Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Warm Grape Salsa-

If you missed Chef Harry of Fox this morning, have no fear: You can get the recipe right here! (Hey, that rhymes!)

Warm Grape Salsa

1-tablespoon olive oil

6 scallions, trimmed and chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/8 cup minced parsley

1 mild green or bell pepper, chopped

2 cups seedless grapes, sliced

1-teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons red wine

Heat the oil in a heavy, non-stick sauté pan over medium heat and in it sauté the scallions and garlic until they begin to toast. Stir in the remaining ingredients and sauté until the grapes are hot. Reduce heat to keep salsa warm. Spoon over grilled chicken, pork or fish. Makes about 2 cups salsa.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chef Harry's News

Been awhile, I know. Loads of stuff going on!
Check out the new and improved Heritage Trail (dot) com!
Also, been doing some shooting for FOX tv again!
Here's a sneak peek at the recipe we will be making on air tomorrow morning:

Quick Caramel Apple Sundae

1-tablespoon butter

1 apple, cored

1/4-cup brown sugar

1/2-teaspoon vanilla

1-tablespoon cream

Dash cinnamon

4 scoops gelato or ice cream

In a heavy, non-stick sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and when it begins to sizzle, slice the apple into the pan. Sauté the apple slices in the butter until they begin to soften. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the pan and stir in the vanilla, cream and cinnamon.

When the sugar melts and the mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to keep warm. To serve, place a scoop of ice cream into 4 bowls. Spoon warm apple topping over ice cream. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SuperBowl Sunday is coming... Menu Recipes!

As a child in school, gym was my least favorite subject. I inevitably got an excuse from gym because of my horse showing activities and because my doctor recognized I was pathetic at most sports. I had gotten over crying after gym when teams were picked and I, standing alone, would have to suffer through comments like, “Awe, we gotta take Schwartz!?!?” and “Just keep out of the way, fatso!”
Consequently, my feelings about team sports have always been swayed. That is not to say that I don’t appreciate athletes getting millions of dollars for a talent while entertaining their many fans and promoting team spirit, state pride or league loyalty. I envy that. I admit that I am just unable to shake my feelings of the past.
But when it is Super Bowl time, it is also one of the first real excuses to have a bash after the Holidays. I would never object to the gang watching TV and eating great food over at our home. I don’t have to pay attention to what they are watching! So I always go all out. I may not have been welcomed on the team, but I am always happy to cook for a crowd. I guess it is my way of getting some fans of my own. Here are a few ideas to get the Super Bowl party started at your home!

Queso Fundido
2 lb. lean ground pork
1-tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh scallions
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1-tablespoon mild chili powder
1 cup prepared black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded low fat Jack or Cheddar
Soft, fresh, small flour tortillas
Chopped fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions and avocados for garnish
Brown ground pork in a heavy, non-stick skillet until very well done, scrambling constantly to break apart into bits. Stir in soy sauce, garlic and scallions and sauté for a few minutes more. Add vinegar, cumin, chili powder and black beans. Sauté another minute or two. Turn heat to low and top with cheese and cook until melted. Warm tortillas in separate pan or microwave while cheese melts. Place a spoonful of meat filling in a warm tortilla and eat like a taco. Serve with garnishes and allow those around the table to build their own appetizers. A few sliced jalapenos will allow those who like it hot to heat it up! Serves 8 to 12 as an appetizer

Black Bean Soup
1/2 pond bacon, chopped* (for vegetarian, see asterisk below)
2 minced onion
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons mild chili powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
12 ounces dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
8 cups water
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, minced jalapenos, chopped red onion, and shredded lettuce
*To make this vegetarian, substitute 2 tablespoons canola oil for the bacon fat.
In large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it begins to crisp. Drain all but 2 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and discard. Sauté the onion, garlic carrots and celery until toasted. Stir in the cilantro, chili powder, cumin, beans and water to the pan. Mix well and cover loosely. Adjust heat to simmer and stirring frequently, cook for 3 or 4 hours, until beans are tender. Serve with garnishes. Serves 8 to 12 as a grazing course. Sliced grilled chicken may be arranged on top of the soup for a full meal in 1 bowl!

