TAVGniTZ KZCIPES 2009

OUR FAVORITE RECIPES 2009
CHEFS:
Sisi and Bert Damner, Sue Gilbert, Judy and Don Gray, Maud Hallin, Anne Halsted, Katherine Koelsch Kriken, Kathy and Jeff Lindenbaum, Mary and Dick Lonergan, Jeanne Milligan and Wells Whitney

CONTRIBUTORS:
Kay Frank, Tacy Gaede, Sydney Griswold, Antje Hackel, Karen Lonergan, Katy Lonergan, Lexie Mork-Ulnes, Katie Nuanes, Kristi Pangrazio, Kay Phillips, Ann Satterfield, Jane Scribner, Lois Skaff, Patti Hanson Thomson and Barbara Walker

RECIPE TESTERS:
Jim Barber, Peter Dewees, Michael Dewees, Margie Ellis, Kay Frank, Barbara Gately, Keith Gilbert, Carol Henwood, John Kriken, Maria Kortez, Margareta Lidskog, Katy Lonergan, Judy O’Shea and all the chefs. Thanks to the many tasters as well. All recipes have been independently tested and most have been improved in the process.

EDITOR:
Dick Lonergan

PROOFREADERS:
Barbara Gately and Mary Lonergan

COVER ART:
“Preparation,” by Andy Skaff Andy painted this just for our cookbook. He was featured in Tahoe Quarterly’s Best of Tahoe 2009 as a “Tahoe Master.” He is a former Bay Area lawyer whose first exhibit was at the North Tahoe Arts Center in 2004. Today he focuses on plein-air painting and has a loyal following. His portfolio includes classic aspen portrayals and a popular series of Native American portraits.

STARTERS Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Salmon Roe Monkfish Mousse with Tomato Gelée and Salsa Gypsy Peppers Stuffed with Fromage Blanc Ratatouille in Parmesan Cups Tangy Red Pepper and Nut Dip (Muhammara) SALADS Apple-Cabbage Slaw Asian Coleslaw Autumn Farmers Market Salad Composed Crispy Green Vegetable Salad Curried Tuna Salad Endive and Escarole Salad with Mustard-Orange Vinaigrette Green Beans with Gruyére and Mushrooms Potato Salad with Wine and a Mustard Vinaigrette Tomatillo and Pumpkin Seed Salad SOUPS Chicken Soup with Lime Cold Cucumber Soup Quick Turkey and Rice Soup Roasted Carrot, Parsnip and Ginger Soup SAUCES Best Ever Tartar Sauce SIDE DISHES Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Ginger Garlic Green Beans Summer Squash with Mint and Basil Young Pea Shoots with Caramelized Shallots 2009

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PASTA AND RISOTTO Not-So-Rich Linguine Carbonara Risotto with Spring Greens and Prosciutto Tagliatelle with Brown Butter, Brussels Sprouts and Chanterelles MAIN DISHES Layered Swiss Chard, Beets, Rice and Beef (False Mahshi) Aromatic Pork Burger in Pita Bread Roasted Chicken Thighs with Peaches, Basil and Ginger Roasted Fish Filets with Brown Buttered Corn Sauce Rustic Tuscan Bread and Sausage Stew (Zuppa Arcidossana) Turkey Chili with Tomatillos Turkish Bulgur Pilaf with Lamb and Chickpeas DESSERTS Berry Pudding Cake Best Ever Persimmon Cake Fresno Raisin Walnut Pie Portland's Hillvilla Restaurant Pumpkin Pie Praline Cookies Raspberry Lemon Pudding Cakes Roasted Figs and Peaches Swedish Apple Tart with Frangipane Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies Virginia Roberts’ Ginger Cookies BRUNCH DISHES Chile Relleno Casserole Prosciutto Cups with Baked Eggs, Herbs and Asiago Cheese Spanish Eggs

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CAULIFLOWER PANNA COTTA WITH SALMON ROE from Bite Size, Elegant Recipes for Entertaining via Anne Halsted, Mary Lonergan, Wells Whitney and Dick Lonergan makes 10 small tastes 7 ounces cauliflower florets (from about 1/2 small head) 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 envelope (1 teaspoon) unflavored gelatin fine sea salt freshly ground white pepper 1/2 ounce salmon roe Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place them in a pot. Add the butter and just enough water to cover about one third of the cauliflower. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove cover and stir. Simmer covered until the cauliflower is very tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain off water and purée the cauliflower in a food processor. Place the cream in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let sit for 4 or 5 minutes and then bring to a simmer, stirring, over medium-low heat to dissolve the gelatin. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the cream cool to room temperature. Then gently mix it into the cauliflower purée. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place ten 2 1/4-ounce cordial (or shot) glasses on a tray to make them easier to move in and out of the refrigerator. Pour mixture into each glass, leaving some room at the top. Cover the top of the glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled. This is best if it is done a day ahead. A few minutes before serving, remove the glasses from the refrigerator and garnish each with 1/4 teaspoon of salmon roe. Serve while still cold with demitasse spoons. The salmon roe is an elegant touch that adds just the right amount of saltiness to punch up the taste of the cauliflower. If you don’t like salmon roe, garnish the panna cotta with a bit of nutmeg, a few shreds of crisped prosciutto and a scattering of snipped chives. And you can serve slightly bigger portions in small wine or cosmo glasses for a first course.
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MONKFISH MOUSSE WITH TOMATO GELÉE AND SALSA from Bite Size, Elegant recipes for Entertaining adapted by Dick Lonergan makes 10 small tastes Tomato Gelée 5 medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded 1/2 envelope (1 teaspoon) unflavored gelatin 1 1/2 teaspoons concentrated tomato paste fine sea salt freshly ground white pepper Monkfish Mousse 1 cup whole milk 5 ounces monkfish fillet (make sure all bones are removed) 1/4 cup heavy cream Salsa 3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced 1/8 cup red onion, diced 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped cilantro juice of 1/2 lime To make the tomato gelée: Place the tomatoes in a blender and purée until smooth. Place a clean linen towel over the top of a tall container; secure the towel with a rubber band, making sure that the middle of the towel hangs below the rim of the container. Pour the tomatoes into the towel, so that their juice is strained into the container. Refrigerate the container, letting the tomatoes drain for at least 8 hours (or overnight). The next day, discard the tomato pulp left in the towel. Measure the tomato liquid; if there is more than 1 cup, you will have to add proportionally more gelatin and tomato paste. Place the tomato liquid in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it sit for 4 to 5 minutes. Then stir in the tomato paste and bring to a simmer over medium heat to dissolve the gelatin. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a glass measuring cup. Chill in the refrigerator until cool, about 15 minutes. Do not let it become firm.
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MONKFISH MOUSSE WITH TOMATO GELÉE AND SALSA (continued) Place 10 cordial glasses on a tray. Divide the mixture evenly, filling each of the glasses about 1/3 full (about 2 tablespoons each). Refrigerate until the gelée sets completely, at least one hour, or up to one day. To make the monkfish mousse: Heat the milk over medium high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the monkfish and poach until cooked, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the skin and move the fish to a plate to let cool. Discard the milk. Once cool, blend the fish in a food processor until smooth. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the monkfish purée and season with salt and pepper. Place the monkfish mousse into a resealable plastic bag and cut a 1/4-inch opening in the corner (or just use a pastry bag). Pipe the monkfish mousse on top of the tomato gelée, dividing it evenly among the glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To make the salsa: Mix the diced tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, place 1/2 tablespoon of the tomato salsa on top of the monkfish mousse in each one. I couldn’t find monkfish, so I used halibut cheeks. This recipe is a lot of work, but it is very unusual, pretty and especially tasty.

