Saturday, February 4, 2017

Recipes by Rita Moreno: Abichuelas Rojas; Pollo en Fricase

Rita Moreno's Abichuelas Rojas

1 lb. red kidney beans (or any red beans)
About 3 qts. water
4 oz. lean salt pork, cubed
1 sweet chili pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 coriander leaves, chopped
One 8-oz. can tomato sauce
Salt to taste

1. Bring beans to boil in water and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. (It is not necessary to soak beans; in fact, they taste better if boiled only.) Remove any scum from top of water as beans boil.

2. Render salt pork in skillet over medium heat until pork is crisp; pour off some of the excess fat and discard. Add both kinds of peppers, onion and coriander leaves. Cook until vegetables begin to soften (about 5 minutes); add tomato sauce and salt to taste. Mix well to blend.

3. Add salt pork mixture to cooked beans. Summer about 2 more hours or until beans are soft enough to be enough squashed between thumb and forefinger. Serves 8.

Rita Moreno's Pollo en Fricase

2 tbsps. achiote lard (made by putting 6 or 7 annatto seeds in fork fat or polyunsaturated oil; put on medium heat and heat until fat turns a very deep orange. Discard seeds by draining fat through sieve. You now have achiote lard.)
4 oz. cured ham, finely chopped
2 tbsps. salt pork, finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 green pepper, seeded and cut in four parts
2 very ripe tomatoes, peeled
2 sweet chili peppers, seeded
12 green olives, pitted
1 tsp. capers
1/4 cup seeded raisins
1 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano, mashed
1 tbsp. salt
3-lb. cleaned chicken, cut into serving pieces
1-lb. can peas (or use 10 1/2-oz. pkg. frozen peas)

1. Heat achiote lard (or polyunsaturated oil) in a deep kettle; add ham and salt pork, cook over high heat about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add all the ingredients except the chicken and peas; stir and mix well.

2. Add chicken, heat to boiling; reduce heat to moderate, cover and cook for about 40 minutes (or until chicken is tender). Uncover, add drained peas or frozen peas and cook until peas are heated through (or tender). Serve with cooked white rice. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Rita's two recipes call for special ingredients available in Spanish markets or at gourmet shops. Thyme may be substituted for coriander. If annatto seeds are not obtainable, it is better to delete than make any other substitution. Rita advises, "When cooking chicken fricassee,  regulate the heat according to the amount of liquid lost, since you must end up with a reasonable amount of slightly thick gravy."

Friday, February 3, 2017

Recipes by Agnes Moorehead: Lobster Mousse; Lobster with Sherry Sauce

Agnes Moorehead's Lobster Mousse

1 lb. fresh lobster meat
A few drops fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps. sherry
3 egg whites
Shrimp or truffles to garnish
Parsley sprigs and lemon wedges

1. Chop lobster meat finely. Put through fine blade of chopper; then pound in a mortar until smooth. Sprinkle lightly with a few drops lemon juice; place in sieve to strain off lemon juice.

2. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Gradually beat in cream and sherry with wire whisk. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry; gently fold in egg whites.

3. Butter a large mold. Turn lobster mixture into mold; place in pan filled with hot water. Garnish with whole shrimp or bits of truffle. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven 20 minutes (or until firm). Or poach over hot water 35 minutes. Wait a few minutes before turning out on large platter. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. Serves 4 to 6.

Thoughts: Agnes Moorehead's elegant mousse can be served with a variety of sauces: lobster, hollandaise or sherry-flavored bechamel sauce.

Agnes Moorehead's Lobster with Sherry Sauce

One live lobster, weighing one pound
Large kettle
Boiling water (enough to entirely cover the lobster--at least 2 quarts)
Allow handful of rock salt for amount of water used

1. Be certain lobster is lively and dark mottled green. Have kettle ready. Add water and rock salt, bring to a brisk boil. Drop in lobster, bring to boiling point. Cover, simmer about 15 minutes. Lift lobster from the broth.

2. To shell and remove meat, place lobster on its back. Break off large claws and four smaller pairs. Separate tail from body and holding tail in one hand, split lengthwise in under shell with sharp knife. Remove tail meat. Discard black vein that runs entire length of body. Split body, remove meat where legs are attached. Edible parts include the green part and coral. Discard all other parts.

