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Contents Disk 88

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).

















































Savory Lamb Stew DISK 88



















(Bean Fritters)

2 cups dried great Northern beans

Oil for frying, preferably red palm oil

11/2 cups cold water

1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh habanero chile, or to taste WEAR GLOVES

1 small onion, finely minced

Salt, to taste


Prepare beans by picking over them to remove any impurities and broken or bad beans. Soak overnight covered by water. The next day, remove skins from beans by rubbing them between your hands.


Heat oil to 375 degrees F for frying in a heavy Dutch oven or deep-fryer. Place prepared beans in a meat grinder or food processor and grind or pulse until you have a smooth paste. Place paste in large bowl. Beat bean paste with wooden spoon to aerate it, and gradually add water. Continue to beat while adding water. Use only enough water to make a mixture that will fall easily from a spoon. Add chile and onion and season to taste with salt. Continue to stir so that all ingredients are well-mixed.


When ready, spoon akara up by the teaspoonful and drop a few at a time into hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain onto absorbent paper. Serve hot.


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



(Makes 36 cookies)


1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon baking powder

11/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg (or 2 egg whites)

2/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup dried apples


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, oats, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger.


In a blender jar, combine the juice concentrate, oil, egg, raisins and dried apples. Blend at medium speed until the raisins and apples are chopped. Stir this juice mixture into the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.


Drop batter by the heaping teaspoonful onto nonstick cookie sheets. Flatten each with a fork and bake 8 to 10 minutes until the top springs back at your touch. Do not brown or crisp. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheets to wire racks.



(4 to 6 servings)


1/4 pound sliced bacon, each slice cut crosswise into thin strips

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 pound frozen petite Brussels sprouts

1/2 cup chicken stock or broth

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place a pan that is large enough to hold all of the Brussels sprouts over medium-high to high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the bacon releases some fat, 3 to 4 minutes.


Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the bacon begins to brown.


Add the Brussels sprouts, stock or broth, sugar and salt and pepper to taste, increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.


Cover, reduce the heat to low or medium-low to maintain a slow simmer, and cook until the Brussels sprouts are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.


Uncover, return the heat to high and cook until the broth has almost completely evaporated. Serve warm.



Serves 12

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup butter

3 cans (2 ounces each) anchovies packed in oil, drained

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional

5 cups vegetables (such as broccoli, turnips, beets, cauliflower, and carrots) cut into

bite-size pieces

1 fennel bulb or 4 celery ribs, cut into 3-inch strips


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring oil, butter, anchovies, garlic and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, or until anchovies dissolve. Add red pepper flakes, if using. Place in a serving bowl.


Meanwhile, place 1 inch of water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and add a steamer basket or wire rack. Add vegetables, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Remove and cool slightly. Place on a large serving platter with the fennel or celery. Serve with the sauce.


Note: Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Try using small amounts to season vegetables or as a sauce over grilled fish.



(Makes 1 dozen)


2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)

1 teaspoon baking soda

11/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

2 tablespoons granulated fructose

1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup skim milk

1/4 cup canola oil or melted margarine

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup golden raisins, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonfat cooking spray or use a nonstick pan.


In a large bowl, whisk the flours, oats, baking soda and baking powder together thoroughly. Set aside.


On a large plate, mash bananas with a fork. Sprinkle fructose over the bananas and mix together thoroughly. Scrape bananas into a bowl. Add egg substitute, milk and oil. Mix well. Stir in the walnuts and raisins, if using. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until completely mixed.


Fill each muffin cup half full and distribute the remaining batter evenly among the muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool on rack.






Serves 6

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into small cubes

6 beets, trimmed and scrubbed

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

3 whole cloves

3 whole peppercorns

3 tablespoons sugar


Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup sour cream

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add parsnips. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove parsnips to a bowl.


Add beets, shallot, cloves and peppercorns to simmering broth. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until beets are tender. Using slotted spoon, remove beets to cutting board, reserving liquid. When beets are cool, slip off skins. Cut into small cubes.


Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large bowl. Return broth to pot. Add parsnips, beets and sugar. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.


In a small bowl, combine sour cream, green onion and dill.


Ladle soup into 6 bowls and top with sour cream mixture.




3/4 cup unsalted butter (11/2 sticks)1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

11/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sesame seeds

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.


Cream butter, sesame oil and brown sugar together in mixer using a paddle attachment. Beat in eggs and vanilla and mix just until incorporated.


In separate bowl, combine sesame seeds, flour and baking powder. Add to butter-egg batter in 2 additions, scraping down sides of mixer as you go.


Drop batter by the teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Place far enough apart to allow for spreading.


Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly brown at the edges. Remove from oven; cool on pans for 1 minute, then remove wafers to cooling rack.




OK to sandwich some bread in daily menu



(Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2001)


The debate about carbohydrates has proved quite a breadwinner for certain best-selling authors, especially those who recommend more protein. But bread itself, along with pasta, is a big loser in those popular diets. More than a few personal trainers have urged their clients to swear off bread entirely.


Nutritionists are unconvinced about such bread bans. They might suggest different ways to eat bread -- most especially not emptying the bread basket before the first food order even arrives at a restaurant table. These food counselors are not about to pull a food item off the menu that reaches back some 9,000 years.


"Bread definitely fits into an active person's food needs," says Julie Burns, who operates the Western Springs, Ill.-based SportFuel nutrition consulting service (www.sportfuel.com) and advises the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and Northwestern University athletic teams. "Bread is part of the starchy carbohydrates group of foods. We need these carbohydrates for energy."


Burns says the bread backlash is likely a response to heightened interest in the glycemic index, which gauges how quickly the body processes foods. The quicker a food processes -- such as white bread, bagels and even whole wheat bread -- the less full we feel.


The theory is eating too many foods high on the glycemic index causes you to eat more calories than your body needs (researchers estimate 800 calories is the maximum the body can process at any one meal before it stores extra calories as fat) because you are not satisfied. Another cited problem is that high-glycemic foods cause spikes in blood sugar levels.


"What people forget is if you eat bread with something, like in a healthy sandwich, the effect on the glycemic index is not so dramatic as eating the bread itself," says Burns. "It's a mistake not to eat any bread."


Burns doesn't endorse processed white bread. She is more inclined to suggest whole-grain breads, particularly sprouted wheat, spelt, kamut, soy flour and whole rye breads that provide the most fiber and even a considerable amount of protein.


The problem with white and many breads on grocery shelves is that their main ingredients are refined flours, which means the outer kernel of the wheat or grain has been removed. This process makes for soft breads but loses the substances in grain that have been associated with protecting against heart disease.

That's one reason breads processed and sold in U.S. supermarkets are required to add back calcium, iron, thiamin, niacin and now folate. But what's still missing is the fiber found in whole-wheat bread. One large study showed people who regularly consume whole-wheat bread are half as likely to have heart attacks as individuals who eat very little.


But British dietitian Amanda Ursell makes a case for white bread in her new book "The Complete Guide to Healing Foods" (Dorling Kindersley, $29.95). She says white bread is a good source of calcium for adults who consume few dairy products and children who are growing bone because calcium-blocking substances are removed during the milling process.


Roberta Clarke, a clinical dietitian at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, says there is ample room for bread in anyone's daily diet, though she prefers clients to consume breads with whole grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits for added nutritional power. The problem is more about eating too much bread and ignoring carbohydrates from sources such as grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.


