Saturday, March 18, 2017

Recipes by Gordon Parks: Clam Eggplant Casserole; Mexican Chili Pot

Gordon Parks' Clam Eggplant Casserole

1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut in 1-inch cubes
Cold water
4 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped celery
3 cups bread crumbs
Salt and white pepper to taste
24 fresh chowder clams, chopped
2 tbsps. lemon juice
2 cups clam juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs

Put eggplant in saucepan with enough cold water to cover; bring to boil; simmer 2 minutes; drain. Set aside. Saute shallots and garlic in butter until tender; add parsley, celery, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Place half the mixture in a shallow, well-greased baking dish (or 8 individual greased ramekins). Top with clams; sprinkle with lemon juice. Cover with eggplant and remaining bread crumb mixture. Combine clam juice and heavy cream; pour over top of casserole (or ramekins). Top with buttered crumbs. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven 25 minutes (or until crumbs are golden). Serves 8.

Gordon Parks' Mexican Chili Pot

For the beans:

1 cup dried kidney beans
2 cups cold water
1 clove pressed garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Wash beans; soak overnight. Add more water, if needed, to cover beans. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to boiling point; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender (about 2 hours). Add more liquid, if needed. Set aside.

For the chili pot:

1 large green pepper, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 tbsps. chili powder
10 drops Tabasco, optional
1 clove pressed garlic
2 tsps. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
Two 1-pound cans tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp. sugar

Saute green pepper and onion in oil until golden; add beef, cook until meat browns. Stir often with fork to keep loose-textured. Blend in chili powder, Tabasco. garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add cumin, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar; cook 30 minutes; stir often to prevent burning. Add cooked beans, cook 15 minutes longer. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve alone, with tamales, or spoon over rice or fill taco shells. Serves 8.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Recipes by Luciana Paluzzi: Fried Zucchini; Veal Scallopini Piccata

Luciana Paluzzi's Fried Zucchini

1 pound zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil
Lemon wedges

Select firm medium-sized zucchini (about 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long). Wash, cut ends off. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle with salt, place in colander to drain 1 hour. Dip in flour, then in egg beaten with milk. Season lightly with grating of black pepper. Heat oil in deep saucepan. Fry few slices at a time in hot oil about 3 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper. Remove to heated platter. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serves 2-3.

Thoughts: This popular Roman offering can be prepared in a variety of ways, using meats (veal seallops, brains, sweetbreads, or calf's liver) and vegetables (asparagus spears, cauliflower flowerets, eggplant, potato croquettes, spinach sprigs, broccoli and green beans). Vegetables should be lightly parboiled first until barely tender, with the exception of zucchini and eggplant.

Luciana Paluzzi's Veal Scallopini Piccata

1 pound of veal scallops
2 tablespoons sweet butter
1 tablespoons capers
Salt and pepper to taste

Have butcher cut scallops as thin as possible from a leg of veal. Pound between two pieces of waxed paper to flatten. The scallops should be less than 1/4-inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Heat skillet; melt butter until sizzling. Brown scallops quickly on both sides; remove to a heated platter. Heat capers in pan juices; spoon the sauce over the meat. Serves 2-3.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Recipes by Betsy Palmer: Prime Ribs of Beef on the Rocks; String Beans

Betsy Palmer's Prime Ribs of Beef on the Rocks

5 lbs. pure rock salt
2 cups water
2 ribs of prime roast beef (short ribs detached), weighing 5-6 lbs.

1. Have butcher prepare roast as follows: detach short ribs (reserve for another meal), trim off excess fat, crack the shinbone for easy carving.
Tie roast if needed. Insert a roast meat thermometer into the center of the roast.

2. Place salt in a pail, moisten well with water. Place thick layer of salt in bottom of shallow roasting pan.

3. Place roast, fat side up, on bed of salt. Cover all sides of roast with moistened salt. Roast, uncovered, in preheated 325 degree F. oven until the roast meat thermometer indicates degree of doneness desired -- 140 degree F. for rare, 160 degree F. for medium or 170 degree F. for well done.

4. Scrape off salt from roast with knife, remove roast to a heated platter. Slice to desired thickness. Serve with baked potatoes, green vegetable and green salad. Serves 6.

Betsy Palmer's String Beans

3 pounds garden fresh string beans
8 slices bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1 small white onion, sliced
A few gratings freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste

1. Saute bacon in large cooking pan until barely crisp.

2. Meanwhile wash beans thoroughly, rejecting any limp or shriveled beans. Remove blossom and stem ends, pull on strings, break beans into bite-size pieces. Add beans, onion, and pepper to bacon. Stir well to mix. Cover, cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until beans are "al dente." Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Salt to taste. Serves 6.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Recipes by Janis Paige: Bananas Flambe; Feijoada with Pepper and Lemon Sauce

Janis Paige's Bananas Flambe

4 firm bananas
1 stick (1/2 cup) sweet butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Few drops fresh lemon (or lime) juice
1/4 cup dark rum (100-proof)

Peel, slice bananas; saute in chafing dish in butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Cook until lightly browned, burn occasionally, being careful not to mash banana slices. Warm rum slightly, pour over bananas in chafing dish and ignite, being careful to hold the face away from the flames. Keep spooning sauce over fruit until the flames die out. Serve hot alone or with dollops of sour cream. Serves 4.

