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E A S Y M E N U S F O R C O Z Y E N T E RTA I N I N G AT H O M E
Around the Table .
Around the Table ELLEN WRIGHT E A S Y M E N U S F O R C O Z Y E N T E RTA I N I N G AT H O M E P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y TO M E C K E R L E T H E H A RVA R D B O S T O N . C O M M O N P R E S S M A S S AC H U S E T T S .
p. c o m Text © 2003 by Ellen Wright Photography © 2003 by Tom Eckerle All rights reserved. h a rva r d c o m m o n p r e s s . or may arrange a custom edition. or any information storage or retrieval system. 2. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 book design by deborah kerner ⁄ dancing bears design . by contacting the Marketing Director at the address above. Companies and organizations may purchase books for premiums or resale. Ellen. I. Entertaining. cm. recording. ISBN 1-55832-252-3 (hc: alk. M a s s ac h u s e t t s 0 2 1 1 8 w w w.T h e H a rva r d C o m m o n P r e s s 535 A lbany S treet B o s t o n . Title. electronic or mechanical.W732 2003 642’. photography by Tom Eckerle. Printed in China Printed on acid-free paper Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Wright. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. paper) 1. 3. Around the table : easy menus for cozy entertaining at home / Ellen Wright . Menus. TX731. including photocopying. Cookery.4—dc21 2003002443 Special bulk-order discounts are available on this and other Harvard Common Press books. without permission in writing from the publisher.
w i t h t h e h i g h e st sta n da r d s .d e d i c at e d t o my mother. a l w ay s s m a r t a n d c a pa b l e .
A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S I N T R O D U C T I O N
Cold Weather Menus
M Y F I R S T D I N N E R PA RT Y : T H E S O P R A N O S O N T R AY S :
Impressive for a Crowd My Favorite Show
of the Week
10 Must-Do Buffet for 10 17
I T ’ S PAY B A C K T I M E :
K E L S E Y ’ S B I RT H DAY PA RT Y :
Lunch for Kids T hat
27 For an Abbreviated Gathering 35
H O M E M A D E F O R T H E H O L I DAY S :
Cooking Gifts with
or Without the Kids
46 A Present at Every Place Before Running 54
S A N TA’ S C O M I N G T O D I N N E R :
H U R RY U P A N D E AT B R E A K FA S T :
to See T hree Movies
64 Almost Makes It Worth Having a Cold New Year’s Eve at the Wrights’ 74 68
U N D E R T H E W E AT H E R :
TIME FOR RESOLUTIONS:
B OY S I N O N E RO O M , G I R L S I N A N O T H E R :
Super Bowl Supper
84 Valentine Candlelight Dinner 94 102
SIX AND THE CITY:
FREEZING COLD WINTER NIGHT:
Come Sit by the Fire
War m Weather Menus
L E T ’ S S T O K E U P T H AT F I R E :
Andrew’s at the Grill Before or After
BRIDGE SNACK FOR THE GIRLS:
S P L E N D I D C U R RY E X T R AVA G A N Z A :
Dinner for 12
132 July Fourth with a View 146 156
FIREWORKS ON THE TERRACE:
B RU N C H F O R W H O E V E R ’ S A RO U N D : DINNER FOR THE BOSS:
Before the Mass Exodus 168 Using W hat’s in
Simple but Perfect
L A S T- M I N U T E D I N N E R W I T H F R I E N D S :
178 W hen the Parents Are
N A N A A N D PA PA J O E ’ S “ S I L LY S U P P E R ” :
Away and We’re in Charge
186 Ste p Aside, Mom 201 194
M Y DAU G H T E R ’ S I N T H E K I TC H E N : P R I VAT E D AT E F O R T W O :
AFTER A LONG WEEKEND WITH GUESTS:
Too Tired to Cook
I N D E X
Monika Rozek. and Cate • Carla Glasser. and Joe Wright • All the contributors. Jonny. Carla Jegan. Charlotte. my good friend and fantastic photographer • Rena. Roscoe. and their style • All my testers: Jessica Benjamin. who always “gets it” • Pam Hoenig. Claudia and Andrew. Gerri Jansen. Theresa Viellecazes. Julie Coburn. Kelsey. Joe • My loving children. who are mentioned for each and every recipe. Meg Bloom. changed or unchanged ix .Acknowledgments Special thanks to: • Jessica Benjamin. Claudia Plepler. Mike Klecan. my editor. Alexis Proceller. David and Celine • My grandchildren. my niece and friend and editor. who is always supportive • Tom Eckerle. Gerda McDonough. Alexis and Bill. who extracted more information than I ever knew I had and without whom I couldn’t have written this book • My wonderful husband. Julia. my agent. Allie. Joslyn Hills.
you know how wonderful it is to cook and talk to your guests while you are preparing food or clearing the table and cleaning up. I have found that the more involved guests are. I always try to make sure they feel welcome. It’s become my signature. friends manage to squeeze in while you are cooking. everyone seems to gravitate to the kitchen. of course. in fact. No matter how big or beautiful your house is. It puts a smile on everyone’s face. there’s no place like home. One of my favorite places to entertain is the kitchen. but home is also where you invite friends and family in for a meal. Home is where the kitty and the lemon drops are. It not only helps me out. It’s about making them feel at home. your guests will be relaxed as well.” If you have an eat-in kitchen. I always have a dish filled with lemon drops by the front door so people can help themselves. but it makes them feel as if this is “our” meal. The first thing people see when they come through my front door is my “welcome kitty. xi . It does mean that you should plan your meal and be in control—although. Even if it’s tiny. it is traditional to have one of these waving cats greet anyone who arrives and. so I am careful to keep the dish well stocked. I think it makes people feel part of the family. now she or he is an integral part of the party. and are entertained with lively conversation and. conversely. The grownups do. to present a meal out of nowhere on a silver platter. the more at home they feel. memorable food. I love my little welcome kitty. It is the hub of the house. No one expects you to cook behind a “curtain” anymore. part of the “doing. It’s not about impressing my guests. If you are comfortable in your own skin. too.” In Asia. The host used to be more isolated. People don’t mind pitching in family style—tossing the salad or helping to serve the dessert. are in a comfortable setting. When people come to my house to eat. you could say. almost the opposite is true. like wearing a particular perfume. My little grandchildren and nieces and nephews ask where the candy is if they don’t see any.Introduction W hen it comes to really enjoying a meal. The most important rule I have found about entertaining at home is to be yourself. wish them well when they leave and remind them to come back. That doesn’t mean you need to shy away from trying new recipes or cooking dishes that challenge you.
It always made me try the dish again. I organized my time so that I could do everything. In the late 1960s and early 1970s. when I was studying painting and pottery at Mills College. I know how to set up a comfort- able home and begin entertaining for new friends because I have had to do it time after time. intimidate others and tend to be left out. and doing some demonstrations with him. At the end of the evening. into your home. and I studied cooking with him for seven years. The meal we were eating was terrible in every way: too complicated. too fancy. Working with my hands gave me the confidence to work with any and all recipes. But it is important to keep calm and let your own style come through. testing for his cookbooks. no matter the situation. By this time. saying. I had formal sit-down dinners once a month for 22 people. and not at all tasty. a caterer. Sitting across from each other. we talked during the meal about everything to do with food: where he bought his eggs and butter. But if you don’t let little—or even disastrous—mishaps bother you.goodness knows. For several years. or at least stay friends with. too pretentious. or a professional party-giver. I am not a restaurant chef. as we were leaving. and I have decided that ease and friendship are it. as an art student in California. working as an assistant. his favorite recipes. including difficult pastry dough. We became close friends. At the end of six months. I entertained a great deal for fundraising purposes. I had cooked for more than 130 people. and I served a wonderful dinner and a xii i n t r o d u c t i o n . I loved to cook and bake. I invited him to dinner. People are afraid to invite them to their homes. He invited about 20 friends. “No one ever invites me to dinner. Probably youthful arrogance was as much the key to my training as anything else. He looked stunned. I started in my early 20s. I had three young children at home. Having moved many times—16 to be exact—I have learned to be flexible. we are all human and mistakes do happen. because I didn’t think twice about inviting friends over to try my first go at a soufflé or puff pastry or French crepes. that you do the best you can. I also have learned what’s important. they won’t bother your guests. The rest is about getting people together and having fun. but I have been cooking and entertaining for more than 40 years. It can be frightening to invite a group of people whom you want to impress. and particularly good cooks or chefs. It didn’t faze me. I had no fear and gained confidence by cooking and entertaining. ways of entertaining and cooking. D uring the early 1970s. I made mistakes but never felt beaten by them. I threw Jim a party for his 75th birthday at my home. then bought cookbooks and food magazines. I watched one demonstration by Julia Child. I met the great James Beard at a dinner party. trying any recipe that caught my eye.” It struck me then that famous people. The important thing is. and I had lots of energy.
It should be sim- M y own philosophy about entertaining is this: keep it simple. Don’t tie yourself in knots trying to figure out what they want to eat. music. Make what you want to eat. ple. Mix old friends with new faces—it’s always more interesting that way. making them feel at home. Here is what I like to think of as my “10 commandments” of a successful get-together. although there are better cooks than you. I try to mix intense with laid-back. don’t complicate anything. but there are also some better than you. The most important decision is the guest list. and you are a good baker. I decide to have a party because it’s so great for a crowd. Cook and freeze. and everyone has something to offer. At the end of the meal. Flowers. for example. 1.big bottle of Perrier-Jouet champagne. 3. Get as much work done ahead of time as pos- Think of your guests the way you think of a recipe: you want balance. and the look of the table are all things you can deal with early. a good mixture of sible. good food. People are people. But I don’t know anyone who is better at bringing people together. not pretentious. lawyers with writers. and enjoy your own evening. He said. which included thanking me for the celebration. If you please yourself. artists with businesspeople. “Ellen. napkins. It works. you are a very good cook. everyone else will be happy.” people. and serving a damn good meal. 2. xiv i n t r o d u c t i o n . he stood up to give a toast. well-off with struggling. chop and prep. When I feel like eating Basque Chicken.
10. Float flowers in a large. spicy/sweet. Music should be in the background and not guests get up. such as pretty shells you collected on the beach or bags of jellybeans tied up with ribbon—something fun. free to go. hot/cold. and you don’t want anything competing or clashing with those aromas. Music should not intrude. I want foods that will marry well and harmonize but not necessarily be matched perfectly. Don’t feel you have to carry on forever. I try to make it simple. Flowers and candles should be low and have no smell. Try something a little different as a centerpiece. Once your on the table. guitar. In fact. it can’t be in another. Things don’t need to match or be perfect. Make everyone feel needed as a bartender or host. i n t r o d u c t i o n xv . End the night early enough for guests to feel compete with conversation. I don’t want a meal that is all white or all brown or all anything.4. You don’t want to stand up for a long time. such as a music box or a pretty sculpture. or use several tiny bud vases or pitchers around the table. 7. anyway. Treat everyone as you do your family. always try to create a balance when coming up with a menu. or use an unusual place card holder. Food is coming. Think about ways to give out “grown-up” party favors. 9. 8. If the flavors are I Sitting down. they will enjoy it. glasses. texture. Everyone is happy to get together and also happy to return to the quiet of his or her own home after a good meal with friends. but not two. Never play vocals. not complicated. I think about color. Include them in the meal. Put tomatoes in one dish. words fight words. Don’t leave anyone out. shallow dish. Don’t put anything too fragrant or too high and you don’t want to be too full to enjoy dinner. Always serve dessert at the table. I knew one host who used to excuse himself early and go to bed. If garlic is prominent in one recipe. Plan the table setting with interesting combi- nations of dishes. such as a pinecone. 6. Don’t be shy. taste. Your friends will be fine with that. and napkins. Make your cocktail hour short and sweet. Ask your friends to pass a course or a plate or to fill a wineglass. is where you want to spend most of your time. talking intimately at the table. dinner is over—in my house. 5. or classical music creates an atmosphere and enhances the connection you are making with your guests and they with one another. Jazz. Don’t be afraid to combine unusual items.
If you lose sight of that by getting bogged down with menu or décor or flowers. you won’t be able to have fun. If you try something a little unexpected. you won’t be able to taste a thing. When people have had dinner at my house. and I begin with that as a foundation. I never have too many herbs in a dish. remember why you wanted to do it in the first place. You should do the same with your table. Most often. M y L a rder eople have said to me. I also love to take something traditionally used for one purpose and use it for a totally different purpose.competing. For example. If everything in a room is beige and you paint the backs of the bookcases a bright Chinese red or teal blue. one crunchy vegetable with something creamy. Your everyday dishes and your formal “wedding” china are like the basics of your wardrobe: jeans and white T-shirt. people will want to come back again and again. I use the same guiding principles when designing a house. I like to paint the back of my bookcases a random color to add something unusual behind the books. I have written this cookbook in menu form for this reason: it makes it easier to use for those who need to know how to combine food. and it allows more experienced cooks to change things around and substitute to their hearts’ content. or a dropdead dessert with a very simple meal. they always seem happy to come back. providing ingredi- P xvi i n t r o d u c t i o n . If you make your table and your home cozy and inviting. you want to bring people together. The fun comes in adding the accessories. As a long-time decorator. These accents can add so much. little black dress. Just like home. But I mix things up and add surprises to give the feeling of warmth and character. I don’t think it’s because I serve the fanciest meals or uncork the most expensive wines. I like a light dessert with a big fancy dinner. I think it is because I make them feel at home. or barbecue. I often serve heavy cream or raspberry sauce for dessert in a clear glass bud vase or use demitasse cups for soup instead of coffee. Start by collecting odd platters from flea markets or old salad plates from your mother or grandmother. such as fruit instead of flowers or seashells or pinecones for your centerpiece. apartment. it will have a big impact. Why do people like my work? What makes my homes and offices look lived in and comfy? I know what goes together. When you are putting together a dinner party. “What is a larder? What is in a larder? Why do you have so many things in your larder?” My answer is that when I have surprise company or I run out of ideas for dinner or lunch. I go to my kitchen cabinet (or larder) and it helps me. or office. it adds a little unexpected interest to the room. brunch. I want one chewy recipe served with one soft dish.
apricot. light and dark All-purpose flour Wondra flour Semisweet chocolate bits Unsweetened cocoa powder Baking powder (lasts only 3 to 6 months) Baking soda Yellow cake mix Lemon-flavored instant pudding Vegetable shortening i n t r o d u c t i o n xvii . cheddar) Butter Sour cream Mayonnaise Hot cherry peppers in a jar Soft flour and corn tortillas Strawberry or apricot preserves Mustard (several kinds) Baking potatoes Onions Garlic Lemons or lemon juice In the freezer : Fordhook lima beans Chopped spinach Artichoke hearts Peasant bread Bacon and/or breakfast sausage Raspberries Phyllo pastry Fo r b a k i n g : Sugar Confectioners’ sugar Brown sugar. I am grateful for it all the time. tomato) Saltines In the fridge: Cheese (Muenster. whole and crushed Canned or jarred tomato sauce Anchovies Pitted black olives Capers Tuna. solid white albacore in water Canned beef broth or beef bouillon cubes Canned chicken broth or chicken bouillon cubes Canned cannellini beans or chickpeas Canned petite peas Red wine vinegar and/or balsamic vinegar Oyster sauce Soy sauce Toasted sesame oil Olive oil Canola oil Chili oil Tabasco sauce Taco kit: taco sauce. canned green chiles Golden raisins Canned juices (pineapple. taco shells.ents and inspiration for a variety of easy meals. In the cabinet: Pasta Canned tomatoes.
Cold Weather Menus = .
clear yellows. which don’t seem so far off on the calendar.W hen Labor Day has passed and you traditionally can’t wear white linen anymore. and cobblers. I love to watch how the vibrant pinks. I love the are filled with roasts and stews. Fall is definitely my favorite season. and pots of chrysanthemums. I relish the opportunity to bring out my brown transferware. thick soups. rusts. I start to think about entertaining for the fall. When the weather turns really cold. After a summer of pastels and paper plates. and bright reds yield to golds. the beginning of school and the end of vacation. and cinnamon or chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day. and burgundies. I start to think of tastes. Once my mind starts to adapt to the change of season. apricots. my menus 2 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . gardening and harvesting. It usually takes me a while to recover from the summer. You can bring warmth to your home and your table simply by adding character. sun and beach towels and lots of company. When the weather is brisk and chilly. Because the food at this time of year is meant to warm you up. This is the time of year I used to buy my girls little plaid dresses with white collars and brand-new Bonnie Doon knee socks for going back to school. I watch the pumpkins and gourds start to appear. Fall is about reconnecting with friends after a long summer away and even starting to plan the upcoming holidays. I want to huddle by the fireplace or gather with friends and family in my warm kitchen. the trees changing. flavors. One great thing about cold weather is putting on jeans and a soft sweater— something cozy and casual. gourds. Instead. which features various country colors and the smells. piling up in various shapes and sizes. and colors I want to have. I rely less on cut flowers. I also think of dressing differently. I use pinecones. The way you “dress” your table sets the tone as well. when I have had just about enough of everything: corn and tomatoes. little wrapped presents around the holidays.
The browns are all different.scenes. While I am putting the finishing touches on dinner. Joe. we always have a drink or munchies there. using some with stripes. Even if we don’t eat in front of the fire. which I sometimes use in place of large wine goblets. The men make fun of me. but they like it. I also purchased a complete knockoff set from a catalog about 10 years ago. One-dish meals. he is busy making a fire fit for a king. and my husband. along with a selection of odd platters and serving dishes. some with roosters. some with flowers. I also adore my eBay juice glasses. hauls in 10 at a time in the canvas carrier. Maybe that’s why it creates such a homey feeling. It looks as if I’ve had it forever. We keep split logs on our tiny terrace. too. Just because the food at this time of year is hearty doesn’t mean it has to be heavy. and stews are great because you can’t get that kind of food anywhere but home. . passed down through the generations. casseroles. I have almost a complete set of matching dinner plates. On really cold nights. but I don’t mind that at all. we have a fire going in the fireplace. I can mix up the sets. I like people to leave the table satisfied but not stuffed.
My First Dinner Party Impressive for a Crowd
Pistachios and assorted olives Arugula and Endive Salad Basque Chicken with Sausage and Tomato Pimento Sauce over brown rice Perfect Lemon Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze
made this meal for my very first dinner party when I was a 20-year-old student living in Berkeley, California. I invited my neighbors, who also were students. We were all beginning to learn how to cook. I loved figuring out what to make—the more complicated, the better—and going to all the little shops to buy meat, bread, flowers, special spices, vegetables, and fruits. Because I was in art school, learning painting and potting and good with my hands, I was enthusiastic about creating with food. Basque Chicken is inspired by a recipe in Elizabeth David’s French Country
Cooking, which still sits on my shelf 40 years later—yellowed, pages falling out, and splattered with food. This is a simple menu: one dish with rice, chicken, sausage, and vegetables, along with a salad and a great dessert. I have a huge, round, hand-thrown pottery platter that was made by one of the graduate students I knew at Mills College named Wayne Taylor, and I always use it to show off this dish. It does my heart good to see my guests digging into the communal pot with gusto.
c o l d
w e a t h e r
m e n u s
Arugula and Endive Salad
Makes 8 ser vings E
L L E N’S
I like to serve arugula because of its slight bite and good taste. Endive adds a nice crunch and color to the salad. I use an Asian-style dressing here, but this salad also is good with Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110).
# You can wrap the
greens in paper towels and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
2 Belgian endives 2 bunches arugula 1 medium-size cucumber, peeled and sliced 2 scallions (white and green parts), chopped
½ cup olive oil 1 teaspoon sesame oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon soy sauce ½ teaspoon sugar Freshly ground black pepper to taste
# Try this with
chopped fresh chives or red onion instead of scallions.
# You can make the
dressing several days ahead of time. I keep some in the cupboard at all times to use as needed (no need to refrigerate).
1. To make the salad, wash the endives, then core and cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside on paper towels. Wash and dry the arugula, snap off the large stems, and wrap in paper towels to absorb all the water. 2. Tear the large arugula leaves into bite-size pieces. Place in a salad bowl and add the cucumber. Top with the scallions, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and refrigerate until ready to serve. 3. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well right before using. Pour over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve as soon as possible.
m y f i r s t d i n n e r p a r t y
L L E N’S
Basque Chicken with Sausage and Makes 8 ser vings Tomato Pimento Sauce
I love this one-dish meal. It is made with sweet sausage and chicken seasoned with thyme and served with brown rice and a sauce of fresh tomatoes and pimentos. The combination of flavors is great. It can be made in advance, and I always reserve the special-tasting chicken stock for a good soup later.
Two 5- to 6-pound chickens, cut into serving-size pieces 1 tablespoon ground thyme Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 medium-size onions, quartered 1 bay leaf 1½ pounds sweet Italian sausages ½ orange
# To minimize the
work, make the sauce the day before and refrigerate it. Undercook it in preparation for reheating.
# The rice will hold
8 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces 2 teaspoons ground thyme Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Three 4-ounce jars whole pimentos, drained 1 tablespoon canola oil or bacon fat 1 tablespoon paprika
for 30 minutes, covered, in the saucepan if you reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes.
# Sometimes I like
to mix sweet and hot Italian sausages for variety.
4 cups water 2 cups brown rice 2 teaspoons vegetable oil Pinch of salt 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 2. Rinse and dry the chicken pieces. Season on both sides with the thyme and salt and pepper. Put the chicken skin side up in a large casserole and add the onions and bay leaf. Put the sausages on top, then squeeze the orange half over everything and add it to the pot. 3. Bake, uncovered, until the chicken and sausages are browned, about 40 minutes.
c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s
make the sauce. and cartilage. and salt. Cover and bake until the chicken is practically falling off the bones. about 2 minutes. until they lighten in color. 6. Slice the sausages into 1-inch-thick rounds and add to the chicken. Add a ladleful of the chicken broth to moisten it. 4. about 12 minutes. Add the pimentos and cook. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and sausage and sprinkle the rice with the parsley. Add the rice. 20 to 30 minutes. Serve the remaining sauce on the side. Arrange the chicken and sausage pieces around the rice. stirring.E L L E N’S TI P S # If you are one of those people who save bacon fat. stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce is slightly mixed. cover. it is wonderful in this dish. Add the seasoned tomatoes. oil. In a medium-size mixing bowl. cover. toss the tomatoes with the thyme and salt and pepper. and cook until softened. 5. Stir in the paprika. heat the oil until hot but not smoking. To serve. To make the rice. Just spread some on the chicken pieces before baking and remember to omit any salt if you Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and pour in enough water to barely cover the chicken and sausages. 40 to 50 minutes more. = 7 . and cook until dimples show on top of the rice. # Do not overcook the sauce: it should resemble tomato pieces and pimento strips. bring the water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat. Discard the bay leaf and orange from the chicken. skin. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Meanwhile. place the rice in a mound in the center of a large platter. Cut the pimentos into ½-inch-wide strips. Discard any loose bones. 7. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir once and turn off the heat. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat. m y f i r s t d i n n e r p a r t y use it.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. port. the breaks won’t show. 8 = 1. I keep it on a covered cake plate.E L L E N’S TI P S Perfect Lemon Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze Makes 8 to 10 ser vings # If the cake breaks while you are unmolding it. at room temperature ¾ cup canola oil ½ cup water ¼ cup sweet sherry. When you glaze the cake. travels well. While it is cooling. Set aside. You also could invert a bowl over the cake when completely cooled. mixing with a fork until smooth. pudding. While the cake is still warm but not hot. about 45 minutes. It’s divine that way. make the glaze. Cake: 1 package yellow cake mix 1 package lemon-flavored instant pudding 4 large eggs. Grease and flour a bundt pan. 5. or orange juice 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg warm. if possible. In short. loosen the sides of the cake from the pan until you can unmold it easily onto a cake plate. 2. and nutmeg until very smooth and thick. it is a wonderful cake worth knowing. Preheat the oven to 350°F. drizzle the glaze over the cake. # Serve the cake This is an adaptation of a recipe given to me a long time ago by a friend in San Francisco. It is moist and velvety. in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. As for the cake and pudding mixes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. water. To make the cake. sherry. take the pieces out and place them in their rightful positions. Using a sharp knife. 3. knocking out the excess flour. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . at least 5 minutes. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small mixing bowl and add the lemon juice a little at a time. beat the cake mix. # This cake can be Lemon glaze: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice made the day before. and is great to bring to any dinner. eggs. oil. I am not above using shortcuts to achieve good results.
we bring out our old set of handpainted TV tables. in the afternoon.The Sopranos on Trays My Favorite Show of the Week Quesadilla Triangles Baked Potatoes with Stir-Fried Chicken and Veggies Mixed Greens. on HBO. The stir-fry filling can be made ahead of time. The only task you have at the last minute is to cut open the baked potatoes and slice the iceberg lettuce for the stir-fry. and reheated just before serving. 10 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . And for the times when television really is the priority. and Cukes Toffee Bars with Crumbled Candy n Sunday night. Tomatoes. This meal doesn’t require cutting. They come in handy when you want to enjoy a meal without balancing it O on your lap. so you can keep your eyes glued to the set. Dessert should be made in the morning. This meal is perfect because it’s easy to eat on a tray. we try not to miss our favorite television show—The Sopranos.
then turn over and brown the other. 2. cut into thin strips TI P S # If you don’t have chiles on hand. Reduce the heat to medium and place 1 tortilla in the pan. 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil. using the remaining oil. You also may substitute chopped onion. or fresh cilantro leaves for the chiles. Brown one side. Cut into wedges and serve. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Place 2 tablespoons of cheese in the middle and top with a few strips of chile. They are so simple and taste great. Top with another tortilla and press the edges together as the quesadilla cooks. heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil until hot but not smoking. cut into bigger wedges. Here I use them as a munchie before the show starts. scallion greens. which already has the hot peppers in the cheese. as needed Four 6-inch soft flour tortillas ½ cup shredded Muenster cheese 2 green chiles (canned are best). I also serve them for lunch. cast-iron skillet to make these. In a small skillet over high heat. sprinkle red pepper flakes over the cheese. # If you want a very spicy munchie. # I like to use a 1. Or use jalapeño Muenster cheese.Quesadilla Triangles Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S I could eat a whole batch of these in one sitting! In fact. about 2 minutes per side. they cook so much better that way. = t h e s o p r a n o s o n t r a y s 11 . I have made a meal out of them. use fresh chiles. if necessary.
skinless chicken breast. cut into 3-inch-long x ½-inch-wide strips 1 medium-size ripe tomato. # You may substitute any vegetable or meat for those I suggest. thinly sliced the gravy with 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in /4 cup 1 cold water if you don’t have Wondra flour. Bake until the potato skins are crispy and the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. I use a wok. as well as leftover noodles. crushed 2 medium-size onions. Preheat the oven to 400°F. I usually have most of these ingredients in my kitchen cabinet and refrigerator. add the garlic and onions and stir-fry until lightly browned. broccoli florets. Add the red pepper flakes and oyster c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . 2. For vegetables. and peas are all good. 40 to 50 minutes. Set aside. sliced zucchini. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers. and sliced steak. although you could use pasta or rice just as well. When it is hot but not smoking. 3. 12 = 1. Be creative. sliced 2 cups chicken broth 2 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce 2 to 3 tablespoons Wondra flour (see note on page 14) Stir-fry: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon sesame oil 4 to 6 medium-size cloves garlic. I also have used leftover chicken. lima beans. heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil together in a wok or large frying pay over medium-high heat. Pierce with a sharp knife or fork in 3 or 4 places. seeded and diced 4 to 6 mushrooms. pot roast. To make the stir-fry. # You may thicken Potatoes: 2 to 4 medium-size to large Idaho potatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil Kosher salt to taste 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or chili oil (optional) 1 tablespoon oyster sauce 1 whole boneless.E L L E N’S TI P S Baked Potatoes with Stir-Fried Makes 2 to 4 ser vings Chicken and Veggies I am the queen of stir-fry because it is so easy and quick. Wash and dry the potatoes. I like to serve the stir-fry inside the baked potatoes. Rub with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. but a frying pan will do.
4. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan to keep warm. When ready to serve.sauce and mix. transfer the chicken and vegetables to a plate. 5. about 1 minute. Add the chicken and sear on both sides. You can find it in the supermarket. and cook for about 1 minute. transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and let your guests fill their own potatoes. (I sear the chicken strips on the sides of the wok.) Reduce the heat to medium. add the tomato and mushrooms. Using a slotted spoon. Add the lettuce. cover. Wondra Flour Wondra flour is a granulated flour used for browning and to thicken gravy. cover. and simmer until it wilts. and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth. about 2 minutes. where they stick. It doesn’t lump or clump like regular flour. about 2 minutes total. Add the flour to the pan sauce and whisk over medium heat until thickened. 14 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s .
and cucumber in a salad bowl and add the basil and oregano. 4. Tomatoes. then slice. called Kirbys. cucumbers are the long ones wrapped in plastic in the grocery store. tomato. and I love them. They are quite good and don’t need peeling or seeding. if you need to. using only the best part of each head to make enough for 4 people. Combine the lettuce.Mixed Greens. you can substitute whatever you want. add the scallions. center leaves only 1 head romaine lettuce. Peel and seed the cucumber. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves. 1. Wash and core the tomato and cut into wedges. When ready to serve. or English. Makes 2 to 4 ser vings and Cukes My mixed greens might not be your mixed greens. and in this recipe. center leaves only 1 medium-size ripe tomato 1 medium-size cucumber (see Ellen’s Tips) ½ teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon dried oregano 3 tablespoons chopped scallions (white and green parts) ½ cup Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110) E L L E N’S TI P S # Hothouse. 5. = t h e s o p r a n o s o n t r a y s 15 . 1 head chicory. Pour the dressing over all and toss lightly to coat evenly. 3. Small pickling cucumbers. Regular cucumbers need to be peeled. 2. don’t need peeling or seeding either. but I never seed them.
evenly over the top. Preheat the oven to 350°F. While the shortbread base is still hot. . and neither of us can remember where it came from. brown sugar. softened 1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar 1 large egg yolk. but it works with baking most of the time. and vanilla until smooth. such as Almond Roca. Bake until the shortbread sets.E L L E N’S TI P S Toffee Bars with Crumbled Candy Makes 24 bars # I know when the shortbread is done because I can smell it. add the flour and salt. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt 3 Heath or Skor bars. egg yolk. 3. and beat until the flour disappears. That’s not very scientific. or the bars will dry out. it is topped with crumbled candy—Heath or Skor bars or any praline-type candy. beat the butter. if using. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish. Remove from the oven and. sprinkle the candy and the walnuts. about 25 minutes. brown sugar topping. broken into 1-inch pieces Chopped walnuts (optional) best when warm. while the crust is still hot. The candy melts enough to make a crunchy. Let cool slightly before cutting. buttery. 2. It is sinful and wonderful. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter. Cut each bar as you eat it. Reduce the speed to medium-low. 4. # These bars are This toffee shortcake bar evolved from a recipe from my dear friend Meredith. = 1.
