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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shouldn't You Just...?

Vote for me so perhaps one of my recipes may be published in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook?

Myriad ways to submit your vote await: click on the foodista contest balloons on the right; go to and rate the dishes I've submitted below; check out my profile on facebook or respond with a twat on twitter @kaleidabox. Whatever you do, kindly give 5 stars to the recipes you know and love from
Please make comments--and even more importantly, make the food. Thank you!

Surprising Tuna!
Baby's Sangria
Urban Stuffed Cabbage
Pete's Pea Soup
Wicked Good Clam Chowdah
Marvelous Mole

Modern advice on etiquette for the not-so-new millennium

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hummus For Hess

I'm more than a little embarrassed to admit that I've owed this recipe for hummus to my friend Hess for about a year. But it's taken that long to get a certain someone to remember just what he did off the cuff at a party last January. Pulsing the reserved chickpeas at the end gives this hummus a great texture. So enjoy everybody, and Hess--I hope it was worth the wait! At least, I'm thorough.

4 garlic cloves, minced then mashed
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed; 1/4 cup reserved
2/3 cup of tahini
2 tsps harissa paste
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 lg Tb sesame seeds

In food processor, combine the mashed garlic, chickpeas, tahini, harissa paste, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add sea salt, sesame seeds and reserved chickpeas and pulse 3 or 4 times. Scoop into serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt--if you want to be really fancy, stir some harissa paste into the olive oil and then drizzle that over your hummus. Toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley also make for a good garnish.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Praise The Pearl - Appellation Wines & Spirits

Just when you start to think service has gone to hell in a handbasket, all is wrong with the world, and nobody cares, there is just such a thing as Appellation, a cozy "unconventional wine shop" to save the day. Yes, they've got wines (and I don't think you can go wrong with any of them), but also liquors such as small-batch bourbons and gins.

The service is absolutely unparalleled and the whole experience entirely civilized: the staff is thoroughly knowledgeable and in fact a complete gem about everything--in a pinch, if you don't have time to graze at the shop, they deliver all about the city! Appellation keeps my order history in their database, including an elusive amontillado sherry I purchased to make a Bamboo cocktail and when I called the other day, trying to find a white wine I'd bought probably two years ago that I liked very much paired with a gazpacho I'd made at the time, the perfect gentleman that I spoke to summoned up the label and as they weren't currently carrying it, suggested two reasonably priced similar white rieslings (German clemens busch and French Frederic Mallo), suitable to serve with the Celery Victor and Sole Meuniere that I was attempting to make (again) for lunch this past week.
At the end of the day, it is the little things we remember: the pauses, the graciousness and simple considerations from others that make us feel as if we are still human beings. Ask for Appellation by name.


Monday, February 22, 2010

C'est Le Beurre

I don't know what possessed us, but suddenly late in the afternoon we had the urge to make our own butter. I had never tried before but Baby knew what he was doing. We got a quart of heavy cream and poured it into our Kitchen-Aid mixer with a pinch of salt and whipped it past the stiff peak stage with the whisk attachment until it had a grainy texture. We scooped our concoction into a ball and wrapped it in cheesecloth, squeezing out all of the liquid (the whey) into a bowl. The whole process only took 10-15 minutes. It was fascinating work, watching it all transform! We turned out the formerly heavy cream into two ramekins et voila, what do you know? We had made delicious and creamy, pale yellow whipped butter, roughly the equivalent of 4 sticks--without a churn!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

No One Was Coming So We Baked A Cake!

It was a Saturday afternoon, our lunch plans were canceled at the last minute. What else to do but make a cake? Our friend's birthday party was the next day anyway and we thought bringing a cake would be a good idea. We found a recipe on, and I've included it here so you can have your Peanut Butter & Jelly Cake and eat it, too! Add more butter to the frosting than the recipe requires though to make it more spreadable as ours was a little stiff.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake
adapted from
For the cake:
2 c. unsifted all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. grape jelly
Peanut butter frosting
Preheat oven to moderate (350 degrees). Grease and flour 2 (9 x 1 1/2 inch) round layer cake pans. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt onto wax paper. Beat together butter and peanut butter in large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until well blended. Add vanilla. Pour into prepared pans, dividing batter equally.
Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack to cool completely. Spread jelly between layers. Frost top and sides with peanut butter frosting. Garnish top with bands of jelly if you wish.
Make the frosting:
Beat together 2 1/2 tablespoons softened butter and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter in small bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar alternately with 3 to 4 tablespoons milk.

