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

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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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).

APPLE BLUEBERRY COBBLER

APPLE STRUDEL

APRICOT OR PLUM COBBLER

BAKED MOCHI

BASMATI RICE PUDDING WITH COCOA CUST

BEAN AND CUCUMBER PITAS

BLACKBERRY COBBLER

BORDELAISE SAUCE

CARAWAY COLESLAW WITH HAM

CHERRY ALMOND CAKE

CHERRY COBBLER

CHILLED ZUCCHINI MINT SOUP

CHOCOLATE NAPOLEON

COBBLER INFORMATION

COKE AND SOYA CHICKEN

COMPANY CHICKEN TORTILLAS

COPYCAT COCONUT SHRIMP

CREAM OF ARTICHOKE SOUP

DESSERT BAKLAVA

DESSERT BLUEBERRIES IN ARMAGNAC SYRUP

EVERYTHING COOKIES

FILET OF SOLE WRAPPED IN PHYLLO

FREEZING FRUIT INFORMATION

FRESH PESTO PASTA SALAD

FRIED ONION RINGS

GARDEN PESTO

GINGER VANILLA FLOAT

GRILLED CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN BURRITO

GRILLED CITRUS SCALLOPS

HAMBURGER SUPREME

HAYSTACK CUPCAKES

HOT DOG INFORMATION

ICED TEA

INDIVIDUAL BEEF WELLINGTON

LOBSTER AND CORN TRIANGLE

LOOSE MEAT SANDWICH

OBON FESTIVAL INFORMATION

PASTA WITH GARLIC AND BASIL

PASTA WITH THREE HERB PESTO

PEANUT NOODLES WITH CHICKEN

PESTO GAZPACHO

PLUM CHUTNEY

PLUM FRANGIPANE TART

PLUM INFORMATION

PLUM KUCHEN

PLUOTS INFORMATION

POOR MANS STROGANOFF

PORTABELLA AND PAPAYA NIGIRI

POTATO PESTO BAKE

POTATO SALAD

RASPBERRY MOCHA TARTLETTES

REESES CUP CAKE

RICE SALAD

SALSA

SHRIMP SALAD WITH LIME ZEST

SHRIMP WITH DIPPING SAUCE

STEAMED VEGETABLE DUMPLINGS

STRAWBERRY PRETZEL DESSERT

SUGAR PLUM CAKES

SUPREMA CHERRY PIE

SWEET JALAPENO RELISH

TABBOULEH

VEGETARIAN SPANISH PAELLA

ZUCCHINI FOCACCIA

 

APPLE BLUEBERRY COBBLER

Serves 4-6

5 to 6 firm tart cooking apples, such as Pippin, Granny Smith or Gravenstein,

peeled, cored and sliced (about 5 cups)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries, rinsed

Vanilla topping:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

3/4 cup cold buttermilk, plus additional drops, if necessary

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, like Cook's Cookie Vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon juice. Arrange fruit in shallow 9-inch square or oval ceramic or Pyrex baking dish. Dot top with butter. Cover loosely with foil. Place in hot oven 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare topping.

To prepare topping: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium mixing bowl or food processor. Cut in cold butter with fork or pulse in processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center; add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing until just evenly moistened and sticky; do not over-mix.

When apples have baked 30 minutes, remove from oven and remove foil. Add blueberries; stir once or twice to combine. Working quickly with a large spoon, drop dough by mounds over hot fruit. Leave some space between mounds. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until biscuit top is golden brown, puffy and firm to touch, and fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or room temperature with scoop vanilla ice cream.

APPLE STRUDEL

1/2 cup dark seedless raisins

2 Tbsp. brandy

2 cups apples, pared and thinly sliced (Granny Smith are great!)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 Tbsp. lemon peel, grated

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1/2 cup fine bread crumbs

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 Tbsp. brandy

6 sheets Athens(r) or Apollo(r) fillo dough

4 Tbsp. butter, melted powdered sugar for strudel top

Soak raisins in 2 Tbsp. of brandy about 2 hours. Combine raisin mixture, apples, walnuts, granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, lemon peel, cinnamon and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside.

In small skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter and stir in breadcrumbs. Cook until browned (but not too dark). In a small saucepan, heat apricot preserves over low heat until hot. Stir in 1 Tbsp. brandy.

Heat oven to 350°F. Layer fillo sheets on a linen-like kitchen towel, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Spread entire surface with hot apricot mixture; sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Spoon apple mixture along longest end of fillo in a 3" strip, leaving a 1/2" border. Using the towel for assistance, lift to roll fillo over filling to form a jelly roll. Place strudel seam side down on lightly buttered jelly roll pan. Brush with butter. Score strudel diagonally through the top few leaves into 12-15 equal sections. Bake at 350°F until strudel is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Cool slightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into servings.

Serves 12-15

APRICOT OR PLUM COBBLER

WITH LEMON SHORTBREAD TOPPING

Serves 6-8

About 2 pounds firm-ripe apricots or large red or black plums (such as Santa

Rosa or Friars), stoned and sliced into 6 to 8 wedge-like pieces

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar, or to taste, depending on sweetness of fruit

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup cold buttermilk, plus additional drops, if necessary

1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fruit in shallow 9-inch square or oval ceramic or Pyrex baking dish. Toss with lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture on fruit. Toss to combine. Set aside.

To make topping: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and salt in medium mixing bowl or food processor fitted with steel blade. Cut in butter with fork or by pulsing processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in center and add buttermilk, mixing until just evenly moistened and dough holds together in wet clumps; do not over-mix.

Using a large spoon, drop dough in clumps over fruit. Do not let dough touch sides of dish. With a metal spatula gently spread dough evenly over fruit (but not all the way to sides of dish) and sprinkle top with remaining tablespoon sugar.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 25 to 30 minutes, until shortbread is delicate golden brown and firm to touch, and fruit is bubbling. Remove from oven; let stand at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature the same day it is made, scooping out onto a dessert plate with fruit side up, with some heavy cream to pour over.

BAKED MOCHI

Makes 40 squares

1 16-ounce box mochiko (sweet rice flour)

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups water

1 12-ounce can coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Red or green food color

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add water and coconut milk gradually until well mixed. Add vanilla and a few drops of food color. Pour into greased 9- by 13-inch pan. Cover tightly with foil. Place pan in center of oven. Bake for one hour. Uncover and cool for several hours. Cut into 40 squares.

BASMATI RICE PUDDING WITH COCOA CUSTARD

Serves 10

Fudge custard:

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 1/4 cups evaporated skim milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup nonfat liquid egg substitute, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Rice pudding:

1/2 cup basmati rice

1 cup skim milk

1 1/4 cups evaporated skim milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegetable oil cooking spray

About 6 cups boiling water

For the custard, combine the cocoa powder and corn syrup in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Warm the evaporated milk and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Immediately pour over the cocoa mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in the liquid egg substitute and vanilla. Set aside.

For the pudding, combine the rice and skim milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender but not soft. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the evaporated milk, sugar and vanilla. Add the reserved cocoa custard and stir.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with the vegetable oil spray.

Add the pudding. Place baking dish into a deep baking pan large enough for the dish to sit flat on the bottom. Fill the pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the pudding has just set. Remove the pudding to a wire rack.

Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately in shallow bowls.

BEAN AND CUCUMBER PITAS

1 small cucumber -- seeded and chopped

8 ounces sour cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic -- pressed

3 (16 oz) cans navy beans, canned -- rinsed and drained

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup oats, rolled (raw)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary -- minced

6 pita bread rounds -- quartered

Stir together first 4 ingredients; cover and chill 2 hours.

Beat beans and next 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Spread on pita bread; top with cucumber sauce. 6 servings.

BLACKBERRY COBBLER

2 quarts (8 cups; 8 half-pint boxes) fresh blackberries

3/4 cup sugar

Topping

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups cold heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange fruit in a greased, shallow 9-by-13-inch rectangular baking dish or 10- to 12-inch oval ceramic gratin dish. Sprinkle sugar over fruit and toss to combine. Place fruit in oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare topping.

To prepare topping: Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in medium mixing bowl. Make well in center and add cream, stirring with fork until just evenly moistened and sticky; do not over-mix.

After berries have baked 20 minutes, remove from oven. Working quickly with a large spoon, drop dough by large mounds over hot fruit. Do not let dough touch sides of dish. Return dish to oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until topping is golden brown, firm to touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or room temperature with cold plain heavy cream poured over.

BORDELAISE SAUCE

(6 servings)

3 large Shallots, Minced

2/3 cup Dry Red Wine

Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

1 tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme

4 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Unbleached Flour

1 cup Brown Stock, Boiled Over High Heat Until Reduced To 2/3 Cup

2 tbsp Beef Marrow, Cubed, Poached 5 Minutes In Simmering Water To Cover,

And Drained

3 tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley

Here is a rich, delicious sauce for special occasions. Serve it with grilled steak or roast beef for a really elegant dining experience. Ask your butcher for the marrow; its rich flavor is indispensable to the recipe. This sauce can be prepared up to two days in advance. Before serving, rewarm over low heat until very hot.

Place the shallots, wine, salt and pepper, and thyme in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the liquid is reduced by one half. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve.

Melt 1 Tbls of the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, turn down the heat to low, and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Then pour in the stock and continue to simmer over low heat for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Stir in the reduced wine and marrow and cook several minutes longer. Remove from the heat, beat in the remaining butter and stir in the parsley. Check and correct the seasonings, if necessary and serve very hot.

