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Volume 19   Number 38

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   > Article: A Flourish at the Finish

   > Food Funnies: Signs That Dad Packed The School Lunch

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

    * Olive Garden's Chianti Braised Short Ribs
    * Tequila Turkey Fettuccini
    * Steak with Orange Bourbon Glaze
    * Chicken Parmesan
    * Pork and Ginger Pot Stickers
    * Caramelized Shallot Mashed Potatoes
    * Creamed Corn with Bacon
    * Streusel Kuchen

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Chicken Salad Bake

    Diabetic: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Low Fat: Turkey Tostadas


  This Week's Cooking Tips

 * When cooking with wine, leave the pan uncovered so the alcohol
   will burn off. The resulting liquid will have a rounder, firmer,
   fruitier flavor.

 * Fresh herbs loose their distinctive flavor when cooked a long time.
   Add some extra just before serving.

 * Place overripe tomatoes in cold water and add some salt. Overnight
   they will become firm and fresh.

 * Put a layer of marshmallows in the bottom of a pumpkin pie, then
   add the filling. You will have a nice topping as the marshmallows
   will come to the to top. More Cooking Tips


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

   What is a popular garlic dessert at the Gilroy Garlic festival
  every year?


  Quote of the Week:

     "Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I’m halfway
      through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could
      be eating a slow learner."

      - Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973)



         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 18 - National Play-Doh Day
             September 19 - National Butterscotch Pudding Day 
             September 20 - National Rum Punch Day 
             September 21 - National Pecan Cookie Day 
             September 22 - National White Chocolate Day 
             September 23 - National Chocolate Day 
             September 24 - National Cherries Jubilee Day 
             September 25 - National Crab Newberg Day 


    A Flourish at the Finish
      By Mark Bittman

  Dinners that seem so oppressive in midsummer, not only to cook but
 to eat, are welcome the instant the weather breaks. For instance,
 braising, a nearly insane form of cooking for about a third of the
 year, returns this month, putting aromatic humidity in the air and
 tender meat on the table. And like most braised dishes, this stew of
 pork teamed with garlic, red wine and coriander takes time but, once
 the initial browning is done, very little work.

  There are times when I consider browning optional, but this isn't
 one of them. Because there are not many components to the dish, you
 need the complexity that browning brings.

  If you want to spare yourself the task of cleaning up the stove top
 (spattering is inevitable), you can brown the meat in the oven. Use a
 roasting pan large enough to hold it in one layer, at about 500
 degrees, and turn the meat occasionally. Stove-top browning, however,
 is faster and more accurate.

  After the browning is done and the remaining ingredients are added,
 it's almost just a matter of waiting for the meat to become tender,
 which should take less than an hour. I say "almost" because this stew
 has an interesting refinement which I learned from a French chef who
 had settled in Thailand.

  He told me that although he loved red wine as a cooking ingredient,
 he regretted the freshness wine loses after long cooking. As a
 result, and contrary to tradition, he always withheld a little wine
 from a recipe, adding it, along with its acidity, freshness and
 fruitiness, a few minutes before the dish was done. Here, you should
 use something not only good enough to drink (you should always do
 that when cooking), but to savor.

  Finally, it is imperative to use pork with some fat in it, as the
 cooked meat may dry out before it becomes tender.

  The best pork for this stew, and all braised pork dishes, is cut
 from the shoulder (sometimes called Boston butt), or from the
 shoulder end of the loin. In either case, darker, well-marbled meat
 is preferable to pale, super-lean meat.

  A little butter, lemon juice and fresh cilantro round this dish out
 nicely. I'd serve it over rice or buttered noodles.

  Pork With Red Wine and Coriander
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
    2 pounds pork shoulder in 1-inch cubes 
    1 head garlic, papery coating removed, cut in half crosswise 
    2 cups red wine 
    3 tablespoons coriander seeds, cracked and wrapped in cheesecloth 
    1 tablespoon butter 
    Lemon juice to taste
    1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

 1. Place oil in a large, deep skillet on medium-high heat. A minute
    later, add pork, and cook, undisturbed, until brown on one side,
    about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn and brown another side. Add garlic and
    cook, stirring occasionally, for a minute or two. Add 1 1/2 cups
    wine, then coriander.

 2. Turn heat to low, and cover. Simmer gently for 45 minutes to an
    hour, until pork is tender. Remove coriander. Stir in remaining
    wine; cook 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in butter.

 3. Add lemon juice to taste. Stir in half the cilantro, then serve,
    garnished with remaining cilantro. Yield: 4 servings.


                       ALL YOU NEED TO COOK IT RIGHT!

