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r e c i p e s

from our cooking lessons
from members' submissions

Autumn 2003
Cooking Lesson #1: Andy's Specials
Cooking Lesson #2: Megan's Vegetarian Mexican Menu
Spring 2003
Cooking Lesson #1: Laura's Peruvian Fusion
Cooking Lesson #2: Rachel's Vegan Summer Menu
Winter 2007
Cooking Lesson: International Desserts

Cooking Lesson #1: Andy's Specials
Ginger Chicken in White Wine Sauce, Golden Mushrooms with Seasonal Vegetables

Ginger Chicken in White Wine Sauce

White wine
Oyster sauce
Soy sauce

Add oil to saucepan together with garlic and ginger.
Add chicken.
Stir fry.
Add soy sauce and oyster sauce.
Stir fry.
Slowly add white wine.
Simmer till cooked.

Golden Mushrooms with Seasonal Vegetables

Array of Mushrooms
seasonal Vegetables
Soy Sauce
Oyster Sauce
Tapioca Flour
White wine

Add oil to saucepan and stir fry chopped garlic.
Add vegetables and stir fry till cooked.
In another saucepan, add oil and garlic.
Add mushroom and stir fry with soy sauce and oyster sauce and white wine/Chinese wine.
Add water to the saucepan and add starch to thicken.
Serve over vegetables.

Cooking Lesson #2: Megan's Vegetarian Mexican Menu
Black Beans, White Rice, Calabacitas con Platano Macho, Agua de Mango

Black Beans

Dried black beans (canned is probably ok)
¼-1/2 Onion, to taste, cut into quarters or eighths
½ head fresh garlic, more or less to taste
Epazote, fresh or dried
Dried avocado leaves, 2-3 per 1lb dry beans

Soak black beans overnight. One to one and a half hours before serving, add the rest of the ingredients. Boil until tender. Remove avocado leaves (and epazote if possible - it’s a little woody to eat) before serving.

White Rice

Dry white rice
Fresh garlic, minced
Onion, finely cut
Water, as needed for amount of dry rice according to package directions
2 chiles jalapenos

Heat a little oil in the pan. Add dry rice, garlic, and onion. Sautee over medium to medium low heat until the rice begins to brown. Add water, epazote, and jalapenos. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed. Remove at least the larger pieces of epazote before serving since large, woody pieces are not fun to eat.

Note: Use garlic, onion, and epazote to taste. In the lesson, we used ½ onion and 3 cloves garlic for 3c dry rice.

Calabacitas con Platano Macho

Tomato, either fresh or canned whole or diced tomatoes
Fresh garlic
3 whole cloves
1 piece of cinnamon stick, approximately the size of a fingernail
Fresh parsley
Fresh zucchini, cut lengthwise and sliced thinly across into ~ 1/8-inch pieces
Ripe plantains, cut into thick ¼-inch slices

Put tomato, onion, garlic, cloves, and cinnamon into a blender and liquefy, adding water if necessary to facilitate blending. Heat a little oil in a skillet and sautee the zucchini until slightly tender. Add the liquefied ingredients with just enough water to just or nearly cover the zucchini. Also add the parsley and plantains at this time. Simmer all until the zucchini and plantains are very tender.

Note: Ingredients are to be adjusted according to taste and number of people being served. At the lesson (8 people), we used nine smallish zucchinis, two plantains, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, ½ onion, and 1 can of diced tomatoes.

Agua de Mango

Very ripe mangoes
Sugar to taste
2-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice*

Peel mango and cut into small pieces. Put pieces in blender and add water to cover. Blend until smooth. Empty into a pitcher, straining to remove fibers if desired, and add water to reach desired thinness. Sugar to taste. *Limejuice can be added to perk up the flavor.

Note: Amount of ingredients depends on size of produce and number of servings desired. At the lesson, we used four medium to large mangoes and served 8 people.

Cooking Lesson #1: Laura's Peruvian Fusion
Anticuchos, Cilantro Sauce, Spanish Rice


4-5 pounds beef (see note below)
2 cloves garlic
2, 26-oz cans of jalapenos, divided use
2 c + 3 T white vinegar, divided use
1/2 t cumin seed
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t achiote (optional)
2 c vegetable oil

This recipe is for 4-5 pounds of meat. I suggest beef stew meat, which comes already cubed. If you want to be really authentic, you could use cubed beef heart. I've never been so brave.

