Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Head to the nearest Baskin-Robbins store for 31 Cent Scoop Night, 5 to 10 p.m. tomorrow (May 2). Cool off with a 2.5 ounce scoop of any flavor ice cream. The goal of the event is to raise $100,000 nationally for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Here are the five stores in Colorado Springs where you can get a free scoop:
1534 N. Circle Dr.
3865 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
4845 N. Academy Blvd.
7489 N. Academy Blvd.
6048 Stetson Hills Blvd.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Ellyn, who answered our request for a favorite crowd-pleasing recipe — one that family and friends ask for time and again. She now gets to pick out a cookbook from out stash, but Ellyn -- you need to call us at 636-0194 or e-mail barb.cotter@gazette.com to arrange a time to come to the Gazette.

If you'd like to win a cookbook, enter a recipe in the comment section below. This week, we're looking for pasta salad recipes. We'll announce the winner on the blog next week.

Here's what Ellyn had to say about her recipe for Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip: “Last year, during my son’s senior year at Rampart High, he formed a ‘Lunch Bunch.’ Thirty kids came to my house for lunch four days a week.” The dip was one of their favorites. Here's the recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip
2 pounds cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (12-ounce) bottle Frank's Red Hot Sauce (original flavor)
2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 (16-ounce) bottle Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing (original style)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons dry ranch dressing mix from a seasoning packet or homemade
Emeril's Original Essence seasoning

1. Shred the cooked chicken with two forks.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken with all the rest of the ingredients except for the Emeril's seasoning.
3. Put the mixture into a large, deep casserole dish and lightly sprinkle Emeril's Essence over the top. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly throughout (about 45 minutes). Stir occasionally while baking to make sure all the cream cheese and the other ingredients cook evenly.
4. Serve immediately as a hot dip with tortilla chips, celery sticks and additional Frank's Red Hot Sauce.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Deb, who answered our call for a recipe using chicken breasts with her recipe for Rosemary Chicken. (Another plus: It's a slow-cooker dish!) Deb now gets to choose a cookbook from our stash, but she needs to call us at 636-0194 or email barb.cotter@gazette.com to set up a time.

Want to add to your cookbook collection? Send us your favorite crowd-pleasing recipe -- the one that family and friends beg you to make time and again.

In the meantime, here's Deb's recipe:


Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or thighs
1 (9-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts
12 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed (slightly less if using fresh rosemary)
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Brown chicken, half at a time, in hot skillet.
2. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine frozen artichoke hearts, garlic, and onion.
3. In a small bowl, combine broth, rosemary, lemon peel and pepper. Pour over vegetables in slow cooker. Add browned chicken; spoon some of the garlic mixture over chicken.
4. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.
5. Transfer chicken and artichokes to a serving platter, reserving cooking liquid. Cover chicken and artichokes with foil to keep warm.
6. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and the cold water. Stir into liquid in slow cooker. Cover and cook about 15 minutes more or until slightly thickened. Spoon sauce over chicken and artichokes. If desired, serve with lemon wedges.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


CJ, who posted a recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Tart to our blog! CJ needs to contact us at barb.cotter@gazette.com or 636-0194 so we can arrange a time for him/her to select a cookbook from our stash. Last week's winner, Deb Berry, selected "One-dish Meals," by the Culinary Institute of America.

Thanks to the other two people who posted to our blog as well. We had a hard time selecting a winner by recipe only, since they all sounded so good, so we did the fair (and easy) thing: We put the recipe titles into a hat and got CJ! But try all the recipes: You can go wrong with chocolate. We're reprinting CJ's here; find the others in the comments section of the April 3 posting of "And the winner is..."

To win a cookbook, post your recipe in the comments section below. This week, we want recipes that put those old standbys, boneless chicken breasts, to good use.

Chocolate Raspberry Tart
1 package(4-serving) Vanilla Pudding/Pie Filling
1 1/4 cups half and half or milk
1 Chocolate Crumb Crust (recipe follows) baked in 9inch tart pan and cooled
1 pint raspberries
2 squares semi sweet chocolate, melted

1. MICROWAVE pie filling mix and half and half in large bowl for three minutes and stir well. Microwave 3 more minutes and stir again. Microwave 1 more minute or until boiling. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours.
2. Spoon filling into crust just before serving. Arrange raspberried on top of filling and drizzle with melted chocolate.

