Ray gardner, sr




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Hotel DuPont® Sesame Salad Dressing - ☺♥



From the Hotel DuPont® … an Internet site had this one and according to the author, the recipe wasn’t supposed to be made public. So, what else is new? The recipe as shown on the net wasn’t quite the real thing, so someone was blowing hot air or using bad “secret” information. I sensed that and made modifications.
This dressing is one of my fond memories from eating at business meetings in the Hotel DuPont®, Wilmington, DE. It is unique and most tasty on most any type of green salad.
I found the basic recipe on the web site of another food aficionado without much trouble, and I modified it to make what I remember in taste. I also modified the handling of the egg by coddling it and whisking it before adding the rest of the blended ingredients and whisking while slowly adding them to the egg.
I am pleased to report complete success. This salad dressing is unique in that it cannot be found in any store and it is delicious.
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. of lemon juice

1 large egg (my modification to coddle the egg and whisk it with other blended stuff)

½ cup of ketchup

1/4 cup of sesame oil (my addition)

1/8 cup of honey (my addition)

2 drops of Tabasco sauce

1 rounded tsp. of salt

3/4 tsp. of sugar

1 rounded tsp. of dry mustard

½ tsp. of paprika

½ cup of Miracle Whip®

¼ cup of Mayonnaise (my addition)

3 drops of Worcestershire sauce

7/8 cup soybean oil (my reduction from 1½ cups in the Internet recipe)

½ cup of toasted sesame seeds (my modification to toast the seeds)

½ cup of Tarragon vinegar (or rice vinegar and 1 tsp. fresh crushed tarragon leaves)
Procedure:
Blend all the ingredients except the soybean oil, tarragon vinegar, egg and sesame seeds. Start low and move to high power. Turn back to low and add 7/8 cup soybean oil slowly. Reduce power further and add ½ cup tarragon vinegar. Blend at low speed for a minute then at high speed until the mixture is well blended.
Toast raw sesame seeds in a 300º F oven for two to four minutes on a cookie tray until they turn light tan (or buy McCormick® toasted sesame seeds at Costco® and use them instead). Bump the tray after two minutes to make the seeds turn over for even toasting. Do not allow them to darken beyond a light tan color. Remove and cool the toasted seeds immediately by using a spatula to scrape them onto a plate.
Coddle the egg (add a room temperature extra large egg gently into boiling water from a soup spoon; boil for 45 seconds, remove it and break it into a cool one quart bowl and whisk it). Slowly add the blended salad dressing to the bowl while whisking.
Add the toasted sesame seeds to the dressing and mix manually briefly with a whisk.
This dressing will keep refrigerated for three weeks and longer if kept in a sealed jar. I have yet to vacuum seal it and test for refrigerator shelf life.
Pesto Sauce - ☺♥

If you have ever tasted freshly made pesto you know just how fabulous it can be. It is a most versatile flavoring sauce useful for packing some seriously good flavor into lots of different foods. In fact, it is pretty yummy all by itself.
Here are some examples for using pesto: Some folks love it on pasta, it is a good additive to minestrone or lentil soup, you can add it to marinara sauce, or put it on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise, combine it with boiled new potatoes, steamed greens of different types or sauteed zucchini, brush it onto chicken breasts before roasting, spoon it onto grilled lamb or pork chops, or coat fish filets and then coat them with bread crumbs and bake or broil the fish.
I thank my dear cousin, Joan Bliss for this recipe, which I confess I have modified somewhat based on review of numerous Internet recipes, and I am anxious to try it. I will as usual report back with results and when I am satisfied the recipe shown below will be the official one for Food Nirvana.
Ingredients: (makes a bit more than one cup)
2 cups of fresh basil leaves, compressed into a 2 cup Pyrex® measuring cup

