Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apple Galette (easier than pie!)

Rustic and so tasty looking, this is my go-to desert when I am rushed and I know I have some pie dough in the fridge.  Actually, that is how I ended up making my first galette.
  We had to bring pumpkin pie to a gathering and when I made the dough, I made the whole recipe, enough dough for two pies.  Even though I had never made one before, I knew a galette could be made using regular pie dough and a fruit filling. You've heard the term "easy as pie?"  Well, this is way  easier!

Apple Galette

2 baking apples (Granny Smiths are good) peeled, cored and sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1/2 cup white sugar plus more for sprinkling on the crust.
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons butter to dot the pie
1/4 cup apricot preserves*
One recipe pie dough  (followed below)

Preheat oven to 425°F
Mix apples, sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll one disc of dough into a circle about 14 inches in diameter and transfer to baking sheet.
Place apple slices in a concentric circle on the dough leaving about 4 inches of dough exposed around the edge.
Dot with small pieces of butter in various places.
Fold the dough in around the fruit.
Brush dough with water and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Heat preserves and brush on exposed apples.

Pie Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chilled vegetable shortening or lard
Ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, place the flour, sugar and salt and pulse a few times to mix.
Add the butter and shortening and pulse 11 times or until the fat is cut into the flour to resemble the size of small peas.
Add 6 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse several times adding a little more water if needed until the mixture comes together.  (Do not add too much water,)
Remove the dough, divided in half and form each half into a 5-inch disk, wrapping each in plastic wrap and refrigerating until needed.

*I have used various kinds of jams including strawberry and even orange marmalade with great results!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nasi Goreng

I know I will catch a lot of flack from my friends in Indonesia and Malaysia for this recipe because it is probably not what they would call original, for one thing.  For another thing, both cultures seem to lay claim to this preparation of fried rice and some other dishes that they both share but  prepare in different ways.
This recipe comes from Southeast Asian Food by cookbook author, Rosemary Brissenden.  I am currently cooking my way through this fabulous book starting at the beginning which focuses on recipes from Indonesia.
To make it even spicier (and tastier IMO), I like to add bajak sambal, a sweet, sour, fiery condiment that none of my Indonesian friends seems to have heard about but one which I make at least twice a week to go with my daily breakfast of nasi goreng, the fried rice of Indonesia and Malaysia.

Nasi Goreng

3 tablespoons or more oil
8 oz rump steak or boneless chicken, cut into very thin strips
7 oz shrimp peeled and deveined (optional)
3 cups steamed rice, cooled.  (leftover is best)
1 tablespoon Javanese soy sauce (I use kecap manis)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Fried onion flakes for garnish
One egg per person 
Shrimp crackers

Spice Paste

4 medium-length red chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 cloves garlic
5 shallots, sliced.

Grind the spice paste ingredients to a rough paste.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or pan and fry the spice paste until fragrant.  Add the beef and shrimp (if using) and stir-fry until they are cooked.   Add the rice and mix well. Add more oil if necessary, and the soy sauces, and keep stirring until the rice grains are coated, everything is warm and the color is even.  Set aside and keep warm.
 In a separate pan, fry the eggs until they are cook but the yolks are still soft. Serve the rice on individual plates, garnished with fried onion flakes and a fried egg on top.  Decorate the plates with the sliced tomatoes and cucumber.  Serve with a side dish of shrimp crackers.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Curry Puffs (Karipaps)

I really have to thank my very dear friend Adam from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for introducing me to this wonderful snack.
He not only told me about them but also sent me a cookbook with a recipe for them.
For a dipping sauce, I like to use the sweet chili sauce that comes in a bottle.  Both Mae Ploy and Dragaonfly make this and is in the asian section of the supermarket.  Anther friend from Malaysia has given me a recipe for it which I have yet to try so I won't include it here.  If you cannot get it, I would use oyster sauce, hoisin or some other sweet sauce.  If you have sweet and sour that would be fine, too.
For the curry powder, I use Oriental curry powder from S&B. Use a little extra if you cannot get curry leaves.
These are best eaten fresh and hot buy can be reheated in the oven on a baking sheet.  DO NOT reheat in the microwave.  It destroys the texture.

Malay Curry Puffs (Karipaps)

3/8 cup oil
2 1/2 tablespoon butter
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, minced
5-6 curry leaves
1 tablespoon curry powder mixed with 5 tablespoon of water
5 oz ground beef
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
1 teaspoon salt

To make the pastry, heat up oil and butter just until the butter melt and then cool slightly.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the oil and butter mixture.  Mix well.  Add the salted water and mix well.  Add just enough water to make a pliable dough and knead.  Cover and set aside for half an hour.

