GREAT GRAPEFRUITS

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Right about now is when I really start bemoaning the fact that the summer fruits are long gone, the fall apples and pears are becoming more and more expensive and the berries, well, unless I want to take out a second mortgage they aint gonna find themselves in my grocery basket. As I forlornly push my cart through the aisles of sad looking rock hard mangos and grapes that are minuscule in size and flavor I spy (with my little eye as my kids used to say) grapefruits. EUREKA!! I have achieved fruit.

Those sweet and sort of tangy almost sour yellow/red juicy citrus fruit are actually very affordable right now, You’ll find them in your supermarkets right next to the bags of Clementines (expensive but delicious), oranges, limes and lemons. The grapefruit is equally at home served for as is for breakfast, in a salad, juiced in a drink or even in a dessert it can be used interchangeably (depending on your taste) for just about any other citrus fruit. Fresh grapefruit juice is nectar from the garden and if you’re trying to lose weight you might want to substitute the grapefruit juice for the orange you usually reach for, it actually has 20 less calories per 8 oz glass than orange juice.

You can find grapefruits in a variety of color and sweetness levels. They run the color gamut from white to pink to red and most of the varieties are grown right here in the U S of A with Texas being the biggest supplier with Florida, California and Arizona not too far behind. As always, I love giving food facts along with the recipes so if you ever wondered why this particular fruit is called “grape-fruit” it’s because the fruit grow in a cluster, on a tree and it kinda sorta looks like a bunch of grapes when you see them in their natural state.

The following recipes are simple and deliciously addictive. Just be warned, if you’re utilizing the juice or the fruit of the grapefruit with meat or fish as a marinade, don’t let it sit too long. The acid in the fruit will turn the meat or fish mushy if left soaking for more than an hour or so.

BROILED GRAPEFRUIT (dairy or pareve)

2 large grapefruits, well chilled

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Sliced strawberries for garnish

Prepare the grapefruit by cutting it in half and slicing a thin slice off the bottom of each half (this will help keep it stable when cooking). Using a small, sharp knife, section the grapefruit halves to loosen but not remove the segments. Basically, cut each segment around the membrane making sure to not cut through the rind. Place the sectioned halves in a glass baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Divide the mixture into 4 and spoon (our use your hands) to press the mixture evenly over the 4 grapefruit halves. Broiler until the topping is bubbly about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch this carefully, it will burn quickly. Serve immediately with the slice strawberries. Serves 4. Can be doubled or tripled

grapfruit 3

 

GRAPEFRUIT, HEARTS OF PALM AND MOCK CRAB SALAD (fish)

4 red or pink grapefruit, peeled segmented and cut into bite sized pieces

12 ounces mock crab, cut into bite sized pieces

1 14 oz. can hearts of palm, drained and sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup sliced green or black olives

A pinch or two of salt, to taste (may not need as the olives can be very salty)

Combine all the ingredients except the salt in a large glass bowl. Mix to combine and season with salt if desired. Serves 6

Modified From EatingWell: January/February 2013

SALMON WITH GRAPEFRUIT SALSA (fish)

1 orange, peeled, sectioned and cut into bite sized pieces

2 grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and cut into bite sized pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 green onions, sliced thin

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 teaspoon grapefruit zest

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and black pepper

4 salmon fillets, skin removed

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Chopped parsley for garnish

For the salsa: In a bowl combine the orange and grapefruit pieces with the olive oil, parsley, green onions, capers, orange zest, grapefruit zest, and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the salmon: Preheat the broiler. Brush the salmon on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Broil 5 to 6 minutes and remove from oven. Brush tops with the honey or maple syrup. Return the salmon to the oven and broil for 1 minute. Remove the salmon and place it on a serving platter or individual plates and then top with salsa and chopped parsley and serves. Serves 4. Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Submitted by Randi Augastinick Indianapolis IN

GRAPEFRUIT AND WILD RICE SALAD (pareve)

1 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 grapefruit, peeled and the segments cut into bite sized pieces

1 avocado, peeled and diced into small pieces

2 green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan with a lid combine a 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 3/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the rice to the boiling water and bring back to a full boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let the rice cool to room temperature. While the rice is cooling, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, orange juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and rice wine vinegar. Whisk to combine.

