Friday, December 14, 2012

Warm up with Gluhwëin

Here's the recipe straight from Zurich's famed Baur au Lac Hotel.

Bar au Lac Gluhwëin

6 1/3 cups red wine
2 cups water
1/2 lemon, sliced
pinch of cloves
sugar to taste

Mix ingredients together in a large pot and stir over medium heat. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Strain through a cheesecloth and serve in individual glasses, each garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Skaná Spa refreshers for any season

Crowded stores, even more crowded planes and trains and other exposures of the holiday season make for scratchy throats but Skaná Spa at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in upstate New York has the answer.

Chef de Cuisine Michael Zmigrodski, Wildflowers Restaurant in The Lodge at Turning Stone, developed a series of antioxident- and vitamin-packed refreshers with spa experts, basing them on centuries-old healing and wellness principles of the Oneida people.

Here's the recipe for one. Recipes for others can be found at

Skana´ Meyer Lemon Mint infused soother

1 gallon water
6 Meyer Lemons, zested, seeds removed
10 sprigs mint

Combine zest, lemon and water in a large container and allow to cold steep for at least 6 hours.
Strain through a fine mesh.
Fill pitcher with Meyer Lemon and Mint water. Garnish with slices of lemon and sprigs of mint. Serve chilled.

Skaná means peace in the Oneida language and may this soother infuse you with peace in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gingerbread House Tips and Recipes

Chef Sara Beth Thomas
Sara Beth Thomas, Executive Pastry Chef at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, N. C., is a pro at creating gingerbread houses. She has generously shared her recipes and tips to make your holiday treat a success.

Crossroads Restaurant
 Chef Thomas' Tips
1. Have a theme, not necessarily a Christmas one. It could be a local landmark, your own house or somewhere special,to your family.

2. Icing is key and it needs to be right. This could take a little trial and error but follow the recipe below. The trick is to make sure it is not too firm because it will be too hard to pipe. But if it is too loose it will not stand up and make a mess.

3.  It is also important to have a solid gingerbread recipe. Now this is not like a gingerbread that you would eat on Christmas morning; it is a little more dense so it can stand up. I've include one that works.

4. Make sure you have all the tools you need ready so that you are not looking for the ruler when you need it. Gingerbread houses are like building a regular house; all your measurements need to be consistent and precise.

5.  Let your imagination run wild and have fun!


Gingerbread House Dough
 Yield: 1 14in. X 12in. House with Roof

1 ½ cups Shortening                     
1 ½ cups Sugar                                 
3 Eggs
1 cup Molasses
6 ¾ cups All-purpose flour                           
1 ½ TBS. Ginger                               
1 ½tsp Cinnamon                        
1 ½tsp Baking Soda                    
In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs slowly.

Add molasses followed by all of the dry ingredients. Chill the dough for about one hour.
Roll out the dough for your desired pieces and bake at 300 degrees (F) for 15 to 20 minutes.

Royal Icing

12 oz. Egg whites
4 lbs. Powdered sugar
1 TBS. Cream of tartar

In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment add the powdered sugar and cream of tartar.

Slowly add the egg whites until you get the desired consistency. You might need to add more egg whites if the batter is too thick or you might need more powdered sugar if the batter is too runny.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

St. Francis Inn's German Chocolate Cake

St. Francis Inn
'Tis the season to indulge and this recipe for German Chocolate Cake fits the trend. It comes from Margaret and Joe Finnegan, innkeepers of St. Francis Inn in St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city.

St. Francis Inn's German Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 TBS. plus 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease and flour 2 9-inch round pans.

Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

Pour batter into prepared pans, bake for 20-35 minutes, until set.  Let cool on wire racks.

Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup of white sugar
3 egg yolks (mixed with one tsp of water)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine milk, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla in a sauce pan, bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Boil for about 5 minutes, remove from heat them mix in the coconut and pecans.

Spread on top of cake.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cool weather Dutch cheese soup

French housewives are often portrayed as the most frugal, making use of every scrap that comes into the kitchen. I suspect that Dutch housewives would make their French counterparts look wasteful. Both, however, create delicious dishes.

 This recipe from Viking River Cruises reminded me of some grand Dutch meals - with cheese, of course.

