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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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Contents Disk 315

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).

BAKED PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI

BANANA CRUNCH CAKE

BARBECUED SALMON

BEANS IN TOMATO SAUCE

BLACKBERRY AND WARM EGG CUSTARD

CENTRAL MARKET BLT PASTA SALAD

CHICKEN CASSEROLE SUPREME

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

CHILLED RIGATONI SALAD

CHINA NOODLE HAPPY FAMILY

COOKED VEAL IN DILL SAUCE

CORN AND BACON SPOONBREAD

DIJON SHRIMP

DISHWASHER SALMON

EGGPLANT

EGGPLANT CASSEROLE

EGGS CARBONARA

FAUX FRIES WITH RASPBERRY NOT KETCHUP

FENNEL AND CORN SUCCOTASH

FRENCH OMELET

GARLIC HERB AND BEAN PATÉ

GOUDA AND STRAWBERRY SALAD

GRANOLA YOGURT BERRY PARFAIT

GRAPE TOMATO CHEESE AND HERB OMELET

GREEN BEANS TOSSED IN BROWNED BUTTER

HAM AND NOT EGGS

HAWAIIAN YAM BAKE

HOLY GUACAMOLE

HOME FRIED POTATOES FROM HELL

HONEYED MASCARPONE

HOW TO COOK BACON PERFECTLY

JAMBALAYA

LEMON CHIFFON CAKE

LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN

MAKING THE MOST OF THE MOREL

MEATBALLS WITH ORANGES

MERINGUE NESTS WITH STRAWBERRIES

MEXICAN STYLE REFRIED BEANS

MOCK CRAB CAKE

NEW ENGLAND CLAMBAKE LEGAL SEA FOODS

OMELET INFORMATION

PENNE RUSTICA

PIQUANT DILL SAUCE

PYROTECHNIC PINEAPPLE

RED CABBAGE WITH APPLE

ROASTED POTATOES FINISHED WITH SEA SALT

ROASTED YAMS WITH GREEN TOMATOES

ROCKY ROAD BARS

ROTINI PASTA SALAD

SALMON BAKED IN FOIL`

SAUCY SALMON LOAF

SEAFOOD SALAD

SOUR CREAM RAISIN PIE

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN

STEAK AU POIVRE

STRAWBERRIES MEAN SUMMER

STRAWBERRIES WITH CULTURED CREAM

STRAWBERRY VINAIGRETTE

SUGAR LUMP CINNAMON BREAD

SWEET STRAWBERRY SOUFFLE

TARBELLS DONKEY DIP

THE LURE OF FRESH KING SALMON

WHITE BEAN AND SUN DRIED TOMATO SALAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAKED PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI

AND MOZZARELLA

3/4 lb Pasta; shaped (fusilli, orecchiette or conchiglie)

5 sm Zucchini; 1/2-inch slices

Salt and pepper

1 28 oz can italian plum tomatoes -- drained/chopped

8 Black olives; sliced

3 tb Parmesan cheese; freshly grated

1 ts Fresh rosemary sprigs

1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese; cut in 1/2' cubes

Cook pasta in boiling salted water. In a large frying pan, heat oil and sauté zucchini until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to an oiled shallow casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When pasta is almost cooked, drain and add to zucchini. Add tomatoes, olives, Parmesan, rosemary and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if desired and gently mix together. Cover with the remaining mozzarella and bake until cheese is melted and the top slightly browned, about 15 minutes. www.justvegetables.com

BANANA CRUNCH CAKE

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup coconut

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup margarine or butter

11/2 cups (2 large) sliced very ripe bananas

1/2 cup sour cream

4 eggs

1 box yellow cake mix with pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, coconut, rolled oats, brown sugar and pecans. Mix well. Using fork or pastry blender, cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine bananas, sour cream and eggs. Blend until smooth. Add cake mix and beat two minutes at high speed. Spread 1/3 of batter in pan, sprinkle with 1/3 of coconut mixture. Repeat layers two more times, ending with coconut mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool upright in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Place on serving plate, coconut side up. Cool completely.

BARBECUED SALMON

Tony Roma's(r)

Carolina Honeys(tm) BBQ Salmon

Take one of Tony Roma's killer sauces, brush it over some grilled salmon and you've got a home run dish. Now you can quickly clone the sweet, smoky sauce at home from scratch, as well as the special seasoning that makes the salmon taste just right when you grill it. If you think this one looks good, tune in next week for the perfect side dish clone knock-off to serve right alongside.

From Top Secret Recipes:

Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1 cup white distilled vinegar

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce

Seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 6-ounce salmon fillets (without skin)

canola oil or olive oil non-stick spray

1. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan over medium/high heat. Blend the ingredients with a whisk until smooth. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

2. Combine all ingredients for seasoning in a small bowl. Preheat barbecue or indoor grill to high heat.

3. Sprinkle seasoning lightly over both sides of the salmon, spray each fillet lightly with olive oil or canola oil non-stick spray. Grill the salmon for about 3 minutes then rotate it 180 degrees to make criss-crossing grill marks. Grill for another 3 minutes then turn the salmon over for 3 minutes and rotate it again to make criss-crossing grill marks on that side. Grill until done. Remove salmon fillets from the grill, brush with the sauce and serve. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Serves 4.

BEANS IN TOMATO SAUCE

(Weiße Bohnen in tomatensauce)

10 oz dry kidney beans

2 onions

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons lard/margarine

1/2 cup red wine

1 small can of tomato puree

some instant gravy powder

salt, pepper, marjoram

Soak beans over night. Bring beans to the boil and simmer for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Chop onion and garlic and fry in lard until golden brown. Stir in red wine and tomato puree. Bring to the boil. Add beans and 1-2 cups of cooking fluid. Stir in gravy powder. Season with salt, pepper and marjoram.

BLACKBERRY AND WARM EGG CUSTARD

Serves 8

1 pound fresh or frozen and thawed blackberries

1 3/4 cups de-alcoholized fruity white wine, such as Ariel

3 tablespoons real maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup egg substitute

Divide 1 1/4 cups of the blackberries among 8 10-ounce wine glasses. Press remaining blackberries through a sieve. Discard seeds and set juice aside.

Bring 1 1/2 cups wine to boil in medium saucepan. Add maple syrup, almond and vanilla extracts. Make a slurry with cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of wine and stir into mixture. Bring back to boil and stir 30 seconds while it thickens. Set aside to cool slightly.

Heat small amount of water in medium saucepan. Set a round-bottomed copper or other metal bowl on top to create a double boiler. Reduce heat to simmer. Pour the sugar and egg substitute into bowl and beat over simmering water until frothy, thick, creamy and more than tripled in volume -- about 3 minutes.

Pour wine syrup into egg substitute mixture in a thin stream, whisking all the time. Add 3/4 of the blackberry puree, mixing well. Spoon pudding over blackberries in glasses. Swirl blackberry puree on top of each dessert.

CENTRAL MARKET BLT PASTA SALAD

W/ BLUE CHEESE

8 ozs. bow-tie pasta, cooked, rinsed and drained

1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved

6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1 cup packed arugula leaves, rinsed, thick stems removed

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 thick cut slices of smoked bacon, cooked until crisp

4-6 oz. of good quality blue cheese

In a bowl, combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes, scallions, and arugula. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice and vinegar together until well combined and emulsified. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper, and toss the pasta and vegetables. Crumble the crisp bacon and the blue cheese over the salad and toss to combine thoroughly. Serve year round for any occasion. Serves 4-6.

CHICKEN CASSEROLE SUPREME

12 slices Bread

4 cups Chicken Breasts without skin -- cooked and chopped

1 cup Onion -- minced

1 cup Mayonnaise

1 cup Green Pepper -- chopped

1 cup Celery -- chopped

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper -- or to taste

4 Eggs -- beaten

3 cups Milk

2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup, condensed

1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese -- shredded

Cube 4 slices of the bread, and place in bottom of a greased 10 x 15 1/2 inch pan. In a large bowl, combine chicken (or turkey), onion, mayonnaise, green pepper, celery, salt & pepper and spoon mixture over cubed bread. Trim crusts off other 8 slices and place on top of the chicken mixture. In another bowl, beat eggs, add milk and pour over all. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight. Before baking the next day, pour mushroom soup over all. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours or until casserole is set. Last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with grated cheese.