California Wrap
1/2 teaspoon or to taste, wasabi powder (Asian department of most supermarkets)
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (as for sushi)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
A dash or 2 of soy sauce
8 ounces fresh cooked crab meat, picked over for shell
1/2-cup alfalfa sprouts
2 firm but ripe avocados, sliced
2 or 3 ounces fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
4 large soft flatbreads or tortillas
Whisk together the wasabi powder, rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce. Arrange the crab, sprouts, avocados, spinach and artichokes in rectangles in the center of each flatbread.
Fold one long side of the rectangle’s bread flap over the filling and press gently. Fold the 2 short end sides of the bread to close those sides. Roll the sandwich gently but tightly over the remaining flap to enclose. Wrap the wrap in plastic wrap and cut in half at an angle before serving. Repeat to create 4 wraps. You may also cut them in half immediately and wrap each half individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until consumed. Consume within 24 hours. Makes 4 wraps which can be cut into 4 slices each serving 8 to 12 at your party.

Quick Pickled Shrimp
2 pounds cooked and chilled large cocktail shrimp
2 cups celery, sliced into chunks
2 bunches scallions, cleaned and chopped
1 cup green olives, drained
1 red bell pepper, sliced into attractive bite sized pieces
1 mild green chili, sliced and seeded
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
Salt and pepper

Toss together to combine the shrimp, celery, scallions, olives, bell pepper and green chili. Mix together the garlic, oil and vinegar. Drizzle over the shrimp, etc. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to marinate and again before serving. May be refrigerated 24 hours before serving. Serves 8 to 12

Sun Dried Tomato Spirals
1 10 to 14 ounce jar marinated sun dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil
About 1-cup fresh basil leaves
4 to 6 pieces of fresh flat bread or large flour tortillas
Place the contents of the jar of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and herb blend in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until fine. Add the cheese to the bowl and process while slowly adding the oil. Process to a paste. Spread a thin layer of the paste over a flat bread leaving 1 inch of one side bare. On the opposite edge, arrange some basil leaves in a line. Roll up starting with the basil end to form a spiral with the basil in the center. Slice across to create finger sized spirals. Repeat using all of the mixture, basil and flat bread. Makes about 36 appetizers serving 12 as grazing food. May be made 24 hours in advance.

Strawberry Cheesecake Dip
8 ounces light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1-cup low fat sour cream
Strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries, rinsed gently
Place the cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and then, using electric beaters, blend together the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. Blend in the vanilla. Now blend in the sour cream. Place mixture in a serving bowl and surround with strawberries. Enjoy! Serves 12.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Festival of Lights: Hanukkah Supper Menu


While Hanukkah only lasts 8 days and nights, I think that the festival of lights really starts around Thanksgiving and lasts until New Years, or even longer. While I grew up with a menorah, I always appreciated the twinkling lights of Christmas trees and the homes lit up with colored lights and decorations. Then there is the romantic light of the fireplace on a snowy winter’s night, crackling and warming the chill from ones hands and feet, a truly warm and wonderful light indeed!
But no light shines greater than the light of a child. And that is really what the holidays are all about, regardless of the religion in which we believe. Sharing, loving, laughing and appreciating the children around us as well as the child in each and every one of us is truly a reason to celebrate. Here is a Hanukkah supper that will shine the light on any table.
Click here to read all you've ever wanted to know about Hanukkah.

Sesame Cucumber Salad
2 English Cucumbers
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 bunches scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1-tablespoon sesame oil
1-tablespoon soy sauce
Peel the cucumbers and split them in half lengthwise. Using a sharp spoon, remove the seeds from the cucumber. Slice the cucumbers into crescent shapes and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving. Serve over baby greens, if desired. Serves 6 to 8.

Champagne Dill Poached Salmon
A 2 to 3 pound salmon side fillet
2 cups champagne
Several rings of purple onion
4 slices fresh lemon
Several sprigs of fresh dill
1 teaspoon freshly cracker pepper
Place the salmon, skin side down in a large skillet with a lid. Pour the champagne over the salmon and arrange the purple onion rings, lemon slices and dill over the top of the salmon. Sprinkle the pepper over the top. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to just maintain a simmer until the salmon is cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. Serves 6 to 8.

4 shredded potatoes
1 chopped onion
1-tablespoon flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Combine potatoes, onion and flour. Blend in the eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat a generous amount of oil in a heavy nonstick skillet and drop 1/2 cupfuls of the potato mixture in the hot oil and flatten into pancakes. Reduce heat to medium and fry, turning once until both sides are brown and very crispy on the edges. Drain on paper towel and quickly serve with toppings of choice. Serves 6 to 8 Happy Hanukah!