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GYPSY PEPPERS STUFFED WITH FROMAGE BLANC from Organic Marin: Recipes from Land to Table via Dick Lonergan and Anne Halsted serves 4 as a first course 4 gypsy peppers 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper filling 1 cup fromage blanc, ricotta, or fresh goat cheese 1 large egg 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Preheat an oven to 375 degrees and oil a baking sheet. Make a lengthwise slit into each pepper and remove the seeds but not the stem. Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Gently spoon a scant 1/4 cup of the filling into each pepper. Rub the peppers with olive oil, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the peppers, seam side down, on the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the peppers are puffed and the filling is set. Remove the skin from the peppers. Serve warm. This wonderful stuffed pepper recipe comes from Green’s Restaurant in San Francisco. While the recipe calls for gypsy peppers (also called bull's horn peppers), any frying pepper will work. You could also serve the stuffed peppers as a side dish with salad greens.

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RATATOUILLE IN PARMESAN CUPS from Bite Size, Elegant Recipes for Entertaining via Anne Halsted makes 20 1 1/4 cups coarsely grated good Parmesan cheese olive oil 1/2 cup diced red onion (1/8 inch dice) 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (1/8 inch dice) 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper (1/8 inch dice) 3/4 cup diced eggplant (1/8 inch dice) 1/2 cup diced zucchini (1/8 inch dice) 2 beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (1/8 inch) 3 tablespoons chopped basil fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese in a 1 1/2-inch round on the Silpat. Repeat to form 5 or 6 rounds. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the Parmesan begins to bubble and turns a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the Parmesan cool for 1 minute. Then lift the rounds from the Silpat and place them in the cups of a mini-muffin pan (or over 1-inch round cordial cup bottoms) to form a cup shape. Let the Parmesan cool and harden for 3 to 4 minutes. When they are cool, gently twist the cups out of the molds and line them up on a flat surface. It is better to not pile them up. Repeat with the remaining Parmesan cheese to make 20 cups. Place just enough olive oil in a large pot to coat the bottom, and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers and cook until halfway done, about 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated, 3 minutes. Add the basil, and season with salt and pepper. Fill each Parmesan cup with ratatouille. Arrange on a platter, and serve warm. Delicious, low carb and an easy appetizer! Best when the vegetables are in season at farmers markets.

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TANGY RED PEPPER AND NUT DIP (MUHAMMARA) from Food and Wine Magazine, May 2009 adapted by Kay Frank and Kathy Lindenbaum makes 3 cups 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup pine nuts 1/4 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup walnuts 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped 1/4 cup unsalted roasted pistachios 1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews 1 pound (about 3 medium) red bell peppers cut into 2-inch pieces 1/3 cup toasted bread crumbs, finely chopped 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil salt and Cayenne pepper to taste In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add pine nuts and almonds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to paper towels. Add walnuts to the skillet and cook, stirring until toasted, about 3 minutes. Place on paper towels and let cool completely. Add onion to the skillet and sauté until the pieces are soft and starting to caramelize. Place the walnuts, pistachios and cashews in a food processor and pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Scrape into a medium-sized bowl. Add onion and peppers to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Press the mixture into a sieve to remove as much liquid as possible. Then add it to the chopped nuts. Stir in the pine nuts, almonds, bread crumbs and enough olive oil to get the consistency you desire. Season liberally with salt and Cayenne pepper. Serve with warm pita bread or with jicama rounds for dipping. Muhammara is a classic Syrian pepper and nut dip that usually includes pomegranate syrup, but this is a more bright-flavored version. If it’s not spicy enough for your taste, you could add Harissa for a more piquant flavor. To make this easier, you could use the food processor to mix everything, resulting in a dip that holds together better, but be careful not to turn it mushy. Or you could use more of some of the nuts if you don’t want the hassle of purchasing 5 different varieties. Just be sure you use 1 1/4 cups of nuts in total.

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APPLE-CABBAGE SLAW from Cook’s Country Best Grilling Recipes via Mary Lonergan serves 8 to 10 1 medium head green cabbage, cored and shredded or chopped fine (12 to 14 cups) salt 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into thin matchsticks 2 scallions, sliced thin 1/2 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup sugar 6 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes salt and pepper Toss the cabbage with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a colander set in a bowl. Let sit until wilted, about 1 hour. Rinse the cabbage with cold water, then drain and dry well with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the apples and scallions. Bring the vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard and red pepper flakes to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour the mixture over the cabbage and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day. If refrigerated for longer than 2 hours, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. You may want to add color by using some red cabbage. A nice blend of sweet, savory and heat! Good with panini, grilled chicken or sausages or even just plain grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.

