Tag Archives: cheese

Frankfurter Bake

The taste of brown sugar, mustard and cheese coming together is enjoyable. I think this simple pasta entrée is quite tasty and so simple to make. I found the hardest part was getting the water to boil for the pasta. Once I cooked the pasta, the rest came together quickly and easily.

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Frankfurter Bake

  • 8 oz medium egg noodles
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 oz. package weiners, sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In large kettle, cook noodles as label directs. Drain and return to kettle. Stir in Parmesan cheese, milk, butter, flour and salt. Mix well and then pour into greased 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

In a bowl, combine weiners, brown sugar, mayo and mustard. Spoon evenly over the noodle mixture.

Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (If made ahead and refrigerated, bake 45 minutes)

My comments on the ingredients and method are very few. First, I think the butter should be cut into small pieces so it melts easier when it hits the hot noodles. In fact, I would change the order of adding ingredients to the hot noodles to make the milk – which is cold- the last ingredient after the butter has melted.

To grease the baking dish, I used a heavy coating of the cooking spray, and not a hard fat like shortening or butter.

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Because the recipe is so simple, there is not much to discuss about making it. I think there are only a couple places where you could change things up and make your own version of Frankfurter Bake. One would be the cheese; rather than just the same old Parmesan that comes in the plastic bottle, you might try a fresher cheese to strengthen the flavor- maybe something like an Asiago cheese. The other place I see an option is with the mustard; I have several kinds in the refrigerator, and chose to use the “zesty brown” variety; maybe the “hot and sweet” mustard would give the dish more zing. Or maybe even the Grey Poupon would be interesting.

Stuffed Zucchini

Normally, when I think of Stuffed Zucchini, I expect a stuffing that includes meat, such as hamburger. But this recipe is meatless, and I think it is good tasting, too.
The stuffing contains almonds and cheese. While it might seem complex, you should not have any trouble making it if you take it slow the first time to get use to blanching. I include separate instructions on how to blanch both the nuts, and the zucchini.
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Stuffed Zucchini

  • 3 blanched zucchini of about the same size (about 8 x 2 inches){see below about blanching}
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cooking oil (e.g. olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup ground blanched almonds {see below about blanching}
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dry, fine bread crumbs
  • 2 ounces grated swiss-type cheese (save 3 Tablespoons for topping)
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pinches ground clove
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter

Slice the blanched zucchini long-wise, and scoop out (and save) the center of each half to form a boat, with sides about 3/8 inch thick. Salt lightly and turn cut side down on paper towels to reduce the moisture in the boat.

Chop the removed zucchini flesh and squeeze out any water with paper towels.

In a small fry pan, cook the onion in the oil, covered, over low heat until it is tender and translucent, stirring occasionally.

Uncover, raise the heat, and let the onion begin to brown. Then stir in the chopped zucchini flesh and saute until the zucchini is tender.

Empty the fry pan into a large (2 quart) mixing bowl; stir in the blanched ground almonds and cream. Stir in about 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, then the cheese. Finally stir in the egg.

Test that the mixture is firm enough to hold its shape by lifting a spoon full; if not, add a very small amount more of bread crumbs.

Blend in the salt and pepper and ground clove.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking dish large enough to hold the zucchini boats

Arrange the zucchini boats, skin side down, in the baking dish. Fill each with enough stuffing to be heaping full. Sprinkle each stuffed boat with the reserved 3 Tablespoons of cheese, 3 Tablespoons of bread crumbs and the melted butter.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling hot and browned on top. Do not overcook or the shells will become too soft and difficult to serve.

Blanching Almonds

The object of blanching the nuts is to remove the skin that is around the meat; if the almonds you have are white- not brown- then they are already blanched.

Pour boiling water over the shelled almonds and let stand for a few minutes, or until the skins are wrinkled. Drain, rub with your fingers to remove the skins, and dry thoroughly on paper towels. I found that removing the skin was much like slipping the skin of tomatoes that had been scalded.

Blanching Zucchini

Trim and lightly scrub the zucchini; place in boiling, salted water, uncovered, until the flesh just starts to yield to pressure, usually about 10 minutes after the water comes back to a boil. As they finish blanching, plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking. Once they have cooled, dry them and they are ready to use.


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I ground my blanched almonds in the food processor. I think they would grind a bit better if they had dried more after the blanching. The ground almonds were slightly clumpy. They worked okay in the recipe, but next time I might blanch them a day ahead of time to let them dry more.

