Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mo' Rice and Eggs

While I was looking over the list from last Monday's show, I had this idea that I want to do a leftovers show. Not what you may think. Not the kind of leftovers that you find in the fridge. No, I was looking at some of the things I hadn't gotten around to talking about because of the time.
It's really only a 55-minute show and when I get through running my mouth about this and that, I find that time has gotten away and that I have to ax a few items from my list, items that I really wanted to share with the listeners, items that many may not have heard of, that some may only have a brief knowledge about. So, I had this idea of doing a show of leftovers that I never got to discuss. Some things I did discuss, though, are some really interesting rice and egg dishes.
As I mentioned on the show, Texas Sweet Onions were on sale this week. And one of the preparations I shared was a middle eastern dish that combines onions, lentils and rice. It's called Megadarra and the preparation couldn't be simpler.


2 cups brown lentils
1 onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long-grain rice, washed in several changes of water and drained
2 onions, sliced into half-moon shapes

Bring water and lentils to boil and simmer until tender. Fry chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of oil until soft and golden. Add to lentils and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and add rice and enough water to make 2 cups of liquid in the pan. Season again and simmer covered for 20 minutes until rice is tender adding more water if needed.
Fry sliced onions in 2 tablespoons of hot oil until dark brown and caramelized.
Serve rice and lentils in a large bowl with fried onions scattered over the top and yogurt as a condiment.

The next recipe is from a woman down in Florida whom we call Coco. Coco was raised in Louisiana wears her ability to kill, dress and cook a raccoon, squirrel or rabbit like a badge of honor. When I thought about Bayou cooking, I knew I had to ask her for her Dirty Rice recipe which she had posted in the Jamie Oliver Forums (a group we both belong to) sometime earlier. So, with no further ado, here is her recipe in her own words.

Coco's Dirty Rice

you know I never messure anything so I"m gonna do my best
> 1 lb ground beef (you can use a mix of pork and beef if you
> like it's a matter of prefarance)
> 1 medium onion chopped
> 1 bell pepper chopped
> 3 ribs of celery chopped
> Salt and pepper to taste
> cooking oil
> *1/2 cup chopped chicken livers
> *1/2 cup chopped chicken gizzards
> Cooked Rice about 3 cups (more or less is up to you)

In a 2 quart pot saute onions, pepper and celery until they
> are lightly browned in oil (only enough to cook the
> veggies). Add the beef or beef/pork mixture and brown. Add
> already cooked rice.
> If you want to use the chicken livers and gizzards these
> would be added when you cook the meat.
> ***That is the standard way....
> I don't saute my veg first and I don't use oil. I put
> the meats and the veg in together and cook it all at once.
> I hope that is helpful. Dirty rice has as many
> recipes as there are cajuns. I've added andoille to
> mine to spice it up.

When I started asking around for hard-cooked egg recipes (that didn't include deviled eggs or egg salad) I was delighted and surprised at how many there were and how many I'd forgotten about like Scotch Eggs, an old favorite I haven't had in years. Then Jan, our listener from Scotland, suggested China Tea Eggs, something I've heard about but never made (let alone tasted) before. She wrote and suggested that I pass along a recipe other than the one she originally gave me. This is from the Allrecipes site, a very good site that I recently joined and that sends me several daily recipes. Check them out. They have reviews for their recipes, too, which
include ratings and suggestions.

Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons black tea leaves
  • 2 pods star anise
  • 1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon tangerine zest

  1. In a large saucepan, combine eggs and 1 teaspoon salt; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and cool. When cool, tap eggs with the back of a spoon to crack shells (do not remove shells).
  2. In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups water, soy sauce, black soy sauce, salt, tea leaves, star anise, cinnamon stick, and tangerine zest. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 hours. Remove from heat, add eggs, and let steep for at least 8 hours.

The next recipe is one I did not get a chance to give over the air on Monday but I will here. This, too, is from one of the forum members over at Jamie Oliver. He's originally from Britain but is now living in Cypress. He shares a recipe for a pie that uses hard-cooked eggs and fresh greens. It's definitely on my to-cook list.