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ASIAN COLESLAW from Tacy Gaede serves 12 (great for a pot-luck picnic) 2 green cabbages, cored and cut into thick lengthwise pieces (or buy the damn cabbage shredded) 1 red cabbage, cored and cut into thick lengthwise pieces 1 bag carrots, peeled and shredded (or buy the damn carrots shredded) 2 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced (2 shallots, finely chopped, work well too) 1/2 cup (or more) fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped or torn Dressing 2 cloves (or more) garlic, minced 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced 3 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce 4 tablespoons Asian sesame oil 1/2 cup canola oil 6 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon lime juice 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted dry roasted peanuts and raisins, to taste In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, green onions and cilantro. In a small bowl combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk until blended. Pour the dressing over the slaw. Toss until completely coated. Sprinkle the slaw with the toasted sesame seeds and toss again. Let the slaw stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. The light, tangy dressing and great textures together provide a tasty dish that leaves partakers with a healthy feeling! This recipe is huge, so I usually put all the salad parts DRY into a ziplock bag. It lasts for at least a week. There is usually a lot of dressing as well, and that will last forever!

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AUTUMN FARMERS MARKET SALAD from Bon Appétit, October 2008 via Lexie Mork-Ulnes and Sisi Damner makes 6 servings 4 1/2 to 5 cups peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (from about one 2-pound squash) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil pinch or two of crushed red pepper coarse Kosher salt 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil or other nut oil 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 4 ounces arugula (about 8 cups lightly packed) 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss squash, olive oil, and crushed red pepper on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast 15 minutes. Using spatula, turn squash over. Roast until edges are browned and squash is tender, about 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Whisk orange juice, walnut oil, and lemon juice in large shallow bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add arugula, walnuts and pomegranate seeds; toss to coat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Spoon warm or room temperature squash over salad. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses and serve. Roasting the squash gives it a sweet, caramelized flavor, which balances the peppery arugula and tangy pomegranate seeds. If you can’t find (or don’t have) pomegranate molasses, cranberry juice concentrate is an acceptable substitute. This would be great for a pot luck... really unique and delicious. The flavors are great together, and it's nice to have a different dressing in the repertoire. The walnut oil and lightly toasted nuts are very complementary

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COMPOSED CRISPY GREEN VEGETABLE SALAD from Easy Lo-Carb and Barbara Walker via Mary Lonergan serves 4 12 small asparagus tips a handful of mini green beans, trimmed only on one end 4 ounces sugar snap peas 4 ounces shelled green peas (or large frozen peas, rinsed to defrost) 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 ounces dry roasted chopped macadamias sea salt and freshly ground pepper fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved Blanch each vegetable (except frozen peas, if using) just until tender, cooling immediately in ice water to stop cooking and set the color. Cut vegetables other than peas into about 2 inch-long diagonal pieces. To make the dressing, put the oil, vinegar, and mustard in a salad bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat well with a fork or small whisk to form an emulsion. Just before serving, toss the drained vegetables, one kind at a time, with enough dressing to coat lightly. Arrange the asparagus, beans, and snap peas on 4 individual plates. Add the green peas, then sprinkle with the remaining dressing and toasted nuts. Shave fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. If you want to add a little color and texture you can add some radishes, sliced and cut in half. We served this as a first course for a dinner at Tahoe (a Rotary Club auction item), and all plates were clean. All ten of the kitchen helpers loved it, too.

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CURRIED TUNA SALAD from James McNair’s Salads via Dick Lonergan serves about 6 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons high quality curry powder (not mild) 2 7-ounce cans high quality tuna packed in water, drained and flaked 1 cup finely chopped unpeeled apple (Pink Lady works well) 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish 1/2 cup golden raisins, plumped in hot water for 15 minutes and drained 3 tablespoons minced green onion, including some green tops 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts, oven toasted salt and pepper In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder. Blend well and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine the tuna, apple, pickle relish, drained raisins, green onion and toasted nuts. Stir in the yogurt dressing, using as much as you like to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl. This is a tuna creation that even non-tuna lovers seem to like. It’s also nice served on top of a bed of dressed salad greens with a garnish of tomatoes, or even as a topping for crackers.

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ENDIVE AND ESCAROLE SALAD WITH MUSTARD-ORANGE VINAIGRETTE from Gourmet Magazine, December 2008 recommended by Jeanne Milligan serves 8 2 navel oranges 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 medium head escarole, torn into 2 to 3-inch pieces (12 cups) 4 Belgian endives, leaves separated and halved crosswise 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Grate 1 teaspoon of zest from 1 orange and reserve. Cut peel, including white pith, from oranges with a sharp knife. Cut segments free from membranes into a bowl. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice from membranes into a large bowl and whisk together with reserved zest, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper until emulsified. Add escarole, endive and orange segments to vinaigrette and gently toss. Escarole can be washed and dried 1 day ahead and chilled, layered between paper towels in a sealable bag. Orange segments can be cut and vinaigrette can be made 1 day ahead and chilled separately. Whisk vinaigrette before using. For a change, we like using escarole more often now for a salad. Simple but usually very successful.

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GREEN BEANS WITH GRUYÈRE AND MUSHROOMS from The Martha Stewart Cookbook via Mary Lonergan serves 6 to 8 1 pound tender young green beans, trimmed and diagonally cut in half 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or sherry vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/8 pound Gruyère, coarsely grated 1/8 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin Blanch the beans in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and chill. To make the vinaigrette, whisk or shake the vinegar, mustard and parsley until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the beans with the vinaigrette until completely coated. Then toss in the Gruyère and mushrooms and serve. This is a delicious picnic item to serve with other salads and meats. It’s great at room temperature. It is also a nice side dish, serving 6.

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POTATO SALAD WITH WINE AND A MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook by Mary Lonergan serves 6 to 8 (makes about 6 cups) 2 pounds new red potatoes 1/4 cup dry white wine 2 tablespoons wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 6 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons finely minced green onion 3 tablespoons chopped dill Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Boil or steam the potatoes carefully (about 20 minutes) so that they are cooked thoroughly but do not split and crumble. Cool slightly and cut into quarters. Do not peel. Immediately pour the wine over the potatoes and toss gently. Whisk the remaining ingredients into a vinaigrette, pour over the potatoes, and toss while potatoes are still warm. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. This can be refrigerated to keep, but bring to at least room temperature before serving. We like to serve this for picnics along with Curried Tuna Salad (page 11), Green Beans with Gruyère and Mushrooms (page 13) and a salad with tomatoes and watermelon. The flavors and textures complement one another, and together they are somewhat reminiscent of a decomposed Niçoise Salad. It would also be good by itself with sausages.

