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Minneapolis Picnic of June 22, 2002

Lynn Gifford

Armenian Cream Baklava

Baklava

8 oz. phyllo dough sheets
1 cup (two sticks) melted butter

Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
3 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon sugar
Almond extract or rosewater to taste (1/2 tsp?)

Syrup:
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine filling ingredients in saucepan and cook, stirring constantly over low to medium heat till mixture comes to a boil. Continue stirring and cooking one minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool (Cover the top with plastic wrap so a "skin" doesn't form).

The phyllo dough comes frozen in one pound packages. Unfolded, it measures 16 inches by 12 inches. A single sheet of it is so thin you can read this newspaper through it.

Set aside half of the sheets Wrap in plastic and cover with a damp towel (If you don't use the plastic wrap, the damp towel will make all the sheets stick together, and, if you don't use the damp towel it will dry out even with the plastic wrap). Wrap the rest of the phyllo in plastic wrap, slide it back into the box and re-freeze

Cut the sheets of phyllo in half cross ways. One sheet at a time, place on bottom of a 9 inch by 13 inch pan (it will extend up the sides partway.) Brush with butter. Repeat with half the sheets, brushing butter between each sheet.

Pour filling over phyllo and spread evenly. Cover with remaining sheets, layered with butter as before. With very sharp knife, (I use an exacto razor-type blade) score top sheets almost down to filling in the traditional diamond shape pattern.

Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown. Cool and finish slicing diamond pattern down to bottom of pan. Combine syrup ingredients and cook until sugar melts. Cool a bit and pour over baklava. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Curried Turkey and Wild Rice Salad

Curried Wild Rice Salad

1 cup long grain white rice, cook it (yields 2 cups)
1 cup wild rice, cook it (yields 3 cups)
(you will have 6 cups of cooked rice)
2 to 4 cups diced cooked turkey
2 cans artichokes hearts, drained
3 stalks very thinly sliced celery
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced including tops
1 green pepper, diced
2 cups seedless grapes
2 cups (more or less ) mayonnaise
1 to 2 teaspoons (or more) curry powder

Chop artichokes into about 1/2 inch pieces (not too fine!) Mix rice and vegetables. Stir curry powder into mayonnaise, taste and adjust seasoning. Stir into rice mixture. Chill.

Indonesian Lamb Saté

Buffalo and Lamb Kebabs

1 and 1/2 lbs boneless lamb cut in 3/4 inch cubes OR 1 inch X 1/8 inch X 2 inch strips
1 large clove garlic - pressed
1 tbs fresh ginger - grated
1 tb soy sauce
1/2 tb sesame oil
2 tb sherry/vermouth/wine/whatever
1/2 tb chili paste with garlic
1 tb cornstarch
1 tb oyster sauce
3/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tb hoisin sauce
1 tb catsup
1 and 1/2 tb EVOO
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
hot sauce to taste

Mix all (except lamb) until fairly smooth. Pour over lamb (I use ziplock bag) marinate at room temp 1 hour. Remove meat and thread on bamboo skewers (soaked in H2O overnight) Grill to about medium or medium rare or bake at 400°.

Steve (sd)

Steve

Vegetable Bouquet

Vegetable Bouquet

The inspiration for this was a muse on edible flowers and the beauty of fresh fruits and vegetables. It requires no cooking at all and doesn't take as long as the instructions make it seem. The only real requirement is a _very_ sharp small paring or utility knife.

The bouquet pictured took about an hour from unwrapping veggies to wrapping the finished bouquet. As a purchasing guide, I used a large bunch of broccoli, a small head of cauliflower, most of an 8-oz box of mushrooms, two bunches of radishes, two large carrots, and one bunch of scallions.

(any or all of the following, in a quantity consistent with the size of the bouquet you want to make):
broccoli florets
cauliflower florets
whole fresh white mushrooms
cherry or grape tomatoes
radishes (different colors are better)
bell peppers (any color but green is preferable)
whole carrots
scallions (green tops only)
bamboo skewers (I use long and short ones; cut the long ones to varying lengths)
1/2 head green cabbage OR 1/2 oval/round loaf of bread, unsliced

Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Clean and trim the broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and tomatoes, if necessary. Set aside.

Clean and trim the radishes and cut into radish roses. Toss into the ice water.

Clean and trim the peppers. Cut longitudinally into wedges approximately 3/4-inch to 1-inch wide. Set aside.

Clean and trim carrots. Cut the carrots into roughly tulip-like shapes (I do this by whittling one end of the carrot like a pencil, moving the knife down about an inch, and cutting at a 45 degree angle while I rotate the carrot. You may have to twist the newly-cut piece off the carrot). You can make thin cuts on the sides of each carrot piece to resemble petals. Toss into the ice water.

Cut the scallions to the length of the skewers. Then "fringe" the last half-inch or so of one end of each scallion to look like sepals. Toss into the ice water. I don't wrap every skewer in scallion -- just the longer, more visible ones.

Put the cabbage or bread in a medium bowl; the top of the bowl should be about the same height as the top of the cabbage/bread.

Remove any vegetables in ice water and drain or dry with a towel. Start with the smaller skewers. Push the flat end of the skewer through the unfringed end of the scallion. Then, for all veggies EXCEPT mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers, push the flat end of the skewer into the end of the vegetable piece. The push the pointed end of the skewer into the cabbage/bread. For mushrooms and tomatoes, push the skewer-with-scallion into the cabbage/bread first, then push on the mushroom or tomato. For peppers, don't bother with the scallion at all; simply thread the skewer through the top and bottom of the wedge. Arrange a mixture of colors and heights.

This is best transported wrapped in aluminum foil. Plastic wrap would work, too, but foil preserves the "wow" factor. Encourage people to eat it (I've found no one wants to be the first one to pluck a "flower")! Serve with a dip or dressing, if desired.

Cheddar Cheese Dip

For Barb (and other interested parties). The original recipe was on the back of a bag of Sargento shredded cheese (credit where credit is due!). That was actually the maiden voyage for that dip; I'm glad people liked it.

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I used an extra- sharp block cheese from a local cheesemaker and ran it through the Cuisinart. I suggest using a very fine shred if you can manage it)
1 cup mayonnaise (n.b., not "salad dressing" -- it's too sweet)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I actually used granulated garlic)

Mix all together. If you want, thin it with a little milk and make it more of a salad dressing instead of a dip.

Nancy Young (Honorary Attendee)

Taylor Pork Roll

Taylor pork roll
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