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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 87

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



































































3/4 cup finely ground almonds

1/2 cup C&H Pure Cane Granulated Sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 tablespoon whipping cream

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup NESTLÉ(r) TOLL HOUSE(r) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, melted


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and foil-line baking sheets.


Combine almonds, sugar, butter, cream and flour in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until melted and smooth (about 5 minutes).


Drop by teaspoonfuls about 5-inches apart on to sheets. Bake only a few at a time for 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; place baking sheet on a wire rack (do not remove cookies from sheet); allow to stand for about 1 minute.


Cookies should be cool enough to be removed from sheet with a spatula but warm and flexible enough to be shaped. Remove cookies to a sheet of wax paper on a flat surface.


Working quickly, cut each cookie in half; crimp straight edge (using thumb and forefinger) to form a fan shape. (If cookies cool too fast return to oven to soften).


Meanwhile melt chocolate chips slowly in a double boiler; dip edges of cookies into chocolate. Place cookies onto a wire rack to become firm. 18 cookies




1 cup water, boiling

2 tablespoons NESTLÉ(r) CARNATION(r) Nonfat Dry Milk

1 tablespoon NESTLÉ(r) TOLL HOUSE(r) Baking Cocoa

1 packet sugar substitute

1/8 teaspoon almond extract


Combine water, powdered milk, cocoa, sugar substitute and almond extract.

Makes 1 serving.







1 cup cake flour

1 1/2 cups sugar or confectioners sugar

1 1/2 cups egg whites

2 1/2 tablespoons cold water

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon salt


Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)


1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Sift, then measure the cake flour. Add and re-sift 1/2 cup of the sugar to the flour 6 times.


In a separate large bowl combine the egg whites, water, cream of tartar, vanilla, almond extract and salt. Beat until stiff but not dry. Stop while the mixture is still glossy.


Fold in, about 2 tablespoons at a time, the remaining 1-cup of the sugar. Then fold in the dry ingredients lightly, a little at a time, with a rubber spatula.


Bake batter in an ungreased tube pan for about 45 minutes. To cool, place cake upside down on top of an inverted funnel with the spout inserted in the center of the tube.


Pour frosting over angel cake, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle a generous portion of toasted sliced almonds on top immediately so they adhere to frosting. Allow cake to sit for an hour or two to allow the frosting to set up. Cut gingerly with serrated knife.




1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

5-6 tablespoons Almond Breeze (original or vanilla flavor)

Whisk the first five ingredients together until smooth and then add small amounts of Almond Breeze to achieve desired consistency. Frosting should be somewhat loose so that it can be drizzled over cake.




Succulent shrimp are poached in garlic-scented broth, finished with lemon zest and a hint of cream and tossed with delicate angel hair pasta. Special enough for entertaining yet easy enough for a busy weeknight.


8 ounces angel hair pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 large pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.


Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and sauté garlic for 1 minute, or until just golden; do not brown. Add chicken broth and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until pink, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add Parmesan cheese, cream and lemon peel; cook about 3 minutes to thoroughly heat, but do not boil. Season with salt. Combine shrimp mixture and chopped cilantro with the angel hair pasta; toss to mix. Serve immediately. Servings: 4




1 pound asparagus spears

1/2 cup water

2 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon capers

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 egg, chopped


Chop asparagus spears and cook in water until tender, about 5 minutes; drain. In a blender or food processor, combine the asparagus with milk, dried onion flakes, salt, dry mustard, capers, and pepper. Process until smooth. Heat to serving temperature and garnish with chopped, hard-boiled egg. Servings: 4







"Sopa de Couves"

Serve this soul-warming soup with crusty peasant bread. Spanish chorizo is available

at Spanish and some Latino markets.

(Makes 8 to 10 servings)


1 pound dried red kidney beans, washed and sorted

12 cups water

1 pound chourico or Spanish chorizo (not Mexican chorizo), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

2 cups torn kale or collard greens leaves, tightly packed

2 large boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks


1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste, optional


Soak beans in 12 cups water in large pot or Dutch oven overnight.


Bring beans and water to boil. Add chorizo. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are barely tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent beans from sticking to bottom of pot.


With slotted spoon, remove half the beans, mash them well with back of fork and scrape them back into the pot. Add kale, potatoes, salt to taste and red pepper flakes. Return to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Soup is best when allowed to stand several hours. Reheat before serving.

Copyright 2000 David Leite and Leite's Culinaria (http://www.leitesculinaria.com.)




Serves 6


For sorbet:

1 cup small red rose petals (organic, not treated with pesticides)

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 bottle champagne

For rose petals:

12 rose petals (organic, not treated with pesticides)

1 egg white

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For sorbet: Wash petals; pluck off white part at the end of each. In a medium saucepan, combine petals and lemon juice. Stir petals over low heat until petals disintegrate; plunge them into a bowl of cold water. Drain petals. (This maximizes flavor and bright color.)


In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Stir until sugar dissolves; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let cool down. To finish the sorbet, add champagne and rose petals to the syrup. Mix gently. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions until firm, 20 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately in a chilled glass and garnish each with crystallized rose petals.


To crystallize rose petals: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg white for 1 minute with a fork. Brush egg white lightly on both sides of each petal. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place petals on a small sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place in oven for 10 minutes until they crystallize. Store on parchment paper in an airtight container




1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

9 tablespoons LAND O LAKES(r) Butter, divided

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 plastic wrap

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese


Sift flour with salt and cayenne pepper. Using 2 knives or a pastry blender combine 6 tablespoons of butter with flour mixture; blend cheddar cheese into this combination. Stir in cream, blending until the mixture forms a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 2 hours.


After dough has chilled preheat oven to 450°F.


Roll dough thinly (about 1/16-inch thick) on a lightly floured surface; cut into rounds or diamonds or other desired shape using a cutter. Reroll until all dough has been used. Arrange on baking sheets. Brush lightly with beaten egg; bake for 5-7 minutes or until browned lightly. Remove from oven; place onto cooling racks.


Cream Swiss cheese in a small bowl with remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Divide cheese mixture among half the baked cheese crackers. Make sandwiches by pressing remaining crackers on top, pressing lightly. Bake again at 450°F for 4 minutes or until cheese is just melted. Serve immediately. 24 servings




Throw in a few initials with a little twist on the last part, and you have the name of Paul Fleming and Philip Chiang's Chinese bistro creation, P. F. Chang's. Since the first location opened in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993, over 50 new ones sprouted up across the country -- in more than 20 states. No matter the location, it's this dish that gets first raves. Like the very-dead McDonald's McD.L.T. hamburger, which disappeared around the time the first P. F. Chang's opened, the contrasting textures of the cool crispy lettuce and the hot meat filling come together in your mouth for a tasty oral dance party. According to waiters, those little dark bits in the chicken filling mix are "black mushrooms," and there's a good chance your local supermarket doesn't stock them. But a great alternative can be found in the Asian food section -- straw mushrooms. Just remember to chop the chicken, water chestnuts and mushrooms up real good for the final sauté. Slip this filling into a lettuce cup, fold it up like a taco, add a little "secret sauce," get down tonight.


From Top Secret Recipes:


Special Sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon sesame oil


1 tablespoon Chinese hot mustard

2 teaspoons water

1 to 3 teaspoons garlic chili paste


Stir Fry Sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar


1 cup fried maifun (rice sticks)*


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 chicken breast fillets

1 cup minced water chestnuts

2/3 cup canned straw mushrooms

3 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)


4 to 5 sliced iceberg lettuce cups

These mushrooms do the trick, and they taste absolutely nothing like straw.


Chop, chop, chop. Notice the small pieces of food. This is a good thing.

Hard working lettuce cups production unit in high swing.


1. Make the special sauce (for spooning over your lettuce wraps) by dissolving the 1/4 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you're ready to serve the lettuce wraps. Combine the 2 teaspoons water with the Chinese hot mustard and set this aside as well. Eventually you will add your desired measurement of Chinese mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over your lettuce wraps. In the restaurant chain, skilled master craftsmen prepare the sauce at your table the same way, depending on your desired heat level. We'll talk more about that later.

