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FOOD MEN LOVE
All-Time Favorite RECiPES from Caesar Salad and Grilled Rib-Eye to Cinnamon Buns and Apple Pie
By MARGIE LAPANJA
Red Wheel/Weiser, LLCCopyright © 2001 Margaret Beiser Lapanja
All rights reserved.
Bread and Break fast
All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.
Feel-Good Fare to Jump-Start His Heart
HE LOVES ...
Baeon and eggs. There are few sights that appeal to me more than the streaks of lean and fat in good side bacon.... Nothing is quite as intoxicating as the smell of bacon frying in the morning, save perhaps for the smell of coffee brewing.—James Beard, Beard on Food
* Pancakes and sausage. That's it.—Charles, Arizona
* Figs and buttery mascarpone cheese with some honey and pistachio nuts. This is something you will want to try.—Terry, Italy
* A soft-boiled egg and a croissant, half a grapefruit, and a café au lait in a cup the size of a cereal bowl.—Michael, New York and Florida
* Crab cakes Benedict, Dutch pancakes, sourdough bread, and bananas with honey and cream.—Karl, California
The Real Way to Rise and Shine
Even with the onslaught of protein shakes and high-powered breakfast bars, Wheaties™ has defended its tide, the "Breakfast of Champions," brilliantly for nearly a century. If we believe what the all-stars on the Wheaties boxes tell us, we are on our way to a win-win, grand-slam day every time we fill our bowls with these golden flakes. Life is the prize, so eat your Wheaties and carpe diem!
But if it is the moment rather than the entire day you wish to seize—let's say you're in a robust mood and want to start your day with a little hanky-panky—leave your cereal bowl empty and your jock strap off. The time is right to fire up with the newly scientifically proven "breakfast of lovers"—the cinnamon roll!
That's right. In one study by sex researchers, the penile blood flow of thirty-one healthy male subjects was measured when they whiffed a range of fragrances from perfume to roses to suntan oil to black licorice. Every odor boosted the flow from one level to another, but some fragrances hit the jackpot, so to speak. Among the supererotic turn-ons were the aromas of pumpkin pie, lavender, and doughnuts. Let it be known, however, that the supreme seductress of all smells proved to be that of the sexy, spice-laced cinnamon roll. And you thought you needed a protein shake....
Sensuous Cinnamon Rolls
3 cups unbleached flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter
1 cup warm milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup raisins
1 to 2 teaspoons orange zest
2 tablespoons rum
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup melted butter
1 cup shelled pecans, coarsely chopped
To make the dough, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom in a large bowl; blend well. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork until mixture becomes granular. Add the milk and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, knead 10 to 12 times, and pat into a rectangle. Wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling, soak the raisins and orange zest in rum. In a separate bowl, combine the two kinds of sugars, milk, and spices. Prepare two 8-inch round pans (or one 9 × 13-inch rectangular pan) by brushing the bottom with some of the melted butter, and sprinkle enough sugar mixture on the bottom of each pan to cover the surface evenly (about ¼ cup for each). Reserve the rest of the sugar mixture.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large ¼-inch thick, 12 × 18-inch rectangle, with the "long" side near you. Brush the dough with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture evenly over the dough, followed by the raisin mixture and pecans. Starting with the longer edge, loosely roll the dough toward you, "jelly roll" style. Using a very sharp knife cut the dough into 1 to 1 ¼-inch slices and place them in the pan spiral side up and slightly apart.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown. While the rolls are baking, make the glaze by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. When the cinnamon rolls are hot out of the oven, invert the pan immediately onto a serving tray. Drizzle glaze over them and indulge! Makes 14 to 16 sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls.
Knowing you is such delicious torment.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life Is Fine with the Cinnamon Girl
Scientists may have discovered what the sweet smell of cinnamon does to increase a man's virility and blood flow, but have they given us a good reason why? As, a kitchen courtesan, I say the answer is simple: Cinnamon is an aphrodisiac.
Myth holds that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, could harness the alchemical powers of her insignia spice at will, delivering its wallop on unsuspecting mortal men whenever she needed a little adoration. "Cinnamon Girl" simply sprinkled it on their food. After she won the coveted Golden Apple at the Judgment of Paris—the infamous beauty pageant of the great goddesses that incited the Trojan War—that noble fruit (now the naughty orb of temptation) also fell under her command. With apples in one basket and mounds of cinnamon in the other, no man was above the call of Aphrodite.