Savory Easter Pie

6 hard boiled eggs, shelled, halved
3/4 pound greens (eg. 1/2 lb spinach, 1/4 lob dandelion) cooked and squeezed dry
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan
Sweat 1 chopped onion til soft. Cool.
Add greens and mix.
Add 15 oz container of ricotta
and 1/4 lb cubed provolone
add, mix, season with salt and pepper
Roll puff pastry to line a greased and floured pie dish
Fill with half the spinach mixture.
Place the eggs cut side down. Fill with remaining mixture.
Brush edge with beaten egg. Top with pastry and crimp edge.
Cut a cross in the centre. brush with egg.
Bake at 375f 35 - 40 minutes til risen and golden.
Cool and slice.

Finally, my Quick Fix for the show was a no-brainer as it combined our two star ingredients, rice and hard-cooked eggs. I'm very picky and down right snooty when it comes to Indian food.
When looking at a recipe that purports to be "Indian" and I see curry powder listed in the ingredients, I give an audible "harrumph" and move on. There are, though, exceptions to every rule--even the ones we make ourselves. When I finally did try this recipe, after years of resistance, I was hooked. This comes from the final edition of The Settlement Cookbook, a book that I shared on the air a few weeks ago. The rice recipe comes from Suvir Saran's first book, Indian Homecooking, one of those jewels that I've never made a bad recipe out of and which the author himself was gracious enough to answer questions about when I first started using it several years ago.

Curried Eggs with Basmati Rice

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
Few grindings of fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup hot milk
6 hard-cooked eggs sliced

Saute onion in butter til soft. Add flour, curry powder, salt and pepper and mix well. Add milk and whisk until thick. Add eggs and heat through. Serve over basmati rice.

Basmati Rice

Boil 10 cups of water.
Add 2 cups of rice and stir to prevent sticking. Return to boil, reduce to simmer and partially cover cooking for 8 minutes. Drain, return rice to pot and cover until ready to serve.

Lamb Leftovers

I know, I know, it's Saturday and no one has any business keeping that uneaten roast leg of lamb in her refrigerator this long. (Hopefully, you've done the prudent thing by portioning it out and freezing it days ago.) Wherever it is, get some out and try these two tasty recipes.
Like I mentioned on last Monday's show, if it's made with lamb it's Shepherd's Pie whereas the ground beef version is Cottage Pie. Don't get into an argument with family and friends about it though. Save the knock-down-drag-out for more important things like Bolognese Sauce.

Shepherd's Pie
Mashed Potatoes (Not giving a recipe for these as I'm sure everyone knows how to make mash. If you made a roast lamb, you've certainly gone past mashed potato class.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium carrot chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
2 cups roast lamb
1 tablespoon four
3/4 cup meat or veg stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
(If using fresh herbs, triple the amount)
Pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400f.
Heat oil in skillet and saute chopped vegetables until soft.
Add chopped lamb and heat through.
Sprinkle in flour and stir through, cooking for about a minute so it loses its raw flavor.
Pour in stock and raise heat slightly, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen up anything that may have stuck. Continue stirring until thick.
Add seasonings and continue stirring for another minute.
Pour into an 8x8-inch baking pan, cover with mashed potatoes and dot with butter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Years ago when we lived in Santa Monica, there was a Greek restaurant on Pico Blvd just a few blocks down the street from our apartment. It was my first introduction to Pastitsio, a baked pasta dish made with lamb ragu. Sadly, they closed before we could pay a second visit. But my memory of that lovely comfort food stayed with me for years. All this happened long before anyone had heard of that futurist development called the inter net, so finding recipes meant spending hours in bookstores looking for that elusive Greek cookbook that would hold the secret. Oddly enough, it wasn't the inter net (those I'm sure there are many recipes to be found there) or some book on Greek cookery but Martha Stewart who brought me (and many others) the recipe that would satisfy my years of craving that tasty dish from that little place in Santa Monica.
This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd. Perfect for a buffet or your contribution to a potluck supper. But if you're only feeding a few, you can halve the recipe and bake it in an 8x8-inch dish or a medium-sized gratin.


