Breakfast and Brunch Dishes
Recipes from the Saturday mailings. Click on a recipe to see it.

Low-fat recipes are indicated by heart1.gif (331 bytes)
Quick and easy recipes are indicated by hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)

Bananas with Prosciutto and Cheese Sauce hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Bon Bon Chicken (Cold Chicken, Cucumber, and Cellophane Noodles in Sesame Sauce)
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Clafoutis heart1.gif (331 bytes)
Cuban Style Roast Pork Sandwiches
"Dutch Baby" Pancake hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Egg Foo Yung
Egg Stuffed Tomatoes hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Eggs Sofrito
Empanadas (Argentine meat-filled turnovers)
Fresh Strawberry Bread
German Crumb Cake
Irish Eggs
Kentucky Scramble hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Macaroni Pastitsio with Feta Cheese
"Midnight Special" Open-Faced Sandwich hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
No-fat Banana Bread heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Peanut Butter French Toast with Hot Grape Jelly hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Prune and Nut Loaf heart1.gif (331 bytes)
Pumpkin and Apricot Muffins heart1.gif (331 bytes)
Ricotta-Cottage Cheese Pancakes heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Salade Nicoise
Sausage and Cheese Casserole hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Sausage-Cheese Balls
Scotch Eggs
Spinach-Ricotta Tart
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Southern Cantaloupe Cobbler
Sweet Corn Bread
Tea Scones
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Tortilla a la Mexicana
Uncle Chris' Jam Slice

Tea Scones

1 Tbsp. softened butter
2 1/2 cups self rising flower
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. lard, cut into 1/4 inch bits and thoroughly chilled
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup dried currants (optional)

Grease a large baking sheet with the butter and set aside. In a large chilled mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt and lard. Rub the flower and lard together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like flakes of coarse meal. Beat the eggs until it froths and set 1 Tbsp. of it aside in a small dish. Beat the milk into the remaining egg and add to the flour mixture (along with the currants, if used). Mix gently until the dough can be made into a ball. On a lightly flowered surface roll the dough, handling it as little as possible, to 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thickness. Using a cookie cutter or rim of a glass, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) rounds. Re roll and do the same with the scraps. Place rounds about 1 inch (2 cm) apart on the baking sheet and brush lightly with the reserved beaten egg. Bake in the middle of a 400F (200C) oven for about 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Best served immediately. Serve with mock Devonshire cream*, strawberry preserves, or the jam or jelly of your choice. Makes approximately 12.

*Recipe available in the Pantry

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"Dutch Baby" Pancake

1/3 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
Fresh whole nutmeg
Powdered sugar for dusting
1 lemon

Put the butter in a heavy iron skillet (a wok works great, too) in a preheated 450F (230C) oven. Mix the batter quickly while the butter melts. Put the eggs in a blender and mix at high speed for 1 minute. With motor running gradually pour in the milk, then the flour. Mix for 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the hot pan (make sure the pan is hot) and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and a grating of fresh nutmeg. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.
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Bananas with Prosciutto and Cheese Sauce

8 ripe bananas, peeled
8 slices Prosciutto (or other ham, sliced paper thin)
2 cups cheese sauce*

Wrap bananas in ham slices, and place in single layer in a shallow baking dish. Cover with cheese sauce and bake in 325F (160C) oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through. Serve with toast points. Serves 4.

*Use your favorite cheese sauce, or our recipe from the Pantry.
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Sausage and Cheese Casserole

2 lbs. (900 g) small link breakfast sausages
8 slices fresh bread
3/4 lb. (340 g) medium sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 eggs
2-1/2 cups milk
1 can mushroom soup
1/4 lb. (110 g) fresh mushrooms, sliced

Cook and drain the sausage links. Trim and discard the crust from the bread, and cut into cubes. Butter a 9 x 13 in. (22 x 32 cm) baking dish and place the bread cubes on the bottom, followed by the sausage links. Top with the grated cheese. Beat the eggs and milk and pour over all. Add the sliced mushrooms, followed by the undiluted mushroom soup. Refrigerate overnight. Bake in 350F (180C) oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
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Bon Bon Chicken
(Cold Chicken, Cucumber, and Cellophane Noodles in Sesame Sauce)

For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 in. (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger
3 scallions
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs Chinese rice wine* or sherry
1 Tbs Szechwan peppercorns*

Peel ginger and cut into "coins" 1/8 in. (3 mm) wide. Clean scallions and flatten them with the side of a heavy knife blade or cleaver. Cut these into 2 in. (5 cm) lengths, using both the green and white parts. Combine the ginger, scallions, salt, wine and Szechwan peppercorns and rub all over chicken breasts and place all in a heat proof bowl. Set this mixture aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour, turning the breasts several times.
After at least 1 hour place bowl of chicken with marinade in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the steamer doesn't run out of water. Remove from steamer and let cool. Remove and discard any pieces of scallion, ginger, or peppercorn clinging to the chicken and cut into match stick sized pieces. Refrigerate until ready to assemble dish.

