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Volume 16   Number 21

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No. 15    No. 16    No. 17    No. 18    No. 19    No. 20


  THIS WEEK'S FEATURES AND RECIPES:

   > Article: Barbecue Of A Different Nature

   > Food Funnies: How To Drive Restaurant Workers Insane

       S E L E C T E D    R E C I P E S :

    * Olive Garden Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese
        
    * Filet Mignon with Tarragon
        
    * Lebanese Chicken
        
    * Blue Cheese Burgers
        
    * Heavenly Hashbrown Casserole
        
    * Jalapeno Cornbread
        
    * Tangy Spinach Salad
        
    * Grilled Fruit with Yogurt Sauce

     Healthy Eating:

    Low Carb: Veal Chops in Mustard Sauce

    Diabetic: Summer Fruit Trifle

    Low Fat: Low Fat Bread Pudding

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  This Week's Cooking Tips

    Salad Making Tips:

 * The ratio for a vinaigrette is typically 3 parts oil to 1 part
   vinegar or lemon juice, etc..

 * Chill the serving plates to keep your salad crisp longer.

 * Potatoes will absorb more dressing if you dress them hot then
   refrigerate.

 * Cook pasta for salads very al dente. This will allow the pasta to
   absorb some of the dressing and not become mushy.

 * Fruit juices such as pineapple, orange or mango can be used as
   salad dressing by adding a little vegetable oil, a dash of nutmeg
   and honey if desired. 

 * To turn a vegetable or pasta salad into a main dish, add seafood,
   meat, chicken, or beans. More Cooking Tips

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  This Week's Culinary Quiz (Answer at the bottom of page)

    This delicious dessert is made from a custard base with a
   very brittle crunchy caramel topping. What is it?

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  Quote of the Week:

    "You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an
     airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team,
     or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."

     - Frank Zappa (1940-1993)

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    Make Your Favorite Restaurant
    and Grocery Foods At Home!

   > World Famous Recipes!
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    UPCOMING FOOD HOLIDAYS:

          May is: National Asparagus Month
                  National Barbecue Month
                  National Chocolate Custard Month
                  National Egg Month
                  National Hamburger Month
                  National Salad Month
                  National Salsa Month
                  National Strawberry Month

            May 22 - National Vanilla Pudding Day 
            May 23 - National Taffy Day 
            May 24 - National Escargot Day 
            May 25 - National Wine Day 
            May 26 - National Blueberry Cheesecake Day 
            May 27 - National Grape Popsicle Day 
            May 28 - National Hamburger Day 
            May 29 - National Coq Au Vin Day 

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   Personalized Chef Coats

    Kick it up a notch with a touch of class! Create a
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    Barbecue Of A Different Nature
    by John Havel

  The first time I tackled a pulled pork barbecue I was, more or less,
 just wingin' it. I knew the procedure for a gas grill - remove one
 half of the grate (that's the side you'll be lighting), put some wood
 chips on some aluminum foil over the burners, and cook your pork on
 the other side. I'm not picky about my wood, as long as it's a hard
 wood. I like using firewood bark - make sure to soak it in water for
 about an hour. So far so good, but what's it going to taste like?

  Barbecuing has three general opportunities for flavor. First, you
 want a dry rub which is usually a mixture of sugars and spices. I've
 seen hundreds of different rub recipes, but when I was at the grocery
 store, I picked up some McCormick Grill Mates Barbecue Seasoning. The
 taste reminds me of barbecued potato chips with a sweet and smokey
 flavor. It also has the same ingredients as most rub recipes.

  Next, you want a mop - no, not because you spilled something, but
 a liquid to baste the pork. Here I went with a typical Eastern North
 Carolina vinegar-based sauce. I figured that would offset the sweet
 rub. While the pork is cooking, you want to liberally baste the meat
 with the liquid throughout the cooking process.

  Finally, when the meat has slow cooked for hours and is so tender it
 pulls right apart easily, you'll need a sauce to flavor it. Here's
 where I break tradition. North Carolina BBQer's (along with much of
 the South) use a vinegar-based sauce whereas you'll find sweet tomato
 based sauces in the Midwest (another BBQ hotspot). Here in Upstate
 New York we have a restaurant called Dinosaur Bar-B-Que which has a
 very unique sauce - tomato based but thin and not sweet. It goes with
 the other flavors perfectly.

