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

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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).







































































La Paz native Lilian Zamorano cooks a Bolivian feast

Linda Bladholm, The Ethnic Explorer


ANDEAN SPECIALTIES: Ají de trigo, empanadas salteñas and lauchas, and fricasé.


Lilian Zamorano is grinding maroon ají panca in the blender when the oven timer rings in the kitchen of her Kendall condominium. Out comes a cookie sheet of cuñapes, puffy little breads made from yuca starch, eggs and cheese.


''I miss Bolivia, but not cooking at 12,000 feet,'' she says, scraping down the chili purée. Born in La Paz, Zamorano is from the highland region known as the Altiplano, one of the highest inhabited areas in the world.


Landlocked Bolivia, named for its liberator, Simón Bolívar, is surrounded by Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru. It was once part of the Inca Empire and called Alto Peru.


Zamorano left in 1971 with her two young sons, arriving in Washington, D.C., as an attaché with the Bolivian embassy. Newly divorced, she was ready to start a new life. When a revolution back home knocked her out of a job eight months later, she decided to stay. She worked for the next 25 years at the World Bank.


''I had never cooked before -- when I first arrived I didn't even know how to boil a potato, I only baked as my mother had,'' she said. She learned from food columns and cookbooks, including a Bolivian one. Her sons encouraged her and soon she was bringing her creamy peanut, chili and cheese huancaína dip to parties.


After retiring five years ago, she returned to La Paz, but missed America and her sons. She sold everything but her books and art collection and moved two years ago to Miami, where one of her sons lives.


Bolivia's food is influenced by its Andean neighbors but has distinct specialties in each of its nine states. Staples are potatoes (there are over 300 varieties), chuño (freeze-dried white and black potatoes), sweet potatoes, pork, beef, the super-grain quinoa, trigo pelado (hulled wheat kernels), ají amarillo (yellow chili) and ají colorado (also known as the panca chili).


The cheese puffs are a typical breakfast food often eaten with api, a thick purple corn drink. Llauchas, from Bolivian friend and caterer Susy Murillo, are a breakfast empanada made from a yeasty pizza-like dough stuffed with cheese sauce.


Empanadas salteñas are plump and yellow, the dough tinted with ají amarillo and stuffed with a mixture of seasoned chopped meat and gelatin. It coagulates and melts when baked, creating a juicy filling that bursts in your mouth.


At the stove, Zamorano is sautéing onions for ají de trigo, a hearty chupe (stew). Cubes of sirloin, chopped celery, carrot, parsley, red chili purée and tomatoes go in next, then boiled wheat kernels and potato chunks, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. This is served with warm rolls and fricasé, a pork stew in a hot ají amarillo sauce thickened with bread crumbs.


Dessert is walnut cake iced with dulce de leche and decorated with walnut halves and an unusual quiona pudding studded with slivered almonds and currants and topped with a warm, sweet, wine sauce or meil de chancaca (fig-flavored cane syrup). It tastes all the sweeter cooked at sea level with a view of palm trees.


Prepare: 1/2 recipe flaky pie crust dough

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10-inch square, 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Peel, halve, and core:

4 medium to large apples (2 to 2 1/2 lbs) Gravenstein or Empire are best

Place the apples cut side down on a cutting board and slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Combine the apples with:

1/2 cup maple syrup, molasses, packed brown sugar, or white sugar

2 tbsp cornstarch or 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground allspice

Spread the apple mixture evenly in an unbuttered 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Dot with:

2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Remove the dough from the fridge and let stand for a few minutes, until pliable. Fold the dough in half and unfold over the top of the apples, covering them. Trim the dough around the pan, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the edges of the dough under to fit inside the dish and press the dough gently against the apples (around the edge only). Bake at 400 degrees until the top has browned lightly, about 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven to a level area. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 deg. With a knife, score the crust, as you would a pan of brownies, into 2-inch squares. Baste the crust squares by tilting the pan all around and spooning some of the apple juices of the squares, basting the middle

squares as well. You can also submerge the squares in the juices with the back of the spoon. Do not worry about crushing or tearing the crust, for doing this is part of the character of the dish. (The crust will also sink slightly into the juices while cooking.) Return the dish to the oven and bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a skewer, the filling has thickened slightly, and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes more. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm in deep bowls with:

Heavy cream, softly whipped cream, or vanilla yogurt.

To store, cover and refrigerate. Reheat, covered with foil, in a 325 deg. oven for about 20 minutes.


4 servings


8 ounces arugula leaves

4 1/2 ounces fresh figs, quartered

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Wash the arugula well and tear it into bite-size pieces. Dry it well on paper towels or with a salad spinner. Oil-based dressings won't stick to wet leaves.


Toss the quartered figs with the leaves. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the dressing with the salad. Serve immediately.


Note: Good, meaty tomatoes are a rarity this time of year, but those hankering for a taste of a beefsteak can make do with cherry tomatoes. These are easy to find and still pack plenty of juicy flavor.


Makes 6 to 8 servings

In Modena and Reggio, cooks rub garlic and fresh rosemary into a chicken before roasting. At the table, the dish is finished with a few spoonfuls of the family's own balsamic vinegar. Few dishes have the elegance of this one.


1 4- to 4 1/2-pound frying or roasting chicken

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

1 large clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

8 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 to 4 tablespoons artisan-made tradizionale balsamic vinegar, or a high-quality

commercial balsamic blended with 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar


Dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out and set on plate. Mince together rosemary leaves and garlic with the salt. Brush olive oil over chicken, then rub in herb mixture. Sprinkle with pepper. Place 2 rosemary sprigs in cavity of bird. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours. Reserve remaining rosemary sprigs for garnishing.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Truss chicken, if desired. Rub into chicken any seasoning that might have fallen onto the plate. Place chicken in small heavy roasting pan, breast side down. Roast 20 to 25 minutes per pound (11/4 to 13/4 hours), or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh or leg reads 180 degrees and the breast registers 170 degrees. Baste every 15 minutes with pan juices. During last 30 minutes of roasting, turn chicken over to brown the breast. If chicken is not deep golden brown when cooking time is up, increase temperature to 475 degrees and roast about 10 minutes longer, turning once.


Transfer chicken to heated serving platter. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and carve at the table or carve into pieces and drizzle each with a little vinegar. Garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs.



1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup mashed ripe bananas -- (about 2 medium or 3/4 pound)

1/4 cup nonfat milk

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla


In large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, soda and raisins. Add bananas, milk, egg whites and vanilla; beat until lightly mixed.


Spread batter in a nonstick (or lightly oiled regular) 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and center springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm or cool, cut into about 2-inch squares. Makes 24 servings.




1 (16-ounce) box acini pepe pasta (Ronzoni), pasta pellets

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 orange or red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 red onion, minced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

2 teaspoons oregano flakes

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1 small lemon, cut into wedges


Boil pasta until just tender, according to directions on box (about 12 minutes). Drain in a fine-mesh strainer. Put the drained noodles into a large serving bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top and toss to blend well.


Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the bell peppers, onion and garlic and sauté 5 minutes or until the mixture just starts to brown. About midway through the cooking, sprinkle the salt, white pepper and oregano flakes over the top and toss to blend. Let mixture cool completely.


Add pepper-onion mixture to pasta and toss to blend. Refrigerate until needed. This can all be done a day ahead of time. Before serving, add the fresh basil to the pasta mixture and squeeze with lemon. Toss to blend well. Add more salt and white pepper to taste if desired. Makes 10 servings.


16 bars


1 egg

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped walnuts


Grease an 8-inch square pan.


Stir together egg, brown sugar and vanilla. Quickly stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Add nuts. Spread in pan.


Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This makes a light bar, not airy like a cake or heavy like most other bars.


Enough for a 9-by-13-inch cake or a 2-layer cake


1/3 cup butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat until smooth. If necessary, thin with a little more milk.



2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup applesauce

1/2 cup egg substitute

1/4 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup canola oil

2 1/2 cups low-fat granola, divided

2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.


Combine applesauce, eggs, apple juice concentrate and oil. Blend with a whisk. Stir in flour mixture, 2 cups granola and 1 1/2 cups cheese.


Spread mixture into a lightly greased 13-9-inch baking pan. Top with remaining cheese and 1/2 cup granola. Bake 20-24 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand at least 10 minutes; cut into bars. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 24 bars.