Friday, February 19, 2010

In The Kitchen With Luis Arce Mota

Adapted from Luis Arce Mota’s inspiring menu at Ofrenda in Manhattan, the Coliflor Capeada (cauliflower fritters) at this cocina Mexicana involves meringue-battered cauliflower, sumptuous chipotle-tomato sauce, and cauliflower purée. Do try this at home and hang on to your cojones! Thank you Luis for sharing this exquisite recipe with me!

Coliflor Capeada (Cauliflower Fritters)
1 head of cauliflower
1 pound of tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
2 tablespoons adobo (from can)
1 small Mexican bay leaf
½ cup tomato juice
4 eggs, separated
1 cup flour
½ stick butter
Canola oil for frying

Divide the cauliflower into 2 bunches of flowerets. Cook one of the bunches in boiling water until al dente (about 5 minutes). Drain, set aside and cool completely. Put the other bunch into a pan, cover with boiling water, add salt, bring to boil. Cook until it is very soft. Take the softened bunch, put into a blender with butter, make into a purée and season to taste. Put aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce as follows. Heat oil in a frying pan, add the sliced onion and after 2 minutes, add the tomatoes, 3 chipotle peppers, garlic and Mexican bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomato juice and a little water and adjust seasoning if necessary. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Put whole mixture into blender, add 2 tablespoons adobo and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to thin it.

Heat oil in frying pan to ¼ inch depth over low heat. While oil is being heated, beat the egg whites and salt together until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add the yolks and beat after each addition. Lightly cover one of the cauliflower flowerets with flour and dip into the batter until evenly covered. Carefully lower with spatula into the hot oil. Leave for a few seconds until the bottom of the batter is a deep golden color. Carefully turn over. Drain on paper.

To serve, place cauliflower purée in the middle of plate with 4 battered flowerets on top of the purée. Put in 350-degree oven for 3 minutes. Remove and cover with chipotle-tomato sauce and serve.

Serves 2.

Originally published in Next magazine.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Welfare Lunch

Our secret source for thin, perfectly browned crepes came through last week, fresh from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Baby set to work to make blintzes for breakfast. When he was growing up, on hot summer days (that we long for now!) when his mother made blintzes for lunch in the 70's, sometimes savory, usually sweet (so she wouldn't have the oven on for a long time) with blueberries and sour cream alongside, he and his older brothers always referred to them as welfare lunch.
If you can't find pre-made crepes like we were lucky enough to have been given, I've included a recipe for them below, much like Baby's mother used to make--the filling is his own concoction.

Baby's Blintzes
Preheat oven to 250° F
Crepes (adapted from Gourmet magazine, 1958):
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk milk, eggs, flour, 2 tablespoons butter together until batter is smooth, about 1 minute. Let batter stand at room temperature 1 hour (this prevents tough crêpes). Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to skillet and brush to coat bottom. Heat over moderate heat until hot, about 30 seconds, then pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet; tilt pan to distribute batter evenly. Cook until underside is just golden, about 2 minutes, then jerk skillet to loosen crêpe and flip crêpe with a spatula. Cook underside lightly, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer crêpe with spatula to a heatproof platter and keep warm in oven. Make 7 more crêpes in same manner, transferring to oven.

1 lb Farmer Cheese
2 eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (can also use fat-free)
1 tsp confectioner's sugar, plus more for dusting
Fruit jam of choice (we used scrumptious Hero black cherry fruit spread)
Pinch of salt
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Add 1 Tb of cheese mixture to the lower third center of the crepe; add 1 tsp of jam. Fold sides in first and then roll up from bottom. Melt butter in medium to medium-high heat. Pan fry your blintzes approximately 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Top with a lush amount of jam and a gentle snow of confectioner's sugar. Serve at once.

French Onion Soup

Back in high school, my friend Vickie and I went to Hyannis, MA with the Key Club one weekend and somehow got away from our group for a rare, stolen moment as we ducked into a beautiful French restaurant poised on the water. I don't know what we were thinking but once we were seated and looked at the menu, we realized we couldn't afford a thing. We hardly had any money on us and it would be years before either of us had a credit card--but instead of just running out of the joint, simply embarrassed, we ordered simply: they served me a plate of Escargots Bourguignonne, Vickie ordered a bowl of French Onion Soup and we ended up cautiously giggling while sharing both of the wonderful dishes.

I suppose the irony lay in wait until I made this truly incroyable Soupe a la'Oignon. Baby and I used cognac instead of sherry as that's what we had in the house and with a lick of inventiveness served the soup at our party in a single, large tureen with individual cheesy toasts (topped with gruyere and parmigiano-reggiano) on the side for dipping into the excellent, fragrant broth.

