Saturday, May 7, 2016

Recipes by Billy Crystal: Chocolate Mousse; Eggplant Parmesan, Pizza-Style

Billy Crystal's Chocolate Mousse

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 teaspoons sugar
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup instant coffee
1 1/2 tablespoons rum or rum flavoring
2/3 cup heavy cream, chilled
4 egg whites

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat until they become lemon-colored.

Gently (by hand) mix in the melted chocolate, coffee and rum. Whip the cream (which has been thoroughly chilled) until stiff and fold into the chocolate and egg mixture.

Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and fold them into the above mixture. Mix gently, by hand, then place the mousse into individual glass dessert dishes or goblets. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve. Makes four servings.

Billy Crystal's Eggplant Parmesan, Pizza-Style

2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup flour or fine bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons fine-grade olive oil
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 cans (8 ozs. each) tomato sauce
8 ozs. sliced mozzarella cheese
8 ozs. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Peel and slice eggplants into 1/2-inch slices. Combine flour or bread crumbs with oregano, basil, 1 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Mix together egg and water. Dip eggplant slices into egg mixture; coat with seasoned flour or crumbs.

Saute slightly on both sides in 2 tbsps. hot olive oil. Drain on absorbent paper. Add remaining oil to skillet; saute beef, onion and garlic until beef turns light. Add tomato sauce and remaining salt and pepper.

Simmer 5 minutes. Spoon half the sauce mixture into greased baking dish. Arrange layer of eggplant; top with ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven 30 minutes or until golden. Serve hot with tossed green salad and dry red wine. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Crystal's eggplant, pizza-style, is excellent made with 1/2 pound diced sweet Italian sausage. (Cook with beef as directed.) Italian-flavored bread crumbs make a convenient and well-flavored coating.

Any good-tasting canned marinara or spaghetti sauce works well in this hearty, easy-to-prepare dish.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Recipes by Bing Crosby: Ambrosia; Breakfast Quail; Buckwheat Pancakes; Christmas Venison; Pan-Fried Duck

Bing Crosby's Ambrosia

3 large navel oranges
3 ripe bananas
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 tsp. sugar (or 1/2 cup marshmallow bits)

Peel and section oranges. Slice bananas. Combine oranges, bananas and pineapple. Add sugar (or marshmallows). Chill well. Serve with your store of Christmas cookies, topped with coconut and marshmallows.

Bing Crosby's Breakfast Quail

12 cleaned quails, each weighing 5-6 ozs.
1 egg mixed with a few drops of milk
Seasoned flour
Sweet butter

Separate breast from back and leg sections, flatten back and leg sections with hands, breaking at the hip joint (or pound with milk bottle). Butterfly breasts to remove bones, flatten slightly. Dip breasts, back and leg pieces in egg-milk mixture, roll in seasoned flour. Heat butter in large skillet. Fry pieces quickly, about 3 minutes, and drain on absorbent paper. Place quail on rack in roasting pan in preheated 200 degrees F. oven. Leave oven door open so if they are not done inside, they will cook through. Serve with "thickenin' gravy" made by adding seasoned flour to pan drippings. Stir until smooth over low heat. Add milk gradually, cook over low fire until thick and smooth. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve with quail and hot biscuits. Serves 3-4.

Thoughts: Quail can be shot in season or purchased through specialty game shops. Mrs. Crosby advises: "Cook quickly or quail will get as tough as shoe leather."

Bing Crosby's Buckwheat Pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
About 1 3/4 cups milk
3 tbsps. melted butter

Sift together buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder into mixing bowl. Beat eggs well and stir into melted butter. Add egg-milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Heat griddle until very hot; lightly grease with butter (wipe off excess with paper towel, being careful not to burn fingers). Ladle batter onto hot skillet. Cook until pancakes are firm on edges and bubbles begin to appear; turn quickly to brown on reverse side. Serve at once with crisp bacon, pork sausage patties, link sausages or fried ham. Makes about 16 five-inch cakes.

Thoughts: Melted butter, strained honey, maple syrup or favorite jam or marmalade make good toppings for buckwheat cakes.

Bing Crosby's Christmas Venison

For the marinade:

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and minced
1 sprig of fresh thyme (or dry)
8 crushed peppercorns
3 juniper berries (or large crumbled bay leaf)
1 tsp. salt
1 stalk of pascal celery with leaves, crushed
1 cup of white wine vinegar
1 bottle dry white wine
1/3 cup fine-grade olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and set aside.