To make the filling, heat oil in a skillet and saute onion until translucent.  Add the curry mixture and curry leaves and fry for a few minutes splashing a little water in the pan if it starts to stick and burn.  Add the beef and fry for a few more minutes.  Add the potatoes and salted water and continue cooking adding a little water from time to time to "steam" the potatoes.  Correct for seasoning and set aside to cool.
Roll the dough out thin and cut into 3-inch circles. Fill, fold and crimp the edges.
Fry in oil until golden brown and serve immediately

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lamb Rendang

Lamb Rendang over rice

Frying spice paste

On the Saturday morning before Easter when I decided at the last minute that I wanted to make Abbacchio, Roman lamb, for my dinner the next day, I had no idea that I was getting into a situation that would leave me with more meat than I had counted on.  I called a local butcher shop and was told there was one lamb shoulder roast left.  Excited, I asked the man                                                                      to put my name on it and save it.  I pictured a medium-sized roast like the one I had gotten in Rome during my stay there. When I got there I was surprised at the size of this monster. It wasn't a shoulder of lamb, it was a shoulder of elephant!
The next day I cut the lamb into pieces and started wondering what I would do with the rest. (I had two 1-gallon bags full of cut up lamb.)  My answer came soon after as I was looking through my favorite Malaysian cooking site, Rasamalaysia where I found a recipe for slowcooker Lamb Rendang.  Really?  Slowcooker?  Who knew?  OK, I am chronically western and ignorant with visions of an ancient culture that has remained the same for centuries in spite of the fact that I talk to my Malaysian friends on Facebook and Skype and warn at least one not to become too addicted to the McDonalds' and KFC's in Kuala Lumpur.
But yes, this uses a slowcooker and the results are amazing.  This is some of the tenderest and most succulent lamb I have ever eaten.  And it was not that spicy, either.  I hope you'll give this a shot.
Lamd Rendang

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Char Kway Teow

This popular dish from the hawker stalls of Malaysia is my current favorite way to eat fried noodles.  You really get to play with you food from the get-go with this recipe which makes it fun.  You start by opening the package you see on the right, and separating the strands of noodles and putting them on a platter.
(Get your honey to help you and make dinner a collaboration.)
Besides getting tactile with the noodles, I love the silky texture of the mouth-feel you get with these.  These are not like any other noodle I have ever eaten or cooked with.
Look for these up by the register of your local Asian or Southeast Asian market.  (The fresher, the better.)
A word about ingredients:
The original recipe calls for blood cockles and you can usually find them in the frozen food section of your local Asian or Southeast Asian market.  They are precooked and only need to have hot water poured on them to open and then are easily removed.  I however cannot stand the taste of them.  I ended up picking mine out and tossing them.  I may try again if I can find them fresh the next time I am in Chinatown or one of the shops on Clement or (better yet) Irving St.  I just doubled up on the shrimp in the recipe I came across, leaving out another traditional component.
The person who told me about Char Kwey Teow told me that where he lives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that the dish comes with Chinese beef sausage as opposed to rump steak, which I used. (Malaysia has a large Muslim population and the consumption of pork is forbidden in the religion) which I could not find anywhere.  If you have no opposition to it, you may use Chinese style sausages in your version.  (If you happen to find yourself in Chinatown in San Francisco, a few places make their own barbecue pork sausages which are many times better than the ones you buy pre-packaged.)

Char Kway Teow

1 lb fresh flat rice noodles (available in Asian markets)
3-4 red chilies, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 oz round steak or rump steak, sliced thin
8 oz prawns, peeled and deveined
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons light soy
8 oz fresh mung bean sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
1/2 bunch Chinese garlic chives, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon kecap manis (or to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Unravel noodles and set aside on a plate. Grind chilies and garlic to a rough paste.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Fry paste taking care not to burn. Add meat and stir-fry until cooked. Add shrimp and shrimp and stir-fry until just underdone
Add a pinch of sugar and the light soy and mix well.
Add noodles and stir-fry until coated with the mixture.
Add bean sprouts, chives and kecap manis and toss until everything is mixed. (Do not over-cook bean sprouts; they should have a crunch in them)
Add water or more kecap manis, if you wish.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stuffed Artichokes

My inspiration for stuffed artichokes comes from my mom's old neighbor, Tony, a man who, although he has been in The US and Canada since he was 19 years old, still sounds like he just got off the boat from Palermo.  The first time I had one of his stuffed artichokes was a number of years ago when he invited us to his house for dinner.  I was more than a little eager having heard about some of the wonderful things he made.   I was not disappointed.  After snacking on various veggies, bread, cheese and salami, we were ushered into the dining room where we were met with a huge platter of very large artichokes bursting with a stuffing of breadcrumbs, garlic, cheese and peas.  Satisfied and ready for some after dinner chat and wine, I was astonished when Tony and his wife, Jillian, excused themselves to fetch the entree.
Yes, this is the Italian way, or at least the Sicilian way, as I later learned.  When one course is finished, another is brought to the table.  (Several years after, I would encounter the same practice in Sicily and be just as amazed each time it occurred.)
These are big enough to make a perfect luncheon or a light supper.  Anyway you decided to do it, I hope you will celebrate Spring this time around by serving these stuffed artichokes.

