Sunday, February 26, 2012


Lamb and Artichokes a la Greque

Many years ago our friend Hannah decided to write a cookbook.  We eagerly offered ourselves as guinea pigs, were accepted and enjoyed many wonderful dining experiences and a few truly dreadful ones.  The following recipe is our absolute favorite of all the dishes she made for us over the months she worked on the cookbook.  It was fun sharing her many inventive and interesting dishes.  I’ve also always admired her desire to actually write a cookbook given the fact that she had a kitchen which was more on the lines of a walk in closet and was basically designed to make a cup of coffee and that was about it.  This was in a wonderful old apartment building in Hollywood which was built in the 20’s when people who could afford to live in such posh surroundings ate out.  At least that’s the only thing I can figure out.  She had no counter space, one electrical outlet, the tiniest oven I’ve ever seen, a two burner stove, about three small cabinets and a sink in which you could wash your hands but a pot or a dish was a real challenge.  She did it anyway and created the successful but now out of print book THE ONE POT DINNER.   Not only that but she went on to write two additional cookbooks, THE THIRTY MINUTE DINNER and FOILED AGAIN in which all the dishes were cooked in foil.  Both were full of delicious, interesting meals made as simply as possible.  Throughout her entire cookbook research, testing, development and writing we got to eat at her apartment several times a week.  Lucky us.  Yeah! 

Again this recipe is adapted from Hannah Scheel’s out of print book THE ONE POT DINNER, enjoy.  

2 to 3 pounds lamb stew meat
1 large onion, sliced or coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 beef bouillon cube
2 10 ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and saute the sliced onions for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.  Remove the onions and add the cubed lamb, in batches if necessary, and brown well on all sides. 

Mix lamb and onions together, sprinkle with mint and anise seed, salt and pepper.  Add the bouillon cube and pour the wine and water over all.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Add the thawed artichoke hearts together with the lemon juice and continue simmering for another 20 minutes.

Serve with a good crusty bread and a salad of greens with feta and whatever else strikes your fancy.  

4 Generous servings.  Lamb dish freezes beautifully.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Petits  Pois A La Francaise
(A French Classic)
We love peas.  It’s that simple. They were Elizabeth’s Father’s favorite vegetable so they were on the table frequently while she was growing up.  Unfortunately they were cooked by her Mother who believed that food should be thoroughly and completely cooked so Elizabeth was a teenager before she realized that vegetables weren’t meant to be uniformly gray (She’s a little slow on the uptake sometimes).  Once discovered, however, a new world opened up for her, and she learned peas were pretty tasty and they remain a favorite.  But who wants plain old boring peas day in and day out.  Try something a little new and different, or actually quite old and different.  The French have cooked peas with lettuce, pearl onions, and thyme for who knows how long.  This method of cooking turns simple, plain old peas into a dish worthy of guests or even relatives for that matter.  The really nice thing about the recipe is its ease of preparation.  No rare ingredients, no rich sauces, no knife skills.  If you can open a bag of frozen peas and a bag of frozen pearl onions, and shred some lettuce you have it made.  Give the Petit Pois a try.  You’ll like them.
2 Tablespoons butter
2 pounds petite frozen peas
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
12 to 16 frozen pearl onions
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (you can use black as well)
Water as needed (or if you have a little bit of leftover stock you can use that) 
Gently heat the butter until melted in a large sauce pan then add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften.  Add the lettuce and when it is wilted add the sugar, peas, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cover and allow to simmer for 5 to 8 minutes until peas are tender, be careful not to overcook;  you want the peas and onions soft and tender but not mushy.  The lettuce should give off enough liquid to cook the peas but check to make sure they aren’t drying out, and add a teaspoon water or stock occasionally if needed.  Stir gently and serve.  Some people like to add a strip of chopped bacon or pancetta to the butter and let it cook until the bacon is cooked through then add the onions and go on from there.   I am personally of the opinion that bacon makes anything better so you might want to give it a try.
The peas are pretty on your plate or platter and are great with a roast chicken or beef or lamb.  We like them with almost anything for that matter. 

Monday, January 16, 2012



Our friend, Diane, is a wonderful creative cook and she gave us this recipe eons ago.  Okay, maybe it was just a couple of decades, but we have it frequently and enjoy it every time.  It's great for brunch, lunch or for a light dinner.  It's easy, it's quick and it's wonderful to serve for large group.  It's crabby, cheesy and very tasty.


