Monday, April 24, 2006

Perfect Margarita

From Martha Stewart Living online

Serves 6

A good margarita depends on the quality of its ingredients; always use the best tequila you can find. Margaritas can be made in a blender or served on the rocks, according to taste. Use a citrus reamer, a small, fluted cylindrical wooden tool, to extract every last drop of juice from the limes.

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
coarse salt
ice cubes
1 3/4 cups tequila
1/4 cup Cointreau
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 to 4 tablespoons Lime Simple Syrup

1. To salt-rim the glasses, rub a cut lime around the rim of each glass. Fill a saucer with salt, and dip each glass, upside down, into the salt. Set aside.

2. Fill a blender jar three-quarters full of ice cubes. Pour tequila, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and simple syrup over the ice. Begin blending on low, then increase the speed to high, until the ice is very finely chopped and the mixture is frothy. Taste for sweetness, adding more simple syrup if necessary. Blend a few seconds more, and pour into the salt-rimmed glasses. Serve immediately.

Pink Grapefruit "Margaritas"

From Martha Stewart Living online

Serves 6

This nonalcoholic pink drink is a great treat for children during festive occasions. Sanding sugar is a large-grain decorative sugar; granulated sugar may be substituted.

2 tablespoons colored sanding sugar
1 lime
6 teaspoons pomegranate syrup or grenadine
1 1/2 cups pink grapefruit juice
2-4 tablespoons simple syrup

Place sanding sugar in a shallow dish or plate. Slice six thin rounds from the middle of lime; set aside. Rub lime wedge around rims of six glasses; dip each rim in sugar to coat. Pour 1 teaspoon pomegranate syrup into bottom of each glass.

Place grapefruit juice and 2 cups ice cubes in a blender with simple syrup. Process on high speed until ice is crushed. Pour frozen mixture into glasses, and stir to combine with syrup. Garnish with reserved lime rounds, and serve immediately.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Grilled Lemon Chicken

from Living, by Martha Stewart (June 2004)

This method of grilling chicken is really nice. It produces crisp skin and juicy meat. You can use any marinade you like or even barbecue sauce.

Grilled* Lemon Chicken

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemons, halved
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves, plus 20 sprigs, and more sprigs for garnish
12 chicken quarters (3 chickens)
4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1. Blend lemon juice, oil, garlic, and rosemary leaves in a blender until rosemary is finely chopped.

2. Marinate chicken quarters in blended mixture for 8 to 12 hours.

3. Preheat grill to high, then turn off half the burners so you can cook the chicken indirectly.

4. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade for basting.

5. Place chicken on grill SKIN SIDE UP and not over flames. Scatter rosemary sprigs around chicken. Grill for 15 minutes, basting once or twice; sprinkle pieces with 1/2 the salt before basting.

6. Turn pieces SKIN SIDE DOWN. Grill an addtional 30 minutes, basting two or three times, and sprinkling with remaining salt and squeezing juice of remaining lemons. (Chicken may take a little more or less than 30 minutes depending on your grill--check with a meat thermometer to be sure.)

Serves 12.

*Roasting instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Divide the rosemary sprigs between two large rimmed baking sheets, spreading into a single layer on each. Place 6 chicken pieces on each sheet; sprinkle with 2 1/4 teaspoons salt. Roast in upper and lower thirds of oven, basting twice with reserved marinade, 20 minutes. Switch position of sheets. Squeeze juice from 2 lemon halves over chicken; sprinkle with 2 1/4 teaspoons salt. Continue to roast until golden and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes more.

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Balsamic Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons butter
2 pork tenderloins, 16 ounces each
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh resemary, chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until golden brown. Transwer to a small dish and cmobine with teaspoon of cornstarch. Melt additional 3 tablespoons of butter in skillet; sear pork, evenly browning on all sides. Transfer pork to baking dish. Deglaze skillet with vinegar. Stir in onion mixture, water, sugar, red pepper, salt rosemary, and cranberries. Cook mixture until the sauce thickens and the cranberries begin to split. Pour sauce over pork and roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 140 degrees, basting and turning every 10 minutes. Let pork rest 10 minutes, slice and serve with sauce.

