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).


ADOBE PORK MINUTE STEAK SANDWICH
ASIAN-STYLE CHICKEN WINGS
BAKED CHOCOLATE PUDDING
BANANA BARS
BANANA PECAN LOAF
BARBECUED PORK CHOPS
CARAMEL BROWNIES
CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE KABOBS
CHICKEN MAKHANI
CHICKEN THERMIDOR
CITRUS-MARINATED TOMATO SALAD OVER STEAK
CLAM CHOWDER
COLESLAW
COWBOY COOKIES
CRAB AND SHRIMP PILAU
CREAMY RASPBERRY-FILLED ANGEL CAKE
CRÈME DE MENTHE BROWNIES
CROCK-POT POT ROAST
CURRIED PEANUT SHRIMP
DIVINITY
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
FRIED CORN
FRUIT KABOBS WITH CRANBERRY-ORANGE DIP
FRUITY CHICKEN WINGS
GRILLED MAPLE APPLE RINGS
HOMEMADE BABY FOOD
HOME MADE CURRY POWDER
JALAPENO AND BASIL-GLAZED CHICKEN
LAMB MEDALLIONS WITH
LAYERED BLACK BEAN SALAD
MATEO QUAIL WITH GRILLED CACTUS
MOLE INFORMATION & RECIPES
MINT BROWNIES
ORIENTAL PASTA SALAD
OVEN-BARBECUED FARMER-STYLE PORK RIBS
PASTA SALAD
PIZZA PASTA SALAD
PORK LOIN CUTLETS W LEMON-THYME SAUCE
PORK SHOULDER WITH TOMATOES,
PUMPKIN BARS & FROSTING
PURPLE COW
RED SNAPPER, GRILLED & STEAMED
RHUBARB BARS
SALSAS
SANGRIA
SPICY BLACK BEAN SALSA
STRAWBERRY CREAM PIE
TOFFEE BARS
VIOLET JELLY
WIENER SCHNITZEL
ZUCCHINI SPREAD



ADOBE PORK MINUTE STEAK SANDWICH
WITH PICKLED VEGETABLE COLESLAW
Makes 4 to 6 servings

For Pork Marinade:
1 1/2 pound pork loin
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons smoked piquillo powder, from La Chinata
3 cloves of garlic, crushed by hand
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

For Grilled Tomatoes:
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, such as Brandywine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 basil leaves, chiffonade
--Sea salt, to taste

For Sandwich:
1 loaf brioche bread
1 lemon, juiced

For pork: In a small roasting pan, combine olive oil and piquillo pepper powder. Gently stir marinade with a wooden spoon. Add garlic and bay leaves. Rub black peppercorns between hands to warm, and drop into pan. Lay whole pork loin into marinade, coating both sides, and allow the loin to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours, turning loin every 20 minutes.

For tomatoes: Slice tomatoes in half, horizontally. Combine olive oil and basil. Rub oil mixture onto tomato halves and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Grill until heated thoroughly.

To serve: Slice marinated pork loin into 1/2 -inch pieces and grill for 30 seconds on each side. On a toasted brioche slice, pile grilled loin slices and tomato, squeeze with fresh lemon juice. Top with another slice of brioche and serve with pickled vegetable coleslaw.

ASIAN-STYLE CHICKEN WINGS

2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
2 lbs chicken wings

Whisk all the ingredients except the chicken wings together in a large bowl.  Add the chicken wings and toss to coat.  Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight, tossing the wings occasionally.  Grill over hot coals or under a preheated broiler, turning 2 or 3 times, until no longer pink at the bone, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Serves 4 to 6.

BAKED CHOCOLATE PUDDING

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon self-rising flour

1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter and flour six 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Arrange dishes on rimmed baking sheet. Stir 1/2 cup butter and chocolate in small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, yolks, and 3/4 cup sugar in medium bowl until mixture is thick, about 8 minutes. Using rubber spatula, fold melted chocolate mixture, then flour into egg mixture. Divide batter among prepared ramekins. Bake until puddings are puffed and dry on top and tester inserted into center comes out with very moist crumbs still attached, about 12 minutes. Cool puddings 10 minutes.

Beat whipping cream, vanilla, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in medium bowl until peaks form.

Transfer ramekins to plates. Top each pudding with dollop of whipped cream.
BANANA BARS

1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
8 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs

Cream butter and sugar together. Add sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add flour, baking powder and baking soda and continue mixing. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups confectioner's sugar

Combine all frosting ingredients in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until, desired consistency is reached. You may need to add more confectioner's sugar. Frost bars and slice and serve. Refrigerate uneaten portions. These bars are very tasty and have a great texture. We expect that you may want to make extra since they will certainly go fast.

BANANA PECAN LOAF

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tap. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup very ripe mashed banana
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9"x5" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt.

In a medium bowl, mix mashed banana, applesauce, egg whites and egg
with a fork.

Stir banana mixture into flour mixture just to moisten. Spoon batter into pan, sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Cool loaf in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan, cool completely.

BARBECUED PORK CHOPS

1 package of center-cut pork chops
½ cup of dark brown sugar
2/3 cup of ketchup
1 teaspoon of mustard
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar

Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 package of frozen breaded mushrooms
1 package of frozen corn on the cob

Dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Clean and rinse pork chops under cold water and set them on paper towels to drain off excess water.

Add the dark brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, granulated sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl and stir together until well blended. You may need to double this recipe depending on how many pork chops you intend to cook. The sauce will be fairly thick, but will thin out during cooking.

Dip each pork chop into the bowl of barbecue sauce and place the pork chops in a baking pan.

If the pork chops do no have any fat on the outer edges, use a paper towel to lightly oil the baking pan with a cooking oil before adding the pork chops.

Save any remaining sauce for basting the pork chops later.

Place the pork chops in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven, turn each pork chop over and baste the other side with the remaining sauce.

Place the pork chops back into the oven and cook them for another 30 minutes or until just the outer edges begin to blacken.

Remove the pork chops immediately from the heat when they are ready and serve while hot.

***Note, The cooking time on the pork chops will vary depending on their thickness or the actual oven temperature, so keep an eye on them while they are baking, trust your judgment and turn them over when you feel they are ready to be turned and basted.

During the last 30 minutes of baking the pork chops, prepare the frozen breaded mushrooms and the corn on the cob according to the directions on the packages.
Serve with hot rolls and butter.

CARAMEL BROWNIES

1 chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
14 oz package of caramels (about 40)

Mix above ingredients and press half into a 13 x 9 inch pan.  Bake 6 minutes at 350 degrees.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Melt 14 ounces caramels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk.  Pour over bottom layer and cover with rest of cake mixture.  Bake 15 minutes more.

CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE KABOBS

1  recipe Herbed Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)
4  medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb. total)
2  tablespoons olive oil
2  tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1  tablespoon lime juice
1  tablespoon snipped fresh Italian parsley
1  tablespoon snipped fresh oregano
1  clove garlic, minced
8  ounces apple-flavored smoked chicken sausage or smoked sausage,
halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
   Grilled lime wedges

Prepare Herbed Dipping Sauce. Cover and refrigerate.

