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Volume 18   Number 36

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No. 22    No. 23    No. 24    No. 25    No. 26    No. 27    No. 28

No. 29    No. 30    No. 31    No. 32    No. 33    No. 34    No. 35


  THIS WEEK'S FEATURES AND RECIPES:

   > Article: It’s Soup: Vegetables, Herbs, Water

   > Food Funnies: Signs a TV Chef Has Finally Lost It

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

    * Macaroni Grill Pasta Di Pollo
       
    * Pork Roast With Pineapple and Carrots
        
    * Beef Kwangton
        
    * Meatloaf with Sweet and Sour Sauce
        
    * Sauteed Trout with Pecans
        
    * Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
        
    * Spicy Sweet Potatoes
        
    * Apple Tart

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Rueben Casserole

    Diabetic: Lemon Meringue Pie

    Low Fat: Low Fat Pumpkin Custard

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  This Week's Cooking Tips

     Baking Tips:

 * When whipping heavy cream always whip in a stainless steel bowl.
   Aluminum bowls will cause the cream to turn grayish in color and
   the cream will taste metallic.

 * Self rising flour is a mixture of 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
   plus 1/2 teaspoon of salt per cup flour.

 * Use one Tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of regular active dry yeast to
   replace cake yeast in recipes.

 * When making a cake, have all of your ingredients at room
   temperature.

 * You should leave 2 inches of space between the oven walls and your
   baking sheet for good circulation.

 * Substitute 3/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened) and 1/4 cup Crisco for
   4 squares (ounces) of chocolate. More Cooking Tips

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

    Which woman patented her hand crank freezer in 1846, thus
   making the process of making ice cream much easier?

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  Quote of the Week:

     "A diet that consists predominantly of rice leads to the
      use of opium, just as a diet that consists predominantly
      of potatoes leads to the use of liquor."

      - Friedrich Nietzsche

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    UPCOMING FOOD HOLIDAYS:

         September is: National Biscuit Month
                       National Chicken Month
                       National Cholesterol Awareness Month
                       National Honey Month
                       National Mushroom Month
                       National Organic Harvest Month
                       National Papaya Month
                       National Rice Month

            September 4 - National Macadamia Nut Day
            September 5 - National Cheese Pizza Day 
            September 6 - National Coffee Ice Cream Day 
            September 7 - National Napoleon Day 
            September 8 - National Date-Nut Bread Day 
            September 9 - National Steak au Poivre Day 
            September 10 - National Hot Dog Day 
            September 11 - National Hot Cross Bun Day 

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    It’s Soup: Vegetables, Herbs, Water
     By Mark Bittman

  Late summer is not just a good time to make soup, it’s quite
 possibly the ideal time. With ultraripe vegetables, abundant herbs
 and a secret ingredient (O.K., water), you’re pretty much set. 

  For those who find this surprising, let me say that there may be
 more misconceptions about making soup than about any other cooking
 procedure. To name just three: 

   - It takes forever. 
   - You can’t make it without stock. 
   - It’s best made with scraps and bones. 
   - It comes out of a can. 

  All right, four. 

  A little debunking is in order. There are cultures in which nearly
 every full meal begins with soup, and few of those soups contain
 stock or take more than a half-hour to make. In its most basic form,
 a soup might contain only water, garlic, egg and toasted bread (and
 be delicious).

  I’m as fond of stock-based soup as the next guy. It’s just that
 using a lack of stock as a reason for not making soup is a mistake.
 It isn’t "good" soup that’s based on stock, but only what might be
 called "fine", elite or restaurant-style soup, like a consommé. 

  As for scraps and bones: Very early in my cooking and writing
 relationship with the chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, I asked him
 about this in a fashion that showed that I had been misguided. He
 said: "If you want your soup to taste like scraps and bones, use
 scraps and bones. If you want it to taste like meat and vegetables,
 use meat and vegetables."

  So, start with great ingredients. In a very real way, the minestrone
 here is the absolute quintessential late-summer all-vegetable,
 no-stock soup. If you take good vegetables, caramelize them a bit in
 oil (those browned bits create a lot of complex flavor), then seal
 the deal with water and herbs, you can hardly go wrong.

  Some other examples: 

  Sear cauliflower florets, add garlic and red pepper flakes, then
 water; cook until tender, then serve with a little more oil, maybe a
 dusting of cheese. Cook potatoes and leeks, add water, chill; you
 have vichyssoise. Whir some tomatoes, pepper, shallots or mild
 onions, bread, oil and a little vinegar in a blender; that’s
 gazpacho. (So is a mix of vegetables and herbs roasted or sautéed
 in olive oil and puréed or chilled.)

