Burgers, Casseroles, Scrambled Eggs, Summer Reading, Fruit and Pasta Salads

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Recipes and information from this week's Good Food

Jonathan Gold writes the Counter Intelligence for the LA Weekly and is a restaurant reviewer at Gourmet magazine. He spoke about Twohey's Restaurant at 1224 N Atlantic Boulevard in Alhambra; (626-284-7387). He recommends the stinko burgers, onion rings, lime freezes and hot fudge sundaes.

This recipe is from Robert Moore, executive chef at Dodgers Stadium.

Sugar Cane Chicken

  • 2 Chicken Breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 4 oz dark rum g
  • 8 oz mango salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 stalk sugar cane
  • Using a clever, cut sugar cane into 6-inch sections
  • Split sections in half, then into quarters, then into eighths
  • Slide chicken onto sugarcane, then red pepper
  • Alternate chicken and vegetable 2 more times
  • Season finished skewers with salt and pepper
  • Brush with rum glaze and either roast or grill until done
  • Serve with mango salsa

Dark Rum Glaze

  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
Combine the rum and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is reduced by half. Add the pepper and season to taste with salt.

Mango Lime Salsa

  • 1 large ripe mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp finely minced Serrano chile pepper
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Peel the mango, and cut the flesh away from the large flat seed. Cut flesh into 1/2-inch dice so that you have about 1 cup. Place diced mango in a medium non-reactive bowl. Add onion, lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, and chile to the mango and mix well. Taste and season the salsa with salt and pepper and with a little extra lime juice, if desired.

Big Daddy's Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 lb pork or beef or turkey sausage, browned and drained
  • 1 package, frozen Tater Tots
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 1 can cream soup {mushroom, celery, etc} or mix combo of soups 1/2 can each
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup veggies (combination of green and brown onions, and bell peppers), sliced and diced
Beat eggs together with vegetables and 1 cup of milk. In a separate bowl, mix cream soup with remaining 1 cup of milk. Pour this over eggs.

In a glass baking dish layer tater tots and sausage. Pour soupy mixture over sausage and Tater Tots. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, until bubbly and brown on top.

Nancy Silverton is the founder of La Brea Bakery and the author of Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book.

These are from Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book
By Nancy Silverton and Teri Gelber, published by Knopf

Brandade with Roasted Tomatoes and Chick Peas

For the Salted Fish:

  • 6 ozs halibut or cod filet, 1/2 inch to 1-inch thick (or 4 ounces store-bought dried salt cod or Baccalao)
  • Approximately 2 cups Kosher salt, if using fresh fish
For the Brandade:
  • 1-2 cups whole milk (depending on size of pan)
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium white potato, peeled and cut into eight 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly cracked white pepper, to taste
For the Chick Peas:
  • 3/4 cup dried chick peas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole dried red chile
For the Tomatoes:
  • 32 Sweet 100's or 16 halved small red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 slices white or whole-wheat sourdough bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Approximately 20 Italian parsley leaves
To salt the fish:
  • Place the fish on a non-corrosive, stainless-steel perforated pan (or steamer basket or colander) set on a baking sheet.
  • Pour a third of the salt over the fish, flip it over and pour another third of the salt over that side. Flip the fish over again and pour the remaining salt over it. The filet should be completely covered in salt.
  • Cover the pan and baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 5-7 days until the fish is firm and stiff. As the salt leaches the moisture out of the fish, you'll need to empty the liquid that collects underneath it every few days.
  • Rinse off the filet, transfer it to a deep bowl and cover it with at least 4 inches of water.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or for about 8-10 hours. 6. Change the water in the morning and continue soaking for at least another 8-10 hours. (To remove most of the salt, the fish must soak at least 24 hours, but no longer than 36 hours.)
  • Rinse and drain the fish, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use. If using dried cod, soak for 2 days, according to instructions on package, changing water twice a day.

