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

Stuck in someone else's frames? break free!

Recipes from Spike & Jamie

Back  <>  Home  <>  Next

Contents Disk 355

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).



Chapter 1

Sweetness is the only one of the five basic tastes for which the human brain shows an innate, pre-programmed preference, and for thousands of years the only reasonably pure form of sugar available to our ancestors was the honey produced by bees. Slowly, humankind learned to cultivate crops to satisfy its communal sweet tooth, and the cultivation of sugarcane began in India about four thousand years ago. The tropical climate required by this tall perennial grass (Saccoharum officinarum) meant that Europeans had to import one hundred percent of their sugar supply at great expense - or find a place to grow
sugarcane themselves. The European demand for sugar (as well as other
tropical fruits and spices) was growing faster than the supply, and the establish- ment of plantations to produce various tropical food products was one of the primary motivating factors behind European colonialism in the 16th and 17 centuries - it was no accident that Christopher Columbus carried sugarcane cuttings with him on his first voyage. In 1493 he planted the first crop of sugar cane on the island of Hispaniola in what was to be the beginning of a worldwide sugar industry.

Any essay pretentious enough to call itself "All About... Sugar" should really be entitled "All About... Sugars" in the plural because there are so many types of sugar and so many ways to examine them. Not only do we need to look at the various forms sugar can take in the kitchen, but we also need to understand a little about the chemistry of sugar. Any such inquiry will necessarily require at least a rudimentary understanding of such things as carbohydrates (both simple
and complex), saccharides (both mono- and di-), and several chemical cousins including starches and dietary fiber. I'll try to cover all of these topics in an orderly and, I hope, clear and comprehensible manner, and I plan to debunk a common myth or two surrounding everyone's favorite carbohydrates (see, there's that word already) in the process, so please hold all your questions until the end - and no fidgeting in the back row, please. http://www.worldwiderecipes.com

Chapter 2

Before we get all mired up in techno-speak mumbo-jumbo, let's take a non-technical look at the various forms that sugar takes in our kitchens. Every skilled and practiced food writer knows that the best way to captivate and thrill an audience is to divide things up into categories, and who am I to try to rewrite the rules? For the purpose of our discussion, the sugars found in the typical kitchen are divided into two categories: dry sugars and liquid sugars. See, wasn't that

When a cook hears the word "sugar," the first thing that comes to mind is the white, granular, crystalline stuff usually purchased in bags with the word "sugar" (go figure) printed in big bold letters. That's the sugar we will begin with.

Granulated sugar, also known as white sugar, often disparagingly referred to as refined sugar, and universally known simply as sugar, has several uses in the kitchen. Aside from its inherent sweetness, it also adds tenderness and color to baked goods, adds volume and stability to egg whites, and acts as a food preservative. In the United States it is commonly available in two forms: fine and
superfine (or ultrafine). The only difference between these products is the size of the sugar crystals, and they can be used interchangeably in recipes. Superfine sugar (known as castor sugar in the United Kingdom) has the benefit of dissolving almost instantly, especially in cold mixtures and drinks. As with all pure sugars, it has a shelf-life measured in geological epochs and will keep

The sugar in your sugar bowl and in those little packets in restaurants either came from sugarcane or sugar beets. Since sugar is sugar (well, sugar is actually sucrose, which is actually glucose and fructose, but I promised no technical stuff today so we'll have to get back to that later) the US Food and Drug Administration doesn't require that the source of the sugar be declared on the package. Sugar processed from sugarcane is frequently (but not always) labeled
"cane sugar" or "pure cane sugar," and it's a fair bet that sugar not so labeled is derived from sugar beets - maybe. Aside from anecdotal reports from readers of this magnificent recipezine that some beet sugar has an odor of "stinky feet," there is no difference between the two.

Confectioner's, or powdered sugar (icing sugar in the UK) is nothing more than finely ground granulated sugar with about 3 percent cornstarch (cornflour in the UK) added to prevent clumping (forming large chunks in the UK). In the US the fineness of the grind is denoted by a number of Xs, with 4X and 10X (the finest) being the most widely available. Confectioner's sugar may be substituted for an
equal amount of granulated sugar by weight, or in the ratio of 1 3/4 measures of confectioner's sugar to 1 measure of granulated by volume.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow so we can explore the mysterious world of brown sugar, learn about the sugar refining process in the process, and witness the first ever use of the words "big, fat, stupid idiots" by your beloved and normally tolerant Chef.

Chapter 3

That about covers it for white sugars, or what some misinformed health food zealots sneeringly refer to as "refined" (with a snarl) sugar. These misguided pundits insist that refined sugar is somehow bad for you because it has had all the good stuff removed. To this I say "poppycock."

You see, all sugar is refined. It's just a matter of how much refining has been done that determines the color of the resulting end product. All sugar begins as the liquid juices of some plant, usually sugarcane or sugar beets as we have already seen, complete with a small but nonetheless disgusting amount of dirt, insect parts, plant matter, and a veritable plethora of bacteria and yeasts. This mixture is then clarified by the addition of lime, boiled, and reduced until
the sugar becomes so concentrated that it forms solid crystals. This sludge is then spun in a centrifuge to remove the liquid (think of your washing machine during the spin cycle) and the result is known as raw sugar. Remember, it still has all the nasty stuff in it at this point, and the US FDA classifies raw sugar as unfit for human consumption, so the next time someone recommends eating raw sugar, be sure to add them to your "People Who Don't Know What They're
Talking About" list.

The sugar is further refined and purified with two more cycles of washing, boiling, reducing, and spinning, until the final result is almost 100 percent pure sucrose crystals - sugar. By the way, the liquid that is removed is molasses, and we'll talk more about that later.

Brown sugars are produced by one of two methods. The original procedure eliminated the third washing so that the brown sugar was the result of the second purification process, but no matter how you look at it, it's still just white sugar with a little molasses that hasn't been removed. The second process, and by far the most popular method used these days, is to simply add a little molasses to refined sugar. That's right - most of the brown sugar we buy is really white sugar
that has been reunited with some molasses. Molasses derived from sugar beets is foul smelling and tasting and is used only for animal feed, so the brown sugar you buy in the store is almost certainly cane sugar.

The only difference between light and dark brown sugars available in the United States is the amount of molasses that has been added, giving dark brown sugar a stronger flavor. They may be used interchangeably and your choice should be based on your taste preferences. Other types of brown sugars include Demerara (from Guyana), Barbados (from you know where), and Turbinado (from I don't
know where). They are all made by allowing some of the natural molasses to remain on the sugar crystals. Jaggery, a sugar from India, is made from the sap of certain palm trees, but it's still the same thing - sugar plus molasses.

So if brown sugar is really nothing more than refined sugar with a little molasses added, what are those people talking about when they preach the evils of refined sugar? Did the raw sugar have something good in it that was removed? Granted, molasses contains small amounts of minerals (so does dirt, you know) but you would have to eat a coma-inducing amount of raw sugar to get your minimum daily allowance of healthy stuff.

So what's wrong with refined sugar? Let's say, just for conversation's sake, that molasses has the ability to cure everything that ails you, and that a small amount of molasses in your diet will lead to a long, healthy, and prosperous life, complete with sexy Italian sports cars and leggy supermodels. Does this make the sugar
bad when we remove the molasses? I think not. It may not be as good for you as it was before we removed all the molasses with all its life-giving, rejuvenating, and supermodel-attracting properties, but that still doesn't mean that the resulting refined sugar is bad for you, does it? Anyone who says so is just a big, fat, stupid idiot.