  Realize one thing when you try this recipe - it's going to take up
 most of your day. The origins of the barbecue are to take a cheap
 piece of meat and cook it all day so that it's tender. This is 100%
 American peasant food and 1000% delicious. While you have the time,
 go all the way and serve it with cole slaw, baked beans, collard
 greens and corn bread. It's hardly a budget breaker.

  Pulled Pork
  =========
    2 boneless pork shoulder halves, about 6 pounds total
    3/4 cup McCormick Grill Mates Barbecue Seasoning
    1 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon salt
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    1 1/2 quarts Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Mutha Sauce
   

  Rub pork with the Barbecue Seasoning covering the entire surface.
 Let it sit at room temperature for one hour. Soak about six cups of
 wood chips in water. Prepare the mop by mixing the vinegar, water,
 Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and oil.

  Remove one half of the grill grate on a gas grill. Light only that
 side and adjust temperature so that, when covered, the temperature is
 a steady 250F. Place several layers of 9 inch square aluminum foil
 over the fire. Add a hand full of wood chips on the foil. Place pork
 on  grill rack. Cover; cook until meat thermometer inserted into
 center of pork registers 165F, turning pork and brushing with cold
 mop every 45 minutes, about 6 hours total. Maintain the temperature
 at 250F and add more wood chips as needed.

  Transfer pork to clean rimmed baking sheet. Let stand until cool
 enough to handle. Shred into bite-size pieces. Combine pork and Mutha
 Sauce in a crock pot. Turn crock pot on high and cook for about two
 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve on hamburger buns.

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  FOOD FUNNIES: How To Drive Restaurant Workers Insane

 9. When the waitress finishes taking your order, stop her before she
    leaves your table and ask if you're supposed to "drive around."

 8. Ask the manager to play "Achy Breaky Heart." Complain loudly
    in a French accent when they play it. Repeat.

 7. Order the cherries jubilee. When it's brought, flaming, to your
    table, scream and try to put it out by throwing dinner rolls
    at it.

 6. At a buffet, take one piece of potato, one grape, etc. at a
    time and give it a loud scolding before eating it.

 5. Each time the server leaves the table, everybody change
    positions.

 4. Throw your fork at the guy at the next table. Call the waiter
    to say that you have dropped your fork. Repeat.

 3. When the waitress brings the sugar packets for your tea, demand
    she bring out the whole box so you can choose your own.

 2. Demand to know why they can call your steak rare if just
    *anybody* can order one.

  ... and the #1 Way to Drive Restaurant Workers Insane ...

 1. Ask the waitress for a bottom for your bottomless cup of coffee.

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  Olive Garden Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese
  ====================================
    1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes sliced 1/4-inch thick 
    1 fluid ounce balsamic vinegar 
    1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves 
    12 ounces fresh whole milk mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella 
    1 tablespoon oregano leaves 
    Sea salt or kosher salt to taste 
    Fresh ground pepper to taste 
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  On a large platter, arrange sliced tomatoes and drizzle with
 balsamic vinegar. Place one basil leaf on top of each tomato slice.
 Slice mozzarella and place on top of basil leaves. Sprinkle oregano,
 salt and black pepper on cheese and drizzle with the olive oil.

      =+=-=+=-=+=-=+= Free Recipes and Cookbooks =+=-=+=-=+=-=+=-=

  Filet Mignon with Tarragon
  ====================
    1 1/2 tablespoons oil 
    1/4 cup shallots 
    1 cup beef broth 
    1/2 cup white wine 
    1/4 cup brandy 
    1/2 cup heavy cream 
    2 tablespoons butter 
    2 cloves garlic, chopped 
    1 lb. baby spinach
    2 tablespoons oil
    4 beef tenderloin steaks, 1 inch 
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
    1 tablespoon tarragon

  Heat oil in saucepan; add shallots and cook for 3 minutes. Add beef
 broth, wine, and brandy; reduce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add
 cream, reduce until 3/4 cup. Set sauce aside.

  Melt butter in skillet, add garlic, saute 1 minute. Add spinach,
 cook until wilted, tossing, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

  In another skillet heat oil, add tenderloins and cook until desired
 doneness. Divide spinach between 4 plates, top each with a filet. Add
 sauce back to steak pan, stir in mustard and tarragon, add salt and
 pepper to taste, pour over steaks.

