Saturday, August 13, 2016

Recipes by Ben Gazzara: Agnellino al Forno; Meatless Rigatoni

Ben Gazzara's Agnellino al Forno

1 leg of baby lamb
2 small cloves of garlic
Several springs of oregano (or dried oregano)
Lemon pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup olive oil

Make incisions in meat, insert slivers of garlic and sprigs of fresh oregano (or dried herb). Rub outside with cut lemon, salt and pepper.

Put lamb in shallow pan. Combine lemon juice with olive oil; pour over lamb. Cover, marinate several hours, turning several times.

Drain meat, reserving marinade. Place meat, fat side up, in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer. Roast in preheated 300 degree oven until thermometer registers 170 degrees. Baste often with marinade. Serve with green vegetable, wedges of olive-browned potatoes and watercress salad. Serves 3.

Thoughts: Baby lamb is difficult to obtain but can best be purchased in an Italian butcher shop. The average leg roast will weigh about 3 pounds. Otherwise, select a small (about 5-pound) leg, allowing about 3 hours roasting time for rare meat.

Ben Gazzara's Meatless Rigatoni

For the three-hour sauce:
One 12 oz. can Italian tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
About 1 cup water
2 cloves pressed garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
A few sprigs Italian parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 large bay leaf
Pinch of sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Simmer uncovered about 1 1/2 hours, stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from fire, strain, discarding seeds. Return to fire, simmer 1 1/2 hours longer until desired thickness. Add water during cooking time as needed. Correct seasonings.

For the rigatoni:
1/2 pound pkg. rigatoni
15 ounces ricotta (or cottage) cheese
Handful of Italian parsley, minced
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 pound pkg. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

While sauce simmers, cook rigatoni according to package instructions; drain well. Combine remaining ingredients except Mozzarella cheese, season to taste. Line shallow casserole with aluminum foil, spoon a few tablespoons of sauce in bottom of casserole. Arrange layer of cooked rigatoni; spread with layer of ricotta, a layer of sauce, ending with layer of Mozzarella cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used ending with Mozzarella cheese layer. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven 30 minutes. Uncover, bake 15 minutes longer or until Mozzarella cheese is melted and browned. Serves 6. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Recipes by Mitzi Gaynor: Pork in Pastry; Spaghetti Sauce

Mitzi Gaynor's Pork in Pastry

1 package prepared pie pastry (double crust)
2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dijon mustard
Dried tarragon leaves

Prepare pastry according to package instructions. Roll out pastry into a rectangular shape, large enough to cover sides and ends of roast. Spread mustard lightly and evenly on top of pastry. Salt and lightly pepper the roast and place in center of pastry. Sprinkle tarragon leaves over top of roast. Wrap pastry around roast to cover tightly and seal both ends closely. Place roll in baking pan and bake in preheated 400 degrees F. oven about 1 hour (or until pastry is browned). Cover with heavy paper (or aluminum foil) and cook about a half hour longer. Serve cold with endive-avocado-grapefruit salad with French dressing. Serves 6.

Mitzi Gaynor's Spaghetti Sauce

1 can (28 ozs.) plum tomatoes
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
3 quarts boiling water
1 pound spaghetti (or shells)
1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
3/4 cup hot milk
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine tomatoes, celery, carrot, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, fennel, oregano, basil and rosemary in saucepan. Bring to boil; cover and simmer slowly about 1 hour, stirring often. Force through food mill (or blend in electric blender) and strain through a sieve. Return clear liquid to saucepan. Add sugar, cook slowly, uncovered, until sauce is reduced to about 3/4 to 1 cup. Add 3 teaspoons salt to boiling water. Gradually add spaghetti (or shells) so that water continues to boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain in colander. Toss with 1/4 cup butter. Stir remaining 1/4 cup butter into tomato sauce; remove from heat. Stir in hot milk. Pour sauce over spaghetti and toss lightly in serving dish. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies

Janet Gaynor's Ice Box Cookies

450g / 1 1b. butter
300g / 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
650g / 5 cups plain flour, sifted
100g / 1 cup dates, finely chopped
100g / 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly. Add flour gradually while beating the mixture. Add dates and nuts. Add vanilla. Shape dough into rolls and put in refrigerator or freezer overnight wrapped in foil. You may need to let the dough soften a bit if you've had it in the freezer.