To freeze for later use: Freeze labeled casserole instead of chilling in refrigerator overnight. Thaw overnight in refrigerator, and before baking, pour mushroom soup over all. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours or until casserole is set. Sprinkle with grated cheese last few minutes of baking.

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Serves 2

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 skinless chicken thighs

Salt to taste

4 cups low-salt chicken broth, divided

6 cilantro stems, about 2 inches each

Oil to fry tortillas

4 fresh 6-inch corn tortillas cut into 1/4-inch wide strips

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup diced fresh tomato

Garnish:

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 ripe avocado diced and tossed with a squeeze of lime juice

1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco

2 dollops sour cream

Lime wedges for serving

Put 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan or small soup pot, add onion and cook over medium heat until onion has softened but not browned, about three minutes. Add chili powder and tomato paste; stir with wooden spoon to mix and cook briefly, taking care not to let chili powder scorch.

Season chicken thighs lightly with salt and nestle them in the chili paste, turning them once so they're entirely coated.

Pour in about 1/2 cup of the broth and adjust heat to a simmer. Cover pan and cook chicken, turning once, until it's extremely tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 40 minutes.

Add a little more broth if the pan is drying out.

When chicken is done, remove from pan, let cool and cut or shred it into bite-size pieces, discarding any bones, fat or gristle. Set aside.

Remove any visible fat from pan and add remaining broth and cilantro stems; simmer, uncovered, until broth has reduced by a third, 20 to 30 minutes.

While the broth is reducing, fry the tortillas by heating enough oil in a small, high-sided saucepan to reach a 1-inch depth. When it reaches 375 degrees, add six to eight strips of tortillas, scrunching them with tongs or a long fork for a second or two to give them a wavy shape.

Fry them until they are pale brown. Transfer to a plate lined with two layers of paper towels. Repeat with remaining strips.

Divide shredded chicken, corn, black beans, tomato and tortilla strips between two large soup bowls.

Reheat broth if necessary so it's piping hot and pour over the ingredients in the bowls. Serve immediately and let diners garnish their soup at the table with cilantro, avocado, cheese, sour cream and lime wedges.

CHILLED RIGATONI SALAD

4-6 servings

1 clove garlic, halved

1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked rigatoni

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and cut into bite size pieces

1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper or green pepper

1/2 cup cubed mozzarella cheese, 1/2-inch cubes

1 medium carrot, cut into julienne strips

1/4 cup sliced pitted black olives

2 ounces salami, cut into thin strips

1/4 cup CRISCO Oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

Rub inside of medium serving bowl with cut sides of garlic. Discard garlic. Mix rigatoni, artichoke hearts, red pepper, mozzarella cheese, carrot, olives and salami in prepared bowl

Blend remaining ingredients in small bowl. Pour over rigatoni mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Stir before serving. Recipe from www.crisco.com

CHINA NOODLE HAPPY FAMILY

3 pieces jumbo shrimp

3 pieces scallop

6 pieces beef

6 pieces chicken

6 pieces pork

6 pieces crab meat

4 pieces broccoli

4 pieces nappa cabbage

4 pieces bell peppers

4 pieces carrots

6 pieces snow peas

5 pieces zucchini

Sauce

1 t. oyster sauce

1 t. soy sauce

1/2 t. sesame oil

1/2 t. minced garlic

2 t. cooking wine

1/4 t. ginger

1/2 t. Hoi Sin sauce

1/4 t. onions

2 t. cornstarch

Stir fry meats and vegetables together in hot oil.

Sauce

Mix together all ingredients, adding the cornstarch last.

Pour over the meat.

COOKED VEAL IN DILL SAUCE

(Gerkochtes Kalbfleisch in Dillsoße)

3 lb. veal

Soup greens

1 onion

Stock

Salt

Pepper

Lemon juice

Fresh dill

Cream or half-n-half

Flour and butter

Dice veal. Chop onion and soup greens. Braise and season with salt and pepper. Cover with stock. Simmer until done. Drain meat and vegetables. Fill into serving dish. Keep warm. Thicken stock with flour. Season to taste. Stir in cream, dill and lemon juice. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Serve with rice.

CORN AND BACON SPOONBREAD

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 cups water

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups fresh corn -- cut from cob and cooked

1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 cloves garlic -- minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

4 eggs -- separated

10 slices bacon -- cooked and crumbled

Combine cornmeal and water; boil 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cheese, corn, butter, garlic, and salt; stir until the cheese melts. Stir in milk.

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored; add bacon. Stir into cornmeal mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry; gently fold into the cornmeal mixture.

Pour into a lightly greased 2 1/2-quart casserole or soufflé dish. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Yield:12 servings.

CORN AND BACON SPOONBREAD

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 cups water

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups fresh corn -- cut from cob and cooked

1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 cloves garlic -- minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

4 eggs -- separated

10 slices bacon -- cooked and crumbled

Combine cornmeal and water; boil 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cheese, corn, butter, garlic, and salt; stir until the cheese melts. Stir in milk.

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored; add bacon. Stir into cornmeal mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry; gently fold into the cornmeal mixture.

Pour into a lightly greased 2 1/2-quart casserole or soufflé dish. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Yield:12 servings.

DIJON SHRIMP

Serves 2

3/4 pound peeled, deveined shrimp

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup dry sherry

5 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons snipped chives

Rinse and drain shrimp; pat dry. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove to a dish.

Add sherry to pan and simmer 30 seconds. Add mustard and cream to pan. Mix well and taste. Return shrimp to pan for 30 seconds. Add pepper to taste. To serve, spoon shrimp over couscous and sprinkle chives on top. (The fastest way to chop chives is to cut them with scissors.)

DISHWASHER SALMON

WITH A PIQUANT DILL SAUCE

www.surrealgourmet.com

read instruction manual at the end of this recipe

 

4 6-ounce salmon fillets

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

heavy duty aluminum foil

 

Cut two 12-inch square sheets of aluminum foil. Place two fillets side by side on each square and fold up the outer edges. Drizzle 1 tablespoon lemon juice over each fillet. Season with salt and pepper.

Fold and pinch the aluminum foil extra tightly to create a watertight seal around each pair of fillets. Make sure the packet is airtight by pressing down on it gently with your hand. If air escapes easily, rewrap. Place foil packets on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run dishwasher for the entire "normal" cycle.

When cycle is complete, take out salmon, discard foil, place one fillet on each plate, and spoon a generous serving of dill sauce overtop.

Don't have a dishwasher? Bake foil-wrapped packets in a preheated 400°F oven for 12 minutes.

 

The Instruction Manual

Seal individual-size fillets in aluminum foil. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO COOK A WHOLE FISH.

Place fish packets on the top rack.

Add dirty dishes and lemon-scented soap. This optional step is not recommended for novices. However, as long as the salmon is tightly sealed in the aluminum foil, it will not absorb any soapy taste or smell.

Set the dishwasher to the "normal" cycle. Modern dishwashers have "economy" and "cool dry" settings, which are undesirable because they conserve heat. However, on the other end of the spectrum, the "pots and pans" setting tends to overcook the fish.

Run salmon through the entire wash-and-dry cycle-approximately 50 minutes for most models. I have poached salmon in almost every make and model, and although the temperatures and duration of the cycles vary with each machine, a little more or less "washing" will not affect it greatly because salmon is extremely forgiving.

To heighten the drama for your disbelieving guests-and to prove that you have nothing up your sleeve-let them crowd around the dishwasher when you load the salmon. When the cycle is complete, invite them back to witness the unloading.