Chocolate Crumb Crust
3 squares semi sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup graham cracker crumb

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Microwave chocolate and butter on high for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Stir in crumbs. Press mixture into tart pan and up sides. Freeze 10 minutes and then bake 8 minutes. Cool completely.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Le Gourmet Chef, the culinary store at The Promenade Shops at Briargate (1645 Briargate Parkway) is liquidating. This would be a good time to get a jump start on holiday gifts for your foodie friends. Food items are 50 percent off and other merchandise is 20 to 50 percent off. The last day for business is April 22.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

And the winner is...

Bobby, who will get a cookbook simply for sharing a recipe on our blog. Whoever and wherever you are, Bobby, please call Barbara Cotter at 636-0194 or e-mail her at barb.cotter@gazette.com so we can set up a time for you to select your cookbook.

If you'd like to win your very own cookbook, go to the comments section below and share a recipe that uses one of our favorite ingredients, CHOCOLATE.

Here's Bobby's recipe for a good side dish to grill. "This is a colorful side dish, prepared on the grill that is both tasty and chock-full of vegetables," Bobby wrote. "If you prefer different vegetables go ahead and add them or replace something to your liking. I use the following ingredients because of the colors and flavors."

Vegetable Medley
3 medium sized Potatoes – cut into chunks
2 medium sized bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange – whatever color(s) you prefer), cut into chunks
2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 little corn cobs
1 package mushrooms. quartered
Salt and pepper to taste
Aluminum foil

1. Preheat grill.
2. Wash and chop vegetables.
3. Take a large piece of aluminum foil, large enough to bundle all ingredients together. Place the butter or margarine throughout the foil to prevent the vegetables from sticking. Place potatoes, corn, bell peppers and mushrooms randomly along the foil. Sprinkle the minced garlic over all, add salt and pepper to taste. Wrap vegetables like a large burrito.
4. Place foil packet on grill over medium heat turning occasionally to prevent burning. Grill for 30 – 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Turn out vegetable medley into large serving bowl.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

and the winner is ... blogger Deb!

Deb won for her recipe for Cuban Pork Soft Tacos. Blogger Deb, please contact Dena at dena.rosenberry@gazette.com or 636-0278 to pick a cookbook from our cookbook booty. We've quite a selection.

OK, cooks, we're looking for great recipes for side dishes that can be cooked alongside our fish or steak or chicken on the grill. Sun's out - it must be grillin' time!

Share your favorite sidedish-on-the-grill recipe in the comment section below - then check the blog next week to see if you've won!.

Now, for Deb's recipe (Looks straightforward; try it and let us know what you think):

Cuban Pork Soft Tacos
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup grapefruit juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaves
1 3-pound boneless pork roast
1 cup sliced onion
Flour tortillas (I like the little ones)
Pico de Gallo or a good salsa
Lettuce and or guacamole is optional

For the marinade, combine lime juice, water, grapefruit juice, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaf in a small bowl.

Trim fat from the roast. If necessary, cut roast to fit into slow cooker. With a large fork, pierce meat in several places. Place in a large plastic bag set in a deep bowl or a baking dish. Pour marinade over meat. Close bag and chill 6 to 24 hours, turning occasionally to help ensure an even flavor throughout the meat.

In a slow cooker place onion, top with meat and marinade mixture. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

Transfer meat to a cutting board; cool slightly. Skim fat from juices; keep warm. Remove bay leaf and discard. Use forks to gently separate the meat into shreds. Transfer shredded meat to a serving platter. With a slotted spoon, remove onions from juices. Transfer onions to same serving platter.

Serve meat and onions in tortillas with small bowls of the hot juices and Pico de Gallo. If desired, pass lettuce and guacamole. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And the winner is ...

The blogger known as "Sweet Gifts" who sent the following recipe. "Sweet Gifts" needs to contact us at teresa.farney@gazette.com or 636-0271 to set up a time to pick a cookbook from our impressive collection.

If you'd like to be our next cookbook winner, share your favorite slow-cooker recipe in the comment section below. Then check the blog next week to see if you've won.

