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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Apple Cider French Toast

I made this basic French toast recipe
and served it with some
apple cider reduction sauce,
it's a good one.

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
butter to fry the toast in
4 slices day-old bread
Powdered sugar and apple cider reduction

In a shallow bowl with a fork, combine eggs and milk.
On medium, heat frying pan on stove.
Melt a little butter. Dip bread into bowl with egg mixture.
Make sure both sides are wet.
Place slice of bread in pan.
Turn slices over when bread slightly brown.
Cook final side.
Remove cooked slices to a plate and keep warm.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with apple reduction.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

In Russia there called "syrniki" which means cheesy pancakes,
but the main ingredient "tvorog" or cottage cheese in Russian,
which is not a cheese actually.
You can find a million of cottage cheese pancakes recipes out there
but my recipe is the simplest I have ever seen!
Russians cook these pancakes as a quick breakfast.
This recipe is as simple as 1-2-3!

1/4 cup cottage cheese
2-3 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
3-4 tablespoon flour

Combine all ingredients and pour into hot frypan
cook a few minutes, turn and cook til done,serve.

Ham Stew

O.k. I have to admit this is not one of my recipes,
my brother made this the other day and it was very good!
I would put a little more black pepper in it.

Ham Stew: Serve with warm French (crusty) bread.

Ham bone
1 small onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 bay leaf
½ tsp Mustard powder
Pepper to taste

Place above ingredients in 6 cups of water. Simmer for about 2 hours.
Remove ham bone and add:
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups green beans
2 cups diced broccoli
Meat from the ham bone, cut in- to bite-size pieces
Simmer until vegetables are tender.
Make a roux (see note) using:
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoon flour
Stir until brown. Add to the stew, mix well.
Note: For a roux that's less rich:
reduce the butter and flour to 2 tablespoons.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Poached Pears

You've Got to try this. I mean it, this is five star food...
Poached pears are real easy and really good.

Take a fresh pear,remove the stem, flower end and peel it.
Cut in half to the right side of the core,
now cut wedges around the core.
cut wedges in half.
place in a microwaveable container, I used a two cup pyrex cup.
Add 1/4 cup cranberry, grapefruit or orange juice.
Put 1 teaspoon brown suger and a dash of cinnamon.
Microwave at half power for about 10 minutes or until warm and soft.

One pear prepared this way is enough for two,
the perfect ending to any meal.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Marbled Tea Eggs

I've made these hard boiled tea eggs several times,
the secret to success is to crack them really good
and let them steep a long time.
For Chinese Marbled Tea Eggs,
you’ll need to hard boil the eggs first,
and after they cool off, use a back of a teaspoon
or smack on the kitchen counter to gently crack
the eggshell all over.
Keep the eggshell intact, but the more you crack,
the more intricate the design of the marble will be.
Make those cracks pretty deep,
as that is how the tea/soy mixture
will seep into the egg.
Tea Eggs (cha ye dan):
A cheap snack food, found all over China.
In spite of the name, tea is not the dominant flavour.

6 eggs
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon black tea leaves or 2 tea bag
3 piece star anise
1 small stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns


Place unshelled eggs in saucepan with enough cold water to cover.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes
Remove the eggs. With a knife, tap each egg to slightly crack the shells
in two or three places. (or roll them in a towel!)
Return to saucepan.
Add other ingredients and stir.
Cover and simmer for 3 hours, adding water as necessary.
Drain, serve hot or cold.

Sausage, Peppers & Onions

This recipe is great if you need to feed a lot of people
because it can be kept warm for a really long time.
And because the sausages are baked they are drier than pan frying.
Sausage, Peppers & Onions Recipe:

Italian sausages (hot and/or sweet)
green peppers, seeded and cut into strips
sweet onions, cut into strips
enough olive oil to cover bottom of pan,
Salt,pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a aluminium lined roasting pan put olive oil to coat bottom.
Add green peppers and onions, and season with salt and peppers.
Place Italian sausage on top of peppers and onions.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove cover and bake another 7 to 8 minutes.
Turn the sausages and bake another 7 to 8 minutes.
Serve on crusty rolls with a good tomato pasta sauce.

Funnel Cakes

Funnel cakes are similar to Italian fried dough but sweeter.
This is the best recipe I've found for making them.
It's even good for making fresh deep fried donuts.

Funnel Cakes Recipe:

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
In a mixing bowl, beat together egg and milk. Beat in flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and granulated sugar until smooth.

Heat about 1 inch vegetable oil in frying pan to 375 degrees. Pour half-cup batter through funnel into oil with a circular motion to form a spiral. Fry until lightly brown; turn over to brown the other side. Cook to golden brown, and remove to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar while still warm. Makes 5 to 10 cakes.

Cantaloupe and Peaches

I had some fresh Peaches left over from the other day
sitting in a container in the refrigerator,

I had a fresh Cantaloupe sitting on the kitchen island
getting all nice and mouldy from all this humidity.

I had a half pint of freshly picked Blueberries.
Justa crying at me to make muffins with them.

I went on line just to see if there might be
something that could use these ingredients.
Low and behold by golly there was a recipe for
Cantaloupe Peach Soup using fresh Blueberries.

I was on my way to uncharted territory again.
Peeled the Cantaloupe and seeded it.
Cut it up into pieces and added the Peaches.

I got out my trusty boat motor immersion blender
And went off to the races,round and round.
Whirling and blending at lightning fast speeds.

I added some Orange Juice to thin it up a bit.
And tried to pour it from my big round mixing bowl
into a plastic container to put it in the refrigerator.

I cleaned up the mess on the counter and floor.
Tasted like it would be a hit for dinner.
Threw it in the ice box until time to eat.

I only wanted a little at dinner,about a cupful.
It was nice, a refreshing cool drink on a hot day.
Garnished with the Blueberries it looked great.
Only thing was it's very very filling.

I got to the point where my stomach said
Enough with the fruity fiber already.
It could have been thinned down a bit more with O.J.

I wrote this recipe down to do again.
Only this time with fresh figs and Plouts.
A Plout is a cross between a Plum and an Apricot.

Tah Deeg

I love this stuff but have never really had good luck in making it.
burnt at least three pan bottoms really black trying to do this one.
It's a taste you must experience once before you can't taste anymore!

Persian Tah Deeg Ingredients:

3 cups of white long grain rice
(use Basmati rice and be careful not to overboil,
it can get pretty sticky if you overcook it).
4 tablespoons cooking oil
3-4 medium potatoes
4 ounces water
For best results, soak the rice for a few hours in hot water
and some salt before cooking.
Peel the potatoes and slice them in a round shape.
You could use the potatoes unpeeled as well since
they add lots of fiber to your diet
In a medium size pot,
half-way filled with water, bring the water to a boil.
Add the rice (and the water it was soaking in),
and let it cook for a few minutes until it starts boiling.
When the rice is half cooked, take it out,
drain the rice over sink in a kitchen strainer.
Run cold water on top of it to wash out some of the salt.
Pour the oil in the pot, add 4 oz of water.
Lay the potatoes in the bottom of the pot, add a bit of salt,
then pile up the rice loosely in the shape of a mountain,
on top of the potatoes. With the back of a spoon, make five holes,
one in the center and four around it so that the rice
can breath in the cooking process.
Spread a little water on top and close the lid.
Let it cook for a couple of minutes on high heat.
When the rice starts to steam,
change the setting to medium heat
and let it cook for about 15 minutes.
Then turn the heat to medium-low,
sprinkle some cooking oil to stop it from drying,
and let it cook for another 10 minutes.

Low Sodium Hard Rolls

These rolls are really good for sandwiches,
They have the texture and flavor similar to commercial Kaiser rolls.
Low Sodium Hard Rolls Recipe:

3/4 c Water
2 T Unsalted Margarine
3 1/4 c Bread Flour
1 T Sugar
2 1/4 t Yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine and process on dough cycle. At end of cycle remove dough. Shape into 10-16 rolls, depending on size desired. 10 will make sandwich sized rolls, 16 dinner rolls. Place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Cover and left rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place shallow baking pan on lower rack and fill with boiling water. Place rolls on upper rack and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Yield: 10 Servings

Monday, December 28, 2009

Celery Pizza

Well I almost got through a day without creating a mess of flour in the kitchen.
Me and flour just don't get along, from the time I take the cover off the old pantry moth flour resistent container and make a pizza and get flour, flour everywhere.
You don't need a brick oven or even a pizza stone to make a decent pie.
What you need is patience. Let the dough rise slowly and you will be rewarded.
That said,
Celery pizza sounds weird but it's good, celery somehow goes with tomato sauce.
I'm not going to tell you how to make pizza dough here, use your favorite dough.
Celery is almost all water and it has stringy things running from stem to stern. Peel the strings from the celery and chop into a fairly small dice.
Top your dough with your favorite pizza sauce then with sliced pepperoni and some shredded mozzarella, provolone and grated Parmesan cheeses.
Spread this celery on your pizza and bake in a very hot oven til done.

And I'll let you in on a secret ingredient. Garlic butter,
after taking the pizza out of the oven and before cutting it pour or drizzle
a bit of garlic butter around the crust edge, it's so good.
I learned this trick from the owner of a pizza place years ago.
I hope you try this celery pizza.

Bacon Butter

Talk about a double whammy.
A marriage of two, near-perfect fats.
It’s got richness upon richness,
and a nice jolt from red wine vinegar.

1/4 cup chopped shallots,
6 or so slices of bacon,
chopped into rough dice.
1 tablespoon fresh thyme,
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar,
1 stick of butter, softened,
salt and pepper.