1/3 cup of pine nuts or chopped walnuts

1/2 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

3 or 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. of sea salt

1/4 tsp. of pepper

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts or walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped.
Add the oil, salt and pepper and process until the oil is fully incorporated and the nearly completed pesto is smooth.
Add the cheese and process briefly just until mixed.
Transfer the pesto to a serving bowl and serve it, or you can store it for later use.
Typically pesto is stored in as small a glass jar as it will fit in with a tight fitting lid and then kept in the refrigerator. The idea is that exposure to air will degrade the pesto. Some folks pour a small extra amount of olive oil over the top of the pesto to keep the air away from it. Shelf life per se is not typically a problem as the refrigerated pesto tends to be eaten quickly, but the product should be used within two weeks.
I intend to vacuum seal and freeze portions of freshly made pesto to help use the abundant supply of basil in my herb garden. Of course, if I run out of pesto I can still use my frozen vacuum sealed packets fresh basil to make more pesto during the winter.
Enjoy!

Sweet And Sour Salad Dressing - ☺♥



This recipe is pure serendipity. I tried to recreate it from the memory of taste of what was served to my wife Pat and me in 1968 at the Poor Richard’s Inn® restaurant in Wilmington, DE. It’s too bad that our children, Ray, Jr. and Patty, ages four and three, were too young to enjoy the salad.
Recently, Janet and I tried different recipes from the Internet and we wound up blending two different recipes to hit exactly on the right taste. Who would ever guess that would work? The credit goes to Janet for the recommendation to combine the dressings.
Well, this is one fine salad dressing. Two of my pre-teen grandchildren (Ray’s sons Matthew and Andrew) came back for seconds and then third servings so you know it has to be good. No, there is no candy in this recipe! Deep down inside I am very pleased to bring back something great from the past for the enjoyment of those I love.
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups of soybean oil

1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of maple syrup


¼ cup of ketchup

½ cup of sweet onion, chopped
3 tbsp. of soy sauce
1 tbsp. of Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced


1 tsp. of sea salt

1/8 tsp. of black pepper


1/8 tsp. of cinnamon
1/8 tsp. of ginger
1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. of ground cloves
1/4 tsp. of grated orange peel
Directions:
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, about one to two minutes.
I prefer to make my own croutons for the salad, unseasoned, by simply cubing slices of bread and baking the cubes at 350º F on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with Pam®. Stir every few minutes until golden brown.
This dressing is best served on chopped celery/Chinese cabbage (Napa) with light crisp croutons and a generous amount of grated white cheddar cheese, which is how it was served to me at Poor Richard’s Inn®. It is great on other salad greens as well.
Makes about three cups of salad dressing.

Tartar Sauce - ?

This sauce is great with various kinds of seafood, like crab cakes, fish sandwiches and fried seafood like oysters. This recipe comes from AllRecipes.com® and it is quite close to what I have made for many years. It will be very good. You can vary the amount of lemon juice to suit yourself.
Ingredients:
1 cup of mayonnaise

1 tablespoon (or more) of sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon of minced onion

2 tablespoons of lemon juice (amount optional)

salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Simply mix the ingredients together and then cover the container and refrigerate the sauce for at least one hour before use.

Thousand Island Dressing - ?

A lot of salad dressings can be made from condiments most of us keep in our refrigerators and spices from our cupboards. I decided to provide two recipes for Thousand Island dressing … the first one from Food.com® and the second one from AllRecipes.com® as they vary somewhat in ingredients. I'm sure both will be very good.
Recipe#1:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of ketchup

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of sweet pickle relish

1 teaspoon of white onion, finely minced

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1 dash of black pepper
Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well.

Place dressing in a covered container and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally, so that the sugar dissolves and the flavors blend.
Recipe#2:
Ingredients:
1 cup of mayonnaise

1/2 cup of ketchup

1 cup of sweet pickle relish

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of ground black pepper
Directions:
Simply put all the ingredients together and mix well to combine.