Dutch Cheese Soup
4 servings

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1 cup diced cauliflower
2 potatoes, cut into half-inch cubes
1/2 cup carrots, cut into half-inch cubes
4 cups chicken stock
4 oz. Canadian bacon, diced
5 oz. Gouda cheese, thinly sliced
8 slices sourdough baguette
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil on medium-high heat in a 1.5-quart saucepan. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add cauliflower, carrots and potato; sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil.

In a small skillet, heat the butter. Add the Canadian bacon and sauté until lightly browned. Add bacon to soup. Reduce heat to low and cover, simmering until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).

Pour soup into four individual flameproof crocks or bowls. Top each portion with two bread slices and one-quarter of the cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dennis Chan's Hip Asian Comfort Food, part 2

Chef Dennis Chan watches over foodies more accustomed to eating, photographing and reporting than cooking.
Last week, I shared the first part of Chef Dennis Chan's do-some-of-it-yourself dinner for food writers. Now it's on to the main dish and dessert.

Dennis, owner of Blue Bamboo Restaurant in Jacksonville, FL, and author of Hip Asian Comfort Food, showed everyone how much fun cooking his way could be.

Sophie stirs while her mother, Belinda Hulin Crissman, holds.
Thai Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry was so easy even a child could do it; Sophie, daughter of food writer ( Roux Memories, A Cajun-Creole Love Story with Recipes) Belinda Hulin, did.

Here's the recipe.

Thai Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry
 Makes three generous servings, four or five if one of a multi-course Asian-style dinner).

2 TBS. oil
8 (that is not a typo!) cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 lb. chicken breast, sliced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onions, sliced
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1 Thai chili pepper, sliced (the seeds are where the hot is so add accordingly)
1 TBS. dark soy sauce
2 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS. rice vinegar
2 TBS. sugar
1/3 cup slivered fresh ginger
Thai basil for garnish

Complete measuring, slicing, slivering and crushing.

Heat wok. Add oil, swirl to coat pan. Saute garlic. Add chicken and saute for about one minute. Add mushrooms and saute for another minute.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until all are completely cooked.

Serve over steamed rice and garnish with basil.

We had two desserts; this was the most popular and featured the most unique serving style.

Kaya Creme Toasts (Egg or Coconut Jam)
Serves six

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
9 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 TBS. vanilla
toast rounds or crackers for serving

Pour heavy cream and coconut milk into a saucepan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar onto cream and bring to a boil.

Combine remaining sugar with egg and yolks. Slowly drizzle in hot cream mixture. Add vanilla, mix gently and pour into small ramekins.

Bake at about 350 degrees (F) in a water bath for approximately one hour. Creme will jiggle slightly when ready.

Spread on toast/crackers to eat.

(It's perfectly good bruleed or just eaten as a creme but the crackers will give you and your guests a new taste treat.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dennis Chan's Hip Asian Comfort Food

Chef Dennis Chan, the culinary creator of Blue Bamboo restaurant in Jacksonville, FL., and the book, Hip Asian Comfort Food, rarely does the expected.

Chef Dennis Chan whisks up some cotton candy for cocktails.
So when he invited a group of food writers and bloggers by for a tasting, Chef Dennis began with a new drink, his classic Cucumber-Lime Saktail with a twist, vodka instead of sake and cotton candy (!) instead of simple syrup. This Kicked-Up martini was surprising and surprisingly good.

We soak, fill and fold.
Little did we know we'd be preparing some of our meal, beginning with Fresh Unfried Spring Rolls with Vietnamese Peanut-Hoisin Dipping Sauce that could make shoe leather edible. Fill and fold was simple enough and the next course, Seoulful Edamame, was already put together. Good thing because we were soon too busy eating to even think about cooking.

Here are the recipes for the Kicked-Up Martini and Seoulful Edamame.

Kicked-Up Martini
1 serving

1 lime wedge
1 cucumber wedge
1/4 oz. simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar by volume boiled until syrup forms)
2 oz. vodka or sake
Begin by filling a glass with cotton candy.
Muddle lime and cucumber in bottom of a shaker. Add ice, vodka and syrup and shake well. Pour over cotton candy in a chilled glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Stir. Cotton candy will dissolve.