To prepare the chickpeas:

  • Place the dried chickpeas in a bowl with water to cover and soak overnight.
  • Drain the chickpeas and place them in a small saucepan with water to cover. Add the bay leaf, 2 sprigs of the thyme, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer 1 to 2 hours, until tender, adding water as necessary to keep the chickpeas immersed in water.
  • Taste a chick pea to make sure it's cooked all the way through.
  • Drain the chickpeas (saving the liquid for another use, such as a soup base) and transfer them back to the pot.
  • Add at least a cup of the olive oil (enough to cover the chickpeas), remaining thyme, and chile and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, until the chickpeas absorb the olive oil and are creamy in texture and slightly darkened in color. Allow them to cool in the olive oil.
  • Strain and use the olive oil to make the tomatoes and brandade.

To roast the tomatoes:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil from the chickpeas and the herbs.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to release their juices and the skins begin to wrinkle.
  • Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.

To prepare the brandade:

  • Cut the fish into 3 chunks and place in a medium saucepan.
  • Pour the milk over fish to cover, add the garlic cloves and potato and bring to a low boil.
  • Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the potato is fork tender and cooked all the way through.
  • Strain and discard the milk.
  • In the same saucepan, bring the cream to a boil and turn off the heat immediately.
  • Place the fish, potato, and garlic in the bowl of an electric mixer and add the cream. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low for about 1 minute, until the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Alternately, mash the ingredients together by hand using a potato masher or whisk, until it's incorporated.
  • Add the olive oil (from the chickpeas if you have made them already) and mix until the fish and garlic clove are broken down, about 1 more minute. The mixture should be a coarse puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Grill or toast the bread and rub one side of each slice of bread with the garlic clove and place on serving plates, garlic side up.

To assemble the sandwiches:

Spread an uneven layer of brandade over each slice of bread and spoon the chickpeas over it. Scatter the tomatoes and parsley leaves over the sandwiches and drizzle them with a little of the leftover olive oil.

Beef Brisket Hash on Toast

You may not want to eat the Clam Sandwich or Chopped Sub for breakfast, but this brisket and egg combo is satisfying any time of day. After the beef has been braising all night long in the oven, and your house is filled with the rich, savory aromas of red wine, garlic, meat and vegetables, you may not be able to resist that craving for "hash and eggs" in the morning.

This recipe calls for a three-pound piece of meat, which makes more than four sandwiches. Use the leftover brisket in a tomato sauce with pasta or stuffed into a burrito. If you want to save yourself the trouble of making meat stock, look for a good-quality veal or beef stock concentrate, found in the frozen food section at upscale supermarkets. For the Marinade:

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 small bulb fennel, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/4 onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 celery stalk, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 whole dried red chiles
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian tomato paste (the kind that comes in a tube)
  • 1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half horizontally and cut into chunks
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 1/2 cups red wine
  • 3/4 cup dark beer
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • One 3-pound brisket, preferably the point cut
To Cook the Brisket:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups veal or beef stock, homemade or the store-bought low sodium variety
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
For the Carrot:
  • 1 large carrot (about 12 ounces), peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tsps extra-virgin olive oil
For the Horseradish Cream:
  • 3/4 cup cr-me fra-che or sour cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh horseradish pur-e (made in an electric juicer) or fresh horseradish from a deli
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Eggs:
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 extra-large eggs
In a large, heavy-duty skillet, warm the oil over high heat.
  • Add the carrot, fennel, onion, and celery and cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are very well-browned.
  • In a small skillet over medium-high heat, toast the mustard seeds, oregano, chiles and bay leaves for 2-3 minutes, until the spices begin to release their aromas.
  • In a large bowl, combine the saut-ed vegetables, toasted spices, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and parsley.
  • Add the red wine and beer.
  • Pat the meat dry with a paper towel.
  • Rub the salt and pepper over the entire brisket and place it in the bowl with the marinade.
  • Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
  • In a medium-sized, heavy-duty Dutch oven (about the same length and width of the brisket) or a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until it's very hot and just begins to smoke.
  • Remove the brisket from the marinade, scraping the vegetables off of the meat and back into the marinade, reserving it to use later.
  • Place the brisket fat-side-down in the pan and sear it until it's dark golden, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the meat and transfer to a plate or cutting board.
  • Pour about 1/2 a cup of the stock into the pan and bring it to a boil over high heat, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and put the meat back into the deglazed pan.
  • Pour in the marinade and stock to cover about 3/4 of the meat. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to add more stock.)
  • Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and braise in the oven for 9 hours. Remove the foil, puncture the plastic to allow the steam to escape, then remove the plastic. Allow the meat to cool in the liquid for about 45 minutes.
  • Transfer the meat (reserving the liquid) to a platter and allow to cool completely.
  • To prepare the carrot:

