Saturday, March 4, 2017

Recipes by Pat O'Brien: Favorite Irish Brown Bread; Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

Pat O'Brien's Favorite Irish Brown Bread

4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
About 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1. Mix together all the dry ingredients; add enough buttermilk to form a nice soft dough. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead lightly.

2. Form dough into a circle. Place in greased 9-inch baking tin (or on greased baking sheet). The dough should be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches high. Cut a cross 1/2 inch deep over the top with a floured knife. This helps bread cook more evenly.

3. Bake in preheated 400 degrees F. oven for 40 minutes (or until loaf sounds hollow when rapped lightly on the base with the knuckles). Remove bread from pan; cool on a wire cake rack. Bread should not be cut until it firms up. Toast it for breakfast or tea; spread lavishly with butter.

Pat O'Brien's Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

1/4 cup long-grain rice
1 qt. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon or nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar (white or light brown)
Pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 cup raisins

1. Wash rice. Place in well-greased casserole with milk, vanilla, cinnamon (or nutmeg), sugar and salt; stir.

2. Bake uncovered in preheated 275 degrees F. oven for 3 hrs. Stir frequently during first hour. Add raisins during last 1/2 hr. Serve hot or cold dusted with additional ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Serves 6.

Thoughts: If desired, 2 tbsps. treacle can be added to the dough (mix with buttermilk). "Brown" bread is made in a 100 or more ways in Irish households. It is made from wheaten meal (whole wheat flour). Boxed brown bread mix imported from Ireland is available through mail order houses or food shops specializing in Irish foodstuffs. When properly baked, the bread has a rough texture, "tweedy" (brown and white) appearance and comes out about three inches high.

Years ago the bread was cooked in a closed casserole called the “pot oven" used in Ireland in the open fires. The pot oven is a three-legged cast-iron saucepan (with lid) placed in the open fire with burning turf placed underneath it.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Merle Oberon's Curry Stew

Merle Oberon's Curry Stew

1 1/2 lbs. lamb, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup curry powder
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. ground thyme
2 tbsps. butter (or margarine)
1 can (10 3/4 ozs.) condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 small eggplant (weighing about 3/4 lb.), cut into strips
Cooked wild (or brown) rice
Mango chutney (fresh or bottled)

In skillet, brown lamb with curry, garlic and thyme in butter. Add soup, water, celery and wheat germ. Cover and cook over low heat 1 hour 45 minutes. Add eggplant; cook 15 minutes longer (or until meat and vegetables are done). Serve over cooked hot rice with chutney. Serves 4-6.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Recipes by Louie Nye: Sauerkraut Soup; Tomato-Sauced Veal; Steak Tartare

Louis Nye's Sauerkraut Soup

2 lbs. beef flank
Several marrow bones, split open
2 1/2 qts. liquid (part sauerkraut juice)
2 large onions, chopped
Bunch of cleaned soup greens (1 celery root, 3 sprigs parsley, 1 chopped carrot, 1 stalk of celery with leaves)
1 tart peeled apple, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. sauerkraut
2-3 tbsps. fat (butter or salt pork or bacon grease)
1 bay leaf
6 crushed peppercorns
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp. salt
Sugar to taste
Chopped fresh dill

1. Put beef, bones and liqud (include sauerkraut juice squeezed from canned sauerkraut) in large pot. Let simmer about 1 hour. Skim off any scum or fat that forms on surface.

2. Saute onion, chopped soup greens (cut in large pieces), apple, garlic, and sauerkraut in hot fat (butter or bacon or salt pork grease). Add to stock pot with beef mixture. Add bay leaf, peppercorns, lemon juice, salt and sugar to taste. Simmer 1 hour longer adding additional liquid as needed (preferably sauerkraut juice) so bones, meat and vegetables are well covered.

3. Remove meat from bones, remove meat from marrow bones, discard bones. Correct seasonings. Skim off excess fat. Serve garnished with fresh dill with crusty dark bread. Serves 8.

