Thursday, June 30, 2016


Syllabub is a wonderful Old English mousse-like dessert. It was also popular in the colonies in the 18th century. Originally it was made with some type of alcohol, such as cider or wine, and then taken outside to the barn where the cow was milked straight into the bucket. Then it was whipped to a froth with a birch whisk and allowed to separate before eating. The alcohol would settle to the bottom of the glass and the frothy milk was on the top. Here is a more appetizing way to make syllabub and you don't have to wait for the mixture to separate. I am fortunate to have my mom's iced tea spoons which are perfect for dipping deep into the tall Irish coffee glasses to get every last spoonful. 

½ cup white wine
¼ cup brandy 
2 T grated lemon zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Blueberries or raspberries, for garnish

Pour wine, brandy, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar into a large bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Let sit on counter for about 15 minutes and whisk again.

In a large bowl, pour in the heavy whipping cream and beat with an electric mixer until medium stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped cream into the bowl with the wine mixture until well combined. 

Spoon into 4 to 6 wine, champagne or Irish coffee glasses.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, up to 8 hours.

When ready to serve, garnish with a couple of blueberries or raspberries and a mint leaf.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


My daughter gave me this recipe for her easy restaurant-style salsa. It tastes just as good as the salsa in our favorite southwest restaurant in Seattle.

2 (14-oz) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes or 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
½ medium yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
½ poblano pepper, roughly chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
½ t ground cumin
1 ½ t sea salt
½ t finely ground black pepper
Juice of ½ lime
¼ t cane or granulated sugar

Put everything in a blender and blend very quickly or pulse, to leave it slightly chunky.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


All Southerners love Chicken-Fried Steak or Country Fried Steak (CFS). It is believed that it was created in Texas by Austrian and German immigrants in the mid 1800s. A common main course for the immigrants in their old country was Weiner Schnitzel (veal) or Schnitzel (pork). I imagine the gravy came later and then it was called CFS. Serve this with mashed potatoes and collard greens. 

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
Have your butcher tenderize your steaks, if they are not already tenderized. Butchers do a much better job than trying to do this at home.

4 pieces of butcher-tenderized cube steak or hip steak
¾ cup cornstarch
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk 
3 to 4 dashes of hot sauce (optional)

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup corn flour or finely ground corn meal
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t baking powder
2 t paprika
1 t sea salt
1 t finely ground black pepper

Peanut or grape seed oil, for frying    

Country Gravy
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 T pan drippings
2 T unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper

Pat steaks dry with paper towels. 
In a shallow bowl, add the cornstarch.
In another shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce.
In a third shallow bowl, add flour, corn flour, garlic powder, onion powder, baking powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

Working with one steak at a time, coat each side with the cornstarch.
Shake off excess and dip in the egg mixture.
Next dredge in the seasoned flour mixture.
Transfer to a tray or baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining steaks.

Pour about 1 inch of oil in a large cast iron skillet.
Heat oil to about 375 degrees F or test oil with a wooden spoon to see if bubbles appear around the spoon. The moisture of the wooden spoon creates bubbles in hot oil.

Fry 2 steaks at a time for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven while frying the remaining steaks.

Country Gravy
Spoon out about ¼ cup of the hot frying oil to a medium saucepan.
Over medium heat, add the flour and whisk constantly until mixtures turns a very light brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the butter and slowly whisk in the milk.
Season with salt and finely ground black pepper.
Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Serves 2 to 4

Sunday, June 12, 2016


You can buy wood chips or chunks at your local hardware store. Apple, cherry, or alder are the best to use with salmon. Because you are only smoking the salmon for a short time, it's best to use wood chips. Soak them in water while your salmon is marinating in the refrigerator. If you have a gas grill, place the soaked chips in an aluminum foil packet, with vent holes cut on the top. If you use a charcoal grill, as I do, put the wood chips directly on the coals.

2 T brown sugar
1 T Kentucky bourbon
1 T lemon zest
1 t sea salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 lb center cut Chinook (King) or Sockeye (Red) salmon fillet

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, bourbon, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

Remove any pin bones in the salmon with "kitchen only" needle-nose pliers.
Place salmon, skin side down, in a shallow baking dish.
Using a spoon, spread the above mixture evenly over salmon.
Cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.

Place a handful of wood chips in a container and cover with water.
Let soak 2 to 4 hours while salmon is in refrigerator.

About 30 minutes before you want to smoke the salmon, prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals on one side of grill. Let coals burn until gray.
Drop soaked wood chips on top of hot coals and let smoke for a few minutes.

Gently place the salmon, skin side down, on the cooler side of grate.
Place lid on grill, leaving vents open slightly.
Cook for 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, shake together the Raspberry Vinaigrette in a jar.
Place salad ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle some of the dressing over salad. 
Toss gently and place on two dinner plates.

Remove salmon from grill to a cutting board.
Cut fillet in half, removing skin, and place on top of salad and serve.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 t Dijon mustard
¼ cup raspberry vinegar
2 T honey
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 T poppy seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Enough baby greens for two people
2 T chopped cilantro leaves
8 strawberries, hulled and sliced
¼ cup blueberries
1 seedless small clementine or other orange, sliced
A few thin slices of red onion
A few regular or candied pecans

Serves 2

Thursday, June 9, 2016


The Belmont Stakes is held every June. It is the final race of the Triple Crown, held at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. I'm not fond of watching the horses races, but I like to know who won and that no horse was injured. I saw the recipe for the latest official drink of the Belmont, named Belmont Jewel, but I like my version better. It is not made with bottled lemonade; it's made with fresh squeezed lemon juice (or pure organic lemon juice in a jar), a few dashes of lemon bitters, and contains a lot less sugar. 

Here is a little trivia about the three races:
The name "furlong" dates back to early Anglo-Saxon times, it originally referred to the length of the furrow in one acre of ploughed open field.

Kentucky Derby: 1 1/4 miles = 10 furlongs
The Preakness Stakes: 1 3/16 miles = 9 1/2 furlongs
The Belmont Stakes: 1 1/2 miles = 12 furlongs

One furlong = 1/8 mile

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice or pure organic lemon juice in a jar, room temperature
1 T cane sugar or granulated sugar (you can also use Stevia Extract)
½ cup pomegranate juice
4 dashes lemon bitters or unflavored bitters
1 cup Maker’s Mark bourbon or your favorite bourbon

In a pitcher, stir together the lemon juice with the sugar, until sugar is dissolved.
Add the pomegranate juice, bitters, and bourbon.
Fill four glasses ¾ full with pounded or crushed ice.
Divide mixture between the four glasses.

Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Makes 4 drinks

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


These stuffed eggs are a perfect accompaniment to a brunch. I added a finely minced jalapeñchile pepper to spice it up. I also added a little bit of chipotle chile power, which is made from dried smoked jalapeño chiles.

6 eggs
1 ripe avocado
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely minced
¼ t chipotle chile powder
1 T minced fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
Paprika, for garnish

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover, just over the top, with cold water.
Add ½ t baking soda.
Bring just to a boil, turn off heat and cover with a lid.
Let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon.
Crack eggs slightly on one end and place in a bowl of ice-cold water for 15 minutes.
Roll eggs on a hard surface to crack, then peel off shells.

Gently dry eggs with paper towels and then slice in half, lengthwise.

Remove yolks to a bowl.
Place the egg whites on a plate.
Mash yolks and avocado very well with a fork, potato masher, or place in a ricer.
Add the lime zest, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño pepper, chile powder, and cilantro.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fill the egg whites by spoon or with a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

Top with a little sprinkle of paprika and a small leaf of cilantro.

Makes 12 eggs