From The Complete Book Of Sauces by Sallie Y. Williams yield: About 1 cup.

CARAWAY COLESLAW WITH HAM

3 cups finely shredded green cabbage

2 cups diced, pared, tart cooking apples

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup pitted ripe olives

1 cup cubed cooked ham

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp. caraway seed

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. finely chopped chives or green onion

In a large bowl, toss everything except the last ingredient, until all is well coated. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve with the chive or green onion as a garnish.

CHERRY ALMOND CAKE

Makes 8 servings

You can use Royal Ann cherries for this moist cake. The cherries will sink a little; if you like, you can add 2 additional tablespoons of flour to the batter to keep them afloat. The cake keeps well but is best eaten warm from the oven.

 

1 cup whole blanched almonds or slivered almonds

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick; see note)

3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound fresh cherries, pitted (21/2 cups)

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and line bottom with parchment. Flour sides.

In a food processor, coarsely chop almonds. Transfer 1/4 cup almonds to a bowl and reserve. Add flour, baking powder and salt to food processor. Process until remaining almonds are finely ground. Transfer to a bowl.

In food processor, cream butter with 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, blending fully after each addition. Add almond extract and vanilla.

Add half of flour mixture and pulse to blend. Add remaining flour mixture. Pulse until smooth. Scrape into prepared pan and place cherries on top in a single layer.

Mix reserved almonds with remaining 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and sprinkle around edge of cake. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Un-mold and let cool completely on a wire rack. Transfer to a cake plate. Dust top with powdered sugar.

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results.

-- From "The Best of Taste," Williams-Sonoma

CHERRY COBBLER

Serves 4-6

4 1/2 to 5 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Topping:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

3/4 cup cold heavy cream or half-and-half, plus additional drops, if necessary

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing

2 tablespoons sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fruit in shallow 9-inch square or oval ceramic or Pyrex baking dish. Stir together sugar, cornstarch, spices and zest. Toss fruit with lemon juice, then with sugar mixture. Dot top with cold butter.

To make topping: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium mixing bowl or food processor. Cut in cold butter with fork or by pulsing processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in center and add cream, mixing until just evenly moistened; do not over-mix. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With rolling pin, roll dough into 6-inch square, dusting top with flour as needed to keep pin from sticking. With sharp knife, cut dough into 12 rectangles, 2 inches by 1 1/2 inches.

Arrange biscuits side-by-side (``cobbled'') atop cherries in baking dish. It is OK if pattern is a bit uneven, but leave space around edges. Brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until biscuit top is golden brown, puffy, and firm to touch. Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream.

CHILLED ZUCCHINI MINT SOUP

Serves 6

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup diced onion

4 cups sliced zucchini

1 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs of mint to garnish

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups buttermilk

In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add zucchini and broth. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, until zucchini is soft.

Remove from heat and cool slightly. Process soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add chopped mint and salt; process to mix.

Pour soup into a large bowl; stir in buttermilk. Chill soup, covered, in refrigerator for several hours. Serve chilled, garnished with mint sprigs. Note: The soup must be eaten the day it is prepared or the bright green color will be lost.

CHOCOLATE NAPOLEON

18 sheets Athens(r) or Apollo(r) fillo dough

1/2 cup butter

cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar for dusting

2-1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare 32 napoleon diamonds following the instructions for Napoleons on our Shapes & Uses page. http://www.athens.com/recipes/napoleonshapes.html

Dust with cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar. Bake on greased cookie sheet in preheated 375°F oven for 8 minutes or until golden brown.

In medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of milk, vanilla and salt to a boil.

In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together. Add flour, whisk smooth and stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk. Whisk yolk mixture into hot milk, bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and mix in chocolate chips, allowing chocolate to melt completely. Strain through sieve into medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature. Assemble napoleons with 4 layers of fillo diamonds and 3 layers of chocolate cream. For decoration, place paper doily over top of fillo diamond, dust with confectioners' sugar and remove doily. Serve with warm Chocolate Sauce. (Recipe Below) Serves 8

CHOCOLATE SAUCE

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup (3 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

In small pan, bring cream to a simmer, remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, allowing chocolate to melt completely. Makes 1 cup

COBBLER INFORMATION

Perfect topping takes cobbler to the sublime

By Beth Hensperger, Special to the San Jose Mercury News

It's the top that makes the cobbler.

Though luscious summer fruit needs only the most minimal enhancement -- some sugar and maybe a bit of lemon juice -- it takes some thought and just a bit of skill to turn out a biscuit shortcake top that bakes up fluffy and tender, and is crusty golden brown.

Cobblers are a quintessential dessert of summer, showcasing berries, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples -- even tropical fruits such as papaya or mango. They are as good as fruit pies without all the labor.

Though similar to crisps, crumbles and other baked fruit desserts, a cobbler's defining characteristic is its top. The baking powder batter should be wetter than if you were making biscuits. It can be barely sweet, quite sweet or something in between. The dough can be simply dropped on top of the fruit, spread over it or rolled out into a solid shape and laid on top. This is a dessert that is meant to look homemade.

Whatever the topping, never completely cover the fruit layer with the dough. Leave enough space for the steam to evaporate out of the fruit during baking. The partially covered top will still act as a lid during baking, holding in enough steam to cook the fruit in its own juices.

Use one large 1 1/2-quart ceramic baking dish, or if you have little 6- to 8-ounce capacity baking dishes such as soufflé dishes, ovenproof bowls or pudding basins, make individual cobblers that are sure to impress despite their homey nature. (Be sure to place the little dishes on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch the drips during baking.)

Remember that cobblers tend to be juicy, rather than thickened like pies, and they are best served warm with a bit of heavy cream poured on top. The biscuit topping tends to get soggy as it sits, so cobblers are best eaten within a few hours after baking. COKE AND SOYA CHICKEN

6 Chicken Breasts (or leftover turkey), cubed

2 cups Coke

1/4 cup light soya sauce

1/4 cup dark soya sauce

1 tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Chinese 5 spice (available at any Asian food store)

1 green onion, sliced, including top

sliced ginger root or ground ginger to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced.

Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a large saucepan. Turn on medium-high heat and bring to boil. Add cubed chicken meat or leftover

turkey. Return to boil then reduce heat to Medium low. Simmer uncovered, stirring the chicken occasionally. Cook 30 - 40 minutes. Delicious served hot over rice. Also good cold, served with a tossed green salad.

COMPANY CHICKEN TORTILLAS

Filling:

2- cups chopped cooked Chicken (breast works best)

1- can Cream of Mushroom soup

1- small can Mushrooms

1/2- cup finely chopped Onion

1- 8 oz. carton Sour Cream

2- tsp. Salt

1/2- tsp. Black Pepper

1- pkg. large Flour Tortillas

Sauce:

1- can Cream of Chicken

1- 8 oz. carton Sour Cream

1- tsp. Salt

1/4- tsp. Black Pepper

2- cups shredded Colby/Jack or Cheddar Cheese

Prepare casserole pan(s) by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Fill

each tortilla with filling and roll up to lay side by side in casserole pan.

Drizzle sauce over prepared tortillas and top with shredded cheese. Bake at

375 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Serves 8 - 12.

COPYCAT COCONUT SHRIMP

1 cup flat beer

1 cup self-rising flour

2 cups sweetened coconut flakes (1 7-ounce package)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 jumbo shrimp

Paprika

Oil for frying

For marmalade sauce:

1/2 cup orange marmalade

2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Dash of salt

Use an electric mixer to combine beer, flour, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Devein shrimp and peel off shell back to the tail. Leave last segment of shell plus tailfins as a handle.

When beer batter is ready, preheat oil in a deep pot or deep fryer to about 350 degrees. Use enough oil to completely cover the shrimp. Pour remainder of coconut into a shallow bowl.

Be sure shrimp are dry before battering. Sprinkle each shrimp lightly with paprika before the next step.

Dip one shrimp at a time into batter, coating generously. Drop battered shrimp into coconut and roll around so it is well coated. Fry 4 shrimp at a time for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp become golden brown. You may have to turn shrimp halfway through cooking time. Drain on paper towels briefly.

To prepare marmalade sauce: Combine all ingredients. Serve shrimp with sauce on side.

CREAM OF ARTICHOKE SOUP

Serves 4 to 6

6 large artichokes

4 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts

3 tablespoons rice flour

6 tablespoons cold water

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon dry sherry

Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam or boil artichokes. Cool and remove leaves, scoop out and discard feathery choke and drop artichoke bottoms into a pot with the chicken stock.

Use only the artichoke bottoms for this recipe. (Eat the leaves with vinaigrette sauce, or scrape pulp off each leaf and add to stock.)

Toast hazelnuts in a 250-degree oven for 10 minutes until golden brown. Crush very finely in a food processor. Add nuts to stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer artichoke bottoms and nuts 30 minutes.

Puree mixture in a food processor.

Return puree to pot. Mix rice flour with water. Stir into soup and gradually bring to a boil, stirring constantly to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cream and sherry, season to taste. Serve immediately.

DESSERT BAKLAVA

1-1/2 pounds of walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

40 sheets Athens(r) or Apollo(r) fillo dough

1 cup butter, melted

Combine walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves.

Brush a 12" x 17" baking pan with butter. Place 10 buttered fillo sheets on bottom. Sprinkle with 1/3 of walnut mixture. Place 7 more buttered fillo sheets on top, then 1/3 more walnut mixture, top with another 7 buttered fillo sheets and rest of walnuts. Finish baklava with another 16 fillo sheets and brush with remaining butter.