The night before, combine in a blender the garlic, one can of jalapenos, 2 cups of the white vinegar, cumin seed, salt, pepper, and achiote. Pour this marinade over the meat, making sure that all meat is covered. Refrigerate the meat in the marinade overnight.

The next day, skewer the cubes of meat, kabob-style. If you are using wood or bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water for an hour before use. Set aside 2 T of the marinade for later use.

To make the baste, drain the other can of jalapenos, and put them in the blender. Add enough oil to cover the jalapenos. Blend well. In a shallow skillet, fry the jalapenos and oil. This step is best done with the windows open, as the smoke can sting! After roughly ten minutes, the mixture will get somewhat clear. Turn off the heat, and add 3 T of vinegar and the 2 T of marinade set aside earlier.

Grill the kabobs over a hot fire, or use grill pan on a range at a high setting, covering meat with the baste. The more baste you use, the spicier the anticuchos will be.

Cilantro sauce

1 large bunch cilantro
7 large jalapenos, canned in vinegar (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 c vegetable oil

Blend all ingredients coarsely in a blender. Serve with white bread, rice, tortillas, or chips.

Spanish rice

4 T vegetable oil
1 t minced garlic
1 c minced onion
1/2 c chopped hot peppers (see note below)
1 1/2 c chopped tomato
3 c cooked white rice

This is a very flexible, resilient recipe. The type and amount of hot peppers
should be adjusted to taste. Fresh ingredients are great, but canned or even
dried ingredients work just fine.

Heat the oil in a hot skillet or pan. Fry the garlic and onions. When onions
begin to appear more transparent, add the peppers. Two minutes later, add the
tomatoes. After the tomatoes have cooked for two minutes, add the rice.
Continue heating until warm.

Cooking Lesson #2: Rachel's Vegan Grill
Portobello Burgers, French Fried Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage Coleslaw

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches
Serves 4

1 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 Portobello Mushroom caps
½ each red and green bell pepper, cut in strips
1 red onion, cut in thick slices
1 tbsp olive oil
8 slices whole grain bread

Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Place all ingredients (except last 2) in a large Tupperware or strong plastic bag. Shake to coat vegetables well with dressing. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Heat a large grill pan over medium heat, coating lightly with oil. Put onions on first and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add mushrooms and peppers and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning the mushrooms half way through. Mushrooms will be limp, but tender when fully cooked.

Toast bread in a separate grill pan on high or in a toaster. Place vegetables between 2 slices of bread.

This recipe is very easy and very tasty! It also works well on an outdoor grill or in a frying pan.

French Fried Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4

2 large sweet potatoes cut into pen size wedges
1/3 cup olive oil

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. The pan should be hot before placing the sweet potatoes in. Coat the potatoes with the oil.

Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When done, place on a paper towel to drain and season immediately. Serve warm.

It is very important to salt the fries upon removing from the heat as this is when they are most keen to soaking in flavor. Also, do not overcrowd the pan. The fries should fit in only one layer. It may be necessary to cook in batches. Note: this is not deep frying. It is okay if there doesn’t seem to be enough oil, just be sure each fry is uniformly coated.

Cabbage Coleslaw
Serves at least 4

1 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp ground mustard seed
2 tsp anise seed
½ head each green and red cabbage, sliced thinly
2 carrots, julienned thinly
1 red onion sliced crosswise, thinly

Prepare dressing from first 4 ingredients. Toss over vegetables.
Serve chilled.

This coleslaw is best after resting overnight, but will be perfectly crunchy if served right after being prepared. Experiment with other vegetables to add personal color and flavor. Try yellow or red beats cooked slightly and jullienned. Just be sure to keep the sizes similar and the cabbage as the main stage ingredient.

Cooking Lesson: International Desserts
Tarte Tatin aux Pommes et aux Poires (Caramelized Apple and Pear Tart)
Pate Brisee au Sucre (Sweetened Shortcrust Pastry)
Pate Sablee (Rich Sugar Pastry Crust)
Chewy Mochi Balls with Sweet Red Bean Paste (Daifuku)
Green Tea Chocolate-Almond Clusters (Matcha-Chokko)
Galab Jamun

Tarte Tatin aux Pommes et aux Poires (Caramelized Apple and Pear Tart)
The creation of the traditional Tarte Tatin—a caramelized upside-down confection made with apples, or occasionally, pears — is credited to two nineteenth-century sisters named Tatin who worked at their family hotel in the Loire Valley village of Lamotte-Beuvron. But at the Chateaus des Briottieres, an aristocratic bed and breakfast in France’s Anjou region, chatelaine Hedwige de Valbray, who does all the cooking, treats her autumn guests to a tarte Tatin lush with both caramelized apples and pears.

