Saturday, December 6, 2008

Jenn's Chocolate Covered Pretzels

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This is such a yummy treat with no cooking or baking. It makes a great holiday gift for relatives and friends. I used Snyder’s pretzel sticks which I bought at Von's (Safeway) and packages of white and semisweet chocolate chips. It's easy -- all you do is melt the chocolate, spread it on the pretzels and roll them in your favorite topping. Refrigerate them for a few minutes until the chocolate sets, and then package them up in a cellophane bag with a festive bow. Store at room temperature. They are delicious. I got this recipe from my friend, Jennifer, who bakes the best Christmas cookies each year. Pictured here is Den and Jenn's daughter, Katie.

Ingredients:
--1 package of Snyder's pretzel sticks
--1 package (12 oz) of chocolate chips (semi-sweet, white or milk chocolate)
--Sprinkles (from the cake decorating section, chopped chocolate, nuts or crushed Oreos)

Microwave a large package of chocolate chips for one minute. Mix until the chips are fully melted. (As the chocolate cools, it gets thicker which makes it easier to spread.) Use a butter knife and coat the pretzel generously with the chocolate. Immediately roll them in the chopped nuts or sprinkles until the chocolate is covered. Place each one on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil (do this right away) in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden. For a gourmet version, dip the pretzel in caramel topping, Rice Krispies, then melted chocolate. Pretzels can be stored at room temperature.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Asian Layered Spread

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Here's an easy appetizer that we made for Thanksgiving as we celebrated the news about Tim & Michelle's baby due in May. This recipe originally came from the Seattle JACL Cookbook.

Ingredients
8 oz. cream cheese
Chunky peanut butter (use enough to cover the cream cheese)
Any jam or chutney
Bacon bits, fried, crumbled
Green onions, chopped
Toasted flaked coconut (optional)
Cilantro leaves

Layer in a shallow dish each of the ingredients starting with the cream cheese. Serve with crackers.

Here are Michelle and Tim trying out the new baby carrier. The "Li'l Coffey Bean" is due ~May 28th!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Corinne's Ginger Beef

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This is a simple dish that turns out great each time you make it. If you like the taste of fresh ginger slices stir fried with thinly sliced beef, then this dish is for you. It is easy to make and tastes delicious with steamed rice. This recipe comes from my buddy Corinne. It's an oldie but goodie, just like her.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 lb sukiyaki meat (thinly sliced steak)
1/4 cup beef stock
1-1/2 T soy sauce
2 tsp dry sherry
1 tsp sugar
2 T oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T thinly sliced ginger
3 green onions slices in 1/2 inch pieces
1 T cornstarch
1 T water

In a small bowl, mix the beef stock, soy sauce, sherry and sugar. In a hot wok or large frying pan, add the oil and stir fry the garlic for a 1-2 minutes. Add the sukiyaki meat, green onions and ginger. Stir fry until the beef is no longer pink. Mix the cornstarch and water in a separate cup, and add to the beef when fully cooked to thicken the sauce. Serve with steamed rice.

Here's a photo from the ferry ride returning from Corinne's place on Bainbridge to Seattle.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Stephen's Irish Car Bomb

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Here's a recipe for a very wicked drink. Stephen made these for us at Michelle's birthday weekend at the Russian River. You have to drink it fast or else the drink curdles right before your eyes. It is supposed to be chugged in one or two gulps and has a slight chocolate milk after-taste. Pictured here is Stephen (right) with cousin, Scott Shimomura in New York City.


Ingredients:
1/2 pint Guinness beer
1 oz Jamison rye/whiskey
1/2 oz Bailey's Irish cream

Pour the Guiness into a pint glass. In a separate shot glass, pour the Jamison into the shot glass, and then pour the Bailey's on top. Drop the entire shot glass carefully into Guiness glass. Drink it quickly before it curdles.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Corinne's Roasted Tomato and Onion Appetizer

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It is such a treat going to Corinne's when I visit Bainbridge, as she always cooks something wonderful to eat. On my last trip there, she made the most delicious and succulent oven-roasted tomatoes and onions, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped fresh basil. She served the roasted veggies on top of toasted slices of peasant bread with a creamy cheese spread. It was excellent! I begged for the leftovers.