Welcome Spring Sour Cream Pound Cake
Nell Guthery’s Recipe

3 cups of granulated sugar
2 sticks of margarine
6 eggs
3 cups of PLAIN flour (I use White Lily)
8 ounces sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon soda
2 tablespoons lemon or vanilla flavoring
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries

• Grease 10-inch tube pan
• Set oven to 325 degrees
• Stir flour and soda together in a bowl and set aside for later use.
• Separate egg whites from yolks.
• Add salt to egg whites and beat until peaks form in a separate bowl from original mix. After beat, put whole bowl in refrigerator.
• Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add lemon or vanilla flavoring and a pinch of salt.
• Add one egg YOLK at a time, beating well after each addition.
• Add flour and soda mixture alternately with sour cream.
• Fold in beaten egg whites.
• Bake 1 hour 15 minutes at 325 degrees.
Let cake cool, place on a pretty plate, then add strawberries and blueberries around the bottom of the cake. You can also add a few edible flowers to give it more of a spring look.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Saute pans sizzled and pressure cookers hissed as eight chefs went whisk to whisk Sunday at the Restaurant Expo and Culinary Arts Show at The Broadmoor's Colorado Hall. They were in an Iron-chef style contest to win the coveted Chef de Cuisine trophy from the two-year-in-a-row winner Jason Gust of the Ritz Grill.

There were four rounds where chefs were expected to prepare three dishes using a secret ingredient. The first round of chefs was given eggplant as the secret ingredient. Four of these chefs were voted off the stage and the remaining four were given Thai black sticky rice to work wonders with. Two of these chefs were eliminated.

The final two chefs, Chester Wright of Memorial Hospital North and Jeff Knight of Craftwood Inn, were left to duke it out with Gust. Their secret ingredient was bison flat iron steak. The points were close for the finalists, but Gust -- subject of our Food section cover story last week -- reigned supreme. The trophy will remain at the Ritz Grill for a third consecutive year. The good news for his competitors: This is the last year Gust can compete.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Carrie Rottenborn, who contributed a recipe to our blog last week and got to pick a cookbook from our impressive selection. Her choice: "The Best Light Recipes," by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine.

If you'd like to win a cookbook, simply enter a recipe in our comment section below. This week, we're looking for recipes that use one of our favorite spring treats, strawberries. To inspire you, here's a recipe from one of our giveaway books, "The Bon Appetit Cookbook." Check back next week to see if you've won; we'll ask you for your contact information so we can arrange for you to come in and choose your cookbook.

Serves 12

This cake requires overnight refrigeration, so make it a day before you intend to serve it.
20 whole graham crackers, broken
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar

4 8-ounce packages Philadelphia bran cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 large eggs

2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 16-ounce containers strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jelly

For crust: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Finely grind graham crackers in a processor. Add butter and sugar, using on/off turns; process until moist crumbs form. Using plastic wrap as aid, press crumbs over bottom and 2 3/4 inches up sides of a 10-inch diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Bake crust 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool while making filling. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in a large bowl till very smooth. Beat in flour. Add eggs and beat just until blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.
Pour filling into crust and bake until outer 2-inch edge of cake is puffed and slightly cracked, center is just set and top is brown in spots -- about 50 minutes. Transfer to cake rack. Cool 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

For topping: Whisk sour cream, sugar and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Spoon topping over cake, spreading to edge of pan. Bake until topping is just set, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Run knife between top edge of crust and pan sides to loosen. Cook cake completely in pan on rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Release pan sides from cheesecake. Arrange strawberries, points facing up, atop cheesecake, covering completely. Stir jelly in a heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cool to barely lukewarm about 5 minutes. Brush enough jelly over berries to glaze generously.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If you like bargains, get out your red marker and circle April 7 on your calendar: It's the Chefs Catalog Warehouse sale at 5050 Centennial Blvd. Doors open at 8 a.m. and the sale ends at 3 p.m.

The warehouse where the sale takes place is east of the retail store. Parking and the entrance to the sale are on the east side of the building.

So how good is this sale? I bought a portable convection oven for $50 at the last sale. The retail price for the oven in their catalog was more than $1,000. Not everything will have such deep discounts, but most stuff is at least 50 percent off or more. Commercial cookware, Broilking buffet servers and warming trays, Pro-line coffee makers, Buffalo china, SAECO espresso makers, convection ovens and flatware are few of the items you can expect to find.

All sales are final -- no refunds. Only cash and checks will be accepted.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Beer fans
If you were getting thirsty for a bottle of chilled Venetucci Pumpkin Ale that was featured in our Gotta Have It column Tuesday, you can find it at another place: the Tejon Street Wine Shoppe, 319 N. Tejon St. Call 235-5017 to be sure it's on the shelves. The brew has been a huge hit and sells out quickly.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Chad Amberg, who responded to our request last week for St. Patrick's Day recipes. We've included his recipe below (and Chad, please call Teresa Farney at 636-0271 so we can help you claim your prize).

