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Cafe Mexicano

1 oz coffee liqueur
1/2 oz Brandy
1 teaspoon chocolate syrup
Hot coffee
Cinnamon stick

Combine coffee liqueur, brandy, chocolate syrup and cinnamon in a coffee cup or mug. Fill to the top with hot coffee. Top with fresh whipped cream.

Source: S's recipe collection

USA/HAWAII ~ Pineapple Macadamia Nut Loaf

Serves 8-10

3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup crushed canned pineapple
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and line with wax paper. In a large bowl combine sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, pineapple juice and pineapple and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together baking powder and flour. Stir flour mixture into pineapple mixture. Fold in macadamia nuts. Pour batter into greased pan. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Source: S's recipe collection

BELGIUM ~ Croque Monsieur with Pear


1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1/2 cup Gruyere, grated
1/4 cup Bechamel Sauce
2 slices of bread
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 slices smoked turkey
3 slices pear

Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt half of the Gruyère and all of the Parmigiano-Reggiano into the Bechamel sauce. Toast the bread. Spread mustard on one slice of bread. Place the turkey, pear and half of the remaining Gruyère cheese on top and top with the other slice of toasted bread. Spoon Bechamel sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining Gruyère cheese. Place on a broiling pan and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil for another 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Source: S's recipe collection

ANDORRA ~ Onion Salad with Honey

Andorra is located in the eastern Pyrenees, bordering Spain (Catalonia) and France. Once isolated, it now is a prosperous country, mainly due to tourism and its status as a tax haven. The people of Andorra are currently listed as having one of the highest human life expectancies on Earth, at an average of 83.52 years (est. 2007). Typical foods include Coques {flavored flat cakes}, Trinxat {potato + cabbage dish}, Truites de Carreroles {mushroom omelettes} along with a variety of local sausages, hams and cheeses.


3 red onions
Black olives, finely chopped

--Salad dressing--
1 tablespoon honey
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

Mix honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make the salad dressing. Pour over the onions and toss well. Let marinate for 1 hour and add olives to taste.

Source: S's recipe collection

BAHAMAS ~ Seafood Casserole


2 cups fresh crawfish (ground)
3 cups heavy cream sauce
1/2 cups grated cheese of choice
2 medium tomatoes, sliced {or use grape tomatoes)
1 medium green pepper
2 cups bread crumbs/panko mix

Dissolve cheese in the cream sauce. Arrange a layer of tomatoes, green peppers and crawfish in a baking dish. Cover with part of the cream sauce and repeat procedure one more time. Cover with bread crumbs and bake at 350F/180C for 1 1/2 hours.

Source: S's recipe collection


For the cake:
1 2/3ozs {50gr} plain chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons plain white flour
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 banana, not too ripe
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the profiterole sauce:
3 1/3ozs {100 gr} cocoa powder
1 lb {454 gr} granulated sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups {315 ml} water

The cake: In a small pan, combine chocolate and melted butter. Melt chocolate over low heat, remove from heat. Cut banana into thin slices. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a non-stick pan. Add sliced banana, sprinkle with sugar and cook over medium heat until caramelized. Allow to cool. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until pale and light. Still whisking, add sugar and flour. Fold in the chocolate and butter mixture, then carefully stir in the sauteed bananas. Lightly butter four ramekins or small aluminum foil containers, sprinkle with flour. Add batter until they are 3/4 full. Transfer to a preheated oven at 350F/180C and bake for 18-20 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto four plates and serve warm with profiterole sauce.

The sauce: In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over low heat. Stir in cocoa and return to the boil. Stir in cream and return to the boil. As soon as the sauce starts to boil, remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Leave to cool and refrigerate.

Source: Recipe from "San Domenico" in Imola {near Bologna}, one of Italy's top restaurants

Paprikas Csirkeporkolt Paradicsommal

2 onions, chopped
4 tablespoons shortening, sunflower oil or lard
3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons sugar {do not omit}
1/8 teaspoons black pepper or whole pepper corns
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
4-5 lbs chicken, disjointed {use legs, thighs, breast and back for best flavor}
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pint sour cream
Brown onions in shortening. Add seasonings and chicken, brown 10 minutes. Do not let burn. Add tomatoes, bay leaf and water, cover and let simmer slowly until tender. To thicken gravy, mix into a paste 2 tablespoons of soft butter and 2 tablespoons of flour and stir into the stew. Cook a few minutes until liquid thickens. Serve with dumplings or egg noodles, topping each serving with a dallop of sour cream.