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TOMATILLO AND PUMPKIN SEED SALAD adapted by Kristi Pangrazio from a recipe shared in a San Miguel de Allende cooking class via Kathy Lindenbaum makes 4 cups juice from 3 limes, divided 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium-large onion) 2 cups roasted pumpkin seeds 2 cups chopped fresh tomatillos, husks removed (about 1 1/2 pounds) 1/2 cup chopped cilantro 2 tablespoons finely chopped Serrano or jalapeño chiles salt olive oil to drizzle Cotjita cheese (dry) for garnish (optional) Place the juice of one lime in a glass or non-reactive bowl and add the chopped onion. Add cool water to just cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain. Coarsely crush half of the pumpkin seeds; keep the rest whole. Mix the juice of two limes with the onions, tomatillos, cilantro and chiles. Season to taste with salt. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve as a side salad, or with tortilla chips or jicama slices as a dip. Making this a few hours ahead of serving lets the flavors marry longer; but only add the whole pumpkin seeds just before serving. If you like the somewhat sharp, but relatively mild taste of cotjita cheese, you can sprinkle that on as a garnish. Cotjita is sometimes called “Mexican Parmesan.” Trader Joe’s sells very good roasted pumpkin seeds in the nut/dried fruit section.

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CHICKEN SOUP WITH LIME adapted from SonomaDiet.com by Mary Lonergan with Jeff Lindenbaum’s help makes 4 servings 12 ounces boneless chicken thighs Kosher salt (optional) freshly ground black pepper (optional) 1/2 onion, peeled and sliced 2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons) 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon hot chili powder 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional) 28 ounces low-salt chicken broth 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1 large tomato, chopped 3 tablespoons lime juice 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro Cut chicken into bite-sized strips and season with Kosher salt and black pepper according to your taste. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil to medium high heat, and sauté onion, garlic and spices until well blended, about 2 minutes. Then add the chicken pieces and quickly stir all together. Sauté over mediumhigh heat until chicken pieces are no longer pink. Stir in chicken broth and green onions and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomato, lime juice and cilantro. Consider garnishing this zippy soup with tortilla strips or grated or finely julienned jicama.

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COLD CUCUMBER SOUP adapted from Stefani Pomponi Butler’s CityMama blog, August 7, 2005 serves 4 plentifully 2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and grated with a box grater or food processor 1 finely minced garlic clove a half-palmful of minced, fresh dill 2/3 cup Russian-style (thick) sour cream 2/3 cup Greek whole-milk yogurt (like Fage brand, available at Trader Joe's) 1/2 box organic free-range chicken broth salt and white pepper to taste Combine all ingredients, stir to blend, and chill. Serve topped with any of the following (or combination thereof): chopped cucumber, fresh dill or mint, a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, snipped chives or green onions. Diced avocado is a nice addition as well. This is a good hot weather item and is very easy to make. Adding a shot of lemon juice gives an extra lift!

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QUICK TURKEY AND RICE SOUP from Martha Stewart Living, November 2008 adapted by Karen Lonergan serves 6 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise and rinsed well 4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/4-inch dice 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 8 cups turkey stock, or more if desired 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 3 cups shredded cooked turkey 2 cups cooked brown rice juice of one lemon Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek, celery, parsnip, carrot, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add stock and Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in turkey and rice, and cook until heated through. Add lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. This is a perfect dish for the weekend after Thanksgiving, and it is especially good made with homemade turkey stock. All you need to go with it is a nice salad and good bread.

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ROASTED CARROT, PARSNIP AND GINGER SOUP adapted from Ten, All the Foods We Love and Ten Recipes for Each via Kay Phillips 8 to 10 servings 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise 1 pound parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise 1 large onion, sliced 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar 8 cups low sodium chicken broth 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper 1/4 cup crème fraîche, for garnish snipped fresh chives, for garnish Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine carrots, parsnips, onion and ginger in a shallow roasting pan to fit. Dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour 2 cups of the broth into the pan, cover well with aluminum foil, and bake for 2 hours, until the vegetables are very tender. Transfer the vegetables and broth to a large soup pot with the remaining 6 cups of broth. Season with salt to taste and Cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Purée the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, adjust the seasonings and heat through. If you want a thinner soup, add more broth at this point. Serve each portion with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of snipped chives. This is a delicious soup – great year round. The brown sugar and the roasting give the carrots and parsnips a deeper flavor, and the ginger and Cayenne pepper add a nice kick.

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BEST EVER TARTAR SAUCE adapted from The New York Times, September 25, 2005 by Jeannie Milligan 1 clove garlic 1 teaspoon Kosher salt 1 shallot, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons capers 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cornichons with their juice 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream juice of 1/2 lemon 1 tablespoon chopped parsley salt and pepper to taste In a food processor, purée the garlic and salt. Add shallot, capers, cornichons and their juices and pulse a few times. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and parsley and pulse. Season with salt and pepper. Of all the tartar sauces tried, this has won every time. Hope you agree.

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PANCETTA from Bon Appétit, September 2008 adapted by Anne Halsted serves 6 1 pound small Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved through root ends 1 teaspoon olive oil 4 ounces of 1/8-inch-thick slices pancetta (Italian bacon), cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage Cook Brussels sprouts in saucepan of boiling salted water until almost tender. Drain and keep in iced water to keep green. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté pancetta until crisp. Spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Add warmed Brussels sprouts to skillet; sprinkle with thyme and sage. Sauté over high heat just until heated through and vegetables begin to brown at edges, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. This is very good even if you only like Brussels sprouts just a little! Trader Joe’s and Costco both have 4-ounce packages of cubed pancetta.

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GINGER GARLIC GREEN BEANS from Gourmet, September 2009 recommended by Jeanne Milligan serves 4 to 6 1 pound green beans, trimmed 3 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (not seasoned) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted Cook beans in a 6-quart pot of boiling well-salted water until just tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain in a colander, then plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking. Drain beans and pat dry. While beans cook, mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then stir together with soy sauce, ginger, vinegar and oils in a large bowl. Add beans and toss. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds. This is a very easy dish to make ahead of time. It could be served at room temperature. Even better if served as a side dish with an entrée that has ginger in it.

