Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Corn, Tomato & Black Bean Salsa


1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed, freshly ground and lightly toasted
1 jalapeno, minced
2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Red Chili Honey
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
3 large ripe Roma tomatoes
1 cup black beans, cooked


Lightly saute onion and garlic in the olive oil; placed chopped cilantro, cumin seed, jalapeno, vinegar, honey and salt in a mixing bowl, and combine well.

Add corn, tomatoes, beans, and sauted ingredients; stir to combine. Allow to stand 30-45 minutes before serving. Yields 2 1/2 cups

Red Chili Honey

1 cup honey
1 Tablespoon red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in small sauce pan; cook on low heat one minute - stirring constantly.

Note: (July 7, 2009): I made this today with lime juice instead of vinegar. And I substituted home-made fig preserves for the honey. Also, I added a chopped mango to the salad. Excellent.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shrimp Pilau #2

My friend, Nikki Merritt, turned me on to Shrimp Pilau, and the recipe she gave me is excellent. I did some researching on "pilau," though, and saw that it's very much like a jambalaya I'm more accustomed to cooking, but using bacon instead of sausage, and with less in the way of Louisiana style seasonings. I've tried a couple of different variations of this and have had good results. As usual, feel free to experiment. We hope you enjoy.


3 pounds head-on wild Gulf shrimp (9-12 count)
2 pounds sliced bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, minced
1 green bell pepper, cleaned and chopped
1 red pepper, cleaned and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 14oz cans tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups brown rice
5 Bay leaves
salt & pepper (red, white, and black - about 1/4 tsp each)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon dry basil (or a few leaves fresh)
2 teaspoons sugar


Peel and de-vein shrim, placing heads and peels in a stock pot. Cover shells with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Cut shrimp into halves or thirds, and season up however you like. I prefer a good dose of garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, salt, etc. Be creative. Use a prepared Cajun seasoning like Cachere's if desired. Stir to coat, and hold in refrigerator until later.

While stock is cooking, place bacon in dutch oven and cook until nearly crisp. Set bacon aside on paper towels to drain. Remove most of the bacon fat, but reserve a few tablespoons in the pan for cooking the vegetables.

Into hot bacon fat, add onion. Then celery, then bell peppers and garlic. Cook for a few minutes; then add tomatoes, including juice. Bring to a simmer. Add bay leaves. And other seasonings.

Drain shrimp stock, discarding heads and peels. Measure remaining stock, and return to a boil, cooking down to 2 - 2 1/2 cups. Add stock to pot of vegetables. Stir in rice.

Bring to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 45 minutes. Or until liquid is absorbed, and rice is tender. It's okay if not all liquid is absorbed.

When rice is tender, stir in bacon and allow to heat through. Then, stir in the shrimp, folding constantly to distribute cooking heat evenly. Cook just until pink.

At this point, you may stir in some file powder if desired.

Remove from heat. Allow to rest for 10 minutes; then serve up in big bowl with plenty of your favorite hot sauce.

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dwayne's Pork Ribs

Dwayne does almost as good a job on ribs as Daddy did.


2 racks Pork ribs
2 cups Pineapple juice
Dry Rub for Ribs
Apple cider
Cooking Oil


Rub ribs down with spicy BBQ rub and refrigerate over night.

When fire is ready mist ribs with a 50/50 mixture of apple cider and cooking oil, and place on indirect heat at about 220 degrees F. Allow to cook for three hours.

Make foil packets to wrap the ribs, and pour pineapple juice over them before sealing. Cook another 2 hours.

Unwrap ribs from foil packets and cook another hour. During the last 30 minutes, baste with your favorite tomato based BBQ sauce.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Corn, Tomato & Black Bean Salsa


1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed, freshly ground and lightly toasted
1 jalapeno, minced
2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon Red Chili Honey
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
3 large ripe Roma tomatoes
1 cup black beans, cooked


Lightly saute onion and garlic in the olive oil; placed chopped cilantro, cumin seed, jalapeno, vinegar, honey and salt in a mixing bowl, and combine well.

Add corn, tomatoes, beans, and sauted ingredients; stir to combine. Allow to stand 30-45 minutes before serving. Yields 2 1/2 cups

Red Chili Honey

1 cup honey
1 Tablespoon red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in small sauce pan; cook on low heat one minute - stirring constantly.