While the recipe begs for Swiss Cheese, it is hard to find in the stores other than sliced; I don’t find blocks or shredded Swiss Cheese. So, I grated some Asiago I already had for the cheese. That comes from a little farther south than Switzerland, but it worked. Other swiss-type cheeses include Emmentaler and Gruyere.

For the bread crumbs, do not use flavored bread; you would be fighting the basic flavors of the recipe.

I was able to refrigerate the baked zucchini boats and later heat them in the microwave for another meal.

Viva la Difference Zucchini Casserole

We have had this recipe a long time, and it is one to which we go back quite often. It is good, and has all the ingredients for a meal. And it only takes about an hour from start to serving.
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As you can see from the credit line, it was originally published by the San Diego power utility way back in 1975. I am beginning to think that some food ideas do happen at specific times; it seems like some of the older recipes did use the Minute Rice more than we see now days.

Viva la Difference Zucchini Casserole

(San Diego Gas and Electric, 1975)

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
  • 1 1/2 lbs. zucchini, cut into 1/4″ rounds
  • 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 10 oz. can cream of celery or cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2″ casserole, or two 8 x 8 x 2″ casseroles.

Saute together until browned the beef and onion. Remove from heat and add rice, garlic salt, and oregano.

Prepare and have ready each separately so they can be layered, the zucchini, cottage cheese, soup and cheddar cheese.

In the greased casserole, layer the ingredients as follows:

  • Place half the zucchini mixture in bottom
  • Cover with beef mixture
  • Spoon over the cottage cheese
  • Place the remaining zucchini over the top evenly
  • Spread the soup over all
  • Sprinkle with the cheese

Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbling hot.


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I chose to use the to 8 x 8 casseroles so that I could freeze one to have later.

I was surprised that although it seemed like a lot of zucchini after I had sliced it all, I seemed to be short zucchini for making two layers. I think the hint I have is that you don’t want to work to fit the zucchini tightly like a mosaic. Since the pieces are different sizes, it is hard to judge how much is half of the total.
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While the recipe calls for either cream of celery or cream of chicken soup, that might be a modification that Marlys made for me; I think you could use cream of mushroom soup. I have trouble digesting mushrooms, and so Marlys has modified a lot of recipes to eliminate the mushrooms in favor of something more neutral.

Risotto

Marlys’s recipe for risotto seems to be developed to feed a crowd; it makes a lot. So I decided to do some comparison, and try to reduce the amount of risotto that it makes. I looked at the back of the Arborio rice container to understand that recipe.
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I think the basic answer is that Marlys’s recipe uses more flavors from herbs, spice, cheese and wine, plus contains vegetables. The recipe on the rice container is very basic. It contains more fat, and more taste of the broth than Marlys’s recipe.

I decided that I would give you Marlys’s recipe as it is in her cook book, but then I would scale it down to about the same size as the recipe on the back of the Arborio rice container. So don’t feel defeated when the first couple items in Marlys’s recipe are 1½ quarts of liquid.

Risotto

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry

In a 2 quart or larger pan, bring water and chicken stock to a boil, then reduce heat to keep warm. In a large skillet, saut&#233 in oil and butter the onion until onion is clear. Add rice and saut&#233 3 minutes. Add wine and saut&#233 until liquid is absorbed. Add 1/2 the stock and reduce heat slightly. Simmer, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed; then add more liquid, a few ladles at a time. When liquid cooks out, add more. Cook to al dente (about 18 minutes).

Now you can add veges, Examples:

  • Spinach: 1 lb. triple washed, chopped
  • fresh Broccoli crowns
  • frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted
  • fresh Asparagus

For flavor add:

  • Basil: 1/2 cup loosely packed.
  • Flat Leaf Parsley: about 1/2 cup loosely packed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Smaller Version of basic Risotto

  • 1 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry

Reduce the amount of veges and flavor components by half for this smaller version of the recipe.


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I added the “Smaller Version” ingredient list after I made the recipe just as Marlys wrote it. I used a 12 inch sauté pan which seems to be the right size. I used ½ pound of mixed vegetables for my vege addition. When I went to add the herbs, I had to mix some dried basil and parsley with the fresh herbs from my garden; I denuded my basil and flat leaf parsley plants, and only got about ¼ cup of each loosely packed, so I added the dried herbs. Remember that you only need about 1/3 the amount of dried herb compared to the amount of fresh herb, so I used only about an additional Tablespoon each of the dried basil and parsley. My cheese was Parmesan from that canister in the refrigerator.