Seoulful Edamame

Water for boiling
1 lb. frozen edamame, shell on.
Salt for seasoning
Seasame seeeds for garnishing

Korean Seoul BBQ Sauce
2TBS. Korean fermented hot pepper paste
 3 TBS. sugar
2 TBS. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil

Whisk all ingredients for BBQ sauce. It comes out spicy so you might want to add the hot pepper paste a tablespoon at a time. Can be made a few days ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator.

Boil edamame until tender. Toss in salt then sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve while warm.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kuchen, South Dakota special

Kuchen comes with a variety of fillings.
Kuchen is the South Dakota state dessert and if any are "the" kuchen, everyone says you'll find them in Eureka. Recipes for it were brought here by German and Russian German immigrants in the 1870s.

Basically, a cake-like custard pie, kuchen can have a variety of fillings, usually custard and/or fruit, fresh, canned or dried and plumped.

This version is from the Germans from Russia cookbook available for sale from the Eureka Pioneer Museum.

Minnie Keim's Kuchen
2 cakes yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter or shortening
3 eggs
2 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water.

Scald milk. As it cools, add shortening. When cool, stir in eggs and salt. Add flour and mix well. Add water with yeast and sugar.

Mix to an elastic dough, adding as much flour as necessary (3 cups won't hurt) to make it soft and pliable. Set in warm place for 45 minutes. While waiting, make the filling.

Filling. You may use any kind of fruit, remembering to add plenty of sugar if fruit is uncooked. A wonderful tangy blend is 3/4 scalded rhubarb and 1/4 raisins. Or you may use prunes, cooked and pitted. Another excellent combination is 3/4 cup cottage cheese blended with 4 TBSP. sweet sour cream, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup sugar. One favorite is made of even parts of butter, sugar, and peanut butter with 2 parts of flour.  

Knead dough after 45 minutes and put in back in warm place for 30 minutes. Knead again, place on well-floured board and roll to thickness of about 1/4 inch (not thin).

Line well-greased cake tins, bringing dough about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the tins. Brush with melted shortening and place in warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until pastry is raised.

Topping: Whatever filling you use, the topping must consist of one egg and an equal amount of sour cream, stirred well together. Pour this gently over the filling. Powder liberally with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Alternative version, Microwave filling
2 cups cream
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 TBSP. corn starch
1 TBSP. vanilla
Mix together in microwaveable bowl. Microwave 5-8 minutes until thick, stirring as it begins to thicken.
Add favorite fruit filling on crust (canned cherry or blueberry pie filling, prunes, peaches, raisins, etc.)
Pour custard on top of fruit and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add chopped nuts, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Corn Palace Recipe

Mitchell, S. D. Corn Palace
South Dakotans raise a lot of corn, eat a lot of corn, tell a lot of corny jokes and even decorate with a lot of corn.

For 120 years the residents of Mitchell, S. D. have covered the outside of their Moorish-style civic center with a series of unique corn tableaux.

One of many corn-made panels that surround the corn-covered building.
It is the world's only Corn Palace and is a sight to see. You can see and read about it at;postID=1765735349890853339. 

In all of those years, however, only rarely have they held a recipe contest. When corn is in season again I'll share some of the recipes but in the meantime, here's a recipe that doesn't require it. Won a first place for Karen Jorgenson, though, and it's a busy mother's delight: No prep, just throw it together and wait.

Aunt Bonnie's Taco Soup
 8 servings
1 lb. ground beef
1  15-oz can black-eyed peas
1  15-oz. can black beans
1  15-oz. can chili beans, with chili gravy
1  15-oz. can garbanzo beans
1  14 1/2-oz can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1  11-oz. can whole kernel corn (Mexi-corn) with sweet peppers
1  1.25-oz. package taco seasoning mix
Dairy sour cream
Tortilla chips

In a 4-qt. Dutch oven cook ground beef until brown and drain the fat. Add  undrained cans of vegetables, add taco seasoning and stir until well mixed.

Bring soup mixture to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve with sour cream, salsa and chips.

Crock pot directions:
Brown beef, drain and place in a 3 1/2 or 4-quart cooker. Stir vegetables and seasoning in, cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours, on high heat for 3 to 4 hours.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Smacos: South Dakota version of s'mores

The Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls, S. D.
Thea Miller Ryan, travel writer and director of The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, S. D., introduced me to Smacos, a south of the border, slightly tidier version of the campfire classic S'mores.

