serve fried chicken, pizza and cooked meat and poultry within three to four days. If stored longer, they may begin to spoil or become unsafe to eat.


Cooked meat or poultry can be frozen three to six months; fried chicken four months, pizza or luncheon meats one to two months.


Salads made with mayonnaise do not freeze well.


Foods kept frozen longer than these recommended times are safe to eat but may be drier and may not taste as good.



Keep a stash of ingredients on hand to spiff up your deli salads.


Like what? These, for example:


Artichoke halves, canned or bottled marinated


Baby corn, canned


Carrots and celery


Cheeses -- such as blue, feta and parmesan


Chili sauce, Asian


Chipotle peppers, canned


Chives, fresh or dried






Currants and raisins


Dijon mustard


Fruit -- fresh, canned and dried, such as apricots, cherries, cranberries, mixed


Ginger, crystallized or bottled stem, or fresh


Green onions


Herbs, fresh -- such as basil, cilantro, oregano, parsley and rosemary


Lemons and limes


Mandarin oranges, canned


Nuts -- almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts and walnuts




Bell peppers -- red, green, orange or yellow


Pineapple, fresh or canned


Rice seasoning


Salad dressings, including some citrus-based


Sesame oil and seeds


Spices, large assortment of dried


Tomatoes, fresh or sun-dried


Vinegars -- balsamic, cider and wine varieties







Serves 6

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6-8 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

1 pound dou miao , preferably large

teaspoon salt

cup water


In a large saute pan or wok, heat oil on high. When it ripples, add garlic and toss quickly until fragrant. Add dou miao and salt alternately and in batches, letting each batch of dou miao wilt slightly before adding more. As the moisture from the leaves evaporates, add the water. Toss just until all the leaves are wilted. Remove from heat.



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.


(6 appetizer servings)


2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon golden brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar

11/2 cups grated smoked Gouda cheese

4 (10-inch diameter) flour tortillas

2 ounces sliced prosciutto, chopped

Pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees 15 minutes before baking.


Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, brown sugar and vinegar; saute until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes, lowering heat if necessary to prevent over-browning. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.


Sprinkle cheese over half of each tortilla, dividing equally. Sprinkle prosciutto and sauteed onion over cheese. Season with pepper. Fold other half of each tortilla over cheese mixture. Brush tortilla with some of melted butter.


Brush heavy, large skillet with some of melted butter. Place over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook quesadillas just until brown spots appear, brushing skillet with butter between batches, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer quesadillas to heavy large baking sheet. Bake until tortillas are golden and cheese melts, about 5 minutes.


Transfer quesadillas to work surface. Cut each into 6 triangles. Arrange on platter and serve hot.



1 15-ounce can pumpkin

11/4 cups evaporated skimmed milk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 packets Sweet 'n Low

11/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 9-inch graham cracker crust


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, evaporated skimmed milk, eggs, sugar, Sweet 'n Low, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and salt until well-blended.


Pour into pie crust. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake pie 45 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Chill. From www.sweetnlow.com


(Serves 10)


1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup almonds

11/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

4 figs, preferably Black Mission, or 1 large papaya or 1 large banana

2 large oranges

Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to cook after melting, until lightly browned and emitting a nutty scent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the browned butter to cool.


In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Toast the almonds in a 350-degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes, then finely grind them. Add them to the flour mixture. Set aside Reduce oven to 300 degrees.


Pour the browned butter into a mixer equipped with a whip attachment. Add the sugar and whip on high speed. Add the eggs one at a time at 30-second intervals, while continuing to whip. Fold the dry mixture into the butter-egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Set aside.


Cut the hard stems off the figs and cut each fruit lengthwise into 6 wedges. Using a sharp knife, trim the tops and bottoms off the oranges, then cut all the peel and pith from the flesh, working your way around the fruit.


Section the oranges by cutting between each membrane and removing each wedge of fruit. Fold the fig wedges and orange sections into the batter.


(If using papaya instead of figs, peel and cut into 1-inch chunks. If using banana instead of figs, slice into 1-inch slices.)


Prepare a 10-inch round cake or springform pan by greasing with butter or oil and dusting with flour, tapping out any excess. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.


Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. When cooled, invert it onto a serving dish. Sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.


11/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Sesame-Ginger Marinade (recipe follows)

1/2 cup rice vinegar

21/2 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided)

1 cup julienned fresh fennel

11/2 pounds fully ripe fresh tomatoes (about 3 large)

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Steamed rice and asparagus, for serving (optional)


Slice chicken into 2-inch cubes; place in a bowl. Add Sesame-Ginger Marinade and let stand for about 30 minutes.