Cut chicken into long strips, about 1/2 inch thick. Place in a medium bowl. For marinade, combine the olive oil, green onion, lime juice, parsley, oregano, and garlic. Pour marinade over chicken; stir to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours.

Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Thread strips of chicken and sausage onto 6 long skewers.

For a charcoal grill, grill kabobs on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning to brown evenly. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place kabobs on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.) Remove kabobs from grill. Serve with Herbed Dipping Sauce and grilled lime wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Herbed Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup dairy sour cream,
1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion and/or chives,
1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian parsley, and 1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano.

CHICKEN MAKHANI
(Butter Chicken)

3 pounds skinless chicken breast halves, legs and/or thighs
  3/4 cup plain yogurt
4 large or 8 small garlic cloves, smashed
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
  1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Juice of 1 lemon

Tomato Sauce:

4 large ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cored and halved
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound), skinned and chopped
1 small dried red chili, seeded
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala (available in Indian groceries and some supermarkets)
1/4 cup half-and-half
Cilantro, lemon wedges (optional)

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Make several diagonal slashes in each piece almost to the bone. Process yogurt in a blender with garlic, ginger, salt, cayenne and turmeric until smooth. Place chicken in a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over. Pour on yogurt mixture and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

Place one of the oven racks a third of the way from the bottom and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil and place a rack inside the pan. Let excess marinade drip off chicken and lay on the rack. Roast 8 to 10 minutes for breasts, about 20 minutes for legs and thighs. Using tongs, turn pieces and roast another 7-8 minutes for breasts, 10 minutes for legs and thighs. Remove from
oven. Heat broiler. Broil chicken 3 or 4 inches from the heat source for 2 to 4 minutes per side, until flecked with black. Cut breasts in half, if using.

Place tomatoes, onions and chili in a heavy 4-quart saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Add butter, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 25 minutes. Working in 2 batches, puree tomato mixture in a blender and pour into a large skillet. Stir in the cumin and garam masala. Heat the sauce over medium-low heat. Add the chicken and simmer 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half. Serve garnished with cilantro and lemon, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

CHICKEN THERMIDOR

  1 1/2  cups  sliced mushrooms -- (4 ounces)
  2        large  shallots -- finely chopped (1/4 cup)
                        OR
  1        small  onion -- finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  2        tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  1        teaspoon  chicken bouillon granules
  1 1/4  cups  fat-free half-and-half
                        OR
  1 1/4  cups  refrigerated fat-free nondairy creamer
  1 1/2  cups  cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
  2        tablespoons  dry white wine
                        OR
  2        tablespoons  chicken broth
 1/2      teaspoon  dried tarragon leaves
  4        slices  white bread -- toasted and cut into fourths
                        OR
  4        slices  whole wheat bread -- toasted and cut into fourths
                        OR
  2        English muffins -- split, toasted and cut into fourths
            Grated Parmesan cheese -- if desired

Spray 2-quart saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook mushrooms and shallots in saucepan about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender. Stir in flour and bouillon granules. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat.

Gradually stir in half-and-half. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken, wine and tarragon; reduce heat to low. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Spoon over toast. Sprinkle with cheese.  Yield: 4 servings.

CITRUS-MARINATED TOMATO SALAD OVER STEAK

1/4 cup prepared Italian salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon peel
1 pound fully ripened fresh Florida tomatoes, diced (about 2-1/2 cups)
1 package (6-8 ounces) yellow or Spanish rice mix (or make your own)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound beef round cube steaks pounded thin (4 steaks)
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 bag (about 12 ounces) mixed salad greens

In a medium-sized bowl, combine salad dressing and orange peel. Add tomatoes; toss gently; let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions.

In a cup, combine salt, cumin and pepper; rub into steaks. In a large skillet (preferably nonstick), over medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Cook 2 steaks at a time, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked to desired doneness, about 1-1/2 minutes per side for medium (use remaining oil as needed). Spoon cooked rice on 4 serving plates, dividing equally. Top with steaks, salad greens and marinated tomatoes. Serves 4

CLAM CHOWDER

1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 medium onion, chopped
3 slices bacon, cut fine
5 cups milk
1 can minced clams
3 tbsp. milk with 2 tbsp. flour to make a paste

Cover potatoes, carrots, and celery with a small amount of water and let simmer until tender. While vegetables are simmering, fry bacon and onions together until onions are clear. Add to cooked vegetables. Add milk and flour paste. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Add clams and juice just before serving. Season with salt, pepper, and butter.

COLESLAW-MAYONNAISE

1 head green cabbage (about 2 lbs.) shredded
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Sprinkling of pepper

Combine the vegetables (cabbage, onion, bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 of the parsley). In a bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, except the paprika. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Refrigerate 3 hrs. before serving. When ready to serve, sprinkle lightly with paprika and add the remaining chopped parsley for garnish.

COLESLAW SWEET AND SOUR

1 head green cabbage, shredded
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 green/or red bell pepper or a combination, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped (Optional)

Combine the vegetables in a bowl (cabbage, celery, onion, bell pepper, 1/2 of the chopped parsley). In another bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed, and tarragon, if using. Stir well to dissolve the sugar completely. Pour the dressing over the combined vegetables, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 5 hrs. or preferably overnight. When serving, sprinkle the remaining parsley on top for garnish.

COLE SLAW FOR PICNICS

1 head green cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup chopped white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red and/or green bell pepper
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup spicy ketchup
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Combine sugar, ketchup, and vinegar in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour this dressing over the shredded cabbage. Combine gently, but thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 3-4 hours. When serving, sprinkle with parsley, for garnish.

COWBOY COOKIES

  5  cups  flour
  1  pound  margarine
  1  teaspoon  baking powder
  4  eggs
  2  teaspoons  baking soda
  4  cups  quick cooking oats
  2  cups  sugar
  2  cups  brown sugar, packed
  1  cup  nuts -- chopped  (optional)
12  ounces  milk chocolate chips
  1  tablespoon  vanilla
  1  cup  raisins -- boiled

Cream eggs, sugars, vanilla and margarine in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients, then nuts, chips and raisins. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes.

Note: This dough can be wrapped in four long logs, and refrigerated or frozen until you are ready to bake them later. Frozen dough can be sliced in 1/2 inch pieces to bake. You may also freeze cookies which have been baked. Simply place them in heavy duty zip baggies, remove as much air as possible from the baggie, and label before placing in your freezer.

CRAB AND SHRIMP PILAU

1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 jumbo shrimp (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 pound fresh okra, stems trimmed, cut into thin rounds
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1 yellow onion, dried
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon celery seeds
4 ounces lump crabmeat, flaked
2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and diced

In a medium bowl, mix chili powder, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the shrimp about 1 minute on each side; remove and set aside.