For the ragu:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups chopped roast lamb
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
Several grindings of fresh black pepper
Pinch fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 six-oz can tomato paste
A few bay leaves
2 cups water

For the Bechamel:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon regular flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt (plus more for cooking water)
a few grindings of fresh black pepper
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Butter for baking dish
1 pound medium shells (pasta)

1. Heat oil in large skillet and saute onions until soft. Add lamb, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg stirring to combine well and heat through. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated after which you will add the rest of the ragu ingredients stirring to combine. Heat to a simmer and cover cooking on low for 30 min. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Melt butter in large sauce pan then add flour and baking powder stirring for one minute with a wire whisk to prevent sticking and to cook flour to loose its raw taste. Raise heat and slowly pour in the milk, whisking all the time until sauce becomes thick and bubbly. Add cheese and seasoning, remove from heat and keep covered.
3. Preheat oven to 375f. Cook shells in salted water until not quite al dente (about 2 or 3 minutes short of package instructions) as they will be cooking further in the oven. Drain well in colander and mix with the ragu.
4. Butter a 13x9-inch baking pan and spread the pasta and ragu mixture evenly in the bottom.
Spread bechemel over the top and bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is nicely browned. (You may want to set a foil-lined baking sheet on the rack just below to catch any drips.)
Let set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ham Salad

Well, it's Thursday night after Easter and I'm still eating leftover ham. Time for that part of the pig to hit the freezer! As much as I love ham (and this is an ace recipe, believe me!) I need to put it away before I can't look at another ham sandwich or Western omelet for awhile. But before I do, I want to share a good recipe for leftover ham. This turned up at all our Memorial Day picnics when I was a kid. When our Easter ham disappeared after many incarnations, it would magically appear as Ham Salad Sandwiches at that same roadside picnic area back in Michigan over Memorial Day Weekend when we would stop for a bite between cemetery visits. Don't know if this is Mom's same recipe but it sure worked for me this week!
Ham Salad
3 cups ground ham
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
several grindings of black pepper

Combine all ingredients and use for sandwiches, spread for crackers, or any other filling.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fried Rice

Tonight is Holy Saturday and I have so many blessed things to do. (lol) Actually, I have been cooking all day and have had a great time doing it. Making some old favorites and something new that may become a favorite.
For the last 10 years or so, I have made Colombo di Pasquale (Easter sweet bread made in the shape of a dove) for Easter. It's a 2-day process that is well worth the time and effort. But this year, I decided to give another sweet a try. (Since there's only two of us and I'm the only one who indulges, it makes no sense to make more than one thing that will add inches to my waistline.)
It seems like the word, "Pastiera" kept popping up here and there. I'd seen recipes for this unusual ricotta- and wheat-filled torte but always brushed it aside thinking I'd make it "someday."
"Someday" arrived today after Deb DiMaggio, one of my good online friends from Jamie Oliver Forums announced that she was making one for Easter.
Then when she said she had been soaking the wheat for its 12-hour bath, the ritual of it all stung me. The next thing I knew, I was making sure I had enough homemade candied orange peel for the recipe (buying another 5 pounds of oranges "just in case") picking up 1 half gallon on local milk and measuring out cream for freshly make ricotta and making sure that the wheat I was picking up was the kind I needed. Those were the fun and easy things. The only daunting task turned out to be making the pastry dough.
At first glance, the pastry dough seemed pretty straight forward to me. "Hmmm, just a regular pasta frolla. No sweat." Or so I thought. This recipe was more than just the pastry I've made so many times with flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and eggs. First, there is no baking powder and then only egg yolks. The rest of the moisture is made up of cold water. The dough is very sticky and not at all easy to roll out particularly if you follow the instructions and try to roll it out between two very large sheets of floured wax (or parchment) paper. The instructions said not to worry if it breaks because you can patch it. Patch it!!! Good Lord, there's a wide line between patching and repairing huge rips that occurred when I tried to invert it into the spring form pan. Didn't happen. It defied gravity and stuck to the paper as if I'd not used a speck of flour.
In all of that, I must say it doesn't look half bad. Not as gorgeous as Deb's, but not too bad.
I didn't get around to giving the Quick Fix recipe in my last blog so I'll do that here right after apologizing for the un-clickable link to Martha's rice recipe from last week. Don't know what's going on. If any of my fellow bloggers knows how to do this, please let me know.
OK, on to the recipe.
Day Before Payday Fried Rice
3 tablespoons oil
3 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cups cooked cold rice
2 cups leftover meat such as chicken, roast pork or ham. (Or uncooked shrimp)
1 stalk celery sliced diagonally
1 large carrot grated
1 cup frozen peas
2 green onions sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon in 12-inch skillet and pour in beaten eggs tipping pan for them to spread.
When done on one side, turn and cook til set. Chop and set aside.
Add rest of oil and sesame oil to pan and heat. Add rice and fry trying to get a crust on the bottom of it.
Add the rest of the ingredients except soy sauce, turn over several time to coat and mix well, then cover and steam for five minutes.
Mix in eggs and soy sauce and serve.