To pickle fennel: In a small bowl, combine rice vinegar with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Add fennel and marinate about 15 minutes.


To make tomato stew: Cut tomatoes into 11/2-inch cubes (makes about 4 cups). In a small skillet, over medium heat, heat sesame oil. Add garlic and ginger; cook and stir until lightly browned, about 30 seconds; stir in tomato cubes. Add soy sauce, mirin and remaining1/2tablespoon sugar; simmer and stir until tomatoes are tender, but still hold their shape, about 5 minutes. Keep mixture warm over low heat.


Drain chicken and discard marinade. Add cornstarch to chicken; toss to coat. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Add chicken; cook, turning once, until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes.


To serve, surround chicken with tomato stew; top chicken with pickled fennel. Serve with steamed rice and asparagus, if desired.


Sesame-Ginger Marinade


1/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dark sesame oil

2 tablespoons sliced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons sliced garlic

2 thinly sliced green onions


Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and green onions in a small bowl.


Makes 4 servings


1/2 cup dry elbow macaroni (2 ounces)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 large carrot (about1/2cup sliced)

1 large onion (1 cup chopped)

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic

1 141/2-ounce can beef broth, fat removed

1 141/2-ounce can fat-free chicken broth

1 141/2-ounce can stewed tomatoes

11/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence seasoning blend (see note)

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 cup frozen green beans

1 15-ounce can great Northern beans, drained

Black pepper to taste

1/4 cup Spinach Parsley Pesto (recipe follows)


Bring 5 cups of unsalted water to a boil in a covered 2-quart or larger pot over high heat. Add the pasta and cook 7 minutes (it's done but still firm). Drain.


Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 41/2-quart Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Peel the carrot and thinly slice it, adding the pieces to the pot as you slice. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the pot as you chop. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring until the carrots are tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.


While the vegetables cook, open the can of beef broth and remove any visible fat. Raise the heat under the Dutch oven to high. Immediately add the beef and chicken broths, the stewed tomatoes, herbes de Provence and sugar. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.


When the soup is boiling, add the green beans and great Northern beans. Adjust the heat and let the soup boil gently, covered, for about 5 more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high if necessary.


In the last minute of boiling, add the macaroni to the soup pot. Season with black pepper to taste. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon Spinach Parsley Pesto. Serve at once.


Note: If you don't have herbes de Provence seasoning, substitute Italian seasoning blend.




Spinach Parsley Pesto


2 cloves garlic

1 bunch parsley, preferably flat-leaf (about 1 cup packed leaves)

2 cups packed, already-washed fresh spinach leaves (half a 10-ounce bag)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/8 teaspoon salt


Peel the garlic by placing the broad side of a chef's knife or other flat surface over each clove and giving it a firm whack with your hand. Drop the cloves one at a time through a food processor feed tube onto the moving blade. Chop finely.


Rinse and dry the parsley in a lettuce spinner or use paper towels. Remove and discard the tough stems. Drop the leaves through the feed tube onto the moving blade and mince finely.


If the spinach is gritty, rinse and dry using a lettuce spinner or paper towels. Remove any tough stems and discard. Add half the spinach to the processor bowl and drizzle a tablespoon or so of the oil through the feed tube while processing. Process until finely minced, about 15 seconds. Repeat with the remaining spinach, drizzling in another tablespoon or so of oil. Add the walnuts and process until well-chopped, about 15 seconds.


Add the cheese and salt to the bowl and process while drizzling the remaining oil through the feed tube, about 15 seconds. Serve at once, or refrigerate up to 4 days, or freeze up to 3 months. Makes 11/2 cups.


Note: To freeze the pesto, line six cups of a muffin tin with plastic wrap. Scoop1/4cup pesto into each. Twist the plastic wrap to close it around the pesto, secure the bundle with a twist-tie, then freeze the bundles in the muffin tin until solid. Once frozen, remove the pouches from the tin, drop them into a zipper-top plastic bag and store in the freezer.




6 tablespoons beef drippings from roast

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt


Pour beef drippings (add butter if needed) from roast into shallow pan (about 9-by-12 inches) and keep very hot in the oven.


Beat eggs until foamy, add milk and beat until frothy. Stir in flour and salt and beat until smooth.


Pour the batter into the hot drippings and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, or until golden and puffed. Spoon onto plates with beef.



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