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Orange and Egg Salad


Found an old scrapbook from my time in Spain. It is full of recipes! So I'm noting down a few so I'll be able to actually use them. Most of these recipes are just simple, homestyle dishes that I ate. I'm not sure about the proportions, as I was just recording the ingredients (not making them myself most times).

I remember eating this dish often. It's really only recommended if the oranges are very very sweet and ripe!

  • oranges, peeled and sliced
  • hard boiled eggs, the white part chopped into bite-sized pieces and the yolk crumbled
  • romaine lettuce
  • extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, and salt to taste

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Double Plus Good Blueberry Pie


This is adapted from Amanda Hesser's book, Cooking for Mr Latte, and she adapted it from her grandmother's recipe for Double Good Blueberry Pie. I added the "plus" since I have deluxed it out a bit. In a baked shell, you will spread a good layer of vanilla cream cheese and over this you will pour a mixture of cooked berries, fresh berries and lemon in two forms. It's a cold or room temp pie and will refresh, not oppress, you.

Note: this pie seems homely but actually has a rather sophisticated flavor thanks to the lemon zest I've added. True to my usual preference, this isn't a super-sweet pie but has a lot of flavor. In high blueberry season, use less sugar. In early days like these I use the full amount.

1 recipe pie dough

For the cream cheese filling:
8 oz cream cheese at room temp - really at room temp, very soft
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the blueberry filling:
3/4 cup sugar - less in season when berries are very sweet
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
4 cups blueberries - about 2 pints - washed and picked over
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon

Preheat over to 450. Roll out dough, place in 9 inch pie pan and crimp as you would for any crust. Dock with a fork, cover with foil and pour in pie weights, beans, etc. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and bake another 10 minutes. Remove foil and weight and bake until dry about 5 minutes, less if crust is already browning. Remove and cool completely before filling.

Make the cream cheese filling: whisk cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. If too think add a tiny bit of milk or cream. It should be smooth and very spreadable. Set aside.

Make the blueberry filling. In a heavy medium saucepan, place 2 cups of berries, sugar, starch, water and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Wait for it to thicken up and the juices to turn purple and clear, not milky. This may take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice. Tip - zest the lemon BEFORE you cut it in half! Gently fold in the whole berries and turn to combine.

Assemble the pie. Gently spread the cream cheese over the bottom being careful not to break the crust. Carefully pour the blueberries over the cream cheese and spread evenly making sure not to disturb the cheese - there should be two layers here. Chill in the fridge for half an hour, maybe more, to set. Serve at room temp.
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Preserved Strawberries With Chiles


Ladies. You must make these Preserved Strawberries with Chiles.

Refrigerator jams are my favorite - small batches you don't have to can but can allow a short happy life in the fridge - for week, if they last that long. This is from a great website, Food52, and I made this one Sunday morning. The prep is effortless - hull and split strawberries, seed and chop a dried chile or two, scoop sugar, squeeze lemon. I stood over it, stirring occasionally as it came together. The recipe says it can take about an hour to come together but mine took a bit less than 40 minutes - and that was just me standing in the kitchen reading the paper and admiring it with an occasional stir.

I ended up adding a second New Mexico chile; it calls for one to start with and add more if you choose, and it was delightfully spicy. You could stick to one for a more subtle heat. Also, she says to chop the chile roughly, but Brian got a strip of cooked chile and it was too hot for him, so I suggest a finer chop. I didn't think they were that hot, but he did.

We ate this on bagels with and without cream cheese and it was fab. i think it would also be good on a savory sort of thing as a spicy sweet note. You could really crank up the heat and turn it into a kind of chutney and use it as an accompaniment.

I think next time I will try one and a half chiles for my husband's palate unless I'm planning on chutnifying it.

Make this when you have an abundance of local strawberries and you'll have a fine week.
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Ricotta Omelet


This is one of the best things I can think of when you want Breakfast for Dinner. It is a firm but tender omelet rich with garlic and herbs. The cheeses give it body and depth of flavor without making it heavy at all. But it is more substantial and interesting than a regular omelet. By all means, make this for Sunday brunch when you want something easy and special, but I often fall back on this when funds are low but a chap doesn't wish to eat shabbily. You cook it like a frittata.

I usually just serve it with roasted asparagus or a robust little salad, or good tomatoes when they're in season. If there is good bread to be had, serve it. Or toast a slice for each plate.