6 servings


2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces


1/2 pound chorizo sausage, casing removed, cut into pieces

2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 piece (2 inches long) ginger root, minced

1 cup each, washed, drained: medium-grain rice and long-grain rice

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper, or to taste

2 cans (14 ounces each) coconut milk

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1 tablespoon fish sauce (see note)

1 bay leaf

1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, cut into strips

2 hard-cooked eggs, quartered


Heat oil in large deep skillet or wok over high heat.


Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt to taste. Cook chicken, skin side down in batches, until browned on one side, about six minutes. Turn; cook until browned, about six minutes. Remove chicken to platter; discard fat.


Add sausage to skillet. Cook, stirring to crumble, about five minutes. Drain fat from skillet. Add serrano peppers and onion to skillet; stir-fry until onion is softened, two minutes. Add garlic and ginger; stir-fry one minute.


Stir in medium- and long-grain rice and ground red pepper. Cook until rice is coated and glistening, about two minutes.


Stir in coconut milk, broth, fish sauce and bay leaf. Return chicken thighs and legs to skillet. Heat to boil. Reduce heat; cover. Simmer 10 minutes.


Add chicken breast pieces and wings. Simmer, covered, until rice and chicken are tender, about 15 minutes.


Add salt to taste. Remove from heat. Arrange peppers over top of paella. Let sit five minutes. Garnish with eggs.


Note: Look for fish sauce, also called nam pla or nuoc nam, in supermarket Asian food aisles.




Today, the ever-expanding boundaries of comfort food include a dish that in recent years has been more talked about than eaten, except at truck stops: the chicken-fried steak, an inexpensive cut of beef, coated in flour and fried until brown.


Quick to cook and economical, it can be a treat. Or it can be tough, tired and weighed down by a pan gravy that has the texture and taste of wallpaper paste.


If your steak is inexpensive -- and it should be -- it's going to be tough. Use cube steak, which has been tenderized some by the butcher. Take time to work the flour into the meat evenly, and don't cook it beyond medium.


A little corn bread, a friendly vegetable, something cold to wash it down and a taste of something sweet to finish is the recipe for a "satisfrying" meal.


Alternate choice: If your comfort zone includes a side of creamy mashed potatoes with your meat, but you are counting calories, toss shredded, steamed zucchini with a little tomato sauce or leave the zucchini plain and make it into a bed for the steak and gravy.


Shred the zucchini first and steam it while preparing the steaks. Heat some tomato sauce in a saucepan while the steaks are cooking and toss the zucchini in the hot sauce to warm it up.


2 servings


2 cube steaks, about 6 ounces each

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika, plus more to taste

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped tomato

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 1/4 cups milk, or more if needed


Pat the steaks dry; set aside.


Combine 1/4 cup of the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, pepper and paprika on a plate; stir with a fork until well blended.


Coat each steak with the flour mixture; pound lightly on both sides with a rolling pin or the side of a cleaver to help the meat absorb the flour. All the flour should be used.


Heat the oil in a skillet until very hot, 375 degrees.


Add the steaks; cook until seared and well crusted on one side, about two minutes. Turn the steaks with tongs; cook two minutes more for medium.


Transfer the steaks to a plate lined with paper towels; keep warm.


Pan gravy: Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil. Return the pan to medium-low heat.


Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of the flour; cook one minute. Add the tomato and onion. Whisk in milk; cook until thick, three minutes. Add more milk if the gravy becomes too thick.


Season to taste with salt, pepper and paprika.


Spoon a little of the gravy onto plates. Top with steak. Pass remaining gravy at the table.


Makes 6 servings


When growing up in the 1950s, Sally Schneider's mother used to make this version of a salad served at New York's "21" Club. Schneider still finds the salad wonderful, but instead of the mayonnaise-based Russian dressing, she substitutes one with much less fat, made with sour cream and buttermilk.


1/4 cup regular or light sour cream

3 tablespoons buttermilk

3 tablespoons chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon horseradish, drained

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice (1 cup)

1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/3-inch dice (1 cup)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/3-inch dice (1 cup)

2 celery ribs, peeled to remove tough strings and cut into 1/3-inch dice (1 cup)

2 medium tomatoes, halved crosswise, seeds and juice squeezed out and cut

into 1/3-inch dice (1 cup)

1 small Vidalia or Bermuda onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)

2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese or dry (aged) jack cheese, cut into 1/8-

inch dice (1/2 cup)

Freshly ground black pepper


In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, buttermilk, chili sauce, horseradish and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to mix salad.


Toss vegetables and cheese together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, spoon dressing over salad and toss to coat. Season with pepper.


Note: You can make dressing, dice cheese and prepare all vegetables except onion and tomato up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. (You can store vegetables together in a plastic bag.)




Makes 3 1/2 cups (8 servings)


Canola oil or spray

1/2 cup (4 ounces) light cream cheese, softened at room temperature

1/2 cup fat-free or light sour cream

1 (16-ounce) can vegetarian or fat-free refried beans

1 tablespoon packaged taco seasoning mix (bought in 1-ounce envelopes)

5 drops hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

1/3 cup chopped scallions (white and part of green)

1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if using the oven). Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish or loaf pan with canola oil.


In a mixing bowl blend the cream cheese, sour cream, refried beans, taco seasoning, hot pepper sauce, parsley, green onions, and half of the cheese until smooth. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish, top with remaining cheese and bake until bean dip is hot and cheese is bubbling (about 20 minutes).


4 large Potatoes -- un-peeled

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1 package Ranch-style Dressing mix -- 0.4 ounces

1 cup Sour Cream, light -- for dipping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice un-peeled potatoes into 1/4 inch thick

slices, then place in a large bowl. Add oil to potatoes and mix lightly. Add

dressing mix, tossing to coat evenly. Arrange potato slices in single layer

on a greased baking sheet. (Do not overlap slices) Bake 30 - 40 minutes or

until potatoes are browned and tender. Serve warm with sour cream to dip

them in, as an appetizer. RF4RP


5 Apples

1/3 cup hot water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

3 1/2 tbsp butter

Cut up apple and place in casserole dish. Add cinnamon to hot water and

pour over apples. Mix sugar, flour & butter together. Spread over top of

apples. Bake at 350 degrees until apples are tender.



This is Lilian Zamorano's recipe. These puffy little cheese breads are best eaten hot from the oven. Any meltable cheese, such as queso blanco, mozzarella or Monterey jack, may be used.


1 cup yuca harina (yuca starch, sold in Latin markets)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups grated cheese

1 egg

1 egg yolk


Sift harina with sugar and salt. Add cheese and mix with a fork. Beat egg and egg yolk just to blend. Add to mixture and stir to form a soft dough. Form small balls and place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until puffed and slightly golden at the edges. Makes 32.


Filling One:

1/2 cup Olives -- sliced

4 ounces Mushrooms, canned -- sliced & drained

Filling Two:

5 small Scallions -- thinly sliced

1 whole French Bread loaf

14 ounces Pizza Sauce

1 cup Swiss Cheese -- shredded (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice bread vertically into 10 slices without

cutting completely through the bread. Spoon sauce equally into each section.

Alternate fillings between slices. Sprinkle cheese over fillings. Loosely

wrap pizza in heavy aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Open foil; bake 10 to 15 minutes. Source: Ragú http://www.eat.com/index.html


1/2 c Peach or apricot preserves

1/4 c White vinegar

1 tb Grated ginger

1/3 c Finely chopped scallions

Combine the preserves, vinegar & ginger & heat to a simmer. Simmer gently,

stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat & stir in the

chopped scallions. Will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks or so.



2 pounds chicken livers

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

5 ounces chicken fat

2 pounds onions, sliced thin (about 3 cups)

1/2 cup rich chicken stock

8 large hard-boiled eggs, crumbled

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup honey


Place the chicken livers in a heavy saucepan with just enough water to cover. Stir in the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until livers are firm, about 5 minutes. Drain; blot dry on an absorbent towel.


In a large sauté pan, warm the chicken fat over medium-high heat until it liquefies (about 300 degrees). Add the onions and sauté until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken livers and cook 1 minute more. Add the chicken stock and stir to deglaze the pan.


Remove from heat and stir in the eggs, salt, pepper and honey. Toss gently and cool. Push through the fine sieve of a meat grinder, or use a food processor, pulsing on and off until desired consistency is reached. Makes 16 servings.


2 avocados, diced

2 cans (12 oz / 336 g each) yellow whole kernel corn, drained and chilled

6 hard-cooked eggs, quartered and chilled

1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped green onions

Salt and pepper to taste

Seasoned Mayonnaise (below)

Iceberg lettuce

Reserve some of the diced avocado for garnish and toss remainder with all

ingredients except lettuce. Turn into lettuce- lined bowl. Garnish with

reserved avocado. Makes 6 to 8 servings.




