Monday, June 6, 2016

Recipes by Kirk Douglas: Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins; Chicken in Dill Sauce; Favorite Meatloaf; Nutmeg Mashed Potatoes; Risotto Milanese

Kirk Douglas' Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 lb. butter
1 1/2 cups blueberries

Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl. Make a well, add buttermilk, eggs and butter which has been melted and browned slightly. Mix well. Fold in blueberries. Bake 30 minutes in preheated 400 degrees F. oven in well-greased muffin tins. Serve warm with sweet butter. Makes 24 small muffins.

Thoughts: For delightful aromatic touches, "scent" the batter with freshly ground nutmeg or mace.

Kirk Douglas' Chicken in Dill Sauce

3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (instructions below)
1 frying chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4 green onions, chopped, including white and green parts
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1/2 cup sherry wine
1 cup sour cream

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 2 minutes then plunge into cold water; skin will peel off easily then chop tomatoes into chunks.

To make chicken: Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Wipe chicken parts with damp paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, brown chicken in olive oil; season with salt and pepper. During last 5 minutes of browning, add green onions; cook until greens wilt and white stems turn golden; add tomatoes, dill and sherry. Cover and bake for 1 hour, then remove chicken to a platter.

Spoon sour cream into pot; stir with juices from chicken; place pot over low flame and put chicken back into the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. Do not let the sauce boil or it will curdle. Serves 3-4.

Kirk Douglas' Favorite Meatloaf

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1 (8 ounce) yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
6 ounces V-8 juice
3 strips bacon

Combine all ingredients except bacon in large bowl. Mix well.

Place meatloaf in ungreased loaf pan, pressing down so that there are no air pockets. Place three strips of bacon on top.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 1 1/2 hours (check in 1 hour). Serve with nutmeg mashed potatoes (recipe below).

Kirk Douglas' Nutmeg Mashed Potatoes

4 large potatoes
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 cup sour cream

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender and split open, about 20 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

Mash potatoes with butter, nutmeg, and salt using a potato masher until well incorporated; stir in sour cream and whip until mashed potatoes are creamy.

Kirk Douglas' Risotto Milanese

2 tablespoons fine-grade olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet butter
1 cup long-grain rice
1 chopped medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron
3 tablespoons Madeira
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Risotto involves cooking the rice in stages: Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in large heavy skillet. Add rice, cook slowly until it begins to turn pale yellow. Add onion and garlic; cook over very low heat, stirring about 2 minutes. Add about 1 cup chicken stock; cook covered over low heat 15 minutes (or until liquid is absorbed). Add saffron, Madeira and remaining stock, stir rice to mix. Cover, cook slowly until all the liquid is absorbed. Just before serving, add remaining butter and cheese, toss slightly. Serve at once as separate course or accompanied with green salad. Makes 4 servings.

Thoughts: Sauces (tomato or wine) and other subtleties can embellish the grain, from giblets (favored by Romans) to other combinations: seafood (shrimp or clams), sausage, truffles, peas or mushrooms, infused with the addition of wines and herbs.

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