Troubleshoot. The only time I ever had a problem was on live national TV. Five minutes before going on the air I learned that the heating element in the on-camera dishwasher was broken. After a quick huddle with the producer, I was forced to make the most of the situation by baking the salmon in the (gasp!) oven. To avoid this pedestrian fate, ask yourself the million-dollar question: When your dishwasher last completed its cycle, were the dishes hot? As long as the answer is yes, you are ready to poach.

 

EGGPLANT CASSEROLE

Serves 4

Nonstick cooking spray

1 medium eggplant, washed, trimmed

1 cup diced tomatoes, or 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with their juice

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 medium onion, peeled, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons margarine or butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs

Spray bottom of microwaveable casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Cube eggplant, leaving skin on, and place in the prepared casserole dish. Put diced tomatoes on top of eggplant.

Pour in 1/3 cup water or, if you are using canned diced tomatoes, use the juice from the can and omit the water.

Sprinkle the tomatoes with the sugar. Put the chopped onion on top of that and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter margarine pieces over the top.

Microwave on high power until the eggplant is almost soft, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and microwave until done.

EGGPLANT

June 5, 2002 Posted: 04:25:09 AM PDT

By SUSAN SELASKY, DETROIT FREE PRESS

Fried eggplant is a favorite of mine, but it's messy to make and frying adds fat and calories.

Instead, I turn to eggplant casserole, a quick and easy microwaveable version of the dish. It takes only 10 minutes in the microwave.

The eggplant is cubed for quick cooking and layered with tomatoes, onions, seasoning and margarine.

Sprinkle the mix with a layer of grated Parmesan cheese and top it with Italian-style bread crumbs before microwaving until the eggplant is done.

EGGS CARBONARA

 

8 eggs

Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 pound pancetta, or thickly sliced bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/4- inch

strips

1 garlic clove (optional), minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 cup fresh Italian parsley, stems discarded before measuring

 

In a bowl, beat eggs, salt, black pepper, cheese, and milk. Set aside.

Cook pancetta in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until it is done like crisp pieces of bacon. Drain off excess fat (but leave about 2 tablespoons in the pan).

Add garlic and bell pepper to the pan and cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until garlic shows the first sign of turning golden. Add Italian parsley. Stir for 1 more minute.

Reduce heat to medium, add egg mixture to pan, and stir until eggs are cooked to your liking. Serve immediately on warmed plates.

 

FAUX FRIES WITH RASPBERRY NOT KETCHUP

www.surrealgourmet.com

Pound Cake "Fries"

 

1 loaf of pound cake

1 cardboard French fry container (ask politely and you shall receive)

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim off a thin layer of the cake's brown exterior crust. Then cut pound cake lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Turn slices on their side and cut into 1/4-inch strips. Trim to 4 to 5 inches in length (if this sounds confusing, just remember, you are creating French fry-shaped strips).

Arrange strips on cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until browned on top and bottom. Turn strips and bake for approximately 4 more minutes, or until remaining two sides are browned. Let cool, then arrange in fries container.

 

Raspberry "Ketchup"

 

1 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed, or 2 cups of fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons of confectionery (powdered) sugar

1 empty catsup squeeze bottle

 

Place raspberries in a blender or food processor, and puree (add a few table-spoons of water, or lemon juice, if necessary, to facilitate blending). Add sugar, one teaspoon at a time, to taste-until tartness is gone.

Place raspberry puree in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to force the puree through the strainer. Discard the seeds and transfer the puree to the squeeze bottle. Serve alongside "fries".

FENNEL AND CORN SUCCOTASH

Serves 4

2 cups dried lima or flageolet beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup butter

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped

2 small fennel bulbs, finely sliced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

3 fresh ears corn, husks and silks removed, cut into 1-inch rounds OR 3/4 cup canned or frozen corn kernels, defrosted if frozen

3 1/4 cups vegetable stock

1/4 cup sherry or white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Place beans in a large saucepan with sufficient water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover pan; and simmer for 3/4 to 1 hour, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add garlic and shallots or onion and cook for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add fennel and bell pepper and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened.

If using fresh corn, add it now with the vegetable stock. Season to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until corn is tender. Remove lid and add drained beans. If using canned or defrosted corn, add it at this point along with vinegar.

Bring succotash back to a boil and cook about 5 minutes until liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

FRENCH OMELET

4 large eggs

2 tablespoon water

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

Beat the eggs with the water, salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in an omelet pan set over moderate heat.

When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the eggs. As the eggs' edges begin to set, use a rigid spatula to push the edges toward the center of the pan, while tilting the pan to let uncooked portions move to the exposed surfaces. Keep pushing the eggs and tilting the pan until the eggs are almost set, but still creamy and shiny.

Fold the omelet in half or in thirds. Slide out onto a serving plate. Makes two servings.

GARLIC HERB AND BEAN PATÉ

Serves 4

1 15-ounce can flageolet or navy beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup cream cheese

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup prepared pesto

2 scallions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

For serving:

1/2 cup arugula leaves

16 radishes

8 bread crisps

Place beans, cream cheese, garlic and pesto in blender or food processor, and process until combined.

Add scallions, season with salt and pepper and process for 10 seconds. Turn into a serving dish and chill until ready to serve. Serve with arugula leaves, radishes and crisp bread, scattered with chopped parsley, if desired.

 

 

 

GOUDA AND STRAWBERRY SALAD

Serves 4

6 cups romaine, spinach or radicchio greens

8 ounces Gouda cheese, sliced into wedges

11/2 cups sliced strawberries

1/2 cup toasted pecans

Strawberry vinaigrette (see recipe)

Arrange greens on four salad plates. Arrange cheese wedges and strawberry slices alternately on greens. Divide dressing between four plates and garnish with pecans.

GRANOLA YOGURT BERRY PARFAIT

www.surrealgourmet.com

 

2 cups plain yogurt

2 cups your favorite granola

2 cups fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries (hulled and sliced),

and/or other fruit such as bananas, peaches or mangos (peeled and sliced)

4 tablespoons honey

 

Line up four parfait, white wine, or other tall glasses. Spoon 2 tablespoons of yogurt into each glass and smooth surface. Spoon 2 tablespoons of granola overtop and smooth surface. Spoon 2 tablespoons of fruit overtop and smooth surface. Repeat the process, adding a bit of honey here and there, to taste.

GRAPE TOMATO CHEESE AND HERB OMELET

Serves 2

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh chives, parsley and thyme

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup halved grape tomatoes

1/4 cup shredded imported Swiss cheese

Beat the eggs with the water, salt, pepper and herbs.

Melt the butter in an omelet pan set over moderate heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the eggs. As the edges of the eggs begin to set, use a rigid spatula to push the edges toward the center of the pan, while tilting the pan to let uncooked portions move to exposed surfaces.

Keep pushing the eggs and tilting the pan until the eggs are almost set, but still creamy and shiny.

Spoon the tomatoes and cheese on top of the eggs, down the center.

Fold the omelet in half or in thirds. Slide out onto a serving plate.

GREEN BEANS TOSSED IN BROWNED BUTTER

www.surrealgourmet.com

 

11/2 pounds string beans, stems trimmed

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Fill a large pot with two inches of water and place a steamer inside. Bring water to a boil. Add string beans and cover for 5 minutes, or until beans are cooked throughout but still crisp to the bite. If you don't have a steamer, toss beans in a large pot of boiling water for 4 minutes.

 

Thoroughly drain water then return beans to the emptied pot. Let beans sit, uncovered, for 2 minutes so that any water coating them has evaporated. Pour out any accumulated water.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes, or until melted butter has turned golden brown (this adds a slightly nutty flavor). Remove from heat; add lemon juice, then add beans and toss thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again.

 

HAM AND NOT EGGS

www.surrealgourmet.com

 

2 honeydew melons

1 cantaloupe melon

1/3 pound prosciutto, sliced

2 sprigs parsley

 

Cut four 1/4-inch slices from each honeydew melon.

Shape honeydew slices to look like the egg white of a sunny-side-up egg.

Slice the cantaloupe in half and use a melon scoop or a measuring tablespoon to carve out two "yolks." Trim the melon balls to resemble yolks. Assemble "eggs" and position two strips of prosciutto "bacon" alongside them. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately, or refrigerate. For the best contrast, use solid-color plates that are neither white, nor yellow.