Note: (July 7, 2009): I made this today with lime juice instead of vinegar. And I substituted home-made fig preserves for the honey. Also, I added a chopped mango to the salad. Excellent.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bacon & Kraut Casserole

I created this one quite unintentionally. I had some fresh mushrooms I wanted to cook up before they got old, so I started throwing together things we had in the kitchen. This is what came out of that effort, and Sherry LOVES it.


1 1/3 cup brown rice
2 2/3 cups chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, cleaned and chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
14 ounce can of sour kraut
2 cups mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, butter beans, etc.)
cooking oil
salt & pepper


Begin cooking rice in chicken stock, following package directions. Set aside when done. Place bacon in skillet and cook till nearly crisp. Set aside. Heat oil in Dutch oven and begin coooking onion. After a couple of minutes, add the garlic, celery and bell pepper. Add mushrooms. Continue cooking until tender. Stir in mixed vegetables, bacon and sour kraut. Mix well, and continue cooking until all is well-blended and the vegetables are tender. Season with salt & pepper.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sherry's Apple Muffins


1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup salad oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated apple


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms of medium muffin cups. Beat egg; stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from pan immediately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shrimp Pilau ala Nikki

My dear friend, Nikki Merritt, served this dish to the vestry. Once again, as we've come to expect from her, she hit a homer! Thank you, so much. (Nikki says this is from one of the Junior League of Charleston Cookbooks. When I read, "Receipts" in her email, I thought it was a typo. I've since learned, that's what they called recipes in Charleston in the 1800s. And who knows? Maybe they still do today.)


2 cups raw rice
1 cup mayo
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 lbs. shrimp, cooked & peeled
4 slices bacon, cut in small pieces


Cook rice in steamer.

Combine mayo, ketchup, salt and pepper; stir into warm rice to thoroughly moisten.

Add chopped onion, bell pepper and shrimp.

Pour into casserole dish and cover with pieces of bacon. Sprinkle top with pepper.

Cook covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove tinfoil and cook an additional 15 minutes to let the bacon crisp.

(Nikki uses more bacon and serves with Tobasco or some other hot sauce.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Greek Tomatoes


2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 ounces ripe olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 pound crumbled feta cheese
Fresh or dried oregano, to taste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
In 9-by-13-inch glass dish, layer tomatoes, onions and olives.


Sprinkle with feta cheese and oregano. In a small bowl, combine vinegars and oil; pour over tomato mixture. Cover and refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.
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Tex-Mex Chunky Salsa Salad


3 to 4 medium tomatoes, halved, seeded and cubed (3 cups)
1 large Texas 1015 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cucumbers, pared, halved lengthwise, seeded and cubed
4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 jalapeños or other small hot chiles, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar

In medium bowl, mix tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, garlic, chiles if using, lemon juice and sugar, blending well. Chill until ready to serve. If possible, make ahead so flavors have a chance to blend.
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Monday, June 8, 2009

What Is the "peace and justice center"?

This place was formerly called "dpjc's cookbook," but that led to a lot of confusion as to who or what "dpjc" is.

The "dpjc" stands for "doss peace and justice center," a "virtual" institution created by the author who uses the pseudonym, "doss." It's a long and colorful story. I invite those of you curious to know more about the "center" to write me. For now, in the interest of peace, justice, and loving our neighbors, I offer these recipes to the world.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Potato, Corn & Tomato Salad with Basil Dressing


2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
6 ears fresh corn, cooked, kernels removed


Put the vinegar, olive oil, basil leaves, salt and black pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until the mixture is emulsified.

Place the potatoes in a large pot, add enough water to cover them and bring to a boil.

Cook until the potatoes are pierced easily with the tip of a sharp knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool until you can handle them but they are still warm. Cut into quarters but do not peel.

Put the potatoes, tomatoes and corn kernels in a large bowl. Pour in the basil dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

History of This Cookbook

I've been the head cook in our household since 1983, when I got laid off at the same time my wife returned to work from maternity leave. We soon discovered that I was a much better cook than she, and I enjoyed it much more than she.

