"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

    Taste of Home Photo 16 Servings Prep: 35 min. + chilling 
    Ingredients 1/2 cup butter, softened 
    2-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar 
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs 
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
    1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips 
    2 tablespoons shortening 
    Pastel sprinkles 
    Directions In a large bowl, cream butter; gradually add the confectioners' sugar, cracker crumbs, peanut butter and vanilla. Shape into 16 eggs; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip eggs in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Decorate with sprinkles; return eggs to waxed paper. Chill until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
    Yield: 16 eggs. 
    Nutrition Facts: 1 egg equals 322 calories, 19 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein. Peanut Butter Easter Eggs published in Simple & Delicious March/April 2009, p50

Merguez (Lamb Sausage)

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: About 1 hour, plus chilling time

Servings: This makes about 5 pounds sausage

Note: Adapted from "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. This recipe requires a meat grinder and sausage stuffer. Casings should be properly flushed and softened before using; consult your butcher or the packaging.

4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, diced into 1/2 -inch pieces
1 pound pork back fat, diced into 1/2 -inch pieces
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups diced roasted red peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1/4 cup dry red wine, chilled
1/4 cup ice water
About 20 feet prepared sheep casings

1. In a large bowl, combine the lamb, back fat, salt, sugar, pepper flakes, garlic, roasted pepper, black pepper, paprika and oregano and toss to evenly distribute the seasonings. Cover and chill until ready to grind.
2. Grind the mixture through a meat grinder fitted with the finest plate into a large bowl set over an ice bath.
3. Add the wine and water to the meat mixture and mix in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or by hand with a sturdy spoon, until the liquids are incorporated and the mixture has developed a uniform, sticky appearance, about 1 minute on medium speed.
4. Fry a small patty until done to check the flavor and seasoning (the sausage should be cooked to an internal temperature of 150 degrees). If necessary, adjust salt, pepper and other seasonings, then fry another patty and check again.
5. Stuff the sausage into the sheep casings with a sausage stuffer and twist into 10-inch links. Refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 months until ready to cook.
Each 4-ounce serving: 344 calories; 19 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 29 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 83 mg. cholesterol; 563 mg. sodium.

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Curried lamb pasties with spicy sweet potato and tamarind

Total time: About 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling time for the filling 

Servings: Makes 6 hand pies.

Note: Harissa can generally be found at gourmet and cooking supply stores, as well as select well-stocked supermarkets. Tamarind paste is available at Asian, Indian and Latin markets, and is generally available at cooking and gourmet supply stores.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound lamb shoulder chops (or 3/4 pound lamb stew meat)
2 cups chopped, peeled sweet potatoes (about 2), cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon harissa, or to taste
2 tablespoons red curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons seedless tamarind paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 recipe basic savory pie dough (No. 1 or 2), chilled
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and reduce the heat to medium-low until aromatic. Remove from heat. .
2. Trim the lamb meat from the bone into one-half-inch pieces (you should end up with about three-fourths pound). Add the lamb to the onion and garlic mix and increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the cubed sweet potatoes, tomato paste, water and harissa to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and steam, just until the potatoes begin to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the curry powder, cayenne, fennel seed, coriander and tamarind paste, scraping the side of the pan to incorporate any crusty bits. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the potatoes are nearly soft, about 8 minutes. Season with one-half teaspoon salt, or to taste, and pepper to taste, and adjust the heat with additional cayenne if desired. Remove the pan from heat, and set aside to cool.
4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled dough from refrigerator and divide into six equal-sized balls. On a clean, floured surface, press each ball into a flattened disk approximately 6 to 7 inches in diameter.
5. Going one at a time, brush the edges of each disk with beaten egg and add a one-third-cup mound of cooled lamb filling to the center. Then fold the dough over to make a half-circle, crimp edges to close and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6. Brush the top of each hand pie lightly with beaten egg. Cut two steam vents in the top of each. Bake the pies until they are a deep, golden brown, about 40 minutes, rotating halfway through for even coloring.