    • Turn the oven up to 500 degrees.
    • Cut the carrot into oblique slices by cutting off a 1/2-inch thick slice at angle. Turn (or roll) the carrot a half-turn and slice another piece off. Continue turning and slicing the carrot into pieces that resemble a half moon shape.
    • Toss the slices with the olive oil and salt and transfer them to a baking dish.
    • Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly they're lightly browned and caramelized. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the brisket's braising liquid into a large bowl, pressing the vegetables against the strainer with a wooden spoon to extract their juices.
    • Discard the vegetables and solids.
    • Allow the liquid to cool another 10 minutes, then remove the top layer of separated fat.
    • Transfer the braising liquid back to the roasting pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
    • Turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 7 minutes, until the liquid is slightly thickened and reduced.
    • Turn the heat to medium-low, whisk in the 3 tablespoons of butter and cook for another minute or two, until the butter is melted and fully incorporated.
    • Remove from the heat and taste to adjust the seasonings.
    • Using two forks, pull apart the meat, separating it into long, thin strands.
    • Pour the reduced liquid over the meat and stir in the carrots.

    To make the horseradish cream:

    • In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together the cr-me fra-che and horseradish.
    • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    • Grill or toast the bread and rub one side of each slice of bread with the garlic clove and place on serving plates, garlic side up.
    To poach the eggs:
    • In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
    • Turn the heat down to just below a simmer and add the vinegar and salt.
    • Crack an egg into a small bowl. Slowly stir the water in one direction to create a whirlpool effect. Once the whirlpool has slowed down a little, carefully slide the egg into the water against the side of the pan, following the current of the water as you pour the egg in, so that the white envelops the yolk.
    • Crack another egg into the small bowl and add to the water in the same manner.
    • Poach the eggs for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are runny.
    • Carefully remove with a slotted spoon to a plate to drain.
    • Cupping the eggs in your hand, tip the plate to pour off the excess water.
    • Prepare the other 2 eggs in the same manner. (If you want to prepare the eggs ahead of time, slip the poached eggs into a bowl of ice water and just before assembling the sandwiches, return them to the simmering water for 10-20 seconds to warm.)

    To assemble the sandwiches:

    Place about 1/2 cup of the brisket, a little of the liquid and a few pieces of carrot over each slice of bread. Drizzle about 2-3 teaspoons of the horseradish cream over and center a poached egg on top of each sandwich.

    Ellen Rose is the owner of The Cook's Library at 8373 W 3rd Street in Los Angeles; 323-655-3141. She spoke about:

    Abby Dodge is an editor at Fine Cooking magazine. She spoke about fruit salads and pasta salads.

    Mixed Berries with Vanilla Bean Syrup
    Serves 4-6; yields 1/3 cup syrup.

