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Be Nice--Nice Is Good

Joe Barkson's

The Official Recipezine of the Internet

This Week's Theme: South of the Border, Down Mexico Way

Today's Recipes: Fish in Garlic Sauce & Sinaloa-Style Grilled


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Here's an unusual one from Rosemary Zwick:

Two women were sitting by the side of a river holding fishing
poles with the lines in the water. A game warden came up
behind them, tapped one on the shoulder and said, "Excuse
me, ladies. I'd like to see your fishing licenses."

"We don't have any," replied the first woman.

"Well, if you're going to fish, you need fishing licenses."

"But officer," replied the second woman, "we aren't fishing.
We both have magnets at the end of our lines and we're
collecting debris off the bottom of the river."

The warden lifted up the lines and, sure enough, there were
magnets tied on the end of each line. "Well, I know of no law
against it," said the warden, "take all the debris you want."
And with that, he left.

As soon as he was out of sight, the two women started
laughing hysterically. "What a dumb cop," the one said to
the other, "doesn't he know that there are steelhead trout in
this river?"


Cynthia MacGregor, Editor

Why is the ice cream concoction known as the "sundae"
spelled with an "e" at the end, as distinct from the day of the

See below for the answer to today's Quizine Question.



This week's theme: A Spring Picnic

This week's recipes:

- Zucchini and Sausage Pie
- Arugula and Strawberry Salad
- Asparagus with Lemon Butter
- Grilled Chicken Wraps
- Apricot Almond Bars

Also included in every Weekend Edition: A Food Funny, A
Word from the Chef, and a full week's worth of Kitchen Tips
and Ask the Chef questions and answers. Subscribe today
so you don't miss any of the fun.



Today we'll take a short break from your "AHA!" food moments
so I can share some good news for pork lovers from the United
States Department of Agriculture.

For many years the USDA has been recommending that pork
be cooked to the same internal temperature as ground meats,
based on the out-dated thesis that American consumers
needed to be protected from the deadly parasitic disease known
as trichinosis.

The reality is that trichinosis is a very rare disease these days,
for a variety of reasons. (If you're curious about these reasons,
I hope you'll read more about them on my Food Myths page at and the
USDA's new guidelines for cooking meats now takes that fact
into account.

The slightly misleading headline of a press release dated May
24, 2011 reads "USDA Revises Recommended Cooking
Temperature for All Whole Cuts of Meat, Including Pork, to
145F." I say it's slightly misleading because the only change
they made was to reduce the recommended temperature of
pork. The "All Whole Cuts of Meat" part alludes to the fact
that the recommended temperature for all whole cuts of meat
is now 145F, whereas there used to be one temperature for
pork and another temperature for all other meats. Not a major
revision, but certainly good news for people who prefer their
pork tender and juicy rather than dry and over-cooked.

So now, according to the new guidelines, it is safe to cook
beef, veal, lamb, pork, and fish to a temperature of 145F (63C).
The guideline for all ground meats is still 160F (71C), and the
recommended temperature for all poultry, whether ground or
not, remains at 165F (74C).

The new guidelines also include a three-minute rest time after
the food is cooked, which I think is hardly necessary because
it's hard to get a piece of meat from the fire to the mouth in
less than three minutes unless you eat it standing over the
stove, but I suppose the USDA is just trying to stay on the
safe side with this stuff. You can read all the fine print

Now that I have changed the way you will cook pork forever in
the future, I hope you will reciprocate by sending me a write-up
of a significant food event in your life. Then we'll be even.



Most French chefs go apoplectic at the thought of browning
garlic for fear that it will ruin the dish, but in Mexico they know
that a little browning gives garlic a unique, subtle flavor.

Fish in Garlic Sauce (Pescado al Mojo de Ajo)

4-6 fillets of firm white fish such as bass, catfish,
or perch
Freshly squeezed lime juice
3 Tbs (45 ml) butter
3 Tbs (45 ml) vegetable oil
10-12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
About 1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour seasoned
with salt and freshly ground pepper
The juice of 1 lime
Chopped parsley for garnish

Drizzle the fish with lime juice, sprinkle with salt, and refrigerate
for 1 hour. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over moderate heat
and saute the garlic until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove
the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside. Dredge the fish
fillets in the flour mixture, shake off the excess, and saute in
the butter and oil mixture until golden brown on both sides and
cooked through. Transfer the fish to a serving platter. Add the
reserved garlic, lime juice, and parsley to the pan and stir to
loosen the brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Spoon the sauce
over the fish and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Isn't it often true that the simpler a dish is, the better it is? I
offer this dish as evidence.