2 hard rolls
1 6 ounce can crab (You can use fresh crab or pasteurized crab, but both are more expensive)
2 to 3 ounces Swiss cheese
1 to 1/2 teaspoon capers, rinsed.  (DO NOT OMIT THESE!)
2 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350°

Serves two for dinner/four for brunch or lunch

Hollow out the rolls leaving a thin shell.  Tear the bread from the rolls into small chunks and toss into a bowl.  Drain and pick over the crab for any shells and add to the bowl.  Dice the cheese into fairly small chunks (you can grate it, but that's more work than you really need to do).  Add the cheese to the bowl along with the capers and the chopped green onions.  Toss the mixture carefully then add enough mayonnaise to hold it all together.  (DO NOT USE MIRACLE WHIP ... actually never use Miracle Whip or anything like it for anything you cook.  That stuff is nasty!)  Pile the mixture back into the roll shells and place on a baking sheet.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese melts and the skiffs are hot all the way through and just beginning to brown on top.  Don't over cook.  

Serve with a green salad OR for something really special, serve with the Brandied Cranberries as shown in the picture.  The Brandied Cranberries freeze wonderfully.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Hi, my name is Charlie T. and I’m a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel although I tell everyone I’m a miniature St. Bernard.  My humans, Larry and Elizabeth haven’t been able to get their act together so I’m taking it upon myself to bring you up to date on what’s been happening around our home.

Rufus the old cat is getting meaner and fatter all the time but he lives mostly in the basement so he doesn’t bother me too much.  I’m sort of afraid of him; he hisses and growls at everyone.  Oliver, the other cat, is my best friend in the whole world.  We chase each other every day and play a lot.  I have been doing great since my double knee surgery last year although it was a long slow recovery.  I get around wonderfully and can now run and jump and I dance for my supper, and, this is just between us, I can now lift my leg which demonstrates how tough I am.

Both Mom and Dad are gone all day, they tell us they are working but I think they are just messing around.  Mom is talking about retiring which I think would be great as long as she and Dad can still afford to buy my food and toys.  She could then spend all her time with me and we could go on lots of walks and she could hold me on her lap which is the best.

For Christmas last year Dad got himself an iPad and he really, really likes it.  He uses it all the time.   He plays games and reads books and watches movies.  It’s a whole entertainment system in one little flat package.  Mom doesn’t have one but she enjoys her Kindle.  They read a lot which is fine with me as I like sitting with Mom and cuddling.  I’m her favorite.

Mom and Dad have had lots of friends over during the year which I like as long as I get to stay out and play with them.  They also like to go to the theatre in Topeka and at KU and are looking forward to seeing what is on tap for next year.   They have seen a number of shows that they really liked.  They saw Peter Pan and were impressed with how professionally a Community Theatre could do the all the flying.

In the early spring they hired a dog trainer for me because they thought I misbehaved.  I don’t think I was particularly bad but I couldn’t convince them of that.  I guess I’m better behaved now.  I still have to go to group sessions but I enjoy seeing the other dogs.  Sometimes Mom takes me to doggie day care at the groomers and I pretend I’m the Activities Director.  I insist that all the dogs run around and play.  Nobody can sit in the corner and be shy when I’m the boss.

Mom and Dad had the outside of the house painted as soon as the weather turned nice and one of the screens wasn’t fitted back properly and Oliver fell out the window.  Mom and Dad didn’t know about it for a long time and couldn’t find him for hours.  They were very upset but then they found him hiding under the deck.  We were all thankful to see Oliver back home.  He’s not very brave Iike I am and he thinks everyone is his friend.  I’m glad the fox that sometimes comes into our back yard didn’t find him.

Last May Mom and Dad both deserted us and went off to California for a whole week.  They visited Larry’s parents for a few days and then took the train from Los Angeles to Monterey to visit their friend Keith and saw his absolutely beautiful new home.  I saw the pictures and wanted to move there but they insisted on coming back to Kansas.  Rufus and Oliver and I had a babysitter who came twice a day because Oliver had to have his insulin shot.  He’s diabetic and gets a shot morning and evening.    Our babysitter works for our Veterinarian and I got to go to work with her every day where I greeted people and their pets and had a super good time.

