Saturday, April 15, 2017

Recipes by Della Reese: Chicken Salad a la Grecque; Jamboree Salad

Della Reese's Chicken Salad a la Grecque

1 head iceberg lettuce
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup dry white wine (or apple juice)
2 tbsps. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 whole chicken breast, split
2 tsps. corn oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup seedless green grapes
2 tbsps. feta (or Monterey Jack) cheese

1. Core, rinse and drain lettuce thoroughly; chill in disposable plastic bag (or plastic crisper). Bring chicken stock, wine (or apple juice), lemon juice, curry powder, rosemary and bay leaf to a boil. Add chicken breasts. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Cool in broth. Remove skin, cut into large chunks.

2. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces. Toss with 2 or 3 tablespoons chicken broth, corn oil, salt, pepper and grapes. Top with crumbled or cubed cheese. Heat remaining broth to sip with salad. Makes 2 luncheon-sized servings.

NOTE: Della likes to toss a salad in a glass or wooden salad bowl. Her favorite salad bowl is a large, 12-year-old wooden bowl bought in New York. To prepare the bowl for salad-making, she suggests, "Let bowl soak in oil--any kind will do--for three days. Pour off the oil, wipe dry with paper toweling. After using, it can be cleaned simply by wiping dry with paper toweling. It should be rinsed with water only, never soap. Dry thoroughly before putting away." Della learned her "soak-in-oil" trick from her late mother.

Della Reese's Jamboree Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce
1 cup cooked diced mixed vegetables (or one 8 1/4-oz. can mixed salad vegetables)
1 cup cooked whole small white onions (or one 8-oz. can whole small onions)
4 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup dairy sour cream
1 tsp. fresh lemon
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
A few dashes coarsely grated black pepper
Caraway seeds
1 small cucumber and several cherry tomatoes for garnish

1. Core, rinse and thoroughly drain lettuce; chill in plastic crisper (or disposable plastic bag). Drain vegetables and onions well.

2. Cut onion and tomatoes into wedges. Blend sour cream with lemon juice, soy sauce and seasoned salt; toss lightly with mixed vegetables, onion and tomatoes.

3. Line salad bowl with outer surface leaves; halve remaining lettuce lengthwise, then finely shred enough to measure 3 cups. Mound in center of bowl. Spoon vegetable mixture in ring around mounded lettuce. Lightly sprinkle pepper and caraway seeds over all. Garnish with sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Makes 4 servings (81 calories each).

Thoughts: Della's favorite salad is a rich-tasting salad and is satisfying as a low-calorie lunch. Calories become even less if yogurt (62 calories) is substituted for the sour cream but lemon juice should be reduced to one teaspoon. Strips of cheese or lean meat (rare roast beef, tongue, leg of lamb or ham) or poultry (turkey or chicken) can be added for protein, increasing calorie content somewhat.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Recipes by Rex Reed: Lemon Ice Box Pie; Shrimp Gumbo

Rex Reed's Lemon Ice Box Pie

For the crust:
20 vanilla wafers, crushed and crumbled
1 1/2 tbsps. sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

1. Combine crumbs and sugar in mixing bowl. Stir in melted butter and mix well.

2. Press firmly into bottom and sides of an 8-inch pie plate. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven 7 mins. Cool.

For the filling:
1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
finely grated rind of 1 1/2 lemons
2 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
dash salt

1. Blend condensed milk, lemon juice and 2/3 of the lemon rind. Add egg yolks and mix well. Pour into cooled pie shell.

2. Beat egg whites and salt until almost stiff. Gradually add sugar beating until mixture is stiff and fluffy. Pile meringue lightly over filled pie shell. Sprinkle top with remaining lemon rind. Bake in preheated 325 degrees F. oven until top begins to turn brown. Serves 6.

Rex Reed's Shrimp Gumbo

3 tbsps. vegetable oil
3 tbsps. flour
3 cups sliced, stemmed fresh okra
2 chopped scallions (white part only)
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chopped celery
2 heaping tbsps. minced parsley
1 1/2 tsps. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup chicken stock
2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
8-10 drops Tabasco (or cayenne to taste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Large pinch of thyme
2 large bay leaves
3 tbsps. chopped ham
2 lbs. green (raw) shrimp, peeled end deveined
2 lbs. fresh king crab legs (or 1 lb. raw crab meat)
Gumbo filé powder

1. Heat oil and flour in 4-quart pressure saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring mixture (roux) until almost black. Add okra, scallions, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until vegetables soften slightly. Add chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, lemon juice, thyme, bay leaves and ham. Heat to simmer.

