Hi Lindy Hoppers!!!
Make triple quantities --- Lindy Hoppers can really EAT!

We believe ADAMANTLY in retro lifestyle --- but there is one area of the 1940s that we won't touch with a ten foot pole and that is COOKING. I have no idea why an era that produced so much great art, film, music, and design was in general fed on, well, ca ca. I have an idea that it started at the top:

Rumor had it that cooking at the White House was so bad, that French diplomats were actually served a meal before attending state dinners. For all their style, and grace in other areas, the Roosevelts had absolutely horrible taste in food. By and large, the country was dominated by White Protestants who are born without taste buds. (Some say that taste buds were surgically removed on the Mayflower). Arch-WASP Henry Luce was fond of publishing outlandish recipes in LIFE magazine, including one which featured a sandwich made from peanut butter, orange marmalade and bacon. Rationing during WWII did not help matters very much, either. You really can't find anything good to eat if you follow the published record.

Speaking of the "Public Record" we have recently (2011) found a wartime rationing cook book courtesy of Eileen and Dancin' Dave. It is entitled "How to Eat Well Though Rationed". We have scanned it and make it available for your review:

 How to eat well though rationed by Martha Reynols

How to Eat Well Though Rationed
authored by Martha Reynolds
Click to Enlarge

We have made it easy for you t download a copy of this book:

My idea of 1940s Retro cooking was generally found in the slums, particularly the deep, dark slums that my relatives inhabited. So, I have assembled some authentic Neapolitan dishes that I learned at my grandmother's side. I have tried to update these to employ more-or less available commodities. I have also excised references to malocchio and other charming folk superstitions

My former dance partner contributed a bunch of Scottish recipes, several years ago. I am an actual graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and entitled to wear the Carnegie Tartan, so I have some small affinity for Scotland. I don't really see any reason to take away these particular recipes.... The Scots make great wool goods, Charles Rennie Mackintosh was the Bomb, and their Terriers can't be beat. Their cooking is something else.... Italian cooking is like the Seaforth Highlanders; Scottish cooking is like the Italian army.

Finally, we have some recipes sent in by our devoted readers. We thank them all for their kind contribution

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So, without Further ado, here are the recipes

  • Italian Recipes
  • Scottish Recipes
  • Recipes Sent by Our Readers

    Zuppa Di Pane

    [Bread Pudding]

    Well made bread pudding is never mundane. Unfortunately, so few people are exposed to bread pudding of quality that they have the mistaken belief that the garbage sold under this name at diners and cafeterias is the real McCoy. We beg to differ. In Naples, so many British tourists ordered "Bread Pudding" that there is actually an Italian version. The name really means "Bread Soup", derived from the curious way the English have of describing "pudding".

    • 1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping cream
    • 1 1/2 cups "half and half"
    • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) butter
    • 2 eggs at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon orange extract
    • 1 1/2 cups cubed Challah or other egg bread (see below)
    • 1/2 cup golden raisins
    • 2 apples --- peeled, cored, and diced
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 3/4 cup walnuts
    • 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar

    Preheat your oven to 300 degrees (F). In a large saucepan, combine the cream, "half and half", and butter. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted and small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange extract. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot cream mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in the bread and raisins and let soak. Set aside.

    In a small saucepan --- over medium heat --- combine the apples and orange juice. Cover and cook until the apples are tender (about 10 minutes). Remove and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the walnuts and brown sugar.

    Arrange half of the apple mixture in the bottom of a baking dish. Add the bread mixture and top with the remaining apple mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until the center is just set.

    This recipe makes 10 servings

    Once you get good at this, you will be ready for the next leap in Bread Pudding technology. First, forget about the bread. Get day-old doughnuts. It doesn't matter whether you use cake or glazed doughnuts, but a mix is good. Jelly doughnuts really won't work, besides, who has day-old jelly doughnuts? After this, add two shots of dark rum to the cream mixture right before add the doughnuts.

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    Stufato di Cecce e Spinaci

    [Chickpea and Spinach Stew]

    This will add a little of the sun of Naples to a cold, gray, wet winter day. Better yet, it tastes great but will satisfy the dietary requirements of your strictest vegetarian friends.

    • 2 tablespoons of extra-vergine olive oil
    • 1 small onion (cipoli), finely chopped
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
    • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
    • 1 cup peeled, diced tomatoes
    • 3 cups cooked chickpeas ( two 15 oz. cans)
    • salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2 bunches spinach, stems removed and washed

    In a wide saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika, rosemary and half of the parsley. Saute for two minutes then lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, season with salt and pepper, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook spinach in a separate pan until it "wilts" --- the water that clings to the leaves after washing will be sufficient. Add the spinach to the chickpeas, taste for salt, and season with pepper. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve the dish in bowls. If you so choose, a dollop of garlic mayonnaise or a drizzle of olive oil on top adds to the presentation, but also the calories.

    This recipe makes about four servings

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    [Breakfast Waffle-Style Cookies]

    Pizzelle are also known as Italian wafer cookies and there are various ways which to spell "pizzelle" such as "piazelle", "piazella", "pizzele" and "pizelle" and there are probably just as many variations on pronunciation, the most common is "pit-sell". The name comes from the Italian pizze for round and flat. Many different cultures have adapted this cookie and re-named it accordingly. In Scandinavia they are also known as "Lukken" and indeed the Krumcake is baked using a similar iron as the pizzelle.

    The old style pizzelle irons required cooking over a heat souce as opposed to the modern electric style irons. You can still purchase the old style iron made by Brio at Literi in the City Market, near Galludet University>

    the Brio
    Brio Manual Pizzelle Iron

    Legend has it that Pizzelle were made for "The Festival of the Snakes". A village in Italy was once overrun with snakes, and they were chased out. Afterwards the village celebrated with pizzelle.

    In Salle in the Abruzzi region of Italy there is a festival which takes place in which pizzelle play a large role. The feast is held in July to honor Beato Roberto who was a monk who lived there about 700 years ago. When the feast begins, people bring food to the town square and some people attach pizzelle to tree branches and proceed down the street with them.

    Pizzele are the oldest known cookie and originated in the mid-section of Italy where the irons would be made with family crests on them which would be passed down to each generation.

    Recipe # 1

    • 6 Eggs
    • 3 1/2 cups Flour
    • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. Vanilla Essence
    • 1 cup Butter (two sticks; 1/2 pound)
    • 2 tsp. Baking Powder

    Melt butter on a low heat in a small sauce pan. Beat eggs in a large bowl and add vanilla essence. Add sugar to the egg mixture and beat well. After butter has melted, allow to cool slightly and then add to egg and sugar mixture. Sift in flour and baking powder into the wet mixture, stirring well to ensure all flour is completely mixed. The batter will be stiff. Bake using pizzelle iron. Full batch will make about 60 cookies.

    Recipe #2

    • 6 Eggs
    • 4 cups Flour
    • 2 cups Sugar
    • 1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
    • 1 cup Butter (two sticks; 1/2 pound)
    • 2 tsp. Baking Powder

    Melt butter, add sugar and beat well. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder and then gradually add to the butter and egg mixture. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff then fold carefully into the butter/egg/flour mixture. Spoon onto pizzelle iron and bake.

    Reducing Fat

    1. Use "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" brand in place of butter or oil.
    2. Replace half of the eggs called for with egg whites (for 3 eggs use 1 egg and 2 egg whites).


    I strongly favor the old fashioned pizzelle iron that is hand-held. You can get one at A. Litteri for about $30 The best brand is Brio. There are automated yuppie models as well; check out www.aplliances.com for the Fantes model pizelle iron (very expen$sive)

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    Risotto con Mozzarella Fumati e Arugula

    [Risotto with Smoked Mozzarella and Arugula]

    "Arugula" is one of the most dreaded words in "yuppie-speak". Since the mid 1980s, culinary perversions have regularly been committed on a "bed of Arugula". In truth, arugula is a weed in Naples that the poor people were compelled to eat --- it has a strong flavor and goes well with chicken or fish. Here is a recipe that uses arugula as a key flavor in a rice dish.

    • 8 cups chicken broth
    • 2 tablespoons of extra-vergine olive oil
    • 1 small onion (cipoli), finely chopped
    • 2 cups Arborio rice (no substitutions!!!)
    • Salt and fresh-ground pepper
    • 3/4 cup white wine
    • 1 bunch arugula, cleaned and trimmed
    • 1/4 pound smoked mozzarella, diced
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 4 tablespoons butter

    The goal in making perfect Risotto is to force as much chicken broth as possible into the rice, making it soft and creamy. This can be done with one and only one kind of rice: Arborio, a long-grain variety with virtually unlimited capacity to absorb liquid. If you try to make this with Uncle Ben's rice, you will have an unmitigated disaster on your hands. You must, therefore, get yourself to a store which sells Italian groceries and get yourself some Arborio. Accept no substitutes!

    The process for making Risotto is simple in concept, but demands patience. The rules are simple: DON'T wash the rice and keep the broth hot. Keep those in mind and you will be blessed with good Risotto.

    Heat the chicken broth until it just simmers and keep it hot over low heat. It is best to use a saucepan with a little pour spout, as you will be dolloping the broth out a little bit at a time.

    You will need a fairly large frying pan or a heavy bottom vessel like a dutch oven. The two cups of uncooked Arborio is going to turn into about 10-12 cups of finished product, so judge accordingly. While the chicken broth is warming, heat the olive oil in this large pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion becomes soft and almost transparent. At this point, you add the rice. Stir the rice in the onion and olive oil to remove the surface starch and prepare the individual grains to absorb the broth. When the rice shines with its olive oil coat, add the white wine and stir until the mixture reheats.

