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Worth the price.

Byline: Jim Boyd The Register-Guard

Readers of The Register-Guard's Entree section get their favorite recipes from a multitude of sources, as we discovered when we asked for single recipes that were worth the price of the whole cookbook.

Fifty-five readers responded, some with more than one recipe.

If this had been a popularity contest, cookbook authors Julia Child and Sheila Lukins would have placed first, each with three recipes. And the Junior League of Eugene would have won the Pulitizer for publishing, with three recipes from "A Taste of Oregon" and two from "Savor the Flavor of Oregon."

"The Silver Palate Cookbook" by Julie Rosso and Lukins also got three mentions from readers. Two of those were for the same dish, Chicken Marbella, the only recipe nominated twice.

"This is a foolproof dinner-party recipe!" Linda Howard of Eugene wrote. "I love it because it can be completely prepared up to two days in advance, so all you have to do is pop it in the oven just before the guests arrive."

Bonnie Henderson of Eugene said she first tasted Chicken Marbella while working as a summer intern at Sunset Magazine's Seattle office. "It introduced me to a whole new bolder way of cooking - not a teaspoon of oregano, but a quarter cup!" Henderson said.

Here, then, is the Chicken Marbella recipe, followed by just a small sampling of other "worth the price" recipes we received.

Chicken Marbella

4 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered

1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed

1/4 cup dried oregano

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives

1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice

6 bay leaves

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.

With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauce boat.

To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juice over chicken. Makes 16 pieces.

Note: Rosso and Lukins say that this makes a delicious hors d'oeuvre when prepared with small drumsticks and wings.

Chicken With Lemon

and Rosemary

Carol Miller of Florence submitted this recipe from "The Sunday News Family Cook Book" by Alice Petersen and Ella Elvin, food editors of The New York News. "I bought the book in Oakland, Calif., in 1965," Miller wrote. "The recipe has lasted through two marriages and 10 moves. When I lived in Yachats, I fixed it for friends who owned and operated The Experience restaurant in Waldport and they featured it on their menu as Chicken Carol."

1 frying chicken, cut up (2 1/2 pounds)

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup shortening

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary

Rinse off the chicken, dry thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the shortening. Add the chicken pieces and brown evenly on all sides. Browning time will be about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, chopped onion, pepper and rosemary. Pour over the browned chicken pieces. Cover the skillet tightly and simmer gently over very low heat until the chicken is very tender. Simmering time: about 40 minutes.

Spoon sauce over chicken when served. Serves 4.

Chicken Satay

With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Ingrid Hanson of Eugene submitted a photocopy of this much-stained recipe from "The Frog/Commissary Cookbook" by Steven Poses, Anne Clark and Becky Roller. "I usually make the peanut sauce recipe doubled, tripled, or more, and freeze it in one-cup yogurt containers," Hanson wrote. "It is good not only with the chicken satay, but also spooned over veggies, or just about anything. As you can see, the recipe is barely readable from overuse!" The recipe makes about 50 pieces for hors d'oeuvres.

For the chicken:

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons corn oil

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Dash of Tabasco

For the satay sauce:

4 teaspoons corn oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 cup minced red onion

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/3 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Dash of Tabasco

1/3 to 1/2 cup hot water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric for color (optional)

Cut the chicken into strips 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long. Combine with the remaining ingredients (for the chicken) and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for anywhere from 1 to 12 hours.

To prepare the satay sauce, heat the corn and sesame oils in a small saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and saute over medium heat until softened. Add the vinegar and sugar and continue to cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients (or combine in a food processor for a completely smooth sauce). Feel free to adjust seasonings to taste.

To serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Thread each piece of chicken onto a wooden toothpick or small skewer and arrange on baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until just cooked. Serve hot with a bowl of room-temperature sauce for dipping.

Because the sauce can be made in advance, it may thicken or separate before you use it. In that case, whisk in a little hot water until the sauce is the consistency you desire.

Note: You can substitute beef, lamb, shrimp, pork or scallops for the chicken.

