< Fresh Approach: from before

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


from before

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Fattoush - Lebanese Salad
We eat a lot of basil and oregano in this county, but in other countries (or regions) they eat different herbs and spices (Can you imagine? Are you shocked by this information?). For instance in the Middle East (mostly Turkey and Syria I would say) Sumac (the C is not pronounced) is a popular spice, used the way we use salt and pepper or even lemon juice or vinegar. It has a sour taste that became popular prior to the introduction of citrus to the area. You may have come across it sometime in a salad such as this, but never known what it was you were tasting. It is available online from Penzeys. When mixed with sesame seeds, salt and thyme it becomes Za'atar. (Which is tasty sprinkled over plain yogurt and used as a dip!)4 pita bread rounds, 2 teaspoons olive oil4 plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped½ cup kalamata olives, without pits, chopped1 head of romaine lettuce leaves, chopped1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped1/2 cup fresh mint chopped3 spring onions, chopped1 Persian cucumber, peeled, chopped (Persian cucumbers have very few seeds. If you can’t get them, just remove the seeds of the cucumber you do use)1 red bell pepper, chopped¼ cup olive oil4 tablespoons lemon juice1 clove of garlic, mincedZa’atar:1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme1 tablespoons toasted seasame seeds1 teaspoons ground sumacpinch of saltPreheat oven to 400F.Lightly brush the pita with some of the olive oil, cut into medium-small pieces and arrange on a cookie sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.Mix tomatoes, olives, lettuce, parsley, mint, green onions, cucumber, red bell pepper and toasted pita bread in large bowl.Whisk the oil, lemon juice, garlic clove and sumac in small bowl to blend. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.As with all bread salads, this does not hold well.Serves four generously Additions: Red Onion, Feta Cheese, Hot Peppers or Grilled Chicken, Lamb or Shrimp_________________________________________The average American consumes about 50 to 60 pounds of bread per year.7 percent of all Americans eat at McDonald's each day.In 2002, total meat consumption (red meat, poultry, and fish)amounted to 200 pounds per person,23 pounds above the level in 1970. Americans consumed, on average,18 pounds less red meat (mostly less beef) than in 1970, 37 poundsmore poultry, and 4 pounds more fish. (Source, USDA)
# posted by Rachael @ Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Whole Pumpkins Stuffed With Wild Rice
Have you seen those little sugar pumpkins for sale at the market? Yum. They are inexpensive (it being autumn now...can you feel it in the air) and (what do I always say?) simple to prepare! Try this and enjoy! 5 small sugar pumpkins6 tablespoons olive oil2 tablespoons butter1 large onion minced3 cloves garlic, minced¼ cup chicken stock4 cups cooked brown and wild rice4 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chiffonade½ cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese2 eggs beatenSalt and pepper, to taste¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbsPreheat the oven to 400F.Four of the pumpkins should treated as normal…remove the top and the seeds, cut the stringy stuff (very technical term there, beware) from the top and make sure it fits back on as a lid.The fifth pumpkin should be peeled, deseeded and chopped into small pieces.Heat the oil and the butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onion then garlic and sauté until translucent. Add the pumpkin and stock and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the rest of the ingredients.Loosely fill the pumpkins with the filling and replace the lids. Place the pumpkins in a large roasting pan and add 1 cup of water to the pan, (should come up about ½ inch). Roast in the oven until the pumpkins can be pierced with a knife. Should take about 1 hour.When cooked, remove the roasting pan carefully from the oven, and take out the pumpkins. Allow to cool for a few minutes then serve.Serves four as a main course.Additions: Chopped roast chicken, toasted pecans, cranberries, minced rosemary. You can also just forgo the presentation and mix all that up for a casserole.________________________________________Pumpkins are fruit that originated in Central America.In the United States 97% of the pumpkins grown are used for Halloween decorations.The "pumpkin capital" of the world is Morton, Illinois, home of the Libby corporation.