Add the shallots to the skillet, adding more oil if necessary. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the okra and bell pepper. Cover, reduce the heat, and cook until vegetables soften slightly, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the corn, onion, garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme and celery seeds. Cover and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the reserved shrimp and the crabmeat, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and tomato and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until heated through. Serve in a bowl or on plates. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

CREAMY RASPBERRY-FILLED ANGEL CAKE

  1      cup  boiling water
  1      (4-serving size) package  sugar-free raspberry-flavored gelatin
 1/2    cup  cold water
  1      pint  raspberries -- (2 cups)
  1      (8-ounce) container  frozen fat-free whipped topping -- thawed
  1      round (10 inches in diameter) angel food cake
          Additional raspberries -- if desired

Pour boiling water over gelatin in large bowl; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until thickened but not set.

Fold 1 pint raspberries and half of the whipped topping into gelatin mixture. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until thickened but not set.

Split cake horizontally to make 3 layers. (To split, mark side of cake with toothpicks and cut with long, thin serrated knife.) Fill layers with gelatin mixture. Spoon or pipe remaining whipped topping onto top of cake. Garnish with raspberries. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cake.  Yield: 12 servings.

CRÈME DE MENTHE BROWNIES

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 (16 ounce) can chocolate syrup
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter (or margarine), melted
3 tablespoons crème de menthe liqueur
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter (or margarine)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream together 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Stir in 1 cup flour and mix well. Pour in chocolate syrup. Beat eggs and add to
mixture. Stir in salt and vanilla.
Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool.

Melt 1/2 cup butter (or margarine) and mix with 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and crème de menthe. Let cool slightly and spread over brownies.

Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and 6 tablespoons of butter (or margarine) and pour over the mint topping. Let brownies and toppings cool completely and cut into 2 inch squares. Store in the refrigerator.

CROCK-POT POT ROAST
 
1 2-3 pound beef chuck roast, trimmed of all visible fat
4-5 medium sized red potatoes, quartered
1/2 pound baby carrots
3 stalks celery, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into sections
salt, to taste
1 can Ro-Tel Original Tomatoes and Chilies (or whichever is your
favorite Ro-Tel flavor.)*
 
Put veggies into large crock pot.  Place meat on top.  Pour Ro-Tel over top.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  To serve, remove meat to carving platter and cut into serving sizes.  Serve veggies and juice in large dish or just put the crock pot liner on the table with a large serving spoon.

CURRIED PEANUT SHRIMP
 
8 ounces fettuccine

2/3 cup chicken broth, low fat, salt (or regular)
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy, low fat  (or regular)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 piece ginger root, thinly sliced (bottled grated ginger is fine)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups green onions, sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced (bottled is fine)
1 1/2 pounds large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
 
While pasta cooks, place broth and next 5 ingredients (broth through ginger) in a food processor, and process until smooth.
 
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, curry, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes.  Add shrimp; cook 6 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Stir in peanut sauce; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.  Serve over pasta, and sprinkle with cilantro.
 
Makes 4 servings but the servings here are fairly large as the recipe is quite filling.
 
Note:  this moves along pretty fast so have your onions chopped and everything at the ready.
 
DIVINITY
 
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup Light corn syrup
2 egg whites
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
 
Combine sugar, salt, corn syrup and water.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils.  Boil without stirring to 246 degrees or 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat egg whites in a large bowl to stiff peaks.  When mixture is ready, pour in thin stream into egg whites, beating on high speed.  Then add vanilla and nuts.  Beat until it loses glossy color, then drop on wax paper.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE

8 eggs, cold
1 lb bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb unsalted bitter cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup strong coffee or chocolate- or coffee-flavored liqueur (optional)
Powdered (confectioner's) sugar or cocoa powder
for garnish (optional)

Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) spring-form pan with parchment and grease the sides of the pan.  Wrap the exterior of the pan with a single sheet of aluminum foil and set it in a large roasting pan. Bring a large kettle of water to a boil.  Beat the eggs with an electric blender on high speed until they are doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the chocolate, butter, and optional coffee or liqueur in a bowl set over simmering water or in the microwave, stirring until the mixture is smooth and very warm.  Fold 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture until only a few streaks of egg are visible.  Repeat with half the remaining egg mixture, and repeat again with the remainder.  Scrape the batter into the prepared spring-form pan and smooth the top with a spatula.  Set the roasting pan in the oven and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the
side of the spring-form pan.  Bake in a preheated 325F oven until the edges are slightly set and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center (don't touch the bottom of the pan) reads 140F, about 20 minutes.  There should be a thin, glazed crust like on a pan of brownies, and the center should be slightly liquid - it will set as it cools.  Cool on a wire rack.  This cake is better if allowed to mellow covered in the refrigerator overnight, and can be kept refrigerated for several days.  Before serving, remove the side of the spring-form pan, invert the cake on a sheet of waxed paper, peel off the parchment from the bottom of the cake, and turn right side up onto a cake plate.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa if desired. Serves 12 to 16.

FRIED CORN

  Mesquite-flavored vegetable cooking spray
  3 cups corn cut from the cob (3-4 ears) or frozen, thawed whole-kernel corn
  1 green bell pepper, sliced
  1 red bell pepper, sliced
  3 cloves garlic, minced
  1/4 cup water
  Salt and pepper, to taste

Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat until hot. Add corn, bell pepper, and garlic to skillet; spray generously with cooking spray. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until vegetables are very tender and browned, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir water into skillet; cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed, about
15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6

FRUIT KABOBS WITH CRANBERRY-ORANGE DIP

1  8-ounce carton light dairy sour cream
1/2  cup cranberry-orange relish
1  tablespoon honey
1/4  teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1   large pear and/or 1 Red Delicious apple
1   orange
   Lemon juice
1   kiwi fruit, peeled
1  cup seedless red grapes and/or strawberries
   Wooden picks or bamboo skewers
    
For dip, stir together sour cream, cranberry-orange relish, honey, and ginger in a small bowl. cover and chill until serving time.

To prepare kabobs, cut pear, apple, and orange into 1-inch pieces, leaving skin on each piece for color. Toss apple and pear pieces with a little lemon juice mixed with water to prevent fruit from browning. Cut kiwi into 1/2-inch slices; cut slices in half. Thread the fruit pieces on picks or short skewers. Serve with dip. Makes 24 kabobs.

FRUITY CHICKEN WINGS

  12      chicken wings (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  1        cup  chicken broth
 1/4      cup  dry white wine OR 1/4 cup  apple juice
1 1/2    tablespoons  chopped fresh thyme 1 ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
  2        medium  green onions -- thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  2        cloves  garlic -- finely chopped
  2        teaspoons  cornstarch
1/2       teaspoon  sugar
1/4       cup  diced dried fruit and raisin mixture
  4        cups  hot cooked rice

Cut each chicken wing at joints to make 3 pieces; discard tip. Cut off excess skin; discard.

Mix broth, wine, thyme, onions and garlic in shallow nonmetal dish or resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, turning to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag and refrigerate, turning chicken occasionally, at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.