2. To prepare the filling for your lettuce wraps, bring 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Sauté the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done. Remove chicken from the pan to cool. Keep the oil in the pan and keep the pan hot.

3. As the chicken cools be sure your water chestnuts and mushrooms have been minced to about the size of small peas.

4. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.

5. When you can handle the chicken, hack it up with a sharp knife so that no piece is bigger than a dime. With the wok or pan still on high heat, add an additional tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken, garlic, water chestnuts and black mushrooms to the pan. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and sauté the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it onto into a dish lined with a bed of fried rice noodles (maifun).

6. Serve chicken with a side of lettuce cups. Make these lettuce cups by slicing the top off of a head of iceberg lettuce right through the middle of the head. Pull your lettuce cups off of the outside of this slice.

7. Make the special sauce at the table by adding your desired number of mustard and chili sauce to the special sauce blend: 1 teaspoon mustard and chili sauce for mild, 2 teaspoons each for medium and 3 teaspoons of each for hot. Stir well.

8. Assemble lettuce wraps by spooning filling into a lettuce cup, adding special sauce over the top, folding the sucker up like a taco, then munching down upon it with reckless abandon. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Serves 2 to 3 as an appetizer.



Follow the directions on the package for frying the maifun (rice sticks) -- usually by pouring 2 inches of vegetable oil into a pan and heating to around 400 degrees. Add maifun, a little at a time, and when it floats to the top remove it to a paper towel. This expansive crisping process is actually quite exciting.




8-oz almond Hershey candy bar

2 oz. crème de cacao

1-1/2 oz. Amaretto

8 oz whipped topping

1 chocolate or graham crust


To make crust: Crumble 20 Oreo chocolate cookies, frosting and all, in blender. Melt 1/4 cup margarine. Mix with cookie mixture. Press into pie tin or 8-inch square pan.



Melt 8 oz almond Hershey bar in double boiler. Add crème de cacao and Amaretto. Cool Fold in 8 oz. whipped topping. Pour into crust. Serve chilled.




1 (15-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts

2 tablespoons flour

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup whipping cream

2/3 cup hot fudge ice cream topping

1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling


Preheat oven to 450°F.


Allow both crust pouches to stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Remove one crust from pouch; unfold. Press out fold lines. If crust cracks, wet fingers and push edges together. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon flour over crust. Turn crust, floured side down, on ungreased cookie sheet. Using paper pattern as guide, cut crust into heart shape.* Generously prick heart crust with fork. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool. Repeat with the remaining crust.


Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and almond extract in a small bowl; beat until smooth. Add whipping cream and beat until thickened.


To assemble, place one heart-shaped pie crust on serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup of the hot fudge. Carefully spread half of cream cheese mixture over hot fudge. Spoon 2/3 of the cherry filling over cream cheese. Spread second crust with remaining hot fudge and place over filling. Carefully spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Spoon remaining cherry filling about 1 inch from edge. Refrigerate until serving time. Store any remaining torte in refrigerator.


Cooking Tips

*To make pattern, cut a piece of paper into a heart shape about 10-1/2 inches high and 10 inches wide.









2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

5 tablespoons softened butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup yogurt

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Amaretto or other liqueur

Powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside


In a large bowl, beat softened butter until creamy. Add sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light in color.


Whisk together, egg, egg whites and vanilla and then gradually beat in to the butter/sugar mixture.


Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with yogurt, beating on low speed until the dry ingredients and yogurt are incorporated into the other ingredients.


Finely chop and toast the slivered almonds and fold into batter.


Pour ingredients into a buttered bundt pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Let cool for 30 minutes.


Tap the bundt pan on the sides firmly to loosen the cake and turn upside down onto a working surface. Sprinkle a generous amount of liqueur on the bundt cake then sift a generous amount of powdered sugar over the liqueur.


Note: You can also put your favorite transparent glaze or frosting over cake.




(Makes 4 dozen)


3 egg whites

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Beat egg whites until stiff. Mix powdered sugar and cocoa together in a bowl.


Gradually add vanilla and powdered sugar mixture (one quarter of the sugar at a time) to the egg whites, beating for only a few seconds on low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated. Hand fold in the walnuts.


Place one teaspoon of meringue mixture onto cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and bake for 13-15 minutes. The cookies will puff up.




Into a blender Cinnabon adds concentrated flavoring, some ice and a curious secret ingredient referred to only as a "dairy product." When blended smooth, out comes these thick, refreshing drinks which look and taste like they were made with ice cream. For this clone we use half-and-half (that's half cream and half milk for those of you across the pond). It gives this version the exact same creamy consistency as the original with its custom "dairy" ingredient. Strawberry is the most popular of the flavors, but the other two are tasty as well. The Mochalatta version uses the TSR clone of the Mochalatta Chill from last week and produces as thicker blended version of the drink, similar to Starbuck's popular blended Frappuccino. These will definitely cool you off in the heat. Just watch out for the brain freeze.



1 cup water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 cups crushed ice

4 ounces frozen strawberries (4 large strawberries)

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup Hershey's strawberry syrup


1. Combine the water and sugar in a cup and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add this sugar syrup to other ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until the drink is smooth. Serve in two 16-ounce glasses.

Makes 2 large drinks.



3 cups crushed ice

1 cup water

2/3 cup orange juice

1/2 cup half-and-half

3 tablespoons Tang orange drink mix


1. Mix all ingredients in a blender set on high speed until smooth and creamy. Serve in two 16-ounce glasses.

Makes 2 large drinks.



3 cups crushed ice

1 1/2 cups TSR version of Mochalatta Chill

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup


1. Mix all ingredients in a blender set on high speed until smooth and creamy. Serve in two 16-ounce glasses. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Makes 2 large drinks.




24 whole clams

8 tablespoons LAND O LAKES(r) Butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

4 tablespoons green bell peppers, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs


Pre-heat oven to 400°:F.


Shuck clams*: discard the top shell and replace meat in bottom shell preserving as much of the juice as you can. Place the clams in a shallow baking pan.


In a saucepan, melt one half of the butter and saute crushed garlic clove and chopped green bell pepper for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining butter, lemon juice, and dry bread crumbs, mix thoroughly.


Divide the bread crumb mixture evenly on top of the clams and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.


*To pop shell easily, steam or microwave just until shells pop open.





(Makes 12 servings)


1/2 pound backfin or lump crab meat

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small onion, minced

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon each: Worcestershire sauce, prepared horseradish

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, or other seafood seasoning

5 dashes hot pepper sauce

1 can (133/4 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese Crackers for serving


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pick over crab meat, removing shells; set aside.


Melt butter in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook until golden, 3 minutes. Whisk in cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, seafood seasoning and pepper sauce until combined completely. Fold in artichoke hearts and crab meat.


Pour mixture into shallow, ungreased 3-cup oven-proof bowl or 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top. Bake until bubbling and golden, 30 minutes. Serve with crackers.



"Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa"

(Makes 6 to 8 servings)


This recipe is adapted from one by Chef Manuel Azevedo of LaSalette Restaurant in Sonoma, who was born on the island of Sao Jorge in the Azores.


He literally turns this favorite dish upside down. Instead of cooking and serving it from the casserole dish as is customary, he inverts it onto a baking sheet, then removes the dish, allowing the exposed codfish to brown slightly and the layer of potatoes on the bottom to crisp.


If you prefer well-done potatoes, leave the inverted casserole dish in place and cook for the recommended time, then uncover and continue cooking until the codfish is lightly toasted. The additional time will allow the potatoes to get extra-brown.


2 pounds dried salt cod

6 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 large yellow onions, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

Dash nutmeg

White pepper, to taste

4 medium waxy potatoes, boiled, cooled, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

8 hard-cooked eggs, halved, for garnish

Portuguese olives and chopped parsley, for garnish

Rinse cod under cold running water to remove any surface salt.


Place fish pieces in large nonreactive pot, cover with water and refrigerate (covered) 24 hours, changing water several times.


Pour off water, refill pot with clean water and gently boil cod until it flakes easily with fork, 8 to 10 minutes (or longer), depending on thickness.


Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until barely brown, 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Set aside.


Drain cod and let cool. Flake it into large bowl and remove any bones or bits of skin. Add onion-garlic mixture, nutmeg, white pepper and remaining olive oil, and toss lightly. Pack mixture into well-oiled 9x13-inch oven-proof casserole dish. Top with potato slices.


Lightly oil a baking sheet, place it over the casserole and invert.


Carefully remove casserole dish to keep cod mixture intact. Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes, or until cod is lightly toasted. If cod begins to burn, cover it with a tented piece of foil.


To serve, cut a square of cod and center it on a plate. Drizzle with additional olive oil to moisten. Garnish with egg halves, several olives and some parsley.

Copyright 2000 David Leite and Leite's Culinaria (http://www.leitesculinaria.com.)





Feeling crabby? Crustaceans crawl into mainstream



(Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2001)


Crab culture has gone nationwide.


Crab used to be a strictly regional indulgence. If you lived anywhere between San Francisco and Seattle, Dungeness crab was the local specialty.


Up Alaska way, king crabs and their long legs were the ones to ogle.


In Maine, Jonah crab was a crustacean competitor with the beloved lobster.


In the mid-Atlantic, the blue crab industry was a proud part of the local economy and the subject of fiercely competitive crab cake contests at summer festivals.


And for the magically regenerative stone crabs, which grow back their shorn claws, Florida and the Gulf were the places to go.


But these sea creatures were enjoyed strictly on their own turf, so to speak. To this day, some crab enthusiasts in one part of the country have never tasted the crabs from another.


Yet like so many products that were once solely available in their native pocket of America, crab is making its way onto the national table.


For seafood specialists, today's market is a long way from the days when Northern California consumers got their crab from San Francisco's famed Fisherman's Wharf (where Dungeness crab reigns supreme in many forms).


At a restaurant, crab makes for a pricey appetizer, whether served in spring rolls, as crab cakes or as a stack of cooked legs or claws.


Crab in its various forms tends to appear next to that dreaded menu term, "market price." Another reason crab kept its regional identity was that if you didn't grow up eating it, it seemed like a pretty mysterious product.


Compared to lobsters, which have obvious sources of meat in the tail and claws, crabs, with their spindly little legs and relatively small amount of meat in their bodies, seem like the 98-pound weakling on the beach.


King crabs, on the other hand, have always been an easier sell because the meat is easy to remove from their big legs.


Stone crabs have large, meaty claws, but cracking the marble-hard shell of a stone crab is tough stuff, which is one reason why they were popularized through a restaurant -- Miami's famous "Joe's Stone Crab," where cooks still whack up to 1,500 pounds a day of the claws for their customers.


For home cooking, choices have mostly been limited to cans of processed crab meat or the fake crab meat ("krab") known as surimi, a composite of such fish as pollock and whiting. Now fish markets and some supermarkets sell shelled crab meat and pre-cracked stone crab claws, making it a ready-to-eat ingredient for the home kitchen.


Crab cakes can suit formal and informal entertaining. On the East Coast, mostly around Baltimore, a crab patty on a hamburger bun or sandwich roll can be picked up for a few dollars at fairs and seaside food stands.


People who prefer to shell out for crab only on special occasions know that miniature crab cakes topped with a dollop of creamy sauce make the perfect cocktail treat or first course.


Hot crab dip, oozing irresistibly with cheese, can be filled out with chopped artichoke hearts, spinach or other vegetables.


Those who want more of a challenge will tackle a whole Dungeness crab, prepared Asian-style in the wok with heady seasonings such as lemon grass, ginger, chilies and garlic.




DUNGENESS: These crabs, most prominent at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, can be found from the Aleutian Islands to Southern California and are in season from November through February. The meat is very sweet and feathery. The shelled meat is best when served cold.


KING: These large crabs are found in the northern Pacific Ocean, from Alaska to Russia and Japan. The crabs usually are broken into sections, glazed in brine and frozen before shipping.


ATLANTIC BLUE: These crabs can be found from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico. The largest concentrations are in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico. They crabs get their name from the blue color on the male claws. Fresh shelled crab sold at a seafood counter often has been pasteurized and is ready to eat. The firm, sweet meat is equally good served hot or cold.


JONAH, ROCK OR PEEKYTOE: These are various names for the crabs found primarily from Canada to Cape Cod. They have large claws and knuckles, which are the major source of their meat.


STONE: In season from October to May, the hardy crabs are harvested off the coasts of Florida and Texas. The crabs are pulled from the sea, shorn of one claw (ouch!) and returned to the water, where a claw grows anew. The process takes from a year to 18 months. Claw sizes are classified from medium (about seven claws per pound) to colossal (one or two claws per pound). Stone crabs are purchased already cooked and chilled.


SOFT-SHELL: Blue crabs that have shed their winter shell and have not yet grown the new, hard shell for the summer. The crabs are "dressed," or cleaned, by having the eyes and gills removed. After that, every bit of the crab may be eaten; best served pan- or deep-fried; they do not take well to boiling, steaming or grilling.


SHE-CRABS: Have you ever seen "she-crab" soup on the menu? You will if you travel to Charleston, S.C., where it's a popular local specialty. It simply means soup made with female blue crabs and their roe, which give the soup a pink tinge.



Makes 30


1/2 cup sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped green pepper

2 eggs


1 pound cooked crab, minced

1/2 cup minced celery

1/2 small onion, grated

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dry mustard


For puffs: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift together flour, salt and pepper; Melt butter in boiling water; add onion and green pepper. Add dry ingredients to liquid. Stir constantly. Cook until mixture leaves sides of pan in a smooth ball, stirring vigorously. Remove from heat and cool one minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition until mixture is smooth again. Drop by teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart on greased and floured sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Cool.


For filling: Mix all ingredients well. Cut side of puff and fill with crab mixture.



"Pasteis de Nata"

(Makes 12 servings)




2 cups flour, plus more for rolling

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

5 to 7 tablespoons ice water




1 tablespoon cornstarch

11/2 cups whipping cream

1 cup sugar

6 egg yolks


Be sure pastry ingredients are well chilled and custard ingredients are at room temperature. The pastry is partially baked before filling to eliminate an uncooked pastry layer that sometimes can result.


To prepare pastry: In bowl of food processor, pulse flour, salt and sugar to combine. Add butter and pulse until flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 one-second pulses. Drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Pulse several times to work water into flour. Add remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until mixture develops small curds.


Turn dough out onto work surface, shape it into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.


On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16th-inch thickness. Cut out 6 (41/2-inch) circles. (If you don't have a cookie cutter, a wide-mouth jar works well.) Ease dough circles into 12 (4-ounce cup capacity) nonstick muffin tin cups, pressing out any overlapping folds. Repeat with remaining dough.


Place tin in freezer 5 minutes. Trim any overhang with back of knife so that pastry cups are flush with top of muffin cups. Line dough cups with muffin paper liners and fill with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake at 350 degrees 10 minutes to set. When cool, remove liners and beans.


To prepare Custard: In medium bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup cream. Add remaining cream and sugar. Stir until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Check for sugar granules with spoon. None should remain.


In small bowl, beat yolks with fork until smooth. Add yolks to cream mixture, stirring gently to combine. Ladle egg mixture into partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity.


Bake 350 degrees until edges of custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, 20 to 25 minutes (custard will continue to cook after removed from oven). Cool completely in pan. (These are best when eaten same day as they are baked.)

Copyright 2000 David Leite and Leite's Culinaria (http://www.leitesculinaria.com.)





(Serves: 4)


6 tablespoons butter, divided use

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 bay leaf

1 whole clove

2 cups whole milk

2 (10-ounce) bags ready-to-use spinach

Salt and pepper, to taste


Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until light golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in onion, bay leaf and clove.


Gradually whisk in milk. Whisk until mixture boils and thickens, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes longer, whisking frequently (sauce will be very thick). Discard bay leaf and clove. (Can be made one day ahead up to this point. Cover, chill. Before proceeding, rewarm over medium-low heat, whisking often.)