With a very sharp knife, score fillo into 1-1/2" diamonds or squares. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. Pour warm syrup evenly over baklava. Makes 88 pieces

Baklava Syrup:

2 1/2 cups Sugar

1 3/4 cups Water

1 Orange's rind; finely grate

1 Lemon's rind; finely grated

5 Whole cloves

1 Cinnamon stick

1 cup Honey

Syrup: Combine sugar, water, orange and lemon rinds, cloves and cinnamon stick in saucepan. Bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes to thicken the syrup slightly. Remove from heat. Discard spices. Stir in honey. Cool at room temperature. Allow to stand overnight before serving. Pour over hot baklava.

DESSERT BLUEBERRIES IN ARMAGNAC SYRUP

Makes 3 pints

Armagnac, the "other" great brandy of France, can be replaced by cognac if you wish, or another fine-quality domestic brandy.

 

2 pint baskets ripe blueberries, either wild or cultivated (about 6 cups)

3 cups water

2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Sort the blueberries, discarding any that are damaged or overripe, then rinse and drain well. Divide the berries among 3 hot, clean pint canning jars, shaking them down as you go so they are lightly packed; leave 1/2-inch head space. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of Armagnac, according to taste, into each jar.

Boil the water and sugar together in a large saucepan, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Fill the jars with the syrup, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Remove any air bubbles by running a long, narrow plastic handle or wooden skewer between the fruit and the sides of the jar, then add more syrup if necessary. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lids. Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (20 minutes at 1,001 to 3,000 feet; 25 minutes at 3,001 to 6,000 feet; 30 minutes above 6,000 feet

EVERYTHING COOKIES

 

3/4 cup Shortening

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 cup Sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cup flour

2 cup oatmeal

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

12 oz. chocolate chips

 

Cream shortening and peanut butter with the sugars until light, add eggs and vanilla. Sir in flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and baking powder. Fold in the chips and shape into walnut sized balls. Bake on un-greased baking sheets at 350 degrees until lightly browned. Wait a minute or two before removing from baking sheet. Makes about 4 dozen cookies

 

FILET OF SOLE WRAPPED IN PHYLLO

WITH PORTABELLA BUTTER SAUCE

(a recipe in three parts)

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, coarsely chopped

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 tbsp. fresh dill weed, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 lbs. file of sole or other firm white fish

1 tbsp. white wine

20 sheets Athens(r) fillo dough

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Place shrimp in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add the eggs and whipping cream, puree until smooth. Stir in dill weed, salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Portion fish into 8 equal pieces, sprinkle with white wine and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

Crepes:

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 cups flour, all-purpose

pinch of salt

Place all ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth. Lightly grease an 8" non-stick skillet and pour batter in until it just covers bottom of skillet to form a thin layer. Tilt pan to spread batter evenly for each crêpe. Cook over medium heat until firm. Cool crêpes. Spread shrimp puree on crepes, place fish on shrimp purée and wrap so fish is enclosed.

Layer 5 fillo sheets, brushing each with melted butter, continue with remaining sheets. Cut width of layered fillo in half. Place crepe on fillo about 5 inches from end 1/2" from each side. Start rolling from edge containing filling. Once filling is enclosed, fold over exposed edges. Continue rolling to end of fillo strip. Brush outside with butter.

Bake rolls seam side down, at least 1" apart, on ungreased cookie sheet or baking pan in preheated 375°F oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

Portabella Butter Sauce

1-cup vegetable broth

1-1/2 cups whipping cream

1 stick butter, cubed

2 tbsp. portabella mushrooms, julienne cut

salt and pepper to taste

In a 1-qt. saucepan combine vegetable broth and whipping cream, bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Serves 8

FREEZING FRUIT INFORMATION

Try 3 methods to freeze fruit

By Natalie Haughton, Los Angeles Daily News

In the middle of summer, it's hard to imagine running short of fresh, ripe fruit -- particularly in California, which produces a majority of the nation's strawberries, peaches, nectarines and plums.

But the peak of the season, when prices are low and supply is high, is the perfect time to plan ahead and freeze fresh fruit for the long winter months ahead.

Just about any fruit is suitable for freezing, whether it's whole, sliced, cut up or pureed. There are just a few tips to remember: Freeze at peak season when flavor is optimal, and be aware that the higher the water content of the fruit, the mushier it will be when it thaws.

Here's a guide to help you make summer's fruit last:

Maximum freezing time ranges from six to 12 months, depending on your freezer. Fruit can't be frozen as long in refrigerator-freezer combination units as it can in stand-alone freezers. And it loses quality faster in frost-free freezers.

Fruits should be fully ripened but still firm. Prepare small amounts -- two to three quarts -- at a time and work quickly. Freeze the fruit immediately after it is prepared. For tips on how to freeze specific fruits, see below.

There are three common ways to freeze fruit: unsweetened (dry pack), sweetened or in a sugar syrup.

Prevent discoloration

To prevent fruit from darkening with exposure to air, you may need to treat it with ascorbic acid, which can be found at drugstores in powdered, crystallized or tablet form, or at supermarkets in ascorbic acid-based products designed for home preservation. For dry and sugar packs, dissolve the acid in water and sprinkle it over the fruit before packing. If you're using syrup, add the acid to the syrup.

Dry pack: This method works particularly well with berries, grapes, figs and melons. Simply fill plastic freezer bags with prepared unsweetened fruit. Seal tightly, label and freeze.

Sugar pack: Fruit that you plan to use for fillings, pies or jams is often best packed in sugar. Most fruits, with the exception of those listed above, will have better flavor if packed with sugar. To sugar pack, sprinkle fruit with sugar and mix carefully to coat, allowing sugar to dissolve. Fill freezer containers, label and freeze.

Syrup pack: This method is best for fruit that you plan to use for non-baked desserts. Prepare a thin, medium or heavy sugar syrup, (see proportions below) allowing 1 to 1 1/2 cups per quart of fruit. Fill freezer containers about one-third full with syrup. Add fruit to within 1 inch of top. Add more syrup, if necessary, to cover fruit. Press a small piece of plastic wrap or foil on top of the fruit to submerge in syrup and hold fruit in place. Remove plastic or foil. Seal, label and freeze.

Thinner version

To make 3 1/2 cups of a thin or light sugar syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 3 cups water in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Chill before using.

For 2 1/2 cups medium sugar syrup, use 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water.

And for heavy syrup, use 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, which yields 1 1/2 cups syrup.

When it's time to use your frozen fruit, thaw it at room temperature or submerge the freezer container in cold water. Use the fruit while it's still icy. And remember: If the fruit was frozen with sugar, adjust your recipes accordingly.

Tricks of the trade for freezing fresh fruits

Here are directions for freezing specific types of fruit, using plastic freezer bags or rigid containers.

Apricots: Rinse, leave whole or halve and pit. If not peeled, dip in boiling water 30 seconds to keep skins from toughening. Submerge in cool water; drain. Mix 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid (dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water, if desired) and 1/2 cup sugar with each quart of fruit. Pack apricots and liquid in bags or containers and press down, leaving 1/2-to 1-inch head space.

Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries): Rinse gently and drain well. To dry pack, spread berries on trays and freeze until solid, then transfer to bags or containers. To pack in sugar, mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar into each quart of berries.

Cherries, sweet: Rinse, stem and pit. To pack in sugar, mix 2/3 cup sugar per quart of cherries. Pack, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Or freeze in a medium sugar syrup with 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of fruit. You can also tray-freeze cherries whole, with pits.

Figs: Rinse fully ripe fruit. Remove stems and dry pack.

Grapes: Rinse and stem. Leave seedless grapes whole and pop into freezer bags. Or pack halved and seeded grapes in medium or light sugar syrup.

Mangoes: Rinse and peel. Slice or cut into pieces, avoiding flesh near pit. Mix 5 to 6 cups fruit with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid until sugar dissolves. Pack, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Or use any style sugar syrup with 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of syrup.

Melons: Cut in half; remove seeds and peel. Cut into cubes, slices or balls. Dry pack.

Peaches and nectarines: Do not peel nectarines. To peel peaches, dip in boiling water 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, then plunge into cold water and slip off skins. Slice or cut in half. Mix with 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid and 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar per quart of fruit until sugar dissolves. Or dry pack.

Pears: Peel, halve or quarter, and core. Heat in boiling medium or heavy sugar syrup for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid for each quart syrup. Cool. Pack fruit and syrup in containers.

Pineapple: Peel; remove eyes and cores. Cut into wedges, cubes, sticks or thin slices; or crush. Dry pack, leaving some head space. Or pack in sugar, mixing 1 cup sugar per 2 quarts fruit.

Plums: Rinse and dry well. Leave whole, halve or quarter. Use dry pack, a sugar pack with 3/4 cup sugar per quart of fruit or medium syrup with 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of syrup.

Rhubarb: Rinse and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Dry pack, freeze in medium syrup, or use a sugar pack of 1 cup per quart of fruit.

FRESH PESTO PASTA SALAD

1 (16-ounce) package small shell pasta

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon seasoned pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, pressed

3/4 cup olive oil

1 cup chopped fresh basil

1 (3-ounce) package shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Garnishes: gourmet mixed baby salad greens; grape tomatoes; small, yellow

pear-shaped tomatoes

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Whisk together vinegar

and next 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Add vinaigrette to pasta. Add basil, cheese, and pine nuts; toss to combine. Garnish, if desired. Serves 8

 

 

 

 

FRIED ONION RINGS

from JOHNNY ROCKET'S

Notes: Johnny Rocket's has to be one of the best places to get a burger. We are talking old fashioned delicious food. These onion rings are no exception.