Stuffed Artichokes

4 artichokes
1 1/2 cups plain, dry breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
2/3 cup cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Chili flakes (optional)

Mix the bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, anchovies and salt and pepper together. Add enough olive oil to moisten.
Holding the stem, smash each artichoke against the counter top to open up the leaves.  With a teaspoon, dig out the inedible choke in the center and discard.
Remove the stems. Peel and finely dice and add to breadcrumb mixture.
Add the peas and cheese.
Fill between leaves and inner cavity.
Drizzle with some olive oil and place upright in the bottom of a pan.
Add enough water to come up about 2 inches.
Sprinkle with chili flakes (if using) in the water and turn on heat. Once the water boils, turn it down to a simmer and steam for 40-45 min adding more water if needed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Calamari and Pasta

Since I had a crazy cartoon shrimp for my shrimp sauce entry in this week's blog, I thought I'd better add one for my calamari and pasta recipe as well.
By the expression in his eyes, this little squid has an idea about his fate. Ah, no greater love hath a squid then to lay down his life for a tasty plate of pasta.

When you buy squid, you can save yourself some money by cleaning it yourself which is not that difficult.  My sister and I pulled a few calamari cleaning marathons a few months ago in Arizona when we (I?) bought quite a bit of nice looking calamari at a good price.  Some went into fried calamari and some went into calamari and angel hair pasta, one of my favorite ways to have this and very simple as well.

You can cut back (or leave out, if you wish) the red chili flakes if you want to cut down on the heat.

 Angel Hair Pasta with Calamari Sauce

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.

* Yes, I know that it is considered gauche in some circles to serve  grated cheese with seafood but I would rather be ridiculed than go without.  And, yes, I have asked for grated cheese for seafood pasta in Italy and was graciously obliged without the merest hint of a flinch on my server's face.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pink Shrimp Sauce

I spend way too  much time looking for a picture of the recipe for Pink Shrimp Sauce over fresh papardelle which I definitely remember having and vaguely remember deleting because I didn't like the way it looked.  So I ended up using this picture that looks like the love child of a shrimp and a lobster.  (These things frighten me.  But I am sure the Frankenfood folks are working on it even as I type.)  But I will not bother you further with my freakish pondering but move ahead with this delicious recipe for what has to be my favorite seafood because of the way it lends itself to so many different treatments this pasta sauce, from Essentials of Italian Classic Cooking by Marcella Hazan being but one.
This works well on dried boxed linguine but I really like it best on a homemade papardelle.

Pink Shrimp Sauce with Cream

1/2 pound medium shrimp
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup dry white wine (I use vermouth)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cream
1 pound pasta
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Shell shrimp and cut in half lengthwise
Saute garlic and olive oil in a saucepan briefly. Add tomato paste/wine solution and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes
Add shrimp, salt and pepper and increase heat to medium high cooking just until shrimp are done. Remove pan from heat.
Remove 2/3 of the shrimp and puree them in a food processor.
Return them to the pan and reheat. Add cream and cook for about one minute. Taste and correct for seasoning.
Toss with pasta, add parsley and serve

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sicilian Pesto

This picture is so reminiscent of Sicily to me.  A narrow walkway in a 13th Century town typifies so many places on the island.  The ancient stone walls seem to whisper to each other they are so close and have been sharing the same small space for so long.
As old as the walls are, the tastes and aromas of Sicily is even older.  Herbs growing wild on the roadside combined with the nuts and olive oil that are produced in great quantity lend themselves to the exotic and delicious pesto that seems as far away in style and taste as the Ligurian version most of us are used to.  But I actually like this as a break from the Pesto Genovese which has found its way into everything from pasta, to chicken breasts to pizzas and beyond.  I find the Sicilian version much more rustic and interesting.
This recipe comes from the book, La Cucina Siciliana di Gangivecchio by Wanda and Giovanna Thornebenne.  I like this because the "kick" in this recipe is produced by the addition of arugula instead of chili flakes.

Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto 

4 cups loosely packed fresh arugula, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
4 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon butter
Parmesan or pecorino cheese

Place the arugula, garlic, walnuts, olive oil and one of the tomatoes (chopped) in the bowl of a food processor and process to desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Dice remaining  tomatoes.
Mix a little sauce and the butter in the bowl in which the pasta will be served.
Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water and drain reserving one cup of the cooking liquid.
Place pasta, half the sauce and half the diced tomatoes in the serving bowl and toss gently.
Add the rest of the sauce and tomatoes and toss again using a some of the cooking liquid to loosen the sauce if needed.
Serve and pass cheese.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Calabrian Spaghetti

As I mentioned on the show this past Monday, I don't know if this recipe has actual roots in (or connections to) Calabrian cooking.  But I do know that it is on my A-list of spicy pasta sauces and my #1 favorite pasta leftover to find its way into a frittata. (Just add some cheese and you have a winner!)
Adjust the seasonings to your liking but do give this a try.  You are going to love it!

