Sunday, December 21, 2008

sfgate: Top Recipe 1998: Basque-Style Fisherman's Stew

from top recipes:

This rustic stew from Loretta Keller, of Coco500, is the ultimate comfort food. It's perfect for any time of year, easy to put together, and all you need to accompany it is hearty country-style bread.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 onions, finely diced

3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes

2 green bell peppers, deveined and chopped

2 garlic cloves

Salt to taste

8 cups fish stock or bottled clam juice

1 cup dry white wine

6 ounces fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced, or 3/4 cup diced canned tomatoes

2 pounds fresh fatty tuna

(preferably from the belly), cut into large pieces

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Chopped Italian parsley

INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent but not colored, about 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes, bell peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring for 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt.

Add the fish stock and wine. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and the stew has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the tuna, pushing it down into the stew with a spoon. Cover, remove from heat and let stand until tuna is cooked to desired doneness, about 5 minutes for medium-rare. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Serves 6

Per serving: 330 calories, 42 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 68 mg cholesterol, 67 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

sfgate: Top Recipe 1996: Bostini Cream Pie

This dessert from Donna Scala and Kurtis L. Baguley of Bistro Don Giovanni was the hands-down winning recipe for 1996 -- maybe for the entire 20 years. The Food and Wine staff enthusiastically dug into the individual desserts, and then the fun began. "Awesome!" "Terrific!" "Over the top!" and "Wow" were some of the comments. "This is the best thing I have ever put in my mouth!" A few people giggled. Spoons were licked clean and there were smiles all around. One word of advice, however: The portions are large; you may want to share one with a close friend.


The Custard

3/4 cup whole milk

2 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch

1 whole egg, beaten

9 egg yolks, beaten

3 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 vanilla bean

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar

The Orange Chiffon

1 1/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup extra-fine sugar

11/3 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup beaten egg yolks (3 to 4 yolks)

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup egg whites (about 8 large)

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

The Chocolate Glaze

8 ounces semisweet chocolate

8 ounces unsalted butter

INSTRUCTIONS: To prepare the custard: Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl; blend until smooth. Whisk in the whole egg and yolks, beating until smooth. Combine the cream, vanilla bean and sugar in a saucepan and carefully bring to a boil. When the mixture just boils, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture to temper it, then whisk this back into the cream mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard and pour into 8 large custard cups. Refrigerate to chill.

To prepare the chiffons: Preheat the oven to 325°. Spray 8 molds with nonstick cooking spray. You may use 7-ounce custard cups, ovenproof wide mugs or even large foil cups. Whatever you use should be the same size as the custard cups.

Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but do not overbeat.

Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten whites into the orange batter. Fill the sprayed molds nearly to the top with the batter.

Bake approximately 25 minutes, until the cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, remove the cakes from the molds. Cover the cakes to keep them moist.

To prepare the glaze: Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it is just about to bubble. Remove from the heat; add the chocolate and stir to melt. Pour through a strainer and keep warm.

To assemble: Cut a thin slice from the top of each cake to create a flat surface. Place a cake flat-side down on top of each custard. Cover the tops with warm chocolate glaze. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Per serving: 1,170 calories, 15 g protein, 75 g carbohydrate, 93 g fat (50 g saturated), 561 mg cholesterol, 275 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

sfgate: Top Recipe 1995: White Chili

This chili is one of our favorite recipes from Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, whose family lived on one of the last Spanish land grant ranchos in California. This recipe gets its unique flavor from an artful combination of chiles: roasted Anaheims, fresh jalapenos, sweet red bells and dried red New Mexico peppers. Lemony-tart tomatillos add their touch as well to this delightful Cal-Mex dish. Serve with warm corn tortillas and frosty glasses of Mexican beer. McMahan is author of "The California Rancho Cookbook," "Healthy Mexican Cookbook" and "The Mexican Breakfast Cookbook," among others.


The Beans

1 pound great Northern or navy beans

8 cups water

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

The Chili

1 (12-ounce) can of beer, not dark

2 cups diced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup diced red bell pepper

2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and diced

4 Anaheim or New Mexican green chiles, charred, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon crushed cumin seeds

1 1/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breasts

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth

2 tablespoons ground New Mexican red chile

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed by soaking

1 cup minced cilantro

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon salt + more to taste

2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS: To prepare the beans: Pick beans over for debris, then place in a sieve and rinse well. Transfer to a large pot. Add the water, onion, garlic and some black pepper. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours, until tender. Add the salt during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

To prepare the chili: While the beans are cooking, pour the beer into a 4-quart pot. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapenos, green chiles, oregano and cumin. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Cut the chicken into strips, then dice. Add to the chili along with the chicken broth. Sprinkle the red chile over the top and simmer for 15 minutes.

