Mrs. Restino’s Country Kitchen
Sample Recipes

Thai Chicken Curry: exotic, healthy, easy to make
Cod Pepper Stew: simple, good to serve company
Brazilian Black Beans: vegetarian with interesting flavors
The Most Incredible Chocolate Cake: wicked and wonderful
Coconut Oatcakes: unusual cookies
Apple Crisp: a good dessert with little fat
Fabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies: you could start a restaurant based on a cookie like this

THAI CHICKEN CURRY

This recipe comes from a young couple who work in Emergency Medicine. They like to come home from a wearying day and cook each other fabulous meals. The chicken is first poached with vegetables in wine, and then a mixture of coconut and tahini is added to give the dish its distinctive flavor.

Mix together in a heavy-bottom pan:

2 cups coconut milk (see below)
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 Tbsp tahini or 1/4 cup almond butter

Set this aside. Remove skin from:

4 chicken breasts

Dust the pieces lightly with:

curry powder

In a heavy pan, mix together:

1/2 cup white wine
1 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 inch fresh, sliced ginger root

Set the chicken in this mixture, cover tightly, and cook over low to medium heat 15 minutes or longer until the chicken is almost done. Meanwhile, prepare:

1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced green peppers
1 head broccoli flowerets
1 stalk chopped celery

Place these on top of the chicken, cover, and steam 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the coconut mixture and cook, covered, over low heat for 5 minutes. Serve at once with rice.

SERVES FOUR

COCONUT MILK:

Use fresh or canned coconut milk. If it is not available, you can make it by soaking together:

2 cups unsweetened coconut
2-1/2 cups warm water

Let stand 10 minutes, then wring out coconut in a cloth, or press in a sieve.

MAKES TWO CUPS


COD PEPPER STEW

This is a very Portuguese sort of thing: chunks of fish and potatoes simmered in a light tomato sauce. It should be very lightly flavored with herbs to complement the tenderly cooked fish.

Chop coarsely:

1 medium-sized onion
1 to 2 stalks celery or 1/2 cup celeriac
3 carrots
1 green pepper

Sauté these vegetables in:

2 Tbsp olive oil

for 5 minutes, then add:

2 cloves crushed garlic

and cook another minute. Add at once:

1/2 cup vermouth or white wine
6 chopped, canned or fresh tomatoes
4 chopped potatoes

Tie in a small cheesecloth bag:

1 bay leaf
3 green peppercorns
4 sprigs thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 piece fresh lemon peel
1 frond fennel (optional)
6 peppercorns

Immerse the bag in the pot and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add:

1 lb fresh or frozen cod, haddock, halibut or perch, cut in chunks

Simmer 5 minutes if fresh fish, 10 to 15 minutes if frozen. Remove the herb bag. Serve hot with:

garlic croutons
freshly chopped parsley, fennel or dill

SERVES FOUR


BRAZILIAN BLACK BEANS

Served with rice and a good green salad, this makes a surprising combination of flavors.

Soak overnight in 4 cups water:

1-1/2 cups black beans

Next day, drain and rinse the beans, then replenish with:

1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups dry white wine

Sauté together:

2 Tbsp safflower oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic

In a heavy pot, mix beans, onions, and:

3 chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 peeled, chopped orange
1/2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Bring to a boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours.

SERVES SIX


THE MOST INCREDIBLE CHOCOLATE CAKE

From a nutritional standpoint, there is just no excuse for this cake. It is absolute sheer total sin. And worth every bite.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a small pan, mix and melt slowly:

1/2 cup water
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate or
7-1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

Meanwhile, mix together in this order, beating well after each addition:

1/2 cup room-temperature butter
pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 beaten eggs

Then add and beat in the chocolate and:

1 tsp vanilla

In the chocolate pan, mix together:

3/4 cup cultured buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp baking soda

Add to the batter, by half cups, alternating with the buttermilk and soda mix and beating well after each addition:

1-1/2 cups white unbleached flour

Pour the batter into a well-greased cake or tube cake pan and bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Cool before unmolding. This creature has the tenderness of cake, the richness of candy, the slight crunch of brownies, and is very very good with a generous dab of whipped cream, or French Butter Icing.

A ONE LAYER CAKE

FRENCH BUTTER ICING

This is a rich, sweet icing. If you want to make it less sweet and more nutritional, substitute 1/2 cup non-instant skim milk powder for 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar. You can make it pink by substituting cranberry sauce for cream, or yellow with 1 egg yolk.

Allow to sit at room temperature until soft:

1/4 cup butter

Mash in:

1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cream or evaporated milk

Then add and mix well:

2 cups confectioner's sugar

Spread on top and sides of cake.

COVERS ONE LAYER, TOP AND SIDES


COCONUT OATCAKES

Light crisp oatcakes are the national dish of Cape Breton Island. This is a large recipe, but they keep very well.

Sift together:

2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Chop with 2 knives, then cut in with a pastry cutter:

1 cup cold shortening (butter or lard for flakiness, or margarine if you must)
1/2 cup butter

Mix in:

2 cups small-flake rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Then mix in:

3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup yogurt)
1 tsp almond flavoring

Shape the mixture into 3 or 4 rough balls. Turn each out on a lightly floured board and roll out 1/4-inch thick. Cut into squares with a pizza cutter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

SIXTY COOKIES


APPLE CRISP

Traditionally a favorite for feeding the masses, apple crisp is as delicious as pie, much easier to make, and has no saturated fats.

Toss together:

4 to 5 cups sliced apples
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (only if the apples are sour)

Put in an oiled 9-inch square baking pan.

TOPPING

In a bowl, mix together thoroughly:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup safflower oil

Then add and mix in lightly:

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ

Spread the mixture on top of the apples and bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

SERVES SIX


FABULOUS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

You could start a restaurant based on a cookie like this. The main thing is to make sure the oven is up to the right temperature before you put the cookies in the oven.

Allow to come to room temperature:

1/2 cup butter

Add and blend in:

1 cup brown sugar

Then add and mix in:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond flavoring

Sift together and mix in:

2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix well. Add chips, nuts, whatever, at the last. I like:

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or carob chips)

Refrigerate the dough while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Shape the cookies into 30 walnut-sized balls and flatten them slightly on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

THIRTY COOKIES