Saturday, January 30, 2016

Recipes by Ina Balin: Imperial Spring Rolls; Vietnamese Chicken

Ina Balin's Imperial Spring Rolls

2 Oriental black mushrooms
2 ounces cellophane noodles
1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
1/2 large carrot, grated
6 to 8 drops sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon Vietnamese fish sauce (salty fish sauce)
Garlic salt to taste
About 20 dried rice papers
Bacon drippings (or corn or peanut oil)
2 scallion water lilies for garnish

Soak mushrooms about 5 minutes in enough hot water to cover. When softened, drain; dry on paper toweling. Mince with sharp knife or cleaver. Soak noodles in enough warm water to cover for 1 minute. Drain. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Place mushrooms, noodles, pork, carrot, sesame oil, lime juice and fish sauce in bowl. Mix well with fingers. Add garlic salt. Place 1 rice paper on flat surface. Dampen both sides of paper lightly to facilitate folding. Put 1/4 cup filling, shaped into rectangle, on center of paper. Roll over 1 side of paper, covering filling. Fold over second side, overlapping filling. Roll tightly away from you, forming tight roll. Repeat until all filling is used. (Recipe allows for extra rice papers in case papers tear.)

In large (12-inch) skillet, heat enough bacon drippings (or oil) to cover about 1/3 of spring roll. Fry rolls over medium heat, turning occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with spatula or slotted spoon. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve piping hot or cold. Decorate serving platters with scallion water lilies. Makes about 12 rolls.

Notes: Oriental ingredients are available at stores that sell Oriental foods. Corn or peanut oil can be used for frying, but Ina prefers the flavor of bacon drippings. Minced Chinese cabbage can be substituted for carrot. Vietnamese cooks use a variety of ingredients -- chicken or crab meat, tree ear fungus and assorted vegetables.

Scallion water lilies: Cut green stalks of 2 scallions 2 to 3 inches from white base. Leaving stalks attached to bulb, cut green part evenly into strips 1/16-inch wide. Float in ice water until ends begin to curl and crisp.

Ina Balin's Vietnamese Chicken

2 broiler-fryer chickens (2 1/2 to 3 pounds each)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (more if needed)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon Chinese curry powder (or more to taste)
2 scallions, chopped
2 stalks lemon grass, finely minced
Juice of 1 large lime or lemon
Pinch of crushed dried red chiles (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce (salty fish sauce)
2 teaspoons Oriental dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
Garlic salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped roasted peanuts, scallions cut into 2-inch pieces, and thin slices of lime or lemon for garnish

Wash chicken. Dry on paper toweling. Cut into serving-size pieces.

Heat sesame oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, curry powder, scallions and lemon grass. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Rinse skillet by adding lime juice to pan; pour juice into small mixing bowl. Add crushed chiles, fish sauce, soy sauce, rosemary, garlic salt and pepper. Blend well.

Place chicken in shallow glass baking dish. Pour marinade over chicken pieces, turning to coat evenly. Cover tightly and marinate 6 to 8 hours in refrigerator. Place chicken on broiler pan lined with aluminum foil. Broil chicken 35 to 40 minutes, turning once to brown on both sides, until chicken is brown and fork-tender. Baste during broiling with drippings. Serve on warm platter, garnished with peanuts and scallions. Arrange lime slices around edge of platter. Makes 8 servings.

Note: Oriental ingredients are available at stores that sell Oriental foods. Use hotter curry powder if desired. Lemon grass, an aromatic, slightly tart herb (also available in powder form) can be grown indoors in a pot or outdoors during spring or summer.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Fay Bainter's Jellied Tongue and Salad Greens

Fay Bainter's Jellied Tongue and Salad Greens

4 cups tomatoes, 2 medium sliced onions, 1 cup diced celery, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 cloves, 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, 2 tablespoons granulated gelatin, 1/4 cup cold water, 2 cups diced canned or cooked tongue, 1 1/2 cups of cooked peas, 1/2 cup diced celery, 1/4 cup minced onion, 1/2 cup French dressing, mixed salad greens.