# posted by Rachael @ Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Monday, October 11, 2004
Pastel de Nata - Portuguese Custard
Well kids, it's been a few days since I posted anything because I have been busy changing the name of Fresh Catering to FRESH APPROACH COOKING. When I first started Fresh it was all about catering and I had a lot of help from friends in creating the logo and website and business cards. Of course time moves on, the focus of the company changed to cooking classes (I did my last catering gig ever this past weekend--more on that later) and those people are all either gone or busy, so I have been trying to build a new website myself (which I seem to have done and I'm pretty proud of it. I just got sick of someone charging me $20 everytime I wanted one little thing changed. I have a new respect for my original web designer now too. Phew.) and get it to post online (here the frustration began, and continues.) I feel like I have read every tutorial known to human kind and still can't master this! (And the idea that 15 year olds can do it in their sleep isn't as encouraging as it should be!) So with that eating up my every waking moment, it's been hard to get to this and tell you all what I've been up to! Like I said, I catered a party for 25, that had a theme (Cheese. How much do you love THAT?) and with my awesome assistant Lisa, we made some super tasty food. Smoked Chicken, Brie and Mango Quesedilla's With Tropical Fruit Salsa, Individual Servings of Pasta with Bayonne Ham, Fresh Herbs and Cheese Sauce with Toasted Panko Topping; Bluefin Crab, Water Spinach and Parmesan Dip; Marinated Roasted Chile Salad with Queso Fresco and Nacho Napoleons. Now, if you know anything about Dreamweaver and you want to see my new site (sometime in this decade) which (now that I know how to USE Dreamweaver) will be updated much more often…email me and maybe we can swap programming lessons for cooking lessons! Thanks! -RachaelIndividual Portuguese Coconut Custards 2 T. cornstarch1 cup milk1 cup sweetened finely shredded coconut3 large eggs1 cup sugar2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted1/4 teaspoon lemon extract or Malibu rumPreheat the oven to 375°F.Adjust the rack to middle position. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk, stir to dissolve. Set aside.In a large mixing bowl, stir the eggs and sugar together. One by one, add the cornstarch mixture, remaining milk, coconut, melted butter and lemon extract, stirring well after each addition.Ladle the custard into the paper cups, filling to 1/4 inch from the top. (Make sure to stir frequently to keep the coconut well distributed.)Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the coconut is nicely toasted.Cool before serving.Makes ten. _________________________________________Swiss steak isn't Swiss, Russian dressing isn't Russian, English muffins aren't English,and Chop Suey is not Chinese; they're all American, and French fries are really Belgian.
# posted by Rachael @ Monday, October 11, 2004
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Lamb Tagine with Apricots
One of my all time favorite ingredients has to be lemon, and one of the most intriguing ways of adding that flavor is with preserved lemons, a north African pickle. You can buy preserved lemons online from one of my favorite websites Kalustyans or you can make them yourself. It takes about five minutes. I will include more recipes that use preserved lemon in the future, but for now, try this tagine, it is SO simple, and heavenly. A tagine, by the way, is a typical Moroccan earthenware cooking vessel, that is also the name of the dish prepared in it. Enjoy!2 pounds diced lamb, trimmed of most of its fat1 tsp each: pepper, ground cumin, cinnamon, coriander and ginger pinch of tumeric or saffron1 teaspoon kosher salt2 cups beef stock2 large brown onions, peeled and sliced2 large carrots, peels and chopped into large pieces1 can chick peas, drained1 preserved lemon, chopped10 dried apricots, halved10 prunes, halved (optional) 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced2 tbsp olive oil Cilantro, mint and toasted almonds for garnishPut the lamb into a bowl. Add the onions, pepper, ground cumin, cinnamon, coriander ginger saffron and salt. Stir to coat the meat well. Cover and leave to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.Preheat oven to 325 FHeat a large, heavy frying pan. Add the lamb in batches and brown evenly. Transfer to a heavy casserole along with the rest of the ingredients, seal the lid with foil, and cook for 2 ½ hours.
Serve over steamed couscous with mint, cilantro and almonds as garnishServes six* * *PRESERVED LEMONS
8 lemons1/2 cup kosher saltFresh lemon juice Scrub the lemons well. Cut into quarters from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, taking care to leave the 4 pieces joined at the stem end. Sprinkle the insides of the lemon with some of the salt.Place 1 tablespoon of salt on the bottom of a 1-quart jar and loosely pack in the lemons, layering with salt as you go. Add extra lemon juice almost to the top of the jar. Seal the jar and let the lemons sit at room temperature for 1 month, turning the jar upside down periodically to distribute the salt and juices.To use the lemons, remove from the brine and discard the pulp. Wash the peel before using. Some white crystals will form on the top of the lemons in the jar, which is normal. They can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 1 year.Adapted from Joanne Weir "Weir Cooking in the City"
__________________________________________________________________Supperclub is a restaurant/art gallery/space to check out if you are looking for something TOTALLY out there, and are going to (or already are in) Holland!