If you'd like to win a cookbook, here's what you need to do: Go to the comment section below and share your favorite egg recipe with us -- because spring is almost here! Then next Wednesday, check the blog again and/or "Briefly/On The Side" in our Food section to see who our next winner is.

Irish Beef Stew
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of fine red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2 .While the meet and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.
3. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Corned beef and cabbage. Cabbage and corned beef. It's typical St. Patrick's Day fare, but we'd like you to help us broaden our repertoire. Share your favorite Irish recipe with us in the comment section below. The recipe can include cabbage and/or corned beef, but take it beyond the typical preparation. Dazzle us! We'll let you choose a cookbook from our impressive supply. Check back next week to see who won; we'll ask you to contact us.

Monday, February 12, 2007

If you're stuck for an entree or dessert idea for V-Day, here's a suggestion for John Ash's e-newsletter: make souffles.
In this issue he tells about making cheese soufflé, with variations, and chocolate soufflé.
He says the name soufflé comes from the French verb souffler, which means "to breathe," "to whisper," or "to blow up," in the sense of inflate. This aptly describes a soufflé's delicate, ethereal texture that seems to disappear in your mouth as you eat it. They are, I think, one of the most sensual foods you can eat!
Here are two soufflé recipes.
Basic Cheese Soufflé
Serves 4-6
4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter, divided use
2 tablespoons finely and freshly grated Parmesan or asiago cheese
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup warm milk or half and half
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
1 cup finely grated Gruyere, cheddar or other melting cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Preparing the dish: With your fingers, lightly rub a tablespoon or so of the butter all around inside of soufflé dish. (Use one 1 1/2 quart soufflé dish or 4 to 6 smaller ones.) Sprinkle Parmesan inside dish and roll dish around in your hands to lightly coat and knock out excess Parmesan. Set dish aside in refrigerator to chill a bit. A chilled dish seems to keep the butter in suspension better as the soufflé bakes.
Preparing the base: In medium saucepan, melt remaining butter, add flour and stir over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes without browning. This step cooks the flour so that it doesn't have a raw "floury'' taste. Slowly whisk in warm milk and bring to boil, stirring all the time, 3-4 minutes. Sauce will be very thick. Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper and take off the heat. Whisk a little of the warm base slowly into egg yolks. This tempers or gradually warms them so that they are less likely to scramble. Beat this mixture back into the rest of the base and set aside. Preparing the egg whites: In clean bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, beat egg whites just until stiff enough to cling to the beaters when the mixer head is lifted but still shiny and moist-looking. Finishing the soufflé: With a spatula, stir 1/4 of the whipped egg whites into the base. Do this quickly. This lightens the mixture so that you can fold in the remaining whites without deflating them too much. Scoop the rest of the whites on top, and with the spatula cut into the whites, drag it along the bottom and bring the sauce mixture over the top. Turn bowl a quarter of a turn, sprinkle on some of grated cheese and repeat until whites, cheese and sauce are just combined. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, gently smoothing the top. Place soufflé in preheated oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until soufflé is puffed and golden brown. (If your oven doesn't have a glass window and you're tempted to peek, don't! Keep the door closed for at least the first 20 minutes so that the soufflé can set.) When done, serve immediately. To maintain as much of the puff as possible when serving, plunge an upright serving spoon and fork straight down into center of soufflé and then pull crust apart and scoop out a serving.

-- Spinach or broccoli: Stir about 2/3 cup cooked and finely chopped spinach or broccoli into the warm sauce base after the addition of the egg yolks. Reduce grated cheese quantity to 1/2 cup.
-- Shrimp, crab or salmon (smoked or otherwise): Saute 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or green onion in a little butter or olive oil till soft. Add 3 tablespoons white wine and continue to cook till wine is evaporated. Off heat, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup finely chopped or diced fish and stir into warm sauce base after addition of egg yolks. Reduce grated cheese to 1/3 cup.
-- Mushrooms: Stir 3/4 cup of very finely minced oven-dried or sauteed cremini mushrooms into the base before the egg whites are added. Reduce cheese to 1/2 cup.
Souffle on a platter: You don't have to bake a soufflé in a dish. Any soufflé may be baked on an ovenproof platter. One favorite dish mounds basic cheese soufflé mixture over fresh asparagus that has been cooked briefly but is still crisp. Sprinkle on a little cheese and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until soufflé is puffed and brown. Serve immediately.
The same technique works for other vegetables, such as endive or cooked artichoke hearts. Experiment, too, with fish like salmon. Depending on its thickness you'll want to cook it just a little before mounding the soufflé mixture on top.