To prepare venison:

10 lb. roast aged venison (saddle, loin or haunch)
1 1/2 lbs. salt pork (or suet)
Larding needles
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. chopped onion
1 clove of pressed garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Meat thermometer
Pan vegetables: 3 carrots (peeled and sliced), 3 stalks of celery with leaves (chopped) and 2 onions (peeled and chopped)
3 tbsps. sweet butter

Larded venison can be purchased on order from fancy butcher. To "lard" venison at home, cut salt pork (or suet) into long strips; cut strips into pieces about 3-inches long. Roll strips in herb mixture of parsley, onion and pressed garlic; let stand several hours. Thread larding needles, stitch strips at 1-inch intervals onto the roast, drawing needle with the grain of the meat. Place in large bowl (or crock); cover with marinade. Cover bowl tightly; refrigerate 3 days (or longer), turning meat in marinade 3 times daily. Allow meat to reach room temperature. Wipe dry, salt and pepper well. Place on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in center of meat (be sure it does not strike bone). Place uncovered in preheated 450 degrees F. oven for 15 minutes and 350 degrees F. for remaining time. Allow 15 minutes per pound (or until thermometer registers 130 degrees). Halfway through roasting time, add pan vegetables. Baste venison every 20 minutes during cooking time. Strain marinade and bring to boil in small saucepan. Add butter, heat to melt. Boil rapidly for a few minutes. Use to baste until sauce is used up, then pan juices. Remove roast to heated platter, discard vegetables. Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Serves 8-10 generously.

Bing Crosby's Pan-Fried Duck

2 whole breasts from 2 mallard ducks, weighing 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Stick of sweet butter

Cut breasts in half, sprinkle on all sides with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in heavy skillet (or Dutch oven) over high heat. Fry breasts quickly on both sides (about 7 minutes or longer per side, depending on size of breasts). Do not overcook breasts. Remove to heated platter. Serve at once with wild rice (made with duck giblets steamed with 1 1/2 cups water, half of a small onion, 1 celery top and salt to taste). Serve with mint jelly and good red wine. Serves 4.

Thoughts: It is helpful to use half lard and half butter to prevent breasts from burning.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Recipes by Walter Cronkite: Lamb Shanks and Browned Rice; Meatloaf

Walter Cronkite's Lamb Shanks and Browned Rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 large lamb shanks, cracked
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups water
8 small carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
Browned rice

Heat vegetable oil in a casserole-skillet. Season shanks with paprika, salt and pepper. Brown shanks on all sides in heated oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, water, and bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree F. oven 30 minutes. Turn shanks, bake 30 minutes longer.

Add carrots, cover, and bake at 375 degrees F. 30 minutes longer or until carrots and meat are fork-tender. Remove lamb and carrots to a heated platter.

Skim off excess fat. Stir small amount of flour into a little water to form a smooth paste. Stir into the pan juices in the casserole-skillet, cook over low heat, stirring often. Serve over browned rice. Serves 4.

Walter Cronkite's Meatloaf

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground pork
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 cup bread crumbs (or crushed corn flakes)
About 1 1/4 cups warm milk
1 beaten egg
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut in 1-inch cubes
6 slices bacon

Mix together all the ingredients except the cheese and bacon. Add enough milk to form a loose-textured mixture. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil. Form meat into loaf, burying the cheese cubes at regular intervals throughout the loaf. Place in baking dish, cover outside with bacon slices. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven 1 hour. Serves 8. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Recipes by Tina Cristiani: Marinara Sauce; Wine-Smothered Quail

Tina Cristiani's Marinara Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsps. sweet butter
2 large yellow onions, peeled, chopped
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 can (16 ozs.) Italian plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil (or 1 tbsp. fresh chopped basil)
Handful chopped fresh parsley

Heat olive oil and butter in large saucepan (or skillet). Cook onion, carrot and garlic in butter-oil mixture until Vegetables are limp. Add remaining ingredients, cook about 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste to correct seasonings. Great to serve over baked (or broiled) chicken, veal, fish, or lightly steamed vegetables (zucchini or spinach). Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Thoughts: For meatier touches: broil 2 sweet or hot Italian sausages until done, drain off excess fat, chop, add to sauce during last 30 minutes, or brown 1/2 lb. lean ground beef in small amount of oil before adding to sauce. Butter-browned mushrooms, a dash of white wine and-or grated lemon rind gives an unusual flavor to the sauce.

Tina Cristiani's Wine-Smothered Quail

2 large quail, picked, drawn and cleaned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dried rosemary
2-3 tbsps. sweet butter, melted
2-3 tbsps. fine grade olive oil
About 1/2 cup dry red wine

Wash and dry birds; truss birds by tying them with string. Rub cavities with salt, pepper and rosemary. Rub inside and outside liberally with butter and olive oil. Brown quickly in heavy skillet (or Dutch oven). Add wine, reduce heat, cook until birds are tender. Serve with Tina's green salad of romaine, bacon bits and Roquefort dressing and good red wine. Makes 2 servings.

Thoughts: Allow one bird per person, more if birds are small. Squab may be substituted if quail is not available. Quail can also be oven-roasted: place in preheated 450 degrees F. oven 5 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. and roast 15-20 minutes longer, depending on size of the bird. Baste frequently with the wine-butter-olive oil sauce.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Recipes by Richard Crenna: Chicken Teriyaki; Roast Pheasant with Brandy and Cream

Richard Crenna's Chicken Teriyaki

2 1/2-3 lbs. broiling chicken
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry while wine
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

Cut chicken in half. Place skin-side down in broiling pan lined with aluminum foil. Prepare marinade of soy sauce, wine, sugar, ginger and garlic. Spoon over chicken halves. Marinate 2 hours (or longer), turning several times. Oven grill, skin side up basting several times until chicken is tender and brown. Serves 2-3.