1 Medium Yellow Sweet Onion (sliced 1/3 " thick)

2 Eggs (beaten)

1/4 cup Water

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 cup Cracker Meal

Peanut Oil (for deep frying)

Mix egg with water, set aside. Mix cracker meal with salt and set aside. Heat oil for deep frying. Dip each sliced onion ring in egg mixture, coat with cracker crumbs. Place in egg mixture again, and coat second time with cracker crumbs and carefully place onion ring in hot oil and fry until lightly golden. Remove from oil and drain. www.copykat.com

GARDEN PESTO

3 cups fresh basil leaves

4 to 6 garlic cloves

1/2 cup pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 to 3 tablespoons shredded Romano cheese

2/3 cup olive oil

Process basil and garlic in a food processor until chopped. Add pine nuts and cheeses, and process until blended, stopping to scrape down sides. With processor running, pour oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream; process until smooth. Chill up to 5 days, if desired. Makes 1 cup

Pesto keeps well in the freezer for 6 to 9 months.

GINGER VANILLA FLOAT

1 serving.

2 scoops (about 1/3 cup each) vanilla ice cream

Chilled ginger ale or ginger beer

Squeeze of fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons lightly sweetened whipped cream

1 tablespoon toasted shredded coconut (see note)

Lime slice, for garnish

Place ice cream in a tall 16-ounce glass. Fill with ginger ale.

Add a squeeze of lime juice; stir. Top with whipped cream and coconut. Garnish with lime slice. Serve immediately, with straws and a spoon.

Note: To toast coconut, heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a baking sheet with sides. Bake in the center of the oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring often. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

Pastry chefs at Farallon restaurant in San Francisco created the ginger vanilla float.

GRILLED CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN BURRITO

1 cup dried black beans

5 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted

1 medium onion, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

4 yellow bell peppers, roasted

4 red bell peppers, roasted

8 4 oz. Chicken b-r-e-a-s-t-s, grilled

20 sheets Athens or Apollo fillo dough

1/2 cup butter

3 cups grated Pepperjack cheese

Place beans, broth, cumin, onion, salt and pepper into 3-quart saucepan and bring slowly to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat about 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Chill. Peel and seed roasted peppers. Cut in half.

Cut grilled chicken b-r-e-a-s-t-s in julienne strips. Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare 8 medium fillo rolls according to the directions for Rolls or Strudels on our Shapes & Uses page.

http://www.athens.com/recipes/strudelshapes.html

Place 1 red pepper half on fillo, top with 3 tablespoons of beans then 3 tablespoons of cheese. Place 1 julienned chicken b-r-e-a-s-t on cheese and top with another 2 tablespoons cheese then 3 more tablespoons of beans. Place yellow pepper half on beans and roll up fillo.

Brush outside of each roll with butter and place seam side down on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with salsa. Serves 8

 

 

GRILLED CITRUS SCALLOPS

 

1 lb. fresh jumbo sea scallops (approx. 15 scallops)

4 twelve-inch wooden skewers (soaked in water overnight)

1 tsp. grated orange peel

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. grated ginger root

1 clove garlic, minced, or more, if desired

 

Soak the skewers in water overnight - or at least 4 hours, so they don't catch fire on the grill.

Stir together peel, juice, ginger, soy sauce, and garlic, then pour over scallops. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat grill. Drain scallops, thread onto skewers. Grill over medium-high heat for 2-2 1/2 minutes, turn and cook another 2-2 1/2 minutes longer. Serve along with this rice and grilled vegetables, a small salad and some crusty bread.

HAMBURGER SUPREME

2 pounds Lean Ground Beef

1 can Cream of Chicken soup

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 can Cream of Celery soup

7 ounces Croutons, seasoned

Pack hamburger into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Mix soups with croutons and

spread mixture over meat. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, 15 minutes.

To freeze for later use, cover tightly in foil, label and freeze for up to six months. To cook, thaw overnight in refrigerator, and bake according to above instructions.

HAYSTACK CUPCAKES

8 cupcakes

3 cups shredded coconut, ground

2/3 cup sugar

3 egg whites

6 tablespoons cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Dash salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine coconut, 1/3 cup of the sugar and 1 egg white in top of double boiler. Cook over boiling water until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into coconut mixture, then stir in almond extract. Beat remaining two egg whites until foamy. Beat in remaining 1/3 cup sugar gradually and continue beating until soft peaks form when beater is lifted. Fold whites into coconut mixture. Spoon batter into eight paper liners in muffin pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

HOT DOG INFORMATION

Undisputed champion of American culinary symbolism: The hot dog

TED BENSON, THE SACRAMENTO BEE

 

Draped in the flag, a patriotic wiener 'douses' himself with condiments at the hot-dog-on-a-stick stand at last month's San Joaquin County Fair.

July 17, 2002 Posted: 05:20:10 AM PDT

Let's be frank.

If nothing else, Americans are dog lovers -- hot dog lovers.

And these are the dog days of summer -- the hot dog daze.

It is one of our guilty pleasures: the mongrel meal that is a sliver of Americana, the simple sausage that symbolizes one aspect of our nation -- scraps and wretched refuse coming together in a spirited, sometimes spicy, blend that somehow works.

So, here is a 21-bun salute to the great American "tube steak."

This rather lowly meal -- processed meat in a soft roll with a squirt or two of mustard or ketchup -- inspires passionate loyalty.

To arrive at the hot dog, we borrowed heavily from Germans and ancient civilizations -- Homer alluded to sausages in the ninth-century-B.C. epic "The Odyssey" -- adopted it and made it our own.

Like many of our other cultural touchstones, hot dogs come wrapped in delicious morsels of myth, packed in fierce loyalty.

They reflect both our unity and diversity; everyone knows about them, but no one can agree on how to dress them. Mustard? Relish? Chili?

Hot dogs are closely associated with another of our institutions: baseball. Like the national pastime, hot dogs recall simpler times. Rick Sebak wrote, narrated and produced the PBS television special "A Hot Dog Program" three years ago, traveling across the country to sample the best hot dogs.

He called them "the most democratic of places," where class distinctions vanish like so much steam. "There are no snobs waiting in line at a hot dog cart," he said. "Nobody's better than you are. It's the great leveler."

Indeed, everyone eats hot dogs -- and at the famous Pink's hot dog stand on La Brea Boulevard in Hollywood, they rub elbows.

"Melanie Griffith waits in line just like regular people," co-owner Richard Pink said.

Pink's is also where Orson Welles ate 18 hot dogs in one sitting, where Bill Cosby once walked in and ordered 13 hot dogs to go, where Bruce Willis proposed to Demi Moore, where you can still get a chili dog at 3 a.m. on a Saturday (for $2.40).

"The hot dog is an American symbol," Richard Pink said, "And maybe because of baseball, it has become the American food."

Urban myth

Janet Riley, a spokesperson for the Hot Dog Council, which is a branch of the American Meat Institute, said that what's in a hot dog is "one of the great urban legends in America."

Most people, she said, likely get hung up on the phrase "variety meats," which appears on labels for hot dogs containing hearts and other animal organs.

Like hamburgers, hot dogs are ground-up trimmings after other beef cuts are extracted, though hot dogs also come from pork and poultry.

"There are no surprises in hot dogs," Riley said. "I feel very good about them."

Sebak said the content issue "used to be far more of a scary subject. People used to think that everything you didn't want to eat is in a hot dog. They've come a long way from the early 20th century, when all these rumors started to fly."

Just how the hot dog got its name also is an urban legend.

Both Frankfurt and Coburg, Germany, as well as Vienna, Austria -- its European name is Wien, hence wieners -- claim to be the birthplace of the hot dog, around 1850. When German immigrants brought them to America in the late 1800s, they were called frankfurters, wieners and even dachshund sausages, after the long thin member of the dog family.

The story goes that they started being called hot dogs after newspaper cartoonist Tad Dorgan, on deadline at a baseball game at the old Polo Grounds in New York in 1901, hastily drew a picture of vendors who often called out "get your red-hot dachshund sausages" during games. Not knowing how to spell dachshund, Dorgan shortened the caption to "get your hot dogs."

However, historians note the cartoon has never been found, and others point to evidence that "hot dogs" was a popular phrase at Yale University in the 1890s.

Others believe that hot dogs predate the Germans, noting Homer's allusion. Some have traced them back to Babylon.

"All food history is written in Jell-O," Sebak said. "But it's fun to speculate. To think that people in the Middle Ages weren't wrapping sausages in bread is probably a little naive. And there were probably Roman hot dogs."

Around the country

What is known is that style and toppings are sacred.

New Yorkers and Chicagoans are the most fervent about their dogs, Riley said. In New York and New England, kosher dogs are preferred, with steamed onions. Chicagoans put more toppings on their dogs -- eight or more -- and they must come on a steamed poppy-seed bun with fresh onions. Chicago also is a mustard town.

Down South, redder and spicier dogs called "red hots" are the rage, and cole slaw is a popular topping.

In Texas, corn dogs are king. In Milwaukee, the bratwurst, a close but spicier sausage relative of the hot dog, rules.

"America is such a blend of peoples -- and hot dogs are a reflection of that," concessionaire Chuck Banicki said.

Sebak saw the variations firsthand in his hot dog journey across the land. He ate hot dogs on the streets of Anchorage at the start of the Iditarod dog-sled race, went to the annual July 4 hot dog eating contest at New York's Coney Island, and had a half-pound hot dog -- which some have dubbed the "baby arm" hot dog -- at the Slots-A-Fun casino on the Las Vegas strip.