And, knowing what was set before us ahead of time, we didn't have to worry about skipping out on the bill!

Soupe à l'Oignon (French Onion Soup)
Adapted from Saveur magazine
"Braised onions, bread, and melted cheese are the main components of this timeless dish, which epitomizes the robust cuisine of Parisian brasseries. To make it, you'll need six sturdy ceramic bowls that may be safely placed under the broiler. This recipe is based on one in Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells (Workman, 1989)."

1 cup white wine
1⁄2 cup plus 3 tbsp. sherry
10 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. sugar
3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
2 qts. Beef Stock
12 1⁄2"-thick slices baguette
2 cloves garlic, smashed
6 cups grated gruyère cheese
2 cups finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
1. Heat oven to 425°. Combine wine, 1⁄2 cup of the sherry, 8 tbsp. of the butter, sugar, onions, and salt and pepper in a 9" × 13" casserole dish and braise, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to brown, 40–45 minutes. Remove casserole from oven, cover with foil, and continue braising in oven, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 1 hour more. Keep the onions warm.
2. Meanwhile, tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni. Put bouquet garni and stock into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Remove and discard bouquet garni. Stir in remaining sherry and cook for 5 minutes more.
3. While the broth simmers, spread the baguette slices with the remaining butter. Toast in a skillet over medium heat, turning once, until golden, 5–7 minutes. Rub the slices generously with garlic and set aside. Discard any remaining garlic.
4. Heat broiler with rack 6" from element. Arrange 6 heatproof bowls on a foil-lined sheet tray, divide onions and broth between bowls, and stir together. Place 2 baguette slices in each bowl; top each with about 1 cup gruyère and about 1⁄3 cup parmigiano. Broil until cheeses are browned and bubbly, 3–5 minutes. Serve immediately.

This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #107

Photo: Andre Baranowski

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shouldn't You Just...?

Absolutely embrace love and have the most marvelous Valentine's Day?

Modern advice on etiquette for the not-so-new millennium

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chasen's Chili & Biscuits

Well, Baby and I made buckets of Chasen's incredible, famed chili and froze it as Mr. Chasen himself used to do before serving to his patrons, then reheated our individual parcels, a considerable stash, to accommodate ourselves as well as our guests over the ensuing wintry weeks. The recipe is right below--along with a roadmap for Cheddar, Bacon and Fresh Chive Biscuits to go with. I recommend maple syrup for drizzling over the biscuits, and of course lots of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, scallions and sour cream for toppings on the chili!

Individual servings of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche are a fun and excellent conclusion--also, if you're game, try scoops of the ice cream in your favorite coffee for a wonderful affogatto dessert.

Chasen's Chili
Adapted from
1/2 pound dried pinto beans
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 pounds beef chuck, coarsely chopped
1 pound pork shoulder, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Gebhardt's brand chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Rinse the beans, picking out the debris. Place beans in a Dutch oven with water to cover. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand one hour. Drain off liquid.
Rinse beans again. Add enough fresh water to cover beans. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour or until tender.
Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Simmer 5 minutes. In a large skillet sauté bell pepper in oil for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Add mixture to bean mixture. Using the same skillet melt the butter and sauté beef and pork chuck until browned. Drain. Add to bean mixture along with the chili powder, salt, pepper, and cumin.
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered for one hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes more or to desired consistency. Chili shouldn't be too thick--it should be somewhat liquid but not runny like soup. Skim off excess fat and serve.
Makes 10 cups or 6 main dish servings.

Cheddar, Bacon, and Fresh Chive Biscuits
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2010

yield: Makes 12
active time: 25 minutes
total time: 55 minutes

6 thick-cut bacon slices
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing 2 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1 3/4 cups chilled buttermilk
Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop coarsely.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and chopped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).
Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.
Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve biscuits warm or at room temperature with honey, if desired.

Soundtrack: RuPaul, Supermodel of the World; Soho, Goddess; Deee-Lite, Infinity Within; Betty Boo, Boomania; En Vogue, Funky Divas

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Nana's One Crust Pie Pastry

Whenever I think of my Nana, Helena Loughlin, which is quite often, I always remember her as, with no finer word to say, soft. I lost her when I was very young but what wonderful memories she left to me! Oh, how I loved touching the powdery flesh of her arms and holding the hands that formed sugar cookies. She sipped iced coffee from latticed jelly jars on her sunny porch while we talked, shelling peas into a colander. Housedresses and beaded hairnets. Molasses pantry cookies that she slathered with cream cheese. I did my best to entertain her with songs I made up and she could somehow loose the dentures from her mouth with a cluck of her tongue which of course sent me into howling fits!