Remove chicken from marinade; reserve marinade. Cover and grill chicken
4 to 6 inches from MEDIUM heat 12 to 18 minutes, turning once, until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

While chicken is grilling, mix 1/4 cup of the marinade, the cornstarch and sugar in 1 1/2-quart saucepan. Stir in remaining marinade and the dried fruit. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir about 1 minute or until thickened.

Serve fruit sauce and chicken over rice.  Yield: 4 servings.

GRILLED MAPLE APPLE RINGS

  4        medium  unpeeled apples (Red or Yellow Delicious or Granny Smith)
  1        tablespoon  margarine or butter -- melted
  2        tablespoons  maple-flavored syrup
 1/4      teaspoon  ground nutmeg

Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.

Core apples. Cut thin slice from top and bottom of each apple to expose flesh; discard. Cut each apple crosswise into 3 slices. Brush both sides of apple slices with margarine.

Cover and grill apple slices 4 to 6 inches from medium heat about 10 minutes, turning once, until tender.

To serve, drizzle apples with maple syrup. Sprinkle with nutmeg.  4 servings.
Top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

HOMEMADE BABY FOOD

Rolled Oats and Bananas

1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup water or milk
1/3 ripe banana
1/4 cup milk
Combine rolled oats and 1/2 cup of water or milk. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Slice banana, and puree in baby food grinder; add remaining milk, mixing thoroughly. Stir the banana-milk mixture into the cooked cereal.

Cereal a la Mode

Cooked cream of rice, cream of wheat, or oatmeal
fruit puree

Puree applesauce, apricots, bananas, peaches, pineapple or prunes in a baby food grinder. Thin with a little milk and spoon on top of cereal. It is better to use fresh or freshly cooked fruits without sugar. Canned fruits are all right too, as long as you rinse off the syrup before you puree the fruit in the baby food grinder.

Cooked Fruit Puree

Fresh, frozen or canned fruit(use apples, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, pineapple, or dried fruits)

Wash and peel fruit if necessary. Steam over low heat with a small amount of water until tender. Do not overcook. Cool and press through the baby food grinder. Serve.

Steamed Vegetables

1 cup fresh vegetables, diced (use carrots, squash, beets, beans, or peas)
1/4 cup water

Wash vegetables and peel only if necessary. Steam over low heat until tender. Keep saucepan tightly covered adding additional liquid if necessary. Do not overcook. Cool and press through a baby food grinder. Discard any fibers that may stick to the bottom of the cutting blade. If any liquid is left in the pan it may be used to thin the vegetable puree. Add the liquid slowly until the right consistency is reached.

Baby Oatmeal

4 tbsp dry oatmeal
1 cup water

Put the water into a small saucepan and put it on to boil. Whiz the oatmeal in the blender until it becomes a powder. Stir into the boiling water, reduce heat to low,
and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir with a whisk to prevent lumping and avoid scorching on the bottom of the pan. Cool thoroughly before feeding to baby.


Baby Bananas

Peel a ripe banana and thoroughly fork-mash until there are no lumps and the banana is so mushy it's almost liquid. That's all there is to it. If your child is still learning to eat solids, you can take a bit of formula or breast milk and mix it in with the bananas to make it even less firm.

Fruit Juice Snowcones

Crush ice in blender to make snow. Use ice cream scoop to shape like snowballs and place in bowls. Pour fruit juice over snowballs.

Fish for Babies

1 filet of any fish, not breaded, cooked
1/8 cup 2% or whole milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup mashed peas
1/8 cup mashed carrots
1/8 cup mashed potatoes

Put ingredients in blender, blend until creamed. Babies and small children like it.

HOME MADE CURRY POWDER

4 cups coriander
2 cups fennel seeds
2 cups cumin
20 dried red chilies (use less if you want to decrease the heat)
1 tablespoon peppercorn
10 cardamoms
5 cloves
2 teaspoons turmeric powder

Set your burner on low heat, place a wok, or a pan and let it heat for about 2 minutes.

Roast coriander, fennel, cumin separately. Stir with a wooden spatula as you roast them. This helps the seeds to roast evenly.

Do not let them burn, when the seeds turn slightly brown (takes about 5-6 minutes), transfer them to a bowl.

Roast chili, peppercorn, cardamom, cloves and turmeric for about 2 minutes.

Add the rest of the roasted spices into the wok and roast for 1 minute while mixing all the ingredients well. Turn off the burner and let the spices cool for about 5 minutes. Grind the spices in small batches in a coffee grinder.

(I usually have two coffee grinders, one for grinding spice, and the other for coffee. You can use the same if you would like to have spicy curry coffee!) The amount of grinding depends of how fine or coarse you want the powder to be.

If you want it to be a fine powder grind it longer. Transfer the curry powder to an air tight container. If you would like to make smaller batches use smaller ratios for the coriander, fennel, cumin. Try to stick to the 4:2:2 ratio. Adjust the rest of the ingredients to fit to the amount of spice you need.

JALAPENO AND BASIL-GLAZED CHICKEN

2  whole medium chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), halved lengthwise
1  tablespoon olive oil
1  clove garlic, minced
1/4  teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2  cup jalapeno pepper jelly
2  tablespoons snipped fresh basil
1  tablespoon lime juice
    
If desired, remove skin from chicken. For rub, in a small bowl combine oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper. Spoon rub evenly over chicken; rub in with your fingers. For sauce, in a small saucepan combine jalapeno jelly, basil, and lime juice. Cook and stir over low heat until jelly is melted. Remove from heat.

For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Place chicken, bone side up, on grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill for 50 to 60 minutes or until tender and no longer pink, turning once and brushing with some of the sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Grill as above.) To serve, reheat and pass the remaining sauce with chicken. Makes 4 servings.

LAMB MEDALLIONS WITH
SONOMA MUSTARD SAUCE
Serves 6

  For lamb:
3 pounds lamb loin
  Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons blended oil (see Note)

  For mustard sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons blended oil (see Note)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 celery stalk, diced
4 cups orange juice
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
  Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

To cook lamb: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rub whole lamb loin with salt, pepper and herbes de Provence. Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sear lamb all over to retain juices. Drain excess oil.

Roast lamb about 10 minutes total for rare to medium-rare. (126 degrees on a meat thermometer for medium-rare, 134 degrees for medium and 150 degrees for medium-well.) Transfer lamb to a platter and keep warm while you prepare sauce.

To make sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat and sauté
carrot, onion, rosemary and celery until tender. Add orange juice and white wine and reduce by half. Add mustards and honey and mix well. Add cream. Stir and bring to a simmer. Strain sauce and season with salt and pepper. Return sauce to heat and whisk in butter.

To serve: Slice lamb in 1/2-inch slices and spoon mustard sauce on top.

Note: Blended oil is simply one part olive oil mixed with three parts canola oil.

LAYERED BLACK BEAN SALAD

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 15-oz. can white corn, drained
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup tortilla chips, crumbled

Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 3 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Layer salad ingredients in a glass bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. drizzle dressing over salad just before serving.