EGG SECTION/RECIPES:

Egg Preparation, Cooking Techniques and Recipes - ☺♥


The cooking references section of Food Nirvana referred to the Culinary Institutes® book, The Professional Chef©, as a great source of cooking information. One section I particularly enjoyed was about handling, processing and cooking eggs. I learned a few important facts that are worth passing on to others so I decided to include some of their egg information and some of my own, and a few recipes. Eggs are so versatile that we use them in all kinds of ways. Here are a few examples: Eggnog, fried/scrambled eggs and omelets, poached eggs, soft and hard boiled eggs, many baked goods, ice creams, pancakes, French toast, salad dressings, souffle´s, egg foo yung. The list goes on and on, so it makes good sense to understand optimal ways of using eggs.
Let's look first at the egg as purchased. Most of all it must be fresh and without any internal development/red spots. When broken open the egg white should not be runny, nor should the yolk be any color other than light yellow, though some producers use feed supplements that result in a slightly darker colored yolk. Jumbo eggs provide the best value for dollar spent, brown or white.
You can process bulk purchase raw eggs and have them for future use by breaking them into a bowl and whisking them and then vacuum sealing specific portions and then freezing them in a deep freeze. I create flat packets of two eggs as they store easily and thaw very quickly later. The frozen eggs are perfectly fine to use as a backup for those times when you unexpectedly run out of eggs and need some immediately, for they can be thawed quickly and used like fresh eggs, except for making dishes like poached eggs or "eggs over easy." I recommend using frozen, vacuum sealed eggs within one year. Note that the frozen eggs develop a darker color when frozen, but on thawing they become the same color as they were when originally processed, so don't think that your frozen eggs are degraded. Various forms of dried eggs are a poor substitute. Avoid them.
A lot of fear mongering has happened regarding the consumption of raw eggs. We use raw eggs in eggnog and in salad dressings like that for Caesar Salad and for dishes like well seasoned raw ground beef and raw egg (Steak Tartare), which is very popular in Europe. And note that raw eggs are typically used in making the best ice creams, like Ben&Jerry's®. Can one become ill eating raw eggs? Of course, salmonella can be had from eggs from a sick chicken or by unsanitary handling. And one can also be hit by a car if he/she is careless. The idea is that the probability of becoming ill if you buy and consume fresh and clean eggs in raw form is almost zero. If you get them from the farm directly and are uncertain about surface contamination then wash any eggs you plan to use raw before you break the shells, gently, in warm soapy water.
What about cholesterol? Your annual physical blood tests will let you know if you have a problem that requires medication and/or diet control, but don't blame the egg. Cholesterol comes from many sources, like meats, and your body actually produces additional cholesterol, so singling out a food like eggs for cholesterol avoidance is flat out silly. The nutritional value of eggs in terms of protein is too high to ignore, especially when you consider the ease of making various egg dishes. They are a great tasting and inexpensive meat substitute for a quick meal. Ignore the whining fear mongerers and simply limit your egg consumption to around six each week, raw or cooked.
Okay ... Now we will look at some egg processing and cooking techniques.
Soft-boiled eggs are prepared by putting raw eggs into cold water in a small to medium size saucepan, with the water almost covering them. Do not crowd the eggs as that can cause shells to break during boiling. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the water. The water is brought to a boil on high heat. The eggs are then cooked on low heat, with the water barely boiling, for anywhere from three minutes to four minutes, based on the size of the eggs, from small to jumbo. Thus, a medium egg will take about three minutes and fifteen seconds, a large egg three minutes and thirty seconds, an extra large egg three minutes and forty-five seconds and a jumbo egg about four minutes. The perfect soft-boiled egg will have barely solidified/cooked white and a completely liquid but warm yolk. Chill each egg briefly in cold water after the boiling period to avoid further cooking and to allow you to handle the eggs without discomfort. Crack the middle of each egg with the edge of a table knife and insert the knife tip into the crack and all the way through the shell on the other side to facilitate breaking the egg in half. The content of each half is removed from the shell carefully with the knife used like a scoop, and the removed content is simply dropped into the serving dish. It is important to avoid getting small bits of eggshell into the dish, so be careful while removing the egg from the shell and also check the serving dish during the process for any bits of shell and remove them. This type of egg is delicious served over hot toast with butter, salt and pepper.
