Showing posts from March, 2009

Salisbury Steak

Not the nasty thing in the TV dinner!

Alton's Salisbury Steak

4 (1/2 pound) beef cube steaks
Salt and pepper
3 Tb. butter
2 Tb. canola oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced at an angle
2 Tb. minced garlic
1/2 lb. brown mushrooms, sliced
3/4 c. broth or juice
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tb. dijon mustard
3/4 c. stock

Preheat oven to 275. Lightly season steaks and flour with salt and pepper, then dredge steaks in flour and shake off excess. Add 1 Tb. each of butter and oil to hot saute pan. Brown the steaks, 2 at a time, adding more butter and oil if needed, about 4 minutes a side. Remove the steaks to a plate.

Pour off any grease from pan and add remaining butter. Add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms to pan and saute until nicely caramelized, then deglaze the pan with the broth. Mix in remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Return the steaks to the pan, cover, and cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

Serves 4

Chicken Piccata

Alton's Chicken Piccata

2 boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
salt and pepper
2 Tb. oil
3 b. butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 scallions, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 c. broth
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 Tb. capers, rinsed and lightly crushed
2 Tb. chopped parsley
1 lemon, sliced thinly

Place chicken breasts between plastic wrap and pound until 1/4 inch thick. Season chicken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, and shake off excess. In heavy skillet, heat oil and 2 Tb. butter. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook, turning only once, until brown on both sides. Remove chicken to plate and set aside. Pour off remaining grease, then add remaining Tb. butter.

Add onion and saute until transparent. Add garlic and scallions and saute 1 more minute. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of flour over vegetables and toss to combine.

Deglaze pan with broth and lemon juice. Add capers and toss to combine. Return chicken to pan, cover, and reduce heat to low, simmering until chicken is cooked through, about…

Savory Savoy Wraps - Alton Brown

Also from his cookbook, I'm Just Here for the Food.

Savory Savoy Wraps

8 large Savoy cabbage leaves
1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 c. peeled apple slices
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. finely diced potatoes
Salt and pepper

Lightly blanch cabbage leaves by immersing them in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, then immerse in ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry with a towel.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except cabbage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Lay out a cabbage leaf, inside down, and make a small pile of filling in the center. Roll into a tight package. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling, placing the rolls in a steamer basket, seam side down. Put enough water in a pot to come almost to the bottom of the steamer and bring to a boil. Put the lid on the pot slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes 2 main dish servings or 4 appetizers.


Alton Brown's Chicksicles

1 Tb. coriander seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 c. peanuts
2 Tb. sesame oil
2 Tb. vegetable oil
2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes

Toast the coriander and cumin seeds over high heat. When the seeds just start to smoke, remove from heat and let cool. Then grind seeds, and combine with other spices and sugar. Chop the peanuts in a food processor. Add spices and process them too. Add the oils and process to form a paste.

Rub the past onto chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Thread the chicken onto skewers. Heat the broiler and cook, turning often until paste is dark and chicken is cooked through.

Baked Potatoes, a la Alton Brown

I am a big fan of Alton Brown's show on The Food Network, Good Eats. So I looked forward to reading his cookbook. But I have to admit this is not what I expected. The book is organized by cooking method, which seems a little strange to begin with. Then there are no pictures of any of the recipes. There are fun little sidenotes, and interesting tips, but the recipes are constructed in a rather strange way.

Still, I did find a few recipes and note a few tips I plan to try. Here's the most basic one, and yet, the easiest to try!

A Perfect Baked Potato

Preheat oven to 350. Wash and dry potato. Poke holes in it with a fork. Then rub lightly the entire potato with a little canola oil. This makes a crunchy skin on the potato. Sprinkle the outside with salt. Place the potato directly on the rack in the oven. Cook for about 1 hour.

I haven't tried it yet, but since I love baked potatoes, I will try it soon!

Mexican Corn and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Also from the Moosewood Cookbook.

Mexican Corn and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

2 Tb. oil
1 c. chopped onions
3 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander seeds
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 c. corn, fresh or frozen
3 eggs
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/4 c. milk or half and half
1/4 c. chopped olives
6 medium green or red bell peppers
1/4 c. tomato juice or water

Saute the onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, and cayenne in the oil until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, corn, and salt. Simmer until the corn is barely tender. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add cheese, milk, olives, and vegetables.