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SUMMER SQUASH WITH MINT AND BASIL from Mark Estee of Moody’s Restaurant in Truckee via Lois Skaff serves 6 as a side dish 5 small assorted summer squash premium olive oil juice of 1 lemon sea salt 1/2 to 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese 1/2 bunch mint, chopped 1/2 bunch basil, chopped 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts Wash and dry squash, but do not peel them. Then slice each squash as thinly as possible, about 1/8 inch. It is best to use a mandoline or Japanese benriner. Lay the squash out flat on a large platter. Drizzle the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt evenly over the squash and rub in or gently toss to make sure all squash is covered. Don’t be cheap! The olive oil, lemon juice and salt will make or break the dish. Then evenly dispense the Parmesan, mint, basil and pine nuts so that every bite gets a little bit of everything. Taste and adjust seasoning; adding additional lemon, salt or olive oil over the top is fine, even encouraged. This is a fresh, tasty and pretty use for squash from the garden or the farmers market. It’s important to use the freshest vegetables possible and good olive oil. You may want to incorporate some lemon zest for more lemony flavor, and/or substitute pecorino cheese for the Parmesan.

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YOUNG PEA SHOOTS WITH CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle, April 16, 2008 original recipe from Charles Phan of the Slanted Door via Judy Gray and Mary Lonergan serves 6 3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves) 1 pound fresh, tender pea shoots 3 tablespoons rice wine 2 tablespoons chicken stock 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce Heat a dry wok or skillet on medium heat. Add oil and once it gets hot, add shallots and cook until shallots begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until it begins to get fragrant, about 5 seconds. Stir in pea shoots, rice wine, chicken stock and fish sauce. Continue to stir pea shoots until wilted but not overcooked, about 1 or 2 minutes. Here’s a tasty version with much less salt: Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper with the shallots. Use 1 tablespoon sesame oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon instead of the rice wine, chicken stock and fish sauce. Taste once pea shoots are cooked and toss with salt to taste, if desired. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately. Pea shoots are available during late spring and summer at farmers markets. Good served with rice and pork or grilled fish.

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NOT-SO-RICH LINGUINE CARBONARA from Cooking Light, October, 2008 via Katy Lonergan makes 3 servings 8 ounces uncooked linguine 1 cup low-fat milk (1%) 6 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 ounces diced pancetta (about 2/3 cup), or more if desired 3/4 cup finely chopped onion 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon) 2 eggs Cook pasta according to the package directions, but omitting salt and fat, until almost al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Combine milk and Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl; set this mixture aside. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is slightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add milk mixture and pasta to pan; toss gently to coat. Place eggs in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add the reserved hot pasta water, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add egg mixture to pan, stirring constantly; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is thick and creamy. Serve immediately. This is a great recipe if you're looking for something decadent but light and that is fairly easy to whip up. The sauce was excellent, creamy but not overwhelming. Tempering the egg with hot pasta water keeps the sauce creamy by preventing it from curdling.

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RISOTTO WITH SPRING GREENS AND PROSCIUTTO from O Magazine, June 2009 via Sue Gilbert serves 6 7 or 8 cups unsalted chicken stock 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 shallot, chopped 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice 2 cups chopped, fresh, spring greens, such as arugula, spinach or chard 4 ounces prosciutto, diced into 1/4-inch pieces 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 teaspoon sea salt freshly ground pepper Pecorino, Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated Add chicken stock to a pot and bring to a simmer. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium high heat. Sauté shallot until just soft. Add rice and sauté, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour a ladleful of hot chicken stock into the mixture and stir constantly until stock almost evaporates. Pour another ladleful in and stir until it is absorbed. Keep doing this for 14 minutes or longer, adding just enough hot stock each time to keep the rice from sticking. Slowly, the rice will become creamy. After that 14 minutes, when the rice is getting softer but is not completely cooked in the center, add the greens. Continue adding stock for another 2 minutes then add the prosciutto. Stir another minute and continue adding stock until the rice has just the right texture. Each grain should retain its shape, but the overall risotto should have a velvety creaminess. You will use 7 or 8 cups of stock depending on when the rice has the right consistency for your taste. Add butter and salt. Season to taste with pepper and serve with grated cheese. A different twist on risotto. I used arugula, which gives the dish a nice, fresh tang; you may prefer a stronger flavored green for a more distinctive taste.

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TAGLIATELLE WITH BROWN BUTTER, BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND CHANTERELLES from Stefan Terje in San Francisco, October 2009 via Dick Lonergan serves 6 as main course, 10 as first course 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 2 tablespoons shallots, chopped 6 sage leaves, chopped 1/2 pound golden chanterelle mushrooms, thinly sliced 1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced 10 ounces fresh tagliatelle (or fettuccine) pasta grated Parmigiano-Reggiano salt and pepper Cook 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until it foams and turns light brown. Add the shallots and sage; cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the chanterelles and Brussels sprouts and cook until the mushrooms start to soften and the sprouts soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Cover to keep warm. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until almost done. Drain but do not rinse. The pasta should be very wet. Add the pasta to the pan with the Brussels sprouts mixture. Stir in the remaining butter, sprinkle with Parmesan, taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warm platter and serve. If you can’t find chanterelles, substitute shiitake or oyster mushrooms. This is even better with the addition of diced pancetta (about 1 cup) with the shallots and sage.

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LAYERED SWISS CHARD, BEETS, RICE AND BEEF (FALSE MAHSHI) from The New York Times, September 24, 2008 via Katherine KoelschKriken 6 to 8 servings 1 1/2 cups long-grain jasmine rice 2 pounds rib-eye steak, cut in 1 inch cubes salt and coarsely ground black pepper 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 2 large onions, peeled and diced 2 large beets (about 1 pound), peeled, one cut into 1/2-inch dice and one grated 1 pound Swiss chard, leaves left whole and stems cut into 2-inch pieces 8 teaspoons sugar, divided 4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped and divided 1 teaspoon dried mint 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup), divided Place rice in mixing bowl and cover with water. Stir, drain off cloudy water and repeat until water runs clear. Cover rice with fresh water and let soak for about 1 hour. Season beef with salt and pepper to taste. Place Dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. When oil is shimmering, add beef and sauté until well-browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Return pan to heat and add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Add onions and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add diced beets and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add two thirds of the Swiss chard stems and continue cooking until onions are golden, about 5 more minutes. Stir in beef, cover and remove from heat. Drain rice and return to a bowl. Sprinkle with salt to taste, 5 teaspoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon fresh mint and dried mint. Stir to blend and add garlic, grated beet, remaining oil and juice of 1 lemon. Spread one-third of Swiss chard leaves in the Dutch oven on top of beef mixture. Spoon half of rice mixture on top and cover with another third of chard leaves. Spread with remaining Swiss chard leaves and stems.

