Ray gardner, sr




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FOOD NIRVANA


By
RAY GARDNER, SR.

Book Edition Twenty-five
April 4, 2016
This recipe book is dedicated in loving memory of Marie Piretti Gardner (10/19/1947-01/21/2008)… the greatest cook I’ve ever known.




Table of Contents Page



FORWARD 9

Introduction 9

Another Recipe Book? 10

Intent 10

A Long Time Coming 11

Economics and Quality of Life 12

New Editions and Revisions 13

YOUR KITCHEN 15

In the Beginning 15

Your Cooking References 15

The Ingredients You Use 16

Equipment and Planning 19

Kitchen Design 23

Storage and Utility Room 27

PRESERVING FOODS 30

The Past 30

The Present 30

Technology at Home 30

Equipment You May Not Own and Why You Need It 31

Dabbling in Science 32

APPETIZERS: 38

Ahi Tostadas - ? 38

Arby's BBQ Sauce - ► 40

Carrabba’s® Dipping Oil - ☺♥ 41

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs - ☺♥ 42

Crab Dip - ☺♥ 44

Escargot - ☺♥ 45

Filo Delights - ☺♥ 47

Foie Gras Pâté - ? 49

Fruit Salad - ☺♥ 50

Kim Chee - ▲ 53

Lox, Bagels, Cream Cheese, Onions and Capers - ☺♥ 56

Melon with Proscuitto Ham - ☺ 57

Olive Tapenade - ☺♥ 58

Salsa - ☺♥ 60

Scallops Ceviche - ? 63

Shrimp Toast - ☺♥ 65

Tasty Ladies - ☺♥ 67

BEEF: 69

Beef: Degrees of Doneness 69

Beef Brisket - ☺ 70

Beef Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy) - ☺ 72

Beef Jerky - ? 74

Beef Tenderloin, Johnny style - ☺♥ 76

Bleu Cheese and Bacon Burger - ☺♥ 77

Carne Asada Tacos - ? 79

Charcoal Grilled Dry Brined Ribeye Steaks Sous-Vide With Compound Butter - ☺♥ 81

Charcoal Grilled Steaks - ☺♥ 87

Chili Con Carne - ☺♥ 89

Corned Beef and Cabbage - ☺♥ 91

Filet Mignon with Foie Gras - ☺♥ 94

Osso Buco - ☺♥ 98

Roast Beef – Old Fashioned Skillet Seared Method - ☺♥ 100

Rouladen - ? 103

Serendipity Steak - ☺♥ 106

Standing Rib Roast - ☺♥ 108

Steak Au Poivre - ☺♥ 110

Steamship Round of Beef - ☺ 112

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - ▲ 115

Stuffed Green Peppers - ☺ 117

Stuffed Green Peppers II - ☺♥ 119

Swedish Meatballs - ? 121

BEVERAGES: 122

About Beverages 122

Dandelion Wine (and more) - ☺♥ 126

Eggnog - ☺♥ 130

Frozen Margarita - ☺♥ 131

Gin and Tonic - ☺♥ 132

Iced Tea - ☺♥ 134

Tonic Water Recipes - ► 136

Lemonade - ☺♥ 143

Lemon-Lime Soda - ☺♥ 144

Long Island Iced Tea - ☺♥ 148

Mead - ? 149

V-8 Vegetable Juice - ☺♥ 152

Winemaking - ☺♥ 157

BREADS, BUNS AND DONUTS: 170

Almond Flour Bread 170

Banana Nut Bread - ☺♥ 172

Cinnamon Pecan Raisin Sticky Buns - ☺♥ 174

Corn Spoon Bread - ▲ 180

French Crullers - ► 181

King's Hawaiian Rolls - ☺♥ 183

Sesame Semolina Batard - ☺♥ 185

Unleavened Bread - ? 188

BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH DELIGHTS 190

Asparagus Frittata - ☺♥ 190

Corned Beef Patties - ☺♥ 192

Fabulous French Toast Recipes - ☺♥ 194

