Page 1

It seems that meals and memories are often intertwined, and a bite or two can transport us to another time and place. I hope some of the dishes included in this book remind you of moments in your own life where food and good times came together in a special way.

About the Author ​Richard Lambert is a tamale chef and the owner of Santa Barbara Tamales-To-Go. ​From

Richard’s childhood in Lindsay, California, to his travels throughout the world, good food has always played a central role. He believes preparing and enjoying homemade meals provides a sense of calm and connection. In this book Richard shares his personal memories and the recipes that helped make them both indelible and irreplaceable. His second book, ​A Visitor’s Guide to Mexico City Street Food​ , explores the wide-ranging and colorful world of street foods awaiting you in Mexico City. © 2015, Updated 2017 All rights reserved


his cookbook is dedicated to my aunt, Janice Lewis. Her many family parties and memorable meals over the years have inspired me to assemble these recipes for you to try.


Pot Pie

6 servings Chicken pot pie represents my goal for this collection of recipes perfectly -- to share homestyle, fun-to-eat food that’s filled with flavor. The wine and dry mustard in this recipe give the gravy and vegetables a savory punch that makes this pot pie something special. You might also try using bacon drippings in place of some of the butter in the pie crust. ​Buen Provecho!

Ingredients 5 slices bacon 1 cup unpeeled russet potatoes, diced 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced ½ cup dry white wine ⅓ cup all-purpose flour 3 cups chicken broth

¾ cup whipping cream 1½ tablespoons dry mustard 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves ¾ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 2½-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded 1 cup frozen sweet peas 2 pie crusts (for top and bottom), see page 9 1 large egg, beaten garnish: fresh thyme leaves

Method 1. ​Preheat oven to 400°. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then break into pieces. Reserve 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings. 2.​ Add potato and onion to hot drippings, and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, celery, carrots, and mushrooms, plus ½ cup of the chicken broth. Sauté 5 minutes. Add white wine and cook 2 more minutes. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring continually for 3 minutes. Whisk in broth and bring to boil, then whisk 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Stir in cream and add the next 4 ingredients. 3. ​Remove from heat and stir in chicken, peas, and bacon pieces. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture over pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Place top crust over hot filling and press edges to seal. Trim the excess. Whisk together egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush over pastry. Cut several small slits in the top of dough to vent steam. Bake at 400° until golden, between 35 and 40 minutes. Sprinkle pot pie with the fresh thyme garnish and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

T~Df Breakfast, Biscuits and Pie Crust overnight waffles May West's buttermiJk pancakes

1 2



Mardi Gras Eggs Benedict pnffpasny apple turnovers apple, ham, and cheddar frittata bacon and potato croquettes



piecrnst Sauees~


6 7

8 9

Broths and Seasonings

teqUila-lime sauce "Go-To" savory sauce country sausage gravy

cmclrenbrolli darlc roux barbeque sauce

caramel sauce hollandaise sauce Cajun seasoning blend tomatillo salsa chipotle salsa

Soups split pea soup and bam hocks lenivye shchi (Russian cabbage soup) Greek chiclren soup cmtled melon soup New England clam chowder


11 12 13 14


skillet cornbread scalloped potato gratin New Orleans red beans fresh com Willi mustard seeds Greek potatoes

21 22

23 24 25



Smoke Honse garlic bread


provolone torta red bell pepper salsa fartners' market pesto Marta's fresh salsa Santa Barbara Margaritas

38 39


27 28

61 62

chicken Marbella grilled pork chops ridgeback shrimp With tequila fettuccini short n'bs braised in cabemet sauce chicken vermoulli oxtails With orange cmpotle cheddar mac and cheese chicken enchiladas beef stew shrimp and andouille gumbo stir-fry Hawaiian chicken cottage pie Friendly's buttennilk fried chiclren snapdragon¡pot roast almost Mom's spaghetti bolognese

navel orange cake strawberry shortcake

42 43

44 45 46 47


potatoes Romanoff

33 34 35



glazed pearl onions



55 56

59 60

Desserts and Cookies blackberry cobbler lemon cake chOColate cmp cookies



Pannesan risotto

16 17 18 19

30 31

cmcken. almond and grape salad Easter weekend carrot salad vinaigrette salad dressing


wmterice John Wayne's cmte and cheese casserole

Main Courses


48 49 50 51

Indian rice pilaf pinto beans mashed potatoes


Party Food

blueberry salad cnmchy green salad Willi goat cheese and bacon

roasted fingerling potatoes


BBQ shrimp appetizers in killer sauce Union Square rosemary cashews Singapore satay gai garlic, cheese and caramelized onion on crostini Sazerac pig candy warm crab dip in SOUrdough bread bowl clam dip Dianne's lahvosh circles potato salad

Salads and Dressings Waldorf salad

Side Dishes haricom verm Willi bacon and cashews

Myrtle's creme bmlee

63 64 65 66

67 68 69 70 71 72

73 74

7S 76 77 78


80 81 82 83 84

Diango-banana~nut..lime dessert


apple pie Willi peCan topping lemon meringue pie chocolate espresso Kahlua mousse coconut cranbel'rY chews almond butter cookies


pineapple upside-down cake brownies lemon-lime squares homemade vanilla ice cream apple cider cake passion bars fresh straWberry and chocolate pie

91 92 93 94 9S

Secret Ingredients

87 88

89 90

96 97

Overnight Waffles 4 servings

his waffle recipe comes from Fanny Farmer's 1896 cookbook. Through the years, T¡. I've experimented with lots of waffle recipes and I think the best. You

this is start with yeast and mix the batter together in the evening, letting it rise overnight. The flavors bloom into a malty mixture that produces waftles crisp on the outside and airy throughout. Waffles with ham atid coffee in the morning. It doesn't get any better than that, unless you're headed out salmon fishing after breakfast.

Ingredients ~

cup warm water


2 cups milk ~ cup (one stick) butter, melted 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 2 cups flour 2 eggs, room temperature 114 teaspoon baking soda

Method 1. Place warm water in large mixing bowl and sprinkle in yeast. When dissolved, stir in milk, butter, salt, sugar and flour. Whisk until smooth and blended. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.

2. Heat waffle iron and spray it with a non-stick cooking spray. Before pouring batter, whisk in eggs and baking soda. The batter will deflate and become thin. N~w you are ready to pour. You can keep leftover batter in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Out of syrup? If you are out of maple syrup this morning, here's a quick and easy home recipe-For 2 cups of syrup, bring 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar, and 1 cup brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in¡l tablespoon maple extract, then simmer 3 minutes. My mother always added a splash of hot coffee to finish the syrup and enhance the flavor. If you prefer thicker syrup, increase the amount of brown sugar to 2 cups. To be prepared, just pick up some maple extract the next time you are shopping.


May West's Buttermilk Pancakes makes 12 (4-inch) pancakes a dead-of-winter fishing trip once, Woody Woodall (family friend) taught me his Onsecret for making ultra-smooth pancake batter. "The key," he said, "is to prepare the batter at night and let it rest in the fridge until morning." I do remember Woody's pancakes were delicious and also non-lumpy. However, they weren't the very best I'd eaten. The fluffiest, most flavorful pancakes I've ever eaten were made at the original May West restaurant in Tempe, Arizona. After I'd been eating there for a few months, I asked Georgia, the chef, if she'd be willing to share her recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients cups all-purpose flour 1Y2 teaspoons baking powder Y2 teaspoon baking soda Y2 teaspoon salt 4 teaspoons sugar 2 tablespoons melted butter 2 large eggs, room temperature 2Y2 cups buttermilk 2114

Method 1. Thoroughly mix together first five ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, and buttermilk. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend only until batter is evenly moistened. It's okay if there are some lumps; don't worry about Woody. Allow batter to rest for at least 5 minutes before making pancakes. 2. Pour 114 cup batter per pancake on a hot, lightly oiled griddle or pan. Cook until bubbles form all over the surface of the pancake. Flip when the bottom is browned and before all bubbles are burst. Cook the second side about half as long as the first. Pressing down on the pancakes with the spatula will make them tough and heavy. Avoid that. By the way, the first pancake always sucks. You're doing fine. 3. If cooking in batches, keep pancakes warm in oven. Serve with warm syrup or fruit sauce.


Chilaquiles 6-8 servings walked into Sanboms in downtown Mexico City for Sunday brunch. was August We1976, but it felt like we were stepping into a 1940 Cary Grant movie. The third story It

glass rooftop cast an amber glow over the restaurant below. A harpist played beside a fountain among huge foliage plants that framed the dining room. It was elegant. My sister Dianne and her husband Ernesto suggested I try the house specialty, chilaquiles, which I did. The Sanborns version is made with tomatillo salsa verde and is excellent. Many people prefer the red sauce version of chilaquiles, which is equally flavorful. I lean toward the salsa verde style, and that is what this recipe reflects. The layering of the ingredients lasagnastyle is not typical of chilaquiles, though I feel it makes a nice homestyle presentation. Like the frittata in Italy, the goal of chilaquiles in Mexico is often to repurpose yesterday's meal in an appealing and clever way. This recipe works for me.

Ingredients ~

cup vegetable oil 12 com tortillas (day-old, or more) 2/3 cup sliced black olives 1~ cups grated manchego cheese 1~ cups grated panela cheese 1 cup grated afiejo cheese

2 whole chicken breasts, split salt and freshly ground pepper 2 cups water 3~ cups tomatillo salsa (page 19) ~ cup heavy cream 1~ cups white onion, diced

Method 1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Bring water to a boil in large saucepan. Place breasts in water, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until meat is tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside. When cool, remove skin and bones, then shred chicken into bite-size pieces.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Trim tortillas so they are square-shaped (to better fit the baking pan). Saute tortillas in oil a few seconds on each side to soften, then place on paper towels to drain. In the same pan, add more oil (if needed) and saute onion until soft and translucent. 3. In a large mixing bowl, combine tomatillo salsa, heavy cream, sauteed onion, olives, and shredded chicken pieces. 4. Heat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 4-quart baking pan. Combine cheeses in a mixing bowl. 5. Spread a thin layer of cheese mixture over bottom of baking pan. Layer one-third of the tortillas over cheese and top with half the chicken mixture. Sprinkle half the remaining cheese over chicken, Repeat tortilla-chicken-cheese layers, ending with a layer of tortillas on top. Cover pan with foil and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice and serve. -3-

Mardi Gras Eggs Benedict 6 single servings, or 3 double da Mae Peters opened Mother's Restaurant in 1938. This small New Orleans gem carries Q on to this day, serving some of the best food in the city. Even in the aftermath of Katrina, their employees lived in trailers parked next to the restaurant to keep it open for the customers. On a weekend visit to the city, Mama and I were staying at the Windsor Court Hotel. Sunday moming, we looked across Poydras Street and saw a line forming outside a small restaurant. When the aroma reached us, we decided it was time to go have some breakfast at Mother's. Inside, the restaurant was local and blue-collar, a good sign. As we walked through to the counter, there were plates of big, serious buttermilk biscuits everywhere (they serve more than 250,000 a year), with lots of meaty treats on side dishes. My favorite vacation breakfast, Eggs Benedict, was listed on the chalkboard menu, and it was terrific. The "Mardi Gras" part comes from the Sriracha in the hollandaise. Savoureux!

Ingredients butter for muffins and Canadian bacon hollandaise sauce (page 17) 1 tablespoon Sriracha added to sauce paprika or cayenne

3 English muffins 6 slices Canadian bacon 6 large eggs, room temperature 1 tablespoon vinegar

Method 1. The most important part of making Eggs Benedict is timing the muffins, Canadian bacon,

sauce, and eggs to be ready at the same time. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Starting with the eggs, add 2 inches of water to a large skillet, then add vinegar. The vinegar helps keep egg whites from feathering out into the water. Cover skillet and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Remove lid, reduce heat to simmer. Carefully break an egg into small cup and slip into water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Continue to simmer, basting with the water, for 3-5 minutes. When done, the whites will be thoroughly cooked. Use a slotted spoon to remove eggs. While the eggs are cooking, you can make the hollandaise sauce (page 17). 2. The muffins should be separated with the tines ofa fork rather than a knife so the craggy surface of the bread takes on color and becomes crisp at its peaks while remaining sotland chewy in the valleys. Poke tines of a fork into the sides of the muffins, working your way around each one to split in half Spread butter on muffin halves and place on baking sheet in preheated oven. At this point, you can fry the Canadian bacon slices in butteruntil browned, but not chewy. 3. To assemble -- place muffin halves on plates, top each muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon, carefully position poached egg on bacon, cover with generous blanket of hollandaise sauce, and sprinkle with a pinch of paprika (or cayenne, if you are making Mardi Gras Eggs Benedict).


Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers 4 turnovers he cookbook ever read cover-to-cover was was Twritten by Alice May Brock, who played herself in the 1969 eponymous film featuring first

Alice's Restaurant Cookbook. It


Arlo Guthrie. It wasn't that her recipes were so terrific. I was attracted by her "stay loose" attitude in the kitchen. She even kept an overstuffed reading chair right next to her stove. This recipe reminds me of Alice because I shoot from the hip whenever I make it, meaning the ingredients very according to my mood and whatever fruit I have on hand.

Ingredients cup granulated sugar ~ tablespoon flour 114 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 114

Topping... 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 114 teaspoon ground cinnamon 114 cup almond slices

Method Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 1. In a bowl, blend sugar, flour, cinnamon, and zest. Add chopped apple and toss to coat. 2. Carefully unfold the thawed pastry sheet on lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch square. Cut into four squares, so you end up with four (6-inch) squares. Spoon a fourth of apple mixture into the center of each square; fold diagonally in half and crimp the two open edge sides with the tines of a fork to seal. Place turnovers on a baking pan lined with a Silpat sheet or parchment paper. 3. Blend together butter, sugar, and cinnamon for glaze. Using a pastry brush, spread glaze

lightly over tops of turnovers, then sprinkle each with almond slices. Cut two small slits in each turnover for steam release. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, and serve warm.


Apple, Ham,

and Cheddar 4 servings


Ford's character in the film Moming Glory shows a TV audience how to make H arrison a frittata. "The trick," he says, "is having a hot pan so the eggs turn out fluffy." It's an amusing scene, but not accurate. The real secret to making fluffy eggs is cooking them slowly. If you've ever served rubbery scrambled eggs, your pan was too hot. A frittata is often thought of as an Italian open faced omelette, though it's not prepared like an omelette. In purpose, it is more akin to Mexico's chilaquiles. The frittata incorporates eggs as a unifying element, typically to dress up leftovers. Mexican cooks use tortillas in the same way when making chilaquiles. Frittatas can be quite simple, or may incorporate a variety of ingredients. The good news is you probably have what you need in your kitchen right now to prepare a frittata for breakfast-or for dinner, as in Italy.

Ingredients 4 tablespoons unsalted butter l1arge Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly 8 ounces ham, chopped 6 large eggs, room temperature 4 tablespoons chopped green onions freshly ground pepper to taste 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Method 1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a pan over medium heat. Saute apple and ham for several minutes until apples are softened a bit. Use a slotted spoon to transfer apple and ham to a bowl.

2. Whisk together eggs and green onions. Add salt, pepper, grated cheese, apple, and ham. 3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. When butter begins to foam, pour in egg mixture. Turn heat down as low as possible. When the eggs have set and thickened, and only the top surface is runny (about 15 minutes), place skillet under the broiler for 30-60 seconds to set the top face of the frittata. It should be set, but still soft. 4. Loosen frittata with a spatula and slide onto a warm platter. Cut into wedges and serve. Note: You don't need a special pan to make a frittata. However, it is important to have a good, heavy-bottomed skillet, such as cast-iron, that transmits and retains heat evenly.


Bacon and Potato Croquettes 4 servings


here were three ofus: my grandfather Vern, my father, and me. It was early September 1968 and we were steelhead fishing near Happy Camp on the Klamath River. The fish weren't biting, so we decided to drive to the little town of Orleans, get some breakfast, and try our luck on that stretch of the river. We found a small chrome and formica diner about daybreak. The aroma of morning coffee drew us in, and we sat at a window table overlooking the river. I'd never tried a croquette, so I ordered something on the menu called scrambled eggs with bacon and potato croquettes. Then, while we waited for our meals to arrive, Vern told several of his classic funny stories. My breakfast turned out to be the best thing I ate on the entire trip. These days, whenever I make croquettes, I'm reminded of that early morning breakfast in Orleans, listening to my grandfather weave those clever yams.

Ingredients 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley ½ cup medium cheddar cheese, grated salt and pepper to taste 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 cup Panko bread crumbs vegetable oil for frying

4 strips of bacon, fried, then crumbled 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 potatoes) 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons heavy cream ½ cup sour cream

Method Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 1. Scrub potatoes to clean, then bake until done, about 75 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice potatoes open lengthwise and scoop out contents. 1. In a large bowl. mash together potatoes with butter, cream, sour cream, and parsley. Add cheese and crumbled bacon, then salt and pepper to taste. With your hands, form round croquettes the size of a golf ball. then set aside. 3. Beat eggs in bowl and place Panko crumbs in second bowl. Dip each croquette into egg wash first, then into Panko to coat Place croquettes nearby until ready to fry. 4. Bring vegetable oil to 350 degrees in skillet. Carefully place croquettes in heated oil with slotted spoon. The skillet should be large enough so croquettes aren't touching. Make two batches, if necessary. Deep fry 2 minutes, then turn and fry other side. Remove with slotted spoon or tongs, drain on paper towel, and serve right away. Note: If you are serving these croquettes as a side dish, sour cream mixed with Sriracha makes a good topping. -7-

Buttermilk Biscuits makes 10 biscuits fl•• •

His words were like gravy and I was sopping it up with a buttermilk biscuit. " -Teena Marie, singer


he less you handle the dough. the flakier these biscuits will be. You've likely seen that advice before in baked goods recipes. However, when making biscuits it really is true. You can test this by shaping your leftover dough into a biscuit and baking it with the others. The "second batch" biscuit will always be a little heavier and tougher. The bottom line- how you handle the dough is more important than the biscuit ingredients. With practice and a light touch, yours will be the lightest, most buttery biscuits in the neighborhood.

Ingredients 1 large egg, room temperature 1113 cups buttermilk pinch of baking soda 2 cups all purpose flour 2 tablespoons sugar ~ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 2/3 cup cold butter, cut into 114-inch pieces

Method Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 1. Whisk together egg, buttermilk, and baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place dry ingredients along with butter pieces into food processor. Pulse a few times until butter pieces are pea size.

2. Place butter-flour mixture in large bowl. Create a hole in center and pour 113 of the buttermilkegg mixture into hole and begin folding in dry ingredients. Continue carefully folding ingredients together while slowly adding buttermilk mixture. The idea is to create layers so butter will steam and help biscuits rise while they bake. 3. Plop dough onto floured board. Using your hands, softly pat dough into a thickness of 1~­ inches, being careful not to overwork. Cut dough into biscuits using floured 2314-inch diameter cutter. Place biscuits on ungreased baking pan. They should be touching each other so biscuits stay moist while baking. Bake 25 minutes, until golden brown. The biscuits will continue to "bake» another 10 percent after coming out of oven, so do not over bake.


Pie Crust for a single crust 9-inch pie here are many opinions about pie crust. There are the all-butter advocates, the shortening Tonly people, and a large group that likes to combine the two. Then we have the small (but loud) bunch that insists pie crust should only be made with lard. I've tried them all and have decided I'm a butter guy. To me, butter makes the most flavorful pie crusts, and I enjoy the cookie-like texture. Having added my opinion to the debate, here is the way I make a pie crust.