1 recipe Pate Brisee au Scure or Pate Sablee
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ c suagr
4 large Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
4 firm Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and quartered

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a glass stovetop-to-oven casserole (ex: 9-inch Pyrex Visions casserole, the better to see how the fruit is cooking and to prevent burning) or a deep cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan, then tightly pack in the apple and pear slices, alternating them, working from the outside edge of the pan in to the center. Fill in gaps with small slices of apple or pear. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until the butter caramelizes—thickening and turning a golden amber color. Shake the casserole or pan slightly from time to time to prevent sticking and, if you are using a glass casserole, check the bottom for burning. Remove from the heat.
Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface to a thickness of 1/8 inch, then, using a pot cover or upside-down tart tin as a guide, cut out a 10-inch circle. Lay the pastry circle on top of the apples and pears and tuck in the edges around the fruit inside the casserole or pan. Press the dough against the sides to seal. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, until the pastry is a depp golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently loosen the pastry and fruit with a metal spatula. Place a large serving plate top side down over the casserole or pan, invert the tart, and carefully transfer it—fruit side up—to the plate. Serve warm, accompanied by crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.

Pate Brisee au Sucre (Sweetened Shortcrust Pastry)
The pate brisee au sucre, a sweeter, flakier version of the classic pate brisee, works nicely in all sorts of dessert tarts. This recipe, calling for milk instead of water and just a touch of baking powder, is favored by several top patissiers in Paris.

1 ½ c all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small bits
¼ teaspoon slat
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
½ c sugar
4 tablespoons (1/4 c) cold milk

Combine the flour, butter, salt, baking powder and sugar in a food processor or a mixing bowl. Process 10 to 12 seconds, or mash with your fingertips, until the mixture has a dry, crumbly texture resembling coarse cornmeal. Add the milk to the mixture and pulse 10 to 12 times, or work together with your fingertips, just until the dough comes together in a smooth mass, but before it forms into a ball. If the dough is too dry, add another tablespoon of milk and pulse or mix for a couple of seconds.
Remove the dough from the bowl, and work it into a ball with your hands. If the dough is very sticky, adhering to your fingers, coat your palms with flour once or twice and work it into the dough. The dough should be malleable and a bit tacky, but should not stick to your hands. Transfer the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper, press it into a flat disk, wrap it well, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (This dough can be made well ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days). Makes one 12-inch crust.

Pate Sablee (Rich Sugar Pastry Crust)
As rich, sweet and crunchy as a sugar cookie, this pastry crust is best for simple, fresh fruit tarts and tartlets—strawberry, raspberry, tropical fruits—and for jam tarts.

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into bits and slightly softened
1 c confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground blanched almonds (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
2 c all-purpose flour

Combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, eggs, vanilla, almonds if you wish, and salt in a food processor or a mixing bowl and process 5 to 7 seconds, until blended. Add the flour ½ c at a time, pulsing 2 or 3 times, or mixing, after each addition, until the flour is blended and the dough just comes together. Do not let it form a ball. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky. If the dough is sticky, add 2 more tablespoons of flour and process, or mix for a few seconds until blended.
Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it between your hands for about 1 minute, then press it into a flat disk and set it on a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper. Wrap the dough well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or even overnight. Makes one 14-inch crust, or two 9-inch crusts.

Hamantashen (Hamantashen)

Yields: ~ 84 pieces (3” circles)
4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
5 large eggs
1/3 c. oil
1/2 stick regular margarine
1 tsp. lemon extract (grated lemon or orange rind may be added)
Fillings: Solo brand fillings (cans) -- 1 can fills ~30 hamantashen. Traditional fillings are prune and poppy seed; however, we like almond, cherry, & apricot. You may also want to try chocolate chips as a filling. (Do not use preserves, jellies, etc.; they make a huge mess on the cookie sheets because they boil & run out all over the sheet.)

