Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until crumbled. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water and the margarine; pulse until moistened.
Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and press the crumbs onto the bottom and halfway up the sides. Bake until browned, about 8 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar with a mixer on medium-high about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in flour and maple syrup.
In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until they just hold stiff peaks. Whisk about one fourth of them into the cream cheese mixture, and fold in the rest.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Place in a roasting pan and add enough warm water to come one-quarter of the way up the sides. Bake until the cake is set but the center still jiggles, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn off the oven. Leave cheesecake inside with the door closed for 20 minutes.
Remove cake from the water bath and transfer to a rack. Run a knife around the edge, then cool completely. Chill until firm, at least 8 hours. Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: 300 calories (38 percent from fat), 12.8 g fat (6.9 g saturated, 3.9 g monounsaturated), 33 mg cholesterol, 8.6 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 277 mg sodium.
Marinated Carrots (Copper Penny Salad)
2 pounds carrots , peeled and sliced into coins
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into rings and rings quartered
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (10.5-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cook carrots for 3 to 4 minutes in boiling water; they should still be crunchy. Drain and combine with onion and green pepper in a glass dish or large jar. Stir together the remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables. Let stand overnight in refrigerator. Serve cold. Keeps 2 to 3 weeks in refrigerator. Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: 202 calories (41 percent from fat), 9.4 g fat (1 g saturated, 1.7 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 1.2 g protein, 30 g carbohydrates, 2.7 g fiber, 346 mg sodium.
6 to 8 heads Belgian endive
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere, Parmesan and/or dry Cheddar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices cooked ham, cut in strips
1 tablespoon melted butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Trim endives and discard outer leaves. Put them in a buttered flameproof casserole with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and the lemon juice, cover with buttered foil and the lid and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Bake 1 hour or until tender.
To make the sauce, melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until dissolved. Slowly whisk in milk. Stir in the 1/3 cup cheese and the mustard, cooking just until cheese is melted.
Transfer the endives to a heatproof platter. Stir ham into sauce, taste for seasoning and spoon over the endives. Top with remaining grated cheese and melted butter. Brown under the broiler before serving. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 151 calories (64 percent from fat), 11 g fat (6.6 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), 33 mg cholesterol, 6.2 g protein, 7.4 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fiber, 235 mg sodium.
6 pompano, red snapper or bonita fillets (about 6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Vegetable shortening for frying
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Rinse and dry fillets. Season with salt and pepper. Melt shortening in a large skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch. Turn heat to medium. Combine cornmeal and flour. Dredge fillets in mixture and shake off excess.
Place on a rack and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes, or while oil comes up to 350 degrees. Heat oven to 200 degrees. (Fish may need to be cooked in batches and kept warm.)
Remove fillets from refrigerator. Dredge again in cornmeal mixture, shake off excess and carefully place in oil. Avoid crowding pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden. Serve with lemon. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: :223 calories (16 percent from fat), 3.9 g fat (0.8 g saturated, 0.9 g monounsaturated), 63 mg cholesterol, 36 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 532 mg sodium.
Q. I’ve lost my recipe for marinated carrots. Can you help?
Marie Carr, Miami
I had to dig way back to 1987 to find this recipe, once a staple at Southern gatherings. Though you may shudder at the amount of sugar — and certainly can reduce it if so inclined — this is the recipe as it appears in many a church cookbook. In some circles this is known as Copper Penny Salad. When you’ve eaten the veggies, the marinade makes a great salad dressing.
Rita Daniels suggests the recipe here for Endives Ardennes, a French classic, for Bill Kofoed, who was looking for a dish served at Le Parisian, a 1950s-era French restaurant on Arthur Godfrey Road. Kofoed and his mother and dad, former Herald columnist Jack Kofoed, loved the braised endive “with a delicious white sauce” he had been unable to duplicate.
If you’ve never thought of endive as anything but a salad ingredient, this is a revelation. The Mornay sauce with its bite of cheese and mustard and the slightly bitter endive make an interesting play of flavors.
Deliver Lean, a South Florida firm that specializes in portion-controlled food delivered to client’s homes and offices, has expanded to include desserts. Chef James Donato shared this recipe for a slimmed-down autumn cheesecake.
There’s something about lighthouses that has always captured my imagination, so I found The American Lighthouses Cookbook by Becky Sue Epstein and Ed Jackson (Cumberland House, $26.99) eminently readable. It’s a delicious journey in coastal America, with lovely regional recipes accompanied by endearing stories of local lighthouses and their keepers. The recipe here is from a Panhandle supper that accompanies the tale of the Cape St. George Lighthouse.
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Personal replies are not possible.
While I was visiting my daughter, a longtime vegetarian who recently went vegan, she served the best pesto pasta I’ve ever eaten. It was amazingly rich, and I could not believe it contained no cheese or heavy cream. The secret ingredient, it turned out, was avocado.
Chicken Divan, basically chicken with almonds topped with a cheese and sherry-laced Mornay sauce served over broccoli, was first created in the 1930s in New York City, where it was the signature dish at the Divan Parisien restaurant. Since I never had the version at the Inca, the best I can do is adapt a favorite method of making the dish by substituting asparagus for the broccoli. If anyone has the authentic recipe I will happily pass it along. I found I actually prefer using asparagus, especially now when it is fresh and redolent of spring.
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