Serves 8-10

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Joyce's Irish Coffee

from Joyce Calanchini (Joyce says this is her "ancient" recipe.)

Irish Coffee first introduced to the United States by Stanton Delaplane.

A chef by the name of Joe Sheridan originated Irish Coffee at the famous Shannon Airport.

'Twas in the old days the flying boats were landing at Foynes--in 1938, to be exact, the passengers would come in by launch, shivering and shaking fit to die with the cold.
"Surely," said Joe Sheridan, "we must invent a sirrup cup for the poor souls, and them not able to put their shivering hands in their pockets for a shilling to pay unless we warm them.
"What is more warming," said Joe, "than Irish Whiskey, smooth as a maiden's kiss. To take the chill from their poor shaking hands we will fill the glass with coffee, black as Cromwell's heart. We will top it off with a floating inch of Irish cream."
Thus, was Irish Coffee born at the Shannon Airport. Remember this about good, properly made Irish Coffee--one of them takes the chill off! Two of them set you to singing "Down Went McGinty ..."
The secret of good Irish Coffee is making the cream float and using the right Irish Whiskey--below tells you the story as it should be told!--

(pronounced Slawn-Tha)
*Slainte is Gaelic for "Good Health."

1. Pre-heat glass with very hot water. Fill and let stand a few seconds, then empty.

2. Fill glass three-fourths full of hot, black coffee before glass has cooled.

3. Drop three cocktails cubes of sugar into coffee. Stir until dissolved completely.

4. Add full jigger of Tullamore Dew. This whiskey has correct taste and body.

5. By pouring over a spoon, top with a head of lightly whipped (aerated) cream.

6. ... Your Irish Coffee is ready to enjoy--serve to your guests while piping hot.

Welsh Rabbit

from Kevin Sullivan

Betty Crocker's Cookbook (5 ring binder edition "New & Revised edition, LCN 78-52003") pg 120:

1/4 cup margarine or butter (I have always used butter)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (I usually use a "spicy brown" mustard that has seeds in it)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beer or medium white wine* (I prefer beer, a dark beer from a large bottle so there in plenty left over to dispose of...)
2 cups of shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces), (I always use a sharp cheddar.)
4-6 slices of toast (I usually use a good sourdough English muffin instead.)

Heat margarine/butter in saucepan over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, salt, petter, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cool over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. stir in milk. Heat to boiling stirring constantly. Boil about 1 minute. Add beer gradually. Stir in cheese. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is milted. Serve over toast. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
4 to 6 servings.
*Beer or wine can be omitted; increase milk to 1.5 cups.

What I actually do though is I also steam broccoli and put the cheese sauce on the broccoli too. Instead of just putting the cheese sauce on toast, I put the cheese sauce on some pan fried ham which is on a good tomato slice or two and that on top of a toasted sourdough muffin...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Beet horseradish & maztah sandwiches

Spread beet horseradish between maztah crackers. Delicious.

Seder Green Salad (Hanukkah 2006)

from Cynthia Calmenson

Salad mixture:

Red-leaf lettuce
sliced, ripe pears
crumbled feta cheese
sliced tomatoes
chopped parsley
toasted pumpkin seeds


Use about 4 parts extra-virgin Olive oil (e.g. Colavita) mixed with 1 part fresh Grapefruit juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Balsamic dressing

Thin out mayonnaise with a little balsamic vinegar for a great & quick salad dressing.