Sinaloa-Style Grilled Chicken (Pollo a la Brasas)

1-2 whole chickens
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) orange juice
1 small onion, chopped
8-12 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried marjoram
4 bay (laurel) leaves, crumbled
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Using a large knife or kitchen shears, cut along both sides of
the backbone of the chicken and remove it. Lay the chicken
skin-side up and press the breastbone to flatten the chicken.
Alternately, the chicken can simply be cut into serving pieces.
Combine the remaining ingredients in an electric blender or
food processor and puree until smooth. Combine the chicken
and the marinade in a non-reactive bowl or large plastic bag
and marinate refrigerated at least 4 hours or overnight. Cook
the chicken over hot coals or under a preheated broiler, turning
every 10 minutes and basting with the marinade, until charred
and the juices in the thigh run clear when pricked with a fork,
30 to 45 minutes. Serves 4 to 8.


From the Worldwide Recipes Archives

Theme: Just Desserts
Originally published during the week of May 28, 2007

Plantains are available in every stage of ripeness, from green when
they're young, to black when they're fully ripe. Use the black ones
for this recipe, and if you can only find green plantains, buy them
and wait until they're ready.

Baked Plantains

2-3 large plantains
4-7 Tbs (60-90 ml) brown sugar
Ground cinnamon to taste
Ground allspice to taste
2-3 Tbs (30-45 ml) butter

Trim the ends of the plantains and do not peel but split them in
half lengthwise. Make several gashed is the flesh with the tip of
a knife. Mix together the brown sugar and spices and sprinkle
over the plantains. Dot with butter and place on a baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven until the sugar is bubbling,
about 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

Even though this has the richness and consistency of ice cream,
technically it has to be classified as a sorbet due to the lack
of dairy products. Unlike most frozen desserts, this one doesn't
keep very well and is best eaten as soon as it's made.

Coconut Sorbet

3 cups (750 ml) coconut milk (about 2 cans)
3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar, or more to taste
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring to dissolve the
sugar. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Freeze in an ice
cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Serve
immediately, or "warm" in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before
serving if stored in the freezer. Serves 4 to 6.


Theme: Another Quick and Easy Menu
Originally published during the week of May 30, 2005

It's amazing to me that, after publishing a recipe almost every day
for over seven years, I haven't published this classic dish before.
I keep a mixture of whole black, white, green, and pink
peppercorns (and Szechwan peppercorns when I can find them)
on hand to refill my pepper grinders, and I strongly recommend
using a homemade mixture of your own for this dish.

Steak au Poivre

Whole peppercorns (black, white, green, pink,
or any combination)
4-6 thick beef steaks such as rib eye, Porterhouse,
filet mignon, or T-bone
Salt to taste
Heavy cream, red wine, or beef stock (optional)

Crush the peppercorns by pressing them against a flat surface with
the bottom of a heavy pot. Cover the steaks with the crushed
peppercorns, pressing them into the steak firmly. Season with salt
and pan fry, grill, or broil until cooked to desired degree.
Deglaze the pan with cream, red wine, or beef stock if desired,
reducing the liquid and stirring up the brown bits in the pan before
spooning it over the steaks. Serves 4 to 6.



Thanks to reader David Cantor for today's helpful hint:

Sauteing is a great way to cook, but it leaves a lot of grease
spatters all over the stove, even with a spatter shield. Cleaning
the stove isn't so bad, but cleaning the burners is a real chore.
I cover the unused burners with aluminum foil when I saute or
pan-sear. It keeps the burners clean, and also acts as a great
temporary spoon rest while cooking.

If you have a handy solution to a common kitchen problem,
please send it to [email address deleted]


Karlis Streips, Editor

Back in the Eastern Hemisphere

The bananas which were grown in Africa several centuries ago
bore scant resemblance to the fruit which we know today. They
were much, much smaller than our current foot-long bananas,
and they so much resembled a human finger that the Arabic
word for finger is still "banan."

In England, people imported a variety of banana from China
which, in the toadying age that was common back then, was
dubbed the Cavendish banana in honor of the family of the duke
of Devonshire. This banana and its sub-groups represent much
of commercial banana cultivation even today. Back in China
there was a variety of banana known as the Go San Heong
banana, which means, literally, "you can smell it from the next
mountain." What vivid describers the Chinese are.