"It's a big hit with folks who love to camp or have a fire pit in their backyards," said the woman who runs this fabulous hands-on center that introduces South Dakotans to the outdoors and how to enjoy it.

You don't need a pit, just take the grill off the barbecue and throw them on the coals. The kids will love it.


Flour tortillas (substitute corn tortilla for gluten free), at least one per person
Peanut butter
Chocolate chips
Small marshmallows

Ready to roll, fold, foil and heat.
Spread the tortilla with peanut butter. Top with 2 tsp. chocolate chips followed by  about 15 small marshmallows.

Ready for the coals.
Roll and fold the tortilla then roll it up in aluminum foil and seal well.

Put on embers or charcoal for 30 seconds on each side (more or less depending on the strength of the coals).

Not ready yet; put it back on the coals until chocolate and marshmallows are melted.

Eat and enjoy when it's ready!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

South Dakota Dishes

Chislic, fried pieces of lamb or venison, and Kuchen, the state dessert, are two South Dakota dishes I'll be sampling. Look for the recipes to come, I hope.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Good Girls in the Badlands: Debi and Judy Do the Dakotas

A car, two travel writers with bad senses of direction, more curiosity than is good for them and new territory, South and North Dakota, to explore. That sums up what I, along with Debi Lander, will be doing in the coming weeks, instead of blogging here.

We will be blogging, tweeting and laughing about our mishaps, discoveries, new road friends, wonderful food, the good and if necessary, the bad at goodgirlsinthebadlands.blogspot.

Join us and let us know what you think. Tips on what we should or shouldn't do appreciated too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Locanda's Summer Sipper

Hotelier Robert De Niro.
The Greenwich Hotel patio.
Robert De Niro's hotel in Tribeca, The Greenwich, is an inconspicuous magnet for his show business pals and anyone seeking a bit of privacy and a lot of comfort in Manhattan. De Niro's art is behind the reception desk and the work of other artists takes the hostelry above the average. Locanda is the "house" restaurant and a must-try for gourmets.The clubby library bar and the patio, an oasis of brick and greenery, are reserved for hotel guests.


Fellow travel writer Carol Timblin and I rendezvoused with our dear friend, Stefan Elfenbein, a stellar travel and food writer from Berlin, and his friend Uwe in Manhattan recently. Stefan arranged for us to sample the seasonal libations in The Greenwich patio.

These creations are developed from established recipes with a Greenwich/Locanda twist.

My favorite, the Tre Sette Sette, is their take on a 377, or warm weather house martini with fresh fennel and lemon.

Wow your friends by dropping a few names and shaking this one up for them.

Locanda Tre Sette Sette

1/2 oz. simple syrup, muddled with fresh diced fennel
2 oz. Plymouth gin
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. Strega
1/2 bar spoon of Pernod
Shake, strain, serve up in a martini glass, garnish with a piece of fennel frond.

Sip away and tell them De Niro sent it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Turning Stone's Famous Pino Greens

Turning Stone Resort
Turning Stone Resort and Casino in upstate New York is not only  beautiful facility, it's a delicious one as well.  Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence for their wine lists were just awarded to four of the facility's restaurants, Wildflowers, Pino Bianco, Forest Grill, and Rodizio.

Jeffrey Herring, Chef de Cuisine
I can attest to Pino Bianco for its food as well as its wine. During  a recent dinner there, two of us split an order of their famous Pino Greens (next time I'll order one just for me).

 Jeffrey Herring, Chef de Cuisine for both Pino Bianco Trattoria and Forest Grill Steakhouse, graciously shared the recipe.

Trust me, the photo does not do this dish justice. Try it; you'll be hooked.

Famous Pino Greens
  Turning Stone's Famous Pino Greens

1 head escarole - cut, washed and blanched
3 oz Pancetta - diced
1/4 cup small white onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5 oz tomato sauce (your own or from a can)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
2 oz. olive oil

Heat saute pan, add pancetta and begin to render out the fat. Add olive oil and saute onions, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes until the aroma has developed. Add the tomato sauce, toss, and add the escarole and toss. Finish with Parmesan cheese.

To serve as pictured, top with round of toasted Italian bread spread with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Sipping: Salamander Cherry Lime Collins

Todd Gray.
Cherries are in season and Todd Gray, culinary director for Salamander Resorts and Spas, has been inspired by Virginia's bumper crop. At Market Salamander in Middleburg they are using fresh cherries in a compote with slow roasted pork loin or kiln-dried cherries in a wild rice salad with Italian hazelnuts.