Ingredients cups all-purpose flour I tablespoon sugar Va teaspoon salt Va cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 114-inch pieces I large egg yolk 1 teaspoon white vinegar (keeps gluten asleep) about 3 tablespoons ice water 13/4

Method 1. Put flour, sugar, and salt in bowl offood processor and pulse several times to mix. Remove lid and scatter butter pieces over dry ingredients. Pulse until butter is broken into small pieces. What makes a pie crust good and flaky is making sure you only coat the fat (butter) with flour, not blend the two as you would cookie dough. This is much easier to do if the butter is very cold. That is the best "secret" I have for making a flaky pie crust. 2. Place egg yolk in a I-cup glass measure. Add vinegar and enough cold water to equal 1/4 cup liquid. Using a fork, blend the water, vinegar, and yolk. The egg yolk adds richness, color and flavor to the crust. The vinegar relaxes the gluten and makes the crust flakier. Pour liquid over surface of ingredients in processor bowl. Pulse processor until pastry starts to form large clumps. 3. Empty dough into large mixing bowl. Using your hands, pack dough as you would a snowball.

Place dough in center of a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into disk about 314-inch thick. If you are making a double crust pie, simply double the quantities and make two disks. Wrap dough in the plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour. When you take dough out of refrigerator, let it rest 15 minutes to soften a little before rolling. 4. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into 13Va-inch circle using floured rolling pin. Start from the center of pastry disk and roll dough toward edges. Avoid rolling over outer edges or the dough will crack. When it is the size you want, roll up pastry with pin, then unroll it over pie pan. Gently tuck pastry into pan without stretching it. Fold excess dough under itself. You can flute the edge of the crust with your thumb and forefinger, or crimp it using the tines of a fork. Place in freezer until ready to use. -9-

Tequila-Lime Sauce his is a recipe I often make right after Fiesta week when I have some leftover tequila and Tlimes on hand. The timing is perfect because this rich sauce goes great on those fresh summer salmon steaks. Ifit's not August where you are, spoon this sauce over your pork chops or a nice beef filet. I garnish mine with pomegranate seeds and sprinkle Cajun seasoning (page 18) around the rim.

Ingredients ~

cup white tequila 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons minced shallots I minced garlic clove 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro ~ teaspoon salt ~ teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup heavy cream ~ cup (l stick) butter, cut into pieces

Method 1. Combine tequila, lime juice; shallots, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a saute pan and bring to a boil. The heated tequila can tlame up, so be careful. Cook sauce until reduced by half

2. Stir cream into mixture and simmer 3 minutes. Whisk in butter, then remove from heat while continuing to whisk until butter is fully incorporated. Serve immediately.


My Go-To Savory Sauce makes 2 cups sauce that goes well with shrimp, pork chops, beef, or chicken. The now (sadly) Thisclosedis aRosemary's Restaurant in Las Vegas developed this flavorful sauce and included it in their cookbook Food ofLove. Even if we can't go there again, it's nice to have something to remember them by.

Ingredients Va cup Worcestershire sauce Va cup soy sauce Va cup ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons butter

Method 1. Combine first five ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer five minutes, then remove from heat. This is your sauce base.

2. In another saucepan, add cream and bring just to the boiling point. Simmer a few minutes until cream is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Slowly blend in sauce base while continuing to simmer mixture. Add butter and stir to thoroughly mix. You may keep finished sauce in refrigerator several days.


Country Sausage Gravy makes two quarts

1 come from a family where gralryJ is considered a beverage. -Erma Bombeck

of like rhythm and blues in the 50's, southern cooking has become hugely popu1ar Kindthroughout the country in the last decade. It's really all about the flavors coming out of those kitchens down south. Gravy freezes well, so this southern recipe is for a goodly amount. If you decide to whip up a batch of buttermilk biscuits (page 8) next Sunday, you'll have something tasty to go with them. You say you haven't made country sausage gravy before? Once you master the skill, exciting doors of opportunity will open for you left and right--plus Elvis wou1d be proud.

Ingredients 1~ pounds bulk pork breakfast sausage ~

1~ teaspoons onion powder 1~ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

cup flour

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 3/4 teaspoon cayenne

3 cups milk

3 cups heavy cream 1~ teaspoons garlic powder

salt to taste

Method 1. Place a 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add sausage and saute, (stirring frequently while breaking the meat into small chunks), until browned, about 5 minutes. Use good sausage, but avoid sausage with extra ingredients like apples, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. 2. When sausage is cooked, spoon contents into a strainer placed over a container to catch fat drippings. Pour drippings into a glass measuring cup. Add a little melted butter, if needed, to total 1/3 cup in all. 3. Pour measured fat back into Dutch oven. Add flour and mix well with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture resembles wet sand, about 3-5 minutes. Whisk milk into roux a little at a time, allowing roux to absorb liquid before adding more. This prevents lumps. 4. Slowly whisk in cream and bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add sausage,

garlic, onion, pepper, thyme, and cayenne. Continue cooking 30 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the bottom does not bum. 5. When heated through, add salt to taste, stir well, and serve. Freeze any leftover gravy for when I stop by. -12-

Chicken Broth makes three quarts chicken broth, is one of the most important ingredients in my kitchen. B It'roth,sinespecially all my tamales and in many of the recipes in this book. Nothing can take its place. In fact, homemade chicken, beef or vegetable broth is often the unsung ingredient that gives a

dish true depth. This chicken broth recipe is so rich, you could almost use it as soup. Health benefits also come with using homemade broth. The bones we use to make broth contain a variety of minerals in aform the body absorbs easily, such as calcium. magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur. More good news is that you can make fresh broth for less money than ifbuying it canned or boxed. So, make a batch when you have a chance and freeze some for later.

Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large white onion, peeled, halved and sliced 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped, including leaves 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half horizontally 4 bay leaves Y2 teaspoon each: dried basil, thyme, tarragon and oregano 2 pounds raw chicken bones Y2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns 1 tablespoon salt 4 quarts water,cold or room temperature

Method 1. Heat oil in large stockpot over high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Saute a few minutes. 2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. It's okay to have bits of meat on the bones,

but don't include skin. Skim off impurities when they rise to the surface. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for two hours. 3. Skim surface of broth, then strain liquid through large sieve, discarding bones and vegetables.

Place broth container in ice bath to cool. This reduces the chance of bacterial invasion. Place in refrigerator overnight. 4. The next day, use spoon to remove congealed fat from surface. The broth can be kept in refrigerator three days. You can also freeze broth in containers or ice-cube trays for use in individual dishes. The broth will keep for 2 months in freezer.

Dark Roux makes 1 cup

Is she Catholic and can she make a roux? -Cajun mother to her son purpose of a roux is to thicken a sauce or soup. a roux becomes darker in color, Titshe thickening properties diminish, though the roux becomes more flavorful. This is the As

recipe I use for making gumbo, etouffee and other dishes when I want rich flavors. Emeril Lagasse says making a rustic dark roux is a ''two beer" process. That's about how long he says it takes from start to finish. I think he is right. Trying to do it faster, with the heat too high, can cause the roux to smoke and tum bitter, so take your time.

Ingredients 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup all-purpose flour

Method 1. Use a heavy-bottomed pot large enough so the oil comes no more than a quarter of the way up the sides. Heat the oil until it starts to shimmer. Add a third of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds until well incorporated. Add another third and stir for a minute. Add the remaining flour and continue cooking and stirring over medium-high heat until the roux is the color of milk chocolate. This can take 15 minutes or more. When stirring roux, be sure to frequently scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. That's where the color comes from and, if unstirred, can also cause the roux to bum.

2. Once you have reached the color you want, let roux cool for an hour, then remove any excess fat that may have surfaced. The roux will keep for two weeks in your refrigerator. I keep mine in a lidded mason jar.

Safety Note: New Orleans-based Chef: Paul Prudhomme, calls roux "Cajun napalm." That's because roux cooks hot and if a piece flies out of the pot, it can quickly bum you. Be careful as you stir.


Barbeque Sauce makes 1~ quarts

TX}e reserve the right to serve anyone. That's the sign at the entrance of my favorite Texas " barbeque joint, The Salt Lick.. I love that attitude cause you can't go wrong. This recipe is adapted from The Salt Lick's, and with these sauce ingredients, it's also hard to go wrong. You can keep a batch in the refrigerator for about three months. I make some in May and have it available for barbeques all summer long.

Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 2 medium white onions, coarsely chopped 2 medium green bell peppers, coarsely chopped 1 small head garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste 12 ounces cider vinegar 3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 cup dark molasses 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste 114 cup Tabasco sauce 213 cup packed dark brown sugar 24 ounces of your favorite beer

Method 1. Place butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to the smoking point, about 2 minutes. Add onions, peppers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, still over high heat, until vegetables are soft, 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. 2. Add vinegar and ginger. Stir and bring to a boil. Add molasses, tomato paste,hot sauce, and brown sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Add beer and bring to a boil again. Simmer one hour,

stirring occasionally. 3. Pour cooked barbeque sauce into a deep container and puree with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust. If it is not hot enough for you, add a little cayenne. The sauce will thicken after blending. Ifit's thicker than you'd like, add more beer and simmer another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. When cooled, place barbeque sauce in a covered container in refiigerator.


Caramel Sauce makes 1Y2 cups trick or treating introduced me to the and salty world of caramel. In those H alloween days, homemade goodies were still prized on Halloween. Mrs. Green made the best treats sweet

on our block--huge popcorn balls with lots of gooey caramel. All the kids knew we were in for something special long before we rang her doorbell. This version is adapted from a recipe by chef Bradley Ogden. The sauce is quite easy to make, and can be prepared ahead of time. Keep it in a lidded jar in the refrigerator, then soften in the microwave to use. I like warm caramel sauce over apple pie (page 86), vanilla ice cream (page 94), and brownies (page 92). Experiment a little and you'll discover your own favorites.

Ingredients 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature

1 teaspoon sea salt (Maldon's, if you have it) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method I. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and cook, stirring often, until sugar begins to foam and tum deep brown. Remove from heat.

2. Add cream and stir until smooth and shiny. The caramel will bubble up vigorously when you add cream, so be careful not to bum yourself Whisk in salt and vanilla. Set aside to cool, then warm sauce when ready to serve. 3. To store, pour caramel into glass jar or other covered container. It will safely keep for a week

in refrigerator.


Hollandaise Sauce 12 servings his could be called the mother of all sauces because I'm sure more of it is made on TMother's Day than any other day of the year. At least that's the first time I made it. As with a lot of things, my first attempt wasn't exemplary, though it was appreciated. I soon discovered that a blender is the hollandaise maker's best mend. It takes just five minutes and the sauce is smooth as silk, whether you are serving it with Eggs Benedict, crab cakes, or springtime asparagus. It reads 12 servings up there. That's a lot, but go ahead. There are all kinds of things that go really well with hollandaise, especially seconds.

Ingredients 1114 cups (2~ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed

2 large egg yolks 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus a little extra salt and pepper to taste

Method 1. Fill a blender with hot water and set aside.

2. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Remove pan from heat. 3. Drain blender and dry well. Put egg yolks and lemon juice in blender; cover and blend to combine. Remove blender lid insert. While blender is running, slowly pour in hot butter, discarding milk solids at bottom of saucepan. Blend sauce until creamy. Season with salt and pepper and a little more lemon juice. Serve immediately.


Cajun Seasoning Blend makes 2/3 cup


easoning is all about improving the flavor of food, and the difference between average food and really good food often has to do with seasoning. Salt, for example, is a flavor enhancer and food tastes bland when there's not enough. Using water instead of broth in a savory sauce is another example of how food is sometimes made less flavorful. This seasoning blend comes from chef Emeril Lagasse and is one I use often. In this book, you'll see it in my Split Pea Soup recipe (page 21), as well as the Shrimp Appetizers in Killer Sauce recipe (page 26).

Ingredients 2 Yz tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 'I tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano 1 tablespoon dried leaf thyme

Method Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container. This mix will last three months.


Tomatillo Salsa (makes two quarts) a favorite among customers. Tomatillos have a note of citrus which creates Tahis salsa iscounterpoint to the chiles and spices in the recipe. When you combine this salsa my


with chicken in a tamale or enchilada, you've got yourself a flavor fiesta. Ingredients 3 pounds (22-25) tomatillos 3 serrano chiles (or two large ones) 5 poblano chiles 2 white onions, quartered 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled 3 teaspoons cumin seed 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano 2 teaspoon coriander seed 2 tablespoons lard salt to taste Method 1. Fire roast onions, garlic, and serrano chiles on a coma! over a burner for 10-15 minutes, turning several times to char all sides.

2. Fire roast tomatillos and poblano chiles under broiler, turning to make sure all sides are charred. Place poblanos in a plastic bag 15 minutes to steam, then peel away outer skin and remove seeds and stems. Do not wash poblanos because that will diminish their flavor. 3. Peel roasted garlic and place all fire roasted ingredients in a blender for 20-30 seconds, then set blender aside until step 5.

4. Toast cumin and coriander seeds for several minutes in a saute pan. Combine with Mexican oregano and grind 8-10 seconds in a spice grinder.


Heat lard in large skillet, add spice mixture and fly a few minutes. Add fire roasted ingredients from blender. The blended ingredients will '~spit" when poured into oil, sO be cautious. After a minute, lower heat to medium and simmer for about five minutes. If needed, add chicken broth while cooking to thin the salsa. Add salt to taste. I use about a tablespoon. You may refrigerate this salsa up to five days, or freeze for several months~ Note: Some tomatillo salsa recipes also call for avocado. If you like the flavor, you might try adding avocado to the fire roasted ingredients before blending. -19-

Chipotle Salsa makes 2 quarts hipotle chiles have come from obscurity in the U.S. a few years ago, to appearing on Crestaurant menus and in home kitchens everywhere. There's a good reason. They have a sweet-hot flavor that comes from a long, slow smoking process. The result is an exotic and appealing tang in recipes. Chipotle chiles are actually ripened, dried and smoked jalapeno chiles. Although they are not "scotch bonnet hot," you can easily overdo it. Measure carefully. When taste testing, keep in mind that your salsa will be tempered when blended with other ingredients in the dish you are making. That is, the salsa will seem milder in the finished dish than when you first taste it by itselÂŁ Of course, if you are using this for a table salsa, it is what it is.

Ingredients 16 dried New Mexico chiles 4 cups boiling water 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano 2 teaspoons coriander seeds 3 teaspoon cumin seeds 4 white onions, peeled and quartered

8 garlic cloves, unpeeled 3 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes 2 tablespoons lard 1 cup chicken broth salt to taste

Method 1. Wearing kitchen gloves, remove stems and seeds from chiles, then place them in saucepan

containing boiling water. Tum offheat and let chiles steep 30 minutes. You may need to place a weight on chiles to make sure they are fully covered by water as they soak. 2. Fire roast onions and garlic cloves on a comal over medium-high heat until blackened and soft, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, toast coriander and cumin seeds a few minutes, then grind seeds along with Mexican oregano in a spice grinder and set aside. 3. In a blender, puree softened chiles (with 2 cups of the chile water) for 30 to 45 seconds. Strain pureed chiles into a bowl. This removes bits of skin that you don't want in the salsa. 4. Place fire-roasted onions and (peeled) garlic cloves in blender along with chipotlepeppers in adobo sauce and crushed tomatoes. Blend until smooth and set aside. 5. Heat lard in large skillet over medium-high heat. When melted, add spices and stir a few minutes, then pour in chile puree. It will sputter, so be careful not to get burned. Simmer puree a few minutes, then pour in tomato-chipotle mixture and continue cooking. Add chicken broth to thin salsa a little and add salt to taste. I use about a tablespoon. Cook another 5 minutes, then cool. If salsa tastes a little bitter, mix in a tablespoon or two of sugar. -20-

Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks S servings

Dorothy Parker once defined eternity as "two people and a ham." ood news. All we have are the ham hocks, so this goa lot faster than eternity. GEach time we pass Andersen's Restaurant in Buellton, tells me how excited will


she was as a child to stop there on trips for a bowl of their "world famous" split pea soup. If you haven't been to the restaurant, I'm sure you've had a few cans of their soup over the years. Though Marna might disagree, I feel this version is just as good.

Ingredients 2 ham hocks 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced 2 quarts (S cups) chicken broth (page 13) 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 bay leaves salt and pepper to taste 1 cup milk Outerbridge's Sherry Pepper Sauce (optional)

1 pound dried split peas

2 tablespoons butter 1 large leek, white part only, roughly chopped 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped 3 medium carrots, cut in large dice 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (page IS)

Method 1. Wash peas in cold water, removing any debris, and set aside.

2. Melt, but do not brown, butter in a 4 or 5-quart pan over high heat. Add leek, onion, celery, and carrots. Saute, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle Cajun seasoning over vegetables, then add ham hocks and cook another 3 minutes. Add peas and garlic. Stir continually for another 3 minutes, or until peas turn bright green. 3. Add chicken stock, red wine vinegar, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered 30 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, 30 more minutes, or unti11iquid is creamy and peas are just starting to break down. Ifthe soup becomes too thick, add a little chicken broth. Adjust salt and pepper. 4. Remove ham hocks from soup and set aside to cool. Remove bay leaves and add milk. Using

a hand held immersion blender, process soup until smooth. (You may need to transfer soup to a deeper container to prevent splashing). Trim meat from hocks, dice, and add back to soup. S. Reheat and serve to eight people who are so happy not to be eating soup out of a can. I stir

a tablespoon of sherry pepper sauce into each bowl of soup just before serving.


Lenivye-- Shchi (Russian Cabbage Soup) 4 servings

n the first of September 1995, we flew to Helsinki and took the, train on to St. Petersburg, Owhere we lived for the next four weeks. My plan was to do research for a book I was

writing and shoot footage for a video I was producing. That all went pretty'well, though getting out'ofthe country at the end was another matter. " The day my camera operator Jessie Lipe and I arrived in St. PetersbUrg, our host family welcomed us with a meal of homemade rye bread and this traditional Russian soup. Of course, there were other edibles on the dining tabie, though the savory aroma of this cabbage soup is what most reminds me of Russia whenever I make it. Complex, yet earthy, like the people. Our Russian host, Natalia, says that ideally one should leave this soup a day or so in the refrigerator to "cure" before reheating slowly and serving.

Ingredients 1 cup celery root, diced 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 green bell pepper, diced 2 tomatoes, chopped salt and pepper to taste 3 tablespoons fresh dill sour cream

3 tablespoons butter 1 white onion, sliced 1 head white cabbage, shredded 1 carrot, grated 2 bay leaves a few black peppercorns 6 cups beefbroth 5 new potatoes, diced

Method t. Melt butter in a large pan ov~ medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, but not brown. Add cabbage and carrot. Continue cooking several minutes. 2. Add bay leaves, peppercorns and 1 cup of broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover pan and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Add remaining broth along with potatoes and celery root. Continue simmering until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile... 4. Heat oil in small skillet and fry bell pepper and tomatoes over medium heat until softened,

then transfer to the soup and cook soup for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Spoon soup into bowls and garnish with fresh dill and a dollop of sour cream. This soup is traditionally accompanied by a very substantial black rye bread. In fact, one of the people we interviewed said,' "American bread is just milk taught to stand on end." ;


Greek Chicken Soup 5-6 servings

irginia Woodall, our neighbor and family friend in Lindsay. called it Greek penicillin. V She taught my mother how to make this souP. and it's what I was given as a child whenever I had a cold or the flu. The Greek name is Avgolemono. It's the most iconic of all their soups, and is served as a first course during Greek holiday celebrations. This is a subtle and nuanced soup; simple and elegant at the same time. It is traditionally served with the chicken meat removed, though I prefer to keep the meat in the soup. You'll want to use good chicken broth (page 13) to achieve the true essence of Avgolemono.

