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Volume 18   Number 19

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No. 15    No. 16    No. 17    No. 18


  THIS WEEK'S FEATURES AND RECIPES:

  >  Article: The Flavor of Spring

  >  Food Funnies: The Worst Cookbook Titles In The World

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

    * Red Lobster Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
        
    * Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze
        
    * Texas Beef Brisket
        
    * Stuffed Turkey Burgers
        
    * Grilled Salmon with Merlot Sauce
        
    * Minted Green Beans with Red Onion
        
    * Classic Cobb Salad
        
    * Pecan Pie Muffins

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Pork Medallions Dijon

    Diabetic: Texas Bean Dip

    Low Fat: Sugar & Spice Zucchini Bread

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  This Week's Cooking Tips

 * If you've ever made soup or sauces and stored the leftovers in the
   refrigerator, you know they thicken as they sit. But be careful
   when you reheat it. On the one hand, you don't want it to scorch
   from being too thick. On the other hand, you don't want to
   overestimate how thick it is. Let it begin to warm up before you
   add liquid (water, cream, milk, etc.) When it is just starting to
   get warm, you will be better able to judge its consistency.

 * If you don't have time to make a cream sauce for vegetables, just
   combine equal parts mayonnaise and water used to cook the
   vegetables. Season to taste.

 * Instead of salting gravy, enrich both the gravy's color and flavor
   by using a little soy sauce.

 * When measuring shortening, first line the measuring cup with
   plastic wrap. Spoon shortening into the cup, pack it tightly to the
   rim and pull out by tugging on the plastic wrap. The cup stays
   clean and the shortening can be used immediately or refrigerated.
   More Cooking Tips

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

     Which company was the first to introduce "reduced sugar"
    cereals to their sweet cereal line-up? 

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    Quote of the Week:

     "Salsa has now passed ketchup as America's favorite condiment.
      Isn't that amazing? You know it's bad when even our vegetables
      are starting to lose their jobs to Mexico."

      - Jay Leno, on the Tonight Show

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    UPCOMING FOOD HOLIDAYS:

          May is: National Strawberry Month
                  National Salad Month
                  National Barbecue Month
                  National Chocolate Custard Month
                  National Egg Month
                  National Hamburger Month
                  National Asparagus Month
                  National Salsa Month

            May 8 - National Coconut Cream Pie Day
            May 9 - National Butterscotch Brownie Day 
            May 10 - National Shrimp Day 
            May 11 - National Mocha Torte Day 
            May 12 - National Nutty Fudge Day 
            May 13 - National Apple Pie Day 
            May 14 - National Buttermilk Biscuit Day 
            May 15 - National Chocolate Chip Day 

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  The Flavor of Spring
    By Mark Bittman

  In an ideal world, here’s what a spring dish might look like: you
 take morels from your foraging trip, cream and butter from your cow,
 and asparagus, shallots and herbs from your garden. You combine them
 in any way that makes sense to you, and then you thank the forest,
 the cow and your backyard for providing such amazing bounty. 

  Sound familiar? Not to me, either. But there are ways to come close.
 Start with a combination of dried morels or porcini and fresh
 shiitakes or button mushrooms. The more morels you use, the more
 intense the flavor. But I’ve made this with as few as four and not
 been disappointed.

  Get the best asparagus, not too thin; this is the right time of year
 for it, after all. Ditto with the butter and cream, and don’t skimp
 on either. Use fresh chervil (preferred, but difficult to find) or
 tarragon - do not settle for dried here. 

  The result will be a French classic, a combination of strong,
 uncommon flavors that could have been designed to go together. 

  Combining dried and fresh mushrooms is a reliable way to transfer
 the exotic flavor of truly wild mushrooms to tamer domesticated ones.
 Using the soaking liquid for the morels makes it certain that none
 of their essence goes to waste. 

  The procedure itself is straightforward, with one exception:
 half-cook the asparagus first, so that it finishes in the cream,
 therefore absorbing a bit of it and becoming tender yet not mushy. 

  What’s half-cooked asparagus? Just a stage or so past raw. If the
 cream mixture threatens to dry out before the asparagus is done, add
 more cream, more mushroom soaking liquid or water.

  It’s worth mentioning that this mixture makes a terrific pasta
 sauce. But speaking of spring, that might be gilding the lily.

  Asparagus With Morels and Tarragon
  =============================
    1/4 to 1/2 ounce dried morels or porcinis, or a combination
    1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
    1/2 cup chopped shallots
    1 pound fresh shiitake or white button mushrooms or a combination,
      cleaned, trimmed and sliced
    1 to 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tablespoon chopped
      fresh chervil
    Salt and pepper to taste

  Put morels, porcinis or both in a bowl with very hot water to cover;
 soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain morels and reserve soaking
 liquid. Cut morels in half; if porcinis are large, chop them roughly.