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Leave the stems on. Stuff pepper halves with egg-vegetable mixture and place on an oiled baking dish. Pour tomato juice onto bottom of dish. Bake tightly covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more. Serve on a bed of rice topped with salsa.

Spicy Peanut Soup

Another from the Moosewood cookbook.

Spicy Peanut Soup

2 Tb. oil
2 garlic cloves
1 Tb. fresh grated ginger
2 c. diced onions
2 green peppers, diced
2 c. coconut milk
3 1/2 c. vegetable stock or water
1 c. peanut butter
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
pinch of cayenne
3/4 tsp. freshly ground lemon grass
1/2 tsp. salt
1 to 2 Tb. fresh lemon or lime juice

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Saute garlic and ginger. Add onions and pepper, saute for 5 minutes or so. Add the coconut milk and 2 1/2 c. stock or water and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Blend the peanut butter and the remaining cup of stock into a smooth paste and whisk it into the soup with the spices and salt. Simmer about 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the lemon or lime juice.

Serves 4 to 6.

* edited to add that I tried this one today and it was really good. Spicy and slightly sweet from the peanut butter and coconut. It was hard to find lemon gras…

10 Minute Tomato Soup

From the "New Recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant" cookbook.

10 Minute Tomato Soup

3 Tb. olive oil
3 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
8 c. tomato juice or undrained canned tomatoes pureed in the blender
1 Tb. paprika

Saute the garlic in olive oil very briefly. Stir in the paprika and saute for another minute. Stir in the tomato juice and heat. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Garnish with cheese, parsely, or croutons. Strong tomato flavor - use good canned tomatoes.

For Mediterranean soup, add drained, cooked garbanzo bean, garnish with feta cheese and parsley.

For Mexican soup, add Tabasco and garnish with cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.


I tried making this cookie for the first time this year. I remember learning about the Jewish holiday of Purim and the coolest thing about it, I thought, was that it had a special cookie! So this year I decided to make it myself. I found the recipe at Purim was March 10 on 2009. It celebrates the story told in the Old Testament book of Esther.


Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened 1 cup white sugar 2 eggs 6 tablespoons orange juice 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons baking powder 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 (12 ounce) can poppyseed filling Directions: 1.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. I like to do mine overnight.2.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.3.On a lightly floured s…

New Orleans Pralines

Also from Shirley Corriher's book
New Orleans Pralines
1 1/4 c. pecans 4 Tb. butter 1/4 tsp. salt 1 c. light brown sugar 1 c. sugar 1/2 c. evaporated milk 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a large piece of foil and set aside. Spread nuts on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. While nuts are still hot, stir in 2 Tb. butter and sprinkle with salt. 
In heavy saucepan, stir together well and boil the sugars, evaporated milk, remaining 2 Tb. butter and roasted nuts until mixture reaches soft ball stage with a large wooden spoon. The second you feel the mixture begin to thicken, start spooning up the candies. Spoon up tablespoon sized pralines as fast as possible onto butter foil. Let stand to cool and set. Store in an airtight container.
(If you double recipe, add 1 Tb. corn syrup to ingredients to slow down hardening)

The Secret Marquise

I got this one from the cookbook, Cookwise by Shirley Corrihor. Not everything in here was helpful, but this one sounded super yummy. So I haven't tried it yet, but I will soon, and then post again.
The Secret Marquise
7 or 8 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate or 3 - 2.6 oz. Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bars, broken into 1 inch pieces. 4 oz. milk chocolate, also broken into 1 inch pieces 5 egg yolks 1/3 c. heavy cream 5 Tb. butter 1 c. heavy or whipping cream 2 Tb. sugar
Combine semisweet and milk chocolates and blend in food processor until finely chopped. Set aside. Heat egg yolks and 1/3 c. cream in 7-8 inch skillet over low heat, stirring constantly with fork or spatula flat against the bottom of the pan. As soon as it thickens, remove from skillet from heat and keep stirring. Add the butter and stir in well. Add the chocolate and stir constantly until chocolate just melts. Continue to stir for 1 minute. 
Remove bottom from springform pan. Place the ring onto a platter and …