Read more about it here http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmonthly/story/0,9950,1299998,00.html
or visit them online at http://www.supperclub.nl
# posted by Rachael @ Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Shaved Apple and Fennel Salad
So now that fall is upon us (sort of) and apples are in season, you might like to try this light, crisp salad. If you have a mandolin slicer it makes the preparation a snap. If you don't, just try to slice the apple and fennel as thin as possible.¼ cup apple juice4 tablespoons walnut oil2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar1 teaspoon honey1 large apple thinly sliced (I use Granny Smith) 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced2 stalks celery, sliced thin2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)2 cups watercress1/4 cup toasted walnutsIn a large bowl, whisk together the first the first four ingredients to blend; adding salt as needed. Toss with the rest of the ingredients and serve.Ideas for additions/substitutions: Crumbled bacon, blue cheese, pecans, pinch of curry powder, arugula, mandarin orange segments, green onion or a splash of calvados._______________________________________Looking for something to do this weekend?Why not check out the Old World Village Oktoberfestin Huntington Beach,now through October 30th. Visit http://www.oldworld.ws/ for more information, or click here if you are going to Germany!http://www.pilot.co.uk/festivals/Oktoberfest.html
# posted by Rachael @ Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Monday, October 04, 2004
Cucumber, Chile and Lime
I know I haven't been writing too much about the classes I teach lately, mostly because a lot of the time the (awesome) people I teach want the same recipes (who knew certain things would be so popular!) as everyone else. Last night, my class was great, yet another fantastic couple who had a beautiful kitchen and were very eager to learn. It just gets me so excited when people who don't cook, want to get in there and try. Of course, cooking your own food is always healthier and always a better alternative to fast food. Speaking of which, I watched the movie Super Size Me this weekend, and really encourage all of you to see it. This is my favorite snack, maybe you'll like it too!1 large cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced into spears1 large mango, sliced into spearsjuice of one large limepinch of cayenne pepperpinch of saltSprinkle the lime, cayenne and salt over the cucumber and mango spears and enjoy.
(Jicama is a traditional addition to this snack.)_____________________________________________On Sept. 22, Interstate Bakeries the company that makes Wonder Bread and Hostessproducts filed for bankruptcy -- leaving the future of Twinkies, Fruit Pies and Ho Hos in doubt.A science teacher in Blue Hills, Maine, has kept a Twinkie on top of his blackboard for more than 30 years, and told the Associated Press last month, "It's rather brittle, but if you dustedit off, it's probably still edible. It never spoiled."
# posted by Rachael @ Monday, October 04, 2004
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Duck Legs with Tangerine
As I mentioned earlier, I made a picnic the other night, with these duck legs as the centerpiece. I keep thinking about how good this came out and wanted to share. Try and enjoy!4 duck legs, trimmed of all of the skin but one large piece on top, which you score1 small leek, white part only sliced thin½ cup hot water or chicken stock if you have it1 large tangerine, zest cut into long thing strips, juice reserved (Tangelo would be good too)¼ cup whiskySalt to tastePreheat oven to 350F.In a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium heat, sear the duck legs, frequently draining the accumulating fat. Add the leeks and tangerine zest when they are almost completely browned.When the duck legs are quite browned, remove from the pan, and deglaze with the water, tangerine juice, some salt and the whisky. Stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the legs and sauce to an oven proof dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes or until the duck legs are cooked through.Allow to cool slightly, and serve with a mixture of wild and brown rice with cranberries and pecans.Serves two_____________________________________________________The duck goes perfectly with a smooth glass of Scotch. But why not try something new? Why not buy some Single Malt Whisky from the beautiful Isles of Scotland? Check out thesewebsites and be transported. Just don't ask me the difference between Whisky and Whiskey. BowmoreIsle of Jura BruichladdichLaphroaigArdbeg
# posted by Rachael @ Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower
I love cauliflower. Pickled, baked, pureed, curried, broiled, you name it, I love it. Pretty much the only good thing to come from the Low Carb craze is that more and more people are trying recipes with this tasty vegetable. This Southern Italian style dish is simple and satisfying on a chilly autumn night. Enjoy!1 head cauliflower, cored, cut into florets 1/4 cup olive oil6 cloves garlic, finely sliced1 small onion, sliced1 tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted1 pound ziti pasta, cookedSmall pinch of red pepper flakes¼ cup pitted black olives (I use Moroccan dry-cured but Kalamata are fine)Large pinch of saffron, crumbled in 4 tablespoons hot waterParmesan cheese, to tasteSalt and pepperPreheat oven to 400F.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the cauliflower and boil until half-cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain well.In a large roasting pan, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, onion and garlic. Roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until browned.When the cauliflower is browned, remove from the oven and toss with the cooked pasta, red pepper flakes, olives, saffron water and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.Additions: Capers, Anchovies, Roasted Tomatoes and Golden RaisinsServes four_______________________________________________________“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” - Mark TwainThis member of the cabbage family takes its name from the Latin words caulis, meaning stalk, and floris, meaning flower.Cauliflower was first grown in North America in the late 1600s.It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, a good source of folacin and a source of potassium.
