Saturday, January 28, 2017

Anna Moffo's Chicken Livers Diva

Anna Moffo's Chicken Livers Diva

1/2 cup diced bacon
2 tablespoons finely chopped Bermuda onion
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken livers
Seasoned flour (salt and freshly ground black pepper)
2 or 3 leaves chopped fresh thyme (or 1/16 teaspoon powdered thyme)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/4 cup cut parsley
English muffins

Saute bacon, onion and green pepper in a braiser (or saucepan) until bacon is brown. Dredge chicken livers in seasoned flour. Add to onion mixture, browning quickly. Add thyme and wine, simmer 5 minutes. Add olives and parsley. Cook over low flame 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stirl constantly.

Serve over split toasted English muffins as breakfast or luncheon course. Serves 4.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Mary Ann Mobley's Fudge Brownies

Mary Ann Mobley's Fudge Brownies

2 cups margarine
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts, coarsely chopped

Fudge Icing:
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup milk
Dash of salt
2 squares unsweetened chocolate

Melt margarine and chocolate together over hot water. Beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together. Slowly add melted chocolate and beat until well blended. Sift flour and salt together. Mix with nuts and add last. Pour into two 9-inch square greased and floured pans or 1 large pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 35 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.

Fudge Icing:
Mix together and cook slowly until all is melted. Bring to a boil rapidly 1 to 2 minutes. Beat until creamy and smooth.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Recipes by Robert Mitchum: Border Hash; Chili Wonder

Robert Mitchum's Border Hash

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup beef stock
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (peeled)
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 dried chili peppers (or crushed red pepper or chili powder to taste)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in large skillet. Cook onion in hot oil until transparent. Stir in beef and garlic powder. Cook until meat begins to brown, stirring often.

2. Mix in beef stock, tomatoes, parsley, chili peppers (or crushed red pepper), oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 30-40 minutes (or until mixture has reduced to a loose-textured, "gloppy" consistency).

3. Serve alone, or top off with poached egg. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Border hash or picadillo as it's better known south of the border, is made in many ways. The Mitchum version is "meaty" and can be reheated and refried with finely chopped green pepper and grated raw potato or served over cooked hot rice. Mexican cooks often use picadillo to fill tacos or empanadas (turnovers). A "sweeter" version of the hash is made with raisins, black olives, almonds (or pine nuts) and sweet spices (cinnamon, allspice or clove).

Robert Mitchum's Chili Wonder

4 strips bacon (or olive oil)
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Seasoned flour: 2 parts chili powder to 1 part flour
3 lbs. lean beef (top round) cut in 3/4-inch cubes
About 1 qt. beef stock (or water)
2 tbsps. vinegar
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2-4 tbsps. chili powder mixed with a little water until smooth
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Dash of sugar
2 tsps. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 oz. bitter chocolate, shaved

1. Cook bacon in large stock pot until crisp and brown. Lift out bacon, pour off excess fat so only 3 tbsps. remains (or use olive oil). Brown onions slowly in fat until soft; lift out.

2. Shake cubed beef in seasoned flour; brown quickly on all sides in onion-flavored grease (add more olive oil if necessary). Add browned onions, garlic, beef stock, vinegar, tomatoes, chili powder-water mixture, bay leaves, cumin seeds, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Bring to boil; simmer slowly 3-4 hours. Add chocolate during last half hour. Taste to correct seasonings. Add more liquid during cooking if needed and stir often to prevent sticking. Serve with cooked pinto (or kidney) beans on the side. Top with chopped sweet onion if desired. Serves 8.

Thoughts: Chilicrats may contest eating the Mitchum Wonder without the beans! Bob's a purist, likes his beans on the side and a minimal of seasonings. "Vinegar will tenderize the meat, but the real secret is to add a little piece of bitter chocolate, just as in a good spaghetti," Mitchum advises. (The chocolate is reminiscent of the Mexican classic turkey mole.) Bob's chili was a stew-like consistency, can be made ahead (or frozen) and only tastes better the next day. "Hot" chili buffs may opt for small dried peppers (remove seeds), serrano, jalapeno and mulato chiles (available in Mexican-Spanish food shops), or red cayenne, etc. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Recipes by Carmen Miranda: Feijoada; Picadinho

Carmen Miranda's Feijoada

1 pound pork shoulder roast, cut in small cubes
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound dry black beans, soaked overnight
6 ounces smoked sausage, cut into coins
4 cups water

Brown pork cubes, onions, and garlic in olive oil.