    Add one cup of the hot broth to the mixture and stir constantly until the broth is fully absorbed. Then add another cup of HOT broth and repeat, allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more. You will be utterly amazed at the capacity of Arborio rice to absorb chicken broth.

    When the Risotto is finished, it will look creamy and the rice will be just slightly firm to the bite. In order to do this right, you have to know what Risotto actually tastes like. If you don't have an Italian grandmother, go to a reputable restaurant, preferably in New York and order Risotto. You will find that it is expensive. When you make your own Risotto, you will understand that it is very labor intensive and, hence, expensive. There is no shortcut to good Risotto. Now, rent the film Big Night Out and laugh along with all the in- jokes about Risotto. If you want to make the Timpano that is featured in the film, Click Here.

    When all the chicken broth is absorbed, you have the base for whatever Risotto dish you are making. If you add butter, Parmesan and Saffron, you have Risotto Milanese. In this case, we are going to add two things: arugula and smoked mozzarella. You can add spinach instead of arugula. Alas, the only really good smoked mozzarella comes from New York.

    This recipe makes about eight servings

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    Fonduta Suburbiana

    [Cheese Fondue]

    • 1 pound Swiss cheese, Emmenthaler preferred
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 tsp butter
    • 2 cups dry white wine, e.g Neufchatel
    • 1 tsp corn starch
    • 1/4 cup Kirschwasser or other strong brandy
    • black pepper
    • French bread (baguette) cut in small (1")cubes
    • and the nefarious Fondue Pot from Mom or Aunt Harriet's closet

    The term "fondue pot" refers to a ceramic casserole dish with a handle and lid that can actually be used as a stove top cooking implement. The "fondue set" is the pot plus a little tin stand that will hold a can of Sterno and allow you to heat the thing at the table. The "set" should also include a group of long fork-like spears. Travelers to Switzerland were often treated to real Fondue after a day of skiing or climbing the Matterhorn. [Fondue is not to be confused with something similar called raclette which also involves not only brandy and cheese but little boiled potatoes as well] To make a long story short, because it was associated with travel to exotic places, Fondue acquired a sort of cachet among the middle class. Fondue was served in suburban homes, generally accompanied by slides of Mont Blanc and something like, "Hans, the oberkellner at Kopfkrankenhaus gave me his mother's recipe for this fondue..." During the 1960s, fondue sets were the primary Christmas "generic-gift" for people that you barely knew. As such, they declined in quality to the point that many of them could not, in fact, be used for their designated purpose. If you must indulge in fondue, here is what to do.

    Rub the casserole (i.e. fondue pot) with garlic and butter. Pour wine into pot and cook at low heat until the wine bubbles. Slice the cheese as thin as possible (i.e. shave it paper thin), add to the hot wine in small handfuls. Stir constantly in a figure-eight motion with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted. This take a long time---plan to stir for about 20 minutes. It is important that the heat be monitored carefully; the cheese mixture should not be allowed to scorch. Dissolve the cornstarch in the brandy and add it to the cheese-wine mixture, stirring all the while. Add black pepper to taste and transfer the casserole to the table warmer.

    Guests amuse themselves by impaling a bread cube on the fork, dipping it in the wine-cheese mixture and eating it. As this process continues, the mixture may thicken; if this occurs, add heated wine. There are any number of games associated with fondue. Generally, it goes like this: if a man drops his bread cube in the fondue, he has to "chug" a small glass of schnapps. If a woman drops her bread cube, she has to kiss all the men at the table. Aren't those Swiss hilarious?

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    Spaghetti Carbonari

    [Pasta as Charcoal Burners Make It]

    • 3 cloves minced garlic
    • 4 scallions chopped fine, including the green parts
    • 1/4 cup extra vergine olive oil
    • 1 0z pancetta (turkey bacon will do)
    • 10 fresh basil leaves
    • 1/4 cup Italian parsley (the flat-leaf variety)
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup ricotta cheese
    • 1/4 cup fresh-grated Romano cheese
    • 1/2 pound pasta, capellini preferred
    • dash of salt
    • lots of black pepper

    In some parts of the Mezzogiorno (Southern Italy), you can still see the ancient art of the Carbonari being practiced. These are the fellows who make charcoal (carbona) in the field by making elaborate piles of logs and setting them on fire. The carbonari are not to be confused with the Carbineri, the ornately dressed policemen with the feathered hats and rifles (carbine) that are pictured on the bottle of Galliano. The carbonari tend their fires both day and night so they must eat in the field; they use a minimum of cookware and tend to prepare things that take very little time.

    It is a real treat to prepare this dish over an actual charcoal fire because the smoke adds a wonderful flavor. A normal kitchen stove will work just fine, however. Technically, you should use pancetta, the Italian equivalent of bacon. This is expensive, hard to get, and a pork product. I find that turkey bacon works just fine.

    Boil about a gallon of salted water to cook the pasta. When the water is at a rolling boil, begin to assemble things. Break three eggs into a bowl. Add the ricotta, grated Romano, parsley and basil and mix until everything is blended. Heat the olive oil in a deep pan---a wok is perfect for this. Chop the turkey bacon into small bits and saute in the oilive oil until browned. Add the garlic and scallions, and cook until the garlic begins to turn golden. Drop the capellini in the water and cook for about three minutes---just until they wiggle when you stir them with a spoon.

    Drain the capellini. Turn up the fire in the olive-oil/bacon/garlic/onion mixture. Dump in the pasta and stir constantly until each strand is evenly coated with oil. Then add the egg/cheese mixture. Stir well for about two minutes until the eggs are set. Serve the pasta in bowls and grate a grenerous amount of black pepper on each serving.

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    Spinaci alla Romana

    [Spinach, Roman Style]

    • 3 tablespoons of the smallest available raisins, black or white
    • 4 medium-sized bunches of spinach (about 2 1/2 pounds), washed at least twice in cold water and trimmed of roots
    • 1/3 cup of extra-vergine olive oil or more if you are feeding real Italians
    • 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and well crushed
    • 4 tablespoons of pignoli (pine nuts)
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • freshly ground sea salt

    American raisins tend to be very sweet and do not have much depth of flavor. To help expel some of the natural sugars, put the raisins in a small bowl, covered with enough warm water to soak them for about 15 minutes. Set aside.

    Put the spinach in a frying pan large enough to hold it all and cook over a high flame until it collapses and turns dark green, stirring it well and shaking the pan the entire time. After this stage, cook it about 4 minutes longer. Try to drive out any moisture left in it. Remove the spinach to a bowl and set it aside. If the frying pan is wet, wipe and dry it out.

    Heat the olive oil in the frying pan, add the garlic and cook until it just begins to color. Do NOT burn the garlic because it becomes very bitter. While your garlic is cooking, take the raisins out of the water and squeeze them as dry as you can get them. Remove the garlic from the oil and discard. Add the pignoli and the raisins, and cook them carefully until the pignoli take on a deep golden color. Watch out because the pignoli can burn in a second--never leave the pan, even for a moment. Return the spinach to the pan, stir it all around with a fork, and add some salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients so that the flavors come together and cook them for about 3 or 4 minutes. You may add additional olive oil if you think the spinaci looks dry. You may also serve additional oil at the table to be drizzled on the portions. This dish must be served hot.

    Some folks add tomatoes and red onions to this dish. They should be sauteed separately and added at the end.

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    Salata Yupetta al Campi Fresca

    [Black Bean Salad as a Yupette might take home from Fresh Fields]

    • 2.5-3 cups of black beans, fresh from the can, but drained
    • 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice
    • 3 scallions, white bulb and 3 inches of green cut into 1/4 inch rounds
    • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice
    • 6 tablespoons extra-vergine olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 5 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
    • 3/4 tablespoon salt

    Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and toss gently. Let the salad rest, loosely covered at room temperature for at least one hour before serving. This recipe yields six portions.

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    [Savory Bread Salad]

    • 6 large, thick slices of hard, dry Italian bread (homemade preferred,but bought will do; no sourdough, please)
    • 2 large, ripe unpeeled tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch dice
    • 2 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar. More if the vinegar is not strong.
    • 1/3 cup of extra-vergine olive oil. Even more if you're Italian, or want to be.
    • 8 large, fresh basil leaves coarsely chopped. More is better.
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Fresh ground sea salt

    Place the bread in a bowl of cold water, and leave it there until it soaks up enough water to wet it thoroughly. Let the bread drain in a colander for about fifteen minutes, and squeeze it as dry as you can with your hands. (It also helps to wrap the bread in a kitchen towel and roll it tightly to get rid of any excess water.) With your hands tear the bread into half inch cubes, and put them into the salad bowl from which you will serve. Add all the other ingredients, and mix everything together. Let the whole mass set for about an hour in the refrigerator. The juices should be absorbed into the bread.

    My mom's mother always served panzanella alone on a plate. My Dad's mother loved to serve it on freshly gathered dandelion greens; if you want to adopt this style of service, substitute a single leaf of butter lettuce or the yellow inner leaves of Romaine lettuce for the dandelions.

    In the hills around Naples, the summers are too hot to spend much time in the kitchen cooking. Thus, Neapolitans take advantage of the ripening tomatoes and basil to enjoy panzanella. It is cool, refreshing, and uncommonly tasty. This is also an excellent way to use up any of your homemade bread that has seen better days. This is a form of "recycling" makes both good sense and good eating.

