Spike's & Jamie's Recipe Collection & a Whole Lot More!

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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How to use these pages:  Below is a list of the recipes on this page.  You can either scroll down the page and look at all of the recipes, or look at the titles.  When you find one that seems interesting, use your web browsers FIND function to take you directly to that recipe (on my IE browser it's Edit/Find (on this page)   or Ctrl - F on your keyboard).



ALMOND-CREAM CHEESE COOKIES
APPLE CAKE WITH CARAMEL PECAN SAUCE
APPLE LATKES
ARROSTO DI MAIALE ALLE ERBE
BEAN SALAD WITH MUSTARD-DILL DRESSING
BREAKFAST TACOS
BRISKET FROM MY MOTHER
BUTTERSCOTCH DELIGHTS OATMEAL COOKIES
CAPE COD CRANBERRY SAUCE
CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI SOUP
CHICKEN WITH HONEY, NUTS & RAISINS
CHOCOLATE-DIPPED HAZELNUT BISCOTTI
CHOCOLATE GRAND MARNIER TRUFFLES
CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TART
CRANBERRY ORANGE ALMOND BREAD
CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP
CREAM OF PEAR AND PARSNIP SOUP
DUCK A L'ORANGE
FILLED COOKIES
FUDGY BROWNIES
FUSILLI CON I BROCCOLI ARRIMINATI
GINGER TRIFLE
GREEK CHICKEN POCKETS
HERB-STUFFED BROILED LOBSTER
INDIAN SAMOSAS
INSALATA DI FRUTTI DI MARE
INVOLTINI DI MELANZANE
KUGEL FOR HANUKKAH
LACE TUILES
LATKES BY MAXINE RAPPAPORT
LOBSTER NEWBURG
LOBSTER THERMIDOR
LONDON BROIL
LOUCOUMADES for HANUKKAH
MACCABEAN MANDELBROT
COOKIE BARS BY CHERIE
MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA LATKES
PASTA ALLA NORMA
PICKLED EGGS, BEETS AND ONIONS
POPOVERS
POTATO LATKES, THIN AND CRISPY
RASPBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
RISI E BISI
RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE
ROAST GOOSE WITH POTATO APPLE STUFFING
ROASTED CHICKEN
ROOM FRAGRANCE GEL JARS
SALISBURY STEAK WITH WINE SAUCE
SALSA VERDE
SALT INFORMATION RE: BRINING
SEASONED SNACK MIX
SESAME SEED AND PINE NUTS INFORMATION
SESAME SEED CRUSTED FLOUNDER
SHERRY-CHARRED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
SHIP AHOY COOKIES
SHRIMP AND CHEESE STUFFED POTATOES
SHRIMP BISQUE
SHRIMP CHEESE STUFF
SPICED CHOCOLATE COOKIES
STRAWBERRY TORTILLA TORTE
SUGAR PLUMS
VANILLA PECAN CHEESECAKE
VERMICELLI ALLA MARINARA



ALMOND-CREAM CHEESE COOKIES
Makes about 30 cookies.

1/2 cup Crisco all-vegetable shortening or 1/2 Crisco Stick
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crisp rice cereal
Red and green candied cherries

In bowl, blend Crisco shortening or sticks, cheese, sugar, and extract till combined.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into creamed mixture till combined. Chill about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Form dough into balls, using 1 tablespoon for each cookie. Roll in coarsely crushed cereal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cut cherries in slivers. Top each ball with cherry piece, pressing in lightly.

Bake at 350ºF for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on rack. Recipe from Crisco.com

APPLE CAKE WITH CARAMEL PECAN SAUCE
(Sandtown Farmhouse B&B, Engadine, MI)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium sized tart apples, about 1 and 1/4 pounds, peeled, cored
and finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped pecans (about 3 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 inch X 2 inch round cake pan. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs on low speed, one at a time. Add flour, spices, baking soda and salt, beating until just incorporated. Mix in apples, nuts, vanilla. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake in 350 degree oven 35 to 45 minutes. Top will be golden brown and tester will come out clean. Remove to rack and cool. Turn cake out of pan after 10 minutes. Cake may be wrapped and stored at room temperature or frozen. Reheat in 350 degree oven 10 minutes or until warm.

Caramel Pecan Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Melt butter in medium sized saucepan. Add nuts. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium high heat, until nuts are toasted and butter is lightly browned. Add brown sugar and cream and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and sugars dissolves and turns deep golden brown. Remove from heat . Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools. Sauce may be prepared several days ahead and
store in refrigerator. Reheat in microwave before serving. To serve, place a wedge of cake on dessert plate. Spoon hot Carmel Pecan Sauce over. For added pleasure, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

APPLE LATKES

4 tart or sweet apples
2-3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brandy, dark rum, or fruit liqueur
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
a good pinch of salt
1 cup (150 g) flour
7/8 cup (200 ml) water
vegetable oil for frying, preferably sunflower
superfine sugar for sprinkling on after serving

Core and peel the apples and cut each into 4 thick slices. Put them in a shallow dish with the sugar and brandy, rum, or liqueur, and turn them so that they are well coated. Leave for at least 1 hour, turning the slices over occasionally, so that they absorb the spirit.

For the batter, beat the yolks with the oil and salt, then stir in the flour and mix well. Now beat in the water gradually and vigorously, squashing any lumps. Leave for an hour, then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Heat at least 3/4 inch of oil in a large frying pan. Dip the apple slices in the batter — about 5 at a time — making sure that they are well covered with batter. Lift each one out carefully and lower into the hot oil. The oil must be sizzling but not too hot or the fritters will brown before the apple is soft inside. Fry in batches, and turn the slices over to brown both sides. Lift out with a slotted spatula and drain on kitchen paper before serving. Pass the superfine sugar for everyone to sprinkle on.

Variations:
You may use beer or milk instead of water for the batter. Pass powdered cinnamon and sugar around for people to sprinkle on top. Serves 4.

ARROSTO DI MAIALE ALLE ERBE
Pork Roast with Herbs Serves 6

1 garlic clove, finely diced
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, finely chopped
3–4 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves, ground
salt and pepper
2 lb. pork roast
4 - 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoons corn starch

Mix garlic, rosemary leaves, sage, thyme, cloves, salt and pepper. With a sharp knife make some incisions on the meat and fill with the herbs. Rub the surface of the meat with the rest of the herb mix. Tie the meat piece together with kitchen twine.

In a saucepan of adequate size put the extra-virgin olive oil and turn heat to medium. When the oil is hot, place the meat in the pan and brown lightly on all sides for few minutes. Add wine, turn the heat to high, and when the wine is evaporated, add ½ cup water or broth.

Cover and simmer on moderate heat for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Occasionally turn the meat to cook on all sides and add a little warm water or broth if necessary. Remove the meat from the pan.

In a small bowl mix together the corn starch and 2-3 tablespoons water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan, scraping the bottom to incorporate the gravy. Stir and cook until thicker. Cool the meat at room temperature, slice and serve dressed with the warm sauce.

BEAN SALAD WITH MUSTARD-DILL DRESSING - HANUKKAH
Yield: 6 servings

1 pound green beans
1 can (19 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped red onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Trim ends of beans; cut into 1-inch lengths. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook beans for 3 to 5 minutes (count from time water returns to boil) or until tender crisp. Drain; rinse under cold water to chill. Drain well.