Cook spinach in large pot of boiling water just until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Transfer spinach to bowl filled with ice water to cool. Drain well. Roll up spinach in kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Transfer to processor and finely chop. Add spinach to warm sauce, simmer over low heat until spinach is heated through, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper; serve.





(Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2001)


I get all kinds of responses when I tell people where my family is from. My favorite was uttered at a party by a young woman swathed in a gauzy, tie-dyed dress who was eating an alarming amount of hummus:


"Oh, the Azores! You know, they're the remains of the lost city of Atlantis. I lived there in a past life."


Most people know surprisingly little about my family's homeland, and even less about our food. And for good reason: Strewn some 1,000 miles off the coast of Portugal, the Azores -- Terceira, Sao Miguel, Faial, Sao Jorge and five other islands -- are happily marooned in the middle of the Atlantic.


Unfortunately, so too is our distinctive cuisine (unless you live in California's Central Valley -- a rich, century-old repository of immigrants from the Azores and the motherland, Portugal).


Geographic isolation is only one conspirator in our food's invisibility. Like most peasant cuisines, Azorean cooking is home-based; economics prevent most families from frequenting restaurants. Mine was so poor that "acordas" -- brothy soups filled with swollen chunks of crusty homemade bread -- were sometimes all there was to fill bellies.


Consequently, owning a cafe or "pastelaria" (pastry shop) held little promise. So when Azoreans arrived in the United States during the great waves of immigration in the early part of the 20th century, few opened eating establishments. In turn, our food remained largely undiscovered by Americans.


Those mothers and grandmothers who wanted to formally share their recipes were thwarted by illiteracy, because in the old country most of them weren't required to attend school. Without any permanent records, many family favorites disappeared from the table when the cooks passed away.


Despite such obstacles, Azorean food has managed to thrive -- and even resist being overtaken by the Mediterranean-infused cuisine of mainland Portugal.


"Our food is more authentic Portuguese because we have fewer Spanish influences," says Ana Taveira, a well-known cook on the island of Sao Miguel. "We don't use much cilantro, curry or cinnamon.


We're more heavy-handed with other spices, especially the hot ones." She adds proudly, "Ours is a simple, hearty food." For tiny islands, the archipelago's foods are remarkably regionalized, differing by island, town and even neighborhood.


According to Deolinda Avila, Palo Alto author of the self-published book, "Foods of the Azores Islands," Sao Miguel and some towns on Pico lead the way in the use of hot peppers.


Manuel Azevedo, a Sao Jorge native who owns LaSalette Restaurant in Sonoma, says, "Polvo (octopus) wasn't as popular in my family or on my island as it was in other places. We liked lamprey and limpets more."


To further compound our rich gastronomic diversity, some islands embrace spices such as cumin, allspice and cloves while others dismiss them entirely.


Nowhere is Azorean individuality seen more than in "sopa de couve," the islands' version of Portugal's unofficial national dish, "caldo verde" (green broth).


"Sopa de Couves is made differently in the Azores than on the mainland," explains Avila. "On Faial we use more potatoes and don't mash them (to make a thickened base). We also don't cut the greens into thin strips. It's a more country dish the way we make it."


Variations include the addition of red beans, ham hocks or beef shanks and a sizable portion of "chourico" (spicy smoked sausage), not the miserly single slice of the mainland version.


David Leite runs Leite's Culinaria Web site: www.leitesculinaria.com.




2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs

1/3 cup margarine

2/3 cup milk

40 large marshmallows (10 oz pkg)

1/2 cup green crème de menthe

1/4 cup white crème de cacao

2 cups whipping cream

5 drops green food coloring


Mix crumbs and melted butter. Reserve about 2 Tblsp to sprinkle for topping. Press remainder into greased 10-inch pie tin. Bake at 350* for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Over low heat, in a 3-quart pan, stir milk and marshmallows until they melt. Cool. Chill for a few minutes until it thickens. Stir until smooth. Stir in liqueurs. Beat cream until stiff. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream. Fold in food color. Pour into crust. Sprinkle

with reserved crumbs. Freeze or chill about 3 hours until set.




Looking for romance? Try figs and chocolate



(Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2001)


Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays because I'm a romantic at heart. And although I've known for decades that love and romance are affected by what we eat, historical information and recent scientific studies confirm my suspicions.


In theory, certain foods stimulate our nervous systems, increasing blood flow to ... shall I say, vital parts.


Research shows that many of these ingredients are high in vitamins and minerals and also low in fat, assuring us a healthy diet, healthy body and healthy love life.


Since the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, began spreading the word, foods have been associated with the enhancement of passions.


Historically, phallic ingredients were reputed to be some of the most powerful aphrodisiacs. Asparagus, celery, leeks, rosemary make the list.


Avocados were so highly esteemed by the Aztecs that during harvest season, virgins were not allowed outside their homes for fear of becoming pregnant. (How about that guacamole?)


For centuries Asians have prescribed foods such as shark's fin, ginseng, cinnamon, star anise and peppercorns. In Western society, there are many references to artichokes, shiitake mushrooms, honey, figs and chilies as love foods.


Regardless of whether you are a believer in these romantic notions, we all know there is a lot of love involved when someone cooks us a wonderful meal. I've always thought that cooking is really an act of love.


Here's a way to prove my theory. Try this fig dessert on Valentine's Day. It's simple, and anyone can make this recipe for a loved one.


Try to find fresh figs for this dish; however, if you can't, just use canned figs. Drain the liquid before broiling them.


I recommend dark, bittersweet chocolate, but you can also use white chocolate or a combination of both if you're feeling amorous.


The pine nuts for the garnish can be used as is. However, they taste much better if you toast them.


Clearly this dish contains some highly regarded romance foods to put you in the right frame of mind for love; perhaps the rest of your body will follow.


The amount of chocolate you use depends on your appetite.




1 pound lasagna noodles

1 pound spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound mushroom, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

3/4 teaspoon crushed dried basil

3/4 teaspoon crushed dried oregano

3 cups ricotta cheese

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup prepared marinara sauce

2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Cook lasagna noodles as directed in the package; drain. Steam spinach until just tender; drain and squeeze out the moisture; coarsely chop and set aside.


Heat the oil in a large skillet; add mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil and oregano. Cook over medium-high heat until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Set aside.


Combine ricotta cheese, 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper in mixing bowl. Set aside.


Set aside 1 cup mozzarella cheese.


Coat a 13X9X2-inch baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Layer lasagna noodles, half of Ricotta mixture, half of spinach mixture, 1/2 of mozzarella cheese, 1/2 Parmesan cheese. Repeat layer, adding a layer of marinara sauce before topping with final layer of noodles. Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with parsley. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Servings: 12




(Serves: 6)


4 cups fresh green beans, trimmed



5 strips sliced smoked bacon

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon

shallots, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste



2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


Cook green beans in salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Cool in iced water to retain color. Drain and pat dry. Set aside while preparing the dressing.


In a skillet, saute the sliced bacon in the olive oil. Add the garlic, shallots, thyme and tarragon and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sherry vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Mix beans with the warm vinaigrette and top with crumbled feta cheese.



Serves 4 as an appetizer

1 Melogold or 2 regular grapefruit (Note: Don't substitute pomelo, which is too dry)

1/4 cup brown sugar

8 -12 mint leaves, cut in fine strips


With a sharp knife, cut off the skin and outer membrane of the grapefruit in vertical strips. Remove segments with fingers or a knife. Arrange on a heat-proof serving platter. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon brown sugar over each segment. Broil on high about 5 minutes, or until brown sugar has melted. Remove. Garnish with mint strips. Serve warm.




Serves 2

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon fennel seed

Black pepper

1 bone-in rib steak (about 2 pounds)

1/2 bunch rosemary, stems removed

1/2 bunch thyme, stems removed

4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

2 ounces bucheron or other aged goat cheese

Handful of pitted nioise olives (about 12)

2 handfuls of dandelion leaves (about 1/4 pound)

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Parsley sprigs and thyme sprigs


For the marinade: Crush garlic, fennel and black pepper in a mortar to a rough paste. With the tip of a knife, prick a few holes in the surface of the steak and the fat cap. Rub marinade on surface of beef, pushing into the holes. Set aside to bring to room temperature.