Ingredients 2Y2 quarts chicken broth, divided 1 chicken breast 1 cup long-grain rice 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 cup cold water 3 large eggs, room temperature juice of two lemons 1 teaspoon lemon zest salt to taste

Method 1. Bring 3 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add chicken breast, cover and simmer gently until cooked, 12-15 minutes. Remove breast to cool, then shred into strips ..

2. Meanwhile, continue simmering broth and stir in rice. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, then set aside. Don't worry if rice is not completely done. It will be when the final soup is ready. 3. In a large saucepan, bring remaining broth to a boil over high heat. While heating, whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl to thoroughly mix. Off heat, whisk cornstarchwater mixture into hot broth to thicken, then place broth on low heat and continue to simmer.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy, then add lemon juice and zest while continuing to whisk. 5. Slowly whisk a cup or two of the hot broth into lemon-egg mixture to temper, then whisk warmed mixture back into soup. Simmer 10 minutes until heated through. Be careful not to boil soup after lemon-egg mixture is added. 6. Stir chicken and rice into soup and season with salt. Simmer a few minutes and serve.


Chilled Melon Soup 6 servings

Florida was the last city on my summer road trip doing grant writing. workshops. Tampa, It was August 2002. The temperature was 90 degrees with humidity to match. That evening, I ate at Jackson's Bistro near the water and ordered their chilled melon soup..- a cool tropical note to end a very steamy day. It was so refreshing, I asked if I could have the recipe. The executive chef was not working that night, so I left my card for her with a note. At home the next week, I received a briefletter that began, "Mr. Lambert, we're glad to hear our melon soup was a bright spot for you during the heat wave here last week. I am also happy to share the recipe with you..."

Ingredients 1 honeydew melon, seeds and rind removed, cut into chunks 1/4 teaspoon ground

coriander seed

114 teaspoon ground cardamom 114 teaspoon powdered ginger

pinch of salt 114 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup vodka (may use water as option) a few mint leaves



1. Puree melon as finely as possible in food processor and pass through fine-mesh strainer, pressing with a ladle to push through as much pulp as possible. Stir in remaining ingredients and continue stirring until well combined.

[ 2. Refiigerate several hours and serve in chilled bowls. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Jackson's Bistro served the soup to me in a carved-out melon shell. which was clever and reminded me ofBrophy Bros. •clam chowder served in a hollowed out sourdough loaf.


New England Clam Chowder 6 servings ismo Beach held its first clam festival in 1946, and it's stilI celebrated there every POctober. Sadly, the clams are long gone, and now have to be imported from Mexico and Australia. However, in the 1950's, "clamming" was very popular locally. Whenever a low tide coincided with a visit to Summerland, r d go with my grandparents up the coast to Pismo Beach. Stabbing our pitchforks into the sand until we hit a shell, we'd dig up a gunnysack full in an hour or so. I hadn't been a clam chowder fan, but 1 helped my grandmother make a big pot of it one day from the clams we dug that morning. It was fun. We cooked the chowder in the kitchen of their Terry travel trailer and had it for lunch while we played cribbage, her favorite game.

Ingredients 2 cans (6.5 ounces each) chopped sea clams

2 tablespoons flour 1 bay leaf juice of one lemon 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 2 cups russet potatoes, diced 2 cups heavy cream salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Tabasco sauce to taste

(I use Delallo or Snow's brand)

2 cups bottled clam juice 4 slices bacon 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped 1 cup celery, finely chopped 1 leek, finely chopped (white part only) 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Method 1. Drain clam juice from chopped clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.

2. Fry bacon in large skillet. Crumble when cool and set aside. Leaving a tablespoon or so of bacon fat in skiIIet, add onion, celery, leek, and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook over low heat for another 2-3 minutes. 3. Mix in clam juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When

liquid thickens to the consistency of cream, add thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice, and Old Bay seasoning. Add potatoes and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place clams and cream ina saucepan and simmer until clams are heated through, about 10 minutes. Avoid bringing liquid to a boil or the cream may curdle. 4. When potatoes are tender, add clams, crumbled bacon, and cream. Simmer a few minutes, then season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce to taste. 5. Set chowder aside for an hour, covered, to allow flavors to marry. Reheat slowly, not letting soup come to a boil. Serve with traditional oyster crackers.



BBQ Shrimp Appetizers in Killer Sauce 2-3 servings

stuff is really addicting. Individual servings are the way to go ifyou want to avoid Thisskirmishes. The recipe comes from chef Paul Clotier at King's Fish House in Calabasas.

Ingredients ~

cup tomato juice juice of ~ lemon 1 plum tomato, chopped 3 tablespoons chopped green onion 2 tablespoons herb butter (see below) 1 baguette, cut into thin slices and toasted

10-12 raw shrimp, large Cajun seasoning blend (page 18) 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons chopped garlic 1~ ounces sherry 1~ ounces apple cider vinegar Herb Butter ~ cup (one stick) softened butter 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme ~ teaspoon fresh tarragon

Method 1. Blend herb butter ingredients together in a food processor and set aside. 2. Combine shrimp and Cajun seasoning blend in a bowl. Marinate 10 minutes. 3. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shrimp, toss to cook evenly, about two minutes. Add sherry, vinegar, and tomato juice. Cook a few minutes until reduced a little. Add lemon juice,chopped tomato, and green onions. Cook a couple more.minutes, then add herb butter, swirling it into sauce.

4. Serve shrimp and sauce in individual bowls with baguette slices alongside for dipping.


Union Square Cafe Rosemary Cashews one pound of my most memorable meals in New York City was at the Union Square Cafe. We had Onedinner there, but even at lunchtime this restaurant inspires New Yorkers to wait in line up to two hours for a table. Here is the savory cocktail nibble served in their bar.

Ingredients 1 pound roasted unsalted cashews 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves ~ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon light brown sugar 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 1. Spread cashews on a lined baking pan and toast 5 minutes. 2. In a large bowl, combine rosemary, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and butter. Thoroughly toss

cashews with mixture and serve warm.


Singapore Satay Gai 12 skewers a cruise ship out of Hong Kong in June 1990. Sixty-three buffets the Weshipboarded dropped us off in Singapore. I traveling with Shirley Green, my childhood later,


mend from Lindsay. We headed for the Raffles Hotel, home of the legendary Singapore Sling. The hotel created the cocktail 100 years ago, and it's still the most popular drink in their Long Bar. The Singapore Slings were marvelous. Since they were $26 each, we decided to share a little bar food and call it our dinner that night. The server suggested satay gai - strips of chicken marinated in Asian seasonings, threaded onto bamboo skewers, grilled over high heat, and served with spicy peanut sauce. Great choice. Shirley was a wonderful chef and could discern even the most subtle ingredients in any dish. She said this recipe is very close to Raftles' satay gaL I agree. The marinated chiCken remains moist when grilled, and everyone loves the spicy peanut dipping sauce (kids, too).

Ingredients 2 teaspoons black pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon turmeric 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons fish sauce 2 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless fresh cilantro leaves

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce ~ cup coconut tnilk 114 cup creamy peanut butter 113 cup chiCken stock 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon fresh ginger,grated 1 teaspoon Sriracha 1 tablespoon. lime juice 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Plus••• 12 (6-inch) wooden skewers, soaked in water 30-minutes just before grilling

Method 1. In mixing bow~ stir together pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and fish sauce. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise into thin strips 1-2 inches wide. Place strips with marinade mixture in plastic bag, cover and refiigerate overnight.

2. When ready to ~ remove chicken breasts from plastic bag and disscard.used marinade. Thread chicken strips onto skewers, keeping strips flat for even cooking. Grill on high heat 4-5 minutes per side. Serve skewered satay gai on a platter and garnish with cilantro leaves with a Si1lall side bowl of spicy peanut dipping sauce. spicy peanut dipping sauce- Combine first 6 ingredients in saucepan over medium heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring continually. Remove from heat and blend in lime juice and soy sauce. -28-

Garlic, Cheese,


Caramelized Onion on Crostini 6 servings

ne of the good friends I made during my Arizona years, Starla Warren, does magical Othings with roasted elephant garlic. This recipe is an adaptation of her dish. Starla says the real key is getting the garlic good and caramelized when you bake it. "Once you have that accomplished," she says, "everything else falls into place." These days, Starla lives just a few miles from Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world. Things have worked out conveniently for this recipe and for all the guests who enjoy it.

Ingredients 6 elephant garlic cloves or 12 large garlic cloves, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons butter 1 medium Spanish onion, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar 8 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar salt and pepper to taste 114 cup basil, cut chiffonade style buttered and toasted crostini for serving

Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees 1. Place garlic cloves in baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover and roast until cloves are very tender, about 40 minutes for elephant garlic, or 30 minutes for regular garlic. Remove from oven and cool. 2. Melt butter in IO-inch or 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion slices and saute

15 minutes, until onions are soft and have taken on color. Add brown sugar and stir to melt into onions. Remove mixture from heat and spread on bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle cheese over onion mixture. Rough chop garlic cloves and sprinkle over onion-cheese mixture. 3. Bake 25 minutes uncovered, until cheese is melted (but not yet bubbling). Remove from

oven, add balsamic vinegar, and stir until well-blended. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle basil on top. 4. Place bowl in center of serving platter and encircle with crostini.


Sazerac 1 cocktail an authentic New Orleans experience on your next visit, order a Sazerac at Lafitte's F orBlacksmith Bar on Bourbon Street. You'II be served the first cocktail ever invented from the oldest bar in America. Jean Lafitte, sailor and spy, built his bar in the 1720's and the Sazerac cocktail was introduced by Antoine Amedie Peychaudin 1850. To this day, Lafitte's does not have electricity. Your table will be lit by candles, as it has been for almost 300 years. A votre sante!

Ingredients 1 sugar cube 1Y2 ounces rye whiskey 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters dash of Angostura bitters dash of Herbsaint twist of lemon peel

Method 1. Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Put the sugar in a second Old Fashioned glass with just enough water to moisten it; then crush the cube.

2. Add rye, the two bitters and a few ice cubes to the second glass, then stir. Discard ice from first glass and pour in Herbsaint. 3. Turn glass to coat sides with Herbsaint, then pour out excess. Strain rye mixture into Herbsaint-coated glass. Twist and squeeze a lemon peel over the glass. Rub the rim of the glass with the peel, discarding it when finished.

Note: In 2008, the Sazerac was named the official cocktail of Louisiana. In case you are wondering, no other state has an official cocktail.


Pig Candy makes one pound

''Many people have eaten my cooking and gone on to lead normal lives. " - Author Unknown ".,-1ult 's just wrong, as my daughter Juliet is fond of saying when faced with a seeming .1 contradiction. Pig candy may sound wrong, but it's oh so right. Display some slices at your next party, then watch them quickly disappear. They're chewy and crunchy, sweet and salty, and completely addicting. Plus, you can make them ahead of time. Lastly, pin this on the fridge - the Saturday before Labor Day is International Bacon Day.

Ingredients 1 pound thick sliced bacon 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 114 teaspoon cayenne

Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 1. Line a baking pan with foil, then place a wire rack on top of the baking pan. Spray rack with

nonstick cooking spray. 2. Blend together sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Press each bacon strip into the mixture (both sides) and position all strips on wire rack. 3. Bake about 10 minutes, then tum the bacon strips over. Bake for another 1o minutes, or until bacon strips are :firm and dark along edges. Remove :from oven.

4. Use a spatula or fork to remove bacon strips from wire rack and place on platter to finish cooling. If you leave the bacon strips on the wire rack, they will stick and be difficult to remove.

Note: Pig candy can be crumbled and used as a salad topping, or as a topping for cupcakes and other desserts (great with chocolate), or even with eggs for breakfast.


Warm Crab Dip in Sourdough Bread Bowl makes 5 cups

T ocated near the breakwater in Santa Barbara, Brophy Brothers Restaurant makes a great Lclam chowder~ It wins every year in the "best of' Santa Barbara contest. They use a sourdough bread bowl as a vessel for their chowder, and that gave me the idea for this recipe. It doesn't surprise me now, but the first time I served this appetizer and saw what was left after the party, I laughed. The dip was gone, and so was the entire bread bowl.

Ingredients 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature 2 cups sour cream 2 cans (6 ounces each) crabmeat, drained and flaked 114 teaspoon garlic powder 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated 1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white part only) 2 round loaves (1 pound each) unsliced sourdough or Italian bread Va cup Parmesan cheese, grated I teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream and garlic powder and blend well. Fold in crab, cheeses, and onions by hand. 2. Cut the top third off each loaf of bread. Carefully hollow out bottoms to create bowls. Cut the removed bread and tops into I-inch cubes. 3. Spoon crab mixture into bread bowls. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and Old Bay seasoning on top of crab mixture. Place on baking sheet along with bread cubes in single layer. 4. Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes or until dip is heated through. Serve with toasted bread cubes and crackers.


Clam Dip one pint father referred to Myfamily gatherings

this recipe as "granddaughter bait." It first started appearing at and on fishing trips when I was in junior high school and somehow never went away. I can easily imagine my granddaughters, Cody and Fiona, whipping up their

own version of this party food at many occasions yet to come.



I j

1 can (8 ounces) Snow's minced clams 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature % cup sour cream juice from ~ lemon 1~ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 4-5 drops Tabasco sauce ~ teaspoon salt pinch pepper




1. Drain clams, reserving the juice. Place into mixing bowl with cream cheese and sour cream. Blend together with a fork until smooth. Add remaining ingredients along with some of the reserved clam juice, Blend well.

1. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour. When ready to serve, place dip in bowl and garnish with parsley sprig. Provide ridged chips for dipping.


Dianne's Lahvosh Rounds makes 24 rounds


y sister Dianne brought a trayful of these to a party one summer where they quickly disappeared. Lahvosh is an Armenian flatbread, rectangular in shape, and is available at Trader Joe's in our area. It makes a perfect pinwheel wrapping for this savory appetizer, which you can prepare in advance. My friend Marna takes these to her Santa Barbara Jazz Society potlucks on a round platter encircling a cluster of red flame seedless grapes.

Ingredients 2 sheets (9-inches x 12-inches) fresh lahvosh flatbread 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature 4 ounces prosciutto Yz cup sliced black olives 10-12 pepperoncini peppers, stems removed, chopped juice of one lemon

Method 1. Evenly divide cream cheese and spread over the sheets of lahvosh flatbread edge-to-edge. 2. Lay prosciutto over cream cheese. The 4 ounces will be enough to cover both sheets. It's fine to leave some space between the prosciutto pieces.

3. Sprinkle sliced olives evenly over sheets, followed by pepperoncini peppers. I like Mezzetta brand pepperoncini because their skins are thin and work well in this recipe. 4. Tightly roll flatbread sheets, using the shorter 9-inch edge to begin roll. Wrap lahvosh logs in plastic sheets and place in refrigerator for at least an hour or more before serving. Keeping the logs cold helps prevent pinwheel rounds from coming apart when cutting. 5. Use a serrated edge bread knife to cut lahvosh logs into I-inch segments, being careful not to tear flatbread. After plating, squeeze lemon juice over rounds to moisten and brighten flavors.


Potato Salad 8-10 servings mother's potato salad and I learned how to it by watching her. I believe Tthehis isonlymynew ingredients are celery and radishes, added for texture and color. This recipe make

is not in the side dish section of the book because I always think of it as party food. However, don't let that influence you; it's fun to eat anytime.

Ingredients 2~

pounds russet potatoes 5 large eggs, hard boiled, chopped salt to taste 1 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 2 dill pickle spears, chopped 1 tablespoon pickle juice 2 celery stalks, diced 5-6 radishes, sliced 6 ounces (~ can) medium black olives, pitted

Method 1. Place potatoes in large pot of cold water, bring to a boil, and cook until medium soft, but not mushy (knowing when takes¡ a little practice). I usually put the eggs on top of potatoes so they both cook together in the same pot. The eggs take 13-15 minutes, and you can peel and chop them while potatoes continue cooking. I leave the potato skins on while boiling because I think the texture is better than ifpee1ed first. You do it the way you prefer. When they're cooked, hold potatoes under cold, running water and carefully remove peels by hand, then chop potatoes and place in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

2. To the potatoes, add eggs, pickles, pickle juice, celery, olives, radishes, and mayonnaise. Gently fold everything together. Taste salad and adjust mayo, salt, mustard, and pickle juice quantities, if needed. I often ask a spectator to do this because my palette is usually influenced by trial bites at this point. 3. After the salad is taste-tested by those around you, place in a covered container in your remgerator and cool for at least an hour before serving.

Note: If you have potato salad left for the next day, you may need to freshen it up with a little more mayonnaise before serving. Overnight, the potatoes will drink: up some of it.


Guacamole makes about 5 cups grandfather Pete planted 18 avocado trees in the lot next to his home in Summerland. MyThose trees loved the sea air and grew into mammoth specimens. I sometimes helped him harvest the crop and truck the avocados to the local packing house. In the summer, we'd pick a lug box full to take with us on fishing trips. In the 1950's, a lot of folks had never eaten an avocado, especially in the rural areas where we fished. As soon as we'd settle in, Pete would walk up to a campsite nearby, introduce himself, and offer some avocados to our neighbors. Those avocados were great conversation starters. Of course, the topic of fishing inevitably came up - what bait was working, where the fish were being caught, etc. Pete was a smart scout, and my grandmother and I benefitted from his natural congeniality on those trips.

Ingredients 6 Hass avocados juice from two limes 1 teaspoon salt 1 white onion, finely chopped 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped (seeds and all) 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 Roma tomatoes, unskinned and¡ diced 1 tablespoon fish sauce, I like Thai Kitchen brand (secret ingredient) Y2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Method 1. Cut avocados in half and, without peeling, remove pit and squeeze out flesh into large bowl.

Sprinkle lime juice over avocado pulp. Add salt, then mash ingredients together lightly with a potato masher, leaving the mixture chunky. By the way, it's against the law in most states to use mayonnaise in guacamole. 2. Fold onion, serrano chiles, garlic, tomatoes, fish sauce, and cilantro into avocado mixture and serve immediately. For less spicy guacamole, use one serrano chile instead of two. If you are making the guacamole an hour or two ahead, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator. Also, I leave the avocado pits in the guacamole until serving time. Tradition says that practice helps keep guacamole from turning brown, though I have no proof. 3. I like to serve guacamole in a molcajete. Toppings are also a nice finishing touch. Sprinkle finely chopped tomato and white onion along with chopped cilantro over the top. Cap it with a little fresh lime juice. Remember, using all fresh ingredients is paramount for good guacamole.

Note: You definitely want ripe avocados for guacamole. Your best test is the stem-squish. First, select fruit that's very dark. Then, the avocado should give a little when you gently push in about YZ-inch from stem. If it does, you've got a winner. -36-

Smoke House Garlic Cheese Bread one loaf his recipe doesn't qualitY as low or even healthy. Nonetheless, at the Smoke House TRestaurant in Burbank, this bread has been their most popular menu item for years and cal

years. I've included the recipe because this is the perfect choice when you feel like serving your guests a truly guilty pleasure. I offer one caution - don't make this garlic bread when you are eating alone.