Calabrian Spaghetti

1 pound spaghetti
1/4 pound sopressata, sliced and julienned
1/2 cup Calamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (or 1 dried Calabrian chili chopped)
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 2/3 cups passata or 1 28-oz can tomatoes chopped or passed through a food mill
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the garlic until it starts to get fragrant.  Add chili flakes, sopressata and Calamata olives and cook for a few minutes.  Deglaze with the red wine and add the tomatoes.  Reduce sauce slightly and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with pecorino or Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Yes, I know it is a funny name (for obvious reasons) so I want to include this picture so my northern Italians friends will know that this little town in Sicily is actually called Caccamo and that I did not misspell or mispronounce another name.  The name means, the head of the horse.  (And you thought that was just something out of the Godfather....hehehe)  The little town is located in the western part of Sicily in the province of Palermo.  The cookie for this entry, though (Piparelli) is far east of there from Messina and is a Lenten favorite in the region according to the book Sweet Sicily by Victoria Granof.  One of the key elements in this biscotto is the orange peel and I would encourage you to make your own.  You will be amazed at how much better you can do it than the factory that puts them in the plastic containers and sells them for a price so steep that you would swear gold was used in the ingredients. I hope you will take advantage of the link to make your own.  These wonderful cookies deserve no less!
Candied Orange Peel


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup orange blossom honey
2 egg whites (kept separate)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
1 cup unblanched whole almonds

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Grease a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar and honey.  Add 1 of the egg whites and mix until evenly blended.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices into another bowl and add the butter mixture, stirring until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the orange peel and almonds until evenly dispersed.  Divide the dough into 3 pieces and form each piece into a log 8"x2".  Place the logs 3 inches apart on the greased baking sheet.  Beat the remaining egg white and lightly brush the top of egg log with it.

Bake the logs for 20 to 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.  Slice the logs 1/4 inch thick and lay the cookies on the baking sheet.  Return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes to dry out.  The cookies will become crisp as they cool so do not overbake them.  Cool on a rack.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Biscotti di Zia Sarina

I really wanted to put a picture of the book, Sweet Sicily by Victoria Granof, on this entry but for some reason my computer, or Chrome or Blogspot didn't think it such a good idea so I am including a photo of the church of St George, the protector of Caccamo, Sicily, and the town's famed castle here instead.  Not a bad substitution, I think. Except that it makes me long for Sicily.  When that happens, I can only go back through my photographs, relive  in my mind the happy times had there and, of course, make some Sicilian food to soothe that part of my heart that sometimes aches for Italy.
The first cookie I featured on last Monday's show, was this one that is simple in taste and texture.  Perfect with an afternoon cup of coffee or that accompaniment to the morning espresso to kick-start your day!

Aunt Sarina's Biscotti

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons tangerine liqueur*, orange liqueur or orange juice
Pinch of salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups 00 flour if available)
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, liqueur and salt and mix well.  Stir in the flour followed by the almonds.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for a minute or so.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each into a log 10"x1.5".  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two  hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F

Slice into 1/2 inch cookies and place of ungreased baking sheets 2 inches apart.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from sheets and cool on a rack.
*Sweet Sicily has a very good Tangerine Liqueur recipe on page 199.  It is very simple and very good.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I  came across these after my first trip to Sicily where I bought a cookbook that has a version of that produces one huge ring that looks like these on steroids.  Looking online for other recipes and more info, I discovered that a smaller version exsited and have been making them each year since.  
Confession: I don't roll the dough out and cut rectangles.  I take about 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a "snake" and roll that into a rectangle.  But do as you wish...


12 oz figs
> 1/2 cup raisins
> 1/2 cup toasted almonds
> 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
> 2 tablespoons finely chopped orange peel
> 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
> 1 teaspoon ground cloves
> 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
> 1 cup honey
> 1/2 cup Marsala
> 5 cups flour
> 3/4 cup sugar
> 3/4 cup shortening or lard
> 6 tablespoons butter
> 2 eggs
> 2 egg yolks
> 3/4 cup white wine
> 1 cup powdered sugar
> 2 tablespoons lemon juice
> Colored candied sprinkles 
> Chop fruits and nuts and add spices, chocolate, honey and
> Marsala and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.
> Mix flour and sugar and cut in fats.  Add eggs, yolks,
> wine and mix until incorporated.  Wrap in plastic and
> refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
> Roll out dough about 1/8-inch thick and cut into rectangles 6x2.5 inches.

> Place some of the filling down the middle of  each and close it pinching the
> edges.  Join ends together to make a circle.  Snip
> cuts half way through in several places.
> Bake on greased (or parchment paper covered) baking sheets
> in 375F oven for 
> 20 minutes.
> Let cool on rack.
> Make an icing of the powdered sugar and lemon juice and
> brush on each cookie followed immediately with sprinkles.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Citrus Almond-bolo Libra