Sautee shallots and bacon,
Turn off heat. Stir in thyme leaves.
Let cool. Stir into butter.
Add vinegar. Mix until combined.
Salt and pepper to taste.

I served some on a Tbone steak and...
Really,you must try this one.

In the very least,taste bacon and
butter together. It's worth it.

Chicken Mushroom with Rice

This is a really good tasting baked dish
and easy to make in a small roasting pan.
I never baked rice before, take a tip from me,
you need to try this one, it's a good one.
The rice came out really soft and creamy.
carrots good and tasty and the chicken moist.
Although as the chicken breasts cooled
they became dry and chewy.
I think next time I make this I'll use chicken thighs.

Baked Chicken Mushroom with Rice:
1 cup water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1 peeled and sliced carrot
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
some smoked paprica

Mix water,soup and rice together in pan,
place carots artfully in the rice mixture,
place washed chicken on top and sprinkle chicken
with smoked paprica.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about an hour.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Deep Fried Asperagus

Every once in a while I amaze myself
by coming up with a recipe that just
is so good,I mean really really good.
Today I made fresh asperagus fried
with a tempera batter coating.
It reminded me of deep fried shrimp
but it was amazingly good asperagus.

fresh asperigus
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2/3 cup ice water
Oil for deep frying
seafood cocktail sauce

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg slightly
and mix with the ice water. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Stir only until mixed; mixture will be slightly lumpy.
Dip asperigus, into the batter
and deep fry until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese, spinach and crabmeat.
1 package(10 oz) fresh spinach
8 oz softened cream cheese
12 fresh mushrooms, huge 3.5-4 inches wide
1 oz of asiago cheese grated finely.
6 oz crab meat.
1/2 sweet red onion chopped
1 clove roasted garlic sliced

Remove stems from the mushrooms.
Trim the stems and chop spinach.
Microwave the spinach for 3 minutes,
drain and squeeze with paper towel
to get out the liquid.

Mix togeter the spinach, cream cheese,
onion ,garlic,crabmeat and asiago cheese.

Stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture
and sprinkle the remaining asiago cheese.
fresh ground pepper to taste.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until
the cheese is melted on the top.

Italian Bread Soup

Italian Bread Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot peppers
1 (12-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
1/3 loaf day old French or Italian bread (drier the better)
20 fresh basil leaves, torn

In a medium pot over medium-high heat,
Add all ingredients and simmer for an hour.
Serve with more olive oil on side.

Fresh Raspberry Vinigrete

1 (16 ounce) bottle white wine vinegar
1 cup fresh raspberries
White sugar to taste

Rinse,drain and dry the raspberries and pour about half or three quarters the way up,into a large glass bottle. Pour in the vinegar, tightly cover the container, and let sit in a cool dark place for two weeks before using.

I was pleasantly surprised at the raspberry scent from this,
it was predominant even over the vinegar odor.
I used this in a raspberry chicken recipe (it worked very well).
Not sure if I shouldn't have added a bit of sugar w/ the raspberry,
only time will tell. By the way, be sure & pick a container that allows for easy removal of the raspberries. I put mine in a mason jars, allow to set for 2 weeks, remove the raspberries add sugar if desired & then pour the vinegar into a more decorative container. I made this sauce and never used it.

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

I'm into reading a Chinese Cantonese cookbook right now.
It has a bunch of real interesting and supposedly authentic recipes in it.
"Suckling Bones" Said to be usually prepared from left over ends and pieces with honey and soy sauce for the head chef to suck on while at work. I've made some Chinese dishes before with some success. Years ago there was a Chinese restaurant
That made a fantastic dish called "Shrimp with lobster sauce" I just loved the stuff and have been trying to find it in other restaurants with no luck.Well guess what,
I found a recipe in this book that looks pretty close to that one.

People are often surprised to discover that this popular dish doesn't contain lobster at all. The name comes from the fact that one of the ingredients is fermented black beans, which the Cantonese use when preparing Cantonese lobster.

Lobster sauce (recipe follows)
3/4 pound frozen Tiger shrimp
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 green onion, chopped
Make the lobster sauce first, and keep it warm.

Run the shrimp under warm running water until thawed. Pat dry with paper towels. Shell and devein if necessary.

Marinate the shrimp in the rice wine or sherry, salt and cornstarch for 15 minutes.

Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger and green onion. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they turn pink.

Push the shrimp up to the sides of the pan and add the sauce in the middle. Bring to a boil and then mix in with the shrimp. Serve hot.

1/4 pound ground pork
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fermented black beans
1 garlic clove
2 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying
Combine the ground pork with the soy sauce, pepper and cornstarch. Marinate the pork for 15 minutes.

Rinse the black beans, letting them sit in the water for a few minutes to soften. Drain. Use a cleaver or knife to finely chop the beans. Peel and mince the garlic clove. Mash the garlic together with the soaked black beans. Wash the green onion and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sherry, sugar, and chicken broth. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water and set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs with the salt.

Heat the wok over medium high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoon oil, swirling to coat the sides. When oil is ready, add 1/2 of the mashed black beans and garlic mixture. Stir-fry until aromatic. Add the ground pork. Stir-fry until it changes color. Remove and clean out the wok.

Add 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil is hot, add the second half of the bean and garlic mixture. Stir-fry until aromatic. Add the sauce. Give the cornstarch and water mixture a quick re-stir and add to the sauce, stirring quickly to thicken. Add the ground pork back into the pan. Stir in the green onion.

Stir in the beaten eggs. Remove the sauce from the heat, pour over shrimp or lobster and serve.

Veggie Sauce

What to do with plain old veggies?
I had a frozen bag of green beans from last years garden.
Nuked them to thaw them out and they looked kind of limpy.
So I made up this sauce to make them eatable.

Two tablespoons unsalted butter, melted.
One tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
One tablespoon spicy prepared mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix together and pour over cooked veggies.
This sauce made a dull veggie a winner!

Maybe because I like honey and mustard,
but...try this sauce on anything.
It's a good base sauce and can be
spiced up with hot peppers or cumin.

Today I picked some fresh peas,
Took me an hour to shuck em,
(is that what it's called when ya
de pod the peas?)

Well I put this sauce on them and...
This sauce is the bomb on freshly
de podded peas!

Greek Keftedes Meatballs

I should have known better...
But this happens almost every time I go grocery shopping.
I buy one food item or another
thinking that I'm going to cook up this or that,
ending up with left over fresh ingredients in the refrigerator,
that must be cooked up or frozen before they go bad.

Today was one of those tropical arm pit of America days
and I wasn't about to go bake in the strong sun so...
I spent the day cooking in the lap of air conditioning.

Well I wanted to make an authentic "Shrimp with Lobster Sauce".
Which came out as close to the real Chinese restaurant dish as possible,
NO, even better because I had all the freshest ingredients.

In this dish you need 4 ounces of ground pork.
You can't buy 4 ounces of ground pork,
so I had about a pound of freshly ground pork
in the fridge waiting for me to do something with it.

Many years ago I was doing some carpentry work
at the house of one of my relatives of Greek heritage, "Diamond".
Every day she would make lunch for us.
Great food like breaded and pan fried sole fillets.

For lunch one day she made these terrific Greek meatballs called "Keftedes".
They have the fantastic taste of fresh mint in them.
Her recipe is in my first cookbook.

Well I never made these minty gems until today.
They came out perfectly. I must have some Greek blood in me.
Although Diamond used ground beef and I used ground pork,
I think they are very close to her recipe.

Oh ya I had some fresh shrimp left over from that
Lobster Sauce recipe that needed to be cooked up.
And I had some dry beans soaking over night to cook.
I also made a pot of basmati rice.
And some roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

What a great hot and humid summer day I had.
Doing what comes naturally to me,
and what I like to do best,

Cook Stuff.

The secret to great, juicy keftedes
is to make the mixture as loose as possible,
but still dense enough that the little meatballs
will hold their shape when fried.

It is common practice in various parts of Greece
to add either grated tomato or milk, or both, to the mixture.
The liquid adds the requisite moisture to the meat,
and changes its color so that the finished keftedes have a light,
pinkish tint when broken apart.

Frying the meatballs has its tricks, too.
You actually don't need that much oil for this recipe,
as the keftedes are pan fried, not deep fried.
What you will need is to pay attention to the oil.
It should not be so hot that the keftedes burn
on the outside but remain undercooked within.

3/4 pound ground pork
1 large red onion, minced or grated (about 1 cup)
1 large tomato, grated
2 tablespoons dried Greek mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, as needed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour for dredging
Olive oil, for frying

Combine the ground pork and onion in a mixing bowl.
Add the tomato, mint, salt, and pepper,
and knead well for 3 minutes to combine.
Pour in the milk and continue kneading until
the liquid is completely absorbed.

If the mixture is so loose that the keftedes do not retain their shape,
add a few tablespoonfuls of plain fine bread crumb.
Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the mixture for
at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours, so that the flavors meld.

To form, season the flour with salt and pepper,
and spread out on a large plate.
Have a second, clean plate ready.
Take a tablespoonful at a time of the meat mixture
and form into a small ball, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Roll in the flour and shake in the palm of your hand
to remove the excess flour.
Place the dredged meatball on the clean plate.
Continue with the remaining mixture
until all the meatballs are shaped.

To fry,
heat about 1-inch of olive oil or other oil in a large,
heavy skillet over medium heat.
Using a tablespoon or a fork,
gently place as many meatballs as will fit
in the pan without crowding.
Fry them, turning once or twice so that
all sides are browned.
Remove, drain slightly on paper towels,
and serve, either hot or at room temperature.
The meatballs may be made several hours ahead and stored,
covered, at room temperature.