In a serving bowl, combine green beans, chickpeas, onions and dill.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper until smooth. Pour over beans and toss well. Refrigerate until serving.

BREAKFAST TACOS

Nonstick cooking spray 2 teaspoons margarine or butter
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (juice pack), well drained, or 3/4 cup
finely chopped apple
1-1/3 cups Buttermilk Pancake Mix
1 cup water
1 egg, slightly beaten

Lightly spray a shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. For filling, in a small nonstick skillet melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Cook celery and sweet pepper in hot margarine or butter until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese, the ham, and pineapple or apple. Set filling aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine Buttermilk Pancake Mix, water, and egg; stir until smooth. Heat a lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a few drops of water dance across the surface. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Spread batter into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.

Cook over medium heat until pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook second sides when pancake surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Place about 1/4 cup filling in the center of each cooked pancake. Bring up the sides of each pancake, and stand pancake shells upright in prepared baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese. Makes 10 pancake tacos.

BRISKET FROM MY MOTHER - HANUKKAH

a 5- to 6-pound first-cut beef brisket
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups
or 3 pounds)
2 or 3 large garlic cloves, or to taste, minced
1 teaspoon paprika, preferably Hungarian
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a Dutch oven or other heavy baking pan large enough to hold brisket heat
1 tablespoon oil in oven 10 minutes. Pat brisket dry and season with salt and pepper. Roast brisket in pan, uncovered, 30 minutes.

While brisket is roasting, in a large heavy skillet cook onions in remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened and beginning to turn golden. Reduce heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally and reducing heat if necessary, until deep golden, about 20 minutes more. Stir in garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups water and bring to a boil.

Spoon onion mixture over brisket and bake, covered, with lid 1/2 inch ajar, 3 1/2 hours, or until brisket is tender. (Check pan every hour and if necessary add more water.) Remove brisket from oven and let cool in onion mixture 1 hour.

Remove brisket from pan, scraping onion mixture back into pan, and chill, wrapped in foil, overnight. Spoon onion mixture into a 1-quart measure and chill, covered, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Discard fat from onion mixture, add enough water to mixture to measure 3 cups total, and in a blender blend gravy until smooth. Slice brisket against the grain (thick or thin, as you prefer). In a large ovenproof skillet heat gravy until hot, add brisket, and heat in oven 30 minutes. Serves 8 to 10.

BUTTERSCOTCH DELIGHTS OATMEAL COOKIES
Makes 9 to 14 dozen 3" cookies

2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups stick margarine
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup milk
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2-1/2 tsp. salt
5 large eggs
5 cups rolled oats

Mix the above well. Use a number 40 scoop and place on greased cookie sheet or use parchment paper 2 inches apart. Bake 350F oven for 15 minutes.

CAPE COD CRANBERRY SAUCE

3 cups cranberries -- 1 bag
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long)
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch salt
1 large Rome apple -- peeled, cored, and diced

In 3-quart saucepan, heat cranberries, brown sugar, raisins, vinegar, cinnamon stick, cloves, salt, and 3/4 cup water to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced apple and cook until most of cranberries pop and mixture thickens slightly, about 4 minutes longer. Discard cinnamon stick. Spoon into serving bowl; cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours.

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI SOUP

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup half and half
4 slices Kraft Cheddar singles
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp dried minced onions
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups bite broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets, bite size
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Velveeta
2 tsp minced fresh parsley

Combine chicken broth, water, half & half, cheese, flour, onion and pepper in a large saucepan.

Whisk to combine and to break up any lumps of flour, then turn heat to medium -high. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Add broccoli and cauliflower to soup and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is tender but not soft.

For each serving spoon one cup of soup into a bowl and garnish with a Tbsp. of shredded cheese and a pinch of parsley. Makes 6 servings. Serves 6-8

CHICKEN WITH HONEY, NUTS & RAISINS - HANUKKAH
Yield: 6 servings

6 boned chicken breasts, skinned
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
10 grinds black pepper
1/4 cup margarine
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup slivered almonds

Sauce:
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
2/3 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 Tablespoon honey
3 Tablespoons raisins (preferably Muscat)
3 inch cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with:
1 Tablespoon water or chicken stock
2 small oranges, peeled, pith removed, cut in sections

Coat each breast with seasoned flour. In a large sauté pan, heat the fats until the foam subsides then immediately add the almond slivers – cook gently until golden. Drain on a paper towel. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and pour off excess fat without discarding the bits at the bottom. Add the wine to the pan, stirring well, and bubble for 3 minutes to intensify the flavor. Then add the stock, orange juice, lemon rind, honey, raisins and cinnamon stick. Bring the sauce to a boil; add the chicken breasts in a single layer, spooning the liquid over them. Then cover the pan and take it off the heat. Just before serving bring the sauce back to a simmer, add the cornstarch mixture and bubble for 3 more minutes or longer to be sure the breasts are not pink inside. Remove the breasts and arrange on a warm plate. Add salt & pepper if necessary, spoon the sauce over
the breasts and decorate the dish with orange sections and toasted almonds.

Note: If the pan won't hold all the chicken breasts in a single layer, arrange them side-by-side in a roasting pan, pour over the hot sauce and leave covered with foil. To reheat, cook covered at 350F for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED HAZELNUT BISCOTTI
From Kemoll's Italian Restaurant Yield: About 8 dozen.

2 cups hazelnuts
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
2 tablespoons grated orange zest (colored portion of peel)
3 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons crushed coriander seeds
24 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (see note)

Day one: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet; bake about 25 minutes, tossing once. (When toasted, the nuts will be golden brown under the skins.) Let cool, then rub handfuls of nuts between your palms to remove the skins. Chop hazelnuts coarsely; set aside.

Beat butter until very light; add sugar gradually. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in liqueur and orange zest. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder; add flour mixture to butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, until well blended. Stir in hazelnuts and coriander.

Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with a sheet of plastic wrap about twice as long as the pan. Pack the dough into the pan. Cover the top of the dough completely with plastic wrap. Place another 9-by-13-inch pan on top of the dough; weigh down the top pan (a six-pack of soda cans works well). Chill dough overnight,

Day two: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap; turn the dough out onto a floured board. Cut the dough into 5 equal strips, each 9 inches long. With floured hands, roll each strip into a cylinder about 16 inches long. Place 2 cylinders on a lightly greased baking sheet (allow plenty of room between; dough will spread somewhat during baking). Refrigerate remaining strips until ready to shape.

Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool, then cut diagonal slices about 3/4 inch thick. Spread cookies out on a baking pan, leaving a little space between them. Bake again at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until toasted. When cool, dip about halfway in melted chocolate. Store airtight in tins.

Note: "We had a chocolate-melting machine at the restaurant that kept the chocolate at the right temperature," said JoAnn Berger, making further tempering unnecessary. "Just don't get the chocolate too hot, and the coating should be fine at room temperature." Try to keep the chocolate at 90 degrees while dipping.

CHOCOLATE GRAND MARNIER TRUFFLES

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
zest of 1 orange -- peeled off in 1 long strip, if possible
1 pound grated Valrhona bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
cocoa powder

Melt butter in heavy saucepan; add cream and orange zest. Heat until it just starts to boil. Remove orange zest and whisk in chocolate. Then whisk in Grand Marnier and orange extract. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally so that the mixture firms uniformly.