"Most people don't have a sense of their carbohydrate needs," says Clarke, who is launching a new Internet site (www.figurefacts.com) this month to help close the knowledge gap. "The human body doesn't recognize whether you are sending it cookies, bread, pasta, fruit or whatever. What it recognizes is carbohydrates, protein and fat. It is our role to understand what we need. No builder puts up a house without a blueprint. We shouldn't be nonchalant about our food intake.


"When you are eating at a restaurant and plan to order a pasta dish, then lay low on the bread basket," says Clarke. "Have one piece for the satisfaction and taste (dipping it in olive oil is a healthier option than butter). Order a salad or vegetable soup right away if you are famished.


"If you lose your resolve and eat three or four pieces of bread, then call it a night on the starchy carbohydrates and order a piece of fish or chicken with some vegetables. You can eat the pasta tomorrow."






Makes a 1-pound loaf

1 1/3 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

2 1/2 cups high-gluten, unbleached flour (unbleached bread flour)

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds


Place all ingredients except butter and sesame seeds in a bread machine according to manufacturer's directions. Bake as for French bread. When bread is done, brush the loaf lightly with melted butter and sprinkle sesame seeds over all sides.



Vegetarian fish sticks, really. Great kid food. Don't forget the dipping sauce.


1 16-ounce package extra-firm tofu

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (use seasoned crumbs for extra flavor)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon crumbled dry oregano

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg, beaten

Vegetable oil


Rinse tofu and pat dry. Cut the block of tofu into fingers -- about1/2inch thick and 3 inches long. More or less.


In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Measure flour into another small bowl. Have the egg ready in a third bowl. Grease a cookie sheet.


Toss the tofu fingers in the flour, then dip each one into the beaten egg and roll it in the bread crumb mixture. (The flour step, by the way, helps bind the egg and crumbs to the tofu, so that the crumbs don't just fall off.)


Place the breaded fingers on the cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through.


Serve hot with dipping sauces -- ketchup, sweet and sour sauce, plum sauce, barbecue sauce, hot mustard, whatever.




This simplified version of Hungarian borscht and some whole-grain bread make a nourishing lunch or supper.


11/2 pounds red cabbage

5 beets

5 small boiling potatoes

6 canned plum tomatoes (about 11/2 cups)

11/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 cups water

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

11/2 teaspoons dried dill weed

1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup sour cream for garnish

4 tablespoons fresh dill weed for garnish


Slice cabbage into 1/4-inch strips. Peel beets with sharp paring knife and cut into julienne strips. Peel potatoes and cut in half. Chop tomatoes into quarters.


In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and garlic. Saute 5 minutes. Add cabbage, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, the water, vinegar, honey, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, dill, paprika, salt and pepper.


Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer 25 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a garnish of chopped dill weed.




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

Salt and pepper to taste 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.




You need an 8-inch bowl with a round bottom to make this cake.

Biscuit Roulade:

4 eggs

6 egg yolks

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided)

11/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

2/3 cup cake flour

6 tablespoons cornstarch

3 to 4 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam


Vanilla Bavarian Cream:

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (1 packet)

1/3 cup cool water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

6 egg yolks

12/3 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

11/2 cups whipping cream whipped with1/4cup granulated sugar for piping

Fresh raspberries or raspberry fruit leather for garnish


To make Biscuit Roulade: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter two 13-by-17-inch sheet pans or jellyroll pans, line with parchment paper, then butter and flour paper.


At high speed on electric mixer, whip together the whole eggs, egg yolks and 1 cup sugar until very fluffy and triple in volume. Beat in vanilla.


In separate bowl, whip egg whites until frothy. Sprinkle with cream of tartar and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Whip to stiff peaks.


Sift flour and cornstarch over yolk mixture and gently fold in with a balloon whisk. Fold in whipped egg whites.


Divide batter between the prepared pans, delicately spreading batter in an even layer. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven promptly and allow to cool completely in pans.


To line mold: Place an 8-inch bowl with a round bottom upside down on one of the cakes and cut around it with a paring knife; set aside (this will be the bottom of the cake).


Remove the second cake sheet by gently lifting it out of the pan by the corners of the parchment. Stir raspberry jam until smooth. Spread entire cake with jam all the way to the edges. Don't spread it too thick; you should see the cake through the thin layer of jam.


Starting along one of the long sides, gently roll up the roulade. Once you get it started, lifting up on the paper will help you roll it forward.


With a serrated knife, gently slice the jellyroll in slices no thicker than1/2inch.


Line the bowl with plastic wrap. Starting in the center, lay the jellyroll slices edge to edge. The slices should be pressed together so any gaps between them are kept small. Continue this all the way around, up the sides of the bowl.


To make Vanilla Bavarian Cream: Sprinkle gelatin over the 1/3 cup cool water in a pie pan or other shallow dish. Set aside.


Whisk together sugar, salt and yolks in a stainless steel bowl or the top of a double boiler. In small saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Pour1/4of the hot milk into the egg mixture and blend. Pour in remaining milk and blend again.


In the saucepan you used for the milk, add enough water to cover the bottom about 1 inch; bring to a simmer. Place the bowl of milk, yolks and sugar over the simmering pan and stir gently until mixture stars to steam and thickens slightly. It should coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil.


Scrape reserved gelatin into custard and stir to dissolve. Place the bowl of custard over a bowl of ice to cool it; stir occasionally.


Add vanilla to cream and whip into medium-stiff peaks. Check custard; it should be barely cool to the touch. Fold whipped cream into custard.


Proceed immediately with assembly.


To assemble: Pour approximately 1/3 of the vanilla cream into the cake-lined bowl; sprinkle with a few raspberries. Continue this process of pouring the cream and adding the berries until all are gone. If any berries are showing, gently press them below the level of the cream, so only white is showing.


Now place the reserved 8-inch circle of cake upside down on top of the vanilla cream. Chill 6 hours or overnight.


To serve: Place a cardboard cake-circle or a serving plate on top of the bowl and flip over. Tug gently on the plastic wrap to remove the cake from the mold. If this doesn't work, lay a hot towel over the mold and try again.


Garnish with fresh raspberries.




2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Salt, to taste

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


Heat a 3-quart pot on medium-high. Add the butter. When it's melted, add the onions and stir slowly and constantly until the onions are soft but not brown (spear a piece or two and taste if in doubt).


Mix in the flour and blend thoroughly, stirring constantly. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly add the broth and milk, stirring constantly until the soup almost reaches the boiling point (tiny bubbles will begin to form a ring around the edge of the pot).


Stir in the grated cheese and whisk it until it has melted. Season to taste with salt, and garnish with parsley.



Serves 4

1 large onion, chopped

4 tablespoons shortening

1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons salt

4 to 5 pounds chicken, cut into pieces

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 pint (1 cup) sour cream


Saute onion in shortening. Add seasonings and chicken; saute for 10 minutes. Add water. Cover and simmer slowly until chicken is tender or falls off the bone, your choice. Remove chicken, then add sour cream to pan drippings. Mix well. Add dumplings (recipe at left). Heat through. Slide onto plates and arrange chicken on top.



Makes about 48 cookies

1 cup butter

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 beaten egg

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1 tablespoon shortening

1/2 cup ground pistachio nuts


In a medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Heat and serve over low heat until butter is melted. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool mixture 15 minutes. Stir in beaten egg, flour, and cocoa powder until combined. Stir in 3/4 cup pistachio nuts. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.


On a lightly floured surface, roll half of dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2-inch heart-shape cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake in a 350-degree oven about 9 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.