For the cucumbers:
2 cucumbers
1/2 tsp salt

Peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. Cut each half into 2 in. (5 cm) sections, and slice each of these sections lengthwise as thin as you can. Place cucumber slices in a bowl and mix well with the salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just prior to serving squeeze out as much liquid as you can, using your hands, and pat dry between paper towels.

For the noodles:
2 oz (60 g) Chinese cellophane noodles*
Approx. 8 cups boiling water

Put the noodles in a bowl and cover with 4 cups boiling water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain. Boil additional 4 cups water and add softened cellophane noodles. Cook noodles for 2 to 3 minutes after water returns to boil. Drain noodles and rinse under cold water. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

For the sesame sauce:
8 cloves garlic
1 in. (2.5 cm) fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp Szechwan peppercorns*, ground or chopped very fine
1 Tbs hot pepper flakes (optional) or to taste
3-1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar*
3 Tbs sesame paste**
1 Tbs sesame oil*
5 Tbs soy sauce
1-1/2 Tbs water
3 scallions, green and white parts, sliced as thin as possible

Peel garlic cloves and place in small bowl or mortar. Peel ginger and chop fine. Add the ginger and the salt to the garlic and, using the wooden handle of your cleaver, a wooden spoon, or pestle, mash them together until they turn into a coarse paste. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.

For the presentation:
Arrange the drained cucumber slices on a large, flat serving platter. Place the noodles on a cutting board and cut across them several times to make them a more manageable length. Arrange on top of cucumbers. Arrange the sliced chicken on top of the noodles. Spoon the sauce over the chicken immediately prior to serving. Note: this dish may be served cold or at room temperature. You may make it in advance and keep it refrigerated. Do not add the sauce until just before you serve it. Serves 8 to 10.

* Available in finer supermarkets and Asian specialty shops.
** Also available in Asian specialty shops. Middle Eastern sesame paste, tahini, may be substituted.
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Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

2 ripe medium sized tomatoes
1 Tbs minced shallots or scallions
3 eggs
1 Tbs butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Watercress or lettuce for garnish
Chopped fresh chives or parsley, or herb of your choice

Cut tomatoes in half, squeezing out the juice and seeds, and scooping out the central pulp with a tea spoon. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and add the scallions or shallots. Cook slowly for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs and scramble over low heat until they form soft curds, or to the degree of doneness you prefer. Fill the tomato halves with the scrambled eggs and place on a bed of watercress or lettuce. Garnish the top of the eggs with the chopped herb. Serve with hot toast. Serves 2.
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Peanut Butter French Toast with Hot Grape Jelly

Bread (2 slices per person)
Peanut Butter
Optional: powdered cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract (to taste)
Eggs (beaten with a little milk)
Butter or oil for frying
Grape jelly

Proportions are not important to this recipe. Make peanut butter sandwiches and dip in egg and milk mixture which has been seasoned with one or more of the optional ingredients. Fry in a little butter or oil over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Heat grape jelly in a small sauce pan until liquefied and syrup-like. Serve over fried sandwiches.
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No-fat Banana Bread

6 ripe bananas (the riper the better)
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup raisins (optional)

Mash the bananas and sugar together. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the banana mixture, the optional raisins, and vanilla, stirring until thoroughly blended. Pour into non-stick loaf pan and bake at 350F (180C) for 1 hour. Remove from pan while still warm, and allow to cool before slicing. Makes approximately 8 servings.
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Empanadas (Argentine meat-filled turnovers)

For the filling:
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup beef broth or water
1/2 lb (250 g) lean ground beef
1/4 cup seedless raisins, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained thoroughly
1 tsp dried hot pepper flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin seed
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 hard cooked eggs, each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
6 pitted green olives, quartered

