Latest from The Spokesman-Review
It’s a coincidence that it was National Zucchini Day when I tested this dish for Dinner Together.
Some like to call it National Leave a Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day, but after you make this dish, you won’t be afraid to accept those monster squash.
This take on eggplant parmesan is easy, delicious and relies on seasonal abundance so it is easy on your grocery budget, too. It can easily feed a crowd. Add a green salad and bread for soaking up the marinara sauce. More here. Lorie Hutson, SR
I heart zuchinni! I slice it into spears, toss it in olive oil, add seasoning and grill it. So good. Do you like zuchinni? Got a favorite way to eat it?
My colleague and Slice writer Paul Turner shared some mail he received from a reader.
The reader said she is a “thrift store cookbook seeker” and found a recipe for Spokane Cookies in a book that she picked up on a trip with her daughter.
She copied and sent the page from a church cookbook compiled by the Woman's Society of Christian Service at the Ninth Street Methodist Church in Three Rivers, Mich.
“I wonder how many cooks in Spokane will be baking 'Spokane Cookies' for their friends,” she wrote in her note, which landed on my desk before the holidays.
I haven't come across a similar recipe searching the Dorothy Dean archive over the years. A quick web search didn't turn up any similar “Spokane Cookies.”
It makes me wonder if it was a recipe shared between friends and family, or if it is a reference to something other than this area.
Have you ever come across Spokane Cookies? What would you consider a Spokane cookie?
If you need me this weekend, I’ll be in the kitchen making my holiday cookies and gifts.
There’s still time to join me and whip together some treats for others before the season slips away. I'm fussing over ideas for the Meyer lemons I found this weekend at Costco. I was thinking of lemon curd, but I'm cranky about the recipes I've found because they call for bottled lemon juice to ensure they are canned safely. I may end up with a freezer curd instead. I'll report back on what I make.
Here are some of the recipes I’ve made in the past that were well received:
From “Gifts Cooks Love,” by Diane Morgan (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010)
2 1/2 pounds (6 to 8 medium) oranges (such as Valencia or Cara Cara)
3/4 pound (2 large) lemons
6 cups cold water
20 green cardamom pods, crushed
8 cups granulated sugar
Prepare the fruit 12 to 24 hours before you plan to cook and preserve the marmalade. Wash and pat dry all the fruit. Trim and discard the stem ends. Cut the oranges and lemons into quarters and poke out all the seeds with the tip of a paring knife. Reserve the seeds in a small covered container. Using a sharp chef’s knife or mandoline, cut all the citrus, including the rinds, into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Put the sliced fruit in a large pot, including any juices left on the cutting board. Add the 6 cups of water. Gently press down on the fruit to make sure it is submerged. Cover the pot and set aside at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (This softens the rinds and releases the pectin.)
The next day, bring the pot of sliced fruit and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils steadily without splattering, and cook for 30 minutes. Wrap the crushed cardamom pods and the reserved lemon and orange seeds in a cheesecloth bag tied securely with kitchen twine.
While the fruit is cooking, prepare the preserving jars and bring water to a boil in a water bath canner. Sterilize the jars and lids.
Add the sugar to the fruit mixture and stir until dissolved. Add the cheesecloth bag of cardamom and seeds. Continue to cook the marmalade at a steady boil until it reaches the gel stage (see note) or reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
Remove the cheesecloth bag from the marmalade, pressing any liquids back into the pan.
Remove the marmalade from the heat. Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the marmalade into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by running a long wooden utensil, such as a chopstick or wooden skewer, between the jar and the marmalade. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to the manufacturer’s directions. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes, and then lift the canning rack and, using a canning jar lifter, transfer the jars to a towel-lined, sturdy rimmed baking sheet and let them rest. Check the seals, wipe the jars, and label.
Note: Here’s an easy way to check whether the marmalade is set. Put a small plate in the freezer. When the marmalade looks thickish and a bit gelled, put a small amount of the marmalade on the frozen plate and return it to the freezer. After a couple of minutes, run your finger or a spoon down the center and see if it stays separated and is a bit wrinkled. If so, it is done.
Storing: Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
Yield: 11 half-pint jars
Nutella Biscotti with Hazelnuts and Chocolate
From “The Art and Soul of Baking,” by Cindy Mushet (Andrews McMeel, 2008). These crisp, twice-baked Italian favorites are perfect for dunking in coffee, tea or hot chocolate. They’ll keep in an airtight container for two months.