1 cup (240 ml) mayonnaise

1 T (15 ml) lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) chili powder

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cumin

1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) onion salt

1/8 teaspoon (.63 ml) nutmeg

Blend and chill. Makes 1 cup (24 ml). Source : Good Fixins



Canola oil spray

1 (18.9-ounce) package Pillsbury Moist Supreme Funfetti cake mix

1/3 cup orange juice or low-fat milk

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

Powdered sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a cookie sheet with oil.


In a large mixing bowl, stir together cake mix, orange juice, egg and egg whites until an even dough forms.


Use cookie scoop (or level 1/8-cup measure) to form dough into balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. If you would like, you can flatten each cookie ball to a 1/4-inch thickness using the flat bottom of a glass dipped in powdered sugar.


Bake until edges are light golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Makes 24 cookies.



Food to match spring should be spirited and green, like this brightly seasoned sweet pea and spinach potage alongside a colorful red onion, orange and sugar snap pea salad.




The trouble with spring is it's a good reminder of everything we can't have.


Spring is on our minds, so food to match it should taste spirited and green.


As the weather warms and garden catalogs crowd the mailbox, heads fill quickly with dreamy thoughts of fresh vegetables piled high in farmers markets.


Too bad, because the produce has yet to catch up with these fantasies. With even early-harvest fruits and vegetables a ways off, we can still make do with what we can find. That doesn't mean resorting to a can opener or the freezer section.


The trick to fresh -- and refreshing, vegetables -- this time of year is to work with what is available and supplement it with produce that packs punch when preserved or stored.


A great place to start is fresh greens. Good-quality greens, from peppery mesclun mixes to sweet bunches of spinach or kale, can be found in most grocery stores year-round.


To liven up the greens with a burst of summer flavor, grab a jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, a few cloves of garlic and a few tablespoons of capers, those small, olive-like delicacies that have a salty bite.


Sauté the greens in a bit of olive oil until just wilted. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the greens along with the garlic and capers. Sauté a few minutes more, then toss with pasta.


Fresh herbs are another way to add the taste of a warmer season to your dishes. Most grocers now stock good-quality fresh herbs all year, ranging from parsley to thyme and sage to lavender. Use whatever fresh herbs are available to make original versions of pestos, to give pizzazz to pasta and steamed vegetables.


Traditional pesto recipes call for basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Can't find basil yet? Try a combination of dill and parsley. Don't eat dairy? Soy Parmesan works fine, too.


To make pesto, combine in a food processor or blender all the ingredients (in a roughly 2-to-1 ratio of herbs to other items) except the oil. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pulse-chop. Continue adding oil and pulsing until the mixture is a thick paste.


To give pesto depth of flavor, no matter what time of year you make it, lightly toast the pine nuts before grinding them. To toast, toss them in a dry skillet over medium heat for several minutes, or until they begin to brown. Stir frequently.


For other inspired ideas for using seasonal produce, turn to Ursula Ferrigno's "Gusto Italiano: Quick and Simple Vegetarian Cooking" (Bay Books, 1999, $32).


In her arugula and fig salad (which see), Ferrigno relies on the sturdy, peppery taste of one of the earliest spring greens to balance the sweetness of plump figs.


If fresh figs are hard to find, use dried. Soak them in warm water for 30 minutes, or until tender throughout. They won't look as attractive as fresh, but the taste will make up for their appearance.


Also, try sprinkling toasted pine nuts on the salad just before serving. Alternatively, for a culture clash, give the salad an Asian twist and sprinkle it with lightly toasted sesame seeds.


(Serves 6)


6 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 envelope taco seasoning

Juice of 1 large lime


2 (15-oz.) cans pineapple tidbits in juice, well drained

1/2 large. sweet onion, chopped (red, Vidalia, etc.)

1 large. handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

1 or 2 fresh jalapenos, seeded & minced (opt.) WEAR GLOVES

In a large zipper-top freezer bag, combine marinade ingredients. Flatten each chicken breast slightly between two sheets of plastic wrap; a few firm taps with the flat side of a meat mallet will help even out the thickness. Transfer chicken to marinade bag and seal; knead/shake carefully to coat well. Refrigerate while preparing salsa or up to 24 hours.

Shortly before mealtime, combine salsa ingredients in small bowl; cover and refrigerate until served.

Heat grill to moderate heat. Drain excess marinade from chicken and grill for about 4-6 minutes per side, or just until done. (Test thickest piece to be sure it has cooked through but not dried out; you're going to slice it anyway!) Remove chicken to cutting board and immediately slice into 1/2-inch strips. Serve wrapped burrito-style in warm flour tortillas with a spoonful or two of salsa tucked inside. Leftovers reheat well, and salsa will hold in the fridge for at least 24 hours.


3 tablespoons corn starch

6 cups milk

2 2/3 cups sugar

4 large or 5 small eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt

13 ounce can evaporated milk

1 pint whipping cream

3 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Mix the corn starch with 1/2 cup of the milk. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and

cook in a double boiler until it is thick and smooth. (Stir constantly to

keep it from lumping.) In a large bowl add the sugar, eggs, salt, evaporated

milk and mix well. Add the hot corn starch mixture and mix well. Add the

whipping cream, remaining milk and vanilla extract. Pour into a ice cream

freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Makes one



Banana: Add 2 cups of crushed bananas. Use 1 tablespoon vanilla and omit

the evaporated milk.

Chocolate: Add 2 1-ounce squares of melted chocolate and omit the


Coffee: Dissolve 3 tablespoons instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water. Cool

before adding to mixture. Use 2 tablespoons of vanilla.

Peach: Add 2 cups of crushed peaches. Use 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1/2

teaspoon of almond extract.

Strawberry: Add 3 cups of crushed strawberries. Omit the vanilla and the

evaporated milk.


3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups water

3 Tablespoons molasses (or use only 1 T., and add 1 or 2 T. of honey instead)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons butter flavoring

1 teaspoon maple extract

Bring all ingredients to a rolling boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the burner, but leave the pan on the burner until the bubbling stops. You can pour it directly into a glass container and put in the refrigerator to store. It will thicken as it cools.


"As the vegetables are eaten cold, rather than hot, they can be made in quantity and kept in the refrigerator in containers, to be brought out when you want a simple first course or cold vegetables for a summer buffet. Serve the different vegetables in the small serving dishes called raviers, or in flat pottery or glass dishes. A sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley or, if you like the flavor, chopped fresh coriander, makes a pleasant garnish."


Court bouillon:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled

Dash of hot pepper sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, tarragon, oregano, basil; or 1 teaspoon each


Select from the following vegetables: young, tender green beans, wax beans, whole green onions or tiny white onions, small and firm mushroom caps, whole or halved leeks, halved or quartered fennel bulbs, fingers or cubes of eggplant, small and firm zucchini halved or thickly sliced, halved celery hearts, buds of broccoli or cauliflower, tiny young carrots, tiny pattypan squash, artichoke bottoms, or trimmed and quartered artichokes with choke removed (see note).


Put the oil, vinegar, wine, salt, pepper, bay leaf, garlic, hot pepper sauce, thyme, tarragon, oregano and basil in a large, shallow pan or deep skillet, then add a cleaned, trimmed vegetable and just enough water barely to cover. The court bouillon is sufficient for 1 pound of green beans or carrots, or 1 large eggplant, cubed, or 8 artichoke bottoms or a dozen mushroom caps.


Bring the liquid to a boil very slowly over medium heat, then reduce the heat and poach until the vegetable is just crisply tender when pierced with a fork or the point of a small sharp knife. Do not overcook.


Remove from the heat, taste the liquid for seasoning and add salt, if needed; then let the vegetable cool in the liquid. When cool, transfer to a refrigerator container or serving dish. Strain the poaching liquid and use again for other vegetables. If necessary, add more water.


Note: Do not simmer vegetables together, as they will have different cooking times. Cook your selections separately.

-- From "James Beard's Theory & Practice of Good Cooking"


1 cup butter or margarine

4 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup buttermilk

Cream together butter and sugar. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Combine flour, salt, soda, and powder. Combine buttermilk with vanilla. Add milk and flour mixtures alternately to butter mixture until well combined. Turn into a greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 325 for 60 to 65 minutes.