# posted by Rachael @ Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Monday, September 27, 2004
Chai Spiced Mini Bundt Cakes
Chai tea is one of my favorites. I love how sweet and spicy it is. So when I saw this recipe in Gourmet Magazine last month, I really wanted to try it. I made a lot of changes and thought I would post what I did end up with, which was fantastic and got even better the next day. My version of this cake is more like a simple gingerbread than the original. I went with a friend to the Hollywood Bowl last night to see a concert and since they let you bring a picnic we went all out, and had an incredible cheese studded with truffles on sliced bread, watermelon gazpacho with baby shrimp, (perhaps the most delicious soup I have ever made. I was impressed with myself!) chanterelle mushroom and leek whole wheat quiche, mixed field greens with tangerine-savory dressing, cognac braised duck legs, wild rice with cranberries and pecans and this. It was a smash success. You do need a mini-bundt cake pan, which are about $30.00 and can be found at Sur La Table, though large muffin pans might work too. This will do double duty as my post for today, since it is also my fathers 72nd birthday and he has a sweet tooth like nobody else, ever. It's really cute. Happy Birthday to him --- and to you, enjoy!2 1/2 cups all purpose flour1/8 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom and ground ginger1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar2 teaspoons baking soda1/2 teaspoon saltFive chai teabags steeped in 1 ½ cups hot water1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted¼ cup honey¼ cup molasses ¼ cup Crisco1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature3 large eggs Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 2 nonstick mini Bundt pans (6 cakes per pan). Sift flour, spices, sugar, baking soda, and salt into large bowl.In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, honey, molasses, Crisco, buttermilk and the eggs into tea to blend.Stir chai mixture into flour mixture until just blended. Divide batter among prepared Bundt pans (about 1/2 cup per pan). Bake cakes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm. To keep, wrap in plastic and leave at room temperature. __________________________________________Chai means tea in many languages. The word chai comes fromChina, where it is called chà (pronounced as chah). In India, chai is a spiced tea that is an example of Ayurveda, an ancientsystem of holistic healing. Traditional Indian Chai combines black teathat is boiled in milk and flavored with cinnamon, clove, cardamom, and occasionally black pepper, ginger and chiles, and sweetenedwith sugar. The health benefits in tea include polyphenols that aid digestion; fluoride, a mineral that preventing tooth decay; and significant amounts of vitamin C. Evidence also suggests that (green) tea may reducedrisk of some types of cancer. Seems like Ayurvedic healing was on to something!