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LAYERED SWISS CHARD, BEETS, RICE AND BEEF (FALSE MAHSHI) (continued) In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups water with remaining 3 teaspoons sugar and juice of another lemon. Taste and if necessary, add more sugar or lemon juice so mixture is both sweet and sour. Pour over Swiss chard and bring to a boil. Cook partially covered until chard begins to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water if pan is very wide and there is little liquid on bottom. Poke handle of a wooden spoon into the mixture in three places, making holes to let steam rise through the chard. Cover, reduce heat to very low and cook until rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining lemon juice and remaining fresh mint. This is a dish of Sephardic origin from Iraq. “Mahshi” means “stuffed” in Arabic, but this is a layered dish, hence this is a false mahshi. Each time I follow this recipe, it turns out differently, never to disappoint.

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AROMATIC PORK BURGER IN PITA BREAD from Lazy Days and Beach Blankets via Sisi Damner serves 6 very generously 3 slices white bread 5 tablespoons milk 1 3/4 pounds ground pork 2 eggs handful of chopped parsley 4 cloves crushed garlic 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper seeds of 4 cardamom pods, crushed (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom) 1 teaspoon sea salt freshly ground pepper olive oil for brushing tomato chutney (best from an Indian stand at the Farmers Market) 6 pita breads (not whole wheat as they dry out too much) 2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded 10 ounces plain yogurt (or herb mayonnaise) Soak the bread in the milk for 10 or 15 minutes until soft, then squeeze the bread with your hands until it is almost dry and put in a bowl. Discard the milk. Add the ground pork, eggs, parsley, garlic, spices, salt and plenty of pepper. Mix well, cover and let stand for 60 minutes. Shape the meat mixture into 12 patties. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Preheat the grill. When ready to cook, brush the patties lightly with olive oil and grill for 15 minutes or so, turning them from time to time to avoid burning. Cut into one of the patties; if it is still pink, cook another 5 minutes. Transfer the burgers to a plate. Spread a spoonful of tomato chutney on each one. Heat the pita breads on the grill until just warm. Cut each in half, open and fill with lettuce, yogurt and a burger. Serve. We have served these Pork Burgers at parties and they have a real "Wow" effect. They are also delicious simply on a bed of lettuce. Enjoy!

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ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH PEACHES, BASIL AND GINGER from The New York Times, July 22, 2009 via Anne Halsted serves 4 1/2 pound hard peaches 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch strips 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons dry (fino) sherry 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped and divided 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 inch piece fresh ginger root, grated 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve peaches, remove pits and slice into 1/2 inch thick pieces. In a 9 inch by 13 inch pan, toss all ingredients except 1 tablespoon basil. Roast until meat is cooked through and peaches are softened, about 20 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil. Sauce will be thin, so serve with couscous or rice, or with crusty bread to mop up sauce. Tasty, quick and easy! It’s a nice recipe for those peaches that just will not ripen.

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ROASTED FISH FILLETS WITH BROWN BUTTERED CORN SAUCE from The New York Times, September 5, 2007 via Anne Halsted serves 4 6 fish fillets (striped bass, flounder or red snapper), each about 6 to 8 ounces Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, optional Brown Buttered Corn (see recipe below) 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste chopped fresh soft herbs (basil, mint, parsley, cilantro). Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Season fillets with salt and pepper and place in a baking pan, skin-side down. In a small bowl, mash together the butter, about two-thirds of the garlic, and the lemon zest if using. Smear on top of fish fillets. Roast until cooked through to taste, 7 to 12 minutes depending upon variety of fish and thickness of fillets. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, purée half the brown buttered corn with broth or water, oil, lemon juice and remaining garlic. Stir in remaining corn. Serve sauce over fish, garnished with herbs. BROWN BUTTERED CORN 3 ears corn, shucked 4 tablespoons butter 4 sprigs thyme, preferably lemon thyme coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Break ears of corn in half and stand one half vertically on a cutting board. Using a sawing motion, run a knife between cob and kernels to remove kernels. Using back of knife, scrape denuded cob to release corn's juices.

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ROASTED FISH FILLETS WITH BROWN BUTTERED CORN SAUCE (continued) Transfer kernels and juice to a bowl. Repeat with remaining corn. Melt butter in a saucepan and add thyme. Let butter cook until you see golden brown specks in bottom of pan and butter smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Add corn, juices and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well and cover pot. Let cook until corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove thyme springs, add more salt and pepper if desired and serve hot, alone or as a side dish, garnished with herbs if desired. The fish recipe is delicious, and the corn serves as a wonderful starch accompaniment!

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RUSTIC TUSCAN BREAD AND SAUSAGE STEW (ZUPPA ARCIDOSSANA) from The New York Times, April 24, 2009 via Sue Gilbert serves 4 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 pound Italian sausage removed from casings 1 cup diced carrots 1 large onion, chopped 3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped salt and black pepper 1 cup stale bread (coarse, country style bread), cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1/2 pound spinach, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped 1/4 to 1/2 cup ricotta salata, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional) Put oil in a large pot or deep skillet and brown sausage over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. When sausage is cooked through, add carrots, onion, and garlic and continue to cook until vegetables soften and brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add bread to pan and stir for a minute or two; add spinach and continue cooking until it wilts, a couple of minutes. Add about 2 cups of water and stir to loosen any brown bits in pan. There should be some broth, so add another cup of water if necessary. When broth is the consistency of gravy, ladle into serving bowls and top with cheese and parsley. A flavorful, easy, and unusually hearty soup or stew. Named for the town in which it originated, Arcidosso, it’s dense, thick and dark, almost a stew.

