juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

THREE FAMILY FAVORITES

THREE FAMILY FAVORITES

Back to the kitchen.  My brain demands a rest from subjects more serious than chicken soup. You might think chicken soup is a pretty serious matter and I ‘d have to agree but it’s not quite the same as discussing Plato or our rotten educational system.

Every family has favorite foods, whether Grandma’s corned beef and cabbage or whipped spaghetti squash.  Some jump for joy over a meat loaf; some applaud fried chicken; others would rather have Pad Thai.  Likewise, some dishes are frowned upon. One kid is allergic to chocolate (poor thing), another won’t look at a green vegetable, a third complains if something is spicy. Preparing food that pleases a variety of tastes is a trick only the most determined cook can master.   Here are three that scored in my family.

GORGONZOLA PASTA

Even kids who live on macaroni and cheese (cheddar) gobble this up.

  1. Melt 2 T butter and stir in 8 oz. gorgonzola cheese until melted.
  2.  Whisk in ½ C whipping cream, 1 t. cornstarch dissolved in 2 T vermouth.
  3.  Add 1 t fresh sage, salt and pepper and whisk until sauce boils and thickens.
  4.   Toss with 1 lb. cooked pasta.

CARROT RING (This is a side dish. Can be served  with anything but particularly good with chicken.)  

  1. Mix ¾ C shortening and ½  C  brown sugar.
  2. Add 1 egg and 1 T  water.  Beat well.
  3. Add 1 1/4 C flour, 1 t. baking powder, ½ t. cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add 2 C finely grated carrots.
  5. Using a well greased mold with a hole, bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Can also be made in the form of cupcakes. Bake about 20 minutes.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN MEATBALLS (ABOUT 12 SERVINGS)

      A great appetizer or serve over rice or noodles.

  1. Combine 1 1/2 lb. ground chicken, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, 2 t. garlic powder and about ½ C of bread crumbs or enough to make the mixture hold together.
  2. Shape into about 24 meatballs and drop into the following simmering sauce: cook about ½ hour. 

SAUCE

6 T olive oil                                    2 chopped onions

2 chopped green peppers               2-3 chopped carrots

4 C chicken broth                           2 small cans tomato sauce

½ C brown sugar                            ¼ C white vinegar

2 small cans crushed pineapple with juice    ½ C catsup

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil. Then add the rest of the ingredients and  simmer about 10 minutes.

Share a favorite.

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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CHICKEN AROUND THE W ORLD

CHICKEN ARUND THE WORLD

 

            I rarely go grocery shopping without buying chicken – kosher chicken, which is about three times the cost of chicken that isn’t kosher, but that’s another story. One family for whom I cater wants only dark meat, another wants all chicken skinned.  One sneers at fried chicken, another doesn’t want it spicy. But they all want chicken – once or twice a week!   It’s always been a favorite in the South but Colonel Sanders turned fried chicken into a national icon. I began to wonder if our appetite for chicken was peculiar to theU.S. or was it common in other countries and cultures so I did a little digging.

 

Just a few facts before you cry FOWL.  In 1965 the annualU.S.per capita consumption of chicken was 35.7 pounds.  By 2011 it had risen to 84.4 pounds. At  two pounds  per chicken that equates to one person eating 42 chickens annually. If you eat ¼ of a chicken at a meal, you have had 168 chicken dinners in a year.  The Japanese consume 1 kilo per month per household (about 27 pounds) and China is fast approaching that. Consequently, we’re all eating less red meat – a good idea in view of dire warnings about the health hazards of too much red meat.

 

Here are a few chicken recipes which are favorites in other countries and at my table whether entertaining or not. The World’s Fair Chicken is particularly colorful and a platter of it can serve as a centerpiece. The Moroccan Chicken is exceptionally healthy.