I make a real effort to make this a special evening for my somewhat forgotten good friends. You can get away with not having people over for just so long. and the brown sugar and mustard glaze adds a new taste dimension. Autumn is when I want to make this particular meal. The lettuce gratinée is always a hit—guests love the flavor but cannot figure out what it is. In the center of each table. The pork loin with prunes lends itself to this time of year.It’s Payback Time Must-Do Buffet for 10 Parmesan Toasts Tomato Onion Soup Glazed Pork Loin with Mustard and Brown Sugar Whole Baked Onions Boston Lettuce Gratinée Montana Flood Cake Y ou know how it is when you’ve been invited to several dinners but are too busy to have one of your own. The pinecones also can be strewn on the tables in an informal way. This is a good opportunity to bring different people together and have some fun. and then it’s time to reciprocate. I sometimes place a shallow basket filled with pinecones. i t ’ s p a y b a c k t i m e 17 . I like to serve this meal on a long sideboard in my living room and then sit down at round tables covered with pretty fallcolored cloths.
the basket is always empty. the toasts will burn if left a second too long. 1. Place the Parmesan cheese on a plate and dredge the buttered bread in the cheese. for garnish works well. 1 loaf French bread. Stand by the oven while doing this and don’t leave. # Italian bread also These crispy little toasts go well with soups and salads when you want something a little more interesting than croutons. 2. if using. sliced ½ inch thick at an angle ½ cup (1 stick) butter. They are not difficult to make and keep well. 3. Remove from the oven and garnish with the parsley. Put the bread cheese side up on a baking sheet. No matter how many of these I prepare for a gettogether. Dip one side of each bread slice into the melted butter. 2 to 3 minutes.Parmesan Toasts E L L E N’S Makes 8 to 10 ser vings TI P S # These toasts can be baked in a preheated 425°F oven for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to broil. Broil until golden brown. 18 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . instead of broiling. melted ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional).
or scallion greens. 4 cups crushed tomatoes 1 cup beef broth 1 small onion. It is also great to make in advance and keep frozen. # I love to pour this soup. mash the flour and butter together into a paste on a small plate. chopped fresh cilantro leaves. hot or cold. Add to the soup.Tomato Onion Soup Makes 10 small ser vings E L L E N’S I love this soup for a party and like to serve it in small demitasse cups along with the Parmesan Toasts (see previous recipe). chives. Serve immediately. but double the recipe if necessary. from a pretty china or silver coffeepot with a long spout into different-patterned demitasse cups. it can be quickly reheated for lastminute meals. People can sip the soup during cocktails as a taste of what’s to come. for garnish TI P S # You can use canned whole tomatoes. basil. and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Using a fork. # This soup is also super served cold. # You also may serve Beurre Manié The flour and butter paste used to thicken this soup is also known as beurre manié. or even toasted pine nuts. and stir until the soup thickens. Remove the onion and discard. Place the tomatoes. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. garnished with the chopped scallions. about 5 minutes. You can decorate it with a lemon slice. onion. broth. or kneaded butter. 3. the soup as a first course in a proper bowl. Add the baking soda and sugar. and pepper in a large saucepan. but remember to break them up with your hands. = i t ’ s p a y b a c k t i m e 19 . 1. cut out the blossom ends. stuck with 2 cloves 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper ½ teaspoon baking soda 1½ teaspoons sugar 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons butter 3 tablespoons chopped scallions (white and green parts). and simmer for about 40 minutes. 2. reduce the heat to low. cover. increase the heat to medium.
2. Do this from both ends. and I always do. Paint the pork loin with the mustard. you will have prosciutto in each slice. dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water 1 bunch watercress. it will be tough. Using a sharp knife or long skewer.E L L E N’S TI P S Glazed Pork Loin with Mustard Makes 10 ser vings and Brown Sugar This is the most delicious braised pork because of the combination of ingredients: mustard. The pork loin is larded with prosciutto. 2 cups beef broth 18 medium-size pitted prunes One 5. Simca’s Cuisine. push the prosciutto strips into the center of the loin lengthwise. ask them to cut the ham into finger-sized strips. 20 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . and tied (ask your butcher to do this) ¼ pound prosciutto. stems removed. # Allow the meat to cook slowly. and set aside. It’s a great help if they do. 4. too. I learned this recipe 40 years ago from the classic French cookbook by Simone Beck. rolled. Beck served it with Boston Lettuce Gratinée (page 24) because the combination is perfect. brown sugar. boned. and prunes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 1.to 4-inch-long x ½-inch-thick strips ½ cup Dijon mustard ⅔ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons canola oil ⅔ cup bourbon Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried sage 4 sprigs fresh parsley 1 teaspoon cornstarch. for garnish # Some butchers will lard the pork loin with the prosciutto for you. Place the brown sugar on a plate and roll the pork in it to coat evenly. 3. which gives it a terrific flavor. Add the prunes. When you slice the braised loin.to 6-pound pork loin. as they won’t go the whole length of the loin. If you try to rush it using high heat. cut into 3. Heat 1 cup of the broth in a medium-size saucepan. remove from the heat.
Serve the gravy on the side. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. cover. add the prunes and their soaking liquid.5. 7. Add the remaining 1 cup broth. In a Dutch oven over medium heat. Decorate the edges of the platter with the watercress. Using a long match and being watchful of hanging hair and loose sleeves. Wrap the thyme. until thickened. 22 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . and parsley in a piece of cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni and add to the pot. sage. and place in the oven. Transfer the pork loin and prunes to a warm platter and set aside. turn the meat and season with salt and pepper. After 1 hour. Slice the pork loin and return to the platter with the prunes. Strain the juices through a fine-mesh strainer and place in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. it’s a cold and crunchy addition. 8. Pour the bourbon over the meat. light the bourbon and let it burn out. cover. and cook for 1 hour more. stirring. Brown the meat on all sides. heat the canola oil. taking care not to let it scorch. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook. Make sure to include some of the watercress when serving the pork and prunes. 6.
or a roast. chops. and season with salt and pepper. This is one of those not-really-a-recipe recipes. 3. # These also are great served on individual plates with a steak or chop. fish.Whole Baked Onions Makes 10 ser vings E L L E N’S This is one of the simplest and prettiest ways to dress up steak. geous onion flowers around the pork loin on a large serving platter. Place the onions root end down and side by side (to help them support each other) in a baking pan. 2. With a sharp serrated knife. unpeeled 10 tablespoons butter Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste TI P S # Use regular yel- low onions with brown skins because they hold their shape better than sweet Vidalia or Walla Walla onions. Serve hot. Preheat the oven to 350°F. like the petals of a flower. # I place these gor- 1. = 23 . Bake until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. make a 2-inch-deep X in the top of each onion and peel back the layers. When onions are baked like this. chicken. Insert 1 tablespoon of butter in each one. 10 medium-size to large yellow onions. they become as sweet as sugar and are a wonderful addition to any meal. 45 minutes or so.
spinach? The lettuce gives it a light and refreshing taste. Set aside. and drain. ½ cup (1 stick) butter. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon. like a quiche. grate the cheese. lightly beaten ¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup heavy cream ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves. grease the bottom and sides of a 1-quart mold. Add the shallots and cook. Dust the inside of the mold with 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs and knock out the excess. Add the chopped lettuce and cook until there is no liquid left in the pan. melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. softened 1¾ cups plain dry bread crumbs 8 to 10 small heads Boston lettuce ⅓ cup minced shallots or scallions 1 cup cold milk 4 large eggs. and I think it’s a great luncheon dish because it is light. Line the bottom with waxed paper and grease it with 1 tablespoon butter. Using 2 tablespoons of the butter. at room temperature. You can make this even easier by doing a lot of the prep the day before. if you wish. stirring. 3 to 4 seconds. rinse under cold running water. No one seems to know what’s inside. then assemble the gratinée at the time of baking. until softened. Finely chop and set aside in a colander to drain completely. I use my dish drainer to drain it. Trim and wash the lettuce and separate the leaves. It is a gentle poaching process. In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. # The process of cooking the gratinée in another pan filled with water is called a bain-marie. I learned to make it many years ago from Simone Beck’s Simca’s Cuisine. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and melt. # The way to divide A vegetable dish that is hard to figure out turns into a conversation piece. zucchini. for garnish and conquer this workload is to wilt and chop the lettuce. 3. and measure your ingredients the day before. It goes well with any meat. Is it broccoli. 24 = 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. or water bath. Drop the leaves into a pot of boiling water until they wilt. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . 10 to 15 minutes. 2.Boston Lettuce Gratinée E L L E N’S Makes 10 ser vings TI P S # After rinsing the lettuce in cold water.
Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl. 5. Make sure the gratinée is set—firm in the center and pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Unmold onto a warm serving plate. soak the remaining bread crumbs in the milk for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs. Set the pan in the oven and bake until golden brown and puffed. Spoon the mixture into the mold. about 40 minutes. Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. Spoon some sauce from the pork loin over the top and decorate with the parsley. cream. and lettuce mixture and fold together. then mash with a fork. Place the mold in a larger pan with 2 inches of water. leaving a 1-inch space at the top.4. i t ’ s p a y b a c k t i m e 25 . Do not press the mixture down.
# If the cake is a few days old. The length of time you beat it will make the difference between a velvety texture and an average one. cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until the cakes pull away from the sides of the pans and a skewer inserted in the center of each comes out clean. so I substituted bourbon. I once made it at my friend’s ranch in Montana when there was quite a flood and we couldn’t get to the store. A little ice cream or whipped cream on top would not be a mistake. # You can make this cake up to 2 days before you plan to serve it. 26 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Let cool slightly before slicing or wrapping (see Ellen’s Tips).” It is the easiest and tastiest of all the cakes I’ve ever made. Add the eggs one at a time. optional Ice cream or whipped cream (optional) # Be sure to beat the mixture longer than you think is necessary. 1 2 s e r v i n g s Cake This pound cake recipe belongs to Ann Jordan.i n c h l o a ve s . 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 3 cups sugar 6 large eggs. slicing as needed. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.E L L E N’S TI P S Montana Flood M a k e s t w o 9 x 5 . I like to toast slices of it for breakfast and serve with butter and honey. knocking out any excess flour. even-textured cake. I like to serve it with berries or sliced fruit in season. I leave the loaves in the pans. beating after each addition. to make a dense. 1. who has been my friend for more than 25 years. about 40 minutes. then alternately add the heavy cream and cake flour. Top with berries and ice cream. Beat the batter for 4 to 5 minutes. 3. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the extracts. at room temperature 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons pure lemon extract 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons cake flour Assorted berries or sliced fruit. I had everything but vanilla. She says it is her mother’s recipe and “only the Lord knows where she got it. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 2. if desired. I think they stay moister that way. and it was still great. then wrap and store them that way.
On the occasion of my granddaughter Kelsey’s third birthday. To make it feel as if we were lunching right on the grass. k e l s e y ’ s b i r t h d a y p a r t y 27 . I had an indoor picnic right in the front hall of our apartment. Although cooking wasn’t her passion. I used a classic recipe of my mother’s. a gallery that is long and narrow. We could almost smell the pine trees. Her devil’s food cake is legendary. she was quite creative and capable of making a few memorable desserts. This is the ultimate comfort meal—dishes that people loved to eat when they were little but never seem to get anymore only because they grew up. For the birthday cake.Kelsey’s Birthday Party Lunch for Kids That Grownups Love Carrots and celery sticks. cut small Nana’s Macaroni and Cheese PB&Js Best-Ever Egg Salad Sandwiches Shoestring Potatoes Devil’s Food Cupcakes with White Icing T he truth about grownups is that we are all children at heart. Here I decided to do cupcakes for the kids to decorate. I brought the food to the table in a giant picnic basket and gave everyone a checkered cloth napkin. I moved my coffee table (which is long and low) in from the living room and covered it with a picnic blanket instead of a tablecloth.
Season with salt and pepper. Add the onion and cook. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 30 to 40 minutes. melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. combine the macaroni and cheese sauce and toss until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into a buttered casserole dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs. but it is. One 16-ounce package elbow macaroni Salt to taste 1 teaspoon canola oil 3 tablespoons butter 1 cup diced onion 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups half-and-half Freshly ground white pepper to taste 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese ½ cup plain dry bread crumbs ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese this dish.” The macaroni should be tender but still have a little resistance when you bite into it. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. add the flour. Add the macaroni. the remaining ½ cup cheddar. It encompasses all that’s good about a dish that has stood the test of time. about 2 minutes. you may want to add a splash of Tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce to the cheese sauce. Add the half-and-half and stir until the mixture is smooth. # If adults are eating I don’t know why macaroni and cheese is so well loved. 28 = 1. I have combined many recipes from numerous sources through the years until the best and most straightforward version evolved. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat. salt. Reduce the heat to low. Remember. until transparent. # You can assemble this dish an hour or so before baking. Remove from the heat and stir in 1½ cups of the cheddar cheese until it melts. and the Parmesan on top. stirring. It is real comfort food. 3. and canola oil and cook until al dente (see Ellen’s Tips). c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . about 5 minutes. it’s going to keep cooking in the oven. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and bake until golden brown. Serve hot.E L L E N’S TI P S Nana’s Macaroni and Cheese Makes 6 to 8 ser vings # Al dente means chewy “to the tooth. 4. and cook until pasty. In a large mixing bowl. 2. I think this is a winner. Drain and set aside.
ducks. if you have them. old or young. As far as I am concerned. or just rounds. the sandwiches are best made with chunky peanut butter and strawberry or grape jam on soft. One fun thing to do for kids is to cut each sandwich in the shape of the first letter of the child’s name—J for James and so on. hearts. fresh white bread with the crusts removed.PB&Js Short for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Use cookie cutters to make the shapes. big or small. Other shapes also are possible: moons. this is a recipe for all seasons and all people. They seem to taste better if cut into small and dainty squares. chickens. k e l s e y ’ s b i r t h d a y p a r t y 29 .
Cut off the crusts with a sharp serrated knife. Bring to a boil over high heat. 1. and fold in the chives. and most kids do. if desired. too. # Remember not to let eggs and mayonnaise sit in a hot place. and dry. then cut the sandwiches into quarters. Place the eggs in a food processor. turn off the heat and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.E L L E N’S TI P S Best-Ever Egg Salad Sandwiches Makes 6 to 8 sandwiches # If you follow my instructions exactly. you’ll end up with beautiful yellow yolks. feel free to include chopped celery or onion. which result from overboiling. not greenish ones. 2. 3. Serve immediately or wrap tightly in plastic until ready to serve. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. for more than 30 minutes. For grownups. # You can prepare I love my egg salad because it is finely chopped. Remove using a slotted spoon. peel under tepid running water. such as outside at a picnic. After 30 seconds. soft. I like it uncluttered with add-ins. 4. Add the mayonnaise and pulse until the eggs are finely chopped but not pureed. Spread the egg salad generously on half of the bread slices and top with the remaining slices. 30 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . and smooth. season with salt and pepper. Place the eggs in a medium-size saucepan and add cold water to cover. tightly covered. 8 large eggs ½ cup mayonnaise Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (optional) 12 to 18 slices white bread the egg salad a day or two ahead and refrigerate it.
Shoestring Potatoes Makes 6 to 8 ser vings These are simply French-fried potatoes that are very thinly cut. Follow the instructions exactly for success. Sprinkle right away with sea salt and serve hot. Using the slotted spoon. 3. about 6 minutes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat. peeled and cut into thin matchsticks Sea salt or kosher salt to taste 1. Place small handfuls of the potatoes in the hot oil and cook. 3 cups canola oil 2 large Idaho potatoes. heat the canola oil until hot but not smoking. 31 . 2. turning them with a slotted spoon. transfer the potatoes to generous layers of paper towels to drain. until golden brown.
holding them by the paper bottoms. as needed Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 32 = 1. and twirl them in the soft icing. half-and-half. and double the amount of icing. I show the kids how to dip their cupcakes. Either way. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Start checking for doneness after about 15 minutes in the oven. If you want to make a layer cake. softened 2⅔ cups confectioners’ sugar 2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream. filling each cup about threequarters full. Devil’s food cupcakes: 2 cups granulated sugar ¾ cup vegetable shortening 2 large eggs. It may take a couple of tries to get the top fully covered. sift together the dry ingredients and add alternately to the egg mixture with the buttermilk. 3.E L L E N’S TI P S Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Makes 24 medium-size cupcakes White Icing For decorating fun. I have a bowl of icing and a plate of cupcakes. With an electric mixer on medium speed. beating well after each addition. Little ones may need some grown-up help. Spoon the batter into the prepared tins. In a medium-size mixing bowl. use two or three 9-inch layer pans. first grease and flour the baking pans. 2. To make the cupcakes. At each end. Add the baking soda to the boiling water Add to the batter and mix on low speed until smooth. cream together until light and fluffy. Just increase the baking time to about 1 hour. Then the decorating can begin. or whole milk. place the granulated sugar and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Preheat the oven to 350°F. I set small bowls filled with sprinkles (each bowl with a different color) in a row in the middle of the table. Add the eggs one at a time. # You can use this recipe as is to make a 9 x 13-inch sheet cake. Place muffin liners in full-size muffin tins. dividing the batter evenly between them. at room temperature 3 cups sifted cake flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 cup boiling water W hite icing: ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter.
34 . Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 5. beat until smooth. or sprinkles to decorate the cupcakes. and 2 tablespoons of the cream in a large mixing bowl. place the butter.4. or frost the cupcakes yourself. Ic i ng Va r i at i o ns: • If you want chocolate icing. Add more cream if necessary. M&M’s. add 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee and half the heavy cream. 15 to 20 minutes. add cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Transfer the icing to 2 bowls and allow the children to frost their own cupcakes. a little at a time. • Use crushed pecans. • For mocha icing. To make the icing. confectioners’ sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed. Place the muffin tins in the center of the oven and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. walnuts. to achieve a spreadable consistency.
they expect the same dishes they’ve always had. making it up as I went along. I like to try recipes that depart from the traditional foods. no more than six. napkins.Mini Thanksgiving For an Abbreviated Gathering Roquefort Grapes Cheese Puff Pastry Sticks with Salt Cranberry Orange Roast Chicken Laurie’s Crunchy Noodle Pudding Tricolor Vegetable Puree Joe’s Baked Apples and My Piecrust Cookies T his Thanksgiving menu is for a small group. and there is no hope of deviating. I like to continue the yellow and green theme in my choice of plates. That means every other year. But for the smaller Thanksgiving celebration. It is still one of my favorites. I mound gourds grown in my garden in a huge Italian bowl painted with a yellow and green design. I prepared this roast chicken recipe a while ago. but other years it’s just Joe and I and a few friends. and flowers to tie it all together.” For my table. I have a houseful. Ending with Joe’s Baked Apples and My Piecrust Cookies is a twist on “ye olde Thanksgiving pie. When my children are home. m i n i t h a n k s g i v i n g 35 . and they alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with their in-laws. My children are all married now.
# Chopped almonds The combination of Roquefort cheese. Roll the grape in the chopped nuts and set on a plate. Put a grape in the middle of the pancake and wrap it around the grape with your fingers.Roquefort Grapes E L L E N’S Makes 6 ser vings TI P S # You can make these little babies in the morning or the day before. Repeat with the remaining grapes. Wash and dry the grapes. It is a perfect one-bite treat with a drink at cocktail time. 3. Refrigerate. 2. until ready to serve. 1. Serve cold. 36 = . just keep them refrigerated until the party starts. 18 perfect purple or green seedless grapes ½ cup mashed Roquefort cheese ½ cup walnuts. cheese. finely chopped or pecans also work nicely. and sweet grapes cannot be beat. Work quickly because the heat of your hands may melt the cheese. chopped walnuts. Take a bit of the cheese and make a small pancake of it in your hand. and nuts. covered with plastic wrap.
3. about 10 minutes. Your own variations are welcome. # Seeds. if you like. black mustard. 2. sesame. can be sprinkled on before baking. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the sea salt. Sprinkle 1 pastry sheet evenly with 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Serve warm. such as car- away. them with finely chopped fresh parsley leaves. Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown. Preheat the oven to 400°F. dill. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet and cheese.Cheese Puff Pastry Sticks Makes 24 sticks with Salt What could be easier than these buttery sticks made out of puff pastry. 1 package puff pastry ½ cup finely shredded sharp white cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt E L L E N’S TI P S # These sticks can be stored. or sage leaves before baking. # You can sprinkle 1. tightly wrapped. or poppy. Just be sure to defrost them fully before reheating. for several days and then reheated before serving. # They also can be frozen this way. chives. Cut into 4-inch-long x ½-inch-wide strips and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. = m i n i t h a n k s g i v i n g 37 . which is readily available at the grocery store in the refrigerator section? They are sprinkled with grated cheddar cheese and coarse salt and served warm with a glass of cold wine.
if you wish. make sure they don’t touch) and put the onions in the pan. The citrus berry sauce and orange juice make the skin brown and crunchy. Place on a rack in a roasting pan (if using 2 birds. mix the orange juice and cranberry sauce together with a fork. this chicken is one of our favorites. Preheat the oven to 400°F. then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. # I use Wondra flour to thicken my gravy because it does so without lumping. Although this is perfect for an informal Thanksgiving dinner. pyracantha branches with their orange berries. crab apples. Meanwhile. about 1¼ hours total. then add the chicken broth and continue as directed. Add the wine to the pan first. Rub the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the butter. One 6-pound or two 4. it can certainly be served any time of the year. (continued on page 40) 38 = 1. Set on the center oven rack and bake for 20 minutes. and I have never met anyone who doesn’t love that. 3. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Rinse the chicken and pat dry.to 5-pound chickens 2 medium-size onions. or even persimmons—depending on what I can get. scraping up the browned bits. you can add a few tablespoons of white wine. A Chardonnay or a slightly fruity white is a good choice. # Serve the gravy in a little pitcher or even a small coffeepot. Roast the chicken until it is golden brown and the juices run clear when it is cut at the joint. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warm plate to rest for 15 minutes.E L L E N’S TI P S Cranberry Orange Roast Makes 6 to 8 ser vings Chicken In my family. 2. in a measuring cup. Baste the chicken with this mixture every 15 minutes until the mixture is gone. For decoration. or 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate mixed with ½ cup water 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce (canned is fine) 2 cups chicken broth 2 tablespoons Wondra flour # When deglazing the pan. I often surround the chicken with whole fresh cranberries. stuck with 2 cloves each 3 tablespoons butter ½ cup orange juice.
It is slightly sweet and crispy and holds a special place in my repertoire. roll them in granulated sugar. who always gave wonderful dinners with my younger brother. Cut the chicken into serving-size pieces and serve with the gravy on the side. dip fresh cranberries in beaten egg white. and freeze. Laurie. # For an extra-spe- cial touch. crushed 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon sugar 1 cup canned crushed pineapple. add the chicken broth to the chicken juices and slowly deglaze the pan by scraping the browned bits up from the bottom. Keep warm until ready to serve. Over medium heat. or chicken. fish. place on a tray. drained 40 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . 5. Two 16-ounce packages broad egg noodles 2 tablespoons margarine ½ cup sugar Three 3-ounce packages cream cheese. To do this. softened 5 large eggs 3 cups whole milk 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract ½ cup golden raisins ½ cup (1 stick) margarine. Noodle pudding can be served with meat. melted Topping: 1 cup corn flakes.E L L E N’S TI P S (continued from page 38) 4. Strain the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer and swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Set them around your bird straight from the freezer. Barry. I like to garnish my chicken with frosted cranberries. Laurie’s Crunchy Noodle Makes 8 to 10 ser vings Pudding This recipe is from my ex-sister-in-law. or even as a brunch dish. Her recipe is so good that it remains in our family by popular demand. Add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time to thicken the gravy. using the same roasting pan. whisking constantly.
vanilla. and melted margarine and mix well. Cook the noodles in a pot of lightly salted boiling water with a little oil until soft but not mushy. return to the pot. Bake until the top is golden brown and crunchy. E L L E N’S TI P S # Don’t use any- thing but margarine in this recipe. 4. combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. raisins. 2. Pour the noodles into the prepared baking dish. 3. milk. # This will hold in the oven with the heat off for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F. mixing well. Add the cooked noodles and toss with a wooden spoon. # You can assemble this in the morning and pop it in the oven just before serving. 45 to 60 minutes. but it wasn’t. = m i n i t h a n k s g i v i n g 41 . Set aside. cream together the sugar and cream cheese. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Drain. Add the eggs. and toss with the 2 tablespoons margarine. Spread evenly over the noodles. To make the topping. I thought it would be better with butter. In a large mixing bowl. Serve hot. 5.1.
# Choose a celery This lovely dish should be baked in a glass soufflé or baking dish that will show off the different colors. This is a perfect accompaniment to any meat. so you might add less cream. peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 3 tablespoons butter 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Lima and pea puree: One 10-ounce package frozen lima beans (preferably Fordhook. fish. peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 medium-size celery root. see Ellen’s Tips) One 8-ounce can petite peas 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons sour cream Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste Potato and celery root puree: 3 large russet potatoes. orange carrots and yams. When you serve it. as needed Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste root that isn’t too beat-up looking. but deeper scars discolor the flesh. If it gets too thin. Carrot and yam puree: 3 medium-size fresh or a 28-ounce can yams. reduce the puree in a skillet over low heat to thicken. The superficial nicks will peel off. or scallions (white and green parts). It consists of stripes of vegetable purees: green peas and lima beans.Tricolor Vegetable Puree E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # Fordhook lima beans have more meat and make a better puree than small limas do. # Make each puree the consistency of mashed potatoes. drained 8 medium-size carrots. you get all three layers. or poultry dish. sliced 3 tablespoons butter 2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream. parsley or cilantro leaves. for garnish 42 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . as needed Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives. Some vegetables have more liquid than others. and white potatoes and celery root.
and keep warm. Transfer to a medium-size bowl. = m i n i t h a n k s g i v i n g 43 . Assemble the purees in a 3-inch-deep glass soufflé or baking dish. Place the carrots. E L L E N’S TI P S # To save some time. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender. To make the potato and celery root puree. 30 to 40 minutes. Add the butter and heavy cream and pulse until smooth. cover with plastic wrap. 2. cover with plastic wrap. place the potatoes and celery root in a large saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil. yams. make each puree a day or two before and keep refrigerated. Transfer to a mediumsize bowl. Place in a medium-size saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. 4. about 30 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in a 200°F oven for up to 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Season with salt and pepper. and keep warm. cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 300°F oven until heated through. Drain. Add the other 2 purees one at a time. 5. top with the garnish of your choice. Drain and transfer to a food processor. smoothing the top of each. Adding the sour cream a little at a time. bring to room temperature before assembling. cover with plastic wrap. and bring to a boil. Spoon 1 puree into the dish and smooth the top. To serve. If using canned yams. To make the carrot and yam puree using fresh yams. Transfer to a medium-size bowl. add the carrots and water to cover. After assembling. and keep warm. peel them and cut into 2-inch cubes. pulse until smooth. 12 to 15 minutes. place the lima beans and peas with their liquid in a medium-size saucepan and heat until boiling. Add the butter and sour cream and pulse until smooth. To make the lima and pea puree. Drain and transfer to a food processor. cook the carrots by themselves. On the day of serving. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until tender. and butter in a food processor. Keep the puree thick.1. 3.
2. for serving are black cherry. cored ½ cup strawberry preserves (or your favorite) ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 1 cup cold heavy cream. Place the apples in a baking dish large enough to hold them comfortably. skin left on. cruet.Joe’s Baked Apples E L L E N’S Makes 8 ser vings TI P S # Other good apple choices are Golden Delicious or McIntosh. My husband contributed the way to do this. 3. raspberry. and apricot. 1. Serve warm with the heavy cream in a small pitcher for pouring. He cores and bakes them. blackberry. or pretty bottle for a change. peach. 44 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . My addition is a pitcher of cold heavy cream to serve with the warm apples. 30 to 40 minutes. # Pour the cream out of a bud vase. 8 Rome apples. with butter and jam. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 4. Bake until bubbly and tender when tested with a sharp knife. Spoon 1 tablespoon preserves and 1 tablespoon butter into the cored-out center of each apple. # Other jams I like There isn’t an easier dessert to throw together at the last minute than these baked apples.
4. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 425°F. but the dough will keep them very happy for a little while. 2. In fact. = m i n i t h a n k s g i v i n g 45 . Cool on the sheets. ⅓ cup sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 recipe Foolproof Piecrust (page 83) TI P S # Don’t be afraid to touch the dough. I have been known to make a batch and devour most of them by myself with a big glass of cold milk. 3. about 10 minutes.My Piecrust Cookies Makes twenty-four 3-inch cookies E L L E N’S I am a big fan of piecrust cookies. take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for 30 to 40 minutes before rolling it out. roll it out to about ¼ inch thick. Bake until golden brown. then transfer to a plate. This helps to prevent cracking and breaking. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets. using a floured rolling pin. Use light fingers. but these funny little cookies have a way of casting a warm and delicious spell. Cut into squares or shapes and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. They may handle it too much to bake cookies from it. This kind of voracious act is very unlike me. Turn the piecrust out onto a lightly floured work surface and. 1. # If you prepare the dough a day in advance. You can gently pick it up and turn it when you first roll it to prevent sticking. # Give young chil- dren a little of their own dough to work with.
Homemade for the Holidays Cooking Gifts with or Without the Kids Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies Bessie’s Thumbprint Cookies Apricot Ginger Chutney Best Homemade Mustard Berry Crunch Bread H omemade gifts are so much more appreciated than store-bought ones. The only grandson in our group loves to fill the jars. and everyone—from the 3-year-olds to the 40year-olds—has a job. And hand-painted presents are even better. 46 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . so I give her the job of decorating jars and labels. apothecary jars. in aluminum foil and tied with ribbon. We have our own little assembly line. One granddaughter is a master at drawing and painting. or even aluminum foil packages done up with pretty ribbon. Any 3-year-old can punch out a hole in the recipe card that is attached to each treat so that each recipient can make his or her own next year. cookie tins. We all take turns tying the ribbons into bows and feel quite satisfied with our efforts in this gift-giving enterprise. Shopping for plaid ribbons and little glass jars in different shapes and sizes is great fun and a good activity for two or even three generations to do together. We put the small cookies in unusual containers. The bread is best wrapped the same way. such as Shaker wooden boxes.
passed this tradition down to me. 10 to 12 minutes. 1. In a medium-size mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed (or by hand. and blueberry preserves are my favorites. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets and press your thumb gently into the center of each. too. You can use all of them for variety. then fill each thumbprint with ½ teaspoon of the preserves and continue cooling on wire racks. cream together the margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy. ½ cup (1 stick) margarine. Dip each ball into the beaten egg white and roll in the almonds. Bake until light brown and set. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute. using a wooden spoon). My grandchildren love to make these cookies. 3. roll it into balls. 5.Bessie’s Thumbprint Makes thirty 3-inch cookies Cookies My grandmother. = h o m e m a d e f o r t h e h o l i d a y s 49 . Preheat the oven to 350°F. and their thumbs are the perfect size for making the wells for the preserves. finely chopped 5 tablespoons fruit preserves of your choice E L L E N’S TI P S # Raspberry. straw- berry. softened ¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 large egg. Bessie. separated ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt 12 blanched whole almonds. beat the egg white slightly with a fork. 4. In a small mixing bowl. It’s a good project for a rainy day. 2. I used to watch her when I was 4 years old and my eyes barely cleared the table. apricot. Taking ½ teaspoon of dough at a time. Let cool slightly on the sheets. Sift the flour and salt together in a small bowl and add to the batter.
50 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Add the raisins and cook for 10 minutes more. salt. peeled 1½ cups red wine vinegar 2 cups sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ¾ cup golden raisins chutney on hand to serve with lamb chops or hamburgers. nonreactive saucepan. roasts. heavy-bottomed. The chutney will thicken as it cools. Add the sugar. peeled 8 large cloves garlic. 1 pound dried apricots 4 cups boiling water One 2-inch piece fresh ginger. ginger. chicken. it adds a wonderful taste dimension to any dish and is particularly great with chops. 2. It also goes well with many other dishes. Let soak for 2 hours. Remove from the heat and let cool. Serve at room temperature. # At Christmas. Sweet and hot at the same time. Place the apricots in a large bowl and add the water. 3. and vinegar in a blender or food processor and process into a paste. eventually achieving the consistency of a thick jam.Apricot Ginger Chutney E L L E N’S Makes 2 cups TI P S # Take care not to burn the chutney while it is cooking. even eggs. or fish. and cayenne and cook over low heat for 35 minutes. Place the apricots. The real beauty of this chutney is that it keeps in the fridge for 6 months or more. stirring often to prevent the sugar from burning. Be vigilant and stir often with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a large. 1. I multiply this recipe by 6 for gift giving. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. # I keep this I first made this chutney in an Indian cooking class about 30 years ago. Make sure you always have some on hand. Drain and cut into quarters. garlic.
Cook. so that you do not loosen any burned pieces that stick to the bottom of the pan. I gave the mustard to President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush. This mustard has become my favorite Christmas gift. stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.Best Homemade Mustard E L L E N’S Makes 3 cups TI P S # Cook this in a heavy-bottomed pan. to prevent the sugar from burning. not a metal one. # Stir the mustard with a wooden spoon. vinegar. # I like to use Col- As with many good recipes. Place the mustard. Transfer to jars and refrigerate. They do not look or taste good in the mustard. Joe. at room temperature 1 cup cider vinegar 1 cup sugar man’s dry mustard. 2. I multiply the recipe and put it in pretty apothecary or canning jars decorated with a wide plaid ribbon tied around the top. One friend used to put it on his scrambled eggs. Lower the heat. heavy-bottomed. When we lived in Washington in the early 1980s and my husband. until thickened to the consistency of mayonnaise. depending on size. about 8 minutes. One 4-ounce can dry mustard (see Ellen’s Tips) 3 large eggs. and sugar in a medium-size. and they loved it. # I multiply this 1. I always attach the recipe on a 3 x 5-inch card that I’ve punched a hole in. This will last for at least 6 months. eggs. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Don’t let the mixture come to a boil. preferably enamelware or Tefloncoated. 52 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . if necessary. this one has been handed down through the years and has changed gradually in the process. worked in the White House. recipe by 6 at holiday time for gift giving. nonreactive saucepan over low heat. That makes about 12 to 16 lovely gifts.
3. # Be careful not to overbake this bread.Berry Crunch Bread M a k e s 3 m i n i l o a ve s o r 1 r e g u l a r l o a f E L L E N’S TI P S I am not a big bread maker. it’s wise to slice it first so you can toast one slice at a time. # If you can’t find wheat berries. about 40 minutes for each mini loaf and 1 hour for the larger loaf. In a large mixing bowl. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Wheat berries are small. This makes unusually good toast because of its texture—it’s really crunchy. = h o m e m a d e f o r t h e h o l i d a y s 53 . They give a wonderful crackle to the bread. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well with a fork until everything is evenly distributed. The consistency will seem dry. # You can buy alu- minum foil mini loaf pans in the supermarket. Let cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping in plastic. bread. as far as I am concerned. substitute chopped nuts of your choice. It keeps in the refrigerator for six to eight weeks and also freezes well. # If freezing this 1. soaked overnight in water to cover and drained # Do not use lowfat or nonfat yogurt. Store in the refrigerator or freezer (see headnote). One 16-ounce container plain full-fat yogurt (see Ellen’s Tips) 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda 2 cups whole wheat flour 2 cups wheat germ 1½ tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar 1½ teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons wheat berries. Grease 3 mini loaf pans or one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. nutty berries that you can find at health food stores. 2. combine the yogurt and baking soda. It is important to keep an eye on your timer. both are too watery. but this one requires no rising—a big plus. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Santa’s Coming to Dinner A Present at Every Place Little Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream and Caviar Perfect Buttered Noodles French Three-Meat Stew Brown Sugar–Baked Acorn Squash Cranberry Angel Pie E veryone has his or her own memories and traditions associated with big holidays. I like to carry on this tradition at my holiday table by having a gift at each place. At our annual Christmas party. My father was a pro at this. ruffly white flower with a purple face. And in the center of the table.” “whimsy. For the boys he had carnation boutonnieres and for the girls bunches of yellow roses. there was a beautiful music box surrounded by holly or pine boughs.” “strength. held at the old Copley Plaza hotel in Boston. It can be something as simple as a bunch of chocolate kisses or horoscope rocks with words that apply to each person: “inspiration.” “perseverance. Whatever you do. stuck with a long hatpin. and I am no different. Each man had a good cigar at his place. he put a little something wonderful at every place. Sometimes I put out old photographs as place cards. For the grown-up ladies. 54 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . which the grandchildren think are funny—particularly the ones of their parents. he had an orchid corsage—the oldfashioned kind: a big. Holidays are about making a day special.” or whatever seems to fit. enjoy planning your own personal touches for these celebrations.” “love.
add the salt and pepper. squeeze out all the water onto a paper towel. # Don’t try to keep your crispy potato cakes in a warm oven. Serve immediately. and mix well. because they will get soggy. and a scant ½ teaspoon caviar. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. partially fry them. 2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. but to kick off a truly special occasion. not too fine. Cook the pancakes. People love their crunch against the smoothness of the sour cream and the briny bite of the caviar. I like to serve the little pancakes as the hors d’oeuvre or first course. 1. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Place the pancakes on a warm serving plate and top each with a scant ½ teaspoon sour cream. 2 large Idaho potatoes Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper 5 tablespoons vegetable oil 5 tablespoons sour cream 4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives 8 ounces sevruga or osetra caviar # Grate on the larger holes. 3. until golden brown on the bottom. press it down into a pancake about 2 inches in diameter. # I serve these on a black lacquer tray with an orchid as decoration. 56 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Serve as quickly as possible. a pinch of chives. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. 2 to 3 minutes. then fry again right before serving. With your hand.E L L E N’S TI P S Little Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream Makes 18 pancakes and Caviar This can be a lovely side dish. several at a time. Drop a heaping teaspoonful of the shredded potato into the hot oil and. Peel and shred the potatoes. If you need to hold them. Turn over and brown the other side. with a metal spatula.
if desired. = s a n t a ’ s c o m i n g t o d i n n e r 57 . Even if you keep them warm. Cook until soft but not mushy and still slightly chewy. reduce the heat to medium. oil. warm serving bowl. and covered. and noodles. Take out a noodle and bite it to check for doneness. as they can turn out too soft or too hard or stick together. Drain in a colander. buttered. Garnish with the parsley. and stir to mix thoroughly. There is no mystery about buttered noodles. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. and serve immediately. Add the salt. for garnish TI P S # Don’t let the noodles sit longer than 30 minutes before eating. but cooking them perfectly can be a bit tricky. 1. 2 quarts water ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vegetable oil One and a half 16-ounce packages broad egg noodles 5 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional). they tend to stick together soon after cooking. 6 to 8 minutes. then transfer to a large. Add the butter and toss.Perfect Buttered Noodles Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S This is one of those not-really-a-recipe recipes. 2.
with a good balance of tastes and textures and lots of gravy.French Three-Meat Stew E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # Once you have combined the sauce with the egg yolk mixture. # Always thicken I learned to make this stew as a young married woman in San Francisco. plus more if needed 3 medium-size carrots. trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste ¾ cup dry sherry 2 cups beef broth. Serving it with buttered noodles (page 57) and/or crusty French bread is a must for sopping up the scrumptious sauce. like a hunter’s stew. serve the stew immediately. and lamb. do not allow it to come to a boil. It is a hearty main course. lightly beaten 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon heavy cream gravy without the meat and vegetables—it’s so much easier. trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 pound beef chuck. If it does scramble. stuck with 2 cloves 3 large egg yolks. trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 pound boneless leg of lamb. The unique thing about this recipe is the combination of meats—veal. beef. Once the sauce is thickened. Seasoned flour: 1 cup Wondra flour 2 teaspoons garlic salt 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Stew: 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons canola oil 1 pound boneless veal shoulder. add a few tablespoons of boiling water and beat with a whisk until smooth. cut into rough chunks 2 cloves garlic. crushed 1 large onion. or the eggs will scramble. at room temperature. Bouquet gar ni: ½ teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon dried thyme 1 small bay leaf 6 black peppercorns 58 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s .
Pour out most of the oil and butter and deglaze the pan with the sherry and broth over medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the warm gravy. Brown on all sides. Transfer to the casserole and add the whole onion. Sprinkle the meats with salt and pepper. 2. To make the seasoned flour.1. adding more broth or water if needed. use 2 tablespoons Wondra flour instead of the egg yolk mixture. Serve immediately. Repeat until all the meat is browned. then dredge in the seasoned flour in batches. # You can make this stew a day or two ahead. Add the carrots and garlic and simmer for 1 minute. whisking constantly. tapping off any excess flour. In a medium-size mixing bowl. 1 to 2 hours. tie it up like a hobo’s pack. Transfer the browned meat to a casserole and set aside. heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Return the meat and vegetables to the gravy and warm through. and set aside. 1 to 2 minutes per side. To make the stew. wrap all the ingredients in a square of cheesecloth. and heavy cream. whisk together the egg yolks. Quickly whisk the egg mixture back into the pan gravy and cook slowly over medium heat until the gravy thickens to the consistency of heavy cream. 3. scraping the browned bits from the bottom. 5. combine all the ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl. Remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and keep warm. E L L E N’S TI P S # If you want to thicken the gravy another way. = s a n t a ’ s c o m i n g t o d i n n e r 59 . Place the casserole over medium-low heat and cook until the meat is fork tender. To make the bouquet garni. heat the butter and oil together in a large. lemon juice. 4. Set aside.
Scrape out the seeds of the squash with a sharp spoon. about 30 seconds. We all know that butter and brown sugar make anything taste good.E L L E N’S TI P S Brown Sugar-Baked Acorn Squash Makes 6 to 8 ser vings # Do not overcook the squash. halved 6 to 8 tablespoons (¾ to 1 stick) butter 6 to 8 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar broiling. # Stand by when I have always loved squash made this way. The flesh should be easy to pierce but not shriveled. 3 to 4 medium-size to large acorn squash. = . but you need to check. 2. After 30 minutes in the oven. Fill the well of each squash with 1 tablespoon each butter and brown sugar. test for tenderness. Take the squash out of the water and place cut side up in a broiling pan. Serve within 15 minutes. 3. Broil 1 inch from the heating element until browned and bubbling. as the squash can burn very quickly. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 2 to 3 cups. 1. Put the squash cut side down in a baking pan. I think 30 seconds is about right. 25 to 30 minutes. Pour enough water into the pan to go a third of the way up the squash. Bake until you can pierce the flesh with a sharp knife.
and impressive. resulting in a better pie shell. it’s really very easy to do. but it makes a difference for a strong shell. preheat the oven to 300°F. the egg whites for 8 to 9 minutes. TI P S # Cream of tartar must be fresh. to work. They give you more volume when beating them. then the filling. Take the shell out of the oven and let cool completely. The method is simple: make the meringue shell. Spread the beaten egg whites evenly over the bottom and sides of the warm pie plate. at room temperature ½ teaspoon freshly bought cream of tartar 1 cup sugar Filling: 4 large egg yolks. delicious. 2. To make the pie shell. then add the cream of tartar. and it’s ready to eat: light. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Bake until the shell puffs up and is lightly browned. Leave the oven door ajar and let the pie shell cool in the oven for about 30 minutes. tart. This will take 8 to 9 minutes. Grease a 9-inch pie plate lightly with the oil and place it in the oven. bought within the past 3 months. it loses its power to increase the volume of egg whites. until they really hold a peak. The center may sink. Set aside. Beat until soft peaks form. shiny peaks form. and that’s okay. and assemble before serving. (continued on page 62) = s a n t a ’ s c o m i n g t o d i n n e r 61 . 40 to 50 minutes. 8 ser vings E L L E N’S I got this recipe from my friend James Beard’s book on American cooking. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff. # Use room tem- Pie shell: 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 4 large egg whites. beat the egg whites until you get bubbles. Over time. # The trick to meringue is to beat 1. pressed through a fine-mesh strainer 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 cup cold heavy cream perature egg whites. at room temperature ½ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce (canned is fine). Don’t be put off by meringue. 3.Cranberry Angel Pie Makes one 9-inch pie. It will seem like a very long time. Decorate with some whipped cream.
beat with a fork to loosen it. about 3 minutes. crack it to make a well. To make the filling. # The only way to keep the meringue shell crunchy is to assemble the pie just before your guests arrive. If the pie shell hasn’t fallen on its own.E L L E N’S TI P S (continued from page 61) # I use a folded potholder to keep the oven door ajar after the shell is baked. 6. pink and I leave it that way. (It will thicken more when chilled. beat the egg yolks and sugar until light in color. 5. Serve immediately. At least 2 hours before serving. then spread the whipped cream evenly over the top. Stir in the lemon juice. making sure the bowl is not touching the water. or decorate with a pastry bag. until the custard thickens. Assemble the pie as close to serving time as possible.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. 62 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . take the custard out of the refrigerator. Add the salt and strained cranberry sauce. the crunchiness is gone. Spread the custard filling in the shell. About 30 minutes before serving. Use a double boiler or place the bowl over a large saucepan with about 2 inches of boiling water and stir. and although it tastes good. beat the heavy cream in a medium-size bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. but not me. in a medium-size stainless steel mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. The consistency should be like that of mayonnaise. Some people like to add red food coloring. 7. When it comes to room temperature. I have done it too early. # The filling is pale 4.
The intense scheduling with the newspaper over breakfast. is quite something to witness. and one compromise. Our personal best was four films in one day. And to make sure we don’t eat only Raisinets and buttered popcorn all day. We usually end up seeing one choice of his.Hurry Up and Eat Breakfast Before Running to See Three Movies Joe’s Scrambies Our Famous Cinnamon Toast M y husband and I like to catch up on movies three at a time. one of mine. although I don’t recommend that program for a clear night’s sleep. Joe cooks his famous “scrambies” and cinnamon toast while I read the schedules and theater locations out loud. 64 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . pencil and paper in hand.
on the other hand. Reduce the heat to low. It’s all in the method of scrambling slowly with a spoon. = h u r r y u p a n d e a t b r e a k f a s t 65 . so you may choose your own way of doing these “scrambies. hard.” Heat the butter in a medium-size skillet over medium heat until it is melted.Joe’s Scrambies Makes 2 to 4 ser vings E L L E N’S I learned this way of making scrambled eggs from my good-cook husband. likes his very seasoned. Add any of the optional additions and cook soft. Joe. Joe. Add the cheese and keep mixing slowly. broken into small pieces Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste TI P S # I like my eggs fair- Optional additions: 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives or scallions (white and green parts) ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves Tabasco sauce to taste ly simple and clean. break the eggs into the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately. 2 tablespoons butter 4 to 5 large eggs 1 slice Velveeta cheese. or in between. and mix slowly with a spoon until they begin to scramble.
As it cools. so make more than you need. Keep whatever’s left over in a shaker. softened 2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar (see Ellen’s Tips) # Cinnamon sugar is great to have around. another wonderful no-recipe recipe from my husband. I like to use Pepperidge Farm bread. it gets crispy and delicious. Toast in a toaster oven until the sugar bubbles and is caramelized. = h u r r y u p a n d e a t b r e a k f a s t 67 .Our Famous Cinnamon Toast Makes 1 toast E L L E N’S TI P S This is simply the best cinnamon toast. about 3 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Spread one side of the bread with the butter and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar. Joe. 1 slice white bread 1 tablespoon butter.
but I have gobbled up many a palacinki made with strawberry. who made blintzes. Every nationality has their version of these crepes. My favorite filling is apricot jam. palacinki—thin crepes filled with cream cheese and jam. it was my Russian grandmother. 68 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . who moved to the United States from Czechoslovakia when she was 11. Somehow. my husband makes me his favorite dish from childhood. among other flavors.Under the Weather Almost Makes It Worth Having a Cold The Wright Pea Soup Palacinki Cold milk or hot tea N ot that I like getting sick. but when it does happen. rolled up and topped with browned butter and sifted confectioners’ sugar. Anne Cech. In my case. He’s right. or peach jam. Bessie. Joe’s recipe came from his mother. it all tastes better when brought to you on a tray. Joe says I could eat browned butter and powdered sugar on a burned cork. cherry.
# I like to use 7- grain bread for the croutons. You must always taste soup before you season it. or sourdough. diced (2 cups) 2 ribs celery. for garnish TI P S # Stir the soup with a wooden spoon from time to time to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 1 meaty ham bone 3 chicken bouillon cubes One 16-ounce package dried split peas. # You do not need Roux: 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour to soak the peas overnight. Anne Cech. # This recipe needs Croutons: 8 medium-thick slices bread (see Ellen’s Tips) 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter 2 tablespoons canola oil no salt because the ham bone has enough. (continued on page 70) = u n d e r t h e w e a t h e r 69 . We love eating this soup with black bread and sweet butter. rinsed and picked over 2 medium-size onions. It travels especially well if you are going away for the weekend and want to bring something. and she had it. yellow or green. diced (1 cup) 1 clove garlic. I love to make this soup when it’s cold outside. Common sense is something you can’t teach. for garnish 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves. but you may also use Italian. She was a very good cook and someone I respected for her instinctive culinary sense. French. finely chopped 2 medium-size potatoes (preferably russet or Yukon Gold). crushed and chopped 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon sugar 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion greens. peeled and finely diced 2 medium-size carrots. In the old days. the purpose of soaking overnight was to soften the peas and reduce the cooking time.The Wright Pea Soup Makes 8 to 10 ser vings E L L E N’S This is another family heirloom recipe from my Czechoslovakian motherin-law.
heat the butter and oil together until the butter bubbles. Place the ham bone. As soon as the soup has thickened. garnish with the scallions or parsley. Add a ladleful of the soup to the roux and stir until the mixture is smooth. about 2 hours. Transfer the ham bone to a plate and set aside. substantial meal. 70 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . place the soup in a plastic container. To avoid freezer burn. Add the flour and stir until browned. In a large skillet over medium-high heat. To make the roux. shaking the pan as you go. Stir this back into the soup to thicken. When cool enough to handle. Add the potatoes. bouillon cubes. over low heat until the peas have broken down and the vegetables are very soft. Brown the bread cubes on all sides. Return the ham bone and shredded meat and simmer. lemon juice. Meanwhile. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into 1-inch cubes. 2. place the butter in a small skillet over low heat. garlic. make the croutons. and top with the croutons. Defrost. wrap in plastic. It also will hold in the freezer for at least 1 month. and onions in a large stockpot with cold water to cover. covered. if using. then reheat with a bit of water if necessary. celery. 4. bay leaf. tear the meat off the bone into bite-size pieces. sugar. She was right. split peas.E L L E N’S TI P S (continued from page 69) # My mother-in-law insisted that her pea soup tasted so good because of the roux. 3. Bring to a boil over high heat. then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. 5. # To make a more 1. carrots. and cover. then aluminum foil. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard the bone. for 1½ hours. serve the soup with grilled knockwurst and hot mustard. and pepper to the pot. uncovered. ladle it into bowls. about 2 minutes. # You can prepare this soup a day or two ahead and reheat.
u n d e r t h e w e a t h e r 71 .
Add more water if necessary to achieve the consistency of heavy cream. until all the batter is used. Spread 2 teaspoons of the preserves on the cream cheese and roll up. 4. the eggs. I know that sounds crazy. When the crepe is done on one side only. Place on a plate and continue with the remaining crepes. In a crepe pan or flat skillet over medium heat. Joe. as needed 4 large eggs Pinch of salt One 8-ounce package cream cheese. serves these to me. spread each crepe with about 1 tablespoon of the softened cream cheese. wrap them separately in plastic and then aluminum foil. melt 1 teaspoon of the butter until it bubbles. If so. Defrost at room temperature and fill as desired. When all of the crepes have been filled. and serve immediately. Cover each crepe with a sheet of waxed paper and continue the process. and salt and process again until smooth. 2. To assemble the crepes. sift the confectioners’ sugar generously over the tops. but these crepes are so good they must have healing powers. stacking the crepes on the plate. you can put cinnamon sugar on the cream cheese. Place the flour and milk in a blender and process until smooth. about 1 minute. Distribute the butter all over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup whole milk ½ to 1 cup water. Pour in a few small ladlefuls of batter and tilt the pan until the batter covers the bottom. 72 = 1. lift it out of the pan with a metal spatula and transfer to a warm plate. It is the chicken soup of desserts. Add ½ cup of the water. softened ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter About ¾ cup fruit preserves of your choice 1 cup confectioners’ sugar ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter. and freeze. # This recipe may When I am not feeling well. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . stack.Palacinki E L L E N’S Makes about 10 crepes TI P S # Instead of pre- serves. if you like. The combination of cream cheese and preserves inside with the browned butter and confectioners’ sugar outside is unbeatable. leaving a 1-inch border. melted over low heat and cooked until just browned (don’t let it burn) yield more crepes than you want to use. my sweet husband. and I swear they make me feel better. drizzle the browned butter over them. 3.
I light every candle in the house to create a mood of warmth and celebration. along with a stack of plates. I serve this meal in sections. I have a knife and server next to it. and your best napkins. though. crystal glasses. The rest of the meal is served buffet style on a sideboard so that guests can take what they like. I serve the galette. As for the meal. Then we open last year’s resolutions and see how we did. but I realize others might want something a bit more substantial. I could be happy eating caviar and baked potatoes for my whole dinner. I love to be with close friends and family on this very special night. You can still keep it simple. so that people can help themselves. It’s always a surprise and makes for good conversation. But I know many friends whose birthdays fall elsewhere in the calendar who agree with me—there is no night of the year I like to stay home more than New Year’s Eve. 74 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . After all. and give them to someone else to keep until next year. Music is also a must. along with a glass of champagne. We each write our resolutions on a piece of paper.Time for Resolutions New Year’s Eve at the Wrights’ Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes Pam’s Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce Marjoram Onions Boston Lettuce with Asian Dressing Crispy Baked Potatoes with Caviar Crunchy Pecan Pie M y horoscope says that because I am a Capricorn. When the guests arrive and have a glass of champagne in hand. seal them inside an envelope. I am a homebody. and add some flair with a few dressy touches such as silver candlesticks. New Year’s Eve is a night to enjoy.
on the vine. flour. To make the dough. for garnish Cherry tomatoes. Let sit for about 5 minutes. softened 3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese. This dish looks so yummy with the melted cheese studded with bright red tomatoes peeking out of the center of the homemade pastry. But it’s easy to do and can be prepared ahead and then frozen or refrigerated until you’re ready to use it. use my “finger test. this will take 5 to 10 minutes. if you don’t feel anything—not cold. if using a standing mixer.” Dip your pinkie into the water. If mixing by hand. it won’t activate the yeast. and that usually scares people. transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is elastic and stiff. it will kill the yeast. Grease a medium-size bowl with the butter. If it bubbles. The temperature of the water should be about 110°F. for garnish Filling: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2½ pounds onions. if it’s too hot. crumbled 8 cherry tomatoes. The dough requires yeast. or hot— it is just the right temperature. the yeast is active. place the t i m e f o r r e s o l u t i o n s (continued on page 76) = 75 . 2. thinly sliced with beaten egg takes on a nice shine when baked. see Ellen’s Tips) ½ teaspoon sugar 1½ cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. in a small bowl. beaten 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme. cool. E L L E N’S TI P S # If the water you use to make the dough is too cold. halved 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large egg. 1.Galette with Gorgonzola and Makes 6 ser vings Cherry Tomatoes This pie makes a fabulous hors d’oeuvre or lunch dish. If you don’t have a thermometer. # Dough brushed Dough: 1 package active dry yeast (check the expiration date) ½ cup warm water (about 110°F. dissolve the yeast in the water. and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook until the dough comes together. Put the yeast-water mixture. Add the sugar and stir.
and turn until it is evenly coated with butter. on a lightly floured work surface and using a floured rolling pin. Add the onions and cook. Remove from the heat and set aside. 7. until browned and caramelized. 5. cover with a clean dishtowel. melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. 6. To make the filling. Gorgonzola. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush the dough with the beaten egg. about 30 minutes. leaving a 3-inch border all around. 10 to 12 minutes. stirring. When you are ready to make the galette. 76 = dough inside. Drizzle with the olive oil. Bake on the center oven rack until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . and tomatoes in the center of the dough. Set in a warm. leaving about 3 inches of filling showing.E L L E N’S TI P S (continued from page 75) # The dough can be prepared the day before and held in the refrigerator. 3. dry spot. Preheat the oven to 450°F. 4. and let rise until doubled in size. # Onions have caramelized when they’re soft and brown. Serve warm on a plate garnished with the thyme sprigs and cherry tomatoes. Place the caramelized onions. 2 to 3 hours. Punch the dough down and knead again on a lightly floured work surface for about 3 minutes. Just take it out an hour before you plan to use it to let it come to room temperature. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle that is ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the chopped thyme.
Beef tenderloin is a wonderful cut of meat. Seal the bags. One 6.Pam’s Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce Makes 12 or more ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S This recipe came to me from my editor. who found it in Bay Tables. The bonus is. Alabama. but there’s next to no fat and no bones. it’s a snap to cook. Horseradish sauce: 2 cups sour cream ¼ cup prepared white horseradish Marinade: 1 cup port 1 cup soy sauce ½ cup olive oil 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce 4 cloves garlic. Pam Hoenig. it is expensive. then divide it evenly between the 2 bags. tenderloin requires almost no prep. and your guests will feel utterly pampered. To make the marinade. trimmed of fat # You can crush 1/3 cup black peppercorns and press them into the tenderloins before marinating. when she was looking for something special but simple for her annual neighborhood Christmas open house. turn them over a few times to coat t i m e f o r r e s o l u t i o n s = 77 . Cut the tenderloin in half and place each half in a zippered-top plastic bag.to 8-pound beef tenderloin. 2. She knew she had a hit on her hands when every bit of it disappeared and six people asked for the recipe. and once it’s out of the oven. combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. it tastes good hot or at room temperature. a cookbook put together by the Junior League of Mobile. Yes. I have altered it a bit. crushed 1.