Janis Paige's Feijoada with Pepper and Lemon Sauce

3 cups dried black beans
1 pound jerked (dried) beef (or uncooked corned beef, cut in small pieces)
1 pound smoked sausage
1/2 pound smoked pork (or 3 smoked pork chops)
1 small smoked tongue
1/2 pound bacon
1 1/2 pounds lean fresh pork, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 pig's foot
1 teaspoon peanut (or vegetable) oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 small clove garlic, pressed
4 links pepperoni sausage
1/2 teaspoon ground red chili pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight. Drain, place in deep saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring to boil, cover, simmer, cook about 2 hours until almost tender. Add more liquid as needed. Soak jerked beef overnight. Drain, place in saucepan, bring to boil, simmer about 20 minutes. Drain and cool. If corned beef is used, soaking is not necessary.

To a large stock pot add beef (or corned beef), sausage (reserve small piece for sauce), smoked pork (or chops), tongue, bacon, fresh pork and pig's foot. Cover with water. Bring to boil, simmer about 2 hours. Combine contents of the two pots. Cook beans and meats together, simmer until meats are fork tender and beans can be easily mashed with a fork. Remove about 1 cup cooked beans, mash or put through blender. Reserve.

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion, garlic, and piece of sausage, cut up. Cook over low heat until onion and sausage are lightly browned. Add 1 cup cooked mashed beans to onion-sausage mixture with enough liquid from the beans to form a thick sauce. Simmer 5 minutes over low heat, stirring to blend well. Add sauce to beans and meats in stock pot. Correct seasonings.

To serve, separate meats and beans. Slice meat in serving pieces and arrange on heated platter. Place tongue in center of platter. Moisten meats slightly with liquor from the beans. Serve beans in deep serving dish or soup tureen. Serve along with boiled rice, sliced orange, and pepper and lemon sauce. Serves 8-10.

Pepper and Lemon Sauce

3 small hot dried chili peppers
1 small yellow onion, peeled, cut in large pieces
Salt to taste
1 small clove garlic, pressed
Juice of one lemon

Pound peppers, onion, salt and garlic to form thick paste (or put through blender). Add lemon juice, let stand 1 hour. Note: Sauce must be used immediately, as it ferments upon standing.

Thoughts: Feijoada requires long preparation and can be varied according to the whims of the cook. Bahians add vegetable touches with the addition of sliced, peeled pumpkin, kale or squash. Purists use malagueta or tabasco peppers to give the dish its truly peppery quality and dende oil. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Recipes by Patti Page: Pumpkin Pie Supreme; Sauteed Pumpkin Italiano

Patti Page's Pumpkin Pie Supreme

1 - 9-inch prepared pie crust
1 1/2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin (canned)
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. sweet sorghum (or molasses)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (or allspice)
pinch salt
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon (or orange) rind, optional
2 eggs, separated
2 cups milk (or 1 3/4 cups milk plus 1/2 cup heavy cream)

Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry. In mixing bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, sorghum,, spices, salt and lemon rind; blend well.

In separate bowl, beat egg yolks until light. Add egg yolks and milk to pumpkin mixture, stirring well.

Beat egg whites until stiff, fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake in preheated 450 degrees F. oven 10 minutes; reduce oven to 325 degrees F., continue baking 35 minutes longer (or until a silver knife inserted in center of filling comes out clean. Serve slightly warm, plain or with a slice of aged Cheddar or topped with sweetened, chilled whipped cream (plain or flavored with minced candled ginger). Serves 8.

Cooks can jazz up this all-American classic by adding chopped pecans (3/4 cup) or spiking the filling with booze (3 tablespoons brandy). Vary the pastry using a ginger snap or graham cracker crust. Reduce milk by 1/2 cup and cook filling in top of double boiler until thick. Cool slightly before pouring into pie shell. For an added "gingerly" touch, top pie with ginger-flavored (finely minced candied ginger) soft meringue and oven-bake until meringue is golden brown.

Patti Page's Sauteed Pumpkin Italiano

1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausages, cut in one-inch pieces
1 tablespoon butter (or cooking oil)
1 pound pumpkin (or yellow crookneck or zucchini squash)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Saute onion and sausage in butter (or cooking oil) until sausage is lightly browned. Pour off excess fat.

Peel cleaned pumpkin (or squash) cut into large pieces. Put into skillet with onion-sausage mixture adding salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until pumpkin becomes mushy, stirring often. Serve as meat accompaniment or toss with hot cooked noodles or rice. Serves 4.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Anita Page's Chocolate Layer Cake

Anita Page's Chocolate Layer Cake

4 eggs, separated - 4 yolks will be used and 3 whites will be beaten stiffly
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup thick sour cream
2 squares of baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda

The yolks of 4 eggs and 1 1/3 cups sugar are beaten until they are quite light. In part of contents of 1 cup of thick sour cream placed on the fire melt 2 squares of baking chocolate. Allow to cool and then pour in the rest of the cream. Into 1 and 1/2 cups flour, sift 1 teaspoon soda. Add alternately with cream to yolks and sugar. Flavor, then cut and fold in whites of 3 eggs beaten stiffly. Bake in square, shallow pans. When sufficiently cool combine with icing or nut filling.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jack Paar's Clupp Soup

Jack Paar's Clupp Soup

1 quart water
1 teaspoon allspice
3 bay leaves
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 small onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup cream

Combine water, allspice, bay leaves, onion, and salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Simmer until the flavor of the spices releases. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, egg, milk, minced onion and salt. Mix well and form into meatballs about the size of walnuts. Drop into boiling spiced water. Cover pan and boil for 30 minutes. Combine flour and vinegar to form a paste. Add a little water to thin if necessary. Drizzle into soup slowly, stirring until mixture is thick. Add cream. Remove meatballs. Strain liquid. Serve over rice or riced potatoes; that is, potatoes put through a potato ricer. Serves 4.