The Vegas hot dog, he said, wasn't stellar, but that wasn't the point. "It's not great, but the scene is wonderful," Sebak said. "It's cool that they came up with this quirky idea. It works, because everyone's a little goofy in Vegas."

Similarly, ballpark franks aren't the best, but you're biting into something more than meat.

"Hot dogs taste better at a baseball game because you are not just tasting the hot dog and the bun, you are tasting the ballpark and an American tradition," he said.

For the record, the best hot dog Sebak had was at the Super Duper Weenie stand in Fairfield, Conn. Sebak, a self-proclaimed hot dog lover, marveled at the stand's hand-cut relish and sweet buns made fresh at a nearby Portuguese bakery.

Sebak's California stop was at Pink's, where he was impressed with the Mexican flavor to hot dogs, offerings on tortillas and topped with sour cream, guacamole and the like.

"We really loved that," he said. "It really said California to us."

Common links

Americans eat about 20 billion hot dogs every year, the Hot Dog Council estimates. Laid end to end, they would circle the globe at the equator 80 times. Though elbowed out on some grills by steaks, burgers, chicken and tri-tip, hot dogs remain a top 10 lunch-dinner entree, Riley said.

At Pink's, where they offer 21 different varieties, Richard Pink sells about 500,000 every year. The chili dog remains the top seller. More Hollywood morsels:

Pink's has been the site of an Aerosmith video.

Tom Hanks stocks all his movie-wrap parties from Pink's.

When Sandra Bullock brought her nephew by, she refused an offer of hot dog freebies, saying she wanted to pay and show her nephew what it's like to be a normal person, Pink said.

On the Fourth of July, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan broke his own world record -- by half a dog -- when he ate 50 1/2 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes at the hot dog-eating contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Sebak called it "absolutely staggering." He was there in 1998, when the winner did a mere 21. Sebak called being there "the quintessential American experience" and "the best of All-American looniness."

Fun, easy to make, easy for kids to eat, the hot dog endures. You don't have to be a kitchen genius to figure them out.

As with tales about gunslingers in the Old West, indulging in a hot dog is taking a bite into the American story.

Chew on this ...

Americans ate more than 20 billion hot dogs last year (yes, 20,000,000,000 -- or about 70 hot dogs each).

During July, which is National Hot Dog Month, the tally is 2 billion. The No. 1 day is July 4, when we eat 150 million hot dogs.

Los Angeles is the top city for grocery store sales: 36.6 million pounds. New York was second at 33.3 million pounds; Chicago third at 20.5 million pounds.

Americans will eat 26.3 million hot dogs at baseball stadiums this year. Dodger Stadium sells the most, 1.5 million. Others: 2. Jacob's Field (Cleveland), 1.1 million. 3. The Ball Park (Arlington, Texas), 990,000. 4. Edison Field (Anaheim), 980,000. 5. Fenway Park (Boston), 872,500.

A list of hot dog do's and don'ts at www.hot-dog.org includes such gems as "always dress the dog, not the bun" and the all-important rule, "Don't put ketchup on your hot dog after age 18."

(National Hot Dog & Sausage Council spokeswoman Janet Riley meant the list as a spoof of Emily Post, but that's not how it went over. "I got e-mails from people just livid that I told them what they could put on their hot dog," she said.)

Americans prefer fattier franks. Low-fat and fat-free hot dogs such as veggie dogs and tofu dogs made a big splash when they were introduced about a decade ago, but they now represent only 10 percent to 15 percent of the market.

Mustard is the favorite topping, favored by 30 percent of Americans. Ketchup is next at 22 percent, followed by chili at 12 percent and relish at 10 percent.

The average hot dog has 13 to 17 grams of fat and 150 to 190 calories.

Source: National Hot Dog & Sausage Council

ICED TEA

1. Put four family size bags Lipton's Tea (for one gallon of tea) into a 4 cup microwave safe cup or container.

2. Add cold water until it's about 3/4 inch from the top of the container.

3. Microwave on high 4 - 4 1/2 minutes. DO NOT REMOVE FROM THE MICROWAVE! (liquids can seem stable, but when jostled can bubble over causing scalding)

4. Let steep (in the microwave) for about 5 minutes.

5. Pour into serving pitcher, squeezing tea bags with the back of a spoon, and add cool water to make one gallon.

** 6. If desired, add about 3/4 cup of sugar, stirring to dissolve, before adding the cool water. Do not refrigerate the tea, but pour it over ice at each time of use.

That is a rather strong tea, but the proportions can be adjusted to suit your taste.

When diluted with ice cubes, it is not as strong, of course, and you can consider

that when adding ice cubes. You can also add a small can of frozen lemonade

to your tea, if you wish. Keep in mind that lemonade has **sugar in it, so don't add sugar as in Item 6 without tasting it with the lemonade in it. (A sprig of fresh mint is good when the lemonade is added.)

INDIVIDUAL BEEF WELLINGTON

4 1-1/2" to 2" thick slices of filet of beef

Butter (or margarine)

Salt and pepper

12 sheets of Athens(r) or Apollo(r) fillo dough

1/4 cup melted butter

1 egg beaten well

Duxelles (see ingredients below)

Sauté filets in butter in very hot skillet, approximately 2-3 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let cool completely. May be prepared in advance. Now prepare Duxelles, which also can be prepared in advance.

1-1/2 pounds mushrooms

2 medium onions or 8 shallots

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Few drops of fresh squeezed lemon

Salt and pepper

2-3 tablespoons butter

Clean and trim stems of mushrooms. Chop very fine (or grate) mushrooms. Wrap in towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Heat butter and lightly brown chopped onions or shallots. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice and stir over high heat until all moisture has completely evaporated. Stir in chopped parsley. Set aside and let cool completely.

Place first sheet of fillo on damp cloth, brush with melted butter. Place second sheet directly over first sheet and brush with melted butter. Add the third sheet. Place one filet in the middle of the dough and spread 1/4 of the Duxelles over the top of the filet. Fold in sides of dough and wrap like a package, making sure that filet is completely covered. Seal seams with cold water. Repeat for every piece of beef. Place all on a tray or cookie sheet, seams down. Brush each filet with well beaten egg and bake in preheated 375° F oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 4

LOBSTER AND CORN TRIANGLE

4 quarts water

3 tablespoons salt

Juice of 1 lemon

3 1 1/4 pound lobsters

3 ears corn

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups lobster stock (from cooking lobsters)

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (Chinese parsley)

salt and pepper to taste

12 sheets Athens or Apollo phyllo dough

6 tablespoons butter

Bring water, salt and lemon juice to a boil. Add 1 lobster and boil for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Repeat for 2 remaining lobsters.

Crack lobsters open and remove meat. Leave claws whole for garnish. Dice tail meat.

Cook corn in lobster stock for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Cut kernels from ears. Reserve 6 tablespoons corn for garnish. Strain stock and reserve 2 cups.

In medium saucepan, melt butter, add onions and peppers and cook slowly about 5 to 7 minutes or until soft. Add flour to vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in 2 cups of reserved lobster stock. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Add diced lobster, corn, cilantro, salt and pepper, stirring gently. Cool.

Prepare 6 large phyllo triangles, according to the directions for Triangles on our Shapes & Uses page.

http://www.athens.com/recipes/triangleshapes.html

Use 1/4 cup of filing for each triangle. Brush with butter and place seam side down on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed.

Prepare lime-cilantro vinaigrette according to following directions. Spoon warm vinaigrette on plate. Place hot triangles on top. Garnish with corn kernels and reheated lobster claw. Serves 6

LOOSE MEAT SANDWICH

MAID-RITE(r)

It's been an Iowa tradition since 1926 and one of our long-time requested items at TSR. Even TV comedienne Roseanne and her Iowa native ex-husband Tom Arnold spoke many salivating praises of Maid-Rites when they shared a home together in the state. There are now 83 Maid-Rite stores located throughout Iowa and seven other Midwestern states. Although the sandwich is not much more than a traditional hamburger with the ground beef arranged uncompressed on the bun, the product has a huge cult following. And since the meat is loose, the sandwich is served with a spoon for scooping up the ground beef that will inevitably fall out. This Top Secret Recipe isn't so much about ingredients as it is about technique. You want to be sure to chop the ground beef thoroughly as it cooks so that you get tiny rice-size pieces. Then when you build your sandwich, you firmly press the beef into a 1/2-cup measuring cup. Dump the meat onto the bottom of plain hamburger bun; add your choice of mustard, onions, and pickles; ready a spoon, and dig in.

1 pound ground beef

1/4 teaspoon salt

dash ground black pepper

4 plain hamburger buns

yellow mustard

minced onion

dill pickle slices

1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-low heat. As the meat cooks use a wooden spoon (or a potato masher) to chop the meat into fine, rice-size pieces. Drain fat.

2. Add salt and pepper and continue to stir over low heat for 5 more minutes.

3. Build each sandwich by pressing the hot ground beef into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Dump the meat onto the bottom of a plain hamburger bun. Add mustard on the top bun, along with pickles and minced onion if desired. Top off the sandwich, then heat it up in your microwave oven for 10 to 15 seconds to warm the buns. Serve with a spoon as they do in the restaurants. Makes 4 sandwiches. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)

OBON FESTIVAL INFORMATION

Obon festivals offer best of Japanese cuisine

Posted on Wed, Jul. 17, 2002, By Sharon Noguchi, San Jose Mercury News

Midsummer is Obon festival time for Japanese-Americans, a celebration honoring sushi, teriyaki chicken and udon noodles.