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
10 Tbs butter cut into 1/4 in. (5 mm) cubes
1/3 cup cold water

Begin with the filling. Combine the onions, olive oil, and beef broth or water in a skillet and boil over high heat until the liquid is evaporated. Add the meat and cook, stirring constantly, until brown. Stir in the raisins, hot pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper. Set the filling aside.
To make the dough, combine the flour, butter and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub the flour and butter together until they are blended and look like coarse meal. Add the water and mix until the dough can be formed into a compact ball. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, making a rough circle about 1/8 in. (3 mm) thick. As you roll the dough lift it up occasionally and dust underneath with flour to prevent sticking to the work surface. Cut into rounds about 5 in. (13 cm) in diameter with a cookie cutter or empty tin can of the right size, or using a plate or saucer of the right size as a guide, cut the circles with a knife. Gather the resulting scraps of dough, roll and repeat until you have 12 to 14 circles.
Place about 1+1/2 Tbs of the filling in the center of each circle, leaving the edges of the dough exposed around it. Top the filling with a piece of egg and 2 pieces of olive, and moisten the exposed dough with a finger dipped in water. Fold the empanada in half to form a crescent and press the edges firmly together. Decorate the edges of the empanadas by pressing the dough with the tines of a fork, or by pinching with the fingers. Arrange the empanadas on an un greased baking sheet and bake them in the middle of a pre-heated 400F (200C) oven for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. With a spatula transfer to a heated platter and serve immediately.
NOTE: These may be made in a smaller size suitable for hors d'oeuvre. Cut into 3 in. (8 cm) rounds, and use about 1 tsp of filling per empanada.
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Prune and Nut Loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp baking powder
1+1/2 cups skim milk
1 egg
3 Tbs margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
36 pitted prunes, chopped (approx. 3 cups)
30 whole shelled almonds, chopped

Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the milk, egg, margarine and vanilla and beat slightly with a fork. Stir into the flour mixture until combined - do not over-mix. Fold in prunes and almonds. Spoon into a 9 in. x 5 in. loaf pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 325F (160C) for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 12 to 18 servings.
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1 lb (450 g) Fontina or Gruyere cheese, cut into small chunks
1 tsp cornstarch (cornflour) dissolved in 1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
4 to 6 sliced white French or Italian bread, toast, buttered, and cut diagonally into triangles.

In a small saucepan over low heat combine the cheese, cornstarch and milk, salt and pepper and heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted. It will probably be a little stringy. Beat the egg yolks lightly for a few seconds, the add about 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and beat vigorously. Pour the egg mixture slowly into the cheese mixture, beating constantly, and continue cooking the cheese mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes runny and smooth. Ladle it immediately into ramekins or small soup bowls. Stand the toast triangles around the inside of the bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
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Irish Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 lbs (450 g) potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
10 soda crackers (saltines) crushed to fine crumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Combine the mashed potatoes, beaten eggs, garlic, salt, mustard, rosemary, and cracker crumbs, mixing thoroughly. Divide the potato mixture into 6 portions. Press a hard-boiled egg into each portion, covering each egg entirely. Deep fry in 350F (180C) oil until golden brown. Serves 6.
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Kentucky Scramble

8 slices lean bacon
1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from 3 ears of fresh corn) or 1 cup canned or frozen and defrosted corn kernels
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped pimiento
1+1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 eggs

Fry the bacon in a large skillet over moderate heat, turning until crisp and brown. Remove bacon to drain on paper towels and pour off all but 2 Tbs of the bacon fat. Add the corn to the skillet and stir over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green pepper, pimiento, salt and black pepper and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour them into the skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring with the back of a fork or with a wooden spatula, until the eggs have formed soft creamy curds or to your preferred degree of firmness for scrambled eggs. Mound the eggs on a warm serving platter and arrange the cooked bacon strips on top. Serve with buttered toast. Serves 4.
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Scotch Eggs

12 oz (325 g) beef sausage meat
1 pinch grated nutmeg
2 Tbs mixed herbs
1/2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
(or 12 oz. (325 g) bulk pork sausage in place of the
6 ingredients listed above*)
4 eggs, hard-boiled
1 egg, beaten
matzo meal, (or flour*) for coating
Oil for deep-frying

Mix the sausage meat with the nutmeg, herbs, sage, salt and pepper, then divide in 4 equal portions. With damp hands, form the sausage meat around the hard-boiled eggs in an even layer. Dip in beaten egg, then roll in matzo meal (or flour*). Chill for 15 min so it firms up. Deep fry, two at a time, in 325F (160C) oil, 5-6 minutes until golden brown all over. Drain on absorbent paper. Slice in half width-wise and serve hot with grilled mushrooms and tomatoes. Serves 4.