MATEO QUAIL WITH GRILLED CACTUS
AND PICKLED SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
You can order quail from a specialty butcher. To trim the quail, take kitchen shears and remove the backbone, then pull rib bones away, or ask your butcher to trim it. You can find annatto seed paste at Hispanic markets or order online at www.delmayab.com. Makes 6 servings

For Marinade:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup DaVero Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
6 tablespoons annatto seed paste
2 cloves garlic, smashed
10 sprigs cilantro, leaves only
1 tablespoon kosher salt
6 quail, trimmed

Combine juices, oil and seasonings and stir until well mixed. Add quail and marinate for 20-30 minutes, flipping once. Remove from marinade and grill breast side down for four minutes, flip and grill remaining side for four minutes longer.

Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms
Makes 6 servings

1 quart rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salt
1 stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms

In a medium-size saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring brine to a boil and remove from heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and cover, off heat for 20-30 minutes. Reserve brine for future pickling use.

Grilled Cactus Batons
Makes 6 servings

1 pound cactus leaf, with thorns removed
Water
Salt
Olive oil

Fill a large stockpot with enough water to immerse a whole cactus leaf. Generously salt water and boil whole leaf for about 2 minutes. Remove leaf from water and lightly score cactus on both sides. Grill leaf for one minute on each side. Remove from heat and slice into 1/2 -inch by 1-inch batons.

MINT BROWNIES

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can (16 oz.) chocolate syrup
1 cup sugar

Filling:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp mint extract (NOT peppermint)
3 drops green food coloring

Topping:
1 package (10 oz.) mint chocolate chips*
9 Tbsp butter or margarine**

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour batter into a greased 13x9" baking pan; baked at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (top of brownies will still appear wet). Cool completely.  Combine filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl; beat until creamy. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set. For topping, melt chips and butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Let cool for 30 minutes or until lukewarm, stirring occasionally. Spread over filling. Chill before cutting and store in the refrigerator.

* If you are not able to find mint chips, simply add a tsp of mint extract to the
chips.

MOLE INFORMATION & RECIPES
John Griffin, San Antonio Express-News Dining Editor

If you want to make mole, you have to make time first.

"Give yourself a couple of hours, if not a whole afternoon," says Jesse T. Perez, the chef in charge of Francesca's at Sunset in the Westin La Cantera.

Perez has more than 20 moles in his repertoire and a half-dozen versions of the complex Mexican sauce are always featured on the menu. Not one, however, is like "the dreaded chocolate syrup sauce," his phrase for what is served in far too many restaurants.

Mole can feature chocolate - Perez's own variation on mole rojo calls for Mexican Ibarra chocolate - but it is not and should not be the dominant flavor, he says.

In addition to time, mole requires patience and a host of ingredients, which can get fairly expensive the first time. "But with the proportions that you will use per sauce," he says, "you (will) have a great pantry for some time."

Some of Perez's moles are variations on the classic seven that can be traced to Oaxaca, Mexico: the mole amarillo (yellow), mole coloradito (reddish), mole negro (black), mole rojo (red), mole verde (green), chichillo (very dark) and manchamantel (fruit-based).

Others, including a black bean mole and a wild mushroom mole, are more modern.

What exactly is mole? The word is derived from the Nahuatl "molli ," which means concoction and refers to a sauce of puréed dried chilies and seasonings simmered for a period of time. It is often thickened with dried fruit, seeds and nuts, though ground corn tortillas and the dried chilies themselves work, too, as Perez demonstrated during a recent Central Market cooking class.

The San Antonio native bakes corn tortillas until they are crispy, dry and crumble in the hand. Then he uses them in a mole rojo to add a depth of flavor to his combination of pasilla negro, ancho and mulato chiles. It's served atop Chorizo-stuffed Pork Loin with Harissa Couscous.

For those not familiar with the mulato chili, it is a heavily smoked poblano, says Perez, who works with Southwest super chef Mark Miller. Not to be confused with the ancho, the mulato has a sweet chocolate flavor. It's one of 15 chilies that the chef keeps stocked in the restaurant's larder. Others include the pasilla de Oaxaca, the cascabel, the guajillo, the green Anaheim and the trendy chipotle.

Handling all of those chilies can having a lingering effect if you don't clean your hands properly afterward. Some people use kosher salt, which is said to release the chili oils, while others use citrus. Whatever you do, "try not to touch your face" or eyes, he says.

Perez likes to refry his moles as a last step. This involves pouring the mole paste carefully into hot oil for several minutes. "It is very important for you to be very careful when refrying a mole, due to the high heat" of the oil, he says. "Use a large saucepot with high sides and cover with a sheet pan or sauté pan to prevent it from splattering."

The reason for this is that refrying brings the flavors together, balancing and smoothing them. It also deepens the color, he says.

Moles are generally served in a rustic manner, thick and homey. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not the image the high-end Francesca's at Sunset projects. So Perez uses a fine-hole sieve to make his moles appear silkier and more refined.

As for the chocolate often used in mole, Perez isn't against it. He is against Hershey's syrup. He prefers a chocolate like Ibarra, which has touches of canela, allspice, nutmeg and almonds.

Mole Rojo

     6 pasilla negro chilies
     10 ancho chilies
     8 mulato chilies (heavily smoked poblanos)
     2 quarts hot water
     4 tomatillos, fire-roasted
     5 Roma tomatoes, fire-roasted
     1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds 1/2 cup toasted almonds
     2 corn tortillas, dried and chopped
     1/2 cup raisins (in 1 cup of warm water to plump)
     1/2 cup dried prunes (in 1 cup of warm water to plump)
     6 cloves garlic
     2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons canela (Mexican cinnamon)
     1/8 teaspoon cloves
     1/2 teaspoon black pepper
     1/2 teaspoon allspice
     1 teaspoon salt
     3 tablespoons peanut oil
     3 ounces Mexican Ibarra chocolate, finely chopped (This is hard baking
chocolate that usually is heavily sweetened with sugar.)

       Place pasilla negro, ancho and mulato chilies in a steam pot to soften. Stem and seed chilies, picking out all veins to reduce the heat of the chili. Place chilies in a large mixing bowl and pour hot water over and cover for 15-20 minutes until softened. In a high-speed blender, place tomatillos, tomatoes, sesame seeds, almonds and tortillas and blend to form a paste. Add the chilies, drained, raisins and prunes, garlic, chicken stock, canela, cloves, black pepper, allspice and salt and purée together in a mixing bowl. In a large pot, bring the peanut oil to high heat that is almost smoking.

Carefully, pour mole paste in pot and cover to prevent the splattering of the mole. Reduce heat and stir. At this point you could add more stock to thin out, if it is too thick. Season with more salt and sugar, if needed to create a balance. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes.

       Strain through a fine sieve and stir in chopped chocolate until fully incorporated. (This mole can be frozen for up to 4 months.)