Well, not really. But the annual festival is so tied now to food that before I understood its significance, I associated it with good things to eat.

Obon is a Buddhist holiday, born from a legend about, ironically, hunger. It's the second-most-important holiday in Japan after New Year's Day, a time to reflect on and appreciate our ancestors for their sacrifices and hard work that benefited their children.

The story goes back two millenniums to the days of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha. One of his disciples, Mogallana, had a horrible vision of his late mother, emaciated in the realm of hungry demons. Any food or drink she touched burst into flames.

She had been condemned to suffer as punishment for her greed and desire while on Earth. Although she had been a loving mother, providing for her child had come at the expense of others.

When the desperate Mogallana sought help, the Buddha advised him to make an offering to his fellow monks, and conduct a service to express their gratitude to his mother and parents of seven past generations. In this way, Mogallana alleviated the suffering of his mother and all other parents.

It is said that the happy and thankful monks then danced for joy -- the origin of Bon odori (Obon dancing).

Traditionally, Obon (pronounced oh-bohn) is the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. In the United States, Obon has evolved into a series of festivals at Buddhist temples. As the major fundraising source for Japanese-American Jodo-Shinshu sect Buddhist temples, Obon bazaars feature Japanese dancing, ikebana and bonsai displays, martial arts and other cultural demonstrations, lectures, game booths, flower sales and, of course, food.

In Japan, people travel to ancestral homes, visit the cemetery and relax with family. Here, people travel to other temples' dining halls, and reconnect with family and childhood friends over plates of beef teriyaki, chirashizushi (sushi in a sort of salad form), manju (bean cakes), and hamburgers and hot dogs, too.

To minimize competition, the festivals are held on different weekends. Teenagers, foodies and other bazaar-hoppers know that the second weekend in July belongs to the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin (last week's festival marked the San Jose church's 100th anniversary), and the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church in Union City; the third weekend is for Mountain View; and the first weekend in August is Palo Alto's.

In the days before Japanese food went mainstream and restaurants proliferated, this was important to remember if you needed a fix of makizushi.

Sadly, with an aging membership and the challenges of feeding several thousand people, many temples have scaled back their food booths or changed the menu.

Now that we can buy outlandish sushi combos in the grocery deli section, Obon festivals of the future may be able to get by with, say, Buffalo chicken wings and corn dogs.

After all, one child I know says the best thing about the Obon bazaar is the French fries.

In the neighborhood, the smoky smell of teriyaki barbecue will lead you to an Obon bazaar. Some cooks, like Southern barbecue chefs, guard their recipes like a top secret, but good teriyaki is not hard to make. And no festival is complete without sweets. Many temples sell bean cakes, make with a sweet bread-like dough. Mochi, made with rice flour, doesn't keep well or pack easily, because of the stickiness. But it's a kids' favorite.

PASTA WITH GARLIC AND BASIL

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

10 - 15 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped prosciutto or

other salt-cured ham

6 - 8 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 - 1 1/2 lbs (450 - 675 g) cut pasta such as penne, ziti,

or rigatoni, cooked according to the package directions

1 cup (250 ml) coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold the cooked pasta over moderate heat. Sauté the garlic and ham until the garlic is a deep golden brown. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Drain the pasta when it is tender but firm (al dente) and add to the sauce. Add the basil and toss the pasta in the sauce, adding a little of the pasta water if the sauce is too dry. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 to 6. Bon appetit from the Chef at World Wide Recipes

PASTA WITH THREE HERB PESTO

3 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh parsley sprigs

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves

2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted (nuts are optional)

1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 cups mixed hot cooked pasta (such as farfalle, penne, and shells)

Place first 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute; process until well-blended. Toss with pasta. Serves 6

PEANUT NOODLES WITH CHICKEN

4 servings

8 ounces fettucine

2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)

2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2/3 cup water

1/3 cup natural-style peanut butter

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Combine chicken and bell peppers in a colander. Drain pasta over chicken mixture; let stand 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; add garlic and ginger. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently; add water, peanut butter, hoisin sauce, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring with a whisk. Combine pasta mixture and sauce in a large bowl; toss to coat. Stir in onions and cilantro.

 

PESTO GAZPACHO

2-4 servings

2 large cloves garlic

3 cups firmly packed fresh basil

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (or soy alternative)

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup pine nuts

3 tomatoes, peeled

1 sweet green pepper, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

3 sprigs parsley

3 cups vegetable broth

Croutons, for garnish

Combine the garlic, basil, cheese and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until well chopped, but not smooth.

Add the pine nuts and pulse several times to break up pine nuts. Pesto should be chunky, not smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and set aside.

Combine all remaining ingredients except the croutons in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

To serve, transfer soup to bowls. Top the gazpacho with several tablespoons of pesto and a handful of croutons.

PLUM CHUTNEY

Makes about 3 cups

2 small dried chilies

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 pounds plums, seeded, quartered and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

6 cloves garlic, mashed to a pulp

2 (1-inch) cubes fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

Tie chilies and mustard seeds in a muslin packet or place in a tea ball. Combine all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel or enameled pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low, keeping mixture at a high simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until chutney takes on consistency of a thick jam -- about 40-45 minutes. To avoid sticking, reduce heat as mixture thickens.

Remove chutney from heat and allow to cool and thicken even more. Ladle into sterile glass jars and store in refrigerator. Will keep for several months.

PLUM FRANGIPANE TART

Serves 9

Pastry:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cool but not chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of finely ground sea salt

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Frangipane:

1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced natural almonds

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Topping:

7 ripe, tart plums (about 12 ounces)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Confectioners' sugar for garnish

To prepare pastry: In a medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar, about 2 minutes. Break egg into a cup, mix thoroughly and measure out 2 1/2 tablespoons, discarding remainder. Beat egg into butter mixture with vanilla and salt just until blended. Scrape bowl. On low speed, add flour all at once and mix just until ingredients are moistened. Do not over-mix.

Turn dough onto an un-floured work surface. Quickly finish combining ingredients by smearing small amounts away from you. Using a scraper, gather dough together. Form into a flat disk about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to an 11 1/2-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Center dough in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Press gently into pan. Trim dough flush with top of pan. Press dough against sides of pan so it barely rises over edge. Prick bottom with a fork; freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven.

Line crust with aluminum foil. Fill shell with about 2 cups pie weights or dried beans. Bake about 15 minutes, until edges are set. Reduce temperature to 350; continue baking until pastry is golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

To make frangipane: In a food processor fitted with chopping blade, process almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar until nuts are ground to a powder. In a small bowl, beat butter with remaining sugar until light. Beat in almond mixture with egg and extract. Spread frangipane in cooled pastry shell.

To prepare plums: Quarter plums lengthwise; remove and discard pits. Arrange quarters, skin side down, in a pattern over frangipane. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake about 40 minutes, until frangipane is puffed and golden and plums are tender when pierced with tip of a knife. If tart browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.

Cool on wire rack. Dust top with sifted confectioners' sugar. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.

PLUM INFORMATION

Plums' complex flavor is as sophisticated as wine

By Aleta Watson, San Jose Mercury News

Pity the poor plum.

Its tart, mouth-puckering skin turns off many of the same people who lust after its stone fruit cousins, the cherries, peaches, nectarines and apricots. Yet beneath that often forbidding skin is juicy flesh boasting a complex interaction of sugar and acid reminiscent of fine wine.

Eaten out of hand when perfectly ripe or baked in a tart, plums offer a very adult taste of summer, the sweet tempered by a bit of sour. But interesting recipes for anything beyond a plum cobbler or crisp can be hard to find in a world obsessed with peaches and apricots.

Part of the plum's image problem, suggests Nancy Garrison, is that too few people have eaten one straight off the tree. That's a treat reserved for fruit lovers who grow their own or track down tree-ripened plums at farmers markets and roadside stands.

At most supermarkets, ``the ones you can get, they're always picked immature, they're always hard and crunchy,'' said Garrison, director of the University of California Extension's Master Gardener program in Santa Clara County. ``They're never melty, drip-down-your-chin juicy and yummy. My guess is most people of this generation really don't know what tree-ripened fruit tastes like.''

Even commercial growers lament the flavor of much of the fruit that's produced for a market that prizes size, firm texture and perfect looks. ``Growers grow what the store will buy, and taste has not been an issue,'' said San Jose's Bill Cilker, who formerly grew prune plums for drying in Santa Clara Valley and now grows six varieties of fresh plums on 500 acres in Tulare County.

Cilker's taste favorite is the venerable Santa Rosa, an amber-fleshed plum with very tart purple skin introduced by Luther Burbank a century ago.

The Santa Rosa, popular at farmers markets, is one of the few plums still available by name in supermarkets, which tend to label plums merely red or black despite the fact that the state produces at least 60 commercially grown varieties.

California grows about 90 percent of the nation's plums in a season that begins in May with the Red Beauty and ends in September with the Autumn Royale. Most are grown in the Central Valley, and varieties range from yellow to deepest purple outside with flesh that can be honey-sweet and dripping with juice or bland and crisp.

But if you want to taste one of the more unusual varieties, say a yellow Padre or a deep red Elephant Heart, you may need to visit Andrew Mariani's 75-acre orchard in Morgan Hill. It's one of the last commercial orchards in the agricultural region once called the Valley of Heart's Delight and known for its French prune plums.