  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when butter
 is hot and foam has subsided, add shallots and reconstituted and
 fresh mushrooms to pan. Cook until shallots soften and fresh mushrooms
 have released their liquid and it has cooked off, about 10 minutes. 

  Add asparagus and 1/2 cup reserved liquid to pan. Bring liquid to a
 boil, cover, reduce heat so mixture simmers, and continue cooking for
 another 2 to 4 minutes, or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add cream
 and tarragon or chervil and continue cooking, uncovered, until sauce
 thickens slightly and asparagus is tender, about 4 minutes more.
 Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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  Over 100 Full Length Cookbooks!

  Discover The Largest Online Cookbook Library In The World!

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   FOOD FUNNIES: The Worst Cookbook Titles In The World

 10. Emeril Lagasse and Jamie Oliver: Cooking Naked Together

  9. To Grill a Mockingbird

  8. The Kate Moss Guide To High Calorie Treats

  7. The Gravy Book

  6. Richard Simmons's Cooking With the Sweating Oldies

  5. The Afghan Prison Diet

  4. More Extremely Complicated Recipes You Will Never Be Able
     to Fix

  3. Blow On It!: 64 Recipies For Food Dropped on the Floor

  2. Lord of the Ringmold

    ... and the #1 Worst Cookbook Title In The World ...

  1. Yes! It Can Be Eaten!

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

  Red Lobster Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
  ===========================
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
    1 medium onion, cut into 1/2" wedges
    2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
    2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2" pieces
    36 shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
    Salt and pepper

  Combine melted butter and garlic; reserve. 

  Peel the onion and cut from top to bottom. Place cut side down and
 cut each half into six wedges (widest part of the onion should be
 1/2"). Break wedges apart so two or three layers of onion stay
 together. Steam the onions approximately 3 minutes to soften
 slightly. 

  Remove the core from the tomato. Slice the tomato in half from top
 to bottom. Place cut side down and cut each half into three wedges.
 Remove the pulp and seeds from each wedge. 

  Cut zucchini into 1/2 slices. Cut small slices (1 1/2" diameter or
 less) into two pieces; cut large slices (over 1 1/2" diameter) into
 three pieces lengthwise (do not cut into wedges). 

  Thread items onto skewer in this order, three shrimp (about 1/2 inch
 from the thick end), onion wedge, zucchini, tomato, three shrimp,
 onion wedge, zucchini, tomato, three shrimp. 

  Brush skewers with butter mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
 Refrigerate until ready to cook. Lightly brush charcoal grill rack
 with oil, place skewer on grill rack and cook over medium coals until
 shrimp are done and vegetables cooked, about 8 - 10 minutes. Turn
 once or twice while cooking to prevent burning. Or place on broiler
 pan. Broil about 4 inches from source of heat for 8 minutes, turning
 once while cooking.

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

  Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze
  ==========================
    4 (12 oz.) cans cherry cola (flat)
    2 cups cherry jam or preserves
    2/3 cup Dijon mustard with horseradish
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
    7 1/2 pounds well-trimmed pork spareribs 

  Boil cherry cola in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until
 reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 45 minutes. Stir in next 5 ingredients.
 Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2
 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Transfer glaze to
 large bowl.

  Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 325F.
 Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap each rib rack tightly in
 foil, enclosing completely. Divide foil packets between 2 rimmed
 baking sheets. Bake until ribs are very tender, switching positions
 of baking sheets halfway through baking, about 2 hours total. Cool
 ribs slightly in foil. Pour off any fat from foil packets.

  Prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Cut each rib rack between bones
 into individual ribs. Set aside 1 cup glaze. Add ribs to bowl with
 remaining glaze and toss to coat. Grill ribs until brown and glazed,
 turning to prevent burning, about 5 minutes total. Serve, passing
 reserved glaze separately. 

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

  Texas Beef Brisket
  ===============
  Dry Rub:
    1/2 cup paprika
    3 tablespoons ground black pepper
    3 tablespoons coarse salt
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 (7 1/2 to 8-pound) untrimmed whole beef brisket

  Mop:
    12 ounces beer
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons minced jalapeno chilies
    1 cup purchased barbecue sauce (such as Bull's-Eye)
    1 tablespoon chili powder

  Mix first 5 dry rub ingredients in small bowl to blend. Transfer
 1 tablespoon dry rub to another small bowl and reserve for mop.
 Spread remaining dry rub all over brisket. Cover with plastic;
 chill overnight.