3. Break open large claws with mallet or nutcracker to remove meat. Reserve small claws for garnishing.

For the sauce:

Sweet butter (clarify by heating slowly until butter foams. Skim off clarified butter; reserve milky residue for cooking)
Dry sherry
Fresh lemon juice (or tarragon vinegar)
Lemon wedges and parsley for garnishing

1. Heat clarified butter slowly. Add sherry, lemon juice (or tarragon vinegar) to taste. Serve hot as dip for cooked lobster above or place lobster meat in shallow ramekin, spoon sherry sauce lightly over lobster, place in moderate (350 degrees F. oven) a few minutes to serve as luncheon or dinner[offering with wedges of fresh lemon and parsley for garnishing. Serves 1.

Thoughts: Lobster with Sherry Sauce was served to Agnes Moorehead at a spook-inspired dinner at the Hawthorne Motor Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts for when witches get together.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Recipes by Roger Moore: Chicken Luisa; Lamb Chez Moore

Roger Moore's Chicken Luisa

2 cleaned, broiler-fryer chickens weighing about 3 pounds each
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Season inside cavity of chickens lightly with rosemary, salt and pepper. Prepare chickens for oven roasting or charcoal broiling: close neck and body cavities with skewers (or cord); tie wings and legs in place.

For the sauce:

1/4 cup fine-grade olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
Few drops pressed garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Combine ingredients to prepare sauce. Baste chickens lavishly and often with sauce. Oven-roast chicken in preheated 300 degrees F. oven until done (about 1 1/2 hours) or on rotisserie (according to manufacturer's instructions). Serve with browned potato wedges, green salad of arugula, romaine or endive and well-chilled Frascati or Verdicchio. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Thoughts: If available, stuff inside of chicken with branches of fresh rosemary and parsley. Rub outside skin well with cut garlic, lemon wedges, olive oil and charcoal-broil over coals or barbecue.

Roger Moore's Lamb Chez Moore

2 lbs. boneless lamb (preferably leg), cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 tbsp. fine-grade olive oil
1 tbsp. butter (or margarine)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (fresh, if available)
Pinch of dried sage
1 small clove garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tsps. flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
4 lemon wedges
Minced fresh parsley

Brown lamb on all sides in olive oil-butter mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste; rosemary, sage and garlic. Cook several minutes over low heat. Stir in flour. Gradually add wine and wine vinegar; stir well. Cover. Cook slowly until lamb is tender (about 3/4 hour). Taste to correct seasonings. Garnish with lemon wedges and minced parsley. Serves 4.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Recipes by Melba Moore: Smothered Pork Chops; Veal Tarragon

Melba Moore's Smothered Pork Chops

8 loin pork chops, cut 3/4-inch thick
Seasoned meat tenderizer
Onion powder
Garlic powder

1. Wipe chops and trim off excess fat. Put fat in skillet and heat until very hot. Sprinkle meat tenderizer, onion and garlic powder generously on both sides of chops. Cover chops with flour. Brown on both sides in heated grease (add more grease to skillet if necessary).

2. Lift out chops. Add more flour to pan drippings and stir to brown flour over low heat. Add water, stir, cooking until smooth. Add chops. Cover. Simmer over very low heat until tender (about 45 minutes). Serve with spinach salad (raw spinach flavored with crisp bacon bits, wine vinegar dressing, hard-cooked egg slices, minced white onion and cracked black pepper), whipped potatoes (add dash powdered sage, optional) and apple rings. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Melba favors the flavor of seasoned salt. If preferred, use salt and pepper to season. Meat "holds" well. Can be reheated without overcooking.

