Thursday, February 28, 2008


(Image by little gator)

Additional recipes from the extended dyke family who love to eat, after the fold.

This lasagna-like Greek dish is so popular and so rich, it needs only a salad to complete the meal. Myra often doubles it to make sure there are leftovers. It'll serve 6-8.

1 lb ground turkey (traditionally, beef, veal or lamb is used, but with all the other fat in this dish, turkey is an acceptable substitute)
1/2 chopped Vidalia or Walla Walla onion
2-1/3 cup whole milk
2 large brown eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons melted butter + 4 tablespoons sliced butter
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces of Ginny's tomato paste
2 cups water
8 ounces ziti, bucatini or penne pasta
4 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling salted water. When two minutes from being done, scoop out and save in a saucepan. To this pan add 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and one beaten egg. Do not cook, just stir together and set aside.

Crumble the ground turkey in a large saucepan and brown over medium heat until no longer pink but not deeply brown (it will cook more in the oven). Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent.

Drain the meat and onions in a colander. Return to the saucepan and add the tomato paste, allowing it to caramelize briefly in the pan before adding 2 cups water, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 15-20 minutes.

While the meat sauce is simmering, make a roux. In a medium saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Before it browns, whisk in flour until it is well-mixed. In a slow steady stream, whisk in 2 cups milk until it is completely smooth. Cook, whisking often, until the sauce is thick and bubbly, 6-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add the other 1/3 cup of Parmesan.

Layer half the pasta mixture in an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Spoon the meat mixture over it evenly, then add the rest of the pasta on top of the meat. Pour the cream sauce over the top, smoothing with the back of a spoon until level.

Bake until browned in places, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Myra makes these when Ginny has produced some of her home-made cottage cheese. They can be frozen and reheated later -- Margie says they are better after freezing.

2 cups dry curd cottage cheese
2 egg, slightly beaten
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour (they won't "puff" properly with whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons canola oil
Kosher salt
3/4 cup warm water
One chopped Vidalia or Walla Walla onion (or 3-4 scallions, if you'd rather)
1/2 cup butter

Make the filling by combining the cottage cheese with one of the beaten eggs and seasoning to taste with salt. Set aside.

Mix salt and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a deep bowl. Add the second beaten egg, oil and water to make a medium-soft dough.

Knead on a floured board just until the dough is smooth -- overworking with toughen the dough. Divide into two parts. Cover with a cloth and let stand for at least ten minutes.

After the dough has rested, roll it as thin as you can on a floured board. Cut rounds from the dough with the open end of a wide glass. As you cut a round, hold it in the palm of your hand and place a spoonful of filling in it, folding over to make a half-circle. Press the edges together with fingers -- the edges must be free of filling. The edges have to be well-sealed to keep filling from leaking.

As each pierogi is made, placed it on a towel-lined tray and keep covered with another towel to prevent them drying out.

When all the pierogis are made, bring a large pot of salted water to a vigorous boil. After it is boiling rapidly, drop a few pierogies at a time into the water -- don't try to cook them all at once.

Stir very gently with a wooden spoon to separate them and keep them from sticking to the pot. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how thick you made the dough and the quantity of filling. They will be ready when they are puffed.

Remove each pierogi with a skimmer to a colander and drain thoroughly. Then transfer to a deep buttered dish and drizzle with butter to keep them from sticking. Cover and keep hot until all are cooked and ready for serving. Top with chopped onions which have been lightly browned in butter.

OR -- if you're making them to freeze, store them in a buttered freezable dish in the refrigerator until chilled, then put on an air-tight lid and freeze. To re-heat them, you can pan fry them in butter over a medium heat until they are light brown in color, or bake them in an oven until they are hot and plump.


Every summer, there comes a time when zucchini is ripening in the garden faster than normal human consumption can accommodate. Myra is always searching for recipes which will use up zucchini in new and tasty ways. Here's one:

This should feed 4-6 as a main course.

4 cups chopped or grated zucchini, squeezed in a cloth or paper towel to get out the extra liquid
2 cups cooked black beans (canned is okay), drained
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
8 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded queso fresco
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
Myra's corn salsa as a topping

Saute the zucchini, beans, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper for five minutes. Spread one-eighth of mixture onto each tortilla. Sprinkle each tortilla with one-fourth of the cheese. Fold each tortilla in half and cook in pan until the cheese melts and the tortilla is toasted. Cut into wedges and serve with corn salsa.

Another zucchini-user is this recipe which Jaime would make with Margie. To please her, he substituted the traditional pork with ground turkey.

Serves 6. Serve with rice.