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    Pasta e Fagioli

    [Pasta and Beans]

    • 3 cloves minced garlic
    • 4 scallions chopped fine, including the green parts
    • 1/4 cup extra vergine olive oil
    • 3 pomidori (plum tomatoes) diced
    • 10 fresh basil leaves
    • 16 oz fresh chicken broth
    • 1/2 pound spinach washed and drained
    • 1/4 pound pasta, broken in pieces ([see below]
    • dash of salt
    • black pepper
    • 12 oz cannellini (white kidney beans)
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
    • Romano cheese for grating
    • crusty bread

    This is a simple dish that every Italian eats about three times a week. The pronunciation in the Neapolitan dialect is something like "pasta fazool", and much Italian stereotyping centers on this dish. Consider, please Louis Prima's famous song, Amore (Love):

    When-a the moon hits your eye just-a like a big pizza pie that's amore

    When the stars make you drool just-a like pasta fazool that's amore, etc.

    At this time, I usually remind everyone that Neapolis (Naples) was a thriving city even before Rome and that little things like law, indoor plumbing and museums were well established there at the same time that the inhabitants of the British Isles were painting themselves blue and worshiping oak trees. I can assure you that a regular diet of Pasta e Fagioli will be healthy and enjoyable and will not cause you to grow a big black moustache, join the mafia, or put vowels at the end of words.

    If you can find dry cannellini, you must wash them and soak them overnight and then boil them for about an hour. I suggest the canned version because it is quicker and the taste is not markedly different.

    Traditionally, the pasta should be broken pieces that couldn't be served in other dishes. The big tube varieties of pasta like perciatelli and ziti are most often used, because they tend to break in the package. You can use small-tube varieties like penne or cut ziti. To be traditional, take a couple of handfuls of perciatelli and break them up.

    Preparing this dish is simple, because Italians have better places to spend time than in the kitchen. Place the oil in a soup-pot on low heat and let it warm. Add the garlic and onions; saute until the garlic is golden. Add the red pepper at this time if you want to be authentic and adventurous. Turn the heat up to high and add the tomatoes. Cook at high heat for about five minutes or until the tomatoes give up their juice. Turn the heat to low and add the broth. Simmer for about ten minutes to infuse the tomato flavor into the broth. Add the basil, spinach, cannellini, and pasta. Cover and cook on low heat for about an hour. When you are ready to serve, stir in the beaten egg and cook for about five more minutes.

    Serve in bowls. Grind black pepper over the soup, grate cheese onto the surface and serve with crusty bread. My dad used to like to take the heel of the loaf and break it into his soup. It is perfectly acceptable to mop up the soup with bread.

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    Inuit al Forno

    [Baked Alaska]

    • 1 Store-bought pound cake. Entenmann's "Golden Loaf" supposedly has "no fat"
    • 1/2 gallon Neapolitan Ice cream (Vanilla, Chocolate & Strawberry)
    • 1/2 cup rum
    • 4 egg whites at room temperature
    • 4 tbsp confectioner's sugar
    • 1 tsp cream of tartar
    • parchment paper

    Cake: Unwrap the pound cake and cut it [horizontally] into three layers. Make sure that the ice cream is frozen solid, and peel away the paper from the block of ice cream. Cut two slabs of ice cream out of the block on the interface between the vanilla and chocolate and on that between the vanilla and strawberry. You may eat the rest of the ice cream at your leisure. Spread out some plastic wrap on a flat surface. Place the bottom layer of pound cake on the wrap; pour about a third of the rum over the cake. Add the Chocolate piece of ice cream. Put the middle layer of cake on the ice cream and douse with rum. Add the strawberry slab of ice cream and the top layer of cake; douse with rum. enclose the cake/ice cream "brick" with the plastic wrap. Place in the freezer and keep it there. It should be frozen hard as a rock and kept that way up until you are about to serve it.

    Meringue: About two hours before you serve the dish, separate the whites from four eggs. (use the yolks to make Hollandaise sauce for eggs benedict or stracciatella). Let the egg whites come to room temperature. About fifteen minutes before you serve the dish, turn the oven on to "broil". Add the confectioners sugar and cream of tartar to the egg whites. Beat at high speed until the egg whites are shiny and stiff peaks form.

    Serving: Remove the "brick" from the freezer and place it on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet. Coat the brick with the meringue just like icing a cake. You can use any and all cake icing tricks with the meringue. It will work in a cake-decoratoion squeeze bag and you can make swirls, stars, etc. You can dye the meringue with food color. (add food color before you beat the eggs). When you have "iced" the brick with meringue, pop it into the hot broiler for about 2 minutes. Watch it like a hawk! The thing is done when the top surface is golden brown, but not burned. If you use fancy details like flowers or shells, remember that the items closest to the broiler will turn color first, so plan for the color contrast. If you really want to be fancy, sink an eggshell-half into the meringue at the top. Fill it with brandy when you put it in the oven. When it comes out, light the brandy and bring the thing to the table flaming.

    Use the parchment paper to lift the dish off the cookie sheet and onto a nice platter. Bring to the table, let everyone ooh and ah, then slice onto nice little dishes. (It helps to wet the knife). You can drizzle on chocolate or raspberry syrup for those with absolutely no concern for calories.

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    Biscotti di Prato

    [Hard Dipping Biscotti]

    • 3/4 cup whole almonds
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 7/8 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • dash of salt
    • Parchment paper
    • Canola oil

    "Biscotti" means "cooked twice" in Italian.

    Nuts: Place the almonds in a shallow pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Let the almonds cool and then slice them into slivers.

    Dough: Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place the liquid ingredients in another bowl and whisk until everything is thoroughly blended. Make a well in the center of the flour/sugar/baking powder/salt mixture and add the liquids. Blend with a rubber spatula. When the dough is golden, fold in the chopped almonds. The dough comes out to the consistency of cookie dough. Divide the dough in half.

    Preparation: line two 12" cookie pans with parchment paper. Use a brush to oil the paper lightly with canola oil. Spoon the dough to make a "cake" that is 12" long and 2" wide. You have enough dough to make 2 of these "cakes."

    First Cooking: bake the "cakes" in the middle of a preheated 300 degree oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. The cakes should be about 3" wide and 1/2" thick when done. Remove the cakes and allow to cool in the pan.

    Second cooking: place the cooled cakes on a cutting board. Slice at a 45 degree angle, making individual cookies about 1/2" thick. If you do this right, you will get about 44 cookies. Eat the ends right now. Place the cookies back onto the parchment paper [lay them down flat]. They have to be baked on both sides, so make sure that they are all facing the same direction so that you can turn them over and be certain which have, in fact, been turned over. Bake on each side for 10 minutes in a 275 degree oven.

    These little guys will keep for a week if stored in a tightly sealed container. They are wonderful for dipping in coffee or white wine. You can substitute 1/8 cup anise seed for the almonds. Bake the anise seeds for about 10 minutes. Add the seeds to 1/8 cup rum and add about a teaspoon of anise extract. Add this in place of the almonds.

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    Stracciatella alla Romana

    [Shredded Egg Soup, Roman Style]

    • 1 quart home made chicken broth or light veal broth
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3 big scrapings of fresh nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon semolina flour
    • 4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese (the best you can afford)
    • salt to taste

    "Straciatella" means "rags" in Itlian, referring to the thin swirls of cooked egg in the broth.

    Reserve 1/4 cup of cold broth. Bring the remaining broth to a very slow simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, break the eggs in a small bowl, and add a pinch of salt and the nutmeg, and mix well. Add the semolina and cheese and mix again. Add the 1/4 cup of cold broth and mix again.

    When the soup is at a simmer, gently drizzle in the egg mixture. Paddle the broth back and forth slowly with a wooden spoon, almost languidly, so that the egg mixture stays intact but in flowing little rag-like conformations. Simmer the soup for one minute longer. Serve it piping hot.

    While this soup is known as a Roman specialty, there are versions of it served in many parts of Southern Italy. Often, esacrole or spinach is added to the broth to give additional flavor and color contrast. At weddings, very small meatballs made of finely ground veal seasoned with nutmeg are added to the soup.

    This is a very pretty soup, but more important it is delicious, especially if you make your own chicken broth.

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    Peperoni Arrosto

    [Roasted Red Peppers]

    • Four red bell peppers
    • Two cloves of garlic
    • Six tablespoons extra vergine olive oil
    • Twelve anchovy fillets
    • Oil cured olives
    • Four small paper bags

    Roasting the Peppers

    You can only do this if you have a gas range or a charcoal grill. Electric ranges will NOT work. Place the peppers directly on the burner and turn the flame up high. Roast them until the skin turns black flecked with gray. Turn frequently with tongs. Unless your kitchen is especially well-ventilated, this may set off your smoke detectors --- not with visible smoke, but with the aromatic byproducts of the combustion of the peppers' skin. The smell of roasted peppers is heavenly, and only smoke detectors seem to dislike it. When the peppers are uniformly black, pop each into a paper bag, and fold it shut. Allow the peppers to steam in the bag for about fifteen minutes. Remove from the bags and brush the skin off under cold running water. With a paring knife, cut out the center and remove the stems and seeds. Wash everything thoroughly. Flatten out each pepper and spread it on a plate.

    The Bagna Cauda

    Roasted red peppers are best served with the Bagna Cauda (or "Hot Bath"). To make this, place the olive oil in a saute pan, add the garlic and two anchovy fillets. Mash everything up and heat until the anchovies dissolve.