Ingredients:

2 large Walla Walla onions, thickly sliced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
12 ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise with insides scooped out
3/4 lb. fresh ricotta (sold in specialty deli sections) or feta, fresh mozzarella, stilton, soft cream cheese
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil
Toasted peasant bread

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange onion sices in single layer on 2 baking sheets, brush both sides with olive oil and bake 25 min., turning after 15 min. until golden brown. Place tomatoes in 2 shallow pans, cut side up, and brush cut side with olive oil. Roast for 25 min. at 425 degrees until centers are soft. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue to roast until more dried out, approx. 20-30 min. longer. Spoon cheese in the middle of a large platter and surround cheese with onions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle additional olive oil. Sprinkle with basil, and serve with toasted bread.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cliff's Gazpacho

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Cliff Louie made this soup last weekend while I was visiting Seattle, and it is truly the most refreshing and delicious soup I have ever tasted. It is best served chilled, so is perfect for a hot summer day. Pictured here are Cliff and Patti in Laguna Beach.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup of V-8 juice or tomato juice
1 T white wine vinegar
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp toasted, ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup. Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, V-8 juice, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Or what Cliff does is put the onion, tomato, red pepper and cucumber into the blender and blend until texture is chunky, then add other ingredients into blender and puree for another 15-20 seconds. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight.
...............and here's Ms. Sophie

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mom's Corned Beef and Cabbage

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This is another family favorite recipe that my mom used to make on special occasions. After simmering the corned beef on the stove for hours and hours, she would slice the meat, glaze it with her special sauce, and bake it for 15 min. longer. Simply delicious and very little leftovers. Pictured here is mom (on the right) with Auntie Fumi at the Beacon Hill backyard.

Ingredients:
5 lbs corned brisket of beef
1 package pickling spices (comes with the corned beef)
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
4-5 red potatoes (small ones)
1 medium-sized green cabbage, cut in wedges

Secret Sauce:
1/4 cup mustard
1-1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar

Place the corned beef in a large pot of water and cover with peppercorns and pickling spices (in supermarkets, these often come packaged with the corned beef). Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 4-5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally. During the last hour, add the carrots and potatoes and cover again. During the last 15 minutes, add the cabbage. Transfer meat, cabbage, carrots and potatoes to a oven-proof platter and brush the meat with the sauce. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 min. Serve with extra sauce.

Mariko's Chicken Cordon Bleu

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This is a scrumptious French classic recipe that can be made ahead of time and is a great dish for dinner parties. It is sure to impress your guests. The recipe comes from Mariko Shimomura of Seattle, pictured here with cousin Michelle.

Ingredients:
2 half chicken cutlets
1 c bread crumbs (in a bowl)
¾ c eggbeaters or 3 eggs – beaten (in another bowl)
2 slices Swiss cheese
2-4 slices of ham (depends on thickness of the cut)
Salt, pepper, rosemary
Oil

Heat ¼ inch oil in a saucepan on low. Slice most of the way through each piece of chicken. Open the chicken and place the cheese and ham inside. Fold chicken back over itself. Sprinkle salt, pepper and rosemary on chicken to taste. Dunk chicken in eggbeaters. Coat chicken in breadcrumbs. Place chicken in the pan and turn the heat up to medium/medium high. Cook for 12-15 minutes turning occasionally.

Michelle's Pork Tenderloin with Escalloped Apples

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Here's a delicious recipe for pork tenderloin from my daughter, Michelle Coffey. The apples make a nice complement for the roasted pork tenderloin. This recipe originally came from Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals.

Ingredients:2 pork tenderloins
2 T olive oil
1 T grill seasoning (McCormick Montreal)
2 tsp lemon zest
1 T fresh chopped thyme leaves
3 T butter
5 apples, sliced (gala or golden delicious)
Salt
2 T flour
2 T lemon juice
2 T sugar

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat the pork with olive oil. Combine grill seasoning, lemon zest and thyme. Rub the spice mixture over the tenderloin and roast for 25 min. Remove and let juices settle, then slice at an angle. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat and saute apples for 12-15 min until tender. Season with pinch of salt, and sprinkle flour over skillet. Squeeze lemon juice over the skillet, and then sweeten with sugar. To serve, top the pork with the apple slices.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Faux Mashed Potatoes (Cauliflower)

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Here's a great low-carb recipe for fake mashed potatoes, using cauliflower. You just cut up the cauliflower, boil it, then mash it. You can add any of these ingredients to your liking: cream cheese, half and half, sour cream or butter as you would to mashed potatoes. For a healthier version, you can use the reduced fat version of those dairy products.