3 pounds ground turkey
2 medium onions, coarsely grated and squeezed firmly to remove excess liquid
2 zucchinis, coarsely grated and squeezed firmly to remove excess liquid
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
4 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 quarts of Ginny's whole canned tomatoes with juice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion, zukes, eggs, breadcrumbs, oregano, cumin, 3 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well. Form into 32 (2-inch) balls. Transfer to a large plate and place in freezer until fim, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes and chiles in a blender. Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 of the meatballs and cook until brown, turning often, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining meatballs, 1 teaspoon of oil per 8 meatballs.

Reduce skillet heat to medium-low. Add the tomato sauce puree and return all the meatballs to the skillet. Cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 5-10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serve four unless more than two teenagers are at the meal.

1/4 cup of Ginny's home-made sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3-4 tablespoons good olive oil
1/4 thinly shredded cabbage (about 2.5 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 serrano pepper, halved lengthwise, one-half minced
3 ripe high-flavor tomatoes
1 large ripe avocado
1 pound fillets of firm white fish -- Ginny prefers hake, bass or grouper -- cut into 16 equal strips
8 whole wheat tortillas (6-inch)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a non-metal bowl, mix the sour cream and lime juice. Put half the mixture in another bowl for serving. Toss the cabbage, scallions and minced serrano with remaining sour-cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dice tomatoes and avocados, and drizzle lightly with olive oil to coat avocado. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil and the remaining half serrano pepper over medium-high head, coating bottom of pan. Season fish on both sides with salt and apper. In two batches (starting with larger pieces), cook the fish until golden brown on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Remove the serrano piece.

Using warmed tortilla, fill each tortilla with slaw, fish, and avocado/tomato mixture. Drizzle with reserved sour-cream mixture. Serve immediately with corn salsa.

Serves four if there is another hearty side dish. This is Davonn's particular favorite. Takes half an hour to make.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh hazelnuts, skins removed, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 pound large sea scallops (about 12)
1-2 bunches (about 1/2 pound total) baby arugula, washed well and dried
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Clean the scallops of muscle and cut in half horizontally. Divide arugula among the serving plates.
In a large skillet, stirring frequently, cook butter over medium heat until it is golden brown and most of the foam has subsided, about 4 minutes. Immediately transfer the butter to a small bowl and stir in the hazelnuts and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl to keep the butter warm and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Season the scallops generously with salt and pepper. Place the same skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, cook the scallops in two batches (to avoid steaming) until they are browned and opaque in the center, turning over once with a thin-bladed metal spatula, about 2 minutes total.

Top the arugula with 3 scallops each. Spoon hazelnut butter over the scallops.

Myra really loves Cobb salads, and if she has one or two of the ingredients, that's excuse enough for her to make this "use up the leftovers" meal that actually calls for a lot more than leftovers. This will feed her and Ginny a lovely lunch.

(You can trade this in and out, depending on what you've got left over.)
2 hard-boiled brown eggs, chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
2 of Ginny's best ripe tomatoes, chopped (organic heirlooms preferably)
2 cobs of roasted corn, cut from the cob
2 cups of organic baby greens or lettuce
1 cup of fresh or lightly steamed frozen sweet peas
1/4 cup bleu cheese
1 large chicken breast, grilled or pan-fried
1/2 cup roasted pine nuts or other roasted nuts
3 strips thick-sliced prosciutto or organic bacon (for Myra only), fried and crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh Myra mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon anchovy paste or mashed anchovies
1.5 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 small scallion, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Line up the salad ingredients in rows on two plates, contrasting color and texture. Put the bacon on Myra's plate only. Drizzle with the Green Goddess dressing and let each diner toss her salad her own way.

This makes four burgers, which often will feed only two. Even Myra the meat-eater finds these a delicious and acceptable substitute for a cheeseburger.

1/2 cup medium-grind bulgur
1 can (14.5 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large brown egg
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix bulgur with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 cup boiling water. Cover bowl, and let sit until bulgur is tender (but still slightly chewy), about 30 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to remove liquid.

Place beans in a medium bowl; mash with a potato masher until a coarse paste forms. Add breadcrumbs, scallions, egg, carrot, cayenne, tahini, and bulgur. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Form mixture into 4 patties, each about 1 inch thick.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Cook patties until browned and firm, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Serve on whole wheat buns with Myra's mayonnaise, thick slices of ripe tomato, and fresh lettuce.

These are very popular for the annual Boxing Day Tea and other special events. Makes 4 dozen.

1 cup Texas pecan halves
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar

In a food processor, pulse pecans, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt until mixture resembles coarse meal; add butter and pulse until a dough forms. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic; refrigerate until firm, 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 level tablespoon. Space 1 1/2 inches apart on two large baking sheets. Bake, switching sheets from top to bottom halfway through, until cookies are just golden around edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a rack to cool completely. Place confectioners' sugar in a bowl. Roll cookies in sugar twice to coat thoroughly, tapping off excess.

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