 

HAWAIIAN YAM BAKE

8 large Sweet potatoes or yams peeled and cut into 2" chunks

2 cups Pineapple chunks

1 cup Banana; sliced

2 cups Hearts of palm; cut into 2" chunks

2 cups Tempeh; cut into 1" chunks

2 cups Dried lentils

3 cups Vegetable stock

1/2 cup Honey or other natural sweetener

2/3 cup Prepared spicy mustard

1/2 cup Cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 250 deg.

Combine all ingredients in a large roasting pan or casserole dish. Place in oven and bake, covered, for 2 hours. Stir occasionally and serve hot.

Hint: For a sweeter taste, use apple juice to replace 1/2 of the vegetable stock.

From the recipe files of Sylvia Steiger.

HOLY GUACAMOLE

www.surrealgourmet.com

 

2 ripe Haas avocados (ripe = indents easily with the firm press of a finger)

1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, finely diced, stems discarded before

measuring

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 scallions (green onions), finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (may be replaced with cayenne pepper)

 

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of the skin. Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Blend with a fork until the mixture is just slightly lumpy.

To make flame-like tortilla chips for garnish, cut flour tortillas into flame shapes, then bake on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, or until crisp.

 

 

 

 

 

HOME FRIED POTATOES FROM HELL

www.surrealgourmet.com

 

2 pounds potatoes (Yukon gold, white, or red potatoes are best, but russet, or

baking, potatoes work well too.)

Too much butter

Too much olive oil

6 cloves garlic, diced

1 medium-size cooking onion, diced

1/2 cup fresh rosemary, thyme, or dill, stems discarded before measuring

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Quarter potatoes, skin on, and boil them in eight cups of water with a teaspoon of salt for approximately 20 minutes, or until tender to the poke of a fork. Drain water.

 

In your best large nonstick pan or well-seasoned skillet, over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the butter/oil mixture is hot, transfer potatoes to pan and use a spatula to chop the quarters into smaller pieces (there is no science here). As the potatoes absorb the butter and oil during cooking, continue to add equal amounts of each, as required, to keep the pan well greased. Sauté for 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until potatoes begin browning on all sides. If the potatoes start burning before they brown, reduce the heat.

Add garlic and onions, and continue cooking for 15 more minutes, or until potatoes, garlic and onions are all very browned and crispy.

When it seems potatoes are almost done to your liking, add herbs, salt, and pepper to taste and toss well. Serve immediately on warmed plates.

Note: It's all in the timing of adding the garlic and onions (which can only really be learned through trial and error). Adding them too soon will cause them to burn before the potatoes are crisp, and too late will prevent the garlic and onion from fully caramelizing.

 

HONEYED MASCARPONE

Makes about 1 cup

8 ounces (1 cup) mascarpone cheese (may substitute equal amounts of cream

cheese and heavy cream)

3 tablespoons honey, or to taste

In a bowl with a wooden spoon, or in a standing mixer with the paddle attach-ment, beat the cheese and honey until thoroughly incorporated, light and fluffy.

Taste and, if desired, add additional honey according to taste. (May cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.)

HOW TO COOK BACON PERFECTLY

June 5, 2002 Posted: 04:25:08 AM PDT; Modesto, CA Bee

IN A SKILLET: Slice strips in half crosswise. Place in a large skillet over medium-low heat without crowding. If strips overlap, they won't cook evenly.

Turn bacon regularly as it cooks. Because pans have hot spots, move the strips around, switching ones in the middle with those on the outside. The bacon will take five to 10 minutes to cook, depending on the bacon, the pan and the heat.

Just before you think the bacon has reached perfection, remove it and drain on paper towels. It will continue to cook a little as it sits.

To control the sizzling grease, use a spatter guard, sold at many cookware and department stores. Or try these other methods from "Everything Tastes Better with Bacon."

BAKING: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place wire racks on a jelly-roll pan. Arrange a single layer of bacon on the racks and bake to desired crispness, 15 to 20 minutes. It is not necessary to turn the slices.

BROILING: Heat the broiler. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the broiler pan's slotted top. Place the pan so the bacon is 3 inches from the heat. Broil to desired crispness, five to seven minutes, turning once for even browning.

MICROWAVING: Place six to eight bacon slices between layers of paper towels on a microwaveable plate. Cook on high for six to eight minutes, turning the bacon a quarter-turn every two minutes. -- Chicago Tribune

JAMBALAYA

Serves 6

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup long-grain white rice

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons mild (light) olive oil, divided use

3 spicy low-fat chicken sausages (12 ounces total)

1 large sweet onion, cut in half and sliced stem to root

4 cloves garlic, bashed and chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 large rib celery, cut in 1 1/2-inch matchsticks

1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1 1/2-inch matchsticks

3 ounces Canadian bacon, cut in 1 1/2-inch matchsticks

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon thyme

Pinch ground cloves

8 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 28-ounce can diced

tomatoes in juice

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Bring broth to a boil in medium saucepan. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. Measure broth and add water to make 2 cups. Bring back to boil. Add rice, salt and bay leaves. Cover, reduce heat and cook 15 minutes or until rice is tender and water has been absorbed. Set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10 1/2-inch chef's pan and fry the sausages, turning often, on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice in rounds and set aside.

Pour remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil into pan and sauté onion until it turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and continue cooking until paste darkens. Now toss in celery, red pepper and Canadian bacon and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender. Season with cayenne, thyme and cloves. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, reserved shrimp and sausage and cook until just heated through. Add rice and mix well.

LEMON CHIFFON CAKE

Serves 12

2 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

8 eggs, separated

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

2 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Using electric mixer at low speed, beat in vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, water and lemon peel. In a separate bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. With clean dry beaters, beat until stiff. Fold 1/4 of whites into batter to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whites.

Pour cake batter into un-greased 10-inch-diameter tube pan. Tap pan on counter or run rubber spatula through batter to release air pockets. Bake cake until springy to touch, about 1 1/4 hours. Immediately invert cake in pan over the neck of an upright bottle, which is the easiest way to ease a cake out of a tube pan. Cool cake completely. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Transfer cake to plate. Dust with powdered sugar.

ANTON'S RESTAURANT LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN

Rice:

2 qt. water

1 Tbsp chicken base

1 cup wild rice

1 cup brown rice

3/4 cup diced carrots

3/4 cup diced celery

Sauce:

4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

black pepper, to taste

Breading:

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp granulated garlic

1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning

Chicken:

olive oil

4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the water and chicken base in a large pot. Bring water to the boil, turn down to a simmer and add wild rice; cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add brown rice, carrots and celery. Cook covered for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until rice is tender but not mushy. Strain in a sieve. Set aside and keep warm.

While rice is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, slowly bring cream to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Reduce heat, and let simmer 5 to 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch, whisking thoroughly. Remove cream from heat and add lemon juice mixture, beating thoroughly with a wire whip until it begins to thicken (this will take a while). Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning and black pepper. Keep warm over low heat.

Mix Parmesan, garlic and 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning together. Split chicken breasts and bread each side of chicken with mixture. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook chicken, turning at least once, until done.

On each plate, spoon rice, place one chicken breast on top and drizzle with lemon-pepper cream sauce. Serves 8. www.thatsmyhome.com

MAKING THE MOST OF THE MOREL

By Mark Sullivan with Katie Sullivan Morford

Special to the San Jose (Ca) Mercury News

Morels are a true wonder of spring. When foragers start showing up at the restaurant with buckets of these rarities, I know the season officially has begun.

Though morels may be one of the odder-looking items in the produce aisle, I find them quite beautiful. Shaped like a miniature beehive and textured like a sponge, most morels in our local markets have a muddy color and range from the size of a walnut to that of an egg, though they can grow much larger.

These wild mushrooms have never been successfully cultivated, says Todd Spanier, a fungus expert who supplies mushrooms to the Village Pub in Woodside. As a result, flavorful morels, Spanier says, can be only foraged, not farmed.