These onions are simple yet perfect. Meanwhile. It has the most aromatic flavor. but when I tasted this. and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight. 30 to 40 minutes. turning the bags several times. cover. and they won’t be pretty. 140°F on an instant-read meat thermometer. make the horseradish sauce by combining the ingredients in a glass serving bowl. or to your desired degree of doneness. I was hooked.the meat all over.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes to let the juices settle. Reduce the heat to low. 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter 24 golf ball–size white onions. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . peeled 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram leaves or 1 tablespoon dried usually too small for this recipe. Low heat is the way to go. 5. # Pearl onions are I had this wonderful dish 30 years ago at a dinner in San Francisco. the centers of the onions will pop out. Marjoram Onions E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # If the heat is too high. 3. (Remember. the thinner piece of the tenderloin wil cook faster. I never knew I liked marjoram. 78 = In a medium-large skillet. reserving the marinade. Preheat the oven to 425°F. and simmer until the onions can be pierced with a sharp knife. you don’t want to overcook this. 4. Add the onions and shake the pan to coat them with butter. Slice the tenderloins ½ inch thick and serve the sauce on the side. 6. Remove the tenderloins from the bags. and place on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast until medium rare. 7 to 10 minutes. Keep checking the temperature. Serve warm. Sprinkle with the marjoram and cook for 1 minute more. melt the butter over medium heat.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. shaking the pan a few times. try Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110). 3. peeled and thinly sliced 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce 1 large clove garlic. Remove from the heat immediately. 4 to 5 minutes. = t i m e f o r r e s o l u t i o n s 79 . To make the dressing. # Use any kind of Asian dressing: ½ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon sesame oil 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1.Boston Lettuce with Asian Dressing Makes 6 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S A salad like this one is unbelievably easy. # If you want a plain dressing. lettuce you like. and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour ½ cup of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. combine all the ingredients in a bowl or a glass jar. Add the cucumber. 2. I keep the dressing in a jar in the cupboard. crushed and finely chopped 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. and serve immediately. 1 head Boston lettuce 1 medium-size cucumber. Place them in a small skillet over medium heat and toast. cover with a clean dishtowel. Rinse the lettuce leaves and pat dry. Mix well. Tear into bite-size pieces and place in a salad bowl. until fragrant and light brown. ready to use. toasted (see Ellen’s Tips). for garnish # Toasting the sesame seeds makes a world of difference in the flavor of the salad.
such as crumbled blue cheese. Serve with additional condiments in individual bowls.E L L E N’S TI P S Crispy Baked Potatoes Makes 6 ser vings with Caviar Serve these for a tailor-made baked potato night. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 80 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . # I like sevruga and beluga caviar. American caviar is also an option. 3. I like to use a motherof-pearl or wooden spoon for the caviar and little condiment bowls for the sour cream and onions. 1. 6 medium-size baking potatoes (preferably Idaho) 2 tablespoons olive oil Kosher salt to taste 12 ounces osetra caviar 2 cups sour cream ½ cup chopped fresh chives or finely chopped onion # If you are baking more than 6 potatoes. Bake until the skin is crispy and the center is tender when tested with a fork. 40 to 45 minutes. allow more time for baking. Place the caviar. sour cream. Which you choose is a matter of taste and budget. as the heat doesn’t circulate as effectively in the oven when there are that many items. Wash and dry the potatoes. finely chopped scallion greens. The fun part is designing your own. and crumbled crisp bacon. and chives in separate bowls and let guests add them (or not) to their baked potatoes. too. 4. Rub with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. 2. 5. Pierce each potato with a sharp knife or fork in 3 or 4 places.
Pour in the filling and dot with the butter. Set aside. Carefully transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate and fit into the bottom and sides. # It is necessary to make the edge of the crust taller than the pie plate because most pastry shrinks as it bakes. Let cool completely before serving. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Don’t be afraid to gently pick up the dough and turn it to prevent it from sticking. corn syrup. beat the eggs. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake until the filling sets. # To transfer the I learned to make this pie because I used to get pecans every Christmas from our dear friends from Atlanta. Trim the excess dough. which rise to the top and brown so nicely. rum. brown sugar. 8 ser vings TI P S # To make rolling the dough easier. 25 to 30 minutes. 5. 4. vanilla. 3.Crunchy Pecan Pie E L L E N’S Makes one 9-inch pie. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the crust. I tried another pecan recipe. the Elsons. 2. On a lightly floured work surface. 82 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . and salt until combined. 1. loosely roll it around the rolling pin and unroll it over the pie plate. roll out the piecrust to ¼ inch thick. using the knuckles of one hand on the inside while pinching the dough with the other to form a fluted edge. Bake on the center oven rack for 10 minutes. and this one is my favorite. Every year. at room temperature 1 cup dark corn syrup ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon dark rum ¼ teaspoon salt 1 recipe Foolproof Piecrust (recipe follows) 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Serve plain or with whipped cream or ice cream. Then crimp the edge of the crust. This helps keep the dough from tearing. flour your rolling pin as well as your work surface. cut into small pieces dough to the pie plate. 2 large eggs. leaving enough so that it stands about ¼ inch above the edge of the plate. I love these buttery chopped nuts. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Add the shortening and work it in using a pastry cutter or your fingertips until it looks like coarse meal. I have been making it since 1959. and my neighbor Ursula taught it to me. ate the unbaked pie shell. and salt. mixing until the dough comes together in a ball. sift together the flour. well covered with plastic wrap. overnight. = t i m e f o r r e s o l u t i o n s 83 . Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.Foolproof Piecrust Makes enough for 1 single-crust 9-inch pie E L L E N’S This recipe is an oldie but a goodie. baking powder. little by little. # You can refriger- In a large mixing bowl. roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick and do not overhandle it. when I was going to summer school in Berkeley. sugar. Add the milk. California. 1¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons sugar Pinch of salt ½ cup vegetable shortening ¼ cup whole milk TI P S # If you wish to make a good pie shell. It was as easy as she said. and the side benefit was my discovery of piecrust cookies (see page 45).
The competition for best margarita is fierce in my household. the drinks are fun to serve.Boys in One Room. Girls in Another Super Bowl Supper Margarita Contest Stuffed Mushrooms with Shallots Chunky Guacamole with Tortilla Chips and Endive Spears Spicy Chicken Nuggets with Blue Cheese Dip Oklahoma Chili Key Lime Squares A ny festivity that starts off with a pitcher of margaritas has a good chance of success. in my house. trying on clothes. My children and their friends all fight hard for first place. It always seems that at an event like this. the men end up in one room and the women in another. it’s the bathroom. and just chatting away. When dinner is ready. No matter who wins. 84 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . My bathroom is a bit unusual: it is bigger than my bedroom. drinking margaritas. It has large windows that overlook a small playground and the East River. especially when the chili is hot and the cheering for your team gets loud. because we are too busy doing girl things. the ladies gather in the kitchen. we reluctantly come out to get our plates and go right back in to our comfy privacy. Not that we look at the view too long. In some houses.
who is in his thirties and works in the record business. One comes from a retired heart surgeon. (The oil in the peel will provide enough moisture to make the salt stick. a mother of three. Rub the edge of each margarita glass with a piece of lemon peel. One is from Geoff. Claudia. then freeze the glasses until you need them. Claudia’s Margaritas A pitcher of ice 1 cup fresh orange juice 1 cup fresh lime juice Makes 8 to 10 drinks 1 cup Triple Sec 3 cups tequila Combine all the ingredients in a blender. The other is from my older daughter.Margarita Contest I used to think that margaritas were really hard to make and that the only good place to have them was at a Mexican restaurant. Geoff’s “Kick-Ass Margs” A pitcher of ice 4 cups Sauza Gold or Hornitos tequila Makes 8 to 10 drinks 2 cups Cointreau 1 cup fresh lime juice Combine all the ingredients in a blender. I include three here for your perusal. = g i r l s i n a n o t h e r b o y s i n o n e r o o m . 85 . then buckle your seat belts. a friend of my son’s. They will keep in the freezer for quite some time.) Press each glass into the salt. Bob’s Margaritas 1 cup ice Makes 8 to 10 drinks 4 cups tequila ½ cup Triple Sec One and a half 8-ounce cans frozen limeade concentrate Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed until slushy. I have since learned several competing recipes. I was wrong. Bob. E L L E N’S TI P S # To prepare glasses for any margarita. lay out a sheet of waxed paper and put 3 tablespoons of margarita salt (or any coarse salt) on it.
or chives to the stuffing mixture. 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon canola oil 3 large shallots. Preheat the oven to 375°F. You can cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. heat the butter and oil together until the butter is bubbling. Stuff each mushroom cap with a teaspoon of the shallot mixture and place the caps in a baking pan. about 3 minutes. In a medium-size skillet over medium heat. These mushrooms are so easy to make and taste wonderful. stirring. and serve immediately. 3. stirring constantly.Stuffed Mushrooms with Shallots Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S I made this recipe up one weekend when I was having people for cocktails. if you wish. and mix with a fork. until transparent. 4. # Choose mush- rooms that are bite size. which are hard to eat. cilantro leaves. stems finely chopped and caps set aside ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs # Do not wash mushrooms. until browned. you can assemble them in the morning and bake just before serving. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook. Add the shallots and cook. Don’t make the mistake of getting huge ones. Remove from the heat. finely chopped 12 to 16 small mushrooms. Or you can make them ahead and keep them in the freezer for future parties. # You can add 1 1. g i r l s i n a n o t h e r 87 . about 4 minutes. add the Worcestershire and bread crumbs. wipe them with a paper towel to clean. 2. Instead. = b o y s i n o n e r o o m . Bake the mushrooms until heated through. about 6 minutes. tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves. For your Super Bowl party. if you wish.
separated into individual spears # You can keep gua- camole without browning for up to 2 days if you keep the pit in the mixture and wrap well. peeled and pitted (reserve 1 pit) 1 medium-size ripe tomato. I don’t like a complicated guacamole. then the lemon juice and Tabasco. onion. Cut the avocados coarsely into a medium-size mixing bowl and mash slightly. Serve with tortilla chips and the endive spears. 1. crackers. Season with salt and pepper. and seasonings in it. and it won’t turn brown. cut into 1-inch pieces 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Dash of Tabasco sauce Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Tortilla chips 1 Belgian endive. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving. so this has only tomato. rather than the usual smooth dip. I sometimes use toasted bagel chips. 88 = . # Instead of tortilla chips. Mix the guacamole with a fork and push the reserved pit into the mixture. or Homemade Tortilla Chips (page 187). cored and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 small red onion. It can be made in the morning and served that evening if you use the pit trick: push an avocado pit into the mash. 2. 2 ripe avocados (preferably Hass). Add the tomato and onion.E L L E N’S TI P S Chunky Guacamole with Tortilla Chips Makes 6 to 8 ser vings and Endive Spears Nothing is better than fresh avocados chopped into a chunky guacamole.
# Blue Cheese Dip can be made a day ahead. combine all the ingredients in a shallow bowl. To make the dip. g i r l s i n a n o t h e r 89 . # Make sure the oil Blue cheese dip: 1 cup plain yogurt ¼ cup mashed blue cheese 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 boneless. skinless chicken breast halves 2 cups canola oil Kosher salt to taste is hot to get a Seasoned flour: 2 cups Wondra flour 2 teaspoons garlic salt 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried oregano crunchy nugget. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm with the dip on the side. or they won’t fry up crisp) and cook until nicely browned on both sides.to 2-inch-long pieces and dredge them in the seasoned flour. Big kids and little kids all love these. To make the seasoned flour. In a large skillet over medium-high heat. = b o y s i n o n e r o o m . 4. the chicken cooks up tasty and crispy and is very handy to eat. tapping off any excess.Spicy Chicken Nuggets with Makes 6 to 8 ser vings Blue Cheese Dip When cut into small pieces. 2. combine the yogurt and blue cheese in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cut the chicken into 1½. mixing well with a fork until smooth. E L L E N’S TI P S # Make your chick- en strips no more than 2 inches long so that they’re easy to handle. about 5 minutes. Continue until all the chicken is cooked. 1. heat the oil until hot but not smoking. 5. 3. Drop the floured chicken pieces into the oil in batches (be careful not to crowd them.
Oklahoma Chili E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # In place of tor- tillas. In a large skillet over medium-high heat. with chopped onion on the side. # Serve with white My husband is an Okie. along with the chili powder. # Add 1 cup drained Gar nish: 1 medium-size onion. Stir in the masa harina and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. 3 pounds ground chuck 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 large onion. until softened. cumin. 2. chopped canned kidney beans if you are a bean lover. for 30 minutes. chopped 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons paprika ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. and jalapeños in separate bowls as condiments. covered. You can garnish the chili with more chopped onion. Joe likes it spicy. # Serve with your favorite salsa or Tabasco sauce for those who need that extra zip. breaking it up as you cook. grated cheese. brushed with a bit of butter. Drain the fat out of the pan. and stir. Add the onion to the meat. and warmed in a 350°F oven rice on the side. Some of his closest relatives have strong opinions about chili. In a medium-size skillet over medium heat. or to taste Two 4-ounce cans tomato sauce 3 cups water ¼ cup masa harina or yellow cornmeal Twelve 6-inch soft corn tortillas. To do so is almost a crime. Add the tomato sauce and water and mix well. and cayenne. sour cream. 4. heat the canola oil. born and bred in Tulsa. especially that it doesn’t include beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook. sour cream. and/or jalapeño chile peppers. grated cheddar cheese. Serve the warm tortillas in a basket lined with a clean dishtowel or pretty napkin. chopped 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup sour cream 2 or 3 jalapeño chile peppers. wrapped in aluminum foil. paprika. 90 = 1. I like it milder. 3. brown the ground chuck until it is no longer pink. # Masa harina is Spanish ground cornmeal flour. stirring. c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Keep warm. Serve the chili in individual bowls with the chopped onion. with the onion added in. serve a basket of your favorite large tortilla chips. Add the onion and cook.
Add the almonds. and lime juice until foamy. Set aside. beat the eggs. # These taste best I acquired the recipe for this terrific tart in Florida while living in a house at the beach. 5. which tastes quite good. mash the butter with a fork. Sift the remaining ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar evenly over the top just before serving. You can refrigerate them. In another medium-size mixing bowl. In a medium-size mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Bake the crust on the center oven rack for 15 minutes. at room temperature 2 cups granulated sugar ¾ cup Key lime juice 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 3 ounces blanched almonds. 92 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . 1. granulated sugar. Pat the dough into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. It is a dessert you can bring to your neighbor’s house for a gift because it travels well and is a refreshing end to any dinner. 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 3. 3 to 4 minutes. and 1 tablespoon of the confectioners’ sugar to form a dough. Preheat the oven to 350°F. If the squares do not set in 30 minutes. You can buy bottled Key lime juice. 2. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until set.Key Lime Squares E L L E N’S Makes about twenty 2-inch squares TI P S # You can substitute fresh lemon juice if you can’t find bottled Key lime juice (regular bottled lime juice just isn’t right in this recipe). finely chopped 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar fresh. flour. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325°F. 5 large eggs. turn off the oven and leave the pan inside with the door ajar until they are firm. 4. but the crust will get soft.
the two most difficult nights to get a reservation in a restaurant are New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. your guests will depart with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts. whimsical. ending with the peach upsidedown cake. or downright romantic with hearts and flowers. It’s a good excuse to decorate the table with everything from old-fashioned paper doilies to cinnamon hearts in tiny bowls. I have a Valentine’s Day party with two other couples. The meal is light and tasty. And because they didn’t have to fight the crowds of lovers dining out.Six and the City Valentine Candlelight Dinner Garlic-Crumb Broiled Tomatoes Baked Bacon Bread Sticks Sweet Potato Cottage Fries Two-White/Two-Green Salmon Frances’s Peach Cake I n New York City. You can be sophisticated in your décor. preferably ones who really like each other. Try your hand at being creative. The two holidays are similar in that there are high expectations on both. 94 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Instead of having the usual romantic dinner alone.
pressing some extra filling into the center. thyme. Place cut side up in a broiling pan. They are a good addition to any meal but great with a soufflé. 3. but don’t use more than 2 or 3. ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves 4 to 5 large cloves garlic. a chop or burger. to your taste.Garlic-Crumb Broiled Tomatoes Makes 6 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S These halved tomatoes are broiled with bread crumbs. = s i x a n d t h e c i t y 95 . finely chopped 3 large ripe tomatoes Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 4 teaspoons plain dry bread crumbs # You can use herbed bread crumbs. parsley. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. and basil all work nicely. It takes only a second for the tomatoes to burn. Remove the stem ends by making a shallow well in the center. parsley. Wash and dry the tomatoes. 2. Broil until browned. # You can substitute other herbs for the parsley. or even a grilled cheese sandwich. but leave out the parsley. combine the olive oil. # Don’t leave the 1. Rosemary. Serve immediately. 1 to 2 minutes. sage. and garlic. In a small mixing bowl. oven when broiling. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the bread crumbs. and garlic.
Serve right out of the oven. 96 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . They are that good and impossible to resist. try substituting 1/4 cup bourbon for the Worcestershire. 10 to 15 minutes. or it won’t adhere to the sticks. Place the bread sticks on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and bake until browned and crispy. 18 crisp breadsticks 18 strips thinly sliced bacon ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce bacon that is too lean. 3. Wrap each bread stick with a bacon strip.E L L E N’S TI P S Baked Bacon Bread Sticks Makes 18 bread sticks # If you’ll be serving only grownups. 1. and before I knew it. 2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. I had eaten almost the entire batch. # Try not to use One weekend I was testing this recipe. Sprinkle with brown sugar and a few drops of Worcestershire.
2 cups canola oil 3 large sweet potatoes. and I decided to make them at home. Using a slotted spoon. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Try to serve them as soon as possible. They are easy to prepare and a nice change from regular white potatoes. transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt before serving 98 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . I had the pleasure of eating these in Florida many years ago. peeled and thinly sliced Sea salt or kosher salt to taste In a large. heat the canola oil.Sweet Potato Cottage Fries E L L E N’S Makes 6 ser vings TI P S # These fries will get soggy if kept in the oven for more than 10 minutes. heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Keep warm in a low oven as you fry the remaining batches. taking care not to crowd them. carefully drop in the sweet potatoes in batches. When it is very hot but not smoking. about 4 minutes total.
dill. you 1. # Of course. I have also tried it on swordfish. She lives with her three small children in Washington.Two-White/ Two-Green Salmon Makes 6 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S My daughter Claudia gave me this recipe. Parmesan. Spread the paste generously on the salmon fillets. She likes recipes that are easy but satisfying. spreading the fillets with the paste. Place the mayonnaise. Serve hot. This salmon. then covering with plastic wrap. can use this topping on any fish. Keep in the refrigerator until 1/2 hour before baking. D. = s i x a n d t h e c i t y 99 . 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake until the fish flakes with a fork. is terrific and very tasty. 30 to 40 minutes. 2. 6 salmon fillets (about ½ pound each) 6 tablespoons mayonnaise ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ¼ cup chopped fresh dill ¼ cup chopped scallion greens # You can prepare the salmon for the oven in the morning. and she entertains often.. Rinse the salmon fillets with cold water and dry with paper towels. and scallions in a food processor and pulse until processed into a smooth paste.C. spread with a paste made of two white and two green ingredients. 4. flounder. Place in a single layer in a lightly buttered baking dish. and orange roughy.
or vanilla ice cream. Unmold the cake on a pretty plate (see Ellen’s Tips). You can piece it together yourself. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan and knock out the excess flour. 4. In a medium-size mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed. # You may use fresh peaches for this recipe. # To unmold the cake. whipped to stiff peaks. Spoon in the batter and bake on the center oven rack until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 2. run a sharp knife carefully around the edges. = s i x a n d t h e c i t y 101 . This is one of the most delicate butter cakes I’ve ever eaten. # I like to serve this 1. flour. # Cut the peaches into hearts for Valentine’s Day. I can’t remember how it got to me. whom I never met. baking powder. beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is pale yellow. 3. brown sugar. It’s made with canned peaches. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 350°F. but I have been making it all these years. for serving TI P S # Canned peaches vary greatly in size. and lemon juice. Serve warm with the whipped cream. and salt and continue to beat for 5 minutes.Frances’s Peach Cake Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S This cake is from a mystery woman named Frances. so you may need fewer or more. cake slightly warm. ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder Pinch of salt About 6 large canned peach halves (see Ellen’s Tips) ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup heavy cream. 40 to 45 minutes. The recipe was handed around in San Francisco when I was first married in 1960. Don’t be scared if it doesn’t work the first time or if the entire cake doesn’t come out in one gorgeous piece. Place the peach halves cut side down in the prepared pan and sprinkle with the cinnamon. but make sure they are perfect. Add the eggs. which are lifesavers when fresh peaches are not available.
It takes courage to serve something “homey” like a thick soup with salad and bread. in a basket lined with a beautiful napkin to keep them warm. 102 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . When you have a dinner party. I like to use small juice glasses for wine. the relaxed feeling. low Chinese bowls for the soup. and the sense of well-being you offer. in fancy bowls. your favorite sweats.Freezing Cold Winter Night Come Sit by the Fire Tiny French Radish Sandwiches Piroshkies Brisket and Cabbage Soup Mixed green salad with one of Ellen’s Favorite Dressings Warm Apple Crisp with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream P erfect for a Sunday night or a school night. it’s important not to get beaten down by the pressure of serving a standing rib roast of beef or a leg of lamb. I know it is much appreciated. which are little meat-filled dumplings. better yet. I use large. Everyone will feel the warmth of your home. But sometimes I like to do the opposite. and not just from the fireplace—from the kind of meal. wearing jeans and a big warm sweater or. a supper like this makes you think you should eat it in your kitchen. Put your piroshkies. with silver and crystal. Instead of giant balloon wineglasses. I have served this menu on my good china.
Serve the little slices like bruschetta. Press the radishes into the butter and sprinkle with salt. ¼ cup (½ stick) butter. on a pretty platter garnished with the whole bunch of radishes on one side. Celine. made with French bread. They are literally radish sandwiches. trimmed and sliced Kosher salt to taste 1 perfect bunch radishes. butter. for garnish Butter one side of each bread slice and top with radish slices. softened ½ French baguette. I have shrunk them down to hors d’oeuvre size for this meal. with the greens left on. cut into 12 slices (about ½ inch thick) 12 radishes. always has such elegance in her simplicity. and salt.Tiny French Radish Sandwiches Makes 12 hors d’oeuvres My French daughter-in-law. The crunch is perfect for the occasion. 104 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . and these remind me of her style.
Served alone. Wrap tightly in plastic and freeze in an airtight tin. 2. Remove from the processor and wrap in plastic. sift the flour. To make the dough. finely chopped 1 pound lean ground beef 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons water 1 large egg. lightly beaten 1 cup sour cream Filling: ¼ cup (½ stick) butter 2 medium-size onions. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the ground beef. Place in a food processor and add the shortening. in separate dishes. TI P S # You can refriger- ate the dough and filling overnight. at room temperature. hearty soups like this one. The dumplings can be assembled the next day. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the dill and season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon. circles of dough to make bigger dumplings. just pop them directly in a 400°F oven and bake until golden brown. 2 to 3 minutes. # You can use 2 1. they make a nice hors d’oeuvre.Piroshkies Makes 18 to 24 dumplings E L L E N’S These baked meat dumplings go very well with soups or salads. beaten with 2 teaspoons cold water freeze very well after they are baked. especially thick. and sugar in a medium-size bowl twice. = f r e e z i n g c o l d w i n t e r n i g h t 105 . until lightly browned. until lightly browned all over. 12 to 15 minutes. stirring. Add the eggs and sour cream and pulse lightly until the dough gathers into a ball. # These dumplings Dough: 3⅓ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar ½ cup vegetable shortening 2 large eggs. I like them because they can be made ahead and frozen for any of those occasions. baking powder. Do not defrost them. salt. transfer the meat mixture to a plate. Cook. To make the filling. heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. about 5 minutes. Or pair them with a salad and serve for lunch. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. at room temperature. Add the onions and cook. breaking it up. if you wish.
Remove from the heat and set aside until you are ready to make the dumplings. 6. Place on greased and floured cookie sheets. In the same skillet over low heat. Roll out the dough as thinly as possible on a lightly floured surface and. 4. and brush with the egg wash. Return the meat to the pan and coat with the sauce. cut circles 3 inches in diameter. 5. brown the flour in the leftover butter and fat.3. Serve hot. scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Place 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture in the center of each circle. Bake until golden brown. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 106 c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . using a cookie cutter or a highball glass. Add the water and stir until thickened. and pinch the edges together to seal. fold in half. Wet the edges of the dough with a little water. about 30 minutes.
The flavor just gets better. greens discarded. He recently passed away but still holds the title for “raconteur par excellence. # You can use Seasoned flour: 1 cup Wondra flour 2 teaspoons garlic salt 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 pounds beef shinbones. Serve with hot crusty bread.” and we miss him. Bouquet gar ni: 6 sprigs fresh parsley 1 bay leaf ½ teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 1 cup sour cream (optional). this is it. or dill in place of basil in the seasoned flour. chopped 4 large cloves garlic. His kids and mine were the exact same ages. or soup bones One 3-pound piece straight-cut beef brisket. cut into 3 pieces 2 medium-size onions. a good salad. For a stick-to-your-ribs meal on a cold evening. TI P S # I recommend that you make this soup the day before you plan to serve it. and a bottle of red wine. crushed 1 medium-size head white cabbage. and they loved the beach. We rented a little shack near the beach and had a wonderful time eating. for serving (continued on page 108) = f r e e z i n g c o l d w i n t e r n i g h t 107 . with their juices 2 cups beef broth Juice of 2 lemons 2 tablespoons sugar 10 to 12 small Yukon Gold potatoes oregano. # Use the meatiest soup bones for better flavor. and cubed One 32-ounce can whole tomatoes. broken up. sage. cored and thinly sliced 2 medium-size yellow or red beets. marrowbones. and laughing a lot. telling jokes. peeled. Ask your butcher for advice. This soup is one of many things which carry on his good name. sharing stories.Brisket and Cabbage Soup Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S My friend John Scanlon gave me the recipe for this soup more than 35 years ago when we summered on Long Island.
Using the same pan you used to brown the meat and bones. stirring often. To make the seasoned flour. Add to the soup pot. beets. turning once. brown. To make the bouquet garni. 7. 108 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Preheat the oven to 400°F. Dredge the shinbones and brisket in the seasoned flour and place in a roasting pan. cook the onions and garlic over medium heat. # Peasant bread— white. Discard the bones and bouquet garni. until the meat is tender. if desired. Serve in warm bowls with a dollop of sour cream. cover. Take out the meat and trim away the fat. tie up all the ingredients in a piece of cheesecloth. Bake until browned. Transfer the browned meat and bones to a large soup pot and add water to cover. and simmer. and potatoes. beef broth. or black—tastes wonderful with this soup. 6. Add to the pot. lemon juice. until softened. 1. along with the cabbage. combine all the ingredients in a shallow bowl. at least 1½ hours. 4. sugar. 30 to 40 minutes total. Shred the meat into bite-size pieces and return to the pot. tomatoes. stirring occasionally. 5.E L L E N’S TI P S (continued from page 107) # You should remove the hard blossom ends of the tomatoes when you break them up. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. 5 to 7 minutes. 2. 3.
Version 1: ¾ cup olive oil ¼ cup good-quality red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 4 cloves garlic. and I never refrigerate it. because the flavor is better if you don’t. but they are so good that they will disappear quickly. 110 = c o l d w e a t h e r m e n u s . Trust me. I can’t remember who gave the first version to me.E L L E N’S TI P S Ellen’s Favorite Dressings Makes about 1 cup # Do not refriger- ate. Both of these dressings will keep in the cupboard for weeks. but it is the more versatile. I’ve been using these two dressings for many years. and I love it just as much. The second version is made with balsamic vinegar. I keep it in a mayonnaise jar. crushed Version 2: ¾ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon good-quality red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar Put all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.
and refrigerated. No question—this needs to be topped with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (page 113).Warm Apple Crisp Makes 8 ser vings E L L E N’S Every time one of my children came home from college for a vacation. and refrigerate. Bake on the center oven rack until the top is browned and bubbly. softened 8 Pippin apples 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon TI P S #T The topping is best when sprinkled on the apples without patting or pushing it down. Other Types of Apples Rome or Granny Smith apples can be used instead of Pippin. The crumb topping also can be made ahead. covered. flour. 2. peel. in a food processor. # To save time. mixing everything together with a fork or pastry blender. It was completely predictable. Core. 1. toss them with the lemon juice and rind. Use the butter to grease a 9. then juice the lemon).or 10-inch baking dish. 4. Place in the prepared dish and sprinkle with the lemon juice and rind (grate the rind first. cut Topping: ½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter your apples in the morning. about 30 minutes. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. To them. Leave lumps and spaces in between the crumbled topping for the apples to bubble up while baking. Preheat the oven to 375°F. I was happy to comply because the entire meal is no trouble and we love it as well. the brown sugar. Serve warm. Assemble the dish for baking right before your guests arrive. combine ½ cup of the butter. and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse meal. and slice the apples ½ inch thick. To make the topping. cover. salt. they wanted roast chicken and apple crisp. pulsing on and off. Sprinkle evenly over the apples. 3. Or do this in a medium-size mixing bowl. It must be a hard apple that will keep its shape. f r e e z i n g c o l d w i n t e r n i g h t = 111 . 2 tablespoons butter. this is Mama’s comfort food.