    • 1/2 vanilla bean
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries
    • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries
    • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh blackberries
    • 1/2 pint (1 cup) fresh strawberries
    • Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a sharp paring knife and scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife; save the empty pod for a garnish, if you like.
    • Put the seeds in a small saucepan, along with the sugar and water.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
    • Reduce the heat to low and cook for 7 minutes to let the vanilla infuse.
    • Strain through a fine sieve to remove any fibrous pieces of vanilla pod or clumps of seeds.
    • Let cool and refrigerate until completely chilled.
    • Rinse the raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries and spread them in a single layer on a towel to dry.
    • Hull the strawberries and cut them into quarters.
    • Just before serving, combine all the berries in a large serving bowl and pour on just enough of the vanilla syrup to lightly coat them, about 3 tablespoons.
    • Toss gently.

    Peaches and Nectarines with Rosemary and Honey Syrup
    Serves 6; yields 3/4 cup syrup.

    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 sprig (4 1/2inches long) fresh rosemary; more for garnish
    • 4 medium white or yellow peaches (or 2 of each)
    • 4 medium white or yellow nectarines (or 2 of each)
    • Combine the honey, sugar, and water in a small saucepan.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
    • Add the rosemary and reduce the heat to low.
    • Cook for 7 minutes to let the rosemary infuse.
    • Strain through a fine sieve, let cool, and refrigerate to chill completely.
    • Just before serving, halve and pit the peaches and nectarines.
    • Cut the fruit into 1/4-inch slices and put them in a large serving bowl.
    • Pour on just enough of the rosemary syrup to lightly coat the fruit, about 6 tablespoons. Garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary, if you like.

    Apricots with Moscato and Thyme Syrup
    Serves 4-6; yields 1 cup syrup.

    Moscato can be expensive, but there are delicious, affordable examples, such as Sutter Home Moscato, that work well in this recipe. A pluot is a cross between a plum and apricot.

    • 2 to 3 cups Moscato or Moscato d'Asti (or any dessert wine made from Muscat grapes)
    • 5 ozs dried apricots (15 to 20)
    • 5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme; more for garnish
    • 2 pounds fresh apricots or pluots (about 16 apricots or 7 medium pluots)
    • In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of the wine to a boil.
    • Remove from the heat and add the dried apricots.
    • Cover the pan and let the apricots marinate in the wine for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
    • Strain the wine from the marinated fruit into a measuring cup. You'll need a total of 1 cup wine; if you have less, supplement with more wine from the bottle. If you have more, discard the extra.
    • Combine the 1 cup wine and the sugar in a small saucepan.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
    • Add the thyme and reduce the heat to low.
    • Cook for 7 minutes to let the thyme infuse.
    • Strain through a fine sieve, let cool, and refrigerate until completely chilled.
    • Just before serving, cut the plumped dried apricots into quarters, slicing them lengthwise.
    • Cut the fresh apricots or pluots in half, pit them, and slice each half into 1/2 inch-wide wedges.
    • Put all the fruit in a large serving bowl.
    • Pour on just enough of the Moscato syrup to lightly coat the fruit, about 1/3 cup.
    • Garnish with fresh sprigs of thyme, if you like.

    Melons with Ginger Syrup
    Serves 4-6; yields about 1/3 cup syrup.

    For this salad, I like to use a combination of four melons, choosing from cantaloupe, honeydew, Santa Claus, Persian, Casaba, or seedless watermelon.

    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 3 1/2 inch-long piece fresh ginger (1 inch wide), peeled and very thinly sliced
    • 8 cups mixed 3/4 inch melon cubes (from 5 to 8 pounds melon)
    • Leaves from 5 sprigs mint (small leaves left whole; larger leaves sliced into thin strips)
    • Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.
    • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
    • Add the ginger and reduce the heat to low.
    • Cook for 7 minutes to let the ginger infuse.
    • Strain through a fine sieve, let cool, and refrigerate until completely chilled.
    • Just before serving, mix the melon cubes in a large serving bowl and pour on just enough of the ginger syrup to lightly coat the melons, about 1/4 cup.
    • Toss with the mint leaves.