Mom and Dad had a wonderful trip.  Keith’s house has a movie theatre and they watched movies every day.  They also got to cook in Keith’s marvelous kitchen.  One of the best things they did was go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Mom was fascinated by the jellyfish, the seahorses and sea dragons.  She went on and on and on and I got really bored.  I’m much more interesting than a lot of fish.

During the summer we didn’t do a lot because it was really hot although we went to the doggie park in Topeka several times.  I like it there because the big dogs are in another fenced area and I’m not intimidated by them.  In August Elizabeth was transferred from her branch office in downtown Lawrence to an office that is only five minutes from home.  I am very happy with this arrangement as she can come home for lunch and we can take a real walk not a quickie trip to the back yard.  I don’t think at first she liked it much because she didn’t know the customers and not much was happening but she likes it now.

In September Larry went to California to visit his parents on their birthdays.  Mom stayed home with us which was nice.  Then in November Dad once again went to see his parents.  This time he and Mom cooked and froze a bunch of food, then they packed it in dry ice and Dad checked it on the plane.  It was an experiment.  They are going to ship another package of frozen food as a Christmas gift.  I hope Larry’s parents like what they get.   Mom and Dad learned a bunch of stuff about doing this and what works and what doesn’t work.  They hope to find a number of dishes that can be frozen and shipped easily so that Larry’s Mother doesn’t have to work so hard.  They have a food sealer that sucks all the air out of the bags and seals them flat so they can get a lot in a box.   It makes a nice noise.  I like it.

Our vacuum cleaner died and they got a new one.  It is the enemy.  I am trying to kill it but it keeps attacking me.  I’ll work it out though.   They are talking about making a lot of changes in the house.  Mom wants to have the basement hall and laundry room floor finished in polished concrete, and they want the Master Bath painted and maybe have the living room and dining room floor replaced with hardwood.  They have found a wonderful handyman which is great.  He is nice and likes me.  I have been helping him with a lot of his jobs around the house.

At Thanksgiving Mom and Dad went to Elizabeth’s sister’s house to see Cindy’s children, in-laws and grandchildren.  It was a nice visit and they were very glad they had a chance to see everyone.  I didn’t get to go because I love Cindy a whole lot and won’t let her alone for a single minute.  I get locked in my pen when she comes to my house to visit.  It’s not very polite because it is my house but I don’t complain, much.  We didn’t have our Thanksgiving Dinner until the weekend as both Larry and Elizabeth had to work on Friday.  I never, ever get people food, except for carrots, but I got three pieces of turkey.  A miracle!

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we set up our Christmas tree and decorated it and Elizabeth got out her collection of Nativities and set them around the living room.  She has a bunch of them but only put out a selected group.  Oliver and I have been extremely busy since then rearranging the ornaments on the tree as high as we can reach.  Larry and Elizabeth are really good humans but they aren’t very artistic.

Oliver has been good this year and hasn’t stolen a single baby Jesus from the Nativities, a new record for him.  

We don’t have any presents under the tree as of yet but I’m not losing hope.  I’ve arranged a few of my favorite worn toys around the tree in hopes that Santa will peek in and see what needs replacing.

I’ve been glad that we haven’t had any snow as of yet and hope that we don’t get a lot this year. Last year was terrible.  I actually got buried in a snow bank when I jumped off the deck.  It scared me silly and I’m not a sissy.  I’m a pretty tough guy but even so Mom had to go out and trample down the snow so I wouldn’t disappear.   Even my friend Owen, who lives next door and is a huge dog didn’t like all that snow.

I think that’s all our news for the year.  Larry and Elizabeth and Oliver and Rufus and I wish you all a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year.

Happy Holidays to all

Charlie T. Hovey

Oliver was really, really tired after helping decorate the tree!

Being a decorator is very, very hard work ... my favorite spot in the world!

Rufus the Terrible ... he thinks he's boss!

It was hard work, but it was worth it.

Happy Holidays to all and may you have a wonderful 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011



As a child, as a teenager, as a young adult, as a middle aged married man and as an old fuddy duddy, one thing Larry was never Thankful for at Thanksgiving nor asked Santa for at Christmas was Cranberry Sauce.  He loathed it.  However, now that he's a food fuddie, he has found cranberries that he likes.  He says it's because they have brandy in them and everything goes better with brandy.  