Smoothie - ☺♥ 198

CANDIES, CRÈMES, NUTS & DESSERT SAUCES: 199

Almond Bark - ☺♥ 199

Brined Nuts - ☺♥ 202

Butter Crunch - ☺♥ 204

Butter Toffee Nuts - ☺ 207

Candied Cherries - ► 209

Caramels - ☺♥ 212

Chocolate Coated Caramelized Walnuts - ? 214

Chocolate Covered Easter Eggs - ☺♥ 216

Clotted Cream - ☺♥ 220

Fried Jumbo Virginia Peanuts - ☺♥ 222

Hard Candy - ? 224

Hot Fudge Sauce - ☺♥ 226

Marshmallow Crème - ☺♥ 228

Peanut/Almond Brittle - ☺♥ 230

Peppermint Patties - ☺♥ 232

Raisin Sauce - ☺ 236

Ray’s Almond Crunch - ☺ 237

Turtles - ☺♥ 239

White Chocolate Popcorn - ☺ 243

COOKIES & CAKES: 245

Almond Paste - ☺♥ 245

Anise Biscotti - ? 246

Apple Kuchen - ▲ 248

Brown Betty - ? 249

Caramel Nut Squares - ☺♥ 251

Chocolate Chip Cookies - ☺♥ 253

Coffee Cake - ? 255

Creamy Cheese Cake - ☺♥ 257

Date Pinwheel Cookies - ▲ 261

Ginger Square Cookies - ☺♥ 263

Gobs (Whoopie Pies) - ☺♥ 264

Hotel Du Pont® Macaroons - ☺♥ 266

Irish Carbomb Cupcakes - ☺♥ 268

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins -☺♥ 270

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - ? 273

Lemon Squares - ☺♥ 274

Lemon Sugar Cookies - ☺ 275

Pistachio Cake - ? 277

Sand Tarts - ☺ 279

Shortbread Cookies - ▲ 281

Spiced Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake - ☺♥ 282

DIPS, DRESSINGS & SAUCES: 286

Arby's BBQ Sauce - ? 286

Bleu Cheese Dressing - ☺♥ 287

Cheese Sauce for Broccoli or Cauliflower - ☺ 288

Cocktail Sauce - ? 289

Creamy French Dressing - ? 290

Dried Beef Dip - ☺ 291

Guacamole - ? 292

Habanero Hot Sauce - ☺ 293

Horseradish Cream Sauce - ☺♥ 295

Hotel DuPont® Sesame Salad Dressing - ☺♥ 296

Pesto Sauce - ☺♥ 298

Sweet And Sour Salad Dressing - ☺♥ 300

Tartar Sauce - ? 302

Thousand Island Dressing - ? 303

EGG SECTION/RECIPES: 304

Egg Preparation, Cooking Techniques and Recipes - ☺♥ 304

FOWL: 307

Beer Batter Fried Chicken - ☺♥ 307

Beer Can Chicken - ☺♥ 310

Braised Chicken - ☺ 312

Hot Wings - ☺♥ 314

Roast Turkey - ☺♥ 318

Turkey Gravy - ☺♥ 320

Stuffing for Roast Turkey - ☺♥ 321

Turkey Pot Pie - ☺♥ 322

FROZEN DESSERTS: 327

Black Raspberry Ice Cream - ☺♥ 327

Butter Pecan Ice Cream - ☺♥ 330

Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - ☺♥ 332

French Vanilla Ice Cream - ☺♥ 333

Maple Walnut Ice Cream - ☺♥ 335

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - ☺♥ 336

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge Swirl Ice Cream - ☺♥ 338

Rocky Road Ice Cream - ☺♥ 340

Sherbet Recipes - ? 342

Strawberry Marshmallow Ice Cream - ☺♥ 344

PASTAS / OTHER ETHNIC FOODS: 347

Chiles Rellenos - ? 347

Eggplant Parmesan - ☺♥ 349

Fettuccine Carbonara - ☺ 351

Linguine con Aglio y Olio - ☺♥ 353

Linguine with Seafood Sauce - ☺♥ 355

Linguine with White Clam Sauce - ☺♥ 357

Pierogies and Blintzes - ? 360

Red Beans and Rice with Chipotle Pepper - ☺♥ 366

