Saturday, May 20, 2017

Recipes by William Shatner: Banana Nut Bread; Cappuccino Chip Muffins; Deluxe Hamburgers; Steak Picado; Veal Piedmont

William Shatner's Banana Nut Bread

2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon yogurt
3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped nuts

Cream together honey, butter, eggs and yogurt. Mash bananas well with fork; stir in baking soda and set aside.

Mix together flour, bran, salt and remaining mixture. Add bananas; mix thoroughly. Stir in nuts. Pour into buttered 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Bake in 350 degrees F. oven for 1 hour or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on rack. Makes 1 loaf.

William Shatner's Cappuccino Chip Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk gently to mix.

In a medium bowl, beat egg lightly. Whisk in milk, melted butter and vanilla extract. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour in milk mixture. Stir just until evenly blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter among 12 greased muffin cups. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Serves 12.

William Shatner's Deluxe Hamburgers

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced Bermuda onion
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry red wine (Use quality domestic vintage either Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon)
8 cleaned mushroom caps
1/4 teaspoon thyme
4 slices aged Cheddar cheese
English muffins

Place in mixing bowl meat, onion, garlic, thyme, wine, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with the fingers. Divide into 8 parts, form meat into patties 1-inch thick. On each of four patties place slice of cheese and two sliced mushrooms. Cover with remaining patties sealing edges together carefully. Broil over charcoal fire to desired doneness. (Or pan broil in cast-iron skillet on top of stove by heating ungreased skillet until red hot. Scatter surface with generous sprinkling of salt. Plunk in hamburgers, broil over high heat, turning once.) Serve patties alone with thick slices of beefsteak tomatoes or placed on toasted split English muffins. Adorn with a choice of condiments (catsup, hot mustard, pickle relish, chutney, chopped onion, bottled Escoffier sauce). Makes 4 generous servings.

William Shatner's Steak Picado

2 pounds lean top sirloin steak
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 green peppers
1 large Bermuda onion, peeled
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled
2 teaspoons chili powder
Pinch of dried oregano
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut up peppers, onions and tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. Saute in 1 tablespoon olive oil until onions are transparent. Cube steak into bite-sized chunks; sear meat quickly in separate pan rubbed with olive oil until meat is brown outside, but rare inside. Add vegetables, chili powder, oregano and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper; mix well. Cover, simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve at once with side dishes or rice tortillas and green salad tossed with vinegar-oil dressing and dry red wine. Serves 6-8.

William Shatner's Veal Piedmont

4 thin slices of veal cut from leg (suitable for scallopini)
4 slices proscuitto (or boiled) ham
4 slices Swiss (or Gruyere) cheese
1/2 cup bottled Italian salad dressing

Sandwich slice of ham and one of cheese between two slices of veal. Secure ends with string. Marinate overnight in salad dressing. Grill over hot coals six or seven minutes on each side. Remove string before serving. Serves 4.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Omar Sharif's Fatta

Omar Sharif's Fatta

Half leg of lamb (bone in), weighing about 4 pounds
About 3 1/2 cups water
1 small yellow onion, peeled
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sweet butter
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon dried mint flakes
1 pint yogurt
1 egg
1 cup long-grain rice
4 slices white bread, edges trimmed, toasted, cut in 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons pine nuts, browned in butter

Trim off excess fat and fell (outer layer of skin) from lamb. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; place in stock pot with enough water to cover, along with whole onion, stick cinnamon, cardamom seeds and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boiling point, reduce heat so meat simmers slowly. Cook 45 minutes (or until meat is tender). At frequent intervals skim off scum that forms. Remove from fire, discarding bone, onion and spices. Strain stock and reserve. Set meat aside.

Clarify butter by heating slowly until residue forms in bottom of pan. Retain clear butter, discard milky residue. Brown lamb bits in about 1 1/2 tablespoons clarified butter. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Mix yogurt with beaten egg. Heat until mixture begins to boil; set aside. Heat garlic (whole) in 1 tablespoon clarified butter with 1/2 teaspoon salt and mint flakes; remove garlic, discard. Add garlic-butter and yogurt to browned lamb. Meanwhile cook rice in 2 1/2 cups lamb broth until fluffy.

To assemble:
Put toasted bread crumbs in bottom of deep platter (or casserole). Top with hot cooked rice. Spoon lamb mixture and sauce overall. Decorate with butter-browned pine nuts. Serve at once. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: Fatta resembles stroganoff in flavor and appearance. Care must be taken not to overheat the yogurt which curdles at high temperatures.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

George Segal's Chicken Paprika

George Segal's Chicken Paprika

1 medium yellow onion
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 pounds frying chicken, cut in pieces
2 cups tomato juice
Pinch of oregano
1 large bay leaf
Pinch of marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups sour cream

Cut onion into heated oil in a heavy skillet; brown slightly, remove and reserve onion. Brown chicken quickly on all sides in onion-flavored oil.

Add onion, tomato juice (enough to cover chicken), oregano, bay leaf, marjoram, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover, simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender. Remove chicken to a heated platter. Reduce sauce one-fourth over medium heat, stirring often.

Using a wire whisk, add sauce slowly to sour cream in a large mixing bowl; blend until smooth. Return sauce to skillet, add chicken, heat gently five minutes. Serve with steamed rice. Serves 4 to 5.