In a small heavy saucepan, heat and stir chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate mixture; roll edges of cookie in ground pistachio nuts.



(Makes 64 small pieces)


1 package of 8 refrigerated crescent rolls

2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate

1 teaspoon granulated fructose

4 teaspoons all-fruit seedless raspberry jam (no sugar added)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet or use a nonstick one.


Separate crescent rolls. With a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough between two pieces of waxed paper to make them 50 percent larger. Set rolls aside.


Cut chocolate into small pieces. In a small ovenproof cup, combine chocolate, fructose, and jam. Melt mixture together in a microwave oven set on high for 30 to 45 seconds, or melt over boiling water in the top of a small double boiler. Quickly stir together while hot. Use a table knife to spread a layer of chocolate on each roll.


The chocolate can be difficult to spread. After spreading with the knife, you may have to pat and spread out some of it with your fingers. Roll up from the pointed end to the wide. Pinch each side to seal and place seam side down on baking sheet.


Bake for 15 minutes or until dark golden. Remove from oven. Cool for 10 minutes then place roll-ups on a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled, use a sharp knife to cut each one into 8 small pieces.



Serves up to 6

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur, coffee liqueur, amaretto, or milk

2 slightly beaten egg yolks

2 tablespoons sugar

Melted white or dark chocolate (optional)

White chocolate shavings (optional)


Line an 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan with plastic wrap, extending plastic wrap over edges of pan; set aside.


In a heavy medium saucepan, melt chopped chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate begins to melt. Remove from heat; stir until smooth.


In a chilled mixing bowl, combine whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of the liqueur. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Cover; refrigerate up to 2 hours.


In a heavy small saucepan, stir together yolks, sugar and remaining liqueur or milk. Cook over medium-low heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently with a wire whisk. Remove from heat; pour into a medium bowl. Add melted chocolate, 2 tablespoons at a time, to hot yolk mixture, beating on medium speed until combined. Add 1/2 cup whipped cream mixture; beat on low speed until smooth. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Spoon evenly into prepared pan. Cover; freeze about 4 hours or until firm.


Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Invert frozen chocolate mixture onto baking sheet. Remove plastic. Using 1-, 2-, and 3-inch star-shape cookie cutters, cut shapes from chocolate, dipping cutters into warm water between cuts. Cover; return shapes to freezer until serving time. To serve, if desired, drizzle plates with melted chocolate. Place frozen cutouts on chocolate drizzles and, if desired, sprinkle with white chocolate shavings.



(Makes about 30 biscotti)


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

21/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hazelnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or line sheet with parchment paper.


In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until smooth.


Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; stir into the egg mixture. Stir in the hazelnuts.


Shape dough into two equal logs approximately 12 inches long. Place logs on baking sheet and flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness.


Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool slightly.


With a serrated knife, slice the logs diagonally into 1/2-inch wide slices. Lay the slices on their side on the cookie sheet. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until hard and crunchy. These are great dipped in white or dark chocolate.



Starving Students Fundamental

Clam Chowder 101, With Extra Credits Makes 4 starving-student-sized servings


2 strips raw bacon

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 very large baking potatoes or 4 large boiling potatoes, half of them cut in 1/4-inch dice

and half cut in 1/2-inch dice (see note)

About 3 cups chicken broth (enough to cover the potatoes; add a bit of water if


1 6-ounce can chopped clams, broth reserved

2 cups milk

Salt and pepper (optional)


Chop the bacon and saute it in the pot you intend to use for the chowder. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Save a little bit of the fat in the pot and any bacon dregs.


Add the onion to the pot and saute briefly. Add the potatoes, chicken broth and clam broth and simmer until the larger potatoes are barely tender and most of the liquid is gone.


Add the milk and heat, but don't boil. Add the clams last before serving. Sprinkle the top of each serving with the reserved bacon. You probably won't need salt, but taste to make sure. Sprinkle with pepper if you wish.


Note: I like to use new potatoes, but baking potatoes are good, too. Boiling potatoes will hold their shape better, but some folks prefer the flavor of bakers. The smaller dice will melt and thicken the chowder. The larger diced potato will be the potato chunks in the finished chowder.


Extra Credit Points

For an even better chowder, add extra credit points. Using all the improvements together will lift the chowder to Ph.D. status. Pick and choose according to your budget, what you have on hand, and how much time you have.


1. Add a second can of clams. Better yet, use fresh clams, steamed and chopped, using the strained steaming liquid as the broth.


2. Add the white part of 1 large leek, finely chopped, when you saute the onion.


3. Add 1 clove garlic, minced, to the onion.


4. Add a finely chopped rib of celery to the onion.


5. Add bottled clam juice as part of, or instead of, the chicken broth. Better yet, make your own fish stock.


6. Substitute 4 ounces salt pork, diced, for the bacon.


7. Add1/2teaspoon dried thyme to the broth, or better, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme.


8. Add a couple of bay leaves to the broth (remove before serving).


9. Add about 1 tablespoon butter after adding the clams.


10. Use cream or part cream instead of the milk.


11. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley.




6 strips bacon, or 2 to 3 tablespoons bacon fat

30 medium green onions (5 or 6 bunches)

2/3 cup whipping cream

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)


If starting with the bacon, fry the strips in a heavy skillet. Eat the bacon and keep the fat in the skillet.


Wash the green onions and trim off the roots and some of the green top. Put onions into the pan with the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until they're a little wilted, about 5 minutes. They should be tender but still bright green.


While onions are cooking, heat cream and garlic in a small saucepan until it reaches a gentle boil. Boil about 5 minutes or until it is reduced to about 5 tablespoons and has the consistency of thin mayonnaise.


Remove onions to a warmed serving dish, spoon cream sauce over them and taste for seasoning. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley.




Milk broth:

6 cups milk

2 cups whipping cream

Onion trimmings

1/2 bunch fresh thyme or marjoram

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon ground allspice



3 dozen littleneck clams, well-scrubbed

1/2 pound bacon, cut into small strips

1 white onion, diced

1 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

Chopped fresh parsley, chervil, thyme, tarragon and/or marjoram, to taste

Salt and black pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste


To make broth: Scald milk and cream with onion trimmings, thyme, bay leaves and allspice. Let steep 30 minutes, then strain through a sieve and discard solids.


To make chowder: Place clams in a large pot with lid, covering bottom of pot with about 1 inch of water. Over high heat, steam clams until they open, shaking often so they cook evenly. Cool till you can handle clams, then remove them from their shells. Discard shells. Strain clam liquor through paper-towel-lined sieve, reserving strained liquid.


In a large soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and reserve. Drain off and discard about half the fat. In the remaining bacon fat cook onion and celery until transparent. Add flour and stir to combine, cooking 2 to 3 minutes to get rid of raw flour taste. Add milk broth and bring to a boil. Add diced potato and simmer about 10 minutes or until tender. Add clams with their liquor, bacon and chopped herbs. Bring to a boil, season with salt, pepper and cayenne, and serve immediately.




2 yuccas

1 cup white vinegar

3 tablespoons kosher salt (divided)

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon pimenton (imported Spanish smoked paprika) or chipotle powder or other

ground hot chili powder

3 cups vegetable oil


Cut off and discard the last inch off the tips of the yucca. Using a heavy knife, cut the yucca into lengthwise halves. Using a sharp paring knife or a potato peeler, pare the yucca of its outer brown skin and inner, pink-colored layer until only the white flesh is left. Place peeled yucca in water while preparing so that it doesn't darken.