Combine tomatoes, sliced onions, 1 cup diced celery, salt, cloves, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Press through a sieve, then add the gelatin which several minutes earlier has been sprinkled on the cold water. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved, then cool until mixture begins to set. Now add tongue, peas, minced onions, and the balance of the celery, all of which have been chilling in the French dressing. Turn into a big mold and chill until firm. Unmold on a platter and fill center with salad greens mixed with desired dressing.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Recipes by Pearl Bailey: Corn and Tomatoes; Macaroni and Cheese; Rice Pudding; Zucchini with Tomatoes and Corn

Pearl Bailey's Corn and Tomatoes

Pearl says, "Boil corn (cut from cob, garden-fresh, canned or frozen. One pkg. frozen corn works well) with 1 can plain tomatoes, a little dip of sugar (about 2 tbsps.), salt and pepper. Mama would either put in bacon
grease (1-2 tbsps.) or she'd fry a little salt pork (2 tbsps. cut in small dice, fried in skillet) and added to tomatoes and corn. Take a little flour (about 1 1/2 tsps.) and water (1 1/2 tbsps.) and cook to thicken it. Serves 3 or 4."

Thoughts: The success of Pearl's cooking lies in the fact that she cooks by instinct and by restraint. (She avoids the use of extra herbs or spices and adds sugar to bring out the natural flavor of foods. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pearl Bailey's Macaroni and Cheese

4 cups cooked macaroni
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 pound longhorn cheese
1 small can evaporated milk
Milk (to cover)
Salt and pepper to taste

Run cold water over cooked macaroni. Put in casserole with butter. Cut half of cheese and put on top of macaroni. Pour on condensed milk. Cover with regular milk till it "swims." Add seasonings. Cut remaining cheese into large slices and place on top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 1 hour. Serves 6-8.

Pearl Bailey's Rice Pudding

Pearl says, "Take about 2 cups rice (long-grained), cook that (according to box instructions). While the rice is cooking, I throw in my roasting pan--a medium-sized one, big enough to roast a big turkey (at least 17x12x6-inches deep), well-greased:

butter (1 1/2 sticks, cut in bits)
sugar to taste (1 cup plus)
vanilla, about half a bottle (3 tbsps.)
3/4 to 1 box raisins (2 1/2 cups)
eggs galore, 4 to 6 (depending on the size, 4 large eggs work well)
milk, enough so it's actually floating (about 1 1/4 qts.)

Then stir in hot rice. Taste it before baking in 350 degrees or 400 degrees oven (preheated to 400 degrees F.) until it has a nice brown coating on top and that certain firmness (bake about 45 minutes or until silver knife inserted in pudding comes out clean). Cut to serve hot or cold. Serves 12 generously."

Thoughts: In deference to Pearl Bailey's credo--"I can't tell you what quantity to use"--amounts have been kept flexible. (Helpful hints are given in parentheses.)

The pudding is even better the next day if baked until firm but still soft-textured so it can even be reheated. Larger roasting pans shorten cooking time, smaller pans lengthen baking time. Pearlie Mae says, "Some people like it hot or cold. I like it cold. Cook it long enough so you can cut it but don't overcook it. But it's really divine! I must tell you!"

Pearl Bailey's Zucchini with Tomatoes and Corn

1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsps. salad oil (olive or corn oil)
6 cups chopped zucchini
1 clove pressed garlic
1 pkg. frozen corn
1 can plain tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Brown onion in salad oil with zucchini and garlic. Put corn on top with tomatoes; simmer until thickened and reduced in volume. Taste to season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Skye Aubrey's Chicken Curry with Rice

Skye Aubrey's Chicken Curry with Rice

3 chicken breasts, split
1 can (13-3/4 oz.) chicken broth
1 whole onion, quartered
1 whole clove
1 cup celery slices
1 cup carrot slices
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1 cup bottled duck sauce
Hot cooked rice

In large saucepan, place chicken, chicken broth, onion, clove, celery, carrots, basil, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender and the chicken is done (about 25-30 minutes). Cool; then refrigerate overnight. Remove skin and bones from chicken. Dice chicken meat and return to broth. Bring to boil. Stir in salt, pepper, ginger, curry powder, chili powder and Tabasco sauce. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes (or just until flavors are blended). Stir in duck sauce, heat and serve over hot cooked rice. Serves 4-6.