Source: S's recipe collection


2 pounds Dungeness crab
1 pound bay shrimp
4 egg yolks
1 pound mayonnaise {or less to taste}
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 pound marinated artichokes, chopped
1 cup Swiss Cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon black pepper, cracked
1 cup panko/breadcrumbs

In a sauce pan, combine heavy cream and garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes. Put aside and let vent. While cream is cooling, combine all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add cream and garlic, toss well, but do not over-mix. Crab dip mix may be kept in the fridge up to 3 days and can be reheated by adding some cream. Top with more cheese and gratinee. Serve with fresh baked walnut bread.

Source: Chef Armen at "McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant", San Francisco


1/4 cup whole cranberry sauce
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup milk
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine cranberry sauce and brown sugar. Place sauce mixture in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except bay leaves and mix well. Set meat loaf mixture in the pan on top of the sauce. Top loaf with bay leaves and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until done. Allow loaf to cool for 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and carefully turn loaf over onto a serving plate so that the sauce side is up. Drizzle pan juices over the loaf.

Sourse: S's recipe collection

Vainitas Chinas en Salsa de Aceite de Oliva

Snow peas, not typically Cuban, are enjoyed today in many Cuban-American homes. Mint leaves, still widely used in Cuba today, add the crowning touch to this simple saute prepared in olive oil.

Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1 pound bright green snow peas, stems and strings removed
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh mint leaves

Heat a large saucepan and add olive oil. When oil is heated and begins to smell fragrant, saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add diced tomato and simmer for about 5 minutes, then add snow peas, parsley, cilantro, water, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook until peas are slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Serve hot with mint for garnish.

Source: "CUBA COCINA!" by Joyce LaFray

FRANCE ~ Cheese & Watercress Spread


A bunch of watercress
4 tablespoons cottage cheese
1 tablespoon double cream

Put a bunch of watercress through the mincer or "Mouli", removing beforehand the thick stems. Take 4 tablespoons of the crushed cress and mix it with the cottage cheese and cream, salting it to your taste. It is marvelous. Makes an excellent spread for cocktail savories. {I also like it with boiled potatoes}

Source: "COOKING WITH POMIANE" by Edouard de Pomiane from the 1930's


SPAIN ~ TAPAS: Sticks of Ham with Honey

Serves 4

1 packet of bread sticks
3 ozs orange-blossom honey
4 ozs Ibérico ham {or jamon serrano}, in thin slices

Cut the ham slices into strips about 1 inch wide. Dip the tips of the bread sticks into the honey {about 2 inches deep} and drain. Wrap the ham around the sticks beginning at the tip, overlapping it like a bandage. Serve as a appetizer with drinks.

Source: Spain GourmeTour magazine

VIETNAM ~ BBQ Five-Spice Cornish Game Hens

This aromatic barbecued game hen can be easily served Western style with rice, cole slaw or a green salad {but would be better with Thai cucumber salad or Vietnamese carrot salad}.


4 14oz Cornish game hens
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, or 3 green onions, white part only
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Five Spice powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry

Halve the hens through the breast. Flatten with the palm of your hand. In a mortar or food processor, mince garlic, shallots and sugar. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture over hens; marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Set hens, skin-side down, on grill and barbecue over medium coals for 15 minutes. Turn and barbecue 15 minutes longer or until they are thoroughly cooked. Serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.

Source: S's recipe collection

MEXICO~ Fresh Fast Guacamole

Serves 4

1/2 jalapeno pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, cut into large chunks
1 cup fresh, tightly packed cilantro leaves
3 large ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
Freshly-ground black pepper
Tortilla chips

Combine jalapeno, onion, and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse to chop fine. In a medium bowl, mash avocados, and add onion mix. Mix thoroughly; season with salt & pepper. Serve immediately with chips, or chill in fridge, covered,  for 1 hour.

Source: "Rocco's 5 Minute Flavor" by Rocco Dispirito

INDIA~ Spicy Fried Potatoes

Serves 6

1/4 cup peanut oil
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 cups diced, cooked white potatoes
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a large, nonstick fry pan. When hot, add mustard, and sesame and fennel seeds, stirring constantly. As soon as the seeds begin to burst, add potatoes to the pan. Fry, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Stir in black and cayenne peppers and salt. Cover and cook for 7 minutes or until potatoes are quite brown. Turn potatoes. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until potatoes are crispy.