Magners Apples with Cinnamon
3 or 4 Pink Lady apples, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 cups chopped red cabbage
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar
1/2-teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Magners Sparkling hard apple cider
Heat the oil until hot in a large heavy sauté pan over medium high heat and sauté the apples for 30 seconds. Add other ingredients and allow to simmer until apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.

Toasted Scallion Sour Cream Latke Topper
2 bunches scallions, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
16 ounces sour cream
1-teaspoon sweet paprika
Toast the scallions in the olive oil in a skillet over a medium high heat. Remove from heat and scrape the scallions into a mixing bowl to cool. Stir in the remaining ingredients until blended. Makes about 2 cups serving 6 to 8.

Apricot Blue Cheese Latke Topper
12 ounces whipped cream cheese
1 small purple onion, minced
1/2 cup apricot all fruit
1-teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Blend ingredients together and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours before serving. Stir before serving. Makes about 2 cups serving 6 to 8.

Roasted Garlic and Eggplant Latke Topper
1 medium eggplant
1-teaspoon salt
8 cloves of garlic
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend
2 sprigs of rosemary, stems removed
1/2-cup olive oil
Cut the eggplant into chunks and place in a glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Toss the eggplant with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes and drain off any excess liquid. Place the remaining ingredients in the bowl and toss well to coat. Arrange the ingredients in a single on a roasting sheet and place in a pre heated 325-degree oven. Roast until the eggplant is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for 20 minutes. Place the ingredients, without any liquid left in the pan, into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse briefly just to chop the contents coarsely. Serve warm or room temperature. Makes about 4 cups serving 8.

Lemon Cake with Strawberry Sauce
For cake:
1 yellow cake mix plus necessary ingredients to complete mix
2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3-cup fresh lemon juice

For drizzle:
1/3-cup fresh lemon juice
1/2-cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups powdered sugar

For sauce:
4 cups hulled strawberries, cut in half
1-cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon

Prepare the cake in a 9 x 12 baking pan according to directions but replacing 1/3 cup of the water with 1/3 cup lemon juice and adding the lemon zest. Meanwhile, make the drizzle by stirring together the 1/3-cup lemon juice, 1/2-cup water and1 cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves, and remove from heat to cool until cake is done. When cake comes out of the oven, allow to stand 15 minutes and pierce with a toothpick or skewer in a square grid design with 1-inch spaces. Slowly pour the warm drizzle over the cake in a stream following the grid design. Over the next two hours, while cake is cooling, periodically sift powdered sugar over the top of the cake until the sugar stays powdered and does not turn to liquid. Cut the cake into square serving pieces.
To make the strawberry sauce, toss the berries, sugar, orange juice and cinnamon together in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool until just warm. Place serving a cake on dessert plates and pour sauce over cake. Serves 12 to 16.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Entertaining TIPS and QUICK fixes

I don’t know about you, but when I am entertaining, more is better.

I like to have lots of selection and color without going to a lot of trouble. Plus, between Atkins followers, vegetarians, diabetics and everything in between, the more selection you have, the more confident you will be that you will have something for everyone at your gatherings.

So what is the key to quick and easy?
To me it is one-stop shopping and do ahead dishes.
I don’t like to have to make several stops when I don’t have to, especially when the weather is nasty, traffic is bad and there is so much to do. I do not mind, however, going to those warehouse style markets every now and then to load up on staples like paper towel, olive oil, crackers, chips, plastic cups, dishwashing detergent and the like. You can also find some wine and beverage bargains at those places. That makes grocery shopping easier and saves a little of the green stuff. It may also eliminate another trip to the store down the line. Planning ahead for your needs is the key.

Also, look for bargains on festive plants and long lasting decorative items so you are able to use and rearrange things for the entire season. This, too, will make life easier and save money while putting the festive look into your festivities.

Try a couple of these tips:
- Have a clove studded orange hanging from the towel bar in your powder room.
- Keep plenty of ice on hand
- Keep a few jars of interesting olives in the pantry.
- Purchase a few wedges of diverse cheeses and a box of assorted crackers for unexpected guests upon which to nibble.
- Keep bite sized chocolates in festive foils in pretty dishes on the cocktail tables and a bag of them in the pantry for back up.
- Look for holiday blends of coffee and tea, which make for interesting brews and you’ll look like an expert.
- Be a guest at your own party.
- Share laughter with your family and friends.
- Stay safe and most of all ENJOY!