Butter sauce:

1 c sugar

1/4 c water

1/2 c butter or margarine

Combine in saucepan. Heat until butter melts-add 1 T vanilla. Poke holes into top of cake with fork. Pour sauce slowly over cake while still in pan. Cool and remove from pan. From: JoAn Henry's Favorite Recipes by John Henry



Makes 4 servings

This fragrant curry is spicy but not too hot.


2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder

3 tablespoons peanut oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 small hot chili (such as jalapeno or serrano), cored and minced

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger

Salt and pepper

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander seed

1 cup water

1 cup regular or reduced-fat canned coconut milk

Cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)


Trim lamb; cut into 11/2-inch cubes.


Heat oil in a heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Add enough lamb cubes to make 1 layer; brown. Remove browned cubes to a plate; repeat with remaining lamb and remove to plate.


Reduce heat to medium-low, stir onions into casserole and cook until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in chili, garlic, cilantro and ginger; cook 30 seconds.


Return meat to pan; add any juices from plate. Add salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin and coriander seed. Add water; stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 13/4 hours.


Skim excess fat from cooking liquid. Stir in coconut milk and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve hot.


one 9-inch pastry crust, baked

Whisk thoroughly in a medium saucepan:

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

Whisk in, blending well:

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)

2 to 3 tsp grated lemon zest

Whisk in, until no yellow streaks remain:

4 large egg yolks


2 to 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then cook for 1 minute. The filling should be very thick. Pour the filling into the pie crust and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Immediately prepare:

Soft Meringue Topping:

In a very small saucepan or heatproof 1-cup measure, throroughly mix:

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp sugar

Gradually stir in, making a smooth, runny paste:

1/2 cup water

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring briskly all the while, then boil for 15 seconds. Remove this thick, translucent paste from the heat and cover with a lid or saucer. In a clean, grease-free glass or metal bowl, beat on medium speed until foamy:

4 large egg whites (1/2 cup) at room temperature

Add and beat until soft but definite peaks form:

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Very gradually beat in:

1/2 cup sugar, preferably superfine

Beat on high speed until the peaks are very stiff and glossy but not dry. Reduce the speed to very low and beat in the cornstarch paste 1 tablespoon at a time. When all the paste is incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat for 10 seconds. Remove the plastic wrap from the pie and spread the meringue on top, anchoring it to the edge of the crust at all points. Bake for 20 minutes at 325 deg. Let cool completely on a rack, then refrigerate. Store the pie in the fridge for up to three days. Serve at room temperature or cold.


1 1/2 cups sugar

3 Tbsp cornstarch

3 Tbsp flour

dash of salt

1 1/2 cups hot water

3 slightly beaten egg yolks

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 9" baked pie shell, cooled


1. In saucepan mix the first 4 ingredients, gradually add the hot water,

stirring constantly. Cook and stir over high heat till mixture comes to

boiling. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

2. Stir small amount of hot mixture into the egg yolks and then return to

hot mixture. Bring to boil and boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. add

butter and lemon peel. Slowly add lemon juice, mixing well.

3. Pour in to pastry shell. Spread meringue over filling: spread to edge to


4. Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes to brown meringue. Cool before cutting.


3 egg whites ( at room temperature)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

6 Tbsp sugar

Beat whites with vanilla and cream of tartar till soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating till stiff and glossy peaks form, and all sugar is dissolved.

Note; before cutting COOL pie, dip knife in water to prevent tearing the



Makes about 3/4 cup


"First-picked tender leaves are perhaps best dressed just with soft extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper," cautions chef and cookbook author Alice Waters, citing their fragility and the overpowering effects of vinegar.


That said, we find a restrained splash of this refreshing vinaigrette from Waters to be well-suited to a mixture that includes miner's lettuce.


To dress the salad, drizzle a tablespoon of dressing through your fingertips onto a few handfuls of lettuce. Toss gently to coat and taste. If desired, adjust the amount of any of the ingredients slightly or add additional vinaigrette. Serve immediately. 2 small shallots, peeled and very finely diced

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil


In a small bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Stir and let the mixture sit for 10 to 30 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. Use immediately or whisk to recombine before using.


2 cups Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 cup Sugar

3/4 cup Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

1 cup Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, mayonnaise and vanilla until blended, then add milk & stir slowly until well mixed. In a second bowl, stir dry ingredients together until mixed and then add to the wet mixture and blend well. Pour into a 9x13 inch cake pan which has been prepared with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 325 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of cake. Cool and frost with your favorite frosting, or serve sprinkled with powdered sugar along with fruit.


1 cup sugar

6 Tbsp. cocoa

1/3 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 cups flour

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease cake pan. Sift sugar, cocoa, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour together 3 times; mix thoroughly. Combine mayonnaise, vanilla, and hot water; add slowly to flour mixture as you beat. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center; let cool completely.


Linda Gassenheimer, Dinner in Minutes

Good paprika, deli meat keys to a quick goulash


Succulent beef in a tomato sauce flavored with onion, green pepper and paprika is the basis for Hungarian goulash.


I recently tasted a wonderful goulash at the Russian Tea Room, the venerated New York City restaurant next to Carnegie Hall. It prompted me to make this quick version. I shortened the cooking process by using good quality, lean, deli roast beef and called it Mock Hungarian Goulash.


The key is good Hungarian paprika. Paprika is the Hungarian name for both sweet pepper and the powder made from it. Ordinary paprika comes in varying degrees of flavor, from pungent to virtually tasteless. True Hungarian paprika may be hot or mild and is sold in most supermarkets.


This meal contains 541 calories per serving with 25 percent of calories from fat.




• Roasted chicken can be substituted for beef.


• To prevent the roast beef from overcooking in the sauce, buy it rare.


• Baby bellos (small portobello mushrooms) already sliced are now available in the markets. They work well in this recipe.




• Place water for noodles on to boil.


• Make goulash.


• Boil pasta.




• To buy: 1 small package portobello mushrooms, 2 medium tomatoes, 1 small package frozen chopped onion, 1 small package frozen chopped green pepper, 1 container Hungarian paprika, 1 small bottle caraway seeds, 1 small bottle low-fat pasta sauce, 1/2 pound lean deli roast beef, 1 small carton reduced-fat sour cream, 1/2 pound egg noodles.


• Staples: Olive oil, salt, black peppercorns.


Linda Gassenheimer's latest book is Low-Carb Meals in Minutes. Write to her at din nerlin@aol.com


Mock Hungarian Goulash


1/2 cup frozen chopped onion

1 cup frozen chopped green pepper

1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms

1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika (or 1 1/2 tablespoons ordinary paprika)

1 cup low-fat pasta sauce

1/2 pound thick-sliced lean deli roast beef, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges


Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high heat; sauté onion, green pepper and mushrooms 1 minute. Sprinkle on paprika and sauté 2 minutes more. Add pasta sauce and simmer 1 minute. Add roast beef and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and spoon over noodles. Dot the goulash with sour cream. Arrange tomatoes on the side. Makes 2 servings.


Makes 4 to 6 servings


Wine for cooking and to drink: Use a fruity, light-bodied red, based on the cabernet franc grape, which imparts the aroma and flavor of raspberries and currants.


1 quart mixed fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, mulberries and


1 750-millileter bottle full-bodied red wine

1/2 cup granulated sugar, or more to taste

2 tablespoons arrowroot or potato starch

1/2 cup water

Squeeze of lemon juice

Ground cinnamon (optional)

Whipping cream or whipped cream, for topping


Hull strawberries and pick over other fruit, discarding stems. Set aside a few of each berry for garnish. Rinse rest with cold water and drain.


Heat wine in saucepan. Add berries and sugar and simmer until berries are tender, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on type of fruit used and its ripeness. Let cool a few minutes, then strain out about half the berries and set aside. Puree remaining berries and liquid in food processor. Return puree to pan.


Mix arrowroot to a paste with the water and stir it into the puree. Heat, stirring constantly, until fruit thickens. Stir in reserved cooked fruit. If puree seems too thin, simmer it a few minutes, but remember that it will thicken as it cools. If too thick, stir in some water. Taste soup, adding more sugar if needed, and then let it cool.


Cover and chill at least 2 and up to 12 hours. Soup will set lightly but will soften again when stirred.