Source: "HOT! The Cookbook For Passionate Devotees Who Go Bonkers Over The Incendiary Pleasures of Food That Never Stops Whamming, Popping, or Zapping" by Judith Choate

USA/ARIZONA ~ Cowboy Beef Chili

Makes 10 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cubed beef stew meat, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup white flour
1 cup water
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (26oz) ranchstyle or regular chili beans
8 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons Ancho or regular chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste

In a large pan, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and saute. Meanwhile, place the flour in a one-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add cubed beef, seal the bag and shake until beef is covered lightly. Add beef to the saute pan and cook on high until onion is clear and beef is browned. Remove from heat and reserve. In a large mixing bowl, combine water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and beans. Add chili powder, cumin, and Ancho powder. Place meat mixture into the bowl and mix well so that all components are well combined. Place into pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until beef is very tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and hot sauce, if desired. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and freshly-chopped scallions on top.

Source: Ralph's Gameday Recipe, courtesy of Chef Kathleen from Scottsdale, Arizona

MALAYSIA ~ Fried Anchovies with Peanuts


A delicious crisp nibble served with drinks, the salt, fish, hot and sweet flavours competing for attention.

Peanut oil for deep frying
90g/3ozs/1 cup dried small anchovies {ikan bilis}
150g/5ozs/1 cup raw peanuts
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

Heat oil in a wok and fry anchovies over medium heat until pale brown. Remember they will continue to darken even after being removed from the heat. Lift out on a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Fry the peanuts in the oil until golden brown, lift out and drain. Mix sugar, salt and chilli powder and sprinkle over the combined fish and peanuts, tossing well. Cool and serve. Can be stored airtight for a day or two.

Source: "Charmaine Solomon's Encyclopedia of Asian Food"

USA ~ Pomegranate-Cranberry Sorbet


This refreshingly tart sorbet makes a perfect accent to any meal. Serve as a light dessert or as an unexpected palate cleanser between courses.

1 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 cups chilled pomegranate-cranberry juice

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cranberries, sugar, and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, just until cranberries burst and the mixture thickens a bit. Allow the berries to chill completely, then force them through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any solids. Mix together cranberry puree and juice, then freeze in an icecream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Source: S's recipe collection

Serves 4

Grated zest of 4 lemons, plus 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper
1 large red onion, cut into very thing slices
4 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
8ozs feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To make the dressing, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, toss the red onions with half the dressing. Lay out the slices of 1 avocado on each of four plates. Season with salt and pepper. Top with red onions and scatter the feta over the onions. Drizzle the remaining dressing evenly over the salads and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Source: "Rocco's 5 Minute Flavor - Fabulous Meals with 5 Ingredients in 5 Minutes" by Rocco DiSpirito

INDIA~ Coconut Chicken With Orange Rice

Serves 6

2 tablespoons canola oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken beasts, halved
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 whole habanero chile pepper, stemmed and seeded
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/4 cup chile oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 stalks lemongrass
Salt to taste
Orange rice
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped, toasted macadamia nuts

Heat oil in a heavy saute pan over medium heat. When hot, fry chicken, turning frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Do not discart fat. Process onion, garlic, ginger, shallots, nuts, chile, lemon and orange rinds, chile oil, brown sugar and spices in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until well combined. Add 1 cup coconut milk and process until smooth. Return saute pan to medium heat. When hot, scrape onion mixture into the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until mix begins to color. Add browned chicken pieces, lemongrass, remaining coconut milk and salt. Bring to a boil. When boiling, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is very tender and sauce is thick. Place orange rice in the center of a warm platter and surround it with chicken. Discard lemongrass stalks and pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle rice with scallions and chicken with toasted nuts.

Source: "HOT! The Cookbook For Passionate Devotees Who Go Bonkers Over The Incendiary Pleasures of Food That Never Stops Whamming, Popping, or Zapping" by Judith Choate

GERMANY ~ Rum Truffles ~ Rumkugeln

Rumkugeln are some of my absolute favorite German sweets. German bakeries often have large versions throughout the year - a way to use leftover cakes and turning them into something different rather than throwing them away. These are made from scratch though and should look like the chocolate-covered little ball in the upper left.