Cut each yucca half into four lengthwise spears and then cut away and discard the fibrous inner core. In a large pot, bring 1 gallon (four quarts) water, vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Add yucca spears and boil 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.


Have ready a large bowl of ice mixed with water. With a slotted spoon or skimmer, scoop the yucca from the boiling water and transfer directly into the ice water. This will encourage the yucca spears to spread open on their inner sides, creating a creamier texture. Cover and refrigerate cooked yucca spears for up to 1 day, until ready to fry or mash.


Combine remaining 1 tablespoon salt, garlic and pimenton and set aside.


In a wok, heat oil till shimmering. Add about 6 spears of yucca so that there is plenty of bubbling oil surrounding them. Fry until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes, turning so spears cook evenly. Scoop from oil, drain on paper towels and continue frying remaining spears in batches. Drain the yucca and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with reserved salt mixture, toss together to combine and serve immediately.


Note: Once fried, drained and seasoned, yucca can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 day, and reheated in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven.



Makes 3 sandwiches

1 loaf Cuban-style bread (see recipe at right)

9 thin slices smoked ham

9 slices roast turkey deli meat

1 large dill pickle cut thinly lengthwise into 9 pieces

9 slices salami

9 slices roast pork

9 slices Swiss cheese


Slice the loaf in half lengthwise. Then re-stack the halves and cut the loaf crosswise into thirds, forming 6 pieces.


Divide all ingredients evenly among 3 portions of bread, layering ingredients in the order listed. Top with the remaining 3 portions of bread.


Preheat a griddle and lightly grease it with a mixture of butter and olive oil. Place the sandwiches on the griddle. Put a heavy pan (a cast iron skillet works great for this) over the sandwiches. Cook 3 minutes on each side, pressing them down every so often to flatten them, until the sandwiches are golden brown and the cheese has melted.




Move over, Oreos -- it's a dunk!



(Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2001)


Oreos and milk are the standard, but grown-up taste buds occasionally prefer a more sophisticated dunking combination.


Don't get us wrong; there's nothing wrong with the kids' classic. It's just that a glass of wine or a steaming cup of coffee or tea calls for a more substantial partner -- a crisp stick of biscotti swooshed through a glass of merlot, a scone served with spiced tea, a gingersnap dipped in port.


Try a lemon scone with a vanilla-flavored cafe latte in mid-morning. Cappuccino and cafe latte are naturals for dunking.


For a change of pace, consider ginger spiced tea, which combines tea with traditional cold-weather seasonings, including cardamom, ginger, orange peel and cloves.


Cinnamon hazelnut biscotti are also delicious with wine or coffee.


If you prefer store-bought dunkers, Pepperidge Farm cookies come in several grown-up varieties. For port drinkers, Brussels cookies are a tasty accompaniment -- and they are great dunked in the port, too.





7 cups water

2 cups grits (not quick-cooking)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

3 eggs, divided (1 optional)

1 cup milk

3 cups cornmeal

Corn oil, for frying


Cream sauce:

3 cups fresh brown mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1/2 cup cooked ham, diced

1 bunch green onions

4 tablespoons butter (divided)

1/2 teaspoon fresh diced garlic

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup whipping cream

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste


To make hoecake: Bring water to a boil and add grits, salt, pepper and butter. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often. Add cheese and 1 egg, if using. Temper egg by mixing with a little of the hot grits before adding. Mix well.


Oil 9-by-12-inch baking pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Pour grits mixture into pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours, until firm and completely cool.


When cool, slice into squares.


In a glass bowl, mix milk and 2 eggs. Beat to combine. Place cornmeal in shallow pan. Dip squares of hoecake in egg batter and then in cornmeal. Fry in corn oil until lightly browned on top and bottom. Transfer to a warm oven.


To make cream sauce: Saute mushrooms, ham and green onions in 2 tablespoons butter until onions have softened. Add garlic and white wine. Let cook down over high heat. Add cream and continue reducing sauce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in 2 tablespoons butter.


To serve, place square of hoecake on plate and spoon cream sauce over it.




Like any ingredient, frozen vegetables can be destroyed by overcooking or incorrect cooking methods. It's not rocket science but rather a matter of common sense. Remember, frozen vegetables have already been blanched -- cooked for a very short time in boiling water -- and can become mushy if overcooked.


To Steam: Steam whole broccoli, stalks or florets, carrots, green beans and other bite-size vegetables in as little water as possible for maximum nutrient retention and the most control over the cooking.


To Sauté: Corn, green beans, pepper strips and even peas can be sauteed right from the freezer. Add the frozen vegetables to a hot pan, but be careful. If there is fat in the pan, the frozen vegetables may release water and cause the fat to spit or pop. Additional fat can be added later.


To Braise or Slow-Cook: Frozen carrots, Brussels sprouts and green beans can be cooked slowly in flavorful liquid.


To Roast: Zucchini, summer squash, asparagus and green beans, among others, can be roasted in the oven. Use the same recipes you use for fresh roasted vegetables but add some cooking time, since the frozen vegetables need time to defrost.


To Make Soups: Add the frozen vegetables directly to the soup without thawing.


Make a quick vegetable soup with chicken stock, tomato juice and a mixture of corn, carrots, peas and green beans, or use the vegetables you prefer. Use peas, broccoli and cauliflower for purees. Frozen butternut squash can be defrosted in hot broth; add flavorings as desired.


To Make Stews: Vegetables, except those used for flavoring the sauce, are best added toward the end of the cooking time. Peas, carrots or corn, for example, should be added to a stew just 15 minutes before serving.




Frozen veggies: Surviving a California sacrilege



(Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2001)


Fresh from the farm is a great idea. Fresh from a California farm is an even better one.


In summer. Supermarket bins overflow with locally fresh green beans. Farmers' markets are piled high with sweet corn. Neighbors offer baskets of zucchini and tomatoes from their gardens.


But this is February. The groundhog says winter will last until March. And sometimes, in the dead of winter, the freezer case is the way to go -- even in California, even in the face of imports rushed north by jet from the Southern Hemisphere.


Singing the virtues of frozen vegetables will not get you a starring role in your own cooking show. Chefs extol the wonders of the freshest ingredients. Professional cooks shun convenience products.


But here in the real world of tight schedules and endless to-do lists, frozen vegetables may be the solution to getting more vegetables on the table.


I used to turn to the freezer case infrequently and for only a few items: peas, corn and the occasional box of spinach. But years of throwing away rotting vegetables, bought with the best of intentions and quickly forgotten, finally convinced me to give the bagged varieties a chance.


It's not that I've abandoned fresh; instead, I've put frozen on an equal footing.


Where else can I find beautiful Brussels sprouts all year long -- even petite Brussels sprouts, which I can rarely buy fresh? Or green beans in February that aren't woody and tasteless? When fresh bell peppers are $4.99 a pound, you will find me stocking up on bags of frozen pepper strips.


If steamed broccoli is on my menu tonight or tomorrow, I'll choose fresh. Otherwise, I'll buy a bag of broccoli florets to stash in the freezer for the next time I need a vegetable -- fast.


Of course, some vegetables should always be bought fresh: anything destined to be served raw -- celery, carrots and mushrooms come to mind. In the case of mushrooms, I'll always buy fresh; I don't even like the sliced raw mushrooms used in salad bars. And I just do not see the point of frozen onions. They are more expensive, they don't taste the same and fresh onions last for weeks anyway.