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
2 oz. cream cheese
3 T butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add a dash of salt. Add the cauliflower and cook until completely done. Drain. In a food processor or blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve as you would mashed potatoes. Makes a great side dish.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sue's Mozzarella-Tomato Appetizers

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Sue Ceglinski made these appetizers at a recent baby shower, and everyone enjoyed them. They are easy, easy, easy to make and are a mini-salad on a stick. Sue is a multi-talented person. She made the most awesome cake for the shower, decorated with a sleeping baby on top. Not only did it look good, it tasted great. Sue also enjoys beading and is an exceptional craftsman.


Ingredients:
Mozzarella balls
Cherry tomatoes (vine-ripened are best)
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Thread the cherry tomato, basil leaf and mozzarella on a cocktail toothpick, and place on a serving platter. Grind some pepper on top. Drizzle balsami vinegar and olive oil on top.

Val's Orzo Spinach Salad

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Here's a great salad from my friend, Val Kane. It is a light, delicate and colorful salad, sometimes called Tri-Colored Orzo Salad. You can vary the amount of the ingredients to your taste. You can also substitute arugula for the spinach and add toasted pinenuts or walnuts. It can be made ahead of time and served chilled. Simply scrumptious!

Ingredients:
1-lb orzo (cooked according to package directions and cooled)
1-2 bags fresh spinach (Trader Joe's brand is good), washed
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted nuts (pine nuts or walnuts) optional
Lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
Olive Oil (3T for the orzo, plus 1/4 cup for the dressing)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cook the orzo according to package directions and drain. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the orzo as it cools. In a large salad bowl, mix the orzo, spinach, feta and cranberries. Sprinkle with lemon juice and additional olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add nuts on top. This can be chilled for a few hours or served immediately.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sam's Honey Garlic Spareribs

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I got this recipe from the Sam, the Cooking Guy's "Just a Bunch of Recipes" Cookbook, which my son, Stephen, gave me for Mother's Day. I love this cookbook. Sam Zien is a regular guy with a great sense of humor, who loves to cook. He is a "no frills" chef. His recipes are uncomplicated, simple, easy to follow using every day ingredients and focusing on great flavor. He has a cooking show on the Discovery Health Channel (8 Emmys) and a website: http://www.thecookingguy.com/. If you can't get the Discovery Health Channel, he has videos on his website that are very entertaining to watch. There, that's my plug for him. This recipe closely resembles Corinne's teriyaki sauce, and your house smells unbelievable as it bakes. I used baby back ribs, and they were so tender, the meat was falling off the bone.

Ingredients:
4-5 lbs. pork spareribs, cut up
2 T garlic powder
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup honey
2 T cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 green onions, white and green parts only, thinly sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the ribs into individual pieces and season with garlic powder. Wrap tightly with foil and place in a baking dish. Bake 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the sauce in a sauce pan, combining soy sauce, honey, cider vinegar, garlic and black pepper over medium-low heat for about 5 min. After 1 hour of roasting, remove the ribs from the oven, unwrap the foil at one end, and drain the liquid. Be careful, as it is very hot. Pour the sauce over the ribs making sure they are well-coated. Return to the oven, and bake uncovered for another hour, basting every 10 min. The sauce will burn if left unattended, so watch it carefully the last 20 min. Place the ribs on a serving platter and top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Corn and Edamame Salad

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This is a very refreshing salad, a nice accompaniment to Corinne's Teriyaki Chicken or Sam's Honey Garlic Spareribs. The dressing is light and sweet.

Ingredients:
14-16 oz. shelled edamame (cook according to package directions)
1 ear of corn - boiled and cut from the ear
2 T red onion minced
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Dressing:
1/4 cup miso
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 T Canola oil
1-1/2-2 T grated ginger

Cook the corn, then cut the corn kernels from the ear. Mix the dressing: miso, mirin, rice vinegar, ginger and oil. Layer ingredients in a shallow bowl: edamame, corn, red onion and walnuts. When ready to serve, add dressing on top. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Roger's Adobo Chicken

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Adobo is the popular national dish of the Philippines. Roger’s recipe, which originally came from his daughter-in-law, Gina, is combined with a Pike Place Market Filipino restaurant recipe. So good and easy!