# posted by Rachael @ Monday, September 27, 2004
Saturday, September 25, 2004
Halibut with Pumpkin Seed Crust
Pumpkin seeds are really versitle, taste great, are high in protien and low in carbs. You can bake with them, sprinkle them on salads, or use them in a simple dish like this. I made this last night with a charred corn and roasted bell pepper salad, wilted spinach and for dessert a Mexican chocolate creme brulee. The fish can also be grilled, if you still have your bbq out. ¾ cup coarsely ground toasted pumpkin seeds1 tablespoon smoked chili powder½ teaspoon dried oregano½ cup plain bread crumbs (panko crumbs work best if you have them)3 tablespoons vegetable oil1 teaspoon salt4 halibut steaks, about 1/4 pound eachMix together the first 6 ingredients. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry. Roll fish in the mixture to coat them completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the filets and cook about 3 –4 minutes per side. Makes 4 servings__________________________________________There are only 10 days left to register to vote in most states.You ARE registered, right? You WILL vote, right?In California http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/votereg1.htmlNew York http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/index.jsp
# posted by Rachael @ Saturday, September 25, 2004
Friday, September 24, 2004
Cod with Orange Cardamom Sauce
I must have still been thinking of curry when I made this dish, it comes out a beautiful color and is really delicious. If I were dressing it up, I would add orange segements as a garnish, but the wedges work well too. Try it and enjoy!1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice2 cups chicken stock3 whole cardamom pods1 shallot, minced5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoons champagne vinegar1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into pats1/4 teaspoon turmericpinch of ground gingersalt and pepper, to taste2 tablespoons vegetable oil6 portions fresh cod (about 5 oz. each)Lemon and orange wedges for garnishIn a medium-size saucepan, combine the juice with the chicken stock, cardamom pods, shallot and all but one tablespoon of the Champagne vinegar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the mixture until only 1/4 cup remains, and it is a deep brown color, about 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 400 F.When the sauce is reduced, use a slotted spoon to remove the cardamom pods. Turn down the heat to very low and whisk in 2 or 3 pats of butter. Keep whisking in the butter, 1 or 2 chunks at a time, until the sauce begins to lighten in color and thicken. Add the turmeric, ginger and the remaining teaspoon of vinegar and whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.Season the cod with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an ovenproof saute pan set over high heat, and sear the fish on each side until golden, about two minutes. Place the pan in the oven for 3 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.Spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with lemon and orange wedges. Serves six________________________________________________________When you purchase hard cider in the United States, it has less carbonationthen in other countries so brewers can avoid a "sparkling wine" tax.
# posted by Rachael @ Friday, September 24, 2004
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Here is some information on the sugar substitute Splenda. From my standpoint, I am more concerned about how it works in baking than if you should put it in your coffee or not. The answer seems to be that its fine for drinks, but for baking you may want to avoid it.Splenda is a no-calorie, no-carbohydrate sweetener whose sweetness doesn't change when it's heated. It can be used in cooking and baking and the manufacturer claims it is made from sucrose, a natural sugar. How is that?Chlorine is added to the sucrose, and a chemical reaction changes the sucrose molecule to replace some of the hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine. That prevents the body from metabolizing it in the same way as it does sugar. This also allows Splenda to state on the label that it's "made from sugar," suggesting that it's natural. Which it is not.The addition of chlorine also has provoked critics to call it a chlorocarbon, sometimes found in pesticides. Splenda is neither natural nor a pesticide. It's a new chemical. Studies have shown that it causes no immediate health problems, but most of these studies have been done by the manufacturer, and no one yet knows what long-term ingestion of large amounts might do over a lifetime. Sweeteners substitute a non-nutritive food for one that has vitamins and other nutrients -- for example, a Splenda muffin might have the same number of carbs as an apple, but the apple is better for you.But how does it taste? Well, it seems the sweetness seems block other flavors and linger in the mouth long -- even hours -- after the food is gone.And in baking? Splenda brownies come out flat, dense as a board, incredibly dry and tasteless, but with a sweet aftertaste. It makes ice cream so hard it brakes into shards when scooped, and custard that looks like scrambled eggs. Overall it just doesn't perform as well, and it doesn't have the taste or the texture of sugar, and the trade-off in pleasure delivered by a sweet treat isn't worth it. ____________________________________The most popular pizza topping in Australia is eggs. In Chile the most popular topping is mussels and clams,in the United States, pepperoni andin Japan, squid.
# posted by Rachael @ Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Singapore Noodles
After making that Chicken Curry, I started thinking about what else I make with curry powder...and I make this simple noodle stir fry all the time; it’s fast and I always seem to have the ingredients on hand. You can switch the chicken for shrimp, scallops or duck if you like. Just adjust the cooking time. Have all of your ingredients ready by the wok, as this recipe is very quick. Interestingly this dish doesn't really exist in Singapore. 1/4 cup chicken stock2 Tablespoons oyster sauce2 Tablespoons soy sauce1 Tablespoon white sugar1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or sherry)2 tsp corn starch 1 lb Rice vermicelli noodles3 Tablespoons vegetable oil4 cloves garlic, minced1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced1 Tablespoons curry powder1 medium onion, sliced into half moons1 carrot, shredded1/2 cup broccoli florets¼ cup sliced water chestnuts1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced2 teaspoons red chile sauce, such as sambal oelek or red pepper flakes2 green onions, chopped2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces1/2 cup snow peas1 egg Chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnishIn a bowl, mix together the first seven ingredients.