I began writing notes and pasting recipes into a spiral bound "cookbook" my mother-in-law had hand written for my wife in 1971. By 1992, we'd joined the "computer age," and my younger brother gave me a DOS based cookbook program which I immediately began to populate with all the notes and recipes I'd collected over the years.

Then, shortly after that, I discovered the joys of HTML and the world wide web, and naturally began to publish my "cookbook" to the net.

The "book" went through several painful iterations, as I learned more about HTML, and more importantly, about the complex issues arising from trying to maintain a unified publication on the web. I learned the tedium of having to edit EVERY file on the website whenever I added ONE new recipe (I should NEVER have put a table of contents on EVERY recipe page.). I experimented with frames, but soon learned that frames were prone to show up great in one browser, and screwy in other browsers.

I went on for years, experimenting with different approaches, style sheets, etc., until one day it dawned on me that had done most of the hard work for me already. And that there was no need to re-invent the wheel.

In the meantime, I'd acquired a magnificent recipe manager program called Big Oven, that would automatically generate an HTML file for my recipes. I toyed with that for a while, and eventually settled on the simplified recipe format you see in this blog.

Many thanks to the good folks at blogspot, for making this so possible.
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Friday, June 5, 2009

How to Use This Cook Book

Because this cookbook uses the Blogger format, it will work a bit differently than cookbooks you've encountered before.

The top row of hyperlinks in the header above ("bread, dessert, meats," etc.) contains links to tables of contents for each food grouping. When you click on one of them, that table of contents will replace this page (Or whatever page happens to be in this space). The second row of hyperlinks points to other elements that are not necessarily recipes, but are items you mind find of interest.

Included there is a section for external links to other sites I find interesting or useful. Plus, if you want to view my posts chronologically (I can't imagine why, but this is a feature offered by our friends at blogger.), you can view them by month and year by going to the archives.

You might also check out categories where recipes and posts are gathered according to a common element such as "Cajun," "smoker," Mexican," etc. As you "jump" or scroll down the sidebar, hopefully you'll notice strategically placed "Back to the Top" hyperlinks. These should zap you back to the top of the page where the table of contents menu is. (We hope.) You'll get the hang of it. We hope you have a good time.
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Basil Salad Dressing


2 T white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup basil leaves, packed
salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in blender or food processor, and process until the mixture is emulsified.
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Monday, June 1, 2009


These are links to sites having to do with food and cooking. I've set up another page for links to things having nothing to do with cooking.

12 tomatoes
aluminum foil faq
amazing ribs
Barbeque Bible (See Project Smoke, below.)
apple cider vinegar by bragg
apple-cider brochure from bragg
asparagus recipes
beer can chicken debunked
carrie willard’s cooking blog
cacique inc – great source for Mexican recipes 
Cooking Calculator
crock pot recipes – Slow cooking every day – Cooking videos
fleishmann’s 1-dish
food safety – USDA Food Safety
froberg’s farm – Alvin, Texas
george foreman grilling Chart
green kitchen vegetarian – sharp food blog
heathereatsalmondbutter – Healthy Living
homesick texan – A Texan in NYC
home-made smoker – A smoker from flower pots
juancho’s split grill – Slow-smoking on your Weber
juanitas foods – Hominy Recipes
men’s health – Short order cook
A Million Beautiful Mornings
My Luscious Temple – Food, Fitness & Travel
NOLA Cuisine
NPR’s Food Blog
Nuwave Oven Quick Guide
Pink Apron  – From Boston
pizza on the grill
pork cuts the skinny on pork
Project Smoke Steven Raichlen (See BBQ Bible, above.)
recipes for 100 – recipes for 100
simply recipes
Sriracha Sauce – Featured in the NYTIMES.
Smitten Kitchen
spatchcock a chicken
spinach – All about spinach
spinach, bagged – more about spinach
tasty curry leaf
triple E – family cookbook
v&v supremo – Mexican recipes and products
Vietnamese Sandwiches – Houston Chron
Weber –  Grilling website
weber smoky mountain
where germs live


Each recipe has one (or more)"tag" associated with it. For instance, when I posted my shrimp enchiladas recipe, I "tagged" it as "Mexican" and as a "Seafood." The list of categories below are the "tags" associated with various recipes. Clicking on "grill," for instance will post every recipe in this cook book tagged as a "grill" recipe.