       Serve with lamb, beef, pork or duck.
       Source: Jesse T. Perez, Francesca's at Sunset

Black Bean Mole

     part i:
     6 pasilla negro chilies
     4 ancho chilies
     1 chipotle chili
     1 pasilla de Oaxaca chili
     4 Roma tomatoes, roasted (see Note)
     2 1/2 cups chicken stock

     part ii:
     4 tablespoons corn oil, divided use 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely minced
     2 tablespoons chopped garlic
     1 quart Black Bean Purée (recipe follows)
     3 tablespoons minced epazote
     3 tablespoons minced cilantro
     Salt, to taste

    black bean puree:
     1/2 pound dried black beans
     1 white onion, diced
     2 roasted garlic cloves 1 jalapeño, sliced
     2 chipotle peppers with adobo sauce
     2 tablespoons tomato purée
     1/2 cup puréed roasted (blackened) tomatoes
     1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
     1 teaspoon black pepper
     1/2 cup chopped cilantro
     1/2 teaspoon salt

       For Black Bean Mole, Part I: Toast pasilla negro, ancho, chipotle and pasilla de Oaxaca chilies in a 375-degree oven for 1-2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Rehydrate chilies by placing hot water on them in a large mixing bowl. In a large blender, purée the chilies, roasted tomatoes and chicken stock to form a loose paste.

       Note: To blacken, or pan roast, tomatoes, put them in an unoiled skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat on the stove. Move pan around so that tomatoes roll around and the heat gradually blackens the skins. It should take only a few minutes and it's OK if some parts of the skin don't get black.)

       For Part II: With 1 tablespoon of corn oil, sauté onions and garlic over low heat until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add epazote and cilantro and sauté for 1 additional minute. Add Black Bean Purée and blend well. Cook for 1 minute. Then add the chili paste from Part I. Using a heavy whisk, stir the mole, adding more chicken stock to thin out if necessary. Continue to cook for 10 minutes.

       In a separate pot, bring the 3 remaining tablespoons of corn oil to a high heat, almost smoking. Pour in the black bean mole and refry, continuing to stir to lift up ingredients from bottom of pan. Turn down heat to just above a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt if necessary. (This mole can be frozen for up to four months.)

       For Black Bean Purée: In a large saucepan, add the beans and water to cover them by 1 1/2 inches. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, chipotles with sauce, tomato purée, roasted (blackened) tomatoes, thyme and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook the beans over low heat for 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours, or until the beans are tender, adding water as necessary to cover the beans. When the beans are soft, add the cilantro and salt and cook the beans for another 20
minutes. Add the beans to a food processor in batches and purée until a smooth paste forms, adding bean juice to thin out if necessary.

       Can be served with chicken, pork or tuna steak
       Source: Jesse T. Perez, Francesca's at Sunset

Chile-dusted Sea Bass, Yuca Hash and Mole Verde

     chili dust:
     1 ancho chili
     1 cascabel chili
     2 corn tortillas
     1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
     1 teaspoon toasted ground coriander
     1/4 teaspoon sugar
     1 tablespoon kosher salt

     yuca hash:
     Vegetable oil
     1 yuca root (medium size), 1/2-inch dice
     2 Yukon Gold potatoes, 1/2-inch dice
     1/2 cup corn kernels, shaved off cob and roasted
     2 tablespoons unsalted butter
     1/4 cup (roasted, seeded, peeled) diced poblano chili
1/4 cup (roasted, seeded, peeled) diced red bell pepper
     1/4 cup (roasted, seeded, peeled) diced orange bell pepper
     2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
     1 tablespoon chopped epazote
     1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
     1 teaspoon kosher salt
     1 teaspoon ground pepper
     1/2 cup grated Oaxaca cheese

     mole verde:
     6 tomatillos
     1 yellow onion, finely diced
     6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
     6 poblano chilies (roasted, seeded, peeled), diced
     1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin 1 teaspoon toasted ground coriander
     1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
     3/4 cup toasted pepitas
     1/2 teaspoon sugar
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     2 cups vegetable stock
     2 cups romaine lettuce leaves (no stems)
     1 corn tortilla, dried in the oven and chopped
     2 tablespoons chopped epazote
     1/2 cup cilantro leaves

     sea bass:
     Masa harina
     Flour
     Salt
     Pepper
     4 (8-ounce) sea bass fillets
     Corn oil

       For Chili Dust: Toast ancho and cascabel peppers in a 375-degree oven for 1 minute or until fragrant. Let chilies cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients. Place corn tortillas in same oven for 5 minutes until crisp and dry. Let cool. Toast the cumin and coriander in a dry sauté pan until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

       With a spice grinder, grind the toasted chili peppers to a fine powder. Break the corn tortilla in small pieces and ground to a fine powder. Repeat the process with the cumin and coriander.

       Place all ingredients, including sugar and salt, in a small mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with more sugar or salt, as desired. (Chile pepper dust will keep up to 2 weeks.)

       For Yuca Hash: In a deep fryer with the oil temperature at 350 degrees, partially cook the yuca and potato until golden brown and partially soft, about 1-2 minutes. To roast the corn, shave fresh corn kernels off the cob being careful to not get too much of the cob itself. In a dry sauté pan at medium to high heat (the pan must be at this temperature before you add in corn), add in corn and toss to
prevent any kernels from sticking to the pan. Cook until lightly golden brown, which brings out the natural sweetness of each kernel.

       In a large sauté pan at low to medium heat, add the butter and sauté yuca and potatoes for 1 minute. Add the corn, poblano, red and orange bell peppers, cilantro and epazote and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and finish the hash off with the Oaxaca cheese.

       For the Mole Verde: Rinse tomatillos under hot water. Fire-roast tomatillos until blackened on all sides and reserve. In a large pot, sauté onions with 3 tablespoons of the oil until caramelized. Add chopped poblano peppers, tomatillos, cumin, coriander, anise seed, pepitas, sugar and salt. Stir to incorporate fully, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, romaine lettuce and corn
tortilla, and bring mixture to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Add epazote and cilantro and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes while continuing to stir.

       Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of corn oil to a pot and heat until almost smoking. Refry sauce at a sizzle for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously (careful to cover pan so the "splashing" will not burn you!). Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and serve warm. (Mole verde lasts up to four days.)        Makes 1/2 gallon.

       For Sea Bass: Take one part masa harina and one part flour, season with salt and pepper, and coat each sea bass fillet. Heat oil in sauté pan. Sauté one side of fillet until it is lightly golden brown. Then finish the fillets off in the oven at 425 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

       To serve: Spread 1/4 cup of mole on half of each plate. On the other half, place some of the yucca hash, then add a fillet. Sprinkle chili dust on top to taste.
Makes 4 servings.        Source: Jesse T. Perez, Francesca's at Sunset

ORIENTAL PASTA SALAD

2 pkgs. chicken ramen noodles
1 - 1 lb. bag shredded Cole slaw veggies
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup sunflower meats
1 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil

Cook ramen noodles - do NOT add flavor packets!  In very large bowl, add Cole slaw, chopped green onions and sunflower meats.  Drain noodles and rinse under cold water to chill - drain well.  Add to Cole slaw mixture.  In small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, oil and both chicken flavor packets.  Pour over Cole slaw mixture & toss well.  Cover & refrigerate.  Just before serving, add cashews and toss.

