Saturday, November 19, 2005


Indian Greens

2 1/2 lb Swiss chard leaves, washed and coarsely chopped. The white stems are optional, if used wash and cut not too big.
1/2 tsp asafetida
1/3 cup olive oil
red chilli and salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a pan, just medium heat. Add the chilli and asafetida. Cook for a minute.
  2. If using the stems, add them now to the pan and cook for two or three minutes.
  3. Add the leaves and about 1/2 cup of water. Stir. Cover and let it cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook for another five minutes without the lid to let the water evaporate.
  4. Add salt and serve warm.

NOTE - Use ghee or neutral oil for a more authentic Indian flavor. The hot peppers are optional. If using Indian chillies, use 2 or 3, or to taste. The Spanish chillies I keep in my pantry are so hot that a little strip does the trick.

If you are cannot find asafetida, substitute it for two cloves of garlic, peeled and slivered.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Anise pepper

Sichuan Duck with Hot Pepper Sauce

4 cups Chinese leaves, shredded
1 cup parboiled bean sprouts, cooled
3 cups cooked duck breast, sliced
2 tsp freshly ground anise pepper
2 tsp ginger root, grated
2 tbsp scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted

  1. Mix the Chinese leaves and bean sprouts in a serving dish.
  2. Arrange the duck slices on top.
  3. Combine anise pepper, ginger root, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, water, vinegar and sugar. Stir energetically until blended.
  4. Add the chopped scallions. Mix well.
  5. Pour the sauce over the duck breast.
  6. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the duck and sauce.

Sunday, November 6, 2005


Lemon-Anise Baked Fish

a whole white fish, like sea bream or sea bass, scaled, clean and ready for the oven
(2.2lb would render 4 servings)
4 tbsp olive oil, and some for the pan
4 tsp aniseed
3-4 lemon slices

Warm the oven to 390F (180C)

  1. Score the fish on one side two or three times and introduce a half lemon slice in each cut.
  2. Introduce a few seeds inside, season with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil.
  3. Set on an oven pan, cover the bottom with olive oil to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan, and scatter a few more seeds on the oil.
  4. Bake until ready. Be careful not to overcook. It should take about 40 minutes for a 2.2lb fish.
TIP - You can cook the fish on top of a grill, turning once. Try the lemon slices inside. A charcoal fire adds extra flavor, but an ordinary grill can do a good job.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005


Jerk Pork

1/4 cup allspice berries
3 tbsp olive oil
3 scallions, chopped
1-2 fresh red or green chillies, seeded and chopped
1-2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, best if it is freshly ground
4 pieces of pork chops or boneless loin, approx. 1/2 lb each

1. Toast the allspice berries in a small pan for 3-4 minutes.
2. Combine them in a blender with the scallions, chillies, bay leaves, oil and seasoning. Work to a thick paste., adding a little olive oil or water, if necessary.
3. Rub the paste into the pork and leave it covered for at least two hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.
4. Slowly grill the chops for about 40-60 minutes, turning them after half the cooking time. A charcoal fire is preferable.

Tip - to give the meat an authentic aroma, throw allspice berries on the charcoal.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Oven or Slow Cooker?

Baked Beans

1 lb dried navy beans
2 onions, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 lb bacon, diced
1 Tbs salt
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Soak beans in water overnight.
  2. Drain and put all ingredients in cooker. Add 1 cup water and stir to blend. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.
  3. Or preheat oven to 350F. Drain an put all ingredients in a casserole pot. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Stir to blend. Cover and cook in the oven for 6 hours. Check and add liquid if necessary.

    Servings: 8

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Tropical Pineapple Chicken

Pineapple, banana and a splash of lime juice flavor this light and fruity chicken dish, but onions, bell pepper and garlic counteract the sweetness for a delightful contrast of tones and textures. This is a wonderful summer dish to eat on the patio!

8 oz wide egg noodles
3/4 lb fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thickly sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 banana, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 (8-oz.) can pineapple chunks, undrained
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a deep, nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook evenly until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add onion, green onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté until bell pepper is crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Stir in banana, broth, pineapple with juice and lime juice. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Just before serving stir in pasta and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

    Servings: 4
    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 15 minutes

Monday, August 29, 2005

Crab Dip

8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 dash tabasco sauce
1 stick butter
2 tsp minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 lb white crabmeat
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped

  1. Melt the cream cheese and butter. Add the crabmeat and seasonings.
  2. Serve in a chafing dish to keep warm. Good with dip-size corn chips, in pastry shells, or crackers.

Servings: 6

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Jersey's Best, sweet peach crop

This summer, I have been having some exceptional peaches, juicy and sweet. The taste reminded me of those times when the fruit ripened in the tree. I have just learned that New Jersey is the fourth peach producer, after California, South Carolina and Georgia. I wouldn't have though it possible. New Jersey's peach season typically starts in late July and runs until mid- September. This year the crop has been exceptional due to the hot summer on the East Coast. Most of the New Jersey peaches arrive to the market within 24 hours of being picked from the tree.