Remove the vanilla bean. • ½ cup broken-up Heath. to a boil. you will find that this recipe is a real hit with guests. soaked in ¼ cup rum until plumped • ½ cup peeled and diced banana and cup chopped almonds • ½ cup butterscotch bits or candy f r e e z i n g c o l d w i n t e r n i g h t 113 . if using. and let cool. Stir in the vanilla extract. Butterfinger. Transfer to the ice-cream maker and freeze as directed by the manufacturer. Stir in another ½ cup of the hot mixture. bring the milk. Remove from the heat. Add about ½ cup of the hot milk mixture to the yolk mixture and stir well. and vanilla bean. Va r i at i ons : Add your favorite crunchies after you’ve made the ice cream but before putting it in the freezer.Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Makes 1 quart If you have an ice-cream maker. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. if using. 2 cups whole milk ¾ cup heavy cream 1 vanilla bean. In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 3 large egg yolks ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1. heavy cream. 2. split lengthwise. 3. Remove from the heat. then add the yolk mixture to the saucepan and mix well. beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is light yellow. scrape the brown seeds out of the inside of the hull. Bring to a simmer over low heat. do not let it come to a boil. 4. but I experimented with quite a few recipes and decided that this one is the best. I was always intimidated by the idea of homemade ice cream. and stir them back into the mixture. Discard the hull. or other praline candy bars • ½ cup semisweet chocolate bits • ½ cup drained and chopped canned chestnuts • ½ cup raisins.
Warm Weather Menus = .
But it doesn’t dissuade me from my consistent belief that simple food is the way to go. and the freshest. “gourmet” food has become a bit pricey and overly precious. a library. kale. Buffet meals. maybe a new set of salad plates—something to pick me up for the coming entertaining season. He uses our den as his greenhouse. string beans. I get a lot of inspiration from fresh flowers. starts planting and germinating his seeds in our apartment. When the plants really get going. corn. This last crop was added so that his only grandson could pick his own ears at the end of the summer (despite the fact that you can easily walk down the lane and buy some). Joe harvests and I cook—everything. and. this year. beets. You just see what looks the ripest.I n freezing April. Joe. I do the same thing with my table. I don’t need to try the latest sauce or the trendy new cheese that I see everywhere. new napkins. Take a look around your own house and see where it might be fun to eat: a screened-in porch. even dessert and coffee outside all make for a casual outdoor meal. gourds. cucumbers. At this time of year. my husband. people like to move around more. you don’t have to work seen all year. drinks on the terrace. the garden will get planted. and from fresh fruits and vegetables that I haven’t 116 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . even the backyard. and our apartment will get back in order. radishes. Now I know warm weather is coming. I try to invent new ways of serving and combining foods so that we will have some variety. filling it with 10 or 15 flats of sunflowers. the brightest. I usually buy something brand-new for the warm weather—new place mats. When the weather gets warm and nice. when we still get snow from time to time. To my mind. The setting doesn’t really hard to come up with a great meal.
I also bought chile pepper lights to string over the table and a nest of harvest baskets with red chile peppers painted on the sides. silverware wrapped in napkins. When you are doing themes like this. It doesn’t take much of an investment to transform your table.have to be glamorous or elegantly appointed. I used these baskets on the sideboard to hold a bunch of lovely wheat. I went to an army-navy store and bought a bunch of different-colored bandannas to use as napkins. I use napkins whose colors echo those of the flowers and a few low candles. Do enough to make a little splash but not so much that it overwhelms you or your guests. lemonade in pretty glasses or even a cold soup in wine goblets. It’s always great to have a pitcher of something to offer. it simply has to be comfortable. Your table doesn’t need a lot of dressing up when you have big bunches of dahlias or zinnias in small pitchers on the table. Use common sense in every season. an Oklahoman by birth. . remember that less is more. and perhaps warm cheese squares or some other tasty munchie. One year I hosted a square dance as a surprise birthday party for Joe. and corn chips and dip. Just have a good time.
and the most recent gems from his children (my grandchildren). is in town. too. 118 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . when fruit is perfect and mint abundant. The peach and tomato salad is a wonderful complement to any grilled summer meal and can be made only in season. My husband is not to be trusted near an open flame. What a guy.Let’s Stoke Up That Fire Andrew’s at the Grill Retro Shrimp Puffs Tomato and Peach Salad with Mint Garlic Toasts Creamed Spinach Butterflied Leg of Lamb on the Grill with Fresh Mint Sauce Mary’s Blond Brownies he only time I can do this dinner is when my son-in-law. as he either overcooks or undercooks. I like to serve the lamb on a large wooden carving board. but Andrew is great with a pair of tongs and he loves it. there is something about the way a grill brings out the flavor of meat. sports stats. I serve this meal buffet style and stick the steak knives into a cantaloupe to keep them safely away from small hands. He stands around chatting about politics and current events. Andrew. The corker is that he also does the cleanup— dishes. T Even if you can fit only a small hibachi on a tiny terrace.
# I prefer this salad at room temperature because the flavors are best when not too cold. or even red pepper flakes. (continued on page 120) = l e t ’ s s t o k e u p t h a t f i r e 119 . but the idea is the same. can be used to season the mixture. I must say that when peaches and tomatoes are ripe. I love it. finely chopped dill. basil. making sure to include a shrimp piece. and chicken. In a medium-size mixing bowl. this chunky salad perks up the simplest grilled meats. It has a really unusual taste and is very fresh with seasonal splendor. These puffs also can be made with scallops (see Ellen’s Tips). or oregano. who knows good food and makes this often at her home on Cape Cod. 2. fish. Preheat the oven to 400°F. cheese. 12 small cooked shrimp 2 large egg whites ½ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 24 round crackers. such as Bremner Wafers or Ritz crackers TI P S # You can substitute diced scallops for the shrimp. Just add a squeeze of lemon juice to the scallops after you cut them. Arrange on cookie sheets and bake until puffed and browned. # Herbs such as 1. and mustard. about 10 minutes. Fold in the mayonnaise. whip the egg whites until frothy. The ingredients have been modified since then. Place 1 teaspoon of the mixture on each cracker. my sister-in-law’s mother. Tomato and Peach Salad Makes 6 to 8 ser vings with Mint I got this wonderful salad from my brother’s wife. 3. made these hors d’oeuvres back in the 1960s. Serve hot. 4.Retro Shrimp Puffs Makes 24 hors d’oeuvres E L L E N’S Faye Shemin. Drain off the lemon juice before folding the scallops into the mixture. Joyce. then fold in the shrimp. Cut the shrimp into halves or quarters.
but I try to control myself. w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . Serve in a basket or on a plate. Core the tomatoes and cut into ½-inch pieces. Place on a cookie sheet and bake or broil until the tops are browned. 3. Remove using tongs and rinse under cold running water. Quality really counts here. only to see them disappear no matter how many I make. parsley. softened 6 tablespoons finely chopped garlic 1 loaf French bread or baguette poppy or sesame seeds. wrapped in a pretty napkin. Preheat the oven to 400°F or preheat the broiler. Everyone piles them high—if no one else is looking. 4. This can be made half a day ahead and left unrefrigerated. 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter. # To peel peaches. Slice the bread ½ inch thick. Pour over the salad and toss until evenly coated. I have used the chopped garlic you can buy in jars with fine results. pit. Peel. combine the lemon juice. # Sprinkle with I would serve these every night with every meal if I could. 1. Wash and dry the mint. Spread the top of each slice with garlic butter. and olive oil. Add to the peaches and tomatoes. then chop finely. vinegar. 120 = 1.4 large ripe peaches E L L E N’S 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil TI P S 6 large ripe tomatoes ¼ cup fresh mint leaves (continued from page 119) # Choose the most perfect tomatoes and peaches you can find. drop one by one into boiling water for a few seconds. or chives as your mood dictates. In a small bowl. The skins will slide off. I cook these little toasts with the grilled meats of summer. or chopped fresh oregano. mash the butter and fold in the garlic to make a paste. 2. 3. Garlic Toasts Makes 6 ser vings # Although fresh is always better. and coarsely chop the peaches. In a small bowl or glass jar. Place both in a large serving bowl. 2.
Creamed Spinach Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S I love creamed spinach and have made this recipe as easy as one. and cayenne. sour cream. three. cooked according to package directions. 4 pounds fresh spinach. add the fresh spinach. frozen spinach is just as good. and heavy cream. If you make it using frozen spinach. whether fresh or frozen. thawed. Pulse until the spinach is finely chopped. to taste TI P S # It may seem like a lot of fresh spinach. Keep warm or reheat before serving. = 121 . If using fresh spinach. but it cooks down tremendously. until the leaves wilt and there is no water in the pan. white pepper. 1. in a food processor. then drain. and well drained 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pinch off any thick stems and dry well. 2. # Honestly. wash it. uncovered. Add the salt. if using fresh spinach 2 tablespoons butter ⅓ cup sour cream. even if it is prewashed. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter. nutmeg. or two 10-ounce packages frozen chopped or leaf spinach. # You may make this ahead of time and gently reheat right before serving. two. Place the cooked spinach. about 5 minutes. it is still excellent. and cook. at room temperature 3 tablespoons heavy cream ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg Pinch of cayenne pepper.
If it is hard. That’s not very scientific. but it usually works. Pour on the dressing. it is well done.E L L E N’S TI P S Butterflied Leg of Lamb on the Grill with Makes 8 to 10 ser vings Fresh Mint Sauce This recipe is going to be as good as your butcher and your griller are. making sure to coat all of the lamb. 1 whole leg of lamb. it is medium. 1. Although there are as many marinades as there are flowers. sliced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves 2 cups Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110) 1 large onion. If it is soft and mushy. to your taste. The marinating process is important. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours. Slice about ½ inch thick and serve with the mint sauce on the side. 122 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . sliced medium thick Fresh Mint Sauce (page 125) # Apricot Ginger Chutney (page 50) goes very well with this lamb. as does my Best Homemade Mustard (page 52). 3. turning a couple of times. I like this one because it is easy and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. Every grill is different. 2. Make eight to ten 1-inch-deep x 2-inch-long slits in the meat and slip a slice of garlic into each. and add the onion. it is raw. When the meat can be pushed in with some resistance. Remove the lamb from the fire and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices settle. Grill the lamb over a hot fire for about 10 minutes on each side. Rub the meat with the rosemary and place in a glass baking dish. making sure that the meat doesn’t get too well done. boned and butterflied (ask your butcher to do this) Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 to 4 large cloves garlic. so I use the finger test. Season both sides of the lamb with salt and pepper.
remove from the heat. and let sit for 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. bring the vinegar to a boil. Stir in the mint leaves. 1 cup white vinegar 3 tablespoons sugar 6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan. or you can strain it out. Sometimes I like to swirl the sauce in a blender to get a somewhat smoother consistency. The mint steeps in a vinegar and sugar syrup until the flavor permeates the mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled.Fresh Mint Sauce Makes 1 cup I grow mint every summer in an old wine keg along with other herbs. Add the sugar. l e t ’ s s t o k e u p t h a t f i r e 125 . Some people like to leave the mint in the sauce. stirring until it dissolves. I always make this sauce when I grill lamb.
softened 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter. 4. We saw each other a lot when our children were small. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake until golden brown. then cut into squares.Mary’s Blond Brownies E L L E N’S Makes 24 brownies TI P S # It’s hard to tell when these brownies are done. and salt. mixing well after each addition. brown sugar. cream together the butter. and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. They will be kind of loose in the center when you pull them out of the oven. Sift the confectioners’ sugar evenly over the top. baking powder. 2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Fold in the pecans and chocolate bits. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. about 30 minutes more (see Ellen’s Tips). but they will set up later as they cool. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Add the eggs alternately with the flour. Mary McLaughlin. 126 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . 3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. They are best eaten the next day. I have used this recipe for more than 35 years. and guests always love it. This incredibly sinful brownie recipe comes from my dear old friend. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside. at room temperature 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder Pinch of salt ½ cup chopped pecans ½ cup semisweet chocolate bits ½ cup confectioners’ sugar 1. I used to love going to her apartment for lunch.
I think the combination of cold. I cut the fudge into very small squares for the card table and serve it with slices of Red Delicious apples.Bridge Snack for the Girls Before or After the Winnings Tamale Pie Baked Fudge and crisp apples T amale Pie is a perfect taste treat. sort of like a taco casserole. It’s also very filling. For our bridge game. My family loves it because it’s crispy and flavorful. crisp apples and fudge candy helps you to think more efficiently and make your bridge contracts with ease. with seasoned chopped meat. and I make it for dinner often. b r i d g e s n a c k f o r t h e g i r l s 127 . it’s ideal because it can be served on one plate and isn’t difficult to eat. cheese. which are very white inside and very sweet. and spicy sauce.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. and chopped (1½ cups) ½ cup chopped onion Sauce: 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes Two 4. combine all the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. In a lightly oiled 10.to 12-inch square baking dish that is 2 to 3 inches deep. until no longer pink. 128 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . chips. meat. reducing the heat to low if necessary. 2.5-ounce cans green chiles. Drain off the fat and set aside. and cheddar cheese. then sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bring to a simmer. Repeat with the remaining noodles. tortilla chips. To make the sauce. but it is one of the tastiest. layer half the noodles. breaking up any clumps. In a large pot of lightly salted water. sauce. quickest school-night dinners I have ever made. Everyone loves it. old or young. 3 to 4 minutes. cook the noodles until tender. 4. 3. drained and chopped 1. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling. drained. and cheddar. pitted. Add the ground beef and cook. heat the oil. meat.Tamale Pie Makes 6 to 8 ser vings This recipe has nothing to do with traditional tamales. In a large skillet over medium-high heat. and continue to cook. Serve immediately. Drain and toss with the butter. 1 teaspoon canola oil 2 pounds ground beef One 16-ounce package broad egg noodles 1 tablespoon butter 4 cups coarsely crushed tortilla chips (6 ounces) ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese One 6-ounce can black olives. 5. about 30 minutes. sauce. 6. and it deserves a try.
Baked Fudge E L L E N’S Makes 24 small squares TI P S # You cannot test the doneness of fudge with a straw or tester as you can a cake. 5. 45 to 60 minutes. ¼ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 4 large eggs 2 cups sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter. 4. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Pour in the melted butter and beat until smooth and well combined. Pour the batter into an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Stir in the chopped nuts and vanilla by hand. was the inspiration for this recipe. make no mistake. mixing well after each addition. but that doesn’t mean the fudge isn’t ready to leave the oven. add the cocoa mixture and sugar. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before cutting into small squares. This is quite easy. 3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. it is probably overdone. Place the pan in a larger pan with 1 inch water. melted 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract fudge sets it so that you can cut and eat it. 2. If the fudge is pulling away from the sides of the pan. about 3 minutes. Sift together the flour and cocoa in a small mixing bowl. and. Little by little. # Refrigerating the The Garden Room in Tulsa. Set aside. depending on your oven. which was a favorite of my mother-in-law and has been enjoyed by all “in-the-know” cooks since. 130 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . 1. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed. beat the eggs until fluffy. The tester will not come out clean. Bake on the center oven rack until set. Oklahoma. this is candy.
Celine. I have a collection of pewter and glass mugs that I use for this drink and I always add a cucumber spear to the glass to double as a crunchy swizzle stick. Nowadays. I dressed up my table with a favorite embroidered cloth and pewter chargers that I had bought in Mexico. David. 132 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . the only drawback is that I have to put reading glasses at the table for people to get the jokes.Splendid Curry Extravaganza Engagement Dinner for 12 Pimm’s Cup Parsleyed Green Beans Spicy Grilled Shrimp Chicken Curry with Condiments Poori Coconut Cake with an Orchid T o celebrate the engagement of my son. Pimm’s Cup was a must for this dinner. my Indian cooking teacher. and at each place setting was my version of place cards: a New Yorker cartoon that targets each person’s peculiarities. I used to ask her where we could go to get a good Indian meal. I decided to show off a bit. and his gorgeous fiancée. Several of these recipes were inspired by Madhur Jaffrey. I put my old wooden twisted candlesticks with brass shades on the table. Serving an Indian meal is always a treat because most people don’t cook this kind of food at home. and her answer was always the same: home.
unpeeled and cut into 8 spears. for garnish Place a handful of ice in each of eight 8-ounce glasses. bourbon-based. as it gives the beans a very fresh taste. 1 pound green beans. and so on. Garnish with a cucumber spear and a mint sprig. it will have a number of varieties—gin-based. If your liquor store is well stocked. if using. Scotch-based. w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . unpeeled cucumber spear in a pewter mug and was perfect with the curry. Serve immediately. It is a great summer drink that goes well with anything. I prefer to use curly parsley in this recipe. Drain and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Add the string beans and cook until barely tender to the point of a sharp knife. Add the butter and toss well to distribute. ends trimmed 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons chopped fresh curly parsley leaves 134 = Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. You want Pimm’s No. for garnish 8 sprigs fresh mint (optional). Ice 8 ounces Pimm’s Cup (see Ellen’s Tips) 1 quart ginger ale 1 medium-size cucumber. but curry cries for it. It was served with a long. the ginbased version. Add 1 ounce of the Pimm’s Cup and fill with ginger ale.Pimm’s Cup E L L E N’S Makes 8 drinks TI P S # Pimm’s Cup is available at most liquor stores. Parsleyed Green Beans Makes 6 to 8 ser vings This is a simple but satisfying way to make green beans. 1 Cup. I first had this drink in San Francisco in 1958 at a restaurant called The India House. Add the parsley and toss again.
# Do not overcook the shrimp. turning once. peeled and deveined.Spicy Grilled Shrimp Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S This is my version of a recipe I saw on television when I lived in Florida. 1. = s p l e n d i d c u r r y e x t r a v a g a n z a 135 . Jacques Pépin was doing the demonstration in his cute French accent. red pepper flakes. and salt and pepper. They will get rubbery and tough if you do. 3½ pounds jumbo shrimp. garlic. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the thyme. The shrimp are marinated in spicy herbs. chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste TI P S # I devein shrimp only when the veins are obvious. beyond a doubt. the best shrimp I have ever had. Serve hot or at room temperature. 2. shaking off excess marinade. about 2 minutes per side. Cook. Use a sharp knife to gently slit the back. 3. and rinse under cold running water. The herbs make a nice balance to the curry dish to follow. Place the shrimp in the skillet. until pink. coriander. Turn the shrimp in the mixture to coat evenly. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until good and hot. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight. on a plate with a small container of toothpicks and a lemon half to hold the “used” toothpicks. Remove from the heat. oregano. if necessary (see Ellen’s Tips) 2 tablespoons olive oil ½ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon dried oregano ¼ teaspoon ground coriander ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 2 cloves garlic. then pan-grilled quickly in a dry skillet and sometimes served with spinach as a first course. It is. Place the shrimp in a glass pie plate. lemon juice.
all freshly purchased. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan over medium heat. cinnamon. curry powder. In a medium-size skillet over medium heat. heat 3 tablespoons of the butter and the vegetable oil together until the butter melts. 4. add the spice paste. 3. cut into several pieces 4 large cloves garlic. Add the seasoned chicken pieces in batches and brown on both sides. heat the remaining 8 tablespoons butter until it melts and bubbles. which I think is a winner. It comes together easily. finely diced ¼ cup freshly purchased mild curry powder ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground cloves One 1-inch piece fresh ginger. and combined four different curry recipes to create this one. cloves. Reduce the heat to medium-low. cut into serving-size pieces Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 11 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 medium-size onions. Place the onions.Chicken Curry with Condiments Makes 12 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S Over the years. # This is definitely better made the 1. quite a bit better than purchased curry powder. = s p l e n d i d c u r r y e x t r a v a g a n z a 137 . It is. Whisk in the chicken broth. 2 to 3 minutes. ground coriander. tested. and saffron in a food processor and process into a coarse paste. peeled 2 medium-size carrots. 2. coconut day before and reheated. carrots. garlic. I’ve changed. peeled Pinch of saffron threads 3 cups chicken broth One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes 1 cup heavy cream 6 cups cooked long-grain white rice (preferably basmati) Condiments of your choice (page 138) # You can make your own curry powder by mixing together equal amounts of ground cumin. Don’t be scared off by the number of ingredients. in fact. and ground turmeric. # Most spices lose their flavor after about 4 months on the shelf. and the end result is worth the extra time. and cook until lightly browned. 5 pounds chicken breasts and thighs. ginger.
about 1 hour. soaked in hot water to cover for 1 hour and drained • 2 cups unsalted dry-roasted peanuts. • 2 cups raisins (preferably golden). Your grandmother’s or mother’s old mismatched ones also would look great. Serve on a platter with the rice piled in the center. Just follow the package directions.milk. with a different small spoon for each. Figure 1 cup uncooked rice to 2 cups water for 4 people. and cook until the chicken is falling off the bone. tomatoes. I found it recently at my large supermarket. 5. My favorite spoons are carved wooden ones I have collected over the years in my travels. Be sure to put these condiments in pretty little bowls on a tray. Add the chicken pieces. the chicken around the edge. there are no tricks. Serve extra sauce in a gravy boat. Include your choice of condiments in separate bowls. T h e C ond i ment s This is always the best part of a curry meal because you can make it as dressy or as plain as you want. and some sauce drizzled over the chicken only. B a s mat i Ri ce This rice is no longer hard to get. chopped • 2 cups mango chutney • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut. cover. toasted on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350°F oven until light golden brown. reduce the heat to low. about 20 minutes • 1 cup peeled and chopped banana (optional) • 1 cup Tomato Onion Relish (recipe follows) • 2 cups Cucumber and Yogurt Raita (page 141) 138 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . and heavy cream and cook until thickened.
1 medium-size ripe tomato. at room temperature. It also pairs wonderfully with chops or burgers. finely chopped ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper 1 generous tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon seeded and finely diced hot green chile Pinch of cayenne pepper TI P S # This relish does not keep. The tomatoes get soggy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size serving bowl.Tomato Onion Relish Makes 2 cups E L L E N’S This relish has evolved over 10 years of fooling around with the ingredients and amounts. It must be served the same day it is made. and the onions don’t stay crisp. cut into ¼-inch dice 1 medium-size onion. s p l e n d i d c u r r y e x t r a v a g a n z a = 139 . Serve within a few hours of making.
Add the cucumber. In a medium-size serving bowl. It can be used as a dip for other occasions. and cayenne and mix together well. = s p l e n d i d c u r r y e x t r a v a g a n z a 141 . heat the cumin seeds until they pop. and let the water drain out for at least 1 hour. Place in a strainer. salt. Sprinkle with the paprika just before serving. The cucumber makes it watery if it’s kept any longer. spicy curry. 1 large cucumber ½ teaspoon cumin seeds One 16-ounce container plain yogurt 1 teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper ⅛ teaspoon paprika. ground cumin for the freshly heated and ground seeds. 2. beat the yogurt until smooth. Scrape out the seeds and grate medium-coarse. weight with a heavy teakettle filled with water or a similar object. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. In a small skillet over medium heat. 3. black pepper. # You may substitute 1. cumin. for garnish TI P S # This needs to be eaten the day it is made.Cucumber and Yogurt Raita Makes about 4 cups E L L E N’S This sauce is essential as a cooling counterpoint to the hot. Peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise. Grind them in a small grinder and set the powder aside.
Poori E L L E N’S Makes 12 breads TI P S # T make sure the To oil is ready. 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. pulsing until the mixture forms a ball. use my “finger test. On a lightly floured work surface. if you don’t feel anything—not cold. but that’s not difficult to do. If it “spits. and the return on your investment is huge. roll each one out to about 5 inches in diameter. Only you and I will know how easy it is. thin East Indian breads made with lentil flour. 2. # If you don’t have a thermometer for the water. and can be found in Indian groceries. In addition to poori. Flip it over to cook for a second on the other side. # The dough for the Poori is made from scratch. 142 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . and everyone will admire your skill. you might try poppadums or pappadams. deep frying pan over medium-high heat. # The poori must be made and served within 30 minutes. Indian Breads Bread is an essential component of any Indian meal. which is made from scratch. see Ellen’s Tips) poori can be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated until you cook them. Poppadums are sold in stacks. You will love the result. In a small. 1. 3. heat 1 inch of vegetable oil until hot but not smoking. cool. drop a tiny amount of water in the oil. or hot— it is just the right temperature.” it’s ready. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. only a few seconds. Right before serving. Serve immediately. It will puff up like a balloon and brown quickly. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes. plus more for frying 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup warm water (about 110°F. then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. The breads won’t stay puffed up for very long. grill them in a hot. like tortillas.” Dip your pinkie into the water. dry skillet for 10 to 20 seconds per side. Divide the dough into 12 equal-size balls. Reduce the heat a little and fry one dough round at a time. Oil the dough and place it in a plastic bag for 30 minutes.
the orchid is meant for ornamentation only. not for nibbling! easier. # To cut the cake Filling: 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk 6 large egg yolks.Coconut Cake with an Orchid Makes one 10-inch tube cake. heat the coconut milk in a large. who made it for dessert one evening. s p l e n d i d c u r r y e x t r a v a g a n z a = 143 . and store in an airtight container until needed. do not let it come to a boil. Remember. If the cake is cool. softened 2⅓ cups sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 teaspoons pure coconut extract 8 large eggs. at room temperature 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut. for garnish Cake: 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter. a wonderful chef. it won’t crumble and break. (continued on page 145) 1. The people at the table couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and how good it tasted. 16 regular ser vings or 12 huge ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S # To make this job I was introduced to this gorgeous cake by Alison Mesrop. use a long serrated knife and cut in a sawing motion. heavy saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to form at the edge of the pan. at room temperature ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut (available at health food stores) for the topping in advance. toasted on an ungreased baking sheet in a 350°F oven until light golden brown. prepare the filling and icing ahead of time. The cake can be made the day before and wrapped in plastic when completely cool. at room temperature (reserve the whites for the icing) 1 cup sugar ¼ cup cornstarch 2 teaspoons pure coconut extract 3 cups cake flour 2 teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt into 3 thin layers. let cool completely. about 20 minutes 1 orchid or other flat flower. To make the filling. # Toast the coconut Icing: 4 cups sugar 2 cups water 6 large egg whites.
sift together the cake flour. Let cool. Add the extracts. 2. about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and stir in the coconut extract. 3. Add the coconut milk and shredded coconut and beat until smooth. add 1 tablespoon boiling water and beat quickly until it comes together. beat the egg whites until glossy peaks form when you lift the beaters. scraping down the sides of the bowl. Garnish with the orchid. beat until fluffy. Take a handful of toasted coconut and gently tilt the palm of your hand toward the sides of the cake to make the coconut stick. The icing may be made up to 4 hours ahead of assembly. Continue to beat until the mixture is cool to the touch. Sprinkle the top with the remaining coconut. Cook until thickened. then add the eggs one at a time. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. about 10 seconds. until the sugar dissolves.In a large mixing bowl. Repeat with another layer and the remaining filling. To assemble the cake. cut the cooled cake horizontally into 3 layers. Beat on medium speed until smooth. place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. in a large saucepan over medium to high heat. and cornstarch until light and smooth. In a large stainless steel mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. bring the sugar and water to a boil. Add the hot sugar syrup slowly in a thin stream while beating on high speed. If it does. Using an electric mixer on medium speed. Top with the third layer and spread some of the icing thickly on the sides. beating well after each addition. Slowly add the hot milk. = s p l e n d i d c u r r y e x t r a v a g a n z a 145 . E L L E N’S TI P S (continued from page 143) # Don’t add the hot milk too quickly to the egg yolk mixture. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake on the center oven rack until a cake tester comes out clean. sugar. stirring. about 20 minutes. using a spoon to make dents and peaks. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium-size mixing bowl. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning the cake out of the pan. Continue to boil. baking powder. or it will scramble. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan. about 5 minutes. then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. To make the cake. 4. # The filling may be made 1 to 2 days ahead. about 1 hour. 6. The assembly can be done up to 3 hours before serving. whisk together the egg yolks. 5. Mound the remaining icing on top. and salt and add to the butter-sugar mixture. whisking constantly. knocking out the excess flour. To make the icing. Place 1 layer on a pretty cake plate and spread half the filling on top.
but if Independence Day falls during the week. I use a French tablecloth—blue. 146 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . and blue and the great foods of the W season. making for a summery look. We are lucky to have a teeny tiny terrace that affords us a front-row seat for New York City’s extraordinary fireworks display. especially ripe red tomatoes and fresh basil for the bruschetta and bursting blackberries for the dessert. you can mix in raspberries and blueberries for a full patriotic finish. I have dinner at home with a few friends who appreciate fireworks as much as I do. If you really want to get into the spirit. red.Fireworks on the Terrace July Fourth with a View Bellinis Tomato and Basil Bruschetta Soni’s Chicken Provençal Smashed Red Potatoes Warm Spinach Salad Sweet Corn Cakes with Berries and Cream e are usually away for the long July Fourth weekend. white. and a touch of yellow—and a few white daisies on the table. This menu takes advantage of the red.
then fill with champagne just before serving. if they like. Set out a dish with cold blueberries and let your guests drop in a couple for garnish. and it is equally delicious.Bellinis Makes 6 to 8 ser vings À la Harry’s Bar in Venice. I have often used apricot nectar instead of the peach. f i r e w o r k s o n t h e t e r r a c e 147 . for garnish Pour 1 to 2 ounces of the peach nectar into each champagne flute. Peach nectar (1 to 2 ounces per glass) One 750 ml bottle champagne Blueberries. picked over for stems. the taste of peach nectar and champagne is unbeatable.
Tomato and Basil Bruschetta Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S I love these little toasts. cocktail party. Cut the bread diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices. Dice the tomatoes. serve mini bruschetta. # For a standing 1. Place the slices on ungreased cookie sheets and bake. combine the tomatoes. peeled ½ cup extra virgin olive oil. turning once after 10 minutes. patting the tomatoes down so they will stay in place. and the basil. Cut the bread slices in half or use a small baguette to make bite-size treats. In a small mixing bowl. Rub each slice with garlic and brush lightly with olive oil. 1 loaf French bread 4 cloves garlic. I think rubbing the toast with garlic really adds to the flavor. = f i r e w o r k s o n t h e t e r r a c e 149 . I could actually make a meal out of bruschetta. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each slice of bread. or as needed 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves # The toasts can be prepared in the morning. 2. # You may chop the garlic and add it to the tomatoes instead of rubbing the toasts with it. 3. until they are hard and golden. 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Serve at once. The topping must not be made until a couple of hours before serving. Set aside. about 20 minutes total.