Chow Yow Gai

"Chow Yow Gai" or Chinese Boiled Chicken with Onions.
Is what's for dinner tonight.THE REAL WHITE MEAT !
How is it possible to pick up rice with chop sticks?
Lately I've been on a Chinese food kick and have been trying to make authentic Chinese dishes.
This one is simple and a good meal for a hot summer day.

1 (3 lb) chicken, cleaned
2 bunches green onions
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup peanut oil, heated to smoking point

I fill a large soup pot with enough water to just cover chicken,
and bring to a full rolling Chinese boil.
Place the whole cleaned chicken into it.
When the water stops boiling, take the chicken out.
Cover the pot and when the water again boils, place the chicken back in the pot. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Leave the chicken in the pot
and the pot on the burner. After one hour, the chicken is done. Remove, and cool.

Serve with cooked white rice.

Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits

Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits Recipe.
You must try this one, it's easy, quick and OH SO GOOD!
These are a very close copy cat recipe to the biscuits served at Micky D's,
I added some fresh blueberries to the mix.

Some Bisquick and Buttermilk is all you need
for a biscuit that's just really good eats.
20 min | 5 min prep time.
Makes only 8 biscuits which is a shame because
your going to eat 2 warm right out of of oven.

2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the baking mix, blueberries, sugar, and salt.
(Easy on the salt and butter, or the biscuits will taste too salty and buttery).
Add the buttermilk and half of the melted butter. Mix until well blended.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until dough becomes elastic.
Roll dough to about 3/4-inch thick and punch out biscuits using a biscuit cutter. Arrange the punched-out dough on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden on top and have doubled in height.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush each one with a light coating of the remaining melted butter. Serve warm.

Baked Stuffed Sirloin

I bought some thin Sandwich Steaks thinking I would make some Chicken Fried Steaks.
Well not wanting to clog my arteries with greasy fried food I decided to:
In a 9X9 inch glass baking dish,Olive Oil to coat bottom.
Two Sandwich Steaks side by side in center.
Salt,Ground Pepper,Garlic Powder,Dry Basil,
Some Ricotta Cheese,and Fresh Spinach leaves.
Another two Sandwich Steaks, pressing down a bit to flatten out some.
Then the Salt,Ground Pepper,Garlic Powder,Dry Basil,
Some Ricotta Cheese,and Fresh Spinach leaves routine.
This time adding some Sun Dried Tomatoes and Parmasian Cheese.
Another two Sandwich Steaks and again the Salt,Ground Pepper,
Garlic Powder,Dry Basil,Ricotta Cheese,and
Fresh Spinach leaves Pressing down routine.
And then the last two steaks on top and again Salt,
Ground Pepper,Garlic Powder,Dry Basil.
Place six red ripe tomatoes one in each corner
and in between the stuffed steaks.
On top a little drizzle of Olive Oil.
Covered with foil,baked at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
It looks impresive cut in half on a serving plate.
Serve along with potatoes, it's a good one.

Roasted Tarragon Chicken

The first time I cooked with fresh Tarragon was...Today! I know, I know,
Your gasping at the thought! I shouldn't admit it,
seeing how I cook a lot and call myself Chef Rock.
But somehow I never really got into cooking with fresh herbs. But today with nudging from one of my brothers, I got some fresh Tarragon from the garden and made Roast Chicken. It came out great. Exceptionally great, easy to do and oh so good !
I lined a roasting pan with aluminium foil. ( I do this for easy clean up).
On the bottom put three celery stalks, one quartered onion and a red bell pepper.tarragon on top.Put the chicken in skin side up.Salt, pepper and garlic powder on the chicken. Drizzled some clover honey on the chicken. Placed two sprigs of fresh tarragon on top. Covered in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and a half.Took the cover off, checked the temp of the chicken with an instant read thermometer. Removed the tarragon leaves from the stems and kind of spread them around over the chicken.Placed the pan under the broiler for two or three minutes until the chicken browned up. This was one of the best chicken dishes I've ever had, fall off the bone and real tasty. There was about a quarter inch of chicken fat and water on the bottom of the pan which made the steaming effect of the chicken real juicy.The tarragon was surprisingly crunchy after being cooked.
With a white chardonnay wine and dessert was a slice of warm from the oven,
home made fresh blueberry pie, with Ben & Jerry's pistachio pistachio ice cream.
I give this dinner pairing ***** !

Fresh Rosemary Lemonaide

Bring one cup water to a boil in microwave, Add three Rosemary sprigs, cover and let steep for at least 10 minutes. Remove Rosemary, Add 8 tablespoons granulated sugar.
Stir to disolve sugar. Stir in 1/2 C. lemon juice and 8 cups water.
Taste and add more lemon juice to taste.
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Nothing screams summer time more to me than a nice cold glass of lemonade!
It's refreshing and it really quenches your thirst on a hot afternoon. Now,
add a savory and subtle kick of rosemary, and you have a fantastic twist on this traditional drink! We all know how good lemon and rosemary pair together in cooking, but who knew it would be just as good in a drink? So, if you like these two flavor combinations, give this one a try.

Tomato Pie

Many moons ago we had more than enough tomatoes from the family garden to eat,
and or freeze as sauce. I created this tomato pie.
It's not in Francis Rock's cookbook because I had lost the recipe for years,
going though some old papers I just found it again, and it's a doozy of a pie.
Tomato Pie.

1 pie crust
4 very ripe tomatoes peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 medium onion
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 slices cooked smoky bacon crumbled up,
3 TBSP mayonnaise (about)
Some corn starch-I never measured how much.
1 tsp dried basil or some fresh if you got some.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Place the peeled and sliced tomatoes in a colander over the sink, sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit water reductioning while preparing the other ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice the onion very very see thru thin.
In a bowl combine the cheese, bacon, and mayo. Mix thoroughly.
Put the bottom pie crust in a 9″ pie plate. Arrange a layer of tomatoes, sprinkle with half the sliced onion and 1/2 tsp dried basil.
Repeat the first layer with the remaining tomatoes,onion,and basil.
Top with cheddar cheese and put on top crust, crimp the edges and cut a big "T" in the top. Bake for 45 minutes, checking after 30. Cover edges of crust with foil if it browns before pie is done. I never could wait to let the pie cool before slicing, but if you do the cheese won't be runny.

Home Made Dill Pickles

I was given a bunch of fresh cucumbers the other day. What to do with them? Make Pickles.I don't remember ever making pickles. I made Sauerkraut once by shredding cabbage and layering it with salt in a crock, no water! put a rock on top to weight and a clean dish towel. They fermented in a few weeks. Then I removed the scum that formed on top.The sauerkraut was good,I'm thinking of fermenting the cuckes that way.
It's important to always spear the cuckes with a clean fork so as not to contaminate the brine and spoil the pickles; for the same reason, never use your fingers.
For kosher or garlic dill pickles: no vinegar! That's the key to real deli-style kosher dills. Use fresh crisp cucumbers for best results. Water, coarse kosher salt or pickling salt, garlic, pickling spices and dill combine with cucumbers to produce a brine. The brine is formed when the salt draws acid from the pickles and combines with the other ingredients. 3-5 days gives you half sours, 12-20 days gives full sours. Refrigeration stops the fermentation process. You can taste them while they are fermenting and adjust the spices. There is really no way to hurry them up. Double the recipe as required. Just fill each jar you have until you run out of ingredients.Some recipes call for boiling the water (about 1 litre / 4 cups) with the salt and pickling spice, then refrigerating until icy cold: an extra step that works but is not necessary. Do NOT use warm water on the cucumbers in any case.

Ingredients for each gallon jar

8-10 cucumbers for pickling (medium size)
1 large handful fresh dill with flower heads
(or add 1/4 teaspoon dill seed if flower heads are missing
4-6 large cloves of garlic, flattened
125 ml (1/2 cup) coarse kosher salt or pickling salt
20 ml (4 tsp.) pickling spice
1-2 large bay leaves

Pack each jar with cucumbers, sprinkling salt between each layer.
Add pickling spice, salt, dill (dill heads) and bay leaves.
Fill jar with water but leave two inches of room for brine to form. You may prepare this in large crocks (something non-reactive) and then transfer to glass jars when finished. Weigh cucumbers down to keep submerged and cover.
After 2-3 days, remove scum (if any has formed) and adjust spices. Let ferment 3 more days and check for doneness by cutting off a slice of one cucumber.
Once they are fermented to the right stage (to taste), transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate. Ferment longer (12-20 days) for pungent sour pickles. (They will still ferment in the fridge but not quickly).

Home Made Artichoke Hummas

I'm never gonna buy store made hummas again.
You must try this very easy recipe.

1 can chick peas, drained
1 can artichoke hearts,drained
a few sun dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


Pulse in a food processor or blender until pureed.
The Chick peas,
remove to a bowl.
Chop up the artichoke hearts in food processor,
remove to bowl.
Chop some store bought Sun dried tomatoes,
remove to bowl.
Add salt,sugar,
Easy does it with some garlic powder.
On a hearty bread,toasted rye, pita or bagel.
Along with a pad of no salt butter. very yummy!
I like it so much that I'm hiding it sealed
way back in the refrigerator from my family.

Crustless Apple Peach Pie

I had some fresh apples and peaches and wanted to make a pie,
without the whole flour everywhere in the kitchen making pie crusts thing.
This is what I did and it came out great.