    Serving the Dish

    Garnish each pepper with two anchovy fillets. Surround the peppers with oil cured olives and nuke in the microwave for 40 seconds. Pour the Bagna Cauda over the peppers and bring to the table. Have plenty of bread for mopping up the juices.

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    Funghi 'Ncartati

    [Mushrooms in Parchment Paper]

    • 1 pound of fresh plump mushrooms
    • 6 anchovy fillets
    • 4 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped Italian parsley
    • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs
    • 4 tablespoons extra vergine olive oil
    • the juice of one lemon
    • 6 squares parchment paper, about 12 inches square
    • 6 thin lemon slices for garnish

    Brush the mushrooms well. Do not wah them unless it is really necessary to clean them. They get soggy very easily. Cut them into VERY thin slices and place them in a medium size bowl. Then add the anchovies, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Mix lightly with a large spoon.

    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

    The only tricky part is making the little "packages". Take a sheet of parchment paper and fold it in half. Brush the inside with olive oil. Place one sixth of the mixture on the fold, top with two lemon slices, and close the paper like a clam shell. Holding the open side toward you, begin at the left and plait the paper closed by making small tightly creased folds. You should wind up with a semi-circle. Brush the packet lightly with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.

    Bake the packages for about 8 minutes, but no more.

    Serve the packet on a warmed plate. Have each person open his own packet by tearing three flaps in it. Make sure to smell the heavenly aroma that comes out of the packet.

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    Pasta con Quattro Formaggi

    [Pasta with Four Cheeses]

    • 1 pound short stubby pasta (Rigatoni, Penne or Cavatapi)
    • 4 Red plum tomatoes finely chopped
    • 4 yellow (acid-free) plum tomatoes finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 10 fresh basil leaves
    • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
    • 10 oil-cured olives pitted and finely chopped
    • 1 cup ricotta
    • 1/4 pound gorgonzola, crumbled
    • 1/4 pound aged provolone, shredded
    • Parma Reggiano for grating

    Start about four quarts salted water boiling. Saute the garlic, oregano and red pepper in a very large pan (we use a wok...). When the garlic just starts to turn color, add the tomatoes and turn the flame up as high as it will go. Stir the mixture constantly until the tomatoes give up their juice and the pulp softens. Lower the heat to barely warm, and add the basil and olives.

    Cook the pasta in the boiling water for about eight minutes. The pasta should be soft, but not flabby. Drain the cooked pasta and put it in the pot with the tomatoes. Toss everything thoroughly and cook on very low flame for about a minute, allowing the juices to permeate the pasta. Add the ricotta, gorgonzola and provolone and toss until everything is coated. Serve in pasta bowls and dust with grated Parma Reggiano. Top off with freshly grated black pepper.

    This goes very well with lemonade made with fresh lemons and seltzer water, sweetened to taste.

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    Scottish Salmon Cream

    This can make a very quick supper if you get home late, or a very nice sunday brunch

    • 7 oz. can salmon, drained & flaked
    • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 2 tbsp. tarragon vinegar
    • 1 tsp. soft brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 3/8 c. heavy cream
    • 4 slices hot buttered toast

    Put the salmon and butter into a medium-sized saucepan. Place the pan over low heat and cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the vinegar into the pan and stir in the sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika. Stir the cream into the salmon mixture and cook for a further 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and spoon equal amounts of the mixture over the slices of toast. Serve immediately.

    This recipe makes about four servings

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    Scottish Chicken Soup

    What's this? You say that this recipe doesn't look much different from your bubbie's recipe for chicken soup? Hoot Mon - - the difference is in the heather

    • 5 c. chicken broth
    • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
    • 2 stalks celery, sliced
    • 1 potato, peeled and sliced
    • 1/2 c. chopped onion
    • 1/4 tsp. dried sage leaves
    • 4 peppercorns
    • 1 sm. bay leaf
    • 1 egg
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Chopped parsley
    • 1/2 c. noodles
    • one large bouquet of heather

    Combine chicken broth, carrots, celery, potato, onions, noodles, and spices in a pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In the meantime, beat the egg. Beat in lemon juice. Slowly stir in 1 cup of soup to the egg mixture. Gradually pour mixture back into soup pot stirring occasionally. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not boil or mixture will curdle. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley. Smell the heather.

    This recipe makes four servings

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    Dr. Frank's Pumpkin Pie

    This really isn't Italian, but my family ate large quantities of these every Thanksgiving. It was a sin to throw ANYTHING away, so we really did eat the pumpkins that had been jack-o-lanterns on Halloween. Think of that as "recycling". At the time, our American neighbors always thought that it was "cheap", but modern times have a way of putting a positive spin on almost anything.

    • 1 1/2 cups of prepared Pumpkin (see below)
    • 3 Eggs
    • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 3/8 teaspoon salt
    • 3/8 teaspoon ginger
    • 3/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

    Pumpkin Preparation: use any firm pumpkin flesh scraped from your pumpkin. Don't use the skin or seeds. Boil until soft (like potatoes). Drain and mash. Pack pumkin firmly when measuring, and be sure to drain off excess liquid. You'll probably need to start with 3 cups of flesh to get 1 1/2 cup of mash.

    Pie Crust: make a Graham Cracker Pie Crust (or buy one in the store...) Evenly brush the sides and botom of the crust with 1 beaten egg yolk. Bake the crust at 375 deg for 5 minutes to seal it. (Put the leftover egg white and any excess yolk into the pie filling. Don't waste anything!)

    Pie Filling: Combine pumpkin, eggs, milk, sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves in a mixer. Blend until smooth. Pour into the prepared crust and bake 65 minutes at 375 degrees (F)

    Anything else is NOT Pumpkin Pie.

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    Ox Eyes - Russian Egg Dish

    Everyone who saw the film Moonstruck knows the old Italian dish "Egg in the Hole" in which you cut a hole in apiece of bread, fry it and drop an egg in the center. Here's an unusual variation.

    Cut some close textured bread (heavy pumpernickel is good) into thick slices cut a three inch disc from each slice; cut a one and one half inch hole in the center of each round. Spread the rings of bread so produced with sour cream, working it well into the bread with a butter knife. Start frying these rings in butter. When the underside is golden, turn it over and break an egg into the hole and fry slowly until the egg is cooked

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    Oeufs frits Beauvoir

    This dish is impossible to make, but if you succeed, you will never ever want eggs any other way. The dish requires Puff Pastry which is extremely difficult and time consuming to make from scratch. However, frozen, pre-made puff pastry has recently become available in supermarkets so it is actually possible to obtain the raw material for this. Your troubles have only begun, though.

    Buy puff pastry frozen at the store. Let it thaw and roll into two rectangles about six inches by nine inches. On one rectangle, lightly (without piercing the pastry) mark a grid that is 3" by 3" ( there are six cells). Dapple a "well" in the center of of each square with a tablespoon measure. Crack an egg VERY GENTLY into each well, keeping the yolk and as much of the white in the well as possible. Then lower the second sheet of puff pastry on top without breaking or displacing the eggs.

    THIS IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT and is the reason that you can get Oeufs Beauvoir at the Ritz in Paris -- and nowhere else. At the Ritz, these were about $20 per egg in 1992

    Once you have successfully mated the two layers, use a pastry roller, seal the layers to make six "pockets" (this same procedure is used to make ravioli. Fry the pouches in deep fat. Top with a truffle slice, serve with caviar and the tips of very young white asparagus.

    P.S.: The dish is named after Roger de Beauvoir (November 8, 1806, Paris – August 27, 1866) was the pen name of French Romantic novelist and playwright Eugène Auguste Roger de Bully. His wit, good-looks and adventurous lifestyle made him well-known in Paris, where he was a friend of Alexandre Dumas, père. Of independent means, he wed actress and author Léocadie Doze in 1847. Afflicted with gout and nearly destitute from his flamboyant lifestyle, he spent the last few years of his life unhappily confined to a chair, dying in Paris. His best-known works included Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1840), Les Oeufs de Paques (1856) and Le Pauvre Diable (reprinted 1871).

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    Torte de Burre Pauladeeno

    Paula Deen always has a "Gooey Cake" at her Thanksgiving feast and this genre of cake (torta) and butter (burre) is something that you might want to try, especially if you are intereseted in Southern [Italian] cooking. These pastries are characterized by a dough bottom with a thick, viscous butter topping. There are two varieties (North and South):
    • Philadelphia German Butter Cake is made with a yeast dough. After the dough rises, it's placed in a greased pan -- the topping (the gooey part made of butter and sugar) is spread over the dough. When the cake is removed from the oven, the cake will have baked around the rich filling.
    • Gooey Butter Cake, a southern regional favorite, is made with a packaged cake mix. White, Yellow, Chocolate may be used. The topping is basically butter, sugar and fruit puree.

    Here are the recipes:

    Philadelphia German Butter Cake

    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup solid shortening, butter-flavored
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg1 envelope active dry yeast
    • 1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla
    • Butter Cake Topping (recipe follows)

    Mix sugar with shortening and salt; add egg and beat with mixer about 1 minute until well-blended. Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add flour, then milk/yeast mixture and vanilla to dough batter. Mix 3 minutes with dough hook or by hand. Turn dough onto floured board and knead for 1 minute. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel, and set aside in a warm place to rise for one hour or until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare topping and set aside.