Hard boiled eggs are made in a manner similar to soft boiled eggs except they are boiled for ten minutes and then chilled briefly in cold water. It is best to remove the egg shell while the egg is warm, breaking it gently on any hard surface and peeling/breaking the shell from the egg. Some times it is easiest to do that under a faucet with warm water flowing lightly over the egg. The idea is that some eggs are easy to process regarding shell removal, while others fight you every step of the way. It is a matter of the type and quality of the egg, not how you cooked it. In all instances remove the membrane between the shell and the egg and that will facilitate shell removal. Hard boiled eggs are used as quick and easy snacks, and as sliced cold for salads or halved for making deviled eggs. They are also used whole when making foods like pickled red beets.
We now move on to the world of fried eggs in various forms. The first consideration is the skillet. The Professional Chef© says to have the skillet hot before introducing the raw eggs so that they cook quickly (and retain moisture). I add that the skillet should be thick bottomed and non-stick. I bought Ozeri® ceramic coated skillets that are so good you can cook without oils or butter and clean up afterward with a cold water rinse and a quick cleaning with one paper towel. That is really impressive. I love those skillets and I have them in different sizes with glass lids available when I want them. Sometimes I will use butter for taste when frying eggs but that is not essential to the cooking process if you use an Ozeri® ceramic coated skillet.
If you are making scrambled eggs always break the raw eggs into a bowl and whisk them thoroughly, then add a small amount of milk and any other ingredients you want, including salt and pepper, and whisk until the mixture is uniform. Then pour the mixture into the hot skillet and use a hard polymer spatula to turn the eggs over a few times to avoid overcooking the surface exposed to the skillet. Continue just until the eggs are barely cooked, then quickly remove them to a warmed bowl or a plate. Do not overcook the eggs if you want them to be light and fluffy.
If you are making "eggs over easy" then break the raw eggs into a bowl first, gently, then decant them into the hot skillet gently and evenly and the yolks will not break. Note that the number of eggs to be fried at one time depends on the size of the skillet, such that only half of the area of the skillet is used, allowing for space between each egg. That will facilitate separating and turning the eggs over without risking breaking of the yolks. Separate the eggs from each other after a minute of frying with the spatula and wait for about one minute longer and then use the spatula to flip them over gently. Remove the eggs to a plate after about 30 seconds of frying on the second side. With the Ozeri® skillets you simple tip the skillet and the eggs will slide gently from the skillet onto the plate.
If you are making omelets the frying process is somewhat different. First, start with the same mixture that you would use making scrambled eggs, except hold back on introducing ingredients other than salt and pepper, and possibly use a tiny bit more milk to create a lighter egg/milk mixture that will flow easily within the skillet. Also, use a skillet appropriate to the size of one omelet. Pour the amount of whisked raw egg and milk mixture into the hot skillet, distributing the raw egg mixture evenly on the entire bottom of the skillet. While the bottom surface of the eggs cooks to a light tan or golden brown introduce the other ingredients into the center one-third of the egg mixture, going from one side of the skillet to the other, leaving small areas on both edges of the filled area without extra ingredients, and leave two-thirds of the egg area without any extra ingredients (One third of the area on each side of the center third). After two minutes of frying the underside of the omelet should be turning a light tan or golden brown color, but not necessarily evenly. Put a spatula under one side gently and lift the edge and fold it over to make it partially cover the ingredients in the middle section. Then put the spatula under the other side and make it complete the covering of the middle section, with maximum overlap of the first side. Gently flip the omelet over using a spatula wide enough to keep the omelet from breaking apart. Fry the omelet for one additional minute and then remove it to a warmed plate.
I do not provide other egg recipes in this section. Individual recipes elsewhere in Food Nirvana cover essential details using eggs. In any event, if you follow the procedures recommended in this section you will likely have great egg dishes every time. Enjoy!

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