Given the heat of summer, though, this cool sipper sounds just right.

Salamander Cherry Lime Collins

1 ½ jigger Vodka (we like Grey Goose)                                                
½ jigger Cherry Liqueur (Kirschwasser is good)                                         
2 Tbs Cherry Nectar (juice from 1 cup pitted cherries)
1 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
Part Club Soda
Slice Lime for garnish
1 Cherry for garnish

1.    Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all ingredients except club soda.
2.    Shake well until the outside of the shaker is frosty and beaded with sweat.
3.    Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
4.    Top off with club soda and garnish with cherry & lime.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Horse Stamp Inn Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

Horse Stamp Inn, Waverly, GA.
Even before they find the location, prospective bed and breakfast proprietors need a fat file of delicious, fail-safe breakfast recipes. Kris and Tom Hutcheson do.

Kris and Tom

 This Denver couple have relocated to southeast Georgia and turned a former private estate into the spacious and gracious Horse Stamp Inn. Kris has combined family favorites with recipes gleaned from professional chefs advising B&B owners to ensure her guests enjoy an exceptional breakfast.

Two of the girls.
Applewood bacon, fresh eggs from the "girls" in the hen house, fresh fruit including blueberries from their former pecan orchard's backyard, a variety of quiches and these delicious pancakes, for example.

 Horse Stamp Inn Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh blueberries

Whisk dry ingredients, whisk wet ingredients then whisk together dry and wet. Pour the pancake batter and then add blueberries while they're cooking.

Tip: As parents of four children who always brought their friends home, Kris and Tom developed a lot of shortcuts. Kris combines butter with syrup, heating and serving both together. Worked for me.

Next time I stop in I'll ask to sample their White Cheddar Cheese Grits.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Flower and Pine, Park City's Signature Cocktail

Each year, the Restaurant Association of Park City, Utah, holds a competition to find its signature cocktail for the year. This summer, restaurants and bars around town are serving Flower and Pine, a concoction developed by September Bickmore and Bonnie Ulmer at their Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe.

In case you can't make it out to Park City this summer, here's the recipe.

Deer Valley Grocery-Cafe Flower and Pine Cocktail

1 ½ oz. Beefeater gin

½ oz. St. Germaine liqueur

½ oz. Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

1 lemon wedge

Serve in martini glass.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

S. C. Chicken Bog

Loris Chicken Bog
A bog is a dish made in large batches with rice that, unlike a pilaf or pilau, is wet. In other words, the rice is supposed to be soggy.

This according to food experts in South Carolina where the dish and term originated. The Loris Bog-Off Festival, held every October since 1979 (9 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012), is a contest for chefs and a celebration of chicken bogs. This recipe is from the Loris Chamber of Commerce. 

Loris, S. C., Chicken Bog

6 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 onion, chopped
1 (3 pound) whole chicken
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 pound smoked sausage of your choice, sliced
2 tablespoons Italian-style seasonings
2 cubes chicken bouillon 

Place water, salt and onion in a large pot. Add chicken and bring all to a boil; cook until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.

Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Remove skin and bones and chop remaining meat into bite size pieces.

Skim off fat from cooking liquid and measure 3 1/2 cups of this chicken broth into a 6-quart saucepan. Add rice, chicken pieces, sausage, herb seasoning and bouillon to this saucepan. Cook all together for 30 minutes; let come to a boil, then reduce heat to low, keeping pan covered the whole time.

If mixture is too watery or juicy, cook over medium low heat, uncovered, until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir often while cooking.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Recipe Contest

How does summer taste to you?

Relish Magazine is looking for recipes based on your favorite summer foods.

Submit your best recipe based on local produce by June 30, 2012 for a chance to win a prize worth $1,700.

• three nights in an oceanfront room with balcony at The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, GA.
• daily buffet breakfast, Sunday brunch for two, Friday night seafood buffet for two
• 60-minute side-by-side massage in the Royal /treatment cottage
• 2-hour cruise on a working shrimp boat
• umbrella and two beach chairs
• one day bicycle rental for two

Entry forms at

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hotel Viking's Newport Topsider Cocktail

Created by Director of Food and Beverage, Tom Bethoney at the Hotel Viking, Newport, R. I., the Newport Topsider is a perfect cocktail to sip after sailing, boating or conversing with your favorite pirates.