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup Nutella, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) chopped skinned toasted hazelnuts (see note)
5 ounces good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch chunks, or 1 cup (6 1/2 ounces) mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) superfine sugar, optional (see note)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position oven rack in the center.
For the dough: Place the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and slightly lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. You also can use a hand mixer in a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results.
Add Nutella and blend well. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (15 to 20 seconds) and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly, just until there are no more patches of flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips and mix on low, just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure the nuts and chips are evenly distributed and there are no patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl.
To shape and bake the dough: Divide the dough in half. On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, gently squeeze and roll each piece to shape into logs about 13 inches long. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the logs on the sheet about 4 inches apart. Press down the logs, flattening them slightly until they are each about 2 inches across the top. Place a second baking sheet under the first (to prevent the bottoms of the logs from browning too quickly).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch and lightly golden brown. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the logs cool completely. (If you attempt to slice them while warm, the chocolate will smear and the cookies will look messy.)
Cut the logs and bake them a second time. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees and position two racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Carefully transfer the cookie logs to a cutting surface. Use a serrated knife to slice the logs on a slight diagonal into cookies 3/8-inch thick.
Line the second baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cookies, cut side down, on the parchment-lined sheets. (You’ll need both sheets to hold all the cookies).
Toast the cookies in the oven, switching the sheets between the rack and rotating each front to back halfway through, for 30 to 40 minutes, until dry and lightly tinged with color. Transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cookies are toasting, prepare the finishing sugar if you like. Whisk together the superfine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven and off the rack, immediately roll them in the cinnamon sugar and return to the baking sheet to cool completely.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 months. If the cookies soften during storage, re-crisp them in a 300-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool and return to storage container.
Notes: To toast and skin hazelnuts, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 10 to 14 minutes. The skins will begin to split and come away from the nuts. Transfer the hot nuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them lightly inside it so the steam will help loosen the skins. After 3 to 4 minutes, rub hazelnuts vigorously inside the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. Depending on the variety, you may be able to remove some of the skin, but sometimes very little rubs off. Don’t worry, the remaining skin will add flavor and color to your baking.
Superfine sugar is sometimes labeled “baker’s sugar.” To make your own, whirl granulated sugar in the food processor for about 60 seconds. You can substitute superfine sugar for granulated sugar on a 1 to 1 ratio one to one.
Yield: About 45 biscotti
Cranberry Turtle Bars
From “The Gourmet Cookie Book,” from the editors of Gourmet magazine. The recipe is also available at www.epicurious.com, along with dozens of other cookie and treat recipes. I chopped the cranberries when I made this recipe, but some reviewers suggested keeping the cranberries whole. I’m going to try that when I make these again.
For the base:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the topping:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed; 6 3/4 oz), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups pecans (12 ounces), toasted and cooled, then coarsely chopped
For the decoration:
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), very finely chopped
Special equipment: a candy thermometer
To make the base: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 short sides. Butter all 4 sides (but not bottom).
Blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and pulse until mixture begins to form small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Sprinkle into baking pan, then press down firmly all over with a metal spatula to form an even layer. Bake in middle of oven until golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.
To make the topping: Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245 degrees F on thermometer, about 8 minutes. Carefully stir in cranberries, then boil until caramel returns to 245 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then stir in pecans until well coated. Working quickly, spread caramel topping over base, using a fork to distribute nuts and berries evenly. Cool completely.
Cut and decorate bars: Lift bars in foil from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 6 crosswise strips, then 6 lengthwise strips to form 36 bars.
Melt half of chocolate in top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and add remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Transfer chocolate to a small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip off a tiny piece of one corner to form a small hole, then pipe chocolate decoratively over bars. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets, about 1 hour.
Note: Bars keep in an airtight container (use wax paper between layers) 1 week.
Yield: 36 bars
Here's the link storm from the Fresh Sheet in Wednesday's food section.
All of the details for the national contests at this year's Spokane Interstate Fair can be found in the exhibitors guide on the fair website. The Spokane Interstate Fair will be held Sept. 7 through 16.
Ghirardelli Rocky Road Cupcakes
From Ghirardelli, www.ghirardelli.com
2 cups Ghirardelli 60 percent bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup mini marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the lower third. Prepare muffin pan by placing paper liners in cups and greasing or spraying top surface. Grease or spray the top surface of the pan with nonstick spray and line the cups with paper liners. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips with the butter, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove the chocolate from the heat and let it cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together thoroughly. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is very pale and thick.