To finish, stir soup and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste and adjust the sugar. Spoon soup into bowls. Top with reserved fresh berries and sprinkle with cinnamon. Soup may be served chilled or at room temperature, with cream in separate bowl.


from Princess Yams label

1 20-oz. can pineapple slices

1/8 tsp salt

2 17-oz. cans yams, drained

3 Tbsp butter or margarine

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup chopped nuts

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 cup miniature marshmallows (or 10 regular marshmallows)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup syrup. Line sides of 10x6-inch baking dish with pineapple, slightly overlapping; arrange yams in center. Pour pineapple syrup over yams. Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in nuts. Sprinkle over yams. Bake at 350 deg. for 25 minutes. Top with marshmallows. Broil until lightly browned. 6 to 8 servings.



3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons margarine, softened

3/4 cup apple butter or applesauce

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

3 cups rolled oats, quick or old-fashioned, uncooked

1 cup raisins


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together sugars and margarine until blended.


Add apple butter, egg whites, milk and vanilla; beat well.


Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to apple butter mixture and mix well. Stir in oats and raisins and mix well. Spread dough in a greased 13-9-inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until light brown. Cool before cutting into bars. Makes 32 bars.


Variations: Add chopped nuts if desired. Replace raisins with fresh or frozen blueberries.


Makes 4 to 6 servings


1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)

6 eggs

2/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur (optional; a miniature bottle holds 4 tablespoons)

12 slices French bread, each about 1 inch thick (see note)

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Powdered sugar

Fresh berries, orange slices and grapes for garnish

Maple syrup


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide the melted butter between two 9-by-11-inch baking dishes and grease the bottom of each dish. Set aside.


In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Beat in the orange juice, milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and Grand Marnier, if desired.


Generously coat each bread slice with the egg mixture and place in the baking dishes in a single layer. Pour any remaining batter over the bread. Sprinkle the pecans over the bread slices. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (The toast will brown on both sides without turning.)


To serve, arrange 2 to 3 slices on a plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh fruit. Serve with maple syrup.


Note: Marilyn Caswell prefers a non-sourdough French bread. She uses Francisco's thick-sliced Sesame French, available at many supermarkets.






Makes 8 servings Beef:

1 3-pound trimmed and tied beef tenderloin, at room temperature

1 ounce thinly sliced pancetta (Italian unsmoked cured bacon), cut into 1/3-inch


2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil



1/4 cup finely chopped shallot

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/4 cup dry Marsala wine

3/4 cup beef or veal demi-glace

2 tablespoons red currant jelly

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


To make beef: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.


Pat beef dry and cut 1/2-inch-deep slits at 1-inch intervals all over roast, then insert 1 piece of pancetta into each slit. Sprinkle beef with kosher salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until just smoking, then brown beef on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.


Transfer beef to a small roasting pan. set skillet aside.


Roast beef in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center registers 120 degrees F, about 25 minutes. Transfer beef to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil. (Beef will continue to cook as it stands, reaching 130 degrees for medium-rare.)


To make sauce: Meanwhile, heat same skillet over moderately high heat until oil is hot but not smoking, then sauté shallot until golden, about 2 minutes. Add red wine and Marsala and deglaze skillet by boiling, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until liquid is reduced by about one third. Add demi-glace and jelly and briskly simmer, whisking, until jelly is incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add butter, 1 bit at time, whisking until incorporated, then remove from heat. Whisk in salt and pepper. Pour sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.


Pour sauce over roast and serve.




1 box powdered sugar

1 package Kraft caramels (Light only)

1 jar Marshmallow Creme (about 7 0z, jar about 9 inches high)

Chopped nuts, ground fine, and some broken both fine and large

2 Tbsp milk

Melt caramels in 2 Tbsp milk in top of double boiler. Knead sugar into Marshmallow Creme. Make into 4 rolls, wrap in waxed paper (or Saran). Freeze. Dip rolls in melted caramels, then roll in nuts. Sometimes you can't use all of the sugar. About 1 or 2 inches might be left in the box.


1 large Potato

1/2 cup Tomatoes, canned -- diced

4 large Mushrooms -- sliced thinly

2 tablespoons Onion -- minced

1/4 teaspoon Basil -- crushed

1/4 teaspoon Thyme

1 clove Garlic -- minced

5 Green Olives -- stuffed & sliced

5 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, part skim milk -- grated

Spray a pie plate with nonstick spray. Slice potato about 1/4" thick. Lay slices on bottom of the pan, overlapping slightly to form a "crust." Spray with nonstick spray. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 - 40 minutes until slightly browned and potatoes are cooked. Combine tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and seasonings. When crust is ready, spread with mushroom mixture. Top with olives then cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. RF4RP



6 servings


1 1/2 tablespoons each: olive oil, butter

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons medium-grain arborio rice

2 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced

3/4 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth plus water to equal 3 cups


To finish:

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup grated Parmesan salt

Set rice cooker for "quick cook" or regular cycle.


Heat olive oil and butter in the cooker bowl until butter melts. Add shallots.


Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about two minutes. Stir in rice until grains are evenly coated. Cook, stirring occasionally, until grains are transparent except for a white spot on each, about four minutes. Add mushrooms and asparagus; cook, stirring, one minute.


Stir in broth and water. Cover; reset for "porridge" cycle, or select the regular cycle and set a timer for 20 minutes.


Cook until cooker switches to the "keep warm" cycle or the timer sounds; stir the risotto. The risotto should have only a little bit of liquid and the rice should be tender, but with a bit of resistance to the tooth. Cook a few minutes longer if needed. (The risotto will hold an hour or so on the "keep warm" setting.)


Add the butter. Close the cover; let stand until butter melts. Stir in cheese and salt to taste.


The best way to cook rice? Start with an open mind



Nothing could be more basic than cooking rice. On this, the rice-eating world agrees.


You heat water to a boil (don't add any salt, unless you want to).


You stir in rice (if you didn't add it to the cold water), which you have rinsed three to five times (if you don't mind rinsing the vitamins away).


Then you simmer it covered (or uncovered) until all the water (or most of it) is absorbed. Don't peek! (Well, you can peek. You have to peek.) Then let it stand. Don't stir it, especially not right after cooking, and if you do stir it, don't use a spoon. Unless it's a wooden one, barely moistened with cold water.


Yes, rice is basic. But that doesn't mean it's simple.


As with any cultural staple -- the baguette in France, the hot dog in Chicago -- rice may be just too important to agree on. Whether in an American suburb or a Malay village, people who depend on a daily (or thrice-daily) batch of rice have strong opinions on the best rice, and on the best way to cook it.


Some differences boil down to the culture, the country and the kind of rice under consideration: No sensible person would try to cook short-grain sushi rice, for example, according to the directions on a bag of American long grain. (Result: mush.)


The source can be important, too: American-grown jasmine rice, a fragrant type familiar in Thai restaurants, "often needs a smidge more water" and longer cooking than the same species imported from Thailand, says Naomi Duguid, who wrote the globe-trotting 1998 manifesto "Seductions of Rice" with husband Jeffrey Alford.


The most foolproof method? A rice cooker. You press the button and, in half an hour, the rice is cooked.


Personal opinions start when you buy the rice, if you are a confirmed rice eater. If you are inside your rice culture, you are going to buy a rice that suits your purpose. And those are pretty specifically defined.


Not so in the mongrel United States. Whatever kind of rice you desire is obtainable: sweet glutinous rice (a special-purpose rice if there ever was one), Japanese short grain grown in California, jasmine rice, boxed basmati, Mexican medium grain and plain old Riceland long grain. Your own local supermarket may surprise you.


Which leads to the question, "What's the best way to cook this bounty?" To rinse or not to rinse? Most rice aficionados insist on rinsing the grains beforehand, to remove powdery starch that can gum up the batch. But rinsing also removes the sprayed-on vitamins that millers add to white rice, which is missing its nutrient-rich bran.


Advocates for rinsing rationalize that a well-balanced diet doesn't need its rice vitamin-ized. Make your own decision. Certainly, though, there's no need to rinse rice for such dishes as pilafs and risottos.


Parboiled rice, which Uncle Ben's calls "converted rice," appeals to Americans because it is a foolproof, no-rinse route to dry, separate grains, even if it does take longer to cook and has an odor and flavor unlike other rice. It has another advantage: The parboiling drives some of bran's nutrients into the starchy white part, where they stay until you eat them.


In "Seductions of Rice," Duguid and Alford venture briefly into food science to assign one of three basic cooking methods to any given rice. They base the choice on the rice's waxiness (sweet or glutinous rice is waxier and therefore stickier) and at what temperature the rice gelatinizes its starches.


Fascinating, no? No. But it does help make sense of the rice world's seemingly random and contradictory assortment of cooking instructions.


