Cooking

This is my on-line recipe book.  It is growing all the time..  The local copy of this site is what I use when I actually use a recipe.  Most of my cooking is "off the cuff". Follow a recipe?  Not me! Not Likely!  I'll read several then close the books and start cooking.  That makes this site a real challenge.
I hope you enjoy browsing these listings and find some new ideas.  All additions are always welcome.

Make Ahead Dinner Party 

from September 2000 Real Simple Magazine 

Contents:

fresh corn and tomato soup 
beans with pancetta and caramelized onions
herb grilled shrimp 
roasted apricots
dulce de leche

Fresh Corn and Tomato Soup 

serves  8

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
10 ears corn, husked and cut from the cob, or 10 cups frozen corn kernels (4 [10-ounce] packages)
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock
5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
8 sprigs dill

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat and cook onions without browning until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until corn is tender and liquid has reduced slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper, stir, and remove from heat.
Serve in bowls with dollops of sour cream and dill sprigs.

Herb Grilled Shrimp 
and Wilted Spinach with Fennel

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons mixed herbs (parsley, thyme, mint, marjoram), roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
40 (8- to 10-inch) wooden skewers
3 (10-ounce) packages baby spinach
2 teaspoons fennel seeds

In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
Soak skewers in warm water at least 20 min utes while shrimp is marinating.
Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over low heat and wilt spinach with fennel seeds, about 3 to 4 minutes (do in two batches if necessary). Remove skillet from heat and cover to keep warm.
Heat broiler or grill. Remove shrimp from mar inade and thread onto skewers. Broil or grill the shrimp until just done, about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve shrimp and spinach with the beans.

Beans with Pancetta and Caramelized Onions

11/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 pound pancetta or bacon, Cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 cups fresh black-eyed peas 
or lima or cranbeny beans, shelled, 
or 1 pound dried (soaked overnight), 
or 21/2 (15-ounce) canned beans 1 bay leaf

In a large saucepan, combine oil and pancetta and cook over low heat until crisp and golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain pancetta on a paper towel and reserve. In the same pan, cook onions over medium heat until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Tilt pan to remove excess fat; add beans, bay leaf, and 21/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Add pancetta and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Apricots with Sugared Pecans 
and Dulce de Leche

 

12 apricots, halved
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup dulce de leche 

(recipe below or substitute Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream)

Heat broiler. Place apricot halves, cut side up, on one half of a baking sheet. Brash tops with 2 table spoons of butter; sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of sugar. 

In a small bowl, toss pecans with remaining butter and sugar and spread them out on the other half of the baking sheet. Broil for 2 to 3 min utes, watching carefully, until apricots begin to brown and pecans are lightly toasted.

Place three apricot halves on each plate, drizzle with warm dulce de leche, and sprinkle with the
pecans.

dulce de leche

1 can sweetened condensed milk
With a pointed bottle opener, pierce two holes in the top of the can. Place in a small saucepan and add enough water to reach three quarters of the way up the can. Bring to a boil and continue boiling on medium-high heat for 1 to 11/2 hours, adding water as needed to keep it at the halfway mark on the can. To test, pour a little onto a plate; when the color has turned light brown or caramel, it is done. Allow to cool before handling.