In the Bay Area, morels usually come from the Sierra Nevada, where they thrive when the earth has been disturbed -- after a fire or deforestation, for example. But morels grow on every continent and show up in cuisines in such far-ranging spots as China, Switzerland and Siberia.

Part of what makes them so special is their fleeting nature. They arrive in May and stick around for just a few months. The short season and the hard work of finding them mean they don't come cheap. Prices can exceed $50 a pound, though you'll often find them at $15 to $25. I think they're worth every penny.

Cooking morels just right is essential. And you must cook them, as they are slightly toxic when eaten raw. The key is to maximize, not mask, this mushroom's rich, earthy flavor and toothsome texture.

I like to show off morels in pasta. This recipe pairs morels with another spring favorite, English peas -- a combination in which the earthiness of the morel beautifully complements the sweet and sprightly pea. This is not the kind of hearty, robust pasta you'd find in an Italian kitchen. This is a more subtle dish in which the pasta gets lightly bathed in olive oil and flavorful cooking juices while the morels, thyme, parsley and lemon lightly perfume the dish. The final step is to shower the pasta with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, which makes the flavors sing.

One of the more mundane, but essential, aspects of using morels is proper cleaning. There is some debate over the best method, but I strongly believe they should be immersed in water. Many mushrooms can be cleaned with just a brush or damp cloth, but this is ineffective with the morel because of its shape and pocked exterior. And nothing ruins a morel dish more quickly than the presence of dirt. Just be certain to allow plenty of time for the mushrooms to dry after washing.

If a pound of fresh morels is too expensive, use a half pound of cremini mushrooms and a half pound of morels. The flavor won't be quite as assertive, but the dish will be a success nevertheless. When fresh morels aren't available, dried morels make a fine substitute. Figure on a 10-1 ratio of fresh to dried. For instance, this recipe calls for a pound of morels, which translates to 1.6 ounces of dried morels. (Be sure to reconstitute the dried mushrooms in boiling water before using them.)

Tinker with this recipe if you like. Crumble a slice or two of crisp pancetta or bacon into the finished dish or stir a few tablespoons of mascarpone into the sauce before you toss it with pasta. You also can use fava beans or asparagus in place of the peas. Or skip the pasta altogether and spoon the cooked morels over slices of roast pork or chicken. Then see what these changes mean in terms of seasoning: Do you need more or less salt if you add the bacon? How might you adjust the lemon if you use mascarpone? Does it make sense to stir the juices from the roasted chicken into the sauce? Remember, your taste buds are your best guide.

MEATBALLS WITH ORANGES

(Frikadellen mit Orangen)

5 oz minced beef

5 oz minced pork

2 large oranges

2 oz desiccated coconut

1 egg

2 tablespoons raisins

2 oz margarine

Peel oranges. Cut fruit into small cubes. Evenly mix all ingredients. Add enough breadcrumbs to make a stiff but smooth dough. Form 4 meatballs. Fry until done or serve on lettuce leaves.

 

 

MERINGUE NESTS WITH STRAWBERRIES

Serves 8

6 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon salt

11/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sugar plus more for berries

4 cups (2 cups) sliced fresh strawberries

Heat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla. Add the 11/2 cups sugar a few tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Scoop 3/4 cup of the egg white mixture and drop it onto the paper into a mound 3 inches in diameter.

With the back of a spoon, shape a shallow well in the center. Repeat to use the remaining meringue.

Bake the meringues for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and let them cool in the oven at least 2 hours -- overnight if possible.

Slip the meringues into a paper bag in a single layer, fold the top over, and store them in a dry place until ready to use, up to three or four days.

In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. With the back of a spoon, mash some of the strawberries; taste and add more sugar if desired.

To serve, place the meringues on individual dessert plates and spoon some of the strawberries and their juice over each.

MEXICAN STYLE REFRIED BEANS

Submitted to RF4RP by: Darco Chaumont

Step One

Pinto beans (clean and rinse)

1 Onion

1 Head of garlic

1 Tbsp. of Lard or Vegetable oil (NOT OLIVE OIL!!!)

Salt to taste

Bring enough water to a rolling boil; add all the ingredients. After about five minutes, reduce the flame and let the beans simmer until cooked (about two hours) You need to taste them to make sure they are ready, the beans have to be very tender. Make sure to add more water if needed, if only one bean burns it'll ruin the whole batch and you have to start all over again. Once the beans are cooked let them cool off (overnight is better)

Step 2

Cooked beans

3 Tbs. of lard or vegetable oil (NOT OLIVE OIL!!)

Note: this is a Mexican recipe and olive oil is not used in Mexico for beans; I've tried it and the difference is very noticeable.

1/2 cup of chopped onions

1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes

Chopped Jalapeno or Serrano chilies to taste depending

on your pain tolerance level

Sauté the onions, tomatoes and chili, then add the beans. Mush the beans and

let them "refry" for a while the longer the better (my grandma leaves them at least an hour). Add more of the "bean water" if needed.

MOCK CRAB CAKES

2 cups zucchini -- grated

2 large eggs -- lightly beaten

1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs

3 green onions -- chopped

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seafood seasoning

1 teaspoon mayonnaise

Vegetable oil

Tartar sauce -- (optional)

Drain grated zucchini well, pressing between layers of paper towels.

Combine zucchini and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 8 portions, shaping each into a patty. (Mixture will be soft.)

Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch into a large heavy skillet. Fry patties in hot oil over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; serve with tartar sauce, if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

 

 

NEW ENGLAND CLAMBAKE LEGAL SEA FOODS

THE CLASSIC CLAMBAKE: ON THE BEACH IN A HOLE

All amounts in these recipes are based on per person servings.

The best method for preparing the lobster for these recipes is to freeze them

for 10 minutes prior to cooking.

One 1 lb. Lobster

2/4 to 1 lb. Clams

4 oz. Linguica sausage

4 oz. Chicken sausage

1 corn on the cob

2 or 3 medium bliss potatoes

1 bag rockweed

1 large onion

You'll also need:

Shovel, lots of wood or charcoal, dry beach rocks, cheesecloth, aluminum foil,

and a canvas tarp.

Cooking on the beach

Dig the hole (suggested size for 12 people is 4 X 4 X 3) and fill with rocks

Heat the hole with charcoal or logs for 1 to 1.5 hours

CAREFULLY remove the coals exposing the hot rocks.

QUICKLY place the ingredients on top of the rocks in the following order:

10 inch layer of rockweed

lobsters lying back to back

2 inch layer of rockweed

bliss potatoes

steamer clams wrapped in cheese cloth

sausage wrapped in foil

2 inch layer of rockweed

corn on the cob

1 inch layer of rockweed and the onion

Cover with tarp and allow to cook for 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

 

THE CLAMBAKE IN THE MICROWAVE

1 lb. Lobster

1 corn on the cob, husk and silk removed

juice of 1/2 lemon

rockweed

3/4- 1lb. Steamer clams

Place rockweed in bottom of microwavable cooking bag.

Place corn on the cob and lobster on top of rockweed.

Add lemon.

Close bag and cook for 8 minutes on high.

Place steamer clams in another cooking bag on a plate and cook for 3 minutes on

high. Remove clams from microwave and serve with lobster and corn.

CLAMBAKE ON THE GRILL

One 1 lb. Lobster

2/4 to 1 lb. Clams

1 corn on the cob

2 or 3 medium bliss potatoes

rockweed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Remove silk from fresh corn leaving husk and soak for 15 minutes.

Cut bliss potatoes in half and coat with a vinaigrette or Italian dressing.

Grill sausage, potatoes, and corn for 10 minutes.

Fold five feet of heavy duty aluminum foil in half and place on table.

Place in inch layer of rockweed big enough to protect the foil from the lobster

in the center of the foil.

Place grilled corn/sausage/potato on the foil.

Add steamers, tucking some in the husk of the corn.

Add lobster and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

Wrap in foil leaving a little air pocket at the top.

Cook on hot grill for 25 minutes.