When ready to make truffles, remove mixture from refrigerator. Let stand 10 minutes to soften slightly.

Scoop mixture by teaspoons and roll in cocoa. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TART

5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, beaten

For the glaze:
1 oz (1 square) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 tsp butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
5 tsp boiling water plus additional
2 oz (2 squares) white chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp heavy cream

Whipped cream for garnish

Combine the chocolate and butter in a saucepan and melt over hot water or in the microwave. Mix the sugar, flour, and eggs in a mixing bowl until combined. Stir in the chocolate mixture and pour into a greased 11-inch tart pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until set around the edge. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze, combine the chocolate and butter in a saucepan and melt over hot water or in the microwave. Stir in the sugar and water, adding additional hot water 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until thin enough to drizzle. Spread over the tart. Combine the white chocolate and cream in a saucepan and melt over hot water or in the microwave. Drizzle over the dark chocolate and drag the tip of a toothpick through the glaze to make a marbled design. Let stand until the glaze
is set. Garnish with whipped cream. Serves 8 to 12.

CRANBERRY ORANGE ALMOND BREAD

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
2 eggs
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries*
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl combine first 6 ingredients. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, cream butter with sugar and vanilla. Add orange zest, eggs, and orange juice until well combined. Gradually add orange mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until just moistened. Fold in cranberries and almonds.

3. Pour batter into well-greased 9x5-inch loaf pan and bake 55-60 minutes, or for mini-loaves use three 5 1/2x3-inch mini-loaf pans and bake 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool at least 2 hours before cutting.

*If using frozen cranberries, do not thaw. Toss with dry ingredients in the first step of the directions.

*If using dried cranberries, boil 2 cups water in small saucepan. Remove from heat and add 1 cup dried cranberries, cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. Substitute for fresh cranberries in step 2.

CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP

1/2 pound ground raw chicken or turkey
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups milk
1 10-3/4-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 7-ounce can whole kernel corn with sweet peppers, drained
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
Fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook ground chicken or turkey, onion, and garlic until chicken or turkey is brown and onion is tender. Drain fat from pan.

Stir in milk, cream of chicken soup, corn, chopped tomato, chili peppers, cilantro or parsley, and ground red pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cheese; cook and stir until cheese melts. Garnish each serving with additional cilantro or parsley, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

CREAM OF PEAR AND PARSNIP SOUP

3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 large Anjou pears, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp brandy
1 pint light (single) cream
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Put the parsnips in a saucepan with some water and cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until the parsnips are tender. Meanwhile, melt the butter and add the pears, sauté briefly then add the brandy and cook, stirring, about 15 minutes.

Fit the food processor with the steel blade and puree the parsnips and pears together. Return everything to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Heat gently until the soup is steaming. Add the nutmeg, then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with a slight sprinkling of additional nutmeg. Serves 4-6.

DUCK A L'ORANGE

1 duck, about 5 lbs.
2 oranges, peeled, deseeded and sliced; reserve the peel
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. butter, melted in a cupful of water

2 cups water
Giblets, neck and feet (if possible) from the duck
2 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
A 3-4 inch long strip of lemon zest
3 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
Fresh orange sections and watercress for garnish

Preheat the oven to 500 F/260 C/gas 10.

Clean the duck well inside and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the orange slices. Since ducks are very fatty, you want some of the fat to escape. Prick the skin all the way through in several places with a fork so the fat escapes into the roasting pan. Set a rack in a deep roasting pan and place the duck on the rack. Put it in the very hot oven and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 F. Baste the duck with some of the butter and water every 15 minutes or so. Cook the duck for about 2 1/2 hours, or until it is done. A leg will wiggle easily when it is.

You may notice that the roasting pan is filling up with fat during the roasting. Pour the excess off as needed. (Regardless, your oven will become much spattered, and you will need to clean it after making duck.)

Meanwhile, make duck broth. Put the neck and giblets in a pot along with the peppercorns, bay leaf and lemon zest. Add the 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Simmer at least 30 minutes and strain. Press hard on the giblets to get as much of their richness as possible into the broth. Measure and add water to make it measure 2 cups.

To make sauce, cut the peels reserved from the two oranges used in the stuffing into julienne strips. Place in the duck broth and simmer 15 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the orange strips to rub then through the sieve and into the broth. Add the Cointreau and boil the sauce hard for one minute. Remove from the heat.

When the duck is done, remove it from the oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Place it on a platter and garnish it with watercress and orange slices.

Bring the sauce to a hard boil again, then put it in a gravy boat to serve.

FILLED COOKIES

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup nuts -- chopped
cornstarch -- as needed
flour -- as needed

Cream sugar, shortening & eggs. Add milk, baking powder, salt and vanilla and mix well. Add enough flour to make a dough which can be rolled out. Roll out dough and cut into 3 inch circles with the lip of a drinking glass or a biscuit cutter.

Filling:
Barely cover raisins and nuts with hot water until they swell. Heat and thicken with cornstarch. Partly cool and add chocolate chips.

Drop 1 teaspoon of filling onto a dough circle. Cover with second dough circle and seal edges.

Bake at 375 degrees F on greased cookie sheets for 10 -12 minutes. Cool and
frost/decorate as desired. Store in closed container to keep soft. These cookies freeze well.

Source: "Real Food for Real People Presents: "Favorite Holiday Recipes'"
Copyright: "(C)2002, Kaylin White/Real Food for Real People"

FUDGY BROWNIES

8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 egg

Brownies:
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups Splenda
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate -- cut in pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
1 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt

Set the oven at 350F. Spray a 9"x13" pan with no-stickum; set aside.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup Splenda until smooth; add the
egg, and mix well. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter & chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly (or use microwave). Remove from heat, cool slightly. Stir in the Splenda and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in ground almonds, baking powder and salt; mix well. Spread into the prepared pan.
Carefully spoon the cream cheese filling over the brownie base; lightly swirl filling to create a pattern. Bake approximately 24 minutes or until set. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Cool completely then cut into squares.

FUSILLI CON I BROCCOLI ARRIMINATI
Fusilli with Green Cauliflower Sauce

The flavor of this sauce is a combination of sweet and sour in the tradition of many Sicilian dishes. Sicilian green cauliflower has a particular taste, and it can be found only locally, but this dish is a mouthwatering experience of Sicilian cooking and is enjoyable even if another type of cauliflower is used. The best pasta for this dish is fusilli, a spiral-shaped dry pasta. Serve this dish lukewarm at least two hours after the preparation, giving it time to set and blend all the flavors.
This recipe was formulated and written by Chef Anna Maria Volpi.

2 lbs. green cauliflower (or any color you can get!)
Salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
crushed red pepper
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 oz. pine nuts
2 oz. raisins
1 bag saffron powder
1 lb. fusilli pasta

Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil, add cauliflower and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until cauliflower is half-cooked and not yet fully tender.

Drain the cauliflower with the help of a large slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking water.

Dissolve the saffron in 1–2 tablespoons of the cooking water.

In a medium-size saucepan, pour the olive oil, and turn heat to medium. Add the onion, generous red pepper, and sauté gently until the onion becomes soft and translucent.

Remove the saucepan from the stove, add the anchovy fillets and quickly stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve them. When adding the anchovies, don’t let them cook otherwise they will burn, giving the dish a very strong tang.

Return the saucepan to the stove, add pine nuts, raisins, saffron and cauliflower. Mix to combine and sauté briefly.

