Saturday, January 23, 2016

Recipes by Desi Arnaz, Jr.: Barbecue Sauce; Rice Arnaz

Desi Arnaz, Jr.'s Barbecue Sauce

1 small onion, peeled and chopped
Few drops pressed garlic
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
1 cup catsup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
3-4 drops Tabasco sauce (more if desired)
2 tbsps. vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsps. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of rosemary

Saute onion in vegetable oil until golden. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well with a spoon. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent sauce from burning. Great for barbecuing chicken, turkey, hamburgers and frankfurters.

Thoughts: Desi's sauce is hot and tangy! For sweet and sour effect, add brown sugar or molasses to sauce.

Desi Arnaz, Jr.'s Rice Arnaz

1 pinch of saffron threads
2 tbsps. water
1/3 cup chopped scallions (or onion)
2 tbsps. butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked rice
Strips of lemon peel
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. dried leaf thyme
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup toasted, slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup diced pimiento
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green (or black) olives

Combine saffron threads and water; let saffron steep in water 5 minutes. Meanwhile, saute scallion (or onion) in butter until tender. Then stir in broth, rice, lemon peel, garlic and seasonings. Bring to boil, stir; reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes (or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.) Fluff with fork. Remove lemon peel. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and heat 1 minute (or until piping hot) before serving. Serves 6.

Thoughts: For interesting touches, add 1/2 cup sliced chorizo, browning with scallion and butter at the beginning; toss in chopped water chestnuts or cooked peas (frozen or canned) at the end.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Desi Arnaz's Picadillo

Desi Arnaz's Picadillo

1 medium onion
1 medium green bell pepper
4 cloves (or more) garlic
3 small potatoes
1 large egg, hard-boiled
1/2 cup canned baby peas
2 large pimientos
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Spanish olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground round
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes (fresh would be terrific, just peel them or substitute tomato sauce)
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup dark raisins
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the onion, seed and chop the bell pepper, mince the garlic, peel the potatoes and chop into ¼-inch pieces, chop the egg, drain the peas and chop the pimientos.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and toss in the chopped potatoes. Fry until crispy brown (10 to 12 minutes). Set pan aside.

In a large, deep skillet or casserole pot, heat the olive oil over low heat until it begins to smell fantastic. Add the garlic and onion and stir it up a bit. Then add the bell pepper. Stir over low heat for 8 to 12 minutes (or until tender). Add ground beef and stir until it turns brown (maybe 10 minutes).

Add the tomatoes and any juices, sherry, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Stir over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes. No need to cover.

Toss in the potatoes and raisins. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until the liquid is absorbed (maybe another 10 minutes).

When it's ready, serve on a large platter. Make a small hole in the center and sprinkle the chopped egg into it. Decorate the outer rim with the peas and lay the pimiento pieces wherever they make you happy.

Note: Cuban picadillo is often served with black beans and rice.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Louis Armstrong's Ham Hocks and Red Beans

Louis Armstrong's Ham Hocks and Red Beans

1 pound dried red beans
2 quarts cold water
1 pound ham hock
1 bay leaf
1 pod red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
1 pod garlic, minced

Wash beans and soak two to three hours or overnight if preferred.

When ready to cook, drain off water and put beans in large pot with two quarts cold water. Let water heat thoroughly, then add ham hocks, bay leaf, red pepper, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook slowly but steadily at least two hours or until tender enough to mash easily. When done, place in a dish and lay ham hocks on top. May be served with rice. Serves 6.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Recipes by Dorothy "Didi" Anstett: Cheese Souffle; Escargot Provencale; Tossed Salad

Dorothy "Didi" Anstett's Cheese Souffle

4 tbsps. sweet butter
4 tbsps. flour
Pinch of white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 dashes cayenne
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup warm milk
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter over very low heat. Gradually stir in flour. Cook, stirring over low heat until thick and smooth.

2. Add seasonings and milk. Cook, stirring over low heat until thick and smooth. Cool.

3 Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored; add to cooled white sauce with Parmesan cheese.

4. Beat egg whites until very stiff but not dry; lightly fold into the yolk-cheese mixture.

5. Lightly butter a straight-sided souffle dish. Shake a little flour over bottom of dish. Fill no more than 3/4 full. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 15 mins. Increase heat to 450 degrees and bake 10 mins. longer. Serve at once. Serves 4.