Scrape the warm chocolate over the egg mixture and fold it in with a large rubber spatula. Sprinkle the flour into the bowl with half of the remaining chocolate chips and half of the walnuts. Fold just until the ingredients are blended.
Divide the batter evenly among the lined cups. Sprinkle the tops with marshmallows followed by the remaining walnuts and the remaining chocolate chips. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until the marshmallows are golden brown.
Set the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run the tip of a table knife around the top of each cupcake to detach any melted marshmallow or chocolate from the pan. Let the cupcakes cool until firm enough to remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
The Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association will host the Jackass Kickin’ BBQ Cook-off on June 29 and 30 at the Sunnyside Elementary School, 790 Bunker Ave., Kellogg, Idaho. The competition is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event and Idaho state championship with a $5,000 purse. Entry details are online here.
Barbecue eaters can get a taste of the action on Saturday, June 30 at the public barbecue dinner from 3 to 6 p.m. More details about those activities are online.
And yes, I lost my mind and typed in the wrong recipe from “Pops! Icy Treats for Everyone.”
Here's the recipe for the Caramel Latte Pops … really.
Caramel Latte Pops
6 to 8 shots freshly brewed espresso or more if desired
4 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1/4 cup finely diced soft caramel candies
Put the espresso in a bowl.
Stir in the milk, caramel sauce and caramel candies.
Pour the mixture into the pop molds. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 6 hours.
Remove from the freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds. Serve.
Yield: 6 (8-ounce) pops
My former colleague Jamie Neely, who is now an assistant journalism professor at Eastern Washington University, sent along some links to some videos her students have been producing for the student newspaper.
“Dorm Gourmet,” she said, is an “authentic student perspective on dorm cooking, and our students are having a riot producing them. Perhaps even a sophisticated foodie like you would get a kick out of them, too.”
I did. And I can't resist sharing them here.
They are clever and a little goofy at times. I love the unflinching look at what is really being eaten in Eastern Washington University dorms punctuated by trendy descriptions. Notice how few pots and pans there are to wash.
My favorite scene? When cook Josh Friesen can't find any place to drain the bacon, so he just dumps it all right into the dish.
Friesen tackles some complex dishes in the videos which feature Tuna Ramen Casserole, Easy Cheesy Beef and Bean Burritos, Chili Mac with Bacon and Bag Omelets. (And by complex, I mean there is more than one can and/or bag to open).
Here is the link to the Easterner and the Dorm Gourmet videos.
Spokane cook Nancy Patrykus was awarded a blue ribbon in the Just a Pinch recipe contest for her authentic recipe.
Just a Pinch is a new online social site for American cooks. Food editor Janet Tharpe chose Patrykus' Irish Boxty because it is “a full-flavored festive dish” that is both tasty and easy to prepare.
“[This recipe is] from my Irish friend Coleen. She has given me some really great authentic [recipes] over the years. She left Ireland in 1940,” Patrykus told Just a Pinch editors.
Just a Pinch allows cooks access to thousands of recipes shared by members. Known as “America's Great Recipe Swap,” members can post their own family tested and approved recipes, try recipes submitted by others and enter contests. The site also lets members use an online recipe box and chat online about recipes and cooking tips.
Editors say less than 2 percent of the 80,000 recipes posted on the site have received a blue ribbon award. Congratulations Nancy!
Just a Pinch offers free and premium memberships.
Here's Patrykus' recipe, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.
These crispy fried potato cakes earned Spokane cook Nancy Patrykus a blue ribbon from the food editor of the Just a Pinch Recipe Club.
1 pound potatoes
1 onion, chopped fine
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Ste half of the potatoes aside for later. Peel and cut remaining potatoes into large chunks and place in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil ver high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Mash potatoes and set bowl aside.
Now peel and grate reserved potatoes and then stir into the mashed potatoes. Add onion, flour, salt and pepper; mix well. Stir in milk and egg to form a batter.
In a large skillet, heat oil over meidum heat. Drop batter from a tablespoon into the hot oil and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel. Transfer to your serving dish. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
Yield: 20 cakes
GAME FOR COOKING — Most hunters relish bringing back their game for the family table. In the following story, a Montana hunter, mother, cook and comptetitive shooter tells about her adventure with saving a mule deer buck's heart from the gutpile and turning it into a feast.