Submerge the rice noodles in enough lukewarm water to cover. Let soak until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
Heat a wok over very high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to cover the bottom. Add the the garlic and ginger and stir fry about 10 seconds. Add the curry powder, onion, carrot, broccoli, water chestnuts, red pepper and chile sauce. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until the onions become translucent.Add the chicken stir-frying for about 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil. Stir the ingredients and shake the pan to keep everything moving, for about 3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Add the snow peas and green onion. Toss to combine. Continue cooking on high for about 2 minutes, occasionally tossing the ingredients, until everything is heated through.
Make a well in the bottom of the wok. Pour 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into center of the well. Add egg. Allow to set slightly, then scramble, and incorporate into the other ingredients.
Add soaked (drained) noodles to wok. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Immediatly transfer to a platter and garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts.Serves four to six______________________________________________________SINGAPORE (Reuters) - McDonald's lost a legal battle in Singapore Monday to stop a food company from distributing "MacNoodles." The fast-food company said Singapore-based Future Enterprises Pte Ltd. had copied McDonald's trademarkswhen registering in 1995. Lawyers for Future Enterprises had argued that "MacNoodles" bore no similarity to those of McDonald's. The Singapore products are packaged withan eagle logo and distributed in supermarkets and convenience stores. "There can be no likelihood of confusion or deception. The marks are different in appearance, sound and concept,"said thecompany's lawyer, Tan Tee Jim.
# posted by Rachael @ Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Monday, September 20, 2004
Chicken Curry Salad
This weekend, I catered a small baby shower luncheon in Malibu. Nothing too fancy, just simple and elegant. Overall the party was lovely, and the guests seemed very pleased. They all asked for this recipe, which I had made specifically per the clients request, as I had never had it (or even heard of it!) before. Turns out, its pretty tasty. Enjoy!4 skinless chicken breasts and thighs, poached, cooled and chopped1/2 cup mayonnaise3 tablespoons curry powderPinch of turmeric (optional)1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney (or any other brand of mango chutney)2 green onions, slicedsalt and pepper to taste1/4 cup golden raisins (sultanas)2 stalks celery, sliced1/2 cup walnuts and red grapes for garnishCombine the mayo, curry, ginger, chutney and onions in a large bowl. Adjust seasoning to your taste. Add the raisins, celery and chicken and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.Garnish with walnuts and grapes and serve.Serves four - six___________________________________Today is National Rum Punch Day.My favorite rum is Pyrat XO Reserve - Planters Gold,but I wouldn't put it in punch. For punch I would recommend St. James Royal Amber. There is a lot more to rum than Bacardi!Check out www.rumshop.net for more info.
