Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Got this recipe from a Jewish friend years ago when I lived in Bentonville. It's really good and quick.

Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  20 Minutes
Yield:  Yields about 12 pancakes
 Peel and coarsely grate potatoes, cover with cold water and refrigerate until ready to make latkes. Drain and continue with the rest of the directions.
3 russet potatoes
1 small onion
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 to 1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Coarsley grate the onion into the potatoes.
Add flour, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat about 1/3 cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the oil and flatten with the back of the spoon. Fry, flipping once or twice, until crisp and brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the latkes are fried, adding more oil as needed.

They can be served with a dollop of sour cream on top or just plain. Either way, they're great.

Friday, January 20, 2012


This is another of my favorite comfort foods. Don't let the chicken livers scare you. That's what gives the rice that "dirty" look. won't even know the livers are in there but it's extremely healthy.


1/4 to 1/2 pound chicken livers (Less can be used. Since livers are crumbled up, you probably won't even notice the liver in this dish.)
1 medium onion, diced
Cover with water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

When livers are done, remove them from liquid, crumble livers up with your hands, set aside.
One pound of hamburger, broken up and fried in 1 tablespoon oil or bacon drippings. DO NOT DRAIN.

In a larger pot, add 4 cups of chicken broth that includes the liquid from the cooked livers.
Bring to a boil, add 4 cups Minute Rice and stir. Cover, remove from heat in 5 minutes or when liquid is absorbed. Add crumbled livers, hamburger with the cooking oil into the rice and mix well.

Garnish with finely chopped green onions or parsley.
Variation: Cajun seasoning can be used if desired.

Another variation I use sometimes: During the holidays I make sure the turkey has giblets with it. I cook the giblets and the neck overnight with salt and pepper. Cook slowly, covered for 4 hours so they fall apart. Then crumble up the liver, cut up the gizzard and heart into small pieces. Strip all the meat off of turkey neck and include it in the dirty rice. Bring to a boil. Then add soy sauce, red pepper flakes and minute rice. Cover and remove from heat. In 5 minutes you have a great dish for Thanksgiving.

Monday, January 16, 2012


The biggest secret for good fried rice is to either use rice from a previous meal or cook your rice the day before. It must be refrigerated and don't cover it. This allows it to partially dry and prevents ending up with a mushy concoction that resembles mashed potatoes instead of fried rice.

If you're making fried rice as a side dish, use 3-4 cups of rice. If the rice is going to be your meal, use 8 cups of cooked rice.

If you're using 3 to 4 cups of rice - put 2 tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet or a wok. I use a skillet.
If you're using 8 cups cooke rice - use 4-5 tablespoons oil.

Heat oil and quickly add cooked rice. Stir fry until rice is hot. Scoop rice back around the pan until a well is formed in the center of rice. Add 1 or 2 lightly beaten eggs into the well, stirring until egg begins to thicken. Then mix through the rice. Add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste. Just remember you can always put more soy sauce on it but you can't remove it if you get too much. Put finely chopped green onions on top and serve.

Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover vegetables or meat. You can use almost anything in it.

Start by chopping your meat and quickly frying. Remove meat and fry your vegetables the same way, removing from pan.

NOW fry your rice in the same oil that will have juices from the meat in it. Stir thoroughly and proceed with the eggs. Add your soy sauce, vegetable and meat. Mix well. Add finely chopped green onions on top.

My family and friends prefer shrimp fried rice. I get frozen cooked shrimp from Schwan's. Much easier than having to cook,  and devein uncooked shrimp.

Make sure you chop vegetables into small pieces. Vegetables you can use:
broccoli, peas, baby corn on the cob, asparagus, carrots, snow peas. If you like dried shiitake mushrooms, soak first. If you don't have green onions on hand, chop up a little regular onion and stir fry it with your other vegetables. Use your imagination. The chinese use whatever happens to be in season.
TIP: Always use fresh or frozen vegetables. Never use canned.

Meats are the same way. Just chop in small pieces. You can use shrimp, beef, pork, chinese sausage, ham. Use any combination of them. Use all of them. Whatever works for you. Don't eat meat? Chop  tofu into inch pieces and fry that.

Chinese fried rice is versatile, quick to make, and will be a big hit!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Wonton wrappers
Sausage (the ground kind) I prefer the seasoned type that's hot. The sage seasoned sausage is also good in this. It usually takes about 1/2 pound of sausage.
One egg yolk beaten.

One chicken
One head Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
garnish with 3 green onions, chopped thinly (optional)

While doing this, keep your stack of wonton wrappers covered with a damp cloth so they won't dry out while you're working.
Place 1/2 teaspoon of sausage on a wrapper. spread a thin layer of egg yolk around the flat part of wrapper, fold into a triangle. Starting at the sausage lump, press wrapper together with your fingers to remove all the air and seal well. Set aside. If you make these earlier in the day, refrigerate immediately after making.

Repeat this. I don't know how many YOU want. This recipe will make a large pot of soup but is easy for you to adjust depending on how many you're cooking for.  If you're cooking for two, take half of the stock and freeze it to use later.

The stuffed wontons can be put on a cookie sheet and frozen. When frozen, place wontons in a zip lock bag and save for later use.