Greased a 9X9 glass cassarole dish.
Peeled,cored and 1/4" sliced 3 apples and 3 peaches.
mixed with 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp ground cinnimon.
and threw in some minute tapioca.
I then removed crust from a bulkie roll, 1/2" slices.
Placed bread in the greased casarole dish.
Put in the apple/peach mixture.
Sprinkled more cinimon sugar and dot with butter.
Baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Removed from oven an drizzled 1/4 cup fresh orange juice over it.
Served warm.

The fruit baked nicely and kept it's shape.
The bread on the bottom was as smooth as
a fruit juice flavored bread pudding.

Mmmm Mmmm good !

Spam in Lime Jello

This is not a mis-print, Spam in Lime Jello.
After you stop laughing try this one if your a Spamaholic.
Disolve one packet of lime Jello powder in one cup of hot water as per instructions on the box. Then add another cup opf cold water. Put in refrigerator for about an hour or until just set. Now comes the Spam fresh out of the can and cut into one half inch cubes.Add the cubed Spam to the cooled down Jello and refrigerate until set. Serve and say Aloha Aloha!

Pasta with Chick Peas

Pasta with Garbaonzo Beans!
This is a good recipe! How many foods that while eating you can't help saying out loud between mouthfuls "This is really good?" I cooked up some Penne pasta because I like the shape. Drained a can of chick peas and cooked them along with the pasta for ten minutes or so. Drained them and plated the dish with some Olive oil, Basil,Garlic powder and a dash of sugar. I topped it off with a little grated Parmasian cheese.
This is a first place winner of a pasta dish. I mean it... You will thank me for this one. It's so simple. I don't know why I never thought of it before. Cooking chick peas along with the pasta until they get all nice and creamy good.The pasta and basil always works good for my tastes but adding the chick peas was the bomb!

Burnt Pasta

Every once in awhile I loose control over the timing of cooking things.
Tonight I made what I thought to be a really good pasta sauce with sun dried tomatoes and a black olive garbanzo bean puree. Well nine minutes turned into fifeteen minutes talking with my Dad about his ah...bladder thing and the elbow mac was all burnt a nice golden color of skankyness. I just made blackened pasta !

As soon as I walked into the kitchen I knew it... thinking to myself
"I've smelled this before, this is not a good smell". I don't think you can get the bottom of a pot any blacker than this one is. Pouring cold water in it and trying to get all of the un blakened pasta out is just a total waste of time, they all taste like elementry school food. So what to do now?
I throw the burnt mess into the chicken dish and have myself a big old glass of Kenny Rogers and soda.
Or was that Charlie Rogers? Anyway I had a Jolly Roger!

Sunday Meatloaf

This meatloaf version became a family favorite in many households in the 1950's.
I made this today as the sky was falling snow, it came out better than great.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hours,
1-1/2 pounds ground beef (chuck is best)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp prepaired honey mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup milk
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste or ketchup
2 to 4 strips bacon, cut in half (optional)
Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In electric mixure combine ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, sweet onion, bell peppers, oregano, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, milk, and half of the tomato paste. Mix only until combined. Form into a loaf. Cover with the remaining half can of tomato paste. Place the bacon strips over the top.

Bake uncovered for one hour. Let meatloaf rest a few minutes before cutting to serve. Yield: 6 servings

Gourmet Chicken Soup

I got the largest soup pot I could find. Then I placed six chicken thighs with skin on in pot. The other thighs from the package I froze. Put into the pot two chopped up celery stalks, two sliced organic carrots and one cut up onion. Seasoned with black pepper,garlic powder,Thyme and cilantro. Somewhere I read that a beef bullion cube adds something to the soup so in one went in place of any salt. I filled the pot a third full with water. Simmered it for two hours until the chicken and veggies were done. I strained the vegetables because I like a clearer broth. Put everything back in the pot and brought it back to a simmer. After a few more minutes I could easily remove the skins.The aroma of slow simmering chicken soup filled the entire house all day, and that was so much of a better smell than wet dog. Served over cooked white rice with freshly baked bisquits.
Oh and why is it titled "Gourmet Chicken Soup"? Because I made it that way!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Some Foods Don't Go Together

You ever make some new food,
Taste it and want to spit right quick?

I'm not afraid to try new foods.
Hey, if you don't try it,
How are you gonna know it's awful?

And yes there are foods that some like
and others dislike.What I'm talking about
is foods that make most people grimace.

Today I found out that Basil Pesto
and Zucchini Squash doesn't work.

Last week it was baked Red Potatoes
Marinated in Italian Salad Dressing.

You ever cook Rice in Orange Juice?
Take my word for it, Don't do that one.

Once I tried to boil Potatoes in Red Wine.
Hey, I was being festive that day.

Thinking about it I do kind of get
carried away with my experimenting though.

One day I found out that canned Tuna and Eggs
are well... Just not meant to be together.

Not all things that sound strange
together are that bad tasting though.
Take Coke a Cola and Milk for example.

Speaking of Coke, What did they do to it?
It seems more seltzery now.
Bubbles cost less to produce than water?

And what the heck did they do to Milk.
You look in the store and there are
all different types now. Soy Milk?
I'm sorry if it doesn't come from a cow
It's not Milk it's juice. Soy Juice!

So tonight I'm having Peanut Butter & Jelly.
Real Peanut Butter, No sugar or Corn Syrup.
With Real Jelly, again no Nothing and Seedless.

Some times I wonder,Is it me or is it Memorex?

Blueberry Pie

How long do you think it would take you
to make a Blueberry pie from scratch?
Now I'm talking fresh berries, no canned pie fill.

Well it took me two hours to put one all together
and into the "oven from hell", but that's another story.

Home made crusts sometimes comes out great
and other times not so great.
This time I got lucky and it worked out o.k.

So now I've got a kitchen covered with flour, again.
This happens to me every time I use flour
to make a pie or cake, even bread and fresh pasta.

There's an awful lot to clean up everywhere. Why?
Well you can't help but have your hands
covered with the stuff,then you need some water,
so the kitchen faucet handle is now icky.

Open the refrigerator door to get some butter,
that handle is all icky. Not only the handle
but the little butter door too.

Even after washing my hands a billion times,
the flour wins every time.
Now there's a mess of dishes bowls and flour over flour.

Oh and the pie? It came out perfect this time.

Fresh Tomatoes

Having a few red ripe tomatoes
I wanted to cook some up for freezing sauce.

None good enough to give away
because of the chip munk bites taken out of them.
So after cleaning and coring and skinning and seeding.
And after about four hours of simmering and tasting
and adjusting the seasonings and tasting again.

I had a pot of sauce ready to put in freezer bags.
Now this may sound easy enough.
You need six hands to keep the bag open,
Laddle the sauce and of course everything turns tomato red.

Once I put the bags in my freezer on the wire grate,
Stupidly not realizing the bags would freeze
the sauce around the wire grate.
Try and get frozen bags of tomato sauce out
wrapped around the wire grates is disturbing.

Oh by the way, here's my recipe for tomato sauce.

In the Largest pot you got.
Some olive oil.
Fresh crushed garlic
Some minced onion
chopped celery
chopped carrot
chopped green pepper

Add the cut up tomatoes
simmer four four hours.

The seasonings are fresh and dried
granulated sugar
black pepper
cayanne pepper
and what ever else you want.

simmer some more
then my secret ingredient
some red wine,It makes people say
"what makes this taste so good?".

So after cleaning up the mess of tomato red,
We got ten pints of sauce to look forward to
this coming frozen winter.

I love the smell of fresh tomatoes in the morning...

Lazy Susan Leftovers

Well I have to admit that one has to be
pretty creative around here dealing with
The leftovers that are left over.

Having a dozen little containers of
leftover food, to good to throw out.
"You'd almost have to be like MacGyver to
make something edible with this stuff".

A cup of Mashed Potatoes
1/2 a Red Onion
One Cucumber
One Hot Dog (No Bun)
Some Cottage Cheese
Some Sour Cream
Cooked White Rice
A Banana

This is off the top of my head.
There's lots more in there.

Tonight I took some of the Mashed Potato
And made fried Cheese Patties.
They came out o.k. nice and light.

Speaking of Refrigerators,
It would be cool if ours had
Shelves that spun around like on a
Lazy Susan. Don't you think?
I'm always looking for something
That's way in the back.

I don't think it would be that difficult to do.
Maybe there's some for sale out there already.
I haven't really looked.
So come on GE or whom ever
Let's get going on this Lazy Susan idea...

Fresh Plouts, Peaches
and Bosc Pears Salad

I had some fresh Peaches left over from the other day
sitting in a container in the refrigerator,

I had a fresh Cantaloupe sitting on the kitchen island
getting all nice and mouldy from all this humidity.

I had a half pint of freshly picked Blueberries.
Justa crying at me to make muffins with them.

I went on line just to see if there might be
something that could use these ingredients.
Low and behold by golly there was a recipe for
Cantaloupe Peach Soup using fresh Blueberries.

I was on my way to uncharted territory again.
Peeled the Cantaloupe and seeded it.
Cut it up into pieces and added the Peaches.

I got out my trusty boat motor immersion blender
And went off to the races,round and round.
Whirling and blending at lightning fast speeds.

I added some Orange Juice to thin it up a bit.
And tried to pour it from my big round mixing bowl
into a plastic container to put it in the refrigerator.

I cleaned up the mess on the counter and floor.
Tasted like it would be a hit for dinner.
Threw it in the ice box until time to eat.

I only wanted a little at dinner,about a cupful.
It was nice, a refreshing cool drink on a hot day.
Garnished with the Blueberries it looked great.
Only thing was it's very very filling.

I got to the point where my stomach said
Enough with the fruity fiber already.
It could have been thinned down a bit more with O.J.

I wrote this recipe down to do again.
Only this time with fresh figs and Plouts.
A Plout is a cross between a Plum and an Apricot.