Sometimes the preparation dictates what you will need. A quick sauté of spinach demands the fresh variety. But if you're making a filling, with spinach as one of many ingredients, you will be justly served by the frozen version and will benefit from savings in both time and money.


Stalks of asparagus dressed with a mustard vinaigrette should be fresh, but asparagus soup turns out delicious made with boxed frozen spears.


Frozen vegetables ideally are fresh vegetables that have been blanched and frozen within hours of being picked.


Handled correctly by the distributor, supermarket and consumer, they are in a sort of just-picked suspended animation.


"Frozen vegetables are processed at the highest point of their nutritional content," explains Barbara Klein, a professor of food and nutrition at the University of Illinois.


In her studies on the effects of processing on vegetables, Klein has found that not that much happens during the freezing process.


At most, she says, "the effects are the same as what happens to a fresh vegetable when you cook it."


And fresh vegetables are not always as "fresh" as they appear to be, especially in the off-season, when they are shipped long distances.


Klein has noted the consequences. "You lose nutrients in the shipping process, probably more than in the freezing process," she says.


The degree of loss varies vegetable to vegetable. Traditional winter vegetables, such as fresh broccoli and cabbage, have high nutrient retention even when stored. Green beans and similar vegetables take the biggest hit.


"Green beans seem to lose their Vitamin C 24 hours after being picked. A pound of green beans from the freezer is more nutrient packed," says Klein.


We have no qualms about frozen french fries, frozen orange juice or frozen waffles. Why not give vegetables a chance? Even in California.





1 18-ounce package refrigerated choc. chip or walnut choc. chip cookie bar dough

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (3 ounces)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch heart-shaped pan.


Press cookie dough into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.


Microwave chocolate chips in small bowl for 45 seconds; stir. Then microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring until smooth.


Carefully spread the melted chocolate over cookie to within 1 inch of the edge.




Few products compare to cooked butternut squash for convenience.


Peeling and seeding a whole winter squash is a time-consuming task, whereas opening the package takes but moments.


The amount of ginger recommended below is conservative. Add more if you like your soup spicy. (Makes about 6 cups)


3 cups chicken stock or broth

Two 10-ounce packages frozen cooked butternut squash

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

About 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger, plus additional to taste

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream


In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the stock or broth and frozen butternut squash. Cook, spooning the broth over the squash, until the squash has defrosted, about 12 minutes.


Add the applesauce, salt to taste, sugar and ginger and whisk to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.


Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the cream and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Taste and season accordingly.




(Makes 6 servings)


6 cups water

6 whole cardamom pods

4 fresh or crystallized ginger slices

Two 11/2-by-3-inch orange peel strips (orange part only)

6 whole cloves

2 cups low-fat milk

6 teaspoons tea leaves (preferably Darjeeling or Assam)

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar


Combine first five ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add milk and tea, bring to boil and simmer 2 minutes. Turn off heat and steep 4 to 6 minutes, according to desired strength. Mix in sugar. Strain tea. (Can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.)



Makes 2 servings


Siu Mai (dumplings):

2 medium shrimp

1 green onion

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 egg white

1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/8 teaspoon salt

Small, square won ton wrappers


Pineapple Coulis (sauce):

1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and trimmed

2 cloves garlic

1 shallot

Juice from1/2lime

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/2 fresh jalapeno chili WEAR GLOVES

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 6-ounce can pineapple juice


Seaweed Salsa:

2 sheets nori (dried seaweed; see note)

1/4 head napa cabbage

1 carrot

1/2 red bell pepper

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

11/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (see note)

Salt and pepper to taste


To make siu mai: Combine shrimp, green onion, ginger, garlic, egg white, sesame seeds and salt in food processor and pulse until smooth. Place 11/2 tablespoons of mixture in the center of a won ton wrapper. Dampen the edge and pinch and pleat it around the edge of the filling, leaving the top open, like a basket. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Steam siu mai in a bamboo steamer or metal steamer basket, with water at a low boil, until they are firm, about 4 to 5 minutes.


To make coulis: Whisk together brown sugar and sesame oil and toss pineapple in the mixture until well-coated. Grill or broil the pineapple until the sugar caramelizes and the fruit is well-browned. Cool.

In a blender, combine pineapple, garlic, shallot, lime juice, cilantro, mint, jalapeno and salt and puree. If too thick, thin with pineapple juice.


To make salsa: Chiffonade (roll and cut into very thin strips) the nori and cabbage. Julienne the carrot and red pepper. Place vegetables in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


To serve: Pour a puddle of pineapple sauce on each plate and add siu mai. Top with a heaping tablespoon of salsa.


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


Note: Find nori and chili garlic sauce in the Asian grocery stores and the Asian section of many supermarkets.



(Makes four 1-cup servings)


21/2 cups freshly brewed coffee

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur, or to taste

1/4 cup vodka, or to taste whipped heavy cream for garnish if desired


In a saucepan stir together the coffee, the 1/2 cup cream, the Kahlua and the vodka. Heat the mixture over moderate heat until it is hot.


Divide the mixture among heated mugs and garnish each drink with some of the whipped cream.



over Big Easy's Mardi Gras

What was once a simple European treat containing a bean is now a gaudy specialty of New Orleans, complete with plastic baby

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY of The Associated Press


Mardi Gras is coming, so it's time for king cakes: jumped-up coffeecakes iced in purple, green and gold that hide an ugly little plastic baby.


In New Orleans, they're a favorite treat during Carnival season, sporting the traditional Mardi Gras colors. Back in the "old country," king cakes are not quite as gaudy. The dough is plainer. In Europe, they show up only on Twelfth Night, the Jan. 6 Day of the Kings. Traditionally, there is a bean somewhere in the brioche ring, and whoever gets the bean is king for the day.


But New Orleans has been a party town ever since settlers no longer had to scrabble for each bite of food. During the 1800s, the period from Twelfth Night until Lent (which begins Feb. 28 this year) became the frenzied climax of a winter-long ballroom season.


Some of the dances were at public ballrooms, others at homes. At some point, the king cake became the arbiter of who would hold the next house party, said Wayne Phillips, who oversees the Louisiana State Museum's Mardi Gras collection. Whoever got the bean, almond or pecan hidden inside was the next host.


That may have evolved from another antebellum tradition, the "bal de bouquet," said Connie Atkinson, associate director of the University of New Orleans Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies.


A bachelor chosen by lot as king of this ball would choose a woman as queen -- and as the next ball's hostess -- crowning her with a wreath of flowers. During her ball, she would crown the next king, who would choose the next hostess.


The bean became a baby in the mid-1900s. Later in the century, as the number of parties declined and king cakes became an office fixture, the baby became the signal for whoever had to buy the next cake, rather than give the next party.


In the last 20 years or so, king cakes themselves have undergone a transformation. You can find braided rings of dry, cinnamon-laced brioche, glittery with colored sugar. But, for most bakeries, "traditional" just means unfilled.


The dough is much softer and sweeter. It's usually iced. At least half of today's king cakes are filled with fruit, cream cheese, praline, chocolate rum and other exotica.


You also can get queen cakes, which vary from bakery to bakery.


Antoine's Bakery sells a ring of mixed Danish splashed with icing. La Spiga's is brioche dough decorated with sugar and, in a nod to the "bals de bouquet," crystallized pansies.


Haydel's Bakery, in addition to a multitude of king cake flavors, offers a praline-flavored confection called a Kringle, and it has made up a legend to go with it.


In the past 10 to 15 years, king cakes have spread well beyond New Orleans.