To cook: Build a fire in a grill. Let it burn down to glowing embers. Cook steak over coals, turning occasionally, to slightly under desired temperature. Set in a warm place to rest for 5 minutes.


To make salad: Simmer potatoes in water and chicken stock with rosemary and thyme until cooked through and almost falling apart; then drain.


Bring cheese to room temperature and crumble into salad bowl. Add olives, potatoes, a little of the potato cooking liquid, vinegar, olive oil and dandelions. Season with salt and pepper; and toss gently to combine.


To serve: Place herb branches on coals and rewarm steak about 2 minutes on each side. Slice steak, season with sea salt, and serve with the salad. Be sure to pour any juices, released from the steak while resting, back over the meat.




Serves 2

For beurre blanc:

1 cup white wine

1 small shallot, minced

2 tablespoons heavy cream

8 ounces sweet butter

For raspberry beurre blanc:

3/4 cup sweetened raspberry juice

1/2 cup white wine

1 small shallot, minced

2 tablespoons heavy cream

8 ounces sweet butter

For raspberry coulis:

1/2 cup sweetened raspberry juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

For creme fraiche sauce:

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup heavy cream

For halibut:

1 cup coarsely ground hazelnuts

1/4 cup unsalted butter


2 (6-ounce or 7-ounce) pieces halibut fillet


For beurre blanc: In a small saucepan, bring white wine and shallots to a boil and reduce liquid to 1/4 cup. Add cream and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and gradually whisk butter into mixture, returning to low heat as necessary. Strain.


For raspberry beurre blanc: In a small saucepan, add juice, wine and shallots, and bring to a boil. Reduce to 1/4 cup. Add cream and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in butter, returning to heat when necessary. Strain.


For raspberry coulis: Bring juice to a gentle boil. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch and water and whisk into juice, then simmer for 1 minute, then let cool.


For creme fraiche: Mix sour cream and heavy cream and let sit for 5 minutes.


For halibut: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In food processor, coarsely grind hazelnuts and set aside. Salt halibut. Generously butter a large piece of parchment paper. Coat halibut with hazelnuts and wrap in the parchment paper. Bake on a greased sheet pan for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and unwrap, placing one fillet on each plate.


To serve: For each plate, cover one half with beurre blanc and the other half with raspberry beurre blanc. In the beurre blanc, place three large drops of raspberry coulis. Run a knife through to make heart shapes. In the raspberry beurre blanc half of the plate, put three large drops of creme fraiche, then run a knife through the drops to form heart shapes. Garnish with slices of star fruit and sprinkles of pink peppercorns, if you like. (Note: You will have leftover creme fraiche, raspberry coulis, beurre blanc and raspberry beurre blanc.)



(Makes 2 servings)


4 to 6 fresh figs, halved

2 tablespoons honey

Juice of 1 lemon

2 to 4 ounces of your favorite chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or shelled pistachios

2 fresh mint sprigs, optional, for garnish


Preheat broiler unit of oven. Place cut figs in a 21/2-quart non-reactive baking dish with cut sides facing up.


In a small nonreactive bowl, mix honey and lemon juice together with a wire whisk and drizzle over figs. Broil 15 minutes until warmed through and figs are lightly brown. Remove from oven and set aside.


Place chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and heat in a microwave 1 to 11/2 minutes until melted. Place figs on 2 serving plates, drizzle with chocolate and sprinkle with pine nuts. If you have fresh mint sprigs, they make a nice garnish.


To toast nuts: Place in a single layer on baking pan and toast 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven until lightly browned. You may also toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes until browned.






It saddles on up next to your entree at this huge steakhouse chain, but it's not what it claims to be. Sure, the menu says "baked sweet potato," but you're actually getting a sweet and tender red-skinned yam underneath all that yummy melted butter and cinnamon/sugar. And don't just get any yam for this top secret clone. You want to use garnet yams, if you have a choice. Then be sure to cook them long enough that the sugar in the yams begins to squirt out and burn in a couple of spots. Each yam should be tender, but not mushy. The skin on the outside will turn from red to greyish-brown, and inside it will be a hearty shade of black.


4 garnet yams

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup whipped butter


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake yams for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When they are done, they will be very soft in the center, and you will see liquid from the potato oozing out and charring. When the potato is sliced open, the inside of the skin will be charred black from the caramelizing sugar in the potato. This is a perfectly cooked potato.

3. To serve, slice a potato down the center. Add two tablespoons of whipped butter, then sprinkle some cinnamon/sugar over the top. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Makes 4 servings.




6 tablespoons LAND O LAKES(r) Butter, softened

1 egg yolk

6 ounces NESTLÉ(r) TOLL HOUSE(r) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

2/3 cup C&H Pure Cane Powdered Sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup NESTLÉ(r) TOLL HOUSE(r) Baking Cocoa


In a bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, cream butter and egg yolk; set aside.


Gently melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat; stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of melted chocolate to egg yolk mixture, stir well. Transfer this mixture back into double boiler. Using a thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 160°F; stirring constantly. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl; thoroughly mix in sugar. Add nuts and vanilla and stir until well-blended. Refrigerate until firm enough to hold a shape, about 2 hours.


Shape into small 1-1/2x1/2-inch hearts. Press top side of hearts into cocoa. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 12


Cooking Tips

Heating the egg yolk to 160°F will kill off any salmonella bacteria that may exist in the yolk. Watch carefully, as the egg yolk will also begin to cook at that temperature, resulting in a curdled mixture.





5 Tblsp margarine

1/2 cup pretzel crumbs

1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

3 Tblsp sugar



1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1 tsp grated lemon peel

7 Tblsp lemon juice

5 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

5 Tblsp tequila

2 Tblsp + 2 tsp triple sec (liqueur)

5 egg whites

7 Tblsp sugar

1 lemon unpeeled, sliced thin and cut in half.


Melt butter in 9-inch pie tin. Add crumbs and sugar. Mix well. Press mixture into bottom and sides of pie tin. Soften gelatin in mixture of lemon peel and juice. Cook slowly for about 3 minutes. Do not boil. Beat egg yolks in glass bowl until very thick. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add gelatin mixture and cook until slightly thickened. Stir and add

liqueurs. Chill over ice water in refrigerator, stirring frequently until cooled. It will not be too thick. Beat egg whites to soft-peak stage. Gradually beat in 7 Tblsp sugar at high speed until all sugar is used. Whites should be glossy and moist and tips of peaks should fall slightly when beater is withdrawn. Carefully fold yolk mixture into whites. Spoon into pretzel wafer crust. Arrange lemon half-circles around edge of pie. Chill until firm. Hint: This can become rubbery if not served the day it is made.



(Makes 6 cakes)


1 pound backfin or lump crab meat

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon each: Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice

11/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 lemon, cut in wedges


Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pick over crab meat; remove shells.


Gently press to remove excess water; set aside. Mix egg, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, mustard, salt and pepper in small bowl until smooth. Stir in bread crumbs. Gently fold in crab meat. Shape crab mixture into 6 large cakes. Place on plate.


Heat some of the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry cakes in batches until golden brown on each side, about 10 minutes total. Keep finished cakes warm in 300-degree oven while cooking others. Serve warm with lemon wedges or tartar sauce.


Serve plain on a soft roll or with any toppings you like. They can be made into smaller cakes to be served as hors d'oeuvres.




Steak & Egg Bagel



2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon creamy dill mustard


1 slice of white onion, quartered

1 14-ounce pkg. Steak-Umm chopped steak (7-steaks)


4 eggs

1 teaspoon butter


ground black pepper

4 plain bagels

8 slices Kraft Singles American cheese


1. First prepare the sauce by combining the mayonnaise with the dill mustard in a small bowl. Set this aside until you are ready to use it.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Separate the onion slices and sauté in the oil until light brown.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Break up the sandwich steak into the hot pan and cook until brown. Drain off fat. Add the grilled onions to the meat and stir.

4. To make the eggs it's best to make one at a time in a small 6-inch skillet. If you have more than one of these small pans, you can save a little time.