Once the rice is cooled place it in a glass salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add the grapefruit, avocado and green onion and toss just to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4, this can be doubled or tripled

My files source unknown

GRAPEFRUIT AND POMEGRANNET SALAD (pareve)

2 pomegranates, seeded

2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into pieces

3 grapefruits, peeled, sectioned and cut into pieces

2 apples (Granny Smith or Honey crisp) sectioned and chopped into bite sized pieces

2 pears, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice or orange liqueur

Combine all the ingredients in a glass salad bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving for all the flavors to meld. Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.

My files, source unknown

© Eileen Goltz grapefruit 13a

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Parsley, Always a Bridesmaid Ingredient/Passover and Easter Recipes

So everyone who’s ever purchased a bundle of parsley for say, a garnish or for oh, I don’t know, a garnish please raise your hand. Well hang on to your cooking hats because this column is devoted to that underappreciated leafy herb.

There are more than 30 varieties of parley and it’s related to celery (sort of like its skinnier first cousin). The most commonly used types of parsley are the curly leaf and flat-leaf parsley. An often asked parsley questions is what is the difference between flat leaf AKA Italian parsley and the curly kind? The answer to the question is simply the intensity of the flavor.  The flat leaf has a stronger more distinct flavor and is also more fragrant and less bitter than the curly variety. Whenever possible I recommend that everyone choose to use fresh parsley over the dried form. The dried, while convenient, isn’t nearly as flavorful as the fresh.

You should look for parsley that is deep green in color and looks fresh and has tight leaves. Forget any bunches that are wilted or have yellow leaves. You should always clean the parsley thoroughly before you use it. Clean the parsley like you clean spinach. Place it in a bowl of cool water and swish it around to get rid of the dirt. Note that parsley should be added at the end of the cooking process so that it retains its flavor and color. One great parsley trick is that if you’re making a lighter colored sauces just use the stems instead of the leaves as it will give you the flavor or parsley but not the green color.

Parsley is great but is rarely, if ever, considered a main ingredient. However, impress your friends and family with the following parsley recipes, they can hold its own in all kinds of herb recipes and let you be quasi eco food friendly by being able to say you’re keeping it “green”.

PARSLEY BAKED SALMON

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk

1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cans red salmon, drained and flaked
2 cups bread crumbs or cracker crumbs or matza meal
2 tablespoons minced onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13 baking dish. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, sour cream (parmesan cheese if using) and eggs, beat to combine. Add the salmon, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Place the mixture into the prepared baking dish and cook, uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 4 to 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Great with Parsley Cream Sauce (see below). Serves 8
PARSLEY CREAM SAUCE

Great with fish or over vegetables

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 cups milk

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced parsley

In a saucepan melt the butter and then quickly whisk in the flour. Cook this mixture for one minute, whisk constantly. At this point whisk in the milk, cheeses, pepper and parsley. Cook, whisking constantly until combine and the cheese is melted (1 to 2 minutes). Serve immediately. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

 

PARSLEY POTATO BISQUE

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks, sliced

1tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper

In a stock pot heat the oil and then sauté the leeks and garlic for 2 minutes then add the wine. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the potatoes and stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and boil until the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let the soup cool for about 10 minutes and then place ¼ of the soup in a blender or processor and process till smooth. Add a little water or more stock if the mixture is too thick. Don’t over process you want some smaller pieces of potato.  Return the pureed soup back into the pan. When you’ve finished processing the soup add the parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes stirring constantly.

