Cook’s Corner

Josephinas are a cheesy toast treat

 

Sleuth’s Corner

Q. My husband’s favorite cookie is a Linzer tart. I do have a recipe, but the cookie portion is not very crunchy. It is more like a cake. Can one of your readers help me with a more original recipe?

Joan Brillaud


Pastry

Shortbread Crust for Sweet Pies

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

Whisk the flour, sugar and salt to combine. Add butter and egg yolk. Mix with a wooden spoon or your hands. Pat dough into a shallow 9-inch glass pie pan. Prick with a fork a few times and put in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees and place a cookie sheet on the middle rack.

Fit a piece of foil snugly over the dough and top with pie weights or dried beans. Place on the hot pan in the oven. Check after 10 minutes. Pull the foil up and see if the crust has set. If not, leave the foil on for 5 more minutes. If it has, pull the foil and beans off and let the crust bake until golden. When it is out of the oven, immediately compress it with a wooden spoon, pushing back the sides anywhere they have sagged. Makes 1 (8-serving) pie crust.

Per serving: 192 calories (57 percent from fat), 12.3 g fat (7.5 g saturated, 3.2 g monounsaturated), 54 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g protein, 18.3 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fiber, 295 mg sodium.


Main Dish

Rosemary Clooney’s Viennese Goulash

2 teaspoons marjoram

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest

1 clove garlic

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

1 teaspoon tomato paste

2 pounds onions, sliced

1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika

2 pounds chuck, rump or round beef, cut into chunks

Salt to taste

1/4 cup flour (optional)

Using a mortar and pestle, or a small grinder, crush together the marjoram, caraway seeds, lemon zest and garlic. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter. Stir in the tomato paste and crushed seasonings. Add the onions and, stirring constantly, sauté until golden. Add the paprika and cook, stirring, for a minute more. Add the beef, 1cup water and salt to taste.

Cover and simmer until the beef is tender, about 90 minutes. Add more water during cooking if needed. If more sauce is desired, sprinkle the meat with 1/4 cup flour, add another cup of water and simmer to thicken. Serve with egg noodles or boiled potatoes. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 606 calories (67 percent from fat), 46 g fat (24 g saturated, 17 g monounsaturated), 167 mg cholesterol, 31 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 3.3 g fiber, 332 mg sodium.


Bread

Josephinas

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1/4 cup finely chopped green onion

1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles (pimientos may be substituted)

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 loaf French bread (baguette)

Combine butter, onion, chiles, cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder. Slice bread 1/4 inch thick and spread with butter mixture. Place on sheet pan and broil until cheese bubbles. Makes 24 slices.

Per slice: 124 calories (73 percent from fat), 11 g fat (6.1 g saturated, 2.9 g monounsaturated), 25.4 mg cholesterol, 2.6 g protein, 6.7 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fiber, 161 mg sodium.


Cookie

Apricot-Almond Snowballs

2 1/4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sliced almonds, chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt until completely combined. Add canola oil and beat until well combined. Stir in 2 tablespoons water and the extracts, then almonds and apricots.

Scoop batter onto ungreased baking sheet by the tablespoonful, leaving about 1 inch between. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until just set. Cool on pan for 2 minutes and transfer to wire rack.

Pour confectioners’ sugar into bowl. While cookies are still warm but not hot, roll in confectioners’ sugar. It will adhere slightly. Return cookies to rack. When totally cooled, roll in confectioners’ sugar again. Store in air-tight container for up to five days. Makes 36 cookies.

Per cookie: 124 calories (38 percent from fat), 5.4 g fat (0.4 g saturated, 3.4 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 1 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 17 mg sodium.


LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com

Gabe recalled his mother making a snack with Cuban bread that she called Josephinas. He ate it for breakfast and with soup, but did not know any ingredients other than cheese.

Marie Lewis says the request prompted her to call her mother, who lives in Nova Scotia, for the recipe. “We had Josephinas often, and it is just slices of buttered French bread you put in the oven with some grated cheese and garlic powder,” she reports.

Lori Keller of Berea, Ohio, sent the easy and delicious recipe here, which would make a nice addition to a holiday buffet or a simple soup supper.

Cookies

The Apricot-Almond Snowballs here have just made my holiday go-to list. They are a nice twist on the traditional wedding cookie, with the tang of dried apricots and the complement of almond. Made with heart-healthy canola oil, the recipe is from the Canola Info Skinny Mini Holiday Desserts collection at canolainfo.org/recipes.

Cookbook Corner

The quirkiest cookbook to cross my desk this season is Christmas in Tinseltown: Celebrity Recipes and Hollywood Memories from Six Feet Under the Mistletoe (HCI $14.95). It’s the second “dead celebrity cookbook” by Frank DeCaro. The recipes include Natalie Wood’s Beef Stroganoff, Elvis’ Hush Puppies, Burl Ives’ Stuffed Leg of Goat and the goulash recipe here, attributed to Rosemary Clooney. The book is full of pop culture tidbits and celebrity lore. If there’s a movie buff on your list, it is a fun gift.

This has been the year of the pie, and thus there are no shortage of cookbooks on the subject. In How to Build a Better Pie (Quarry, $24.99), Millicent Souris is almost annoyingly exhaustive in her explanations of how to make perfect pastry for both sweet and savory pies, complete with step-by-step photos. The shortbread pie crust recipe here is a wonderful change from the usual graham cracker for unbaked fillings from pumpkin chiffon to Key lime.

Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Personal replies are not possible.

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