Sri Owen's "The Rice Book" doesn't fuss much about assigning specific rice types to specific methods. She also breaks your choices down to three: steaming, boiling (which Alford and Duguid call the "lots of water method") and the familiar absorption method, which cooks the rice in a closed pot with only as much water as the grains are supposed to absorb.


"Supposed" to absorb. That's the problem that keeps rice cooker sales high. Sometimes the rice absorbs all the water in the time specified; sometimes it doesn't.


What we wanted were guesswork-free techniques for turning raw rice into the perfect accompaniment. There are three that worked well for several different types of rice, but produced three distinct textures: a slightly clingy version suited for Chinese food, a dry and separate end result, and a moist but reasonable fluffy variation.



Pick a pot: Get best results with heavy pressed or cast aluminum pots because they spread the heat evenly. The pot should have a close-fitting lid.


Don't overfill: When filled with raw rice and its cooking liquid, the pot should be not less than one-third or more than one-half full.


Throw in the towel: When cooked rice is waiting to be served, a dish towel placed under the lid will keep condensation from dripping back into it, making it soggy.


Nonstick trick: Place a moistened dish towel under the pot of cooked rice to help prevent sticking as it stands.


Finger tip: Can't be bothered to get out the measuring cups? A finger is all it takes for some cooks.


Add as much rice to your saucepan as you think you'll need, then add water to cover by the length to the first joint on your index finger. Or your middle finger.


It all depends on your finger, and how moist you like your rice. Then heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and steam 15 to 20 minutes.


First aid: Did you make a batch of crunchy rice? It's not undercooked, it's under-watered. You can rescue it, but you have to act quickly, while everything is still hot:


Pour in half a cup of very hot water, put the lid back on and set the pot over high heat. You want to build up a head of steam fast. When you see the steam coming from under the lid, turn the heat to its lowest setting and wait about five minutes.


You've got crust: Which brings up the crust that sometimes forms on the pan bottom: It's delicious. One use for it: Pull it off the bottom, dry it in your oven and store it in an airtight container until you're ready to deep-fry it. Golden brown and sprinkled with salt, this fried "intip," as Indonesians call it, is a perfect cocktail snack, Sri Owen writes in "The Rice Book."


BY SYLVIA RECTOR, Knight Ridder News Service


Unlike a bumper crop of, say, zucchini, there's no such thing as too much asparagus. The first fresh, green stalks of spring seem so precious. Asparagus lovers think they can never get enough.


But after two or three meals of steamed spears simply dressed with butter and lemon, even the purists seem willing to relax and branch out a bit.


So we stir-fry it with sesame oil and soy sauce as a side dish for grilled chicken or salmon. We throw extravagant handfuls of cooked, chopped spears into fritattas, souffles and risottos. We grill it alongside steaks or lamb kabobs. And we purée it into creamy, pale green soups.


We cook it in every imaginable way -- and it's always wonderful.


But if you've never tried roasting it, you're missing something deeply delectable.


''Like all vegetables, when you roast asparagus, you lose a lot of water. That makes them look less attractive, but it has the effect of concentrating the flavors,'' says Andrea Chesman, author of The Roasted Vegetable (Harvard Common, $12.95). ``And although asparagus isn't really a sugar-rich vegetable, it does have sugar, which caramelizes, and the flavor is delicious.''


To cooks who've seen the awful outcome of overcooking the delicate vegetable, the idea of subjecting its tender green shoots to a 450-degree oven may sound unthinkable.


But the flavor becomes bigger, rounder and sweeter. The grass-green color turns richer, burnished with streaks of bronze. And the texture -- although not as crisp -- is tender and medium-firm.


It's delicious drizzled with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and sprinkled with a little coarse sea salt at the table. And when it's combined with other ingredients, the robust character more than makes up for the less pristine look.


Add roasted asparagus to cooked pasta dishes and to rice or pasta salads. Dress it with a flavorful vinaigrette and toss it with other vegetables for a side dish. It's great on pizza -- especially one topped with goat cheese.


The basic asparagus-roasting technique is easy:


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and trim asparagus spears as you would for streaming: Snap off the tough end and, if you prefer, use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave some of the skin off the sides near the bottom. Spread the spears on a large rimmed baking sheet; use two pans, if necessary, to avoid crowding them, or they'll steam instead of roast.


Drizzle them very lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and roll them around to coat them lightly but completely. Roast medium-thick spears about 15 minutes, thin ones about 11 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to roll them around for even browning.


Test with a fork to determine doneness. ''They're done when they're tender throughout and lightly browned or deeply browned, but not charred,'' Chesman says. ``You don't want to blacken vegetables; they get nasty when they're charred.''


If your recipe calls for coating asparagus with something besides oil -- say, a lemon vinaigrette -- before roasting, Chesman suggests lowering the temperature to 400 degrees to reduce the risk of burning the marinade and creating off flavors.


But don't worry; roasting is a nearly foolproof way to prepare this special spring vegetable.


1 cup (240 ml) mayonnaise

1 T (15 ml) lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) chili powder

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) cumin

1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) onion salt

1/8 teaspoon (.63 ml) nutmeg

Blend and chill. Makes 1 cup (24 ml). Source : Good Fixins


1 cup


1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

Salt and pepper


In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium heat, stir sesame seeds until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.


In a small bowl, mix yogurt, garlic and toasted sesame seeds.


Add salt and pepper to taste.


Makes 4 to 6 servings


Serve this colorful, zesty shrimp dish with pilaf or plain steamed rice.


2 seedless oranges

1/4 cup olive oil

11/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 medium red onion, sliced, separated into rings


1 cup Nicoise olives, drained

Freshly ground pepper


Peel 1 orange and divide into sections. Squeeze and reserve juice from the other orange.


In sauté pan, heat olive oil. Add cumin, then immediately add shrimp. Sauté until shrimp just begin to turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes.


Add onion rings to pan; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt, add orange juice and olives, and heat through.


Turn out onto serving plate. Garnish with orange segments and sprinkle with pepper before serving.


6 servings


2 pounds boned beef sirloin steak, fat trimmed

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon pepper

12 Roma tomatoes (2 pounds total)

6 pocket breads (6 to 7 inches wide), cut in half crosswise


1/2 cup thinly slivered red onion

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 cup diced dill pickles or cucumber

1 cup sesame yogurt sauce (recipe follows)


Rinse beef and pat dry; slice crosswise into -inch-thick strips 21/2 inches long. In a bowl, mix beef, lemon juice, allspice and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; let stand 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, rinse and core tomatoes; cut each in half lengthwise.


Set halves, skin up, in a 10-by 15-inch baking pan. Broil about 4 inches from heat until richly browned, 6 to 9 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees. Stack pocket breads and wrap in foil. Warm in oven with tomatoes until ready to serve, 5 to 10 minutes.


Set a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat. When hot, add beef mixture; stir until meat is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a wide bowl or platter.


Boil juices until reduced to 1/4 cup, 2 to 4 minutes; pour over meat. Stir in salt to taste.


Arrange tomatoes beside beef. Sprinkle onions and parsley over meat. Serve pocket breads, pickles and sesame yogurt sauce alongside. To eat, spoon beef mixture, tomatoes, onion and pickles into pocket bread halves. Add yogurt sauce to taste.



8 salads


For the vinaigrette:

4 large oranges

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon green pepper sauce

For the salad:

40 sugar snap peas, trimmed

8 cups mixed spring salad greens

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion


To make the vinaigrette: Grate 1 teaspoon orange rind into large bowl. Add 1/3 cup juice from orange. Add olive oil, vinegar and green pepper sauce; stir to combine. Set aside.


Using a knife, cut peel and white pith from remaining oranges.


Cut between membranes to release segments; set aside. Heat water (salted) to boiling in large saucepan. Add sugar snap peas; cook three to four minutes or until crisp tender. Drain, transfer peas to bowl of ice water to cool.


To make the salad: Arrange peas in sunburst pattern on salad plates. Place orange segments between peas. Mound greens. Sprinkle salad with tarragon. Top with red onion slices; drizzle with dressing.



10 servings


4 tablespoons butter

2 small leeks, washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1 (12-ounce) bag fresh spinach, chopped

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed

1 Idaho potato, peeled and cubed

2 cups loosely packed fresh mint

2 tablespoons green pepper sauce

1 cup heavy cream

Salt to taste

Mint sprigs for garnish


Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add leeks. Cook, covered, 20 minutes or until leeks are lightly colored and tender.