Mariani knows plums better than most. In addition to uncommon varieties of other stone fruits, he cultivates 100 or more varieties of plums and their hybrids. He sells about 30 varieties at his Mariani Orchards' stand on Half Road from mid-July through September. The rest satisfy his personal obsession with horticultural variety.

``The plums are something we've added because they don't get much respect anymore,'' says Mariani, whose family has been farming in Morgan Hill since 1958. ``Actually there's a lot of good plums out there, but in the marketplace they aren't treated very well, I think.''

Last week, the Burgundy plums -- with flesh as dark as their name suggests and a taste reminiscent of cherries -- were just getting ripe. So were the sugary but milder Beauty plums, their red skin punctuated with yellow dots. Each variety is in season for only a couple of weeks.

``There are plums that are every bit as rich as any apricot, cherry or peach,'' says Mariani, who also grows donut peaches and Blenheim apricots. ``Some of my favorite fruits are plums, and I've tasted a lot of them.''

But most of his plum harvest is in the usually juicy Asian varieties, which dominate the California market, and Mariani prefers to eat them straight out of hand. He notes that most traditional recipes call for more concentrated European varieties such as greengages and mirabelles.

Yet Asian plums work well in dishes that capitalize on their liquid assets. The sweetest varieties are a natural for desserts, but even tart-skinned varieties like the Santa Rosa produce sophisticated baked goods with an intriguing interplay of sweet and tart.

Plum kuchen, a traditional European recipe, stands up well to juicy fruit. Its firm, caky crust soaks up the juice without getting mushy or falling apart, allowing the fruit to shine. Any plum with a nice color and rich taste would work in this simple dessert.

More labor-intensive but worth the effort is the elegant plum-frangipane tart with its cookie-like crust and ground almond filling. Stone fruits have a real affinity for almonds, and the tangy, cooked plums play well against the sweet and crunchy frangipane.

Plums also may be preserved to extend the flavor of summer into colder months. Cooked with red peppers, onions and hot spices, they make an exceptionally bright chutney with hints of cranberry. It would be great with Thanksgiving turkey -- if it's not consumed long before.

Even more appealing for the holidays are Fran Gage's exceptional sugar plum cakes. Gage, a San Francisco baker, came up with the recipe as a way to use up the boxes of plums a friend gave her every year when she owned a patisserie.

Although the cakes require you to preserve your plums in vodka now, the process is quick and easy. Come December, all you'll have to do is stir together and bake the buttery cakes. It's the cornmeal in the batter that gives them great texture.

However you prepare them, give tree-ripened plums and their hybrids a chance. You could discover a new summer fruit favorite.

 

 

 

 

PLUM KUCHEN

Serves 6

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest OR 1 drop orange oil

1/4 cup milk

10- 12 medium plums

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar (more if plums are very tart)

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-cup gratin dish or tart pan. Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, then cut in the butter to make fine crumbs. Beat egg and yolk together with vanilla, almond extract and orange flavoring, then add enough milk to make a total of 1/2 cup of liquid. Add liquid to flour, mixing enough to make a thick dough. It will be fairly sticky. Brush hands with additional flour and pat dough into baking dish, pushing it up around edges to make a rim.

Slice plums in quarters horizontally and carefully remove pits. Overlap plums to cover dough. Drizzle melted butter over fruit and sprinkle on sugar and spice. Bake until crust is golden and plums are soft, 35-45 minutes. Serve warm if possible.

PLUOTS INFORMATION

Pluots derive from plums

They may look like plums and taste like plums but some of the newest fruits on the market are known as pluots.

These trademarked fruits -- genetic crosses between plums and apricots -- were introduced by Zaiger Genetics of Modesto in the early 1990s to make plums attractive to a wider public. They're basically plums with the firmer flesh and milder skin of an apricot.

Pluots, which range from a mottled green Flavor Supreme to a deep purple Flavor Heart, have become so popular among California growers that they are now at the center of a controversy over whether they are a strain of plums or an entirely separate fruit. At stake is the 20 cents per box that growers are now required to contribute to the state tree fruit marketing board for promotion of plums -- but not pluots.

To settle the debate, a panel of UC-Davis scientists is testing the genetic makeup of pluots.

No one tracks how many pluots are sold each year, but the marketing board estimates as much as 20 percent of the state's formerly 560 million-pound plum market has been captured by pluots along with plumcots, which are half plum and half apricot, and apriums, which are more apricot than plum.

POOR MANS STROGANOFF

 

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

2 cups elbow macaroni

16 oz. sour cream

2 envelopes ranch dip mix

optional - 1 can sliced mushrooms or stems and pieces

 

Brown beef and cook macaroni. Put the beef into a colander to drain the fat, and then pour the macaroni in on top to drain it, as well. (The boiling water off the macaroni rinses even more fat off the beef.) Pour beef and pasta into a dish (if you think you will need to reheat it, put all of it back into a cooking vessel). Sprinkle the 2 envelopes of dip mix over the beef and pasta and mix well. Add sour cream and stir well, so dip mix and sour cream are evenly distributed. Add optional drained mushrooms.

PORTABELLA AND PAPAYA NIGIRI

1 serving

For a sweet sushi dish that replaces rice with crisp fruits and vegetables, try Juliano Brotman's portabella and papaya nigiri, from his "Raw: The UNcook Book" (ReganBooks, 1999, $35).

This recipe makes two pieces, enough to serve one person as an appetizer. Multiply as needed. To make four servings, plan to buy one each of the fruits and vegetables.

1 sheet nori seaweed, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips

2 avocado wedges, about 1/2-inch thick

2 wedge-shaped slices of portabella mushroom

2 wedge-shaped slices of papaya

4 thin slices (matchstick style) horseradish

2 thin apple slices

4 thin slices of cucumber

4 thin slices (matchstick style) carrot

4 fresh chives, cut in half

To assemble, lay a strip of nori on a dry, flat surface. In the center of the strip, place 1 wedge each of avocado, mushroom and papaya on top of each other so that they form a cross with the nori strip.

On that, stack 2 slices of horseradish, 1 slice of apple, and 2 slices each of cucumber and carrot.

Add four halves of chives, then wrap the end of the nori sheet tightly around the ingredients, such that it resembles a bundle of sticks. Seal the sushi wrap by lightly wetting each end of the nori strip and pressing them together.

Serve as is, or sprinkle very lightly with soy sauce.

POTATO PESTO BAKE

1 tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted

2 garlic cloves

1 cup basil leaves

1 cup parsley sprigs

2 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) finely grated fresh Romano cheese

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking spray

6 cups (1/8-inch-thick) sliced red potatoes (about 2 pounds), divided

2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) finely grated fresh Romano cheese, divided

1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drop the almonds and garlic through food chute

with food processor on, and process until minced. Add basil and parsley;

process until finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons broth, 2 tablespoons cheese,

lemon juice, 2 teaspoons oil, and salt; process until smooth. Spread 2

teaspoons oil in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Arrange 2 cups potatoes in bottom of baking dish; spread 3 tablespoons basil

mixture over potatoes, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cheese. Repeat the

procedure with 2 cups potatoes, 3 tablespoons basil mixture, and 2 teaspoons

cheese. Top with 2 cups potatoes. Microwave 1/2 cup broth at high 1-1/2

minutes or until very hot. Pour over potatoes; spread remaining basil

mixture over potatoes. Cover with foil; bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.

Uncover; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cheese, and bake an additional 15 minutes

or until tender. Serves 6

 

 

 

RASPBERRY MOCHA TARTLETTES

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon instant coffee

18 sheets Athens or Apollo fillo dough

1/2 cup butter

1/2 pint raspberries for garnish

Place chocolate chips, eggs and vanilla into blender and puree.

In small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, milk and coffee to a simmer. Pour hot milk mixture into blender and mix at low speed until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl and cool.

Prepare 12 fillo tart shells 4 inches in diameter by following the directions for Cups, Pie and Tart Shells on our Shapes & Uses page. http://www.athens.com/recipes/tartshapes.html

Bake in preheated 325° F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Spoon chocolate mixture into shells. Garnish with raspberries. Serves 12

REESES CUP CAKE

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts

3/4 cup flour

6 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter

5 Tbsp powdered sugar

1/2 cup whipping cream

5 Reese's Peanut Butter cups - finely chopped (1.8 oz)

1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream

3 Tbsp light brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts - coarsely chopped

3 Butterfinger bars - cut into 3/4 inch wedges (2.1 oz)

1/2 cup Reese's Pieces

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter and flour two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans. Grind nuts and 3/4-cup flour in processor until fine. Using mixer, beat eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until mixture whitens and triples in volume. Fold in nut mixture. Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack.

For filling, blend peanut butter, butter and sugar in processor until smooth. With machine running, add cream through feed tube and blend until mixture is light and fluffy. Invert cakes onto work surface. Using serrated knife, cut each cake into 2 layers. Place 1 cake layer on platter, cut side up. Spread with 1/3 of filling and sprinkle with 1/3 of chopped peanut butter cups. Top with second cake layer, cut side down. Continue layering with remaining filling, peanut butter cups and cake, ending with cake, cut side down. For topping, beat cream, sugar and

vanilla in large bowl until almost stiff. Transfer 1/2 cup to small bowl and reserve for garnish. Spread remaining whipped cream over top and sides of cake. Press nuts around base of cake forming a 1 1/2 inch high border. Cover top of cake with Butterfingers leaving 1/2-inch border. Spoon reserved whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip; pipe stars around top edge. Garnish with Reese's Pieces.