Anchovies can be very salty, therefore adjust salt at this point if necessary.

If sauce is too thick, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower cooking water.

Bring the stockpot with the cauliflower cooking water to a boil.

Cook the fusilli in the cauliflower cooking water following manufacturer’s instructions. Taste for readiness from time to time, until al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked). Drain and transfer to a bowl.

Top with the sauce, toss, and set aside until lukewarm.

This dish can be served warm, but it will be tastier if eaten lukewarm, after a few hours, or even the day after it is prepared.

GINGER TRIFLE

8 portions of gingerbread or other cake, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup sherry
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
2 bananas, thickly sliced
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
2 eggs
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped with
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
Finely chopped candied ginger for garnish
Candied cherries, halved, for garnish

Arrange the cake cubes in the bottom of a large glass bowl, sprinkle with the sherry, and top with the fruit. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch in a sauce pan. Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly. Stir in the candied ginger and vanilla and allow to cool to room temperature. Spoon the custard over the fruit and cake and chill until set, at least 2 hours. Top with whipped cream, sprinkle with additional candied ginger, and decorate with candied cherry halves. Serves 8.

GREEK CHICKEN POCKETS

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup minced peeled cucumber
1 tablespoon each minced fresh dill and minced fresh mint or
1 teaspoon each dry dill weed and dry mint
4 to 6 pita breads (each about 6 inches in diameter)
3 small firm-ripe tomatoes (about 12 oz. total), thinly sliced
2 small green bell peppers (about 10 oz. total), seeded and thinly sliced
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Prepare Herb Dressing:
In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt, 1/2 cup minced peeled cucumber, and 1 tablespoon each minced fresh dill and minced fresh mint (or 1 teaspoon each dry dill weed and dry mint).

Cut each pita bread in half; gently open halves and fill equally with tomatoes, bell peppers, chicken, and cheese. Then spoon dressing into each sandwich.

HERB-STUFFED BROILED LOBSTER

4 - 6 lobsters
2 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
3/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the lobsters in half and remove and discard the head sac. Remove and reserve the tomalley and coral, if any. Combine the remaining ingredients along with the tomalley and coral in an electric food processor and process to chop the parsley and combine the ingredients. Spoon the mixture into the body cavities and place the lobsters 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) below a preheated broiler. Broil until the tail meat is white and firm and the stuffing is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

INDIAN SAMOSAS

Pastry:
3 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
4 tbsp Melted butter
1/2 cup Yogurt
1/4 cup Water

Filling:
3 tbsp Butter
1 med Onion, finely chop chopped
1 Tart green apple, cored and -finely chopped
1 Clove garlic, minced
2 tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Coriander
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Ground black pepper
1/4 tsp Crushed dried red peppers
1 lb Potatoes, peeled, cooked-and riced
1/2 cup Fresh peas (or thawed -frozen), cooked
3 to 4 tablespoons yogurt
Vegetable oil

Pastry: Sift flour and salt into bowl. Stir in melted butter, then yogurt, then water. Stir together until blended. Dough will appear dry and lumpy. Roll dough on pastry board and cut into 2 to 3-inch circles . Filling: In a large frying pan, melt butter over moderate heat.

Add onion, apple and garlic and sauté until just tender. Add the spices, the salt, and the black and red peppers, and sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and peas. Adjust seasoning. Add yogurt. Chill.

Assembly: Place 1 tablespoon chilled filling on dough circle. Fold over to form a semicircle. Moisten edges with a little water and pinch to seal. Repeat rolling and filling.

Place 2 cups vegetable oil in large frying pan or wok and heat over high heat. Fry pastries 4 or 5 at a time, turning once, until they turn a deep golden brown. Drain on paper tow towels. Serve hot. Makes 25 to 30 past pastries.

INSALATA DI FRUTTI DI MARE
Seafood Salad Serves 6

2 lbs. clams
2 lbs. mussels
1 lb. scallops
1 lb. raw shrimp
1 lb. small squid
2 lemons, juiced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely sliced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Wash the clams and mussels to eliminate sand and impurities.

Wash the scallops and the shrimps in fresh water.

Wash the squid and eliminate the skin and the interior. Separate and chop the legs and cut the bodies in little rings.

In a large skillet, pour approximately 1 cup water and add the clams and mussels. Place the lid on the skillet and cook until the shells open.

Remove the clams and mussels from the shell and place them in a bowl. Filter away the sand and residues and keep the cooking water.

In a medium-size pan, pour 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Place the scallops in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin coloring.

Drain the scallops with a slotted spoon.

Again bring to a boil the cooking water used for the scallops. Place the shrimp in the boiling water and cook them until they become red, in about 2–3 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon.

Let the shrimp cool and eliminate the shells.

Bring the water to a boil again and blanch the squid for about 30 seconds. Drain the squid in a colander; place them for few seconds in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Drain and dry, patting them with tissue.

Drain all the seafood thoroughly. Combine the clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp and squid in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, parsley, celery, olive oil, salt, pepper and ½ cup of the reserved clam cooking water. Stir into the bowl with the fish. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.

INVOLTINI DI MELANZANE
Eggplant Rolls by Chef Anna Maria Volpi Serves 6

Frying oil
5 long eggplants, cut lengthwise in 4 slices each
4 oz. bread crumbs
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely diced
3 oz. pecorino (romano) cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, wedged
1/2 lb. tomatoes, puréed in a blender

In a skillet, bring the oil to frying temperature. Lightly fry the eggplant until golden on both sides. Set it aside.

In a small skillet, fry half of the bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil, until golden.

In a skillet over medium heat, pour 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add the onion. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.

Stir in the fried bread crumbs. Turn heat off and cool to lukewarm.

When the onion is cold, combine the grated pecorino cheese, oregano, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 370 F.

Spread over the bottom of an oven pan 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and a small quantity of the bread crumbs. This will prevent the eggplant rolls from sticking to the pan.

Place the eggplant slices on a work board. On each slice, put 1 tablespoon of the onion mixture, 1 egg wedge, and 1 tablespoon of tomato purée and roll them.

Place the eggplant rolls in the oven pan, side by side in rows.

Spread the remaining tomatoes and bread crumbs on the rolls.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

JELL-O COOKIES

1 1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 pkg. Jell-o -any flavor, divided
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour

Sift flour with baking powder. Cream butter in separate bowl, and gradually add sugar and half of the Jell-o package. Cream well after each addition. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing after each addition.

Roll in small balls. Dip one half in water, then in remaining Jell-o powder. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet with Jell-o side up. Make small indention in each cookie with fingertip. Bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

KUGEL FOR HANUKKAH

5 large potatoes, washed and peeled
1 medium onion
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 T. chicken fat or oil

Grate potatoes and onion quite fine. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Pour into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Bake at 375 F until top is crusty brown, about 1 1/2 hours.

LACE TUILES

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp brandy
1/3 cup flour
1 pinch salt

Place the butter and sugar in a small bowl and combine with a fork. Add the honey, brandy, flour, and salt and stir until smooth.

Place 15 rounded teaspoons of batter on a nonstick sheet pan about 3 inches apart. Bake at 350 deg.F for 10 minutes or until golden-brown and lacy. Remove the tuiles from the pan when slightly cool.