Add chicken broth, spinach, peas and potato; bring to a boil.


Reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes or until peas are tender. Add mint and green pepper sauce; simmer five minutes.


In several batches, puree soup in food processor fitted with steel blade. Process until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add heavy cream. Continue to cook over medium heat until mixture is heated through. Season to taste with salt.


Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.





4 servings


1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed, drained (see note)

1 1/2 teaspoons each: minced fresh ginger, minced garlic

4 teaspoons oyster sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon gin, optional

1 1/2 teaspoons each: distilled vinegar, sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons peanut oil

Pinch freshly ground white pepper

1 pound large sea scallops, drained

4 teaspoons fried garlic (see recipe)

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, cooked


Mix all ingredients except scallops, fried garlic and rice in steam-proof dish. Mix in scallops to coat. Let marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.


Place dish in a steamer over boiling water; cover. Steam just until scallops are opaque and cooked through, three to five minutes. Spoon over rice; sprinkle with fried garlic.


Fried garlic: Thinly slice four to six cloves of garlic. Heat 1/4 cup peanut oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic; cook until golden, one minute. Drain on paper towels. Can be cooked in advance and refrigerated.


Note: Fermented black beans are sold in some supermarkets and in Asian markets.


1 pkg. dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup potatoes, warm, mashed

2/3 cup shortening

2 eggs

7 cups flour

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pancake syrup

Nuts, raisins, etc.

2 tsp butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in warm water. In large bowl combine sugar, salt, potatoes,

shortening and eggs. Add dissolved yeast. Then add to that flour until dough is of a consistency to be kneaded. Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough in refrigerator for 8 hours. (Cover lightly with non-terry towel. If necessary dough will keep for 5 days.) Grease sides of can pans (2 or 3). Melt 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup pancake syrup. Divide mixture into cake pans. At this time add nuts, raisins, coconut or whatever into the pans for toppings. Divide dough in two balls. (Three for three pans.) Roll dough into rectangle. Spread with softened butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll and slice. Place oven on warm and place rolls in pan into the oven to raise for 1 hour. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Keep in airtight container or wrap tightly. Or eat immediately. Yields 24 servings.


1/2 cup cooked mashed white or sweet potatoes

3 tbsp Crisco

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup scalded milk

1 pkg. yeast

1 egg

4-5 cups flour

3 tbsp melted butter

Place potatoes, Crisco, salt and sugar in large bowl. Stir in scalded milk until Crisco melts. Cool. Add yeast, beat in egg with hand mixer, stir in half the flour. Add rest of the flour by kneading. Form dough into ball - place in greased bowl. Spray top of ball with Pam. Cover with towel. Let rise until doubled. Roll dough out in rectangle 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Brush with 3 tablespoons melted butter.


1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix and sprinkle the topping ingredients on a rolled-out rectangle. Roll up and slice into 14 (1 inch) slices. Prepare baking pans by mixing the following:

for the pans:

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp dark corn syrup

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Sprinkle half of this mixture in each of the 2 baking pans. Place 7 rolls in each pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool 1 minute, invert with pans on top for 1 minute, then remove pan.


(Dog Team Sticky Buns)

1 cup mashed potatoes

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 pkg. yeast cake

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups warm potato water

Approximately 7 cups flour

Add sugar, salt and butter to hot potatoes. When lukewarm, add yeast, eggs, and potato water. Stir in flour to make stiff dough. Knead until smooth 8 to 10 minutes. Let double punch down, place in refrigerator and chill. Butter pans, cover with 1/3 inch brown sugar. Add enough water to make a syrup (2 teaspoons). Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick, brush with melted butter. Sprinkle a mixture of sugar and cinnamon on rolled dough then roll up like a jelly roll. Cut 1/2 inch thick, place side by side in pan over sugar and nuts. Let double. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from pan, turn upside down immediately.


1 cup hot sieved potatoes

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 pkg. yeast

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups warm potato water

7 cups flour

Add sugar, salt and margarine to hot potatoes. When lukewarm, add yeast, eggs and potato water. Then add flour for a stiff dough. Knead until smooth. Put in greased bowl and let rise until double. Punch down. (Put in refrigerator if you don't plan to use for a few days.) Butter several pans and cover with a 1/2 inch brown sugar. Add enough water to make sugar good and wet but not watery. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Then roll like a jelly roll and cut in 1/2 inch pieces. Place in pans and let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. Turn onto plate while hot.


2 teaspoons Sugar

1 medium Onion -- sliced 1/4" thick

1 1/2 pounds Pork Chops -- 4- 2" thick

2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard


1/4 cup Pine Nuts

1 teaspoon Sage

2 cups Stuffing cubes -- use stuffing mix

1 cup Broth -- vegetable or chicken

Place a large, oven-proof fry pan in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Slit a 3" pocket into each chop, leaving an inch next to the bone at the top and bottom uncut. Set aside. Sprinkle sugar over the bottom of a small skillet. Turn the heat on low; when the sugar dissolves and begins to color, 5 - 6 minutes, add the onions, stirring to coat the slices with sugar. Cook until the onions turn caramel colored (Watch closely because from caramel to black takes about 45 seconds). Set aside.

Heat a small skillet on medium high. Add the pine nuts and, stirring constantly, cook them until they are toasted. Remove from the heat and put the nuts into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the stuffing mix and the sage, and make stuffing according to the package directions, using a bit less moisture than called for. Cooking the pork chop adds moisture to the stuffing inside. Open the pocket of each pork chop and put stuffing inside loosely, not packed tight (or put stuffing between two thinner chops). Brush each chop with Dijon over the top and sides, including over the stuffing that shows.

Carefully, with a thick pot holder, remove the hot pan from the oven, and place the chops in the pan, glaze side down. Brush Dijon over the top and put the pan back into the oven. Cook thick chops for 6 - 8 minutes and thin chops for 3 - 5. With tongs or a spatula, turn the chops carefully so the stuffing doesn't fall out. Cook the other side, the same amount of time. Remove from the oven, and transfer the chops to a warmed platter for 5 minutes to rest and reabsorb any juice they lose. While they are resting, put the same fry pan on medium low heat, pick out any pieces of stuffing that may have fallen out of the chops, add 1/2 - 3/4 cup stock, and stirring constantly, simmer until it is smooth and reduced by half, about 5 minutes. If the chops have lost any juice, pour that into the sauce as it simmers. While the stock is cooking, heat the caramelized onions on top of the stove, in the oven, or in a microwave and serve with sauce as desired on top of




For marinade:

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup Mexican beer

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

10 peppercorns

2 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon marjoram

1 tablespoon celery powder

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 dried chili peppers, crumbled

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro


To finish:

2 1/2 pounds skirt steak

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon pepper


Lime juice

Flour tortillas


Garnishes such as chopped tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, sour cream, olives, guacamole


To make marinade: Combine lime juice, beer and Worcestershire sauce in a glass bowl. Whisk in the oil a few drops at a time. Add peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf, marjoram, celery powder, paprika, cumin, brown sugar, onion, garlic, chili peppers and cilantro. Stir vigorously.


To finish: Trim fat from meat and sprinkle uniformly with salt and pepper. Poke all over with a fork, piercing meat completely. Turn over and repeat on the other side. Put meat into marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours, stirring and turning occasionally.


Combine cumin, paprika, salt, brown sugar and pepper and set aside. Prepare very hot fire on charcoal grill, adding chunks of moist mesquite wood. You should not be able to hold your hand 5 inches from the grill.


Remove meat from marinade and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn and brush with marinade. Cook for 4 minutes and sprinkle with half the cumin mixture. Turn meat and brush again with marinade, then the cumin mixture. Top with several thin pats of butter and a few drops of lime juice. Cook for 4 minutes more.


Remove meat from grill and let sit 5 minutes. Slice crosswise on bias. Serve on flour tortillas with assorted garnishes. Makes 8 generous servings.




The following cooking methods produce different textures suited to different dishes, but all are foolproof.


Boil 'n' bake


This method gets the batch started stove-top, then takes advantage of the oven's all-round heat for a moist and fluffy dish. No rinsing needed.


This works well with basmati, too, and is an easy way make a batch of buttered or otherwise flavored rice without committing to a full-fledged pilaf. Just add the fat or spices to the cooking water.



MAKES: About 5 cups


2 cups long-grain rice

4 cups water

Salt to taste


Heat oven to 350 degrees.


