Saturday, July 16, 2016

Recipes by Joan Fontaine: Oven-Poached Peach Marzipan; Peach Plum Mousse

Joan Fontaine's Oven-Poached Peach Marzipan

2 large ripe clingstone peaches
3 tablespoons marzipan
1 tablespoon sweet butter
1/3 cup fresh orange juice, strained
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons sugar

Peel peaches carefully by plunging a few seconds in boiling water. Work out stone keeping peach intact. Mix together marzipan and butter, replace peach stones with marzipan filling. Place fruit, filled side down, in buttered casserole.

Combine orange, lemon juice, grated orange and lemon rind with sugar, stir to dissolve. Spoon over peaches in casserole. Cook uncovered in preheated 425 degrees F. oven 25-30 mins. (or until done). Baste peaches often with fruit syrup.

Remove from oven; cool 10 mins. Place peach in champagne glass (or brandy snifter). To serve, spoon orange syrup over peaches. Serves 2.

Joan Fontaine's Peach Plum Mousse

6 ripe peaches
3 ripe purple plums
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plum brandy
1 tablespoon peach cordial (or brandy)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
2 egg whites
few grains salt
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Peel peaches and plums by plunging into boiling water a few minutes. Stone, puree fruit enough to make about 2 cups liquid. Add lemon juice at once to prevent discoloration.

Soften gelatin in cold water. Pour boiling water over gelatin, stirring to dissolve.

Combine puree, gelatin-water mixture, sugar, plum brandy, peach cordial, almond extract and mix well. Beat egg whites until stiff, add salt, fold into fruit mixture. Beat heavy cream until stiff, fold into gelatin mixture. Place bowl over some cracked ice, beat until mixture starts to thicken. Pour into 1 qt. mold, cover; chill about 3 or 4 hrs. (or until mousse sets).

Unmold on grape leaves on glass dessert plate. Garnish with washed, chilled fruit (blueberries, raspberries or seedless grapes). Serve with fruit syrup (made from peach puree flavored with peach cordial, sweetened to taste). Serves 4.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Recipes by Peter Fonda: Basic Soup; Blender Breakfast

Peter Fonda's Basic Soup

1 lb. dried split peas (or lentils)
2-3 qts. water
1 ham bone (or meaty ham hock)
2-3 carrots, cut up
2-3 bunches celery, cut up
1 large onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, optional
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Choice of fresh garden herbs: 2 tbsps. fresh parsley and 1 tsp. fresh dill

Soak peas (or lentils) overnight in water. Drain and rinse in several changes of water. Place peas (or lentils) in large stock pot with 2 qts. water and ham bone (or meaty ham hock). Bring to boil. Cover and simmer slowly 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook very slowly, adding more water as needed. Cool and refrigerate. Cook very slowly the next day for maximal flavor. Thirty minutes before serving, add parsley and dill. Correct seasonings. Add more water as needed. Serve piping hot in large soup bowls. Serve with good crusty bread or toasted croutons. For added "protein" touches, grate hard-cooked egg into soup as a garnish. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Soup can be served as is, or ham bone removed, meat slivered and put back into soup after it has been pureed. "Basically," Peter said, "I always make the same soup. Sometimes I make oxtail soup, but without tomato. Flavor with bouillon cubes or stock, herbs and spices. I like to experiment."

Peter Fonda's Blender Breakfast

1-2 bananas (no green on either end)
1 raw egg (preferably fertilized)
About 1/2 cup milk (preferably raw)
1-2 tbsps. unrefined honey
1 tbsp. sea protein
1 tsp. carob
Handful chia seeds, optional
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, washed and drained

Put everything in a blender. Cover and run on high speed until smooth. Makes one large serving.

Thoughts: Unrefined honey, sea protein (fish powder) and carob (sometimes known as St John's-bread), and chia seeds are available in most health food stores. Carob is dark roasted, then pulverized and used as a chocolate substitute.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Recipes by Henry Fonda: Gazpacho; Swedish Meatballs

Henry Fonda's Gazpacho

4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, peeled, chopped and seeded
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 large green bell pepper, washed, deveined, cut in large dice
One 10 1/2-oz. can undiluted chicken broth
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsps. minced fresh parsley
Salt and fresahly ground pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne (or ground cumin)

1. Put tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, onion and green pepper in blender; blend until almost smooth.

2. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne (or cumin). Blend again until smooth (about 2 minutes).

3. Place gazpacho in a closed container. Refrigerate several hours. Spoon into bowl to serve with small bits of crushed ice. Let guests help themselves to garnishing of fresh chopped vegetables (scallions, cucumbers, green pepper, and tomatoes) and garlic-fried croutons. (Fry bread in skillet rubbed lightly with a piece of cut garlic in top quality olive oil. Drain on towels before serving.) Serve as first course. Makes 3-4 servings.

Henry Fonda's Swedish Meatballs

1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk (or light cream)
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onions
3 tbsps. sweet butter
1 lb. lean ground raw beef
1 lb. ground raw veal
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. Soak bread crumbs in milk (or light cream) until milk is absorbed. Mix with a fork to form smooth mixture.

2. Saute onions slowly in about 1 tbsp. butter until onions are golden; remove onions to mixing bowl. Add beef, veal, salt, pepper, cinnamon (or nutmeg) and beaten eggs. Mix well with the fingers. Place mixing bowl, tightly covered, in refrigerator for several hours.

3. With fingers, form into 2-inch balls. Heat 2 tbsps. sweet butter in large skillet until it begins to sizzle. Brown the balls quickly over medium heat on all sides by shaking the pan. Transfer meatballs to an ovenproof baking dish. Add few tbsps. milk to skillet; deglaze skillet over medium heat; pour over meatballs in baking dish. Cook in preheated 350 degrees F. oven about 15 minutes (or until meatballs are well heated through). Serve with mashed potatoes and sauce made from juices in bottom of casserole. (Blend with a little heavy cream over direct flame until slightly reduced to have the consistency of a thin sauce. Correct seasonings.) For a green vegetable choose fresh (or frozen) cleaned chopped spinach cooked a few minutes in boiling salted water. Drain and squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice over spinach. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Meatballs serve 4-6.

Thoughts: For optimal flavor, choose best grade of beef and veal, and have butcher grind meat three times (if possible). Allowing meat mixture to sit a few hours facilitates forming of balls. Seasonings can be varied with a dash of ground white pepper or a snipping of your favorite fresh herb (parsley, rosemary). For a richer sauce, dilute pan juices with few tbsps. sour cream, heat just to simmering point, but do not boil. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Recipes by Peggy Fleming: Banana Bread; Individual Meat Loaves

Peggy Fleming's Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
3 tbsp. sour cream
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts), optional

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Cream butter, gradually add sugar; work mixture until light and fluffy. Add egg and mashed bananas; stir well. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream; add nuts mixing well.

Pour batter into greased 4 inch by 8 inch loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven about 40 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out dry.) Remove bread from pan; cool on rack. To serve cut in thin slices lightly spread with sweet butter. To give the loaf the treatment, spread outside with butter cream icing. Serve with chilled mixed fresh fruit.

Peggy Fleming's Individual Meat Loaves

2 pounds lean ground round (or chuck)
1/3 cup minced onion
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup minced green pepper
1 1/2 cups canned marinara (or tomato) sauce

Mix together ground beef, onion, egg, oregano, salt and pepper. Turn out on large sheet of wax paper. With fingers (or rolling pin) press out meat mixture forming oblong shape.

Combine cooked rice, green pepper, about one cup marinara sauce (thin down with a few teaspoons water); season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Place rice mixture on top of meat, spreading evenly over entire surface. Roll up and cut into 8 portions.

Place individual loaves on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes in preheated 400 degree oven. During last 10 minutes spoon remaining sauce over each loaf. Serve with cooked fresh vegetables (carrots, snap peas and lima beans) and a tossed green salad. Serves 8.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Recipes by Fannie Flagg: Bacon-Fried Grits; Fried Chicken

Fannie Flagg's Bacon-Fried Grits

About 5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white hominy grits
12 slices lean bacon
Cream chicken gravy, honey or syrup

In saucepan, bring water to boil, add salt and stir in grits. Cover and cook on low heat 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, fry bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Stir bacon into grits. Pour all into baking dish that has been rinsed in cold water. Cool. To serve, cut into thin slices. Fry in hot bacon fat until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with cream chicken gravy (see fried chicken recipe below), honey or syrup. Makes 6 servings.