Sausage and Mushroom Calzones - ☺♥ 369

"Veal?" Parmegiano - ☺♥ 372

PIES & PIECRUSTS: 375

Banana Cream Pie - ☺♥ 375

Blueberry Pie - ☺ 377

Cherry Clouthie - ☺ 379

Cherry Crumb Pie - ☺♥ 380

Chocolate Cream Pie - ☺♥ 382

French Apple Pie - ☺♥ 384

Grand Hotel® Key Lime Pie - ? 388

Lemon Chess Pie With Cheese - ☺♥ 389

Peach Turnovers - ☺ 390

Pecan Pie
392

Pumpkin Pie - ☺♥ 393

Shoo-Fly Pie - ☺ 395

Strawberry Pie - ? 397

Crisco® Pie Crust Recipe - ☺♥ 399

Freezing And Later Baking Unbaked Pies - ☺ 401

Graham Cracker Pie Crust - ☺♥ 402

Oreo® Cookie Pie Crust - ☺ 403

PORK: 404

Baby Back Ribs - ☺♥ 404

Kansas City Classic Barbecue Sauce® - ☺♥ 408

Memphis Dry Rub Seasoning - ? 411

Roasted Pork Tenderloin - ? 413

Breakfast Blend - ☺♥ 415

Breakfast Sausage - ☺ 419

Ham Loaf - ☺♥ 423

Italian Sausage Seasoning - ? 425

Hot Italian Sausage - ☺♥ 426

Mexican "Egg Rolls" - ☺♥ 428

Mexican Pulled Pork - ☺♥ 430

Sweet Italian Sausage Seasoning - ? 432

Ray’s Scrapple - ☺♥ 433

Scrapple - ? 436

Poor Man’s Schnitzel - ☺♥ 439

Pork and Shrimp Egg Foo Yung Soufflé - ☺♥ 442

Stir Fried Pork Lo Mein - ☺ 445

Sweet and Sour Pork Recipes - ☺♥ & ? 447

'Veal' Cordon Bleu -☺ 452

PUDDINGS, PARFAITS AND MOUSSES: 455

Bread Pudding - ☺♥ 455

Ray’s Triple Chocolate Pudding - ☺♥ 458

Crème Brûlée - ? 460

Espresso Panna Cotta Mousse - ☺♥ 462

Flan - ☺♥ 463

Licorice Root Parfait with Sweet Lime Sauce - ? 465

Pineapple Pudding - ☺♥ 469

Creamy Rice Pudding - ☺♥ 471

Zabaglione - ☺♥ 475

SALADS & SLAWS: 477

Caesar Salad - ☺♥ 477

Caprese Salad - ☺♥ 480

Chicken Salad - ☺♥ 482

Coleslaw - ☺♥ 483

Holiday Jello® Salad - ? 484

Creamed Cucumber Salad - ☺♥ 485

Hot German Potato Salad - ? 486

Macaroni Salad - ☺♥ 488

Nicoise Salad - ? & ☺♥ 490

Oriental Salad - ☺♥ 492

Potato Salad - ☺♥ 493

Ray's Oriental Salad - ☺♥ 495

Sinful Salad - ☺ 498

Tangy and Light Asian Salad - ? 499

Waldorf Salad - ☺♥ 501

Wilted Lettuce Salad - ☺♥ 503

SANDWICH STUFF: 505

Dried Beef and Tomato - ☺♥ 505

German Salami and Swiss Cheese with Russian Dressing - ☺♥ 507

Grilled Pastrami with Swiss Cheese on Rye with Deli Mustard - ☺♥ 508

Ham Salad on Soft White Bread - ☺ 510

Hot Italian Giardiniera Condiment - ☺♥ 511

Cheese Steak with Fried Onions and Mushrooms - ☺♥ 514

Pulled Pork Barbecue - ? & ☺ 516

The SUB - ☺♥ 519

Super Sandwich - ☺♥ 522

Your At Home Delicatessen 524

SEAFOOD: 527

Achiote Marinated Fish Tacos - ? 527

Beer Batter Fried Shrimp - ☺ 529

Blackened Redfish - ☺♥ 532

Easy Crab Cakes - ▲ or ☺♥ 535

Fried Haddock - ☺♥ 537

Lobster or Crab Mac and Cheese - ☺♥ 540

Pan Seared Fish with Tomato Vinaigrette - ☺♥ 542

Sea Bass with Herbs/Basting Oil - ☺♥ 543

Broiled Striper - ☺♥ 546

Puerto Rican Shrimp Stew - ? 548

Seafood Newburg - ☺♥ 550

Sesame Ahi - ☺♥ 554

Shrimp Scampi - ☺♥ 556

Shrimp Tempura - ☺♥ 558