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TURKEY CHILI WITH TOMATILLOS from Cooking for Heart and Soul adapted by Katy Lonergan and Mary Lonergan serves 8 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 pounds coarsely ground turkey meat salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 tablespoons chili powder (or more to taste) 1 tablespoon dried oregano (not powdered) 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 16-ounce jar green chili salsa 3 cups cooked black beans Cayenne pepper to taste 3/4 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed in hot water and cut into 1/2-inch dice, divided 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro nonfat sour cream for garnish Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey meat, season with salt and pepper and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat from the pan. Add the onion, red and green pepper, garlic, cumin seeds, chili powder and oregano. Sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook 2 more minutes, stirring well. Add the salsa and cooked black beans and cook until the meat is tender, about 5 more minutes. Check the seasoning and add Cayenne pepper to taste. Then add half the tomatillos and stir. Add water or chicken broth as needed. Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with the remaining tomatillos and chopped cilantro. Garnish with a dollop or more of sour cream. Hearty and heart healthy! Not your typical chili. The tomatillos add a refreshing texture and flavor. If you like more toppings, add shredded cheese and chopped tomatoes. Cornbread goes very well with this.
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TURKISH BULGUR PILAF WITH LAMB AND CHICKPEAS
from the San Francisco Chronicle, January 14, 2009 adapted by Judy Gray serves 6 4 tablespoons butter, divided 1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and gristle, in 1/2-inch cubes 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion 2 fresh Anaheim chiles, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed, then sliced thinly crosswise 1 cup bulgur wheat 1 cup cooked chickpeas (rinsed if canned) 3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground medium-hot red pepper (Syrian Aleppo) freshly ground black pepper In a large deep pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over moderate heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Add 5 cups of water, bring to a simmer, then adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain, saving 1 1/2 cups of broth; keep hot. Return the large pot to moderate heat and add another 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the sliced onion and chiles and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bulgur, then add the browned lamb, hot lamb broth, chickpeas and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the bulgur has absorbed all the broth and is tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover, drape a dish towel across the top of the pot to absorb some of the steam, and replace the lid. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Just before serving, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet. Add the cumin, mint, red pepper and several grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to bloom the spices, then stir this mixture into the pilaf with a fork. Season to taste with salt and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chopped mint and chopped green onions. Aleppo pepper is best, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper.

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BERRY PUDDING CAKE from Sunset, August 2003 (MyRecipes.com) adapted by Antje Hackel serves 10 2 cups fresh blueberries (2 baskets) 2 cups fresh raspberries (almost 2 baskets) 1 cup granulated sugar, divided 4 large eggs 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon orange peel, grated 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 pint whipping cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powdered sugar for dusting (optional) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, mix berries with 1/4 cup sugar and spread level. In a bowl, whisk eggs, olive oil, orange peel, vanilla, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Pour batter evenly over berry mixture and gently spread to cover berries. Bake until top springs slightly when pressed in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Whip cream just until soft and incorporate vanilla at end. Serve warm. Put under broiler for 5 minutes if made ahead. Serve with the softly whipped cream. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving if desired. This tender cake bakes over sweet berries, creating a juicy, cobbler-like dessert.

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BEST EVER PERSIMMON CAKE an old family recipe from Patti Hanson Thomson serves 16 (2 nine-inch cakes) 1/2 cup melted sweet butter 1 cup white sugar 1 cup light brown sugar 2 eggs 2 cups ripe persimmon pulp (use food processor to blend) 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups chopped walnuts 1 cup golden raisins 1 cup chopped pitted dates 2 cups flour whole almonds whole pecans maraschino cherry Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Mix the butter, sugars and eggs until sugar is absorbed. Add the persimmon pulp, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine. Mix together the walnuts, golden raisins, dates and flour. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together. Pour half into each cake pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until cake is done. Test with a toothpick. Decorate the cake tops with almonds, pecans and a cherry in the middle. Great ingredients yield pleasant tasting cakes. The cakes freeze well, so take advantage of your ripe persimmons!

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FRESNO RAISIN WALNUT PIE from a late 1960s Gourmet Magazine out of Katherine KoelschKriken’s file serves 8 2 cups seedless dark raisins 2 cups water 2/3 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 6 tablespoons butter, divided 9-inch unbaked pie shell, including top crust 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a saucepan, combine seedless dark raisins and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in sugar, cornstarch, salt and ground cloves. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils and turns clear and slightly thick. Remove from heat and stir in red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of butter. Let filling cool slightly. Turn into unbaked pie shell and top with top crust. Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry is browned. Remove pie from oven. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and mix with brown sugar and walnuts. Spoon mixture over the top of the pie. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer. Cut it into wedges while still hot and serve. I serve this with slices of Gouda, Munster or Monterey Jack cheese or plain yogurt. My sister Jane Houghton and I love baking and serving this pie, especially in autumn. Always a hit.

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PORTLAND’S HILLVILLA RESTAURANT PUMPKIN PIE from recipezaar.com via Ann Satterfield serves 8 2 large eggs, beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 15-ounce can pumpkin 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons Hillvilla Pumpkin Pie Spice (see recipe below) 1 cup evaporated milk 1/2 cup half-and-half 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 9-inch pastry shell Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, brown sugar and seasoning mix. In saucepan, mix evaporated milk, half and half and granulated sugar. Cook over low heat until sugar dissolves. Slowly add to the pumpkin mixture and thoroughly mix. Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. If you have extra filling, pour into a ramekin and bake for a crustless pie. Lower heat to 350 degrees and cook 30 minutes more; don’t worry if it is not set. Refrigerate before serving. HILLVILLA PUMPKIN PIE SPICE makes 1/4 cup (enough for 4 pies) 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground allspice 2 teaspoons ground black pepper (that's correct!) 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ground cloves and ground ginger Mix all ingredients together, and store in an airtight container. The Hillvilla was most famous for its pumpkin pie. When its baker Eddie Palaske died, this recipe was posted in the Oregonian in his obituary. The spice seasoning is different, but it makes the best pumpkin pie that I have ever eaten, and for the holidays it gets rave reviews! If you want a lower fat version, use egg beaters, evaporated skim milk and non-fat half and half.

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PRALINE COOKIES from Private Collection: Recipes from the Junior League of Palo Alto via Jane Scribner and Sisi Damner makes 3 to 4 dozen 3 tablespoons butter, melted 
 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 
 1 egg, beaten 5 tablespoons flour 
 1 cup pecan halves 
 1 teaspoon vanilla 
 pinch of salt Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter and sugar. Mix in remaining ingredients well. Line a cookie sheet with Silpat or thoroughly grease it and coat with flour, recoating it before each baking. Drop batter by scant teaspoonfuls, 5 inches apart, including a pecan half each time. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. After cookies are baked, wait 1 minute but no longer, before removing them with a spatula to a rack to cool. If they stick, briefly rewarm on the cookie sheet. These work as fancy, impressive cookies when one needs a “party” cookie. They are delicate, though, and may not travel well.