There, I said it. At the risk of sounding prematurely technical (not for another day or two, I promise), it all boils down to one thing: glucose. Glucose is the only fuel needed by the cells of our bodies, and every sugar, starch, and cellulose fiber we eat (yes, those are all carbohydrates for those who are keeping score) is made of glucose. Our bodies break down complex carbohydrates (such as starches) into
simple carbohydrates (such as sugars) which are then converted into glucose (that's what your liver is busy doing every day, in case you haven't checked in on it lately) which are then transported in the blood to all the hungry little cells in our bodies. Glucose is glucose, and our bodies don't know or care where it came from, or whether it was previously mixed with a whole bunch of impurities, or
whether a bunch of self-righteous macrobiotic food crusaders approve of it.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
3 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
3 (8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Roma tomatoes, sliced
Greek olives, pitted
Fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan with butter.

Place one sheet of phyllo in pan so it extends up and over sides. Brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo and butter. Make two slits in the center of phyllo for steam to escape.

Bake nine to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Drain and chop artichokes, reserving 2 tablespoons of marinade. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese, feta, oregano and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add eggs, beating just until blended. Do not over-beat. Add artichoke hearts, reserved marinade and green onions. Combine well.

Pour mixture into crust and cover loosely with foil. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until center is soft and sides stay firm when gently shaken.

Cool. Cover and chill at least two hours, or up to 24 hours.

When ready to serve, remove from pan and garnish with tomatoes, olives and basil leaves. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

MAKES: 24 servings

2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chilies
1 cup sliced green onions
16-ounce jar salsa (any flavor)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips, assorted crackers and-or sliced baguette

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heavily grease bottom and side of 9-inch spring-form pan.

Combine cornmeal and chili powder. Sprinkle over side and bottom of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese, eggs, garlic powder and cumin in large mixer bowl until smooth; stir in chilies and 1/2 cup green onions. Pour half of batter into pan. Spoon 1 cup salsa on top of batter; sprinkle 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese over salsa. Spread remaining batter on top of cheese.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until edges are set, but center still moves slightly. Cool completely in pan on wire rack; remove side of spring-form pan.

Spread remaining salsa on top; sprinkle with remaining cheese and green onions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 4

3 1/3 cups puffed rice (see Notes)
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups prepared bhel puri mix, often called Bombay mix (see Notes)
6 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons unripe mango, peeled and chopped finely (optional)
2/3 cup sweet tamarind chutney (see recipe below)
2/3 cup mint chutney (see recipe below)

Mix all ingredients together, adjusting the amounts of chutney to taste. Feel free to adjust the quantities of any of the components to suit your own preference.

Notes: Indian puffed rice, which differs from the popular cereal by the same name, and bhel puri mix are sold in Indian markets.


2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs (or 6 egg whites)
5 tablespoons Marsala Olive Fruit Oil
1 cup black walnuts, chopped small
1/4 teaspoon black walnut extract
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon pure maple flavoring
Grated peel of one orange
1/3 cup currants
1/4 teaspoon cloves

In mixing bowl, add dry ingredients; make well in center.

In another bowl, add eggs, olive oil, and flavorings; stir to combine.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture, stir until dough holds together. Add seeds, peel, currants and nuts.

Place dough on floured board, knead lightly. Cut dough into 4-6 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1 1/2-by-10-to-12-inch long log.

Place logs on greased, foil-lined cookie sheets, about 4 inches apart.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven, cool about 15 minutes.

Using a gentle sawing motion, cut logs diagonally with a serrated knife into 1/2- to 3/4-inch wide slices.

Place biscotti back on cookie sheets cut side down. Bake 8-10 minutes to crisp. Frost, if desired.


3/4 cup milk chocolate, melted
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Spread frosting on cut side of biscotti, sprinkle with nuts.


Coarse salt
2 (12-ounce) containers Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
8 ounces bacon, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside.

Add Brussels sprouts to boiling water and cook until color sets and Brussels sprouts are tender, about six minutes. Transfer to ice bath until cool.

Drain well; set aside.

Place bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the fat renders and bacon is crisp.

Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are browned. Add the Brussels sprouts and thyme, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Enhance the taste of your cooked carrots with shallots, butter, honey and mustard -- simple ingredients that boost flavor.


1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for water
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut crosswise on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 large shallots, thinly sliced into rings (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well; set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about two minutes. Add the honey, mustard and salt, and stir to combine. Add carrots and heat through


Makes about 1/4 cup

5 teaspoons amchoor (dried mango powder; see Notes)
2 1/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 1/4 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons black salt (see Notes)
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon Indian chili powder or cayenne
1/8 teaspoon asafetida (see Notes)
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves, optional

Using a clean coffee grinder, whirl all the ingredients together until finely ground. Store in an airtight glass bottle.

Notes: Amchoor, black salt and asafetida are available at Indian markets.


3 Tbsp (45 ml) butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) all-purpose flour
3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock
2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half
3 Tbsp (45 ml) dry sherry (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
12 oz (335 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Chopped fresh chives for garnish (optional)

Heat the butter in a large soup pot over moderate heat and sauté the chopped vegetables until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the optional sherry, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne. Add the cheese a little at a time, whisking constantly until the cheese has melted.
Serve immediately, garnished with chopped chives if desired.

Note: When reheating leftovers, bring the soup barely to a simmer over low
heat. Do not boil as the cheese will separate. Serves 4 to 6.
Bon appetit from the Chef at World Wide Recipes

MAKES: About 6 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1/3 cup jalapeño jelly

Combine flour, salt and spices in a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse to combine.

Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add cheese; process until dough starts to hold together.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead a few times. Divide into four equal pieces and roll into logs, each 6 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least one hour or up to three days. Dough can be stored in the freezer at this point up to a month.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut dough into 1/3-inch-thick slices; place 2 inches apart on a Silpat-lined baking sheet.

Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool on baking sheet one minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When ready to serve, spoon a small amount of jelly onto center of each coin.


2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs
3/4 cup cooking oil
3 cups peeled, diced apples
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, re-sift flour with sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Add eggs, oil and 1 cup of apples. Beat three minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl frequently.

Stir in remaining apples and the walnuts. Turn into greased 13x9-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees about 40 minutes or until cake is done.

Cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut, and serve.


1 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 pint sour cream
2 eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (16-ounce) jar cilantro-flavored chunky salsa

Mix tortilla chips and butter. Press into bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan. Place in shallow baking pan.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and eggs in bowl. Beat until smooth, using electric mixer at medium speed. Stir in cheese, onions, garlic and pepper. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set. Cool cheesecake on wire rack. Refrigerate until serving time. Remove from pan. Top cheesecake with salsa and cut into wedges.


1 1/3 cup oil
2 cups canned pumpkin
5 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 to 3 ounces packaged coconut pie filling
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups toasted, chopped walnuts (reserve 1/2 cup for top of bread); see note

Beat together oil, pumpkin and eggs. Add remaining ingredients. Place batter in two well-greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 350 degrees for one hour. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup walnuts on each loaf. Cool before slicing:

Note: To toast walnuts place in pie tin. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes; stir occasionally.


1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup margarine, melted

Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a 9-inch pie plate. Layer cranberries on bottom. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nuts.

In a bowl, beat egg. Gradually add sugar, beating until thoroughly blended. Stir in flour and melted butter. Blend well. Pour over cranberries. Bake 45 minutes.

Cut in wedges and serve warm with ice cream.


1 cup rolled or quick oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter

Combine all ingredients and mix with hands until mixture is in pea size chunks. Set aside.