* Not kosher
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Macaroni Pastitsio with Feta Cheese

1+1/2 lbs (700 g) macaroni
1 cup melted butter
5 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 lb (450 g) feta cheese, cut into small pieces (available in finer markets and Greek and Middle Eastern specialty shops)

Boil the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and put in a large bowl. Mix with the melted butter. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, add the milk and cheese. Pour over the macaroni and mix well. Butter a large ovenproof pan and pour in the macaroni mixture. Cook in a 350F (180C) oven for 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
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Pumpkin and Apricot Muffins

1+3/4 cups all purpose white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil (or other low saturated fat oil)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup non-fat milk
1/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried apricots (about 6 to 8), chopped fine
2 Tbs chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl. In another bowl mix the egg whites, pumpkin, oil, brown sugar, milk, yogurt, vanilla, apricots, and optional nuts. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring as little as possible to incorporate. Divide the mixture among twelve muffins cups that have been greased or sprayed with a cooking spray. Bake in the middle of a preheated 400F (200C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the muffins spring back when pressed. Makes 12 muffins.
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"Midnight Special" Open-Faced Sandwich

For each open-faced sandwich spread some good quality Dijon mustard on a slice of bread. Top with a slice or two of cheese (Swiss, American, provolone, or whatever you have on hand). Place a slice of ripe tomato on this, sprinkle with a pinch of dried oregano, thyme, sage, or whatever herb suits your mood, and a grinding of black pepper. Optionally (this makes it really good, but fat-laden) add a slice of bacon, cut in half. Cook in a toaster oven or under the broiler until the bacon is cooked and the cheese bubbles.
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Eggs Sofrito

For the sauce:
2 medium sized tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, and finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbs finely chopped garlic
1 small red or green sweet pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely diced serrano* ham, or 2 oz (50 g) prosciutto
1 chorizo*, sliced into 1/4 in (5 mm) rounds, or 3 oz (75 g) other garlic seasoned pork sausage
1 Tbs finely chopped parsley
1 small bay leaf
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup water
*Available in Spanish specialty shops and some supermarkets.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the onions, garlic, and chopped pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.

For the eggs:
2 tsp olive oil
6 eggs
1/2 cup hot cooked fresh or frozen green peas
6 hot cooked fresh or canned asparagus tips, 3 to 4 in (7 to 10 cm) long
6 to 8 strips of drained, canned pimiento, each about 3 in (7 cm) long
3 Tbs pale dry sherry
Parsley sprigs (optional)

Coat a 9 x 9 x 2 in (25 x 25 x 5 cm) baking dish with the 2 teaspoons of oil. Spread the sofrito evenly in the dish, discarding the bay leaf. Break the eggs and place them in a circle on top of the sofrito. (Hint: you may want to break the eggs into a saucer and slide them into place on the sofrito) Now here is where your artistic talent comes in. Arrange the peas in mounds on the sofrito, and arrange the asparagus around or between the eggs. Drape a pimiento slice over each asparagus tip. Sprinkle the eggs and the vegetables with the sherry, cover the dish, and bake in a 400F (200C) oven for about 20 minutes, until an opaque film has formed over the yolks and the egg whites are firm. Serve at once, garnished with parsley. Serves 6.
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Ricotta-Cottage Cheese Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
3/4 cup non-fat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated lemon rind

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the ricotta, cottage cheese, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until moistened. Do not stir any more than necessary to thoroughly combine ingredients. Drop a small amount on a lightly greased griddle or skillet over moderate heat and turn when the edges appear golden brown and dry, and the surface is bubbly. Makes about 24 3 to 4 inch (7 to 10 cm) pancakes.
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Tortilla a la Mexicana

1 chicken breast half, boned
2 Tbs chile powder
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Tbs butter
6 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Poach the chicken breast in water or chicken stock for 10 minutes. Cool and cut into cubes. Place the tomato and chile powder in a blender and blend until is forms a smooth puree. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and cook the puree over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken cubes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in an omelet pan over high heat until the butter foams. Pour in the beaten eggs and stir rapidly with the back of a fork until the eggs are cooked but still soft and moist. Add the chicken mixture and tip the pan to roll the omelet over the filling, using the fork to assist. Roll out of the pan onto a warm serving platter. Serves 3.