Newport Topsider, otherwise known as a Bermuda Rum Swizzle

¾ oz Gosling's Black Seal Rum
¾ oz Gosling's Gold Rum
1 ½ oz Pineapple Juice
1 ½ oz Orange Juice
½ oz Grenadine
½ oz Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Glass: Collins

Mix ingredients in a metal container, shaking with no ice till frothy.
Pour over heaping ice, leaving ½-inch space for garnish, a cherry and orange wheel.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Beach Picnic Perfect - Man-gurt Fried Chicken

Recipe winner jen Karetnick.
Just in time for summer beach outings, here's the recipe by food writer Jen Karetnick of Miami that won the 2011 Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant Beach Picnic contest.

The Indian-inspired recipe can be adjusted to lower calories and to make it gluten-free.

 I plan to try it on my next trip to the beach. If you try it first, let me know what you think.

Man-gurt Fried Chicken
Serves 6-8

 2 cups ripe, overripe or frozen mangoes
Juice of 1 lime
32 ounces plain yogurt
2 TBS chili powder
2 TBS coriander
1 TBS cumin
1 TBS salt or to taste
1 tablespoon black pepper or to taste
2 3-pound chickens, cut into parts, washed and dried
1 box panko bread crumbs
1 quart canola oil for frying

In a food processor, puree mangoes. Add the lime juice, yogurt, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.

Arrange chicken pieces in a roasting pan and pour mango mixture over them, turning to allow thorough coating. There should be plenty of marinade, enough to cover the chicken. Put into the refrigerator and marinate for 4-24 hours.

In a deep frying pan, heat oil. Remove chicken from man-gurt mixture, shaking off excess but allowing some to remain as coating, and roll in breadcrumbs. Fry chicken parts 5 minutes on each side. Be sure not to crowd the pan. Remove chicken with tongs and drain on paper towels.

Lower Calorie: This recipe is healthier, and just as terrific, when oven-baked. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chicken on broiling pan. Bake until juices run clear when a part is pricked, 30-40 minutes.

Gluten-free: Skip the panko and barbecue the chicken on the backyard grill.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Almost winner: Argentine Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Ensalada Rusa

 A major hit at the 2011 South Carolina Campground Cook-off, this recipe from last year's winning team is just too good not to share. Try it on your grill this summer and see if you agree. 

Serves 4

1 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS kosher salt
4 boneless New York strip steaks, 1/1/2 inches thick (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper
Oak wood chunks

Mix the cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel. Rub the cornstarch/salt mixture on entire surface of steaks. Place the steaks on a wire rack on a baking sheet (that will fit in your cooler). Put steaks in a cold cooler with plenty of ice under baking sheet. Wait at least 30 minutes – until steaks become very firm.

Light enough charcoal to get a good hot fire going over a cooking grate. Add oak wood chunks just before putting steaks on. Season steaks with ground black pepper and add to cooking grate. Cook until steaks just begin to char (2-3 minutes), then flip over. Cook until that side begins to char (2-3 minutes), then flip again. Cook until well charred (2-3 minutes) and flip one more time. Cook until that side is well charred 3-4 minutes and internal temperature measures 120 degrees for medium rare. 

Set steaks aside and cover with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. Then slice thinly against the grain and serve with sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce:
¼ cup hot water
2 tspns dried oregano
2 tspns kosher salt
6 garlic cloves
2/3 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 ½ cups loosely packed parsley leaves
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ tspn red pepper flakes

Combine the hot water, oregano and salt in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Finely mince the garlic, cilantro and parsley. Combine the oregano mixture with the garlic, cilantro, parsley, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and let stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

 Ensalada Rusa:
7 medium potatoes, cooked, cooled, cubed
2 roasted red peppers
1 16-ounce can peas and carrots
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 6-ounce can tuna, drained
4-5 spears asparagus (garnish)
Mayonnaise to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tspn lemon juice
Kosher salt to taste


Monday, May 28, 2012

South Carolina Campground Cook-off dessert winner

Organizers of the South Carolina Campground Cook-off know a great meal needs a great finish - dessert. So do the competing teams. We judges weren't about to argue and we all agreed this entry was a winner.  THE winner.