Here are a few quick and easy recipes that can be whipped up in a flash for Holiday entertaining.

Asparagus Under Wraps
24 fresh asparagus spears
24 slices thin sliced rectangular cut ham
About 4 ounces honey mustard
Trim the asparagus spears such that they are slightly longer than the short side of the ham slices. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a stockpot. Drop the asparagus in the boiling water and boil for 60 seconds. Drain into a colander and run cold water over the asparagus to stop them from cooking. Take a slice of the ham, lay it flat on a work surface and spread one side with a thin layer of the mustard. Place an asparagus spear along the edge of a short side of the ham and roll it tightly up in the ham. Repeat to form 24 appetizers. This will serve 12 to 16.

Mustard Poppy Seed Egg Salad
12 eggs
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Drain and run the eggs briefly under cool water until cool enough to handle. Peel the eggs, rinse and pat them dry with paper towel. Grate them into a mixing bowl using a fine grater. Mix with mayonnaise, mustard, scallions and poppy seeds until well combined. Cover and chill until ready to eat. Serves 12 as an appetizer. Serve with crackers, chips, crisp flatbreads or toast triangles.

Almond Curry Tuna Salad
1 cup slivered almonds
16 ounces fancy albacore tuna, drained
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and grated finely
1/2-cup sweet pickle relish
1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry blend (or to taste)
1-tablespoon ground cumin (or to taste)
1-cup mayonnaise
8 ounces plain yogurt
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
few dashes of hot pepper sauce
Place the almonds in a slightly oiled sauté pan over medium high heat and stir them constantly until they begin to turn golden. Remove them immediately from the pan to a heatproof dish or a sheet of foil to cool. Place the tuna in a mixing bowl and mash it with the back of a fork until it is in bits. Stir in the egg, relish, curry, cumin, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and hot pepper sauce until blended. Lastly fold in the almonds. Serve with pita or tortilla chips or in mini pita pockets. Serves up to 16 as an appetizer.

Roasted Pepper Humus
1 15-ounce can prepared chick peas (garbanzos) drained
Juice from 2 fresh lemons
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
1/2-cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2-cup sesame tahini
2 roasted peppers (from a jar are fine)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the drained garbanzos in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade along with the lemon juice, garlic and Italian herb blend. Process until ground. Slowly add the oil in a stream until the texture of sour cream, adding more oil if needed. Add the tahini and roasted peppers and process just until the peppers are minced and blended throughout the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 2 cups.

Caesar’s Artichokes
4 cloves fresh garlic
4 ounces anchovy fillets, drained
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice from 2 fresh lemons
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaf
1-cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large cans (16 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade place the garlic and anchovy fillets and process them until finely minced. Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Parmesan and parsley to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until the contents are well mixed. Process while slowly adding the oil in a stream until the mixture is thick and emulsified. Place the artichokes in a mixing bowl and stir the dressing into the artichokes just to coat them well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8 as an appetizer when served with slices of French bread. This also makes a terrific salad served over greens.

Pancake Bites
Using your favorite recipe or a mix, make 24 silver dollar sized pancakes. Place them in a single layer on a waxed paper lined tray. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, spread each pancake with a bit of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread and top each with a raspberry. Makes 24 delicious bites.

Monday, December 1, 2008

"A" is for "Apple"

Cool, crisp evenings and bright, sunny, comfortable days mean fall is in the air. And nothing in the culinary world spells fall like the Apple. Fall means apples!
Apples can be taken for granted. I remember climbing on apple trees as a kid and picking them off the ground, rubbing them on my shirt and enjoying them for a quick snack. They are always available, come in a myriad of varieties, and beckon us to the kitchen. And who could forget our first spelling lesson? “A” is indeed for “apple!”
Besides being deliciously ubiquitous, they are extremely healthy. Apples are low in calories and have no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Apples are high in fiber. One apple has 20% of the fiber our bodies need every day. The main type of fiber apples contain is soluble fiber which can help lower blood cholesterol. Also, apples have a huge amount of pectins, which also lower blood cholesterol levels.
As well, they are a good source of flavonoids, which are naturally occurring plant compounds. As antioxidants not only have they been shown to reduce cholesterol, they also have apparent benefits against cancer incidence. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid also have positive effects on the cardiovascular system. One medium apple provides 8% of the daily adult requirement of Vitamin C based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. No wonder they have that saying about “an apple a day!”
Apples range in color from bright yellow and green to crimson red. Their textures range from tender to crisp and their flavor from sugary sweet to extremely tart. There are now literally thousands of varieties.
Buy firm, brightly colored apples with smooth skins. They should also smell fresh. You can assure this by picking your own in orchards all over the country in the fall. Apple trees are also pretty easy to grow in your own back yard.
Apples can be stored in a cool dry place or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If they start to get a little mushy, cook with them or make apple sauce which freezes very well. And don’t forget to shine a bright, crisp red one up for the teacher. It truly is a way to show you care!