5. Beat an egg in a small bowl with a whisk until it is smooth, but not foamy. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the egg. Heat a small 6-inch skillet over low heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon of butter to the pan. When the butter has melted add the egg to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the egg spreads evenly. As the egg begins to cook, use a spatula to pull in a couple of the edges so that raw egg flows from the top onto the hot pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then fold over one of the edges of the egg using a spoon or fork. Fold it down about an inch. Fold the opposite end over as well. Then fold the remaining two edges over, creating a small rectangular or square mini-omelette. Flip the little omelette over and turn off the heat.

6. Slice a bagel in half and place it with the faces up on a baking sheet. Grill the faces of the bagel halves in your oven set on broil until golden brown. You may also use a toaster oven for this step, but be sure to place the sliced bagel halves onto a small baking sheet or on aluminum foil.

7. When the bagels are toasted, spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the sauce onto the face of the top bagel half.

8. Place a slice of cheese onto the face of each bagel half.

9. Divide the meat into four portions and stack one portion onto the cheese on the bottom bagel half.

10. Place the finished omelette onto the meat on the bottom half of the sandwich.

11. Finish by flipping the top half of the sandwich over onto the bottom. Heat for 15 seconds in microwave if needed to warm. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Makes 4 servings.




Steak & Egg Bagel



2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon creamy dill mustard


1 slice of white onion, quartered

1 14-ounce pkg. Steak-Umm chopped steak (7-steaks)


4 eggs

1 teaspoon butter


ground black pepper

4 plain bagels

8 slices Kraft Singles American cheese


1. First prepare the sauce by combining the mayonnaise with the dill mustard in a small bowl. Set this aside until you are ready to use it.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Separate the onion slices and sauté in the oil until light brown.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Break up the sandwich steak into the hot pan and cook until brown. Drain off fat. Add the grilled onions to the meat and stir.

4. To make the eggs it's best to make one at a time in a small 6-inch skillet. If you have more than one of these small pans, you can save a little time.

5. Beat an egg in a small bowl with a whisk until it is smooth, but not foamy. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the egg. Heat a small 6-inch skillet over low heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon of butter to the pan. When the butter has melted add the egg to the pan. Swirl the pan so that the egg spreads evenly. As the egg begins to cook, use a spatula to pull in a couple of the edges so that raw egg flows from the top onto the hot pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then fold over one of the edges of the egg using a spoon or fork. Fold it down about an inch. Fold the opposite end over as well. Then fold the remaining two edges over, creating a small rectangular or square mini-omelette. Flip the little omelette over and turn off the heat.

6. Slice a bagel in half and place it with the faces up on a baking sheet. Grill the faces of the bagel halves in your oven set on broil until golden brown. You may also use a toaster oven for this step, but be sure to place the sliced bagel halves onto a small baking sheet or on aluminum foil.

7. When the bagels are toasted, spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the sauce onto the face of the top bagel half.

8. Place a slice of cheese onto the face of each bagel half.

9. Divide the meat into four portions and stack one portion onto the cheese on the bottom bagel half.

10. Place the finished omelette onto the meat on the bottom half of the sandwich.

11. Finish by flipping the top half of the sandwich over onto the bottom. Heat for 15 seconds in microwave if needed to warm. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Makes 4 servings.



Makes 20


For rosti:

1 pound russet potatoes, grated and squeezed dry

1 teaspoon flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

For horseradish cream:

1 1/2 tablespoons white horseradish (prepared type, in a jar)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

For garnish:

4 ounces smoked trout

1 tablespoon chopped chives for garnish


Mix potato, flour, salt and pepper together. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in non-stick pan. Spread 1/2 of potato mixture, 1/4-inch thick, across bottom of pan. Reduce heat to low and cook until both sides are crisp and golden, about 10 minutes per side. Remove from pan and cool slightly on paper towels. Heat remaining oil. Cook and cool remaining potato mixture.


Cut out 10 rounds from each rosti with a pastry cutter. Cool completely before topping.


Mix horseradish with mayonnaise. Place 1/2 teaspoon of the horseradish cream on each rosti, then place a small piece of smoked trout on top. Garnish with a pinch of chopped chives.




Serves 4

For Bavarian:

2 teaspoons gelatin powder

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

5 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

For Kahlua cream:

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups cream

1/4 cup Kahlua


For Bavarian: Bring water to a boil and stir in gelatin; be sure there are no lumps, and set aside. Heat milk with sugar, cocoa and espresso powder; whisk into yolks. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until thick, then strain into a clean bowl. Add gelatin mixture and stir until completely incorporated.


Let cool at room temperature, whisking occasionally. When cool, whip cream into soft peaks and fold into the mixture.


Pour into a heart-shaped mold and refrigerate until firm.


For Kahlua cream: Whisk sugar and egg yolks. In a small pan, scald cream over heat. Temper cream into yolks, then place cream and yolk mixture into a small pot and cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Strain and cool, whisking occasionally, until cold. Add Kahlua and refrigerate until ready to serve.


To serve: Unmold Bavarian. Bavarian can be coated with melted dark chocolate. Or just serve with Kahlua cream and thoughts of amour!





(for crab)

(Makes 1 cup)


1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon plus

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard or to taste

2 tablespoons whipping cream

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon steak sauce

Pinch salt


Whisk together mayonnaise and mustard in small bowl until smooth.


Whisk in cream, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce and salt until combined and smooth. Chill until ready to serve.



Makes 2 dozen large cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons water

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 cups rolled oats

1-2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and water and beat until smooth.


Sift dry ingredients together. Add to butter mixture and mix well. Fold in oats and raisins.


Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving enough space for the cookies to spread out. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden.






3 cups Water

3 ounces Orange Gelatin Powder -- (small package)

1 small Instant Pudding Mix -- Vanilla

1 small Tapioca Pudding Mix -- Instant

1 cup Mandarin Oranges -- drained

1 cup Pineapple -- crushed, drained

8 ounces Cool Whip -- (small package)


Bring water to a boil in a large pan. Pour in gelatin and pudding mixes,

and let boil for one minute. Remove from heat and cool completely. When

mixture is cool, fold in oranges, pineapple and whipped topping. Let cool

for at least 2 hours. *This recipe can be doubled




This new addition to Outback's margarita selections will handily quench, soothe and ring the bell in your clock tower -- just what the doctor ordered for a hot summer evening fiesta. This mildly fruity on-the-rocks margarita is powerful ammunition in any home bartender's arsenal of party cocktails. We like tequila. Tequila is our friend. But get to the bottom of too many of these tasty pink drinks and you'll feel like a used pinata in the morning.


1 1/2 ounces Margaritaville gold tequila (1 shot)

3/4 ounce Triple Sec (1/2 shot)

1/3 cup sweet and sour mix

1/3 cup cranberry juice

3/4 ounce Grand Marnier (1/2 shot)

wedge of lime


margarita salt (for rim of glass)



1. If you want salt on the rim of your glass, moisten the rim of a 16-ounce mug (or glass) and dip it in margarita salt.

2. To make the drink, fill the glass with ice.

3. Add a shot of tequila, a half shot of Triple Sec, then some sweet and sour mix and cranberry juice (in equal amounts -- about 1/3 cup each should do it) to within a half-inch of the top of the glass. Stir.

4. Splash a half shot of Grand Marnier over the top of the drink.

5. Add a wedge of lime and serve with a straw. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Makes 1 serving.






This always-popular growing restaurant chain makes a tasty version of creamy ranch dressing for its house and Queensland salads. To get the same unique flavor and creaminess of the original at home, mates, you'll need just one teaspoon of Hidden Valley ranch salad dressing mix swimming in there with the mayo and buttermilk and other spices. Since there's three teaspoons of dressing mix per packet, you'll be able to stretch one envelope three times as far, by crackey!


From Top Secret Recipes:


1 teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix (buttermilk recipe)

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder =


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well.

2. Cover bowl and chill dressing for at least 30 minutes before serving. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Makes 1 1/2 cups.