2. Add shrimp and king crab meat (cut leg with scissors to remove meat, discard shell or use large chunks of fresh raw crab meat). Mix well.

3. Close cover securely. Cook 4 minutes. Cool cooker at once. Remove cover and stir. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve at once over fluffy cooked rice flavored with snipped parsley. Sprinkle filé powder over gumbo at the table. Serve with hot garlic French bread, green salad and tall glasses of iced tea. Serves 4-6.

Thoughts: Rex's shrimp gumbo will win paeans! For late summer cooking, pressure cooker saucepan reduces time and heat in the kitchen. If preferred, use a deep iron skillet, increase liquid to about 2 quarts, cook vegetable-stock mixture until thickened (about 45 minutes) before adding seafood. Add seafood and cook until shrimp begins to turn coral. Adjust seasonings, increasing slightly to taste.

Rex advises, "First you must make the roux: that's the first thing my mother taught me! Then, you learn everything else about Southern cooking! Never add tomatoes to the gumbo. Filé powder (dried sassafras leaves used to flavor and thicken stock, is available at gourmet section of supermarkets or food specialty shops) may be added at the end of the cooking time, but filé should never be cooked into the gumbo or it gets ropey in appearance." Gumbo made without filé can be refrigerated or frozen and reheated to serve.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lynn Redgrave's Tomato-Onion Pie

Lynn Redgrave's Tomato-Onion Pie

For the pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoon sweet butter

1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in mixing bowl. Cut butter into bits, work into the flour with the fingertips (or use pastry blender). Work pastry well with the fingers, pounding and kneading vigorously until it forms a ball.

2. Press pastry into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie tin (or flan case). Chill 1 hour until crust is firm. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool.

For the filling:

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ripe peeled tomatoes, cut in halves
1/2 can (3 ounces) tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 small yellow onion, peeled, cut in rings
3 tablespoons sweet butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
15 black pitted (or green pimiento-stuffed) olives
8 anchovy fillets, drained

1. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, smashing tomatoes with a wooden spoon until sauce is smooth. Cook, stir occasionally, until reduced in volume one half. Set aside.

2. In separate skillet saute onion rings in butter until golden.

3. Sprinkle crust with half the cheese. Lay onion rings over cheese, spread with tomato mixture. Cut olives in halves, arrange olives and anchovy fillets over the top in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven 25-30 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned. Cut pie in wedges. Serve with endive salad and chilled white or rose wine. Serves 4.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recipes by Robert Redford: Green Olive Salad; Lamb Chili with Black Beans; Whole Wheat Quick Bread

Robert Redford's Green Olive Salad

One 9-oz. pkg. frozen artichoke hearts (or small can artichoke hearts, drained)
1 cup boiling water
1 head romaine, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup mung bean spouts (or one 16-oz. can bean sprouts, drained)
1 cup small, whole pimiento-stuffed olives
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar (or 3 tbsps. fresh lemon juice)
4 tsps. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dill weed)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Scant tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Plunge artichoke hearts in boiling water; remove pan from heat and let stand for only 2 minutes, drain and chill in large salad bowl. Combine artichoke hearts (or drained canned artichoke hearts), romaine, bean sprouts and olives. In small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine salad oil, wine vinegar (or lemon juice), dill, parsley, sugar, salt, mustard and pepper. Shake well to combine salad dressing ingredients. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss until well-coated. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: Robert Redford's salad is terrific with barbecued steak or grilled rainbow trout. If desired, the salad can be made with additional greens, such as escarole or endive.

Robert Redford's Lamb Chili with Black Beans

3 large tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
6 cloves garlic
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 1/2 pounds well-trimmed lamb stew meat, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
4 cups chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon catsup
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup canned black beans, drained
Pinch dried mint
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts*

Blacken the tomatoes in 1/4 cup oil in a very hot cast iron skillet, or coat the tomatoes with oil and place them under the broiler about 4 inches away from the heat, turning them with tongs, until charred all over. (You can also char them without the oil by spearing them on the end of a fork and holding them over an open-flame gas burner.)

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large saucepan over high heat until hot. Add the garlic, onion, lamb, chili powder and coriander and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the blackened tomatoes, broth, crushed tomatoes, catsup, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes. Add the beans, mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, for 10 minutes.

Serve the chili in large bowls garnished with the chopped onion, green onions and sour cream. Pass the pine nuts separately.

* To toast pine nuts, spread on baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Check after 3 minutes. They go from browned to burned in a matter of seconds.