Read on for the story and all the details via the Outdoor Wire.
There are some who love the leftovers even more than the Thanksgiving feast itself.
We've rounded up some great ways to use up the turkey and other goodies over the weekend in today's Food section.
Here are a couple more bonus recipes to try:
From Fine Cooking Magazine, October/November 2011. Recipe by Bruce Weinstein.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter; more for the baking sheet
8 slices sourdough bread, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
16 thin slices skinless roast turkey breast (or roast chicken breast)
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup brown or dark amber ale, such as Newcastle
6 ounces aged English Cheddar, finely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Position a rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.
Lightly butter a large, rimmed baking sheet. Smear one side of each slice of bread with the mustard. Set the bread slices mustard side up on the baking sheet and top with the turkey.
Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the scallions. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute more, stirring often. Add the milk and beer; whisk until thick and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add all but 1/4 cup of the cheese, the Worcestershire, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and whisk until bubbling, just a few seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese sauce over each sandwich. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Broil until bubbling and browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Cool for a couple of minutes before serving.
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Approximate nutrition per serving, from the magazine: 780 calories, 24 grams fat (14 grams saturated, 28 percent fat calories), 54 grams protein, 82 grams carbohydrate, 135 milligrams cholesterol, 1,460 milligrams sodium.
Turkey Taco Chili
Adapted from “Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Comfort Food” (John Wiley and Sons, 2010)
2 pounds turkey cutlets or about 2 1/2 cups leftover turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 packet taco seasoning
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup diced onion
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken or turkey broth
1/2 cup red taco sauce
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
Salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Fresh cilantro leaves
Crushed tortilla chips, optional
Season turkey cutlets or leftover turkey with taco seasoning, set aside.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add turkey pieces. If using turkey cutlets, cook about 5 minutes or until cooked through.
In a large bowl, stir together diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, taco sauce and garlic salt; pour into pot. Add beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using turkey leftovers, simmer just long enough to heat turkey through and let flavors combine.
To serve, season chili to taste with salt and pepper. Top each serving with shredded cheese and cilantro. Serve hot with crusted tortilla chips, if using.
Yield: 6 servings
Curried Turkey and Israeli Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries
From Fine Cooking Magazine, October/November 2011. Recipe by Ivy Manning.
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup Israeli couscous
6 ounces skinless roast turkey meat, cut into medium dice (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
Freshly ground black pepper
In a 1-quart saucepan, bring the orange juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the dried cranberries, stir, and set aside.
In a 3-quart saucepan, bring 2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the couscous and simmer until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until the couscous is cool. Drain again thoroughly and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the cranberries and orange juice, turkey, almonds, celery, and scallions.
In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, and curry powder. Add to the couscous mixture and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Variations: Israeli couscous is similar to regular couscous but is larger and pearl-shaped. If you don't have any, use orzo or another tiny pasta shape instead.
Yield: 4 servings
Approximate nutrition per serving, from the magazine: 470 calories, 20 grams fat, (2.5 grams saturated), 22 grams protein, 53 grams carbohydrate, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams dietary fiber, 610 milligrams sodium.
HUNTING — Nothing celebrates a successful hunting season more than putting the meat on the table. Hunters work hard for their game, and they pay respect to their effort and their animal when they take care to serve it with a flair.
“Venison is the crowning jewel of game meats,” says Todd Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Outdoor Life, which is running a special story package on game-meat cooking in this month’s magazine. “It’s a high-protein, low-fat meat.”
Read on to sample one of the recipes.
Chloe, you have inspired me. :) This week’s recipes are all about chocolate.
Recipe 1: Mexican Chocolate Icebox Cake
Recipe is here. Looks good, but cold- maybe not the best cake for a 7 degree day.
Recipe 2: Chocolate Chip Scones
Recipe is here. Scones=amazing.
Recipe 3: Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe is here. I had to do it. I mean, what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn’t post a classic chocolate recipe?
Homemade Dog Food. Video is here.
Does anybody make dog food for their dogs? I could totally tell stories about what my grandma makes for her dog. It involves pumpkin, cottage cheese, bacon, and kibble.
Homemade Donuts. Video is here.
Have you ever made donuts? What’s your favorite kind of donut?
Taco Salad. Video is here.
What kind of tacos do you like? Any favorite Mexican foods?