Ingredients 1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced in halflengthwise 1 stick butter 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced 1 package Kraft Macaroni and Cheese powder packet Y2 cup Parmesan cheese from the round green can.. .I know, I know

Method 1. Melt butter and saute with the garlic for a couple of minutes. Let set overnight at room temperature to give garlic a chance to marinate in butter. The next day, melt butter-garlic mixture again and evenly brush over sourdough loaf halves.

2. Mix Kraft powder with canned Parmesan cheese and distribute mixture evenly over the two loaf halves. Bake in 350 degree oven five minutes, then finish under broiler for 30 seconds. Slice and serve.


Provolone Torta serves 10 or more

l\. JfY cousin Helen gave me this recipe. I served it the first time at my aunt Janice's 90& IV.lbirthday party. Though the dish does take some time to prepare, it is very colorful with lots of flavors and makes terrific party food.

Ingredients 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese 4 ounces goat cheese 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature 1 cup farmers' market pesto (next page) 314 pound provolone cheese, sliced 1~ cups red bell pepper and tomato salsa (next page) 114 cup toasted pine nuts

Method a day abead ... 1. Blend cream cheese, goat cheese and butter; add pesto and mix wen.

2. Line a 4-cup loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving several inches of wrap hanging over pan on all sides. Place layer of provolone slices on the bottom and up the sides of loaf pan, cutting the provolone as needed to fit pan. 3. Spread half the pesto mixture over the provolone layer, carefully filling in the comers. Spread 113 cup of salsa over pesto layer, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of pine nuts. Add a flat layer of provolone, pressing down a bit to make sure it is firm against the pesto-salsa layer underneath.

4. Repeat with another pesto-salsa-pine nut layer. Fold in the provolone sides and cover layered ingredients with a final layer of provolone. Tightly cover loafwith the plastic wrap and chill overnight.

to selVe.•• 5. Invert torta on a platter and encircle with fresh basil and red chile peppers. Loosely mound the top of torta with remaining salsa and pine nuts. Serve with toasted crostini, flatbread or crackers. The torta is most flavorful served at room temperature.


Red Bell Pepper Salsa and Farmers' Market Pesto oth of these recipes are designed to go with the provolone torta on the previous page. B However, you'n likely find delicious ways to incorporate them into other recipes as well. The Italians may be on to something by adding basil to nearly everything. They say it has a calming effect on the stomach. I'm also informed that ~ teaspoon of dried or fresh basil leaf in a glass of water helps alleviate feelings of fullness.

Red Bell Pepper Salsa Ingredients

Farmers' Market Pesto Ingredients.

4 red ben peppers, roasted, peeled,¡ seeded, and roughly chopped 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, patted dry and chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons fresh basil, loosely chopped ~ tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped ~ teaspoon cayenne ~ teaspoon brown sugar salt to taste

3 cups fresh basil leaves (tightly packed), gent1yrinsed and dried 5 garlic cloves, peeled ~ cup pine nuts 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 213 cup olive oil

Method Process basil and garlic in a food processor until chopped. Add pine nuts and cheese, and process until blended, stopping to scrape down sides. With processor running, pour oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream; process until smooth.

Method Mix an ingredients together.

Note: If you have extra pesto, freeze in ice cube trays and place cubes in zip-lock bags.

Notes on basH: 1. Use only the freshest basil. The fresher it is, the better it is. The fragrance of basil is never as seductive as when it is first plucked from a live plant and eaten right away.

2. Don't cook basil- don't even heat it up if you can help it. Add basil to a salad or pasta Sauce at the last minute. 3. Stay away from knives if you are using basil in anything other than a pesto. The cut edges of the basil leaves will blacken, and the overall flavor will be diminished. Tear the leaves by hand. -39-

Marta's Fresh Salsa makes four cups he was my first editor. is also a cook: Marta Pantale6n was born in SHavana and fled Wlth her family to Guadalajara, MeXICO when Castro came to power. vi~eo



She tells me that making this salsa was one of her daily jobs growing up. Pico de gallo, as it is known throughout Mexico, should be served fresh .. Take your time and chop the ingredients carefully and evenly. Sloppy knife skills can easily make this dish unattractive. Marta uses a serrated knife when she cuts the tomatoes.

Ingredients 3 cups tomatoes, finely chopped 1 cup white onion, finely chopped 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped (not seeded) 1 large clove garlic, minced ~ cup finely chopped cilantro juice of two limes a pinch of ground cumin salt and pepper to taste

Method Mix all ingredients together and serve at room temperature. Although best served right away, this salsa can be refrigerated (covered) for a few hours before losing its crispness and fresh cilantro flavor. Knife Safety•••

One of the first things culinary students learn is how to properly hold a cheP s knife. Where and how you hold your blade determines your level of control and safety. To maximize control, "choke up" on your knife. That is, bring your hand up the handle of the knife so it straddles the bolster (the thick piece of metal where the end of the handle meets the end of the blade), with your index finger and thumb gripping the blade itself Choking up on the knife may feel awkward at first, but you'll find it gets easier -- and feels more natural -- the more you do it. You may also find your hand is less tired after time in the kitchen. Safe chopping!


Santa Barbara Margaritas 8-10 servings Party can't get by on food alone. There must be drink. Several years ago, Inna Cook A gave me a dozen margarita glasses to match my other stemware. I feel a friendly obligation to use the glasses now and then. Whenever I do, here is what I fill them with.

Ingredients 1Y2 cups fresh lime juice Y2 cup fresh lemon juice Y2 cup water Y2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons lime zest 2 tablespoons lemon zest 2 cups premium tequila 1Y2 cups triple sec lime slices, for garnish 114 cup coarse salt

Method 1. Combine lime juice, lemon juice, water, sugar, lime zest, and lemon zest in a small saucepan

over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring and cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. 2. Combine cooled citrus syrup with tequila and triple sec. Chill thoroughly. 3. Chill the margarita glasses. When ready to serve, moisten glass rims with slice of lime. Put salt in a saucer and dip glass rims into salt.

4. Serve chilled margarita mixture in salted glasses, over ice if desired, garnished with lime slices.


Waldorf Salad 4-5 servings scar Tschirky invented this salad in 1893. Oscar was the maitre d'h6tel of the WaldorfOAstoria Hotel in New York City. As the story goes, a visiting dignitary requested something special for an impromptu dinner party. Although he wasn't a chef, Tscbirky came up with the Waldorf salad on the spot. Over the years, this salad has become a classic, and it is one of my favorites. In this version, I reduce the amount of mayonnaise and include fresh pineapple, grapes, some raisins, and a little lemon juice. Sometimes I serve the salad by itself as a light lunch.

Ingredients 2 cups Granny Smith apples 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon lemon juice pinch of salt 1 cup celery, thinly sliced Y2 cup chopped walnuts 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks 1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half Y2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional) Y2 cup raisins 1/4 cup mayonnaise 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped into peaks 2 cups mixed salad greens

Method 1. Wash and core apples; then cut into Y2-inch cubes, leaving apples unpeeled. Sprinkle

with sugar, lemon juice and salt. Add celery, walnuts, grapes, raisins, and pineapple. 2. Fold whipped cream into mayonnaise, then fold that gently into apple mixture. 3. Refrigerate at least two hours.

4. Serve salad on bed of mixed greens.


Blueberry Salad 8-10 servings "Now this is a salad-- sweet; pretty,and no vegetables." That's what lsaid to my brother David when this was first served at Christmas dinner in 1956. I had planned to leave it a fond memory until being persuaded to add this recipe to the cookbook. Some still insist it's not really Christmas without this blueberry salad, so Happy Holidays!

Ingredients I small package (3 ounces) lemonjello I can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, reserve juice I ~ cups hot water 3 tablespoons powdered sugar 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature 314 cup half and half ~ teaspoon vanilla I package (6 ounces) cherry jello 3 cups hot water 2 cups fresh'or frozen blueberries thawed

Method 1. For bottom layer, dissolve lemon jello in water and reserved pineapple juice. Blend in pineapple, cream cheese, pOWdered sugar, half and half, and vanilla. Pour into 9-inch x I3-inch glass baking pan. Refrigerate until firm. 2. Dissolve cherry jello into hot water. Add blueberries, then cool. Pour over bottom layer and refrigerate until firm. In order to avoid picking up flecks from the bottom layer, make sure the top layer is completely chilled before pouring it over the fully set bottom layer. 3. Refrigerate the jello mold for at least two hours before cutting and serving on individual salad plates Note: If you really want to be authentic, serve this dish over a large leaf of iceberg lettuce. I guess there would bea vegetable involved, after all.


Crunchy Green Salad with Goat Cheese and Bacon 2 servings the year-end holidays 1989, I spent a week Paris with my mends, Suzanne and During Jean-Marc. noon each day, I walked to the boulangerie on the comer to buy a fresh in



baguette while Suzanne made this salad for our lunch. Jean-Marc created the recipe and I like its simplicity, though it is easily adaptable to other salad items you may want to add. Use your best balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Bon appetit.

Ingredients 2 cups romaine lettuce, tom into bite-size pieces 2 cups endive, tom into bite-size pieces 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced 4 slices bacon, med and crumbled into pieces 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 baguette

Method 1. Warm baguette in oven 5 minutes at 300 degrees.

2. Combine greens in a bow1. Add sliced cucumber and bacon, thert sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over salad. 3. Whisk olive oil and balsamic vinegar together and toss with salad.

4. Serve immediately with warmed, sliced baguette.


Chicken, Almond and Grape Salad 4-6 servings uere is a healthy sweet an~ sav~ry salad that is ideal fo~ a light summer lunch. !t might . rl.aIso make a tasty sandWIch fillIng, though I haven't tned that yet. I do know It goes well with sliced cantaloupe or honeydew on the side.

Ingredients 1 chicken (3-3Y2 pounds) 2 cups red flame seedless grapes, washed and quartered 3 stalks celery, sliced 1 cup sliced almonds 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 114 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste

Method Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 1. (Blast) roast chicken 45-50 minutes, cool, then shred into 2-inch strips. Place chicken strips

in mixing bowl. Add quartered grapes and sliced celery. 2. Place almond slices on a lined baking pan and toast 5-7 minutes. Add almond slices to chicken mixture. 3. Whisk olive oil and balsamic vinegar together in small bowl, then sprinkle over chicken mixture. Season with salt and pepper and mix all ingredients together. Cover and chill in

refrigerator for an hour or more before serving.

Health Note: Grapes are a good source ofresveratrol, the powerful antioxidant found in wine.


Easter Weekend Carrot Salad 6 servings


his dish can be made fresh year round, although I first made it �n th� Satur?ay before Easter. That day, the Santa Barbara Farmers� Market was bulgmg with spnng produce. I found some freshly dug carrots and then spotted a bag of plump Ruby raisins at the nut stand. Putting them together, I came up with this salad. It is a lighter version of the old standard with canned pineapple and mayonnaise. Here, I use a white wine vinaigrette, sunflower seeds and a little cinnamon.


l l l I

1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar ½ tablespoon honey ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon lemon zest 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup vegetable oil 5 medium-large carrots ½ cup raisins ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds

Method 1. Make dressing by whisking together vinegar, honey, salt, zest, cinnamon, and oil. 2. Cut carrots into 2-inch strips using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler. Toss dressing with carrots, raisins, and toasted sunflower seeds. 3. Let salad marinate in refiigerator 30 minutes or more before serving.


Vinaigrette Salad Dressing makes one cup


he essenti.¡al ingredients in a vinaigrette salad dressing are olive oil and vinegar. Everything else is added as a matter of taste. That said, this is the vinaigrette salad dressing I like.

Ingredients ~

cup olive oil, your favorite brand 2 tablespoons red onions, minced 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard ~ teaspoon dried oregano ~ teaspoon dried basil Yz teaspoon granulated sugar Yz teaspoon ground pepper 114 cup red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method 1. Combine all ingredients in ajar with a lid. Shake well to blend. 2. Allow to stand for an hour or more to marry flavors before using.


Haricots Verts with Bacon and Cashews 6 servings his recipe works really well even some of your guests aren't especially fond of T¡vegetables. Bacon and cashews are combined in a profile of Asian flavors to make if

these French green beans something special.

Ingredients 2 tablespoons Maggi (or teriyaki sauce) 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1Yz pounds fresh haricots verts, ends trimmed 2 slices bacon Yz cup red bell pepper, julienne cut Yz cup thinly sliced white onion 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced Yz cup whole cashews, toasted at 350 degrees for 5 minutes 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Method 1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine Maggi, honey, and butter. Set aside. 2. Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. 3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add lemon juice (helps make beans brighter green). Drop in haricots verts and cook 4-5 minutes, until beans tum bright green. Drain in colander and plunge beans into ice water. Drain again and set aside.

4. In a skillet, cook bacon until crispy, then crumble into pieces and set aside. Saute bell pepper, onion, and garlic in the bacon fat 2-3 minutes. Add haricots verts, cashews, lemon zest, and bacon to skillet. 5. Place bowl of Maggi, honey, and butter in microwave for a minute, then stir to blend and

pour over haricots verts. Toss gently and serve.


Roasted Fingerling Potatoes 8-10 servings his is the perfect recipe if you are preparing a fall or winter holiday dinner with a few T. young helpers around. They'll have fun wrapping the potatoes and later unwrapping their creations like small gifts passed around the dinner table. You can use a combination of small potato varieties for this dish, as long as they are all 1Y2 to 2-inches in length. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients 1 pound fingerling potatoes several sprigs fresh rosemary 10 cloves garlic olive oil salt to taste foil for wrapping potatoes

Method Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 1. Scrub potatoes to clean and then dry.

2.. Snip rosemary sprigs into Y2-inch lengths. Peel garlic cloves and cut each into thirds. Cut foil into 30 squares, each about 5-inches square (one per potato).

3.. Place a whole potato in each foil square along with a sprig of rosemary and a piece of garlic. Drizzle a little olive oil over potato and season with salt, then wrap potato in foil. When all are assembled, place wrapped potatoes on a baking pan and roast 30 minutes. (Your home will smell great). 4. Place potatoes in a serving bowl for passing at the table.


Indian Rice Pilaf I 0-12 servings


his is a terrific alternative to traditional Thanksgiving dressing, though it is good in any season. The flavor, color and texture combinations will draw your guests back for more.

Ingredients 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 2 teaspoons minced garlic 2 teaspoons curry powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons salt I teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 teaspoon each: grated orange and lime peel ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups, brown basmati rice 2 cups dried apricots, cut into quarters 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries 1 cup dried unsweetened flaked coconut 2 cups slivered almonds 1/4 cup (½ stick) butter 2 cups chopped onion ½ cup chopped red bell pepper ½ cup chopped green bell pepper

Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 1. In a 2 or 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 3½ cups water to a boil. Add brown rice and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 45 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, combine dried apricots and cranberries in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand until the fruit is plump, about 15 minutes. Drain. 3. Place coconut and almonds on separate lined baking pans. Bake coconut until golden, about 5 minutes. Toast almonds for 8-10 minutes. 4. Melt butter iw/ a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, red and green bell peppers; stir until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat a little and add ginger, garlic, curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper, cardamom, orange peel, lime peel, and cinnamon; stirjust until spices are aromatic, about one minute. Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice, dried fruit, almonds and coconut. Spoon into a 3-quart baking dish and cover with foil. S. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.


Pinto Beans 6-8 servings


o paraphrase ! movie line, I l�ve � smell of beans in th e morning. Lucia Montero, my _ housekeeper� 1s the lady who msprred me to start making. tamales because hers are so great. Her pinto beans are just as wonderful. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients 1 pound dried pinto beans 3 quarts water 1 medium white onion, quartered 2 Roma tomatoes 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled ljalapeiio salt to taste

Method 1. Rinse beans, removing any small stones or debris. Place in pot and add enough water to cover beans by two inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 2 hours. Don't rush it. If the heat is too high, the beans will tear and also cook on the outside, but not on the inside. Watch water levels and add additional water when necessary. The water level should be one to three inches above the beans. Too much water increases cooking time and dilutes the flavor of the beans. Too little water and you'll scorch them. l. On a co� fire-roast onion, garlic, tomato, and jalapefio 15-20 minutes, until nicely charred. Peel garlic and stem jalapeiio, then puree fire-roasted vegetables in a blender. Stir into cooked beans and season with salt to taste. Simmer beans a few minutes before serving. Note: I don't agree with those who recommend soaking pinto beans overnight. It isn't necessary. I also think the skins on soaked beans develop an odd flavor.


Mashed Potatoes 4 servings

l\. Jfashed recipes are not often found in cookbooks. I think that's because it is 1.V .!presumed everyone knows how to make them, and that they're all made about the same way. My father once said to me, "There isn't twenty percent difference between the best mashed potatoes I've ever eaten and the worst." I don't happen to agree with that, which is why this recipe is here. I think you may appreciate the difference in these mashed potatoes. One tip for enhancing the flavor of mashed potatoes is to add a little orange juice. Another tip is to bake the potatoes, rather than boil them. It takes a little longer, but you don't need a big pot of water, or to even peel the potatoes. Plus, I believe cooking with the skins on keeps much of that earthy potato flavor from leaching into the water. The last tip-there are no better mashed potatoes than freshly prepared ones. Make yours just before serving. Ingredients 2~ pounds russet

potatoes (about 4) 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled 318 CUPC3/4 stick) butter ~ cup heavy cream ~ cup mascarpone, room temperature 1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice salt to taste

Method Preheat oven to 420 degrees. 1. Scrub potatoes and place in oven. Wrap unpeeled garlic cloves in a small piece offoll and place in oven with the potatoes. After 30 minutes, take softened garlic cloves out, squeeze the baked pulp into a bowl and add the butter.

1. Check potatoes with a fork after 75 minutes to see if they are soft in the middle. If done, remove from oven. Meanwhile, combine cream and mascarpone in a pan and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally. Slice open potatoes lengthwise, scoop out contents. Process potatoes through a ricer or food mill to remove any lumps. 3. Place potatoes in the bowl with the butter and garlic. Add egg yolk and orange juice, then pour warmed cream-masaq:pone mixture over potatoes. Mash ingredients together with a potato masher until soft and fluffy. Add salt to taste and serve. Note: These potatoes are great the next morning. You can form what's left into patties and butter fry them to go with your eggs and toast -52-

White Rice 4 servings everal recipes in this book call for rice. I am including these directions for preparing Swhite rice because they may be a little different from yours. I start the rice on the stove and finish it in the oven. The rice is also triple rinsed to remove excess starch which can cause the finished rice to be sticky. The amount of water I use in relation to the rice is probably more than you normally use. This method ispattemed after the traditional Creole technique in Louisiana. Not to get mystica4 but an Asian friend tells me that cleansing rice is like cleansing your soul. The water is cloudy at first and becomes clear through washing.

Ingredients 1 cup long-grain basmati rice 1 quart water 1 teaspoon salt 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces salt and pepper to taste

Method 1. Wash rice three times in a bowl of cold water, each time stirring rice with your hands and discarding water. The water will be clearer with each rinse. Drain rice thoroughly.