Salmon Gefilte Fish poached in Fennel-wine Broth with Beet Horseradish (Hanukkah 2006)

from Cynthia Calmenson

Salmon Gefilte Fish poached in Fennel-wine Broth with Beet Horseradish

About 8 servings


¾ pound onions, coarsely chopped (3 cups)
About ½ pound carrots, coarsely chopped (1½ cups)
2 tbsp mild olive or vegetable oil
1 small fennel bulb, coarsely chopped (include stalks and some of the fennel fronds).
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups dry white wine
1 tsp peppercorns
1 bay leaf
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves and stems
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1½ tsp salt
3 egg whites
2 cups heavy cream


1½ Pounds salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces, skin and any bones removed and discarded
½ pound sole, flounder, or any other soft white fish fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces, skin and any bones removed and discarded
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
Sautéed onion and carrot reserved from preparing the broth (about 1½ cups chopped onions and ¾ cup chopped carrots)
3 egg whites
1 cup prepared beet-horseradish
Soft lettuce, endive or radicchio leaves, for lining plates

Prepare the broth. In a large, wide, heavy saucepan or 5-6 quart Dutch oven, sauté the onions and carrots in the oil over medium heat until the onions are softened and the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about half the mixture to a food processor and let cool (you'll be using it later for the fish balls). To the saucepan, and the fennel and garlic. Mix well and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables begin to wilt and soften. Add salt to taste and 1 cup of the wine, cover the pan, and let sweat gently for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the remaining 2 cups wine, 5 cups of water, the peppercorns, bay leaf, and parsley. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the broth seems weak, raise the heat to high and boil briefly to concentrate the flavors. Cool slightly, then strain the broth through a fine sieve, pushing down on the solids to extract all the flavorful juices. Discard the solids. Rinse out the pan and return the strained broth to it.

Make the fish balls. Add the salmon, sole, and garlic cloves, and egg whites to the sautéed onion and carrot in the food processor. Chop fine, using the pulse motion, but don't puree. Put the mixture in a chopping bowl or on a chopping board. Using a hand-chopping at this point incorporates air into the mixture, making it lighter and fluffier than pulsing in the food processor.) Stir in a little cream to lighten and enrich the mixture.

It's good idea to do a test for seasoning. Poach a teaspoon of the fish mixture in lightly salted boiling water for a few minutes. Taste, and if needed, add additional salt and pepper. Refrigerate the fish, covered, for at least 1 and up to 4 hours (this step makes it easier to mold and the result is fluffier fish balls).

Bring the strained broth to a gentle boil. Wetting your hands with cold water if necessary, form the fish mixture into 16 ovals, using about ¼ cup for each. Place the ovals on a platter lined with was paper. Carefully slip the fish ovals into the broth and reduce the the heat to a simmer. If the fish is not completely covered by the broth, baste with several spoonfuls of the broth. Cover the pot and poach the fish ovals for about 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick tests clean and the ovals are completely cooked through at the center. Remove fish balls to a platter and reduce the poaching liquid. Add heavy cream (reduced) at the end. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, line platters with lettuce, endive, or radicchio. Arrange two ovals of the chilled, drained fish attractively on top and accompany with the beet horseradish.

Perfect Aparagus

from Will Warto & Madelene

Snap off the ends and use a vegetable steamer. I think they were in there for less than 10 mins. Garnish with zest of lemon, lemon juice and toasted almond slices.

Alton Brown's Fried Chicken

from Good Eats

1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces*
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups flour
1/2 cups Crisco duck fat is better

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours (I've let it sit for only 1 hour & still had good results).

Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F. Rendered duck fat is a better medium for frying than transfat Crisco. The non-transfat version of Crisco tastes awful.

Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if its a gas oven.

NB: The important thing about cooking this dish is the temperature of the oil. It needs to be hot, but not so hot that the chicken cooks faster than about 12 minutes per side. It is hard to judge the correct temperature. I used my probe in the thigh to monitor how it was going, turning it over at about 130 degrees. It is more difficult to get the second side done. But again, the chicken size makes all the difference. If it is too big, it is difficult to cook to the desired temperature. You really can't successfully make this dish with chickens over 3 1/2 pounds, and in order to get a chicken that size, you have to cut it up yourself. If you want to make fried chicken with a larger chicken, then you're better off using Ruth Schmidt's method.