6 large apples
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp honey or sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter

Wash, core and slice apples and mix in lemon juice, honey or sugar, and melted butter. Place apples in pie dish and sprinkle with the crumble mix. Bake at 350 degrees until apples are done and crust is golden brown, approximately 45 minutes.

Serves 4

1 small whole broiler-fryer chicken, about 2 pounds
2 teaspoons or two cubes chicken bouillon
Paprika and minced fresh parsley
2 onions, peeled and halved
1/4 pound sliced mushrooms
4 small new potatoes, unpeeled
1 clove garlic, minced, or pinch instant garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Turn slow cooker to high heat. Rinse and dry chicken and trim and discard any fringe fat. Put 1 teaspoon or bouillon cube in chicken cavity. Put chicken in cooker, breast side up. Add remaining bouillon. Sprinkle chicken with paprika and parsley. Add remaining ingredients.

Turn cooker to low and cover. Cook 8 hours. Chicken will be very tender. Serve surrounded by the vegetables. A cup of broth will remain in pot and can be saved to use as a cooking liquid for vegetables.

DELHI SNACKS: Chaat is clearly hot as India's spicy fast food finds its way to Bay Area cafes By Aleta Watson (San Jose, CA.) Mercury News

From the streets of Delhi to the strip malls of Silicon Valley, the snack foods known as chaat have captivated eaters with the flavors of India.

Chaat is the subcontinent's answer to fast food -- quickly prepared, often fried fare eaten at all hours. Yet it would never be mistaken for the relatively bland outpourings of an American drive-though window. At once crunchy and soft, sweet and sour, spicy and salty, the dishes deliver a symphony of intense flavors.

They bring the comforting taste of home to Deepak Srinivasan, chief executive of EnScaler, Inc. a streaming media start-up in Sunnyvale. He's particularly fond of papdi chaat, crisp little flat breads topped with potatoes and garbanzo beans and blanketed with yogurt and chutneys.

``The combination of yogurt, tamarind and chiles, it's a unique combination,'' says Srinivasan, who likes to pop out of the office in mid-afternoon for a pick-me-up at a nearby chaat house. ``It's kind of a zingy taste that hits the spot.''

As the South Bay's Indian population has mushroomed in the past decade, chaat cafes have popped up from Fremont to South San Jose to satisfy immigrants' cravings for familiar flavors. The Naz8 Cinemas in Fremont serve chaat like most Western theaters serve popcorn.

``I would almost qualify it as a minor cuisine,'' says Mayank Chhaya, a journalist with literate.com who has lived in this area four years. ``In Dehli, which is the center for this type of food, chaat is a heavy afternoon snack. It can get so heavy that you skip your regular meal.''

At least eight chaat houses now line El Camino Real from Mountain View to Santa Clara. Most are no-frills places with plain tables and chairs, maybe a carved screen or statuettes of Hindu gods, and Bollywood music playing in the background. Their customers tend to be young Indian men, primarily tech workers looking for a quick bite of food they know at prices comparable to a burger and fries.

Yet some restaurants, including the Chaat Cafe in Fremont, have drawn a wider audience for snacks ranging from aloo tiki, grilled potato patties with green chiles and onions, to a combination of spicy garbanzo beans and puffy, deep-fried bread known as cholay bhatura -- often spelled cholle bhatura. Even the familiar samosa, a deep-fried pastry stuffed with potatoes, and the vegetable fritters known as pakora can be considered chaat.

``I suspect chaat comes from the Hindi word chaatna, which means to lick,'' says Kamla Bhatt, a freelance writer and Srinivasan's wife. ``It is something like lip-smacking, finger-licking comfort food for Indians.''

So popular have these small dishes become that even Turmerik, Sunnyvale's upscale Indian restaurant, is expected to add chaat to its menu soon. Chef Arvind Bhargava says he plans to add three or four chaat as appetizers.

``People love it,'' Bhargava says.

Still, Daksha Thakkar, a San Jose resident who immigrated from Mumbai, suggests chaat is an acquired taste for people who weren't raised in India. ``Not everyone would like it,'' she says.

Many of the flavors have no equivalent in Western cuisine. Although variations abound, the chaat masala spice mixture that sets many dishes apart from more formal Indian fare usually contains tangy black salt and tart amchoor, dried green mango powder. It also might include asafetida, an extremely pungent spice that lends a musty note to dishes.

The other common ingredients are chutneys made from tamarind -- a sweet and sour fruit with a citric edge -- and a hot combination of mint, chiles and garlic.

In Indian cities such as Delhi, chaat is the fast food people buy from street vendors or small shops when they're looking for a snack, says Ruta Kahate, of Ruta's Indian Kitchen, an Oakland cooking school. Students might grab some chaat after class. Couples might stop by their favorite vendor late at night on their way home from the movies.

``Definitely, chaat is really a street food. People almost always go out for chaat,'' Kahate says. ``Certain things are so labor-intensive that it doesn't make sense to make it at home.''

Simpler dishes, such as the red potato and chickpea chaat salad recipe Kahate offers here, are made at home, however. Her recipe brings together many of the signature ingredients of chaat -- potatoes, garbanzos, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and fruit -- with the chaat masala. It's a mild and flavorful dish that appeals to a wide spectrum of eaters.

The same spices add refreshingly complex flavors to the fruit chaat recipe that Chef Bhargava shares. Although it is easy to prepare, the dish is impressively sophisticated.

More conventional items served in chaat cafes often require involved prep work, deep-fat frying and last-minute assembly to keep the proper mix of soft and crunchy textures. Tossed together more than a few minutes in advance, they become unpleasantly soggy.

Still, many of the elements, such as the deep-fried noodles known as sev, are available at Indian grocers. The chutneys essential to most dishes also may be purchased, although they're not as tasty as when made fresh.

You can make puri, the puffy, fried bread essential to many chaat, at home but it's difficult to roll the dough thin enough to achieve the shatteringly crisp texture that is preferred. If you decide to buy puris, look for the freshest possible. They can get stale and develop off-flavors in just a couple of days.

A passable bhel puri can be made by combining freshly cooked potatoes and chopped onions, tomatoes and cilantro with puffed rice, a packaged mixture of fried noodles and nuts, and chutneys. The spiciness will be ruled by the mixtures you purchase.

To make the experience more authentic, serve lassi, a drink made with yogurt, alongside the chaat. Mango lassi, most popular with Westerners, can be made with either canned or fresh mangoes. Canned Alphonso-variety mango pulp is quite good.

For your first taste of chaat, however, nothing beats going to a cafe and sharing a couple of memorable dishes with friends.


Aloo tikki: Fried or grilled potato patties, which may include peas, chilies or onions.

Bhel puri: Puffed rice, fried dry puris, potatoes, onions and tomato with sev noodles and tamarind and spicy mint chutney.

Bhatura: Puffed, fried bread made with fermented dough.

Dahi batata puri: Puris stuffed with potatoes and garbanzos and topped with yogurt and tamarind chutney.

Cholle/cholay: Spicy garbanzo beans.

Pani puri: Balloon-like puris served with potatoes, garbanzos and a spicy mint water.

Papdi chaat: Flat puris topped with potatoes and garbanzos and blanketed with yogurt plus tamarind and spicy mint chutneys.

Puri/poori: Puffy deep-fried breads.

Pakora: Deep-fried, batter-dipped vegetables.

Ragada: A curry of peas or cholle, usually served with fried potato patties.

Samosa: Fried, triangle-shaped pastry turnover filled with potatoes.

Sev: Fried vermicelli or thin strips of pasta made with garbanzo batter.
Contact Aleta Watson at awatson@sjmercury.com or (408) 920-5032.