Serve with chilled pasta salad and brownies for dessert.

OMELET INFORMATION

June 5, 2002 Posted: 04:25:09 AM PDT

By RONNIE FEIN, THE STAMFORD (CONN.) ADVOCATE

It's a treat to eat an omelet.

Eggs have had their share of bad press over the years, but even the most resolute health nut would admit it's OK to eat the dish every once in a while.

For the occasional egg feast, omelets probably rank first, because they are festive and filling, quick to prepare and easy to cook. They are also extremely versatile; an enormous variety of fillings do nicely.

There was a time when people found omelet-making intimidating. The technique appeared to require a special skillet and some pan-flipping "savoir-faire." It isn't so.

We will show you how to prepare the perfect plain, French omelet, then we will describe how to build on the basic recipe to create a filled omelet.

First, beat the eggs with a little water or milk to break the mass up a bit.

Old-time recipes called for omelets made with three eggs per person, but two work just fine. You don't need a special pan; any skillet with sloping sides will do.

Nonstick pans make the job a lot easier, but even with nonstick you'll need to use butter (or other fat) because the omelet needs it for flavor.

Turn the heat to moderately high. High heat helps the eggs set properly. Put the butter in the pan and let it melt completely; don't start twirling the skillet around or spreading the butter with a utensil to make the process go faster. The butter must melt on its own so you can be sure it is hot enough. When the butter has melted and the foam appears to be dispersing, it is time to add the eggs.

Don't stir the eggs for the first 30 seconds. After that, the edges begin to set. You must move the liquid portions of the egg to the pan surface. The best way to accomplish that is to tilt the pan with one hand and, with the other hand, push the egg edges toward the center using a rigid spatula. Keep tilting and pushing until the eggs are almost set.

They should look creamy, shiny and slightly underdone. Underdone portions will continue to cook as you finish the last step: fold the omelet in half or in thirds and slide it onto a serving plate. You can use the spatula for folding; you needn't flip the pan and watch the eggs fall to the floor.

You can fill an omelet with about any food you like. Whatever your choices, be sure the ingredients are warm. Raw items such as tomatoes should be cut into small pieces, and cheese should be shredded finely or grated so it will melt easily within the hot eggs.

Use about three-fourths of a cup of filling for a four-egg omelet.

A soufflé omelet is prepared almost the same way, except that the egg yolks and whites are separated, both beaten, then combined before cooking, and you don't stir the egg mixture while it's in the pan.

 

 

PENNE RUSTICA

from MACARONI GRILL

The penne is easy, the sauce is the key: heavy cream, parmesan cheese, wine, etc. with chicken and shrimp. Cut the recipe in half and it was still way too much.

Gratinata Sauce

2 tsp. butter

2 tsp. chopped garlic

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chopped rosemary

1 C. marsala wine

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

8 C. heavy cream

Penne Rustica

1 oz. pancetta or bacon

18 each shrimp peeled and deveined

12 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced

4 1/2 C. Gratinata Sauce

48 oz. penne pasta, precooked

3 tsp. pimientos

6 oz. butter

1 tsp. chopped shallots

1 pinch salt and pepper

1 C. parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. paprika

6 sprigs fresh rosemary

Gratinata Sauce: Saute butter, garlic , and rosemary until garlic begins to brown. Add Marsala wine and reduce by one-third. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half of original volume. Set aside.

Penne Rustica: Sauté pancetta until begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are evenly pick but still translucent. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add gratinata sauce and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and simmer until sauce thickens. In a large bowl, combine shrimp and chicken mixture with precooked pasta. Place this mixture into single serving dishes or one large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and pimientos and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 475ºF for 10-15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprig. Serves six or more.

 

 

 

 

PYROTECHNIC PINEAPPLE

 

1 ripe pineapple

3 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 ounces Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or dark rum

1 pint vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

 

Sit the pineapple on its side and slice it in half, starting at the bottom and slicing all the way up through the leafy section. Chisel out the core of each half. Discard. Then cut around the fleshy sections with a knife (as you would a grapefruit). Remove flesh with a spoon and cut into small chunks. Reserve both the flesh and the rinds.

 

Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add pineapple chunks, but none of the juice, and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir occasionally for 30 seconds, or until it has dissolved. Repeat the same process, a tablespoon at a time, with the remaining sugar.

Pour in Grand Marnier, let it heat up for 10 seconds, then ignite.

Place a single scoop of ice cream in each of the hollowed-out pineapple shells and pour half the contents of pan overtop each. Serve immediately with two spoons per couple.

 

RED CABBAGE WITH APPLE

(Rotkohl mit Äpfeln)

[Red cabbage is not only a staple but also a favorite in traditional German cooking. Thought to have been introduced into Europe by the Romans, cabbage (from the French word, "caboche," meaning "head.") was probably introduced even earlier by the Celts of central and Western Europe. Red and white cabbage varieties were successfully developed in the cooler parts of northern Europe, including Germany, France, Belgium and Holland. Most of the varieties grown in the US today originated in Germany and the Low Countries. Red cabbage is not widely grown in the US, but is still a popular crop in northern European countries like Germany.]

2 lb. red cabbage

2 onions

2 tbsp. lard or margarine

1/2 pint red wine (1 cup)

2 tbsp. vinegar

6 juniper berries

1 bay leaf

3 cloves

Salt

Pepper

2 tbsp. honey, red current jelly or cranberry compôte

2 apples

Some flour, some butter

Clean, quarter, and core cabbage. Cut into small strips. Peel and dice onions. Melt lard or margarine in a large, heavy casserole dish. Add onions and fry until golden brown, and then add cabbage. Cook gently. Stir in red wine, vinegar, juniper berries, cloves, bay leaf, some salt and pepper.

Cover and cook over medium heat for approximately 45 minutes. Add honey, red current jelly or cranberry compôte to taste. Peel and core apples. Slice thinly, dust with flour, then fry in butter until golden brown. Serve with meatballs

ROASTED POTATOES FINISHED WITH SEA SALT

 

4 medium-size potatoes

2 tablespoon best-available olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt (or any other salt)

 

Bake potatoes for 1 hour at 400°F. Remove potatoes from oven, split open, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

 

BIGA ON THE BANKS ROCKY ROAD BARS

Amount For 1st layer:

unsalted butter 4 oz. (1 stick), room temperature

1 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1 C. granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 t. pure vanilla extract

1 C. all-purpose flour

3/4 C. toasted pecan pieces

1 t. baking powder

 

For 2nd layer:

6 oz. cream cheese room temperature

1/2 C. granulated sugar

2 T. all-purpose flour

2 oz. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter room temperature

1 egg

1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

1/2 C. toasted pecan pieces

1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips

3 C. mini marshmallows

For the Frosting:

2 oz. (1/2 stick) unsalted Butter

1 oz. unsweetened chocolate

2 oz. cream cheese

1/4 C. whole milk

1 C. confectioner's Sugar

1 t. pure vanilla extract

Start with bottom layer.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan.

3. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat.

4. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour and baking powder.

5. Once chocolate is melted, add sugar, eggs, vanilla, dry ingredients and

pecans. Mix until well combined. Press into the prepared pan and set aside.

Second Layer:

1. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar.

2. Add flour, butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

3. Scrape down bowl and add the pecans and mix to combine.

4. Spread the cream cheese layer over the bottom chocolate layer.

5. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips.

6. Bake in oven until only slightly golden on the edges, approximately 20-25

minutes.

7. Sprinkle with marshmallows and return the pan to the oven until the

marshmallows are just melted without color, approximately 3 minutes.

Frosting:

1. Melt the butter and chocolate over low heat.

2. Cream the cream cheese.

3. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the cream cheese.

4. Add the milk.

5. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth.

6. Pour oven the hot marshmallows and swirl the frosting with the melted

marshmallows.