Ingredients:

One fryer, cut up
¾ cup palm vinegar (buy at an Asian market)
1 cup soy sauce
1 T pickling spice (important)
1 T brown sugar
Lots of bay leaves
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Place chicken skin side down and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for 50-60 min. until tender, turning chicken occasionally. Serve with white rice.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mare's Sweet Sticky Rice

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Sticky rice is one of my very favorite Chinese dishes. This excellent recipe comes from Marilyn Kihara of Bellevue, pictured here with hubby Ray. When making rice, Mare measures the water the way her parents did (pre-automatic cookers) by adding enough water until it covers her hand when she places it flat across the top of the rice. She peeks under the lid to see how it's cooking to determine when to turn the heat down. Mare uses Lee Kum Kee's Panda Brand oyster flavored sauce and Kam Yen Jan Chinese sausage in this recipe. It is delicious!


Ingredients:7 c. sweet rice
2 c. Japanese rice (short grain)
2 c. Chinese rice (long grain)
2 c. brown rice

Step 1: Mix and wash all rice together to get rid of excess starch and impurities. For automatic rice cookers, measure water line to total number of cups line. For stove top cooking, add enough water to cover to 3/4" above surface of the rice. Let soak for 45 min, then cook. For stove top cooking, bring to boil on medium high until water evaporates. Check for craters or holes on rice surface, then turn heat down to low and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes while stir-frying other ingredients.

Step 2: Dice the following (you can do this the day before):
6 ea. Chinese pork sausage
1/2 lb. BBQ pork
1 ea. large white onion
6 ea. celery stalks, peeled
1 bunch green onions (reserve 1/3 for garnish)
12 ea. shiitake mushrooms (if dried, soak 1/2 hr, cut off stems)

Step 3: Heat 2 tbs. vegetable oil in a wok or fry pan. Add garlic clove until it browns to season the oil, then remove garlic. Stir-fry all diced ingredients (5-8 min).

Step 4: In a large serving bowl, gradually mix portions of the cooked rice and the stir-fried items together while adding in Chinese oyster flavored sauce to personal taste (6 oz). Mix well and garnish with the reserved green onions for added color. Cilantro can also be added as a garnish on the side (optional). Serves 20-25.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

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These little gems are outstanding! Here’s a jalapeño popper recipe that is baked and not fried. The cheesy filling is a nice complement to the spicy peppers. Remember to carefully remove the seeds and membrane wearing gloves. This will cut down on the heat of the peppers. You will want to double this recipe for large parties.

Ingredients:
6 jalapeño peppers
1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature
4-5 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
1 tsp green onions, very finely chopped
¼ tsp garlic powder
Dash cayenne pepper
One splash of Worcestershire sauce

Cut the peppers in half, removing seeds and membrane. Mix cheeses, garlic powder, salt, Worcestershire sauce, bacon and green onions. Stuff each pepper with cheese mixture. Bake 400 degrees for 15 min. Makes one dozen (12 halves). These can be made earlier in the day and served at room temperature.

Monday, April 21, 2008

James' Sausage and Spinach Soup

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This recipe is from James Yuasa of Renton, Washington, pictured here with his wife, Betty, vacationing on Maui. James recommends Trader Joe’s brand of sweet Italian sausage for this soup. This dish is perfect for those chilly nights in the Northwest. It is thick, hearty and a meal in itself. So good!

Ingredients:
½ onion, chopped
2-3 links sweet Italian sausage (remove skin)
1 quart chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
½ cup Calrose rice (uncooked)
8 oz. frozen spinach (1/2 of a bag)
Parmesan cheese, grated

Saute the onion with the sausage for a few minutes until the sausage is browned. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and rice. Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the frozen spinach, and bring to boil again. Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hide's Hamachi Kama Shioyaki

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We order Hamachi Kama just about every time we go to a sushi bar. The fish is so tender, juicy and delicious. Here are some tips on making Hamachi Kama from Hide Obatake of Renton, Washington.

Hide says in Japan they would make this dish with Buri Kama instead of Hamachi. Hamachi is young yellowtail whereas Buri is the older fish. It is the collar or the meaty part of the fish surrounding the gills. The key to making good kama is to use fresh, wild fish. Avoid farm-raised fish as it bad for your health.