Grilled Swordfish - ☺♥ 564

SEASONINGS: 567

French Herbs of Provence 567

Italian Seasoning - ? 568

Tuscan Herbs - ? 569

Your Herb Supply 570

SOUPS, STEWS AND CHOWDERS: 571

Air Transport Command® Beer Cheese Soup - ? 571

Beef Vegetable Soup - ☺♥ 573

Bouillabaisse - ? 575

Bouillabaisse II - ? 576

Brazilian Fish Stew - ? 578

Chicken Corn Chowder - ☺ 580

Cream of Broccoli Soup - ☺♥ 582

Cream of Mushroom Soup - ☺♥ 584

Fish Chowder - ☺♥ 586

Gazpacho Recipes - ? 588

Ham and Bean Soup - ☺♥ 591

Hungarian Potato Soup with Kielbasa - ☺♥ 593

Italian Wedding Soup - ☺♥ 595

Kapusta - ☺ 598

Crab or Lobster Bisque - ☺♥ 601

Manhattan Clam Chowder - ☺♥ 604

New England Clam Chowder - ☺♥ 606

Split Pea with Ham Soup - ☺♥ 608

Puerto Rican Shrimp Stew - ? 610

Pumpkin Curry Soup - ☺♥ 612

Tomato Bisque - ☺♥ 614

Ray’s Cream of Tomato Soup - ☺♥ 616

Marie’s Cream of Tomato Soup - ☺ 618

Seafood Chowder - ☺♥♥♥♥♥☺ 619

Virginia Peanut Soup - ☺♥ 623

Wonton Soup - ☺♥ 624

STARCHES: 628

Baked Potato - ☺♥ 628

French Fries with Batter Coating - ☺♥ 630

Superb French Fries - ☺♥ 632

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce - ☺♥ 637

Hash Brown Potato Patties - ☺ 640

Macaroni and Cheese - ☺♥ 642

Marie’s Fried Potato Dumplings - ☺♥ 644

Marie’s Oven Browned Potatoes - ☺ 645

Mashed Potatoes - ☺♥ 646

Rice Pilaf Recipes - ? 648

Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese - ☺♥ 650

Scalloped Potatoes with Onions - ☺♥ 653

Sweet Potato Casserole - ? 655

PROCESSED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: 657

Braised Red Cabbage - ? 657

Chinese Stir Fried Cabbage - ▲ 658

Bread and Butter Pickles - ☺♥ 659

Concord Grape Preserves - ☺♥ 662

Ray's Corn Pudding - ☺♥ 665

Processing Fresh Corn - ☺♥ 667

Giardiniera - ► 669

Processing Fresh Green Beans - ☺♥ 671

Green Bean Casserole - ▲ 673

Hot Garlic Dill Pickles - ☺♥ 676

Hot Mix - ► 680

Marinated Garlic - ☺ 682

Sauerkraut - ☺♥ 685

Stewed Tomatoes - ▲ 689

Sweet Pickled Banana Pepper Rings - ? 691

Marie's Fried Zucchini - ☺♥ 693

Vegetable Tian - ? 695

Zucchini with Tomato Sauce - ☺♥ 697


FORWARD
Introduction

Welcome to the world of Food Nirvana. This endeavor is all about quality of life in eating and how to do it at home. This introduction was new with the creation of the Food Nirvana web page. Prior to creating the web page Food Nirvana existed only as a book in Microsoft Word® doc format. Now, the home chef can access the recipes instantly and individually even using a cell phone, an Ipad® or a notebook PC in the kitchen. The secret is in having the Table of Contents as the web page with direct links to each individual recipe. Like before, the reader can choose to review or to print/save any recipe. I've provided download links to get free full copies of Food Nirvana as well in different formats as described below.