For the rice:

1 cup uncooked regular milled white rice
2 cups cold water
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsps. minced parsley

Combine ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir once or twice. Lower heat to simmer. Cover, cook about 14 minutes. If rice is not quite tender, cook 2-6 minutes
longer. Do not stir during cooking. After rice is cooked, remove lid. Add butter, minced parsley; toss rice with a fork, and turn into serving dish.

The accoutrements: Serve any or all of the following as side dishes to glorify the curry: good grade chutney (mango or peach), slivered almonds, macadamia, cashew or pine nuts, bacon bits (crisply cooked, well-drained), currants (or raisins plumped in brandy), chopped scallions, candied preserved ginger, watercress, chopped cucumber slices mixed with yogurt spiced with Tabasco and-or chilies, sieved hard-cooked egg, shredded fresh coconut, sliced banana, Bombay duck, or finely chopped fresh apple moistened lightly with lime (or lemon) juice mixed with finely chopped fresh mint.

Thoughts: Skye's curry is simple, pure, fiery and fantastic! For less adventuresome tonsils, use less ginger and pepper to flavor curry. Curry lovers may prefer plain steamed or saffron rice (saute 1/2 cup chopped onion in 2 tbsps. butter before adding to water in recipe above with 1/4 tsp. dried, crushed saffron). Her accoutrements can turn a simple curry into a veritable rijsttafel.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Recipes by Fred Astaire: Cold Cauliflower Soup; Spaghetti Astaire

Fred Astaire's Cold Cauliflower Soup

1 pint soup stock
1/2 cauliflower, cooked in stock until soft
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons flour

Run cauliflower through sieve, add to milk, salt and pepper, and heat, but do not boil. Chill and serve with hot cheese biscuits.

Fred Astaire's Spaghetti Astaire

Drop contents of one package of spaghetti into pan of boiling salted water, and cook until tender (about .

Prepare the following sauce to cover:
Braise two chopped onions and add half-pound of finely-ground round steak with a little chunk of suet. Season with salt and pepper to taste, a half bead of garlic, and a small can of mushrooms. Add two fresh tomatoes and a small tin of tomatoes. Braise this mixture two hours. Drain spaghetti, place on platter or in bowl. Cover with the sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. (You may serve this directly from a hot skillet on to the plate, with less chance of the dish becoming cold before being eaten.)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Recipes by Ed Asner: Balsamic-Roasted New Potatoes; Chicken with Papaya Sauce; Pork Chops in Sour Cream; Sweet-and-Sour Leg of Lamb

Ed Asner's Balsamic-Roasted New Potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small new potatoes, washed, patted dry and quartered; or, if using larger potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place baking rack in lower third of oven.

Heat olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes, garlic and shallots. Toss in skillet until well mixed. Add thyme, rosemary and nutmeg. Toss well. When potatoes are hot, transfer to baking pan and spread in single layer. (This part of the recipe can be made several hours ahead of time.)

Place pan in preheated oven on lower rack. Roast potatoes until golden and just tender, about 25 minutes, turning once midway.

Add vinegar. Toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to oven until sizzling, about 7 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Ed Asner's Chicken with Papaya Sauce

2 broiler-fryer chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each
1 cup papaya or orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Papaya or orange pulp, peeled and cut into 1-inch squares (1 cup)
Hot cooked rice

Cut chicken into pieces and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place in lightly greased baking pan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees about 45 minutes.

In saucepan, heat together papaya (or orange) juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and lemon juice. Thicken sauce with cornstarch, stirring constantly. Add papaya or orange pulp to thickened sauce and spoon over chicken. Bake a few minutes longer or until completely heated. Serve over hot cooked rice with extra sauce on the side. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Ed Asner's Pork Chops in Sour Cream

4 large loin or center-cut pork chops
Seasoned flour
4 whole cloves
Vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 bay leaf
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup dairy sour cream

Dredge chops well in seasoned flour; insert 1 whole clove in center of each. Brown lightly in vegetable oil; drain, place in baking dish. Combine all remaining ingredients except the sour cream; heat slightly, pour over
chops in baking dish. Cover and bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven 1 hour. To serve, remove chops to serving platter. Heat pan drippings over direct heat, adding sour cream, stirring until mixture is thick but not boiling. Taste to correct seasonings. Pass sauce as side dish. Terrific served with whipped, sage-flavored potatoes. Serves 4.