Citrus Almond-bolo Libra

12 colheres de sopa de manteiga gelada cortada em cubos sem sal, além de mais de pan
-farinha para pan
1/4 xícara de suco de limão fresco
1/2 xícara de suco de laranja fresco
3 xícaras mais
2 colheres de sopa de açúcar granulado
1 17-onça tubo de pasta de amêndoa (ou seguir a receita abaixo)
7 ovos grandes
2 colheres de chá de raspas de limão
2 colheres de chá de raspas de laranja
2 colheres de chá de essência de baunilha
1 1/2 xícaras de farinha de bolo
3/4 colher de chá de fermento em pó
1/4 colher de chá de sal
1. Pré-aqueça o forno a 350F. Manteiga e farinha de pan. Coloque o suco de limão e suco de laranja e 1 xícara e 2 colheres de sopa de açúcar em uma panela pequena e cozinhe em fogo baixo até o açúcar dissolver. Retire do fogo e deixe esfriar.
2. Coloque pasta de amêndoa e açúcar restante no processador de alimentos e processe até misturar bem. E manteiga e continuar o processamento até claro e macio. Com a máquina em funcionamento, adicionar os ovos um a um, juntamente com as raspas ea baunilha e continuar a processar até ficar homogêneo.
3. Pare de máquina e adicione a farinha, o fermento eo sal, e pulse algumas vezes, até que os ingredientes secos são integrados.
Despeje na panela e leve ao forno até dourar cerca de 1 hora e 10 min. Deixe esfriar um pouco.
4. Verter o xarope de citrinos sobre o bolo e deixá-lo definido para cerca de 30 minutos ou até que todo o líquido é absorvido e as libertações bolo do pan facilmente.

Almond Paste

Grind 1 1/2 xícaras de amêndoas no processador de alimentos para cerca de 2 minutos, adicione 1 xícara de açúcar de confeiteiro e bata até bem misturado. Mexer em 1 colher de chá de extrato de amêndoa e ovo branco suficiente para fazê-lo se unem em uma pasta grossa.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kubis Masak Lemak

On a previous show, I gave a recipe for a cabbage soup that I found online.  Instead of repeating it here, I want to give this recipe from the book, Southeast Asian Food by Rosemary Brissenden.   I have altered a few ingredients and made a couple of changes.  I hope you will try this.
A few notes about some things.....
Coconut cream:
This is not a pie filling!  rsrs  If you cannot find this, (it should be available in southeast or asian markets) then leave two cans of regular coconut milk to sit undisturbed and open them and skim off the thick part on the top which should be enough for this recipe.
Just a note about reheating:
I think that overcooking shrimp is a sin.  Mortal or venial, sin is sin to me and turning something sweet, toothsome and tasty into something tough and bland is a sure one-way ticket to hell.
The best thing to do is reheat it in a saucepan on no more than medium just until heated through.  You want to avoid cooking the shrimp any more than they are or you will compromise the dish.
Another note....this one about the shrimp paste:
This recipe calls for the shrimp paste to be roasted which brings out another level of flavor that would otherwise be lost.
The way in which to do this is: Place the shrimp paste in a parcel of aluminum foil and put it in a dry pan over medium high heat.  Leave it in the pan for a few minutes.  Then remove and let cool.
Kubis Masak Lemak

2 cups thin coconut milk (1 cup regular coconut milk diluted with one cup of water)
1 pound of cabbage, shredded
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup coconut cream (see note above)
Spice Paste
3 Thai chilis (or 2 serranos)
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste, roasted (see note above)
2-inch piece of tumeric root, peeled and coarsely chopped or a pinch of ground tumeric
1 clove garlic
4 shallots, sliced

Grind the spice paste ingredients into a paste.  Combine the thin coconut milk and the spice paste in a saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil.  Add the cabbage and cook until it is tender.  Add the shrimp and simmer until just done and then add thick coconut milk and let it just heat up taking care not to cook the shrimp any more.  I like to eat this just served over jasmine rice or you can serve this with grilled fish.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chile Verde de Res

When I think of Chile Verde, pork is the first thing that comes to mind.  But trying to get away from the oink habit--as of late I have been researching Malaysian muslim recipes and have discovered the wonderful world of beef--I remembered this recipe from a favorite cookbook put out by the now-defunct California Culinary Academy for beef chile verde.
I have never made a thing from the cookbook on Mexican cuisine that I didn't like and this was no exception.  If you ever hit a garage sale where any of their cookbooks are, pick one up!  A few years back when I wanted to replace mine (yes, it's been used a lot and is falling apart) I could only locate them on websites that wanted at least 10 times the original price.

Chile Verde de Res

2 pounds round steak (or rump roast), cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons lard or oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 mild green chilies, roasted, peeled and cut into strips or 1 can (7 oz) whole green chilies, rinsed and cut into strips
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
Salt to taste

Coat the meat with flour. Heat lard in skillet and brown meat. Do not crowd. Do in batches if necessary.
Add onion, garlic and cook until soft. Add chilies, tomato, oregano and cumin and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring. Slowly add the water, cover and simmer for 1 hours. Check seasoning and add salt if needed..
Serve with rice, beans, tortillas, cheese and sour cream if desired.

Slowcooker Jambalaya

OK, this is a little late.  Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and this should have been eaten today (Fat Tuesday)  Oh well, if you didn't give up meat for Lent, you can still make this.
I left this pretty much the way it is on the original on the Allrecipes.com.  The major change I made was in the type of shrimp used.  The recipe calls for cooked shrimp which I think is bad enough as it is.  But then when you add it to the other ingredients in a cooking environment, you are essentially cooking it again and adding insult to injury.  Truth is: shrimp takes so little time to cook that you really only need to mix in  the raw shrimp for the last few minutes for it to be cooked to perfection.   There are few things worse than over-cooked shrimp, tasteless, tough pieces of cardboard that most cats would not touch.