Trust Larry, if you've never liked cranberries (and even if you have) you will love these!  They are delicious!


1 Whole Orange, finely chopped in food processor
1/2 cup water
2 Cinnamon Sticks
5 whole Cloves
1 pound raw Cranberries
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Brandy

Mix together the chopped orange, water, cinnamon sticks and cloves.  Bring to a boil and allow to boil for ten minutes.  Add cranberries and sugar.  Cook at a good simmer until cranberries pop.  Remove from heat, add brandy.  Cool and refrigerate.

Sunday, December 11, 2011



If you haven’t tried any of the Rancho Gordo Heirloom beans you are missing an enormous treat.  If you can’t find them in a store in your area you can order them online at  With most of the Rancho Gordo beans we have tried you don’t need to do anything fancy.  According to Steve Santo, Rancho Gordo’s owner, soak them for 4 to 7 hours then cook them on the stove top mixed with chopped onion, chopped garlic and a little olive oil then covered with the soaking water.  Yummy, but Elizabeth wanted more ergo the baked beans, and they are delicious.

1 pound Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans or Great Northern beans
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 slices thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, coarsely chopped
¾  to 1 cup unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons heaping, packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Pinch ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons dry mustard powder
¼ cup dark rum (optional)
Pinch of sea salt, preferably Maldon

Pick through the beans discarding any debris or discolored beans, cover them with water, about 2 inches over the top of the beans and let them soak for 5 to 7 hours.  The Rancho Gordo beans do not need to soak overnight like the dried beans from the supermarket. Drain the beans, reserving the soaking water if desired.

Put the drained beans in a bean pot or baking pot large enough to hold them plus enough water to cover by about 2 inches.  Add all the ingredients and mix together pouring the soaking water over all.  If you prefer you can discard the soaking water and use fresh water.  Cover the pot and put in a cold oven set at 400°F.  Cook for 3 hours checking once or twice to insure the beans are still covered with water.  Reduce heat to 375°F and again check to make sure the beans are still covered with liquid.  Remove cover and continue to cook for 1 to 2 hours until beans are soft and creamy and a nice crust has set.  You don’t want the beans to dry out so add more water if necessary to keep them moist.

Sunday, November 13, 2011



These are a great morning treat, especially if you have overnight house guests, or need a quick jump start in the morning.  They are easy to fix, easy to store, and easy and quick to reheat from freezer or refrigerator either in the oven or in the microwave.  Not very, very healthy, but very, very good.  (Note:  Spicy Turkey breakfast sausage may be used instead of the Jimmy Dean Hot.)


1 lb. hot pork sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 can minced green chilies
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese.

Cook sausage and onion together in a skillet.  (This may be done in advance and the mixture either stored in the refrigerator or frozen.

Mix Bisquick with milk and spread in a 13x9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the sausage and onion mixture over the Bisquick. It will not be very thick and needs to be patted down with the hands or a spatula.  Mix together the egg, chilies and cheese and sprinkle over the top.

Bake in oven 20 to 30 minutes.  Cut into squares and serve hot.  If making in advance, cut into squares after baking and freeze or store in refrigerator.  Bake at 350 until heated through. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011



We don't remember where we got this recipe.  Larry thinks it was from his Mother, but he wouldn't swear to that.  We've had the recipe for years and years and years; well you get the idea.  It is one of our favorite soups and if someone is sick with the flu or a nasty cold, believe us, this will help.  A friend of ours who is not overly fond of doctors swears by it.  She once said that if a drug company had invented this, it would cost a fortune.  Enjoy and be healthy!