2. Bring water and salt to a rolling boil in a large ovenproof pot that has a lid (for step 3). Add rice and bay leaves. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until water returns to a boil. Stirring releases starch, so don't overstir. When boiling, don't stir at all (to keep rice from being sticky). 3. Cover pot with lid slightly ajar to release steam. Continue boiling for 12 minutes, or until grains have softened, enlarged and become tender.

4. Allow water to drain out by holding the lid while tipping the pot. Dot rice with butter and season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves. 5.. Place uncovered pot in oven preheated to 325 degrees for 5-6 minutes. This step is called "sweating the rice." Do not stir ahd avoid leaving in oven too long or the rice will turn brown. Remove rice and place in serving bowl to prevent carryover cooking.

John Wayne's Chile and Cheese Casserole 6 servings

Get offyour horse and drink your milk -John Wayne 1\ JfY mother made this dish often and I remember the first time she served it. I was a

1V !teenager and not really into trying new foods. However, she was prepared when I said, ''No, thank you," passing the casserole along to my sister Dayle. "You might want to know," she said, "that this recipe is John Wayne~s favorite." I realize now that my mother used the same strategy when I was six and didn't want the com meal mush I was served. "Ies Hoppy~s favorite, and all the cowboys have it for breakfast." Anyway, I encourage you to try this savory dish, with its rich blend of egg and cheeses, spiced up a bit with green chiles. AlI the cowboys are eating it, you know.

Ingredients I pound medium cheddar cheese, grated I pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated 2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles 4 large eggs, separated 213 cup evaporated milk I tablespoon flour ~ teaspoon salt 114 teaspoon pepper

Method Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter or spray a 9-inch x I3-inch baking pan. I. Combine cheeses and chiles in a large bowl. It will seem like too much cheese, but it works out fine. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks,. then add milk, flour, salt, and pepper and mix well. 2. Beat egg whites until stiffpeaks fonn,then fold into the egg yoIk-milk-flour.mixture and

combine with cheese-chile miXture. Mix well and pour into greased baking pan. 3. Bake 55-60 minutes, then serve.


Skillet Cornbread 10-12 servings his recipe comes from the kitchen of the legendary New Orleans restaurant, Commander's TPalace. a different texture most traditional versions of cornbread. This one is It has


lighter because it's made like a souftle. The ingredients are softly folded, rather than stirred in. Also, the egg whites are whipped to a peak:, which helps fold in lots of air. The cast-iron skillet contributes to even heating in the oven. I also like its down home look on the dining table. I should note that the com kernels are my addition and not in the original recipe. This dish works well for pot lucks. A few years ago, I took it to the Knosts' camp at Refugio Beach. The skillet kept the cornbread warm until sliced at the picnic table over an hour later.

Ingredients 2114 cups yellow cornmeal

1Y2 cups flour 11/4 teaspoons salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 213 cup sugar 3 large eggs, separated 2Y2 cups buttermilk 3/4 cup sour cream 4 jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed, then diced 1 red beUpepper, diced 2 ears fresh com kernels 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 114-inch pieces

Method Preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet in an oven set to 400 degrees. 1. Sift cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar into a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttertnilk:, and sour cream. FOrni a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add egg mixture, plus diced peppers and com kernels. Stir without over mixing. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks; then fold them in along with the butter pieces. 2. Pour mixture into the hot skillet and bake 40 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean. I like to serve slices of this cornbread directly from the skillet at the dining table.

Note:. Carve out a little time on your next visit to New Orleans to visit the unique Southern Food and Beverage Museum; It's in the old Dryades Street Market building, and is a fascinating exhibition of New Orleans' culinary culture. -55-

Scalloped Potato Gratin 6 servings or years and years, there was a little French brasserie in downtown Santa Barbara named FMousse Odile. It dependably good and the tourists didn't know about it, so you could was

usually get a table. They made the absolute best potato gratin you'd ever find. I know that Janice and Ed (my aunt and uncle) liked their version as well, because we've talked about it. Anyway, scalloped potatoes is the American interpretation of the French potato gratin, and this recipe is my version in tribute to the late Mousse Odile.

Ingredients . 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup chicken broth 4 tablespoons butter 1 garlic clove, crushed 2 bay leaves pinch of red pepper flakes Y2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 2Y2 pounds russet potatoes butter for coating the baking dish 1 cup gruyere cheese, grated 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Method Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 1. Heat cream, broth, butter, garlic, bay leaf, red pePper flakes, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves. 2. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice potatoes. You can do this by hand, with a mandolin, or with a food processor equipped with a slicing disk. When peeling the potatoes, I square off all four sides in order to create square slices, which work better for layering. 3. Coat a deep 8-inch x 12-inch baking pan with softened butter or cooking spray.

4. Mix grated cheeses together in a bowl. In the baking pan, layer 113 of the potatoes topped with 113 of the cheese mixture. Repeat the layer and place final 113 potatoes on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper as you build the layers. When finished. you should have three layers of potatoes and two of cheese. Save remaining cheese for topping. 5. Strain heated cream mixture over potatoes, then sprinkle remaining 1/3 cheese mixture over the top. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until potatoes are tender and gratin is golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.


New Orleans Red Beans 10 servings


his is a very traditional version of the Monday ''wash-day" supper in New Orleans. . week's While the bean pot simmered, home cooks would have a chance to do the laundry. These beans are just as good on Tuesday, and even better on Wednesday. They r are usually served over hot white rice (page 53) with a long neck bee nearby.

Ingredients 1 pound kidney beans, rinsed and soaked overnight 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 cups chopped white onions 1 cup chopped green bell peppers 1 cup chopped celery 1 pound chopped andouille sausage 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced 7 cups chicken broth (page 13) 1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley

seasoning mix

2 teaspoons dry mustard 2 teaspoons salt ½ teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Method 1. Combine seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. 2. Drain the soaked kidney beans and set aside. 3. Heat oil in large pot over high heat just until oil begins to smoke. Add onions, bell peppers, celery, and andouille sausage. Cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently. 4. Add garlic, ginger, beans, and seasoning mix. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then add stock and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender and starting to break, about 2 hours. 5. Add parsley, stir thoroughly, and remove from heat. Serve over hot white rice (page 53).

Note: The best andouille I've found comes from Jacob's in LaPlace, Louisiana. They've been in business since 1928� You can order online and, even with the cost of shipping, the price is about the same as at your local grocery store�


Fresh Com with Mustard Seeds 4 servings 1960, there was a large com field at the top of the hill above my grandparent's home U inntilSummerland. A family friend owned the land. When the com ripened in the summer, my grandmother and I would hike to the field and pick a few ears for dinner. We'd often take a couple to May Lambert, my great grandmother. I clearly remember the taste of that freshly picked com, so crunchy and sweet. It's one of the reasons I enjoy placing a few fresh com kernels in all of my tamales. This easy-to-prepare recipe is actually Indian and comes from the state ofMaharashtra. I am intrigued by its use of mustard seeds. A hundred years ago, Summerland was framed by rolling hills blanketed by mustard plants.

Ingredients 3 tablespoons vegetable oil Y2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced 114 teaspoon turmeric fresh com kernels sliced from 8 ears of com salt to taste 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Method 1. Heat vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cover. When seeds stop popping, lower heat to medium-low. Add serrano chiles, turmeric, com, and salt. Cover and cook until com is tender, about 5 minutes. 2. Stir in cilantro and serve warm.


Greek Potatoes 6 servings his is my interpretation of a dish that my mother's friend Virginia Woodall learned from T her husband-chef: who was Greek. Although dried oregano is the preferred herb in Greece, you can also use thyme, matjoram or sage. The possibilities are many, though there is one definite constant: roasted Greek potatoes are always blasted at 450 degrees until crispy and golden brown on the outside and creamy fork-tender on the inside.

Ingredients 3 pounds russet potatoes Yz cup good olive oil, mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 tablespoon dried oregano (Greek oregano if you have it) salt and pepper to taste additional olive oil

Method If time permits••• Peel potatoes, cut into spears and place in bowl. Cover potatoes with water and refrigerate overnight. This draws out starch and makes potatoes crispier when cooked.

When time does not permit••• Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add potato spears and cook until barely tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. Pour into colander to drain and let dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 1. Place potatoes in one layer in a large baking pan. Drizzle evenly with olive oil-butter mixture.

Stir gently to coat and sprinkle with oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake 25-30 minutes uncovered, turning once. 2. Using a spatula, place potatoes on serving platter. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Note: Avoid crowding the roasting pan with potatoes or you'll steam your potatoes rather than roast them. If they are touching, use a larger baking pan.


Parmesan Risotto 2-3 servings

ne evening, in the fall of 1998, I was Ca Dario in Santa Barbara with a friend O . when Julia Child walked in. She and three companions sat down at the table next to dining at

ours. Of course, we couldn't avoid eavesdropping a bit. Julia ordered the risotto; After eating a few bites, she quietly (for her) said it was "a little gummy," adding that her late husband had an error-proof recipe for a creamy, buttery risotto which would melt in your mouth. She said she was hoping Ca Dario's risotto would remind her of it. In fairness, I have not tried the risotto at Ca Dario, but that evening motivated me to see if I could come up with a recipe for a "creamy, buttery~' risotto that Julia might have enjoyed. This is my version. You can also add other things you like--shrimp, chicken or mushrooms, though I think it's flavorful enough to serve as is.

Ingredients 2 cups chicken broth 1 tablespoon butter (Plus 3 more later) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium shallot, finely diced 1 large garlic clove, finely diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced 1 cup Arborio rice 1 cup (good) dry white wine salt to taste 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Method 1. Place butter and olive oil in a medium-large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and celery, then saute 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are very soft. Meanwhile, heat chicken broth ina saucepan until ie s ho~ but not quite boiling.

2. Add rice to softened vegetables and turn heat up to medium-high. The rice will begin to fry, so continue stirring a few minutes until rice turns translucent. 3. Add wine and keep stirring while the alcohol evaporates and the wine flavor intensifies. When wine has reduced, add your first ladle of hot broth along with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue stirring. When broth has been fully absorbed into the rice, continue adding more broth, one ladleful at a time, allowing the rice to fully absorb the broth before adding more. After 15 minutes of this process, taste the rice. It's done ifit is creamy. If it is still alittle crunchy (al dente), continue to ladle more broth and stir for a few more minutes. Doa final taste, then season with salt and pepper.


4. Turn off heat under risotto and stir in 3 tablespoons of butter and the Parmesan cheese. Cover risotto and let rest for a couple of minutes to become its creamy best. Serve immediately.



Glazed Pearl Onions 4 servings vegetables are selVed in many restaurants, but not in very many homes. don't Glazed know why. Glazing extracts a lot of the fresh vegetable's natural flavor and it's fairly I

easy to do. Almost any vegetable that is firm enough to hold up while cooking is a good candidate. I like to selVe these glazed pearl onions as a side dish for roast chicken or beef.

Ingredients 3 slices bacon, fried and crumbled 1 pound pearl onions 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary; minced I tablespoon brown sugar 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 113 cup water

Method 1. In a saucepan, blanch half the onions in boiling water 3 minutes, then drain. Blanch the other halfin the same manner. Plunge onions in ice water for a minute, then remove and dry. Pinch the

root and the skin will easily slip off. 2. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onions; cook 10 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add rosemary, sugar, vinegar, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until onions are tender, about 20 minutes. 3. Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring often, until liquid is a syrupy glaze, 7-10 minutes. 4. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over onions and selVe.

Note: Carrots are another vegetable that glaze very nicely. They can be glazed in butter with serrano chiles and shallots, then finished with orange juice and mint.


Potatoes Romanoff 6 servings

"/ have made a lot ofmistakes falling in love, and regretted most ofthem, but never the potatoes that went with them. " -Nora Ephron Romanoffis a particular favorite of my nephew Victor. At least I've noticed the P"6otatoes servings" estimate isn't as accurate when he is among the guests. I've carried this recipe in my head for so long, the original source escapes me. I'm guessing the "Romanoff" part comes from the use of sour cream. Though the potatoes are boiled, essentially what we have here are twice-baked potatoes without the skins.

Ingredients 4 medium size russet potatoes, about 3 pounds 1 cup sour cream 4 green onions, sliced 1Yz cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated salt and pepper to taste paprika to taste

Method 1. Place unpeeled potatoes in large pot and cover with cold, salted water. Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes for 15 minutes. They should be :linner than for mashed potatoes. Let potatoes cool enough to handle, then peel and grate using the coarsest side of a box grater.

2. Combine potatoes, sour cream, green onions, and half the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. 3. Turn potatoes into a buttered 1Yz or 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and

sprinkle with paprika to taste. 4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes.


Lasagna 6-8 servings or most people, lasagna falls into the category of comfort food, and I guess it is. However, Fwhen hear lasagna think first of my school football coach shouting out, "Lambert, I



you're about as useless as the 'g' in lasagna. Take a lap!" Eventually, I did get better at playing football. With or without the 'g,' I feel this recipe for lasagna is definitely a winner.

Ingredients 1 pound sweet Italian sausage 1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 white onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce 2eans (6 ounces each) tomato paste 1 teaspoon fennel seed 1 teaspoon dried basil 4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried rosemary salt and pepper to taste 30 ounces ricotta cheese ~ teaspoon fresh nutmeg, finely grated 1 large egg, room temperature 1 pound grated mozzarella cheese 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated 12 lasagna noodles 3 ounces grated Parmesan for topping

Method 1. Brown sausage and beef, drain fat¡ and set meat aside. In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. (Add garlic a couple minutes after the onion so it doesn't bum). Add meat to onions, along with crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce,and tomato paste. Stir to blend ingredients, then add fennel seed, basil, half the parsley, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cover pot and simmer sauce 90 minutes. When sauce is cooked, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place lasagna noodles in hot water to soak 15 minutes. 2. Place ricotta cheese in mixing bowl. Grate nutmeg over ricotta, then add egg and remaining parsley. Mix together and place bowl nearby for the assembly. Remove noodles from water bath and place on flat swface. Spread 113 of the meat sauce on bottom of a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. Lay half the noodles across pan, covering the meat sauce. Spread half the ricotta mixture over noodles followed by halfthe mozzarella and half the Parmesan. Spread another 1/3 of the meat sauce over the layer of cheeses, followed by a layer of the remaining noodles. Spread the remaining ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses over noodles. Put final layer of meat sauce over cheeses and sprinkle reserved Parmesan: cheese over the top. 3. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered another 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit 15 minutes before serving.


Chicken Marbella 5-6 servings

1\ /fY daughter Juliet and I spent a week tr.aveIing thrOUgh. SPain. in 1993. This dish always

1 V.!reminds me of that adventure. I'm not sure ifMarbe1la is its true provenance, but the colors and flavors of the prunes, olives, wine, ras el hanout, and capers definitely project Spanish and Moroccan influences. I have adapted the recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook version. Overnight marinating is essential for the chicken to become moist. This dish travels well and can be served warm or at room temperature. The leftovers are great because the flavors continue to bloom over several days of refrigeration. Chicken Marbella can be so transforming you might get a marriage proposal or two when you serve it. Ingredients chicken thighs and breast halves, with skin, 4 each % head garlic, peeled and minced 2 tablespoons dried oregano 1 tablespoon ras el hanout kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 114 cup olive oil 213 cup pitted prunes (now called dried plums... marketersl) Y2 cup pitted Spanish green olives 114 cup capers with a bit of juice 3 bay leaves Y2 cup light brown sugar 3/4 cup white wine juice of one lemon 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped

Method 1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, garlic, oregano, ras el hanout, salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with juice, and bay leaves. Cover and marinate overnight in refrigerator to let flavors ripen.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and lemon juice, then pour white wine around them. Bake one hour, basting frequently with pan juices. 3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, olives, capers, and prunes to serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices, then sprinkle Italian parsley over top.


Grilled Pork Chops 4 servings

Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig. -Robert Heinlein ne spring in the early 1970's, I raised two Spotted pigs on a farm where we lived in OArizona. The meat was fabulous, especially compared to the too-lean, water injected pork often sold these days in supermarkets. In this recipe, I use a brining technique to achieve some of the qualities I remember from that Arizona pig project. Thanks to the wonder of osmosis, the brine infused meat develops a distinctive flavor and makes a very juicy pork chop. Brining takes time, so this would be a plan-ahead recipe. Do the first part on Thursday or Friday for a great weekend meal.

Ingredients 2 quarts water 1/3 cup salt 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons coriander seeds 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons fennel seed 1 tablespoons black peppercorns 3 bay leaves 1 white onion, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 2 carrots, diced 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed 4 bone-in pork loin chops, I-inch or thicker 2 teaspoons fennel pollen (secret ingredient)

Method 1. Combine first 12 ingredients in a container with a lid. Wash pork chops and drop into the brine container. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days. 2. Place pork chops on preheated grill. After 4-5 minutes, rotate chops 90 degrees to create grill marks. Grill chops for another few minutes, then turn.over and repeat the process. A few minutes before removing from grill, sprinkle fennel pollen on both sides. Remove chops from grill and let rest in a warm place a few minutes before serving. The meat should be medium to

medium-well and very juicy. Note: You can also bake the pork chops. Season with salt, pepper and fennel pollen, then pan sear the chops for a couple minutes per side in a little olive oil. Place in a baking pan with oven set to 350 degrees. Bake 45 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes. -65-

Ridgeback Shrimp with Tequila Fettuccini 2 servings

D idgeback shrimp don't travel well, so Santa Barbarans have these tasty decapods all to ~emselves during the

season, from October to May. Nothing tastes quite like a ridgeback. For this recipe, however, you can also use a pound of any good quality, uncooked, small shrimp. Calling for tequila and a whole stick of butter, some might consider this dish decadent. That's fair. Prepare it when you are feeling especially deserving. It goes very nicely with carrot salad (page 46) and toasted French bread.

Ingredients For Shrimp••• I pound fresh ridgeback shrimp, shelled and deveined 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (page IS) 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon olive oil For Pasta••• S ounces dry fettuccini 2 quarts water 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon olive oil

For Sauce••• 1h cup white tequila 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons shallots, minced 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, reserve half 1h teaspoon salt 3 turns freshly ground pepper 114 cup heavy cream 1h cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces

Method For Shrimp-- In a small bowl, mix together shrimp, Cajun seasoning, lime juice, and olive oil. Let marinate 15-20 minutes. For Pasta-- Pour water, salt, and olive oil into large pot on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Add fettuccini to water and cook 10-12 minutes. Drain fettuccini in colander. For Sauce-- Combine tequila, lime juice, shallots, garlic, half the cilantro, salt, and pepper in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook until liquid is reduced by half Stir in cream and simmer 3 minutes. Whisk in butter and remove from heat. Continue whisking until butter is incorporated. To Combine and Serve- Place shrimp in skillet over medium-high heat. No additional oil should be needed because of the marinade. Cook 2-3 minutes, just until done. Add prepared fettuccini and stir to combine. Pour sauce over pasta and shrimp, stirring to blend all ingredients and heat through. Serve with reserved cilantro sprinkled over the dish. Note: If this is a special meal, I recommend Rustichella D'Abruzzo brand pasta, easily the best I've found. It tastes like fresh pasta and cooks up beautifully every time. Available on Amazon. -66-

Short Ribs Braised in Cabemet Sauce 4 servings

These short ribs are so good, they '1/ make you punch someone in the face. . -1 said that ell, maybe that's overstating it a bit, but this has always been one of my favorite Wwintertime dinners. the past few years, braised short nos have also become a very In

popular item on restaurant menus. Chefs seem to have discovered what home cooks have always known. Short ribs braised slowly make a very hearty and flavorful dish. If available, I prefer boneless short ribs. Either way, I serve the ribs over a bed of buttered noodles, though they go equally well with mashed potatoes or a creamy risotto. This is true comfort food territory.

