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Volume 18   Number 25

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   > Article: New Partner For A Bun

   > Food Funnies: Top Signs That You're Too Fat

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

    * Applebee's Baby Back Ribs

    * Summer Seafood Stew

    * Chicken with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

    * Baked Salmon Fillets

    * Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes, and Dill

    * Corn on the Cob with Shallot-Thyme Butter

    * Spinach Salad with Honey Bacon Dressing

    * Iced Maple Cream with Berries

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Taco Meatballs

    Diabetic: Cherry Turnovers

    Low Fat: Cottage-Cheese & Lemon Pancakes


  This Week's Cooking Tips

    Cleaning Tips:

 * For quick cleanup, spray the blades of your food processor with
   nonstick spray before using. 

 * To cut grease and odor on dishes, add a tablespoon of vinegar to
   your hot soapy water.

 * To clean your microwave, heat a bowl of water on high power for
   5 to 10 minutes. Keep the oven closed for several more minutes to
   allow the steam to do its magic. Using oven mitts, carefully remove
   the bowl of water, then wipe the walls of the oven.

 * To remove grease from inside your oven, put a small pan of ammonia
   in the oven in the evening, and then close the oven door. In the
   morning, remove the pan of ammonia. The grease inside the oven will
   wipe off very easily.

 * Once a week, clean, disinfect and deodorize wood cutting blocks.
   Rub them with baking soda, then spray on full strength distilled
   white vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse in clear water.
   It will bubble and froth as these two natural chemicals interact.

 * Immediately after using your blender, add a couple drops of dish
   washing soap and fill halfway with hot water. Cover and turn on
   for a moment. Rinse. More Cooking Tips


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

   A "Zongzi" (Mandarin name) is a specialty rice dumpling that is
  particularly popular during the Dragon Boat Festival in the summer.
  With what are zongzi traditionally wrapped before they are steamed?


  Quote of the Week:

    "You have to eat to cook. You can't be a good cook and be a
     noneater. I think eating is the secret to good cooking."

     - Julia Child (1912 - 2004)



           June is: National Papaya Month 
                    National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month 
                    National Iced Tea Month 
                    National Dairy Month 
                    National Seafood Month

            June 19 - National Martini Day
            June 20 - National Vanilla Milkshake Day 
            June 21 - National Peaches & Cream Day 
            June 22 - National Chocolate Eclair Day 
            June 23 - National Pecan Sandy Day 
            June 24 - National Creamy Pralines Day 
            June 25 - National Strawberry Parfait Day 
            June 26 - National Chocolate Pudding Day 


   New Partner For A Bun
    By Mark Bittman

  You can make a burger out of anything, as most home cooks know; the
 challenge is in choosing a central element that delivers superior
 flavor and texture. Thus one can argue that a burger of half-pork and
 half-beef is tops in the meat world, better than the standard
 all-beef version because of its enhanced taste and "chew." In the
 fish world, nothing is better than a shrimp burger. 

  Shrimp, like scallops, contain a high amount of natural gelatin,
 which allows you to incorporate a considerable amount of flavorings
 without worrying about the burger falling apart. 

  In fact, if you purée all the shrimp, you end up with a dense,
 rubbery sponge not unlike the dense Thai fish cakes known as tod mun.
 But if you purée just a portion of them, leaving the rest - along
 with the flavorings - just roughly chopped, you produce a
 good-textured burger with powerful flavor (and, I might add, very
 little fat). 

  I choose to go an Asian route here, with ginger, chili (many people
 will want to use more than I suggest, some will want less), and
 cilantro, adding a little bell pepper for color. But as with any
 burgers, these can be seasoned pretty much according to your whim.
 Try a small amount of an herb like tarragon or chervil and omit the
 chili and ginger and you will have a different, more subtle result.
 Chili or curry powders or curry paste are other good additions.

  Though good grilled, these are also excellent cooked in a pan,
 whether in clarified butter or peanut or olive oil. In either case,
 they are best served with typical burger trimmings, especially a
 couple of slices of a good tomato.