1/3 cup oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 garlic clove minced
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 10 3/4 ounce can beef broth
9 cups of water
1 cup coarsely chopped cabbage
2 carrots sliced
1 cup green beans, cut into 1" slices
1 cup macaroni
2 teaspoons of salt (We use less)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon sage
2 16 ounce cans kidney beans
(We use 1 can red kidney beans, 1 can white kidney .. Italian .. beans)
1 zucchini sliced
FRESHLY GRATED Parmesan cheese 

Heat oil in a large pot with a lid.  Add onions, celery, parsley and garlic and cook until tender.  (Be careful not to brown the garlic as it will turn bitter.)  Stir in tomato paste, beef broth (or chicken broth or Vegetable broth), water, cabbage, carrots, green beans, macaroni, salt, pepper and sage.  Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes to one hour.  Add beans and the liquid in the can and the zucchini.  Cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve topped with freshly grated cheese.  Is great with a hot roll.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grilled Tri-Tip Roast

Grilled Tri-Tip Roast

This was a recipe that a friend of ours, Erik, gave us about twenty years ago and has been one of our favorite grilled meats ever since.  

The meat is tasty with the mix of onion, garlic, beer and seasoned salt.  Add some mesquite chips to the grill to give the roast a nice smokey flavor.  Serve with corn on the cob and potato salad for a late summer treat.


1 Tri-tip roast
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp seasoned salt (We like Lawry's)
Ground pepper, to taste
1 bottle of beer (We like to use Pacifico, but any good beer will do just fine)

Mix the onion, garlic, seasoned salt, pepper and the beer in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag.  Add the roast, 'mush' it all together and put in refrigerator for 24 hours.

One hour before grilling, remove the marinade and roast from the refrigerator and let stand.  Reserve the marinade.   Prepare grill with one large pile of charcoal to one side as in indirect grilling and a few coals on one side to sear the meat.  Place meat on the hot coals and sear then move meat to one side.  Add mesquite chips and cover grill.  Baste meat about every 10 minutes using the onions and garlic as well as the liquid. Turn after 20 or 30 minutes.  Continue to smoke for about thirty minutes until internal temperature is 145°.  Let stand for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011



I have been a chili affection ado since I went to High School in Texas.  I used to be a purist.  Chili MUST have beef, it MUST have pork,, it MUST have beer, and it MUST have beans (I know, I know, there is the  Bean and No Bean school of Chili, but I am in the Bean school).  It must be thick and red.  For nearly 30 years I have tried to duplicate the Chili made by Chasens (now closed) in Los Angeles, which Elizabeth Taylor used to have flown to her by jet where ever she was.  

A few years ago we had a Chili dinner at work and one of my co-workers said she was bringing a Turkey Chili. I could hardly stop the sneer, "Turkey chili is like making ice cream with 2% milk.  It may look like ice cream, and it may freeze like ice cream, but it ain't ice cream."  My co-worker, Sandy, just smiled and said, "You'll see."

Well, I had a come to Turkey Chili meeting.  I saw the light.  I converted (well, I still sin once in a while with the old time religion, but I'm a convert).  This chili is spicy like chili should be; it's rich and filling, like chili should be.  No beef, no pork, no beans ... what is this world coming to.

Here it is.  Make it.  Lust after it.  Enjoy it ... even if you're on a diet (if you don't overdo).  Hallelujah!  Let's hear it for the Turkey Chili!


1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium yellow pepper, diced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound ground turkey
1 glove garlic, minced
1 14 ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies or jalapenos
1 14 ounce can reduced sodium chicken stock
1 can sweet corn
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp mild chili powder
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 dashes of hot sauce (optional)
Chopped cilantro and green onion (optional)

Saute the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until tender.

Add ground turkey and brown until completely cooked.

Add spices and corn.

Add the cans of tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, if desired.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Simmer on medium-high heat for another 30 minutes.  Toss in the chopped cilantro and green onion in the last 10 minutes of cooking, if desired.

The chili should thicken slightly towards the last 15 minutes of cooking.  Refrigerating overnight also helps it thicken and the flavors blend for a better taste.  (We often leave the cilantro and onions off and add them just before serving.)  Serve with corn bread muffins and a small green salad or fresh fruit.



This is one of the best shrimp dishes we have ever had.  It's spicy without being too hot and although Larry is not overly fond of hot shrimp, he really enjoys these.  We once served these as an appetizer for a dinner party and two of our guests ate so many they couldn't eat dinner!  Warning:  They are messy and are definitively a 'hands on' dish.

We are lucky that we can buy shrimp in the shells that have already had the shell sliced and the main vein (intestine) removed.  They do come that way in bags in the freezer section of most major stores, so you should be able to find them.  The larger the shrimp, the better.