# posted by Rachael @ Monday, September 20, 2004
Friday, September 17, 2004
Artichoke Dip
This is my favorite dip. Spread it on crackers, use it on sandwiches, add it to cold pasta, or toss in some mayo and use it as a crudite dip. Any which way, it is delicious. Just be aware, the garlic flavor will become more pronounced the longer it sits.16-ounce can whole artichoke hearts drained1/4 cup olive oil1 small garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup brine-cured green olives pitted and sliced (Israeli olives taste best in this recipe)3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leavesIn a food processor purée artichoke hearts with oil until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add more oil if needed. Transfer purée to a bowl and stir in garlic paste, olives, and salt and pepper to taste.Chill dip, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.Just before serving, stir chopped parsley into dip.Makes about 1 1/2 cups______________________________________________________________Denmark has the highest per capita consumption of candy in the world at 29.5 pounds.The University of California estimates that a healthy acre of prime land can grow 40,000 pounds of potatoes, or 250 pounds of beef.In 1928, Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented a machine that could both slice and wrap bread, spawning the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
# posted by Rachael @ Friday, September 17, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Lamb Chops With Guinness Beer
I love cooking with beer. Guinness especially. (Funny, because I don't actually like to drink the stuff.) Like wine, beer adds complexity to a dish. This recipe is simple, elegant and hearty. Try it and see. You can leave out the cream and butter for a lower fat dish.2 tablespoons vegetable oil8 lamb chops1 onion, minced1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish1 cup Guinness beer1 cup beef stock1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard1/4 cup heavy cream1 teaspoon white sugar2 tablespoons unsalted butterPreheat oven to 400 F.Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. Add lamb chops and sear, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the chops from the pan, (do not clean the pan) and place in an oven proof dish and cook at 400 (in the oven) until done to your preference, about 7 minutes for medium, 10 minutes for well-done. Remove from oven when done and allow to rest 4 minutes before saucing and serving.Reduce the stove heat to low. Add the onion to to pan and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rosemary, beer, broth, mustard, heavy cream and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, make sure to scrape up the fond (brown bits cooked onto the pan) and incorporate into the sauce.Turn up the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil, whisking, until reduced by 2/3, about 10 to 12 minutes. You want the sauce to have a little body and thickness to it.When sauce is reduced, add the butter and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.Place 2 chops on each plate; spoon sauce on top.Garnish with rosemary sprigsMakes four servings_____________________________________________Looking for a recipe for seaweed pudding or stuffed fish heads? Visithttp://www.globalguide.org/scotland/articles/3.htmlFor those and more traditional Scottish (Isle of Lewis) recipes! Haggis anyone?
# posted by Rachael @ Thursday, September 16, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Carrot Soup
Tonight at sundown, Rosh Hashana begins. Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year, and the first of the two High Holy days. There are many food traditions associated with this holiday, including the eating of round Challah, to symbolize a smooth new year, and eating apples and honey for sweetness. Here is a recipe for Carrot Soup to help you usher in the year 5765. L'Shana Tova!6 tablespoons oil1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white parts only)8 cups (or more) chicken or vegetable stock4 cups thinly sliced peeled carrots1 16-ounce can canellini beans, drained2 cups coarsely chopped peeled pear2 teaspoons chopped fresh or dried rosemaryHeat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.Add the stock, carrots, beans and pear and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.Purée soup in 2 batches in blender until smooth. Return to saucepan; mix in the rosemary.Season soup with salt and pepper.Serves eight__________________________________________________________Martha Stewart said today she has decided to surrender for prison as soon as possible, citing the need to ``put this nightmare behind me and get on with my life.''The businesswoman was sentenced in July to five months in prison and five months of house arrest after she was convicted of lying about a stock sale. The 63-year-old Stewart will do five months in a federal prison -- likely getting out early next year -- followed by five months of house arrest.``I must reclaim my good life,'' she said.She ended her 10-minute appearance with a joke, saying she was walking through Manhattan when a man spotted her and said, ``Oh, she's out already.''``I hope that my time goes as fast as that,'' said Stewart, who grew weepy at the end. ``I'll see you next year.'' -- NYTimes.com
# posted by Rachael @ Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Sweet and Hot Mixed Nuts
I love making these nuts for parties, but also just to have on hand for snacking. The recipe makes a large amount, so be aware. You can absolutely cut it in half if you want. The alternate method for these nuts is to just coat them with melted butter and then the spices and sugar and bake as directed. The coating will be different, but still tasty. Enjoy!2 teaspoons thyme 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled2 teaspoons coarse salt¼ teaspoon black pepper1 teaspoon chile powder or a large pinch of cayenne 2 large egg whites2 cups pecan halves2 cups walnut halves and pieces2 cups raw cashews½ cup brown sugar Preheat oven to 250 F.Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in center of oven. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with foil. Stir first 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Whisk the spice mixture into the frothy egg whites. Add the nuts and toss to coat completely. Sprinkle sugar over and toss to coat. Divide the nuts between the two baking sheets; spreading in a single layer. Bake until nuts are toasted and coating is dry, stirring every 20 minutes, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle nuts with salt to taste, if desired. Transfer nuts to large bowl. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last about one week.