  And if you want to make any of these admittedly simple soups more
 special, you have a secret weapon at this time of year, one that
 takes a tenth of the time it does to make a stock. 

  It’s called an herb purée, better known as pesto. A little of it
 can transform any soup into something slightly magical. 

  Make the purée with basil, parsley or a combination of fresh herbs
 that may include marjoram, oregano, dill or small amounts of thyme,
 sage or rosemary, plus a little oil (or even water), garlic, nuts
 and cheese. At a time when basil and parsley are nearly guaranteed
 to be local, cheap and perfumey, why not? 

  As for canned soup, it’s good for after-school snacks. Just not
 for grown-up meals.

  Late Summer Minestrone
  ===================
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    1 cup fresh corn (about two ears)
    1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup cored, chopped tomato (canned is fine; include juice)
    1/2 cup chopped basil leaves, more for garnish
    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving, optional

  Put 3 tablespoons oil in a large, deep saucepan or casserole over
 medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, carrots and zucchini. Cook,
 stirring, until onion softens and vegetables begin to caramelize,
 10 minutes or so.

  Add corn and beans; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring,
 for a minute or two, then add 6 cups water and tomato; bring to a
 boil, then adjust heat so mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring
 every now and then, until vegetables are fairly soft and tomatoes
 broken up, about 15 minutes. 

  Add 1/2 cup basil and adjust heat once again so mixture simmers.
 Cook until all vegetables are very tender, 5 to 15 minutes longer.
 Taste and adjust seasoning, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and
 serve, passing basil and cheese at table.

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  FOOD FUNNIES: Signs a TV Chef Has Finally Lost It 
 

 9. He demonstrates the proper technique for tenderizing a veal
    cutlet while wearing a dominatrix outfit and using a whip.

 8. "Today on ‘Chopped’ the contestants are in for a special
    challenge as they open their entree baskets and find duck
    eggs, arugula, and human fingers."

 7. "It is critical the carrots be approached from their blind
    side so as not to startle them."

 6. Adam Richman becomes the key proponent of fasting.

 5. Rachael Ray hosts a special on crock pots.

 4. The theme song ends with "umm bork bork bork."

 3. Demands that his show, "Cooking With Wine" be renamed "Cooking
    With Prune Juice."

 2. The Iron Chef challenger uses the same iron - a clothing iron
    - for grilling paninis AND for braining the judges when he loses.

  ... and the #1 Sign a TV Chef Has Finally Lost It ...

 1. Anthony Bourdain declines the vintage Bordeaux in favor of
    a Diet Coke.

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  Macaroni Grill Pasta Di Pollo
  ======================
  Pasta:
    1/2 stick butter
    1/2 cup red onions, diced
    1/2 cup pancetta, drained and chopped
    1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
    3/4 cup green onion, tops only
    3/4 pound sliced grilled chicken
    2 pounds farfalle (bow-tie pasta), cooked
    8 ounces heavy whipping cream
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley

  Asiago Sauce:
    4 cups heavy whipping cream
    1/8 teaspoon paste or dried chicken base
    1 1/4 cups asiago cheese
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 ounces water

  To make the sauce, heat cream to very hot and just bubbly (but not
 a boil). Add chicken base and cheese. Stir constantly with a wire
 whisk and bring temperature back to just bubbly. Dissolve cornstarch
 in the cold water and add to sauce. Bring to a slow simmer to cook
 out starch. Transfer sauce to a container, cover and refrigerate
 until needed.

  Saute red onion in butter for a few seconds then add pancetta and
 garlic. Add chicken, green onions and pasta. Deglaze the pan with
 the cream. Add asiago cream sauce. Heat thoroughly. Garnish with
 parsley and serve.

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  Pork Roast With Pineapple and Carrots
  ===============================
  For Marinade:
    2 cups Italian salad dressing
    1 tablespoon granulated garlic
    2 teaspoons onion powder 
    1/2 teaspoon salt 
    1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 

  For the roast:
    1 (3 pound) boneless pork loin roast
    4 tablespoons brown sugar 
    1 can pineapple chunks, drained
    3 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick

  Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough to accomadate
 the pork roast. Mix well and add the roast. Cover, refrigerate and
 marinate overnight. Remove roast 1 hour before cooking.

  Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a shallow roasting pan. Remove roast
 from marinade. Discard marinade. Place the roast in the roasting pan
 and surround it with the pineapple chunks. Spoon a little of the
 pineapple juice over the roast and sprinkle with 2 Tbsps of the brown
 sugar. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar evenly over the pineapple.

  Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Add carrots and roast for
 another 20 minutes. Let the roast stand for 20 minutes before
 slicing.

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  Beef Kwangton
  ============
    1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
    1 slice fresh ginger root, 1/2" thick
    1 pound beef, cut in thin strips
    4 ounces bamboo shoots, sliced
    4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
    3 ounces snow peas
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    2 tablespoons oyster sauce
    1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
    1/4 teaspoon seasame oil
    1/4 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water

  Preheat a wok or frying pan and add the oil. Add the ginger and stir
 to add flavor to the oil. Discard the ginger and add the beef slices.
 Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the bamboo shoots, mushrooms, snow
 peas and chicken broth. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in oyster
 sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Thicken with the cornstarch
 blend and serve immediately with rice.

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  Meatloaf with Sweet and Sour Sauce
  =============================
    1 1/2 lbs ground beef
    1 slice bread (broken or chopped finely) 
    1 egg 
    1 small onion, finely chopped 
    1 teaspoon table salt 
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
    4 tablespoons ketchup 
    1/2 cup whole milk or half-and-half

  Sauce:
    4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
    4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed firm
    1/2 cup ketchup

  Combine meat loaf ingredients and place into a loaf baking dish.
 Smooth out top. Combine sauce ingredients and pour on top and sides
 of meatloaf. Bake at 350F about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or
 until done.

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  Sauteed Trout with Pecans
  =====================
    4 trout fillets with skin
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, divided
    3/4 cup pecans, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup chopped parsley

  Pat fillets dry and rub flesh sides with cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt,
 and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (total). Dredge in flour. 

  Heat 1/2 stick butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat
 until foam subsides, then cook trout, skin side down, until skin is
 golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Turn fish over and cook until just
 cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate with a
 slotted spatula and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

  Pour off butter from skillet and wipe clean, then cook pecans with
 remaining 3/4 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon
 pepper over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown,
 about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley and spoon over
 trout.

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  Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
  =======================
    3 Italian hot sausages, casings removed
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces) 
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
    1 large egg yolk
    Olive oil
    24 large (about 2-inch-diameter) mushrooms, stemmed
    1/3 cup dry white wine 

  Saute sausage and oregano in heavy large skillet over medium-high
 heat until sausage is cooked through and brown, breaking into small
 pieces with back of fork, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon,
 transfer sausage mixture to large bowl and cool. Mix in 1/2 cup
 Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder, then cream
 cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper; mix in egg yolk.

  Brush 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil to coat. Brush
 cavity of each mushroom cap with white wine; fill with 1 tablespoon
 filling and sprinkle with some of remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
 Arrange mushrooms, filling side up, in prepared dish.

  Preheat oven to 350F. Bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and
 filling is brown on top, about 25 minutes.

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  Spicy Sweet Potatoes
  =================
    3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
     (about 6 cups) 
    2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil 
    2 tablespoons brown sugar 
    1 teaspoon chili powder 
    1/2 teaspoon salt 
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  In a zip-top plastic bag, toss potatoes and oil. Combine remaining
 ingredients; add to bag; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 11x7
 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400F for 40-45 minutes or
 until potatoes are tender, stirring every 15 minutes.

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  Apple Tart
  ========
    1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
    3 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    3 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
    1/4 cup apricot jam, melted

  Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
 Unfold pastry on parchment paper. Using tines of fork, pierce
 1/2-inch border around edge of pastry, then pierce center all over.
 Arrange apples atop pastry in 4 rows, overlapping apple slices and
 leaving border clear. Brush apples with melted butter; sprinkle with
 cinnamon sugar. Bake 30 minutes. Brush melted jam over apples. Bake
 tart until golden, about 8 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room
 temperature.

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   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: Nancy Johnson

  Johnson sold the design and rights to William Young two years later
 for $200. He went on to patent the "Johnson Patent Ice Cream Freezer",
 giving clear credit to its creator.

  Jacob Fussell is seen as the first man to create an industry in
 ice-cream production. He was a milk dealer looking for a new way to
 use his cream. He discovered that he could do so by turning it into
 ice cream. His Baltimore factory utilized icehouses and a larger
 version of Johnson’s machine. By the start of the American Civil War
 he had additional ice cream plants in Boston, New York and Washington.
 Despite these advancements it was not until the 20th century that ice
 cream became a nationwide phenomenon.

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