Serves 2

2 salmon fillets (about 10-12 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry

About 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, the best you can find

Salt and white pepper

About 1/4 cup white wine

About 1/4 cup water

2 red onions, chopped


Spread Dijon mustard all over salmon fillets, then season with salt and white pepper. Place salmon fillets directly on a flat rack placed inside a roasting pan (or use a fish poacher). Add white wine and water to the bottom of pan. Cover salmon fillets with chopped red onions. Cover pan with foil. Place dish in a preheated 375-degree oven and let cook for about three minutes. Then remove foil from pan and continue to cook in the oven for another seven minutes or so, just until fish is flaky. Place each salmon fillet on a plate and the onions on top.









8 ounces uncooked dried linguine or spaghetti

6 tablespoons LAND O LAKES(r) Ultra Creamy(tm) Butter

1/2 cup chopped onion or shallots

12 ounces fresh medium raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, tails removed, rinsed, drained

1 medium coarsely chopped green pepper, (1 cup)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1/4 cup gourmet heavy whipping cream, or half & half

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

5 medium roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese


Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain. Set aside; keep warm.


Meanwhile, melt butter in 10-inch skillet until sizzling; add onion, shrimp, green pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until shrimp turn pink (6 to 7 minutes).


Stir whipping cream and flour together in small bowl until smooth; stir into shrimp mixture. Continue cooking until mixture just comes to a boil (about 1 minute). Stir in tomatoes and basil.


Place hot, cooked pasta in large pasta bowl or on serving platter; top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.



"Feijao a Portuguesa"

(Makes 6 generous servings)


1 pound dried navy, small California white or great northern beans, washed and sorted


1/2 pound bacon

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 pound chourico or Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 tablespoon paprika




Soak beans overnight in enough cold water to cover by several inches. Drain beans and set aside.


In large stockpot or Dutch oven, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Pour off all but 2 or 3 tablespoons bacon fat. Add onion and saute until golden brown. Add garlic and cook until it just begins to color.


Add beans, 4 cups water, tomato paste, chorizo, red pepper flakes and paprika. Cover and simmer 11/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Crumble bacon into beans and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook 10 minutes more. Serve immediately.


Note: If beans begin to dry out, add water. If too watery, remove cover during last 30 minutes of cooking.

Copyright 2000 David Leite and Leite's Culinaria (http://www.leitesculinaria.com.)





(Makes 6 to 8 servings)


1/2 pound medium-hot red chilies, seeded and stemmed

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup paprika, sweet or hot, depending on preference

10 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup red wine

1 (4-pound) boneless pork butt, cut into 8 pieces

1/2 cup corn oil


Freshly ground pepper


Place chilies and salt in bowl of food processor and pulse until minced. In large bowl, combine chiles with paprika, garlic and both wines. Add pork pieces, turning to coat well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours.


Remove pork from marinade. Pour oil into large roasting pan. Add pork, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 375 degrees 1 hour. Turn pork often to keep it moist. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake additional 15 to 20 minutes or until pork is nicely browned.

Copyright 2000 David Leite and Leite's Culinaria (http://www.leitesculinaria.com.)




2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup thinly sliced zucchini

1/2 cup diced seeded red bell pepper

1/2 cup diced peeled onion

3/4 cup Arborio rice

1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron threads

1 1/4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the oil and sauté mushrooms, zucchini, and red bell pepper for 3 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Remove vegetables and set aside.


In the same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat and sauté onion until soft, about 2 minutes. Add rice and saffron; cook for 2 minutes, or until rice is light golden. Add about 1/4 of the chicken broth and stir until absorbed; stir in remaining chicken broth, gradually, stirring frequently, until all the broth is absorbed. Continue stirring and add water, allowing the first cup to be absorbed before adding the second. Cook until the rice is tender and the mixture has a creamy consistency, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese, parsley, white pepper and the reserved vegetables. Heat until vegetables are thoroughly heated. Serve immediately. serves 4



Serves 4


12 shiitake mushrooms

1/2 cup flour

1 sheet puff pastry

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped ginger

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced, stalk removed

1 small carrot, peeled and julienned

1 tablespoon red miso

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Hot bean paste to taste

6 cups vegetable stock

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1/4 pound firm silken tofu, cubed

1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained

Egg wash (two egg yolks, beaten)


If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak for 30 minutes in enough hot water to cover. Set aside.


Lay puff pastry sheet on a floured work surface and roll out to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into four equal squares. Put on a plate and refrigerate until needed.


Drain shiitake mushrooms. Remove stems and discard. Slice. In a soup pot, saute garlic and ginger in oil for one minute. Add cabbage, carrots and mushrooms, and cook until almost tender. Add miso, soy sauce, hot bean paste and stock. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat. Add green onion, tofu and water chestnuts.


Ladle soup into four oven-safe bowls. Brush edges and top lip of bowls with egg wash. Cover each bowl with pastry and brush with remaining egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.



(Lemon Flavor)


Here's a quick and easy recipe for the brand of ice tea that hit the market and quickly blew away competitors Lipton and Nestea. Between 1988 and 1992 Snapple tea sales increased a whopping 1,300 percent. And if you like Snapple ice tea, you'll find this recipe will save you some cash. While a 16-ounce bottle of Snapple tea costs around $1.00, this top secret clone cost about 15 cents -- for the same amount.


From Top Secret Recipes:


2 quarts (8 cups) water

3 Lipton tea bags (orange pekoe and pekoe cut black tea blend)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice


1. Boil the water in a large saucepan over high heat.

2. When the water comes to a rapid boil, turn off the heat, put the tea bags into the water, and cover.

3. After the tea has steeped about 1 hour, pour the sugar into a 2-quart pitcher, then add the tea. The tea should still be warm, so the sugar will dissolve easily.

4. Add the lemon juice. Chill. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

Makes 2 quarts.


(Check the book More Top Secret Recipes for 4 other flavors of this clone for Snapple Iced Tea, including orange, strawberry, cranberry and diet lemon!)



Serves 4


1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup fish sauce

4 -5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste

2 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar or packed light brown sugar, or more to taste

12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large pomelo, about 1 1/2 pounds, or 2 not-very-sweet medium grapefruit

Peanut oil, for deep frying shallots and garlic

1/4 cup sliced shallots

1/4 cup sliced garlic

1 small fresh hot chili, green or red, stemmed, partially seeded and chopped

1/2 cup desiccated or unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

6-8 butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry


Prepare coals for grilling or preheat the broiler. Soak 6-8 long bamboo skewers in water to cover for 30 minutes.


In a medium-size bowl, combine oil, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add shrimp and toss to coat with this mixture. Thread shrimp on skewers. Grill or broil until shrimp are golden and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside.


Peel pomelo or grapefruit so that no white pith remains. Cut into segments, remove thin membranes and separate flesh into shreds or small pieces. If using grapefruit, let it drain in a colander to get rid of excess juice. Place in a bowl.


Pour peanut oil to a depth of 1 inch into a small skillet and heat to 375 degrees over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until golden brown and crispy, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Without turning off heat, use a slotted spoon to transfer shallots to paper towels to drain. Add garlic to skillet and cook until deep golden and crispy, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels.


Heat chili and remaining fish sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is just dissolved. Cool completely, then toss with pomelo. Remove shrimp from skewers and add to the salad, along with the toasted coconut and cilantro leaves. Toss to combine.


Line a serving platter with lettuce leaves. Arrange salad on top and scatter fried shallots and garlic on top.



Serves 4

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless pork chops, about 6 ounces each

About 3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 tablespoons peach preserves (may substitute apricot or currant)


In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Dredge pork chops in flour mixture, turning to coat both sides. Set aside.


In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and oil until butter has melted. Add garlic and cook until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add chops and cook, turning once, until brown on each side and almost cooked through, about 8 minutes total. Sprinkle top of the chops with cloves, ginger and nutmeg and then brush with preserves. Cook until no trace of pink remains, 3 to 5 minutes.