Are you a believer? If the Sensuous Cinnamon Rolls didn't increase your pulse this morning, the French Stud Muffins will. They are laced with the two vital aphrodisiacal ingredients, they are delightful to eat in bed ... and they're French. Mais oui!
An aphrodisiac is anything you think it is.
—Dr. Ruth Westheimer
French Stud Muffins
4 ½ cups unbleached flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup margarine, melted
1 cup apples, peeled, and finely chopped or grated
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all dry ingredients listed under "Muffins" together by hand, forming a "well" in the center of a large bowl. Whisk together the milk and eggs in a separate bowl and then pour them into the dry mixture. Mix gently, dribbling the melted margarine into the equation as you go, until all ingredients come together. (To avoid tough, cone-headed muffins, do not overmix.) Gently fold in the apples.
Scoop dough into a muffin tin lined with paper cups, filling the cups to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While muffins are baking, prepare the topping by mixing together the sugar and cinnamon. Immediately after taking the muffins out of the oven, brush the tops with melted butter and shake a storm of cinnamon-sugar on top. Makes a bountiful 13 (baker's dozen) aphrodisiacs disguised as muffins; prepare for the effects.
A Marriage Made with Banana Bread?
In his book The White House Family Cookbook, White House executive chef and author Henry Haller entertains with recipes and tales of presidential palatal preferences and favorite foods of first families, all woven together with Americana food lore and good inside dish, like what favorite fare Ronnie Reagan had delivered to the hospital when he was recovering from his gunshot wound (I'll tell you later in the book ...).
The sweetest story is that of David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower. Later to marry, they first met as eight-year-olds. David, Ike's young son, was a hearty eater who loved banana bread. Since Mrs. Nixon adored bananas, her first daughter, Julie, also grew up with banana bread as a Number One favorite. Same White House, same chef, same recipe. It was "very, very, very, very good," David once wrote in a thank-you note to the chef. I bet this very, very good banana bread will put stars in any man's eyes.
Kissin' don't last; cookery do!
Bet On It Banana Bread
A favorite of the Eisenhowers
4 cups unbleached flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup margarine, melted
4 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups of your favorite nuts, chopped (optional)
Additional brown sugar and chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8 × 4-inch loaf pans. (If you prefer muffins, line tin with muffin cups.) Combine flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk. Pour into the dry mixture and blend slightly, always by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the melted margarine and mix a bit more. Finally, add mashed bananas and, if using, nuts. Mix gently until ingredients are blended (do not overmix). Spoon batter into the prepared pans and sprinkle the top with additional brown sugar and nuts, if desired.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (20 to 25 minutes for muffins). To check if the muffins are done, insert a toothpick; if it comes out clean, the bread is done. Note the baking time for the future. Turn out to cool. Slice and serve with butter. Makes 2 loaves or 14 muffins.
Stirring It Up with the Big Boys
What does a celebrated New York, chef and author do when he's not overseeing his culinary creations at one of the grandest establishments in New York City? Does he hobnob with fellow wizards talking foie gras and quattro formaggi while sipping fine wine and swapping tales of gastronomic escapades in Paris, SaintPère-sous-Vezelay, and Brussels?
Daniel Orr, Executive Chef at New York's Guastavino's, author of Real Food, and former cuisine king at La Grenouille, bakes his grandmother's biscuits. 'Tis true; for occasional weekend brunches and holiday breakfasts, he rolls up his sleeves, puts on his apron, and pays tribute to Gramma Orr.
Ever since I discovered that Chef Orr developed his childhood taste buds in the culinary training ground of Indiana (as did I), I've been a fan. I love that someone from the land of meatloaf and coleslaw has been transformed into such a fine, respected chef. He was surely inspired back in the Hoosier state by some of the best buttermilk biscuits you'll ever taste, thanks to his grandma.
Simple pleasures are essential pleasures, restorative, necessary to survival.
—Jacqueline Deval, Reckless Appetites
Gramma Orr's Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 generous teaspoon sugar
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
¾ to 1 cup cold buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter with a sharp pastry cutter, leaving some large pea-sized pieces among the other cornmeal-sized pieces.
Add the buttermilk and toss to combine (do not overmix or they will become tough and dry!); form a ball. Knead the dough lightly, pat it out to a ¾-inch thickness, and cut with a biscuit cutter. Bake biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet at 450°F for 2 to 3 minutes, reduce heart to 350°F, and bake for another 8 to 9 minutes. Makes a dozen or so grandma-style biscuits.