Tune in on Monday for rest of the rice show and some interesting things to do with leftover hard boiled eggs.
One week from Monday, make sure to listen in (and tell your friends) when we move things South of the Border to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! An all-Mexican recipe show!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rice is Nice

I would like to start off by apologizing to any of you who thought you may have tuned into the wrong show on Monday. Apparently, I called the show Hoos Talkin' instead of Hoos Cookin'! I did this not once, but several times. Luckily, I was able to remember my own name. lol
I want to say "Thank You" to my guests from Monday's show. My sister, Chris, from Michigan gave some interesting information on wild rice and a few good recipes as well.

Wild Rice with Wild Mushrooms
1 1/2 cups canned chicken broth
3/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed under cold water

1 1/4 cups wild rice, rinsed under cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
9 medium crimini or button mushrooms, sliced

Bring broth to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat; add porcini mushrooms and let stand until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Finely chop porcini.

Bring medium saucepan of water to boil. Add rice, salt and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until rice is almost tender, about 45 minutes. Drain; discard bay leaves. (Porcini and rice can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover porcini, soaking liquid and rice
separately and refrigerate.)

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, garlic, marjoram, thyme and porcini and saute 5 minutes. Add crimini mushrooms; saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add rice and reserved porcini soaking liquid, discarding sediment in bottom. Simmer until almost all liquid absorbed but mixture is still moist, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

She also talked about a wild rice and chicken soup the recipe for which she sent me. As she said on the show, you can make this a non-cream soup by omitting the half-and-half and adding more broth, or, if you want a cream soup with less the fat, substitute low fat milk.

Wild Rice and Chicken Soup


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 cups half-and-half


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Then add the flour and stir well. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer.
  2. Next, add the rice, chicken, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper, almonds and sherry. Allow to heat through, then pour in the half-and-half. Let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. (Note: Do not boil or your roux will break.)
Well, in addition to forgetting the name of my own show, I also forgot to mention that our next guest, Mai, was the person from New Orleans whom I'd alluded to earlier. I was so happy to have her on the show and I finally located Massaman curry paste today at the Thai-Lao Market on Santa Rosa Blvd this afternoon. So as soon as Lent is over, I'm on my way to a something new! In the meantime, here's her recipe:

Massaman Beef Curry

2 Pounds Chuck Steak cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
2 medium potatoes , peeled cut into 8 pieces
3-4 tablespoons massaman curry paste
1 can 13.5 oz. (Chaokoh coconut milk)
1 1/2 cups water
1 whole white onion
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
To do
a. Add Coconut milk (one can) into a pot and heat on low heat until hot.
b. Add massaman curry paste (3 to 4 tablespoons) or more if you want it more spice. Stir well and let it heat for up to ten minutes on low heat.
c. Cut beef into 10 pieces add into pot and stir well and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium high heat. Add water and bring to a simmer.
d. Add peanuts, onion and potatoes, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Stir them well and let them cook for 40-50 minutes until the beef is tender on low heat. Stir the pot every 10 minutes.
After 50 minutes serve with white steamed rice only.