In the morning, preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F. Remove cookie mixture from foil and slice into thin layers. Lightly grease baking tray with butter and bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden. Leave for a few minutes on tray then transfer to cooling rack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Recipes by Greer Garson: Capirotada; Deviled Prawns; Ham Loaf; Salmon Balls

Greer Garson's Capirotada

8 ounces sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 slices bread, toasted
6 ounces Longhorn Colby or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
5 ounces raisins
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Combine sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan and boil until sugar dissolves. When mixture begins to turn amber, immediately remove it from the stove. Place a layer of bread in a casserole. Add the cheese and raisins. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Pour the syrup over the mixture. Brush with the melted butter and bake at 375 degrees until the bread absorbs the syrup and the capirotada is nicely browned. Serves 2.

Greer Garson's Deviled Prawns

1 cup prawns
3 tablespoons butter or other fat
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
3 hard-cooked eggs
Red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Few drops onion juice
Buttered crumbs

To prepare prawns, simmer them in salted water, wash, and drain. Remove the shell carefully, also the black line that runs the length of the body. Melt the fat, add the flour, and stir until smooth. Add the milk, heat, stirring constantly, and when it begins to thicken, add the eggs, which have been put through the sieve. Cut the prawns with a silver knife, and add to the sauce; season with the red pepper, parsley, and onion juice. Put the mixture in ramekins, cover with seasoned crumbs, and brown in a quick oven.

Greer Garson's Ham Loaf

2 cups minced ham
1 1/2 lbs. fresh (minced) pork
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
l/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
6 slices tinned pineapple
6 teaspoons red currant jelly

Mix ham and pork together. Add eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Grease a loaf pan generously. Pour in brown sugar mixed with mustard and vinegar. On this press the slices of pineapple with red currant jelly. Over this spread the meat. Bake in a moderate oven for 1 1/2 hours. Cut in slices and serve hot or cold.

Greer Garson's Salmon Balls

A large tin of salmon
Quarter loaf of stale bread
Half a cup milk
Juice of half lemon
One tablespoon chopped parsley
Two eggs (well beaten)
Salt and pepper

Remove crust from the bread, which must be fairly dry. Tear into small pieces or grate on coarse grater or shredder. Add milk. Let stand a few minutes. Beat with a spoon until the bread is soft and broken up fine. Drain the salmon and remove skin and any bones.

Flake it finely and mix into the bread. Add the lemon juice, chopped parsley and well-beaten eggs. Season lightly to taste with salt and pepper.

Beat well until thoroughly blended and as smooth as you can get it. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot fat, 375 degrees F., and fry until golden brown. Drain on greaseproof paper and serve hot. A good idea is to have a shallow dish lined with several thicknesses of paper ready and waiting in a warm oven.

Transfer the fried balls to this pan so they will keep hot while you are frying the rest. Serves six to eight.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Recipes by Judy Garland: Five-Minute French Dressing; Raw Spinach Salad; Savory Pancakes; Shepherd's Pie Supreme

Judy Garland's Five-Minute French Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Mix all ingredients together.

Judy Garland's Raw Spinach Salad

Clean spinach thoroughly and chop into fine pieces. Cook bacon until very crisp, cut in small pieces, and add to spinach. Mix with French dressing into which has been added a dash of chili sauce. Serve very cold with crisp rye bread toast.

Judy Garland's Savory Pancakes

Four ounces plain flour
1 egg
12 tablespoons milk
pinch salt
1 finely chopped onion
mixed herbs

Sift flour and salt into a large, cool basin; make a well in the center and break in the egg; gently stir the flour into the egg, then gradually the milk, and when half the milk has been added ail the flour should be moistened; it should then be beaten thoroughly to remove any lumps; add the rest of the milk, mixing in evenly; strain and stand for one hour; then add onion, parsley, herbs and pepper; melt a little butter in a small frying pan; pour in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan thinly; fry until a golden brown on both sides; toss or turn with a knife; roll up and serve very hot, garnished with parsley.

