Saturday, March 19, 2016

Recipes by Zoe Caldwell: Salade Nicoise; Smothered Chicken

Zoe Caldwell's Salade Nicoise

3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Good pinch of dark brown sugar
1/4 cup wine vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cooked, cut green (or yellow) beans, drained and cooled
2 medium-sized potatoes, cooked, cooled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 small clove garlic
Well-chilled greens (Iceberg lettuce or Bibb)
1 medium green pepper, sliced
2 cans (2 ozs. each) flat fillet anchovies, chopped
One 7-oz. can tuna, drained and broken into chunks
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives
4 medium tomatoes, cut in eighths
2 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
Fresh snipped herbs (tarragon or chervil)

1. Combine salt, pepper, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar and oil; blend well. Combine half of oil mixture with beans, potatoes and onion. Chill several hours.

2. Rub salad bowl with garlic; arrange greens in salad bowl. Form a "pyramid" of beans, potatoes, onion, green pepper, anchovies, tuna, olives and tomatoes over lettuce. Garnish with eggs and snipped fresh herbs. Add remaining dressing just before serving. Serve as luncheon or supper dish with hot garlic bread and well-chilled wine. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Zoe says, "I put almost anything into salade nicoise from ham (or shrimp or capers) to green or black olives and almost anything leftover in the vegetable department (wax or yellow beans, tiny little potatoes or peas)."

Zoe Caldwell's Smothered Chicken

3 lbs. cleaned chicken, cut in pieces
Seasoned flour
4 tbsps. butter
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tbsps. chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, pressed
Good pinch of fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, bay leaf)
Half-bottle of good dry white wine
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Shake chicken pieces in paper bag with seasoned flour. Heat butter and oil in large Dutch oven until hot. Saute onion until golden and lift out. Brown chicken lightly on all sides. Add cooked onion, garlic, herbs and enough wine to cover chicken. Cover, cook over low simmer until chicken is tender.

2. Remove chicken to heated platter. Skim off excess fat and strain stock. Cook to reduce stock, add chicken, correct seasonings. Add sour cream and barely heat through. Do not boil. Serve alone or over rice.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Michael Caine's Chicken and Bacon Pie

Michael Caine's Chicken and Bacon Pie

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Few drops of lemon juice, optional
1 stick chilled butter, cut in small pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water
1 egg yolk, mixed with a few drops of water

Sift together flourand salt in mixing bowl; add lemon juice. Cut butter into flour-salt mixture with pastry blender until texture of fine cornmeal. Gradually add ice water, toss lightly with fork until pastry forms a ball. Turn out on lightly floured board; knead lightly a few seconds. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut circle the size of a deep pie dish (or casserole) allowing 1-inch for overhang. Refrigerate crust between layers of wax paper until ready to assemble pie. Set aside egg yolk-water mixture until ready to use.

For the filling:

One 3-pound broiler-fryer chicken, boned, cut in 1-inch cubes
About 1 cup water (or chicken stock)
3 thin slices of lemon
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of parsley
2 bruised white peppercorns (or white pepper)
Salt to taste
1/2 pound piece of bacon (or 1 cup diced cooked ham)
Cold water
4 tablespoons butter
2 small onions, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons light cream
12 small mushroom caps
1/4 teaspoon crumbled thyme
1/4 teaspoon crumbled rosemary
3 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and quartered
Cayenne to taste
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

Cover chicken with enough water (or chicken stock) to cover. Add lemon slices, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, peppercorns (or white pepper to taste), salt to taste. Cover, simmer 25 minutes (or until chicken is barely tender). Strain stock and reserve. Separate chicken, set aside. Discard herbs, lemon slices. Cut bacon in small cubes; place in saucepan with cold water to cover. Blanch a few minutes; drain. Saute bacon in 3 tablespoons butter, lift out bacon bits; reserve. Saute onion in pan drippings; lift out, reserve. Gradually add flour to skillet with pan drippings, cook and stir until smooth. Gradually add half the strained chicken stock, cook, stir until smooth and thick. Add wine, cream; cook slowly until thick, stirring. Taste to correct seasonings. Brown mushrooms in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

To assemble pie:

Butter deep pie dish (or ovenproof casserole). Arrange half the chicken in bottom of pie dish (or casserole). Season with half the thyme, rosemary; top with bacon bits (or ham) and cooked onion. Arrange layer of hard-cooked eggs, sprinkle evenly with cayenne to taste, parsley, grated lemon rind and layer of mushrooms. Finish assembling pie, ending top layer with chicken and remaining thyme and rosemary. Spoon sauce over top, allowing it to seep down and fill in spaces. (Use only about 1 cup sauce.) Cut vent in prepared crust, place on pie dish (or casserole), sealing edges carefully. Bake pie in preheated 400 degrees F. oven 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F. and bake 20 minutes longer (or until crust is nicely browned). Serve at room temperature, cut in pie-shaped wedges, serve with chilled white wine or champagne. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Meat pies, hot or cold, are prepared countless ways in England. Delicious prepared with game (pheasant, grouse or hare, marinated in red wine and-or cognac) or sausages, forcemeat, veal or pork. Pies can be baked in individual ramekins or family-size casseroles. Often, pie funnel is added during baking and sauce added after baking, giving it a congealed texture.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sammy Cahn's Hawaiian Barbecued Spare Ribs