Analyzed using basic savory pie dough No. 1. Each of 6 servings: 682 calories; 18 grams protein; 61 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 41 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 139 mg. cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 738 mg. sodium.

Basic savory pie dough No. 1

Total time: 15 minutes, plus freezing and chilling times
Servings: Makes enough dough for 1 double-crust (9-inch) pie or 6 individual hand pies
1/2 cup lard or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 2/3 cups (11 1/2 ounces) flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold water
1. Freeze the lard and butter until solid, at least one hour (up to overnight).
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Using the coarse side of a grater, grate the frozen lard and butter into the flour. (If the lard or butter begins to stick, dust the grater lightly with flour).
3. Sprinkle the cold water over the mixture, a little at a time, mixing with a fork, until it just begins to form a rough clump. Handling as little as possible, press the dough into a disk. Wrap the dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight.
Each of 6 servings: 492 calories; 6 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 33 grams fat; 17 grams saturated fat; 57 mg. cholesterol; 0 sugar; 391 mg. sodium.
Basic savory pie dough No. 2 (cream cheese)
Total time: 15 minutes, plus chilling timeServings: Makes enough dough for 1 double-crust (9-inch) pie or 6 individual hand pies
1 (8-ounce) container cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room 1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups (11 1/2 ounces) flour
1.In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, then stir in the cream and salt until combined.
2. Stir in the flour, a little at a time, using a fork. Handling as little as possible, shape the dough into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least one hour, up to overnight.
Each of 6 servings: 638 calories; 9 grams protein; 44 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 48 grams fat; 29 grams saturated fat; 137 mg. cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 518 mg. sodium.

Rustic goat cheese and roasted vegetable tart

Total preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Note: Save time by using a ready-made refrigerated pie crust (not the ones found in tins). But you can also use your favorite patebrisee recipe to make an unbaked pie crust.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
1/2 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced into small equal pieces
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts for 2-crust 9-inch pie
Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the zucchini, squash, mushrooms, shallots, tomatoes, bell pepper, thyme and oregano in a large bowl. Stir in the oil to coat the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the vegetables into a large roasting pan in a single layer and roast until the vegetables are softened, 15 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, combine the goat, cream and Parmesan cheeses in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 1 egg and mix on high until smooth, 2 minutes.
Unwrap the pie crusts and place 1 on each baking sheet. Repair any tears in the dough. Divide the cheese mixture between the crusts, spreading it to within 2 inches of the edges. Spread the vegetables on top of the cheese filling, dividing them between the crusts. Fold in the sides of the crusts to the middle (they won't reach the center) so that each fold overlaps the last slightly to form a rustic-looking tart. Pinch the overlapping edges to seal. Beat the remaining egg and brush it on the crusts to coat.
Bake the tarts until the crusts are golden brown, 20 minutes.
8 main course servings or 16 side servings. Each of 16 servings: 251 calories; 161 mg sodium; 38 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 1.15 grams fiber.

Mushrooms Stuffed With California Walnuts Smoked Bacon And Goat Cheese Recipe

  • 48 mushrooms (1 1/2-inches in diameter), stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces smoked bacon, chopped
  • 3 shallots, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup chopped California walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

  1. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil.
  2. In large bowl, toss mushrooms with oil to coat. Arrange in single layer, rounded side up and bake in 375°F (190°C) oven about 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
  3. In large skillet, cook bacon over medium to high heat for 7 to 8 minutes, or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
  4. In same skillet, add shallots, reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute. Transfer to large bowl and cool to room temperature. Add goat cheese and walnuts. Mix well. Stir in parsley.
  5. Place heaping teaspoon of filling in each mushroom.
  6. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 10 minutes or until heated through

Sunday, March 28, 2010


1 12-oz. can MILNOT
2 cups cubed cooked ham, beef, lamb or veal
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, except with ham
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sliced stuffed olives, if desired
4 medium sized potatoes, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup grated American cheese, if desired
Mix meat, onion, salt, pepper and olives. Alternate layers of meat mixture and potatoes, sprinkling potatoes with flour, in greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Pour MILNOT over top. Cover and bake in moderate oven, 350° for 1 hour. Remove cover for last 15 minutes of baking time and sprinkle with cheese, if desired. 6 servings.