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Salade Nicoise

For the potatoes
1 lb (450 g) boiling potatoes, cut 1/4 in (5mm) thick
2 Tbs thinly sliced scallions, including some green tops
4 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley

For the vinaigrette
1/4 cup lemon juice (or wine vinegar)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the salad
1 large head Boston or romaine lettuce, separated, washed, and dried
4 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
1 7 oz (197 g) can of tuna fish (preferably packed in olive oil) drained
1/2 cup black olives (brine cured or oil cured)
12 anchovy fillets, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, drained and dried
2 cups string beans, cooked and chilled
3 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley.

Boil the potato slices for 10 minutes, or until tender but firm. Drain and set aside. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Add about 1/3 of the vinaigrette, the scallions, and the parsley to the potatoes, tossing to coat them completely, and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Combine another 1/3 of the vinaigrette with the tuna, tossing gently so as to leave rather large chunks of meat. Line a large salad bowl with the lettuce leaves and place the potatoes on the bottom of the bowl. Arrange the tomato wedges, egg quarters, tuna chunks, olives, anchovies, and green beans in an attractive pattern. Or you may make individual arrangement on dinner plates. The dish may be prepared several hours in advance up to this point and refrigerated. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the salad just before serving and sprinkle the parsley on top. Serve with warm French bread. Serves 4 to 6.

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Subscriber Bob Berles says this recipe has been in his family for over 100 years. "I'm not sure, but I think my Grandmother came from the north part of Germany. This is good as a coffee cake, a dessert, or with 1/2 cup of heavy cream (not whipped) like a pudding. Baker's choice on the Brown Sugar. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do."

German Crumb Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark, I like dark)
1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening (Original recipe called for lard)
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 Tbs vinegar
1 tsp baking soda

Cut together flour, brown sugar, and Crisco. Remove 1 cup and set aside. Add eggs and spices to remaining flour mixture. Mix milk and vinegar, let stand 5 min. Add baking soda, mix until foamy. Add milk to flour mix, stir just a little to mix a bit. Pour in greased tube pan. Sprinkle reserved flour mix on top. Bake at 375F (190C) for 1 hour, until toothpick is JUST clean. Do not over stir! Do not overbake! Serve plain or, my favorite, in a bowl with HEAVY cream. Original recipe called for sour milk; this way is safer.

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Cuban Style Roast Pork Sandwiches

1 clove garlic
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1+1/2 to 2 lb (700 to 900 g) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and membrane
4 thin slices Swiss cheese (or cheese of your choice)
8 slices sourdough bread
1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil
Pickled onions and peppers (see below)

Mash the garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin together to form a paste. Rub the paste on the pork tenderloin and place in a small roasting pan. Roast at 450F (230C) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 155F (70C). Remove from oven and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the pork into thin slices. Layer the pork, pickled onions and peppers, and cheese between slices of bread. Heat half the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until the surface shimmers. Add two sandwiches and cover with foil. Weigh it down with a heavy skillet and one or two heavy cans, or a brick covered with aluminum foil. Cook until the sandwiches are brown on the bottom (3 to 5 minutes), remove the weights, turn the sandwiches over, and cook until brown on the other side. Repeat with the remaining oil and the other two sandwiches. Cut sandwiches in half and serve immediately. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Pickled Onions and Peppers

1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1-7 oz (196 g) jar roasted red pepper, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, slightly crushed
A pinch of ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the onion in a small saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for one minute. Drain and transfer to a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Let stand at room temperature for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the garlic cloves prior to serving. Can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Spinach-Ricotta Tart

2 lbs (900 g) spinach, fresh or frozen
16 oz (450 g) container of low-fat ricotta cheese
1 small onion, diced
3 eggs or 3/4 cup (180 ml) egg substitute
2 Tbs (30 ml) fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A few gratings nutmeg
2 sheets phyllo dough* (or your favorite pastry dough recipe)
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 Tbs (30 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
*Available in most supermarket's frozen food sections.