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  FOOD FUNNIES: Signs That Dad Packed The School Lunch

 8. Mom always takes the cheese out of the cellophane wrapping
    when making the sandwich.

 7. You asked for PB&J. He packed pastrami, beef jerky and

 6. Three coupons for Happy Meals and a reminder to bring home any
    cool toy prizes.

 5. The veggies and fruit? Potato chips and Orange Nehi, of

 4. Four Power Bars and a note reading, "Peanut butter won't get
    you into the majors so you can support your folks in their 
    old age, sport!"

 3. The triple-decker liverwurst sandwich sprung the lunchbox
    open on the bus.

 2. Your lunch includes a bag of pork rinds and a Bud Light.

       ... and the #1 Sign Dad Packed My School Lunch ...

 1. Nothing in the bag but a $20 bill and a note: "Don't tell Mom
    and you can keep the change."


  Olive Garden's Chianti Braised Short Ribs
    3 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
    Salt to taste
    Pepper to taste
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium yellow onions, chopped
    4 large garlic cloves, minced
    2 cups Chianti wine
    1 (32 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
    3 cups beef broth
    2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

  Pat short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper. Coat a
 large, nonstick pan with olive oil. Sear the short rib pieces
 over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side or
 until brown. Transfer short ribs to a bowl.

  Add onions to pan and cook over medium heat for approximately
 3 minutes. Once onions are translucent, add garlic and cook for
 1 minute; do not brown. Add Chianti, rosemary, beef broth and
 tomatoes to the pan one at a time, allowing liquid to partially
 evaporate before each addition (about 2 minutes).

  Return short ribs to pan, including any juices that might have
 accumulated in the bowl. Cover and let simmer for 3 hours on low
 heat to complete the braising process. Remove short ribs from pan
 and boil the liquid until it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
 Return short ribs to pan and heat thoroughly.

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  Tequila Turkey Fettuccini
    1 oz. olive oil 
    1/4 red onion, cut into strips 
    1/2 tablespoon minced jalapeno 
    1 tablespoon minced garlic 
    5 ounces turkey breast, cooked, sliced 
    1 oz. tequila 
    4 ounces heavy cream 
    1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice 
    1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves 
    9 ounces fettuccini pasta, cooked 
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 
    2 lime wedges, for garnish 
    2 sprigs cilantro, for garnish 
    2 tablespoons diced Roma tomato, for garnish 
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

  In saute pan with high heat, add olive oil, onions, jalapeno and
 saute until translucent. Add garlic and continue to saute for
 2 minutes. Add turkey, lightly mix ingredients, careful not to
 break turkey up too much. 

  Deglaze pan with tequila, pouring around the edge of the saute
 pan. Add cream, lemon juice and cilantro. Toss together, then add
 pasta, and toss ingredients while adding Parmesan cheese. 

  Nest pasta on plate, pour sauce over pasta. Lay sprigs of cilantro
 over top, sprinkle tomatoes on top, and crack pepper around the rim
 of the plate.

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  Steak with Orange Bourbon Glaze
    1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning 
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
    Salt and pepper 
    2 tablespoons canola oil 
    1 (14 ounce) NY strip steak 

  Preheat grill to high and oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine
 Cajun seasoning, cayenne, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons canola oil.
 Rub mixture on both sides of the steak. In a saute pan, sear steak
 for 7 minutes on both sides. Place steak in a plastic bag to marinate
 for 1 hour in refrigerator. After marinating for 1 hour, remove steak
 from refrigerator and let sit for 15 minutes. Grill steak for
 12 minutes (6 minutes on each side). Remove from grill with tongs
 and let rest for 8 to 12 minutes. Using a serving spoon, add Orange
 Bourbon Glaze to steak. 

  Orange Bourbon Glaze:
    2 tablespoons diced shallots 
    1/4 cup butter, divided 
    1 cup bourbon 
    2 seedless oranges, peeled and segmented 
    1/2 cup brown sugar 
    1/4 teaspoon salt 
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
    4 cups beef stock

  In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat saute the shallots in
 2 tablespoons of butter until caramelized. Whisk in the bourbon,
 oranges, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over
 medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add beef stock.
 Simmer until mixture is a sauce-like consistency. Remove from heat.
 Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

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  Chicken Parmesan
    2 quarts oil, for deep-frying 
    1 tablespoon kosher salt 
    1 tablespoon onion powder 
    1 tablespoon garlic powder 
    1 tablespoon cracked black pepper 
    4 (6 oz.) pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (pounded thin)
    3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves 
    2 cups panko bread crumbs 
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
    2 eggs, slightly beaten 
    1 quart favorite store-bought marinara sauce 
    8 slices mozzarella cheese

  White Sauce:
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic 
    1 cup heavy cream 
    1/4 cup butter 
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves 
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  White Sauce: Heat the garlic and heavy cream in a medium saucepan,
 until simmering. Turn off heat, add butter, and whisk vigorously
 until fully incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon fresh parsley and season
 with salt and pepper.