OVEN-BARBECUED FARMER-STYLE PORK RIBS

2-3 lbs. farmer style pork ribs, bone in if possible

1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt, or to taste

1 small onion, sliced very thinly
15 oz. canned tomato sauce
1 cup water
3 tsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 325°.

Trim as much fat off the meat as you can. Put into a pan that will hold the ribs in a single layer. 

Mix the spices together well.  Sprinkle over both sides of the meat.

Cover meat with onions, then pour tomato sauce and water over all.  Sprinkle with sugar or Splenda.

Cook for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, uncovered, turning ribs about every 30 minutes.  If the sauce gets too thick, pour a little water in to thin it, but the sauce should be thick enough to cling to ribs at the end of the cooking time.  The ribs will be falling off the bone and very tender. Serves 5 or 6

PICKLED VEGETABLE COLESLAW
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 medium head of Napa cabbage, grated
1 large carrot, grated
2 scallions, sliced diagonally to 1/2 inch
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Sea salt, to taste

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, scallions, sesame seeds and cilantro. Sprinkle salad with sugar and gently toss. Drizzle rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce over salad. Toss gently to combine. Add salt if needed and serve immediately.

PASTA SALAD
 
1 box of elbow macaroni
  Cook, drain, rinse with cold water.

Add to cooked macaroni:
1 stalk of celery chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
4 to 6 boiled eggs chopped
1 diced tomato
1/2 small jar of sweet pickle cubes
1/3 lb sharp cheddar cheese sliced and cubed (optional)
1/2 small onion chopped (optional)
 
In a separate bowl mix together:
 
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tb mustard
3 Tbsp Italian dressing
 
Pour over macaroni mixture and refrigerate.
 
PIZZA PASTA SALAD
This makes a lot but cutting it down isn't a problem.
 
8 cups cooked rotini pasta
1-14 oz can of ripe olives, sliced
1 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1 cup parmesan cheese grated
salt and pepper to taste
1 bottle Kraft Sun-dried Tomato and Oregano Salad dressing.
 
Mix all together and chill 3 - 4 hours before serving. Serves 16 - 20 people.

PORK LOIN CUTLETS WITH LEMON-THYME SAUCE

8 boneless thin-cut pork loin chops
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup low-fat (1%) milk (or regular milk if you’re not dieting)

Place pork in 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine in small bowl 2 Tbsp lemon juice, thyme, lemon peel and garlic. Rub mixture over both sides of pork chops. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and but no longer than 1 day. Place pork chops onto baking sheet. With flour, sprinkle each chop lightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Over high heat, warm oil in large nonstick skillet. Working in batches, add pork to skillet and cook until brown, about 1 minute per side. Place all pork back into skillet. Add milk and boil about 1 minute until pork is cooked through and sauce thickens slightly. Place pork chops onto platter. Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice into sauce in skillet and blend 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over pork and serve.

PORK SHOULDER WITH TOMATOES,
CUMIN, CLOVES AND CHIPOTLE PEPPERS
Yield: 6 servings

1 (2- to 3-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast (may substitute pork loin)
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (may substitute cumin powder)
4 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2-4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 dried chipotle peppers
1/4 cup water or meat stock

notes: To blanch tomatoes, bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Add tomatoes to boiling water and cook about 1 minute. Remove tomatoes to bowl of ice water. This will make them easy to peel. To seed tomatoes, slice across and squeeze seeds out.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If using pork shoulder, tie up with butcher's twine - lengthwise and around - to hold pork shoulder firmly together. Pork shoulder may be bought already tied. Salt and pepper pork shoulder.

Add olive oil to large, deep pan (large enough to hold all ingredients). Over medium-high heat, sear pork shoulder until very brown on all sides. When pork shoulder is browned, remove from pan to a platter and let rest 10-15 minutes.

Dump excess oil from pan, leaving a coating of oil. Add onion to pan and sweat over low heat until translucent.

Make small cuts all over rested pork shoulder and insert pieces of sliced garlic. Return pork shoulder to pan.

Meanwhile in a small, dry frying pan, add cumin seeds and toast over high heat about 1 minute. Remove from heat and crush. Set aside.

Add tomatoes, cloves, bay leaves, fresh oregano, chipotle peppers, cumin and water to pan. Cover and place in oven. Cook 2 hours. (May be cooked on the stove top by simmering about 2 hours or more over low heat.) Slice and serve with choice of starch and vegetables.

PUMPKIN BARS & FROSTING

1 can pumpkin (16 oz.) or 2 cups
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine melted
2 Cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or a little more if you like)

Butter and flour a jelly roll pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
Mix together: eggs, sugar, pumpkin and butter.  In separate bowl mix
together: flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add dry
ingredients to pumpkin mix. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting
1 block cream cheese softened
3/4 cup. butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1Tbsp milk
3 cups powdered Sugar

Mix all together and frost pumpkin bars.

PURPLE COW

4 cups Oregon blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
4 cups frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream
2 cups crushed ice
whole berries for garnish
fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Crush/puree berries and strain through a fine sieve. (If berries are frozen, partially thaw before crushing.) Combine puree with remaining ingredients, blend until smooth and pour into chilled glasses. Garnish with 2-3 berries, and fresh mint leaves if desired. Servings: 6

RED SNAPPER, GRILLED STEAMED
AND SANTA BARBARA PRAWNS
When you order a whole red snapper, ask the butcher to remove the bones and filet it opened faced with skin on one side and tail and head attached (if desired). You can find banana leaves in the freezer section at your local Asian or Hispanic market. You can order annatto seed paste on the Internet at www.delmayab.com. Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 large banana leaf
1 large red snapper, about 4 pounds, with bones removed
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup annatto seed paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound fresh Santa Barbara prawns, peeled, deveined and sliced lengthwise
3 Anaheim chilies, with seeds and membrane removed, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, with seeds and membrane removed and sliced into thin
strips
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rounds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-- Fresh cracked black pepper
1 sprig oregano

Cut banana leaf into two pieces large enough to fit whole fish laid out flat, and pass them over hot grill to make them malleable. Place leaf in large roasting pan, allowing the banana leaf to curl up around the edges, and lay out fish skin side down. Combine citrus juices and add annatto seed paste, stirring to dissolve. Stir in olive oil and add prawns, chilies, bell pepper, tomato and onion. Pour mixture and spread evenly over fish, allowing excess to reserve in the leaf beneath the fish. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and carefully lift leaf and fish onto grill. Lay oregano sprig in the center of the fish and cover with remaining banana leaf, leaving perimeter open for steam to escape. Grill for 12-15 minutes or until
desired doneness.

RHUBARB BARS

Filling:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3 cups chopped rhubarb, skin on, around 1/2 inch pieces or less
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan dissolve the cornstarch in the water, add rhubarb, sugar, and vanilla. Cook until thick and cool.