If using fresh spinach, wash thoroughly and pack into a covered saucepan with the water that clings to the leaves. Cook over high heat about 1 minute, until the leaves are wilted. Drain in a colander and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. If using frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Chop the spinach finely and combine with the ricotta, onion, eggs, basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl, mixing to combine ingredients. Place the two sheets of phyllo on a 9 inch (25 cm) quiche pan or pie pan. Pour in the ricotta mixture. Trim the phyllo so that 2 inches (5 cm) of dough hang over the edge of the pan, and roll this up to resemble the crust of a pie. Arrange the tomato slices on top of the ricotta mixture. Bake in the lower third of a preheated 400F (200C) oven for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the tart is firm in the center and a knife point inserted in the center come out clean. Let rest 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.

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Sausage-Cheese Balls

1 lb (450 g) bulk pork sausage (or ground meat of your choice)
1/2 lb (225 g) sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated
3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose baking mix (Bisquick*) (or 3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose flour and 4 tsp (20 ml) baking powder)
1 egg
1 Tbs (15 ml) fennel seed, crushed
1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
* Bisquick is an American product. If it is not available in your area, substitute the flour and baking powder as indicated above.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well using your hands. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Place these on a lightly greased baking sheet about 1+1/2 inches (3 cm) apart and bake at 375F (190C) for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Makes 5 to 6 dozen.

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Egg Foo Yung

For the pancakes
1+1/2 cups (375 ml) canned or fresh bean sprouts
1 medium sized onion, halved and cut lengthwise into 1/16 in (2 mm) wide strips
1 stalk celery, cut into 2 in (5 cm) lengths then cut lengthwise into 1/16 in (2 mm) wide strips
1/2 lb (225 g) thinly sliced boiled ham, cut into 2 by 1/16 inch (5 cm x 2 mm) strips
8 eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbs (30 ml) vegetable oil for frying

For the sauce
2 Tbs (30 ml) vegetable oil
1/4 lb (100 g) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups (500 ml) boiling chicken stock, fresh or canned
1 Tbs (15 ml) soy sauce
1 Tbs (15 ml) tomato ketchup
2 Tbs (30 ml) cornstarch (cornflour), dissolved in 2 Tbs (30 ml) water

Beginning with the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat and cook the mushrooms until they are soft and slightly colored. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, and ketchup and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir the cornstarch and water mixture to recombine it, then stir it into the boiling sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it is no longer milky. Partially cover the pan and keep the sauce warm over the lowest possible heat.
   Combine the bean sprouts (drained and patted dry if using canned), the onion, celery, and ham in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl beat the eggs lightly and stir in the salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Stir the bean sprout mixture into the beaten eggs and, using about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the batter per pancake, cook three or four pancakes at a time over high heat. Turn the pancakes after 30 seconds and fry an additional 30 seconds, until they are puffy and golden brown. Serve immediately, accompanied by the hot mushroom sauce in a bowl or sauceboat. Makes 12 pancakes, to serve 4 to 6.

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Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 eggs
3 cups (750 ml) buttermilk*
3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
2 Tbs (30 ml) sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) melted butter
1 oz (28 g) chocolate chips

* If buttermilk is not available in your area, add 1 Tbs (15 ml) lemon juice to 3 cups (750 ml) milk and let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a large bowl beat the eggs and the buttermilk together. Add the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chips and mix well. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a hot, well greased skillet or griddle. Drop a few chocolate chips onto the pancake while the first side is cooking, before the bubbles form. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, flip, and cook until the second side is golden brown. Top with your choice of butter, favorite syrup, chocolate syrup, or whipped cream. Serves 4 to 6.

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Southern Cantaloupe Cobbler

1 small or medium cantaloupe (muskmelon) peeled and cut in squares
1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs (60 ml) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (80 ml) sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk

Place the cut up melon in a casserole dish. Combine all other ingredients mixing well. Pour over melon. Place in 350F (180C) oven for 45 minutes to one hour. This recipe can be used with any fresh fruit or large can of fruit of choice.