Chocolate Soufflé
Serves 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
5 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup half and half
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, optional
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Optional garnish: Powdered sugar
Puree of berries, strained and lightly sweetened
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With 1 tablespoon of the butter, lightly coat the inside of 4 to 6 individual soufflé dishes (4-6 ounces) or one large dish (1 1/2 quarts) and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, turning dishes to coat evenly. Set in refrigerator to chill dishes while making the soufflé mixture.
Place chocolate in double boiler and melt, stirring occasionally. (Alternately, melt in a glass bowl in microwave. Heat for 1 minute at half power. If necessary, give it 10-second doses at half power until just beginning to melt. Stir until smooth.)
In separate saucepan, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter, add flour, cook and stir over low heat 3 minutes. Add half and half and whisk until mixture is smooth and lightly thickened. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until mixture thickens to the texture of very soft mashed potatoes. Off heat, whisk a little of the warm base mixture into the yolks to temper them, then whisk the yolks into the base. Gently stir in melted chocolate, vanilla and orange zest, if using, until thoroughly combined. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
In clean bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until whites are stiff enough to cling to the beaters when the mixer head is lifted but not dry. Stir 1/4 of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it and then carefully fold in remaining whites. Pour mixture into prepared dishes and place on baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes for individual soufflés, 30-35 minutes for large soufflé, or until the soufflé puffs, begins to pull away from the sides of dish and becomes crusty on top. A wooden skewer inserted into the center tests very moist. If you are baking refrigerated or frozen soufflé batter, place dishes in a shallow baking pan and surround with boiling water halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake a few minutes more for refrigerated soufflés and double the time for frozen. Check for doneness as above. Remove from oven, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with a spoonful or two of fresh berry puree if using.
Source: John Ash, Cooking One On One

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Barely a day goes by where we're not getting some new cookbook in the mail. We're drowning in cookbooks, in fact -- and we're talking some nice ones. We thought they'd make a great giveaway, so here's how to get your hands on one: Help feed our blog. Each week, we'll solicit recipes, tips or advice from our readers, and then we'll select one to win a cookbook. This is also the place to request a recipe to see if other readers can help out.

To start things off, we're asking you to send us your favorite spud recipe, in honor of Potato Lover's Month. Just a few things to keep in mind:

-- Add your post to the comment section of this item.
-- Make sure to include an e-mail or some way we can get back to you.
-- You can win only one cookbook in a 12-month period.

So get posting, and check back weekly for new opportunities to win a cookbook.
One of the fun aspects of this job is learning about unusual recipes that readers have discovered. Often I learn about these culinary treasurers because the recipe has been misplaced. I might get a call or e-mail like the following from Betty Topping:

"Dear Teresa, " she e-mailed. "You have helped me in the past so I hope you can come thru for me another time. I have had this recipe for 15 years and I have lost it, and I need it. It is for Twinkie Cake. Yes, if you close your eyes and eat it it really does taste like twinkies. I baked it in a 9X13 pan, split it horizontally when cool and spread on a cooked filling. I have wasted hours looking for this recipe so I really hope you or your readers can help me. Thank you for being there for me!"

I did a Google search and came up with the following. I sent it to Topping to see if that was what she was looking for. I haven't heard back that it was the right one but it sounded like something fun to try. Here is the recipe from The History of the Twinkie site.

Almost Twinkie Cake
1 package white cake mix
1/2 cup oil
3 Eggs
1 small package vanilla instant pudding
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla (divided)
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup margarine, softened
Combine cake mix, oil, eggs, pudding and water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cake tests done. In a saucepan mix the flour with the milk. Cook until thick, stirring constantly; cool. Add sugar, salt, crisco, margarine and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Spread on the cooled cake. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, February 05, 2007

If it seemed like everyone was eating hot wings, chips and guac at Super Bowl gatherings yesterday, you were apparently at the wrong place. According to this story from Cox News Service, the rest of America was eating veggies. Seriously. Here's a portion of the story, by Virginia Anderson:

What’s the most widely eaten food in America on Super Bowl Sunday?A sure bet would be vegetables.
According to the NPD Group, which provides market research information to countries around the world, vegetables take first place. That’s because Super Bowl Sunday is, first, a Sunday, and then Super Bowl Sunday, a company vice president said.