SERVES: 10 TO 12

3 pounds Yukon gold or all-purpose potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, halved
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups heavy cream
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rub a gratin dish with garlic and butter well. Add the garlic cloves to the dish. Arrange the potatoes in layers in the dish, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Dot top with remaining butter. Pour cream over potatoes.

Bake until golden and bubbling and potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about one hour and 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes, turn the heat up to 400 to get the top really brown. Let stand for about 15 minutes before serving.

GRAVLAX Cure-your-own salmon stars on holiday tables
By Jan Nix Special to the Mercury News

For holiday entertaining, the luxurious, satiny salmon known as Swedish gravlax is one of my top picks. Gravlax is not cooked. Rather, it's cured with salt, sugar and dill until the flesh becomes firm and fragrant.

Paradoxically, gravlax tastes rich and buttery yet it is low in calories, high in protein and heart-healthy fats. If you've never eaten it, think of Jewish lox of cream cheese and bagel fame. Lox is cured with salt and sugar, too, though processors go one step further and treat it with a light smoke to cook the fish.

Gravlax remains a relative unknown, the prerogative of home cooks and restaurant chefs. You won't find it sold in every corner supermarket or deli, though dozens of vendors sell it over the Internet. But if like me, you want to please your purse as well as your palate, consider making your own. The process is a busy cook's dream. All it takes is 15 minutes of preparation time and three days to cure in the refrigerator. Once cured, gravlax will keep up to a week.

At party time you cut it into thin ribbons and serve as a first course with bread and accompaniments, as a pièce de résistance on a buffet table, or as canapés for a cocktail party.

If a party is not on your agenda, you might serve it as a topper for salad or pizza or tuck it into pocket bread with crisp greens and a yogurt-dill dressing. One caveat: Don't cook gravlax. The pleasantly light salty taste becomes too harsh when subjected to heat.

I've made a basic Swedish gravlax for years, but I was ready to branch out. I wondered if I could change the seasonings and accompaniments to give the salmon a different flavor profile, say a Mexican, Japanese or Greek version. I also had wine-pairing questions. A tasting party seemed like the most enjoyable way to find the answers.

With four beautiful sides of cured salmon, baskets of bread and crackers, bowls of assorted condiments and 11 testers -- half of whom had never eaten gravlax -- we began. Using Swedish gravlax as a benchmark, we tasted each fish individually, pairing it with wines. There were favorites, but we didn't look for a winner. Preference for one type of seasoning over is another is too personal.

Delicious? Yes, and all had a melt-in-your mouth quality. Different? The variations were subtle, and purposely so. I didn't want to mask the flavor of the fish. What made each gravlax shine, and gave it a distinct identity, were the accompaniments. Avocado salsa? Flying fish roe? Bring 'em on.


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
7 tablespoons cold water

2 cups chopped leaf lettuce
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped ham
3 eggs
1/4 cup butter

For crust: Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat egg and mix with water. Add wet mixture to dry.

Mix only until it forms a ball. Don't knead. Divide dough in half. Roll out one half and line a 9-inch pie pan. Save remaining dough for top crust.

For filling: Heat lettuce and onion together to wilt lettuce. Put vegetable mixture in dough-lined pan. Sprinkle with chopped ham. Beat eggs and pour over. Dot filling with butter. Roll out top crust. Moisten edges of crust in pan. Cover with top crust. Crimp edges and cut vent holes in top crust. Bake about an hour at 350 degrees.


1 cup graham-cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup low-fat sour cream

1 (12-ounce) package frozen cranberries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with vegetable cooking spray. Wrap outside of pan with foil.

In prepared pan, combine crumbs and margarine; press into bottom.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, egg whites and orange peel until smooth.

Beat in ricotta and sour cream until just blended. Do not over-mix.

Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake until just set, about one hour. Turn off oven.

Let stand in oven for 30 minutes. Chill at least three hours or overnight.

To prepare topping: In a medium saucepan over low heat, cook cranberries, sugar and water, stirring until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Cool completely. Spoon topping over cheesecake.

Makes 2 cups

1 large egg white (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups raw pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place egg white in large stainless steel bowl and whip until frothy. Whip in vanilla, then gently add pecans and toss until completely coated with mixture.

Place remaining ingredients in a medium-size bowl and toss until well combined. Add sugar-cocoa mixture to pecans, a quarter at a time, and very gently toss until well coated. Transfer pecans to prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Try to not let pecans touch each other. Bake 30 minutes. Gently turn over nuts and continue to bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until coating is lightly colored and dried out, about 1 hour and 15 minutes total.

Remove from oven. Immediately loosen nuts with a metal spatula and set aside to cool before serving. These pair well with a White Russian or a coffee liqueur such as Ta Mara. Use them also to top hot fudge sundaes made with coffee, vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch or orange ice cream.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups lightly toasted shelled peanuts
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 to 1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place peanuts, oil, garlic powder, ginger, pepper flakes and chili powder in a medium-size bowl and toss until nuts are well coated. Transfer nuts to prepared sheet and arrange in single layer. Place in oven and bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, immediately loosen nuts with metal spatula, sprinkle evenly with salt, and set aside to cool for 1 hour before serving. These pair well with sake. Or toss into sesame noodles and shredded salads with chicken, shrimp or crabmeat.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups lightly toasted shelled peanuts
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 to 1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place peanuts, oil, garlic powder, ginger, pepper flakes and chili powder in a medium-size bowl and toss until nuts are well coated. Transfer nuts to prepared sheet and arrange in single layer. Place in oven and bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, immediately loosen nuts with metal spatula, sprinkle evenly with salt, and set aside to cool for 1 hour before serving. These pair well with sake. Or toss into sesame noodles and shredded salads with chicken, shrimp or crabmeat.


1 1 lb can yams -- drained
1/2 medium banana -- thickly sliced
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp pecans -- coarsely chopped
2 tbsp toasted flake coconut

Start heating oven to 350 F. In a buttered 1-qt casserole, arrange
yams, banana. Pour juice over all. Sprinkle with salt, pepper. Top with
pecans and coconut. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Yield: 2 servings.
Source: Good Housekeeping Cookbook; edited by Dorothy B. Marsh; published
by Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.; 1963


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp baking powder
confectioners' sugar

Make Crust: Heat oven to 350 deg. F. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until creamy. Gradually stir in the flour. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Make Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, flour, lemon peel and baking powder, and pour over the hot crust. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes more. Cool completely. Just before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over top. Makes 16 squares.

Makes 2 cups

1/2 medium green bell pepper
2 cups packed mint leaves (4 ounces or 1 large bunch)
4 cups packed cilantro leaves (8 ounces or 2 large bunches)
1 medium jalapeño chili
3 cloves peeled garlic
1 medium tomato
1 teaspoon cumin powder
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black salt (see Note)
Salt to taste

Grind all ingredients but salts together to a fine paste. You can do this in a blender or food processor. Add black salt, stir, then salt to taste.

Note: Black salt is available at Indian markets.

Makes: About 6 dozen

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter or margarine
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
2 cups ground walnuts
3/4 cup pineapple preserves
Powdered sugar for rolling

Combine sugar, flour and salt. Cut in butter or margarine with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg yolk and sour cream. Form into a ball. Chill.

Roll about 1/8-inch thick on board sprinkled with powdered sugar; cut into 2-inch squares.

Combine walnuts and preserves. Place about 1/2 teaspoon walnut mixture on each square. Start at one corner and roll toward opposite corner. Place point down on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until done. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

Two 8- to 10-inch tarts or single-crust pies, or one 8- to 10-inch double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add flour, salt and sugar. All ingredients should be cold. Add the pieces of butter and process for approximately 10 seconds, or just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (To mix by hand, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two table knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.)