I decided to introduce icons to represent my opinion of the quality of particular recipes. Here they are: ☺♥ = Exceptional, ☺ = Excellent, ▲ = Good, ► = In Research & Development, ? = Untested / Looks Promising. You will find the symbols immediately following the name of the food when you display a recipe. The symbols serve as a guide for you to select foods appropriate to your planned meal or party. My goal, of course, is ultimately to enhance any recipe that is less than exceptional. Thus, through time the quality level symbol shown for a given recipe may change. In other words, Food Nirvana is always a work in process. The required icon additions to all of the individual recipes have been made to the book version of Food Nirvana as well.

Recently I decided to provide the book version of Food Nirvana in three different formats to meet the variable needs of reader environments, their word processing software and whether or not a given reader was using a desktop pc, a laptop or a tablet/cell phone. The book versions of Food Nirvana continue and will continue to be maintained along with the web page version. This serves the worlds of those who are cooking in environments where they may not be accessing the Internet. The book versions lack most of the pictures and picture references present in the web pages to keep the book file size reasonable. If you want to download a free copy of Food Nirvana then click on one of the book links below.

Download Food Nirvana in Microsoft Word "doc" format

or

Download Food Nirvana in Microsoft Word "docx" format

or

Download Food Nirvana as a PDF file

 (The PDF format does not support jumping from the index entry of a recipe name to the page for that recipe.)



Well, have fun!

Ray Gardner, Sr.

April 4, 2016
Another Recipe Book?

Why create another recipe book? There must be hundreds of them out there if not thousands. We are inundated with recipes in books, television, newspapers and the Internet!


My answers are three:
This book focuses primarily on special foods that you make on special occasions and/or more often for very special people.
Many of the recipes for typical and special foods are so good that they are simply too good to ignore.
The cooking environment and equipment available to the home chef are very important, as are cooking techniques, and they are covered conceptually and often in detail in this book. Likewise acquiring quality ingredients at the best prices, including processing and storing those ingredients for best results, are also included topics.
Intent

My primary intent was to capture and organize recipes for only a select group of foods where the recipes are definitely "best of breed," so this book is not a general cookbook at all, yet the variety of different foods is rich. It is currently 697 pages long. All told there are only 288 recipes (not counting those in the Exploratory Cooking section), far less in number than any general cookbook where the number of recipes can be 500 and up. Yet each of the recipes in this book offer you the very best recipe I could find, obtain from other people, create or modify to become the very best over many years.


So, this book is an eclectic collection of my favorite recipes for a variety of types of food representing many different cuisines. Some of the recipes are originally from other people I’ve known, cookbooks, restaurants and the Internet. I have personally created and/or improved some of the recipes. Overall, most of the recipes were developed by me and/or by a few other relatives and friends based on improvements to what we found and tried from other sources. I have intentionally excluded a number of my recipes for common foods that most people know how to make well. Conversely, I have included a few recipes for special foods I have yet to try because I sense they are excellent. As I perfect recipes I modify Food Nirvana. Know that overall my focus is on excellent foods that many people do not know how to make well, or not at all.
Let’s say you are planning to entertain and you want to figure out a dynamite menu to thrill your guests. Well, this is the book you go to when that is your goal. Just a brief scan of the index will provide just what you need in ideas, so you will arrive at your goal quickly and with certainty. Even better, you will know that each item you select and make will get many compliments, and the recipes in this book tell you everything you need to get and do for guaranteed success.
A Long Time Coming

One of my personal recipes goes back forty-five years to when I was first conducting experiments in great eating e.g. my Bleu Cheese Dressing. Other recipes are less than one year old, so you may think of this work as a collection of the best based on my life experiences. Recently I developed a delicious sweet and sour salad dressing that is virtually identical (at least in taste) to a very special one served to me in a great restaurant, Poor Richards Inn®, sometime during 1968. I was amazed that I waited so many years before attempting to make it. I can’t get enough now, and the restaurant closed thirty-five or more years ago! Wow! Just think how interesting it is that food memory and in particular detailed taste memory can span so many years.


