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Volume 18   Number 17

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   > Article: It Helps to Distress the Noodles

   > Food Funnies: Signs You Aren’t Particularly Handy in the Kitchen

       S E L E C T E D    R E C I P E S :

    * TGI Friday's Lemon Chicken Scaloppini
    * Asian Barbecued Spareribs
    * Bourbon Beef Tenderloin 
    * Stuffed Bacon Cheeseburgers
    * Seared Scallops with Tarragon-Butter Sauce
    * Homestyle Potato Salad
    * Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt
    * Toasted Almond Parfait

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Belgian Waffles

    Diabetic: Chocolate Cheesecake

    Low Fat: Pasta with Blue Cheese Sauce


  This Week's Cooking Tips

  With summer approaching, please be reminded of food safety, and
 preventing foodborne illness.

  * Wash ALL fresh produce thoroughly. When preparing
    lettuce, break into pieces - then wash.

  * Cook foods to the required minimum cooking temperatures:
     - 165 F > Poultry, poultry stuffing, and stuffed meat.
     - 158 F > Ground Beef, fish, and seafood.
     - 150 F > Pork and food containing pork.
     - 145 F > shell eggs and foods containing shell eggs.

  * Separate raw animal foods from other raw or ready-to-eat
    foods during storage and preparation.

  * Cool leftovers as quickly as possible. Reheat to 
    165F before serving again.

     Bacteria on food will rapidly multiply when left at a
     temperature between 45 F and 140 F. Avoid this danger
     zone as much as possible. More Cooking Tips


  This Week's Culinary Quiz (Answer at the bottom of page)

      Bologna was invented in the US - is that baloney? 


  Quote of the Week:

     "Grilling, broiling, barbecuing - whatever you want to
      call it - is an art, not just a matter of building a
      pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to
      the gods of the stomach."

      - James Beard, "Beard on Food" (1974)



          April is: National Food Month 
                    Fresh Florida Tomato Month 
                    National Pecan Month

            April 24 - National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day
            April 25 - National Zucchini Bread Day 
            April 26 - National Pretzel Day 
            April 27 - National Prime Rib Day
            April 28 - National Blueberry Pie Day
            April 29 - National Shrimp Scampi Day
            April 30 - National Oatmeal Cookie Day
            May 1 - National Chocolate Parfait Day


    It Helps to Distress the Noodles

  Seafood and bean combinations can be found all over Italy, but
 rarely elsewhere - why so few others have caught on to this wonderful
 pairing is beyond me. The dishes have much in common with cassoulet
 and myriad other meat and bean combinations, not only in the core
 marriage but also in the strength of the garlic and the abundance of
 good olive oil, which more than makes up for the absence of the duck
 fat in cassoulet.

  Where cassoulet uses bread crumbs, the recipe here has bits of fresh
 pasta in random shapes. (The Italian for this style - maltagliati -
 translates roughly as "badly cut," though there is usually an
 artfulness to the patterns.) It is close to a one-pot meal, though so
 much lighter than cassoulet that it is usually a first course in its

  I like to make the dish with squid, because it generates so much
 flavorful liquid that stock or wine is seldom needed. If you
 substitute shrimp, lobster or chunks of meaty white fish like
 halibut, you will probably need more liquid. The preparation is also
 best with beans cooked at home, but canned beans will do.

  Then there is the pasta. For years I refused to make the dish unless
 I had the energy to produce pasta dough from scratch. As a result, I
 did not eat it very often. But then I tried it with dried pasta, and
 the difference seemed insignificant.

  To create the kind of random pasta shapes that seem so natural here,
 I smash twisty egg noodles a bit with a rolling pin. I put them in a
 paper or plastic bag first, to keep them from flying all over.

  Once all the elements are assembled, the dish takes less than half
 an hour to make. Just be sure to hold out the garlic until the
 cooking is almost done and some of the olive oil for drizzling over
 individual servings, to assure a fresh, strong taste.

  White Beans With Squid and Broken Noodles
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
    4 cups cooked or canned white beans, with about a cup of their
    3/8 to 1 pound cleaned squid, cut up 
    Black pepper 
    2 cups broken egg noodles 
    Stock or water, if needed 
    1 tablespoon minced garlic 
    Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)

 1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and salt it. Meanwhile, put
    half the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. A minute
    later, add the beans and their liquid. Bring to a boil, stirring,
    and add squid, along with some salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a
    simmer, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.

 2. When water boils, cook the noodles until they are barely tender,
    about 5 minutes. Drain, and add them to the simmering beans. Cook,
    stirring occasionally, until the squid and noodles are tender,
    adding a little liquid if necessary. (Do not add liquid
    prematurely - the squid will produce a lot on its own.)