    Divide dough in two, roll or pat to fit two well-greased 8-inch square pans. Or fit all the dough in one 9-by-13-by-2-inch greased pan. Crimp edges halfway up sides of pan to hold topping in. When dough is spread, prick lightly with a fork to prevent bubbling. Spread topping over dough. Let cakes or cake stand 20 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Do not overbake. Topping should be crusty but gooey. Let cool before cutting.

    Butter Cake Topping

    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 2/3 cup flour
    • 2 cups extra-fine sugar
    • 2 extra large eggs
    • 4 to 5 tablespoons milk

    Cream butter. Stir together flour and sugar. Gradually beat sugar mixture into butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. By the teaspoon, add just enough milk to bring mixture to a consistency for easy spreading over the cake, being careful not to make it too runny. Use as directed in recipe for Butter Cake.

    Gooey Butter Cake

    • 1 box yellow cake mix
    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted but cooling
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 pound confectioners' sugar (save a tablespoon for sprinkling over cake)

    Mix cake mix, one egg and butter together with a spoon; This makes a very stiff dough and not your usual cake batter -- you can even knead it a few times. Spread it in on the bottom of a a greased 9-by-9-by-2-inch pan -- or get yourself a silicone baking pan.

    Mix cream cheese, 2 eggs and confectioners' sugar and pour over the first mixture. Bake 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Do not overbake -- the top mixture should remain "gooey."

    When cake is cool, sprinkle top with reserved confectioners' sugar, top with fresh whipped cream Yes, that is a pound of confectioner's sugar.... during WWII, when sugar was rationed, this was approximated with honey and corn syrup. The topping will accomodate 2 cups of any kind of fruit puree that you want (Pumpkin, Pineapple, Strawberry, blueberry, cooked apples, pears) I wouldn't use orange, lemon or grapefruit pulps, but the juice could work out well. I'd like to try this with rhubarb.

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    Scottish Eggs

    This is for real. These are a staple of pub food throughout the United Kingdom.

    • 12 hard boiled eggs
    • 2 lbs. sausage
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 2 c. unseasoned dry bread crumbs
    • Oil for frying

    Cool eggs and remove shells. Cover each egg with sausage, dip in beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs. Heat oil to 350 degrees or use deep fat fryer. Fry eggs, one at a time, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

    This recipe makes 6 servings

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    Pierogie Madness

    This all began when I had a giant craving for pirogies, the Eastern European delicacy. Whether they are speeled "pierogis", "Pierogie", or "Pirohi", , they are fantastic. I absolutely LOVE them. Others may have a different opinion --- I have also heard them called "Ravioli made of cement". I am indebted to both Sue Fedor and Tony Nesky for their help and assistance in meeting my Pirogie craving!

    These are included in my Italian recipes because they share dough and techniques with Ravioli

    First, we have this from Sue:

    • Filling: Mash some boiled or baked potatoes. Add cheese and a little butter. Either grated cheddar--or if you must--something hard like Parmasean... but that would be blasphemous where I'm from...
    • You can combine the filling with saurkraut, if you like that sort of thing and happen to be half German or Slovenian.
    • Dough: Use Pasta dough from your best ravioli recipe. I have a nice pasta machine that rolls out the dough nice and thin.
    • Use the mashed potatoes as a filling and fill away.
    • Boil them for just a few minutes. They'll cook more and you don't want them to fall apart.
    • Now you have a choice. Some folks like to fry them in butter with onions. I like to bake them in a casserole, layering them with butter (use a brush) and onions. Use yellow onions.
    • I'd bake for about 30 min or fry for about 15. Definitely not for folks who are trying to watch their cholesterol.

    Next, Tony Nesky adds his two cents:

    I also make them with potatoes and some sort of hard cheese. In Polish, these are called "ruski" or Belarussian style pierogis. Add an extra egg to the batter for the dough.

    The ones with cabbage (well cooked saurkraut) and mushrooms are a favorite of mine, but I don't have a good recipe and canned saurkraut is "swinstwo"--fit only for pigs. In Poland, I actually had them filled with lentils--they were delicious, and are my all time favorite, but I have never successfully reproduced them.

    The Ephiphany Ukranian Catholic church has a lenten supper (the 40 days before Easter) Friday nights at 5:00. I don't know if they have carry-out.

    The Polish parish in Silver Spring also sells them for occasional fundraisers.

    I have this quote from Peter Gray, the author of The Mistress Cook. (The authoritative book on the critique of cooking -- it's not a cookbook but a set of guidelines for the Lady of a large household to judge the performance of her Cook)

    Pirogi, Koldouni, Varenki: These are respectively the Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian varieties of stuffed, boiled pastes. They usually have only meat fillings. You start as if you were making capeletti but, instead of folding the disc into a semi-circle, you gather up theedges to make a spherical bag. Hold the gathered edges in your left hand and use the fingers of the right hand to mold and press the paste into a narrow neck. The idea is to make them look like cloth bags tied at the neck with string.

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    Very Quick, No Hassle Milk Scones

    Light and fluffy, they can't be beat in the morning or with afternoon tea.

    • 2 oz. butter or margarine
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 pt. buttermilk
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 lb. self-rising flour

    Melt butter, beat egg, add both to buttermilk. Mix well together. Add dry ingredients. Mix to soft dough. Turn out on floured surface. Knead lightly. Cut off pieces of dough and flatten by hand. Prick with fork. Bake at 400 degrees 10 to 15 minutes. NOTE: Knead dough as little as possible.

    This recipe makes about 10 scones

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    Tea Tarts

    These will perk up a dull rainy afternoon!

    • 1/2 c. margarine
    • 3 oz. cream cheese
    • 1 c. sifted cake flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • 3/4 c. pecans
    • 2 tbsp. melted margarine
    • Dash of salt
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

    Cream together the first margarine, cream cheese and flour and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. In blender or food processor combine 2 eggs, 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup pecans, 2 tablespoons melted margarine, a dash of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Blend on slow speed about 30 seconds, just until nuts are chopped. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Drop about 1 rounded teaspoon of dough into each of 12 fluted tart pan sections. Do not grease. Press dough with thumb into bottom and around sides of each cup. Fill 3/4 full with filling. Bake 35 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes and then remove from pan. (Use small tart pan.)

    This recipe makes about 12 tarts

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    Scottish Shortbread

    This will store very well and can be mailed to frineds and relatives. It is always well-received at Christmas Time.

    • 1 stick butter
    • 1 stick margarine
    • 1/2 c. sugar
    • 2 c. flour
    • 4 tbsp. cornstarch
    • Pinch of salt

    Cream butters and sugar until almost white. Combine dry ingredients and mix in well. Dough will be stiff. Can be beaten with an electric mixer or food processor. Form into ball and press into brownie pan (small rectangle). Prick with a fork. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not let brown on top. Cut into finger size pieces while still hot. Let cool.

    This recipe makes about 8 servings

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    Shortbread Cookies

    • 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 c. butter (2 1/2 sticks) refrigerated & cut in 8 to 10 pieces
    • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

    Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place both types of sugar in food processor and process until very fine. Add butter; pulse until sugar disappears. Add flour; pulse until no dry flour particles remain. (Mixture will be moist and crumbly.) Place in plastic bag and press together to form dough; knead lightly until dough holds together. Remove from bag. Shape dough into 1" balls. Place on unbuttered cookie sheets 2" apart. Flatten each with a cookie press, fork, or the bottom of a glass lightly moistened with water. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until pale golden. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks.

    This recipe makes four dozen cookies

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    Scones Made the Traditional Way

    Scottish scones are delicious straight off the griddle with butter and fresh strawberry jam or lemon curd. Of course, this recipe assumes that you have a griddle and some time on your hands.

    • 3 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
    • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk

    Sift flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and sugar together into a bowl. By hand, rub the butter into the flour, making small cornmeal-like granules. Add buttermilk all at once, then working quickly but gently, mix with a dinner knife (spoons overwork the dough, making a tough scone) until the dough is just barely mixed. Add a little more buttermilk if necessary, but don't make the dough sticky. Divide the dough into quarters. On a floured board, roll out each quarter into a circle 1/4" thick. Cut each circle into into quarters. Bake the scones in batches on a medium-hot (325 degrees), lightly greased griddle for a few minutes (until lightly golden). Turn and cook the other side. Now brown all of the edges by standing the triangles up and leaning against each other for about 30 seconds; repeat with all three edges. As the scones come off the griddle, cool in a tea towel until ready to use.

    This recipe makes 16 scones.

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    Oatmeal Scones

    Could you guess that we like scones?

    • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 c. sugar
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 c. shortening
    • 1/4 c. butter, softened
    • 1 c. quick-cooking oats
    • 1/4 c. raisins
    • 1/3 c. milk
    • 1 tbsp. melted butter

    Preheat oven to 375. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in oats and raisins. Add milk, mixing until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently five or six times. Roll out to form a seven-inch circle and brush top of dough with melted butter. Cut into six pie-shaped wedges. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with raspberry jam.

    This recipe makes 6 scones

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    Scottish "Bap" or Flat Loaf

    We call this "Highland Foccacia"

    • 1 lb. plain flour
    • 1 level tsp. salt
    • 2 oz. butter
    • 1/2 oz. fresh yeast
    • 1/4 pt. lukewarm water
    • 1/4 pt. lukewarm milk

    Sift flour and salt into bowl. Rub in butter. Mix yeast to smooth and creamy liquid with a little of the warm water. Blend in rest of water and milk. Add all at once to dry ingredients. Mix to firm dough, adding a little extra flour, if necessary, until dough leaves sides of bowl clean. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead 10 minutes (or until smooth and elastic). Cover and leave to rise until dough doubles in size. Turn out onto floured board. Knead lightly and shape into ball. Roll out to 2 cm/1/4 inch thick round, transfer to lightly buttered and floured baking tray and dredge with plain flour. Cover and leave to rise until double in size. Lightly dent top of Bap in 3 places with fingers (to prevent blistering). Bake just about center of moderately hot oven (200 C/400 F or Gas No. 6) for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

    This recipe makes 1 loaf

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    Scottish Oat Cakes

    This is the specialty of the Telegraph House in Baddek, Nova Scotia, Canada.