notes | bread | cajun | creole | figs | grill | meat | mexican
pasta | pizza | pork | poultry | seafood | smoker | veggies

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Latest Entries

Shrimp Pilau #2 (July 7, 2009)
Corn, Tomato and Black Bean Salsa (July 4, 2009)
Bacon and Sour Kraut Casserole (June 30, 2009)
Sherry's Apple Muffins (June 18, 2009)
Shrimp Pilau (June 17, 2009)
Greek Tomatoes (June 10, 2009)
Tex-Mex Chunky Salsa Salad (June 10, 2009)
Potato, Corn & Tomato Salad with Basil Dressing (June 7, 2009)
History of this cookbook (June 6, 2009)
How to use this cookbook (June 5, 2009)
Basil Salad Dressing (June 5, 2009)
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

No-oil Salad Dressing

A little horseradish gives a lot of zip to this tart cooked dressing. Cornstarch offers a convenient way to thicken this tangy blend without oil.

Update: First report in - this is good stuff according to the lady whose lunch box I helped pack this morning. (May 11, 2009)


1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Artificial sweetener equivalent to 2 teaspoons sugar, optional


In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch, mustard and water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Cool completely. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Whisk in cornstarch mixture. Store in refrigerator. Stir before serving. Yield: about 1 cup.

Update: You better double this recipe. It's that good.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fool-Proof Boiled Eggs

Special thanks to the American Egg Board for these instructions.

Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold eggs in a single layer. Cover with cold water to a depth of 1 inch over the eggs.

Bring just to a boil; remove from burner and cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for large or 12 minutes for medium size eggs. (18 minutes for extra large)

Cool completely by immersing in ice water or by running cold water over them.
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

I did this tonight, and it was GREAT! Don't be afraid to experiment. For one thing, we don't buy those gravy packets. I made my gravy from scratch, using the drippings from chicken I'd baked in the microwave. Just heat up a few tablespoons of the drippings and stir in an equal amount of flour. Add water, and seasonings (garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, etc.).

The beauty of this is you can mix the batter (no need to allow it to rise) and bake it all in one container.


(For the Batter)

Cooking Spray
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 envelopes rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm milk (120º to 130ºF)
2 tablespoons corn oil
1 egg

(For the filling)

2 packages (approximately 1 ounce each) chicken gravy mix
2 cups cold water
1-1/2 tablespoons minced onion
1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
2 cups cooked, diced chicken OR turkey


Mix chicken and vegetables into pan of gravy. Mix batter in an 8x8 baking pan that you've sprayed with cooking spray. Top batter with gravy, veggie, chicken mixture.

Place in cold oven and turn to 350 degrees. Bake about 35 or 40 minutes.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rice for 100

Most of you will probably never have to cook rice for 100-120 or so, but I did it last night. Thanks to Ken Brown for this recipe.


1.5 gallons water + 1.5 cups
1 gallon rice
cup of butter or margerine


Stir together in deep hotel tray. Seal tightly with foil. Place in convection oven at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Carefully peel back the foil and fluff.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

No-Knead Bread

A client gave me this recipe and swears it's top notch.


3 cups all-purpose or bread flour (more for dusting)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
cornmeal or wheat bran as needed


In large bowl, mix flour, salt and yeast. Add 1 5/8 cups water and stir until well blended. Dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at least 12 hours (preferably about 18 hours).

When dough's surface is dotted with bubbles, turn out on to a lightly floured surface; sprinkle lightly with a dusting of flour; and turn in on itself a few times. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Using enough flour to prevent sticking, gently shape into a ball. Generously cover a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) with corn meal or wheat bran. Place ball seam side down on towel; dust with more meal or bran; then cover with another kitchen towel, and allow to rise for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 450. Place heavy duty 6-8 quart heavy covered pot into oven as it heats. When oven reaches 450, remove pot and place dough into it seam side up. Shake to level out a bit.

Cover with lid, and bake 18-30 minutes. Remove lid and continue baking another 20-30 minutes until browned. Cool on rack.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baked Apple Pancake


2 tablespoons butter
1 cup peeled, sliced tart apples
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in heavy cast-iron skillet.

Add apples, pecans, sugar and cinnamon, and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the apples begin to get tender.

While apples are cooking, place the eggs, flour, milk, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a blender or mixer. Blend for 1-2 minutes on high.