This is a very simple recipe. Use good fresh kama, rub in the sea salt, and grill it for 8-10 min. Serve with daikon oroshi and lemon wedges. Be sure to use sea salt when making this dish and wait at least a few hours after salting before cooking. Hide likes to wait 2-3 days before cooking because the combination of SALT and TIME creates the special flavor. As Hide says, "Let the salt soak into the fish. Salt is the great wisdom of human beings."

Mariko's Egyptian Eggplant Moussaka

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This recipe comes from Mariko Shimomura of Seattle, who first tasted a variation of this dish in Beirut where she attended American University in the Middle Eastern Studies Masters Program. This is a favorite dish of hers that her Egyptian roommate’s mom made. In Lebanon, they call it “batenjan al four” (baked eggplant), and in Egypt it’s called "m’saha" which literally translates to “cold”, but also is the arabized word for “moussaka”. If you are an eggplant fan, you should try this dish. It has a wonderful Middle Eastern flavor, and your kitchen will smell great as it bakes.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant, sliced
2, 15-oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp each of cinnamon and curry (to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1- 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced in rings

Slice and lightly sauté the eggplant in olive oil for 1-2 minutes a side, then layer in the bottom of an 11x13 pan. In a frying pan, brown the ground beef, then spread it on top of the eggplant. Chop garlic and onion and fry lightly in a little bit of olive oil. Add tomatoes to the pan and let simmer a few minutes. Season to taste with curry, cinnamon and salt. Pour the tomatoes over the meat layer. Slice the peppers horizontally (so they're ring shaped) and arrange the slices as the top layer. Bake at 375 for about a half an hour .

Graham Cracker Toffee Bars

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I found this while surfing internet for a recipe to use up leftover graham crackers. It had received a 5-star rating. The butter and brown sugar turns into a yummy thin caramel coating which is baked into the graham crackers. You add a semi-sweet chocolate frosting and chopped nuts on top. It is heaven! You won't be able to stop eating them.

Ingredients:
12 graham crackers
1-1/2 sticks butter, cut up
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 15x10x1 pan with foil with 2" overhang on all sides. Place the graham crackers in a single layer on the foil. Melt butter, brown sugar and salt and whisk together in a sauce pan on high heat on the stove for 1 minute. Pour over the graham crackers. Bake 10 min. Take pan out of the oven and immediately scatter the chocolate chips over all. Bake 1 min. Take pan out of oven and immediately spread the melted chips over all. Sprinkle the nuts on top. Cool 30 min. Freeze 15 min. Lift foil and break into irregular sized chunks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

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This recipe is very simple and tastes light and crispy. I use dark meat as it is more moist than white meat. It has a wonderful ginger flavor. Pictured here are Denny and his buddy, Ray Kihara, two men who have traveled the world in search of the best fried chicken. This recipe is from justhungry.com website.


Ingredients:
2-4 boneless chicken thighs
1 piece fresh ginger (the size of your thumb) finely grated
3 T soy sauce
1 T sake or sherry
Cornstarch
Peanut oil for deep frying

Cut the thighs into bite-sized pieces. Leave some of the skin on as it adds to the crispiness. Put the chicken in a bowl with the grated ginger, soy sauce and sake, and mix well. Marinate for ½ hour to 1 hour and not any longer or else the salt in the soy sauce will toughen the chicken. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Toss the chicken in cornstarch so that each piece is fully coated. Deep fry the chicken pieces a few at a time (don’t overcrowd them) for 5-6 min. until deep golden brown. Drain well, and serve with lemon slices.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sea Bass

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This is a moist and succulent fish recipe. So delicious! We got our fresh fish at Whole Foods when we tried this recipe. The stove-top sauteeing sears in the juices. If you love fish, you should try this one. You won't be sorry.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 lb sea bass
2 T sesame oil
2 T butter, melted
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of ½ lemon
Kosher salt, to taste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tomato, diced small

Preheat oven to 425. Heat sesame oil in oven-safe skillet over medium heat on stove top. Add sea bass with garlic and melted butter. Saute on medium heat for 3-4 minutes total, turning and sauteeing both sides of the fish. Squeeze ½ lemon over fish and cover with cilantro. Sprinkle kosher salt on top. Add the diced tomato on top of fish. Place pan in oven and bake at 425 degrees for 8-12 min. depending on thickness. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Corinne's Cheesecake

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This is a classic, tried and true cheesecake recipe from Corinne Gooden. You can add whatever fresh fruit is in season to this at the time of serving. It tastes best if you make it the day before. Here's a great photo of Corinne's girls, Amy and Sydne Gooden. Amy is a talented maritime engineer residing in West Seattle, while Sydne is an extraordinary chef, living in NewYork City.