Sammy Cahn's Hawaiian Barbecued Spare Ribs

2 racks of lean spare ribs (weighing about 4 lbs.)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey (or dark molasses or maple syrup)
1/3 cup pineapple juice (or cider vinegar)
2 1/2 tsps. fresh lemon (or lime) juice
1/16 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-inch piece ginger root, minced (or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
2 tbsps. golden sherry (or sweet vermouth)
2 cloves garlic, pressed

Trim off any excess fat from spare ribs; set aside. Combine all ingredients for marinade by shaking in covered glass jar (or in blender). Place ribs in shallow glass dish. Spoon marinade over ribs, turn, cover. Marinate ribs 3-6 hours in refrigerator, turning often.

For outdoor barbecuing:

Spare ribs will char quickly unless heat is kept low and fire well-controlled. Wrap ribs in aluminum foil packet sealing ends; place over indirect heat. Replenish fire, adding briquettes as needed. Flame flare-ups can also be kept under control by spraying fire with water. Cook spare ribs in packet for about 40 minutes. Then open packet and baste ribs continuously for the next 20 minutes (or until ribs are crisp and brown). Serves 4-6.

For indoor cooking:

Place ribs in foil-lined baking pan. Cook in preheated 450 degrees F. oven 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F., oven-roast about 1 hour longer, basting often.

Thoughts: Pork requires thorough cooking. The meat is done when pink juice no longer flows from fleshy part of meat. Spare ribs are delicious served with Chinese duck sauce and hot Chinese mustard (both available in Oriental food shops). Serve with fruit kabobs (hot or cold) made from pineapple chunks, candied kumquats, sliced water chestnuts, green pepper chunks and cherry tomatoes.

Embellishments: The basic barbecue sauce is fabulous for preparing the holiday bird: Add 1/3 cup peanut (or corn) oil to other ingredients. Select Rock Cornish hens, split in half and flatten broiler-fryer chickens, quartered (takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour on outdoor barbecue; slightly longer in oven) or boneless breasts of chicken (available in most supermarkets); broiler-fryer turkey (weigh about 6-8 lbs. each), quartered; whole squab or ducks, quartered. Vary ingredients to complement the fowl. Use Bar-le-Duc jelly, Damson plum preserves or apricot chutney for turkey (or chicken); substitute fresh orange, apple cider or juice from pickled peaches for pineapple juice; ground mace, grated orange, lime or lemon rind gives wonderful pungency to the sauce.

Finally, for fabulous wild duck: alter basic formula using 1 cup each of the following: honey, soy sauce and "booze" (one part brandy, one part Cointreau or golden sherry). Cook ducks whole in Chinese oven (sold on West Coast in gourmet shops, or through mail order catalog from specialty household stores) or on spit in motor-driven barbecue with hood.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Recipes by James Cagney: Apple Cheese Pie; Egg-in-a-Hole; Meatballs and Beans; New England Clam Chowder

James Cagney's Apple Cheese Pie

7 cups pared, sliced cooking apples
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Prepared pastry for double-crust, 9-inch pie
1/2 pound sliced Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces

Toss together apples, sugars, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl until mixed.

Roll out bottom pie crust and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Fill with half apple mixture. Cover with layer of cheese. Add rest of apples. Dot top with small pieces of butter.

Roll out top crust. Place over the apples. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.

Bake in a 425 degrees F. oven for 40 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch wide strips of foil after first 15 to 20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. Serve warm.

James Cagney's Egg-in-a-Hole

1 slice good bread
olive oil or butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 good egg
1 garlic clove, sliced (optional)
pinch of red pepper flakes

Using a small glass or a cookie cutter, punch a hole in the center of the bread. Lightly paint both sides of the bread with olive oil, as well as the punched-out round (or brush with butter if you prefer).

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, lay in the bread. Let it begin to sizzle, then crack the egg into the hole. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the garlic, if using. Brown the little round too, but be careful, as it will cook more quickly. When the bread is golden on one side and the egg is partially set, quickly flip it with a spatula and continue cooking for a minute or two more. A runny yolk is the aim. Sprinkle the top lightly with salt and pepper and a few red pepper flakes.

James Cagney's Meatballs and Beans

For the Meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon A-1 Steak Sauce
1 tablespoons parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the Coating:
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Sauce:
1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sour cream

1 can (15-ounce) kidney beans, drained

Mix meatball ingredients together. Take by tablespoonfuls and form into balls. Coat the meatballs in bread crumbs. Fry in oil until browned.

Meanwhile in bowl, mix sauce ingredients together, then add to browned meatballs. Bring everything but beans to a simmer.

Add beans and cook meatballs through.