Ed Asner's Sweet-and-Sour Leg of Lamb

1 butterflied boneless leg of lamb, weighing 6 to 8 lbs.
1/2 cup pineapple preserves
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Put butterflied leg on rack of roasting pan; place in preheated 325 degrees F. oven. Combine pineapple preserves, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, salt and liquid smoke in saucepan over low heat. Stir cornstarch into cold water until smooth, then add to saucepan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Allow mixture to simmer 3 minutes (or until thickened and clear). Baste lamb with sauce, and baste every 10 to 15 minutes throughout roasting time. Roast lamb for 1 1/2 hours (or until meat thermometer registers 170 degrees F. for medium doneness). Serve with new potatoes and minted garden peas. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: Have butcher "butterfly" boneless leg of Iamb. Lamb may also be broiled or grilled over coals. For both cooking methods, place meat about 6 inches from source of heat and cook for 20 minutes on each side (or until meat thermometer reaches 170 degrees). Baste with sauce during cooking time as directed above.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Recipes by Lucie Arnaz: Grand Diplome Mousse Au Chocolate; Shrimp and Yellow Rice

Lucie Arnaz's Grand Diplome Mousse Au Chocolate

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 tbsp. butter
3 eggs
2-3 tbsps. water or black coffee
1 tbsp. rum or 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

1. Break chocolate into pieces and put into a small saucepan with water or black coffee; stir continuously over gentle heat to a thick cream. (The chocolate should be quite hot, but the sides of pan must not become so hot you cannot touch). Remove from heat; stir in butter and flavoring.

2. Separate eggs, putting whites into small bowl and dropping yolks, one at a time, into the chocolate pan; stir well after each addition (the chocolate should be hot enough so when yolks are added, they cook slightly).

3. Beat whites until they form a soft peak and fold very carefully into chocolate. When thoroughly mixed, fill custard pots and chill overnight in refrigerator. For easy pouring, turn mixture first into a pitcher, scraping pan with rubber spatula. These mousses may be served plain or topped with whipped cream. Serves 4-6.

Lucie Arnaz's Shrimp and Yellow Rice

For the shrimp:

2 lbs. green shrimp
2 tbsps. salt
1 qt. boiling water
2 tbsps. pickling spices (tied in cheesecloth bag)
Piece of lemon rind
Slice of onion

1. Wash shrimp under cold, running water. Drop in boiling salted water to which pickling spices, lemon rind and onion have been added.

2. When shrimp comes to boil, lower heat, simmer 2-5 minutes (or until shrimp begin to turn pink). Remove at once. Drain, cool, shell and devein shrimp. Set aside.

For the yellow rice:

1/8 tsp. powdered saffron
3 tbsps. water
4 tbsps. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 small onion, minced
2 cups rice
3 cups water (or chicken broth)

1. Let saffron steep in 3 tbsps. hot water. Meanwhile, melt butter in large pan. Add onion and cook until golden. Add rice, toss with fork letting it cook over very low heat 2-3 minutes, but do not brown.

2. Add liquid, dissolved saffron and salt. Bring to boiling point; cover, reduce heat and cook until rice is tender (15 minutes or longer according to package instructions).

To assemble:

1 lb. crab meat (or lobster meat), cooked and cleaned
1/2 lb. mushroom caps, cleaned and sauteed with 3 tbsps. butter and 2 tbsps. minced white onion (or scallions)
10 oz. pkg. frozen peas, barely cooked
2 tbsps. pimento, chopped
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup slivered almonds (slowly browned in 250 degrees F. oven or slowly
browned in 1 tbsp. clarified butter)
Enough liquid to moisten (chicken stock or Moselle wine)

1. Combine all ingredients except almonds with rice and shrimp. Squeeze lemon juice over all. Add liquid to moisten. Season to taste with salt and pepper; mix well.

2. Place in well-buttered baking dish. Cover and cook in preheated 350 degrees F. oven about 25 minutes. Serve topped with toasted almonds. Serve alone or with cooked vegetable. Serves 8.

Thoughts: Lucie's creation combines the elements of a paella and seafood risotto. If desired, add more seafood (clams, mussels, scallops) and seasonings.