Serves 2

For lemon chervil cream:

1 cup sour cream

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped chervil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 red onion, finely diced

Salt and pepper to taste

For rhubarb and cherry salsa:

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 stalk rhubarb

12 cherries pitted (or use dried cherries)

Zest of 1 tangerine

Juice of 6 tangerines

1/2 teaspoon butter

1 tablespoon honey

For grits cakes:

1/2 cup hominy grits

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon butter

Salt to taste

For assembling:

2 or 3 ounces smoked sturgeon or smoked salmon, thinly sliced

2 poached eggs


For lemon chervil cream: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate. Note: This can be made the day before and is actually better, as the ingredients have more time to ``marry.''


For rhubarb and cherry salsa: Peel ginger and chop finely. Peel stringy ribs from rhubarb stock, then slice thinly, against the grain.


Using a non-stick pan, saute cherries and rhubarb until soft, then add remaining ingredients. Stir until mixture turns slightly thick. Note: If making a day ahead, cover and refrigerate, then quickly reheat in a non-stick pan just before serving.


For grits cakes: Bring milk to boil, then add grits. Cover and simmer until all liquid is gone. Let cool, then using your hands mold grits into 3-inch diameter by 3/4-inch thick ``hockey pucks.'' Dust lightly with flour and saute in non-stick pan using a small amount of butter until crispy on both sides. Note: The cakes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.


To assemble: Place warm, crispy grits cake on center of plate. Lay oneor two slices of smoked sturgeon on cake. Place one just-poached, wobbly egg on sturgeon and spoon a dollop of chervil cream atop the egg. Using a tablespoon, drizzle warm salsa on plate in a circle around grits cake for color and a counterpoint of sweetness.




1 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup honey

1 small onion, quartered

1 serrano chile, halved and seeded

1 large clove garlic, peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 head green leaf lettuce, shredded

1 avocado, pitted peeled and sliced

1 (6.5-oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1 star fruit, thinly sliced

4 black olives


To make the dressing: combine lime juice, honey, onion, serrano chile, garlic and salt in a blender. Process until smooth. Add parsley and process for a few seconds more. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to use.


Arrange lettuce on individual serving plates. Top with avocado slices, artichoke hearts, star fruit and black olives. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.




Strawberries add a juicy touch for Valentine's treat


(Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2001)


Just a mouthful or two, "Black and White Chocolate Strawberries" make a sweetly lovable, but not too rich, treat to pop into your Valentine's mouth.


Strawberries are suggested as the fruit that gets the chocolate coating, but you can try it with other fruits, too. Grapes, orange sections, apple or pear wedges or banana chunks would work nicely.


Dip apples, pears or bananas in a mixture of lemon juice and water to prevent browning. It's also delicious made with fat-free pretzels.



(Makes 4 servings)


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

11/2 teaspoons raspberry liqueur (framboise)

1/2 ounce white chocolate, chopped, or 2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

2 cups whole strawberries


Line a large baking sheet with wax paper.


In a small microwavable bowl, combine the chocolate chips, liqueur and 11/2 teaspoons water. Microwave on High, stirring twice, until melted and smooth, about 11/2 minutes.


Holding a berry by the hull, dip the berry halfway into the chocolate. Set on wax paper.


Repeat with the remaining berries and chocolate.


In another small microwavable bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave on High, stirring once, until melted and smooth, about 1 minute.


Dip a fork in the white chocolate; drizzle over the strawberries. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens. Serve chilled.



(lobster with candied ginger)

Serves 4-6

For mango herb butter:

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons finely chopped chervil

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped mango

1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

For lobster:

1 large onion, sliced

A few crushed black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

4 medium-sized lobsters (or 4 to 6 cups cooked lobster meat)


For butter: Mix butter with chervil, parsley, mango, ginger and honey until it forms a paste. Transfer mixture to center of a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 5-inch long cylinder. Chill until firm.


For lobster: Place onions, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large pot of boiling, salty water. Plunge lobsters headfirst into the pot.


Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for six to eight minutes per pound. Remove lobster and run it under cool water. Remove meat by splitting body cavity and claws in half with scissors.


Arrange lobster meat in a broiler-safe dish; salt and pepper to taste. Cut six 1/4-inch slices off butter cylinder and place on top of lobster. Broil until butter is melted and lobster is heated through.


If serving whole boiled lobster, simply melt mango herb butter and serve as a dip.




2 whole medium chicken breasts

1 egg white

1 T. cornstarch

1 tsp. sesame oil (Asian)

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/3 cup cold water

6 (or more) dried hot chili peppers, quartered, or 1 T. crushed red chilies

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. grated ginger root

1/2 c. peanuts

1 6 oz. package frozen pea pods, thawed

Hot cooked rice


Remove and discard the skin from chicken breasts. Halve breasts lengthwise; remove and discard bones. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. In a bowl combine egg white, 1 T. of cornstarch, the dry sherry, sesame oil and sugar. Add the chicken pieces; with your hands, work the cornstarch mixture into the chicken. Set aside. In a small bowl stir cold water and soy sauce into the 1 tsp. cornstarch. Set aside. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat; add cooking oil. Stir fry dried hot peppers or crushed red chilies, garlic,

and ginger root for 30 seconds. Add chicken pieces; stir fry 1 minute. Stir cornstarch mixture; stir into wok or skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more or until mixture coats chicken. Stir in peanuts and pea pods; heat through. Serve with hot cooked rice. Makes 4 servings.



6 veal cutlets, about 1/4-lb. each

1/4 cup flour

4 tablespoons butter or margerine

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 pound mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, chopped

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup chopped pimiento, chopped


Pound veal cutlets to 1/4-inch thickness. Dredge lightly in flour, shaking off any excess; set aside.


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes; remove from oil with slotted spoon. Add veal cutlets and brown, turning once, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add mushrooms, parsley and pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add artichoke hearts, cream and pimientos; stir gently, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve warm. Servings: 6



(Serves 8 to 10)


1 small celery root, 3/4 pound (23/4 cups diced)

1 large turnip, 1/2 pound (13/4 cup diced)

1 pound parsnips (31/2 cups diced)

2 medium carrots (11/4 cups diced)

1 medium potato (1 cup diced)

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Sea salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 cup white wine vinegar


With a good-quality vegetable peeler, peel vegetables. Cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes. Combine in a large bowl with garlic and onion and mix well.


Heat olive oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat.


Add diced vegetables and saute for 15 minutes, turning occasionally with a spatula. Stir in salt, thyme and rosemary. Add vinegar and toss with the vegetables, turning rapidly with a spatula until vinegar has evaporated.


Place pan of vegetables in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Roast for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and top begins to brown.



(2 servings)


Lemon grass sauce:

3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 stalk lemon grass, peeled, minced, see note

1 piece (1 inch long) ginger root, minced

2 teaspoons minced poblano chili

1 each, minced: clove garlic, shallot

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

5 teaspoons each: rice wine vinegar, soy sauce

2 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons chili paste with garlic

1 teaspoon chopped Chinese fermented black beans

1 tablespoon cold water

2 teaspoons cornstarch




1 Dungeness crab (about 11/2 pounds), cooked, cleaned, cracked; or blue crabs,

lobster or jumbo shrimp

1/4 cup sake

2 lime wedges

Steamed rice


For lemon grass sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lemon grass, ginger, chili, garlic and shallot; cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili paste and black beans; simmer 5 minutes. Mix together water and cornstarch in small cup. Stir into broth mixture; simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Set aside.


Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in wok over high heat until almost smoking. Toss in crab and sake. Cover; cook 3 minutes. Pour in lemon grass sauce; simmer until crab and sauce are heated through, about 1 minute. Place crab on serving platter. Pour sauce over and around crab. Serve with lime wedges and steamed rice.


Note: To prepare lemon grass, trim stalk to about 3 inches in length. Trim root end and remove dried outer leaves. Mince remaining white part of lemon grass.





(Serves: 8)


8 ounces ziti pasta

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

11/2 cups half-and-half

1 cup fat-free milk

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 (141/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained


In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.


In a small saucepan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until browned.


In a large saucepan, melt butter, add flour and stir. Slowly add half-and-half and milk and simmer, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheese and seasonings. Stir until cheese melts. Add tomatoes, spinach and onion mixture. Heat through. Pour over warm pasta, toss and serve.



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