Thoughts: Add the sauce to the sour cream carefully to prevent lumping. Team the piece de resistance with a green vegetable, chilled green salad, crisp Italian bread and fruit for dessert. Choice of wine: Valpolicella.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Recipes by Jean Seberg: Cucumber Soup; Midwestern Lemon Meringue Pie

Jean Seberg's Cucumber Soup

3 medium-sized cucumbers
1/4 cup minced green onion
3 tbsps. butter
Two 10 1/2-oz. cans chicken broth
1 cup liquid (water, milk or dry white wine)
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 tsps. minced fresh (or good pinch dried) dill
1 cup commercial sour cream
Minced fresh chives (or parsley)

1. Peel washed cucumbers; grate on coarse side of a grater. Put cucumber in saucepan (or skillet) with onion and butter. Stew until barely tender. Put through sieve (or electric blender), set aside.

2. To sieved cucumbers add chicken broth (undiluted), liquid (water, milk or wine), salt and white pepper to taste. Mix well. Add dill, pour soup into jar. Cover and refrigerate several hours to chill well

3. Taste to correct seasonings. Pour soup into soup plates. Garnish with generous dollops of sour cream and chives (or parsley). Serve at once with rye or pumpernickel bread and sweet butter. Serves 4-6.

Jean Seberg's Midwestern Lemon Meringue Pie 

For the crust:
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
scant 1/4 cup ice water

Mix salt and flour together in mixing bowl. Cut shortening into salt-flour mixture with pastry blender (or with two knives) until even lumps the size of peas are formed.

Gradually add ice water to bowl tossing flour mixture lightly with a fork adding just enough liquid to form a mass. With fingers, gather dough into a ball, handling as little as possible. Wrap dough tightly in wax paper; chill until ready to to use.

Roll crust out on a lightly floured board (or pastry cloth) stretching to an even thickness.

Line a 9-inch pie dish with crust. Cut off with scissors allowing one-half inch hangover for the crust. Flute the crust, pressing with the fingers. Prick crust before baking in preheated 425 degrees F. oven until golden (about 10 mins).

For the filling:
3 1/2 tbsps. cornstarch
3 1/2 tbsps. flour
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water
4 egg yolks
2 tbsps. grated lemon rind
scant 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsps. melted butter

Sift together cornstarch, flour, salt and sugar into top of a double boiler. Gradually stir in boiling water, cook over direct heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils. Set over boiling water, cook, covered about 20 mins. (or until thick and smooth), stir often.

Beat egg yolks slightly, add lemon rind, lemon juice and melted butter, blend well. Gradually add to sugar mixture. Cook in double boiler until smooth and thick, stirring constantly. Cool, but do not chill.

Pour custard into baked pie shell. Top with meringue.

For the meringue:
4 egg whites
scant 1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt

Beat egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly. Pile meringue lightly to cover filling and crust. Bake in preheated 425 degrees F. oven until golden. Chill well before serving.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

George C. Scott's Orange Pancakes

George C. Scott's Orange Pancakes

Use good pancake or biscuit mix or prepare your own homemade quick bread mix as follows:

8 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup double-acting baking powder
1 1/2 tbsps. salt
2 tsps. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups fat

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar.

2 Cut in fat with pastry blender (or two knives) until mixture has a fine even crumb. Cover tightly and store in a cool place. (Makes 128 medium-sized biscuits.)

For the orange pancake batter:

2 cups quick bread mix (as prepared above)
Scant tbsp. sugar
1 3/4 cups milk
1 tbsp. finely shaved orange rind
1 large egg
1 1/2 tbsps. sweet butter (melted and cooled to room temperature)

1. Blend quick bread (or boxed biscuit) with sugar, milk, egg, butter and orange rind; beat with rotary beater until smooth.

2. Heat pancake (or griddle) pan until hot. Grease if necessary. Griddle is hot enough if few drops of water boil up and skid across the surface.

3. Drop batter by spoonfuls (or for uniformity, use 1/4 cup measure) on surface. Cook until bubbles begin to appear and undersurface is nicely browned. Turn, cook, serve at once with sweet butter, orange marmalade or powdered sugar and thin fried (or broiled) ham steaks. Makes about 16 large pancakes.

Thoughts: The basic formula can be varied by omitting the orange rind and using peeled tart apple, coarsely grated. Serve dusted with cinnamon sugar, or powdered or brown sugar, sweet butter and crisp bacon. Or use plump blueberries (in season) or canned blueberries, drained. Add berries to batter. Serve with nutmeg sugar or powdered sugar, sweet butter or dollop of sour cream. Makes a hearty Sunday brunch or late supper meal. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Budd Schulberg's Huevos Rancheros

Budd Schulberg's Huevos Rancheros

1 small yellow onion, minced
6 tablespoons sweet butter
4 small ripe tomatoes (or 1/2 cup tomato sauce)
1/2 fresh hot green pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tortillas
4 eggs fried in butter
3 chorizo cut in one-inch pieces, fried and drained

1. Saute onion in two tablespoons butter until soft, add chopped tomatoes, hot pepper, salt and black pepper. Simmer slowly about 30 minutes until all the flavors blend and the sauce thickens.

2. Fry tortillas in 4 tablespoons butter only until soft; top with fried eggs. Spoon sauce over fried eggs. Arrange sausage around each portion. Serve immediately. Serves 2-4.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Natalie Schafer's Tuna Salad

Natalie Schafer's Tuna Salad

1 can (12-ounce) tuna, drained
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (may need more)
2 large eggs, hard-boiled
2 tablespoons minced bell pepper
2 minced green onions
dash of Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients together and chill.