 

Modified from May All Be Fed by John Robbins

PEPPER PARSLEY CELERY SOUP

 

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 stalks celery, chopped
1 red onion, chopped

1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 red pepper; chopped
1 teaspoon mince garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 large baked potato, mashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Celery leaves to garnish

Chopped parsley for garnish

 

In a large stock pot heat the oil and saute the celery, parsnip, onion, red pepper and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Add the stock, mashed potato, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the parsley about 5 minutes before the cooking is finished and mix to combine If you like a thicker soup serve it this way. For a smoother soup let it cool or about 20 minutes and then puree it or use an immersion blender. Garnish with celery leaves and chopped parsley

 

Submitted by Joslyn Kemintsky Chicago IL

 

HEARTS OF PALM AND PARSLEY CHOPPED SALAD

10 green onions, chopped
6 to 8 tomatoes, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz.) hearts of palm, drained and sliced thin
3/4 cup chopped parsley

1 can black olives, chopped

2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups chopped romaine or red leaf lettuce

Put onions in a bowl of cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain. In large bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the green onions, hearts of palm, olives, parsley, water chestnuts and lettuce, Toss to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8

 

PARMESAN   CAULIFLOWER AND PARSLEY SALAD

 

For   salad   1 teaspoon grated lemon zest   2 tablespoons lemon juice   1/2 teaspoon salt   1/4 teaspoon black pepper   1/4 cup olive oil   6 oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced   5 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped     For cauliflower   2 large eggs   1/4 teaspoon salt   1/8 teaspoon black pepper   2 (10-oz) packages frozen cauliflower florets, thawed and patted dry   2 cups parmesan cheese   1/3 cup olive oil

 

In   a large bowl combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk in   the oil until combined, then stir in mushrooms and marinate while pan-frying   cauliflower.

Meanwhile, in a bowl lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Add the   cauliflower and toss until coated well. Put the parmesan cheese in a large   bowl. Lift cauliflower out of egg mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer   to cheese, tossing to coat. Heat the oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over   moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then panfry cauliflower in 3   batches, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 3 minutes per   batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and cool   slightly. Add the parsley and cauliflower to mushroom mixture, tossing to   combine and serve. Serves 8.

Modified   from Gourmet May 2006

ALMOND, PARSLEY AND PORTABELLA SALAD

 

6 to 8 portabella mushrooms cleaned and sliced thin

1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)

4 to 6 chopped green onions

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/2 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing

1 red pepper diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon  vinegar

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 cup toasted almonds

 

In a salad bowl combine the mushrooms, lemon juice, green onion, parsley, and tarragon. Mix to combine, cover and refrigerate. In another bowl, combine the Italian dressing, red pepper, salt, pepper, sugar, rice wine vinegar and mayonnaise. Whisk to combine and refrigerate for 1 hour. To serve combine the mushroom mixture with the lettuce. Toss to combine and then add the dressing and almonds to the lettuce mixture and toss to combine. Serves 8

 

LIME AND PARSLEY CHOPPED SALAD

 

1 head romaine or red leaf lettuce, chopped

1 English cucumber sliced

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 avocados, diced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

 

Put everything into a bowl and toss to combine. Serves 8

Bagel Bonanza or How Not to End Up in the Emergency Room

  

Quick, think of the most dangerous item you have in your kitchen.

 

No, it’s not that meat cleaver you never use or the blowtorch you keep on hand for kashering the oven for Pesach. Surprisingly, it’s probably one of those bagels you’ve got stashed away in the freezer. Ok, now that you’ve stopped laughing you should know that there are probably more emergency room visits for those would be gourmets who’ve “slipped” and sliced open their hand while trying to cut open a bagel than all other household mishaps combined.