  Chicken: Heat oil to 350F. Mix all seasonings together then divide
 into 2 parts. Season chicken breast with half of the seasoning on
 both sides. Add half of remaining seasoning and 3 tablespoons of
 chopped fresh parsley to bread crumbs and mix. Dip chicken in flour,
 then in eggs, then in bread crumbs. Fry chicken until golden brown,
 about 3 to 5 minutes). Simmer the marinara sauce in saucepan over
 medium heat. Place 2 slices of mozzarella cheese on each breast.
 Pour the warmed marinara sauce over the cheese, drizzle with White
 Sauce and serve.

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  Pork and Ginger Pot Stickers
    6 ounces ground pork 
    1/4 cup diced white onion 
    2 tablespoons minced ginger 
    1 tablespoon minced garlic 
    4 tablespoons diced green onion 
    1 teaspoon soy sauce 
    1/4 teaspoon sesame oil 
    Pinch salt and pepper 
    12 round wonton/potsticker wrappers 
    1 egg, whipped 
    1 teaspoon oil 

  In a medium bowl, add the pork, onions, ginger, garlic, green
 onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Mix together until
 thoroughly combined. 

  In a medium stock pot, boil 2 quarts of water. Place 1 tablespoon
 of the mixture in the middle of a wrapper. Brush the edges of the
 wrapper with the egg and fold in half. Repeat with the remaining

  Place wrappers in boiling water for 1 minute, remove, and cool
 individually on cooling rack. When ready for service, heat saute
 pan with 1 teaspoon oil, and saute on medium-high heat until the
 skin of the wrapper is browned.

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  Caramelized Shallot Mashed Potatoes
    6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, divided
    2 cups sliced shallots
    3/4 cup whole milk
    2 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered

  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat.
 Add sliced shallots and cook until tender and brown, stirring often,
 about 20 minutes. Transfer shallots to small bowl. Add milk to
 skillet. Set aside.

  Meanwhile, place quartered potatoes in large saucepan. Add enough
 cold water to pan to cover potatoes by 1 1/2 inches. Bring to boil,
 reduce heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about
 15 minutes. Drain. Return potatoes to pan and stir over medium heat
 until dry, about 1 minute. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter.
 Bring milk in skillet to simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Add
 hot milk to potatoes. Mash potatoes. Stir in caramelized shallots
 and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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  Creamed Corn with Bacon
    4 ears corn
    6 ounces thick-sliced bacon (about 4 slices)
    1 large bunch scallions
    2/3 cup heavy cream
    1/4 cup water
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    freshly ground black pepper

  Bring a kettle of water to a boil and have ready a large bowl of
 ice and cold water. Add corn to boiling water and simmer 4 minutes.
 With tongs transfer corn to ice water to stop cooking. When corn is
 cool enough to handle, drain and cut corn kernels from cobs.

  Cut bacon into 1/8-inch-thick strips. In a heavy skillet cook bacon
 over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and transfer
 to paper towels to drain.

  Thinly slice enough scallions crosswise to measure 1 cup. In a
 3-quart heavy saucepan simmer cream, water, and lemon juice with
 bacon, scallions, and butter, stirring, 1 minute. Add corn and pepper
 and salt to taste and cook until liquid is slightly thickened, about
 5 minutes.

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  Streusel Kuchen
    1 cup all purpose flour
    2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
    1/3 cup chopped walnuts
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

    2 medium-size Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored,
      cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices 
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
    1/3 cup cornstarch
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks),
      room temperature
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
    1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

  For streusel: Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Add melted
 butter and stir with fork until moist clumps form. Set aside.

  For cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325F.
 Butter and flour 10-inch-diameter springform pan. Toss apple slices,
 cinnamon, and cloves in medium bowl. Sift flour, cornstarch, baking
 powder, and salt into another bowl. Combine butter, powdered sugar,
 and lemon peel in large bowl; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. 

  Using electric mixer, beat butter mixture until well blended. Add
 eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition;
 beat in egg yolk. Add flour mixture and beat just until blended.
 Spread batter evenly in prepared pan (cake layer will be thin).
 Slightly overlap apple slices atop batter in concentric circles.
 Sprinkle streusel evenly over apples (streusel will cover apples).

  Bake cake until streusel topping is crisp and tester inserted into
 center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool cake
 in pan on rack 15 minutes. Remove pan sides; cool to lukewarm.
 Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.


   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: Garlic Ice Cream

  The town of Gilroy, California, calls itself the "garlic capital
 of the world". Every year there is a huge festival with myriad
 recipe competitions and things to try. One of the favorites is
 garlic fries and garlic ice cream is also extremely popular, even
 though I suspect the fact they give it away for free may have
 something to do with that!


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