As Baby and I have been completely consumed with making meat pies as of late, my cousin suggested that we use the recipe for the pastry crusts that Nana used to make. So much reminiscence has been swirling around my mind ever since that I thought I should present the recipe here.

How I love you so, Nana!

One Crust Pie Pastry
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Crisco
3 T plus ice water

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Cut in shortening with a blender or two knives until crumbly. Add ice water, stir with a fork and add more water just until it holds together. Make into a ball and knead just a little.

Important: handle as little as possible.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Urban Stuffed Cabbage

Galumpkis! The Italian family of Bastianellis who lived across from us on Arch Street when I was growing up probably didn't make this Polish dish of stuffed cabbage, but whenever I try my hand at it, I am always transported to their busy kitchen, and the wonderfully fragrant aroma that was unfamiliar to me at the time but used to dance about their entire house. I suppose now I was probably inhaling the tomatoes and peppers that were always simmering in some sauce on the stovetop. Similar culprits used in this recipe are what I think summon the ghosts.

My friend Ed Urban told me about his galumpkis some years ago and I find them to be absolutely delicious. We've tried them in turns baked in Pyrex or simmered in a fine pot. With the latter preparation, I've also floated some sliced Granny Smith apples to sweeten the pot and topped with some sour cream when serving, first mixed with a little of the steaming cabbage water. Try using red cabbage as well, or both for a wonderful presentation.

Ed writes: "Whilst in Poland a few years ago, I did notice the galumpkis were more traditionally served in a thick white gravy. The tomato sauce was a bit of an Americanization but as Ragu was pretty much the only sauce when we were growing up [in Pennsylvania], that's what was used. But these days, any jarred will do. I remember that my grandmother would simmer them in sauce instead of bake them, so she would use toothpicks to hold them together and she would more often than not have the colored toothpicks, which would bleed into the sauce creating some of the most bizarre psychedelic colors. Still delicious. From my mom I learned about blanching and deveining the leaves, then baking, thus not needing the toothpick as they 'rolled' much better."

Thanks Ed!

Galumpkis (Stuffed Cabbage)
Heat oven to 325 degrees
2 heads cabbage
1 lb each ground turkey and chicken
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped large onion
1 jar Ragu tomato sauce
1 bag Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice

Boil rice
Core cabbage, devein leaves and boil in huge pot for 3-4 minutes
Take off easy leaves, put back in

Combine pepper and onion with meat, rice, garlic salt, salt and pepper
Roll, bake for 40 minutes
Put in cooking dish, cover with Ragu sauce and serve.

Whether you bake or simmer in a pot, above all else, enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Burn B Gone

Time spent in the kitchen is fraught with the possibility of inumerable occurences such as grease fire, cuts or burns. At least with the latter, there is Burn B Gone to miraculously offset the pain from having over zealously reached for a scalding hot pan, tray or rack fresh from the oven. As the directions instruct, "Apply generous layer. Repeat if necessary."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chicken Livers For Dinner

Sometimes dinner can be a wonderfully simple thing--it's more often the organization of the guests that is difficult as we'd been trying to wrangle our fellow chicken liver lovers for this evening for at least a year. Well, all came together a few days ago in the most excellent way. I've held on to these recipe cards, clipped from an issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine back in 2001, always intending to assemble this clever menu, but never did. With a little tinkering, boy was it all good! Baby and I added cheeses from Artisanal to get us started, a few bottles of Viognier and another white, slightly frizzante something or other to see us through the entire course of the meal.

Here's what we ate:

Some Artisanal Cheeses
Robiola Rocchetta: cow, sheep, goat, a welcome guest at any party
La Peral: cow--pungent, like a bleu, enhanced by a drizzle of black truffle honey
La Tur: Cow, Sheep, Goat--the ice cream of cheeses! We're really dealing with 3 cheeses in 1 here: the savory rind, the gooey under belly and the stiff cream in the middle. Absolutely gorgeous!

A chicory Salad with lemon anchovy vinaigrette further sent the ball rolling but cut the suggested amount of lemon juice in half, and double the anchovies at least (and by all means use fresh white anchovies if you can), or use anchovy paste and definitely add some sugar to taste. Also, I didn't know that escarole and radicchio were considered chicories--and our market was out of escarole so I subbed slightly bitter red leaf lettuce for escarole.

We soaked our Chicken Livers in buttermilk to remove the bitterness and finished them in a 100 degree oven before our guests arrived. I don't know that I've ever been so prepared for a dinner before anybody's even showed up! We made the Polenta with bacon and sage ahead of time too, as a luscious pillow on which our main dish would rest.