Thoughts: This basic Ukrainian favorite can be made many ways: By adding dried mushrooms to stock, adding tomatoes or serving with boiled potatoes or sour cream as personal tastes dictate. To add a meatier flavor, add cooked diced Polish sausage or salami to soup just before serving.

Louis Nye's Tomato-Sauced Veal

1 lb. thinly sliced veal scallops
Seasoned flour
3 tbsps. olive (or vegetable) oil
1 medium onion, chopped
A few drops pressed garlic juice
1 large green pepper, diced
6 large garden-fresh tomatoes, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley (or 1/2 tsp. basil and 1/4 tsp. oregano)
1/2 cup water

1. Have butcher cut scallops in 3 or 4-inch squares. Flatten with back of meat cleaver. Dredge veal well on both sides. Shake off excess flour.

2. Heat 2 tbsps. olive (or vegetable) oil in large skillet. Brown veal quickly on both sides until golden. Remove to warmed platter, drain well on absorbent paper. Remove skillet from heat, allow skillet to cool slightly. Use paper towel to wipe out any burned flour particles (or wash skillet before reusing).

3. Saute onion, garlic and green pepper in remaining olive (or vegetable oil) over medium heat until onion is limp. Add tomatoes, seasonings, herbs and water. Smash tomatoes with fork (or large spoon); cook over medium heat stirring often about 10 minutes. Add veal, cook over low heat until meat is tender. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve alone or over cooked rice with Lou's favorite mixed green salad made with accents of fresh grapefruit (or cucumbers, Swedish-style; sliced very thin with chopped onion and fresh dill). Veal dish goes well with chilled white or rose wine and crusty French or Italian bread. Veal serves 3-4.

Thoughts: Lou advises, "Use only the freshest, top quality olive oil so meat will not have a gamey flavor. Use best quality garden-ripe tomatoes (beefsteak, plum or cherry) for best results.

Louis Nye's Steak Tartare

1 1/2 pounds freshly ground lean beef
1 tablespoon hot prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups finely chopped Bermuda or Spanish onion
3 egg yolks
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 tablespoon onion, chopped

Combine meat, mustard, salt, Worcestershire sauce, onion and egg yolks. Mix well. Shape into loaf. Place on serving platter. Garnish with chopped eggs and onion. Serve with rye bread. Serves 8-12 as an appetizer.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Recipes by Ramon Novarro: Asparagus, Italian-Style; Spanish Rice

Ramon Novarro's Asparagus, Italian-Style

At the bottom of a Pyrex dish place some small pieces of butter and grated Gruyere cheese. Carefully arrange a layer of asparagus which has been cooked long enough to have become thoroughly steamed. Now add cheese and butter with another layer of asparagus. Sprinkle over top with cheese and butter. Place in oven for not more than 15 minutes and serve piping hot.

Ramon Novarro's Spanish Rice

1 cup rice
1 can tomatoes
2 onions
2 green peppers
Chili powder
Olive oil

Take 1 cup of rice and put it in a frying pan with enough olive oil to cover the pan a half an inch thick. Stir it until the grains are separated and brown. Add 1 can of tomatoes, 2 finely chopped onions and 2 chopped green peppers. Then season to taste with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Add enough water to make the mixture quite moist. Cover the pan and do not stir or remove the cover. Allow this to simmer slowly for half an hour.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Henry Ringling North's Marrow Beef Stew

Henry Ringling North's Marrow Beef Stew

1 dozen marrow bones, sawed into 2 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsps. olive oil
3 lbs. stewing beef (chuck or filet) cut in 2-inch cubes
Seasoned flour
1 small carrot, minced
1 stalk celery. minced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 chopped leek (white part only)
1 tbsp. minced parsley
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 can, 18 1/2 ozs. beef consomme diluted with 2 1/2 cups water
8 whole carrots, scraped
8 small potatoes, scraped

1. Roll bones in seasoned flour, brown slowly in olive oil in a large, deep skillet or cooking pot. Lift out bones, brown meat, lift out.