Poached Pears

You've Got to try this. I mean it.
This is Four star food...
O.K. I'll even say five star...
Poached pears...Are you listening?

You Must Do This At Least Once...
Real easy and really good.

What ya do...

I took a few pears,
Removed the stem and somewhat peeled them.

"Now I don't even own a vegetable peeler,
I use an 8" chefs knife for everything".

Cut in half and removed the core.
Placed in a microwaveable container.
Added some cranberry juice
about 1/4 the way up the pears.
Put some brown suger and a little cinnamonamon.

Covered and nuked at half power for about 20 minutes.

"Interestingly the plastic cover kind of
inverted itself into the container".

Served warm with a scoop of premium ice cream.
This was really really good.

The perfect ending to any meal.

The ice cream was Ben&Jerry's
Pistachio ...

OMG To Die For Coffee Cake

This is the one!

Just getting over the great corn muffin mess.
I decided to make a coffee cake.

Came out great!
This recipe used to be on the Bisquick box.
I like to lighten it up adding a little plain flour.
Also adding some fresh or frozen blueberries.

Everyone has a classic coffee cake recipe.
I’ve taken the liberty of doubling the
streusel topping, you’ll thank me for it.


Bisquick Coffee Cake From Betty Crocker

Heat oven to 375°F.


Cinnamon Streusel (below)
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
2/3 cup milk or water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 9-inch round pan.
Make Cinnamon Streusel; reserve.
Stir all remaining ingredients until blended.
Add a little white four to help you spread in pan.
This is when I place the blueberries around and
Cover with the Cinnamon Streusel topping.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown,
testing with a toothpick.
Cinnamon Streusel Topping

2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter (melted)
Mix all ingredients in small bowl until crumbly.
Cutting or mixing with a fork helps.

Spilled Chicken Soup

Wanting to make home made chicken soup.

I put a big pot on the stove
Went to my pantry and
got a can of chicken broth,
Opened it and put it in the pot.
Along with the trinity of veggies,
You know, carrot,celery and onion.

Then I threw in six chicken thighs.
Added some more water to just cover.
Seasoned to taste and
Let simmer for about two hours.

The chicken done,
I removed them from the pot.
Tasted the stock.

After it had cooled.
I carefully poured it into a freezer bag.
Sealed it up real good so I thought.
Sealed it up real good again.
Oh ... it was sealed alright.
I walked over to the refrigerator
Just inside the freezer compartment
the bag opened up.
I caught it from all pouring out.

Today I went to my pantry
and took a can of chicken broth.
Did all that cooking stuff and now.

I have about a can of chicken broth,
In this freezer bag from hell!

Is there a morel to this story?

I do have some cooked chicken here.
Maby I'll make some chicken salad.
Or maby I'll just be a vegitarian.

Chicken Italiano

My Italian translation isn't so good
but I think I can write about this recipe.
Baked chicken thighs...
Here goes...

I love this prescription!
Simple with the tons of sapore and croccante covering.
That is a large one after the lunch of the job,
so as to quickly to join.
Use the coscie with the bone,
but could also be made with the coscie senz'
boneses or the breasts,
are remembered as soon as consequently
to record your time of baking.
1-2 servings 45 minuteren change of the
preparation of 5 minuteren to: coscie
without skin with the bone metric of the pollo
of the United States of servings
the 2 2 spoons from briciole table
of the mustard de Digione of the ribbon
of granturco of the cup of the brown powder curry
of the teaspoon of the sugar 1 of 2 spoons from table
(to taste) 1/2 Not that one? It sees other prescriptions
of the coscie of the pollo cooked excellent easy furnace

Amo questa ricetta!
Semplice con le tonnellate di sapore e di rivestimento croccante.
Ciò è un grande dopo il pranzo del lavoro,
in modo da rapidamente unire.
Uso le coscie con l'osso,
ma potrebbe anche essere fatta con le coscie senz'ossa o i seni,
si ricordano di appena registrare di conseguenza il vostro tempo di cottura.

1-2 servings 45 minuti cambiamento della preparazione di 5 minuti a:
coscie senza pelle con l'osso metriche del pollo
degli Stati Uniti dei servings 2 2 cucchiai da tavola
della senape de Digione briciole del fiocco di granturco
della tazza della polvere di curry del cucchiaino
da tè dello zucchero marrone
1 di 2 cucchiai da tavola (a gusto) 1/2 Non quello?
Veda altre ricette delle coscie del pollo cotte forno facile eccellente

Rock's Pizza

Rock's Pizza Recipe

2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting the pan

1 1/2 ounces home made pizza sauce
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Freshly sliced Mozzarella,and Provolone Cheeses

Place the sugar,olive oil, warm water, 1 cup of flour, and yeast, into a mixing bowl.Let rest for fifteen minutes.Add remaining cup of flour.
Mix for five minutes or so until a dough ball forms adding more flour as needed.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size.
Stretch the dough or roll out into a round or square.
Place dough on cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal.
Add your sauce and toppings and let rest for ten minutes.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 to 20 minutes,
or until bubbly and golden brown.
Rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

Julia Childs and Butter

(You start with five pounds of melted butter.
Chop up a half of a shallot.
Add two parsley stems.
Then add another two pounds of melted butter.
Now add two cups of sherry.
Some fresh cranberries.
An oyster and a chestnut or two.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Now comes the tough part...
Into the pot goes six pads of butter.
Now add five loaves of white French baquette(crust removed).
Six French hens.
And a partridge in a pear tree... Omit the pear tree).
I saw a t.v. show of Julia's where she was making this stuffing type dish.
Must have used ten pounds of butter...
O.K. I'm exaggerating but she used a lot of butter and then added more...

My thinking is,
If you want Real butter flavor use Real butter(unsalted).
Cabot is good.
None of that Country Crock whipped unsaturated, make believe yellow corn oil paste.

Fresh Puffed Corn Cereal

Fresh Puffed Corn Cereal

Make some unflavored popcorn.
No butter,No salt.
Put in bowl.
Add some milk,
a little sugar if you like.

Tastes like puffed corn cereal
with a fresh home made flavor.
And it's a kid friendly recipe.


Last night I made some meatballs that came out pretty good.
I had no cheese to add for flavor, so I went on line to find somethin to put in.
Applesauce? Hmmm...
Sounds interesting, so I put some in, not a lot just enough for flavor.
I have to say they came out o.k.

Meatloaf mix
White Bread Cubed
Bread Crumbs
Cayanne Pepper
Worcestershire Sauce

Fried in Olive Oil
then added Tomato Sauce
and simmered for about an hour.

Chili Taters

Today I'm cooking a couple baked (or nuked) potatoes.
I bought some chili from Wendy's fast food place a while back.
Freezed them for just a day like this...
Almost ninety degrees and seventy percent humidity outside...Yuk...

I ain't gonna do no hot cookin tonight...
I'm gonna just nuke the taters and top them with the chili...
Might add some cheese.
Been there done that and ... who says you can't go home?...

Oh... my microwave's beepin , got to go...

Suppa is ready...

Toasted Orzo Pasta

I can't take the credit for thinking this one up.
Got it from my friend Bobby Flay on the Food Network.
Have a pot of salted water on a boil...
Put 1/4 cup orzo pasta in a dry saute pan,
Toast it for a couple minutes until lightly browned.
Place into boiling , salted water.
Also add 1/4 cup of non toasted orzo to the water.
Cook until done, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Simply dressed with unsalted butter and olive oil.
Add dried Basil, garlic powder and,
Salt / pepper to taste...
What's the Campbell's soup saying?
Um Um Good...
You all got to try this one...

Killer Cole Slaw

I made this cole slaw today ,to have along with steak tomorrow.

The secret ingredient is using a little Mad Dog B.B.Q. sauce.
It gives it a real depth of hot hickory smoked flavor.
This would be the bomb on pulled pork sandwiches.

8 c. cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 c. carrot, finely shredded
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 T. prepared yellow mustard
2 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 T. Mad Dog B.B.Q. sauce

In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and Mad Dog sauce.
Beat until smooth.
Pour over cabbage and carrots.
Mix well. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Roasted Rosemary Things

Redfish with Rosemary
4 tablespoons Pugliese olive oil
1 whole (3-pound) red snapper, cleaned, scaled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved or lemon juice stuff
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 small fennel bulb, chopped
2 fresh rosemary things
1 tablespoon chopped fennel
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 small garlic clove, minced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with foil. Oil the fish with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the fish atop the foil. Season fish with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon inside the fish cavity. Fill the cavity with the onion, fennel and rosemary sprigs,or stems if you have them. Bake until the fish is just cooked through at the bone, about 40 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut fish fillets. Or just cut into serving pieces.Season with with salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon sauce over the fish and serve.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Cioppino is a fish stew derived from the various regional fish soups and stews of Italian cuisine. Cioppino is traditionally made from the catch of the day, which in the dish's place of origin is typically a combination of dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and fish with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce, often served over spaghetti or other long pasta and toasted buttered bread, either sourdough or baguette. The dish is comparable to bouillabaisse, burrida, and bourride of the French Provence, suquet de peix from Catalan speaking regions of coastal Spain, and to cacciucco and brodetto from Italy . It was developed in the late 1800s by Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach section of San Francisco. Originally it was made on the boats while out at sea and later became a staple as Italian restaurants proliferated in San Francisco. The name comes from ciuppin, a word in the Ligurian dialect of the port city of Genoa,meaning "to chop" or "chopped" which described the process of making the stew by chopping up various leftovers of the days catch. At least one restaurant in San Francisco, the eponymous Cioppino's, describes an apocryphal story in which the name derived from the heavily Italian-accented cry of the wharf cooks for the fishermen to "chip in" some of their catch to the collective soup pot.