Crust:
1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted

Mix ingredients together. In a greased spring form pan, press the crust ingredients on the bottom and sides of the pan.

Filling:
2, 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Splash lemon juice

Mix filling ingredients together. Pour into the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min.

Topping:
1-1/2 cup sour cream
4 T sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Mix topping ingredients. Spread on top of the cheesecake after it has baked. Return to oven and bake at a pre-heated 450 degrees for 7 min. Cool and refrigerate the cheesecake, so that it sets completely. Serve with fresh berries.

Boston Cream Pie

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I enjoy making this dessert for parties and family gatherings, which is a favorite of my kids, Michelle and Stephen, pictured here. I make it in a 12" round cake pan which you can get at Michael's Craft Store. The trickiest part is making the ganache frosting. It needs to cool to room temperature to get to the right pudding-like consistency. Splitting the cake in half horizontally and separating the layers is also tricky because the layers are very thin. I use the longest bread knife I can find to cut it, and carefully lift the cake onto a flat surface.

Ingredients:
Cake
1 Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix plus ingredients as listed on package (eggs, water, oil)

Filling:
1 pkg Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding (large size)
2 cups milk
1-1/2 small tubs of Cool Whip

Ganache Topping:
1 pkg semisweet chocolate chips -12-oz
1 pint whipping cream
Sliced almonds, chopped pecans or fresh sliced strawberries.

Make the cake according to directions, but use a greased 12" cake pan or deep dish pizza pan and adjust time to 30 min. Let cake cool completely. Cut cake in half horizontally and separate the layers. In a small saucepan on the stove, melt chocolate chips in whipping cream over med-high heat. Stir often. Once the chocolate chips have melted, let this cool several hours on the counter until thick (like pudding consistency). In a large bowl, mix pudding and milk with a wire whisk. Before the pudding sets, fold in the Cool Whip. Let set in refrigerator 15 min. or more. When ready to assemble, spread all the filling on the bottom cake layer, then place the other half of the cake on top. Spread ganache topping over the cake. Top with chopped nuts and/or strawberries, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Teri's Gordon Cup Cocktail

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This is a very refreshing cocktail with a muddled cucumber and lime flavoring. This recipe comes from Teri Tuuri of Castro Valley, California, pictured here with her hubby, Rick, at the famous TFE Convention in San Francisco.

Ingredients:
2/3 of one small lime, cut into 6ths
2, 1-2” thick peeled cucumber rounds
¼ cup gin
1-1/2 T simple syrup
1 cup cracked ice
Pinch of sea salt

Place lime and cucumber in cocktail shaker; mash with wooden spoon until lime is juiced and cucumber is pulpy. Add gin and simple syrup, then ice. Cover. Shake vigorously 3 times. Pour contents of shaker into glass. Sprinkle with sea salt. To make simple syrup stir 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Boil one minute. Cool, then chill up to one month.



Rick's Mother's (Thin-Cut) Leathery Pork Chops

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This is Rick Tuuri's most memorable dish that reminds him of his mom, which she served on Wednesdays as he was growing up. He describes the pork chops as unforgettable, both in flavor and texture -- you could serve them to your finest enemies. The shape and form was such that you could literally nail the pork chops to the bottom of your shoes and take a walk in them. Pictured here are Rick and Teri Tuuri of Castro Valley, California at a TFE Convention in San Francisco.