More cheese! Roasted Pears with carmelized sugar and brandy called for thick slices of Pecorino Romano but we opted for a Majorero Pimenton goat cheese to add a little spice to our dessert instead.

What an enjoyable evening we had!

Soundtrack: Dinah Washington, the Dinah Washington Story, disc 2; Charles Mingus, Mingus Three; Bird, The Original Recordings of Charlie Parker; Atlantic Jazz, Best of the '50s; The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Time Out

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tuna and Pickled Onion Crostini

Tuna fish! I've always loved a good tuna fish sandwich with thinly sliced nickels of Kosher dill or perhaps bread and butter pickles tucked in--and of course a few fistfuls of Fritos on the side, with maybe a Pepsi. Here is a recipe for tuna with pickled onions, gherkins and capers meant to be spread on crostini that I also think should just be hunkered down between two slices of fresh rye bread layered with alfalfa sprouts, shredded lettuce, screaming ripe tomato, and creamy avocado! I'd never had much luck with making satisfying tuna salad myself until last year (read here about my Tuna - Surprise! from June) but this one too is an easy winner, with a jaunty touch of Tuscany, courtesy of Saveur magazine.

P.S. I wholly skipped the red peppers.
P.P.S. When nobody's looking, just eat forkfuls of the tuna mixture out of the bowl it was made in or slather it on several Saltines.

Tuna and Pickled Onion Crostini
Adapted from
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. salt-packed capers, soaked, drained, and finely chopped
12 pickled cocktail onions, drained and roughly chopped
8 small gherkins, finely chopped
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 jarred roasted red pepper, chopped
2 5-oz. cans tuna in water, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
28 thin slices baguette, toasted
1. Using a fork, combine the first seven ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the tuna and season with salt and pepper.
2. Spread 1 tbsp. of the mixture on each slice of toast and serve at room temperature.

SERVES 6 – 8

This recipe was originally published as an online exclusive at

Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipes Of Our Mothers - Jane Carrier's Meat Pie "Tourtiere"

I first discovered comforting, wintry meat pies (or pork pies, as we call them from Harvey's Bakery in my native New Hampshire) when I was a kid growing up. I still delight to the plunge of a fork into the supple, buttery, perfectly browned crust, releasing the steam and gentle aroma of spices emanating from the tender, finely ground meat simmering underneath. My family's dear friend Jane made remarkably similar meat pies too from scratch as gifts for us around the holidays (indeed, still does) and I've wanted to know the incredible mystery behind it for years. These pies have always been a precious thing of delicious beauty to me, but I'd resigned myself to the fact that I must relish each morsel only when home at Christmas time--until now. I recently asked Jane to reveal all and send me the recipe passed down from her French memere to make a pie of my own, at any time! Now, if you've never heard of a pork or meat pie, well, with the frost of February upon us, it is absolutely incumbent upon you to get cooking and follow the wonderfully warming recipe below--the tourtiere is a real treasure, as of course is Jane. We also like to add garlic mashed potato flakes instead of plain, or real mashed potatoes, along with liberal doses of cinnamon and nutmeg in the meat that we've ground twice. Merci, Jane et votre memere pour le tourtiere!

Submitted by Jane Carrier:

Meat Pie "Tourtiere"
Memere Carignan's recipe
Yields one 9" pie
Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes
Pie crust top & bottom for 9" pie, both glazed with egg wash (1 egg white diluted with 1 tb water)
Filling for meat pie:
3 parts ground pork (1 1/2 lbs ground pork)
1 part lean hamburg (1/2 lb)
1 small onion & 1 rib of celery, chopped
1/4 lbs margarine
2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
3 tbs poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Pickled beets for a garnish

Use lean pork (I have the butcher grind center cut roast). Mix hamburg and pork in large saucepan, add onion and celery, cover with water. Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Stir frequently to prevent from sticking to bottom of pan. When cooked, drain off liquid and set aside for futher use. After removing, excess liquid meat should look crumbly with a little liquid left. Add margarine and two cups of instant mashed potato flakes, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper (you may want to taste and adjust seasonings).
Blend mixture until meat and potatoes are well combined. If mixture is too thick add a little reserved liquid. Remember the pie will be sliced like a fruit pie and served hot.
Let mixture cool while preparing pie crust.
Line bottom of pie plate with bottom crust and brush with diluted egg wash mixture.
Spoon meat mixture into shell, filling pie plate up to the rim.
Cover with top crust, prick with tine of fork, brush with diluted eggwhite or milk.
Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is golden.
Slice and serve with pickled beets.