Combine the tomatillos, cilantro, vinegar and salt in a food processor and process to a salsa consistency. Stir into the chili. Add the drained cooked beans and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Ladle a generous cup of chili into each serving bowl. Sprinkle 1/3 cup grated cheese on top of each bowl. If desired, run under the broiler until the cheese is golden. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serves 6

Per serving: 620 calories, 49 g protein, 68 g carbohydrate, 17 g fat (9 g saturated), 91 mg cholesterol, 1,020 mg sodium, 16 g fiber.

sfgate: Top Recipe 1993: Perfect Popovers


2 eggs

1 cup milk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon melted butter, or vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS: Adjust the oven rack to the lower third of the oven; preheat the oven to 400°. Grease each popover cup generously with softened butter or solid vegetable shortening.

Combine the eggs, milk, melted butter, flour and salt in a blender or food processor; process for about 40 seconds. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times and blend until the mixture is completely smooth.

To make by hand, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter in a large bowl. Add the flour and salt and beat until very smooth.

Pour the batter into the greased cups, filling them half to two-thirds full. Bake until the popovers are puffed and golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Do not open the oven door during baking or the popovers will collapse.

Yields 6-8, depending on the size of the baking cups

Per popover: 105 calories, 4 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat (2 g saturated), 61 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium, 0 fiber.

Really the best-ever mac 'n' cheese

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Servings: 12 to 16

Note: Betty Hallock's Oct. 4 article asked why so many Los Angeles restaurants serve weird, badly made versions of good old macaroni and cheese. She and Donna Deane came up with this majestic recipe, which uses large elbow macaroni or extra-large shell pasta such as chiocciole or conchiglie so you get a squirt of liquid cheese with every bite.

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon melted butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup flour

5 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

4 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided

3 cups shredded Swiss Gruyère cheese

1 pound shells or elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions in salted water

1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the panko bread crumbs with the melted butter on a small baking pan. Toast the bread crumbs until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until melted, then stir in the flour. Heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk. Add the dry mustard, white and cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt and bay leaf. Heat and stir to boiling, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.

3. Stir in 3 cups of the cheddar and all the Gruyère until melted. Pour the sauce over the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, stirring until all of the macaroni is coated. Pour the macaroni into a well-buttered 9- by 13-inch casserole. Drizzle heavy cream around the edges of the casserole. Sprinkle on it the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese, then the toasted bread crumbs.

4. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered an additional 10 minutes. Put under a preheated broiler for 5 minutes.

Each of 16 servings: 415 calories; 19 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 25 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 75 mg. cholesterol; 565 mg. sodium.

Email this recipe Print this recipe Iraqi Lamb and Eggplant Stew with Pitas


  1. Kosher salt
  2. 1 large eggplant (1 1/2 pounds), sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  3. 1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  4. 4 lamb shanks (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
  5. Freshly ground pepper
  6. 1 large white onion, chopped
  7. 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses (see Note)
  8. 1/2 cup dried yellow split peas (3 ounces)
  9. 4 dried red chiles
  10. 2 teaspoons baharat spice blend (see Note) or garam masala
  11. 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  12. 8 small pita breads, warmed and torn into large pieces


  1. In a bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in 1 quart of water. Add the eggplant, cover with a small plate to keep the slices submerged and let soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning once, until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 10 minutes. Add 3 quarts of water, the pomegranate molasses, split peas, dried chiles, baharat and coriander and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, skimming and stirring a few times.
  3. Drain the eggplant and pat dry. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 11/2 tablespoons of the oil. Add one third of the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes per side; transfer to paper towels to drain. Brown the remaining eggplant in the 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the eggplant to the lamb and simmer over low heat, stirring, until the lamb is tender, 45 minutes.
  4. Transfer the lamb to a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the meat from the bones and cut into 1-inch pieces. Boil the stew over high heat, skimming, until the liquid has reduced to 3 cups, about 40 minutes.
  5. Return the lamb to the stew and season with salt and pepper. Divide the pita among 4 bowls. Ladle the stew on top and serve.


