Monday, January 28, 2013


I'm fairly certain it was not part of the plan for this  Colonial Brown Bread  to glop over the side and onto the oven like this.
Aaaargh.  Anyone have a tried and true brown bread recipe to recommend?


Monday, January 21, 2013

The quest for cumin recipes . . .

Please tell me I am not the only one with files like this, overstuffed like a deep dish pie with recipes to try someday.

Most of these recipes I acquired pre-Internet days, back when cookbooks were king and magazine recipes were at least crown prince.  My files are passe now, I realize, as anyone with a mouse can ask the Great Wizard of Google to find recipes for, let's say, chicken livers plus mango salsa plus fresh lime juice.

But with a simple web search one would miss the thrill of the hunt.  The tactile pawing through of a ragtag collection of multi-sized scraps of paper, torn or carefully cut, some in neat rectangular shapes and others splotched together with scotch tape and folded, wonton-like, to fit into the bulging file folder -- that's the spirit in which I want to decide what to make for dinner.
It suits my librarian-like tendencies to spend an evening flipping through a file in my vast collection, looking for, this time, recipes containing cumin, a nice bag or two of which I acquired last summer while we were in Morocco for a friend's wedding.
(Yes, the careful reader may note those instructions are in French, and I'm pretty sure there's something there about aiding the stomach with diarrhea.  Moving on.)

This is the recipe I chose to make, Picadillo Tortillas, recipe pre-splattered (somehow) to save me the trouble.  From an old issue of Cooking Light magazine -- so old it's not on the Cooking Light archived recipes page -- it turns out this was a grand choice.  It used just 1/4 t. of cumin (unfortunately), but with a delicious hint of cinnamon, and the surprise of diced apple and raisins, it's a keeper.  Serves four (in our house, two), 232 calories each (in our house, 464).  I think I may multiply this by a gazillion and make it for the next big family reunion.

1/2 lb. ground round
1 c. peeled, finely chopped Rome apple
2 T. raisins
1 T. minced jalapeno pepper (I omitted)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
dash of ground coriander
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
4 8-inch flour tortillas

Crumble beef in microwave-safe 1-quart casserole dish.  Cook for 1 1/2 minutes on high; stir; cook for 1 1/2 more minutes on high; stir again.  If meat is still pink, cook for another minute or 2 until it's done.   Drain off fat to discard.  Add all the rest of the ingredients to the meat, except tortillas, then nuke on high for 3 minutes; stir; cook 3 more minutes; stir.  If it's still kind of soupy, cook for another minute or two until it's a little thicker.  Spread 1/2 c. of the meat mixture on a tortilla.  Can fold over, burrito-style, cover with paper towel, and heat just another 15-20 seconds or so to warm it up.  Then you get to eat it.

So tell me:  Do you have a pile of recipes somewhere that you're waiting to try?