 Saluda Sweeties' Cranberry-Apple Nut Crunch

¼ Cup Grand Marnier orange liqueur
½ cup water
2 cups dried cranberries
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup (1/2 stick) of butter or margarine
3 cups peeled apples (cut in rings, slices or chopped), divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar

Soak dried cranberries in ¼ cup Grand Marnier and ½ cup water for at least 15 minutes, drain. Slice butter into pats and drop them around the bottom of a Dutch Oven or 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle brown sugar around bottom of dish. Layer about half of the apple slices on the bottom of the pan. Mix sugar and flour and toss with cranberries and remaining apples until they are well coated and spread over top of apple layer.

3 packages (1.62 ounces each) instant oatmeal with cinnamon and spice
¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted

For topping, combine oatmeal, nuts, flour, sugar and butter in another bowl. Mix well; spoon evenly over fruit mixture. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and tender. Garnish with cranberries. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. 

Options: whole cranberries for garnish, serve with vanilla ice cream. Yield: 8 servings

Monday, May 21, 2012

South Carolina Campground Cook-Off main dish winner

The teams at the annual South Carolina Campground Cook-Off define friendly competition. They want to win and they work to win, often discussing what next year's dish will be before this year's is judged. Yet during that weekend when all are gathered together they share stories, food, beer and equipment. Everything but ingredients.

All of which makes it casual, fun and tense at the same time. Here is the winning recipe from 2011. I'll follow up with second and third, then move on to the Dessert category. All in time for you to incorporate them into your summertime backyard grilling.
 1st PLACE: Team Johnny's Pride's Turkey Steak with Grilled Vegetable Salad
6 turkey steaks ¾- to 1-inch thick (ask your butcher to cut steaks cross grain from a turkey breast)

1 ½ cups Johnny’s Pride BBQ Sauce
1 16-ounce bottle Italian salad dressing
2 12-ounce cans 7Up soda
Mix all ingredients in a blender and reserve ½ cup for basting. Place the turkey steak in a medium-sized baking dish. Pour the remainder of the marinade over the steaks, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn the steaks every 8 hours.

Prepare the grill for cooking. Temperature should be medium hot. After desired temperature has been reached, place the steaks on grill. Turn the steaks every 3-5 minutes, basting each time the steaks are turned. Repeat this process until the steaks’ temperature reaches 165 degrees in the center. Finally, baste both sides of the steaks with Johnny’s Pride and wrap until serving.

6 ears fresh sweet corn left in the husk (Silver Queen preferred)
3 assorted color bell peppers (whole)
2 medium Vidalia onions (not peeled)
2 large tomatoes (not cut or peeled)
1 small bunch cilantro

Soak the corn in cold water until ready for cooking. Cook corn, peppers and onions by direct heat. Cook until the skins on all the vegetables are black. At the end of cooking, remove all vegetables from the heat and place in an extremely large container and cover with Saran Wrap. After 10 minutes, shuck, remove silk and cut the corn off the cob. Place in a large bowl. Scrape the black from the vegetables and remove the seeds. Chop the peppers and the onions to a fine consistency and add to the corn mixture. Stir well and serve. At presentation, place the grilled salad in the middle of the plate. Place a turkey steak atop the salad. Use choice of garnish and drizzle with Johnny’s Pride BBQ Sauce. 


Monday, May 14, 2012

The Shores Resort: BEST Grilled Cheese Sandwich

If you think a grilled cheese sandwich is as mundane as they come, sink your teeth into the one served around the pool at The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores, FL.

In an effort to keep calories down to a roar, I split one with a friend. I could feel the arteries clogging and waist expanding with each bite but oh, the pleasure of it.

Health and calories be damned. Next time no sharing. I'm eating the whole thing.

The Shores Grilled Cheese Sandwich

2 slices             Panini Bread
1 ounce            Parmesan/Bread Crumb Crust
1 ounce            Whole Butter, Soft
2 slices             American cheese
2 ounces           Blend of Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese
2 slices             Smoked Gouda

1.)            Butter one side of each bread slice, and then press into the bread crumbs. Mix
2.)            Place in Buttered Flattop with the breadcrumb side down
3.)            Place 2 slices of American on one side, 2 sliced of Gouda on the other and then divided the Cheddar/Montery blend on both.
4.)            Cook until crust is golden brown
5.)            Remove, sliced in half and serve