Often I have anecdotal stories to accompany recipes that may entertain you or to talk about the inevitability of change, some of which is desirable and some not so desirable. You can sift through those stories in whatever manner suits you best.

My pride shows, and so it should. I’ve put in many years acquiring, developing and culling out recipes such that with rare exceptions I would much rather eat my cooking than tolerate the variety of slop served in most restaurants. Too often restaurant owners focus on profits at the expense of quality. At other times recipes are confined to the market they serve, which can be severely limiting, with boring unchanging menus. Yet other times the owner and chef or cook simply lack knowledge. But this is not always the case. The idea is that the best restaurants can make many excellent dishes that I don’t even know how to prepare so in general you won’t find me competing with them. But where I have tried to either duplicate perfection or create it from scratch I will hold up my results to scrutiny by any professional chef.
Credit must, however, be given to the greatest cook I ever knew, my deceased wife Marie Piretti Gardner, and this book is dedicated to her memory. She could out-cook me easily and I owe her my biggest debt of gratitude for her joy and skills in cooking or preparing great foods that I would not have otherwise enjoyed. She was my best teacher and chef par excellence! The great times we shared with making and eating superb food, not to mention wonderful meals in great restaurants, are unforgettable. Yes, a fair number of her recipes are included in this Food Nirvana book, and as I locate more of them I will select the best ones and add them.

I am fortunate to have dear friends and relatives, very few who are excellent cooks in their own right. We share knowledge and thus we all win. My gratitude goes out to all the good and great cooks who have helped me learn and I won’t waste the space trying to give credit, except within certain specific recipes/titles.
Most of all I hope you take the time to use these recipes to experience for yourself the reality that you can vastly outdo most restaurants and commercial products found in supermarkets. Your family and friends will let you know your degree of success. And always be ready to improve any recipe. Ego has no place when it comes to making great food. Indeed you will make some new friends and open the door to learning things about cooking that are not part of your experience or mine. When you find or learn something that you consider to be excellent or make an improvement to one of the recipes in this book, please share that knowledge with me. This is especially important for those few special recipes included where I have indicated/stated that I have yet to try the recipe.
I included one section in Food Nirvana under Beverages on the topic of winemaking without providing my specific recipes. That section is for people ready to tackle making fine wines, not ordinary wines, as the requirements and investment are significant. I will freely provide help and further information to those adventurous enough and committed to making fine wines. For others I suggest you read the section simply to get a fundamental education about winemaking.
Economics and Quality of Life

If you enjoy eating really good food and in many instances great food then waste no time. Use this book. Get great results. Save lots of money without sacrificing quality, for you can make many foods just as well as the best restaurants or best commercial food producers, at home. I enjoy ambience as much as the next person and there are special times when I want to be spoiled by eating in an excellent restaurant, but the cost of doing that on a regular basis is prohibitive for most of us. Thus, to learn to cook very well gives you the best of both taste and cost savings. Finally, take time to consider that when you do the cooking you know for certain what you are eating, and that has many ramifications related to health.


I take the time to discuss techniques that will enhance your understanding of how to get the best results. Quite often it is a matter and method of following instincts based on knowledge gained by experience. When I recommend using a particular quality of food or special piece of kitchen equipment or utensil know that getting the best results in your kitchen will depend on you having or acquiring that item. The next section of this book discusses critical requirements, for even the best recipes are easily weakened when the cooking environment, ingredients and/or equipment are less than the best.
Beyond equipment, techniques that explore the behavior of ingredients under different physical conditions is important, so I take time to explain physical properties that can determine success or failure in the various recipes. That is a unique departure from traditional recipe books or cookbooks.

I even included the section on winemaking that concentrates on the best techniques for making wine at home, and a full description of supplies, materials, techniques, costs, sources, and some theoretical treatment beyond what you will find in typical wine recipes.
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