Generally the seafood is cooked in broth and served in the shell, including the crab (if any) that is often served halved or quartered. It therefore requires special utensils, typically a crab fork and cracker. Depending on the restaurant, it may be accompanied by a bib, second possibly damp napkin, or a second bowl for the shells. As a variation, the "lazy man's" cioppino is served with seafood shelled and crab legs cracked

1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded and bulb cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
1 medium onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup full-bodied red wine
1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
12 littleneck clams
1 pound fresh raw shrimp
4 or 6 crab legs or claws
4 lobster tails or claws
1 pound skinless fillets of thick white-fleshed fish such as halibut, hake, or pollack, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 pound cultivated mussels

PreparationPulse fennel, onion, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then stir in chopped vegetables, bay leaves, thyme, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring once or twice, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juice, water, wine, and clam juice and boil, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in seafood and cook, uncovered, until fish is just cooked through and mussels open wide, 4 to 6 minutes (discard any that remain unopened after 6 minutes). Discard bay leaves.

Jamaican Beef Patties

In the 1970's I took on a job painting and doing some finish woodworking in a swanky office building in Hartford. Right next to the Civic Center. You know the building that had the roof collapse from the weight of snow during the blizzard of 1978.
While there I met a guy that worked for the computer company who was from Jamaica.
One day we went to a Jamaican bakery for some beef patties and Coco bread for lunch.
I still remember them and that memory is what brings me to this :

Tortiere is a very special and seasonal holiday dish, great for Christmas or Thanksgiving. It's very popular in Canada, though Christmas meat pie might not be typical in the States. A hot, savory meat pie may not sound like traditional Christmas food to everyone, but it is a requirement at the holiday table for many in Canada, not only those with a French heritage. It also could be made into a deep fried turnover similar to Jamaican beef patties.

Basic French Canadian Meat Pie Recipe
Recipe makes 1 9" meat pie or a bout eight turnovers.

1 lb ground beef
½ lb ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp summer savory
½ cup hot water
1 cup cooked mashed potatoes
Crust for 1 9-inch pie, with top
Method: In a large pan, cook beef, pork and chopped onion until cooked through and all browned. Add water, salt, celery salt and savory seasonings to the meat and let simmer for about 45 minutes, with a lid on the pan.
Then stir in the mashed potatoes, and let cool partially. Spoon the mixture into your pie crust and add top crust. Puncture the top to let steam escape.
Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat down to 350F and bake for another half an hour. Or if making turnovers: Cook meat mixture as above omitting potatoes, and divide evenly to fill turnover pastries. seal and deep fry until golden brown.

Orange Chicken

I came up with this recipe, it's a good one!
This is a very flavorful, fork tender meat fall off the bone keeper !
I took one whole bird, removed the guTs and washed inside and out.
In a foil lined roasting pan (for easy clean up), I put a few slices of onions, carrots and stalks of celery on the bottom. Cut four corners off of a fresh orange, stuck a few whole cloves in the orange and then jammed the whole orange inside the cavity of the bird, placed the bird on the veggies in the pan. Sprinkled with black pepper and garlic powder. Poured some teriyaki sauce on top of the chicken. Baked covered in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and a half. Then I stuffed as much fresh spinach as would fit around chicken in pan, poured a little more teriyaki sauce on top of bird along with a tablespoon of dark brown sugar along with a splash of red wine vinegar on the spinach. Back in the oven for another hour. Placed a few cloves of garlic and some fresh grape tomatoes around. Turned the oven off, then back in the oven for another hour. Simply irresistible!Along with steamed white rice flavored with orange peel, I really can't describe how good it was.Although the spinach cooked down to nothing, the roasted garlic cloves were great and even the clove stabbed orange in the chickens butt was tasty.

Bacon Candy

You might think bacon is a meat type of food not supposed to be sweet.
I first read this in a Savour cooking magazine and had to try it.
It came out pretty good and tasty!

1 pound thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment or aluminium foil.

2. Lay bacon strips overlapping slightly if needed.
Spread the brown sugar on the bacon strips.

3. Bake 15 minutes. Turn bacon over and spread with more brown sugar.
Bake until crispy, 10 minutes more.

Careful not to burn them.

Creamed Fresh Spinach

I had a bag of fresh spinach and was looking for something to make for lunch.
Went on-line and found this...Creamed Spinach... Hmmm... I thought out loud.
Simple enough to put together and not bad if you like green wilted leafy things.
2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil in pan.
A small chopped onion, add fresh spinach and cook down a bit,salt, black pepper to taste. Add about a quarter cup of cream and stir around. I served it on toast.

Chicken Thighs

This is so easy to put together and oh so good.
Line a small roasting pan with two or better yet three layers of aluminium foil.
Place a peeled,halved onion in bottom of pan.
Some cut up fresh carrots,celery and fennel.
Place chicken thighs skin side up on top of veggies,
season with salt and ground black pepper to your taste.
I also used smoked paprika,thyme,brown sugar and garlic powder.
Roasted @350 for about an hour and a half.
Let sit in covered pan for fifteen minutes before serving.

The chicken was fall off the bone good with crispy skin.
I know your not supposed to eat the skin but it's so good.
The veggies were simply fork tender and great.
I wanted to put in some red skin potatoes but forget.

French Onion Soup

Onion Soup Recipe:

2 cups chopped and sliced onions
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
a small crusty loaf of French bread
grated Gruyere cheese for topping is good but really not needed,
I like to top this with a slice of parmasian for the gooey effect.

Oven to 350 degrees or 400 degrees if you want to check out your smoke alarm.
Pour a glass of white wine for human consumtion while,

Peeling the onions, I cut them in half from tip to root with the skin on,
then it's easier to remove the skin. Lay the skined halved onions in a roasting pan
and add the melted butter, olive oil, brown sugar, paprika,salt and some freshly ground black pepper. At this stage you should take a swig of wine...

Roast the onions until they are all tender and soft,
and dark brown here and there. You might want to turn them now and again.
Cut the onions into thick segments and dice some too.
(This would be a good time for another swig of wine).
Put the onions in a sauce pan with that other cup of white wine.

Another good time for sipping white wine while
you are awaiting them to bring to the boil.
Let the wine in the pot bubble until it almost disappears
then pour in the veggie or chickie stock.
Bring to the boil again,
turn heat down and simmer for about twenty minutes.

By now your drinking glass of wine should be all gone...
Just before you want to serve the soup,
Cut the French bread into really thin slices and toast lightly,
ladle soup into oven safe bowls and float the bread on top.
Put cheese over bread and place the bowls under a hot broiler,
leave until the cheese melts, turning to brown evenly.
Serve this soup immediately,
whilst the cheese is still stringy and gooey good.

Potato Pancakes

These are good served with apple sauce or sour cream,
of course best if served crispy warm.

2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl,beat eggs,flour,baking powder,salt,and pepper.
Mix in potatoes and onion.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
In batches, drop heaping tablespoonfuls
into the skillet. Press to flatten.
Cook about 3 minutes on each side,
until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Apple Banana Halawa

Halawa from the Arabic root حلوى ḥalwā (sweet), refers to many types of sweet confection, across the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, the Balkans.
Most types of halva are relatively dense confections that are sweetened with sugar or honey. However, their textures are quite different. For example, semolina halva is gelatinous and translucent, while sesame halva is drier and more crumbly.
Indian cuisine is fun to eat and fun to try and understand the recipes.
Ghee ? That's clarified butter.
I wanted to use up some ripe bananas and copied this from an Indian web site.

1 cup chopped apple (without skin)
1 cup chopped banana
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup milk powder
1 cup shreded coconut
3/4 cup ghee
2 cups sugar


Grind carrot & milk.
Mix all the Ingredients together except ghee.
Keep on stirring till the apple & banana pieces are cooked & the halwa
becomes one mass.
Then add ghee, cardamom powder.
Remove from the stove top & decorate with nuts of your choice.

Pugliese Pizza Dough

A great Pugliese pizza requires a great crust, with the simplest of ingredients.
This versatile Pugliese dough can be used to make pizza, calzones, or stromboli.
It gets its great depth of flavor from a slow rise overnight in the refrigerator.
This recipe yields enough dough for two 24-inch individual Pugliese pizzas.

3-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose wheat flour,-more as needed
2 tsp. granulated white sugar or raw honey
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 packet instant dry yeast
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, - more as needed

Combine the flour, sugar or honey, salt, yeast, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add 1-1/4 cups warm (100º to 110ºF) water.
With the paddle attachment of the electric mixer on low speed,
mix until the dough comes together in a coarse ball, 1 to 2 minutes.
Let the dough rest, covered with damp towel for 10 minutes.

Knead the dough: Using the dough hook. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes, or by hand on a lightly floured work surface. As you knead, add more flour or water as needed to produce a ball of dough that is smooth, supple, and fairly tacky but not sticky. The dough may stick slightly to the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Chill the dough: Lightly oil a bowl that’s twice the size of the dough.
Roll the dough in the bowl to coat it with the oil, cover the top of the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
It will rise slowly in the refrigerator but will stop growing once chilled.
Use the dough for pizzas, calzones, or stromboli as directed in the recipes.