I was so glad my fellow forum member from the Jamie Oliver site rang in with her recipe which she had sent me to link to and which I had planned on talking about. It looked a little daunting at first but once you read the directions, it's not all that bad. It's one that I definitely want to try.
Here is the link for Persian Rice Salad:
It's the last recipe on the bottom of the page.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Was and What Will Be

First, I'm going to jump to the future before I start sharing more recipes from this week's show.
On Monday I'll be talking about rice and hopefully have a special guest from Thailand who will share a recipe with us. I'll be discussing rice from all four corners of the globe touching on Italian risotto and arancini, Italian rice balls stuffed and fried. Then it's on to India for a couple ways to prepare Basmati. Of course, we won't forget the US with dirty rice. And last, my Quick Fix, yes I know I didn't get around to it last show, will be my favorite fried rice dish that your family and friends will love.
Then just in time for Easter, I'll be talking about Peter Cotton Tail's contribution to the sweet tooth in all of us...yes, we're talking chocolate! A few have already told us their faves on the Hoos Cookin' Face Book page. Weigh in on your favorite.

I think pulled pork has to be someplace on my top ten favorite sandwiches. I especially like it with a good helping of creamy cole slaw on top.
I learned to make slaw way back when while I was a cook in a rib house in the Detroit area. We made it in big plastic trash cans. (Don't worry, they never saw trash!) The slaw was so good that people would come and order extra sides or what we would call "slaw for the money."
I don't remember the exact recipe, but this is a pretty close approximation:

Cole Slaw
1 head of cabbage, sliced thin and chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup half&half
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix cabbage and carrot together in large bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients together well and mix into cabbage mixture coating everything well. Refrigerate several hours before serving or overnight.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Now that you've got your slaw chilling in the fridge, grab a shoulder roast of pork (bone-in) and rub it with a mixture of brown sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, black pepper, a little cayenne and a pinch of mace. (I never measure but pretty much end up seasoning the brown sugar with the other ingredients.) Refrigerate overnight wrapped well.
Place in slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. When done, serve on rolls with cole slaw and your favorite barbecue sauce.

I also went a little retro on the last show with the iceberg lettuce wedge topped with homemade creamy blue cheese dressing. It's simple, crisp and delicious. You can even gussy it up a bit by sprinkling some good fried bacon pieces over it.
The most important thing about making good homemade blue cheese dressing is using a good quality cheese. If you've got a little extra cash and want to impress, buy a wedge of good imported French Roquefort, a sheep's milk cheese that has that earthy, funky taste down in with the beautiful tasty green mold. There is no other cheese like it. A good second choice, still a little pricey but not too bad if you buy it at a club store is Point Reyes Blue Cheese. This is what I use. It's only around ten bucks a pound which is nearly half of what other places charge.
But onto the recipe, one I remember making back at The Clock restaurant in Battle Creek when they were still around.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

2 large cloves garlic
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 cup good quality mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
pinch of salt
A few good coarse grindings of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 oz good quality blue cheese

Place garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add everything except cheese and process until well blended. Crumble in cheese and pulse until blended through. Taste and correct for seasoning.

I haven't gotten hold of my friend, Susan, who gave me the Passover recipes yet so I will have to wait on the Broccoli and Matzo recipe. But I do want to include the muffins that she raved about. These came from her mother's old neighbor back in Brooklyn. So it's tried and true and now here for you.