Flipped Out for a Johnny Cake
The first colonists in America were simply smitten with the newly discovered Indian crop called "corn." England had its porridges, puddings, and muffins, but Old World tables had never known the likes of such rustic, soulful creations as stone-ground cornmeal being flipped, fried, and cooked in the New World.
To founding father Benjamin Franklin, cornmeal in any of its incarnations was soul food. In fact, during a visit to London in 1768 to plead the case for the colonies, he begged his daughter to send him the foods for which he was homesick, among them cornmeal. Ben would give cooking classes to the Englishwomen, enthusiastically teaching them how to make cornbread or flip an Indian slapjack. When he and the colonists were publicly jeered by a London Gazette journalist for eating food that could never afford "an agreeable breakfast," ol' Ben planted the seeds of separatism by boldly rebutting, "Permit me, an American, to inform the British gentleman, who seems ignorant of the matter ... that our johnny cake or hoe cake, hot from the fire, is better than a Yorkshire muffin." Any day.
Spread some warm, melting butter and Barbara's Jalapeño Jelly on his beloved corn bread, and loyal Ben would have been talking revolution.
The destiny of a nation depends upon how and what they eat.
Johnny Cake Corn Bread
Benjamin Franklin's favorite
1 ½ cups stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
½ cup milk
¼ cup margarine or butter, melted
2/3 cup creamed corn (or freshly cooked corn from the kernel)
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl and by hand, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and milk. Pour this mixture into the dry mix and stir gently. Pour in the melted margarine and mix slightly. Fold in the creamed corn.
Pour the batter into a 10-inch, greased cast iron skillet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (You can also cook this batter "pancake style" in a stove top skillet to make authentic corn johnny cakes; cook each side of the johnny cake for a minute or two.) Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Barbara's Jalapeño Jelly
One 3 ½-ounce can jalapeño peppers
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
One 4-ounce can chiles
1 cup white vinegar
6 cups white sugar
One 6-ounce package Certo™ pectin (use both pouches)
In a blender, blend together on high speed the two kinds of peppers, chiles, and vinegar. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the pepper blend with the sugar and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Add the Certo pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
To preserve, pour the jelly into hot, sterilized jars and top with canning lids sealed with bands (see the Inside Line below). Store in a cool area and refrigerate after opening. Makes 6 half-pint jars of Barbara's zesty jelly.
Mining for a Silver-Dollar Breakfast
Before Sam Clemens became Mark Twain, he was a cub reporter in the mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, writing for the local newspaper under the nom de plume "Josh."
In his own words, Josh tells us what a real breakfast meant to him: "A mighty porterhouse steak an inch and a half thick, hot and sputtering from the grill; dusted with fragrant pepper; enriched with little melting bits of butter ... archipelagoed with mushrooms ... and a great cup of American homemade coffee ... some smoking hot biscuits, and a plate of hot buckwheat [pan] cakes, with transparent syrup...."
After the sun rose over the High Sierra, the young Mark Twain would head off to work and proceed to weave wonder-words with his trusty typewriter. His editor's only instructions were, "Write so damned well the miners will read the Enterprise before they drink their liquor, court their women, or dig their gold." Which he did ... after he ate his bonanza in pancakes.
Silver Dollar Slapjacks with Wild Blue Sauce
A favorite of Mark Twain
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup milk
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, melted, or canola oil
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Nonstick canola oil cooking spray
Wild Blue Sauce
1 ½ cups fresh wild blueberries (cultivated or frozen berries will do in a pinch)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (no substitutes)
½ teaspoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Dash of ground nutmeg
Get the sauce going first. To make the blueberry sauce, combine all listed ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a slow, bubbly boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken and its sweet aroma fills the air.
To make the pancake batter, whisk together in a large bowl the buttermilk, milk, egg, and melted butter. In a separate, smaller bowl or measuring cup, blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently tap the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture and stir it up.
While the Wild Blue Sauce is gurgling, lightly spray or grease a griddle or nonstick skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. Ladle small 3-inch pools of batter onto the hot griddle. Cook the silver dollars for about one minute until teeny bubbles come to the surface, gently flip them, and cook for another 30 seconds.
To make a great impression, serve 3 stacks of 3 silver dollar pancakes on an extra large plate and top them with an eruption of the hot Wild Blue Sauce. Makes 16 to 18 pancakes.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Excerpted from FOOD MEN LOVE by MARGIE LAPANJA. Copyright © 2001 Margaret Beiser Lapanja. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
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