Place chicken in a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for one hour. Then remove chicken, let cool until easy to handle. Remove all chicken from the bones and put back in the pot. Add soy sauce. Salt and pepper to taste at this time.

Starting at the open end of cabbage, slice the whole head into thin strips. Put cabbage into boiling  soup and cook until done but still crispy. Will only take 4 - 5 minutes. Put wontons into soup, one at a time and boil for another 5 minutes. (Don't put so many wontons in that they are all crowded together.) Check a wonton to make sure the sausage is done inside. Turn off heat.

Add green onions, stir. Dish up soup and enjoy!
Will serve 4-6 as a main dish.

Another option is to deep fry the stuffed wontons until golden brown, drain and set aside. Then cook your soup and add the fried wontons right before serving. Either way is delicious. Sometimes I use this method and sometimes the first one.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I absolutely love sharing my favorite recipes. Remember I never said they were healthy, I just said they were good. Lots of them we only have on special occasions or maybe once a month.

The one I'm sharing this time is not only delicious but healthy. Let me know if you like it!

Before you start the soup, get some wonton wrappers. Slice several of them into 1/2 inch wide strips, and separate them into individual strips. Heat to medium high, enough oil to deep fry these. They will turn brown (almost immediately), dip them out with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander. These can be done ahead of time, providing you can keep your family out of them. Now you're ready to start your soup. If you've got a bunch of people to feed, double this recipe.

In a medium sauce pan:

1 large box of Swanson chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce

If you have some fresh ginger, bruise a few slices with the side of a flat knife, gently boil it in the broth for a few minutes and remove. I never have this on hand so I usually skip this step, but it does add a little depth to your soup.

When broth is boiling, while stirring add: 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Here's the technique nobody ever tells you. At this point you don't want your soup boiling but it MUST be steaming hot.

Beat 2 eggs really well. Turn off heat under pot. With the soup steaming….stir the soup clockwise, with a wooden spoon, until the soup is swirling. Now pour the beaten eggs into the soup BUT SLOWLY POUR THEM THROUGH A FORK! When the soup slows down swirling, stir it again to make it swirl, and pour more eggs in. Pouring the eggs through a fork will produce the egg threads you want. Add a pinch of salt.

Add 2-3 minced green onions (scallions) and serve with the fried wonton strips.

Let me explain why you need to use a wooden spoon to stir your soup. A metal spoon conducts heat and will cause your soup to cool off too much to properly cook the egg threads.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


My two favorite SEC teams are playing soon. Arkansas vs. Kansas, playing in the Cotton Bowl is January 6 and the SEC championship between Alabama and LSU is January 9.

One of my rules for football days is diets go out the window. The other rule is all food must be quick, easy and special.

Tomorrow is going to be the recipe for Garlic Spaghetti in the last blog. Both days the games start at 8 pm. Since they're late games, I'll be mixing up a bowl of my Clam Dip and chips. If anyone else calls and want to come to watch the game, I'll just double the recipe for the dip.

2 packages Kraft Cream Cheese. (Not low fat or your dip will have a sweetish tang)
1 Can baby clams with juice
1 teaspoon concentrated lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 good dash worcestershire sauce.

Let cream cheese soften overnight.
Put cream cheese in a bowl
Add juice from clams, lemon juice and worcestershire sauce.
Mix well with a fork.

Add the baby clams and garlic salt to taste Mix well. Refrigerate immediately for 2-4 hours. Serve with chips of your choice.

Monday, January 2, 2012


The purpose of this whole blog is to share some of MY recipes. However….oh yeah, there's a however. Hands down, my favorite comfort food in the whole world comes from a friend, Crescent Dragonwagon, who writes the most wonderful cookbooks.

I thought the recipe might be lost forever, since it was in a book that is now out of print. I asked her if I could share it here and she agreed, although the recipe now appears in another of her books, Passionate Vegetarian. Don't decide this is a carbonara recipe. It's Crescent's twist that had it's roots in carbonara. I would choose this over carbonara any time.

Don't let the amount of raw garlic or the raw egg scare you. The hot spaghetti will cook the egg. If you decide to back off of the amount of garlic, you will never know just how wonderful this tastes. If you love garlic, your taste buds will love you for this one.

The Great, The One and Only, Garlic Spaghetti
Prepare 8 ounces of dry spaghetti according to package directions.

While spaghetti is cooking, you'll prepare the "sauce" - a thick paste, really, that you will toss over the cooked hot spaghetti.
Into a blender put
1 raw egg
5 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed - not less!
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
Whirl all together, until smooth and well blended. One can do this by hand, if the garlic is put through a press. When the spaghetti is cooked and drained, place it in a large bowl or pan and spoon over it the garlic - cheese paste and add:
1/4 cup chopped parsley
fresh coarsely ground black pepper to taste - a lot!

Toss well.  Mound this glorious concoction onto plates and serve.

Like Crescent, I've tried various embellishments on this. Other than the hot pepper, the only one I've found that I really like, is to omit the parsley and use finely chopped green onions.

According to Crescent Dragonwagon, "You will know you used enough garlic if you wake up the next morning tasting it on your breath.