Mojito ... Mochito

1 handful mint 5-10 mint leaves
2 tsp. sugar
2 oz. white rum
2 limes one juiced, the other cut into quarters
1 can club soda
1 handful crushed ice

I like to make my mojitos by melding a substantial amount of mint leaves (5 to 10, depending on their size, though I don't think I've ever used too much mint) with two teaspoons of sugar (a mortar and pestle will also work for this step)--the important thing here is to grind the sugar into leaves so that the granules are completely incorporated with the mint and its juice, forming a sort of mint-sugar paste.

Method 1: In a cocktail shaker, combine the juice of one lime & a 2nd lime, cut into quarters, with 2 oz. rum, club soda, crushed ice, and shake. Garnish with a sprig of mint & a wedge of lime.

Method 2: Place the mint-sugar paste & the juice of one lime in the bottom of a tall glass. Stir to combine. Add the rum & fill the glass with ice (crushed or cubed, floating a few inches of club soda on the top. Garnish with a spring of mint & a wedge of lime.

The "mochito" version skips the alcohol.

You can use Splenda instead of sugar. You can also make a simple syrup, equal parts of either sugar or Splenda or a combination of the two, instead of using the granulated sugar.

Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Hazelnuts

from Bobby Flay

1 lbs. green beans, trimmed
1 shallot thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 cup hazelnuts toasted & chopped
1 pinch salt & pepper to taste

Excellent! I just used green beans, a shallot, the garlic, & the olive oil. This recipe works well with green beans that are a bit thicker than what I normally like.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss together green beans, shallots, garlic, oil and salt and pepper in a medium roasting pan. Roast in the oven until the beans are cooked through and light golden brown. Remove from the oven and stir in the lemon zest and hazelnuts. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Maytag Blue Dressing

from Kincaid's Restaurant in San Mateo, CA

1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. onion salt*
4 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 oz. buttermilk
3 oz. Maytag blue cheese
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
4 tsp. crumbled Maytag blue cheese (topping for salad)
2 1/2 tbsp. slivered almonds, toasted
1 pinch dry mustard powder
1 pinch white pepper

Dissolve spices in vinegar; add Worcestershire sauce & tabasco. Combine with sour cream & mayonniase, and thin out with buttermilk. Add blue cheese & let sit overnight.
Serve over crisp Romaine lettuce & top with slivered almonds & crumbled Maytag.

*go easy on this ingredient--a combination of onion powder & salt might be better.

Superbowl Buffalo Chicken Wings

3 lbs. chicken wings
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 tbsp. Frank's Red Hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat broiler. Cut wings into thirds, discarding the wing tips. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and salt, and stir to incorporate. Place half of the wings on the sheet pan and brush with the butter mixture. Broil about 3 inches from the heat for 10 minutes. Turn the wings, and brush again with the butter mixture. Return the sheet pan to the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes, until cooked.

Serve immediately with your choice of blue cheese or ranch dressing.

Millie Larson's Cavier Pie

8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. grated onion or chopped green onion may increase to 3 tsp.
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce may increase to 2 tsp.
1 tsp. lemon juice may increase to tsp.
2/3 cup sour cream
1 jar caviar drained & rinsed

Blend cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion, worcestershire sauce, & lemon juice. Mix mixture with 2/3 cup sour cream. Layer mixture as follow in a spring form pan and let set-up for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.
1st layer: 3 hard boiled eggs chopped with 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2nd layer: finely diced onion
3rd layer: cream cheese mixture
4th layer: a small jar of caviar
Unmold and garnish with watercress.

Perfect Manhattan

2 oz. Maker's Mark Whiskey
1/2 oz. Noilly Prat Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz. Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
4 dashes bitters
1 stemmed cherry

I've tested out various combinations for making Manhattans and think 
the following recipe for a "Perfect Manhattan" to be the best.

Combine the above ingredients in a frozen ice-cream cylinder and let chill 
thoroughly. Serve neat in a frozen Martini glass with a cherry or two.

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