Add beans and sausage; cover with water and cook 3 hours on low heat until beans and meat is tender, stirring every once in a while (may need more water). It is customary to serve it with white rice and oranges, the latter to help with digestion.

Carmen Miranda's Picadinho

1/2 pound stewing beef, cut in cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 pound spinach, chopped

In a large pan, heat olive oil and add beef cubes. Cook until browned on all sides. (Make sure you don't overcook, or the meat will toughen). Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes and cook down to sauce. Add spinach and cook down to consistency of your liking. Serve with rice and banana farofa.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Recipes by Liza Minnelli: Gazpacho; Potato Shells; Pot Roast with Brussels Sprouts

Liza Minnelli's Gazpacho

3 medium (1 lb.) tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
1/4 cup mixed vegetable flakes
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
4 tablespoons croutons
4 tablespoons diced tomato
4 tablespoons diced cucumber
4 tablespoons salad onion flakes

1. In jar of electric blender combine tomatoes, cucumber, water, vegetable flakes, onion and garlic powders, salt and red pepper; blend well. Stir in oil and vinegar. Chill well.

2. Serve in bowls, adding a tablespoon each of croutons, tomato, cucumber and salad onion flakes. Makes 4 servings.

Liza Minnelli's Potato Shells

4 long, slender baking potatoes
About 4 tsps. sweet butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup sour cream
4 tsps. caviar
2 jiggers vodka

1. Scrub, dry potatoes. Rub skins lightly with fat. Bake in preheated 425 degree F. oven about 1 1/4 hours (or until inside is soft and skin is crunchy).

2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; remove about half of the potato, put 1/2 tsp. butter in each shell with light sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper. Fill each shell with sour cream. Top with 1/2 tsp. caviar and sprinkle each shell with vodka. Serve at once as finger food to go with cocktails. Makes 8.

Thoughts: Liza's potato shells can be made as a dinner accompaniment by using all the potato and flavoring with butter, salt and pepper, restuffing and double baking before adding sour cream, caviar and vodka.

Liza Minnelli's Pot Roast with Brussels Sprouts

4 slices lean bacon
3-lbs. boneless beef rump (bottom round or chuck), larded
Veal knuckle, cracked
2 tbsps. butter
1 1/2 cups dry vermouth
About 1/2 cup liquid (water or beef broth)
Bouquet garni (1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. sage, 3/4 tsp. basil, 1 large pinch rosemary, 10 cracked peppercorns, 2 sprigs parsley wrapped and tied in cheesecloth)
1 1/2 tsps. salt
2 carrots, chopped
1 clove mashed garlic
1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
12 new potatoes, scrubbed, cut with thin band around the center
1 qt. Brussels sprouts (trimmed, precooked 6 minutes until barely tender in boiling salted water)
1 tbsp. arrowroot (or cornstarch)
More liquid as needed

1. Brown bacon in large Dutch oven. Season roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Lift out bacon, brown roast quickly on all sides. Lift out roast; pour off browned fat. Add butter; brown veal knuckle quickly on all sides. Return beef to the pot.

2. Add vermouth, liquid, bouquet garni, salt, carrot, garlic and shallot. Bring to boil. Cover (there should be enough liquid to reach halfway up the side of the meat). Simmer about 3 hours. Strain stock with cheesecloth, discarding vegetables, bouquet garni, and veal knuckle. Strain off excess fat.

3. Add potatoes, cover, cook about 20 minutes (or until tender). During last few minutes, add partially-cooked Brussels sprouts. Remove roast to heated platter. Surround with border of potatoes and Brussels spouts. Thicken gravy with arrowroot (or cornstarch) mixed with a little cold water. Stir gravy over medium heat until smooth and thick, correct seasonings. Spoon gravy over meat and vegetables. Garnish vegetables liberally with freshly ground pepper. Serves 6 generously.