7. Cool in the pan.

 

ROTINI PASTA SALAD

2 1/2 cups pasta (6 oz)-rotini is pretty

1 medium Zucchini/Squash (sliced thin with skin on) --- can use 2 small of

different kind/color

1 small green pepper, sliced

1 small red pepper, sliced

1 can pitted whole ripe olives, sliced (or a can of sliced olives)

1/2 cup Feta cheese (crumbled)

Dressing: 2 cups - "Good Seasons" dressing (the kind you mix with oil)

Boil pasta (colored looks nice, bowtie pasta breaks apart too much) and drain.

Prepare veggies and mix with pasta and crumbled cheese. Go SLOW with the

dressing as the two cups is always too much; mix with dressing to taste

preferences. Chill and serve. serves 4-6.

SALMON BAKED IN FOIL

Serves 4

4 8-ounce salmon fillets, skin on

1 tablespoon peanut oil

4 tablespoons finely minced ginger

2 limes, thinly sliced

2 green onions, minced

4 tablespoons mirin

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut four sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil into rectangles about 12 inches by 16 inches. Lightly oil shiny side of foil and place a fillet, skin side down, in center of each piece of foil. Top each fillet with 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1/4 of the lime slices, 1/4 of minced green onion and 1 tablespoon mirin. Fold edges of foil on three sides to make a package, tightly double-folding each seam into what is called a drugstore lock to seal in steam and juices.

Place foil packages on cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes for every inch of fillet thickness. Packages should puff up with steam. Remove from oven and carefully open one package to check fish for doneness. If needed, reseal and return to oven for a few minutes more. To serve, place one package on each diner's plate, warning them to watch for steam as they open the packets.

SAUCY SALMON LOAF

1 15 Oz Can Salmon, drained (reserve broth)

2 Cups Bread crumbs, soft (about 3 slices)

1/4 Cup Onion, finely chopped

1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped

3/4 Tsp Tarragon, dried or savory

3 Eggs

1/4 Tsp Each Salt & Pepper

3/4 Cup Hot liquid (salmon broth & Milk)

CHEESE SAUCE

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp All-purpose flour

To taste Salt, dry mustard, cayenne pepper

1-1/4 Cups Milk

1/2 Cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large bowl, flake salmon with a fork, crushing skin and bones. Add bread crumbs, onion, parsley, and tarragon, mix well. Place mixture in a well greased non-stick 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan. Beat together eggs, salt, and pepper until eggs are blended. Stir in hot liquid. Pour over salmon mixture in loaf pan. Bake a 350 f. oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until firm. Loosen loaf with a spatula and turn out of pan.

Meanwhile, make cheese sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and seasonings. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and comes to a boil. Cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Serve with salmon loaf.

SEAFOOD SALAD

from Rao's Restaurant

1 lb. fresh, small squid (calamari) with tentacles, cleaned

2 cups lemon juice

4 tbsp salt

8 large shrimp

1 cup fine-quality olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

1 tsp chopped Italian parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup jumbo lump crabmeat

1 lb. cooked fresh lobster meat

6 lemon wedges

Rinse squid in a colander under cold running water. Separate bodies and tentacles, as they must be cooked in different water to keep the tentacles from coloring the rings.

Place about 1 quart cold water in a medium pot. Add squid bodies, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons salt.

Place about 1 quart cold water in a medium pot. Add squid tentacles, 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons salt.

Bring both pots to a rolling boil. Lower heat to a gentle boil and cook until squid are very tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and run cold water directly into each pot until water is cool.

Drain the bodies, pat dry, and cut into rings.

Holding the tentacles, run warm water into the pan. Under the running water, gently rub between the palms of your hands, pushing the black specks and colored skin from the tentacles. Drain well and pat dry.

Combine the rings and tentacles in a colander. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to drain for about 20 minutes. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Peel, de-vein, remove tails, and butterfly shrimp. Cover with water and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Immediately remove from heat, drain, and refresh in cold, running water. Gently press in a clean kitchen towel to dry well. Cut into quarters. If not using immediately, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate.

In a non-reactive bowl, whisk together the oil, remaining lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add shrimp and squid to the oil mixture. Toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, remove seafood from oil mixture and place on a serving plate.

Add crabmeat to oil mixture and very gently turn to coat. Using a slotted spoon, remove crab from oil mixture and gently fold into the shrimp-squid mixture.

Add lobster to the oil mixture. Gently toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, remove lobster from oil mixture and place on top of salad. Discard garlic from oil mixture. Pour remaining oil mixture over salad and serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges. Serves 6

SOUR CREAM RAISIN PIE

from Monty's Restaurant, Modesto, CA serves 8

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup seedless raisins, chopped

1 unbaked 8-inch pie shell

In a bowl, beat eggs, add sugar and gradually stir in sour cream.

In another bowl, mix flour, salt and spices. Stir in raisins. Add to egg mixture. Turn into pie shell.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 20 to 30 minutes longer or until knife comes out clean.

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN

SYLVIA'S RESTAURANT'S BEST

One 3 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into eighths

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided

1/2 t. garlic powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp paprika

1 cup vegetable oil

1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the salt, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper, and the garlic powder. Sprinkle over the chicken. Let stand at least 20 minutes - or, even better, overnight - in the refrigerator.

2. Place the flour, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and paprika into a plastic bag. Add the seasoned chicken and shake until each piece is covered with flour.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it bubbles when a little flour is sprinkled in. Add the chicken pieces and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is nicely browned on the bottom. Turn and cook on the other side for 7 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.

4. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels before serving.

STEAK AU POIVRE

www.surrealgourmet.com

 

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper, ground coarsely

1 tablespoon butter

4 6-ounce tenderloin steaks, 3/4 inch thick

5 tablespoons Cognac

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2/3 cup half & half cream

3 tablespoons brined green peppercorns (drained)

 

Rub salt and ground black pepper over both sides of the steak. Heat a dry sauté pan over high heat. When pan becomes very hot add butter, let melt, then add steaks. Turn steaks only once and cook to desired degree of wellness (approximately 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on exact thickness.)

Add Cognac to pan, let sit for five seconds and then light a match to it. Flame should burn out after approximately 10 seconds. (If flame continues to burn, put it out by placing a lid on the pan).

Remove steak from pan (leaving drippings in the pan), reserve on a warm plate and cover with aluminum foil. Place steaks on warmed serving plates.

Pour sauce over steak.

STRAWBERRIES MEAN SUMMER

June 5, 2002 Posted: 04:25:08 AM PDT

By RENEE SCHETTLER, THE WASHINGTON POST

Strawberries in June are the precursor to everything good about summer.

Before the luscious stone fruits and corn on the cob come the dainty, vibrant red strawberries that have been going strong since before Mother's Day.

How to select: The oddest shaped berries can sometimes be the sweetest of the peck. However, pass over any that are white around the shoulders; they were picked prematurely and will not ripen further. Also avoid any that are soft and shriveled or sport any trace of mold; they are past their prime. Do not choose containers that leak juice; this often is an indication of bruised or overripe fruit.

How to clean: Think of berries as potential sponges. Never soak them; instead, rinse them under cool running water. Similarly, do not clean berries until as close as possible to serving time, and do not remove the hulls until after they have been cleaned. A mere twist can remove the hull, but not the hard conical stem beneath it. A single flick of a sharp paring knife will remove both.

How to prepare: If strawberries are at their sweetest, why muck them up? At most, perfect strawberries need only a swipe through a dip of honey and mascarpone (see accompanying recipe).

When strawberries are slightly less than stellar, start with just a wee bit of something to enhance the sweetness. A sprinkle of sugar and about 20 minutes to release the juices is the standard approach. Try adding a pinch of ground cardamom. The sweet syrup that results can be spooned over ice cream, pancakes and sweet cream biscuits.

The opposite approach -- adding something tart or harsh -- emphasizes what sweetness there is in the strawberries. A drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar or a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper makes berries suitable to be served with goat cheese.

STRAWBERRIES WITH CULTURED CREAM

Makes 1 1/4 cups

2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

Dash salt

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 pints fresh sliced strawberries

Sprinkle sugar and salt over sour cream; let stand a few minutes. Gently fold whipping cream (unwhipped) into sour cream mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 1 to 2 hours to allow flavors to blend. Serve over fresh, sliced strawberries.

