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Miscellaneous Cooking

View Our Alphabetical Recipe Index for Miscellaneous Cooking
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Mixed grains, pine nuts, and cranberries and that great feeling that comes with good food, well made, and enjoyed.

Potatoes and Swiss Raclette (melting) cheese are a natural combination.
Hot soup. Quick. Fast. Light. It is just the thing for post holiday recovery.You know what ramen is - those cello packet, sometimes cardboard containers, of instant, "oriental" style noodle soup. Although ramen comes in many flavors: chicken, "oriental", mushroom, beef, or shrimp, each flavor, give or take a change in the hue of the broth, is pretty similar to each other. Ramen is remarkably cheap - three or four for a buck is the going rate, sometimes better: salty broth and noodles - slightly better than spam for my quarter, and so-available you can find it in drugstores, bookstores, sometimes at the cash in hardware stores. It is EVERYWHERE. In fact, there is there is an official ramen website home page, among many other sites to satisfy ramen's cult following and capitalize on rampant ramen recipe swapping. It is both pre and post millennium food.  College students do everything with it but smoke it; lots of people eat the noodles as a snack food - like chips, and crunch on the dry, unreconstituted noodles. What can you do with something instant to give it a bit a flair and a heap more nutrition - alot more in a little time - just have some ingredients in your fridge next time the ramen craving hits you. With just a few added components, you can transform a 25 cent commercial pantry item into Real Food, a meal almost, much the same way that folklore's "Three Stone Soup" became a banquet for a whole village. Remember that tale? You don't? Oh, never mind. Just try the ramen. This "recipe" is not written in stone. Change or add anything you wish. Keep the inspirational feel and the tofu - THAT is another worthwhile trend. This is so quick and so satisfying, you will kick yourself with joy - but don’t. Oh, yes, of course, if you are special and have batches of homemade chicken stock in the freezer, that would substitute even nicer. Oversized, ceramic bowls from Pier I or a neighborhood potter would be nice here…just make sure you use deep bowls - this is a lot of shlurpy soup.

I am pretty partial to hummus and never, much like eggplant dishes, met a recipe I didn’t like. This one, I love. Probably because I love beets. I first had this served on cucumber slices – the combination of beet-red hummus atop crisp cucumber coins was incredibly refreshing. But pita bread works well too as the ‘side’.  If you were in a rush, canned beets would be acceptable.

This is a new spin on something old but still ambrosial - stewed rhubarb with extra perks. Rhubarb marries well with sweet blood oranges (who also do their best to tint the rhubarb a deep rose colour) but any oranges you have on hand are just as perfect.

Tasty and nutritious. Canned lentils are fine here.

You can never have too many potato recipes. A great way to serve potatoes is like one more great little black dress. You just need to have it. Serve these potatoes with anything or serve them alone but they are great with any sort of roast chicken, even take-out chicken. Invest in a great potato peeler to make short work of peeling the spuds.

Rhubarb is a favorite food of mine but now it's finding mainstream fans. Blood oranges seem to be the kiwi of the 21st Century. Together, they are a perfect union. This is a new spin on something old but ambrosial: stewed rhubarb of oven compote. Rhubarb marries well with sweet blood oranges (who also do their best to tint the rhubarb a deep rose colour). A touch of brown and white sugar and pomegranate molasses (honey is a fine substitute) make this rustic and sophisticated all at once. Serve over ice-cream, pound cake, with scones, or on with yogurt or Scottish oatmeal for a sweet, tart banquet. I tend to slice two of the blood oranges called for and grind up the last one but just slicing all three is fine.

I must have got this totally fabulous recipe more than a decade ago from the strangest source: Cosmopolitan Magazine. It is but four ingredients and makes the most amazing, crisp, flavorful chicken, good hot or cold you will ever taste.The coarse or rock salt, as well as the high oven temperature, crisps the chicken and seals in the flavor.  I serve this with wild rice.

Aside from the inspired fruit medley, there is one other trick in this rosy, delicious rendition of baked apples. It’s sweet kosher wine (but you can also use black cherry soda). It makes the whole thing a baked apple extravaganza. Serve these in the prettiest crystal dessert dishes you can fine or white ceramic ramekins. Good warm or cold; sometimes simplicity, especially in a new year, is best.

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