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  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.