STRAWBERRY VINAIGRETTE

Makes 1 1/2 cups

1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam or strawberry preserves

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 red-wine, strawberry or raspberry vinegar

Salt and pepper

Whisk strawberry jam or preserves, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

SUGAR LUMP CINNAMON BREAD

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 packages active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water

1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) vanilla

1 egg

5-1/2 to 6 cups Pillsbury All purpose flour

1 egg, beaten

FILLING:

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 to 2 tablespoons (3 to 6 teaspoons) cinnamon

50 cocktail-size sugar cubes (about 4 oz)

GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Oven : 375 degrees Makes 2 loaves

In large saucepan, heat milk and butter; remove from heat. Stir in sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in water. Add yeast, vanilla and 1 egg to milk mixture; stir to blend.

Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface 3 to 4 minutes until smooth. Place in greased bowl. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes

Divide dough in half. On floured surface, roll each half to 15 x 12 inch rectangle. Brush with beaten egg. Spread each rectangle with half of Filling. Slightly roll up edges of each along 15-inch long side; then roll jelly-roll fashion, starting with the 12-inch end. Pinch edges to seal.

Place, seam-side down, in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, allowing ends to fold up over top of loaf slightly. Brush tops with remaining egg. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes, until top sounds hollow when tapped gently If top becomes too brown, cover with foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Remove from pans. While warm, drizzle with Glaze. Serve warm or cold.

FILLING: Blend butter and cinnamon until creamy; stir in sugar cubes to coat.

GLAZE: Combine powdered sugar and enough milk until thin enough to drizzle;

beat until smooth.

TIPS: Try toasting slices under the broiler, too.

Reheat slices, wrapped in foil, at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes.

NOTE: The 'comments' re this recipe in the book state "The cubes dissolve a

little during baking but still give an interesting crunchiness in eating."

 

 

 

 

 

SWEET STRAWBERRY SOUFFLE

DESSERT OMELET

Serves 2

1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries

4 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoons orange-flavored brandy or rum

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sifted confectioners' sugar

Combine the berries, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon brandy in a bowl. Let macerate for 30 minutes.

Separate the egg yolks and whites in different bowls. Add 2 tablespoons sugar to the yolks and beat them at medium speed in an electric mixer two to three minutes, or until thick and pale. Stir in the brandy, orange peel, salt and creme fraiche.

Beat the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture.

Preheat the broiler.

Melt the butter in an omelet pan set over moderate heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the egg mixture. Cook until the bottom of the omelet has set and is golden brown (lift with a rigid spatula to look).

Place the pan under the broiler for about 30 seconds, or until it begins to brown.

Remove the omelet and spread the strawberry mixture down the center. Fold the omelet in half and remove to a serving plate.

Sprinkle the top with sifted confectioners' sugar.

TARBELLS DONKEY DIP

2 lb. mushrooms

1/2 white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup low-fat sour cream

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 bunch chives, chopped

1/2 tomato, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, sauté onion until clear. Add garlic and sliced mushrooms and

sauté 10 minutes more. Take off heat and set aside. Place mixture in food

processor and pulse until smooth. Add sour cream, soy sauce, salt and pepper;

pulse until mixture is well-blended. Move mixture to a mixing bowl and fold in

tomato. Garnish with chopped chives.

 

THE LURE OF FRESH KING SALMON

FISH LOVERS HEAD FOR PILLAR POINT

HARBOR TO BUY RIGHT OFF THE BOATS

By Aleta Watson, San Jose (California) Mercury News

The salmon fishing season is in full swing and the most avid fish lovers can get theirs fresh off the boats at Pillar Point harbor in Half Moon Bay.

Only the afternoon before, these King salmon had been swimming in the chilly Pacific south of the Farallones. Now they were waiting for buyers in a slurry of ice and water aboard the Jet Stream at Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay.

``See the purple on that fish?'' Gary Markofer, the Jet Stream's captain, asked a couple who had driven from San Carlos to buy fish for their weekend barbecue. ``That's just the way it looks in the water.''

It's hard to find fresher fish than the wild salmon sold off boats in the Bay Area. Since 1998, when Pillar Point began allowing fishers to sell directly to the public, fish lovers have been traveling to the docks on weekend mornings.

Crowds are biggest during salmon season from May through September, when Pillar Point becomes the center of dockside sales. Santa Cruz Harbor's much smaller commercial fleet sells off boats only infrequently.

The lure of wild salmon straight from the sea brought me up the coast early on a foggy Sunday to buy a whole fish to grill.

Robert King had come from San Leandro.

``I come here at least half a dozen times a year for fish,'' King told me. Although he'll buy other types of fish the rest of the year, ``Salmon is No. 1.''

A white board in front of the harbor master's office directed buyers to the boats selling fish. At the Penny Mist, I found skipper Bob Longstreth with 500 pounds of salmon in ice chests at his slip on F dock.

Selling directly to the public at $3.50 a pound, Longstreth said, beats trying to get a wholesaler to take them in a market flooded by cheaper, farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

Salmon lovers are winners, too, in this arrangement. Those of us willing to trek to the harbor to get our fresh fix know there's no comparison between farmed and wild salmon. Kings spend their adult lives swimming in cold waters, feeding on a wide variety of sea life, and your taste buds can tell.

``Wild salmon, the flesh is a lot firmer, a lot tastier vs. farm-raised -- a big difference,'' said Norm Montes, who drove from San Francisco.

The promise of really fresh fish and an outing for his grandchildren brought Larry William of Los Altos to the docks with his daughter-in-law Suzie Pan and her 2 1/2-year-old twins, Ray and Rose William.

``I may barbecue it. I may poach it. I may do it in the dishwasher,'' he told me, laughing at my skeptical look. ``You wrap the fish in aluminum foil, place it on the top rack of the dishwasher, and you run it through twice. It's called dishwasher salmon, and it's really good.''

I wasn't convinced, even though a subsequent Internet search produced many references to dishwasher salmon, including a very plausible recipe at www.surrealgourmet.com .

I had come for a whole fish to stuff, and I was going to grill it as planned. My six-pounder -- the smallest available -- was a beauty, with shiny, dark skin and red flesh. As with all off-the-boat purchases, though, it came with head, tail and full carcass.

Markofer told me that a market at the harbor would dress my salmon for a small fee, so I decided to take the wimp's way out and have someone else butterfly it.

The fishmonger, who spoke little English, said he would fillet it for me. I explained as best I could that I wanted him to just remove the bones so I could grill it whole. But we weren't getting anywhere.

Just as I was getting ready to leave with my fish intact, a co-worker stepped in to help. I thought we had reached an understanding, and the first man took my prized fish off to the cutting table.

His first slice went right down the backbone and I was left with two beautiful fillets.

With my grilling plans ruined, I decided to go for foil, sans dishwasher. Foil-baking, a metallic version of the French technique en papillote, delivers the benefits of poaching without any special equipment or fuss. It preserves the delicate texture of the freshest fish and infuses it with the flavors of accompanying herbs. And it's quick. What's not to like?

I added ginger, lime, minced green onion and a touch of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), but you could just as easily opt for lemon slices and sprigs of fresh tarragon or whatever seasonings you like best.

To carry out the Asian theme, I made a colorful slaw with Pacific Rim produce and a Thai-inspired dressing, and steamed some rice.

But the salmon, with its sweet, firm flesh and buttery texture, was the star. Freshness is an incomparable virtue.

WHITE BEAN AND SUN DRIED TOMATO SALAD

Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 red onion, sliced

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons chopped black olives

2 teaspoons chopped capers

2 teaspoons chopped thyme

2 tablespoons parsley leaves

1/4 cup lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add garlic and sauté over high heat, stirring, to get a little color. When it is golden, remove garlic from pan. Reserve 2 tablespoons olive oil; discard remainder.

Place beans in a mixing bowl and stir in garlic. Add onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, thyme, parsley, reserved olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Check seasoning, and serve.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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