Q. My 81-year-old neighbor has misplaced her recipe for Forgoza bread, and asked me to contact you. She really would like to make it again (she is a fabulous cook!).
I can only hope I will still enjoy cooking when I reach 81! I’m so happy to be reminded of this recipe, from Norman Brothers, which appeared in a 1995 column.
If you are not a bread baker, simply use a loaf of dough from the supermarket freezer case. As long as you remember to thaw the dough ahead of time, you can make this with just a few minutes of preparation. You could also make your own dough, or use a bread machine. (Remember to halve the topping ingredients if your machine makes a 1-pound loaf.)
You can use all kinds of toppings, just as you would with a pizza or bruschetta. Or take it from appetizer to main dish by adding protein. For example, I added chopped pepperoni and mozzarella to one pan and marinated artichokes and pesto to another.
Annie P. of Sacramento asked for help finding a lost recipe for a Hawaiian roll made with Bisquick, pineapple and brown sugar. What made the recipe unique is that it called for yeast as well as Bisquick, which is essentially a quick-bread mix.
Fran Plummer found it in a 45-year-old Bisquick cookbook, while Christina Bogg and Krista Arnold both sent versions dating to 1964. Thanks also to Laura Pita and Melly Iglesias of Miami, Betty Clocker of Gaston, N.C., and Cindy Caird.
The rolls are perfect with a ham dinner, and make a great base for barbecue sandwiches. They freeze well and are easy to make, even if you are a novice working with yeast.
The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home by food writer Michael Zusman and Portland delicatessen owner Nick Zukin (Andrews McMeel, $27.99) is a wonderful how-to for those interested in making their own knishes and kugel, varnishkes and pastrami.
It’s also a great read, with lots of background on the traditional techniques of Jewish delicatessens sprinkled with cultural context and profiles of some favored outlets.
There are more than 100 recipes, accompanied by helpful step-by-step photos and fascinating trivia. For example, bagels were much less commercially successful before 1964, when a bagel-making machine was perfected and put into widespread use by Lenders. Soon came flash freezing, upsizing and the reformulation of bagel dough to be spongy-soft. Zusman’s old-world recipe, on the other hand, take a day or two from start to finish to allow for flavor development.
The book’s Honey-Sweet Apple Cabbage Slaw recipe will get you in and out of the kitchen much more quickly.
Tried and New
Better Oats has added two flavors, apples and cinnamon and maple and brown sugar, to its fast-cooking steel-cut oatmeal line. Steel-cut usually means long simmering, but Oat Revolution cooks quickly in the microwave.
The blend includes flaxseed and is 100 percent whole grain. Find it at Winn-Dixie and Target or check online for locations at betteroats.com.
Send questions and responses to LindaCiceroCooks@aol.com or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.