Judy Garland's Shepherd's Pie Supreme

Half of a leg of lamb, bone in, weighing 3 lbs.
2 chicken breasts, weighing 1 1/2 lbs.
10 oz. can chicken broth
10 oz. can beef broth
3 tablespoons minced dill (or 1 tsp. dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
10 1/2 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion juice

Place lamb on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer, being careful not to touch bone. Roast uncovered in preheated 300 degree oven about 2 1/4 hrs. (or until thermometer registers 170 degrees for rare lamb). Cool slightly, trim and discard outer skin, fat and cartilage. Chop (or hand grind by putting meat through coarse blade of meat grinder). Makes about 4 cups ground lamb.

Put chicken in saucepan; cover with undiluted chicken and beef broth. Cover and simmer about 1 hr. (or until tender). Cool chicken on plate, reserve stock. Strip meat from bones. put through coarse blade of meat grinder. Makes about 2 cups ground chicken.

Combine lamb, chicken, dill, salt and pepper in mixing bowl. Mix well with hands. Dilute mushroom soup with about 1 cup chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and onion juice. Mix well with meat mixture. Butter two 2-quart casseroles. Divide mixture in half, press into each casserole.

1 cup water
1 cup stock (from chicken)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups instant potato flakes
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon caraway (or sesame) seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat water and stock together until boiling; remove from fire. Add milk, butter, stir in potato flakes, beating until light and fluffy.

Add sour cream, chives, caraway (or sesame) seeds, salt and pepper to taste; blend well. Top meat in each casserole with whipped potatoes. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven 20-25 mins. (or until top browns). Run under broiler to crisp. Each casserole serves 4-6. Reserve second casserole for encores or cover tightly and freeze for later use.

Judy advises, "Serve with a wonderful green salad and/or a cooked green vegetable. Be sure to roast lamb especially for the occasion for top flavor results."

Monday, August 8, 2016

Recipes by Vincent Gardenia: Chicken Gardenia; Pasta and Peas

Vincent Gardenia's Chicken Gardenia

1 cleaned broiler-frying chicken, weighing about 3 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tbsps. margarine (or olive oil)
1 small onion, peeled, sliced
Juice of 1 large lemon
3/4 tsp. oregano
About 1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
8-10 small potatoes, parboiled in skins, until barely tender

Cut chicken into serving-size pieces; season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat margarine (or olive oil) in large skillet (or flame-proof casserole). Brown chicken and onion lightly. Add lemon juice, oregano, white wine and parsley to chicken. Cover and place in preheated 350 degrees oven for 20 minutes; add peeled potatoes, spooning juice over potatoes. Continue baking half and hour longer (or until chicken is tender). Serve at once! Great with hot cooked rice or hot garlic bread. Serves 4.

Vincent Gardenia's Pasta and Peas

3 tbsps. olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 lb. shells
Boiling salted water
2 cups canned peas (or cooked fresh peas)
About 1/4 cup hot liquid (chicken stock or water)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese

Heat olive oil in large frying pan; add onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Saute until vegetables are limp, stirring over low heat. Meanwhile, cook shells according to package instructions in boiling salted water only until al dente. Drain shells. Add peas and liquid (just enough to moisten peas and pasta) and grated cheese. Serve alone or as side dish with fowl or seafood main dish. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: The fun begins with the improvisation! Serve cold with garbanzo beans, chopped red onion, chopped fresh parsley, leftover shrimp or rounds of cooked, sliced sweet Italian sausage and strips of pimento.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

James Galway's Colcannon

James Galway's Colcannon

2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 bunches scallions (white parts only)
1 small green cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup heated milk or half-and-half
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, softened
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with cold water to cover. Top with the scallions and cabbage. Simmer, covered until potatoes are tender; drain well.

Return the potato mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, mashing with a potato masher until coarse. Add the milk and butter and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 6 to 8 servings.