Get Excited! Today is the first day of the 113th annual
McClure Bean Soup Celebration in McClure, Pennsyvania
# posted by Rachael @ Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Monday, September 13, 2004
Lavender Scented Lemon Syllabub
Keeping up with my recent sweets theme, here is an updated version of the classic British syllabub, which is a thick, creamy dessert. It is very similar to sabayon, but much easier to make. The funny sounding name originated during Elizabethan times and is a combination of the words Sille (a French wine that was in the original recipe) and bub (Old-English slang for "bubbling drink"). It is outrageously delicious on its own or served over fresh fruit or poundcake. You can skip steeping the herbs in the cream if you want to make this dish in less than ten minutes. Just omit the herbs and honey and start from “…whip the cream…”1 ½ cups heavy cream2 tablespoons honey1 tablespoon dried lavender (Lemon-thyme or rosemary would also be perfect here)2 large lemons, zest and juice8 tablespoons mascarpone cheese8 tablespoons lemon curd (available in most markets in the Jelly/Jam section)6 tablespoons powdered sugar4 sprigs fresh lavender, to garnishIn a small saucepan over low heat, gently warm the cream, honey and lavender for no more than five minutes. You do not want the cream to simmer or boil. Remove from heat, stir and let steep for another five minutes. Strain and cool completely.When cold, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.In a large bowl using a hand held mixer, beat the lemon zest and juice, mascarpone, lemon curd and sugar together until smooth.Fold the whipped cream into the mixture until thoroughly combined.Spoon into individual dessert glasses and decorate each with a sprig of lavender.Serves four to six_____________________________Wanna be my favorite person EVER?Tell Daily Candy about Fresh Catering Cooking Classes!Click on http://www.dailycandy.com/contribute.jsp?city=2and direct them to our website athttp://www.la-specialtyfoods.com/THANKS!
# posted by Rachael @ Monday, September 13, 2004
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Lemony Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
3 large eggs, room temperature1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract2 teaspoon grated lemon peel1 1/2 cups cake flour (must use cake flour, all purpose will make tough cupcakes)3/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt1 1/4 cups sugar3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) plus two tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature1/3 cup buttermilkPreheat oven to 325 F.Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.Whisk eggs, vanilla, and lemon peel in medium bowl to blend. Mix cake flour, baking powder, and salt in another medium bowl.Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Gradually beat in egg mixture. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions each.Divide batter among cups. Bake until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan on rack 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.Traditional Buttercream Frosting: (From The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook)1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft8 cups confectioners sugar½ cup whole milk2 teaspoons vanilla extractPlace the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add four cups of the sugar, and then the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time until the frosting is thick enough to spread (you may not use all of the sugar).If desired add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.Use and store at room temperature. Frosting will set if chilled. Can be stored in an air tight container for up to three days._______________________________________Recent research suggests that up to 90 percent of the calciumin some fortified soy and rice milks may remain in the containeras sludge, even after shaking.SOURCE: Prevention magazine September 2004
# posted by Rachael @ Sunday, September 12, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Big Apple Muffins
According to a website I was just looking at, "The apple muffin shall be the official muffin of the state of New York." Apples are also the state fruit. Milk is the official state beverage, which would be a great accompaniment to this recipe:1 large egg 1/4 cup crisco, melted4 tablespoons applesauce 1/4 cup white sugar1/4 cup brown sugar2 1/2 cups apples, peeled and chopped2 cups flour4 teaspoons baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamonpinch of nutmeg1 cup milk 1 tablespoon granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground Preheat oven to 375 degreesIn a large bowl, combine egg, melted shortening, applesauce and the brown and white sugar, stirring well. Add chopped apples and mix well. In smaller bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add to the egg mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Spoon into greased muffin tins, filling two-thirds full. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 1 dozen muffins___________________________________________________Today is the Eleventh of September. I am thinking (as are most Americans) about New York and Washington D.C. today. There is a lot I could say about that, but instead I will assume you feel the same way and just provide this link to The Friendship Cup, raising money for some of the families affected by the tragedies of this day. I chose this charity because Ted Maloney and I went to high school together. http://thefriendshipcup.com/ I also thought this was worth including. It is a quote from an article in the SF Chronicle about the lessons teachers plan about Sept 11th. "Later, Gwendolyn Samson, 15, said she found the lesson valuable because she hadn't known that Iraq was not responsible for Sept. 11. " Somebody please find little Gwendolyns parents and look at them with disbelief. Thanks.
# posted by Rachael @ Saturday, September 11, 2004

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