“We’re all wrapped up in it being the Super Bowl, but the majority of people are not watching the Super Bowl,” said Harry Balzer, vice president of the NPD Group.Thus, family dinners still are the most important dining experience of the day, Balzer said, and that typically includes vegetables.

And of the vegetables, corn reigns supreme on Super Bowl Sunday, Balzer said. Green beans and broccoli come in next, he said.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Super Bowl is coming Sunday, which means the party food will start piling up, too.
Did you know it's the second biggest day for food consumption in the U.S. after Thanksgiving? Do you have any clue how many calories will be in some of that food and how much work it's going to take to trim them off?
Nutrition advocate Charles Stuart Platkin, author of "The Diet Detective’s Count Down," offers "exercise equivalents" (using football activities) to demonstrate how much you would need to do to burn off typical “Big Game” snacks. For instance, you would have to run 49 football fields to burn off just two handfuls of potato chips, or do "the wave" 3,220 times to burn off two pieces of fried chicken.
Here's a look at the foods and what it will take to get off the pounds, with exercise equivalents based on a 155-pound person. We've also included lower-calorie ways to snack on the big day.

Two slices of stuffed pizza with the works = 197 minutes cleaning the STADIUM after the game
Having two slices of Pizza Hut’s Large Stuffed Crust Pizza means you’re looking at more than 800 calories. That word “stuffed” should give you a clue.
Tip: Get thin-crust pizza with veggies and eat it for lunch, instead of a halftime snack.

A handful of Doritos = 43 touchdown dances in the end zone
Chips are pretty expensive, calorically. A handful of Cooler Ranch Doritos: 140 calories.
Tip: Eat one at a time, and don’t put out huge bowls of them – make it so you have to get up each time you want more than six chips.

Five pretzels = 15 Minutes Looking for Your Car After the Game
Yes, five regular pretzels out of a bag are about 60 calories. For some reason people think pretzels are healthful. They don’t have fat, but they also have no nutritional value.
Tip: Avoid pretzels loaded with cheese — wow, are they high in calories.

Yes, beer has calories: about 150 for 12 ounces.
Tip: There are some great light beers out there. Do a taste test before the game.

Part of a giant Italian sub = 138½ MINUTES PERFORMING IN A MARCHING BAND
A 6-inch sub with salami, pepperoni, ham, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise is about 650 calories. Tip: Go for low-fat cheese and skip the mayo.

Five Buffalo chicken wings = 102 minutes of refereeing the game
The wings are fried, and that blue cheese dressing can be caloric suicide. Just five wings with 3 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing: 599 calories.
Tip: Use hot sauce instead of the blue cheese. Make the wings yourself. Go skinless, and bake them instead of frying. With all that football action, you won't notice the difference.

Half order of baby back ribs = 73 MINUTES OF CHEERLEADING
Ribs are good, but they’re packed with calories. They’re fatty, and the sauce is sugary. And don’t kid yourself, cheerleading is serious, hard work.
Tip: Make them yourself. Trim all fat before and after cooking, and – instead of coating with an excessive amount of sauce beforehand – partially cook them loaded with seasonings, brush them lightly with sauce and then finishing cooking.

Eight Potato chips with dip = biking to the game from your South Beach hotel
It’s about 18 miles to Dolphin Stadium, which is what it would take to burn off the chips and dip. Each chip is 14-15 calories. For each dip of Ruffles French Onion Dip add another 55 to 60 calories. Grand total: 600 calories.
Tip: Try a low-calorie dip (2 tablespoons: 44 calories) or make your own with nonfat yogurt or mayo.

A few Nachos = 97 minutes BEING THE TEAM MASCOT
Each chip has about 14 calories. Now add cheese, beans and ground beef, and just six nachos are about 569 calories — not to mention the sour cream and guacamole for another 150 calories.
Tip: Make the nachos with low-fat cheese and black beans, not refried. Use salsa and baked chips and you’ll be even better off.

At 280 calories, 1 ounce of this mix is still high in calories even though it’s lower in fat than chips. Tip: Don’t eat it by the handful, or skip it and go for some low-cal microwave popcorn instead. Even better, make it air-popped and use a margarine spray.

This is basically pasta with lots of cheese and sauce. It’s the cheese that makes it so high in calories: 420 calories for 6 ounces.
Tip: Have it as a meal, not just a snack. Try making it with low-fat mozzarella and lower-calorie sauce.