This tuile batter separates slightly when baked, leaving small holes in the finished tuiles that give the impression of lace. You can use lace tuiles in the same way as basic tuiles- but they look so pretty, you may want to just place them on the edge of a dessert plate where they can show off.

LATKES BY MAXINE RAPPAPORT

5 large russet potatoes
2 medium sized onions
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons toasted bread crumbs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash pepper
Schmaltz or vegetable oil for frying

Grate the potatoes and onions by hand, using the large holes of a box grater. Place the grated potatoes and onions in a dish towel and wring out the excess liquid. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, bread crumbs, salt, baking powder, and pepper. Stir in the potatoes and onions and mix well. Heat schmaltz and/or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop the mixture by spoonfuls into the pan. Flatten latkes slightly while cooking, and turn only once. Remove from the pan when latkes are crisp and golden. Serve hot with apple sauce or sour cream.

LOBSTER NEWBURG

4 Tbsp butter
2 cups diced, boiled lobster meat
1/4 cup dry sherry or Madeira wine
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 egg yolks
1 cup cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot buttered toast (optional)

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the lobster meat and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sherry, paprika, and nutmeg, and cook an additional 2 minutes. Beat the egg yolks and the cream together and add them to the pot. Heat until thickened, stirring constantly, and DO NOT BOIL. This dish is traditionally served over toast. Serves 4 to 6.

LOBSTER THERMIDOR

6 whole lobsters
6 tsp vegetable oil
16 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup Dijon style mustard
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Split the lobsters in half lengthwise. Brush with the vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil, split side up, under medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from broiler and dot with 6 tablespoons of butter. Bake in a hot oven 400F, for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove the meat from the shells and slice it. Save the coral if using whole lobsters. Brush the inside of each shell lightly with mustard. Meanwhile, simmer the cream over low heat for 30 minutes, until reduced by about half. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt 4 tablespoons of butter and stir in the flour. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Mix in the cream and the lobster coral. Return the lobster meat to the shells and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, dot with remaining butter, and bake in a hot (400F,) for 10 minutes. Serves 6.

LONDON BROIL

3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 Tbsp ketchup
1Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp melted butter
3-4 lb. flank steak

Mix first 5 ingredients in a cup to make a marinade. Set aside. Cut the fat off the flank steak.

Score steak on both sides, in a diamond pattern, not cutting too deep. Pour marinade over steak. Put in a covered container. Refrigerate overnight. Turn once before cooking.

Broil until rare, med, rare or well done. We like it rare. Let cool about 10 min. Slice thinly diagonally.

LOUCOUMADES for HANUKKAH

1/4 cup peanut oil
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup flour
6 eggs
also oil for deep frying

In a 3 quart saucepan, bring water and oil to a boil. Add flour and remove from heat. Work dough with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool. When cool, add eggs, one at a time, working the batter till smooth after each added egg.

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a skillet. Temperature should be about 380 F. When hot, drop in 1 teaspoon of dough at a time, and fry till brown. Prick with a fork, and then turn each ball over. When brown on both sides, remove and drain on an absorbent paper. Serve immediately, coated with sauce.

Sauce for Loucoumades:

1 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
juice of one lemon (app. 1/3 cup)
Brandy to taste (app. 1/3 cup)

Heat honey in a saucepan. Add sugar and water and mix.

Keeping the mixture warm, cover the heated mixture with cinnamon (not a thick coat, just sprinkled on) and then mix in lemon juice.

Lastly, add brandy.

(This is the original recipe. Some people prefer a thicker sauce and use much less sugar and water.)

MACCABEAN MANDELBROT
This should be made ahead and refrigerated overnight before baking.

3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup oil
3 eggs
3 T. brandy
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, place flour, sugar and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add oil, eggs and brandy. Mix well be hand and stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate overnight. Roll into three long, narrow rolls (about 15 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter ). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F until light brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into 3/4 inch wide slices. Return to oven 10 minutes more.


MAGIC COOKIE BARS BY CHERIE

1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs or cornflake crumbs (not frosted)
3 Tbsp white sugar
1 cup walnuts chopped course
1/2 cup butter or stick margarine
1 cup chocolate bits
1-1/3 cup angel flaked coconut (sweetened)
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle brand condensed milk (any brand, sweetened, condensed)

Preheat oven to 350f. Use a 9x13x2 inch pan.

Melt the margarine or butter, mix crumbs and sugar and sprinkle over the melted butter. Sprinkle over the nuts in a layer, followed by chocolate bits in a layer and then the coconut in a layer. Last pour on the milk and then place in oven for 25 minutes. Cool and cut in bars.

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA LATKES - HANUKKAH
Chickpea fritters laced with rosemary are common in parts of France and Italy. For a terrific side dish that serves eight, top these latkes with a quick sauce
made by stirring two tablespoons dried mint into one cup plain yogurt, and offer with fish. Or drizzle the latkes with pomegranate molasses (found at Middle
Eastern markets and some supermarkets), and serve with meat or poultry.

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Blend garbanzo beans, garlic, and rosemary in processor to coarse paste. Add eggs, 6 tablespoons water and extra-virgin olive oil; blend until smooth. Add flour, cumin, salt, pepper, and baking powder and blend. Pour batter into bowl.

Heat 6 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into
hot oil. Cook until golden, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spatula, transfer latkes to paper towels to drain. Add more oil to skillet as necessary and allow to get hot before adding more batter. Transfer latkes to plates. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, if desired, and serve. Makes about 24.

PASTA ALLA NORMA
Pasta with Eggplant

This dish was named after the homonymous opera written by Vincenzo Bellini. The famous composer, who was born in the Sicilian city of Catania, gained great popularity; and Norma, his most acclaimed opera, became synonymous with everything that was excellent. One day during a dinner among artists, the guests were served a dish of spaghetti dressed with eggplant, tomato sauce, grated salty ricotta cheese and basil. One of the participants, inspired by the taste and flavors of the dish, exclaimed: “This is a Norma!” meaning it was as wonderful as the music of the opera. Since then, the dish has gone by this name, and many variations have become popular throughout Sicily. By Chef Anna Maria Volpi

1 lb. eggplant, ripe but firm
Frying oil
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, sliced
Crushed red pepper
5–6 basil leaves
2 cups tomatoes, puréed in a blender
Salt
2 oz black olives
1 tablespoon capers in salt, rinsed and drained
1 lb. pasta (fusilli or penne)
4 oz. ricotta salata cheese (see description below), freshly grated

Cut the eggplants in 1/2 inch dice. In a skillet, bring the oil to frying temperature. Fry the eggplant until golden. Remove the eggplants and clean the skillet with a paper towel.

Add to the skillet the extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and red pepper. Sauté for 2–3 minutes without browning the garlic.

Add the basil leaves, tomatoes and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the fried eggplant, olives and capers, and cook for 2–3 minutes. Adjust salt if necessary.

Cook pasta in abundant salt water following manufacturer’s instructions. Taste for readiness from time to time, until al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked). Drain and transfer to a bowl.

Dress with the eggplant sauce, mix well, top with the cheese and serve at once.

The original Sicilian recipe calls for ricotta salata cheese, typical of the region. This cheese is a salted, oven-dried ricotta with a strong, pungent taste. It can be substituted by grated pecorino (romano) cheese. For those who prefer a milder taste we suggest using half parmigiano and half pecorino (romano) cheese, grated and mixed.