Farfel Muffins

1 1/2 cups matzo farfel (available in Kosher sections of supermarkets or Jewish delicatessen.
2 eggs
pinch salt

In a large bowl, cover farfel with boiling water. Cover bowl and let set until water is absorbed.
Put contents in colander and let drain any extra water.
Add eggs and salt.
Fill well-greased muffin tins half way and bake at 425 f for 1/2 hour. Serve with margarine, if keeping kosher. If not, break out the butter.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Custard Rhubarb Pie

This is a pie that I came to rather late in life. To me rhubarb pie has always meant a somewhat sweet but very tart pie that could not be eaten, unless very very hungry, without a scoop of vanilla ice cream crowning this Spring time treat.
If you hate, or at least think you hate, rhubarb or have friends or family with the same sentiments, my sister swears that you will love her pie. She generally is a down-to-earth person who doesn't exaggerate about these things. (Unlike me.) Give this twist on an old favorite a try and don't worry, there's still plenty of Spring left for you to make the more traditional version with that oh-so-essential scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Custard Rhubarb Pie (Chris Hoos' version)

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch salt
3 large eggs
5 cups rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces
Enough pastry to form bottom and top of a nine-inch pie pan.

Roll out half of dough and place into pie pan.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs.
Pour beaten eggs into dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
Stir in rhubarb and pour into 9-inch.
Dot with butter and make a lattice top.
Bake for 50 minutes. Let rest until cool before cutting.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet Potato Tsimiss

As anyone knows who follows this blog, it takes me a while to get things posted from my last show.
However, when I get someone calls the show from Scotland, certain things take a front seat which is why I'm on here today and posting this recipe for the Passover dish that I talked about on the show today. I'd hate to be responsible for the squash rotting on the counter of a woman in Scotland after she called all the way to California for the recipe.
Janet, this is for you:

Sweet Potato Tsimiss

1 cup grated butternut squash or sweet potato
1 cup grated apple
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried prunes, chopped
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup margarine (melted)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup matzo meal

Mix all ingredients together, turn into a greased casserole and bake at 350f and bake for 1 hours.
Let me know how it turns out.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week of April 4, 2011

The good news is that as of the other day, Tuesday, we got streaming back!!! That means I'm looking forward, more than usual, to next Monday's show when our listeners around the country will get to join in.
Before I get to this week's recipes from the show, I was asked to share a recipe I had posted on my personal page for bread and butter pickles. This got me thinking about the cookbook it came from, a 1943 edition of The Settlement Cookbook which was given to my grandmother by her sister for Christmas of that year. Beyond that, I was thinking about other families that may have heirloom cookbooks or just family favorites. So, I'm hoping that I can get some callers on Monday to share some of their favorite cookbooks on the air with me. If you have a certain cookbook that's been in the family or that has a special meaning to you, please call in during the show on Monday
(12-1 PST (707)869-1131) and share with us!
On to the recipe!
You don't need a crock for this but I use one because I have a nice one. (There's a story behind it that I'll share at another time.)

2 cups sliced onions
6 quarts sliced pickling cucumbers (about 25 5-inch)
1/2 cup salt
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix onions and cucumbers and sprinkle with salt. Let stand over night. Next morning drain, wash and place in a crock. (or a nonreactive bowl or large pot) Make a syrup of the vinegar, water, 2 cups of sugar and spices. Pour over cucumber mixture and let stand over night.
Next morning, drain and add 1/2 cup sugar to the to drained pickling syrup, heat and pour over pickles and let stand over night. Third morning, add 1/2 cup sugar to pickles and cook 10 minutes. Pack in hot sterilized pint jars. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Remove and let stand over night before storing.

Pizza is one of those things that I have to have homemade at least once a month. Last week while thinking back on our trip to Rome several years ago at Easter, I couldn't help but remember all the pizza shops and the one near our apartment that we used to frequent. These little take-out shops are all over Rome and the pizzas, long ovals of goodness with a variety of toppings, are displayed behind glass at the counter where you point and tell how much you want. It is then sliced and weighed out. (Yes, you pay by the weight for everything there.) These pizzas go together pretty fast because of the dough recipe I use. They take me back to Rome and I hope they'll take you back to this recipe time and again.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons instant yeast (or quick rising)
big pinch of salt.
Mix together and knead for 10 minutes. Place in lightly oiled bowl, turn to cover with oil and let set for 1 hour wrapped in plastic in a warm place.
On a lightly floured surface, roll into a long and wide oval.
Spread thinly, with marinara sauce to within an inch of the edge.
Sprinkle with dried oregano and grated mozzarella. Finish by topping with thinly sliced mushrooms and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in 450 f oven for 15 minutes or until edge of the pizza is golden brown.
Be creative with your toppings. Just don't over load or it will be soggy. You want a thin crispy pie. Try thinly sliced ham, zucchini, squash blossoms, a sprinkling of good quality canned tuna...