Two pieces of fried chicken = DOING "THE WAVE” 3,220 TIMES
One deep-fried chicken breast and one thigh are about 660 calories.
Tip: Make your own chicken with breading. Go skinless and bake it instead of frying.

A bowl of chili = RUNNING 100 FOOTBALL FIELDS
A 16-ounce bowl of chili packed with beef and beans comes to about 500 calories. A few tablespoons of sour cream and some shredded cheese add 150 calories more, for a grand total of 650 calories.
Tip: Use ground sirloin or white-meat turkey, or make it vegetarian. Skip the sour cream and cheese, or go for no- or low-fat versions.

Three tortilla chips topped with 7-layer dip = 15.5 MINUTES CLIMBING THE STADIUM STAIRS
This is a serious dip with refried beans, olives, guacamole, sour cream and cheese, and it costs about 90 to 105 calories (30 to 35 calories per tablespoon) with an additional 42 calories for three chips. The grand total: 147 calories.
Tip: If you make the dip, use low-fat cheese and sour cream and black beans, not refried. Or you could switch to salsa: 2 tablespoons have only about 15 calories. Also, go for light or baked chips instead of fried.

Two handfuls of potato chips = RUNNING 45 FOOTBALL FIELDS
Each handful is about an ounce, so two handfuls of chips have about 300 calories. Oh, and if you add just 2 tablespoons of onion dip (60 calories), you'll be running another nine football fields.
Tip: Make homemade pita chips with margarine spray, or try Low Fat Kettle Chips and save more than a few football fields. Use non-fat yogurt instead of sour cream to mix up the dip.
With Dungeness crab season in full swing, Scoma's, a San Francisco's restaurant, shows us how to select the freshest crabs for use in their Lazy Man's Cioppino. Cioppino -- a seafood stew -- is a San Francisco tradition that started on Fisherman's Wharf where leftover seafood from the day's catch was "chipped into" a simmering pot of stew to share with family and friends at supper. Today, it's one of Scoma's most requested dishes, and anyone can make it at home with some tips.
Go to http://www.scomas.com and click on "Scoma's Cooking Demos," where you'll find a link to the new Lazy Man's Cioppino video cooking demo. Allow a moment for the clip to load and enjoy a demonstration by Chef Scarabosio that takes the mystery out of preparing and sharing this hearty seafood stew. Serve in a large bowl with fresh sourdough bread to sop up the flavorful broth.

Here's the recipe.
Scoma's Lazy Man's Cioppino
(Serves 4 - 6)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
6 cups of store-bought tomato pasta sauce
1 pound rock cod cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds clams
12 ounces prawns (deveined and peeled)
1 pound cooked crab meat
8 ounces shrimp
12 ounces scallops
2 cups clam juice
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook garlic for one minute. Add the onions and let them cook for two or three minutes. Turn heat to high and add the wine to deglaze. Cook for 2-3 minutes (or until reduced in half) then reduce heat to medium. Add fresh oregano and basil. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Slowly add fish, shellfish and shrimp. Bring cioppino back to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until all the seafood is cooked.
Add cooked crab meat. Thin the cioppino to your liking with clam juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The beauty of the online world is that space is virtually unlimited, while we an only squeeze so much into our printed Food section. We're taking advantage of this today by sharing a bunch of slow-cooker recipes that came across our wire today. They're from a Los Angeles Daily News story on how these handy appliances just keeping getting better and better, and busy cooks love them.

If you have a great slow-cooker recipe to share, post it in our comments section; we'll award a cookbook to one of you.

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (8- to 12-ounce) container French onion dip
1 pound ground beef
½ of an envelope dry taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Green pepper, diced (optional)
Mushrooms, sliced (optional)
Combine cream cheese and onion dip. Spread in 2- to 3-quart slow cooker. Brown ground beef in a skillet. Drain off excess fat. Stir taco seasoning into meat. Place seasoned meat on top of cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top of meat. Top with peppers and mushrooms, if desired.Cover and cook on the low heat setting 1 ½ to 2 hours. Serve with white corn chips.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Shared by Arlene Snyder, Millerstown, Pa., from “Fix-It and Forget-It: 5-Ingredient Favorites, Comforting Slow-Cooker Recipes,” by Phyllis Pellman Good