1 Tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup lime juice
1 1/2 cups cilantro sprigs, loosely packed
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or more or less to taste
36 large shrimp (1 to 1 1/2 pound depending on the size of the shrimp)
18 lime wedges
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Mix orange zest and juice, garlic, honey, oil, lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a food processor until cilantro is minced.  (Note:  if you like REALLY spicy you can add a dash of cayenne and/or a dash of hot sauce to the mix as well!)  

Set aside 1/4 cup sauce for basting and remaining 1/2 cup sauce in a separate bowl and pour remaining marinade into a plastic bag.  If you weren't lucky enough to get the pre-cleaned shrimp, snip shrimp shells down the back using kitchen shears, leaving shells intact.  Devein under cold running water.  Blot the shrimp with paper towels and add shrimp to marinade and mix well.  Close bag, pressing closed to remove air.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.  (Note:  Don't marinate much longer or the shrimp will become mushy as the fruit juices tend to 'cook' the shrimp.)

Soak 6 wooden skewers in water 30 minutes before using. Thread 1 lime wedge on 1 skewer then thred each of six shrimp through top and onto the skewer.  Thread another lime wedge on the skewer after shrimp, pushing shrimp together as necessary to fit on skewer.  Repeat with remaining five skewers.  (Note:  If you have a vegetable grilling basket that works well in lieu of the skewers.  Just put the shrimp and limes in it.)

Grill over hot coals and a few soaked mesquite chips until seared, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Brush shrimp generously with some of the reserved 1/4 basting sauce and carefully turn.  Brush top side with additional basting sauce and cook until opaque, about 1 minute.  DON'T OVER COOK.  THEY WILL BECOME MUSHY.

Serve the shrimp or skewers on platter garnished with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.  Divide reserved 1/2 cup sauce between small ramekins, one for each person to use to dip the shrimp.  Serve hot or a room temperature with a plethora of napkins.  A bit of rice and tomato is nice if this is to be a main course.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011



These wraps are a tasty treat that have grown on Larry over the years.  Elizabeth has always been the adventurous one going to Japanese Curry Houses, Sushi bars, and (Larry is positive) restaurants that serve monkey brains.  Larry used to find Denny's adventurous ... and, well, in a way it is!  Mystery eggs and strange tasting ham, Sam I am.

Elizabeth made these wraps in Los Angeles and by the second time she prepared them, Larry was a convert.  He even has grown to like the Kim Chi (a definite acquired taste; see below) that may served with it. 


1 1/4 pounds boneless beef sirloin tip, eye of round, or tri-tip.  Tender is the key here; don't worry about flavor, the marinade does that.

1/4 Soy Sauce (lower salt, if you prefer)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp sliced green onion
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 head soft lettuce, such as Boston or Bibb, leaves, separated

Slice beef across the grain into very thin slices.  (For ease in slicing, place beef in freezer for 1 hour.)  Place between two pieces of plastic wrap, pound with flat side of meat mallet until very thin.  Cut slices into 3 to 4 inch square pieces.  (NOTE:  We've gotten so good with the thin slices, we just cut it very thin and then cut them in half.  Time saver.)

Place beef and all remaining ingredients except vegetable oil and lettuce in large resealable bag, seal bag and turn to coat evenly.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.  (NOTE:  We have found 2 to 3 hours is best, otherwise the soy and sesame seeds become a bit overpowering.)

Heat wok or heavy large skillet (iron skillet) over medium high heat until very hot.  Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil; heat until hot.  Add beef in small batches along with a bit of the marinade; cook 30 to 60 seconds or until browned, turning once and adding additional oil, if necessary.  Place on platter, pour any pan juices over beef.  

Serve with lettuce leaves, sushi rice (sticky or Oriental or Japanese rice), and small cucumbers.  Place a bit of rice, two or three pieces of beef and a tiny cucumber over lettuce.  Wrap into a small package.  Pop into mouth.  Savor and enjoy.  

This is good served with Kim Chee.  Kim Chee is a national dish of Korea.  It is a VERY spice garlicky cabbage with red pepper.  You can buy it at most large grocery stores.  It is in the refrigerator section and comes in jars.  Start off with the mild.  You won't be sorry.  If you start off with the hot, you may be sorry ... but it is different and good.  If you are a sissy (or you can't find it locally) serve with cold slaw.