Combine rice, water and salt in medium, oven-safe saucepan. Heat to boiling; stir, cover, place in oven. Cook 12 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.


Back to basics


"It has been said often, too often, that making properly cooked rice is virtually impossible," Yin-Fei Lo writes in "The Chinese Kitchen." "This is of course not so."


She is a rice renegade in that she cooks rice with the lid off, and stirs it to boot. She prefers Texas-grown extra-long-grain rice. This produces a great texture for Chinese dishes: Slightly resistant grains that cling to one another but aren't sticky or wet.


This also works with Thai jasmine rice and basmati, though the grains break up more with the stirring.






MAKES: 4 1/2 to 5 cups cooked rice


2 cups long-grain rice

1 cups (15 ounces) water


Place rice in a heavy pot; cover with cold water, rub grains with hands to rinse; drain. Repeat twice. Drain well. Add the 1" cups water; let stand one hour.


Heat to boiling, uncovered, over high heat. Stir rice frequently with chopstick or wooden spoon until water is absorbed and evaporates, about four minutes. (The rice will still be hard.) Cover; reduce heat to low; cook eight minutes longer, stirring occasionally.


Turn off the heat; loosen rice with chopstick or wooden spoon.


Cover tightly until serving; rice can be kept one hour in warm oven.


Loosen rice again just before serving.


The 'lots of water' way


Here's one way to take all the uncertainty out of rice: Cook it like pasta. The result is dry and separate grains. If you are a "don't rinse away the vitamins" person, realize that those nutrients go out in the bath water with this method:


1. The exact ratio of rice to water doesn't matter here. As with pasta, just fill a saucepan most of the way with water and heat it to boiling. Salt it if you like. Then stir in the rice. It will expand, so don't try to cook much more than 11/2 cups of raw rice in a 2 1/2-quart pan.


2. After about five minutes, spoon out some rice and check it for doneness. It won't continue to cook appreciably once you drain it, so make sure it's cooked through.


3. When you're happy with the texture, pour through a sieve or colander. Drain thoroughly.


4. Return the rice to the sauce-pan and cover until serving time.


4 servings


30 firm, bright-red cherry tomatoes

1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Slice the tomatoes in half and arrange on a large plate or shallow bowl. Sprinkle the onion and mint over the tomatoes, then drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.


Sprinkle the lemon zest on top of the salad, and season with salt and pepper. Allow the salad to marinate for 20 minutes before serving.


Meal One:

1 whole Chicken -- roasted, ready-to-eat

Meal Two:

8 cups Water

1 teaspoon Salt

1 medium Carrot -- shredded

1 teaspoon Parsley -- dried flakes

1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper


2 cups Flour

3 Egg Yolks

1 whole Egg

2 teaspoons Salt

1/2 cup Water -- more or less

Meal One: On a busy day when you just cannot face cooking dinner, pick up a

rotisserie roasted chicken at your local grocer, and serve it with a

pre-packaged tossed salad, instant mashed potatoes or instant stuffing, and

bakery rolls. Enjoy your evening and let go of the stress.

Do NOT throw away the chicken carcass or left over chicken when you have

finished. You will need these. When your meal is finished, place the car-

cass in a large Dutch oven sized pan, and cover with water. Add the 1 tsp.

salt, cover and simmer for two hours, on low heat. You can place any left

over chicken in a covered container, and refrigerate. When your chicken has

boiled for two hours (and your house smells heavenly, reducing your stress

further) carefully remove the carcass and pieces of meat and bone, from the

broth. Place these in a container, cover and refrigerate. Now, carefully

pour the broth from the pan, into a large bowl, which can be covered and

refrigerated. It is important to drop the temperature of the broth, as soon

as possible, and so two smaller containers are great to use as well. You

can leave the chicken, broth and carcass in your refrigerator for up to 4

days before making your soup for a second meal.

Meal Two- Chicken Soup:

Two or more hours before you are ready to make your soup, you will need to

make your noodles. The noodles need to air dry between being made, and

being added to the hot soup. To make the noodles, place flour and salt into

a large mixing bowl, and stir with a wire whisk, to evenly distribute salt.

Now, make a 'well' in the center of the flour mixture, and add egg yolks,

egg and water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing until dough is stiff, but

easy to roll. You may not need to use all of the water. Divide dough into

three equal portions, and roll dough, one portion at a time, on a floured

surface, using a rolling pin. Roll dough into paper thin rectangle shapes,

while keeping remaining dough covered. Sprinkle rectangle with flour,

lightly, and fold dough loosely , lengthwise into thirds. Cut crosswise

with a sharp knife, into 1/4 to 1/3 inch strips. Unfold strips, and place

onto a dry towel to dry until stiff and dry. Strips may be broken into

shorter pieces when dry, if you like.

One hour before you are ready to serve your soup, remove broth from

refrigerator, and skim the fat layer from the top of the broth. Throw away

this fat layer. Place broth into the large Dutch oven sized pan again, and

heat to boiling point at medium-high heat. While broth is heating, remove

chicken carcass and left-overs from refrigerator, and remove chicken from

bones. Throw away the bones and skin. Shred boned chicken and left-overs,

making sure no bones are left in the chicken, and add the chicken to the

broth. Add shredded carrot, parsley and black pepper, and continue to

simmer for 30 minutes. Now, you are ready to add the noodles. Place

noodles into broth, stir well, and continue simmering for 12 - 15 minutes

longer. Serve soup with bread of your choice.

(c)copyright 2000-2001, Kaylin White, Real Food for Real People. All rights

reserved. http://www.realfood4realpeople.com

Serving Ideas : This recipe is a great one to use for Once A Month Cooking,

because the de-fatted chicken broth, and meat can be frozen for up to six

months before making the soup.

NOTES : Please note that the fat content of this recipe is actually much

lower than the nutritional information states, because you skim the chicken

fat from the boiled carcass, and throw away the fat, skin and bones.


Yield: 6 Servings

1 tbsp butter or margarine

8 eggs; beaten

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cups diced Canadian bacon

6 8-inch flour tortillas

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs, pepper, and bacon; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until eggs are firm but moist.

2. Spoon egg mixture evenly onto each tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon cheese. Roll up tortillas tightly. Place, seam side down, in ungreased 13 x 9-inch {3-quart} baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. If desired, serve with sour cream and salsa.


Yield: 12 Servings

1 16 ounce bag frozen Southern-style hash brown

12 eggs

1 large onion; chopped

1 green pepper; chopped

1/2 lb bulk pork sausage; browned and drained

12 flour tortillas; 10 inches warmed

3 cup Cheddar cheese; about 12oz,shredded

Salsa, optional

In a large skillet, fry hash browns according to package directions; remove and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs; add onions and green pepper. Pour into the same skillet; cook and stir until eggs are set. Remove from heat. Add hash browns and sausage; mix gently. Place about 3/4 cup filling on each tortilla and top with about 1/4 cup cheese. Roll up and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with salsa if desired.





Yield: 6 Servings

1/2 lb Jimmy Dean spicy sausage patties; brown and crumble

2 eggs; scramble and break up pieces

1 medium tomato; cut into small dice

6 soft flour tortillas; steamed

6 tbsp cheese whiz; melt in microwave

Combine sausage, eggs and tomatoes. Place about 1/6 mixture into center of

each tortilla. Top each mound of the mixture with 1 Tbsp of the melted cheese.

Fold bottom third of tortilla up over the filling and then bring right side of the tortilla toward the left, folding over filling. Fold left side of tortilla to the right, leaving the top end open. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Microwave each one briefly just to warm and serve promptly with Picante sauce on the side. Do not freeze.


6 servings


3 chicken breast halves

2 slices fresh ginger root

4 ounces rice sticks

Vegetable oil

1/2 cup toasted almonds,

chopped, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

2 scallions, finely sliced, plus more for garnish

1 medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded



4 tablespoons sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon MSG

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 cup salad oil


Cook chicken in water with sliced ginger root until done, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, discard ginger and set chicken aside until cooled.

When cool enough to handle, shred chicken. Set aside.


Fry rice sticks, cooking a small amount at a time, in deep hot oil. Drain on paper towels.


Heat chicken in a small amount of oil in a wok or frying pan. Add rice sticks, almonds, sesame seeds, scallions, lettuce and dressing, and stir-fry just long enough to warm. Turn out on plate and top with sprinkles of scallion, almonds and sesame seeds.


Dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients except oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until sugar and salt are dissolved.


Cool and add oil just when ready to combine salad. Toss with salad.



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