 3. When just about done, add garlic. Cook it just long enough to take
    the edge off its rawness. Spoon the mixture into 4 dishes,
    garnishing with parsley and sprinkling with remaining olive oil.


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  FOOD FUNNIES: Signs You Aren’t Particularly Handy in the Kitchen 

 8. You’re the only person you know who has ever managed to
    microwave your hand.

 7. You put the head of lettuce in the highchair and your toddler
    in the refrigerator. Again. 

 6. Your dog begs at the table ... to get away. 

 5. The cable company has blocked delivery of the Food Network channel
    to your house; their lawyers were muttering about "creating a
    public nuisance" and "contributory liability".

 4. Your dinner guests routinely ask how late Burger King stays open.

 3. Top Chef has put out a restraining order on you.

 2. For your birthday, the wife gets you a set of steak chainsaws.

 ... and the #1 Sign You Aren’t Particularly Handy in the Kitchen ...

 1. Standard dinner attire at your house: Hazmat suit and hardhat.


  TGI Friday's Lemon Chicken Scaloppini
    2 1/2 pounds chicken breast (pounded thin) 
    2 ounces olive oil 
    8 ounces sliced mushrooms 
    2 lemons (halved) 
    4 ounces heavy whipping cream 
    4 artichoke hearts
    4 teaspoons parsley 
    12 ounces lemon sauce 
    20 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked
    8 tablespoons fried pancetta 
    4 tablespoons fried capers

  Lemon Sauce:
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
    1 quart Chablis 
    3 teaspoons butter 
    1 quart whipping cream 
    1 tablespoon thyme 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    1 teaspoon pepper

  Sauce: Boil Chablis to reduce to 2 cups. Add lemon juice, butter
 and melt slowly. Add whipping cream and simmer on low heat until
 thickened. Add spices and cool to room temperature.

  Chicken: Heat saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and heat. Add
 chicken pieces to saute pan and saute on each side for one minute
 (or until no longer pink). Add sliced mushrooms to saute pan and
 saute with chicken for an additional minute. When mushrooms are
 cooked, squeeze juice from lemons into saute pan and coat the
 chicken with juice (ensure there are no seeds). Add cream to pan
 and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil. Cut artichoke halves in
 half again lengthwise, add to pan and cook for 15 seconds. Remove
 pan from heat. Add parsley and stir to incorporate. Add lemon sauce
 and stir to incorporate. DO NOT RETURN PAN TO HEAT/FLAME.

  In large bowl, twirl pasta into a nest. Sprinkle chicken pieces
 around pasta and pour remaining contents of pan on and around the
 chicken. Sprinkle pancetta and capers over the entire dish. Garnish
 with chopped parsley.

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  Asian Barbecued Spareribs
    2 banks of spareribs, uncut, about 2 pounds each
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup ketchup
    1/2 cup sweet bean sauce (hoi sin deung) or hoi sin sauce
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup sherry

  Trim off excess fat from the thick edges of spareribs. Place ribs
 in a shallow pan or platter. Mix remaining ingredients for a
 marinade and spread over both sides of the spareribs. Let stand
 for at least two hours.

  Place one oven rack at the top of the oven and one at the bottom.
 Preheat to 375F. Hook each bank of spareribs with 3 or 4 S-hooks
 across its width, on the thick edges, and suspend under top rack.
 Place a large pan with 1/2" water on bottom rack. This pan will
 catch the drippings and keep the meat from drying out. Cook
 spareribs for about 45 minutes.

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  Bourbon Beef Tenderloin
    1 cup bourbon 
    1 cup brown sugar 
    2/3 cup soy sauce 
    1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped 
    1/2 cup lemon juice 
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
    2 cups water 
    3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves chopped 
    1 (5 lb.) beef tenderloin 
    Oil, to brush grill

  Prepare marinade by combining the bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce,
 cilantro, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, water, and thyme in a
 bowl. Make sure the tenderloin has been cleaned and the tissues has
 been removed. Fold the tail end of the beef back underneath itself
 so that it is of uniform thickness and secure with butcher's string.
 Place meat in a dish and pour marinade over meat, cover, and
 refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or up to overnight, turning meat over
 several times.

  Preheat grill or oven to 350F. When grill is ready, place meat on
 oiled surface and reserve the liquid from the marinade. Cook over
 high heat with lid closed, turning meat often and occasionally
 basting with the marinade. Cook for approximately 25 minutes for
 medium rare. Serve with horseradish cream on the side.