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Sweet Corn Bread

7 Tbs (105 ml) butter, softened
1 cup (250 ml) plus 4 Tbs (60 ml) flour
2 cups (500 ml) finely chopped candied fruit peel (the type used in fruit cakes)
3 cups (750 ml) yellow corn flour
1 Tbs (15 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) each ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves
1 cup (250 ml) milk
6 Tbs (90 ml) lard
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
4 eggs
2 cups (500 ml) grated unsweetened coconut
1 Tbs (15 ml) grated fresh lime rind (zest)

Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 7x4x3 inch (approx 18x10x8 cm) loaf pans with 1 Tbs (15 ml) of the butter and 2 Tbs (30 ml) of the flour. Place the candied fruit peel in a bowl and sprinkle 2 Tbs (30 ml) of the flour over it, tossing to coat the pieces and to separate and prevent them from sticking to each other. Sift the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) flour, cornmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together. In a large mixing bowl cream the remaining 6 Tbs (90 ml) butter and the lard together, beating until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and then the eggs, one at a time. Add 1 cup (250 ml) of the cornmeal mixture alternately with about 1/3 of the milk, beating well after each addition, and continue beating until the batter is smooth. Add the candied fruit peel, grated coconut, and lime zest, and mix gently but thoroughly. Pour into the greased and floured loaf pans and bake in a 400F (200C) oven for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the tops are golden brown. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes two loaves.

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1 tsp (5 ml) butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 (125 ml) cup applesauce
1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) non-fat milk
1/2 tsp (2 ml) almond extract
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 cups (500 ml) pitted cherries, fresh or canned (or other fruit of your choice)

Use the butter to grease a 9 inch (approx 25 cm) pie pan. In a bowl beat the egg yolk and mix in the applesauce, sugar, flour, milk, and almond extract. In another bowl beat the egg whites and the salt until stiff but not dry. Fold the egg whites into the applesauce mixture and pour into the prepared pie pan. Drop the cherries into the batter - do not press down. Bake in a 350F (180C) oven for 20 minutes, until the clafoutis is golden and puffy, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serves 6 to 8.

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1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1/2 (2.5 ml) teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (900 g) small, fresh pork sausages

To make the batter in a blender, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt and a few grindings of pepper in the blender jar, and blend at high speed for 2 or 3 seconds. Turn off the machine, scrape down the sides of the jar, and blend again for 40 seconds. To make the batter by hand, beat the eggs and salt with a whisk or a rotary or electric beater until frothy. Slowly add the flour, beating constantly. Then pour in the milk in a thin stream and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour. Place the sausages side by side in a heavy 10 to 12 inch (25 to 30 cm) skillet, and prick them once or twice with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle them with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of water, cover the pan tightly, and cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Then remove the cover, increase the heat to moderate, and continue to cook, turning the sausages frequently with tongs or a spatula, until the water has completely evaporated and the sausages have begun to brown in their own fat. Arrange the sausages in a single layer in a baking tin or dish about 6 by 10 inches (15x25 cm) and 2 inches (5 cm) deep, and moisten them with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of their drippings. Keep them at least an inch (2.5 cm) apart. Then pour the batter over them and bake in the middle of a preheated 400F (200C) oven for 30 minutes, or until the pudding has risen over the top of the pan and is crisp and brown. Serve at once. Serves 4.

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Fresh Strawberry Bread

2 cups (500 ml) fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1+3/4 cups (430 ml) bread or all purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking powder
3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) butter or other shortening
2 eggs
1/3 cup (80 ml) water
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped walnuts
Cream cheese, softened (optional)
Ground cinnamon (optional)

Crush enough of the strawberries to fill 1 cup (250 ml). Pour into a small saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Slice the remaining strawberries and chill. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl beat the sugar and butter together and then add the eggs and water, mixing until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well to blend. Stir in the crushed strawberries and walnuts. Spoon the mixture into a greased 8x4x4 inch (approx. 20x10x10 cm) loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When the loaf has cooled in the pan for 10 minutes, turn onto a rack to cool. Cut into slices, spread with softened cream cheese, add a light dusting of cinnamon, and top with the reserved chilled strawberries. Makes one loaf.

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Uncle Chris' Jam Slice

2 cups (250g, 500 ml) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
8 Tbs (125g, 120 ml) butter or margarine
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
Enough cold water to make a firm dough
About 1 cup (250 ml) of your favorite jam (I like blackberry)

Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together. Rub in the butter. Mix in water to form a dough and split into thirds. Cover and put in fridge to cool for 30 minutes. Roll out 2 thirds of the dough and press down into a lamington tin [8 inch by 11 inch (20 x 28 cm) cake or baking pan]. Spread the jam over the dough. Roll out the remaining third of the dough and cut into strips. Layer the strips in a lattice over the jam. Bake in a 400F (200C) oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until browned.