RICE SALAD

Serves 2

1/2 cup basmati rice

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (see Note)

2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan with 2 to 3 quarts water to a boil. Add rice and bring water back to a boil. Cook uncovered, 10 minutes. Drain and place in a small bowl. Add cilantro and dressing. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Basil, parsley, chives or scallions can be used instead of cilantro.

SALSA

(4 servings)

1 ea. Onion, finely chopped

1 ea. Large garlic clove

1 ea. Green or Red Pepper

2 ea. Jalapenos cored, minced

1 can 28 oz, Tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup Chopped fresh coriander

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a one-quart casserole, combine onion, garlic, peppers and olive oil. Microwave covered at High (100%) for 3 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar (balsamic or red wine, add according to taste) and coriander, season sauce with salt and sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 2 cups of sauce. From The Gazette 91/01/16.

SHRIMP SALAD WITH LIME ZEST

6 to 8 servings

1 cup kosher salt

6 cups ice water

2 1/2 lbs. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

3 Tbsp heavy cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing)

1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice

1 1/2 tsp finely grated lime zest

1/4 cup finely diced celery

2 tsp finely chopped dill (you can use fresh or dried)

1 Tbsp thinly sliced garlic chives (or regular chives)

Table salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice

water.

2. In a large bowl, dissolve the kosher salt in water. (Not the ice water) Add the shrimp and let stand for 30 seconds, then rinse well. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook until firm and pink, 2 to 3 minutes Drain the shrimp and transfer to the ice water to cool. Drain again and pat dry.

3. In a bowl, beat the cream until stiff. Whisk in the mayonnaise, lime juice and zest, and stir in the celery, dill and chives. Add the shrimp, and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Okay to make ahead. The shrimp salad can be refrigerated for up to 5 hours.

SHRIMP WITH DIPPING SAUCE

Sauce:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon bottled horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Shrimp:

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, cleaned

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 bay leaf

SAUCE: Mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, pepper

sauce and salt in bowl. Add scallion and parsley. Cover, refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

SHRIMP: Bring 3 quarts of water to boil. Add shrimp, salt, and bay leaf. Boil 1 to 2 minutes, until pink and cooked through. Drain in colander, run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain, place in bowl. Cover, refrigerate until ready to serve with sauce. Makes 6 servings.

STEAMED VEGETABLE DUMPLINGS

Horseradish Dipping Sauce -- (recipe follows)

6 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

4 cups Cabbage -- coleslaw mix, shredded

4 medium Green Onions -- chopped

1 teaspoon Ginger Root -- grated

2 cloves Garlic -- finely chopped

2 tablespoons Soy Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

30 Won-ton Wrappers (purchased)

horseradish dipping sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons grated gingerroot

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar

Prepare Horseradish Dipping Sauce: Mix all ingredients.

Soak mushrooms in hot water about 20 minutes or until soft; drain. Rinse with warm water; drain. Squeeze out excess moisture. Remove and discard stems; chop caps. Spray nonstick wok or 12-inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat until cooking spray starts to bubble. Add mushrooms, coleslaw mix, green onions, gingerroot and garlic; stir-fry about 4 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil; cool.

Brush edges of 1 wonton skin with water. Place 1 scant tablespoon vegetable

mixture on center of skin. (Cover remaining skins with plastic wrap to keep them pliable.) Fold bottom corner of wonton skin over filling to opposite corner, forming a triangle; pleat unfolded edges. (Cover filled dumplings with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.) Repeat with remaining skins and vegetable mixture.

Place dumplings on heatproof plate; place plate on rack in steamer. Cover and steam over boiling water in wok or Dutch oven 15 minutes. Serve hot with dipping sauce. 10 servings (3 dumplings each)

STRAWBERRY PRETZEL DESSERT

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 cups crushed pretzels (not too fine)

3/4 cup butter, melted

1(9oz) carton cool whip

1(8oz) pkg. cream cheese

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1(16oz) pkg. strawberry jell-o

2 1/2 cups boiling water

1(10) oz pkg. frozen strawberries

Mix the 3 tablespoons sugar, pretzels, and butter in a 9x13 inch pan, bake 15 minutes in 350 oven. Set aside to cool. Cream softened cream cheese, add powdered sugar. Fold in cool whip; fold in marshmallows. Spread over baked layer. Dissolve jell-o in water, stir in berries and chill until thick but not set. Spread over cream cheese layer and chill. Serves 16-20 people.

SUGAR PLUM CAKES

Each cake serves 4

For preserved plums:

10- 20 plums, depending on size

1 1/2- 2 cups vodka

1/3 cup granulated sugar

For cake:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 extra-large eggs, room temperature

8 or 9 preserved plums, pitted and coarsely chopped ( 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons liquid from plums

Powdered sugar for dusting

To make preserved plums: Wash plums and put in clean quart jar. Fill jar with vodka; add 1/3 cup sugar. Cover tightly and store in a cool, dark place. After 3 days, if sugar has not dissolved, turn jar over a few times. Repeat every 3 days until sugar dissolves, then leave undisturbed for about 3 months.

To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter two, 3-cup ring molds.

Sift together flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder; set aside. Beat butter in bowl of heavy-duty mixer with paddle attachment until soft. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Whisk eggs in a small bowl. With mixer running, add eggs very slowly to butter-sugar mixture, 1/4 at a time, allowing each addition to be incorporated before continuing. Add dry ingredients to batter and mix. Stir in plums and plum liquid.

Distribute batter between molds, set on a baking tray and place on middle shelf of oven. Bake until cakes are browned and a skewer inserted comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool to lukewarm, then turn cakes out of molds. When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar. Wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, cakes keep 1 week.

SUPREMA CHERRY PIE

Serves 8

1 (1-pound) can Suprema tart cherries

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 unbaked double pie crust, 8-inch

2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Drain cherries, saving juice. Mix sugar, salt and cornstarch. Heat juice and gradually add sugar mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and clear. Cool. Add cherries and pour into unbaked pie crust. Dot with butter pieces. Cover with top crust. Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes or until crust is brown.

SWEET JALAPENO RELISH

16 cups bell peppers

16 cups onions

8 cups jalapeno peppers WEAR GLOVES AND GOGGLES

5 cups vinegar

7 cups sugar

3 tablespoons salt

3 tablespoons mustard seed

Chop or grind peppers and onions and cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes: drain. Make a solution of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water. (This

vinegar is not included in the 5 cups listed in the recipe). Add pepper mixture, bring to a boil and let stand for 10 minutes: drain. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and

mustard seed (the ingredients above). Boil 2 minutes, jar and seal.

TABBOULEH

4-6 servings

1 cup fine-grained cracked bulgur wheat

6 medium tomatoes, finely diced, seeds and juices retained

1 small cucumber, seeded and finely diced

4 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 green onions, thinly sliced Lemon wedges, for garnish

Soak the bulgur wheat in enough cold water to cover by 1/4 inch and let sit for 15 minutes. The bulgur will double in size and should be light and fluffy when broken up with a fork or fingers.

Pour off any excess water. Add tomatoes with juice and seeds, cucumber, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix well. Sprinkle with green onions and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

For a less traditional dressing, substitute the olive oil and lemon juice above with this:

2 teaspoons whole seed mustard

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon honey

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

Mix the mustard, paprika and honey until you have a smooth paste. Slowly add the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Stir into the mixture of bulgur wheat, tomatoes and cucumber.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VEGETARIAN SPANISH PAELLA

Adapted from Meals that Heal, by Lisa Turner (Healing Arts Press, 1996).

This tasty Spanish dish combines brown and basmati rices with fresh vegetables and pungent spices.

Traditionally made with seafood, this Paella is delicious with eggplant, black olives, peppers, and more ingredients rich in healthy antioxidants.

Serve as a main course with a tossed green salad.

1/2 cup long-grain brown rice

2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup basmati rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red pepper, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms

1 1/2 cups cubed eggplant

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1. Combine brown rice and stock in large saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, covered, about 10 minutes. Add basmati rice and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400 F.

3. While rice is cooking, heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet and add chopped onion, garlic, red pepper, green pepper, mushrooms, eggplant, olives, salt, pepper, and cumin. Sauté until peppers are tender (about 5 minutes).

4. Stir tomatoes and rice mixture into vegetables and bake in 400 F oven for about 10 minutes.

ZUCCHINI FOCACCIA

Makes 16 wedges

3 cups grated zucchini

1 tablespoon salt

3 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, divided use

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 cups warm (110-115 degrees) water

1 packet ( 1/4 ounce) OR 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional oil for brushing

Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Combine zucchini and salt in a colander. Set aside for 30 minutes to drain. Squeeze out excess moisture.

In a food processor or large bowl, combine zucchini, 3 1/4 cups white flour and all whole-wheat flour. Pulse, or toss to mix. Measure warm water into a glass measure; add yeast and stir until foamy. Make sure yeast is completely dissolved. Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil. In food processor with motor running, pour water mixture through feed tube and process until dough forms into a ball. Continue processing 1 minute to knead dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until springy and elastic, about 5 minutes. As you knead, add as little of remaining 1/2 cup unbleached flour as possible; dough should be easily handled and slightly sticky, not dry.

Place dough ball in a well-oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Brush 2 pizza pans with oil. Stretch dough to fit pans. Dimple surface of dough with fingertips. Cover and set aside to rise in a warm place about 30 minutes. Generously brush top of one of the focaccia with oil so it pools in the dimples. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until top and bottom crusts are golden. Repeat with second focaccia. Serve warm or cooled.

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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