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water, drop by drop, through the feed tube with the machine running, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; do not process more than 30 seconds. Test the dough at this point by squeezing a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add a bit more water.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide into two equal pieces and place on two separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two discs. Wrap and refrigerate at least one hour before using.

Unbaked pastry shells can be refrigerated, well wrapped in plastic, for up to a day: for longer storage, they can be frozen.

One 9-inch pie

All-purpose flour, for dusting
/2 recipe pâte brisée (recipe follows)
2 1/2 cups pecan halves
4 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Place the pastry into a 9-inch pie plate, which has been set on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and press it into the bottom edges and along the sides.

Trim pastry using scissors or sharp paring knife. Crimp or decorate edges of pastry, if desired. Transfer to freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

Coarsely chop 1 1/4 cups pecans; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs and sugars. Whisk to combine.

Add corn syrup, butter, bourbon, vanilla and salt. Whisk until well combined.

Add chopped pecans and stir to combine. Pour into prepared crust.

Arrange remaining 1 1/4 cups pecan halves decoratively over top of pie.

Bake until crust is golden, filling is firm and a cake tester inserted in center of pie comes out clean; 50 to 55 minutes.

Cool completely before slicing. Serve with whipped cream.

SERVINGS: 4 to 6

Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
5 bell peppers, preferably a mixture of red and yellow, roasted, peeled and
seeded, cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup red wine
1/2 jalapeño, roasted, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about five minutes.

Add the tomatoes and bell peppers and cook briefly.

Add the red wine and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, another 10 to 15 minutes. Check frequently toward the end, as the peppers will want to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, pound the jalapeño and garlic into a paste in a mortar with another 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the basil and parsley; pound to a paste. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and stir, grinding more with the pestle. The sauce should have a rather loose consistency, somewhat more liquid than pesto.

Stir the sauce into the peppers, taste for salt and heat through, two minutes. This is good hot, cold or anywhere in between.

(Stuffed Peppers)

4 long Italian peppers (red or green), tops removed
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers
1 (2-ounce) can anchovies
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
6 slices Italian bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
Vegetable oil for frying

Remove crust from bread. Reserve one crust to "plug" peppers.

Moisten bread slices lightly with water and crumble into a large bowl. Add all ingredients, except vegetable oil, and toss lightly to mix well.

Spoon filling into each pepper. Plug each with a piece of the reserved crust. Deep fry one at a time in vegetable oil until golden brown.

Sweet biggies don't pack any heat, but they ring your bell
Roasting bell peppers brings out their true nature -- earthy and sensual.
November 13, 2002 Posted: 07:45:12 AM PST

Back in the old days, we're talking 10 or 15 years ago, this time of year was something special. As soon as the weather started to turn, we'd go down to the specialty-produce guy and put in an order for a case of red bell peppers. You got them only once a year and they cost the earth, but they were worth it.

That weekend, we'd have a big party. We'd char the peppers on the grill, then, sitting out back at the picnic table, peel them, seed them and stick the soft, warm flesh into plastic bags to go into the freezer.

Well, actually they went into baggies only after everyone had eaten their fill. There's little that tastes better than roasted red bell peppers, and even though they are available year-round now, this is the best time of year to enjoy them.

Roasted peppers are one of food's sure things. They're beautiful to look at, a deep Titian red. They have a voluptuous texture, closer to a nice, fatty piece of tuna sashimi than a vegetable. And their flavor is a profound mix of sweet and earthy, pungent and perfectly balanced by itself.

The simplest dish in the world, and one of the most satisfying, is a plate of roasted, peeled peppers dressed only with a little good olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.

One of the most common pairings for peppers is with tomatoes, one of nature's other perfect foods.

All over the Mediterranean basin, these two show up in dishes both simple (roasted pepper and tomato salad) and complex (peperonata, found under different names from Spain to Morocco).

Roasted peppers are utterly unlike raw ones. In the first place, roasting removes that thin skin of cellulose. That's the tough part that's so difficult to digest. And it gently cooks the meat, softening it and bringing out hidden dimensions of flavor.

Sources of heat

There are any number of ways to roast a pepper. Perhaps the most primal is simply throwing them on the grill. This has the advantage of accommodating a large number of peppers at the same time.

A regular 21-inch kettle grill will easily hold more than a dozen large peppers at once. Just keep turning them to hit every bit of skin (including the bottoms and the tops), and move them from place to place so every pepper gets its turn over the hottest parts of the fire.

Go ahead and char them. You're not looking for browning here, but a definite blackening of the surface. So tough is this skin that even after this rough treatment, when you peel it off, there will be red flesh underneath. Roasting peppers over fire also lends a distinct but subtle smokiness to the flavor.

You can roast large batches even more easily in the oven, if you're willing to forgo that smoky grace note (indeed, in recipes such as the peppers stuffed with tuna, a purer flavor is better). To do this, arrange the peppers on a jellyroll pan and bake them at 400 degrees, turning them once or twice to keep them from sticking.

Cooked this way, the skin will puff up like a balloon without nearly as much blackening.

Roasting peppers on the grill will take from 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the heat. Roasting them in the oven takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Whichever method you choose, once the skin has begun to loosen, cover the peppers with a damp cloth and let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes. The steam will finish the job.

Some cooks recommend roasting them under the broiler or over an open flame on a stove-top burner. Although these methods will work, they have significant drawbacks:

The broiler cooks the peppers too unevenly.

Doing them stove-top has the disadvantage of letting you do only one or two at a time.

And heaven help you if a roasting pepper pops, as they are wont to do, spilling its juices so it bakes onto the stove.

Peel the peppers by rubbing away charred skin with your fingers. For tough spots that might have been a little underdone or were in hard-to-reach crevices, use the back of a knife.

Though you may be tempted to rinse them to get rid of the last little flecks of skin, don't. The flesh is coated with a thick, delicious juice and you don't want to lose any of it.


1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup persimmon pulp
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
1 teaspoon cloves (ground)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts (chopped)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Set butter out to soften at room temperature. When soft, put into a mixing bowl and add sugar, egg and persimmon pulp. Mix until it is creamy.

Mix in flour, baking soda and spices. Mix in raisins and nuts.

Drop a rounded teaspoon of dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 or 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: To prepare persimmons, simply take the stem off and put the persimmons (peel and all) into a blender. Blend until it is in a pulp form. Pour the pulp into zippered freezer bags and store in freezer for up to a year. (We would always double the batch, so we would put 2 cups per plastic bag.)


2 1/2 cups water
2 pounds littleneck clams, well scrubbed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 celery stalks, strings removed, sliced 1/8-inch-thick
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 dried bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pound firm white fish, such as cod or red snapper, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half crosswise
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the clams and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams have opened, five to eight minutes.

Remove clams, discard shells and pass the broth through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, reserving the broth and clams separately. Set both aside.

Melt the butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about four minutes.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the reserved clam broth and the potatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Uncover and add the fish and shrimp. Simmer until cooked through, about three minutes. Add the half-and-half and the reserved clams; season with salt and pepper. Heat through, but do not return to a boil.

MAKES: 2 servings

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place potatoes and bell pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high five minutes. Let stand one minute. Remove cover and add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.

Serves 8

1 cup dried chickpeas (see Note)
1 1/4 pounds red, purple or fingerling potatoes, unpeeled
1 firm, ripe mango
1/2 ripe pomegranate
2 teaspoons chaat masala (see recipe below)
Juice of 1 large lemon, or to taste
3 tablespoons sesame oil
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons minced mint leaves
3 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
1 small red onion, minced
1 large, ripe tomato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 mint sprigs for garnish

Soak chickpeas in several cups of water for 8 hours or overnight.