 

CUBAN CHICKEN (8 SERVINGS)

  1. Rinse and dry 2 chickens cut in pieces
  2. Combine the following, add chicken and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.  Juice of 3 lemons; 5 smashed garlic cloves; 2 diced onions; 1 finely minced green pepper; ½  t. thyme and curry

3.   Drain chicken, scrape off veggies, dry; strain marinade; reserve veggies and liquid separately

4.  Heat ½ C. oil until very hot; stir in 2 T sugar and cook until it turns brown.

5.   Add chicken and brown on all sides – about 10 minutes

6.   Stir in reserved veggies and cook for 3 minutes.

7.   Add marinade and 1 large diced tomato

8.   Cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour.

MOROCCAN CHICKEN AND LENTILS (6-8 SERVINGS)

  1. Saute 1 lb of chicken pieces until brown; remove from pan.
  2.  Add 2 C chopped onion, 1 t. salt, 1 t. ground coriander, ½ t each cumin and cinnamon; ¼ t. red pepper or a little chili powder; 2 cloves minced garlic.  Saute all this about 3 minutes.
  3. Add 2 T tomato paste and cook one minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in chicken, 2 C lentils (rinsed and drained) 2 C chicken or vegetable broth, 1 C water, 4 t golden raisins.  Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Add 2 C hot cooked basmati rice and heat through. Serve with slivered, toasted almonds on top.

WORLD’S FAIR CHICKEN (about 8 servings)

  1. Bake 2 chickens cut in pieces for 30 minutes at 425 degrees
  2. Combine:  2 1/3 C orange juice; 1 C currants; ½ C chutney;1 C. almonds; 1 t. each cinnamon and curry; dash of thyme
  1. Simmer sauce 10 minutes;  pour over chicken; bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees
  2. Garnish chicken with sliced bananas, mandarin oranges, parsley
  3. Optional: can serve with almonds, green onion tops, coconut chips, chutney
  4. Serve with rice.

THAI PEANUT CHICKEN (8 servings)

  1. Cook 1 C rice and set aside.
  2. Stir together 3 T soy sauce, 2 T creamy peanut butter, 2 t. white wine vinegar and ¼ t. cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat 3 T olive oil over high heat. Add 4 boneless chicken breast halves cut into thin strips, 3 T chopped garlic and 1 ½ T. chopped ginger root and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is golden – about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add ¾ C chopped green onions, 2 C broccoli florets and the  peanut butter mixture.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.  Serve over rice.

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN (8 SERVINGS)

Spicy but not hot.

  1. Brown 3 pounds of chicken pieces (can also use lamb). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the following: A couple of shredded carrots; 2 finely sliced red onions; A few finely diced garlic cloves; 2 bay leaves; 1 t. smoked paprika; A little coriander; 2/3 of a palmful of cumin

4.   Stir and simmer a few minutes

5.   Add dried fruits – apricots, raisins, currants – anything.  Cover with chicken broth and stir in zest of 2 lemons.

6.  Simmer about 20 minutes. Serve over couscous or rice.

Bon Appetite

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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SAUCY

SAUCY

            My intention was to devote one week of blogs to recipes but I let my mind wander out of the kitchen. Now I’m back on track. I’ve told you I like to do themed diners and the next one will be “Sauces and Dips.”  I wouldn’t dream of dipping a French fry in catsup but good sauces are an entirely different matter. They are the essence of gourmet cooking and once you get the hang of cooking sauces, there’s no limit to the possibilities. They are perfect for experimentation and the exercise of kitchen creativity.

Here is the menu and the sauces I will serve at my ‘saucy’ dinner provided I can find enough bowls and a fresh lime leaf. . Most of these can be refrigerated for several days or frozen and are handy to have available for spontaneous entertaining or snacking.

APPETIZERS 

SWEET & SOUR SAUCE– with egg rolls

¼ C vinegar      ½ C pineapple juice

1/3 C brown sugar        1 t. salt

1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T water

Combine all ingredients & bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Let stand about 5 minutes.

 

THAI DIPPING SAUCE – with egg rolls

Combine and bring to a boil

1 C sugar         ½ C each white vinegar & water

2 T minced garlic

1 T each salt, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce/paste

Reduce heat and add ½ of a lime leaf.  Simmer about 15 minutes & remove from heat

Add the other half of the lime leaf and 1 T sesame oil

 

GREEN HERB DIPPING SAUCE – with cut up vegetables

In food processor place ½ bunch Italian parsley, ½ bunch dill, ½ bunch watercress. Chop fine & transfer to bowl.

Process 1/2 C fresh spinach the same way & add to bowl

Combine herbs with 2 green onions, 2 C mayo and 1 C sour cream. Fold all together & add salt and pepper to taste

 

TZATZIKI – GREEK YOGURT & CUCUMBER SAUCE –   with cut up vegetables

Drain 3 C Greek yogurt

Dice 2 Cucumbers, seed , salt and let stand 30 minutes.