For those of you who live on the moon a bagel (BAY-guhl) is a doughnut-shaped yeast roll with a thick, chewy texture and a shiny crust. Bagels are boiled in water before they’re baked because the boiling reduces the starch content and creates a shiny chewy crust. A traditional water bagel is made without eggs and, because it doesn’t contain fat, is chewier than an egg bagel. The bagel (the word means bracelet in German) was the everyday bread of the Jews in Eastern Europe. It has, over the past few decades, become the most famous Jewish food in America and standard American bread. Supposedly German in origin, the bagel came into its own and took its definitive form in the Polish shtetl. Because of their shape, no beginning and no end, bagels are supposed to symbolize the eternal cycle of Jewish life. In the old days, they were supposed to be a protection against evil spirits, warding off the evil eye and bringing good luck. For these reasons they were routinely served at circumcision, when a woman was in labor and at funerals, along with hard-boiled eggs. These days we indulge ourselves just because they taste so good.

In the interest of household safety and the need to share some really great bagel recipes (not recipes on how to make bagels but, rather recipes that use them) I’m offering the following guidelines for anxiety free slicing.

 

HOW TO SLICE A BAGEL

Hold the bagel upright on a cutting surface by forming an arch (a U shape) with your thumb and fingers. Pinch the bagel firmly between the thumb and fingers and hold it against the surface. Place the sharp (make sure it’s sharp) knife inside the arch and carefully slice downward toward the table surface using a gentle but steady sawing motion. NEVER, EVER, CUT THE BAGEL BY HOLDING IT YOUR HAND AND SLICING IT TOWARD YOUR HAND!


CHEESE BAGEL BITES

 
3 plain bagels, split and toasted
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Green onions (with tops) chopped
 
Spread bagels with mustard. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and then spread the mixture to the edges of bagel halves. Set the oven to broil.  Broil the prepared bagels about 5 inches from heat until topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Cut each bagel into 6 pieces. Makes 36 appetizers;
BAGELS WITH LEMON CHICKEN AND AVOCADO SAUCE

1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each pepper, oregano and paprika

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 clove garlic, minced

4 bagels, halved

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tomatoes,

sliced romaine lettuce

1/2 cup pareve cream cheese

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup pareve sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine the pareve cream cheese, avocado, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the sauce in a bowl and refrigerate until cold. In another bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, lemon zest and garlic. Mix well and shape into 4 patties about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Grill the patties over on the grill or in a grill pan for about 5 minutes per side until no longer pink inside. Arrange the tomato slices then sliced mushrooms over bottom half of each bagel. Place chicken patty on top of the mushrooms and cover it with the avocado sauce and lettuce and the top of the bagel. Serves 4

TEX MEX PIZZA BAGEL
 

6 bagels, split and toasted  (jalapeno flavor is great)
3 tablespoons ready made pizza sauce
1 can (8-3/4 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (remove seeds for a milder flavor) (optional)
12 tortilla chips (white or yellow), broken up
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mozzarella
1 tablespoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 425. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoon pizza sauce on each bagel half. Evenly top each bagel half with beans onion, jalapeno pepper, tortilla chips and cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and is heated through. Makes 12 halves.

TOMATO BASIL BAGEL BRUSCHETTA

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup seeded and diced ripe tomato
2 tablespoon shredded fresh basil leaves
Pinch of salt
1 bagel (garlic, onion or plain), split
1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise

In a bowl combine the oil, tomato, basil and salt. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Toast the bagel in the toaster or under the broiler. While the bagel is still hot, rub the cut surface with the garlic. Spoon the tomato mixture on top. Eat at once. Makes 1 bagel. This can be multiplied as many times as you like
The traditional bagel sandwich USUALLY consists of cream cheese, lox, a slice of onion and a slice of tomato. However, bagel sandwiches are so popular these days that bagel shops often have 15 or 20 varieties to choose from and probably 40 or 50 sandwich variations on their menus. Here, courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Company are some really simple (and delicious) ways to make a quick and easy bagel snack.
Strawberry Banana Crunch: Spread strawberry cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with granola.

Banana Split: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with peanuts. Drizzle with strawberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with apple slices and raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Peach Melba: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with peach slices; drizzle with raspberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon Praline: apple cinnamon cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Sprinkle with toasted pecans; drizzle with maple syrup.