Baked Ricotta Cheese

When ricotta cheese is baked, its flavor deepens and its texture becomes firmer almost like an Italian cheesecake. This recipe can be made will whole milk or low-fat ricotta, if you use the low-fat kind, some liquid (whey) will come out during cooking, but will be reabsorbed as the ricotta cools. Serve this dish slightly warm or at room temperature,maybe with some fresh fruit, and sliced into wedges.
One pound, ricotta cheese serves at least four.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray or brush the pan with olive oil.
Place the ricotta cheese in the pan, and spread it to make a circle about 6-inches in diameter (not quite as wide as the pan) and about 1/2 inch thick.
Bake the ricotta in the center of the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges turn a light golden brown, and the top is firm to the touch. The top will be just beginning to color lightly. Remove the cheese from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Parmasan Pop Corn

What could possibly be better than
good old grade A creamery buttered fresh hot popcorn?
Smoked paprika parmesan cheese buttered popcorn with fresh ground black pepper!
I use microwave popcorn simply for the ease of preparation,
dump into a big mixing bowl, then add:
1 tsp smoked paprika
some melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

That's it. Enjoy!


Tiramisu Cake "pick-me-up !"
Some chefs use raw egg yolks others cooked like a custard.
I simply put in two farm fresh raw whole eggs in the mix.
What you'll need:
One package store bought lady fingers
Two eggs
One 8 oz package softened cream cheese
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup cold espresso coffee
1/4 cup Kahlua
Cocoa powder for dusting or chocolate shavings
What you do:
line a bread loaf pan with plastic wrap, enough to overlap the top.
Put some cocoa powder on bottom,
In a mixing bowl blend eggs, sugar, marsala and cheese til whipped up good.
Add the whipped cream by folding it in the cheese mixture.
Then put in a layer of cheese mixture in pan.
Over that place a layer of lady fingers dipped in coffee and Kahlua.
Then another layer of cheese mixture and then lady fingers then the rest of the cheese.
Fold over the plastic to cover the entire top and refrigerate.
To serve, uncover plastic wrap and invert on a plate big enough to hold it when sliced.
Top with shaved chocolate if desired.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving.

Pickled Oysters

Oysters as with any seafood, you either like them or you don't.
Once I bought a dozen in the shell and almost cut my fingers off shucking them,
never gonna do that again but pickled oysters sounds interesting.
I read where years ago they were served in the White House.
Here's a recipe from the New England section
of the United States Regional Cookbook,
Chicago Culinary Arts Institute, 1947.
While this recipe is written in an old-fashioned way,
it is perfectly safe if processed using modern methods.
For eating right out of the jar,
or to use in your favourite shellfish recipes.

1 quart oyster
1 quart oyster liquor (juice of the oyster)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon mace
3/4 teaspoon clove
1 cup vinegar, hot

Wash and clean the oysters.
Bring the oyster liquor to a boil and skim.
Add oysters and seasonings and cook until oysters are plump and the edges curl.
Add the hot vinegar and pour into sterilized jars; seal.
Allow to stand at least 24 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Before the age of refrigeration, pickled oysters were as common as salt cod,
only tastier. par boiled oysters, vinegar, and pickling spice, but no dill.
The result is tangy and slightly sweet.

No Egg Tirimisu

I've been trying to come up with a recipe for Tirimisu that contained no eggs.
I'm not worried about the raw egg issue or even the allergic to eggs thing.
I just don't like the after taste I find in using raw egg yolks in this dessert.
I'm fine with using just plain old store bought lady fingers
or biscotti for the bisquits used in making Tirimisu.
Then I found this Sponge Cake recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 1/3 cups water

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl
and mix until smooth and free of lumps.
Pour batter into a greased 9 inch pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool completly and then
slice it into lady finger shaped strips.
Put the strips on a cookie sheet and bake
in the oven at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.

For the cheese mixture:
16 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons Amaretto or Marsala
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar

Coffee/Liquor to dip lady finger in,
1 cup expresso coffee
3 tablespoons amaretto or Marsala
3 tablespoons sugar

I make Tirimisu in a bread pan lined with plastic wrap
enough to cover when filled.
In bottom of pan place shaved chocolate
or cocoa powder or better still both.
Put in a layer of the cheese and whipped cream mixture,
then a layer of the coffee dipped "lady fingers",
another layer of the cheese mixture,
another of the coffee dipped lady fingers,
finally the cheese mixture,
cover with plastic wrap,
refrigerate over night or two.
To serve unwrap and invert on a serving plate.
Heaven in your mouth or a great "Pick me up" dessert.

Congee or Jook

Many Chinese peaple begin their day with a warm bowl of congee,
a watery rice gruel that bears a marked resemblance to porridge.
But while even the most devoted fan of porridge would
probably balk at being forced to consume the white stuff day after day,
the variety of seasonings used to make congee ensure that it need not
ever become boring. Congee can be sweet or savory,
seasoned with everything from chicken to mushrooms.
Often, the meat is marinated before being added to the rice.
The word congee (also known as jook in Canton) comes from the Indian "kanji",
which refers to the water in which the rice has been boiled.
(In parts of India today the word congee still refers
both to the boiled water and the rice dish itself).
In Chinese Food, congee serves two purposes -
besides warming the body, it takes the place of a beverage,
as the Chinese don't normally serve cold drinks.

Coquilles Saint Jacques

Coquilles Saint Jacques:
is traditionally served on scallop shells,
is most often eaten as a first course, or appetizer,
is very very good eats!
could benefit from the use of some bacon fat...

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds Imitation Crab Meat
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mix the flour, salt and smoked paprika together in a large bowl.
Add the crab meat stuff to the bowl and toss together
until the crab looking pieces are completely coated
in the spiced flour mixture.

Right about here I lost my notes, so your on your own.
Easy on the garlic don't be going all scampy on me.
What ever you end up with it will be just great.
I think some fresh lemon should appear too.

Fresh Asperigus

I picked some fresh asparagus from the garden today.
It's one of the very best tasting veggies on the planet.
Many people seem to prefer the very slender/skinny shoots but larger is tastier.
My favorite method of preperation is simply rinse them off in cold water,
sprinkle a little salt pn them and then nuke them covered.
For about ten minutes on half power.
Some people snap the trunk of the shoot down toward the base
where the green and white portions meet,
but if realy fresh you don't need to do this.
No need for butter or mayonaise or any other type of condement.
You get to taste the beauty of the aspargus and the salt,Wonderful.
They are best when they still have just a slight crunch as you bite into them.
Steamed in the microwave we eat them without anything on them.
I know it sounds bland but you can then taste the natural sweetness
of the asparagus by itself.

Fresh Salsa

some really red ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh sweet corn, cooked
1 clove garlic, minced
10 small black pitted olives, chopped
4 green olives from the jar with pimentos, chopped
a little roasted red pepper, with juice from jar.
A lot of Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
Some basil, Fresh if you got it.
Extra virgin olive oil to taste.
Ground cumin, not too much.
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.
Salt and freshly ground pepper.
Combine everything and dip the chips.

Apple Jack Pie

Apple Jack Pie recipe ingredients:
175 g (6 oz) shortcrust pastry
1 lb (450 g) cooking applks, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 tbls (25 g) caster sugar (superfine granulated)
410 g (14 1/2 oz) jar mincemeat
2 oz (50 g) ground rice
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 egg
30 ml (2 level tbsp) treacle (molasses)
30 ml (2 level tbsp) golden syrup (substitute light corn syrup)
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter
3 oz (75 g) cornflakes
1. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 1.1-litre (2-pint) pie dish.
2. Bake blind in the oven at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for 20 minutes.
3. Mix together the apple slices, sugar, mincemeat, ground rice, grated lemon rind and juice and the egg.
4. Spoon into the pastry case.
5. Melt together the treacle, syrup and butter, and pour over the cornflakes. Mix well until the cereal is coated, then use to cover the apple filling.
6. Bake in the oven at 175°c (375°F) mark 5 tor about 45 minutes, until the top is set and the apples cooked, covering with foil after 10 minutes.
7. Serve hot with custard.

(Ground rice is slightly grainier than rice flour,
but rice flour can be substituted successfully.
Another substitute that works well is fine semolina flour).

Shepherd's Pie

What to do with left over hamburger from a cookout / picnic?
Place a chopped up slice of red onion in a corning ware dish,
Chop up (food processer) the meat and dump it on top of the onion,
add some filtered or well water or a beef or brown gravy,
add some sweet yellow frozen corn kernals and shucked green peas,
put some leftover cooked mashed taters over the entire top,
a few cuts of butter, salt and pepper.
After nuking it covered for about six minutes on high power
Shazam! you got yerself a great tasting main dish.
it could have been a little more spiced up with some
garlic, allspice, cinnamon , Cayenne pepper or what ever.
but it was easy, cheap, tasty and oh so good.
I bet it's even better tomorrow after a night in the ice box.


Today I made Braciole, My grandmother made this stuff and she was German.
Bracioli, a stuffed beef roll up thing with garlic,parsley and cheese.
What made my recipe different from all the others out there is the stuffing.
Using six thin steaks I bought in the local grocery store.

Stuffing; use your own judgement on amounts of each:
cream cheese softened
homemade dry bread crumbs
minced roasted garlic
grated parmisian cheese
chopped fresh spinach
some chopped fresh parsley
some chopped pistachio nuts

Mix together and spread on beef, roll up like a jelly roll
hold together with tooth picks,put in pot and
Simmer slowly in tomato sauce for two hours.
Serve with italian bread and more tomato sauce on side.

I made it with roasted garlic this time,
the end result was worthy of doing again.

Potato Salad

Hard boil some eggs, chop the celery and chives and red onions, boil the potatoes, make your mayonnaise - sour cream dressing with a dash or two of red wine vinegar, toss in a little bit of granulated sugar for the ying-yang flavor balance effect.
Use plenty of fresh dill,serve on a bed of fresh greens and sprinkle with paprika.