Cover and roast for 45 minutes. chopped One 32-ounce can whole tomatoes. We had our first children at exactly the same time in San Francisco. Arrange the chicken on a warm platter and spoon the softened vegetables around it. Ladle on some of the pan sauce and serve. 4. tomatoes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. and mine was just the usual shocking one. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over them. The vegetables may look overcooked. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. if necessary. as needed Two 4-pound chickens. and roast until the chicken is golden brown. but they taste great. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 150 = 1. I have used this wonderful recipe of hers for years. # Warn your guests that the olives have pits in them. w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . Her children were surprise twins. Place the shallots. 3. drained Two 9-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts (see Ellen’s Tips) ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice ½ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 to 2 cups chicken broth. sprinkle with the rosemary and thyme. uncover the pan. It is a quick dish to assemble and is great with hot. She entertains a great deal and goes to great lengths to please her company. crusty French bread to dunk in the gravy. to keep the bird moist. olives. 10 to 12 large shallots. just enough so that you can break them apart. garlic. and add 1 cup of the chicken broth.Soni’s Chicken Provençal E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # Don’t be alarmed. 5. about 15 minutes more. and artichoke hearts in a roasting pan. season with salt and pepper. basting often with the pan juices and adding more chicken broth. broken apart but not peeled ⅔ cup black Niçoise or Greek olives. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. with their juices 1 head garlic. 2. cut into serving-size pieces hearts can go into the pan slightly thawed. # The artichoke Soni is one of my dearest friends.
152 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . with the red skins showing. about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Wash the potatoes well and place them in a large pot with plenty of cold water. until everything is well mixed. 2. Even her picky eaters love it. # Add 1 or 2 tea- I love red potatoes cooked in almost any manner.Smashed Red Potatoes E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # These potatoes should be imperfectlooking. Add the butter. Add a pinch of salt. Cover and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. an architect and mother of two little girls. Parmesan. but this way is spectacular. and not too mashed. My daughter Lexie. 1. Drain and coarsely mash the potatoes in the pot with a hand masher. and continue to boil until they are fork tender. bring to a boil. and heavy cream and mash for another minute or so. 12 large red potatoes Salt to taste ½ cup (1 stick) butter ⅔ cup sour cream ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup heavy cream. I hope you like it as much as they do. warmed Freshly ground black pepper to taste spoons more warm cream if the potatoes get too thick while holding in the oven. makes this often. sour cream.
Cook the bacon until crisp and place on paper towels to drain. without that green tinge. and bring to a boil over high heat. Spin the leaves dry or pat them dry with paper towels. the leaves won’t wilt too much. then rinse with cold water. place the eggs in a medium-size saucepan. and let sit for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. and serve at once. 3.Warm Spinach Salad Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S I love the warm dressing on the cold spinach leaves: it is always a surprise. and toss again. Refrigerate until serving time. Place in a large salad bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. it makes a wonderful main-course salad for a special lunch. Wash the spinach well. cover. but you still need to rinse them at least once. # You can buy pre- washed spinach leaves. Snap off the tough stems. Set aside. 2 pounds fresh spinach 4 to 5 strips bacon ½ cup Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110) 2 hard-boiled eggs (optional). Right before serving. # Toss the salad at the last minute so The Perfect Hard-Boiled Eg g To hard-boil eggs perfectly. Crumble the bacon at the last minute. warm the dressing in a small saucepan over low heat. Garnish with the egg quarters. # You can cook the bacon and hardboiled eggs earlier in the day and hold the eggs in the refrigerator until serving time. = f i r e w o r k s o n t h e t e r r a c e 153 . This method keeps the yolks yellow. Pour it over the spinach and toss. 1. If you add hard-boiled eggs to this salad. quartered TI P S # You can wash the spinach the day before to save time. add to the salad. 2. add cold water to cover. soaking the leaves in the sink with plenty of cold water to remove all the sand. if using.
40 to 45 minutes. toasted and slathered with butter and honey. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and dust with flour. # I don’t put any sugar or vanilla extract in my whipped cream. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. flour. picked over 2 cups heavy cream. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. blackberries or raspberries. whipped to soft peaks E L L E N’S TI P S # You may substitute honey or maple syrup for the corn syrup. beating well after each addition. it’s done. Brush with some of the water and sprinkle evenly with the remaining ¼ cup sugar. 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. These corn cakes make wonderful breakfast food. In a medium-size mixing bowl. 4. If it springs back. then cut the cake into large squares. 5. Let cool. but I prefer one kind of berry for a cleaner taste. and baking powder. 2. # Do not wash 1. about 3 minutes. or a combination. then add the eggs one at a time. or blueberries.Sweet Corn Cakes with Berries Makes 6 to 8 ser vings and Cream I got this delicious recipe from a friend several summers ago. combine the cornmeal. softened 1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons dark or light corn syrup 4 large eggs. and finish with a spoonful of whipped cream. split each square horizontally. knocking out the excess flour. = f i r e w o r k s o n t h e t e r r a c e 155 . It’s your choice. but some people like it that way. Add the corn syrup. To serve. # Another way to test the cake is to press the center with your finger. beat the butter and ¾ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Preheat the oven to 375°F. It was served with assorted berries. at room temperature 1½ cups yellow cornmeal 1¾ cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon water 3 cups fresh blackberries. raspberries. top one half with some blackberries. 3. salt. Add this alternately with the cream to the butter mixture. add the other half. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
hungry and not-so-hungry. Whether it is family or friends. The hash and eggs are of the stick-to-your-ribs variety. All in all. S We start with mimosas or the best bloody marys known to man—spicy and with an optional small beer chaser. washed down with a good cup of coffee. Potato. they are happy to indulge in a nice brunch to say goodbye before heading home. 156 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . and the toast is unforgettable. A brunch like this one has something for everyone. is not to be missed. and Onion Hash Puffy Eggs in Casserole Crisp toasted Rancho Bread Aunt Stella’s Streusel Coffee Cake unday is the day when everyone is getting ready to leave after a weekend visit. A piece of Aunt Stella’s coffee cake. a worthy meal. designated driver and otherwise.Brunch for Whoever’s Around Before the Mass Exodus Mimosas and Bloody Marys Minted Fresh Fruit Salad Chicken.
Serve immediately. but one that requires fresh orange juice and halfway decent champagne or sparkling wine. Freeze the champagne glasses ahead of time. # Be sure to keep the champagne refrigerated until serving. # These are also very nice using ruby red grapefruit juice instead of orange juice. 8 cups fresh orange juice (from 10 to 12 juice oranges) One 750-ml bottle champagne TI P S # Anything looks good in a pretty champagne flute.Mimosas Makes 10 to 12 drinks E L L E N’S The mimosa is a no-recipe recipe. if you wish. If you are lucky enough to get blood oranges. too. In your prettiest champagne flutes. combine a jigger of champagne and ½ cup juice. use them instead. It’s the juice and fizz that set your appetite humming. = b r u n c h f o r w h o e v e r ’ s a r o u n d 157 . but fresh orange juice guarantees wonderful flavor as well.
The latest additions to my recipe are a rim of finely ground black pepper (like salt on a margarita glass) and a small beer chaser to put out the fire. celery salt. 2. I decorate the drinks with long. without the vodka or beer chaser for the designated drivers in the group. Prepare the glasses by wetting the rims with the outside of the lemon peel and turning them in a plate containing the black pepper. and white pepper in a large pitcher and mix well. horseradish. crisp celery sticks—the young. lemon juice. # Don’t put too much ice in each glass. Tabasco. pale green ones with the leaves left on. # Some people dip the rims of the glasses in whipped egg whites to make the pepper stick. but I have become famous for my bloody marys. Place the tomato juice. I make the mix in a pitcher with good-quality tomato juice (I like Sacramento brand) and lots of spices. Worcestershire. 1 large strip lemon peel ½ cup freshly and finely ground black pepper One 46-ounce can tomato juice 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons prepared white horseradish Tabasco sauce to taste 1 teaspoon celery salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper 8 to 10 ounces vodka Ice 8 to 10 thin inner celery ribs. Use a light beer instead of a darker one for the chaser. = b r u n c h f o r w h o e v e r ’ s a r o u n d 159 . 3. with leaves. although it is also pretty in a wineglass. Garnish with a celery rib and serve. Keep at room temperature. # Feel free to adjust the amounts of the ingredients to your taste. Pour 1 ounce of the vodka over ice into a prepared glass and fill with the tomato juice mixture.Bloody Marys Makes 8 to 10 drinks E L L E N’S Not to sound conceited. Mugs are perfect for this drink. # Serve these drinks 1. for garnish TI P S # If you refrigerate the tomato juice mixture. it ruins the flavor.
For a buffet. Combine all the ingredients except the mint. if you like. and cut into bite-size chunks 1 pint ripe strawberries. if using. picked over for stems One 8-ounce can sliced peaches. if you wish. 1 ripe cantaloupe. and cut into bite-size chunks 1 cup orange juice ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint leaves. cored. # Use pineapple juice instead of orange. 2. 1. garnish with the mint. in a serving dish. cut into bite-size chunks 2 ripe Anjou. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. honeydew melon. with their juices. or Crenshaw melon. for garnish any of your favorite fruits. peeled. seeded. or Comice pears. wide-mouthed glass. halved. Before serving. 160 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . hulled and quartered 1 pint blueberries. or even a small. # Substitute or add Make this your own way. peeled. Add the chopped fresh mint for a flavor kick.Minted Fresh Fruit Salad E L L E N’S Makes 10 to 12 ser vings TI P S # Use 2 kinds of melon. Bartlett. serve the salad in little bowls that fit on the plate. I like to cut up the fruit the night before to save time on the day of my party.
You can chop everything ahead of time and keep it in plastic bags. It makes for a great family meal and is fun to serve to like-minded friends. Add the onion and cook. You can slide it onto a plate and then back into the pan for a few more minutes to brown the other side. and cook for about 10 minutes more. about 4 minutes. heat the butter and oil together until the butter bubbles. Shake the pan from time to time to keep the hash from sticking. I serve it with Best Homemade Mustard (page 52). as does a fat can of tomatoes. and potatoes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat. b r u n c h f o r w h o e v e r ’ s a r o u n d = 161 . and cook over low to medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through. Press down lightly with a spoon. Serve immediately. it should be like a crunchy pancake filled with the chicken. 3. There’s no shame in that. Season with salt and pepper. the bottom will be browned. about 10 minutes. bring the pan right to the table and serve the hash with a spoon. Add the potatoes and cook.Chicken. weight the hash with a teakettle filled with water or another heavy object (see Ellen’s Tips). A brick covered with aluminum foil works well. Add the gravy and mix thoroughly. When the pancake is ready. until lightly browned. 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 large or 2 medium-size onions. 1. onions. Uncover the pan. peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes 3 cups cubed (½ inch) cooked chicken Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste ½ cup leftover chicken gravy or chicken broth # Put a piece of waxed paper or aluminum foil between the hash and the teakettle or other weight. Ideally. shaking the pan. Or you can prepare the entire thing the day before and recrisp it right before serving. Potato. cut into ½-inch pieces 1 large Idaho potato or 3 medium-size russet or Yukon Gold potatoes. until transparent. stirring with a wooden spoon. 2. # If your hash doesn’t crisp sufficiently to make a “sliding” pancake. cut into wedges like a pie. and Onion Hash Makes 8 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S I began doing hash this way several years ago when I wanted to use leftover roast chicken in a creative way. cover. about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and mix.
for garnish 6 strips bacon. drained on paper towels. 1 loaf French bread 2 tablespoons butter. It’s a real winner for a simple and satisfying brunch. Just brown it and cut it into pieces. milk. Garnish with the parsley and bacon and serve immediately. 1. # I prefer white cheddar cheese. at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. for garnish that your guests see this dish at its peak. The night before serving. melted 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves. In the morning. It’s less visible.Puffy Eggs in Casserole E L L E N’S Makes 8 to 10 ser vings TI P S # You can substitute breakfast sausage for the bacon. She is a good cook who has been pleasing her family and friends for many years. 50 to 60 minutes. then add the beaten eggs. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake until golden brown and puffy. softened 12 large eggs. my son-in-law Andrew’s mother. 2. 3. and melted butter. This dish is best assembled the night before—that’s its great claim to fame. # Plan carefully so This delightful brunch recipe is from Connie Plepler. cut the bread into 1-inch-thick slices and spread with the softened butter. lightly beaten 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese ½ cup whole milk ¼ cup (½ stick) butter. cheese. remove the dish from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. It will deflate quickly. cooked until crisp. 162 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . Layer the bread in the dish. and crumbled. Butter a large oval or round baking dish that is 2 to 3 inches deep. like a soufflé.
the oil. it means your yeast has kicked the bucket. Punch the dough down and knead it on a lightly floured surface for 2 to 3 minutes. combine 8½ cups of the flour. it will kill the yeast. a spa in Baja California. but this one is almost foolproof. dry place until doubled in size. and yeast mixture. (If you have a standing mixer. as needed ½ cup canola oil 1 cup bran 2½ tablespoons poppy seeds 1½ teaspoons salt 1 large egg. then cover with a clean dishtowel. In a large mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Let sit until bubbles form on top. The bread is amazingly tasty and crunchy when toasted because of the poppy seeds. If the yeast mixture doesn’t bubble. 3. about 1 hour. Cover 164 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s .) Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a lightly oiled bowl. 2. if you don’t feel anything—not cold. make three or four 3-inch-long diagonal cuts in the top of the loaves.” Dip your pinkie into the water. if it’s too hot. Preheat the oven to 350°F. beaten use to make the bread is too cold. salt. or hot—it is just the right temperature. cool. it won’t activate the yeast. If you don’t have a thermometer. 3 cups warm water (about 110°F. Lightly oil two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Let sit in a warm. and you’ll need to start over with new yeast. 1. # If the water you I first tasted this great bread at Rancho La Puerta.Rancho Bread E L L E N’S M a k e s 2 l o a ve s TI P S # It is important to buy fresh yeast. adding more flour if the dough is sticky. Sprinkle on the yeast and stir until dissolved. Cut the dough in half and put each half in one of the prepared pans. Turn the dough in the oil until it is coated. With a sharp knife. bran. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until elastic. about 5 minutes. 4. use my “finger test. poppy seeds. Pour the water into a medium-size mixing bowl and stir in the honey. The temperature of the water should be about 110°F. see Ellen’s Tips) ¼ cup honey 1 package active dry yeast or ¼ ounce fresh cake yeast (check the expiration date for freshness) 8½ to 9½ cups whole wheat flour. use a dough hook and mix until the dough becomes elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Some people are terrified of making bread because of the yeast factor. about 15 minutes.
Bake on the center oven rack until golden brown and a cake tester or sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. 35 to 40 minutes. I can tell bread is done when I begin to smell it. 5. It will sound hollow when you knock your knuckle on top. # You can prepare this bread a day or two ahead. Also. 6. then invert onto wire racks and let cool completely before slicing. = b r u n c h f o r w h o e v e r ’ s a r o u n d 165 . E L L E N’S TI P S # There are several other cues that will tell you the bread is done. about 45 minutes.with a clean dishtowel and let sit in a warm. and it will pull away from the sides of the pan. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. Some people like to slice it before freezing so they can just pop the frozen slices in the toaster. # You can freeze the second loaf after it cools completely. dry place until doubled in size.
knocking out the excess flour. It was so inspirational that I studied the piano for 18 years. and salt together in a medium-size mixing bowl and set aside. To make the cake. melted 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup chopped pecans 1. too. Aunt Stella. It will serve at least 12. softened ½ cup vegetable shortening 1 cup granulated sugar 3 large eggs. She was a good cook. at room temperature 1 cup sour cream. baking powder. you can use a 10-inch tube or bundt pan for a fancier cake that can be unmolded.E L L E N’S TI P S Aunt Stella’s Streusel Coffee Cake Makes 8 to 10 ser vings # If you increase the recipe by half (11/2 recipes). Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. Cake: 2½ cups sifted cake flour 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter. This coffee cake was always made with such pleasantry that I felt I could do it. 2. The recipe for this wonderful cake was handed down in our family from my mother’s sister Stella. When she came to our house. I always begged her to play for me. She also had a wonderful sense of humor and an easy way about her. 166 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . sift the flour. and someone who could play the piano with great expertise. at room temperature ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Streusel: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Preheat the oven to 350°F. wherever you may be. Thank you.
3. beating well after each addition and alternating with the sifted dry ingredients. in a small bowl. 3 to 4 minutes. 6. With a dinner knife. 4. Finish by sprinkling the remaining streusel evenly on top. Add the vanilla and mix. Let cool slightly. Serve warm from the pan. Spoon the remaining batter on top and smooth with a rubber spatula. 7. Bake on the center oven rack until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. shortening. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan. Add the sour cream and baking soda and mix for 3 to 4 minutes more. then sprinkle half the streusel over the top. b r u n c h f o r w h o e v e r ’ s a r o u n d 167 . mix together all the ingredients using a fork. then cut into squares. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. cream together the butter. and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. 5. make a zigzag motion through the batter. Add the eggs one at a time. 25 to 30 minutes. To make the streusel.
or you can take the high road and make it an at-home. To avoid a traffic jam. sets the tone for a comfortable get-together. You can let it buffalo you into submission. A buffet. cozy evening. especially one where you eat on your lap with only a fork. so that people can start at either end. I was in this predicament a few years back. I put the vegetables and fruit on both sides of the goulash. 168 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . I put all the food on a long table with stacks of plates at each end and the goulash and noodles in the center.Dinner for the Boss Simple but Perfect Spicy Pecans Myrtle’s Marinated Shrimp Crispy Almond String Beans Melon Crescents Gypsy Goulash Perfect Buttered Noodles (page 57) Plum Tart and Ginger Lemon Tart T here is nothing more frightening than entertaining for your (or your husband’s) boss or an important colleague. even the king of England. My trio of Polish wooden sculptures painted with quirky primitive faces stands over the goulash to make sure everyone takes enough. and I decided that Gypsy Goulash would be a perfect dish that everyone would like.
5. 4. stirring. Spread the nuts evenly in a single layer on an ungreased jellyroll pan or baking sheet with sides. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss to coat well. Worcestershire. stirring a few times. In a small mixing bowl. and I get a lot of compliments on them. Heat. 3. they keep for several months. combine the butter.Spicy Pecans Makes about 3 cups E L L E N’S I serve these nuts in small bowls for an hors d’oeuvre when I want something to go with a drink before dinner. and sugar. crunchy. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat. ½ cup (1 stick) butter ¼ cup vegetable oil ¼ cup dark soy sauce 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce 1½ pounds pecan halves 1 tablespoon curry powder 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 cup sugar TI P S # Do not bake these on a rimless cookie sheet unless you want a mess in the oven. soy sauce. Bake in the upper third of the oven. Break up any clumps and store in an airtight container for up to several months. until the butter is melted. chili powder. = d i n n e r f o r t h e b o s s 169 . combine the curry powder. oil. Add to the pecans and toss to coat evenly. 8 to 10 minutes. 2. and hot. cinnamon. 6. Sweet. until the pecans are browned and fragrant. cumin. Place the pecans in a large mixing bowl and pour the butter mixture over them. and Tabasco. Transfer to a sheet of waxed or parchment paper and let cool in a single layer for at least 1 hour. 1.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. # I devein shrimp only when the veins are obvious. crushed 1 tablespoon prepared mustard 3 tablespoons chopped scallions (white and green parts) 1 tablespoon chili sauce 1 tablespoon dried basil # My method for cooking shrimp keeps them tender. I have modified it a bit. so I am sharing it. on a pretty plate. Serve cold. then remove from the heat. 3. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for at least half a day in the refrigerator.E L L E N’S TI P S Myrtle’s Marinated Makes 6 to 8 ser vings Shrimp It wouldn’t be fair to keep this terrific hors d’oeuvre a secret. 170 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . The recipe was passed down from Myrtle Karp. with toothpicks. Place the shrimp in a large pot and add cold water to cover. They are best marinated a day ahead. 1. Peel the shrimp as soon as they are cool enough to handle and devein. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Perfect shrimp like these are hard to beat. 2. a good friend in Los Angeles whose son is also my friend. use a sharp knife to gently slit the backs of any of the shrimp you think need cleaning. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold running water. After cooking. Add the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Rinse under cold running water. if necessary (see Ellen’s Tips). 2 pounds jumbo or large shrimp 6 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dry mustard 2 cloves garlic.
halved. about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Steam the string beans until barely tender when tested with the point of a sharp knife. dry skillet over medium heat. halved. and sliced into crescents 1 honeydew melon. Melon Crescents Makes about 30 crescents I don’t think many people would serve this in place of a salad at a dinner party. but a adding a few toasted almonds is a good way to provide a little crunch and texture. 1. Add the butter and almonds and toss well until the butter is melted and the string beans are coated. softened ½ cup chopped blanched almonds. toasted (see Ellen’s Tips) TI P S # To toast nuts. seeded. and sliced into crescents 1 cantaloupe. these colors add a little pizzazz to an otherwise brown and white meal. You can’t go wrong by just tossing some softened butter with perfectly cooked beans. 2 pounds string beans. for 3 to 4 minutes. seeded. shallow glass bowl. seeded. peeled. ½ lemon 1 Crenshaw melon. The melon tastes very refreshing with the goulash. Arrange attractively in a glass bowl or on a platter for people to help themselves. In a pretty. and people always love it. Transfer to a warm serving bowl 2. ends trimmed 3 tablespoons butter. shaking them frequently. peeled. and sliced into crescents Squeeze a little lemon juice over the melon slices. place them on the baking sheet of a toaster oven and broil until golden brown and fragrant. peeled.Crispy Almond String Beans Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S There are many ways to prepare a vegetable dish like string beans. = d i n n e r f o r t h e b o s s 171 . halved. but I do. You can also toast them in a small.
reheat in a 300°F oven for 1 hour. I like to serve this over Perfect Buttered Noodles (page 57) with a crisp-cooked vegetable and melon slices to add a bit of color.Gypsy Goulash Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S When I learned to cook in the early 1960s. is the best type of meat to use. I have made this goulash for as many as 70 people. d i n n e r f o r t h e b o s s = 173 . deglazing the pan and scraping up the browned bits as they cook. and salt together in a small dish. When ready to serve. paprika. too. trimmed of fat and cut into 3-inch-long x ½-inch-wide strips 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening 6 medium-size onions. Pour into the casserole along with the remaining 1½ cups wine and 1¼ cups of the sour cream.” as the French say—add a few tablespoons of boiling water and whisk until the gravy comes back together. You can do this. Add ½ cup of the wine to the skillet and continue to deglaze the pan. Stir to combine. Once all the meat is browned. in the same skillet over medium heat. volumes 1 and 2. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1½ tablespoons paprika 2 teaspoons salt 3 pounds beef sirloin. 1 to 2 hours. or “breaks. 1. Just add the sour cream at the end. thinly sliced 2 cups red wine 2½ cups sour cream TI P S # If the sour cream curdles while you are heating it—that is. which is where I found this recipe—one that I have changed to my own tastes over these many years. Sirloin cut into thick strips. for a big party. much like the shape of a finger. 3. 2. transfer to a casserole. if it separates. The trick is not to heat the sour cream too much. heat the shortening until melted. (It can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated or frozen for a day or more. heavy skillet over medium-high heat. brown the onions. Cover and bake until the meat is tender.) Stir in the remaining 1¼ cups sour cream 30 minutes before serving. Brown the meat in the hot fat a few pieces at a time. In a large. I used the Gourmet cookbooks. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a slotted spoon or tongs. Transfer to the casserole. Serve hot. Mix the flour. 4. Dust the beef strips evenly with the mixture.
when small Italian prune plums are in season. It is just as good that way and even a little prettier. You can serve it with mascarpone. Brush the top with the reduced plum juice and serve warm. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. refrigerated for at least 30 minutes make a more formal presentation. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and dot with the butter. 5. 30 to 40 minutes. Brush the top crust with cold water and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. In a large mixing bowl. about 5 minutes. crème fraîche. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Divide the piecrust into 2 even-size balls. The plums have a wonderful taste. or plain old vanilla ice cream. 3. Roll out the second ball to the same thickness and place it over the plums. 12 firm. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet and place the cooked plums in the center. 174 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . transfer the plums to a large bowl. Bake for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon. Bake until the pastry is golden brown. not like the usual classic French one. Crimp the edges of the crusts together with a fork. ripe prune plums or dark plums (2 pounds). cut into small pieces 1 recipe Foolproof Piecrust (page 83). Butter a large baking dish and cookie sheet and set aside. sprinkle the plums with 3 tablespoons of the sugar. use a tart pan. With a sharp knife. 2. # If you want to During the summer and early fall. 1.Plum Tart E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # I sometimes make this tart by cutting a fluted opening in the top crust. so you can see the plums. 4. the cinnamon. # You also can make little individual tarts by rolling out smaller circles of dough. Roll out 1 ball on a lightly floured work surface to about ¼ inch thick. and they are a beautiful color—purple skin. cut six 1-inch vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Pour the juice in the baking dish into a small saucepan and reduce by one-half over medium-low heat. and nutmeg and toss to coat evenly. This tart is rustic country style in feeling. halved and pitted ⅓ cup sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. I love to make this tart. which is a nice option when serving 2 to 3 people. gold flesh.
The lemons can be stored in their cooking water. 1 cup water 2 lemons. 6 to 8 ser vings # If you make the tart the same day. then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. roll the pastry out into a circle about ½ inch thick. and one that is different from your usual neon yellow custard-filled lemon tart. and lemon. uncovered. let the lemons cool in their water. discard the water and set the lemon slices aside on a plate. for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. The filling and the lemon slices can be prepared up to two days in advance. which can be made the day before and rolled out the day you bake the tart. bring the water to a boil. 2. This is a truly elegant dessert.E L L E N’S TI P S Ginger Lemon Tart Makes one 9-inch tart. I like to use the Cream Cheese Pastry. Fit it into a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan. brown sugar. Shape the edge so that it is slightly higher than the pan. so you have only the assembly to do at the last minute. at room temperature 3 tablespoons heavy cream 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Pinch of salt ¼ cup crystallized ginger 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter. Refrigerate the pastry for 1 to 2 hours before rolling it out. Add the lemon slices and granulated sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. giving it a rich caramel color while retaining a light taste. It combines the flavors of ginger. melted 1. Let them come to room temperature before using. When ready to use. covered tightly with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured board. then for at least 1 hour in the tart pan before filling. In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan. 176 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . thinly sliced and seeded 2 tablespoons granulated sugar ½ recipe Cream Cheese Pastry (recipe follows) 4 large eggs. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
and brown sugar in a food processor and pulse. I can still picture Monique’s hands making the soft dough. 40 to 50 minutes. cream. = d i n n e r f o r t h e b o s s 177 . This recipe is easy. lemon rind. dough has to come to room temperature before you roll it out. Pour the custard into the chilled crust and bake until the custard is set and the crust is golden brown. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight before using as instructed in the specific recipe. Let the tart cool completely. Preheat the oven to 350°F. softened One 8-ounce package cream cheese. vanilla. until smooth. We entertained a great deal in those days and did it all ourselves. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter. salt. # Cold pastry Place the butter and cream cheese in a food processor and pulse until well combined. add the melted butter slowly until everything is mixed well. and I use it often. Divide into 2 even-size balls and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. With the machine running. then process. Add the flour and salt and pulse again until the dough forms a ball. ginger. Place the eggs.3. then decorate the top with the softened lemon slices. Cream Cheese Pastry Makes two 9-inch crusts E L L E N’S My friend Monique made this wonderful crust when we cooked with James Beard more than 30 years ago. 5. softened 2 cups all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt TI P S # Don’t let the cream cheese and butter get too soft before making the dough. They should be slightly cold so that the dough has some body. 4.
as many people do. thank goodness. tomatoes. An easy centerpiece is a collection of beautiful geraniums. . It’s hard to beat that finish to a meal. capers. would you mind if I brought a few people home for dinner tonight?” Sometimes I get a message on the machine with that request. and on page xvii I list my must-have ingredients for emergencies. olive oil. . The Bread and Butter Pudding is silky custard inside and crunchy. “Honey. don’t fuss. but the basics are there. always with the sendoff. “Something really easy . black olives. When I have chosen a simple pasta dinner like this one. I call this my larder. still in their perfect green pots. and anchovies.Last-Minute Dinner with Friends Using What’s in the Pantry Broiled Sesame Cheesies Pasta Puttanesca Crispy Romaine Salad Bread and Butter Pudding I t is not often. The pasta sauce here is built around garlic. Your guests will be amazed that you took the time to cook for them on such short notice. 178 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . sugary bread on top. I may have to run out for a head of lettuce or a fresh loaf of bread. I like to make the table look a little special. I use a hand-embroidered “Home. sweet home” tablecloth and matching napkins that I got in the ’60s.” I never panic in these situations because I have the ingredients for a quick and delicious menu in my kitchen cabinet. but it has happened that my husband calls up and says.