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RASPBERRY LEMON PUDDING CAKES from Sunset, July 2009 via Judy Gray serves 6 2 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup granulated sugar 3 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons melted butter finely shredded zest of 1 large lemon (preferably Meyer lemon) 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar 2 2/3 cups (12 ounces) raspberries, divided powdered sugar Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set 6 ramekins (2/3 cup size) in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, cream together egg yolks and granulated sugar. Mix in flour, butter, lemon zest and juice, and whisk in milk until blended. In a deep bowl with a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until frothy. Then add cream of tartar and beat until whites hold stiff, moist peaks when beater is lifted. Stir one-quarter of whites into yolk mixture until blended, then gently fold in remaining whites. Gently fold in half of raspberries. Spoon batter into ramekins. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come 1 inch up sides of ramekins. Bake until cake layers are set and tops are golden, about 30 minutes. Remove ramekins from water and let cool at least 30 minutes. Serve with the rest of the berries on top and a dusting of powdered sugar. These light and tangy treats are especially good the day they are made.

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ROASTED FIGS AND PEACHES from Anne Halsted serves 8 10 large peaches 3 baskets of figs 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Skin and halve peaches, remove pits and cut peaches into quarters. Remove stem from figs and cut each in half. Prepare two cookie sheets for roasting fruit by putting 1/8 cup olive in each. Place cut peaches in one, cut figs in the other. Brush 1/4 cup balsamic over each. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until fruits are somewhat soft. Time required may vary depending on ripeness of fruit. Then broil each for 3 to 5 minutes, without allowing any burning. Cool fruits separately, and serve together or separately. Good served with a cup of whipped cream mixed with 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey and a teaspoon of ground lavender! Or with ice cream! Yummy late summer dessert!

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SWEDISH APPLE TART WITH FRANGIPANE from Operakällaren in Stockholm via Maud Hallin serves 4 (or 8 with larger apples) 4 small sour apples – Golden Delicious or Cortland 1 cup fresh or frozen lingonberries or cranberries 1/2 cup sugar 7 tablespoons butter 3 1/2 ounces almond paste or marzipan 2 eggs 2 tablespoons flour Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix berries and sugar and mash lightly. You could also use 7 ounces of lingonberry preserves (sugar is included). Butter and flour a ceramic or glass baking dish a bit larger than the apples (about 13 by 7 inches and 3 inches deep) that will be used for serving. Peel and core apples, place in a bowl with acidic water if you want to prepare the apples early. Make a generous core. If the apples are large you might consider one-half per person (I cut off a lot of peel). Stir the butter and almond paste together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, and gently stir in the flour. Food processor is great for this. Spread the almond batter in the baking dish, and evenly space the apples, pushing them into the bottom of the dish. Fill the apple cavity with the berries. Bake for about 30 minutes and test apples for doneness. If almond batter is light brown, cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake until apples are ready. Top off the apple cavities with some berry mix that has been heated in the microwave. Serve as is, or with whipped cream or ice cream. This is a really easy dessert, and delicious. Odense Almond paste can be found in many grocery stores.

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TOLL HOUSE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES from the Nestle’s Chocolate Chip package adapted by Judy Gray makes about 5 dozen cookies (depending on size) 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 ounces) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream together butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well; then add flour mixture. Add chocolate chips. Mix well and drop by rounded teaspoon (larger or smaller, your choice) onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for few minutes. There are so many different chocolate chip recipes, but this one is always a winner. And you could add 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans or sunflower seeds.

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VIRGINIA ROBERTS’ GINGER COOKIES from Jane Scribner via Sisi Damner makes about 60 cookies 6 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup sugar 2 4-ounce boxes Dynasty Sugar Ginger (crystallized ginger), finely chopped 1/4 cup molasses 1 large egg, beaten 2 cups flour, sifted 3 times before measuring 2 teaspoons baking soda 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 teaspoons ground ginger brown raw sugar for rolling balls Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, then add sugar, sugar ginger, molasses and egg. In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Roll dough into two long rolls, about 12 inches long. Wrap in Saran Wrap and chill for at least one hour (or up to 24 hours). Prepare a baking sheet with Silpat (or butter it). Cut dough into pieces to make 1 inch-diameter balls. Roll in raw sugar and then flatten them on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave cookies on the sheet for 2 minutes before moving them to a cookie rack. Very flavorful – the crystallized ginger adds “chew.” Crystallized ginger is available in bulk at Whole Foods as well.

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CHILI RELLENO CASSEROLE from Sydney Griswold via Sue Gilbert serves 4 to 5 as a side dish 2 7-ounce cans whole green chiles, rinsed and patted dry 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese 3 eggs 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped 1/4 cup flour 3/4 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff each chile with a finger of Jack cheese. Place in an oiled 8 by 10-inch baking dish. Beat the eggs with flour, milk and salt then add the bell peppers and stir. Pour over chiles and top with cheddar cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Very simple and delicious. Great for casual entertaining. It was a big hit at a dinner for a family with teenagers; they loved it.

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PROSCIUTTO CUPS WITH BAKED EGGS, HERBS AND ASIAGO CHEESE from Katie Nuanes via Sisi Damner serves 12 12 slices prosciutto 12 eggs salt and pepper to taste 1 tablespoon chopped basil 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon (fresh is best) 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese (Parmesan will work fine also) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Line each muffin cup with one slice of prosciutto (one-half slice may do), slightly pressing it in so it takes on the shape of the muffin tin. Crack an egg into each cup and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Top with herbs and then cheese. Bake for about 9 to 10 minutes or until egg is set up (6 to 8 for slightly runny) and the yolk reaches desired doneness. You could also use scrambled eggs, egg whites or egg substitute. And you could use other herb-cheese combinations, such as thyme and goat cheese or chives and English Cheddar.

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SPANISH EGGS from The Sonoma Diet Today, May 18, 2009 adapted by the Lindenbaums and Dick Lonergan serves 4 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin, bite-size strips 1 fresh small-medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped 1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 small cloves) 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/3 pounds Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons chili powder 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste 8 eggs freshly ground black pepper In a large skillet, cook bell pepper, jalapeño pepper and garlic in hot oil for about 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and Kosher salt. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have released their liquid. The dish can be prepared ahead up to this point. Have the tomato sauce heated to simmer and make 8 tablespoon-sized indentations in the sauce. Break one of the eggs into a measuring cup and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Carefully slide the egg into the simmering tomato mixture. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook, covered, over mediumlow heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not firm. To serve, transfer eggs to plates with a slotted spoon. Stir tomato mixture and spoon around eggs on plates. Tired of the same old eggs? Here's a nice alternative to poached eggs or eggsover-easy to jumpstart your morning! You may even want to serve them with hot sauce for those who really like their food ‘picante’.

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