Filets of Beef Chasseur

"I am sending my all-time favorite, special dinner recipe from 'The Junior League Celebration' cookbook," writes Cherie Wheatley of Eugene. "This is a recipe from the Junior League of St. Louis and is one that is a perfect company or special occasion dish."

3 cloves garlic, crushed, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 beef tenderloin fillets (filet mignon steaks, 8 ounces each), 1 inch thick

6 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons brandy

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons tomato paste

3/4 cup dry red wine

1 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons currant jelly

Combine half the garlic, the seasoned salt and the pepper. Pat the meat dry and rub with the garlic mixture. Sear the steaks in a large skillet in 2 tablespoons of the butter until brown on the outside with the center raw. Arrange the steaks in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Pour the brandy into the skillet and stir over moderate heat, scraping up the brown bits. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. When the butter is foaming, add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and reduce the heat to low. Stir in the tomato paste and remaining garlic. Remove from the heat; whisk in the wine, chicken broth, beef broth and water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly.

Reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by a third. Add the Worcestershire sauce and currant jelly. Adjust seasonings to taste and thin the sauce to a coating consistency. Cool and pour over the steaks. (At this point, the steaks may be covered and refrigerated overnight. Allow them to come to room temperature before cooking.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the fillets, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes for rare, 20 to 25 minutes for medium to medium-well. Serves 8.

Grilled Chimayo Chili-Rubbed New York Steak

With Serrano Mayonnaise

Nany Ruhoff of Eugene offers this steak recipe from "Cafe Pasqual's Cookbook: Spirited Recipes from Santa Fe" by Katharine Kagel. Ruhoff ate at Cafe Pasqual while visiting Santa Fe, N.M., and bought the cookbook and the Chimayo chili powder needed for the recipe before returning home. "We usually have our steak this way, although I don't always make the serrano mayonnaise," she says. The Chile Shop at 109 E. Water St., Santa Fe, NM 87501 is a mail-order source for the Chimayo chili powder.

For the steaks:

6 New York or rib-eye steaks, 8 ounces each

1 cup Chimayo chili powder

1/2 cup olive oil

For the serrano mayonnaise:

5 fresh serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (coriander), stemmed and roughly chopped

1 egg yolk

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups olive oil (do not use extra-virgin olive oil)

To prepare the steaks, pat the chili powder evenly over all sides and place them in a shallow glass dish. Drizzle the olive oil over all. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or for up to 36 hours.

To prepare the mayonnaise, put all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a blender. Process thoroughly to a mash consistency. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream, continuing to process until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Grill the steaks, turning once, until cooked to desired doneness. Serve the grilled steaks topped with a generous dollop of serrano mayonnaise. Serves 6.

Chinese Style Country Ribs

Nancy Leyson of Springfield was surprised when she looked at her copy of the "Woman's Day Collector's Cookbook" (copyright 1960) and found that the recipe in her recipe file wasn't quite the same as the one in the book. She had forgotten that she adapted the cookbook's barbecue recipe for use in a slow cooker because she didn't have a barbecue but did have a "pokey pot" when she was first married. The ribs make a good cold weather dinner served over rice, she says. "In deference to our aging tummies and expanding waistlines, I now cook it one day, cool it, and skim the fat off, and reheat, and serve it the next."

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/4 cup ketchup

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 to 3 pounds pork short ribs

Combine the sauce ingredients and pour over trimmed ribs in slow cooker pot. Cover and cook at least 2 hours after it comes to a simmer. Skim off fat and serve over steamed rice. Leftovers reheat well.

African Pineapple Peanut Stew

"This is one of my all-time favorite recipes," says Lisa Plumb of Eugene, who offers this recipe from "Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home" by the Moosewood Collective. "I was so glad to find a recipe where I could use the kale that I used to throw away after using it to garnish a vegetable tray for a party. Now I just wash it off and make African Pineapple Peanut Stew!" Plumb serves the stew over basmati rice.

1 cup chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 bunch kale or Swiss chard (4 cups sliced)

2 cups undrained canned crushed pineapple (20-ounce can)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt to taste

Crushed skinless peanuts (crushed in blender or food processor)

Chopped scallions

In a covered saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned. While the onions cook, wash the kale or Swiss chard. Remove and discard the large stems and any blemished leaves. Stack the leaves on a cutting surface and slice crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.