Ooops! I incorrectly called the chicken breast recipe I gave out on Monday Chicken Milanese when I should have called it Chicken Parmigiana. It was an innocent mistake, though. They both start out pounded, breaded and fried. But the later has Parmesan cheese added to the bread crumbs and is then baked in the oven with a tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

1 chicken breast
flour on a plated
1 egg beaten with a few teaspoons of water added
1 cup plain bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper and about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese mixed in.
Olive oil for frying
Tomato sauce (recipe to follow)
a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
several slices of fresh mozzarella

Start by slicing breast on the bias into 4-inch pieces and placing them, one at a time, between two pieces of plastic wrap and pounding them until about 1/8 inch thick with the smooth side of a meat tenderizer.
Dredge in flour, shaking off excess, and dip in egg wash and bread crumbs and fry in hot olive oil until golden on both sides. Repeat with remaining pieces.
In a baking pan, smear a little of the tomato sauce and lay chicken pieces flat topping with more tomato sauce followed by Parmesan and slices of mozzarella.
Bake in upper part of at 375f until bubbling.

Tomato Sauce
1 28oz can plum tomatoes, chopped or put through a food mill.
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, mashed
pinch of chili flakes )optional
a few sprigs of fresh basil
Salt to taste
In a sauce pan, heat oil and fry garlic until golden. Remove garlic and add tomatoes and chili flakes if using. Simmer about 25 minutes. Turn off heat and steep basil for about 2-3 minutes and then remove.
Of course, you can also use any other favorite tomato sauce of your choice.

My take on 3-bean salad.
1 pound green beans, cleaned, cut into 2-inch pieces and boiled or steamed until tender
1 14-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 14-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup red onion, chopped fine
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 hard cooked egg, diced
1 7-oz can tuna, drained (preferably Italian tuna in olive oil)
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
big pinch of dried oregano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Mix all ingredients except oil and vinegar well but gently making sure tuna is not too broken up. (You want tuna throughout salad without it disappearing!) Whisk oil and vinegar together until an emulsification is achieved and pour over salad gently mixing to ensure integrity of tuna.

I started making my own candied orange peel several years ago when I got interested in Sicilian pastries. It's no surprise that the biggest island in the Mediterranean should make so many wonderful citrus-based delicacies when we consider the varieties of oranges, lemons and other citrus crops grown there. Save those tasty orange sections for a healthy snack or a sweet, tart and savory salad, the recipe for which I'll be giving out on Monday's show.
Candied Orange Peel
3 naval oranges (preferably organic)
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup corn syrup

Wash oranges well and cut each into 6 equal wedges. Cut away the pulp with a sharp paring knife and set aside for another use.
With a teaspoon, scrape away what's left of the pulp plus most of the pith. (It's not necessary to completely rid the orange of all the white pith.)
Place peels in a large sauce pan and cover with cold water bringing it to the boil. After it has boiled for 1 minute, drain and repeat the procedure 3 more times each time draining and covering again with cold water. This must be done to remove the bitterness.
Remove peel from the pan and add sugar, water and corn syrup. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved and then return peel to the pan, stirring to coat and continue on a low boil for 20-25 minutes until much of the syrup has been absorbed into the peel.
Drain peels on a rack for several hours. Place in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