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound fresh peeled shrimp

In a slow cooker, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, green bell pepper, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Stir in the shrimp during the last few minutes of cook time taking care not to over-cook the shrimp.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sup Ekor (Malaysian oxtail soup)

With every new Malaysian recipe I make, I find that I am delightfully surprised all over again.  Last night was no exception!
My friend Adam, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, gave me a list of soups to try this past week.  Looking up several recipes (Malaysian ingredients are not easy to find even in the Bay Area where there is a large Southeast Asian population) I settled on Sup Ekor, Malaysian oxtail soup and, as I stated above, I was not disappointed.  The fact that it made the entire house smell amazingly fragrant during the cooking process would have been reason enough to make it.  And I hope you will make it and enjoy it just as I did.

Sup Ekor

1 pound oxtail s(chopped into large pieces)
Half a head of Garlic
1 small onion
3 whole cloves
1 Lemongrass stalk (bashed and sliced)
1 thick slice of Ginger (sliced)
3 green Cardamoms
2 Star anises
1 Cinnamon bark
2 teasp ground Coriander
1 Tsp ground Cumin
2 tsp Peppercorns
2 Potatoes (cubed largely)
2 large carrots (sliced into large chunks)
1 Celery stalk (sliced into 3s)
3 Plum Tomatoes (halved)
2 tbsp concentrated Tomato paste
Salt to taste
Fresh Chillis
Fresh Coriander leaves
Fried Shallots

In a food processor, make a paste of the onion, ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Fry the paste in some oil along with the spices and oxtails. Add potatoes, carrots and celery and enough hot water to cover and summer covered on low for 1 hour.

Add the fresh tomatoes followed by the tomato paste. Then salt to taste. Cover and simmer for another hour or till the meat is melt-in-the-mouth.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, chillis and fried shallots and serve hot with rice.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cincinnati Chili

Yes, I'd heard of Cincinnati chili before but it sort of seemed disgusting to me.  I mean, come on now, chili on spaghetti with onions and cheese?  But who am I to criticize what other people eat.  I know people are pretty disgusted with the pics I post sometimes so....
It wasn't until someone gave me a can of Cincinnati chili to go with some high-end hot dogs I got a few years ago that I found out what all the hoop-la was about.
Now, I am completely hooked on Cincinnati chili to go on hot dogs.  It is perfect!  Especially if you are using G&G hot dog buns, which I know most of your aren't as they are a local thing.  But they are made just right to hold the chili in and have a great texture besides.   I hope you will make a batch of this and then freeze what you aren't going to use right away.  Or, even better, throw a hot dog party.   Your guests will be blown away!
Got this recipe from Joy of Cooking.  Tweak it a bit by adding a little more cayenne and let it cook down just a bit more to make it thicker.  You are going to love this!

Cincinnati Chili

In a large pot, bring to a boil
4 cups of water
2 pounds ground chuck
Stir until separated, reduce the heat to a simmer and add:
2 medium onions, finely chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
One 15-0z can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons ceder vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Stir in:
!0 pepper corns, ground
8 whole allspice berries, ground
8 whole cloves, ground
1 large bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Cool uncovered and refrigerate overnight. Skim off fat before serving.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nasi Goreng

A few years back, I got it into my head that I wanted to learn about Southeast Asian cooking after watching an episode of No Reservations on which Anthony Bourdain traveled to Laos.  So I was absolutely pleased to receive the book, Southeast Asian Food by Rosemary Brissenden.  However, my pleasure soon wore off as I looked through the recipes and 60+ pages in the beginning of the book on ingredients.  I think I made one simple recipe and put the book back on the shelf to collect dust until I got the ambition to crack it again or take to the Good Will, whatever came first....rsrs
Fast forward a few years when I meet a guy online from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.  Whenever I meet someone from another country (or even another US city) the conversation ultimately gets around to the subject of food.  (Usually, sooner than later.)  And this meeting was no different.  The first dishes my friend told me about were pretty exotic and would put more than just a few westerners off as they include dried whole anchovies.  I was a little put off at first as the fish were staring back at me.  Even so, the taste was absolutely delicious now I am completely hooked on Malaysian food.
OK, I know you are already thinking to yourself that Nasi Goreng is Indonesian and not Malaysian.  That may be true but it is eaten in Malaysia as well as is Indian food, Chinese food and the list goes on.  There are many many influences in Malaysian cuisine.
It took me a while to locate the Javanese soy sauce as 1.) it was not labeled as such and 2.) the people at the Southeast Asian markets I went to had never heard of it.  Luckily, someone was willing to go online and do a little research and find out what it was and, as luck would have it, locate it on the shelf.  (Now if he can only find me some Kerutut spice!)

A note about the rice.  The recipe I used does not specify what kind of rice to use but my friend in KL says to use Jasmine rice from Thailand.  The consistency is different than regular long grain rice so don't expect Chinese take-out style fried rice...  Expect something many times better!