PICKLED EGGS, BEETS AND ONIONS

6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
12 small fresh beets (beetroot)
1 onion, sliced into thick rings

2 whole cloves
4 whole black peppercorns
4 whole allspice
3 whole cardamom pods, cracked
1 bay leaf
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup sugar

Trim the beets about an inch (2-3cm) above the root and reserve the greens for vegetables. Trim the bottom end leaving about two inches (5cm) of the root growth below the edible beetroot. Place in a pan with enough cold water to just cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the temperature, and simmer until the beets are tender (about 20 minutes but depends on the size of the beets).

Plunge immediately in a bowl of icy cold water. **Reserve the cooking water.** The cold water loosens the skin, which you should be able to remove immediately with your fingers.

Put the spices, vinegar, salt and sugar in the red beet cooking water and simmer about one half hour to make the spices fully infuse in the water. Strain the liquid and return to a clean saucepan. Bring to a boil. Drop in the onion slices and cook one minute. Turn off the heat. Do not allow the onion slices to get limp.

Arrange the beets, eggs and onion slices in a clean, hot glass jar with a glass clamp-on lid and rubber ring. Pour on the red liquid. Add more boiling water if needed to cover the contents of the jar. Close and refrigerate. Wait at least two days to eat.

The eggs will start to turn a beautiful purple from the beet juice pickle mixture. The color will start to penetrate to the yolks by the third day. The longer the mixture marinates, the deeper the color.

This will keep at least a month in the refrigerator, To serve, slice the eggs in half lengthwise and arrange on a plate with a large leaf of lettuce on it together with the beets and onion slices.

To make future batches, save the pickling juice you made this time and mix it with future batches rather than adding boiling water to have enough liquid to cover the mixture. It will make the color develop more richness. You can also enrich the color by pouring in a can of small whole beets together with their juice.

POPOVERS

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk

Generously grease a 6-cup muffin pan or six 6-ounce custard cups. Into a bowl sift together the flour and the salt. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and the milk. While stirring, add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until batter is smooth.

Pour mixture into prepared muffin pan and put into a preheated 450-degree oven. Bake popovers in middle of oven for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake popovers for 20 minutes more, or until they are golden-brown and crisp. Serve immediately. Makes 6.

note: To get maximum puffiness and lightness from the popovers. It's important to sift the flour and not to over-stir the mixture.

Note: Preheat muffin pan in the oven for 5 minutes, or until it is hot, then brush the cups with melted butter, and immediately fill them half full with batter. This causes (the popovers) to start cooking instantly. Be sure to serve them immediately, because they are fabulous hot and not so great when they're cold.

POTATO LATKES, THIN AND CRISPY

2 pounds russet (baking) or Yukon Gold potatoes
1 medium onion
1/2 cup chopped scallions, including the green part
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

Peel the potatoes and put in cold water. Using a grater or a food processor coarsely grate the potatoes and onions. Place together in a fine-mesh strainer or tea towel and squeeze out all the water over a bowl. The potato starch will settle to the bottom; reserve that after you have carefully poured off the water.

Mix the potato and onion with the potato starch. Add the scallions, egg, and salt and pepper.

Heat a griddle or non-stick pan and coat with a thin film of vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten as best you can. Place the potato mixture on the griddle, flatten with a large spatula, and fry for a few minutes until golden. Flip the pancake over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately. You can also freeze the potato pancakes and crisp them up in a 350-degree oven at a later time.

Variation: If you want a more traditional and thicker pancake, you can add an extra egg plus 1/3 cup of matzah meal to the batter. 2 Dozen pancakes (P)

RASPBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

For the crust:
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup crushed ginger snaps or
Graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 cup cream cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
9 oz white chocolate
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

For the topping:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
White chocolate curls and fresh raspberries
for garnish (optional)

Mix together the ingredients for the crust and press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan. To make the filling, combine the mascarpone, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Melt the white chocolate in a pot set over hot water or in the microwave, then stir into the mascarpone mixture along with the raspberries. Pour the mixture into the spring-form pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake in a preheated 300F (150C) oven for 1 hour, until just set. Turn off the oven but do
not remove the cake from the oven until completely cooled and set.

Remove the sides of the pan and carefully transfer the cake to a serving plate. Combine the ingredients for the topping and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Spread onto the cake and top with white chocolate curls and fresh raspberries if desired. Serves 8 to 12.

RISI E BISI
(Rice-and-Pea soup) Peas have been cultivated on the hills and fields of Veneto for centuries. This ancient dish from the Serenissima (most serene) Republic of Venice was ritually offered to the doge, the ruler of the city, on the day celebrating Saint Mark. It is popular in all the regions that were in contact with or subject to Venice, including Dalmatia and Greece.

2 oz butter
2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 oz small peas
8 cups broth
11 oz arborio or vialone rice
Salt and pepper
4–5 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped

In a saucepan, put the butter, olive oil, bacon and onion. Turn heat to medium.

When the onion becomes soft and the bacon is cooked, add peas, 4–5 tablespoons of broth, stir and cover. Cook for about 5–10 minutes.

Add the rest of the broth and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add rice and cook for about 20 minutes.

When the rice is al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked), and the soup has a dense consistency, taste and add salt if necessary. Add pepper, parmigiano cheese, and parsley. Stir briefly and serve warm.

RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE
(Saffron risotto) For many people in Milan, Risotto remains the most important dish. Saffron is the key ingredient of this dish and gives the traditional flavor and color (the word “saffron” comes from the Arabic word for “yellow”).

5 cups broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron powder
3 + 2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
4 oz parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated

Warm the broth to a simmer.

In a small bowl, dissolve the saffron in 1/2 cup broth and put this to the side.

In a large saucepan, put 3 tablespoons of the butter and turn heat to medium.

When the butter begins foaming, add the onion. Sauté and stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes until the onion becomes soft.

Add the rice; stir for about 2 minutes; add the wine and stir to evaporate it.

Add 1/4 cup broth, and salt and pepper. Stir continuously to prevent the rice from sticking. When the rice begins absorbing the liquid, add more broth.

Repeat this step of adding the broth and stirring, keeping the rice at the consistency of a dense paste.

After about 10 minutes, stir in the 1/2 cup broth that has the dissolved saffron.
After about 8 more minutes, add 2 tablespoons butter and the grated parmigiano cheese. Continue stirring and adding broth.

The rice will be ready in about 2 more minutes, when al dente, (firm but not too soft or overcooked). Cooking time may vary. Serve warm.

ROAST GOOSE WITH POTATO AND APPLE STUFFING

1 goose weighing about 10lbs with giblets, neck, heart and gizzard.
1 small onion
1 carrot
Bouquet garni consisting of 1 sprig of thyme, 3 or 4 parsley stalks, a small piece
of celery and 6 or 7 peppercorns
Roux, if desired, for thickening

Note that while a goose looks quite big, it has a large cavity, so allow 1lb of uncooked weight per person.

Stuffing:
2 lbs potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1 lb onions
1 lb cooking apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon balm
salt and freshly ground pepper

Scrub potatoes and boil in salt water until cooked. Drain water and mash the potatoes, including skins. Melt butter and simmer onions in covered saucepan over gentle heat for 5 minutes. Add apples and cook until they break down into a fluff then stir in the mashed potatoes and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to get quite cold before stuffing goose.