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add chickpeas and cook until they are tender but not falling apart, about an hour. Drain and cool. Boil potatoes until tender. Cool and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Peel and cut the mango into 1/2-inch cubes. Split pomegranate half in two and carefully pick out seeds to avoid juice stains.

Place chickpeas and potatoes in a large bowl. Add chaat masala, lemon juice and sesame oil and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed. Add the mint, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, mango cubes, minced onion and tomato and toss again gently. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve cold or at room temperature.

Note: Dried chickpeas, more commonly known in California as garbanzo beans, are available in supermarkets and natural foods stores as well as Indian markets.


Makes about 1/4 cup

5 teaspoons amchoor (dried mango powder; see Notes)
2 1/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 1/4 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons black salt (see Notes)
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon Indian chili powder or cayenne
1/8 teaspoon asafetida (see Notes)
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves, optional

Using a clean coffee grinder, whirl all the ingredients together until finely ground. Store in an airtight glass bottle.

Notes: Amchoor, black salt and asafetida are available at Indian markets.

with variations

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup chopped California walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Thoroughly cream shortening and sugars; add egg and beat well. Add vanilla
and nuts. Add sifted dry ingredients; mix well and shape in rolls, 1-1/2
inches in diameter. Roll in waxed paper. Chill several hours or overnight.
Slice thin. Bake on greased cookie sheet in hot oven 425 degrees for 10
minutes. Makes 4 dozen.


1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup broken California walnuts
1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 1 ounce squares
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons sour milk

Thoroughly cream shortening and sugar; add egg and beat well. Add chocolate
and vanilla; mix well. Stir in nuts. Add sifted dry ingredients
alternately with sour milk. Shape in rolls. Roll in waxed paper; chill
thoroughly or overnight. Slice thin. Bake on greased cookie sheet in hot
oven 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.`


1/2 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg yolk
3 Tablespoons milk
1- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1 ounce square unsweetened
1- 1/2 cups flour
chocolate, melted

Thoroughly cream shortening and sugar; add egg yolk and vanilla. Add sifted
dry ingredients alternately with milk. Divide dough in half; to one
half add chocolate; mix thoroughly. Roll each half 1/8 inch thick on heavy
waxed paper. Turn white part on chocolate with chocolate extending 1/2 inch
beyond white part on edge toward which you roll. Remove paper and roll as
for jelly roll. Wrap in waxed paper. Chill thoroughly or overnight; slice
thin. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet in moderate oven 375 degrees for about
10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen cookies.


1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
2 well-beaten eggs
1/2 cup chopped California walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour

Thoroughly cream shortening and sugars; add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add
sifted dry ingredients. Add oatmeal and nuts; mix well. Shape in rolls; wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly or overnight; slice 1/4 inch thick; bake on ungreased cookie sheet in moderate oven 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Makes 5 dozen cookies.


1/2 cup shortening
1 well-beaten egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
4 ounces or 1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Thoroughly cream shortening and sugar; add softened cream cheese and half
the egg; mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients; shape in rolls. Wrap in
waxed paper; chill thoroughly. Slice thin and place on greased cookie
sheet. Brush with remaining and allow to dry. Bake in moderate oven 350
degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen small cookies.


1/2 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 well-beaten egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel

Thoroughly cream shortening with sugar; add egg, lemon juice, and peel; beat
well. Add sifted dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in nuts. Shape in rolls; wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly. Slice very thin; bake on greased cookie sheet in moderate oven 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 5 dozen small cookies.


1/2 cup shortening
3-1/2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 well-beaten eggs
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Thoroughly cream shortening and sugar; add eggs and vanilla. Add sifted dry
ingredients; mix well. Form in roll, 1-1/2 inches in diameter; wrap in waxed paper and chill thoroughly or overnight. Slice and arrange half the slices on greased cookie sheet. Place 1 teaspoon Date-Nut Filling on each and top with remaining slices; press edges together with a fork. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies. Cookies may be baked without using filling.

Date-Nut Filling: Combine 1 pound dates, pitted and chopped, 1/2 cup brown
sugar, 1/2 cup water; cook until thick. Add 1/2 cup broken nuts and cool.


4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
7 cups flour
1 tsp. cream of tarter
1 tsp. of soda
1 tsp. vanilla

In mixer cream the brown sugar and butter, add eggs one at a time. Mix cream of tarter and soda with a cup of flour. Add flour a cup at a time mixing well. Add vanilla. The dough will be very thick and you may have to use your hands to mix in the last couple cups of flour. Divide dough in half. Form a long roll on waxed paper, then roll the dough in the waxed paper. Refrigerate overnight. Cut in about a fourth inch slice. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Makes 8 to 9 dozen cookies depending on how you slice them.

You can sprinkle some coconut on some of the cookies before baking.


1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. milk
Additional peanut butter

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in shortening and peanut butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the corn syrup and milk; mix well. Shape into a 2 in. roll; wrap in waxed paper or foil. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Cut into 1/4 in. slices; place half of them 2 in. apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Top each with 1/2 tsp. of peanut butter. Cover with remaining slices; seal edges with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes or till lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield 2 dozen


2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup ground pecans

In a mixer bowl cream together butter, sugar, salt and egg yolk until
smooth. Blend in the flour, vanilla and nuts until the mixture forms a
smooth dough.

1. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill up to 2 days. Preheat oven to 350
degrees F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch
thick. Cut in to desired shapes. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. In the alternative,

2. Form dough in a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice dough into cookies 1/8 inch thick.
Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 3
1/2 dozen

350 degrees F. 10 Minutes

1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder.
Add 5 cups of anything!

Cream margarine, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in
eggs and vanilla. Slowly add 1 cup flour, baking soda and baking powder, mix
thoroughly. Add remaining cup flour and 5 cups of whatever is available to
go in the cookies. (see note)

1. Drop on no-stickum spray sprayed cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 5 cups doesn't have to be as finely chopped. In the alternative,

2. Form into a log and refrigerate at least 2 hours up to 2 days. Slice
about 3/16 inch thick and put on cooking sprayed cookie sheet and bake at
350 degrees for 10 minutes. The 5 cups stuff needs be finely chopped or grated.
The following items are suggested for the 5 cups:
Peanut butter
Dried fruit (finely diced)
Leftover Christmas fruit (finely diced)
Chocolate, butterscotch or vanilla chips (use mini chips in refrigerator
Grated candy bars
Nuts (finely diced)
Cornflakes or Rice Crispies
Or anything else you have on hand that might go into cookies.

At least 3 cups of cereal or oatmeal plus 2 cups of anything else works well.


1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
1/2 clove garlic
4 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pimenton de la vera (Note: Pimenton de la vera is a smoky Spanish
paprika that adds a distinctive note; if you can't find it, hot Hungarian
paprika will work, or you can just leave it out.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 slices rough country bread, preferably pane osso or batard

Remove a rough quarter of the pepper, cut it into thin slivers and set it aside.

With the motor running, drop the garlic through the feed tube of a food processor and mince well. Add the 3/4 portion of the pepper and grind as smooth as you can.

Add the goat cheese and grind again. There will still be little bits of red pepper visible in the goat cheese. Stop, scrape down the sides and continue processing until the mixture is smooth and light, about 45 seconds.

Add the vinegar, pimenton, salt and olive oil and process some more. You should have about 3/4 cup. Cover tightly and set aside until ready to use. If it's going to be longer than 30 minutes, refrigerate.

