Tuesday, August 30, 2011

That 70's Kitchen

The bag of chips on your left will tip you off that I'll be including the casserole recipe that I gave out for this week's Quick Fix.

But before I get to that, I want to pass on the recipes for the ones for the Blackberry Ice cream and Stuffed Baked Tomatoes.

This has to be in the top ten of my favorite homemade ice creams. I think only strawberry and hazelnut gelato can top it. (OK, lemon granita may be better too, but that's because it brings back some wonderful memories of Sicily.)

It's been over ten years that this recipe first appeared in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. This is so easy to make if you live in an area where wild blackberries are available, this goes together very quickly. I think the biggest chore would be gathering the 2 cups of berries and if you live around here, that would take all of about 5 minutes.

Blackberry Ice Cream

2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Puree berries in a food processor and force through a fine strainer to remove the seeds.
Add sugar to cream and mix until dissolved. Stir in berry puree and lemon juice.
Freeze in ice cream freezer.

I know that stuffed tomatoes do not logically follow ice cream but who wants to be logical? If I remember, most of the 70's were pretty illogical. But there's nothing illogical or difficult for the recipe for stuffed tomatoes which is based on one from Giada De Lauerntiis. These have been a big hit when I've made them for company. They reheat nicely, too for a little lunch for yourself if you're lucky enough to have any left over.

Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

12 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and gelatinous matter removed

1/4 plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, minced

Big pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

3/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place tomatoes, cut side down, on paper towels to drain for about 5 minutes.

Mix olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold the tomatoes. Marinate th

tomatoes in the mixture for 20 minutes or so turning them every so often.

Remove tomatoes to a baking pan draining off some of the oil back into the bowl.

Mix panko and cheese in a bowl with your fingers and fill cavity of each tomato.

Spoon over some of the marinade mixture over each tomato.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping has browned.

I also passed on the recipe for the apple tartlets I made last weekend. These also so together quickly and easily. The hardest part is making the pie dough if you go that route and there are so many good recipes out there that use the food processor that I can't see anyone not at least giving it a try before resorting to the dairy case in the super market. I must warn you that these can be addicting so plan on a few trips to the fridge during the night unless you want to give the rest away.

Apple Tartlets

Dough for a double crust pie
4 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°F

Line 12 standard-size muffin tin cups with the pie dough.
Fill with apple slices.
Mix the rest of the ingredient together and pour in cups to fill.
Bake for 40 minutes. Cool completely on rack before removing.

Finally, I come to the casserole, the recipe of which I gave for the Quick Fix segment at the end of the show. Thinking back, I think that recipes from prepackaged foods may have reached their zenith in the 70's. I may be tempted to give out another one from that period for manicotti made with mayonnaise. Yes, I felt that shudder, too.

I first had this dish in the mid-70's during a trip to Arkansas to attend the funeral of a relative in Arkansas. When there is a death in someone's family, friends and neighbors bring by "covered dishes" to the family. (A covered dish being another name for a casserole, a name that's gone out of usage, I'm afraid, but nonetheless one that takes me back to another time.) The "covered dish" I remember from this trip was one that included chicken and Doritos in a cream sauce. At the time, I (or probably most of us) was not concerned about my intake of processed foods. Nor was I reading labels as I do now. That being said, once won't kill you so give a go!

Mexi-chicken Covered Dish

1 chicken, cooked and boned (that's why we have supermarket rotisserie chickens)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes (do no substitute regular diced tomatoes)
1 medium onion, diced
1 (6.3 oz) package of Nacho Doritos
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix all ingredients except chicken, Doritos and cheese.

In a casserole, layer Doritos, chicken, soup mixture and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.

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