Health & Nut: Spread vegetable cream cheese on a toasted whole wheat bagel. sprinkle with raisins and toasted sunflower seeds.

Tropical: Spread pineapple cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with toasted coconut and almonds or macadamia nuts. 

Quick, think of the most dangerous item you have in your kitchen.

 

No, it’s not that meat cleaver you never use or the blowtorch you keep on hand for kashering the oven for Pesach. Surprisingly, it’s probably one of those bagels you’ve got stashed away in the freezer. Ok, now that you’ve stopped laughing you should know that there are probably more emergency room visits for those would be gourmets who’ve “slipped” and sliced open their hand while trying to cut open a bagel than all other household mishaps combined.

For those of you who live on the moon a bagel (BAY-guhl) is a doughnut-shaped yeast roll with a thick, chewy texture and a shiny crust. Bagels are boiled in water before they’re baked because the boiling reduces the starch content and creates a shiny chewy crust. A traditional water bagel is made without eggs and, because it doesn’t contain fat, is chewier than an egg bagel. The bagel (the word means bracelet in German) was the everyday bread of the Jews in Eastern Europe. It has, over the past few decades, become the most famous Jewish food in America and standard American bread. Supposedly German in origin, the bagel came into its own and took its definitive form in the Polish shtetl. Because of their shape, no beginning and no end, bagels are supposed to symbolize the eternal cycle of Jewish life. In the old days, they were supposed to be a protection against evil spirits, warding off the evil eye and bringing good luck. For these reasons they were routinely served at circumcision, when a woman was in labor and at funerals, along with hard-boiled eggs. These days we indulge ourselves just because they taste so good.

In the interest of household safety and the need to share some really great bagel recipes (not recipes on how to make bagels but, rather recipes that use them) I’m offering the following guidelines for anxiety free slicing.

 

HOW TO SLICE A BAGEL

 

Hold the bagel upright on a cutting surface by forming an arch (a U shape) with your thumb and fingers. Pinch the bagel firmly between the thumb and fingers and hold it against the surface. Place the sharp (make sure it’s sharp) knife inside the arch and carefully slice downward toward the table surface using a gentle but steady sawing motion. NEVER, EVER, CUT THE BAGEL BY HOLDING IT YOUR HAND AND SLICING IT TOWARD YOUR HAND!


CHEESE BAGEL BITES
 

 
3 plain bagels, split and toasted
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Green onions (with tops) chopped
 
Spread bagels with mustard. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and then spread the mixture to the edges of bagel halves. Set the oven to broil.  Broil the prepared bagels about 5 inches from heat until topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Cut each bagel into 6 pieces. Makes 36 appetizers;


BAGELS WITH LEMON CHICKEN AND AVOCADO SAUCE

 

1 lb ground chicken

1 egg

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each pepper, oregano and paprika

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 clove garlic, minced

4 bagels, halved

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tomatoes,

sliced romaine lettuce

1/2 cup pareve cream cheese

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup pareve sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Combine the pareve cream cheese, avocado, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the sauce in a bowl and refrigerate until cold. In another bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, lemon zest and garlic. Mix well and shape into 4 patties about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Grill the patties over on the grill or in a grill pan for about 5 minutes per side until no longer pink inside. Arrange the tomato slices then sliced mushrooms over bottom half of each bagel. Place chicken patty on top of the mushrooms and cover it with the avocado sauce and lettuce and the top of the bagel. Serves 4

TEX MEX PIZZA BAGEL
 

6 bagels, split and toasted  (jalapeno flavor is great)
3 tablespoons ready made pizza sauce
1 can (8-3/4 oz.) dark red kidney beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 2 finely chopped jalapeno peppers (remove seeds for a milder flavor) (optional)
12 tortilla chips (white or yellow), broken up
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mozzarella
1 tablespoon chili powder

 

Preheat oven to 425. Spoon 1-1/2 teaspoon pizza sauce on each bagel half. Evenly top each bagel half with beans onion, jalapeno pepper, tortilla chips and cheese. Sprinkle with chili powder. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and is heated through. Makes 12 halves.