Banana Waffles

There were three bananas on the banana tree getting all spotted and mushy,
so I decided to mush them up and make some waffles with them.
A couple eggs, water, some vegetable oil and four spoons of Bisquick.
Cooked them up in a dry skillet, using two made a peanut butter sandwich,
they were not bad at all. Served with some vanilla ice cream.

Deep Fried Pickles

Recipe for Redneck Fried Pickles:
1 can of Budweizer / cold and opened
1 de-shelled / beaten egg, chicken not crockadile
1 c. milk / cow's not Mother's
1 tbsp. flour / not the Dandelions
1 tbsp. of that Weird named sauce / Worcestershire
6 drops Hibernia pepper hot sauce / only six drops
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
3 1/2 c. flour
1 qt. sliced dill pickles
1 cold can of beer / opened
Dried dill or anything / that's green in the lawn within reach
Peanut oil for deep frying
Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring well. Set aside.
Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, salt and pepper, stirring well.
Dip pickles in milk mixture and dredge in flour mixture, repeat process.
Open another Bud and Deep fry a pickle in hot oil,
360 degrees until pickle floats to surface and are golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with dried dill / or other green stuff.
Get ready to batter and deep fry another pickle by opening up another beer.
Then crushing the empty cans on your forehead.
Toss the pickle into the milk mixture trying to skip it into the flour.
Pick the pickles up off the floor and drop into the deep frier.
Go take a piss, come back to remove pickles from fryer.
Sit down and watch last weeks NASCAR race for the third time

Apple Bread Pudding

This came out really really good !

2 apples, peeled,cored and diced
2 eggs
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 cups stale bread, crust removed, cubed
1 tspn vanilla
2 Tbsp cinnamon sugar
1 Tbsp butter

preheat oven to 375 degrees
butter bottom and up 1/2 sides of baking dish
in mixing bowl put eggs,cream,vanilla, apples and bread
mix real good and let sit for ten minutes.
put mixture in baking dish
sprinkle top with Cinnamon sugar
cover and bake for 50 minutes.
serve warm with ice or whipped cream.

Ketchup Coleslaw
Carolina Cabbage Slaw

North and South Carolina have some of the
best southern foods you can think of.
I don't know who thought this spicy recipe up,
it's a good one for a real nice cabbage slaw.

3 pounds white cabbage
2/3 cup ketchup
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
hot pepper sauce to taste

Chop cabbage into fine shreds in a bowl, set aside.
In a small saucepan dissolve the sugar
in the cider vinegar over a medium heat.
Add other ingredients except the cabbage
and mix well while simmering for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat before the mixture gets thick.
Allow to cool for about 10 more minutes
or so and then pour over bowl of cabbage.
Toss until well mixed. Serve immediately.

Fresh Fig Leaf Tea

I just happen to see a chef on tv grill some fig leaves over steak.
Thinking are fig tree leaves edible? I've never heard of it before.
I did a Google search on the subject of using fig leaves in recipes.
It seems the sap in fig leaves imparts a fragrant coconut
like aroma on foods when grilled. Then there's fig leaf tea.
It can easily be made using 2 teaspoons of dried cut leaves.
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the leaves, cover,
and let the brew sit for 10 to 15 minutes before drinking.
Then there's this about cooking with fig leaves.

Blanched or grilled, fig leaves give up a spicy register,
a subtle undertone of coconut; they're blissfully fragrant wrappers
for lamb meatballs. Just roll up the meatballs in the blanched leaves,
skewer them and toss the kebabs on the grill.

To serve, unroll the slightly charred leaves
and dip the fragrant meatballs into a cool cucumber-mint raita.

Cook fish -- halibut, salmon, most white fleshed, boneless fish fillets
in fig leaves, which keep the fish moist and perfume it simultaneously.
Use simple seasoning (salt and pepper, a good olive oil, garlic, maybe fresh thyme) and then just wrap the leaf around the fish.
If you're grilling, you get the protection [of the leaf],
and all that grill flavor.

Bolognese Sauce

This came out really good.
Had some left over cooked Rib Eye Steaks,
and decided to make a pasta sauce with it.
We had it on spaghetti.

Olive oil bottom of pan, then add all ingredients
1/2 cup red Zinfandel wine
1 1/2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups water.
1 diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped carrot
1/2 pound ground beef
leftover steak diced
dried thyme
dried oregano
some fresh rosemary
salt and black pepper

Cook on low for three hours
stir often and adjust seasonings.


Red Wine Poached Pears

They came out very red looking,and very spiced up
The hardest thing to do was to peel and core them
well the peeling was easy but the coring was very very
frustrating, it took me and hour to prepare a dozen pears.

2 cups red Zinfandel wine
2 cups water
(I used all wine no water)
1 cup granulated sugar
(I used 1/2 cup sugar)
4 star anise
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp five spice
(I just dumped some in the pot)
8 medium Bosc pears with stems

In a large stock pot heat wine, water, sugar, and star anise
just to boiling on high, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Meanwhile, peel pears, leaving stems on.

Which took me about an hour to prepare eight pears.
They say to use a melon baller to core pears.
Well I used a small paring knife.
After about a half hour I found that it was easier to cut them in half.

Place pears in wine mixture; heat to boiling.
Cover and simmer on low 10 to 15 minutes,
until pears are tender but still hold their shape,
turning occasionally.
Remove pears to platter; discard star anise.
Heat wine mixture to boiling on high. Cook 20 minutes,
uncovered, to thicken liquid and reduce to 1 1/2 cups.
Cover pears and syrup separately;
refrigerate 6 hours or up to 3 days.
To serve, spoon syrup over pears.

They came out of the pot soft yet firm, red wine colored.
But a little to of that spice taste for my taste.
I would prepare this again but with less spice
And they needed some salt.


KFC Secret Chicken Recipie

The secret ingredients are Miracle Whip and Tarragon vinegar.

I used to work at Kentucky Fried Chicken
before they changed to KFC.

4 1/2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar
6 1/2 tablespoons really cheap vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped white or yellow onions
2 1/2 cups Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 cup granulated sugar
2 finely chopped carrots
2 finely shredded heads of green cabbage

That's it, now I'll work on the seven secret
herbs and spices on the chicken.
Where salt and light brown suger come into play.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Cook Is Not A Baker

I get into these moods where I want to bake something, anything.
There's something about the smell of bakers yeast in the morning.
I like to cook stuff, any stuff from oatmeal to ox tail soup.
Most of the time things come out great except when I bake.
I can count on both hands and toes but I'm a cook and
when it comes to measuring ingredients not so good.
I tried to bake something only to pull out of the oven
what ever it was supposed to be and into the compost bin.
This morning I tried to bake some of grandma's
home made baking powder biscuits, sounds simple enough.
Some flour, shortening, baking powder, Salt and water.
Turns out I made home made baking powder hockey pucks.

Grilled Inside Aluminium

Relax, be patient and enjoy the sunshine.
For some strange reason I just have this urge to grill something inside aluminum foil, something really good like lemon pepper salmon, rib eye steak with green peppers and onions, or orange chicken tarragon.
Adding some veggies and a few cloves of garlic.

I want to, no I need to really clean the bar-b-que grill again.
The last time I used it somehow the old greasy stuff inside on the bottom of the grill caught fire and I ended up with a pre historic tasting piece of meat.

The best BLT Sandwich

Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to a summer homegrown tomato.
This year with all the rain we got the tomatoes are kind if watery and tastless.
One of my favorite foods of summer is the classic BLT.
I grow my own lettuce & tomatoes so it’s extra nice eating something I’ve grown myself.
There’s nothin’ in the world that I like better than
Bacon, lettuce and home grown tomatoes
Up in the morning and out in the garden
Pick you a ripe one, don’t get a hard ‘un
Plant ‘em in the springtime eat ‘em in the summer
All winter without ‘em’s a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin’ and the diggin’
Every time I go out and pick me a big’un

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
What’d life be without home grown tomatoes
There’s only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love and home grown tomatoes

You can go out and eat‘em, that’s for sure
But there’s nothin’ a home grown tomato won’t cure
You can put ‘em in a salad, put ‘em in a stew
You can make your own, very own tomato juice
You can eat ‘em with eggs, you can eat ‘em with gravy
You can eat ‘em with beans, pinto or navy
Put em on the side, put em on the middle
Home grown tomatoes on a hot cake griddle

If I could change this life I lead
You could call me Johnny Tomato Seed
I know what this country needs
It’s home grown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don’t bury me
In a box in a cold dark cemetery
Out in the garden would be much better
Where I could be pushin’ up home grown tomatoes

Red Wine Pasta

Red Wine Pasta with Broccoli

1 3/4 pounds broccoli, thick stems discarded
1 pound dried pasta
1 bottle red wine (750 ml - preferably Zinfandel)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Cut broccoli into 1-inch wide florets. Blanch in a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 2 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to a large colander to drain, reserving broccoli-cooking liquid in pot, then transfer broccoli to a bowl. Return cooking liquid to a boil and cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes (pasta will not be fully cooked). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain pasta in colander and return empty pot to stovetop. Add wine and sugar to pot and boil vigorously 2 minutes until liquid is reduced a bit. Add pasta and shake pot to prevent pasta from sticking. Gently stir with tongs until coated and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes (pasta will be al dente). Immediately after adding spaghetti to wine mixture, cook garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over moderately low heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add 1/2cup of reserved pasta water. Pour broccoli into skillet with the pasta mixture and carefully toss with tongs to combine (skillet will be very full). Cook while stirring, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Stir in the grated cheese. Serve immediately.