I was doing some Spring cleaning last weekend when I found my old food dictionary from my days back in cooking school. I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, it’s October, a little late for Spring Cleaning.” Well I threw my back out in April and I spent most of May drunk, so I figured it was time.
Anyway, the dictionary brought back some fond memories of my culinary education years. I remember I was in the seventh year of my ten-year program for my two-year degree when I thought to myself, “I think I’d like to be a chef.” And then there was the excitement of being enrolled in an institute of higher haute cuisine. The late night fondue parties, peeling potatoes and dropping words like “Flambé” or “Au Gratin” into ordinary conversations at cocktail parties.
I actually graduated in the upper four-fifths of my class and my career took off with jobs like “Director of Frying Operations” and Dumpster Maintenance Engineer.
Leafing through the tattered and dog-eared tome of taste I waxed nostalgic. Everything was in there from Abalone to Zucchini.
Here are a few of my favorite entries and a few related recipes.
Yabbi- This is actually an Australian crawfish with a delicate lobster like taste. Boy I could use a good old down-home Yabbi boil about now.
Quark- Quark in German means “Whey”, so it stands to reason this is a soft German cheese. It resembles ricotta with a bit more tang to it.
Guanabana- Also known as the Sour sop or the Sweetsop, this apple like fruit is tropical and really good with almost anything.
Aquavit- Not the name of Hagar the Horrible’s pet duck. The Scandinavian liquor that has a kick. Hints of caraway, fennel, dill and cumin. Beware the Aquavit.
Li Hing Mui-Actually Vietnamese dried plums with a strong taste.
Enjoy the recipes everybody.
2 Cups Quark
½ Cup Instant Potato Flakes
1/3 Cup Sugar
Tsp. Lemon Zest
1/3 Cup Raisins
¼ Cup Butter
Mix together cheese, potato flakes, eggs, salt, sugar, lemon rind, raisins and flour to form a smooth
dough. Pat the dough out on a floured surface to form a rectangle 9x3 inches.
Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.
Melt butter over medium heat.
Fry squares on both sides until browned, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Serve hot with brown sugar, syrup or preserves.
¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Cup Good Tequila
3 Tbs. Gran Marnier
¼ Cup Guanabana Nectar
Coarse Sugar, for coating the rims of the glasses
1 Lime wedge
Mix the lime juice, lemon juice, tequila, Grand Marnier, sugar and guanabana nectar in a large cocktail shaker.
Add the crushed ice and shake until cold.
Pour coarse sugar onto a small plate.
Rub the edge of the rim of the glass with the lime wedge and dip into sugar.
Li Hing Mui Butter
1 Stick Butter
1 Tbs. Li Hing Mui Powder
1 Tsp. Macadamia Nuts, Ground
Warm butter until slightly soft, stir in li hing mui powder and nuts.
Refrigerate mixture until needed. This stuff is great on grilled fish.