Ingredients:
Pork chops- 1/4" thin cut
Iodized salt
Pepper - from the can (no need to grind)
Crisco shortening, the solid kind
Flour
1 medium onion, chopped in irregular-sized chunks

Take the pork chops cold from the refrigerator and wash and rinse them thoroughly in water. Add salt and pepper. Using an electric stove or slow gas range, put some Crisco and the pork chops in a frying pan while the pork chops are still cold and wet. Turn the stove on. Turn the pork chops every 3 or 4 min. Just keep flipping them over and over. Cut the meat several times to test for doneness. Repeat until the meat is a gray-brown color with no juice anywhere in the pan. This will ensure that the pork is cooked properly to avoid trichinosis. Use a metal spatula to dig it out of the pan. Next, make the gravy, by chopping the onion in big chunks and sauteeing it in the same pan until slightly cooked, still tender crisp. Using a fork, mix in water and a little flour into the pan, so that the gravy has a recognizable, uneven bumpiness to it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Clam Chowder

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Absolutely delicious! This recipe takes time to prepare, but is well worth the effort. We make large batches and freeze it. You can use the juice from the clams and shrimp, and substitute it for the water for extra flavor. This recipe came from the McCormick & Schmick Cookbook.

Ingredients:

2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
4 strips bacon, chopped and fried
4 T margarine
¾ cup flour
¼ cup each carrots, onions, celery and bell pepper – all diced
1 quart water
1, 8-oz. bottle clam juice
1-1/2 lbs. canned or fresh clams, diced
1-1/2 lbs. canned or fresh baby shrimp
1 cup cream
½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
¼ tsp sage
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt

Blanch potatoes until barely tender, just a few minutes. Rinse under cold water, drain and set aside. Sauté bacon, drain and set aside. Return bacon grease to pot and half of the margarine. Add flour and cook roux on low heat 3-4 min. Remove roux from pot and set aside. Add rest of margarine to pot and sauté vegetables until soft. Return roux to pot, add water and clam juice. Raise heat to high and cook 6-8 min until thick. Add clams, bacon, potatoes, seasoning and cream. Simmer 5 min.

Honey Garlic Chicken

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When you bake this chicken, within a few minutes your kitchen will have a wonderful aroma of roasted garlic. The amount of garlic listed is correct at 12-24 cloves. That sounds like a lot, but the garlic truly makes this recipe. The butter and honey carmelizes the garlic, and it turns into candied garlic. A favorite dish of Tim & Michelle.

Ingredients:

6-8 chicken thighs
12-24 cloves of garlic, unhusked
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup honey
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken thighs and garlic in a baking dish. Drizzle the melted butter over the chicken and garlic. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 min. Drizzle honey over the chicken and bake for another 20 minutes, checking the chicken every 5 min. during this last 20 minute period. Baste with additional honey, and keep turning the chicken over as the honey and butter caramelizes. Watch it carefully at this point as it will burn easily.

Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

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I first had this appetizer at a baby shower for Guadalupe Petrone several years ago, and have been making it ever since. It is a real crowd-pleaser and easy, easy, easy! I buy the prosciutto at Trader Joe's where it is reasonably priced and good quality. You could substitute thinly sliced ham, but I think you will like the prosciutto taste better.

Ingredients:
8 slices prosciutto
16 asparagus spears
1 T extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with olive oil. Wrap a half slice of prosciutto around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom, and spiraling up to the tip. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, and shake the pan back and forth to roll the spears over. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until asparagus is tender, and prosciutto is crisp. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Torte

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This one has a delicate buttery shortbread crust, a berry filling, and a rich, almond-mascarpone cheese whipping cream topping. You can substitute frozen or fresh blueberries for the raspberries. If you use fresh berries, decrease the amount of cornstarch to 4 T.

Ingredients:

Crust:

1-1/4 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup soft butter (it makes a difference if your butter is soft)

Filling:
6 T cornstarch
1 C sugar
2, 10-oz packages of frozen raspberries

Topping:
1 pint whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp almond extract
¼ cup mascarpone cheese

Mix crust ingredients and press into a 9x13x2” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min. On stovetop in a saucepan, cook the raspberries, sugar and cornstarch on medium heat until thick. Let cool. Then spread it over the crust. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Right before serving whip the cream until stiff; then add the powdered sugar, almond extract and mascarpone cheese after cream is fully whipped. Spread this over the berry layer.

Quick Banana Bread

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Ever wonder what to do with that one last banana with brown spots on it? Well, try making this banana bread, as that one banana will be the perfect amount for this bread. You will like it!


Ingredients:
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup mashed bananas
1-1/4 cup flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Mix the shortening and sugar, then beat in the eggs. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix the two together, and stir just until blended. Do not over mix, or the bread will become tough. Pour into a greased and floured 9x9x2” plan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 min. Cool completely. Then sprinkle with powdered sugar.