People did not always know what to do with the strange, exotic
fruit when they were presented with it. A 19th century "Domestic
Cyclopaedia of Practical Information" explained: "Bananas are
eaten raw, either alone, or cut in slices with sugar and cream,
or wine and orange juice. They are also roasted, fried or boiled,
and are made into fritters, preserves, and marmalades." A pretty
thorough description, don't you think? Though the author clearly
had not thought of that wondrous concoction that is a banana

Contact Culinary Chronicles editor Karlis Streips at
[email address deleted]



Please send your recipes to [email address deleted]
and don't forget to tell us something about yourself.

Please make sure that your submissions conform to the Pen-Pal
guidelines at

NOTE: Worldwide Recipes has not tested the following recipes.
Please direct all questions to the author of the recipe.


From: Clay [email address deleted]

The weather is starting to get warmer, and summer will be
upon us shortly here in the northern hemisphere. I'm going to
send some recipes for dips/spreads that are wonderful when
served in the summertime, alone with your favorite cold
summertime beverages.

Five cups may sound like a huge amount of dip, but once your
family or guests begin devouring this treat, it will disappear
quickly. I necessary, you can easily cut this recipe in half. And,
if you prefer, you can bake this dip on the top rack of a
preheated outdoor grill.

Baked Artichoke Dip

1 pound softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove (peeled and minced)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (to taste)
3 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts (drained and diced)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
3 or 4 scallions (minced)
2 to 3 teaspoons seeded and minced jalape? pepper (to taste)
Pieces of your favorite artisan bread (for serving)
Thin lightly toasted slices of baguette (for serving)
Toasted bagel chips (for serving)
Baked pita chips (for serving)
Your favorite crackers (for serving)
Cut raw vegetables (for serving)

Thoroughly combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour
cream, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, Worcestershire
sauce and hot pepper sauce in a mixing bowl with an electric
mixer. Fold in the artichokes, mozzarella cheese, scallions,
and jalapeño pepper, and then transfer the mixture to an 8- or
9-inch square baking dish.

Place the baking dish onto a rimmed baking sheet in the
center of a preheat 400F oven, and bake the dip for about 20
minutes, until the dip is bubbling and browned on top. Serve
warm or at room temperature, with pieces of your favorite
artisan bread, lightly toasted slices of baguette, toasted bagel
chips, baked pita chips, your favorite crackers, and or cut raw
vegetables. Makes about 5 cups.


From: Florine [email address deleted]

Florine here in North Idaho where the lakes and streams are
still a-risin'. This is a recipe I adapted and use because I like
it and because it freezes well. I just use my ice cream scoop
to put hemispheres on a baking sheet, freeze 'em, and then
transfer them into single serving freezer bags. 10 minutes on
defrost in the microwave and I have a dinner veggie.

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Sage

4 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage, rubbed to finely crumble (or a
little more, if you really like sage)

Heat the oven to 375F. Bake the sweet potatoes whole for
about an hour. Cool just enough to handle and remove the
skins, trying to leave any caramelized potato intact, and putting
the pulp into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and smash
the mixture just enough to distribute everything. Serve right
away or refrigerate and reheat or freeze.


From: Ida [email address deleted]

I sent this recipe in on May 25 and notice that I left out the
amount of flour. Below is the corrected recipe. Sorry for any
inconvenience this might have caused.

Banana Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar (I use less)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups ripe bananas, mashed

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking
power, soda and salt. Add dry mixture to creamed mixture
alternately with milk and bananas. Add vanilla and mix. Pour
into greased loaf pan and bake at 350F (180C) 25-30 minutes.


From: Laurel [email address deleted]

Laurel here in Portland, Oregon. My husband, Larry, volunteers
at the Oregon Coast Aquarium every three weeks. This time I
sent him $20 of my grocery money and asked him to bring
home same fresh crab meat. I used to buy crab in the shell but
I found that it took too much time and energy to get it clean so
I now let the fish mongers do the work for me.

For the price, I don't get a lot of crab meat so I try to highlight
it whenever I serve it. The recipe says to serve it as a dip with
tortilla chips but I like it served on top of a baked potato. I also
like to mix it with a bit of green onions and mayonnaise and
serve it topped on an English muffin. I then top it with a bit of
shredded Cheddar cheese.