Nasi Goreng

3 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
8 oz rump steak or chicken, cut into thin strips
3 cups cold rice
1 1/2 tablespoons Javanese soy sauce (sweet soy sauce, kecap manis)
1 1/2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
Fried onion flakes for garnish
1 fried egg per person
Shrimp crackers
Tomato slices
Cucumber slices

Spice Paste:|
4 medium red chilies, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and then chopped
1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste or miso
2 cloves garlic
5 shallots sliced

Process the spice paste ingredients into a rough paste. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the paste for a few minutes. Add the beef and stir -fry until just cooked. Add the rice and mix well adding more oil if needed. Add the soy sauces and stir until all the rice is coated.
Serve with a fried egg (soft yolk) on each serving and the garnishes. Serve the crackers in a bowl for each person to serve himself.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Steak Parmigiano ala Erick

I love my friend, Erick.  But he can be a very frustrating person at times.  It took me over a year to even pry the simplest bean recipe out of him.  So you can imagine how ecstatic I was when he shared this recipe with me with hardly any prodding.  I will admit that it took us a while to figure out what everything is called in English.  (Although he speaks better English than anyone from Brazil that I know, Erick still lives in the Brazilian kitchen and a lot of ingredients and words for preparation are not known to him outside of his native Portuguese.)  It took us nearly a half hour to decide what cut of beef to use and what  the stuff made out of flour was called which turned out to be breadcrumbs. (Thanks God!)  Come to think of it, that bean recipe took a while to figure out, too...rsrs
I must say, though, that all of this was worth it and that I have to be a lot more diligent in my learning Portuguese.  So I hope, gentle home cook, that you will make the struggle we suffered that day be not in vain and make this soon.
Steak Parmigiano
1 lb bottom round steak, cut into 4 or 5 equal pieces
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten in a shallow pan
Dry, unflavored bread crumbs, spread on a plate
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut in thin slices
For the sauce:
16 oz passata (or 1 28-0z can plum tomatoes passed through a food mill.)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 dried chili, torn in two or 1/2 teaspoon of dried chili flakes (optional)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

Start the sauce.
Put passata or tomato puree in a medium sauce pan along with the garlic, olive oil and chili (if using) and  heat to simmer.  Let simmer for about 25 minutes then add the sugar (if using) and salt to taste.  Remove from heat and add the whole basil leaves letting them steep for about 5 minutes.  Drain well through a sieve pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to make sure all the flavor comes out and scrape the underside of the sieve with a spatula.

Pound the living daylights out of the pieces of steak.  You want them thin and tender. I would use the dangerous side of the mallet as will as the flat one. (If you know your butcher, have him/her put them through the tenderizing machine they use for making minute steaks.)  Set aside.
Take the garlic and chop in coarsely and add the salt and, with the flat part of the knife, press the mixture firmly, pushing away to smear it on the cutting surface.  Do this several times to make a paste.
Rub the resulting paste on both sides of the steaks and set them aside.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Turn each steak in the egg yolks and then in the bread crumbs.
Fry in hot olive oil until brown on both sides.
Place in a baking pan and cover with the sauce and slices of mozzarella. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.   Let set a few minutes before serving.

Zucchini Quiche

First of all, I have to say that I am a sucker for a tasty picture even if I have no idea on how to make it.  This comes from joining groups from Italy and Brazil just to see the recipes and pictures of them and maybe try to make them myself.  As it often happens, though, I post a picture of something that looks good or interesting and am asked how to make it.  I hate to put up a pic and then say I have no idea and leave it at that.  In this case, an old friend from Michigan, Margaret Rogers-Miller, asked for the recipe and I told her I would translate from Italian (turns out it's in Portuguese, but small matter) and post it.   As it turns out, there are ingredients that are only available in Brazilian markets, something, I'm sure, that are lacking in the Battle Creek, Michigan area, most notably the boxed cream.  But not to be a quitter (I'm always up for a challenge in the kitchen) I have concocted what I think will work for this using substitutions.
I will not give a crust recipe here because I know a lot of people have their own and probably even more opt out for the ones in the dairy case.  If you are in the former group, I take my hat off to you and direct you to add two tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese to the pie dough.  (And not the stuff in the green can, either!!!!!!)
Also, grated zucchini is really full of water and my method of draining is to put it in a kitchen towel, roll it up and twist it at both ends over the sink forcing the water out.  And put some muscle into it!  (Pretend you're wringing the neck of an ex that you really detest....rsrsrs)

Zucchini Quiche

Crust for a 9-inch pie
3 small zucchini, grated and wrung dry
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup diced mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375°F
Place crust in a pie pan or torte pan with a removable bottom
Mix together all the ingredients except the parmesan cheese and pour into the crust smoothing out evenly.
Sprinkle with the parmesan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until top in brown and custard set.
Let cool before serving.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Citrus-Almond Poundcake

A few years ago when I was obsessed with pastry-baking, I went through my citrus phase.  Anything that had citrus included that could be classified as a dessert was fair game.  And if it had hazelnuts or almonds in it, that made it all the better.  So when I saw this offering from Mark Bittman in the food section of our local Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, I was jotting down a shopping list before I had a chance to even look through the entire recipe.
It was the ingredient halfway down the list that put the breaks on my enthusiasm.  Over a pound of almond paste.  Not cheap.  Unfortunately, I am.  I related my sorrow to a friend from Sicily who has more sense and kitchen ability than me who told me I could make my own.  Hmmmm  I hadn't thought about that before.  But it did seem more doable than shelling out big bucks for a tube of gold.  And a few tests later, I had a pretty decent recipe for almond paste down which I will include here.  If you have money to throw around and don't want to make your own, go ahead and buy it and while your at it, throw some of that cash my way.  Make sure you share this with your family, friends and people with whom you want to be friends.