Add the pineapple and its juice to the onions and bring to a simmer. Stir in the kale or chard, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until just tender. Mix in the peanut butter, Tabasco and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste and serve. Garnish with crushed peanuts and chopped scallions. Serves 4.

Garlic Grilled Halibut

"This is a recipe worth the price ... It comes from 'Savor the Flavor of Oregon,' a cookbook published by the Junior League of Eugene in 1990," says Kathleen Turner of Eugene. "It is simple to make and delicious ... especially when cooked on a barbecue grill!"

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried basil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

2 large halibut steaks, about 1 inch thick

Combine garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Add fish and marinate for at least 2 hours. (I do this in a glass baking dish; make sure both sides of the fish are coated with the marinade, then cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) Remove fish from marinade and reserve any liquid. Lightly oil a broiler pan or grill. Cook fish for about 5 minutes on each side. Brush with any remaining marinade as you cook. Serves 2.

Baked Salmon

Carolyn Steward, formerly of Eugene and now of Florence, says she often uses this recipe from "A Taste of Oregon" by the Junior League of Eugene.

4 to 5-pound salmon fillet

1/2 pound butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 cup ketchup

4 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dash of pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place fillet of salmon skin-side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Mix remaining ingredients together and heat to simmer, but do not boil. Pour mixture over salmon and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Soft Sugar Cookies

"This recipe makes large, fluffy, soft cookies," writes Sandie Hitchcock of Leaburg. "Easy to make, large batch, can use for sugar cookies and raisin-filled cookies and/or snickerdoodle type cookies. I omit the lemon and nutmeg." The recipe is from "Favorite Fixins," a compilation of recipes by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salem, Utah.

1 cup shortening

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream (or substitute 1 cup canned milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon (optional)

1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

5 cups flour (or more)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon soda

Cream shortening and sugar, add eggs, then sour cream and vanilla. (Add lemon or nutmeg, if desired.) Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and soda. May be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. (Make sure dough is quite firm.) Or, you may roll in balls and roll in mixture of 3 tablespons sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon, then flatten with fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Apple Cheese Torte

Aimee Ramlo of Eugene writes, "We love this torte, everyone who eats it loves this torte, and we keep copies (of the recipe) on hand because the recipe is so often requested." The recipe is from "Applehood & Motherpie: Handpicked Recipes from Upstate New York" by the Junior League of Rochester.

For the crust:

1 cup butter

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

For the filling:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

5 to 6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Lemon juice

1/4 cup sliced almonds

For the crust: Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and flour. Blend well. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan.

For the filling: Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and egg. Pour over crust. Combine sliced apples with sugar, cinnamon and a little lemon juice. Mix well. Pour apple mixture over top of cream cheese mixture and sprinkle with sliced almonds. (See note.)

Using a spoon, push crust down on sides even with apples. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 25 minutes more.

Serve warm or refrigerated.

Note: Ramlo recommends putting the almonds on top of the torte during the last 10 minutes of baking, otherwise they get too brown.

Boiled Chocolate Cake

"The following favorite recipe came from a Southern cookbook of my mother's, but she printed the recipe on a card for me and I don't know what happened to the book," writes Ann Acker of Eugene. "The reason I liked this recipe so much is because it is easy, never fails and always tastes great."

For the cake:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick ( 1/4 pound) butter

3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup water

1/2 cup shortening

Mix together flour and sugar. Add eggs, buttermilk, baking soda and vanilla.

Mix butter, cocoa, water and shortening in a pan and bring to a boil. Pour over sugar and flour mixture and mix well.

Grease and flour an 11-by-16-inch pan. Bake cake at 400 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

For the icing:

1 stick ( 1/4 pound) butter

3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons milk

1 box powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts

Bring butter, cocoa and milk to a boil. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and chopped nuts. Beat until smooth and pour over cake while still hot.

Features writer Jim Boyd can be reached at 338-2363 or
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Food; Readers share outstanding recipes from their favorite cookbooks
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Dec 3, 2003
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