    • 1 1/4 c. sugar
    • 2 c. rolled oats
    • 2 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/4 c. shortening
    • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 c. boiling water
    • 2 c. bran flakes

    Add soda to boiling water and let stand until cool. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, bran flakes, rolled oats and sugar. Cut in shortening, add water and soda. Roll out thin on a floured board and cut into 2 inch rounds with a glass. Bake in a hot oven (475 degrees) until golden brown.

    This recipe makes about 24 cakes

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    Apple Frushie

    This is the Scottish version of Apple Pie, as in "AWB is as Scottish as Mom's Frushie."

    • DOUGH
      • 2 1/2 c. plain flour
      • Pinch of salt
      • 1/4 c. shortening
      • 6 tbsp. margarine
      • 1 egg yolk
      • Cold water
      • Milk
    • FILLING:
      • 1 lb. cooking apples, peeled and sliced
      • 1/4 c. white sugar

    Sift the flour and salt for the pastry into a bowl; add the fats and rub them in until evenly distributed. Bind the ingredients together with the egg yolk and enough cold water to make a fairly stiff dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it lightly. Then, using half of the pastry, line the base of an 8 inch pie plate, letting it overlap the edges by half an inch. Layer the apples and sugar into the center. Roll the remaining piece of dough into a round a little larger than the plate and cut into half inch strips. Closely trellis the top of the pie with the pastry so that the filling is almost enclosed. Stick the strips to the sides with water. Overlap the pastry to form a thick edge and flute it for decoration. Brush the pastry with milk. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

    This recipe makes one frushie

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    Scottish Broth

    We actually have an archaic recipe for this which begins, "Take ye a leeke and peas..."

    • 1 lb. lamb breast, cut in 1/2 inch wide strips (use a cleaver - do not remove bones)
    • 1 lb. lamb steak, diced (save the bone for the pot)
    • 1/2 c. pearl barley
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme (whole)
    • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
    • 4 tbsp. butter
    • 3 carrots, diced
    • GARNISH:
    • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
    • 1 c. peeled and diced turnips
    • 2 med. yellow onions, peeled and diced
    • 2 med. leeks (white parts only), rinsed and chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 1 c. finely chopped green cabbage
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1/2 c. frozen peas

    Place the lamb and bones in a 6 quart pot and add 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any scum that appears. In the meantime, boil the barley in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and parsley to the pot. In a large frying pan, melt the butter and saute all of the vegetables, except the peas, until the onion is tender. Add the vegetables to the pot and simmer for 45 minutes, covered. Add the drained barley to the pot and cook, covered, for another 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste along with the peas. Bring to a boil and serve. Garnish with parsley.

    This recipe makes 8 servings

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    Mince Pies

    This comes from an archaic recipe, adapted somewhat to modern convenience

    • 1 (9") pie shell
    • 1 lb. lean ground round or chuck
    • 1/4 c. hot water
    • 1 onion, minced
    • 1 tsp. salt or beef extract
    • Dash of pepper
    • 2 tsp. Worcestershire

    Put meat in heavy saucepan. Add the hot water, mixing well. Place over low heat and mix until pink color has disappeared. Should be no lumps. Add onion, salt and pepper; mix in well. Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool. Add 2 teaspoons Worcestershire. Put in pie crust in tin and cover with crust and crimp edges. Cut small hole in top. Brush with milk. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

    This recipe makes one pie which serves four

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    Steak Pie

    The whole "thing" of meat pies is typical of regional Scottish cooking. We have no idea what a vegetarian does in Scotland.

    • 1 lb. beef cubes or round steak, cubed
    • 1/2 c. flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
    • 1 sm. onion, chopped
    • 4-5 carrots, cut into 6-8 pieces
    • Pie crust, enough for 1 crust
    • 1 tsp. Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet
    • Pressure cooker

    Brown beef cubes dipped in flour in fry pan. Place beef, carrots and about 2 cups water in pressure cooker. Add Gravy Master. Cook on high until cooker comes up to pressure, then reduce to medium and time for 10 minutes. Place beef, carrots in deep dish pie plate and thicken gravy. Pour over top of meat. Cover with pie crust (be sure to vent!). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

    This recipe makes one pie that should serve four

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    Potato and Milk Soup

    This is a "sort of" vegetarian recipe --- it is often served during Lent even though it is made with chicken broth and bacon fat. There are probably no vegans in kilts.

    • 1 1/2 qt. chicken broth (homemade, canned or bouillon)
    • 3 lg. potatoes, peeled and 1/2 inch cubes
    • 3 lg. carrots, peeled and shredded
    • 2 lg. onions, chopped
    • 1 tsp. bacon fat or margarine
    • 2 c. milk
    • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    In a large pot, saute onions in bacon fat or margarine. Add chicken broth, potatoes, and carrots. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Add milk, parsley, pepper and salt to taste. Heat through. Do not boil. Serve with crusty bread and cheese.

    This recipe makes 8 servings

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    Scottish Clapshot

    They say that Robert the Bruce got strong on Clapshot.

    • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled
    • 1 lb. turnip roots
    • 1 (2 oz.) (2-4 tbsp.) butter
    • 1 level tbsp. chopped chives
    • Salt & pepper
    • Onions (medium)

    Cook and mash the potatoes. Cook and mash the turnips. Beat the 2 together. Stir in butter to taste, also the chives then salt and pepper to your satisfaction. Continue to stir and if desired the chopped onion may be added.

    This recipe makes 4-6 servings

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    Scottish Manor Roast Venison

    It helps if you live in Potomac where they have all these excess deer...

    • 1 (4-8 lb.) ham of venison
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
    • 1 c. red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 c. oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1-2 sprigs parsley
    • 1 sm. onion, peeled & studded with 2 cloves
    • 1 tsp. juniper berries
    • 2-3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 1-2 sticks sweet butter
    • 1 c. mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 tbsp. butter

    Rub meat with salt and pepper. In large glass bowl mix together the vinegar, oil, garlic, mustard, bay leaf, parsley, onion and juniper berries. Add the meat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator 8-10 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Drain the meat. Strain the marinade, add Worcestershire sauce and set aside. Preheat oven to 475-500 degrees. Melt butter. Place venison on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, roast in middle of oven for 30 minutes, basting liberally with the butter. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and roast 22-24 minutes per pound until done (140-150 degrees on meat thermometer) basting frequently with marinade. (Include first 30 minutes in total roasting time for weight of roast.) Do not overcook - meat should be pink.

    This recipe serves 8 and leaves a lot of leftovers for meat pies...

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    Mother's Scottish Toffee

    Kids and dentists love this!

    • 1/2 c. melted butter
    • 2 c. quick oatmeal
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. brown syrup
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

    Mix butter and oatmeal. Add brown sugar and mix well. Add syrup. Mix well. Add salt and vanilla; mix well. Pat into 9x9 layer pan. Bake 12 minutes at 450 degrees and cool until it stops bubbling. Melt 1 package chocolate chips and frost above. Spread 1/2 cup chopped walnuts immediately and pat down.

    This recipe serves 10 normal people and one Lindy Hopper

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    Scottish Woodcock

    This recipe came from Grandma Skeels. We just discovered it, since she had mistakenly filed it under "toys".

    • 1 diced onion
    • 14-16 oz. can tomatoes
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 oz. Cheddar cheese
    • 1 egg
    • Sm. bay leaf
    • Salt & pepper to taste
    • Crackers

    Saute onion until soft. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf. Let come to a boil and then simmer. Put in cheese and let melt. Thicken with egg, when done so it won't curdle. Serve with crackers.

    This recipe makes 4 servings

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    Oatmeal Muffins

    Notice that most of our Scottish recipes use oats. The most common name in the Aberdeen phone directory is "Dobbins"

    • 1 c. quick oats
    • 1 c. buttermilk
    • 1 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. soda
    • 1 egg, slightly beaten
    • 1/3 c. brown sugar
    • 1/3 c. oil

    Soak oatmeal in buttermilk for 15 minutes. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and soda together and stir into oatmeal. Add eggs, brown sugar and oil until just blended. Bake in greased muffin tins at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes

    This recipe makes 9 muffins

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    This assumes that you have a griddle. Why are you even thinking of Scottish recipes if you don't have a griddle?

    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 3 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 c. rich milk
    • 1 c. flour

    Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemony, then gradually beat in sugar. Stir in milk. Blend in flour gradually. Fold in egg whites. Bake on a hot greased griddle until golden brown, then turn quickly and bake the other side. To serve, dot with butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and roll up.

    This recipe makes about a dozen small crumpets.

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    Porridge Pudding

    What? You have oats left over? Here's a way to use them.