Citrus-Almond Pound cake

12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes, plus more for pan
-flour for pan
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 cups plus
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 17-oz tube almond paste (or follow recipe below)
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350f. Butter and flour pan. Put lemon juice and orange juice and 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of sugar into a small sauce pan and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
2. Put almond paste and remaining sugar in food processor and process until well combined. And butter and continue processing until light and fluffy. With the machine running, add eggs one at a time along with zest and vanilla, and continue to process until smooth.
3. Stop machine and add the flour, baking powder and salt, and pulse a few times, just until the dry ingredients are integrated.
Pour into pan and bake until golden about 1 hour and 10 min. Let cool slightly.
4. Pour the citrus syrup over the cake and let it set for about 30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the cake releases from the pan easily.

Almond Paste

Grind 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds in the food processor for about 2 min, add 1 cup icing sugar and process until well-blended. Stir in 1 teaspoon almond extract and enough egg white to make it come together in a thick paste.

Roasted Manchurian Cauliflower

When I made my first recipes from Suvir Saran's first book, Indian Home Cooking, I knew I had struck gold.  They were more than I had hoped for.  Each was delicious and possessed the ability to transport me to another realm of tastes and aromas.
Now, years later, Suvir is still taking me on the culinary ride of my life in his newest book,  Masala Farm, a collection of stories, insights and recipes that carries the reader through the seasons of an upstate New York farm and feeds him on the way with a variety of treats from biscuits that would make any of my southern friends smile widely to a cauliflower recipe unlike any other I have ever tasted.
I have made Roasted Manchurian Cauliflower three times, so far.  The last time occurred this past Saturday when I made an Indian dinner for guests using all three of Suvir's books, Indian Home Cooking, American Masala and Masala Farm.  Next to the Haleem, a north Indian muslim dish that I must have and must have often, the dish my guests enjoyed most was the cauliflower with its rich sauce of tomatoes and garlic which glazed the vegetable already roasted in a coating of oil and spices.  This recipe really goes pretty quickly once you've started and will disappear from the serving dish once it's finished!
Roasted Manchurian Cauliflower

3 tablespoons canola oil
3 green cardamom pods
3 dried red chilies (optional)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1- 2 1/2-3-pound head of cauliflower, cleaned and broken into medium florets
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 9x11-inch baking dish with 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil and set aside.
Grind the cardamom, chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a coffee grinder until fine.
Mix the spices with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl.
Add the cauliflower, toss with the spiced oil and sprinkle with the salt.
Transfer to the baking dish and roast for 20 minutes.
While the cauliflower is roasting, make the sauce.
Heat the oil and the black pepper in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for one minute. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring to avoid burning. Add ketchup and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cayenne and salt.
Cook until the sauce thickens and becomes a deep red, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes.
After the cauliflower has roasted for 20 minutes, add sauce and stir to coat. Return to oven and roast for another 20-30 minutes, stirring half-way through the allotted time.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hoppin' John

I cannot believe that this survived 25 years to see an anniversary issue put out after the flack it raised for its un-pc name and contents.  I only wish Mr. Mickler had survived as long to see it out as an e-book.  He would have been proud.
I have an original which was trashed by this white dude from plenty of use.
When I first got my copy I never dreamed that I would be reaching for it so many years later to draw from one of my favorite recipes in it for a cooking show.  But tomorrow never knows as the boogie guy from Liverpool once observed.
As we are just beginning the new year, I wanted to start my first show of the year talking about foods traditionally eaten on New Years Day and the first one that came to my mind was the southern favorite, Hoppin' John, a combination of black-eyed peas and rice which is supposed to bring good luck.  (If you want some monetary luck, serve a side of greens such as collards or mustard greens.  Even cabbage is acceptable.)
The recipe I use is pretty much based on one in the book called, "Charlyss's Black-Eyed Peas."  (One year I was so poor that I even put the fixings for these in a box and gave them as a gift at an Epiphany party I attended along with the recipe.)  Hope you don't wait until next New Years to try these.  Hey, you still have time to  serve them on Epiphany!!!

Hoppin' John

2 cups dried black-eyed peas, cooked and reserved
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 cups ham, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice
Hot sauce (optional)

Heat oil in a pot and add onions. Saute a few minutes then add parsley stirring it in to combine.
Lower heat to medium low, cover and cook stirring every few minutes until onions are tender.
Stir in ham, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes.
Add black-eyed peas, season, and cover cooking for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Correct for seasoning and serve over rice with hot sauce to pass.