Apple Crisp
8 cups cored and sliced apples with the peals (about 10 apples)
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups brown sugar
4 ounces butter, cut into bits
sweetened whipped cream or French vanilla ice cream as a garnish
Toss the apples with the 1/4-cup flour, maple syrup, granulated sugar and cinnamon. Place in an even layer in a deep 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until the texture of coarse meal. (Alternatively, you may “cut” the mixture together using two knives in a deep bowl.) Place the topping mixture over the apples in a smooth layer. Bake in pre-heated 325-degree oven until bubbly on the sides and the topping is golden brown and crisp. Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 8 to 10.

Sour Cream Apple Pie
4 ounces butter
1/4 cup natural maple syrup
4 ounces cream cheese
zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
About 6 Granny Smith Apples
1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup natural maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Have all crust ingredients at room temperature. Place the butter, maple syrup, cream cheese, lemon zest and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to blend, scraping the sides as needed. Pulse in the egg. Place the flour and baking powder in the bowl. Process just until dough begins to gather around the blade. Pat dough into a ball and roll out into a 1/4-inch thick circle on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over an 8-inch pie dish. Press into the corners of the pie dish and crimp the edges of the dough.
Core the apples and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices. Toss with the flour and powdered sugar. Arrange the apple slices attractively on the dough in pie the plate in an even layer. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Combine sour cream, maple syrup and lemon juice. Spoon over chilled apples. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake in pre heated 350 degrees oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm with slices of cheddar cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

Pork Chops with Apple Topping
2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 onion, minced
6 tart apples, cored and cut into chunks
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 grilled or broiled small pork chops
In a heavy, non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Add the onion to the pan and sauté a few minutes. Add the apples to the pan and drizzle the red wine over the apples. Stir in the honey and cinnamon. Cook the mixture over medium heat just unlit the apples are tender, about 15 minutes. Serve over hot grilled or broiled pork chops. Serves 4 to 6.

Ginger Baked Apples

4 firm apples, cored
4 cinnamon sticks
8 to 12 whole cloves
10 ounces ginger ale
1/2 lemon
dash vanilla extract
Place a cinnamon stick in the core or the apple and insert 2 or 3 cloves in each apple decoratively. Place apples in a deep baking dish with lid. Pour ginger ale over the apples and rest the lemon half in the center of the apples. Sprinkle a dash of vanilla over the apples and cover. Bake in pre heated 325-degree oven for 90 to 120 minutes or apples are soft but not mushy. Serve with a drizzle of warm caramel sauce (below).

Red Hot Apple Sauce
8 to 10 apples, cored and sliced
1 cup “Red Hot” cinnamon candies
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and the candies have melted. Continue to simmer until apples are soft. Remove from heat and cool until warm. Run the mixture through a food mill to remove skin (Alternatively, you may remove the skins before cooking and puree the mixture.) Makes about 6 cups of applesauce.

Quick Warm Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 ounces butter
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix ingredients together in a saucepan over medium low heat and stir until mixture reaches a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Cool to warm before drizzling over ice cream, bananas or ginger baked apples. Makes about 1 cup of sauce.

Saturday, November 22, 2008



Once as a small boy, I was at a friend’s house playing during our winter break from school. It was Holiday time and sledding was the activity of choice. What was a blast! I took the waxing of my toboggan as seriously as a surfer waxing his surfboard did. The rapid ride and spraying snow that resulted was as much fun as I could imagine.