In food processor blend: cukes, juice of 1 lemon, garlic,

1 T chopped dill, pepper.  Fold into yogurt

 

TOMATO HORSERADISH SAUCE AND KEY LIME SALSA  – purchased from a gourmet food shop – with chips, Doritos, etc.

 

SALAD 

ASIAN VINAIGRETTE – with tossed salad of greens, toasted almonds, mandarin oranges, rice noodles

Combine: ¼ C soy sauce , 1/4 C lime juice

¼  t  . lime zest    1 T grated ginger

1 clove minced garlic

¼ C salad oil    ½ t. sugar         salt  & pepper to  taste

 

ENTREES

SAUCE LOUISIANA – with whole salmon  poached in dry white wine and lemon juice

Combine 1/3 C catsup, 1/2 C chili sauce, ½ t. Tabasco sauce or 1/8 t. cayenne pepper,

½ t. salt, 1 minced garlic clove,

2 T minced green pepper, ¼ C green onions & tops,

2 T.  horseradish

Dissolve 1 t. plain gelatin in 1 T cold water & let stand until thick, then dissolve over simmering water.

Pour melted gelatin into sauce, stir well and quickly. Refrigerate for about half an hour, stirring several times

Can make ahead & store, covered. Let stand at room temperature about 2 hours before serving.

 

ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE – with rigatoni pasta 

In 2 9×13” pans place 20 Roma tomatoes halves, cut side up. Sprinkle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), salt and pepper, 1 C diced onion, 2 t. minced garlic, 1 T each chopped oregano & thyme leaves.  Bake for 2 hours.  Check after 1 hour and turn down heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly.  Increase temp to 400 & bake another 30 minutes.  Remove & process through a blender, discard skins.  Add 1 C white wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Makes 4 cups.

 

SPICY MINT SAUCE – with vermicelli pasta

1 ¼ C chopped fresh mint         ½ C grated pecorino cheese

½  C EVOO    1 lg. sereno chili, seeded, coarsely chopped

1 smashed clove garlic

Combine all in food processor until smooth

 

DESERT 

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE – with ice cream and strawberries

Melt 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate and 2 T butter very slowly.  Heat 2/3 C water to boiling.  When chocolate has melted, add water & stir well.

Add 1 ½ C sugar & 6 T corn syrup & mix until smooth. Turn heat up and stir mixture until it starts to boil.  Lower heat.  Allow to boil, without stirring for 9 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.  Stir in 1 T rum.  Makes 2 ½ C.

 

CARAMEL SAUCE – with Bourbon Pound Cake – a family favorite

Mix 1 ½ C sugar and 1/3 C water in a heavy bottomed pan. Cover and heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase  heat and boil until sugar browns ( 5-7 minutes). Watch carefully as it will burn quickly.  Step back to avoid spattering and gradually add  1¼ to  1½ C heavy cream and ½ t. vanilla extract.  Simmer until smooth and thick  – about 2 minutes.  Makes 1 ¾ C.

Yes – send me the recipe for Bourbon Pound Cake.

My e-mail address follows and yours is:

 

_______________________________________

 

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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GARBAGE – A RECIPE

GARBAGE – A RECIPE

            I’ve come to the conclusion  it’s time to lighten up.  Every blog does not have to be of the deep thinking variety.  Accordingly, this week I’ll leave off from rattling on about the world’s problems or the nature of mankind and succumb to my love of cooking.

You won’t find  this recipe in any cookbook – I dreamed it up. I own a patent on it!  But I’m willing to share it with you.

GARBAGE – A RECIPE

Not the stuff  you throw into the dumpster, the waste basket – this garbage you eat.  If you’re anything at all like my family you eat gobs of it every chance you get.  On a 1 – 10 rating scale it registers:

Easy     10

Tasty    8-10 depending on what you put into it – spice it up to your taste

Time     5-10 depending on whether you buy veggies already cut up from a salad bar or cut your own

Cost     10 – cheap

Appearance – 5-10 depends on  color of veggies

Nutrition – 7-9 – depends on veggies, amount of salt, butter or margarine

You will need:

1 stick butter or margarine        1 package of fine noodles

about 1 C of prepared rice        about 2 C of beef stock

about 3-4 C of finely diced assorted vegetables, including green onions with tops (do not make mush  of them in a food processor)

salt and pepper

Melt the margarine/butter and saute the veggies about 5 minute. Remove from pan.

Dump in the noodles, stir often until noodles have browned slightly.