Tanya Clark said her bakery, the Dough Basket in Shreveport, La., made its first king cakes in 1996 -- 11 of them. Last year, she sold 1,761, with 454 "shipped all over God's green earth," including some to New Orleans. She hopes to make 2,500 this year.


United Parcel Service ships about 150,000 king cakes out of Louisiana during the six-week Carnival season, said UPS spokesman Steve Holmes. There's so much business that the company designed a special king cake box, though some big customers, like Haydel's, use their own



(Makes 1 dozen scones)


3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter. Stir in lemon rind.


Blend in eggs, extract and just enough milk or buttermilk to form soft but not sticky dough.


Scoop dough in 12 equal portions onto prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.


If desired, glaze scones with a mixture of powdered sugar, water and lemon extract or powdered sugar and lemon juice.






3/4 cup granulated sugar

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.



(Makes about 36 cookies)


1/3 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

11/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon milk

2 tablespoons instant espresso or instant coffee powder

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 (13/4- to 2-ounce) chocolate bar, coarsely grated


In mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugars.


Add egg and vanilla. Heat milk and stir in the instant coffee. Add to creamed mixture and mix in until well incorporated.


Sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and add to creamed mixture. Mix until well incorporated.


Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets well spaced apart. Press out cookie with bottom of lightly buttered glass dipped in sugar or press out with a fork. Sprinkle lightly with grated chocolate.


Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing to wire racks. Cool completely before storing.




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.



Serve this chowder with tiny croutons made from firm, white sandwich bread cut into cubes, tossed with melted butter, and oven toasted till golden.



6 cups milk

1 cup whipping cream

1 peeled onion, stuck with 4 cloves

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon mace

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon celery seeds






1 celery root, pared and diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

2 leeks, cut into 1/2-inch squares and washed

1 white onion, peeled and diced

4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 dozen shucked small oysters plus oyster liquor

2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Kosher salt to taste


To make broth: In a large saucepan, scald milk and cream with onion, bay, mace, pepper, mustard, coriander, fennel seeds and celery seeds. Let steep for 30 minutes and strain through a sieve, discarding solids.


To make chowder: In a large soup pot, cook celery root, carrots, leeks and onion in butter till softened. Stir in flour, and cook 2 to 3 minutes to get rid of raw flour taste. Add shucked oysters, oyster liquor, marjoram, parsley, salt and hot broth; bring just to a boil, or until the edges of the oysters curl. Serve immediately.





The word "primavera," means spring. However, this dish, though in the style of spring, is technically not springlike at all with its use of frozen vegetables. Purists can skip this, but the rest of us can revel in how much easier and quicker this version is than the traditional recipe.


The only trick here is to read the recipe through before beginning. Half of the vegetables are cooked in a sauté pan and half with the pasta. Keeping track of the timing is key. (6 servings)


1 pound fettuccine

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cups frozen bell pepper strips

2 cups frozen French-cut green beans

3 cups frozen broccoli florets

2 cups frozen petite peas

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

3/4 cup (3 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions.


As soon as the pasta is added to the boiling water, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the pepper strips and cook for 2 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for about 4 minutes.


Meanwhile, when the pasta is halfway done, about 6 minutes into the cooking time, add the broccoli florets to the pot with the pasta.


About 2 minutes before the pasta is done, add the peas to the pot with the pasta.


Add the cream to the pepper strips and green beans, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cream starts to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes.


Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.


Drain the pasta and vegetables and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cream and vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and serve immediately.




2 tablespoons granulated sugar

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).



8 medium or 16 small beets

2 cups white wine vinegar

Grated peel (yellow part only) and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

6 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

3 large cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup thinly sliced onion

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 small heads curly endive

1/2 cup olive oil

Minced chives, for garnish


Scrub beets well. Place in a covered steamer and steam over boiling water until beets can be pierced easily with a knife (20 to 25 minutes), adding more water to steamer as necessary.


Drain beets and plunge into cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.


In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring vinegar, lemon peel, lemon juice and sugar to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes. Add sliced beets, turn to coat with liquid and cook 2 minutes.


With slotted spoon, transfer beets to a stainless steel, glass or enamel bowl. Add thyme, bay leaf, garlic and onion.


Over high heat, reduce liquid in saucepan to 1 cup. Pour over beets and toss to coat.


Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for at least 3 days or up to 2 weeks.


Remove beets from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. Discard garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Wash and dry endive and separate into leaves. Line individual salad plates or a large serving platter with endive. Top with beets and onions. Drizzle salad lightly with beet liquid, then drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chives.




4 large bell peppers (any color)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup instant polenta or corn grits

1 tomato, diced

1/4 cup grated parmesan or cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

Paprika and salt to taste (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.


Cut the tops off the peppers, about1/4inch below the stems, and scoop out seeds and veins. Rinse well.


In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add onion and cook, stirring as needed, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.


Add 2 cups water to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the polenta; cook, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato, cheese and parsley. Season to taste with salt and paprika, which adds nice color.


Spoon the mixture into the peppers and place them in the baking dish. Bake until peppers are tender and polenta is golden, about 30 minutes.




10 ounces pencil asparagus (36, about 3/8 inch wide) or 1 pound medium asparagus

(16 to 18, about 5/8 inch wide)

11/2 teaspoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 500 degrees.


Snap ends off asparagus. Use smallest baking pan that will hold asparagus comfortably. Thinly coat asparagus and pan with olive oil. Roast in the center of the oven for 6 minutes. Turn and roast 5 minutes more.




Garlic mashed potatoes:

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

8 to 10 cloves garlic, halved

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 to 1 cup half-and-half or milk

tablespoons unsalted butter

1/8 to1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper


Roasted porcini:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound porcini or portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and halved


To make potatoes: In large pan, cover the potatoes with water. Add the garlic and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well and let stand for 5 minutes.


Place the potatoes and garlic in a food mill and puree to a fine consistency or mash with a pastry cutter. Heat the half-and-half and butter until steaming. Gradually add the milk mixture and cayenne to the mashed potatoes, continuing to stir until light and fluffy. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside and keep warm.


To make mushrooms: In a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat; let stand for 20 minutes.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the mushroom mixture in a large roasting pan. Roast 15 to 20 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to shrivel around the edges and brown lightly.


To serve: Spoon the mashed potatoes onto a platter, creating a shallow bowl for the mushrooms. Pour the mushrooms and their liquid onto the mashed potatoes.



Serves 4

3 7.5-ounce cans pink salmon, preferably boneless and skinless (about 2 1/2 cups)

6 scallions

4 large sprigs dill

2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise (preferably Hellman's or Best Foods)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup peanut or canola oil

1 head radicchio, about 6 ounces

1 Belgian endive, about 6 ounces

2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar with acidity of no more than 5 percent

1 medium pear, firm but ripe


Put a skillet large enough to hold 4 salmon cakes in one layer without crowding over medium-low heat. Open and drain the salmon. (Remove bones, if any.) Put the salmon in a large mixing bowl. Trim the scallions and quarter each crosswise. Put the scallions (white and green parts) and the leaves from the dill sprigs in a food processor. Pulse just until chopped. (Or chop by hand.) Add the scallions and dill to the salmon. (Do not wash the food processor bowl.) Add 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, the mustard, 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise, the cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste to the salmon. Mix well.


Put the remaining bread crumbs on a pie plate or wax paper. Form the salmon mixture into 4 cakes. Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high and add the oil. Press the salmon cakes into the bread crumbs to coat evenly. One by one, gently lower the salmon cakes into the skillet with a wide spatula. Cook for 4 minutes on each side, turning them over with care, until they are crisp and brown on the outside. Reduce the heat if needed to prevent burning. Drain on a paper towel-lined platter.