1. cilantro leaves. softened ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 2 tablespoons sesame seeds TI P S # Instead of sesame seeds. you can use poppy seeds. caraway seeds. Serve warm in a basket lined with a large. or chives. to name just a few.Broiled Sesame Cheesies Makes 8 ser vings E L L E N’S I first had this at my daughter Lexie’s house very recently—she is a good cook but busy with her job and her two cute little girls. and bake until golden brown. pretty napkin. 7 to 8 minutes. black mustard seeds.m i n u t e d i n n e r w i t h f r i e n d s 179 . 4 pita breads ¼ cup (½ stick) butter. = l a s t . Preheat the oven to 300°F. 2. Split the pita breads. 3. Kids love these as well. Cut into triangles. Or try an herb such as chopped fresh parsley leaves. Spread the butter on the inside and sprinkle with the grated cheese and sesame seeds. This crispy little buttery triangle toasted with sesame seeds goes with soups and salads. It is a versatile accompaniment to almost any meal. place on ungreased cookie sheets. or cumin seeds.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. # Never put cheese The literal translation of puttanesca is “whore’s sauce. It’s great cold! 1. I make sure always to have these ingredients on hand. Add the tomatoes. Place them in a tiny serving bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the sauce. such as rigatoni and fusilli.Pasta Puttanesca E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # Any kind of pitted black olives are good. and this is one recipe I make time after time because of its unusual taste. and cherry peppers. drained 1 cup pitted black olives. Remove the stems and chop the peppers. heat the olive oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the vegetable oil and salt. Add the anchovies and stir until they melt into the oil. to your taste. to your taste. Italians disapprove! # I put a teaspoon of leftover sauce on tomato slices.” The name refers to the sauce’s earthiness and robust flavor and the fact that it can be put together very quickly—in between appointments. the actor. With a slotted spoon. drained and quartered ½ cup water 2 or 3 hot cherry peppers. Cook the 180 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . capers. # This sauce also works well with other pasta shapes. until lightly browned. I learned the recipe from my old friend Ben Gazzara. 3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. olives. 3 tablespoons olive oil 6 to 8 cloves garlic. Perciatelli is a thick spaghetti with a hole in the center that is becoming increasingly available. then serve with a small spoon for those fans of hot-and-spicy. drained 6 cups canned crushed tomatoes ½ cup capers. crushed Two 2-ounce tins flat anchovies. 2. stirring. who many years ago taught me his Italian spin on cooking pasta. Set aside. He is a very good cook who loves to eat. rinsed 1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil 1 teaspoon salt 2 pounds perciatelli or thick spaghetti on top of pasta with fish in it. remove the peppers from the sauce. Add the garlic and cook. about 2 minutes. water.
about 10 minutes. then serve with more sauce on each portion. Serve the hot sauce on the side. then return the pasta to the pot and cover until you are ready to serve. Toss lightly. put the pasta and a ladleful of the sauce in a large serving bowl. l a s t .pasta until al dente. When ready to serve.m i n u t e d i n n e r w i t h f r i e n d s 181 . 4. Drain.
and when you use the younger leaves. 1 head romaine lettuce. dried. tender heart only. # I suggest basil. Just before serving. # Do not drown the salad with dressing. washed. Arrange the cucumber and radishes on top. but oregano also works well. pour on the dressing and toss well to coat evenly. 2. It’s a perfect foil to the spice of the pasta sauce. peeled and cut into small chunks 1 teaspoon dried basil ½ cup Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110) # You cannot refrigerate cut and cleaned salad makings for longer than 2 hours. and cut into bite-size pieces 1 medium-size cucumber. Put the lettuce in a large salad bowl. 1. peeled and sliced 6 or 7 radishes. This is one place where more is not better. 182 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s .E L L E N’S TI P S Crispy Romaine Makes 8 ser vings Salad Romaine lettuce is the crunchiest lettuce of all. Sprinkle with the basil. it’s the best. After that. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and refrigerate until ready to serve. the lettuce begins to wilt and lose its crispness.
Do not use an electric mixer to do this. place 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries. It can be made in the morning. Discard the husk. It takes only a few seconds for the pudding to brown and then burn. and salt until thoroughly blended. Don’t let the mixture come to a boil. set aside. granulated sugar. It was originally from an old New York restaurant called the Coach House. Eight to ten ½-inch-thick slices French or Italian bread. or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ½ cup confectioners’ sugar 1 cup heavy cream. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the little seeds inside back into the milk mixture. and set aside. which is long gone. 2.Bread and Butter Pudding E L L E N’S Makes 8 to 10 ser vings TI P S # You may also serve the pudding with raspberry puree. Gradually stir the milk mixture into the egg mixture. beat the eggs. 1 tablespoon sugar. and served after running it quickly under the broiler. softened 5 large eggs. split lengthwise. spoonful by spoonful. creamy and crunchy all at the same time. egg yolks. It is part pudding and part candy. at room temperature 4 large egg yolks. and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. butter each slice generously on one side. # The secret to creamy custard is to stir. and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. 3. 184 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . for serving during the broiling. 1. at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar ⅛ teaspoon salt 4 cups whole milk 1 cup heavy cream One 12-inch-long vanilla bean. not beat. I know. To make the puree. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. This process is called scalding. If you are using vanilla extract. cut at a sharp angle ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter. Place the milk and cream in a medium-size saucepan over high heat. stir that in now. Trim the crusts off the bread. # Don’t walk away This recipe is one of my favorites and was one of James Beard’s as well. 4. In a large mixing bowl. Preheat the oven to 375°F. if using. Add the vanilla bean. Push the puree through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds before serving.
5. Pour the heavy cream into a pitcher and serve with the pudding. this is known as a water bath. Watch it the entire time. Overlap the bread. sprinkle generously with the confectioners’ sugar and place under the broiler at close range until browned. It requires just a bit of extra time. about 45 minutes. but the flavor is worth it. butter side up. 7. Bake until the bread is golden brown. 6. in the prepared baking dish and pour the milk-egg mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over the bread. or bain-marie. E L L E N’S TI P S # Using a vanilla bean is preferable to using extract. = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s 185 . Set the baking dish in a larger pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the dish. 20 to 30 seconds. it can burn in a flash. When ready to serve.
mini marsh-mallows. depending on weather. the day. and specific parenting tips. and set the table. We relish the opportunity to be together. to bend (or break) the rules. I put out little custard cups filled with nuts. and measuring. The kids have their own assignments. and just to enjoy each other. and it is a great opportunity to get your E grandchildren. we sometimes wear wild and crazy hats while we eat. The sundaes are fun for all of us. Just to be silly. such as gathering ingredients. This meal is prepared and eaten on the deck or in the kitchen. Then we get to take over for the weekend. We all help to make this the most fun possible. Our children allow us the privilege of taking our grandchildren by ourselves.Nana and Papa Joe’s “Silly Supper” When the Parents Are Away and We’re in Charge Homemade Tortilla Chips and Sour Cream Clam Dip Franks and Beans Casserole French Fries My Favorite Coleslaw Make-Your-Own Sundaes with Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce very once in a while. chocolate bits. 5 to 10 emergency phone numbers. or even just an afternoon. inexperienced as we may be. and Papa Joe and I get a little bit kooky for the occasion. if you didn’t grow up in Massachusetts). They leave us pages of instructions. to take part. to eat at “funny” times. whatever their ages. without their supervision. 186 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . we get lucky. toss the coleslaw. They love to measure and pour. and jimmies (or sprinkles. pulling out equipment.
2. Serve the chips on a pretty round platter or in a basket. 3. It sounds like a lot of work. Drain the clams thoroughly. My grandchildren love it. Bake until crisp. combine them with the sour cream and onion soup mix. Preheat the oven to 300°F. with the dip in a small bowl in the center. Six to eight 6-inch soft corn tortillas 2 tablespoons canola oil One 4-ounce can chopped clams 2 cups sour cream ½ envelope dry onion soup mix # This dip is good for children of any age. Embarrassingly easy but amazingly good. = n a n a a n d p a p a j o e ’ s “ s i l l y s u p p e r ” 187 . Brush with the canola oil and place on cookie sheets. brush them with canola oil. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheets. Add a little salt. Cut each tortilla into quarters to form 4 triangles. All you do is cut soft corn tortillas into quarters. and bake slowly until they harden and brown. 30 to 40 minutes. and you’re done.Homemade Tortilla Chips and Sour Cream Clam Dip Makes 8 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S I love making these chips myself because they are head and shoulders above the store-bought ones. 4. In a medium-size mixing bowl. but it isn’t. 1. I just don’t tell them what it is.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay the bacon strips on top and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the brown sugar evenly over the top. The taste of brown sugar and bacon with the franks sort of dresses up this grand old favorite. chips. 1. 2. 188 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . Bake until the bacon is crisp and the beans are bubbly. I leave them whole. mustard. ketchup. # The casserole can get overcooked and dry if you leave it in the oven too long. Press the franks down into the beans. without added ketchup or onions. # The usual condi- This makes a great quick lunch or supper when you don’t want a lot of work. and sliced onion—go well with this meal. but some people like to cut them into pieces on the diagonal. 3. Place the beans in a 2-quart baking dish. 30 to 45 minutes.E L L E N’S TI P S Franks and Beans Casserole Makes 8 ser vings # I like to use plain baked beans. My choice is the fat knockwurst-type frank. Two 16-ounce cans baked beans 8 to 10 knockwurst or 10 to 12 all-beef franks ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 4 strips bacon ments—pickles. Be watchful. although any good-quality all-beef frank will work fine.
Drop in batches of potatoes (be careful not to crowd them) and cook until golden brown. # Only keep warm for 30 to 40 minutes or these will get soggy. Peel and slice the potatoes into French fry–size strips and drop in cold water to keep them white. 1. sprinkle with salt. Preheat the oven to 200°F. The key is hot oil and cold potatoes. 190 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . Continue until all the fries are cooked. transfer to paper towels to drain. deep skillet over medium-high heat. Let cool a little. Keep warm in the oven.French Fries E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # I test the heat of Homemade French fries are so easy to make and always worth the effort. Using a slotted spoon. 2. heat the oil until it is very hot but not smoking. 4 to 5 minutes. In a large. and serve in a basket lined with a pretty napkin. 4. it’s hot enough. 3 large Idaho potatoes 3 cups canola oil Kosher salt to taste the oil by letting a drop of water fall into it. 3. If it makes a spitting noise.
thin. Pass it alongside substantial main dishes such as meat loaf.My Favorite Coleslaw Makes 8 ser vings E L L E N’S I have been making this coleslaw since 1972. you can add the rest of the dressing or reserve some. it can’t be beat. # The secret to bet- Dressing: ½ cup olive oil 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ter coleslaw is to cut the cabbage thin. It gets soggy after sitting overnight. whisk together all the ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl. Slice the cabbage thinly and set aside in a large mixing bowl. when my children were young. thin. 1. so that the cabbage is coated but not swimming in dressing. Depending on the size of the head of cabbage you are using. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving. Pour half of it over the sliced cabbage and toss well to distribute. # This dressing tastes equally yummy on sliced cucumbers. cored 1 teaspoon celery seeds 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon dry mustard ¾ cup mayonnaise TI P S # This recipe must be made the day you’re going to serve it. 2. 1 large head white cabbage. To make the dressing. or chops. short ribs. = n a n a a n d p a p a j o e ’ s “ s i l l y s u p p e r ” 191 . Served cold and crisp.
mini marshmallows. 2 quarts vanilla ice cream 3 cups Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce (recipe follows) 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 cup Marshmallow Fluff. especially if the parents aren’t looking.E L L E N’S TI P S Make-Your-Own Sundaes with Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce Makes 8 ser vings # Be sure to have glasses of ice water ready for a sundae accompaniment. The best part of this dessert is my homemade fudge sauce. You can be creative and eat as much as you want. heated Small bowls of any or all of the following: rainbow or chocolate sprinkles. Everyone loves ice cream and especially if you get to put all kinds of stuff on it. crushed Oreo or chocolate chip cookies Maraschino cherries (optional) Put a scoop of ice cream in a pretty dish for each person and let everyone help themselves to the toppings. M&M’s. semisweet chocolate bits. 192 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s .
3 to 4 minutes. You can store the sauce in a jar for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. stirring a few times. He had a little pastry shop on Third Avenue and taught an extensive course in pastry in James Beard’s kitchen many years ago. Maurice Bonte. half-and-half. Heat in the microwave on medium power for 2 to 3 minutes. When the chocolate is fully melted. and vanilla in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Put the chocolate. beat with a spoon until smooth. uncovered. 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate 1 cup half-and-half 1½ cups sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract # To reheat the sauce on the stovetop. sugar. 2. 1. in a saucepan of simmering water and heat through.Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce Makes 2 cups E L L E N’S TI P S I got this recipe from my pastry teacher. Reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. place the jar. = n a n a a n d p a p a j o e ’ s “ s i l l y s u p p e r ” 193 .
The chopped red salsa. The bright green sugar snap peas look wonderful with the fish. Mom Cold Senegalese Soup Baked Cod with Tomato Herb Salsa Sugar Snap Peas Monkey Bread Summer Pudding A ll my children are good cooks. but Claudia. and she likes company. entertains the most. like a good sous chef. my eldest.My Daughter’s in the Kitchen Step Aside. I am happy to chop and do whatever she needs. But I think the Monkey Bread is the best surprise of all. She reminds me of myself when I was her age. Enormous wine goblets hold the curried soup that starts the ball rolling. served in my grandson Jonny’s “knee” bowl—made out of the clay impression of his knee and painted by Jonny himself—adds a conversation piece to the setting. Individual cups of summer pudding with red and blue berries and whipped cream finish this summer meal with a bang. She has three small children. The table is set with a collection of striped napkins in many colors and a matching checkered tablecloth. 194 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . always color coordinated. Serving the wine in multicolored Moroccan tea glasses with gold etching is a fun addition to the meal. She loves planning and organizing the meal and dressing up the table with special treats. but she is not afraid to cook for a crowd.
onion. until tender. Cook. where we would enjoy cold curried cream of chicken soup served in a giant wine goblet. resulting in a lively balance of tastes and textures. 4 to 5 minutes. Granny Smith. 10 to 15 minutes. stirring. If you want a summer menu that is refreshing and tasty. Stir in the curry powder and cook. my daughters Claudia and Lexie loved to eat this soup. I omit the chicken. add 2 chicken bouillon cubes to your regular broth. put the breast in a deep skillet over low heat and add water to cover. Place in a medium-size bowl with cold water to cover. serve this along with bread sticks and salad as a meal. bones and skin discarded. 1. add the leeks. or Golden Delicious Juice of ½ lemon ¼ cup (½ stick) butter ¾ cup finely chopped onion ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic 2 tablespoons freshly purchased mild curry powder 6 cups strong chicken broth (see Ellen’s Tips) 1 cup heavy cream Freshly ground white pepper to taste 1 whole chicken breast. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat. It has pieces of tender chicken and crisp chopped apple. stirring. Whenever they would visit. Slice the white parts only. melt the butter. = m y d a u g h t e r ’ s i n t h e k i t c h e n 195 . then cut them into ½-inch cubes. When ready to begin. we would treat ourselves to a decadent mother-daughter lunch at a place called Café Europa in Palm Beach. thin it with chicken stock or a little cream. To poach. then cut them into 1inch cubes. until no longer pink. Trim the leeks and soak them in cold water to rid them of any sand. meat shredded TI P S # To make a stronger broth. Place in a medium-size bowl with cold water to cover. along with a glass of champagne. 6 leeks 4 or 5 medium-size all-purpose potatoes 3 green apples. When serving it as a first course. Simmer. gently poached (see Ellen’s Tips). # If the soup is too thick. Add the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Peel and core the apples. covered. 2. drain everything except half the apples. and half the apples. for 2 minutes. such as Pippin. You will have about 2½ cups. It should be the consistency of heavy cream.Cold Senegalese Soup Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S When I lived in Florida in the early 1990s. Reduce the heat to medium. Peel the potatoes. garlic. # Use chicken with the bones and skin—it has more flavor.
Add the pepper and stir to combine. and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. cups.Add the potatoes and chicken broth. Remove from the heat and let cool. 196 . Transfer to a large bowl. Serve in chilled wine goblets. Stir in the cream. 3. and simmer until the potatoes are tender. 4. cover. or bowls. garnished with the shredded chicken and remaining chopped apples. cover with plastic. about 45 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or a blender in batches and process until smooth.
5. dill. Decorate with the lemon wedges.Baked Cod with Tomato Herb Salsa Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S TI P S I used to make this dish with Chilean sea bass. which will be used at the last minute. chopped 4 large cloves garlic. The herbed topping is one of my daughter Claudia’s recipes. garlic. or any other white. chopped 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chervil leaves 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves 1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram leaves 2 lemons. She throws this dish together at the drop of a hat. Lightly oil a large baking dish. 1. scrod. 3. combine the herbs. 2. Arrange in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. flaky fish. When the fish is done. In a medium-size mixing bowl. 6 to 8 thick cod fillets 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes. Limit the number of herbs to 3. thyme. combine the tomatoes. halibut. Preheat the oven to 450°F. for garnish # One-half pound of fish per person is the right amount. transfer to a pretty platter. 4. In a small bowl. and remaining olive oil and toss to coat the tomatoes. Still. lemon juice. and sage with good results. but since it has become overfished and is now on the endangered species list. Garnish each piece with a generous spoonful of the tomato mixture and sprinkle with the mixed herbs. I have used fresh cilantro. Parsley is the one thing that you need to bring them all together. about 30 minutes. # You can use any herbs you like. The recipe is just as good with cod. I find that I never have any left over because the big eaters always end up eating what the little eaters don’t. Wash the fillets and pat dry with paper towels. oregano. I wouldn’t think of buying it. although that is a bit too much for a small eater. = m y d a u g h t e r ’ s i n t h e k i t c h e n 197 . quartered. Brush with some of the olive oil and bake until the thickest part of the fillets flakes when pulled on with a fork.
shaking the pan constantly. clear green than sugar snap peas cooked quickly this way. Dip each roll in the melted butter and stack them in a 2-quart tube or bundt pan on top of each other. # If you have a larg- This recipe was quite popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Monkey Bread # You can combine Makes 6 ser vings dinner rolls and croissants to vary the layers of rolls. Add the peas and cook. 2. chopped fresh parsley leaves right before serving. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 2. 3. but be careful because it’s easy to overcook them. # Try adding some 1. Bake until the rolls puff up and turn golden brown. Clean the peas by pinching off the ends and pulling the strings if they come off naturally. 45 to 55 minutes. old and young. 198 = 1. 3 to 5 minutes. use an extra tube of rolls. 2 pounds sugar snap peas ¼ cup (½ stick) butter peas. It is too simple for words—great for the kids to help make.Sugar Snap Peas E L L E N’S Makes 8 ser vings TI P S # You may steam the There is nothing more gorgeous and bright. Bake 10 to 20 minutes longer. And everyone. just like a happy monkey. Any kind of readyto-bake roll is good for this recipe. Serve warm as soon as possible. loves to pull off one buttery roll after another and eat it. and I believe it is making a comeback. w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . It should take about 3 minutes. They add so much to a meal. Put in the center of the table and have guests tear off the rolls as desired. leaving 2 inches at the top. if you wish. melted er bundt pan or mold. over a pot with about an inch of boiling water and a bit of salt. The young ones don’t need this. 2 to 3 tubes prepared dinner rolls or croissants ½ cup (1 stick) butter. 3. until they turn bright green. Let cool slightly and unmold onto a pretty plate.
“Oh. picked over 1 pint blueberries. Add the rest of the berries and cook for 5 minutes more. 1 pint small strawberries. You want the berries to keep their shapes a bit.to 5-inch circles 1 pint heavy cream. hulled ¾ cup sugar 1½ pints raspberries. picked over ½ pint blackberries. you must try it. = m y d a u g h t e r ’ s i n t h e k i t c h e n 199 . it will be- 1. and you will love it. It was wonderful beyond words. Dip a circle of bread in berry juice and fit that into the come mush. stirring frequently. It has to be made the day before. until the beautiful elderly woman sitting next to me said. must try it. I almost turned it down. Line 6 to 8 custard cups or small ramekins with plastic wrap—enough to cover the inside of the cup with a little to drape over the edge. stirring gently from time to time. whipped to soft peaks. # If you overcook the fruit. for serving TI P S # Never wash raspberries or blackberries. I am sure!” She couldn’t have been more correct. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the berry mixture into each cup.Summer Pudding Makes 6 to 8 ser vings E L L E N’S I was at a dinner in the English countryside one June several years ago. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the lemon juice and salt. You. picked over 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Pinch of salt 18 slices white bread. In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. 2. # Fill the custard cups above the top so that when they are weighted down. Blueberries need only to be picked over for leaves and stems. too. cook the strawberries and sugar for 5 minutes. Strawberries must be washed. and summer pudding was served. # You cannot unmold the puddings a day ahead because they may not keep their shape. crusts trimmed and bread cut into 4. I wait all year for this dessert. they are too fragile and absorbent and become mushy when doused with water. they will compress and unmold better.
When ready to serve. 3.cup. Refrigerate overnight. unmold the custard cups onto serving plates and serve each with a dollop of whipped cream. . Place the custard cups in a large baking pan and cover with a large piece of plastic wrap. Add another 2 tablespoons berry mixture and top with another berry juice–soaked bread circle. The cups should be quite full. 4. Weight the cups with a cutting board or something else large and flat. or a heavy teakettle with water in it. a brick. Then add some extra weights. such as tomato cans.
such as a heart-shaped Barbie notebook and special pen for one of my sweet granddaughters. one of their favorite treats was a private date with me. They will talk like grownups and tell you everything. Children need that time to relax and ask questions. And they love not having to share you with anyone else. Children love that. James Beard always told me that the best way to learn to fold egg whites is with your hands. sharing a toasted corn muffin and hot chocolate. I always have some small surprise at the table. We would go to our neighborhood coffee shop and sit in a booth. p r i v a t e d a t e f o r t w o 201 . W I love making this soufflé menu for a child or grandchild. If you have a long private date.Private Date for Two Sharing Secrets My Gazpacho Sublime Cheese Soufflé The Best Watercress Salad Nettie’s Chocolate Chip Cake with Quick Chocolate Frosting hen my children were in grade school. They have all said these were among the most memorable times we spent together. he or she can help you make it.
trimmed and chopped 1 small red onion 1 rib celery. for decoration Take all the vegetables and chop them coarsely in batches in the food processor. and cubed 1 medium-size carrot. Chill for at least 2 hours. 202 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . and tomato and lemon juices. In the summer I keep it in a pitcher in the fridge so people can help themselves. seeded. Serve with a stick of celery. Add the seasonings.My Gazpacho E L L E N’S S e r ve s 4 w i t h ex t ra TI P S # The way to stretch this soup and make more is by adding more tomato juice and chopped vegetables. trimmed ⅓ cup peeled and diced jicama 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce White pepper to taste ¼ teaspoon celery salt ½ cup beef broth (canned is fine) 3 cups tomato juice Juice of ½ lemon Tabasco sauce to taste (for the adults) 4 ribs celery. Do not puree them. Taste as you go along so that you get what you like. This one has truly grown through the years. Gazpacho recipes have gone through many incarnations. I like to serve it in small mugs for my little guests to accompany this cheese soufflé because the combination is so good. trimmed 1 small cucumber. beef broth. 4 radishes. peeled. trimmed.
Remove from the heat and let cool until you can put your finger in comfortably. Pour the milk bit by bit into the flour. 4. at room temperature ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese (I like Jarlsberg) TI P S # The eggs must be at room temperature for this dish. heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Fold into the milk mixture. Cook. Take them out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before you are going to whip them. as warm whites whip to a much greater volume than cold ones. 5 level tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup cold milk Freshly grated nutmeg to taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 3 large egg yolks. stirring constantly. # When serving a 1. and my little guest is seated when I remove the soufflé from the oven. This is easy to make and ideal for an intimate light dinner or lunch. I usually have everything else ready at the table. The iced tea or lemonade is poured. 2. (continued on page 205) = p r i v a t e d a t e f o r t w o 203 . then serve. Transfer to the soufflé dish. 3. beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks when the beater is raised. This is called a bain-marie. Butter a 10-inch soufflé dish and put it in the refrigerator. at room temperature 4 large egg whites. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer at high speed. water is in the glasses. and will help the soufflé cook gently and evenly. beating well with a whisk after each addition. Place the dish in the water bath and bake in the exact center of the oven until it turns golden brown. beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition. about 40 minutes. It is indeed sublime—the way it rises and is so cloudlike—almost ethereal. Bring the soufflé to the table immediately for your dinner partner to admire. Season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper. 4 to 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. then fold in the cheese. Don’t open the oven door for at least 30 minutes while the soufflé is baking. soufflé.Sublime Cheese Soufflé Makes 2 ser vings E L L E N’S Don’t let the word soufflé put you off. Put the flour in a large. You may need to reduce the heat to keep the mixture from thickening too fast. Place a large pan with 1 inch of hot water on the center oven rack. or water bath. until thickened.
split. Core. 3. About 45 minutes before you want to eat. = p r i v a t e d a t e f o r t w o 205 . 3. toss the greens evenly with the dressing. Break off the large stems and place the tender watercress in a salad bowl. When you’re ready for the soufflé. Proceed as directed. beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. then fold the egg whites into the warm egg yolk mixture. Add a simple dressing.Timesaving Tip Here’s another way to divide the work. 2. milk. 2. Reheat slightly when you are ready to assemble the soufflé. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. fold the shredded cheese into the egg whites. especially Belgian endive. and you have something special. and slice the endive. The Best Watercress Salad Makes 2 ser vings I love the freshness of watercress. Cook the flour. a lot of air is incorporated into the soufflé to give it maximum volume. Wash the watercress and spin dry. When ready to serve. That way. 1 bunch watercress 1 small Belgian endive ¼ cup Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110) 1. Add to the bowl. and egg yolk mixture. E L L E N’S TI P S (continued from page 203) # “Folding” should be done with a large rubber spatula using a U-shaped motion. 1. Cover with a clean dishtowel and refrigerate. which combines well with other lettuces.
In a medium-size mixing bowl. 3. w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . I met an older woman named Nettie. Add the eggs one at a time. at room temperature 1 cup sour cream 2 cups all-purpose flour. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed. I tasted her cake and loved it. sifted ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of ground mace 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons whole milk 1 cup chopped walnuts ½ cup semisweet chocolate bits Quick Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows) # When I begin to smell a cake while it’s baking. I have kept it for more than 40 years.E L L E N’S TI P S Nettie’s Chocolate Chip Cake with Quick Makes one 8-inch cake Chocolate Frosting When I was age 20. she said it was only in her head. Trust your nose! 206 = 1. cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. combine the flour. Preheat the oven to 350°F. I wrote down the recipe as best I could capture it. baking soda. baking powder. She was a baby nurse for a friend of mine. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. softened 1 cup granulated sugar ½ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar 2 large eggs. especially for children. I know it’s ready to check and almost done. This cake is so delicious that it’s worth making for any special occasion. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan. 2. She did let me watch her as she threw together a little of this and a little of that until it felt right to her. and everyone still loves it. knocking out the excess flour. but when I asked her for the recipe. Add the sour cream and mix well. mace. beating well after each addition. Add the milk and beat well. Even just a dusting of confectioners’ sugar is fine. and she loved to bake. and cinnamon. Chocolate or white frosting works very nicely with it. I lived in San Francisco at the time. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter.
softened One 16-ounce package confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream. 5. ice with the frosting. and half the cream and stir until the frosting has the consistency of mayonnaise. # If you add the liq- uid too quickly. so be careful to add it little by little. Add the nuts and chocolate bits and stir with a wooden spoon until well distributed. Bake until the sides begin to pull away from the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. and you’ll always be ready to frost a cake. Add more cream if it is too thick. 30 to 40 minutes. beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Keep these ingredients on hand. Quick Chocolate Frosting Makes 2 cups This frosting is a formula for success: quick and good. # The reason for no electric mixer is that In a medium-size mixing bowl. the frosting becomes too fluffy and tastes less chocolatey. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. or whole milk. Add the vanilla.4. ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter. 6. = 207 . it will thicken and become more difficult to spread. If refrigerated. as needed E L L E N’S TI P S # You can moisten the frosting with a little coffee if you want a mocha taste. so it’s better to use it right away. light cream. about 10 minutes. When cool to the touch. the frosting may get too thin. cocoa. It’s not bad. but the color and texture is different.
I bring beets back to the city from my garden. 208 w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s .After a Long Weekend with Guests Too Tired to Cook Cherry Tomatoes with Sea Salt Golden Flounder Warm Beet Salad with Iceberg Lettuce Wedges Rice Pudding Sliced Summer Peaches and Cream I never know exactly what I can get away with after a busy weekend with guests at the beach. The Roquefort cheese and iceberg lettuce are already in my fridge. and I feel proud of myself for having made the weekend last a little longer with a taste of the beach brought back to the city. It’s a relief to end with a meal that isn’t too much work. Sometimes I have leftover rice pudding and use it to go along with my peaches and cream. This meal is perfect for all my needs because the fish takes no time and looks great. along with tomatoes and peaches from the farm stand. I stop and buy some fresh fish at one of the many no-name shacks at the beach. I have them pack it in ice and keep it in my small cooler. Should we go out? Should we order for take-out? Should we stop for a pizza on the way back into the city and call it a day? If I were alone. I would have a bowl of Cream of Wheat with sugar and milk and go to bed. But if I give it some thought.
a f t e r a l o n g w e e k e n d w i t h g u e s t s 209 . and toss with the salt. Place in a lovely bowl. we can eat right from the vine. preferably glass. 1 box sweet cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt Wash the tomatoes and slightly dry them.Cherry Tomatoes with Makes 6 ser vings Sea Salt What is better than fresh-from-the-garden cherry tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt? When the good ones are in season.