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Sift together the dry (first four) ingredients, then make a well in the center and add the rest (not including fillings), mixing them together.
Roll out 1/8” thick on floured surface (start with a softball-size ball, flatten, then roll), cut 3” circles, fill, shape into triangles, and pinch seams. Combine leftover pieces.
Bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wax paper-covered stack of newspapers. Freeze when cool.

Chewy Mochi Balls with Sweet Red Bean Paste (Daifuku)
Mochi is used in many places in Japanese cuisine, including being used as a wrapper for ice cream. Daifuku is plain, sweet mochi wrapped around red bean paste, another Japanese favorite.

3/4 cups sugar
2 ¼ C water
corn or tapioca starch (for powdering)
Azuki (red bean) paste, preferably smooth

Mix flour, sugar and water well in a microwave-safe bowl until lump-free -- it will be thin.
Microwave on high for approximately 8 minutes. Scoop out with a spoon or slice into cubes and roll in corn- or tapioca starch. The consistency before the starch is much like handling a ball of tacky rubber cement; the starch makes it much easier to handle.
Let the mochi cool until just warm. One at a time, flatten the mochi ball to about ¼" thick and place a small dab (¼ to ½ tsp) of bean paste in the center. Bring the edges together and pinch to fasten them -- this takes practice, so don't be discouraged if you don't get it right away. Seal in the bean paste by pinching the mochi shut, and go on to the next ball. Makes about 8 daifuku.

Green Tea Chocolate-Almond Clusters (Matcha-Chokko)
Blending white chocolate with green tea is a winning combination, one that tones down the cloying sweetness of white chocolate with the fresh, grassy bitterness of green tea. On March 14, which is White Day, men give gifts of white chocolate to all the women who gave them dark chocolate on February 14. Reciprocity is an important aspect of gift giving and has been incorporated into Valentine’s Day rituals in Japan.
Although the history of chocolate in Japan goes back several hundred years, the consumption of it at today’s level is definitely a postwar phenomenon. In general, the Japanese believe that all women have a sweet tooth, while men prefer salty foods. And, until the mid-1970s, the commercial market for chocolate in Japan was almost exclusively female. Then came the introduction of Valentine’s Day, but with a twist. In the Japanese version, women give to men. Women are expected to buy small gifts of chocolate for the “important” men in their lives-father, teacher, boss, husband, or boyfriend. Because pressure is put on women to conform to this ritual, it is called giri chokko, or “obligatory chocolate.” (Giri is one of those guilt-laden words for which the Japanese have a fondness and chokko is short for chocolate.)
These nut clusters, made of slivered almonds and white chocolate infused with jade-colored matcha, are a fitting reward for having fulfilled Valentine duties. For superior flavor, check the label on the white chocolate to make sure it contains cocoa butter.

Makes a dozen clusters:
3 oz white chocolate, finely chopped (about ¼ c)
2 teaspoons matcha
2 oz unsalted, slivered almonds (about ¼ c)

To melt the chocolate, place it in a double boiler. Care needs to be taken to avoid moisture when melting it (any moisture, even a thin film of stem, can make the chocolate seize, or develop lumps). Ideally, the water in the bottom of the boiler will be between 110-120 deg F. Stir with a spoon until it melts completely. When you lift up the spoon, the molten chocolate should flow easily in ribbons back into the pan.
In a small bowl, combine the matcha with a small spoonful of the molten white chocolate and stir well to mix thoroughly. Gradually add the remaining chocolate, stirring constantly until well mixed.
Spread cooking parchment onto a flat work surface. Toss the slivered almonds into the melted green tea chocolate. With a spatula, scrape this mixture out onto parchment paper in a dozen mounds and allow them to dry and set. In a dry, cool room, this will take about 2 hours. When dry, peel the clusters off of the parchment. For extended storage, transfer to a closed container and place on a cool, dark shelf for up to three weeks.
Serve with strong brewed coffee or tea (either green or English-style balck tea).

Galab Jamun

For dough:
2 ½ c dry milk powder
½ c Bisquick mix
1 c heavy cream
For sugar syrup:
ratio of sugar to water 1:1

Boil sugar and water till desired consistency.
Combine milk powder, Bisquick mix and heavy cream. Knead together. Make balls out of batter. On medium heat, deep fry till golden brown. Dip balls in sugar syrup after fried. (Can stuff balls with green cardamom.)