Dorothy "Didi" Anstett's Escargot Provencale

1 can of snails (contains about 1 1/2 dozen snails)
1/4 lb. sweet butter
2 finely minced shallots
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon (or preserved tarragon found in tarragon vinegar, rinse well before chopping)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash of A-1 sauce

1. Drain snails; rinse snails and shells carefully under running water; drain both well on absorbent paper.

2. Soften butter. Add shallots, garlic, parsley, tarragon, salt, pepper and A-1 sauce. Place a dab of escargot butter in each shell. Stuff each shell with snail, seal opening with more butter mixture.

3. Place snails on escargot pan (or metal pan). Bake in preheated 500 degrees F. oven 2-3 mins. (or until the butter is sizzling). Run under broiler before serving at once with French bread. Serves 2.

Dorothy "Didi" Anstett's Tossed Salad

1/2 clove cut garlic
1 small head cauliflower, cut into flowerets
1 small red onion, cut in rings
1 small carrot, peeled, grated
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 large head Bibb lettuce
1 large head iceberg lettuce
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Rub salad bowl with cut garlic. Trim cauliflower, discarding thick stalks.

2. Add flowerets, onion rings, carrot, green and red pepper, and crispened Bibb and iceberg lettuce to salad bowl. Toss slightly, chill well.

3. Just before serving prepare dressing using olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss lightly to serve 4-6.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ann-Margret's Flambe Ice Cream Mount Fuji

Ann-Margret's Flambe Ice Cream Mount Fuji

2 egg whites
1 1/2 quarts French vanilla (or almond) ice cream
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons 160-proof dark rum (or brandy)

Beat egg whites until peaks begin to form. Add sugar gradually, beating until mixture stands in stiff peaks, but is not dry. Spoon ice cream into large bowl. Garnish with coconut; top with meringue to form the "clouds." Just before serving heat rum (or brandy) slightly, spoon over meringue. Decorate with a small Japanese flag. Serves 6-8.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Paul Anka's Salade Nicoise

Paul Anka's Salade Nicoise

For vinaigrette sauce:

1 tablespoon cider (or tarragon) vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive (or salad) oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon (prepared) mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few gratings freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, chervil, basil)

Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Store at room temperature until ready to use.

For the salad:

4 medium boiling potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 head Bibb lettuce
2 bell peppers
1 cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced
4 radishes, cleaned, cut in slivers
3 stalks celery (or celery root), washed and sliced
4 ripe Italian plum tomatoes, peeled, cut in quarters
1 large can albacore tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), drained
4 hard-cooked eggs, chilled, peeled and cut in quarters
12 pitted black olives (preferably Italian or Greek type)
1/2 can anchovy filets, drained
2 red onions, peeled, cut in thinly-sliced rings
1 tablespoon minced parsley
12 capers, drained

Carefully prepare greens by washing, drying and chilling. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until barely tender. Drain, cool slightly, peel, cut into bite-size chunks. Sprinkle few spoonfuls of vinaigrette over potato pieces; marinate, refrigerate several hours before assembling salad.

Wash peppers, cut in half, remove seeds and filaments, and slice into julienne strips.

Fill large shallow salad bowl loosely with romaine and Bibb lettuce which have been gently broken into serving pieces. Form bed of lettuce, top with potato and arrange layers of pepper, cucumber, radishes, celery (or celery root marinated in small amount of vinaigrette), and tomatoes to from a design.

With a fork, break albacore tuna slightly into chunks, place in center of bowl. Arrange eggs and olives around the edge of bowl to form a border; garnish with anchovy, minced parsley and capers. Cover with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil), chill until ready to serve.

When salad is ready for its presentation at the table, top with thin rings of red onion, pour in remaining vinaigrette sauce, season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss lightly to serve.

Serve as main course summer salad with French bread, hard rolls (or mix garlic-flavored croutons lightly browned in olive oil) and a chilled white wine (Chablis, Pouilly Fuisse, Frascati, Soave Bolla or Vino Verde). Serves 4-6.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Maya Angelou's Banana Meringue Pudding

Maya Angelou's Banana Meringue Pudding

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3 cups milk
8 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups vanilla wafers
4 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir until blended. Mix in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and boiling. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, then whisk in 1/2 cup of hot custard until blended. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan of custard; cook over medium heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla until blended.

Place vanilla wafers on bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish. Top with layer of banana slices and custard. Repeat layering, ending with custard.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar at low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar; increase speed to medium and gradually beat in remaining sugar. Beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks.

Spoon meringue over hot custard immediately, making sure that meringue touches baking dish on all sides (to prevent it from shrinking). Transfer to oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.