Goose:
Remove giblets, neck, heart and gizzard from goose cavity. Put goose into large saucepan with giblets, onion, carrot, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours. Remove bird from stock, pat dry and place in roasting pan. Strain stock and store in refrigerator until it's time to make the gravy.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Season goose cavity with salt and pepper and fill with cold stuffing. Sprinkle sea-salt over breast and rub into skin. Roast for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. During roasting, pour off excess fat three or four times. (Store fat in refrigerator - it keeps for months and is wonderful for roasting or sautéing potatoes).

To test whether goose is cooked, prick the thigh at thickest part. If the juices that run out are clear, it's ready. If they're pink, it needs a little longer. When bird is cooked, remove to a large oven-proof platter and place in oven on low heat to keep warm while you make the gravy.

Gravy:
Pour or spoon off remaining fat in pan. Add about 450 ml/2 cups of strained giblet stock to roasting pan. Bring to a boil, and, using a small whisk, scrape the pan well to dissolve any meaty deposits. Taste for seasoning and if desired, thicken with a little roux. If the gravy seems weak, boil for a few minutes to concentrate the flavor. It if seems too strong, add a little more water or stock. Serves 8 to 10.

ROASTED CHICKEN

4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 roasting chicken
1 cup onion, quartered

This recipe is a great way to roast a large chicken for planned leftovers. It is reminiscent of those rotisserie-style chickens that are so popular now, and it is very easy to make. The meat comes out very moist and flavorful, so it is as good leftover as freshly cooked.

You need to start this the night before serving.

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices. Remove giblets from chicken, clean the cavity well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin. Place in a resealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to roast chicken, stuff cavity with onions, and place in a shallow baking pan. Roast, uncovered, at 250 degrees for 5 hours.

After the first hour, baste chicken occasionally (every half hour or so) with pan juices. The pan juices will start to caramelize on the bottom of pan and the chicken will turn golden brown. If the chicken contains a pop-up thermometer, ignore it. Let chicken rest about 10 minutes before carving.

Variation: Get a lemon or two, use a fork and poke them full of holes, and put them in the chicken cavity. Roast as usual. The chicken will be moist, and have a faint lemon taste.

ROOM FRAGRANCE GEL JARS

1 16 oz. bottle liquid potpourri in the fragrance of your choice
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (there are 4 envelopes in 1 pkg. Knox gelatin)
2 Tbsp. Salt
Small jars of your choice ( 1/2 pint Mason jars or baby food jars work well).

Wash jars (in a dishwasher if possible) before using them. Heat some water to boiling and pour into jars to scald them. Carefully empty the water out and allow jars to dry. (This step, as well as the salt, keeps the gel from developing mold).

Pour 8 oz potpourri into a pan and bring to full boil. Stir in 2 Tbsp salt. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin. Stir for at least two minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. You must stir for two or more minutes. You will think gelatin is dissolved before this, but it is not. Stir in remaining liquid potpourri. Stir really well.

Carefully pour the mixture into your clean jars. Loosely cap the jars and put aside in a cool place to gel. They should gel overnight in a cool place. You could put in refrigerator, but not really necessary. For the tops of the jars, cut lace or thin fabric two inches larger in diameter than the top of the jar. When mixture has gelled, put metal lid on jar, cover with lace or fabric, secure with a rubber band, screw jar ring on. Attach label and bow if desired. To use, remove jar ring and fabric. Place metal lid aside, replace fabric and jar ring.

SALISBURY STEAK WITH WINE SAUCE

4 slices of bacon
1 medium-size red bell pepper
8 oz of mushrooms sliced
1 large yellow onion sliced
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/3 c. of Burgundy (or other red wine)
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves crumbled

In a large skillet cook bacon over moderately high heat until crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Using a fork transfer the bacon to paper towels and set aside; reserve the drippings in the skillet.

Core and seed bell pepper; cut it into strips. Add mushrooms, onion, and the bell pepper strips to the drippings into the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, shape ground beef into four oval steaks about 3/4 inch thick. Sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper.

Transfer the vegetables to a warm serving platter, cover and keep them warm. In the same skillet, cook the beef steaks until they are well browned, about 3 minutes on each side for medium. Place the steaks on top of the vegetable mixture, cover, and keep them warm.

Add wine and thyme leaves to the skillet; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. Pour the wine sauce over the steaks; crumble the bacon over the sauce and serve. Yield: 4 servings

SALT INFORMATION RE: BRINING

Kosher salt and table salt are the most common salts used in Brining. Sea salt can be used, but it tends to be quite expensive. It is usually best to use kosher salt. A cup of table salt and a cup of kosher salt are not equal. Table salt weighs approximately 10 ounces per cup and kosher salt weighs approximately 5 to 8 ounces per cup depending on the brand.

If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than a cup to achieve the same "saltiness" you would get from a cup of table salt. The chart below shows how to substitute the two most popular brands of kosher salt for ordinary table salt when brining.

Table Salt - 1 cup
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt - 2 cups
Morton Kosher Salt - 1 1/2 cups

SALSA VERDE
(Green sauce) This simple and tasty sauce can be used on either boiled meat or fish. When using green sauce on fish, substitute lemon juice to vinegar.

1/2 lb. bread crumbs
1/2 cup meat broth
2 eggs, hard-boiled
6 anchovy fillets
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 lb. Italian parsley
1 oz capers in salt, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves
1–2 tablespoons (depending on the strength) white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Soak the bread crumbs lightly in broth, and squeeze them to remove the excess liquid.

Chop the eggs, anchovies, pine nuts, parsley, capers and garlic, by hand or in a food processor finely together. Add the lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil.

Combine enough bread crumbs to give the sauce the consistency of a dense paste. Add salt and pepper, and stir thoroughly to combine all the ingredients.

SEASONED SNACK MIX
Makes 10 cups

2/3 cup Butter Flavor Crisco or 2/3 Butter Flavor Crisco stick
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 cups bite-size rice squares cereal
2 cups round toasted oat cereal
2 cups oyster crackers
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 can (7 ounces) Spanish peanuts
Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 325ºF. In Dutch oven melt Butter Flavor Crisco. Remove from heat.

Stir in Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, onion powder and cayenne.

Add rice squares and toasted oat cereal, oyster crackers, pretzel sticks and peanuts. Toss to coat. Spread on 12- x 17-1/2- x 1-inch jelly roll pan.

Bake at 325ºF for 15 to 18 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown, stirring once after 10 minutes. Cool. Store in covered container. Recipe from Crisco.com

SESAME SEED AND PINE NUTS INFORMATION

Lots of recipes call for toasted sesame seeds or toasted pine nuts. Since I cook a lot of Mediterranean food, I could waste a lot of time toasting a couple of tablespoons at a time. Instead, I toast a pound at a time in a large skillet over medium heat and store them in the freezer. Pine nuts and sesame seeds should be stirred regularly while toasting to prevent burning and should be removed from heat when most are a very light golden brown and none are dark brown. Allow to cool completely before freezing.

Before toasting sesame seeds, they should be rinsed well in a fine sieve under running tap water to remove chaff, then allowed to drain; do not soak them. This slows toasting but gives much better flavor since the chaff can burn and give the seeds an off flavor.

Even if you do not toast them, store pine nuts and sesame seeds in the freezer since they are loaded with unsaturated fats which will go rancid rapidly.