 

TOMATO BASIL BAGEL BRUSCHETTA

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup seeded and diced ripe tomato
2 tablespoon shredded fresh basil leaves
Pinch of salt
1 bagel (garlic, onion or plain), split
1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise

In a bowl combine the oil, tomato, basil and salt. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Toast the bagel in the toaster or under the broiler. While the bagel is still hot, rub the cut surface with the garlic. Spoon the tomato mixture on top. Eat at once. Makes 1 bagel. This can be multiplied as many times as you like


The traditional bagel sandwich USUALLY consists of cream cheese, lox, a slice of onion and a slice of tomato. However, bagel sandwiches are so popular these days that bagel shops often have 15 or 20 varieties to choose from and probably 40 or 50 sandwich variations on their menus. Here, courtesy of Philadelphia Cream Company are some really simple (and delicious) ways to make a quick and easy bagel snack.


Strawberry Banana Crunch: Spread strawberry cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with granola.

 

Banana Split: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with banana slices; sprinkle with peanuts. Drizzle with strawberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon:

Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with apple slices and raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Peach Melba: Spread cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with peach slices; drizzle with raspberry preserves.

Apple Cinnamon Praline: apple cinnamon cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Sprinkle with toasted pecans; drizzle with maple syrup.

Health & Nut: Spread vegetable cream cheese on a toasted whole wheat bagel. sprinkle with raisins and toasted sunflower seeds.

Tropical: Spread pineapple cream cheese on a toasted bagel. Top with toasted coconut and almonds or macadamia nuts.

Pepper is Sexy

       In the movie version of my life, when asked which way I prefer my pepper served, my James Bond-ish kind of answer isn’t the “shaken not stirred” Sean Connery quip but rather the cracked not ground bon mot. Alas, Hollywood hasn’t been knocking on my door and I’ll have to take my over the top spice fantasies down a notch or two.

I am not a food snob, but, if the only pepper you’ve ever used is the pre ground stuff your taste buds will thank you once they’ve tried the freshly ground stuff.  The outer shell of the peppercorn seals in the pungent bite of its flavor.  Freshly grinding your peppercorn cracks the outer shell and releases the flavor. Once the peppercorn is ground the sharpness of its bite starts to decay within an hour or two. So, if you’re going to be seasoning a dish with freshly ground pepper, wait until the last possible moment to add it.

Pepper comes from the berries of the Piper nigrum plant. Black, red, white and green peppercorns are actually the same fruit; they’re just harvested at different points in the ripening process and processed differently. The most commonly used pepper in the US is the black peppercorn. Black peppercorns are picked when they are just about to turn red. They are dried (they shrivel up and become dark) and either sold whole or ground. Green peppercorns are picked while still unripe and green. White peppercorns are picked when the berry is ripe and then soaked in a brine to remove the dark outer shell. Pink peppercorns, on the other hand are not actually peppers but the taste is close enough that they are lumped into the pepper category.

So bottom line, some recipes call for cracking pepper, others call for grinding, which is better? The answer is neither is better, it’s a matter of taste. Grinding produces a finer powdery consistency and cracking is a coarser consistency. So much depends on what you’re making and on what type of grinder you’re using. In the world of fresh ground pepper the following semi accurate equivalents should give you approximate measurements:

 

1/8 teaspoon = 4 to 5 rotations
1/4 teaspoon = 8 to 10 rotations
1/2 teaspoon = 19 to 22 rotations
1 teaspoon = 35 to 40 rotations

CRACKED PEPPER DRESSING

You can use low or no fat mayonnaise and sour cream if you’re looking for a lower calorie version.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons milk
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoon ground cracked pepper
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion salt

In a bowl combine all the ingredients and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour for the flavors to combine. Makes approx 1 cup.