2. Brown minced vegetables (including parsley) in same skillet 1 minute. Return the browned meat to the skillet and add parsley, salt, pepper, wine and diluted consomme. Cover, cook slowly 2 hours.

3. Then add marrow bones, carrots and potatoes. Cook 45 mins. longer, or until vegetables are tender. Be careful not to overcook the bones or marrow will fall out. Serve meat, vegetables and bones on a heated platter. Garnish with chopped parsley. Pass gravy in a side dish. Serves 8.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Nick Nolte's Vegetarian Lasagne

Nick Nolte's Vegetarian Lasagne

1 lb. zucchini, washed and chopped
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 to 3 tbsps. butter
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. mint flakes, crumbled
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cans (6 ozs. each) tomato paste
4 cans (6 ozs.) warm water
4 qts. boiling water
2 tsps. salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. green (spinach) lasagne noodles
1 lb. ricotta or cottage cheese
1 lb. grated mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute zucchini and mushrooms in butter flavored with garlic, rosemary, oregano, mint, salt and pepper until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato paste and warm water.

Simmer, stirring over low heat until sauce is reduced in volume to 2 cups. Combine boiling water, salt and vegetable oil; bring to a rolling boil.

Add lasagne, a strip at a time, and cook until barely tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water. If lasagne is not used immediately, let stand in cold water to keep strips separate. Prepare cheese layer by mixing together mozzarella and ricotta or cottage cheese with parsley.

Lightly grease a large ovenproof baking dish and spoon enough vegetable sauce to cover the bottom; top with strips of cooked lasagne; spread with part of the cheese filling. Repeat layers, ending with vegetable sauce. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degrees F. oven 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes to set before cutting into 3-inch squares.

Lasagne can prepared the day before and refrigerated. When ready to use, let stand at room temperature 1 hour, then bake in 350 degrees F. oven 1 hour. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: Green (spinach) lasagne noodles are available in most health food stores. Nick suggests, "Whole wheat noodles are excellent, too." Feel free to experiment with herbs.

A small amount of sage used in lieu of mint gives a delightful flavor nuance to the lasagne.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Recipes by Lloyd Nolan: Gasthaus Salad; Lamb-Eggplant Bake

Lloyd Nolan's Gasthaus Salad

Celery root:
1 1/2 lbs. knob celery
Boiling salted water
3 tbsps. olive oil
5 tbsps. white vinegar (or 1/2 water, 1/2 lemon juice)
Minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup beef stock
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Thinly sliced pickled beets (cut with serrated edge)

1. Wash and peel celery root; cut into thin strips. Cover with boiling salted water. Cook until barely tender (about 4 minutes). Drain and cool.

2. Combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and stock; mix well, pour over celery in glass bowl. Chill 1 hour. Drain celery. Serve on glass plate with beets. Garnish with parsley. Serve with roast pork or schnitzel. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Celery root, popular in Europe as a winter vegetable (braised, casseroled, etc.), deserves to be seen more in the U.S. The cooked, then chilled julienne strips make an excellent hors d'oeuvre coated with a mustard-flavored mayonnaise dressing, served with hard-cooked eggs, garnished with fresh parsley or dill.

Lloyd Nolan's Lamb-Eggplant Bake

2 1/2 cups cooked, cubed lamb
1 small eggplant, cut in 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
1 small green pepper, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Hint of garlic (few drops pressed garlic)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
Freshly ground pepper to taste
About 1 cup leftover lamb gravy (or white sauce thickened with arrowroot) about 1/3 cup white wine (or 1/2 lemon, squeezed)
Buttered crumbs: (made with 1 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsps. butter, salt and pepper to taste)

1. Grease baking dish. Combine all the ingredients in casserole, except gravy, wine (or lemon juice) and bread crumbs. Mix well.

2. Dilute gravy (or white sauce) with wine (or lemon juice); season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Mix gravy with ingredients in casserole. Top with buttered crumbs. Bake in preheated 375 degrees F. oven 45 minutes (or until eggplant is done). Serve alone or with rice and a crisp green salad. Serves 6.