Ingredients 2~3

2 garlic cloves, sliced 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

pounds beef short ribs, trimmed salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 1~ cups beef broth 1 cup cabernet sauvignon 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 stalks celery, sliced 2 carrots, chopped

1 medium white onion, chopped 1 tablespoon flour 1 teaspoon garam masala 4 cups hot cooked wide egg noodles, buttered to taste chopped Italian parsley

Method Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 1. Heat large skillet over medium-high. Add olive oil. Season short ribs with salt and pepper, then add to skillet and brown meat on all sides. Place ribs in 3-quart Dutch oven and set aside. 2. Deglaze skillet with the beef broth and then pour broth into a bowl. Add wine and tomato paste. Whisk together to blend. 3. Place celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, and onion over short ribs in Dutch oven, Pour in broth mixture, cover with lid and bake 3-3~ hours, until meat is tender.

4. When done, remove short ribs and cover to keep warm. Strain liquid through sieve into a saucepall, discarding vegetables. Whisk flour and garam masala into liquid and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continually. The darkly fragrant garam masa1a adds an exotic note to the sauce; Reduce heat and simmer a few minutes, until sauce has thickened.


Place buttered egg noodles On serving plates and top with short ribs. Drizzle sauce over meat and garnish dish with Italian parsley. -67-

Chicken Vermouth 6 servings

area's most venerable restaurants is the Ranch House in Ojai. It was founded in One1949of byourAlan Hooker, who arrived from Ohio as a follower ofKrishnamurti. From the beginning, local sourcing and fresh ingredients have been hallmarks of the restaurant. The staff still grows its own herbs for the kitchen, and customers are welcome to wander through the lush herb and foliage gardens in between courses. This chicken vermouth dish, from the restaurant's cookbook, is one of my favorites. It is easily prepared, very flavorful, and the pleasing aroma fills the house. I usually serve the chicken with seasonal vegetables and roasted fingerling potatoes (page 49).

Ingredients 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts 2 whole cloves garlic, mashed 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice Yz (1 stick) cup melted butter 1 tablespoon herb salt (I use Seitenbacher brand) Yz cup dry vermouth

Method 1. Rub chicken with garlic cloves and sprinkle with lime juice. Let chicken rest 30 minutes.

2. Place chicken in baking pan and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with herb salt and pour vermouth over chicken. Bake one hour at 350 degrees, turning and basting every 15 minutes. 3. Place chicken under broiler for a couple of minutes to add color before serving.


Oxtails with Orange 6 servings an you imagine an oxtail recipe taking first place in a food competition? This one got Cmore votes and praise tbanany other in the 1994 Los Angeles Times Recipe Contest. I was curious, so I made it and liked the recipe so much that I've made it many times since. Despite the name of the dish, the meat is not sweet. The orange juice and zest add a subtle citrus note that balances well with the richness of the oxtails. I serve the meat over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients 2 cups fresh orange juice 20 whole cloves (it's a lot, but it works) 5 whole allspice berries 2 teaspoons peppercorns 2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 pounds oxtails 4 medium-large onions, chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons orange zest 1 cup beef stock

Method Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 1. Reduce orange juice in a skillet to 1 cup over medium heat, stirring ofte~ then set aside.

2. Grind together cloves, allspice; and peppercorns, then mix in the salt and rub oxtails with mixture. Use only as much as needed. 3. Heat olive oil in heavy Dutch oven or an enameled cast-iron pan with lid. Brown oxtails on all sides over medium-high heat, then set aside. Using the same oil, adding additional if needed, saute onions, carrots, and orange zest just until onions are softened. Add beef stock and bring to a boil, stirring frequently,

4. Place oxtails on top of vegetables in pan. Drizzle reduced orange juice over oxtails, cover and bake 3 hours, or until meat is tender and caramelized.

5. Place oxtails on a platter or individual plates. Remove fat from pan drippings, then spoon juice over oxtails before serving.


Chipotle Cheddar Mac and Cheese 10 servings acaroni and cheese became popular in this country thanks to Thomas Jefferson, who . tasted it first in Paris. After his election, the president served "macaroni pie" at a state dinner and word spread. Today, there are many versions of this comfort food. Here is mine.


Ingredients 6 slices bacon 4 cups whole milk ~ cup (1 stick) butter ~ cup flour 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, use blender or finely chop

1 pound large elbow macaroni, like cavatappi 4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese 1~ cups grated Parmesan cheese for topping salt and pepper to taste

Method Fry bacon, then drain and crumble into pieces. Set aside. For the bechamel sauce-

1. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer, then remove from heat and set aside. 2. In a large. heavy bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk mixture about 3 minutes. Mix in chipotlepeppers. Remove mixture from heat and slowly add hot milk, whisking until texture is smooth. (It becomes very thick when you first add the milk and then smooths out). Return saucepan to medium heat and whisk bechamel sauce until it comes to a boiL Season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat and set aside. To Assemble-

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place rack in center. 1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. When it comes to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Rinse with cold water in a colander and drain well. 2. Place reserved saucepan of bechamel over medium heat, add cheddar cheese, and stir until melted. Add pasta and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until pasta is heated through and steaming, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Transfer mac and cheese to 9-inch x 13-inchlightly greased baking dish. Combine bacon with

Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top. Bake 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let rest 10 minutes, then serve. -70-

Chicken Enchiladas 12 servings Breck ran a cattle ranch with their two sons in the Santa Ynez ¡Valley; H. TheyandwereBarbara good mends of my grandparentsand.they all went deer hunting together for arry

many years in the Santa Ynez Mountains. One August, .the Breckshosted a barbeque party at their home during Fiesta week. Barbara was known as a great cook and, of course, the beef they raised was the center of attention at the meal. But that was the day¡I.discovered enchiladas. Mrs. Breck placed two huge . platters of homemade enchiladas in the middle of the table as centerpieces. What a feast! My grandmother. said Barbara's style of making .enchiladas, using ingredients like chopped eggs and olives, came from her early California roots. This recipe is inspired by the memory of those enchiladas and that day at the Breck's home.

Ingredients 1 whole chicken, 3-3~ pounds cup lard or vegetable oil 1 medium white onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 small can (3 ounces) sliced black olives 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

3 cups tomatillo salsa (page 19) 20 yellow com tortillas (6-inch diameter) 1~ cups medium cheddar cheese, grated 1~ cupsjackcheese, grated . 1 cup cotija cheese, grated, for topping ~ cup whole black olives, for topping


.Method Preheat oven to 450 degrees (I use Melinda Lee's "Blasted Chicken" technique). 1. Roast chicken 45-50 minutes. After cooling, shred chicken and set aside.

2. Saute onion over medium heat in a tablespoon of lard. When onion is soft, add garlic and saute a few more minutes. Add olives, eggs, and chicken. Season with salt. Stir in 2 cups of tomatillo salsa and saute 2-3 minutes more, then place mixture in a large bowl and set aside. 3. Place 2 tablespoons of lard or oil in 6-inch.skillet over medium heat. When heated, place one tortilla at a time in the pan. Flip after a few seconds to heat both sides, then drain ona paper towel. The tortillas should .still be soft so you can easily roll them. This step (of flying) brings out the com flavor and enhances the finished product. Spoon ~ along with some of the jack and cheddar cheeses, into tortillas and place seam down in pan while you continue frying, adding lard or oil to panas needed. You'll work quickly while doing this, so organize your work area. Placing the enchiladas close together in the baking pan helps them keep their shape. For this recipe, you'll need two 9-inch x 12-inch pans. 4. When enchiladas are assembled, spoon remaining tomatillo salsa over the top, sprinkle with cotija cheese and dot with whole olives. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes. Let enchiladas rest a few minutes before serving. -71-

Beef Stew 4 servings

yack Miller was a wealthy man. His father made a fortune buying Las Vegas real estate J (pre-Bugsy Siegel), then he left it all to Jack and his sister, Opal, both of whom lived in Summerland. Opal was also manied to my grandfather's older brother, Ray. Anyway, Mr. Miller often came with us on fishing trips and, despite his wealth, he could never find his wallet at mealtime. He'd order black coffee and slowly sip it while waiting to see what was left on my grandparents' plates. The only time I remember him ordering from the menu was on a trout fishing trip to Eagle Lake. We were in a Susanville diner and my grandparents both ordered beef stew. I guess Mr. Miller knew that was their favorite, and it e

wasn't likely that he'd se any leftovers. (This is my recipe, not the restaurant's)


3 cloves minced garlic 114 cup tomato paste 2 carrots, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme 3 tablespoons Angostura bitters l bay leaf

vegetable oil 3 medium white onions, chopped 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 ½- inch cubes salt and pepper to taste 1 quart chicken broth (page 13) 1 cup crushed tomatoes

Method 1. Place large heavy skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to film the bottom. Place onions in skillet and saute, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low after a few minutes and continue to saute onions until well caramelized, 30 minutes or so . .2. While cooking onions, blot meat cubes dry so they will brown nicely, then generously season with salt and pepper. In a heavy skillet over high heat, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, then add beef cubes without crowding the pan (do in batches, if necessary). Wait a few minutes before turning the meat, then continue browning on all sides. Transfer seared meat to roasting pot. 3. Use chicken stock to deglaze the skillet containing the caramelized onions, then transfer onions and stock to roasting pot. Add tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, carrots, celery, thyme, bitters (my secret ingredient), and bay leaf. The stock should just barely cover the meat and vegetable mixture. Bring mixture to a simmer on stove, then place (covered) in oven preheated to 325 degrees. Cook until a fork inserted into meat comes out easily. This may take up to 3 hours. When done, remove bay leaf and let stand 30 minutes before plating. My grandfather liked his beef stew served with a dollop of sour cream on top. Nice touch. Wine Pairing: Beef stew is comfort food and it calls for a comfort wine. My favorite is sirah. It has the body, savoriness and richness to perfectly complement beef stew. Some of the best Santa Barbara sirahs perennially come from Jaffurs Wme Cellars on Montecito Street. -72-

Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo 6-8 servings ou'll be transported to New Orleans whenever you make this classic dish. Y . At least that's the effect the aromatic dark roux and Cajun seasonings have on me. Big Easy

Note-stock is the only gumbo ingredient as important as roux. It pays to make it from scratch.

Ingredients Ingredients for Stock (makes about 6 cups) shells from 2 pounds shrimp 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 small white onion, roughly chopped 1 carrot. peeled and roughly chopped 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped Yz cup white wine or dry vermouth water a few black peppercorns 1 bay leaf Yz teaspoon dried thyme, or two sprigs fresh

dark roux (page 14) 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 2 white onions, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (page 18) 6 cloves garlic, minced 6 cups shrimp stock (recipe below) 1 pound andouille sausage, Yz inch pieces 2 pounds fresh medium shrimp, in shells white rice (page 53)

Method 1. Peel and devein shrimp. reserving the shells. Refrigerate shrimp until ready to use.

2. Make dark roux in large, heavy pot per directions on page 14. When roux is ready, add bell peppers, onion, and celery, stirring to combine over medium heat. Cook a few minutes, then add Cajun seasoning and garlic. Cook a few more minutes, then remove from heat. 3. Place shrimp stock in 4 or 5-quart Dutch oven or stockpot and bring to a gentle boil. Gradually add roux to boiling stock, whisking continually, until all the roux is blended into stock. Return to boil and add andouille. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Add shrimp and remove from heat. Let gumbo rest 5 minutes so shrimp can cook. Serve over scoop of white rice. To Prepare Shrimp Stock.•• In a saucepan or stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until softened, about five minutes. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring continually, until shells are pink and fragrant. Add wine and continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half. Add enough water to bring the liquid back to just above the shrimp shells. Add peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook 45 minutes, periodically skimming impurities from the surface. Strain stock and reserve. Makes about 6 cups. -73-

Stir-Fry Hawaiian Chicken 6 servings

henever fresh are available, I come up with lots ofideas for using them. WLast year, there was a luau-style pot luck at the beach, so I made ham and pineapple tamales. It's actually pretty hard to make a mistake with fresh pineapple. This savory-sweet-sour chicken recipe is a good example.

Ingredients 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into I-inch cubes 1Va cups fresh or frozen snow peas 1 green bell pepper, diced 2 bunches scallions, sliced (white part) 1 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks Va cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons cider vinegar 3 tablespoons soy sauce 3 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated 2 cloves garlic, minced Va cup water chestnuts, sliced Va cup toasted whole cashews 2 cups cooked white rice (page 53)

Method 1. In a large skillet or wok, heat vegetable oil over high heat. Add cubed chicken and stir-fry until cooked through and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a bowl, leaving oil. Add snow peas, bell pepper, and green onions to skillet and stir-fry 1-2 minutes, just until colors brighten. Add to bowl with chicken.

2. Save as much of the pineapple juice as possible, then add enough water to bring liquid to 1114 cups total. Pour into bowl. Stir in brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, and garlic. 3. Pour liquid mixture into skillet, lower heat to medium. Cook about 3 minutes, just until sauce

begins to thicken. 4. Return chicken and vegetables to skillet along with pineapple chunks, water chestnuts, and

cashews. Cook 3-5 minutes. The dish is ready when the sauce is glossy and has thickened. 5. Serve immediately over white rice (page 53). For a dressier presentation, using a 3-inch ring mold, press rice into mold and position in center of plate. Spoon chicken-pineapple-vegetable mixture around ring mold. Remove mold and garnish rice with a few slices of scallion greens.


Cottage Pie 5 servings I last visited my daughter Juliet, .she served a terrific shepherd's pie for dinner. While When shepherd's pie originally comes from Scotland, cottage pie, or Pastai'r Bwthyn, comes from across the Irish sea, in Wales, where my mother's family is from. They weren't shepherds, and the protein in cottage pie is beef rather than lamb. However, like shepherd's pie, this dish is topped with mashed potatoes. It's a flavorful and warming meal for a winter night. By adding Mexican chorizo, cheddar cheese and black olives, I'm showing the influence tamale making has had on me. I bake and serve cottage pie in individual ramekins, though you can also use a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan.

Ingredients 1 teaspoon each, fresh thyme and rosemary 1 cup frozen peas fresh com kernels cut from 2 ears Y2 can medium, pitted black olives Y2 cup beef broth mashed potatoes (page 52) 2 egg yolks 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated pats ofbutter

1% pounds ground beef 1 pound Mexican pork chorizo 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 2 white onions chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons flour



Method 1. Saute ground beef and pork chorizo until browned, then strain out fat and set meat aside. 2. Pour vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add carrots; onions, and celery. Once vegetables begin to take on color, add garlic and continue cooking a few minutes. 3. Add reserved meat to vegetables and stir to combine. Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add thyme, rosemary, peas, com, olives, and beefbroth. Cook. a few minutes until well blended. 4. Make mashed potatoes (page 52). Blend egg yolks into potatoes for color and to enrich.

5. Spoon meat-vegetable mixture into five 14-ounoo ramekins. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese over each, then top with mashed potatoes. Create a seal with the potatoes around the lip of ramekin to reduce bubbling over. Put a couple pats of butter on each potato cap, then place ramekins on lined baking pan and bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes. -75-

Friendly's Buttermilk Fried Chicken 4 servings Womack ran the prison kitchen where Jeff'Henderson served time and learned to P'.riendly cook. Jeff'was a talented student and went on to become the executive chef at the BeUagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He also authored the inspiring autobiography Cooked, which is where I found this classic recipe. The cayenne offers the perfect amount of heat for me, though Friendly's original recipe calls for twice as much. You be the judge.

Ingredients 2 cups flour 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces or 5-6 chicken breast halves, bone in, skin on 1 quart buttermilk 1 quart vegetable oil

1 tablespoon cayenne 3 tablespoons black pepper 4 tablespoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder



.1. Blend first five ingredients in a small bowl, then put half of that seasoning mixture in a bowl large enough to also hold the chicken pieces and buttermilk. Rub chicken with the mixture after poking all the pieces a few times with a fork. Poking helps buttermilk penetrate the bird. Place flour in large bowl and blend wen with the remaining seasoning mixture. Reserve for later. Pour buttermilk over chicken and cover. Refiigerate several hours, or overnight.

2. Heat oil in large, deep skillet, preferably cast iron for even heat. Using a,thermometer, make sure oil is 350 degrees before dipping the chicken. Ifit's not hot enough, the bird will absorb oil and the finished fried chicken will be greasy. 3. After removing chicken from refrigerator, dip pieces into seasoned flour, making sure each is well coated. Before trying, let battered and coated chicken dry a few minutes; wet chicken will cause oil to splatter more. Place chicken pieces in skillet, allowing enough room so they aren't touching. Use two skillets, or make two batches, ifnecessary. ' Don't cover. Using a lid while frying creates steam and can cause chicken to be less crispy. Turn pieces as they brown, Legs and wings take about 12 minutes, while breasts and thighs take 15-20 minutes. Remove when done. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and place on rack over paper towels to drain. The rack helps prevent the chicken from getting soggy on the bottom.

Note: July (ih is National Fried Chicken Day. Just sayin,


Snapdragon Pot Roast 6-8 servings

1\ ,faking a pot roast was always time-consuming. First, r d marinate the meat overnight in

I I 1

1 V!.red wine. The next day I'd sear the roast, then saute the onions, shallots, garlic and carrots to make a vegetable base. Finally, I'd tie up a bouquet gatni, bring the wine to a simmer, place the meat and vegetables with the aromatics all in the oven and roast away. One weekend, three or four years ago, I had a good-looking roast, but I was playing in the garden and trying to avoid any big kitchen projects. So, I quickly Sliced some onions, shallots and garlic and tossed them in a Dutch oven. Then I seasoned the roast and placed it on the vegetables. I cranked the oven to 450 degrees for 20 minutes to brown the meat on one side, turning it over for another 20 minutes to brown the other .side. Then I added the wine, covered the roast, and paid little attention to it for the next two hours while I planted snapdragons here and there. In the end, this roast turned out terrific with so little work. Having discovered that indolence pays, I'll share with you this snapdragon pot roast recipe. Ingredients salt and pepper to taste 2Y2 cups cabemet sauvignon wine Y2 cup red wine vinegar

6 medium Spanish onions, sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 shallots, sliced 1 chuck roast, 3..4 pounds

Method Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 1. Combine onions, garlic and shallots in Dutch oven, or other heavy stew pot. It might seem like there are too many onions, but they cook down fairly quickly. I use Spanish (yellow) onions in this recipe because they work best when caramelizing is involved. Season meat well with salt and pepper and place on top of onions. Roast 20 minutes, uncovered.

2. Remove meat to plate and stir onions to keep them from sticking to bottom of pot. Turn meat over and again place on top of onions. Roast another 20 minutes, uncovered. 3. Again, transfer meat to plate and stir onions. Return meat to pot, adding red wine and vinegar. Cover meat loosely with foil and cover pot with tightly fitting lid. Check pot after an hour to see that there's liquid and onions aren't burning. Roast 2 hours, or until meat is falling-apart tender. 4. In the last halfhour, check liquid and stir onions underneath. Add more wine~ if needed. Remove roast from oven when done and leave in pot until time to serve. When ready, transfer to warm platter and spoon onions over roast. Encircle with fingerling potatoes (page 49).