The rice container says that 1 cup of rice will yield 3 cups of finished risotto. But, we are adding vegetables to the risotto, so you will get more than just a 3 to 1 expansion of the rice. I didn’t carefully measure the results of making the full recipe but I think I have about a 5 to 1 expansion of the rice with the added vegetables and herbs- about 10 cups of flavored risotto.

Lasagna

If you like lasagna, you will like this recipe. Actually, it is the Italian Sauce that is the key, and you can even use it on spaghetti as a sauce. But, this is about the lasagna. It is good. This is one recipe Marlys collected that has been requested the most by others.
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One of the good things about lasagna is that it is a good leftover meal. Recently, when I was visiting my daughter, I made the recipe and took the lasagna with me. Then, each night, we would cut ourselves pieces, heat them in the microwave, and enjoy our supper. One friend that makes this recipe complains that she never has leftovers.

Jackie worked with Marlys in San Diego, and was her matron-of-honor at our wedding.
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Lasagna

(Jackie Bataitis 1963

  • 1 recipe Italian Sauce -see below
  • 9 lasagne noodles, cooked as package directs and rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese

In a deep 9 x 13″ pan, layer the ingredients as follows:

  • 1/4 the sauce
  • 3 noodles
  • 1/2 the mozzarella
  • 1/2 the ricotta
  • 1/2 the parmesan
  • 1/4 the sauce
  • 3 noodles
  • 1/2 the mozzarella
  • 1/2 the ricotta
  • 1/2 the parmesan
  • 1/4 the sauce
  • 3 noodles
  • rest of sauce
  • extra parmesan sprinkled over the top.

Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes
(1 hour if it has been made ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
Remove from oven. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Italian Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lb. ground beef (or 1/2 lb. pork sausage + 1 1/2 lb. ground beef)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 18 oz. tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 bay leaves or sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoons chopped parsley, fresh or dried

Brown meat in hot oil. Add rest of ingredients, stirring well to blend.

Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 2 hours (3 hours if doubling recipe).

Remove bay leaves before using or freezing.


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Marlys bought a special pan in which to make the lasagna; it is deeper than most 9×13 pans.

The problem I have when I make the lasagna is that I never can determine when I have used 1/4 of the sauce, and I always feel I run out of sauce before I finish the top layer. I was told to not worry, the whole package comes together and cooks – bubbling up through the noodles. All I can say is to put a minimum of sauce on the bottom of the pan, and don’t be too generous when you sauce the layers.

One of the tricks I remember from watching Marlys make the recipe is in getting the cheese into the lasagna. You can’t spread riccota in the pan; it just doesn’t work. So, what you do instead is to butter the mozzarella slices, and let the cooking move the cheeses around. Slice the mozzarella thin; you will probably need 18 to 20 slices.

And for the parmesan cheese, we just use the everyday type like in plastic bottles put out by Kraft.
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Some of my nerdiness shows up in the noodles; 9 noodles means you have 3 noodles per layer, and they fit fairly nicely. but they are just a hair short, so I cook a 10th noodle, and cut it to fill the small space at the end of the whole noodle. Again, everyone tells me that care isn’t necessary.

8 Layer Dip

This dip has a Mexican taste; it starts with Beans, contains Avocado, and ends with with Salsa, and we suggest serving it with Corn Chips. It is big in size, and your problem might be finding a dish on which to assemble it. I would suggest a 12 inch platter as a starting point. And it is bold, with lots of opportunity for spicing it up.
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I purposely built my version of the dip in a pyramid so that the different layers would show; that is not necessary, and you should bring each layer out to the edge of the serving platter. A lot goes into the dip, and you need all the surface you can use for each layer.
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8 Layer Dip

  • 3 Avacados
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cans bean dip or 16 oz refried beans
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (4-6 oz.) can sliced ripe olives
  • Salsa

Mash avacados with lemon juice, salt and pepper
(You may use commercial guacomole instead.)

Assemble in layers on a large round or oblong dish:

  • spread bean dip
  • Avocado mixture
  • sour cream
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • cheese
  • salsa

Serve with corn chips for dipping


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I made my version of the dip with the bean dip that is usually in the aisle with the chips; I feel the dip could use a little more spice at that level, and might try one of the refried beans that are sauced up to medium instead of mild. You could also add a little spice in the guacamole (Avocado mixture) with a couple shakes of hot sauce. The sour cream acts to cool the hot tastes down, but if your crowd isn’t into spicy food, you can do just as well with the recipe as given. The only heat I detected in my version was in the salsa.