This serves two a good meal. I'm uncertain about increasing the proportions?

4 or 5 large eggs
1 cup ricotta - you can use whole milk or skim
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 tablespoon favorite fresh herb (I like basil or sage) chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, fresh pepper

Heat broiler in oven.

Beat eggs with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Add ricotta, parmesan, garlic and herbs and stir to combine. It's okay if it's lumpy.

Heat a good knob of butter in an 8 inch skillet over medium heat. Nonstick would probably be best. When butter is sizzling, add egg mixture and lower heat to med-low and allow to cook gently until side start to firm and top is wet but not sloshy. Put under broiler until top firms and browns slightly.

Slip out of pan and serve.
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Caramel Icing Caramel Fudge


A friend of mine down the street mentioned that she could eat a plate full of just caramel icing after I gave her the hideous yet delicious remaining half of a blackberry jam cake with said icing after my own family cried uncle on it. That jogged a memory from my childhood. Her birthday was last week so I had my mother dig through her mother's recipes and I made for my friend a plate full of pieces of caramel icing - caramel "fudge," if you will. My grandmother used to make a plate of this icing for my mother when she was a little girl after Mom made a declaration similar to my friend's.

You can use this to ice a small one-layer cake or you can pour it onto a plate where it will harden quickly and you can slice it into chunks and indulge in terrifying decadence. I warn you - this is very sweet and very delicious and you will commit terrible indiscretions if left alone with it. It is sweet, creamy and crumbly all at the same time.

A final note: like all good caramel icings - sometimes called "penuche" - this hardens quickly so if you're icing a cake, dump it on the top and ice it VERY quickly. You can sometimes buy a little extra time if you dip your spatula in hot water - but not much. I have never doubled it but you would need two times this recipe for a layer cake.

It, like most sins, is terrifyingly easy so be careful about having the ingredients on hand.

In a small saucepan, bring to a boil and boil two minutes:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of light brown sugar, packed

Add 1/4 cup evaporated milk and bring back to a boil.h

Take off heat and add:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple flavoring - I found mine at Whole Foods

Beat well; you may still have some texture, but that's okay.

Ice your cake QUICKLY or pour into a plate, allow to cool and slice into squares for "fudge."
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Near East Greek Taboule Salad

Paula JeannePaula Jeanne

I was having friends back to the house last night after dinner out. I wanted something light to put out when we got back. This was perfect and went well with the Pinot Noir we were drinking. I made it in the afternoon so it could be refrigerated for at least an hour. The recipe is on the back of the Near East Taboule Wheat Salad box. I followed the recipe but used extra virgin olive oil, extra basil and a lot more lemon juice. For that matter I used the whole box of feta cheese about 6 ounces. I put it in a big bowl with two spoons and a tray of crackers, three inch pieces of romaine lettuce and endive pieces. Definitely need cocktail napkins with this !!! When our company left the dogs made a direct hit to the living room rug to feast on fallen taboule.

1 package NEAR EAST Taboule Wheat Salad
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large tomato chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup or 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1. In a large bowl, combine wheat and contents of spice sack. Stir in 1 cup boiling water. Cover, let stand 30 minutes in refrigerator. (Meanwhile go get dressed for dinner. By the time you come back you will be ready for the next step).
2. Stir in all other ingredients well. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Stir well before serving.
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Fisherman's Stew


Fisherman's Stew (Soup)
Adapted from Real Simple

Serves 2 (can be increased)

1/2 lb of white, firm fish (I used Tiliapia bcus its cheap)
1/4 lb of shrimp (orig recipe called for mussels)
1 14 oz can of tomatoes (If you want soup, I would use 28 oz)
1 leek, cut into 1 inch half moons
2 cloves of garlic
Season to taste w/ creole seasoning, salt, and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes (again to taste)
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup sherry
Handful of flat leaf parsley

Saute leek and garlic in olive oil until soft (3-4 mins). Add tomatoes, sherry, seasonings. Simmer for 15 mins. Add fish and shrimp and cook until done (4 or 5 mins). Add parsley and remove from heat. Serve with rice (if stew-like texture) or a piece of crusty bread.

I'm already thinking about next time putting a a tablespoon of pesto (inspired by Panera's vegetable soup).

The original recipe called for a fennel bulb, but I hate fennel)
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