Toast the bread until golden just before serving. Spread a generous tablespoon of the topping on each slice of bread and garnish with some of the thinly sliced pepper (don't be too geometric with the garnish, a lazy strewing looks best).


2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsalted butter, cut up
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 tsp cinnamon
9 Tbsp seedless raspberry or apricot preserves, divided
1 cup finely chopped pecans, divided

Pulse flour and butter in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream cheese and process until dough holds together. Divide dough into thirds. Flatten into disks; wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 deg. F. Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside. Combine
1 tbsp sugar and 3/4 tsp cinnamon in a cup. On a clean kitchen towel, sprinkled generously with sugar, roll a disk into a 10-inch circle. Spread 3 tbsp preserves evenly on top; sprinkle with 1/3 cup pecans and 1 tsp cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cut circle into 16 wedges. Beginning at outer edge, roll up each wedge. Transfer to prepared cookie sheet. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough. Makes 4 dozen.

SERVINGS: 4 to 6

4 red bell peppers, or a combination of red and yellow peppers, roasted, peeled
and seeded
6 green olives, pitted and cut into slivers
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry or red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 anchovy filets, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces ricotta salata (Note: Ricotta salata is a moist, firm, tangy cheese; if you
can't find it, use dabs of fresh goat cheese instead.)

Tear or cut the peppers into generous bite-size pieces. Toss together the peppers and olives in a mixing bowl.

Combine the vinegar, garlic, salt and anchovies in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk the mixture.

Pour the dressing over the peppers and toss to coat well. Turn the salad out onto a serving platter. Using a vegetable peeler, shave off long shards of the ricotta salata over top. Don't be stingy with the cheese. Serve immediately.


1 cup ground bread crumbs
2 cups chopped walnuts
2/3 cup cooked rice
1 onion
3 eggs, beaten
Pinch of thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients together and pour into an oiled baking pan. Bake

Serves 10

3 pounds sweet potatoes (6 to 7 medium), peeled and sliced 1/2-inch-thick
1 1/2 cups cream, heated
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces, room temperature
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In large saucepan, cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch and simmer about 5 minutes, until still crisp but not tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Arrange in overlapping rows in baking dish. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 8 hours at this point.) Pour cream over potatoes and bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.

In small bowl, combine sugar, flour and butter until crumbly. Add pecans.

Remove potatoes from oven and sprinkle top with sugar mixture. Bake until potatoes are tender and topping is crisp and browned, about 30 minutes more. Serve hot.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound string beans, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup water
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally until edges begin to turn golden, about four minutes.

Add garlic and cook one minute more. Transfer to a pressure cooker.

Add string beans and water. Place the cooker over medium-high heat.

When the knob on top of the cooker rises and one red band appears, reduce heat to medium to ensure proper pressure is maintained, and begin timing for three minutes.

Remove the cooker from the heat and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. When the cooker hisses and the knob recedes, the cooker has cooled and is safe to open.

Remove string beans from cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately


1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups walnut halves
Dash of salt (optional)

Blend sugars and sour cream in pan on stovetop, stirring constantly until mix forms a firm ball, or reads 246 degrees on candy thermometer.

Remove from heat, stir in salt and vanilla. Stir in nuts until coated.

Turn out on waxed paper and separate with forks. Let cool.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups raw walnut halves
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients in large bowl and toss until nuts are well coated. Transfer nuts to prepared sheet and arrange in single layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, immediately loosen nuts with metal spatula and set aside to cool before serving. These go great with an Asian lager. Or sprinkle on vanilla ice cream or mix into savory Asian dishes.

12 appetizer or 8 main-dish servings.

2 large tomatoes, sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) carton ricotta cheese
1 (8-ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
3 large eggs
4 cups loosely packed shredded fresh spinach
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Sprinkle tomato slices with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drain on paper towels 10 minutes.

Process pine nuts in a food processor until ground. Stir together pine nuts, bread crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add ricotta cheese, feta cheese and eggs, beating until blended.

Stir in spinach, garlic, flour and dill, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

Top with tomato slices, and bake 30 more minutes or until set.

Turn oven off; leave cheesecake in oven 20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake and carefully remove sides of pan; cool 10 more minutes.

Serve warm or cold.


6 ounces Apricot jam
1 envelope (1 oz) gelatin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream -- whipped

Put apricot jam into blender, and blend until apricots are incorporated to become a thick sauce. Dissolve gelatin in lemon juice in a small double boiler over hot water. Fold gelatin into apricot mixture. Chill in refrigerator until lightly set for about 45 minutes. Fold the mixture into the whipped cream, pile into stemmed glasses and chill until serving time. Serve with Christmas cookies. Yield: 4 servings.


1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 1/2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups walnuts

Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients, except walnuts. Dip nuts into egg mixture. Arrange nuts in single layer on a greased cookie sheet. Toss away any extra egg mixture. Bake 45 minutes, or until nuts are golden brown.


20 appetizer servings

2 to 2 1/2 pounds boned, skinned salmon fillet
3 tablespoons aquavit, gin or vodka
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons coarse (kosher) salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 teaspoon whole allspice, coarsely crushed
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh dill

Cut fish in half crosswise to make two equal pieces. Rub aquavit on all sides of fish. Mix sugar, salt, peppercorns and allspice; rub dry seasonings onto all sides of fish. Spread 1/3 of dill in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Lay one piece of fish on dill; sprinkle with another 1/3 of dill. Lay other piece of fish on top of first, thick width to thin width. Top with remaining dill. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place small cutting board or piece of plastic-wrapped heavy cardboard on fish. Rest weight on top of board -- a brick or large cans of juice work well. Refrigerate 3 days, turning fish about every 12 hours. (If left longer than 3 days, the fish becomes too salty.)

Discard brine and scrape away most of seasonings. Pat salmon dry, then store, airtight, in refrigerator for up to a week. To serve, thinly slice across grain on diagonal. A long-bladed fish fillet knife or serrated bread knife works well.

Accompaniments: Sue Cam of San Jose served Swedish-style salmon with pumpernickel bread, pickled onions, chopped raw red onions, sweet mustard and yogurt showered with chopped dill. To serve as a canapé, spread a film of sweet mustard on a square of party rye bread, top with a curl of gravlax and crown with a mound of pickled onions.


Mexican gravlax

Follow recipe for Swedish gravlax but use 3 tablespoons gold tequila in place of aquavit. For dry seasonings, use 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns and 1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds. For fresh herbs, in place of dill, use 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano.

Accompaniments: Serve Mexican-style salmon with round tortilla chips, baguette slices or mini bagel halves. For a quick sauce, combine 1 cup mild, chunky-style salsa with 2 diced avocados. For a more assertive sauce, blend 1 cup Mexican cream or sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, and salt to taste.

Japanese gravlax

Follow recipe for Swedish gravlax but use 3 tablespoons sake in place of aquavit. For dry seasonings, use 1/4 cup white sugar, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns, 1 1/2 teaspoons shichmi togarashi (a Japanese spice blend; sold in Asian markets) and 1 teaspoon nori komi furikake (a blend of roasted sesame seeds and dried seaweed bits). Use 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger in place of the dill.

Accompaniments: Cynthia Weeks of Ben Lomond served Japanese-style salmon with rice crackers, a second dusting of nori komi furikake, Japanese pickled ginger and wasabi dip. To make the dip, season 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise with 1 small clove pressed garlic, 2 teaspoons lime juice and wasabi (Japanese horseradish) to taste. Start with 1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste. To serve as a canapé, place a curl of gravlax on a thin 2-inch round rice cracker or sesame water cracker, top with a piece of pickled ginger and dust with tobiko (flying fish roe).

