Sunday, May 1, 2016

Recipes by Broderick Crawford: Italian Zucchini Bake; Roast Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Fruit

Broderick Crawford's Italian Zucchini Bake

1 1/2 lbs. zucchini squash
3 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 green pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsps. olive oil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. sage
1/16 tsp. crumbled saffron
1/2 tsp. curry
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 ozs. Mozzarella cheese, cut in thin slices
1/2 cup grated cheese (Romano and-or Parmesan)

1. Cut cleaned zucchini into 1/2-inch slices. Place in saucepan, cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boiling point and simmer until zucchini is barely tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare sauce by sauteing onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until onion is transparent. Add oregano, sage, saffron, curry, salt and pepper. Blend well.

3. Grease sides and bottom of baking dish. Put layer of zucchini in bottom; top with sauce, Mozzarella and grated cheese. Repeat layers using up all the ingredients ending with cheese layer on top. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven about 25 minutes (or until cheese is bubbly and browned on top). Serves 4.

Thoughts: "This will never make a complete meal by itself," Brod said. "My friends like to eat like truck drivers! That's just the vegetable to serve along with pasta, veal scallopini or steak--what fella doesn't like steak! And strange as it may seem, a lot of my friends like zucchini served with little pizzas made with English muffins. To make, use thin slices of veal, grind it and cook it, season with oregano, garlic, basil, rosemary, tomato paste and Romano cheese. Place on split muffins. Run under the broiler and that makes a good meal."

As a final bon mot the actor advised, "Serve this meal along with any good California chianti or rose. I know some people who make their own wine. I would prefer to use that which is not said in a derogatory manner, when I say what's good, is an old-fashioned wine Americans years ago started calling 'dago red.' But you have to be a little careful with it, it's potent!"

Broderick Crawford's Roast Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Fruit

5 lbs. boneless sirloin leg of lamb
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Half of a lemon
Cord for sewing and tying
Fresh mint leaves, lemon or orange slices for garnishing

1. Have butcher remove bone from sirlom end of leg. Insert slivers of garlic into roast. Mix together pineapple, bread crumbs, rosemary, salt and pepper. Insert in cavity, close by sewing with cord. Tie roast in several places.

2. Place roast fell (skin) side up on rack in roasting pan. Rub crushed rosemary, salt and cracked black pepper liberally on outside of roast. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over all. Insert meat thermometer in center of meat.

3. Roast uncovered in preheated 325 degrees F. oven to desired temperature. (Until meat thermometer registers 140 degrees F. for rare, 150 degrees F. for medium, 160 degrees F. for well-done or allow 35 minutes per pound). Remove roast to heated platter. Allow meat stand 10 minutes to firm up to facilitate carving. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint and lemon (or orange) slices. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Brod's dish is Spanish in origin and can be made using other fruits (apricots, oranges, figs and dates) with herbs or spices to complement fruit. If desired, sauce can be made from pan drippings. Pour off excess fat, reserve pan drippings. Blend flour into drippings, stir over low heat, blend until smooth. Gradually add liquid (water or fruit juice such as pineapple or orange). Cook until sauce is thick and smooth, stir often.

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