Pour the batter over the cooked apples in the skillet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes; then invert onto a plate.

Slice into 6-8 pie pieces and dust with powdered sugar.

Note: We did this one today (February 14 - for My Valentine), and it is superb!
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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bacon Explosion

Sounds weird, eh? My little brother turned me on to this, and I'm thinking about trying it. The New York Times featured this recipe recently, as did Good Morning America

Update (February 1 - Super Bowl Sunday): I did it, and it wasn't nearly as tricky as it sounds. One tip. I constructed mine on a sheet of aluminum foil. When it came time to roll up the completed loaf, I lifted the back edge of the foil to start it rolling. Once rolled up, I transferred the "torpedo" to a 10" by 12" cooking grid and placed on the Weber which I'd set up for indirect hickory smoking at 225-250. It took about four hours to bring it up to 165 degrees. Pretty good stuff.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caribbean Chicken

I stumbled across this one on Food TV, and it looks like a winner. I'm thinking of doing these on the grill.


* 1 habanero, seeded and chopped
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 2 tablespoon sugar
* 2 teaspoons fennel seed
* 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
* 2 teaspoons allspice
* 2 teaspoons dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 4 garlic cloves, chopped
* 4 green onions, chopped
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* 1/4 cup lime juice
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 7 pounds chicken wings


In a food processor, blend together all the ingredients but the chicken until smooth. Reserve 1 cup of marinade. Place chicken wings into a large resealable plastic bag and pour remaining marinade over them. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet trays with parchment. Remove chicken from bag and place on the baking sheets. Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring reserved marinade to a boil. Reduce by 1/3 until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven. Brush chicken with the glaze. Raise the heat to 400 degrees F and cook chicken until cooked through, another 20 minutes.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster

This recipe was adapted from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas. Use freshly steamed lobster meat or frozen, cooked lobster meat that has been thoroughly defrosted. A total of 3 1/2 pounds of live lobster ought to yield enough for this recipe, or about 3 packed cups of the cooked meat.


8 ounces dried elbow macaroni
2 medium garlic cloves
2 medium shallots
1 pound cooked lobster meat
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided use)
1 cup freshly grated Gruyère cheese
4 ounces low-fat (but not nonfat) cream cheese
2 cups low-fat milk (or substitute heavy cream)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs (may substitute fine plain dried bread crumbs)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease a shallow, 3-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain; reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Mince garlic and shallots; they can be combined and should total about 1⁄3 cup. Coarsely chop lobster meat.

Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with about 2 inches water; heat over medium-high heat.

Combine Cheddar, 1 cup Parmesan, Gruyère and cream cheese in a stainless-steel (or heatproof) mixing bowl that will just fit over the top of the saucepan (so that water will not touch bottom of bowl). Once cheeses start to melt, add milk or cream and stir gently; this process will take about 10 minutes total. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

Pour heated water out of saucepan, then add butter and melt it over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots; cook 2 minutes, until softened, then add lobster meat and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until just heated through.

Pour reserved pasta cooking water over macaroni to loosen it (still in the colander); drain, then add macaroni to saucepan and stir to coat with butter. Add cheese mixture and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. (If topping does not brown, run casserole under broiler for a few minutes; watch closely to see it does not burn.)

Makes 4 to 6 generous servings.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gnocchi (Potato Dumplings)

We recently attended a delightful luncheon, where our friend, Paul Searle, served gnocchi. Here's a video that shows how to prepare them.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Banana-Coconut Pie


For crust:
2 1/4 cups dried dates pitted and soaked in water for an hour if too dry
1 1/2 cups almonds
2 cups walnuts
For filling:
2 coconuts
8 small, ripe bananas
2 tablespoons raw honey or agave nectar
1 cup pitted dates
6 to 8 strawberries


For crust: Blend dates, almonds and walnuts in a food processor until the consistency of chunky cookie dough.

Transfer to an 8-inch pie dish. Use your fingers to press and form a crust; set aside.

For filling: Cut tops off coconuts and drain juice into a container to enjoy later. Scoop out coconut meat and transfer to a food processor.

Add bananas, honey, dates and strawberries. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Pour into pie crust and cover lightly with plastic.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours to set or, for a frozen treat, put in freezer until ready to serve.
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