Greek gravlax

Follow recipe for Swedish gravlax but use 3 tablespoons Metaxa brandy in place of aquavit. For dry seasonings, use 3 tablespoons white sugar, 3 tablespoons kosher salt and 1 tablespoon crushed mixed pickling spices. For fresh herbs, use 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped parsley and 1/2 cup chopped fennel (sweet anise) fronds in place of dill.

Accompaniments: Serve Greek-style salmon with small rounds of Armenian cracker bread or baguette slices. For a sauce, blend 1 cup yogurt with 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground sumac (sold in Middle Eastern markets) and salt to taste. To serve as a canapé, curl a slice of gravlax on a 1/4-inch round of English cucumber, top with a dollop of sauce and dust with sumac.

MAKES: 2 servings

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Place chicken between two pieces of wax paper or foil. Flatten with a meat mallet to about 1/2-inch thick.

In a small bowl, mix flour, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.

Dip chicken breasts in the flour mixture, coating all sides. Sauté chicken three minutes on each side.

While chicken cooks, mix honey and mustard together. Remove chicken to two dinner plates and spread mustard sauce on top.


12 oz tagliarini (or 12 ounces spaghetti)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup walnuts, ground
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup Marsala Olive Fruit Oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup water in which pasta was cooked

In non-stick large skillet on medium heat, add oil, garlic, walnuts and bread crumbs. Cook stirring until toasted and golden brown.

Cook pasta with parsley until tender, drain. Place in large, shallow serving bowl, cover with walnut mixture. Add water, salt, peppers; sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 2 cups

1 pound tamarind pulp (see Notes)
2 1/3 cups water
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons black salt (see Notes)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons cayenne
5 teaspoons ground ginger
5 teaspoons ground fennel
1 1/3 cup jaggery (see Notes)
1 1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup raisins
Salt to taste

Place tamarind in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture acquires a sauce-like consistency. Remove from heat, press through a strainer and cool.

Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet. Remove and cool. Place cumin seeds, black salt, peppercorns, cardamom, cayenne, ginger and fennel in a clean coffee grinder and whirl to make a fine powder. Strain mixture into a dry bowl.

In a saucepan, cook the tamarind, spices, jaggery, sugar and raisins, stirring until jaggery and sugar are fully dissolved. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add salt to taste. Force chutney through strainer into a separate bowl and cool. Stir and refrigerate.

Notes: Black salt, tamarind pulp and jaggery are available in Indian markets. Tamarind pulp is sold in a plastic-wrapped block, and jaggery -- boiled sugar cane juice -- is packaged in lump form and must be grated before cooking. Sugar is an acceptable substitute for jaggery.

(With variations)

1 baked crust

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 Tbsp sugar

In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt; gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir small amount of hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks; immediately return to the hot mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into cooled baked pastry shell. Spread meringue on top, seal it to edges of crust, and bake at 350 deg. F. for 12 to 15 minutes.

CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE: Increase sugar to 1 cup. Chop up two 1-oz squares chocolate; add with milk.

BANANA CREAM PIE: Slice 3 bananas into cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pie filling and meringue.

BUTTERSCOTCH PIE: Substitute brown sugar for sugar. Increase butter to
3 Tbsp.

COCONUT CREAM PIE: Add 1 cup flaked coconut. Sprinkle top of meringue with 1/3 cup coconut before baking.


1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup salad oil
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup broken nuts

Sift dry ingredients. Beat egg, add sugar and oil, then vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients and nuts.

Put into greased 8-inch square pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Cut into squares when cooled.

MAKES: 5 dozen

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely minced walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a cookie sheet. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, stir into sugar mix. Stir in chopped nuts.

Drop by teaspoon, 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Sprinkle minced walnuts on top of cookies. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly browned around the edges. Cool on rack.


2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
4 eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line two (9-inch) pie pans with pastry. Set aside.

In large mixer bowl combine sugar, margarine and eggs. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except walnuts. By hand, stir in nuts. Pour into pastry shells.

Bake 55-65 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Top with cool whip or ice-cream.


1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 medium bananas (1 cup mashed)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1/3 cup hot water
1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt butter and blend in sugar. Mix in beaten eggs and mashed bananas, blending until smooth.

Sift flour with salt and soda; stir in whole wheat flour. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients alternately with hot water.

Stir in chopped nuts. Turn into a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan, or four mini-loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Serves 8

3 cups fresh chopped broccoli (1 large head)
3 cups fresh chopped cauliflower (1 large head)
3 cups carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 shallots, sliced
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
1 pound Swiss or cheddar cheese, shredded
14 sheets phyllo dough, covered with a damp towel to prevent drying out
Butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray or 1/2 cup melted butter, for brushing
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
The Easiest Hollandaise Sauce (see accompanying recipe)

Place broccoli, cauliflower and carrots in a steamer basket and steam until crisp-tender. Cool. Melt butter in a skillet and cook onion and shallots until soft, about 10 minutes. Cool. In a large bowl, combine eggs, parsley and tarragon and beat well. Add cheese and toss. Add all of the vegetables and mix well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place phyllo on a work surface, one sheet at a time, and spray or brush with butter. Layer each piece of phyllo by stacking one on top of each other, brushing all but the last top sheet. Spread vegetable mixture along the long edge, covering from the middle to a 2-inch border at the edge. Fold in short sides of the dough and then fold up from the filled edge, folding over rather than rolling, to encase filling and to make a thick, flat roll. Transfer to baking sheet, seam-side down. Spray or brush top with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and flaky. Slide onto a serving platter or cut into thick pieces with a serrated knife and serve with hollandaise sauce.

Note: Can be made early in the morning, then covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until baking before dinner.






 Join one of our Discussion Forums:

Free Recipe Collection Forum

Jewish Recipe Forum


Free Newsletters:

We also publish two newsletters a couple of times a month.
To subscribe, send a blank email to the appropriate email address.
Topica will send you a message asking if you really intended to subscribe
- just click reply - that's it!

Free Recipe Collection Newsletter

Jewish Recipe Collection Newsletter



Click here to add our Web Site to your Favorites List:

Add to Favorites


Search this site powered by FreeFind


Our Favorite Internet Search Engine:


Mail this Page to a Friend


Any problems with this page? 
Send the URL of this page & a description 
of the problem to webmaster.
Thank you!


Back to Spike's & Jamie's Recipe Collection





Barnes & Noble Home Page

Barnes & Noble Music Page



Tired of Geek Speak when 
you have Computer Questions?

The Newbie Club - 
Computer Information for the Rest of Us!



Your Own Domain Name 
- $15 a Year

- Superior Quality Products since 1869



Disclaimer: These web site links are listed as a convenience to our visitors. If you use these links, we take no responsibility and give no guarantees, warranties or representations, implied or otherwise, for the content or accuracy of these third-party sites.

Due to the number of recipes and tips we receive, it is impossible for us to personally test each one and therefore we cannot guarantee its success. Please let us know if you find errors in any of them.

We do not endorse or recommend any recipes, tips, products or services listed in our ezines or on our web pages. You use them and their contents at your own risk and discretion. If you do not agree to these terms, please don't continue to use them. If you do use them, it means you agree to these terms.

Copyright notice - No infringement of any text or graphic copyright is intended. If you own the copyright to any original image or document used for the creation of the graphics or information on this site, please contact the Webmaster with all pertinent info so that proper credit can be given. If you wish to have it removed from the site, it will be replaced ASAP.







Back to Top