  Shrimp Burgers
    1 large clove garlic, peeled 
    1 dried or fresh chili, stemmed, seeded and deveined,
      or more to taste 
    1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 
    1 1/2 pounds peeled shrimp, deveined if you like 
    1/4 cup roughly chopped shallots, scallions or red onion 
    1/4 cup roughly chopped red or yellow bell pepper, optional 
    Salt and pepper 
    1/2 cup cilantro leaves, or to taste 
    Neutral oil, like corn or canola, as needed 
    Toasted buns, optional 
    Lime wedges or ketchup for serving

 1. Start a charcoal or gas grill; fire should be moderately hot and
    rack about 4 inches from heat source. 

 2. Combine garlic, chili, ginger and  1/3 of the shrimp in a food
    processor and purée, stopping machine to scrape down sides of
    container as necessary. Add remaining shrimp along with shallots,
    bell pepper, salt, pepper and cilantro, and pulse as many times
    as necessary to chop shrimp, but not too finely. Shape mixture
    into 4 patties. 

 3. Brush grill or patties lightly with oil and place them on grill.
    Cook undisturbed until a dark crust appears on bottom and they
    release fairly easily with a spatula, about 5 minutes. Turn and
    cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. Serve on buns
    or not, as you like, with ketchup or lime juice as a condiment.


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  FOOD FUNNIES: Top Signs That You're Too Fat

 9. When people first meet you they say, "Lemme guess - opera singer?". 

 8. You live on 23rd, 24th, and 25th streets.

 7. Barack Obama has requested $3 billion to bail you out of your bed.

 6. When doctor says you're pregnant with octuplets, you have to
    remind him you're a man.

 5. Often get free waffles at Denny's by claiming to be Rush Limbaugh.

 4. When you get on a scale, it says, "One at a time!".

 3. While you're reading this, you're eating a quart of tartar sauce.

 2. You're too fat to read Artie Lange's "Too Fat to Fish".

       ... and the #1 Sign That You're Too Fat ...

 1. Get in bed at 11pm, but your ass doesn't get there 'til midnight.


  Applebee's Baby Back Ribs
    3 racks (about 1 lb. each) pork baby back ribs, each cut in half

  Barbecue sauce: 
    1 cup ketchup 
    1/4 cup apple cider vinager 
    3 tablespoons dark brown sugar 
    3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce 
    1 teaspoon liquid smoke 
    1/2 teaspoon salt

 1. Put ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Bring
    water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour or until
    ribs are fork tender. 

 2. Mix all sauce ingrediants together in a medium sauce pan and
    bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often,
    for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. 

 3. Heat broiler.  Line broiler with foil for easy cleanup. Place
    ribs, meat side down, on broiler pan, brush with 1/2 the sauce and
    broil 4-5 inches from heat source for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn ribs
    over, brush with remaining sauce and broil 6 to 7 minutes longer
    or until edges are slightly charred.

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

  Summer Seafood Stew
    1/4 cup olive oil
    5 cups chopped onions
    3 tablespoons minced garlic
    2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes in juice
    3 cups dry white wine
    3 (8 oz.) bottles clam juice
    3/4 cup tomato paste
    3 bay leaves
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
    2 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
    2 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
    3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
    24 littleneck clams, scrubbed 
    2 3/4 pounds cod or snapper fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
    1 1/2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
    1 pound bay scallops
    Chopped fresh basil

  Heat oil in a heavy 10m quart pot over medium heat. Add onions and
 garlic and saute until onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add
 tomatoes with juices and next 8 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce
 heat and simmer uncovered until flavors blend and liquid is slightly
 reduced, about 45 minutes.

  Add clams to cooking liquid. Cover pot and cook until clams open,
 about 10 minutes (discard any clams that do not open). Add fish,
 shrimp and scallops. Simmer until seafood is just cooked through,
 about 5 minutes. Season stew to taste with salt and pepper.

  Ladle stew into bowls. Sprinkle with basil. Makes 12 servings.

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

  Chicken with Balsamic BBQ Sauce
    4 pieces chicken (breast or leg-and-thigh pieces)
    Salt and freshly ground pepper

  Balsamic BBQ sauce: 
    1 cup balsamic vinegar 
    3/4 cup ketchup 
    1/3 cup brown sugar 
    1 garlic clove, minced 
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
    1/2 teaspoon salt 
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and stir
 until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is
 smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about
 15 to 20 minutes.

  Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal
 grill. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Lightly coat with some
 of the BBQ sauce using a pastry brush. Place the meat on the grill.
 Place the remaining BBQ sauce, still in the small saucepan, over
 low heat or on the edge of a gas or charcoal grill and allow to
 gently simmer while the meat cooks.

  Cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side. Continually brush the
 meat with BBQ sauce every few minutes. Remove the meat from the grill
 and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with the heated BBQ sauce

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

  Baked Salmon Fillets
    1 lb. salmon fillets 
    1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt 
    2 teaspoons prepared mustard 
    2 teaspoons onions, finely minced 
    2 teaspoons dried dill weed 
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated 
    1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

  Preheat oven to 450F. If frozen, partially thaw fillets and cut
 into serving size pieces. Place in a greased baking dish.

  Combine sour cream or yogurt, mustard, onion, dill, and mayonnaise.
 Season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture over fish.

  Bake 20 minutes per inch of thickness of fish if frozen or 10-12
 minutes if thawed. When just done, sprinkle with the cheeses and a
 dash of paprika. Broil 1 minute or until the cheese is bubbly and
 flecked with brown. Serve with lemon wedges.

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

  Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes, and Dill
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    1/2 cup chopped dill
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    1 cup orzo
    1 1/2 cups crumbled feta (6 ounces)

  Toss together oil, tomatoes, dill, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of
 salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Let stand at least ten

  Meanwhile, cook orzo in a pasta pott of boiling salted water
 (1 1/2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Drain
 orzo and toss with tomato mixture. Add feta and toss again.

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

  Corn on the Cob with Shallot-Thyme Butter
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
    2/3 cup chopped shallots (about 3 ounces)
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
    6 to 9 ears fresh corn, shucked
    Olive oil

  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat.
 Add shallots and saute until brown, about 4 minutes. Cool. Combine
 remaining 6 tablespoons butter and thyme in small bowl. Add shallot
 mixture and blend well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush corn with olive oil.
 Grill corn away from direct heat until just cooked and beginning to
 brown in a few places, turning frequently, about 10 minutes.
 Alternatively, omit brushing corn with olive oil and cook in large
 pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 6 minutes, drain.
 Serve corn with shallot-thyme butter.

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

  Spinach Salad with Honey Bacon Dressing
    8 cups torn fresh spinach 
    1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 
    1/4 cup sliced green onions 
    1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped 
    1 hard-boiled egg, chopped 
    1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese 
    7 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 
    1/2 cup honey 
    1/2 cup vinegar 
    1/3 cup vegetable oil 
    1 teaspoon yellow mustard or spicy brown mustard 
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

  Combine first 6 ingredients with 5 of the cooked, crumbled bacon
 strips in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey,
 vinegar, oil, mustard, lemon juice, and remaining 2 strips of cooked,
 crumbled bacon. Pour over salad. Serve immediately.

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

  Iced Maple Cream with Berries
    3 large egg yolks 
    3/4 cup chilled whipping cream, divided 
    1/3 cup pure maple syrup 
    1/4 teaspoon maple extract 
    2 tablespoons raspberry jam 
    3 cups mixed berries (such as blackberries, raspberries,
      and blueberries) 

  Whisk yolks, 1/4 cup cream, and syrup in medium metal bowl. Set bowl
 over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to
 touch water). Whisk constantly until candy thermometer registers
 175F, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Using electric
 mixer, beat mixture until cool and thick, about 3 minutes. 

  Whip remaining 1/2 cup cream and maple extract in large bowl to soft
 peaks. Fold whipped cream into yolk mixture. Cover and freeze maple
 cream until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight. 

  Whisk jam in medium bowl to loosen. Add berries; toss to coat and
 let stand 15 minutes. Spoon berry mixture into dishes; top with maple
 cream. Serve with crisp butter cookies.


   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: Bamboo leaves

  Zongzi can also be wrapped in other inedible leaves, depending on
 the fragrance desired. The leaves are never eaten. Wrapped within
 the leaves, which are then steamed, is rice and an assortment of
 meats, nuts, beans and even small eggs. They are used to commemorate
 the death of the first Chinese poet of any fame, Qu Yuan.


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