Crust:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (oatmeal)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix oats, flour, brown sugar and soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly and stir in nuts. Pat 3/4 of the mixture into a 9” by 13” ungreased pan

Spread cooled rhubarb mixture over crust and sprinkle with remaining crumbs

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

SALSAS

Chipotles Salsa

4 chipotle peppers
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons vinegar-such as cider or white
1 1/2 cups red ripe tomatoes, diced in 1/2 inch squares
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Place the chipotles in a medium-sized glass bowl (for the microwave) or small pan (for top of the range) and add the water and vinegar. Cover and simmer to soften the chiles-5 minutes in the microwave or about 30 minutes on top of the range. When done, uncover and allow to cool. In the meantime, prepare all the remaining ingredients and combine together, except for the cilantro.

Finely mince the chilies, peel and all, and stir in, adding some juice as needed to make a salsa of the desired consistency. Add the cilantro.

Salsa Mexicana

1 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 to 4 chilies serranos, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine onion, tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro in a bowl. Season with lime juice, salt and olive oil. Stir and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour before serving. This may be made the day ahead and refrigerated.

Pico De Gallo

3 medium tomatoes (firm to the touch)
1 green onion with the stalk
3 jalapenos or serrano peppers to taste
1/2 cilantro bunch (about half cup or more chopped)
1 medium sweet yellow onion
1 pinch of salt

Dice the tomatoes and onions into little cubes, the cilantro and jalapenos should be finely chopped. Once you've done this, you should toss all the ingredients together evenly.

Optional: You can add a bit of fresh lemon or lime juice if you're going to serve the pico de gallo on fajita tacos or with seafood.

Pineapple Salsa

1 small can pineapple rings, drained
1 tablespoon red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, sliced fine lengthwise
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped

Cut pineapple rings into 1/4 inch pieces. Mix with all other ingredients. Chill very well. This is great with pork, or as a dip for tortilla chips. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

New Mexican Salsa

4-6 long green chilies
2 Jalapeno chilies, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon cilantro, minced
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Roast, peel, seed and chop chilies, or substitute 1 can chopped green chilies. Mix all ingredients. Let stand 1 hr. before using.

Citrus Salsa

1 large pink grapefruit
1 naval orange
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tsp. minced, seeded jalapeno pepper

Remove peel and white pith from grapefruit and orange. With sharp knife, over medium bowl, cut grapefruit and orange sections from membranes, allowing fruit and juices to fall into bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Serve with tortilla, bagel or pita chips.

SANGRIA

1 bottle very dry red wine such as Sangre de Toro (Torres, Spain)
1 bottle very dry white wine such as Vinasol (Torres, Spain), well chilled
1 stick cinnamon
3 oranges, halved horizontally then cut into wedges
3 lemons, halved horizontally then cut into quarters
2 liters Diet 7-Up or other diet lemon-lime soda, well chilled
Optional: a wineglass full of brandy or Cointreau
Plenty of ice

Put the fruit and cinnamon stick into a glass pitcher and fill with some of the red wine. Let marinate several hours or overnight. Just before serving, mix with the remaining ingredients. Serve very cold.

SESAME BARS

4 packages (2-3/8 oz ea) Sesame seed
1 cup Butter or margarine -- softened
2 cups Brown sugar -- packed
2 Eggs -- beaten
1 cup All-purpose flour * (do NOT use self-rising flour)
2 tablespoons Hot water
3/4 teaspoon Salt

Heat oven to 325-degrees F. Mix all ingredients. Spread in greased jelly roll pan, 15- 1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1 inch.  Bake until center is set, 45 minutes. Cool; cut into bars, 2x1 inch.

SPICY BLACK BEAN SALSA

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained
1 15-oz. can red beans, drained
1 15-oz. can corn, drained
1 cup black olives, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cloves, garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 8-oz. bottle Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients and chill for several hours or overnight before serving with tortilla chips.


STRAWBERRY CREAM PIE

1 8-oz. package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
dash nutmeg
1 cup crushed strawberries
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream (no Coolwhip, please)
1/4 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 graham cracker crust

Beat the cream cheese together with the sugar and nutmeg until fluffy. Add the crushed strawberries and mix. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream with the powdered sugar until the cream is stiff. Fold the cream in with the cream cheese and strawberry mixture. Spread mixture in the graham cracker crust
and decorate with sliced strawberries. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

TOFFEE BARS

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
   1 cup all-purpose flour
   1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
   2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. salt
   2 tsp. vanilla
      Fudge Frosting (below)

Cream first 3 ingredients, stir in flour. Pat into ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  In heavy saucepan stir condensed milk, 2 Tbsp. butter and 1/4 tsp. salt over low heat till butter melts.  Cook and stir for 5 minutes over medium heat. (Mixture will thicken and become smooth.)  Stir in vanilla.  Spread over baked layer.  Bake at 350 degrees till golden, 12 to 15 minutes.  Spread warm cookies with Fudge Frosting.  While warm, cut into bars and remove from pan.  Makes 48.

Fudge Frosting:  In small saucepan melt one 1-ounce square unsweetened
chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter or margarine over low heat; stir constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Blend in hot water (about 2 tablespoons) to make almost pourable consistency.

Chocolate Chip Bars  (easier than the one above and children will love these)

Cream 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar.
Add 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat well.  Stir together
1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon each baking soda and salt.  Add to creamed mixture; beat well. Stir in one 6-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate pieces.  Spread in greased 9x9x2-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool; cut into bars.  Makes 32.

VIOLET JELLY

2 cups violet flowers
2 cups boiling water
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 oz liquid pectin

If you have violets in the yard, the recipe is very easy. Two cups of violet flowers, steeped at least two hours (overnight is better) in two cups boiling water. Strain and add four cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Bring to boil, then add 3 ounces of liquid pectin and boil for two minutes. Pour into sterilized jars. For the last batch, I must have used three cups of violet flowers; the color is much deeper, though I think the taste is the same, not stronger.  The lemon juice turns the liquid the pretty pink, and someone told me that if you add a pinch of baking soda, it will become a deep purple. Maybe someone would like to do this as a science project?

[Spike’s note: Remember, hydrangeas change color from pink to blue depending upon the acid or alkaline condition of the soil in which it is growing. ]

WIENER SCHNITZEL

4 veal cutlets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small amount of milk
A small amount of flour
1 egg, beaten
Fine dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp butter

A generous handful of fresh watercress
2 lemons, halved
Dijon mustard

Lightly season the veal cutlets. Dip in milk then flour. Shake of the excess and allow to rest a couple of minutes. Dip in egg then bread crumbs and allow to rest about 5 minutes.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium flame. Add the breaded cutlets and fry until golden on one side. Turn and fry until golden in the second side.

Make a bed of watercress on a platter and arrange the cutlets on it. Garnish with the lemon halves. Serve with mustard. Serves 4.

ZUCCHINI SPREAD

3 cups zucchini shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 Tbsp. fresh cilantro chopped
8 oz. cream cheese softened
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers, bread rounds or fresh vegetables. This dip is very tasty and can also be spread on thin slices of French bread and served on individual plates.






 

 

 

 

 

 

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE



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