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  Stuffed Bacon Cheeseburgers
    1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack 
    4 slices cooked bacon, chopped 
    1 pound ground chuck 
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    4 large hamburger buns, split 
    Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, sliced tomato, onion,
      and avocado, for serving 

  Combine the jack cheese and chopped bacon in a bowl. Put the beef
 in another bowl and season with salt and pepper; use a rubber spatula
 to mix it in. Flatten 1/4 of the meat mixture in the palm of your
 hand. Squeeze together about a tablespoon of the cheese and bacon
 mixture to make a little nugget; put it in the center of the ground
 beef. Bring up the sides of the patty over the filling, making sure
 the cheese is completely covered by the meat. Flatten slightly for
 a nice patty shape. Set them side by side on a platter in the
 refrigerator while preparing the grill.

  Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or
 preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot.
 Brush the grates with oil to keep the burgers from sticking. Grill
 the burgers for 8 minutes per side for medium. Remove the burgers
 to a clean side plate while you toast the buns. 

  Rub the grill rack with more oil and place the buns cut-side down,
 toast for 1 minute. Serve the burgers with your favorite condiment
 and any garnish you like, such as lettuce, sliced tomato, onion,
 and/or avocado.

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  Seared Scallops with Tarragon-Butter Sauce
    1 1/4 pounds large sea scallops
    7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, divided 
    2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot 
    1/4 cup dry white wine 
    1/4 cup white-wine vinegar 
    1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon 

  Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and
 pepper (total). Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick
 skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sear
 scallops, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through,
 about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a platter. 

  Add shallot, wine, and vinegar to skillet and boil, scraping up
 brown bits, until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Add juices from platter
 and if necessary boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup.
 Reduce heat to low and add 3 tablespoons butter, stirring until
 almost melted, then add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and swirl
 until incorporated and sauce has a creamy consistency. Stir in
 tarragon and salt to taste; pour sauce over scallops.

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  Homestyle Potato Salad
    5 pounds Idaho potatoes
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup vinegar
    1/2 cup sugar
    salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
    2 teaspoons celery seeds
    3 large eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    2 medium carrots, peeled/shredded
    2 stalks celery, finely sliced
    1 to 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1 teaspoon dry mustard

  Bake the potatoes off until they are just done (you want to be able
 to peel and slice or dice them - (don't boil them - this way they
 stay dry and not waterlogged); After they cool, remove the skins and
 slice or dice them as you wish

  Boil 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup sugar until the
 sugar is dissolved. Let it cool and pour it over the potatoes. Add
 salt and pepper to taste and 2 tsp. celery seeds. Mix gently. Add the
 remaining ingredients starting with 1 cup of mayonnaise and adding
 more if needed. Mix gently - do not over mix.

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  Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt
    1 cup plain yogurt
    1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1 cup chopped onion
    5 large garlic cloves, chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
    3 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 large egg
    Olive oil
    4 warm pita breads, top third cut off
    Sliced tomatoes
    Crisp lettuce leaves 

  Whisk yogurt, 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup onion, 1 garlic clove,
 lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in medium bowl to blend; season
 with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  Blend garbanzo beans, 3 tablespoons flour, cumin, remaining 1/2 cup
 cilantro, 4 garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in processor until
 almost smooth. Add egg and remaining 3/4 cup onion and blend, using
 on/off turns, until onion is finely chopped. Transfer mixture to
 bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into four 1/2 inch
 thick patties. Turn patties in remaining 1/2 cup flour to coat on
 both sides.

  Pour enough oil into heavy large skillet to coat bottom; heat over
 medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until crisp and golden, about
 8 minutes per side. Open pita breads; slide 1 patty, sliced tomato
 and lettuce into each. Spoon in some yogurt mixture.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Toasted Almond Parfait
    1 cup sugar 
    6 large egg yolks 
    1/4 cup light corn syrup 
    3 tablespoons amaretto 
    1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons finely chopped toasted almonds 
    2 cups chilled whipping cream 
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
    2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate,
      finely chopped 

  Using handheld electric mixer, beat sugar, egg yolks, corn syrup,
 and amaretto in large metal bowl to blend. Place bowl over saucepan
 of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Beat
 until candy thermometer registers 160F and parfait base is thick and
 billowy, about 8 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Continue to
 beat parfait base until cool, about 7 minutes. Fold in 1/2 cup almonds.

  Beat cream and vanilla in another large bowl until soft peaks form.
 Fold cream into cool parfait base in 3 additions. Transfer parfait
 to 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Cover and freeze until firm, at
 least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Scoop parfait into goblets. Sprinkle
 with chocolate and 3 tablespoons almonds.


   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: No

    Bologna, Italy, is considered to be the home of mortadella,
   another kind of sausage, but bologna is an American invention,
   thanks to Italian immigrants. And yes, the term "baloney" does
   come from bologna, used as a term of derision, possibly referring
   to the fact that bologna is made from the lesser quality parts
   of the animal.


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