James Cagney's New England Clam Chowder

3 dozen shucked raw, clams and their liquid
1 1/2 cups water, salted with 1 1/2 tsps. salt
2 red potatoes, thinly sliced with skins on
1/4 lb. diced bacon
2 medium onions, chopped
1 small bottle (8 oz.) clam juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. dried savory
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme
3 cups milk or light cream
Snipped parsley
1 tbsp. butter

Mince clams and drain liquid, reserving separately. (i.e.-Set liquid aside. Set clams aside separately.)

In large soup pot, cook potatoes in salted water until tender.

Cook bacon in a skillet. Add bacon to pot.

In bacon fat remaining in skillet, cook onions until soft. Add onions to soup pot along with bottle of clam juice and reserved clam liquid. Add salt, pepper, savory, and thyme. Heat to boiling. Lower heat to simmer. Simmer five minutes.

Add three cups milk or cream. Heat through. Once hot, add reserved clams and heat just until clams are cooked, but still tender. Serve chowder in bowls garnished with small bit of butter and snipped parsley on top of each.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sebastian Cabot's Truita a la Marguery

Sebastian Cabot's Truita a la Marguery

For fumet (fish stock):
1 pound chopped raw fish (bones and trimmings)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
bouquet garni (2 sprigs parsley, small bay leaf, pinch thyme tied in cheesecloth bag)
2-inch piece peeled carrot, chopped
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
6 peppercorns
good pinch salt

Break up bones and put in stock pot with other ingredients. Bring to boil, simmer uncovered about 45 minutes or until reduced in volume one-third. Strain to use.

Preparation of mussels and shrimp:
1 1/2 dozen mussels
1 1/2 dozen small green shrimp
2 cups dry white wine
4 sprigs parsley, chopped
2 small pinches thyme
1 small yellow onion, chopped
8 crushed peppercorns

Wash and beard mussels scrubbing well under running water; drain well on paper towels. In a saucepan put 1 cup wine, pinch thyme, half chopped onion and 4 peppercorns. Bring to boil; add mussels, cover, cook only until shells start to open. Drain well an discard any shells that fail to open.

Wash, drain shrimp on paper towels. Using remaining ingredients, simmer stock, add shrimp, cover, cook about 4 minutes (or until shrimp turns pink). Drain, cool, remove shells and devein.

To assemble:
4 cleaned rainbow trout, each weighing 3/4 to 1 pound
4 pats sweet butter
2/3 stick sweet butter
1/4 cup fumet
3 tablespoons dry white wine
3 egg yolks

Clean fish well, leaving heads and tails intact. Dry well with paper towel. Rub inside cavity and outside of each trout well with pat of softened butter. Salt inside and outside skin of each trout, sprinkle with few grains cayenne. Place trout in shallow, ovenproof platter (or copper baking dish). Cover loosely with a piece of buttered aluminum foil (or buttered paper). Bake in preheated 300 degrees F. oven for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare sauce as follows:
Combine fumet, wine and remaining butter in top of double boiler. Cook over hot, but not boiling water until butter melts. Add egg yolks one at a time, beat into wine mixture after each addition. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is consistency of thick cream. Arrange cooked mussels and shrimp around baked trout, spoon sauce over all. Return to oven to glaze lightly. Serves 4. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bruce Cabot's French Fried Onions

Bruce Cabot's French Fried Onions

Slice large Spanish onions thin and separate the rings. Soak the rings in milk for about half an hour. Have the deep fat heated to between 380 and 390 degrees. Drain the onion rings and dip them in salted flour. Have the flour in a deep bowl, and shake the rings well until they are well floured. Then drop a few at a time into the fat, cook until golden brown. Drain on wrapping paper before serving.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

James Caan's Kidney Stew

James Caan's Kidney Stew

1 1/2 lbs. veal or lamb kidneys
Salted water
4 tbsps. salad oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. tomato catsup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (more if desired)
1/3 cup brandy (or Kirsch)
Hot, cooked, peeled potatoes
Fresh minced parsley

Remove most of the fat, central fat and white tubes from the kidneys, and remove all of the outer membrane. Wash kidneys carefully in running water; soak them in well-salted water about 30 minutes, changing water once (to remove the strong flavor). Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsps. salad oil over low flame, adding onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onion is lightly golden. Remove kidneys from water; dry well on absorbent toweling; slice kidney into 1/2-inch slices. Brown sliced kidney quickly in remaining salad oil in separate skillet until meat begins to turn white. Add sauteed kidneys to onion-garlic mixture; stir in salt, pepper to taste, tomato catsup and Worcestershire sauce; simmer over low fire a few minutes. Pour brandy (or Kirsch) into a ladle that is hot (or hold ladle with brandy briefly over the burner). Pour heated spirits over the kidneys and flame. Do not flame longer than 1 minute or kidneys will toughen. Serve at once with hot, cooked, peeled potatoes garnished with fresh minced parsley. Serves 4.

Thoughts: James Caan's father, Arthur, advises, "The whole dish is a short process thing! If desired, use dry red wine (adding during the last 2 minutes of cooking). If desired, more spirits may be added to thin down the gravy."