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  Lebanese Chicken
  ===============
    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts  
    1/3 cup onions, chopped  
    1 clove garlic, minced  
    1 tablespoon butter or margarine  
    2 teaspoons orange zest  
    1/2 cup orange juice  
    1/4 teaspoon salt  
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon  
    1/8 teaspoon allspice  
    2 tablespoons honey  
    1 cup couscous  

  Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cook chicken, onion and
 garlic in the butter in a large skillet for about 6 minutes or until
 chicken is browned, turning once. Add orange zest, orange juice and
 salt to skillet. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for
 5 minutes. Sprinkle cinnamon and allspice onto chicken. Drizzle with
 honey. Simmer uncovered for 5 to 7 minutes more or until chicken is
 tender and no longer pink.

  Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package directions. Top
 couscous with chicken and sauce before serving.

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  Blue Cheese Burgers
  =================
    1/4 pound blue cheese
    3 pounds lean ground beef
    1/2 cup minced fresh chives
    1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    12 hamburger buns

  Crumble the blue cheese into a large mixing bowl, and then
 thoroughly combine with ground beef, chives, hot pepper sauce,
 Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, and mustard. Cover and
 refrigerate for 2 hours.
  Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate.
 Lightly press the meat into about 12 patties. Cook on preheated
 grill until browned on both sides and to your desired doneness.
 Serve on hamburger buns.

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  Heavenly Hashbrown Casserole
  =========================
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1 pint sour cream
    1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
    2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
    2 cups crushed potato chips
    1/2 cup melted butter

  In a large mixing bowl combine onion, sour cream, soup, cheese, salt
 and pepper. Press the excess water out of the hash browns and then
 add them to the soup mixture and mix well. Transfer to a 9x12 inch
 casserole dish. Sprinkle potato chips on top, then drizzle with
 butter. Bake in preheated 350F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until
 golden brown.

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  Jalapeno Cornbread
  ================
    3 tablespoons bacon drippings 
    1/2 cup whole milk 
    1/2 cup whole buttermilk 
    1 large egg 
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
    1 tablespoon jalapeno juice 
    2 tablespoons sugar 
    2 teaspoons baking powder 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    1 cup yellow cornmeal 
    1/2 cup all purpose flour 
    1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced fine 
    1 large green pickled jalapeno, diced fine 
    1/2 cup fresh or fresh frozen yellow corn kernels 

  Preheat the oven to 425F. Put a 8" or 9" cast iron skillet into the
 oven to also be heating up. When hot, remove then add the bacon
 drippings and place back into oven.

  In a large bowl, add the milk, buttermilk, egg, oil, sugar, baking
 powder, salt and jalapeno juice. Mix with a wire whisk until well
 blended. Add the flour, cornmeal, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, and
 corn kernels. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do
 not beat this any more than necessary.

  Remove the skillet and swirl the melted bacon dripping to coat most
 of the inside pan surface. Pour mixture into the skillet and return
 to the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown and
 a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

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  Tangy Spinach Salad
  =================
    1/2 lb. Spinach leaves washed
    3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
    6 slices of bacon
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
    3 tablespoons lemon juice

  Remove and discard stems from spinach. Tear into bite size pieces
 and place in bowl. Add mushroom slices. Cook bacon until crisp,
 remove from pan. To the bacon drippings, add brown sugar, mustard
 and lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Crumble and
 distribute bacon over salad, add hot dressing, toss and serve.

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  Grilled Fruit with Yogurt Sauce
  =======================
  For sauce:
    12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) nonfat plain yogurt
    3 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

  For skewers:
    4 firm-ripe plums, each cut into 8 wedges
    4 firm-ripe peaches, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
    1/2 ripe pineapple (1 1/2 lb), peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch
        pieces

  Special equipment: 24 (8-inch) wooden skewers soaked in water 1 hour

  Prepare grill for cooking. Stir together yogurt, honey, lime juice,
 and mint in a small bowl and chill until ready to serve.

  Thread about 8 pieces of fruit onto each skewer. When fire is
 medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack 3 to 4
 seconds), grill fruit in batches on lightly oiled grill rack, turning
 once, until browned and slightly softened, about 5 minutes total.

  Serve fruit on skewers with sauce on the side.

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   This Week's Culinary Quiz Answer: Creme Brulee

  What a great and quite simple dessert. Make up a basic creme
 anglaise custard base, bake, cover with sugar and burn the sugar
 until it forms a crispy, golden caramel topping. This dessert may
 have originated in Spain where it was known as Crema Catalana or
 England where it was commonly called Burnt Cream, but in the 19th
 Century it became widely known as Creme Brulee and the French were
 credited with having inventing this fine dessert. Creme Caramel is
 also a creamy custard dessert, but the caramel is in the form of
 a gooey and very delicious sauce.

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