Goat Stew

2006, Robert Irvine, All rights reserved
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 Scotch Bonnet pepper, seeded and chopped (while handling, protect hands and eyes and avoid breathing in fumes)
2 pounds boneless goat meat, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock, or red or white wine
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Combine onions, garlic, carrots, celery and pepper in a large bowl. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and toss meat with the vegetables. (Protect yourself from contact with Scotch Bonnet peppers.) Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, (the longer the better).

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan, and add the meat/vegetable mixture, browning all sides of meats and cooking for a few minutes to integrate flavors. Add the tomato paste and stock, cover and reduce heat. Simmer until meat is fork tender, at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure there is adequate liquid in the pot. (This recipe is also great cooked slowly in a crock pot.) Once the meat is tender, add the chopped tomato and parsley and serve.

Slow-Steamed Goat with Mild Chile Seasoning

c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved
5 pound hindquarter piece of young goat
12 large guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and deveined
12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 2/3 cups masa harina mixed to a paste with 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons hot water
3 large ripe tomatoes, roasted (see Note)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 small white onion, cut into 1/8-inch dice
1/2 small bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
2 limes, quartered
Cooked white rice, for serving
With a sharp heavy knife, cut the hindquarter into 2 pieces through the joint at the top of the leg. Place it in a large deep non-metal dish.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Tear the chiles into flat pieces and toast them a few at a time, pressing them against the hot metal surface with a spatula until they crackle and blister. Turn to the other side and toast again. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the unpeeled garlic on the griddle until blackened outside and soft inside. Peel, discard the skins and transfer the softened cloves to a blender. Drain the soaking chiles, reserving the soaking liquid, and add them to the blender along with the vinegar. Add the cumin, black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 3/4 cup of the chile-soaking water. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Push the paste through a medium strainer. Remove 1/2 cup of the paste, stir the sugar in, and set it aside for the final glazing. Spread the remaining chile paste over the goat, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, prefera! bly overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set a roasting rack inside a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole. The rack should rise 1-inch above the base of the pan, if it does not, prop it up with upside-down ramekins or small empty cans. Pour 3 cans of water in the bottom of the pan and place the goat on the rack.

Add water to the masa harina mixture if necessary to make a soft dough. Roll tennis ball sized pieces of dough between your palms to make long ropes about 3/4-inch in diameter, then press them firmly all around the top edges of the baking dish. Set the lid in place and press it into the masa to make a firm seal. Bake the goat for 3 hours.

Break the seal by tapping the hardened masa with a cleaver or a mallet, then remove the lid and carefully lift out the goat meat, which will be very tender.

Remove the rack from the pan and spoon off the fat. Measure the broth: you will need 1 quart, so make up the level with water if necessary. Pour the broth into a small saucepan ad again skim off the fat. In a mortar and pestle or a food processor, puree the roasted tomatoes and add them to the broth. Add the oregano and simmer the mixture over medium-low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

While the broth is cooking, remove the bones, excess fat, and large baking sheet and brush with the reserved chile paste. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes just to set the glaze and heat the meat through. Slice the meat across the grain and place it in large shallow heated bowls. Ladle over a generous amount of the broth and scatter a little diced onion and cilantro over each bowl. Serve with wedges of lime.

Note: To roast a tomato, heat a dry skillet or griddle over high heat. Roast the whole tomato, turning when the bottom is slightly charred, until it is golden brown with charred patches on all sides, but not burned (the flesh will be quite mushy). Leave the skin on.