Richard's Thoughts: "My chicken teriyaki is an adaptation of a meal I prepare al fresco in my Chinese cooking oven. Outdoor chefs can cook the chicken on an outdoor grill (or habachi), cooking over slow burning coals about 1 hour."

Richard Crenna's Roast Pheasant with Brandy and Cream

8 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter
3 pheasants, cleaned, each weighing about 2 lbs.
1/3 cup brandy
2 cups chicken stock (canned or prepared)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 slices lean bacon
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup prepared horseradish

Saute shallots in butter in a roasting pan for 5 minutes. Add cleaned, trussed pheasants; saute over high heat about 15 minutes (or until birds are nicely browned on all sides). Pour some brandy into a ladle. Light with a match, pour over the pheasants. Ignite to flambe the birds. When flames die out, add chicken stock, salt and pepper. Put bacon strips over pheasants' breasts and roast uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, basting frequently with pan juices. Stir cream and horseradish into pan juices and continue roasting for 15 minutes, basting frequently. Serve pheasants and sauce with cooked wild rice. Serves 6.

Richard's Thoughts: The recipe also serves for dove or other game birds. If wild birds are not available, substitute 1-pound Rock Cornish hens, allowing 1 bird per person. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Recipes by Joan Crawford: Bread Omelet; Charcoal-Broiled Steak with Roquefort Cheese and Mustard Sauce; Poached Salmon; Sausage Rolls; Thin Pancakes

Joan Crawford's Bread Omelet

4 eggs, separated
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 tablespoons milk
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/8 tsp. baking powder

Beat egg yolks well. Add salt, pepper, and milk; beat the bread crumbs into
the mixture. Add baking powder to egg whites and beat until stiff. Fold into first mixture. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in frying pan, turn in mixture and spread evenly. Cook over slow fire until brown, then in slow oven until top is set. Fold and turn out on hot platter. Serves 4.

Joan Crawford's Charcoal-Broiled Steak with Roquefort Cheese and Mustard Sauce

First of all be sure that the steak is a thick one, and that the coals are glowing red before starting to cook it. In case you oven broil the steak, the secret is to have the oven at just the right temperature -- say preheated to 450 to 500 degrees. To prepare the steak for broiling, first wipe it with a damp cloth. Then salt and pepper and rub with a clove of garlic. When this is complete, brush with butter. Arrange the steak on the pan at least one and a half inches from the flame. (For thick steaks at least two inches) broil it first on one side, and then on the other. I have discovered that twelve to fifteen minutes is sufficient for a rare steak, fifteen to eighteen minutes for medium well-done and twenty to thirty minutes for well-done. Here is a tip for oven broiling, try leaving the oven door ajar while cooking and see what a difference it makes.

Roquefort Cheese and Mustard Sauce

1 square Roquefort cheese, beaten
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Broil steak as above. The sauce is made as follows: mix together the beaten Roquefort cheese, mustard and melted butter. After turning, and just before the steak is done, spread on the sauce and let broil until brown. This is delicious.

Joan Crawford's Poached Salmon

1 (3 pound) piece of fresh salmon
3 lemons
6 cups water
10 pearl onions, peeled
1/2 stalk celery with leaves
2 sprigs parsley
3 small bay leaves
12 peppercorns, crushed
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups mayonnaise
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Rinse and dry fish. Cut lemons in thin slices. Place slices on both sides of the fish. Wrap fish in a double thickness of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen string. Put water, onions, celery, parsley, bay leaves, crushed peppercorns and salt in a fish poacher or on a rack in a deep saucepan. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Place fish on rack in the kettle so that it is halfway submerged in the water. Cover and slowly simmer 40 minutes, or until fish is barely done. Place fish on a heated platter. Remove cloth and lemon slices carefully. Combine mayonnaise, prepared mustard and lemon juice; mix well and serve with fish. (Fish and dressing may also be served cold on a bed of lettuce.)

Joan Crawford's Sausage Rolls

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons shortening
2 to 3 cups milk
8 sausages,partially cooked

Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. Add milk until a soft dough is formed. Knead lightly on a floured board. Roll out to about l/4-inch thickness. Cut into oblong pieces and roll each sausage in the dough. Place in a buttered pan and bake in a very hot oven (450 degrees F.) for 15 minutes.

Joan Crawford's Thin Pancakes

2 eggs
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 pint of whole milk

Beat eggs well. Add salt and half the milk. Beat the flour into this mixture, and when smooth, add the remainder of milk, beating until smooth. Have griddle or pan hot and well greased. Put on 3 tablespoons of batter, spreading into one thin pancake. In just a moment it will be ready to turn, and do this by slipping the turner under center of the pancake. Heap in layers on a plate. They are a new and highly pleasing high in pancake goodness.

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.