While the salmon cakes cook, cut off 1/2 inch from the bottom from the radicchio. Halve lengthwise. With the flat side down, cut each half lengthwise into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Put into a salad spinner. Cut off 1/2 inch from the stem end of the endive. Halve lengthwise. With the flat side down, cut each half lengthwise into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Add to the salad spinner. Fill with water, drain and spin dry the radicchio and endive. Blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture


Put the blue cheese, the remaining 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, vinegar, and black pepper to taste in the food processor and mix for 30 seconds.


Cut the pear into 1/2-inch cubes. Do not peel. Put the radicchio and endive into a large bowl. Add the pear. Add the dressing and toss. Put the salmon cakes on individual plates and serve with the salad.




(4 servings)


3 tablespoons olive oil

11/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup white wine

4 scallions, root ends and tough green tops removed, thinly sliced

1/2 pound smoked andouille sausage, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-

to 1/2-inch slices

2 cups frozen corn kernels

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Increase the heat to high, add half of the shrimp and saute until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate; repeat with another 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining shrimp.


Set aside.


With the heat on high, add the wine to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.


Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the scallions. Cook until the scallions are softened, about 2 minutes.


Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.


Add the corn and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.


Uncover and add the reserved shrimp and pepper to taste. Toss to combine and cook just until the shrimp is heated through. Serve immediately.




2 pounds lamb shanks, fat trimmed

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups fat-free chicken broth

1 141/2-ounce can tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped

2 large carrots, sliced

1/2 cup uncooked brown lentils

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded, diced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Salt to taste

11/4 cups uncooked brown rice, cooked and kept warm (33/4 cups cooked)

Parsley sprigs for garnish


Coat lamb shanks with flour; brown in oil in Dutch oven. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, carrots, lentils, bell pepper, chopped parsley, bay leaves, thyme leaves, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 11/2 to 2 hours, or until lamb shanks are tender. Discard bay leaves.


Remove lamb shanks; remove lean meat and cut into bite-size pieces. Return meat to stew; season to taste with salt.


Arrange rice on serving platter and spoon lamb stew over. Garnish with parsley sprigs.



Serves 6

1 lobster tail (about 1 pound) OR 3/4 pound shrimp or scallops

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 -6 garlic cloves, minced

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 cup clam juice or chicken broth

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons lime zest

1 cup heavy cream, optional

1 pound clams (such as littleneck, manila or cherrystone), scrubbed


Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of ground red or chipotle pepper, optional

12 ounces angel hair pasta

1 pound fresh chard, chopped coarsely


Cut down the belly side of lobster tail and remove meat. Remove all fibrous or dark-colored membranes and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Cut lobster shell into 4 pieces.


Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juice), clam juice or broth, vermouth and lobster shells. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.


Remove and discard lobster shells. Add thyme, paprika, lime zest and cream, if using. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until reduced by one-third.


Add lobster meat and clams. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red or chipotle pepper. Cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until clams open and lobster turns opaque. Discard any unopened clams.


Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, adding chard during last 1 minute of cooking time. Drain and place in a large bowl. Pour seafood sauce over pasta.




Be choosy about your seafood chowder

Instead of gumming those bowls of paste served at many restaurants, create your own briny potful, then embellish at will

By JOAN HARVEY of The Oregonian staff


On cold, wet, windy days, especially on the coast, nothing satisfies like a warm, hearty chowder, rich with seafood swimming in a hot, briny stock and laced with mellow vegetables.


What we usually get, even along our own Oregon coast, where every restaurant claims its chowder is "award-winning," is a thick, over-salted, floury goo with a few gummy, tiny pieces of canned clams, a concoction better suited to spackling a wall.


There's no excuse for this, because nothing is as easy to make as a basic clam chowder. Even at its most rudimentary, it is tasty and filling. Made with canned clams (which is what restaurants peddling the paste versions obviously use), it is very inexpensive. With a few embellishments and more expensive ingredients -- such as good fish stock and fresh seafood -- a chowder can rise to stellar heights. A cook has to go to perverse lengths to mess it up.


In spite of the many mediocre versions served at restaurants, chowder recipes are suddenly popular in books and magazines. One of the newest titles, Jasper White's "Fifty Chowders," is a beautiful and helpful, if somewhat redundant, book.


Martha Stewart recently aired a seafood chowder segment on her television show, and the better cooking magazines have recently devoted features on chowders of various kinds.


Yearning to be humble

Part of the renewed popularity may be the much vaunted return to simple, humble American foods with historical roots. Seafood chowder, which was immortalized in Melville's "Moby-Dick," has long been a staple of America's fishing communities.


The dish was traditionally a way to use up an abundant catch (today it can be a way to extend expensive fish). The word chowder apparently came from the French "chaudiere" or pot, and Webster's New World defines it as "a thick soup made variously, but usually containing onion, potatoes and salt pork, sometimes corn, tomatoes, or other vegetables, and often, specifically, clams or fish and milk."


Purists insist that chowder is a main dish and should not be served as a soup before an entree.


Along with corn chowder, you may see recipes for meat chowders, but these are considered to be more of a stew. Besides, the very word chowder conjures up the taste of seafood.


Thicken with hardtack

Printed recipes go back to 1751, but Jasper White notes that the Micmac tribes of New England may have been the first to cook chowder, teaching the dish to French and English settlers and fishermen.


The first printed chowder recipes called for thickening with sea biscuits or hardtack and didn't call for milk. It wasn't until the Civil War era that milk and potatoes became common in some chowders, therefore initiating the silly chauvinism between various regions as to whether a "true" chowder is cream- or tomato-based.


The spicy, tomato-based chowders we know today (not the thin, bland version found in cans) were probably developed by Italian fishermen about the same time the milk versions were being cooked elsewhere,. They were likely an adaptation of the Italian zuppa con vingole, or soup of clams.


The regional chauvinism attached to chowders can get even sillier when menu writers try to get creative. The creamy chowder is usually referred to as Boston or New England clam chowder, and the tomato variety is called Manhattan or Coney Island clam chowder. But what does "Rhode Island" clam chowder mean in Cannon Beach or "Nova Scotia" chowder in, say, Lincoln City?


It means, ask your waiter.


Good ingredients, good soup

What is not silly but a culinary blessing is the variety of seafood chowders created regionally. When the local recipe is one that uses the freshest local fish and vegetables, chowders are at their best.


Even with all the regional differences, there are simple, basic truths about all seafood chowders. The most fundamental is that the quality of the chowder is directly proportional to the quality of the stock. This doesn't contradict the fact that a chowder can be tasty at its simplest; it just means the better the stock, the better the flavor.


Likewise, chowder doesn't have to be thick. If the broth is good and rich, the potatoes will add enough starch to the dish. Not that there's anything wrong with a creamy chowder -- if it's tasty and the fish are apparent.


The idea that a chowder has to be thickened with flour until gummy enough to stand a spoon up in it and that any incidental pieces of fish are hidden by the white paste is nothing short of a blasphemy. You deserve better.



1 cup apple cider or apple juice

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick; divided)

1 pound sea scallops, patted dry with paper towels

1 Granny Smith or Braeburn apple, cored and julienned (divided)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

16 small fresh sage leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


In large skillet, bring cider to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 6 to 8 minutes or until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Remove pan from the heat.


Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in another large skillet over medium heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Don't overcook or they'll be tough. Remove from pan and keep warm.


Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the same skillet. Brown butter over medium heat, being careful not to burn. Stir in reduced cider, half of the julienned apple, the sage and lemon juice. Simmer until apple is tender and sauce slightly thickened (1 minute or more, depending on thickness of apple slices). Taste and adjust seasoning.


Spoon sauce over scallops on serving dish. Garnish with remaining julienned apple.


Editor's note: This dish also works well with all of the apple cooked in the butter/cider mixture.




With a Perfected French Vinaigrette Makes 8 servings



1 egg yolk (optional)

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon sea salt or other coarse salt

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup olive oil



2 medium heads butter or Bibb lettuce

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or chives

Sea salt or other coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


To make vinaigrette: Whisk the egg yolk, mustard, salt and vinegar together in a small bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in the oils to form a creamy emulsion the consistency of a thin mayonnaise. Store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator if not using within the hour. The vinaigrette will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.


To assemble salad: Carefully wash the lettuce, remove the tough lower center ribs; dry the leaves in a salad spinner or on tea towel. Tear the leaves into large bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl.


Toss the greens with just enough of the vinaigrette -- about1/4cup -- to coat lightly. Sprinkle the salad with the minced parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve at once.




For an easy meal, spoon the green beans and sauce over sautéed chicken breasts or broiled fish. (5 servings)


1 (28-ounce) can peeled tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 (20-ounce) package cut green beans

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste

Dried oregano to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Drain the tomatoes, reserving the tomato liquid. Remove the stem ends from the tomatoes. If desired, seed the tomatoes. Break the tomatoes into chunks.


In a pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.


Add the green beans, the tomatoes and their liquid, the sugar, salt, oregano and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and then cook until the liquid comes to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes.


When the beans are tender, taste and add more salt, sugar or oregano if desired. If the sauce is soupy, turn the heat to high and cook until the sauce reduces. Serve warm.





2 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small dice

2 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola cheese (about 11/4 ounces)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves (do not use dried)

Kosher salt

8 ounces imported dried spaghetti alla chitarra (long, thin strips)

5 to 6 turns of the pepper mill


Bring potatoes to boil in large pot of water (at least 6 quarts). Cook 5 minutes.


In serving bowl large enough to hold pasta, mash butter, gorgonzola and sage with fork.


After potatoes have boiled 5 minutes, add 31/2 tablespoons kosher salt to water and drop in spaghetti. Keep at full rolling boil until pasta is tender but firm, about 5 to 6 minutes. (I stir for first 45 seconds to ensure pasta does not stick together.) Drain pasta and potatoes in colander, saving about1/2cup cooking water.


Add pasta and potatoes to butter-cheese mixture and gently toss. Grind pepper over pasta, add a few tablespoons cooking water and toss again. Sauce should be glossy with consistency of heavy cream. Add more water, if needed. Serve immediately.



Serves 6


2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 bananas, sliced

Sprinkle of ground cinnamon


Fill a large pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.


Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk. Whisk in sugar and vanilla extract.


Evenly divide bananas among six 8-ounce oven-proof bowls or ramekins. Pour custard evenly over bananas. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Cover each bowl with foil. Place in a steamer basket.


Remove pot of boiling water from heat and carefully place steamer basket in water. Return pot to heat and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.




1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped green bell peppers

1 cup chopped red bell peppers

1 cup chopped red onions

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (see note) WEAR GLOVES

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

11/2 pounds yams or sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

11/2 teaspoons salt

8 8-inch flour tortillas

11/2 cups shredded Monterey jack (6 ounces) or cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add green and red peppers, onions, jalapeno, garlic, oregano and chili powder; saute 2 to 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Place yams in a large mixing bowl and stir in pepper mixture. Add cilantro and salt; mix well.


Place1/2cup yam mixture in center of one flour tortilla and spread evenly to within1/2inch of the edge of the tortilla. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons shredded cheese. Place another flour tortilla over filling to form a "sandwich." Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.


Line a baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place tortillas on pan so that edges do not touch. Bake 5 to 8 minutes, or just until cheese melts. Remove from pan with a spatula and cut each quesadilla into wedges like pizza. Serve immediately.


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



1 pound young carrots, trimmed and peeled


1 pound dried tagliatelle or fettuccine

1 heaping tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1/2 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped, stalks discarded

Freshly ground black pepper


Cut carrots into 2-inch pieces, then into 1/4-inch sticks. Blanch carrots in boiling water 3 to 4 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain well.


Boil a large pot of water, enough to cover the pasta generously. Add salt and tagliatelle and boil until al dente, tender but firm to the bite.


Meanwhile, melt butter in medium pan. Add poppy seeds and saute over medium heat about 1 minute. Add carrots and parsley, and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.


Drain tagliatelle lightly to keep pasta moist. Stir in carrot mixture. Serve immediately on warmed plates.



(Aimé's apple tart)

Serves 10

For crust:

2 sticks ( 1/2 pound) butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest (from a Meyer lemon if possible)

1 egg, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

For compote:

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons butter

8 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut in walnut-sized pieces

2 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

4-inch strip of orange peel

For topping:

5 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut in julienne

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

Powdered sugar


The crust: In mixer whip 2 sticks butter with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest. Add 1 egg, 2 cups flour, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, beating until just mixed. Chill dough for 1/2 hour.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough to fit an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom of the crust and bake for 20 minutes. Remove crust from oven.


Compote: Put 3/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons butter in a heavy pan over high heat on the stove. Stir occasionally until the mixture colors and begins to barely smoke. Take off heat and immediately add, while stirring, 8 peeled tart apples cut in walnut-sized pieces and 2 tablespoons water. The sugar will get hard and lumpy. Return to heat, adding 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, juice of half a lemon, and a 4-inch strip of orange peel. Reduce heat to low and cook slowly, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until apple mixture is cooked and thick like marmalade. Cool to room temperature.


Topping and assembly: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss raw apples with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar.


Fill the partially baked crust with cooled compote. Mound raw apples on top in a dome shape. Sprinkle on 3 tablespoons sliced raw almonds. Bake for 25 minutes.

Dust tart with powdered sugar. Serve warm.


Add ice cream, or cold heavy cream, if you like. We usually had it all by itself, enjoying every warm, spicy mouthful.



Makes 64 pieces

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup milk

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up

1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals

1 teaspoon light-colored corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)

1/3 cup chopped pecans


Line an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil; set aside.


Butter sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In saucepan, stir together sugar, milk, chocolate, coffee crystals and corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan.


Carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 234 degrees, soft-ball stage (20 to 25 minutes). The mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface.


Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter and vanilla, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 110 degrees (about 55 minutes).


Remove candy thermometer from saucepan. Beat mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until fudge begins to thicken. Add nuts. Continue beating until fudge becomes very thick and starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes).


Immediately spread fudge into prepared pan. Score into squares while warm. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut candy into squares. Store fudge tightly covered.




I got hooked on this sauce when I was testing recipes from "Quick From Scratch" (Food & Wine Books, 1996). The version there called for 1 pound of grilled shrimp to be added when the pasta and sauce were tossed together. I love it with or without the addition. This recipe makes enough sauce for about3/4pound of pasta. The recipe easily doubles if you need more. Toss the sauce with the pasta while the pasta is still hot. And by all means, never refrigerate this sauce. Its flavor will be destroyed if chilled.


11/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 clove garlic, finely minced

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.



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