Add the rice and the veggies

Pour the beef stock over the whole mess –  just enough to cover – season with salt and pepper, stir,  cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

An excellent side dish to any chicken, beef, pork, veal entrée.

Try it – you’ll like it.

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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FOODIES AND COOKS

FOODIES & COOKS

 

There are those who shy away from the stove and depend on frozen TV dinners. I’ve no doubt General Mills and Sara Lee applaud them. They can’t, however, count me among them. Nor can the makers of Ketchup and mustard – camouflages for poorly prepared food or lousy ingredients.  I like to cook and I’m quite good at it. I abhor fast food and most carry-out stuff and happily wander between sink, stove and refrigerator. There are times I am convinced I was born in a kitchen, not in a hospital. (See poem following.) .  Why, you might ask, do you like to cook?

 

The answer is I find cooking to be a creative exercise.   How many twists can I put on mashed potatoes? What’s another way of making chocolate cream pie? What can I do to perk up this dull salad?  Can I safely substitute V-8 juice for catsup? I avoid having dinner parties with themes based on the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving. Where is the creative challenge to be found in celebrating those holidays?  I have no wish to spread an American flag on my table nor have little plastic turkeys scattered around between the wine glasses.   I much prefer to plan dinner parties for about twelve to fourteen based on themes other than Halloween or Mother’s Day.. Here are a couple I’ve done that tickled my imagination and offered a challenge. Recipes are available by request to my email address below.

 

I once read about “The Feast of the Seven Fishes,” an Italian, Catholic, tradition on Christmas Eve, supposedly commemorating the three day wait for Jesus’ resurrection.  I can’t imagine why an event that occurred at Easter should be celebrated at Christmas but, nonetheless, that’s what it is. Although I am neither Italian nor Catholic that “Feast” struck me as a culinary challenge.  Preparing seven fish entrees and accompanying side dishes for a dozen people is no small trick.  After tweaking a menu about 35 times guests were first served a smoked salmon spread on crosini, followed by codfish balls, then five different fish entrees. All fish dishes were accompanied by a starch of some kind and a vegetable. The Chinese whole sweet and sour red snapper and the pan fried Asian trout filets stole the show.

 

A few months later the dinner-theme bug bit me again.  This time it was to be a casual affair, with pillows on the floor, using paper plates and plastic utensils. Guests were invited to partake of an International menu. which consisted of: Israeli salad, Egg Rolls (Japanese), Spanopikita (Greek), Paella (Spanish), Pad Thai, Gorgonzola Pasta (Italian), Mongolian Beef, Persian Rice (Iranian), Asian Sweet & Sour Fish with Danish Apple Crumble and Norwegian Krumkaka for desert – all to be washed down with French wine and German beer.

 

It seems appropriate at this time of year to celebrate summer but I’ve yet to decide on a summer menu.  Briefly – very briefly – I thought about a “Kiddie Food” theme but macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and PB&J sandwiches is not my idea of a culinary challenge. Summer?  Summer?  What would be on my summer menu? Maybe cold vichyssoise or gazpacho, apple cole slaw,  potato/onion gratin, Drunken Drumsticks, thin slices of rare roast beef atop a bed of sautéed spinach and, for desert, fresh strawberry or blueberry pie with Kailua flavored crème frache.  Gotta tune that up a little.

 

The Kitchen follows.

 

Post a comment – share a recipe.

 

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

 

THE KITCHEN (abbreviated)

 

I’m convinced I was born in a kitchen, not in a hospital.

The oven was my womb; my umbilical cord led to the sink.

I came out smelling like garlic, whining like an old mixer. . . .

 

My kitchen is my inner self . . .

The oven affords me time for reflection

The blender scrambles my thoughts into new ideas. . .

It is my internal clock

Wakes me to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. . .

Lulls me to sleep at night with warm herbal tea

 

The kitchen is my smile.

I grin at a plate of chocolate brownies

Beam at a tasty pasta creation

Clap for a stack of crispy potato pancakes.

Glow when others applaud some dish

It’s also my frown.

Aerated foam is not whipped cream

Burnt bottoms on muffins are cause for divorce

And sticky rice is not nice. . . .

 

My kitchen demands balance and imagination,

Judgment, prudence and patience

There my visa is stamped, a passport to adventure.

An introduction to food from other cultures

. . .

Bury me, please, not with a headstone,

But with a sprig of thyme under my nose

And a cherry tree at my feet.

 

 

 

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