    • 2 c. quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked
    • 4 c. boiling water
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 4 c. peeled apple slices (about 1/8 inch)
    • 2 tbsp. margarine
    • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 c. raisins
    • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir oats into briskly boiling, salted water. Cook 1 minute for quick oats, stirring occasionally; cook 5 minutes for old fashioned oats. Cover pan; set aside. (The oatmeal may be cooked ahead of time, covered, and refrigerated until used.) (If cold oatmeal is used, stir oatmeal before layering in casserole and bake 30 to 35 minutes.) Saute apples in margarine over medium heat 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sugar; cook over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in raisins and pumpkin pie spice. Starting with oatmeal and ending with the fruit mixture, alternate layers of oatmeal and fruit mixture in a greased 2 quart baking dish or casserole. Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges bubble vigorously. Serve warm.

    This recipe makes 4 servings

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    Indigo Swing White Chili
    By: Sue Fedor

    Yes, indeed, friends, we had Indigo Swing over for dinner. Not wanting to fuss at all, I made just about everything ('cept for the cornbread) the day before. This left me a full day to clean the house and fuss over the ballroom.

    This recipe was loosely based on the Old Ebbitt Grill white turkey chili recipe. That one was so popular with Barbra Streisand that she just raved about it all through Clinton's 1st Inauguration. According to the Washington Post, Aretha Franklin liked it so much, she took three quarts home with her to Detroit. I took the elixir that so enchanted the Queen of Soul, and gave it a southwestern touch for our boys from out west. What follows is the lazy gal's version (I don't soak beans or bone chicken. If you do wish to use dry beans, soak them in baking soda and water and USE THE WATER TO WATER YOUR PLANTS. This gets rid of the gas.)

    Indigo Swing White Turkey Chili

    Serves about 10

    • 3 cans of cannellini beans
    • 3 cans of little white beans
    • 4 boneless turkey breasts
    • 1 large 6 oz can of low sodium chicken stock (or 6 oz of homemade stock)
    • 2 large yellow onions, diced
    • 2 chayote squashes (these are light green in color, about the size of your fist) chopped
    • 4 tomatillos (these are green tomatoes in a leaf casing...remove the leaves and wash...they're sticky), chopped
    • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
    • 1 lime
    • chili powder
    • fresh cilantro
    • dried cumin
    • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    • OPTIONAL: chopped habanero peppers!

    Roast the turkey: rub the turkey with olive oil and cover with chili powder. Broil in oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning occaisionally. (they don't need to cook through, just make sure they get a crust.) Remove and cool. Slice meat diagonally in strips and then cube. Set aside.

    Heat a large stock pot. Add the olive oil. Saute the onions until they start to brown (carmelize). Add the garlic, saute for a minute, then add the chayote squash and the tomatillos. Saute for another minute, then add the stock. Add the beans, lower the temperature to a simmer. Add the turkey and a teaspoon of cumin. Do not cover the pot. If the chili is too soupy, add a tablespoon of cornstarch pre-diluted in a cup of cold water. Cook down for at least 30 min. At this point, you can refridgerate or freeze for use later. I made a dry chili...but if you must make a drunken chili, you can add beer or tequilla, but not both, please.

    To serve: reheat, stir in some fresh lime juice and add some salsa verde, jack cheese, hot pepper, fresh chopped cilantro and or sour cream as garnish.

    Salsa verde:

    • 4 Tomatillos
    • a half cup of cilantro
    • The juice and pulp of 1/2 lime
    • 1/2 white onion
    • 1 teaspoon white vinager
    • 2 teaspoons orange juice
    • Medium heat: add one jalepeno pepper
    • Moderate heat: two or more jalepeno peppers
    • Hot: one habenero pepper
    • Hellish: more than one habenero pepper
    • Optional: I like to add about 1/4 cup of chopped jicama. Just peel and chop. This root vegetable is like a sweet water chestnut.

    Add ingredients one by one into a food processor and whizz until slightly chunky.

    This is good either spooned into the chili, with chips, or served on grilled fish.

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    Old Ebbitt Grill White Bean Chicken Chili
    By: Doug Pierce

    Old Ebbitt Grill White Bean Chicken Chili

    Ingredients for the beans:

    • 1 pound white navy beans
    • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
    • 1 medium Spanish onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 7 cups chicken stock
    • 2 cloves garlic, diced
    • 2 to 3 teaspoons cumin, or to taste
    • 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
    • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Ingredients for the chicken:

    • 3 whole, bone-in chicken breasts (14 to 16 ounces)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 tablespoon diced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


    • Salsa and sour cream for topping
    • 4 quesadillas* or corn bread
    • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

    Preparing the beans:

    Soak beans overnight in water to cover. Drain. Over low heat, stir peppers and onion in olive oil for one minute. Add beans and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Simmer, uncovered, until beans are soft, about 1 1/2 hours, adding more broth as necessary. Stir in tomatoes about 20 minutes before the beans are done and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    To roast the chicken:

    Crack the breast bones to flatten. Rub breasts with oil and season with remaining ingredients. Then roast in a preheated 350-degree oven about 30 minutes being sure not to overcook. Cool slightly and remove meat from bones. (If boneless breasts are used, grilling is preferable, since they would dry out quickly if roasted).

    To serve:

    Place a generous portion of beans in large, flat soup bowl. Slice chicken thinly, keeping skin on (skin may be removed, but some of the seasoning may be lost) and place on top of the beans. Garnish with salsa, sour cream, cilantro and a warm quesadilla*

    *Make quesadillas by topping a soft flour tortilla with about 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons sour cream and hot peppers to taste. Fold each into quarters and warm through in a 350 degree oven.

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    Spinach Lasagna
    By: Elizabeth Engel

    Put on your favorite Italian opera (Verdi and lasanga good, Wagner and lasagna bad) Pour yourself a glass of red wine (or white if you must) Set out a bowl of good olives, some nice cheese (maybe Fontina or some fresh mozerella), and a loaf of Italian bread or a baugette. You'll need snacks -cooking is hard work! Sing along with your favorite aria while sipping your wine

    OK, now that you're in the right frame of mind, assemble the following ingredients:

    (this is the 9 X 13 pan recipie - for 10 X 15, add three more lasagna noodles and up all the filling amounts by about 1/4)

    • 9 lasagna noodles
    • 1-2 jars good marinara sauce (I tend to use Barilla or Classico, or make it myself)
    • 2 eggs
    • 16 oz. ricotta (go ahead and splurge on the whole milk kind)
    • 1 lb. (or a little more) mozerella (part skim is OK), shredded
    • 1/2 c. Parma-Reggiano (if you use the stuff in the can, I'll have to spank you!), grated
    • 10 oz. block frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
    • 1-2 Tbsp. good olive oil
    • about 3 good sized cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed (your choice)
    • about 2 good sized yellow or white onions, coarsely chopped
    • 1 lb. (or a little more) button mushrooms, thickly sliced
    • seasonings: salt, freshly ground black pepper, basil, oregano, and rosemary (fresh if you can get 'em, particularly the rosemary)

    Put a big pot (6 qt.) of water with a pinch of salt on the back burner on high to boil (it will take a while). While you're waiting for the water to boil, heat the olive oil in a big skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the onions and a little salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and a sprig or two of fresh rosemary. When the onions start to get translucent, add the mushrooms and basil and oregano to taste. Turn the heat down just a bit and cook about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the mushrooms to give up all their liquid.

    While the mushrooms are cooking, combine the following in a medium-sized bowl: the eggs, the ricotta, the Parmesan, the spinach, about 1/2 c. of the mozarella, basil and oregano to taste, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir well to distribute the spinach evenly.

    At some point, your water should start boiling. When that happens, lay the lasagna noodles in the pot one at a time at angles to each other (so they don't stick together). You'll want to boil them about 10 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, get out your pan (I like Pyrex - bottom is less likely to get overdone) and spread enough sauce in it to completely cover the bottom of the pan. When the noodles are done, drain off the water and run cold water into the pot to stop the cooking and allow you to handle the noodles.

    Assembly: Thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the pan. First layer of noodles (3 across). Another thin layer of sauce (make sure the noodles on all layers are totally covered - keeps them from drying out). The spinach/cheese mixture (you'll need to spread it out with your hands so it's even). Sprinkle a little mozarella on top of the spinach/cheese mixture (helps the layers stick together). Then the next layer of noodles. Another thin layer of sauce. Then the mushroom/onion layer, which you should remove from the skillet or wok with a slotted spoon (you want to try to drain off as much liquid as possible). Another sprinkle of mozarella. Final layer of noodles and a good amount of sauce (this layer will be the most likely to dry out, so you want to cover the noodles thoroughly).

    Baking: cover the beautifully assembled lasagna with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. While it's baking, sit on the sofa with your feet up, enjoy the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, nosh your olives, drink your wine, and listen to your opera. When 45 minutes are up, take off the foil and top with the remaining mozarella (and a little more grated Parmesan if you want). Bake for another 15 minutes.

    When it comes out of the oven, it has to stand for 10-15 minutes before you cut it. So while it's standing, make a quick salad of mesculun greens, thinly sliced Bosc pears, toasted walnuts, and shaved Parmesan. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and good balsamic vinegar, and top with freshly ground black pepper. Remember to bring your bowl of olives, bottle of wine, and good bread to the table, and finish up the meal (if you're not totally stuffed already) with orange sections and chocolates.

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    Layered Enchilada Casserole
    By: Elizabeth Engel

    Several people asked for this recipie at Susan's on Thursday.

    • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 2 medium onions, chopped
    • 3 gloves garlic, pressed or minced
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • 28 oz. can crushed tomatos
    • 1/2 c. chopped chilis
    • 1/2 c. chopped black olives (I like the oil cured kind, but any good black olives will do)
    • 16 oz. sour cream
    • 1/2 lb. pepper jack, grated
    • 6-9 flour tortillas, cut into bite-sized pieces (6 if you use the big burrito sized ones, 9 if you get the smaller fajita/soft taco sized ones)
    • salsa and tortilla chips - for noshing while you cook

    Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan - saute the onions and garlic until the onions start to get soft (a couple minutes)

    Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste (I like about 1/2 tsp. each), then pour in the tomatos, the chopped chilis, and the chopped olives Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, lightly oil a medium-sized casserole dish. Layer 1/3 of the tortilla pieces, 1/3 of the tomato mixture, 1/3 of the sour cream, and 1/3 of the pepper jack ; repeat two more times.

    Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes (until the cheese is bubbly on top and starts to brown a little) - let is stand for about 5-10 minutes before you try to cut it.

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    Swiss Bircher Meuseli
    From: Sue Fedor

    The first time I had this, Steve and I were visiting some of his friends in Switzerland. The meusli was served in a large bowl along with fresh croissants (gipfeli) and bowl of boiled eggs off to the side. It's just the thing to whip up when Marcus and Barbl come over...low in fat, high in calcium, and high in fiber. Great fortification for a day of Lindy Hop.

    • 1 large container of vanilla yougurt (you can only seem to get the low fat kind anymore, much to Marcus' dismay)
    • 1-1 1/2 cups of Familia Meuseli (Dr. Bircher's original recipe--something like 6 grains and nuts--he was the Mr. Kellogg of Switzerland) depending on how creamy you want the consistency, vary the amount. Remember that when it sits for a while, the meuseli grains absorb the moisture of the yougurt. If you put in too much, it becomes rather sticky.
    • About a cup and a half of any fruit you have to spare: kiwi, strawberries, apple or pear chunks, peach bits, grapes, mangos, melon...it's also a good use for star fruit (clean throroughly, slice width-wise into "stars"). You can serve it in a melon half, if you wish. We did that for Marcus and he threatened to move in with us permanently.

    You can make the day before and refrigerate overnight, but I would not let it keep too long as the cut up fruit can get runny. Sometimes, I sprinkle cinnamon or freshly ground nutmeg on top.

    This easily feeds about 4-6 people depending on how hungry they are. If you serve with toast, bagels or muffins, you could extend this to 8 or 10.

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    Peggy Bacon's Dinner for Six

    When we were remodeling The 50s Retro Kitchen, we (miraculously) found two contemporaneous ads for the Toaster and the Mixmaster. On the reverse of the ads was "Peggy Bacon's Dinner for 6". Ms Bacon was the author of a 1950s novel called The Inward Eye --- our search for this work has been unfruitful... Ms. Bacon offers us a three course dinner: Clear Consomme, Veal with Saffron, Tossed Green Salad, and Winter Bread Pudding. Enjoy this if you can. The 1950 were not known for gustatory thrills.

    Peggy Bacon recipe
    Peggy Bacon's Dinner for 6

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    Brent Sessions' Farewell Cake

    Brent Sessions is possibly the best tenor sax man in the country. For ten years, he has been the star of the Tom Cunningham Orchestra. Recently Brent announced that he was moving to Phoneix to pursue other career opportunities. All the swing dancers in DC will miss him terribly! The gang turned out on August 24, 2002 to bid him a fond farewell at a dance at Glen Echo. Part of the event was a cake baked specifically for Brent --- a big cake for a great guy!

    Lots of people asked for the recipe, so here is how we made Brent's cake.

    In order to do this, you have to have a set of wedding cake pans. That is, you need four pans (12 inch, 10 inch, 8 inch, and 7 inch). Each pan is two inches high. The standard layer cake pan is 9 inches in diameter and one inch high. The following table shows the relationship of each of the wedding cake pans to the standard cake pan:

    • the 12 inch pan is equal to 4 regular pans
    • the 10 inch pan is equal to 2.8 regular pans
    • the 8 inch pan is equal to 1.8 pans
    • the 7 inch pan is equal to 1.4 pans

    These volumetric relationships were used to adjust a standard one layer recipe to provide enough batter to fill the respective pan.

    Brent's cake was inteded to be a tour-de-force of baking, just as Brent's music is a tour-de-force of improvisation on the tenor sax! Accordingly, each layer was to be of a separate batter (12 inch: Devils Food; 10 inch: Yellow; 8 inch: Red Velvet; 7 inch, White). Here's what it looked like:

Brent Cake, top
The Top of Brent's Cake

Sax design, top
The Saxophone Design

Brent Cake Side
Side View of Brent's Cake
The inscription is "Love You Madly"
Duke Ellington ended every performance with these words

Presenting the cake
Presenting the cake

To make the cake, begin by lining each of the pans with parchment paper. That is, trace a circle on parchment paper for the bottom, and then make a two inch paper strip for the sides. Brush the paper with vegetable oil and lay it in the pan. Dust the paper with flour. This will absolutely assure that the cake will not stick and will unmold from the pans as a perfect cylinder. Carefully check your oven for level! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You can actually get all four layers in the oven at the same time., so we observe the following rule. Make the batter in the order of largest layer first.

Here is the approximate baking time for the various layers:

  • 12 inch: 2 hours, fifteen minutes
  • 10 inch: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • 8 inch: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 7 inch: 45 minutes

These are very approximate times. The cake is done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes our clean and when the cake returns with spring when you press on the center.

Here is the recipe for the various layers in the order that you should make them:

The Devils Food layer (12" Pan)

This is a straightforward Devils Food batter, with no bells and whistles. DO NOT GET FANCY when you are baking the 12 inch layer! Use very high quality cocoa powder -- don't skimp here.

  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract You will have preheated the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    1. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture.
    3. Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly.

    The Yellow Cake Layer (10" pan)

    Once again, there is nothing fancy here. Use very high quality vanilla extract. Buy it at a commercial baker's supply company if you can

    • 1.5 cups shortening
    • 3 cups white sugar
    • 6 eggs
    • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 5 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1.5 teaspoons salt
    • 3 cups milk
    1. Cream together shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
    2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan.

    The Red Velvet layer (8 inch pan)

    The origin of Red Velvet Cake goes back to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. This cake has been a popular favorite for years, especially but not exclusively in the Southern states. This is a beautifully textured cake with a mild chocolate flavor that just happens to be startlingly red. In order to mask its color before the cake is cut and enhance its redness once it is, Red Velvet Cake is traditionally complemented with a thick, very white frosting. The following will make the 8 inch double-thick layer:

    • 2-¼ cups All-purpose flour, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon Salt
    • 2 tablespoons Cocoa
    • 2 1-ounce Bottles of red food coloring (equivalent measure is ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons)
    • ½ cup Crisco or other vegetable shortening
    • 1-½ cups Sugar
    • 2 Large Eggs
    • 1 cup Buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon White vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
    1. Combine the sifted flour and salt, and set aside.
    2. Put the cocoa in a small glass bowl, and add the food coloring gradually, stirring until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
    3. Cream together the shortening and sugar, beating for 4 or 5 minutes at medium speed in your electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for at least 30 seconds after each addition.
    4. At low speed of your mixer, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the buttermilk and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the cocoa/food coloring mixture, mixing until color of batter is uniform. Do not overbeat; overbeaten cake batter will result in a tough cake. Turn off your mixer.
    5. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the baking soda. It will foam up. Stir it briefly to mix, and then add it to the cake batter, folding it in to incorporate well, but do not beat.

    The White Cake layer (6 inch pan)

    This is a classic white cake, with just a little pizzazz -- a little buttermilk to give it some texture without adding extra fat.

    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 whole egg
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 cup shortening
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    1. Mix together the buttermilk with the baking soda. Set aside. Cream shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
    2. Add buttermilk and baking soda mixture.
    3. Sift dry ingredients, and add to creamed mixture.
    4. Add boiling water, and mix well.

    It should be possible for you to mix up each layer while the prior layers are baking. So, you will wind up with the whole cake finished at the same time. When the four layers are done, allow them to cool and then freeze them solid overnight. Early the next morning, you need to make six pounds of icing. Here is the recipe:



    • 15 Tablespoons meringue powder
    • 2 1/2 cups cold water


    • 10 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups corn syrup
    • 2 1/2 cups water

    Meringue powder is available from abaker's supply store. Beat meringue powder and cold water until stiff, about 4 minutes. In microwave safe bowl stir sugar, corn syrup and water. In microwave bring syrup mixture to a boil (approx. 5 minutes). Remove, let mixture cool slightly (1-2 minutes). Then slowly add syrup to meringue mixture. Beat on HIGH for 4 minutes.

    For our design, we cut one inch off the 7 inch layer, and then trimmed that disc into a saxophone. Baker's chocolate was melted and drizzled onto wax paper in the shape of musical notes.

    we reserved one pound of icing for the yellow trim. ("Egg Yolk Yellow" from the Wilton food color collection was used)

    White icing was loaded into a pastry bag; a 1/2" broad tip was used to lay the icing on the sides of the cake; a 3/4" broad tip was used to lay the icing on horizontal surfaces. A cake knife dipped in ice water was used to apply a gloss finish to the white icing. Yellow piping was applied to the cake. A 1/2 broad tip was used to create the saxophone. Melted chocolate was used for the saxophone keys and mouthpiece. The message was written with commercial candy letters

    The cake was frozen solid and brought to Glen Echo in an insulated box. It was allowed to thaw for 30 minutes prior to serving; the cake fed about 65 people.

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