Rumkugel & Co

Rum Truffles

300g semi-sweet chocolate
125ml heavy whipping cream
30g unsalted butter
30g coconut lard (such as Palmin)
3.5ozs rum
100g real chocolate sprinkles {and by that, I mean the German or Dutch kind, for *original* Rumkugeln, nothing else will do. ;o) Picture of the real thing: http://www.germandeli.com/8710496503986.html If you can't find this kind, finely grate some chocolate from a bar}

Coarsely chop the semi-sweet chocolate. To melt it, place in double boiler filled with hot water, along with the whipping cream. Stir until chocolate is melted and completely incorporated with the cream. Let it cool down to room temp and place in the fridge. Once the mix is semi-firm, whip it until fluffy using an electric mixer. Drizzle in the rum as you continue to whip the mix. Fill into pastry bag and pipe mounts of it onto aluminum foil - each should be about the size of a walnut. Place into freezer for 30 minutes. Using your hands, quickly shape each truffle into a ball, rolling it between the palms of your hands, then cover in chocolate by rolling it in the sprinkles. Store in a cool, dry place like an old cookie jar with a layer of parchment paper.

NOTE: For a different version, replace rum with coconut liqueur, use white chocolate instead of dark and cover the truffles with coconut flakes {the result is extremely tasty and a little like those coconut things Ferrero makes). Yet another version calls for Bailey's Irish Cream, Milka Mokka chocolate and chocolate sprinkles.

Gwoo Lo Yook

1 pound pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
1 egg white
Peanut or vegetable oil for deep frying
Sweet & Sour Sauce (recipe follows)

Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices, then into 1-inch squares. Place in bowl and mix with soy sauce, wine, salt, pepper and five spice powder. Refrigerate while preparing batter. Mix flour and warm water into a smooth batter with a wooden spoon, stir in oil, and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Beat egg white until stiff and fold into batter. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 350F/175. Dip pieces of pork in batter, and deep fry a few at a time until pork is cooked and batter golden. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Repeat process until all pork is cooked. Set aside and make sauce. Shortly before serving, reheat oil on high heat (450F/230C), and once more fry pork, a few pieces at a time, for just a few seconds. This second frying makes the batter very crisp. Drain again on paper towels. Arrange on a serving platter, pour hot Sweet Sour Sauce over and serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese wine or sherry
3 tablespoons tomato sauce/ketchup
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 small onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced.
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red chilies
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 8oz can pineapple chunks, drained
Combine soy sauce, wine, tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar and water in a bowl; stir until sugar dissolves. In a small cup, mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water. Heat peanut oil in large frying pan, add onions, garlic, ginger and remaining vegetables, except pineapple, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add sauce mixture, bring to a boil, then stir in cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the pineapple.

Source: S's recipe collection

FRANCE ~ Mushroom Soup

Serves 6

1/2 cup brandy 
2ozs dried wild mushrooms {such as shiitake} 
3 tablespoons sweet butter 
1 1/2 cups yellow onions, chopped 
1/2 pound button mushrooms, finely chopped 
1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, finely chopped 
3 cups chicken broth 
Salt & pepper to taste

Soak dried mushrooms in warmed brandy for 20 minutes & drain, reserving the liquid. Sauté onions in butter until translucent. Add button & portobello mushrooms, cook for 15 minutes. Add the dried mushrooms, soaking liquid and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes. Purée the soup and return to stove, adding salt and pepper to taste. Et Voilà!

Source: S's recipe collection

Bocaditos de Mantequilla de Camarones

A bocadito is a miniature sandwich or canape. These tea-style sandwiches, so popular in the United States in the 50's, made their way to the Caribbean island and were prepared with just about every filling imaginable. The bocadito consists of a thin filling between two slices of bread. Crusts are carefully trimmed with a very sharp knife, and the bread is formed into different shapes. Here's one of my favourite fillings.

Make 36 canapes.

2 cups cooked fresh shrimp
1/4 pound butter, softened
2 tablespoons light cream
2 teaspoonsfresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon dry vermouth
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 loaf white bread

Combine all the ingredients except bread in a medium bowl and mix together well, or coarsley combine in a blender or food processor. Remove crusts and cut bread lengthwise into 3/8-inch thick slices. Spread 1/4 cup of the shrimp butter filling on each slice, the roll up and wrap in foil. Repeat with each slice. Chill for 1-2 hours. Using a sharp knife, slice into pinwheels about 3/4 inch thick.

Source: "CUBA COCINA!" by Joyce LaFray

AUSTRIA ~ Palatschinken


5 1/3ozs flour
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 squares baking chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon powdered sugar

Mix flour, eggs, water, salt and sugar. Beat until very fluffy. Melt butter in a skillet, drop in dough by the tablespoonful and spread out thinly. Make the pancakes small and fry until golden brown. Keep them warm. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and powdered sugar in the microwave or over hot water. Fill pancakes with the mix and roll them up gently. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Source: S's recipe collection


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