    Pomegranate molasses is basically reduced pomegranate juice. Baharat is a complex spice blend typically containing cumin, coriander and paprika. Both are available at Middle Eastern groceries.

Crostini with English pea puree and Greek yogurt

Total time: About 30 minutes

Servings: Makes 16 crostini

Note: Amy Scattergood turned blanched English peas into a velvety-textured topping for crostini, from her April 11 story on using a tamis.

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

5 tablespoons high-quality

olive oil, divided

Sea salt

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (from about 1 1/2 large lemons)

16 slices of French baguette, cut 1/2 -inch thick on the bias

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups of shelled English peas

1 small clove of garlic, minced

Thinly sliced fresh mint for garnish

1. Mix the yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, one-fourth teaspoon sea salt and the lemon peel in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Brush the bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with a little sea salt. Grill the bread over medium-high heat until golden. (You can use an indoor grill or toast the bread on the stove top in a cast iron pan or large skillet.)

3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a sauce pot, adding the kosher salt and sugar. Blanch the peas for about 3 minutes, until bright green and softened, and drain them.

4. While they're still warm, put the peas in a food processor with the garlic, one-fourth teaspoon sea salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until smooth.

5. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pea mixture over each slice of grilled bread, spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of yogurt on top of that, and sprinkle a little mint on top. Serve.

Each crostino: 97 calories; 3 grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 mg. cholesterol; 163 mg. sodium.

Angel Hair Pasta with Lemon and Chicken


  • 1 (9 ounce) package BUITONI® Refrigerated Angel Hair Pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. Toss pasta with chicken, butter, lemon juice, parsley, marjoram and garlic powder. Season with salt and ground black pepper, if desired.

Cajun Seafood Pasta


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound dry fettuccine pastaDIRECTIONS
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, pour cream into large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just about boiling. Reduce heat, and add herbs, salt, peppers, onions, and parsley. Simmer 7 to 8 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. Stir in seafood, cooking until shrimp is no longer transparent. Stir in cheeses, blending well.
  4. Drain pasta. Serve sauce over noodles.

Classic Coq au Vin


Marinating chicken
  • 1 750-ml bottle French Burgundy or California Pinot Noir
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled, flattened
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 6-pound roasting chicken, backbone removed, cut into 8 pieces (2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings with top quarter of adjoining breast, 2 breasts)

Cooking chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into strips
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 large fresh parsley sprigs
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 pound assorted fresh wild mushrooms (such as crimini and stemmed shiitake)
  • 20 1-inch-diameter pearl onions, or boiling onions, peeled

  • Chopped fresh parsley


For marinating chicken:
Combine wine, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and peppercorns in large pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Cool completely; mix in oil. Place chicken pieces in large glass bowl. Pour wine mixture over chicken; stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 2 days, turning chicken occasionally.

For cooking chicken:
Using tongs, transfer chicken pieces from marinade to paper towels to drain; pat dry. Strain marinade; reserve vegetables and liquid separately.

Heat oil in heavy large pot (wide enough to hold chicken in single layer) over medium-high heat. Add bacon and sauté until crisp and brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to small bowl. Add chicken, skin side down, to drippings in pot. Sauté until brown, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to large bowl. Add vegetables reserved from marinade to pot. Sauté until brown, about 10 minutes. Mix in flour; stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in reserved marinade liquid. Bring to boil, whisking frequently. Cook until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally, about 2 minutes. Mix in shallots, garlic, herb sprigs, and bay leaves, then broth. Return chicken to pot, arranging skin side up in single layer. Bring to simmer; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot and simmer chicken 30 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken over. Cover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to plate. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet. Add onions and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer onions to plate alongside mushrooms; reserve skillet.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate. Strain sauce from pot into reserved skillet, pressing on solids in strainer to extract all sauce; discard solids. Bring sauce to simmer, scraping up browned bits. Return sauce to pot. Add onions to pot and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook until onions are almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and bacon. Simmer uncovered until onions are very tender and sauce is slightly reduced, about 12 minutes. Tilt pot and spoon off excess fat from top of sauce. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Return chicken to sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.) Rewarm over low heat.

Arrange chicken on large rimmed platter. Spoon sauce and vegetables over. Sprinkle with parsley.




  • 1 3 3/4-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, trimmed
  • 2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 10-ounce container pearl onions, blanched 1 minute, peeled

  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley


Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour; shake off excess. Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken to pot; cook until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to bowl. Add mushrooms to pot; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, wine and onions. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Uncover pot and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.