Pulled pork with barbecue sauce is a southern classic — true comfort food. It’s delicious in sloppy Joe sandwiches or all by itself over rice. For a lighter version, use half a turkey breast instead of pork.
2 pounds pork roast (any cut)
2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Place pork in a 4 -or 5-quart slow cooker. In a bowl, combine ketchup, vinegar, water, onion, garlic, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Pour sauce over roast. Cover and cook on the low heat setting 8 to 10 hours, until meat falls apart. Remove pork from cooker and allow to cool slightly. Remove and discard any bones. Pull meat into shreds using your fingers or two forks. Return meat to cooker and stir into sauce. Serve warm in buns for sandwiches or over rice, as desired.
Makes 4 servings
From “The Gourmet Slow Cooker, Volume II, Regional Comfort-Food Classics,” by Lynn Alley

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 ½ pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken breast
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cups chopped, peeled tomatoes, including juice if canned
½ cup chicken stock OR broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped pitted black olives
2 tablespoons drained capers (optional)
In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Add chicken in batches and brown on all sides. Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker stoneware insert. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, peppercorns and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on the low heat setting 5 hours, or on the high heat setting 2 ½ hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Add olives and capers and stir well. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings
From “175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics,” by Judith Finlayson

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
In a large bowl, mix together whole wheat and all-purpose flours, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center, pour buttermilk into well and mix just until blended. Spread into a lightly greased 8x4-inch loaf pan or a 6-cup souffle or baking dish (that will fit into slow cooker insert).Cover pan (or dish) tightly with foil and secure with string. Place pan in a 5-quart (or larger if necessary) oval slow cooker stoneware and pour in enough boiling water to come 1 inch up sides of dish. Cover and cook on the high heat setting 2 ½ to 3 hours, until bread springs back when touched lightly in the center. Unmold and serve warm.
Makes 1 loaf, 8 servings
From “175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics,” by Judith Finlayson

4 to 5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 3-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 thinly sliced yellow onions
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 (14 ½-ounce) can diced plum (Roma) tomatoes
1 (12-ounce) bottle ale OR dark beer
3 tablespoons flour

Brown short ribs: Preheat broiler or grill. Generously season ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary, arrange ribs on a broiler pan and place under the broiler. Broil (grill) ribs, turning once, until well-browned, about 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer ribs to an oval 7-quart slow cooker. Scatter onions and garlic over ribs. Add squash. Pour in tomatoes with their juice and ale. Cover and cook on the high heat setting 5 to 6 hours, or on the low heat setting 7 to 8 hours. The meat should be separating form the bones, and squash should be tender.Using a slotted spoon, transfer ribs and squash to a shallow bowl or platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Skim off excess fat from surface of sauce. Put slow cooker on high heat setting. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and ¼ cup water. Whisk flour mixture into sauce and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over ribs and squash and serve.
Makes 6 servings
From “Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Slow Cooker,” recipes by Norman Kolpas

3 ½ pounds beef brisket
Salt and ground black pepper
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 jalapeno chile pepper, diced
1 (1-ounce) packet onion soup mix
1 (14-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
Trim fat from brisket. Sprinkle brisket with salt and black pepper; set aside. In a 5-quart slow cooker, arrange onion slices. Place brisket on top. Add jalapeno pepper and onion soup mix. Pour barbecue sauce over all.Cover and cook on the high heat setting for 1 hour. Turn to the low heat setting; cook 8 to 10 hours more.
Makes 6 servings
From “Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes”

Serve this with whole-berry cranberry sauce, or applesauce and creamed horseradish. If you want to make this like szekely goulash, a Hungarian specialty, simply remove the pork chops when done, then stir 1/3 cup sour cream mixed with 2 tablespoons buttermilk into the sauerkraut and potatoes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (1-inch-thick) boneless center-cut pork chops OR shoulder chops
4 red OR white new potatoes, thickly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Paprika to taste (use sweet, hot OR smoked)
1 shallot OR white boiling onion, minced
1 (16-ounce) bag OR jar fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon dry white wine OR champagne
In a heavy skillet over high heat, heat olive oil and quickly sear and brown pork chops on both sides. Place potatoes in bottom of a 1 ½- to 3-quart slow cooker. Place pork chops on bed of potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and shallot. Arrange sauerkraut over pork chops, then sprinkle with wine. Cover and cook on the low heat setting 6 to 7 hours, until meat is tender. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings
From “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker: Recipes for Two,” by Beth Hensperger