Variation: Add 2 cups grated American cheese, 1/3 cup butter, hot pepper sauce to taste and salt and pepper to cooked grits. Stir to cool. Add 2 beaten eggs; blend well. Pour into greased baking pan. Bake at 300 degrees F. for about 1 hour. Serve as supper dish with sliced tomatoes and a pot of spinach or collard greens.

Fannie Flagg's Fried Chicken

1/2 cup flour plus 2 to 3 tablespoons (divided)
1/2 cup finely crushed potato chips
1/2 cup cornmeal
Salt and pepper
2 pounds frying chicken cut into pieces
Shortening (or cooking oil)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup water

In large bag, combine flour, potato chips, cornmeal, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Place chicken pieces in bag and shake until all pieces are well-coated.

In large skillet, heat shortening over medium-high heat, using enough to measure about 2 inches deep when large pieces of chicken are added to pan. Brown meatier pieces first, adding wings and gizzard last. Reduce heat, cover and cook until golden all over, turning once. Drain well on paper towels.

To prepare gravy, pour off all but about 2 tablespoons fat. Remove skillet from heat and add butter. Melt over low heat. Gradually stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons flour. Cook over low heat a few minutes, stirring. Stir in milk and water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve chicken with cream gravy. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Recipes by Peter Finch: Carpet Bag Steak; Russian Lamb Casserole

Peter Finch's Carpet Bag Steak

4 filet mignon, cut 1 1/2 inches thick
1/2 cup melted sweet butter
4-8 raw oysters out of the shell
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Prepare charcoal in outdoor grill (or preheat broiler). Make an incision in each filet to insert oysters. Sprinkle oysters generously with salt and pepper. Place oysters in pocket, close opening with a toothpick (or small metal skewer).

Grill (or broil) to desired doneness, turning once. Serve on heated platter with melted sweet butter poured lavishly over filets. Garnish with minced parsley. Serves 4.

Peter's Thoughts: "For variety's sake, serve carpet bag steak with Chinese oyster sauce (or fresh lemon juice) with smoked oysters."

Peter Finch's Russian Lamb Casserole

6 lamb chops, trimmed
2 scant tablespoons sweet butter
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 scallions, chopped (white part only)
Bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, parsley)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet Spanish onion
1/2 lemon cut in thin slices
About 1 1/2 cups Chablis wine

Rub lamb chops generously with salt and pepper. Brown meat lightly in butter. Arrange meat in glass baking dish with layers of onion, shallots, scallions and lemon slices. Immerse meat in wine. Add bouquet garni between layers. Cover, bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about 30 minutes (or until meat is tender). Watch carefully so lamb is not overcooked. Serves 4.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Recipes by Totie Fields: Heavenly Frozen Salad; Two-Minute Cake

Totie Fields' Heavenly Frozen Salad

1 large can (1 pound 14 ounces) fruit cocktail
1 pint sour cream
1/2 of a 10.5 oz. bag of miniature marshmallows

Drain fruit well (reserve juice for other uses). Mix fruit with sour cream and marshmallows. Pour into deep metal (or glass) pan. Rub bottom of pan with water to speed freezing. Cover top with aluminum foil. Freeze until solid (about two hours). Remove from freezer and allow it to stand about 10 minutes before attempting to slice. Cut, serve on lettuce leaves for salad or spoon into sherbet glasses for dessert. Serves 8-10.

Totie's dessert is a delightful ending for any meal and a wonderful beginning for cooks who like to ad lib their own recipes. For fruitier and/or sweeter variations add: green seedless grapes, crushed pineapple, chopped pecans or slivered almonds.

Totie Fields' Two-Minute Cake

"Take a store-bought angel food cake (about 17 ounces size) and saw it in half, cross-wise forming two layers."

"Get a quart of ice cream, any flavor you enjoy (butter pecan or butter almond, coffee, fudge, ripple, cherry vanilla, pistachio, etc.) and when it gets soft, get a large milk chocolate bar, and I mean the large size (9 ounces). Crush it into pieces with a hammer and sprinkle the bits into the softened ice cream. Spread it on between the layers and over the top and sides of the cake. Put it in the freezer until ready to serve. Serves 8-10 generously."