I just noticed the other day that one of our local Trader Joe's has orecciette, the small inverted disks of pasta that translate to "little ears." They stopped carrying them several years back which made it difficult to make one of my favorite vegetable pasta dishes.
Orecciette with Cauliflower
1 large head cauliflower, divided into florets, stem chopped and any tender leaves.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound orecciette
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Grated pecorino
Black truffle oil (optional)
In a large pot, bring water to boil. Salt water and add cauliflower, stem and leaves and boil until tender. Remove from water with slotted spoon. (Save water)
In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil and add anchovies and cook, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon until they dissolve. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until golden. Add cauliflower and mash with back of a spoon until a sauce is formed.
Meanwhile, heat water in which cauliflower was cooked to a boil and add pasta, cooking until just al dente, using some of the water to thin the sauce if needed.
Add pasta to skillet along with a little water and continue cooking a few more minutes.
Add parsley and mix together well.
Serve with pecorino cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil if using.
The Quick Fix this week was something I came up with when I really had a longing for some calamari and pasta. I don't know what it is about angel hair pasta, but it seems to match up so well with seafood. I love the combo and I hope you will too.

Angel Hair Pasta with Calamari

1/2 pound calamari cleaned and sliced into rings, tentacles
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chili flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
14 oz can tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
grated pecorino

Heat olive oil in large skillet and add calamari, garlic and chili flakes. Cook stirring on medium high heat until calamari firm up and garlic turns a light golden. Add wine and let bubble away for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and mash with back of spoon. Cook at a gentle but constant simmer for about twenty-five minutes mashing tomato until broken up.
Meanwhile, boil pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain well and add to skillet tossing well in the sauce.
Add chopped parsley and toss again. Serve with pecorino on the side.

That's it for this week. I'll be looking forward to Monday when I'll be talking about this week's deals in the market, Passover in Italy and favorite cookbooks. (What's on your shelf?)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

If you know of something that smells better than the aroma of roasted onions and bay leaves in the kitchen, I'd sure like to know what it is! Thought I'd post the rest of the recipes for this past week while I was waiting for my supper to get done. I went back to an old standby I've been doing for the past few years, a Sicilian recipe for chicken leg quarters (also works great with lamb chops) that you throw together and roast in the oven. Even if you're not particularly hungry once you've put it in, you will be by the time ti's been in there for the first half hour and the aroma is making you feel like Pavlov's dog times three! And if we get the streaming back up by show time on Monday (12-1PM PST) I'll give the recipe. If not, I'll post it on here next week as I'm playing some serious catch-up from this week's show.
It hasn't happened yet, but I'm hoping the next big thing in party fare will be panelle, a type of polenta made from chickpea flour and fried in olive oil that has been a popular snack in Sicily forever. Sicilians love their fried foods from the worldwide favorite, French Fries, to their own inventions like Arancini and Panelle.
3 cups chickpea flour (available in health food or middle eastern markets)
5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil for frying

Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
Off heat, put water in large sauce pan and whisk in chickpea flour slowly to avoid lumps.
Over medium-high heat, stir in salt, pepper and parsley. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and comes away from the sides of the pan. Add more slat if desired to taste.
Immediately pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly with dampened spatula to the thickness of 1/4 inch. Let cool completely.
Cut into 4x3 inch rectangles and fry in hot (but not smoking) olive oil turning as they become golden brown. Transfer to paper towels, sprinkle with salt and serve while hot.

The last recipe for last week's show is for slow cooker baked beans.
When I started to cook lots of new things from scratch, I, like many other people, stashed the crock-pot. No longer interested in the many atrocities that came from the modern day cauldron of evil, we turned to fresh ingredients, shunning the sodium-laden cans of condensed soups the seemed to find their way into every slow cooker recipe. But I think after some time, that a lot of us started to realize that the vessels themselves weren't desecrated so much as the abominations that we were putting into them. So we've come full-circle and started spending way too much on the newest models and started purchasing books like Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker.
This recipe is based on one that I got from my mother. Yes, it contains canned beans which you may not-just-as-easily cook from dried. Up to you. I actually cooked and froze dried beans keeping them in marked packages in the freezer just for this recipe.
1-15 oz can Great Northern beans
1-15 oz can pinto beans
1-15 oz can black eyed peas
1-15 oz can green peas
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed (or try substituting maple syrup)
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 pound bacon, chopped
salt to taste
Drain beans and peas well and mix with other ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Be creative and use other kinds of beans. Of course, the bacon may be omitted making this a vegan recipe.