Spicy Crab Dip

1 bunch of green onions chopped using as much
of the green as possible.
1 tsp cumin ( I use a little more because I really
like the taste)
8 - 10 oz of crab meat. (I've used both canned and
fresh. Fresh is always better, but the canned is good too!)
1 can of chopped green chilies
1 16 oz of cream cheese
1/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese grated (or Monterey Jack)

Saute the onions, chilies and cumin in a very small amount of olive
oil. Add the crab. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the
crab pan. Mix continuously until cream cheese is melted. Pour into
a 1 quart casserole and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 350
degrees oven until lightly brown and bubbly. Serve with Tortilla
chips. Make a lot it goes fast!



"AllieKat274" asks: I wondered if you can cook regular rice so
that it doesn't turn out sticky. Maybe a bit of oil in the water?
Do you have any suggestions?

The Chef answers: I suggest you try my basic recipe for long-
grain rice below, and whatever you do, don't add anything other
than rice and water to the pot.

Basic Recipe for Long-Grain Rice

As a general rule, cook 1/3 to 1/2 cup (80 to 125 ml) raw rice
per serving, and always use a ratio of two parts water (by
volume) to one part rice. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy
saucepan and add the rice. Stir once, cover tightly, and reduce
the heat to low. Simmer covered for 15 minutes - do not stir or
remove the lid. Remove from the heat and allow to sit covered
for 10 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork immediately prior to serving.

Send your questions on any topic, no matter how serious or silly,
to [email address deleted] - I can't answer them all,
but I'll publish one every day whether I know the answer or not.



Post a request or announcement on any subject except goods
or services for sale to [email address deleted]

Please reply directly to these readers if you can help them find
the recipe they are looking for. They will appreciate it, and you
might make a new friend.

No messages for the Bulletin Board today.



According to Paul Dickson's "Great American Ice Cream Book,"
the confection's original name was in fact spelled the same
as that of the day of the week, but certain preachers decried
the "sacrilegious" use of the name of the Sabbath for it, and
so the spelling was changed.

Contact Quizine editor Cynthia MacGregor at
[email address deleted] and be sure to see
"The Cook-Ahead Cookbook" and many more of her
books at


Barbara Forsythe, Editor

"Happy Days" brought a slice of Americana into our very own
living rooms in the 1970s. We were all envious of Richie, Potsie,
Ralph Malph, Chachi and the Fonz -- teenagers who rode
Harleys, played basketball and didn't have to wear school
uniforms. Best of all, though, this gang of best friends had Al's
Diner to hang out, a diner that sold incredibly good-looking food.
A pure slice of the American life -- milkshakes, burgers and
French fries. A perfectly cooked chip -- crispy on the outside,
fluffy on the inside and seasoned with a pinch of salt -- is one of
the foods handed down by the gods. A simple but truly delectable
dish that, in my house, is usually scoffed within seconds. So cook
up a batch, thump the jukebox and indulge.

Becky Thorn, from "
Movie Dinners: Reel Recipes from Your
Favourite Films

Please address your comments regarding "The Last Morsel" to
editor Barbara Forsythe at [email address deleted]

For an archive of all Morsels published in Worldwide Recipes,
plus Weekend Morsels for insatiable foodies, please visit
Barbara's website at



Since this is a paid subscription, I need to manage cancellations
and changes of address manually. Please email me at [email
address deleted] for all matters concerning your subscription.



(c) Copyright 2011 by Worldwide Recipes. All rights reserved.

You are permitted to print and/or save this publication to disk for
your personal use. Forwarding any portion of this ezine to other
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may result in cancellation of your subscription.


About "The Chef"
Joe BarksonJoe Barkson has been writing and publishing under the pen name "The Chef at Worldwide Recipes" since 1998. He came to food writing late in life following checkered careers in computer marketing, graphic design, and teaching high school Spanish. A lifelong interest in food and cooking ("I've been eating since I was a baby," he is fond of saying) was nurtured by extensive international travel during his formative years, and this accounts for the emphasis on world cuisine in his choice of recipes and themes. Twice married and currently happily single, he lives in rural Georgia with a hyperkinetic schipperke that answers to Cooky when the mood strikes him.


The Great SaltTaste Test
Does expensive gourmet sea salt really taste better than regular salt? See the
Great Salt Taste Test
to find out.

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