Robert Redford's Whole Wheat Quick Bread

1 beaten egg
2 cups buttermilk
3 tbsps. dark molasses or honey
1 1/2 tbsps. melted butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Combine egg, buttermilk, molasses (or honey) and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Combine all dry ingredients, stir into egg mixture. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide dough evenly between two well-greased 3 1/2" x 6" x 2" bread pans. Bake in preheated 400 degrees F. oven about 50 minutes (or until bread gives a hollow sound when thumped with two fingers). Cool slightly on wire racks before slicing. Spread with salted butter. Makes two small loaves.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Recipes by Harry Reasoner: Eggs Benedict; Rock Lobster Bouillabaisse

Harry Reasoner's Eggs Benedict

For the Hollandaise sauce:

1/2 cup butter
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
A few grains cayenne

Divide butter into 3 portions. Place 1 portion in a heavy bowl with egg yolks and lemon juice. Cook over hot (never boiling) water, stirring constantly with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until butter melts. Add second portion of butter and stir. When mixture thickens, add the last portion of butter, stirring sauce constantly until thick and smooth. Season with salt and cayenne. If mixture separates, stir in 2 tablespoons cream (or boiling water), drop by drop. It can be made in advance and reheated over warm water while being stirred. A few additional drops of cream (or boiling water) may be added if sauce is too thick.

For the eggs:

4 slices boiled ham (or Canadian bacon)
4 English muffins, split and toasted
4 poached eggs
Hollandaise sauce

Saute ham (or broil Canadian bacon slightly). Arrange on toasted English muffin halves. Place poached eggs on top of ham (or Canadian bacon). Pour Hollandaise sauce on top. Serve as hearty breakfast, brunch or supper offering. Serves 4.

Harry Reasoner's Rock Lobster Bouillabaisse

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
1 can (28-oz.) tomatoes
1 bottle (8-oz.) clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Pinch of saffron
1 1/2 lbs. fish fillets (flounder, sole, cod, red snapper or halibut), cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pkgs. (8 ozs. each) frozen South African rock lobster tails
12 mussels, well-scrubbed and debearded
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat olive oil; saute celery, onion and garlic until tender but not brown. Add thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes, clam juice, wine, parsley and saffron. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add fish fillets. Cut each frozen rock lobster tail into three pieces crosswise through hard shell; add shell and all to stew with mussels if desired. Simmer for additional 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving in large bowls with slices of French bread. Serve with well-chilled white or rose wine. Serves 6.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Recipes by President Ronald Reagan: Chili; Corned Beef Hash in Bell Peppers; Macaroni and Cheese

President Ronald Reagan's Chili

1/2 cup bacon drippings
2 cups chopped onions
4 chopped garlic cloves
2 pounds coarsely ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups red wine (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon beef base
4 cups canned whole tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 to 6 cups cooked pinto beans

Using a 1 1/2-gallon heavy pot, melt bacon drippings. When hot, sauté onions and garlic cloves. Add ground beef and chili powder. Stir until meat is well browned. Add red wine (optional). Add salt, beef base, tomatoes, bay leaf and sugar. Simmer chili meat, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Add pinto beans to the meat. Simmer chili con carne for 1 hour, covered over low heat, stirring gently from time to time. Test for flavor. Serves 16.

President Ronald Reagan's Corned Beef Hash in Bell Peppers

3 medium potatoes, cooked
1 large onion, diced
3 medium tomatoes
1 can corned beef
4 bell peppers
4 eggs
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown potatoes and onions in oil. Add tomatoes, corned beef, salt, pepper and enough warm water to keep from burning. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers. Clean out seeds and remove center core. Parboil in salted water until tender limp. Drain. Fill peppers almost to the top with corned beef mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes.

Five minutes before serving, drop raw egg in top of each pepper. Return to the oven until egg has set.

President Ronald Reagan's Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces macaroni
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg, beaten
3 cups grated sharp cheese
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon hot water
1 cup milk

Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender; drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Add cheese reserving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour into buttered casserole.

Mix mustard and salt with hot water and add to milk. Pour over macaroni; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Basil Rathbone's Fried Lamb with Rice and Currant Jelly

Basil Rathbone's Fried Lamb with Rice and Currant Jelly

One quart hot, boiled rice
1 1/2 pounds lamb steak
2 tablespoons butter
1 glass currant jelly
salt to taste

Cut young, tender meat into one-inch cubes, season, fry in butter until meat is brown and tender. Push to one side of pan. Add jelly and melt with meat juice. Place hot rice in center of platter. Place hot lamb around rice. Pour hot sauce over the rice. Serve immediately.