PEPPER BURGERS

2 pounds ground beef
1 to 2 tablespoons minced onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground pepper  
2 teaspoons soy sauce

6 Kaiser rolls

lettuce, tomato, pickles (optional)

In a bowl combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, pepper and soy sauce. Make 6 patties. Heat a grill pan and fry the patties or 6 to 7 minutes per side or until your desired level of cooking. Serve immediately on Kaiser rolls with tomato, lettuce and pickles. Makes 6 patties

PEPPERED MIXED NUTS

1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg white
3 cups mixed almonds, cashews, and pecans

Preheat oven to 250. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set it aside.  In a bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  In another bowl whisk the egg white until it’s foamy.  Add the nuts into the egg white mixture and toss to coat well.  Add the spice mixture to the nuts and toss to coat. Spread the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool slightly and break any clumps apart.  Cool completely and store in airtight container. Makes 3 cups.

PEPPERED CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons oil

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1-1/2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound ground chicken

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 can (5 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1/2 cup chopped green onions

12 Bibb or leaf lettuce

Sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

In a bowl combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, oil, onion, brown sugar, garlic, five spice powder, pepper and salt in large bowl. Add the chicken to the sauce. Stir in mushrooms and water chestnuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to cook.

Heat large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the chicken mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked throughout. Remove the mixture from the heat. Top with green onions. Serve in a lettuce leaf with a drizzle of the Sweet Sauce.

Sweet Sauce
In a bowl combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Modified from spiceisland.com

LEMON PEPPER VEGETABLE PASTA

1/2 lb uncooked bow tie pasta
1/4 cup olive  oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1inch pieces

8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 can (15 oz size) garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. In a large skillet heat the oil. Saute the bell pepper, mushrooms, asparagus, lemon peel, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are warm but still crisp. Stir in the lemon juice, green onions and beans into the vegetable mixture. Cook until beans are hot. Add pasta; toss and season with pepper to taste. Serves 4.
PEPPER AND GARLIC SHRIMP SALAD
3 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
25 to 30 large cooked and peeled shrimp
2 large avocados
2 large seeded and diced tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped

1 red pepper diced
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
salt

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

White Wine Vinaigrette
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Season the shrimp with the pepper and salt, and allow to sit for a few minutes. Prepare the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients and whisking vigorously. Rinse the lettuce and dry in a salad spinner. Place an equal amount of lettuce on a couple of large dinner plates. Slice the avocado and arrange it on each plate, then toss in the tomatoes. Add the chopped green onions, then set the plates aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and carefully cook for about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are completely pink and have begun to curl. Serve on individual plates or in a salad bowl. Serves 6

Submitted by Katie Karston Detroit MI modified from sunset.com

PEPPERED CHICKEN WITH VODKA

I have no idea where I got this recipe but we love it at our house. It’s simple and delicious and when at a loss as to what to make this is the recipe that most often comes to mind.

1 large whole chicken, cut up

salt and fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin

1 bunch fresh thyme

 (1/3 cup) pepper vodka (easy to find)

Preheat the oven to 450. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive in a Dutch oven. Sear the chicken in the olive oil, When browned but not cooked throughout, pour the pepper vodka over the top of the chicken and light it (yes, light it). When the alcohol is all burned off add the onion, carrot and thyme, stir to coat, and place in the oven. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Serves 4

Modified from Cooking With Booze by George Bone

PEPPERED SALMON

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

6 to 8 salmon fillets

1/3 cup coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

In resealable plastic bag combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce. Place salmon in the marinade, shake to coat, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a bowl combine the pepper and breadcrumbs. Place pepper mixture on a flat plate. Remove salmon from marinade (don’t dry it off) and press top of each fillet into the pepper. Place the salmon, skin side down on the on the oil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until firm to touch but not dry. Serves 6 to 8.