Almost Mom's Spaghetti Bolognese 6-8 servings Italian Village was a Santa Barbara institution. It opened in 1933 and lasted for M62om'syears, until 1995. Located on Cota Street, the restaurant was a favorite of the locals from the beginning. Its colorful owner, Prima Rosa Signor, welcomed her guests in a setting that featured a beautiful Honduran mahogany bar and a huge wall mural providing a backdrop of northern Italy's coastline. My cousin Joan was a schoolmate of the owner's granddaughter. She tells me Prima Rosa Signor gave them both treats whenever they stopped by after school. Mom's rich bolognese sauce was considered by many to be exceptional, and I am among them; a perfect blending of old-world flavors that made the pasta sing. This recipe reflects my best effort to show you the spaghetti bolognese you might have been served at Mom's.

Ingredients 3 cups hearty red wine water 3 bay leaves 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced 1 pound spaghetti 2 tablespoons olive oil ~ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

1 large yellow onion, chopped 2 large carrots, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled 3 tablespoons olive oil salt to taste 2 pounds ground beef chuck 1 pound sweet Italian sausage 2 cups tomato paste

Method 1. In food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. Pour olive oil in large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add pureed vegetables and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the water has evaporated and puree has become brown, about 15 minutes. Don't rush this step because you are developing the flavors here. 2. Brown beef and sausage over medium heat in a skillet, about 15-20 minutes. 3. Combine meat mixture and vegetable puree, then add tomato paste and cook 5 minutes.

Add wine and cook 12-IS minutes, until wine has reduced some, then add all the herbs. Pour water into skillet until it is I -inch above the meat-vegetable mixture. Stir well to combine, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered. As the water evaporates, gradually add more, a cup at a time. This process of reducing and adding water is what develops the rich sauce. If you add all the water at the beginning, you'll end up with boiled meat sauce. Simmer the sauce uncovered for 3-3 ~ hours, adding water as needed. 4. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot and cook pasta until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain. Place spaghetti on serving plates, top with bolognese sauce, and dress with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. -78-

Blackberry Cobbler 6 servings I was growing up, August signaled the peak of salmon fishing season at the mouth When of the Klamath River. The salmon entered the river with each incoming tide and scores of fishermen would compete to hook a big silver or chinook. They also competed at lunchtime. The Yurok Tribe operated the food concession on shore. At noon, the aroma of freshly baked blackbetTy pies came wafting out over the river where everyone was fishing. Within minutes, all but the most dedicated fishermen headed ashore to line up for pie and chili at the snack shack. This recipe makes it easy to enjoy fresh blackberries anytime you want and not have to jostle in line with salmon fishermen.

Ingredients 1~ cups flour 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1~ teaspoons baking powder ~ teaspoon salt Vi cup (1 stick) cold butter. cut into pieces ~ cup whole milk whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional

3 cups fresh blackberries 1 cup sugar ~ teaspoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 cup cold water 1 tablespoon butter

Method Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I. Wash berries, then combine in saucepan with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon juice. Adjust amount of sugar depending on natural sweetness of berries, Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Mix cornstarch and water together until smooth, then stir into betty mixture. Bring toa boil and cook a few minutes until thickened. Pour into buttered 8-inch square baking pan and dot with butter. 2. Sift flour, sugar; baking powder, and salt into a bowl, then cut in butter pieces until mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until dough is moistened. Drop spoonfuls of dough evenly over prepared berry mixture. Place pan on lined baking sheet and bake uncovered 30 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and the top is golden brown. Let cobbler rest 15 minutes before serving. 3. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream,


Chemistry Counts HWhen Fall arrives I want to bake cakes and pies, the smell of it wafting through the air brings critters and kids from everywhere!" - Author Unknown the most part, I consider recipe ingredients to be suggestions. However, when it comes Ptoor baking, it's the intimate chemistry among key ingredients that helps create baked goods worthy of serving. Here are a few cake baking chemistry insights from food writer, Jason Hom.

Flour ... thickens the batter and provides gluten, a protein that gives the cake structure. It forms when flour is combined with a liquid and agitated. Avoid over mixing, which can cause your cake to turn tough.

Leaveners ... such as baking soda or powder, produce carbon dioxide bubbles, which are trapped by the starch in the batter and expand during baking, causing the cake to rise.

Fats ... like butter, shortening, or oil, help retard gluten formation while providing moisture for the cake. This ensures a tender texture.

Sugar ... breaks up gluten, keeping the texture tender; it absorbs liquid, and keeps the cake moist; and it caramelizes in baking, enriching flavors and helping the cake brown.

Eggs ...firm up when cooked, helping cake batters set in the oven. Egg yolks contain fat, as well as lecithin, an emulsifier that allows fats and water to mix smoothly and ensures even texture.


Lemon Cake 8-10 servings

A.¡ friend of mine, Charles Sacamano, taught at the University of Arizona and built a beautiful .ft.home in the foothills north of Tucson. Charles is a horticulturist, and after dinner one evening we walked through his gardens. At the far comer ofthe property was a long, narrow swimming pool. 9 feet by 50 feet. "The sole purpose of this lap pool." he said, "is so that I can eat dessert every day." Then we had some lemon cake.

Ingredients 1~ cups whole almonds 1 pound Meyer lemons, plus juice for glaze 1 teaspoon butter (for greasing pan)

5 large eggs, separated 1114 cups granulated sugar 1J2 teaspoon almond extract 1/4 cup candied ginger, finely diced ~ cup powdered sugar, sifted 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice 10 thin lemon slices for garnish


1 teaspoon baking powder ~ teaspoon salt

Method 1. Place almonds in food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of-coarse cornmeal. Set almonds aside.

2. Put whole lemons, skin and all. in a large pot filled with cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut lemons into quarters, gently remove seeds, retaining as much juice as you can. Place lemon quarters in food processor and blend into a smooth, thick puree. 3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch spring form cake pan. Place almonds in mixing bowl with flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. 4. In a separate (large) bowl, whisk together egg yolks and granulated sugar until thick and pale yellow. Stir in lemon puree and almond extract. Add dry ingredient mixture and blend well. Stir in candied ginger. Set batter aside. 5. In the bowl of a¡ stand mixer, beat egg whites to stiffpeaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter and pour into cake pan. Bake cake until edges begin to pull away from the sides, about 50-55 minutes. Coolon rack 15 minutes, then remove from spring form pan and cool cake completely. 6. In a small bowl. combine powdered sugar and lemon juice to form a glaze. Spread over cake and garnish with lemon slices, twisted in the middle.


Chocolate Chip Cookies 18-20 big cookies seems to have their own source for their favorite chocolate chip cookies. My Everyone daughter Melanii is mine. She is well-known as a terrific all-around baker. However, when Melanii is off doing other stuff and I need a shot of ccc, this is my recipe.

Ingredients 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 12 ounces chocolate chips (I like Guittard) Maldon Sea Salt Flakes (secret ingredient)

2~ cups old-fashioned rolled oats 4 ounces semisweet chocolate 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 cup light brown sugar, packed 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 1. In a food processpr, grind oats into fine powder. Coarsely chop chocolate and add to oats, processing until chocolate pieces are fine as well. The finer the mixture, the better your cookies will be. Set oat-chocolate mixture aside. /


2. Cream butter and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, plus vanilla and mix well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Add oat-chocolate mixture and blend . thoroughly. Work chocolate chips into dough by hand to evenly distribute. 3. Make balls of dough about twice the size of golf balls and place evenly on a cookie sheet

lined with a Silpat sheet or parchment paper. I get 6 cookies per sheet (they're big). Using the flat bottom of a glass, flatten cookie a bit so you can sprinkle on a few Maldon sea salt flakes. Bake 11 minutes on the center rack. At 11 minutes, the cookies will not look quite done. Take them out anyway. Once the bottoms get brown, you've baked them too long. 4. the cookies will be very soft, so let them coolon the sheet rather than a rack. You can use another cookie sheet to bake the next batch of cookies while the first one cools. Note: Storing these cookies at room temperature dries them out quickly. Place cookies in plastic bags and eat what you want straight from the freezer, Homer Simpson style. I believe evidence shows they're less fattening that way, too.


Myrtle's Creme BrO.lee 6 servings

Every woman should have a blowtorch -JuJiaChUd

A ctually, my grandmother YrtJ.e called this dessert simply vanilla pudding. She made it .l'\..for me every time I visited. It's renamed here because whenever I order creme brQI6e in a restaurant, I think of her vanilla pudding and how good it was. M.



Ingredients 1 pint heavy cream 4 egg yolks Y2 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla, or one vanilla bean turbinado sugar (for topping)

Method Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

1. If you are using a vanilla beallt split it down the center and scrape its seeds into the egg yolks. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until thickened and pale yellow, about two minutes. 2. Heat whipping cream until bubbles form around the perimeter of the pan. Slowly temper

hot cream into egg mixture while continuing to whisk. Ifusing liquid vanilla, stir it in now. When combined, s1rain custard into a pitcher. 3. Place 6 (4 ounce) mmekins on a baking pan with sides. Pour custard into ramekins, then add hot water to the bottom of the tray Y2 up the side of the ramekins. Bake 4045 minutes. When done, the custard will jiggle from side to side, but not be liquid in the center. It firms up in the refrigerator. 4. Carefully remove ramekins from the tray, cool five minutes and refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour.

Toppings... My grandmother served this dessert without a topping, though I sometimes use berries or a sprinkling of crunlbled almond butter cookies (page 90) from the freezer. For a traditional creme brUlc5e, sprinkle a thin layer of turbinado sugar evenly over the tops of puddings. ~ using a cooking torch, caramelize sugar topping. For best results, remove ramekins from refrigerator 30 minutes before you do the caramelizing. ..82-

Navel Orange Cake 12 servings I am asked about my fondest food experience growing up in Lindsay, the answer is When on a cold December day, always this - Picking a ripe navel orange from one of our trees

then eating it there in the middle of the grove. Nothing matches a fresh from-the-tree navel orange for flavor. Of course, you could make this cake with any variety of orange, but then it would just be called orange cake and, for me, not quite as special.

Ingredients cooking spray or butter 1 cup (two sticks) butter, room temperature 1Y2 cups granulated sugar 3 large eggs, room temperature 2 navel oranges, ends trimtned then cut into chunks 2Y2 cups flour 114 teaspoon each salt and baking soda Y2teaspoonbakingpowder ItA! cups powdered sugar, sifted 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon orange juice

Method Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a IO-inch spring-form pan with cooking spray or butter. 1. Using the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.

2. Whirl orange chunks (peel and all) in a food processor until mostly smooth, but not pureed. Add orange mixture (should be about 1Y2 cups) to batter and beat until blended. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. Add dry ingredients, 113 at a time, to batter. Beat just until thoroughly mixed. Spread batter in prepared pan. 3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with justa few crumbs clinging to it, about 55 minutes. Cool pan on rack 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and let cool completely.

4. Whisk powdered sugar and orange juice together in small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake. Let glaze set, then slice cake.


Strawberry Shortcake 6 large servings

"1 went to a restaurant that serves 'breakfast at any time, so 10rderedFrench toast during the Renaissance. "


-Steven Wright ometimes, on a lazy Sunday morning, I'll saunter around the garden with a cup of coffee, Sread the paper, and slowly ease into a late breakfast of buttermilk biscuits topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. This recipe is adapted from the Commander's Palace version, which calls for Ponchatoula strawberries. My favorite local strawberries are the Gaviota variety, though you won't see them at the store because of their short shelflife. Thank God for farmers' markets! Whichever strawberries you prefer, this dish is a luxurious way to enjoy your own lazy Sunday morning or, for that matter, to celebrate the end of the day.

Ingredients buttermilk biscuits (page 8) 4 pints strawberries 3 cups granulated sugar powdered sugar, for dusting

For the Topping••• 1Y2 cups heavy cream, very cold 114 cup granulated sugar 1Y2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method 1. Wash and hull strawberries and cut them in half. Ifberries are large, cut them into quarters. One hour before serving, combine berries and sugar in a bowl and place in refrigerator. 2. For the toppin& pour heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer that's been cooled in the refrigerator. Whip cream and when it starts to thicken, add sugar and vanilla. Continue whipping to desired Ifyou over whip the cream a little, add a few tablespoons of fresh cream and whisk it in by hand. This will smooth out everything in just a few seconds. To Assemble.••

The biscuits should be served warm, but not so warm that they cause the whipped cream to melt. Split biscuits horizontally, placing bottom half of each biscuit on a dessert plate. Spoon a portion of the strawberries, plus some of the natural syrup, on the biscuit. Top berries with a dollop of whipped cream. Place top half of biscuit on whipped cream and dust biscuit with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.


Mango-Banana..;,Coconut-Lime Dessert 4 servings

in India call mangoes the fruit· of the gods, and I they're right. Few foods are People as sweet and fragrant, as:full ofjuice, and as tropical-tasting as a good ripe mango. This think

recipe distills all that flavor into a fresh sorbet that is combined with banana, coconut, and lime to make the perfect light summer dessert.

Ingredients 4 ripe mangoes juice from 4 limes, separated ~ cup sweetened shredded coconut 2 bananas zest of 1 lime

Method For the sorbet••. Peel and chop mangoes, then place in blender and puree until smooth. Add juice from 3 of the limes. Pulse a few times, then strain mango puree into container and refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours, or even overnight. Place in ice-cream maker and make sorbet. Return mango sorbet to container and place in freezer to harden until ready to serve. To assemble dessert.••.

1. Spread coconut on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Let cooL

2. Peel bananas, cut crosswise into 1I4-inch slices and place in bowl. Finely grate remaining lime and top banana slices with lime zest. Juice lime and sprinkle over banana slices. Stir to blend flavors.

3. Place a scoop of mango sorbet in center of four dessert glasses, then encircle scoop with banana slices and sprinkle toasted coconut over sorbet. Serve immediately. Note: Iffresh mangoes aren't available. Haagen Daz makes an excellent mango sorbet you can substitute in this recipe.


Apple Pie with Pecan Topping 8 servings

he apple is one of the 0:all Tbenefits and beauty of this fruit. ol~est


crops. ~ 900 BC, Homer wrote about the

Our founding colomsts planted thousands of orchards

from seed, and we all learned about John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) as children. With its long history, I decided to dedicate the year, 2003, to the apple. More specifically, to the apple pie. I made many pies that year, and this is the one I like best.



10 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith apples (about 8 med. apples) 213 cup sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice zest from one lemon 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 114 cup flour

Pecan Crumb Topping 1 cup pecan pieces . Y2 cup granulated sugar 114 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon salt Y2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter


Method r


1. Use pie crust recipe from page 9. Keep crust in freezer for at least 30 minutes. This prevents perimeter crust edge from shrinking while baking.

2. Combine apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, zest, and cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Set aside ten minutes and heat oven to 400 degrees. 3. After 10 minutes, mix flour into apple filling. Turn filling into pie shell and smooth the surface of filling with your hands. Place pie on center rack of oven and bake 35 minutes. 4. While pie is baking, make topping. Combine pecan pieces and sugars in food processor and pulse several times. Add flour and salt, then pulse again. Cut stick of butter into 114-inch size pieces and scatter over topping mixture. Pulse several times until mixture resembles medium-fine crumbs. Place topping mixture in mixing bowl. 5. Remove pie from oven and reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Carefully spread topping over pie, edge to edge. Press down as you go to gently compact the crumbs. There will be enough to create a mounding effect. 6. Place pie on lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until pie juices are bubbling, about 40 minutes. If topping starts to get too brown, loosely cover pie with foil. 7. Transfer pie to rack and let cool for at least an hour before slicing. -86-

Lemon Meringue Pie 8 servings meringue pie was my father's favorite, especially the ones his mother made. He L emon always insisted hers were the best, and she kept her recipe a secret through the years. My mother also made great lemon meringue pies, though hers were never admired quite as much as my grandmother's. Then, one day my grandmother revealed to my mother that her recipe came from the back of the Argo cornstarch box. They both laughed and we all ate happily ever after. My version here is a little different, so you are welcome to get a box of Argo cornstarch if you'd like to try my grandmother's recipe as well.

Ingredients 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice zest from one lemon 6 large eggs, separated, room temperature 114 cup powdered sugar 114 teaspoon cream of tarter

1 pie crust (page 9) 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 tablespoon butter 4 tablespoons cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon for meringue

Method 1. Using the tines ofa fork, poke holes in bottom of prepared pie crust (page 9), then bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes, or until g~lden brown. Reset oven to 350 degrees. 2. Combine sugar, water, and butter in sauce pan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add cornstarch and stir until mixture just starts to thicken. Slowly whisk hot mixture into egg yolks to temper, then pour into double boiler and cook over medium heat, stirring continually, until filling thickens. Remove filling from heat. Add lemon juice and zest. Because of its acid, adding lemon juice earlier can cause filling to become watery. Spoon hot filling into prepared crust. 3. Beat egg whites until foamy. Mix together powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon cornstarch and

gradually add to egg whites. Add cream of tarter. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Be watchful; it's easy to over beat egg whites, causing them to collapse. Spread meringue evenly over warm filling, sealing to edge of crust to prevent the meringue from shrinking. Bake at 350 degrees until meringue is golden, about 10 minutes. Coolon wire rack at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate 3 hours before serving.

Meringue tips: Separate eggs while they are cold, but beat egg whites when they come to room temperature, which takes about 30 minutes. Any trace of yolk will ruin meringue, so be careful. Metal or glass mixing bowls are best for yielding voluminous beaten egg whites. Add the sugar slowly at the soft-peak stage. Undissolved sugar attracts moisture, which can ruin meringue. -87-

Chocolate Espresso Kahlua Mousse 4 servings

of my all-time favorite afternoons was spent with friends at Lawry's California OneCenter. It's long since closed, but on that day we started with margaritas in their Spanish lazy

tile patio beneath an old wood olive tree. Later, our lunch concluded with this dessert mousse. It's very easy to prepare and the flavors appeal to almost everyone.

Ingredients ~ teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 cup heavy cream ~ cup Nutella spread 2 tablespoons K.ahlua coffee liqueur whipped cream for garnish peanut brittle, for garnish

Method 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend espresso powder into heavy cream until combined.

z. Add Nutella to espresso-cream mixture, then add Kahlua. Mix and blend at medium speed for a minute. Scrape down. sides of bowl and continue mixing a few minutes until soft peaks form. 3. Spoon into individual dessert cups and refrigerate at least two hours. When ready to serve, garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a few bits of peanut brittle.


Coconut Cranberry Chews makes 3 dozen anta Barbara's Upham Hotel op.ened in 1871. is Southern California's oldest Scontinuously operating hotel and has won many accolades over the years. 2009, this It


Upham recipe won holiday cookie of the year from the Santa Barbara News Press. The Upham's current innkeeper Maureen Null continues to treat hotel guests to these popular cookies during the holiday season. I like to make a few batches for friends each year, too.

Ingredients cup (1 ~ sticks) butter, room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar Y2 tablespoon orange zest 1 teaspoon vanilla 1~ cups flour Y2 teaspoon baking powder 113 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup dried cranberries 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut Y2 cup granulated sugar 3/4

Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 1. Mix butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed until smooth. 2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, then add to above mixture a little at a time. Mix at medium speed until dough transitions from crumbly to smooth, about 5 minutes. Mix in dried cranberries and coconut until thoroughly blended with the dough. 3. Spoon walnut size cookies onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat sheet or parchment paper. Press cookies with flat bottomed glass dipped in sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes,

then place on rack to cool completely.