2. Wash the fillets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Yes. Lexie and Bill make this dish at home. 3. Serve immediately. sole. We have all learned how to make it. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. It is crunchy and buttery and so simple. and melted butter. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Arrange the fillets in a single layer in the prepared dish. 210 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . about 30 minutes. My son-in-law Bill is my resident wine connoisseur. which looks especially pretty on a white platter. Cover the fish evenly with the crushed crackers and drizzle with the butter. and it’s a snap. We can all share this one. made with the freshest of fish. or cod fillets (about ½ pound each) 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 sleeve saltine crackers. This easy and tasty recipe is from my kids. coarsely crushed (1 cup) ½ cup (1 stick) butter. melted 1. Bake until browned. crushed saltine crackers. Mom is learning from her children—all the time.Golden Flounder E L L E N’S Makes 6 to 8 ser vings TI P S # You can decorate the fish with chopped fresh parsley leaves or chives and lemon wedges. once again. so I count on his help in that department. 6 to 7 very fresh flounder.
peel the beets by sticking a long-tined fork into the stem end and scraping the skin away with a knife.E L L E N’S TI P S Warm Beet Salad with Iceberg Makes 8 ser vings Lettuce Wedges For beet lovers like me. sprinkle with salt and pepper. Just before serving. Place the beets in a medium-size saucepan with water to cover by 2 inches. 2 bunches yellow or red beets. Pour some of the dressing over the lettuce and garnish the beets and lettuce with the bacon and the chives. this salad is simple. for garnish # Scallions or red onions can be substituted for chives. Trim. In a small mixing bowl. Wash the beets and discard the greens. Serve the remaining dressing in a small pitcher at the table. cored and cut into wedges 4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese 6 strips bacon. 4. for garnish Chopped fresh chives (optional). if using. 3. about 30 minutes. arrange the beets and lettuce wedges attractively on a serving plate and sprinkle with the blue cheese. you can mix them. creamy vinaigrette. All one color is very nice. or Boston. w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . drained on paper towels. The combination of warm beets and cool lettuce is perfect for a summer night. Under cool running water. and the result is just beautiful. cooked until crisp. If you can get yellow and red beets. To serve. and crumbled. endive. Cover and cook over medium heat until the beets can be pierced easily with a knife. or a combination 1 tablespoon butter. such as romaine. # You can substitute any lettuce here. slice. or quarter the beets and place them in a large bowl. too. Add the butter and toss to coat. and crumbled bacon and blue cheese. I serve them with iceberg lettuce wedges. whip together the sour cream and dressing. and wonderful. Drain. 212 = 1. 2. softened Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste ½ cup sour cream 1 cup Ellen’s Favorite Dressing: Version 1 (page 110) 1 head iceberg lettuce. pure. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
and mix well. In a large mixing bowl. then unmold it when it is cool. or some freshly grated nutmeg. Preheat the oven to 350°F. If you do that. Pour into the prepared dish and place in the water bath. knocking out the excess crumbs. Bake until the custard is set and doesn’t feel loose in the center. sugar. at room temperature. eggs. Use the butter to grease an 8-inch square baking dish. sugar. milk. well beaten ¼ cup golden raisins (optional) TI P S # You can use a mold for this dish. sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon sugar mixed with a pinch of ground cinnamon. salt. and cream. vanilla. 2. if using. although it’s also great just by itself. 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs 2 cups cooked long-grain white rice 1 cup whole milk 1 cup light or heavy cream ⅛ teaspoon salt ⅓ cup sugar 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 large eggs. cream. then dust it evenly with the bread crumbs. 30 to 40 minutes. = a f t e r a l o n g w e e k e n d w i t h g u e s t s 213 . combine the rice. 3. 1. Place a roasting pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish on the center oven rack. Let cool slightly. but serve warm.Rice Pudding Makes 6 ser vings E L L E N’S I like to serve rice pudding with peaches. and raisins.
3. 214 = w a r m w e a t h e r m e n u s . Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. remove the pits. Yum! 4 large ripe peaches 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon granulated sugar ½ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar. 1.E L L E N’S TI P S Sliced Summer Peaches Makes 6 ser vings and Cream How can you beat a perfect peach? In summer. Place in a medium-size bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Cut the peaches in half. for serving # Half and half. heavy cream. 2. for serving 1 cup cream. Slice one and enjoy it with heavy cream and lots of sugar. To serve. then pass the brown sugar in a small serving bowl and the cream in a pitcher for guests to help themselves. Cover and keep at room temperature. # Room tempera- ture for ripe fruit enhances the taste. and slice. peaches are pure and sweet. Place one peach at a time in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. dish out each portion. Remove it using tongs and peel under cold running water. or even cold milk is fine to serve with these peaches.
Spicy Chicken Nuggets with. Parsleyed. 188 Green. about. 19 Blackberries picking over. 212 Warm Spinach Salad. 24 Bars Key Lime Squares. Baked. 180–81 Apple(s) Baked. Warm. Brown Sugar–Baked. 111 Apricot Ginger Chutney. Pam’s. 16 Basque Chicken with Sausage and Tomato Pimento Sauce. 126 Bloody Marys. garnishing with. 212 Bellinis. 107–8 Franks and Beans Casserole. 171 Anchovies Pasta Puttanesca. 79 Avocados Chunky Guacamole with Tortilla Chips and Endive Spears. about. 150 Arugula and Endive Salad. 155 Minted Fresh Fruit Salad. Mary’s. 89 Blueberries Minted Fresh Fruit Salad. 88 B Bacon Bread Sticks. 160 picking over. with Crumbled Candy. 155 Boston Lettuce Gratinée. 199–200 Sweet Corn Cakes with Berries and Cream. 171 toasting. 49 String Beans. 40 and Cream. 105–6 Tamale Pie. 58–59 Gypsy Goulash. Crispy.Index A Acorn Squash. 5 Asian Dressing. 199–200 washing. 50 Artichokes Soni’s Chicken Provençal. with Iceberg Lettuce Wedges. 160 picking over. Joe’s. 53 beurre manié. Warm. 5. 188 French Three-Meat Stew. 171 Tricolor Vegetable Puree. Sweet Corn Cakes with. 147 Berries cranberries. 162 Warm Beet Salad with Iceberg Lettuce Wedges. with Horseradish Sauce. Crispy Almond. 199 Summer Pudding. 199–200 Sweet Corn Cakes with Berries and Cream. 79 215 . 44 Cold Senegalese Soup. 199 Berry Crunch Bread. 96 Puffy Eggs in Casserole. 126 Toffee. 77–78 Beet(s) Brisket and Cabbage Soup. 60 Almond(s) Bessie’s Thumbprint Cookies. 153 bain-marie. 6–7 Beans and Franks Casserole. 90 Piroshkies. 134 String. 42–43 Beef Brisket and Cabbage Soup. 173 Oklahoma Chili. 24–25 Boston Lettuce with Asian Dressing. 159 Blue Cheese Dip. 199 Summer Pudding. 128 Tenderloin. 92 Mary’s Blond Brownies. 155 Blond Brownies. 195–96 Crisp. 107–8 Salad. 199 Summer Pudding.
56 Celery root Tricolor Vegetable Puree. 34 Mary’s Blond Brownies. Quick. 50 cinnamon sugar.Bread. 107–8 Brown Sugar–Baked Acorn Squash. 40–41 Minted Fresh Fruit Salad. 75–76 Cherry Tomatoes with Sea Salt. 24–25 Broiled Sesame Cheesies. 143–45 Devil’s Food Cupcakes with White Icing. 67 Cinnamon Toast. 65 Nana’s Macaroni and. 184–85 Puffy Eggs in Casserole. 47 Devil’s Food Cupcakes with White Icing. and Onion Hash. with Sausage and Tomato Pimento Sauce. 209 C Cabbage and Brisket Soup. Aunt Stella’s. Nettie’s. about. 60 Brownies. See also Bread puddings. Frances’s. Sublime. 137–38 Nuggets. 11 Roquefort Grapes. 191 216 i n d e x . 195 Potato. 38–40 and Veggies. 130 Chip Cake. with an Orchid. 80 Little Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream and. with Tomato Herb Salsa. 32–34 Lemon. Pastry. 126 Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce. Sour Cream. 161 Joe’s Scrambies. Stir-Fried. preparing. 26 Peach. Oklahoma. 8 Montana Flood. 128 Cherry Tomatoes. 199–200 Breakfast and brunch dishes Aunt Stella’s Streusel Coffee Cake. 67 Puffy Eggs in Casserole. 126 Bruschetta. preparing. Galette with Gorgonzola and. 149 Coconut. Spicy Chicken Nuggets with. 11 Tamale Pie. Mary’s. 195–96 Curry with Condiments. 42–43 Cheese Blue. 162 Quesadilla Triangles. 206–7 Chip Cookies. 128 Chili. 12–14 Chiles Quesadilla Triangles. 143–45 Cod. Toast(s) Berry Crunch. Blond. My Favorite. 177 Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. 72 Parmesan Toasts. Dip. 101 Capers Pasta Puttanesca. with Quick Chocolate Frosting. Old-Fashioned. Baked Bacon. 6–7 Cold Senegalese Soup. 197 Coffee Cake. 37 Puffy Eggs in Casserole. 162 Rancho Bread. 142 Monkey. Streusel. 53 Indian. 75–76 Joe’s Scrambies. 193 Chutney. Spicy. 89 poaching. 18 Puff Pastry Sticks with Salt. Soni’s. 198 Poori. 191 Cake Aunt Stella’s Streusel Coffee Cake. 180–81 Carrots Tricolor Vegetable Puree. 160 Our Famous Cinnamon Toast. 90 Chocolate Baked Fudge. Baked Potatoes with. Our Famous. 203–5 Tamale Pie. 67 Clam Dip. Baked. Nettie’s. 206–7 Chicken Basque. 150 Roast. and Onion Hash. 155 Brisket and Cabbage Soup. with Blue Cheese Dip. 142 Rancho. 166–67 Chicken. Perfect. 161 Provençal. 32–34 Frosting. 89 Boston Lettuce Gratinée. 107–8 My Favorite Cole Slaw. 179 Cream. Apricot Ginger. Tomato and Basil. Homemade Tortilla Chips with. 166–67 Chocolate Chip. with Quick Chocolate Frosting. 65 Laurie’s Crunchy Noodle Pudding. with Fresh Lemon Glaze. 42–43 Caviar Crispy Baked Potatoes with. 36 Smashed Red Potatoes. 96 Bread puddings Bread and Butter Pudding. 164–65 Sweet Corn Cakes with Berries and Cream. 166–67 Cole Slaw. Cranberry Orange. 164–65 Sticks. 28 Palacinki. 162 Summer Pudding. 187 Coconut Cake with an Orchid. 152 Soufflé. 207 icing. Potato.
147 Bloody Marys. 32–34 Dip Blue Cheese. 138 Cucumber and Yogurt Raita. 45 Nettie’s Chocolate Chip Cake with Quick Chocolate Frosting. Spicy Chicken Nuggets with. 47 Palacinki. 202 varieties of.Condiments Apricot Ginger Chutney. 85 Geoff ’s "Kick-Ass Margs. 162 Salad Sandwiches. frosted. 134 Dumplings Piroshkies. 2–3 must-have ingredients for. 38–40 Cream Cheese Pastry. 65 Puffy. 5 The Best Watercress Salad. 26 My Piecrust Cookies. 153 Joe’s Scrambies. 116–17 i n d e x 217 . 8 Plum Tart. 61–62 Crunchy Pecan Pie. 32–34 Frances’s Peach Cake. 176–77 Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. 40 Cranberry Angel Pie. 205 Spears. 203–5 Warm Spinach Salad. with White Icing. 153 whites. garnishing with." 85 Mimosas. Sweet. 30 Sublime Cheese Soufflé. 141 Cupcakes. Devil’s Food. 47 My Piecrust. 72 Perfect Lemon Cake with Fresh Lemon Glaze. 61–62 Cranberry Orange Roast Chicken. whipping. 111 Devil’s Food Cupcakes with White Icing. 213 Sliced Summer Peaches and Cream. 52 for Chicken Curry. 126 Montana Flood Cake. 187 dressings. 45 Corn Cakes. 79 Crispy Romaine Salad. 174 Rice Pudding. 82–83 Devil’s Food Cupcakes with White Icing. Chunky Guacamole with Tortilla Chips and. 155 cranberries. 110 Endive and Arugula Salad. and Cukes. 195–96 D Desserts Baked Fudge. with Berries and Cream. 111 Cucumber(s) Arugula and Endive Salad. Old-Fashioned. 61 Ellen’s Favorite Dressings. 50 Best Homemade Mustard. 113 Joe’s Baked Apples. xv–xvi cold weather meals and themes. 141 Sour Cream Clam. 137–38 Cold Senegalese Soup. 214 Summer Pudding. 177 Crisp. 143–45 Cranberry Angel Pie. Best-Ever. See Salad dressings Drinks Bellinis. 92 Make-Your-Own Sundaes with Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce. 88 entertaining advice for. 159 Bob’s Margaritas. 88 Cucumber and Yogurt Raita. 49 Chocolate Chip. 15 My Gazpacho. 16 Warm Apple Crisp. 44 Key Lime Squares. 105–6 E Egg(s) hard-boiling. tips for. 157 Pimm’s Cup. 139 Cookies Bessie’s Thumbprint. 206–7 Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies. 141 Tomato Onion Relish. in Casserole. xvi–xvii ten rules for. 184–85 Coconut Cake with an Orchid. 155 Toffee Bars with Crumbled Candy. 130 Bessie’s Thumbprint Cookies. Tomatoes. 49 Bread and Butter Pudding. 199–200 Sweet Corn Cakes with Berries and Cream. 182 Mixed Greens. 85 Claudia’s Margaritas. 32–34 Curried dishes Chicken Curry with Condiments. xiv–xv warm weather meals and themes. 5 Boston Lettuce with Asian Dressing. 89 Chunky Guacamole with Tortilla Chips and Endive Spears. 101 Ginger Lemon Tart. 192–93 Mary’s Blond Brownies. Warm Apple. 15 and Yogurt Raita.
149 Tomato Onion Soup. 88 guacamole. 104 French Three-Meat Stew. 19 Horseradish Sauce. 135 Spicy Pecans. and Onion. 96 Broiled Sesame Cheesies. 176–77 Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. 24–25 Greens Arugula and Endive Salad. Baked. Boston Lettuce. 89 Spicy Grilled Shrimp. 197 Golden Flounder. specific fruits Fresh. 75–76 Garlic Toasts. 75–76 Garlic-Crumb Broiled Tomatoes. Golden. 120 Homemade Tortilla Chips and Sour Cream Clam Dip. 36 Spicy Chicken Nuggets with Blue Cheese Dip. 188 French Fries. 77–78 G Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. 113 218 i n d e x . 83 Franks and Beans Casserole. 153 Guacamole. 24–25 Boston Lettuce with Asian Dressing. 19 Fish Baked Cod with Tomato Herb Salsa. 212 Warm Spinach Salad. 202 I Ice Cream Homemade Vanilla. 5 Baked Bacon Bread Sticks. 37 Cherry Tomatoes with Sea Salt. 87 Tiny French Radish Sandwiches. 75–76 Garlic-Crumb Broiled Tomatoes. 195–96 Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. 5 The Best Watercress Salad. 141 Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. 56 My Gazpacho. 210 Pasta Puttanesca. Pam’s Beef Tenderloin with. 99 Flounder. 75–76 Goulash. 119 Roquefort Grapes. 173 Grapes. See also Berries. Minted. 209 Chunky Guacamole with Tortilla Chips and Endive Spears. 210 Foolproof Piecrust.F First courses Arugula and Endive Salad. 88 Cucumber and Yogurt Raita. 207 Fruit. 180–81 Two-White/Two-Green Salmon. 105–6 Quesadilla Triangles. 11 Retro Shrimp Puffs. preventing discoloration of. 190 French Radish Sandwiches. and Cukes. 179 Cheese Puff Pastry Sticks with Salt. with Tortilla Chips and Endive Spears. Potato. 169 Stuffed Mushrooms with Shallots. 15 My Favorite Cole Slaw. 18 Piroshkies. 173 H Hash. 202 Parmesan Toasts. 120 Gazpacho. 56 Myrtle’s Marinated Shrimp. Tiny. 18 Quesadilla Triangles. 191 Warm Beet Salad with Iceberg Lettuce Wedges. Tomatoes. Chicken. 88 Gypsy Goulash. 205 Boston Lettuce Gratinée. 161 Hors d’oeuvres Baked Bacon Bread Sticks. 104 Tomato and Basil Bruschetta. 121 Crispy Romaine Salad. 130 Ginger Lemon Tart. My. 79 Brisket and Cabbage Soup. 58–59 Frosting. Chocolate. Roquefort. 182 Mixed. 96 Cold Senegalese Soup. 107–8 Creamed Spinach. 160 Fudge. 11 Spicy Grilled Shrimp. 135 Tomato Onion Soup. 36 Gratinée. 95 Little Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream and Caviar. Chunky. 187 Little Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream and Caviar. 95 Garlic Toasts. Salad. Gypsy. 170 Parmesan Toasts. Quick. Galette with.
20–22 Golden Flounder. 202 Nana’s Macaroni and Cheese. 26 Mushrooms. 203–5 Tomato Onion Soup. 128 Two-White/Two-Green Salmon. 157 Mint. 160 Mimosas. 49 Crispy Almond String Beans. 195–96 Cranberry Orange Roast Chicken. 192–93 Margaritas Bob’s. 52 N Noodle(s) Perfect Buttered. 182 Iceberg. Crunchy. 38–40 Franks and Beans Casserole. 12–14 Basque Chicken with Sausage and Tomato Pimento Sauce. 34 Monkey Bread. on the Grill with Fresh Mint Sauce. Warm Beet Salad with. xvi–xvii Quesadilla Triangles. 212 Icing. 36 toasting. 203–5 Tamale Pie. 122–25 French Three-Meat Stew. 160 mocha icing. 171 Roquefort Grapes. Tomatoes. 90 Pam’s Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce. Gratinée. White. 197 Baked Potatoes with Stir-Fried Chicken and Veggies.” 85 preparing glasses for. Best Homemade. 122–25 Minted Fresh Fruit Salad. Perfect. 19 Warm Spinach Salad. 122–25 Chicken Curry with Condiments. 107–8 Butterflied Leg of Lamb on the Grill with Fresh Mint Sauce. Butterflied Leg of Lamb on the Grill with. 137–38 Cold Senegalese Soup. 11 Sublime Cheese Soufflé. 171 i n d e x 219 . 150 K Key Lime Squares. Nana’s. 78 Melon Crescents. for last-minute cooking. with Fresh Lemon Glaze. See also Pecan(s). 58–59 Glazed Pork Loin with Mustard and Brown Sugar. Walnuts Bessie’s Thumbprint Cookies. 212 Mixed Greens.Make-Your-Own Sundaes with Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce. with Asian Dressing. 142 ingredients. 57 Pudding. 28 Piroshkies. 85 Claudia’s. 173 Nana’s Macaroni and Cheese. 24–25 Boston. 105–6 Sublime Cheese Soufflé. preparing. 6–7 Best-Ever Egg Salad Sandwiches. Laurie’s. with Shallots. 30 Brisket and Cabbage Soup. 85 Geoff ’s “Kick-Ass Margs. 69–70 M Macaroni and Cheese. 188 French Three-Meat Stew. 119–20 Mint Sauce. Tomato and Peach Salad with. 77–78 Pasta Puttanesca. 171 Minted Fresh Fruit Salad. Warm Beet Salad with. 15 Lunch dishes Best-Ever Egg Salad Sandwiches. Wedges. and Cukes. 210 Gypsy Goulash. 75–76 My Gazpacho. 99 Make-Your-Own Sundaes with Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce. 30 Boston Lettuce Gratinée. 128 Nuts. 58–59 Lemon Cake. 32–34 Indian breads. 153 The Wright Pea Soup. Stuffed. 192–93 Iceberg Lettuce Wedges. 79 Crispy Romaine Salad. about. 8 Lemon Ginger Tart. 85 Marjoram Onions. 180–81 Soni’s Chicken Provençal. 198 Montana Flood Cake. 28 Main courses Baked Cod with Tomato Herb Salsa. 28 Oklahoma Chili. 87 Mustard. 40–41 Tamale Pie. Fresh. 176–77 Lettuce Boston. 195–96 Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. 24–25 Cold Senegalese Soup. 92 L Lamb Butterflied Leg of.
82–83 Pie. My. 31 Sweet. for sauce. Smashed. 69–70 Sugar Snap. 128 Onion(s) caramelizing. with Caviar. Cream Cheese. 6–7 Pimm’s Cup. 166–67 Baked Fudge. 180–81 Tamale Pie. with Stir-Fried Chicken and Veggies. 184 Summer Pudding. Glazed. 40–41 Nana’s Macaroni and Cheese. 23 P Palacinki. 152 Shoestring. 57 Puttanesca. 150 Tamale Pie. 199–200 Puff Pastry Sticks. 78 Tomato Relish. 182 My Gazpacho. 83 Pimento Tomato Sauce. See also Bacon Basque Chicken with Sausage and Tomato Pimento Sauce. 120 Sliced Summer. 101 Minted Fresh Fruit Salad. 90 Olives Pasta Puttanesca. 139 Whole Baked. Cheese. 82–83 Spicy. Pecan. 173 Marjoram. 42–43 Pecan(s) Aunt Stella’s Streusel Coffee Cake. 142 Pork.O Oklahoma Chili. Basque Chicken with Sausage and. 42–43 Prunes Glazed Pork Loin with Mustard and Brown Sugar. 126 Pie. and Cream. Frances’s. 198 Tricolor Vegetable Puree. 199–200 Sweet Corn Cakes with Berries and Cream. 213 Summer. 214 and Tomato Salad with Mint. 128 Piecrust Cookies. 139 Rice Basque Chicken with Sausage and Tomato Pimento Sauce. 198 sugar snap. 72 Parmesan Toasts. 6–7 Loin. 169 Pie. 161 Cold Senegalese Soup. Tomato Onion. 199 pureeing. 155 Relish. the Wright. Crunchy. 177 Foolproof. 20–22 Potato(es) Baked. 134 Pasta Laurie’s Crunchy Noodle Pudding. 37 Q Quesadilla Triangles. 195–96 Crispy Baked. 180–81 Soni’s Chicken Provençal. 11 R Radish(es) Crispy Romaine Salad. Cranberry Angel. 75–76 Gypsy Goulash. 80 French Fries. 45 Cream Cheese Pastry. 107–8 Chicken. 130 Mary’s Blond Brownies. Laurie’s. 98 Tricolor Vegetable Puree. 134 Piroshkies. 161 Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. with Mustard and Brown Sugar. 12–14 Brisket and Cabbage Soup. 128 Pastry. 18 Parsleyed Green Beans. 61–62 Pie. 6–7 220 i n d e x . 56 Red. steaming. 28 Perfect Buttered Noodles. Crunchy. 160 peeling. 104 Raita. 105–6 Plum Tart. 190 Pancakes. with Salt. 40–41 Puffy Eggs in Casserole. 202 Sandwiches. Cottage Fries. 177 Peach(es) Cake. Little. Tiny French. 76 Chicken. 141 Rancho Bread. and Potato Hash. 72 Pancakes and crepes Little Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream and Caviar. 162 Rice. 20–22 Pudding Bread and Butter. 119–20 Pea(s) Soup. 174 Poori. and Onion Hash. with Sour Cream and Caviar. Cucumber and Yogurt. 164–65 Raspberries picking over. about. 56 Palacinki. Tamale. 142 poppadums. 184–85 Crunchy Noodle.
199–200 washing. with Iceberg Lettuce Wedges. 195–96 My Gazpacho. Cheese. 79 Brown Sugar–Baked Acorn Squash. Stuffed Mushrooms with. 179 sesame seeds. Warm. toasting. 128 i n d e x 221 . 170 Marinated. 87 Shellfish deveining shrimp. Brown Sugar–Baked. Sublime. 152 Sugar Snap Peas. Nana’s. 173 Strawberries Minted Fresh Fruit Salad. 153 Whole Baked Onions. 205 Salad dressings Asian Dressing. 58–59 Gypsy Goulash. 170 Myrtle’s Marinated Shrimp. 170 Retro Shrimp Puffs. the Wright. with Mint. 24–25 Boston Lettuce with Asian Dressing. 107–8 Cold Senegalese. 79 Shallots. 15 Monkey Bread. 160 Mixed Greens. 40–41 Marjoram Onions. Butterflied Leg of Lamb with. and Cukes. Acorn. 191 Parsleyed Green Beans. 95 Laurie’s Crunchy Noodle Pudding. 141 Fresh Mint. 6–7 scallops. 60 Creamed Spinach. 202 Pea. 23 Soufflé. Myrtle’s. 104 Sauce Cucumber and Yogurt Raita. 31 Smashed Red Potatoes. 79 Crispy Romaine. 5. 119–20 Warm Beet. 191 Spinach. Creamed. 192–93 Sweet Potato Cottage Fries. 135 Shrimp deveining. 121 Spinach Salad. 29 Tiny French Radish. 171 Crispy Baked Potatoes with Caviar. in Retro Shrimp Puffs recipe. Cold. Broiled. Warm. Tomatoes. 142 Shoestring Potatoes. 213 Roquefort Grapes. Retro. 42–43 Warm Beet Salad with Iceberg Lettuce Wedges. preparing. 122–25 Horseradish. 110 Salmon. 135 Side dishes The Best Watercress Salad. Make-Your-Own. 198 My Favorite Cole Slaw. 184 Sausage. 80 Crispy Romaine Salad. 137–38 French Three-Meat. 171 Mixed Greens. 119–20 Tricolor Vegetable Puree. 79 Cole Slaw Dressing. 169 Spinach. 77–78 Hot Fudge. 198 Summer Pudding.Pudding. 182 French Fries. 69–70 Tomato Onion. 105–6 Poori. 60 Stew Chicken Curry with Condiments. Pam’s Beef Tenderloin with. 135. 153 Tomato and Peach. 5 Boston Lettuce with Asian Dressing. Tomatoes. 19 Spicy Pecans. 121 Crispy Almond String Beans. 30 peanut butter and jelly. 98 Tomato and Peach Salad with Mint. 212 Warm Spinach Salad. 57 Piroshkies. and Tomato Pimento Sauce. 36 S Salad Arugula and Endive. Basque Chicken with. 119 Senegalese Soup. 160 Summer Pudding. 99 Sandwiches Egg Salad. 78 Melon Crescents. 182 Minted Fresh Fruit. 195–96 Sesame Cheesies. 205 Boston Lettuce Gratinée. Best-Ever. 153 Squash. with Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce. 212 Watercress. 134 Perfect Buttered Noodles. The Best. 15 My Favorite Cole Slaw. 203–5 Soup Brisket and Cabbage. preparing. 193 raspberry puree. 199–200 Sundaes. 198 Sweet Potato Cottage Fries. 191 Ellen’s Favorite. 119 Spicy Grilled. and Cukes. 98 T Tamale Pie. Two-White/Two-Green. 187 Spicy Grilled Shrimp. 170 Puffs. 135. 199 Sugar Snap Peas. 119 Sour Cream Clam Dip. 190 Garlic-Crumb Broiled Tomatoes.
49 Toast(s) Broiled Sesame Cheesies. 192–93 222 i n d e x . 209 Garlic-Crumb Broiled. 139 Onion Soup. and Cukes. 149 Toffee Bars with Crumbled Candy. 75–76 Ginger Lemon. 180–81 and Peach Salad with Mint. 141 W Walnuts Baked Fudge. 89 and Cucumber Raita. Baked Cod with. Chunky Guacamole with. 11 Tamale Pie. 202 Onion Relish. testing for freshness. 149 Bloody Marys. 95 Herb Salsa. 19 Pasta Puttanesca. 187 Chips and Endive Spears. Basque Chicken with Sausage and. 12–14 My Gazpacho. 176–77 Plum. and Sour Cream Clam Dip. about. 206–7 Roquefort Grapes. 120 Our Famous Cinnamon. The Best. 18 Tomato and Basil Bruschetta. 174 Thumbprint Cookies. 88 Quesadilla Triangles. 16 Tomato(es) and Basil Bruschetta. Bessie’s. 67 Parmesan. 107–8 Cherry. 42–43 yeast. Homemade. 205 Wondra flour. 16 Watercress Salad. 113 Veal French Three-Meat Stew. 128 V Vanilla Ice Cream. 179 Garlic. Homemade.Tart Galette with Gorgonzola and Cherry Tomatoes. 197 Mixed Greens. 36 Toffee Bars with Crumbled Candy. Galette with Gorgonzola and. 150 Tamale Pie. 130 Make-Your-Own Sundaes with Nana’s Hot Fudge Sauce. 58–59 Vegetable(s). 14 Y Yams Tricolor Vegetable Puree. 202 Puree. with Sea Salt. Tricolor. 75–76 Cherry. 42–43 Nettie’s Chocolate Chip Cake with Quick Chocolate Frosting. 119–20 Pimento Sauce. 15 My Gazpacho. 6–7 Soni’s Chicken Provençal. See also specific vegetables Baked Potatoes with Stir-Fried Chicken and Veggies. 164 Yogurt Blue Cheese Dip. 128 Tortilla(s) Chips. 159 Brisket and Cabbage Soup.
which warms our Texas hearts. anchor of Nightly News with Tom Brokaw “My wife and I love Ellen’s recipes because they are the essence of simple elegance. host of Everyday Elegance with Colin Cowie and author of Dinner After Dark “Around the Table is the next best thing to sitting down in Ellen Wright’s kitchen and sharing one of her home-cooked meals. A good example is her Oklahoma Chili. entertaining. In Around the Table Ellen Wright shares her recipe for success. She gives us a masterful guide to cooking. good friends. It’s packed with delicious menus that are easy to prepare and that everyone will enjoy!” — colin cowie. doable. anchor of CBS Evening News with Dan Rather “Homey. and simple but memorable food.” — dan rather. there’s no place like home. and the comforts of home. In fact. lively conversation.” — tom brokaw. and delicious— there’s not a recipe in this collection you won’t want to make. W “Ellen Wright’s Around the Table is a recipe for fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ellen Wright’s new cookbook becomes an everyday favorite!” —sally sampson.C O O K B O O K hen it comes to great food. author of Party Nuts! and The $50 Dinner Party T h e H a rva r d C o m m o n P r e s s Distributed by National Book Network . accessible. The best and most relaxed entertaining revolves around a comfortable setting. and getting together.
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