SESAME SEED CRUSTED FLOUNDER

6 - 8 flounder fillets
1 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oil

Place flour in a small bowl, the beaten eggs in another bowl and the sesame seeds, bread crumbs and salt and pepper in another bowl. Coat each fillet first with flour then egg and finally the sesame seed mixture. Heat oil in a skillet to medium-high heat and cook fillets for 3 - 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Do not overcook.

SHERRY-CHARRED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
From Vetri restaurant, Philadelphia Yield: 4 servings.

20 Brussels sprouts
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 or 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt
Ground black pepper
2 or 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the brussels sprouts in half. Rub the cut side of each with garlic.

Heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick, oven-safe skillet. Add sprouts, flat side down; char them over high heat until dark brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Turn sprouts over; season with salt and pepper to taste and 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar. Cook for 1 minute, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until sprouts are tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. If desired, season with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Serve hot or at room temperature.

SHIP AHOY COOKIES

1 cup shortening or 2 sticks margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 1/3 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Blend shortening, salt, and vanilla. Add honey and sugar, and cream well. Add eggs, and beat well. Sift flour with baking powder and add to creamed mixture, blending well. Add oats, coconut, and nuts and mix well.

Bake in a 350 oven in a greased 13 x 9 pan for 50 to 55 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cool and cut into bars.

When cooled and cut, store in an airtight container. These are nice and chewy and very good with hot tea.

SHRIMP AND CHEESE STUFFED POTATOES

6 medium-size baking potatoes, baked
vegetable cooking spray
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp chopped parsley
6 oz pkg baby shrimp, deveined and cooked
1/4 cup low-calorie margarine
1/2 cup warm skim milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
paprika

Cut a thick slice from the top of each potato. Scoop out the pulp, reserving
the shell and pulp.

Sauté the onions, garlic, parsley, and shrimp for 1-2 minutes in vegetable cooking spray. Mix margarine, milk, salt, pepper, and cheese with potato pulp until thoroughly combined and the texture is relatively smooth. Combine mixture that has been sautéed with the potato mixture. Stuff potato shells and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika. Broil stuffed potatoes just until warm before serving.
Makes 6 servings.

SHRIMP BISQUE
from Nono’s

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced onions
1 large clove garlic
1 small bay leaf
6 peppercorns
1 whole clove
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 cup brandy
3 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup flour
1 quart chicken stock
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound small raw shrimp, cleaned and left whole (or chop up larger shrimp)

In a 2-quart or larger saucepan over medium-low heat, sauté onions, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns and whole clove in 2 tablespoons of the butter, stirring frequently until onion is translucent.

Add paprika, white pepper, cayenne and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add the brandy and cook for a few more minutes to cook off alcohol. Add the cream and thyme and simmer gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

In a large heavy pot (about 5 quarts), melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour to make a roux and cook for 2 minutes.

Slowly add the stock, whisking to dissolve lumps. Add the tomato sauce and honey. Strain the finished cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the stockpot and stir. Return to a gentle simmer.

Add the shrimp and cook for 15-20 minutes just until shrimp is done. Check the seasoning. Makes 6 servings

SHRIMP CHEESE STUFF

8 oz cream cheese -- softened
12 oz chili sauce
1 can shrimp -- rinsed and drained
1 cup cheddar cheese -- grated
sliced ripe olives for garnish


Spread cream cheese evenly on a large serving platter. Spread chili sauce evenly over cheese. Distribute the shrimp evenly over the chili sauce. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Garnish with the black olives slices. Chill. Serve with Ritz crackers – or any other kind of crackers.

SPICED CHOCOLATE COOKIES - HANUKKAH
(Makes about 40 cookies)

3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature, plus additional for the
baking sheets
1/2 to 2/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup (about 3 ounces) chopped walnuts

Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add 1/2 cup of the milk and the nuts and, still using your fingertips, mix until the dough is well blended. If mixture seems to be dry, add more milk, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together.

Using your fingers, pinch off 1-inch pieces of dough and roll them into balls. Place the dough balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. (If a thinner, less chewy cookie is desired, you may flatten the ball slightly.)

Bake the cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, until firm. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool to room temperature.

STRAWBERRY TORTILLA TORTE
Recipe By : Real Food for Real People

10 large flour tortillas
12 ounces neufchatel cheese -- at room temperature
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice, frozen concentrate
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups strawberries -- fresh, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar

Whip cream cheese, orange peel, juice concentrate, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together. Place 9 tortillas on a dry surface and spread each evenly with cream cheese mixture. Stack the 9 tortillas on a baking sheet and top with remaining tortilla. Brush top with melted butter and sprinkle to taste with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until fork inserted into center comes out clean. Toss together strawberries and sugar. Cut torte into wedges and top with strawberry mixture.

SUGAR PLUMS
(makes 4 dozen cookies)

½ cup shortening
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup desiccated (shredded) coconut
48 small, pitted tenderized dried prunes
water
sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C)

Cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in egg and molasses until well blended. Gradually sift in dry ingredients, beating constantly. Stir in coconut. Chill 1-2 hours.

Set out four cookie sheets lined with baking paper. For each cookie, flatten a spoonful of dough, place the prune in the center, and shape the dough around it. Dip the top of each cookie in water, then in sugar. Place the cookie, sugar side up about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until light golden brown. Watch the cookies carefully as the oven temperatures can vary
greatly from oven to oven.

VANILLA PECAN CHEESECAKE

1 cup ground pecans toasted (divided)
2/3 cup Brown Sugar Twin (divided) (or brown sugar)
5 –8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 table spoon vanilla extract
1 small package sugar-free Jell-o Instant vanilla pudding
6 large eggs, yolks broken
butter for greasing pan


Grease sides and bottom of a 9" spring-form pan heavily with butter. Add 1
tablespoon (or more to taste) Brown Sugar Twin to 3/4 cup of the pecans.
Sprinkle 3/4 cup of toasted pecans/Brown Sugar Twin on to bottom and sides.
Cover bottom and sides with foil on the outside to keep from seeping. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In medium mixing bowl whisk cream, vanilla, remaining Brown Sugar Twin, and
pudding mix. Mixture will become stiff. Add this to cream cheese/butter, 1/4 at a time beating till smooth with each addition. Add eggs all at once on low speed, just till incorporated. **Do Not Over-Mix,** or cheesecake will be grainy instead of creamy.

Pour into prepared spring-form pan. Rap on countertop a few times to remove
air bubbles. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top.

Bake at 325F for 60-70 minutes or till just set. Turn off oven and leave inside for another hour. Take out and finish cooling to room temperature. Do Not Remove sides of pan until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hrs before serving. Keep refrigerated. Will get firmer as it chills. Yield: 16 servings

VERMICELLI ALLA MARINARA
Spaghetti with Oregano and Tomato sauce

This is the basic meatless tomato sauce, probably considered the precursor of all ragu’ and tomato sauces of Italy. In spite of the name (the word “marinara” refers to seafood), the sauce has no fish in it.

5–6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lb tomatoes, puréed in a blender
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 lb. spaghetti

In a skillet over medium heat, pour olive oil and add garlic. Before the garlic begins coloring, add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper.

Cook over medium heat for about 20–25 minutes, until the tomato sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley and oregano and turn heat off.

Cook the spaghetti in abundant salt water following manufacturer’s instructions, checking for readiness from time to time, until al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked).

Drain the pasta and transfer it to a bowl. Top with the tomato sauce, toss and serve at once.





 

 

 

 

 

 

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