Almond Butter Cookies makes four dozen

ftC is/or cookie. That's good enough/or me." -Cookie Monster, Sesame Street or anyone who has a kitchen only because it came with the house, this recipe is for you. FNot only is it straightforward and simple, everyone loves these cookies. With red and/or green sprinkles on top, they also make great old-fashioned holiday cookies.

Ingredients 1 cup butter (two sticks), room temperature 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste (I use Solo brand) Y2 teaspoon baking powder 114 teaspoon baking soda 1~ cups flour, sifted with baking powder and soda sprinkles (optional)

Method 1. Cream butter, sugar and almond extract in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Incorporate eggs, one at a time, then add almond paste in pieces until all is blended and mixture is smooth.

2. Sift dry ingredients, then add to butter-paste-sugar-egg mixture until thoroughly blended. Chill dough two hours. 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form dough into walnut size balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Press each ball gently with base of a small glass dipped in sugar. Add optional sprinkles and bake 12 minutes, until lightly browned.


Pineapple Upside-Down Cake 8 servings

was my favorite cake as a child. loved it even more than birthday cake. ose juicy T..hispineapple wheels with centers of bright maraschino cherries atop a layer of rich and gooey I


brown sugar and butter. I'm pretty sure many folks of a certain age hold fond memories of this cake as wen. My version¡ reflects the spirit of the original, while updating the cake for the times. I do still serve it on the lotus flower platter my mother used all those years ago. Whenever this cake is served, the day becomes a special occasion, so it is fun to present and slice it in front of guests.

Ingredients 2 teaspoons baking powder

sticks butter, room temperature 1 tablespoons honey 213 cup packed light brown sugar 114 teaspoon vanilla paste, or vanilla extract 1 fresh, ripe pineapple 1113 cups cake flour 13/4

213 cup granulated sugar Y2teaspoonvanillapasteorvanillae~nua

2 large eggs, room temperature 1 tablespoon milk whipped cream

Method For topping- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat ~ the butter,honey, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and well blended. Spread ~e over bottom of9-inch silicone cake pan, then sprinkle lightly with salt. I find silicone pans work great for removing cakes intact. 1. Cut top and bottom from pineapple and trim away peel, making sure to remove all the eyes. Quarter the pineapple lengthwise and cut core from each section. Cut each section in half lengthwise, so you now have 8 sections in all. Cut sections crosswise into 112-inch-thick slices. Starting at the perimeter of the pan, make a ring of pineapple slices, then make a second ring inside the first one. Continue building concentric pineapple circles until you finish at the center. Eat the leftover pineapple slices; no one cares.

2. Sift flour and baking powder into bowl, then set aside. Mix remaining butter and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Mix in vanilla and then eggs, one at a time. Beat in milk, then add flour mOOure in 3 batches, beating just until combined. Using an offset spatula, spread batter over pineapple and topping. Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on rack for 30 minutes. 3. Invert cake onto platter. Cut, then serve slices of the warm cake at your dining table with a donop ofwbipped cream.


Brownies makes 24 o be honest, I was never a big fan of brownies. Most of them are too dry. This recipe T started out as a quest to make a brownie that's moist and more fudge-like. I think it works. In fact, these days I make brownies often and even give them as gifts.

Ingredients 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, plus extra for greasing the baking pan 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate 5 large eggs, room temperature 3 cups sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla 2 tablespoons chocolate flavored liqueur (optional) 1 teaspoon salt 1Y2 cups flour 2Y2 cups chopped and toasted walnuts

Method Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. 1. In medium size, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. When melted, remove from heat and set aside. 2. In a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, blend in melted chocolate, then salt and flour just until combined. Gently fold in toasted walnuts.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in center of the oven until puffed and almost set, about 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted will be slightly moist. Remove and cool slightly before serving.


Lemon-Lime Squares makes 16 (2-inch) squares

In cooking, you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude. -Julia Child friend, Sandi Resnik, had given me a big bag of lemons from her backyard There Aweren't quite enough left to make lemon squares, so I decided to pick a couple of limes tree.

from my tree to make up the difference. I feel Julia would say the substitution of limes has made these squares even better.

Ingredients Crust 1 cup flour 114 cup powdered sugar pinch of salt Y2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature 2 tablespoons almond paste 2 teaspoons fine lime zest powdered sugar for dusting

Filling 1114 cups granulated sugar 114 cup flour 113 cup fresh lime juice

cup fresh lemon juice 4 large eggs, room temperature 2 teaspoons lemon zest 113

Method Crust Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. The foil will make it easier to remove pastry after baking. Combine butter, flour, sugar, almond paste, lime zest, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend at medium speed until dough is well mixed and smooth. Using your fingers, press dough into foil-lined pan and bake 30 minutes, or until crust is lightly golden. Remove and coolS minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Filling

Whisk sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth. Stir in lime and lemon juice and the zest. . Pour filling into still-warm crust and bake 30 minutes. When done, the filling should be set and not jiggly in the middle. Cool, then chill well. Gently lift out foil liner and transfer to cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut pastry into 2-inch squares and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.


Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream makes a generous quart missing in this new version of an old favorite is the errant piece of rock salt Thefromonlythething wooden bucket. I'm okay with that.

Ingredients 2 cups milk 2 cups heavy cream 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla paste (1 like Nielsen-Massey brand) 6 large egg yolks, room temperature

Method 1. Combine milk, cream and Y2the sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Make sure saucepan is heavy-bottomed so liquid doesn't scorch. Use a thermometer and bring mixture to 170 degrees.

Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.

2. Meanwhile, whisk remaining sugar and yolks in a bowl for 2 minutes. Slowly, while whisking, temper Y2 cup of the still warm liquid into the yolks. Then, whisk the rest in slowly. 3. Pour custard back into saucepan and reheat to 170 degrees on medium-low, stirring continually. Avoid going past 170 degrees to prevent custard from curdling. Remove from heat, add vanilla paste, and strain custard (to remove any egg bits) into a bowl set in an ice bath to cool, stirring from time to time. . 4. Pour custard into lidded container and refrigerate overnight to mellow flav()rs.

5. Freeze mixture in ice cream mak:er~ Once ice cream has reached a soft serve consistency, spoon it back into lidded container. Harden ice cream in .freezer at least one hour before serving. Homemade ice cream tastes best the day it is rriade,though you can keep in .freezer for several days. Note: If you don't have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to simmer. As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from heat.. Do not let the mixture boil.


Apple Cider Cake 6-8 Servings fall rolls around, we head up to See Canyon above Pismo Beach in search of new When season apples. My aunt Sally worked there when she was in high school. Teenagers still pick the fruit, box it, and bag the apples for customers. Gopher Glen, the fruit stand I like, is at the far end of the canyon. The sweet scent of ripe apples draws you up the winding road through oak and sycamore. trees, giving it a genuine autumn feel. Gopher Glen grows 45 apple varieties that ripen from late July into December. Their tart Gravenstein or Granny Smith apples both work well for this cake. It's a terrific fall dessert, and the cake remains moist for days while the flavor gets better and better.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter or spray a 10-inch spring form pan.

Ingredients 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 3/4 cup vegetable oil 3 large eggs, room temperature 2114 cups flour 1~ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ~ teaspoon ground nutmeg 118 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup apple cider

cup sour cream 1~ teaspoons vanilla extract 2 Granny Smith or Gravenstein apples, peeled, cored, coarsely grated (1-1 ~ cups) ~ cup chopped walnuts 3/4

Frosting ~ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup powdered sugar ~ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method 1. In medium bowl, mix together granulated sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Add eggs and stir to combine. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, Sait, and spices. In a third bowl, whisk together apple cider, sour cream, and vanilla.

2.. Add 113 of flour mixture and 113 of apple cider mixture to sugar mixture, whisking just to combine. Add the rest of flour and cider mixtures, 1/3 at a time, again whisking after each addition just to combine. Fold in apples and walnuts, then pour batter into prepared pan. 3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake runs clean, about 55-60 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes, then turn out cake onto wire rack. Let cool completely. Frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in mixer until fluftY. Sift powdered sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture~ then beat until incorporated. Spread over cooled cake using an offset spatula. -95-

Passion Bars makes 18-24 small bars

Ane of my favorite cookbooks is My Nepenthe, authored by Romney Steele. It is as much a

Vbook of stories about the fllmous Big Sur restaurant as it is a cookbook. These three-layer bars were made especially for Richard Burton when he would visit Nepenthe. If you like pecan pie, you'll eajoy these rich treats.


Crust... cup ( 1 ½ sticks) butter, room temperature 2 tablespoons sugar 2 cups flour

Filling... 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar 3 eggs, beaten 3 tablespoons flour 314 teaspoon baking powder I½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1 ½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts 314 cup shredded unsweetened coconut


Topping. .. ½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 18-24 walnut or pecan halves (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9" X 13' baking pan

1. To make crust, beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add flour, a little at a time. Press evenly and firmly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden.

2. To make filling, cream brown sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a separate small bow� combine flour and baking powder, then blend into the sugar-egg mixture. Stir in vanilla, chopped nuts and coconut Pour filling over the still-warm crust and spread evenly to cover. Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling is set. Cool completely on rack.

3. To make topping, mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Thin with a little milk or cream, if needed. Spread over cooled cookies. Cut into small squares and top each one with a nut half -96-

Fresh Strawberry and Chocolate Pie 6-8 slices

or several months in 1970, I worked at a Goleta restaurant called Heidi's Pies. Our fresh F strawberry pie was everyone's favorite. It was also the most expensive pie on the menu. A slice would set you back 75 cents. If you wanted to buy a whole pie to go, it was $3. 75.

The technique for this recipe is very similar to the one we used at Heidi's Pies. The primary difference is the layer of chocolate rve added. This gives an extra flavor dimension, and also helps the crust stay flaky by sealing it.

Ingredients 2 ounces semisweet chocolate 1 tablespoon butter 1 pie crust (page 9) 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature ½ cup sour cream 3 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and uniform in size 1/3 cup red currant jelly (for glaze) 2 teaspoons water

Method 1. Prepare and bake pie crust (page 9), then set aside to cool. 2. In a large saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring continually. When melted, brush chocolate over bottom and up sides of pie crust. Chill. '

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Spread mixture over chocolate layer. Cover and chill for an hour. 4. To create glaze, melt currant jelly and water in saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, then let cool. S. Carefully place strawberries over filling, stem side down. Brush strawberries with currant glaze. Use extra glaze to brush between berries. Place pie in refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serving note: People enjoy whipped cream with this pie, and I serve it on the side. -97-

Secret Ingredients uring a late afternoon bout of sherry sipping, I was trying to decide how to conclude this D cookbook. Do I add an index... cooking resources.. ;maybea few quotes? Then I thought of this list. It's actually a distillation of a longer list of ingredients that I add to almost daily. These are ways to get more flavor into food and, thus, enjoyment out of it. Oft~ I find the key to a "secret" ingredient is simply using it in an unexpected way. One of my favorites, for example, is ground cumin added to a tuna fish sandwich.



almond paste - I started ofIusing this in almond butter cookies (page 90). Then, I found that it also adds extra flavor to the crust of lemon-lime squares (page 93). Angostura bitters - Probably best known for its use in making Old Fashioned and Manhattan cocktails, it's the secret ingredient in my beef stew (page 72). I've now come to believe bitters enhances food even more than they do cocktails. The flavor adds depth to my stew and it's the perfect counterpoint to the sweet caramelized onions. Oh, baby. bacon fat - I saute lots ofvegetables in bacon fat to infuse them with that rich smoky flavor. bourbon - Adds a special nuance to almost any dessert that has brown sugar, pecans, vanilla, chocolate, mint, apples, pears or peaches. My personal favorite is a jigger in pecan pie. brown sugar - A little sprinkled on onions before you saute them. (See recipe on page 29). Cajun seasoning blend - Made famous by Emeril Lagasse, this is the secret ingredient for several recipes in this book - split pea soup with ham hocks (page 21), BBQ shrimp appetizers (page 26), and shrimp and andouille gumbo (page 73). Carolina Gold Rice - It's expensive, but when you are serving a special meal and your recipe calls for rice, this is the best long grain rice grown in the country. It has a clean, sweet flavor with a subtle almond aroma, plus it has that classic fluftY texture. One caution - It's very perishable, so store the rice in your freezer to maintain its fragrance and flavor. Available from Amazon. chocolate liqueur - A couple of tablespoons in brownies (or almost any baked chocolate item). cinnamon - Just a pinch enhances meat dishes and tomato sauces. We usually think of using cinnamon in sweet dishes rather than savory ones. Think apple pie. The next time you make spaghetti sauce, try tossing in a couple of cinnamon sticks as you would bay leaves. If you are having foodies over for dinner, they'll like the flavor but won't be able to tell you what it is. Cointreau - Marinate your fresh fruit salad with a couple tablespoons of this orange liqueur and you have a masterpiece. creamy peanut butter- Add a tablespoon to a bowl of chicken soup. The slight changes in soup texture and flavor are intriguingly pleasant.

Dijon mustard - Just a touch in scrambled eggs. dry vermouth - More of an alternative than a secret. I use it when white wine is called for and I don't have any on hand. I do specifically call for vermouth in the chicken vermouth recipe (page 68) and it works great. Another reason I like having dry vermouth around for cooking is that I'm not tempted to drink it. fennel poRen - This is the Italians' magic dust. Fennel pollen is an aromatic spice with notes of licorice and citrus. My grilled pork chops (page 65) call for it as a dry rub. Fennel pollen won't salvage a bad dish, though it can make a good one better, and it is very versatile. It works best when sprinkled on (or in) the food a few minutes before the end of the cooking process. fish sauce - Widely used in southeast Asian dishes, it is the secret ingredient and adds depth in my guacamole recipe (page 36). The effect oftbis sauce is subtle, though not hidden. It injects serious flavor into many dishes where garlic plays a key role. Experiment. garam masala - This is a traditional Indian spice that I use to kick up my popcorn a notch. Just sprinkle a little on after adding the butter. It's also in my short ribs recipe (page 67). I have a friend who says she uses garam masala to spice up her hot apple cider. I haven't tried that yet. ground sumac - It has a tart, berry, and lemony flavor. I use it in place oflemon when going for the flavor, but not the acidic properties of citrus. Sprinkle it on green salads or add to olive oil for a dipping sauce. lemon - I go through lots of lemon juice and zest. In pasta dishes, almost all seafood plates, vinaigrettes, sauces, drinks, it even disinfects the cutting board. Lindsay Ripe Olives - A secret ingredient because they are simply better than any other brand. Maggi- A great product to use wherever soy sauce is called for. It is more intense than soy sauce, so you will use less. .

Malden Sea Salt Flakes - These are large, soft-yet crunchy-flakes, and I sprinkle them on my chocolate chip cookies (page 81).

maple extract - When you want pancakes or waftles for breakfast and there's no maple syrup, add a few drops of this to some brown sugar, honey. and water. Heat it up and you're all set. mascarpone - I watched the contestants on Chopped go for this again and again, so I began using it. Mascarpone is a rich, buttery cow' smilk cheese and it melts beautifully into fruit slices, pie, bread pudding, lots of things. Guests love it but often can't quite put their finger on what it is. Try mascarpone where you would typically use whipped cream or creme fraiche. Minor's bases - Both beefand chicken. Two things make a great mea1-careful prep work and quality products. These bases are the best I've found for gravies and stock. Minor's chicken base is an especially useful item when you are out offresh broth. Sometimes I use it in mashed potatoes for added flavor without the fat.


Old Bay seasoning - The secret ingredient in my New England clam chowder (page 25). It was originally created in the Baltimore area in 1939 for seasoning crabs. These days, it is known coast to coast as a flavor enhancer for many seafood dishes. Outerbridge's Sherry Pepper Sauce - Commander's Palace Restaurant offers to add a little extra sherry to their legendary turtle soup when they serve you. I do the same with this sheny sauce when I serve split pea soup. The sauce is made from peppers and selected spices steeped in dry sherry for several months. A small amount is all you need for great effect. Parmesan - One of the most versatile of all cheeses, and wonderful over pasta or vegetables. It's actually my secret ingredient in a sauce. It enriches and thickens the cream sauce I serve over sauteed chicken breasts like nothing else can. Ras El Hanout- In Arabic, Ras El Hanout means "head of the shop," or best in shop. It's a Moroccan blend of about 30 spices. This mix adds warmth and depthto stews and I especially like it with chicken. In this cookbook I use it in the chicken Marbella recipe (page 64). salt - This is the most overlooked and underused "secret" ingredient. Salt should be used to season food throughout the cooking process. With meat, salt before you start cooking. sherry vinegar - Great for deglazing pans and accenting sauces. Vinegars don't get the attention they're due. I use them to reduce bitterness and balance flavors in many dishes. Also worth noting, a little vinegar added to a pot of water improves the color of almost any vegetable. sun-dried tomatoes - Excellent in tomato soup, adding depth of flavor. Thinking about how good it is, I've decided to add tomato soup as a bonus recipe on the last page of this book. Bon


tomato paste - Elevates the richness and color in lots of things. I like mixing a big dollop into roasted potatoes halfway through the¡cooking process. vanilla bean paste - Vanilla bean paste is made by infusing vanilla beans into a thick syrup. The beans are scraped into a paste and you get all those vanilla bean specks along with the vanilla flavor. It's the secret ingredient in homemade vanilla ice cream (page 94). Vegeta - Included in many Serbian dishes, it adds an earthy flavor to stews and soups. It works s

bet when added at the end of cooking, a few minutes before serving. Worcestershire sauce -- Introduced .in 1835, I'm not sure just how secret this ingredient still is. I do know I use it in many things... Bloody Marys; clam dip; meatloa( plus lots of sauces and marinades. The anchovies in Worcestershire sauce add that delicious umami bite.

l [

yuzu juice - Yuzu is a Japanese citrus about the size of a tangerine, and the juice is stronger in taste than lemon or lime. I use a few sprinkles on salmon filets and also a few drops in Marta's fresh salsa (page 40) just before serving.,.r

~. Tomato Soup 4 servings

"1 never feel more useful than when l'm making my kids a bowl ofsoup." --Mary-Louise Parker

and author Perla Meyers says tomato soup is like the little black dress of soups. Chef Unadorned and paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, it's a comforting lunch. Dressed up with simple garnishes. it makes a sophisticated start to a dinner party. Very few dishes are so flexible. It also stores beautifully and tastes even better the second day. Qr, you can stash it in the freezer for up to three months. Surely a recipe worthy of ending the book, don't you think?

Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 white onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained ~ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in water 4 cups chicken broth, your own or Minor's base 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 213 cup heavy cream salt to taste

Method 1. Pour olive oil into 3-quart pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onions until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, then stir in tomato paste and continue sauteing a few minutes. The sugars from the tomato paste will help caramelize the onions and give the soup a rich flavor. Add diced and sun-dried tomatoes, salt and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 10 minutes.

2. Let soup cool and then puree with immersion blender. Stir in cinnamon, heavy cream, and salt to taste, then reheat and serve. The soup win be textured rather than "Campbell' s-smooth." Garnish with spoonful of sour cream and/or a few seasoned croutons.

Note: This soup can be repurposed as a savory sauce. It works great with pasta or spooned over baked chicken breast.


​Chicken Enchiladas​, page 71 ​Provolone Torta​, page 38 ​Lemon Meringue Pie​, page 87

Preheat to 350 final final  
Preheat to 350 final final