When we came inside, cold and wet, my friend’s mother offered to make hot cocoa to warm us up. I loved hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows on top and I saw a bag of them on the counter. I was psyched. But, to my horror, my friend’s mom squeezed some chocolate syrup in a pan and stirred in some milk. Then she heated the blend until it was hot. Finally, she poured it into mugs and placed the marshmallows on top.

Well, I had never had that kind of hot cocoa before. My mother always made it from scratch. No syrup out of a jar for her baby! No sir re Bob. Our hot cocoa was made from a blend of cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla and milk. Now that is hot cocoa! I sort of felt sorry for my friend after that day. He didn’t know what hot cocoa really was!
And now, here we are, many years later. Winter is in the air, the kids are outside playing and adults are going from friend’s house to friend’s house celebrating. I am in the kitchen with my mother’s recipe for hot cocoa ready to be served. Plus, I have broadened my horizons to lots of soothing and festive winter drinks. All of them made from scratch and with love. Happy Holidays from Chef Harry and Family!

Hot Cocoa

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 quart whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoon powdered sugar
Dash cinnamon
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the cocoa, granulated sugar and water until smooth. Place over medium heat and whisk while bringing the mixture just to a boil. Slowly whisk in the vanilla and milk and bring just to a simmer. Keep over low heat. In a bowl, whisk together the whipping cream and the powdered sugar until soft peaks can be formed when the whisk is lifted from the cream. Pour the cocoa into cups or mugs and top with the whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. Makes 4 cups.

Ginger Spice Tea

2 cups water
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole allspice
1 slice fresh ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon or 1 bag Jasmine Tea
Bring the water, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and zest to a simmer and simmer slowly for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain into a heatproof bowl and stir in the lemon juice and honey. Place back in a saucepan and bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Add the tea to the hot water and allow to brew a few minutes. Serve in teacups. Makes 2 cups.

Rasberry Orange Coffee

2 tablespoons orange zest
4 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups fresh brewed coffee
4 tablespoons raspberry flavored liqueur
Sweetened whipped cream
Mix together the zest and sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Drop in the cinnamon stick. Simmer until sugar dissolves and mixtures simmers a few minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Stir in vanilla and coffee. Re-heat if needed. Place a tablespoon of liqueur in each of four cups and divide coffee among the cups. Top with whipped cream. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Mulled Wine

2 tablespoons sugar
1 bottle red wine (Merlot is wonderful)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon brandy
Heat the sugar, wine, cinnamon stick and orange zest in a non-reactive pan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. A scum will appear on the surface. At that point, remove from hearth and skim off the scum. Add the brandy and strain the liquid into heatproof glasses. Makes about 6 glasses,

Swedish Glogg

2 cups red wine
2 cups brandy
6 whole cloves
1 cardamom pod, slightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
In a non-reactive pan, stir together all of the ingredients reserving 1 teaspoon of sugar. Heat the mixture slowly and just until it begins to boil. Carefully ignite the mixture by passing along lit match over the top. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the flames and, after about 10 seconds, cover the pan to extinguish the flames. Strain into small, heatproof glasses. Makes about 8 servings.


6 apples
6 cinnamon sticks
12 ounces ginger ale
2 slices of lemon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
64 ounces beer or ale
1 cup Concord grape wine
Core the apples and place in a baking dish with a cover. Place a cinnamon stick in the hole from the core of each apple. Pour the ginger ale over the apples and add the lemon slices to the dish. Cover. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool. Discard the cinnamon sticks and lemon slices. In a non-reactive, pan. Heat half of the beer or ale with the sugar until it is hot but not boiling. Add the apples and their liquid along with the remaining beer to the pan. Heat until hot but not boiling. Ladle into mugs and enjoy. Makes about 6 cups.

Hot Toddy by the Fire

4 ounces Calvados
2 ounces apricot brandy
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
2 ounces heavy whipping cream
Make a fire in the fireplace. Warm the Calvados and brandy until hot but not boiling. Whisk together the sugar and cream until thick and frothy. Pour the Calvados mixture in a warm mug and then pour the cream mixture into the mug. Do not stir! Sip by the fire. Makes 1 toddy.
Sparkling Strawberry Punch
1 tin frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
16 ounces lemon lime soda, chilled
32 ounces club soda, chilled
12 fresh strawberries
Place the thawed strawberries in a pitcher and mix in the lemon-lime soda. Divide among 12 champagne or wineglasses. Top off with club soda. Garnish with a fresh strawberry. Makes 12.