Thoughts: Herbs can be changed to suit the cook. Liza often serves her pot roast with hot wild rice.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Recipes by Barbara Minkus: Rice with Mushrooms and Bell Peppers; Spinach Salad

Barbara Minkus' Rice with Mushrooms and Bell Peppers

3 tbsps. butter
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
About 1/2 cup mushroom stems, sliced
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 tbsps. flour
1/2 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Saute green pepper, red pepper and mushroom stems in 1 tbsp. butter about one minute (or until vegetables start to soften); set aside. Combine water, rice and soup mix in saucepan. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes (or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed). In skillet, melt remaining butter; stir in flour, cook 2 minutes over low heat, stirring. Gradually add beef broth, milk, Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat stirring until sauce is smooth and thick. Pour over hot rice. Garnish with cooked mushrooms and peppers forming attractive pattern on top. Service with veal scallops and spinach salad. Serves four.

Barbara Minkus' Spinach Salad

For the sweet and sour dressing:

1 egg yolk
Juice of 1 lemon
3/8 tsp. water (1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp.)
Scant tbsp. flour
Dash Worcestershire sauce to taste
2 packets sugar substitute
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/16 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil

Beat egg yolk slightly in top of double boiler. Stir in lemon juice, water and Worcestershire sauce; blend well. Combine dry ingredients, add to yolk mixture, blending. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add olive oil a few drops at a time, stirring well after each addition. Serve hot over salad.

For the salad bowl:

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
1/8 lb. raw spinach leaves, well washed, dried and crispened
1 cup cooked drained soybeans (or garbanzo beans)
1/2 fresh lemon
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4-5 slices lean bacon, cooked very crisp, well-drained, broken into bits

Remove stems from mushrooms; wash, dry caps, but do not peel. Slice caps thinly into large salad bowl (reserve stems for Barbara's rice recipe above). Add crispened spinach leaves and soybeans (or garbanzo beans). Coat spinach and mushroom slices well with lemon juice. Cover bowl; refrigerate one hour. Add pepper to taste. Toss lightly with hot sweet and sour dressing. Garnish With bacon bits. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Barbara's sweet and sour dressing can be made sharper with the addition of wine vinegar or more lemon juice. Same dressing makes a delightful dressing for fresh fruit with the addition of a 1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt).

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Recipes by Yvette Mimieux: Indian Curry and Chicken; Shrimp Haitian-Style

Yvette Mimieux's Indian Curry and Chicken

3 lb. cleaned fryer, cut in pieces
1 cup Bisquick
2 tsps. curry powder
2 tsps. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup shortening

1. Wash and pat chicken dry. Put all ingredients except shortening in a paper bag. Shake two or three pieces of chicken in the bag until thoroughly coated.

2. Melt shortening in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Place chicken pieces, skin side down, in hot shortening. Bake in preheated 425 degrees F. oven for 40 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F., turn chicken, bake 20 minutes longer. Serve with hot peach halves with chutney with noodles almondine (or saffron rice). Serves 4.

For the peach halves:

Drain 1-pound can peach halves. Put in 9-inch pie plate. Spoon 1/2 tsp. chopped chutney (good grade mango or lime) in each peach half. Bake in oven (375 degrees F.) during last 10 minutes while chicken is cooking.

Thoughts: Yvette's Indian curry is a quick, easy curry that eliminates the usual array of chutneys and condiments (raisins, sieved hard-cooked eggs, sliced bananas, chopped onions, cashew nuts, candied ginger, crisp bacon bits, pickles, chopped mint or watercress leaves, or shredded coconut). A quick version of her favorite coconut chutney can be made by putting 4 tbsps. grated, unsweetened coconut, 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, 1-inch piece minced fresh ginger root, small clove pressed garlic, a good squeeze of lemon or lime juice (about 2 tbsps.) and salt to taste through blender.

Yvette Mimieux's Shrimp Haitian-Style

1/2 cup minced onion
2 tbsps. butter
1 bay leaf, crushed
1/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp. minced parsley
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
One 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups cooked, deveined shrimp

1. Saute onion in butter, blend in rest of ingredients except the shrimp. Cook slowly stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. Stir in shrimp, heat to serve over hot cooked rice along with black beans. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Although haricots rouges et riz (red beans and rice) are more indigenous to Haiti, Yvette prefers black beans (feijões pretos) more typical of Brazilian fare. Black beans are prepared by soaking the beans overnight and cooking until tender to a stew-like consistency. Season with onion and garlic sauteed in fat. Served alone or with rice. Some typical Haitian desserts: bananas in rum, papayas, or fruit ice.