Melba Moore's Veal Tarragon

1 1/2 lbs. veal scallops, cut very thin
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 tsp. tarragon (dried)
2 tbsps. butter
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
About 1 cup Moselle or Rhine wine

1. Flatten scallops by slightly pounding. Dredge with flour. Season well with salt, pepper and tarragon.

2. Heat butter and vegetable oil in large skillet; saute scallops quickly on both sides. Add enough wine to cover scallops. Cover and cook over low heat until meat is tender. Remove to heated platter. Cook sauce to reduce in volume. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve scallops with sauce and hot parslied rice. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Melba's veal specialty is excellent made with boneless chicken breasts. Use lemon (rind, juice added to wine during cooking), rosemary or fine herbs.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Recipes by Mary Tyler Moore: Almond Meringue Cookies; Brandied Fruit; Curried Pear Slices; Poor Man's Stroganoff

Mary Tyler Moore's Almond Meringue Cookies

4 egg whites
8 teaspoons powdered skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon liquid artificial sweetener
Cinnamon to taste

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add powdered skim milk. Mix well. Add extracts and sugar substitute. Drop cookies by spoonsful onto cookie sheet. Bake at 275 degrees F. for 45 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and dust with cinnamon. Yields 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.

Mary Tyler Moore's Brandied Fruit

3 winter pears or Golden Delicious apples
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup brown sugar
Lemon peel
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/3 cup brandy

Core and slice pears (or apples). Combine remaining ingredients to make syrup. Bring to boil; add fruit. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve hot with fowl or meat. Remove lemon peel before serving. Can be served as dessert, too.

Thoughts: Peaches can be substituted for pears or apples. If desired, use several kinds of fruits. Great with small turkey, barbecued chicken or capons.

Mary Tyler Moore's Curried Pear Slices

2 fresh winter pears
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
2 teaspoons curry powder or ground ginger or mace

Core and slice pears Melt butter in skillet. Add sugar or honey. Cook over low heat, stirring, until pears are tender (about 10 minutes).

Dust with curry powder. Delicious with lamb or Rock Cornish hens. Serves four.

Thoughts: If desired, halve pears. Saute as directed. Substitute 1 teaspoon Cointreau or sugar. Fill centers with a dollop of chutney.

Mary Tyler Moore's Poor Man's Stroganoff

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cans (3 ozs. each) chopped mushrooms, drained
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and minced
1 pound top-grade lean ground sirloin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 cup dairy sour cream
Chopped parsley, chives or dill

Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Shake pan often for even cooking.

Add meat and seasonings to onion mixture. Cook over medium heat until meat begins to turn brown. While cooking, stir with fork to prevent meat from lumping.

Remove pan from heat and pour in sherry. Cook a few minutes, then add sour cream, and replace skillet over low heat. Cook until sauce begins to simmer, stirring often. Do not boil.

Serve over hot cooked rice, buttered noodles (tossed with poppy seeds) or toast points. Garnish with snipped fresh parsley, chives or dill. Serves four.

Thoughts: Miss Moore advises, "If you wish to delay serving the stroganoff, cover the skillet and reheat just before serving. It's a non-fail main dish that can sit as long as you want it to--within reason, that is--without the sauce curdling."

Monday, January 30, 2017

Robert Montgomery's Black Bean Soup

Robert Montgomery's Black Bean Soup

2 lbs. black beans
1 lb. lean shoulder steak
2 hard-boiled eggs
3 lemons

Soak beans 24 hours before cooking. Put on to boil in 1 gallon water. Let cook all day, being careful not to let beans stick to pot; set off for night to cool; strain and put on stove with meat and cook for 2 to 3 hours, adding water as needed. Take out beef, season with salt and red pepper. Serve with hard-boiled eggs and lemon slices.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ricardo Montalban's Torta Aztec

Ricardo Montalban's Torta Aztec

8 tortillas
1/2 cup oil
4 chorizos (Mexican sausage)
grated Cheddar cheese
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese
6 hard-boiled eggs

Fry tortillas in oil lightly. As each is fried set aside. Skin and crumble chorizos and fry, set aside. Cube Monterey Jack cheese and slice hard cooked eggs. When this is done make sauce as follows:

1 medium minced onion
1/4 cup oil
3 cups tomato puree
1 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
3 green chiles

Fry onions in oil. Add tomato puree. Season with oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Chop and add chiles. Cook covered for 30 minutes. When sauce is done, place one tortilla in casserole and on it spread chorizo, grated Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, 2 or 3 tablespoons of the sauce and ring of hard boiled eggs. Repeat this procedure until all tortillas have been used. Sprinkle remaining chorizo and Monterey Jack cheese over top and pour all remaining sauce on top of casserole. Bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes. Cut as you would a cake. Serve with refried beans. (Serves 6.)