  Mix first 6 mop ingredients plus reserved dry rub in heavy medium
 saucepan. Stir over low heat 5 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup mop into bowl;
 cover and chill for use in sauce. Cover and chill remaining mop.
 Preheat oven to 375F. Place brisket, fat side up, in a Dutch oven
 or other heavy baking pan large enough to hold the brisket. Roast
 brisket in pan for 3 to 4 hours, basting with mop every 20 minutes,
 until tender. Transfer brisket to platter; let stand 15 minutes.
 Combine barbecue sauce and chili powder in heavy small saucepan.
 Add any accumulated juices from brisket and bring to boil, thinning
 sauce with some of reserved 1/2 cup mop, if desired. Thinly slice
 brisket across grain. Serve, passing sauce separately.

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  Stuffed Turkey Burgers
  =================
    1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey breast
    1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers, divided
    1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    1/4 teaspoons salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

  Divide turkey into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties
 out of each round so you have 8 patties total. Sprinkle 4 of the
 patties with 2 tablespoons each of roasted red peppers and cheese,
 and top with remaining patties working the turkey around the edges
 to seal burgers closed. Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper.
 Grill or broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

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  Grilled Salmon with Merlot Sauce
  =========================
    4 (8-ounce) wild salmon fillets 
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
    1 teaspoon chopped shallots 
    2 teaspoons chopped garlic 
    1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves 
    1 teaspoon chopped tarragon leaves 
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
    2 cups Merlot 
    1 cup chicken stock 
    1 1/2 cups grilled chopped vegetables such as zucchini, red
      pepper, summer squash and red onion

  Season salmon with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive
 oil and place onto grill, skin side down. Cook four to five minutes
 and turn. Continue to cook another 1 minute and remove from grill to
 rest. In the meantime, to a medium saute pan over medium heat, add
 shallots, garlic, thyme, tarragon, butter and remaining olive oil.
 Add red wine and chicken stock and increase heat to high. Reduce
 sauce by 1/2 and then add the grilled vegetables, tossing to coat.
 Serve salmon over vegetables and spoon sauce over salmon.

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

  Minted Green Beans with Red Onion
  ============================
    2 pounds green beans, trimmed
    1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
    1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
    1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

  In a kettle of boiling water cook the beans for 2 to 4 minutes, or
 until they are crisp-tender, transfer them with a slotted spoon to
 a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking, and drain them
 well. Pat the beans dry with paper towels and chill them, covered,
 for at least 3 hours or overnight.

  In a large bowl whisk together the mustard, the vinegar, and salt
 and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk
 the dressing until it is emulsified. Add the beans, the mint, and
 the onion and toss the mixture until it is combined well.

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  Classic Cobb Salad
  ================
    2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless 
    Drizzle of olive oil 
    salt and pepper
    1/2 pound raw bacon, diced 
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
    Juice from one fresh lemon 
    1/2 pound Maytag Blue cheese 
    Salt 
    Freshly ground black pepper 
    1 avocado, peeled and pitted 
    1 Beefsteak tomato, peeled, seeded and small diced 
    2 hard boiled eggs 
    2 heads of Bibb Lettuce, washed, patted dry and thinly sliced

  Preheat the grill. Season the chicken breast with olive oil and
 salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 4
 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and small dice the
 chicken. In a skillet, over medium heat, render the bacon until
 crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes.

  In a mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together.
 Whisk in 1/4 pound of the blue cheese, a handful at a time. Whisk
 well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Using a knife, dice
 the avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Season the tomatoes with
 salt and pepper. Thinly slice the eggs and season with salt and
 pepper.

  In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the dressing. Season with
 salt and pepper. Mound the lettuce in the center of each plate. To
 garnish each salad, make a row of each; avocados, chicken, tomatoes,
 remaining blue cheese, bacon and eggs. Serve immediately.

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  Pecan Pie Muffins
  ==============
    1 cup pecans, chopped  
    1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed  
    1/2 cup flour  
    2 large eggs  
    1/2 cup butter, melted  

  Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in center
 of mixture. Beat eggs until foamy. Stir together eggs and butter;
 add to dry ingredients stirring until moistened.

  Place foil-baking cups in muffin pans. Spoon batter into cups to
 2/3 full. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until done. Remove from
 pans immediately, cool on wire racks. Best served warm. 

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   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: General Mills

  General Mills introduced 75% less sugar versions of Trix, Cinnamon
 Toast Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs in early 2004. Kellogg's responded to
 General Mills by introducing 1/3 less sugar versions of Frosted
 Flakes and Fruit Loops. According to the book "Cerealizing America",
 the cereal industry uses 816 million pounds of sugar per year! The
 major cereal companies are trying to respond to consumer demands to
 live a healthier life style and are recreating their popular
 breakfasts cereals using a blend of sugar and Splenda, or other
 artificial non-caloric sweetners.

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