Sunday, April 30, 2017


A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake is usually served for breakfast. It's similar to popovers but made in a skillet. It was introduced in the early 1900s in a family run cafe in Seattle, Washington. The word "Dutch" refers to the group of German-American immigrants known as the Pennsylvania Dutch but was actually misspelled and should be spelled and pronounced deutsche "d OY - ch ai". When baking the pancake, don't open the door to peek or the pancake may deflate.  

4 thin strips applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ t sea salt
¼ t ground cardamom
¼ t ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, room temperature
2 T melted unsalted butter, cooled slightly
¾ cup lukewarm milk

1 small Granny Smith apple
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T unsalted butter
2 T pure maple syrup or honey

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. 
In another small bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, and warm milk. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until mostly smooth and set aside. 

Place an 8-inch cast iron skillet in oven for 5 minutes.

While skillet is in the oven, peel, core, and thinly sliced the apple and place in a small bowl.
Add the lemon juice and gently mix to coat the apple with the juice.

Take skillet out of the oven and add the butter to the hot skillet to melt.
Arrange the apples in a single layer in the bottom of the hot skillet.
Drizzle apple slices with the maple syrup or honey.
Sprinkle in half of the bacon bits and pour the batter over the apple-bacon mixture.
Sprinkle on the rest of the bacon bit and bake in oven for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.
Maple syrup is also delicious drizzled over pancake.

Serves 2

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Do you remember the Teen Twist at Hot Shoppes restaurants? I remember how delicious they were. This is my version on how to put this sandwich together. I made the twist sandwich rolls but you can use any type of sandwich roll or bun that you prefer. It doesn't matter if it's round or long, as long as it taste like the original Teen Twist. 

2 twist sandwich rolls or buns
2 T unsalted butter, softened
4 slices American cheese
8 thin slices ham, Black Forrest is perfect
6 thin slices tomatoes
Shredded lettuce

Secret Sauce
1 t granulated sugar
1 t white vinegar
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 T sweet green pickle relish

In a small bowl, add the sugar and vinegar and stir to let sugar dissolve.
Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir to combine.

Spread both sides of each sandwich roll with softened butter.
Place a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat and toast the bottom halves, butter side down until golden.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Remove bottom halves to a baking sheet and add two slices of cheese, cover as much of roll as possible.
Add 4 slices of ham on top of cheese, covering as much as possible and fluffing to build volume.
Place in oven to warm ham and slightly melt cheese while grilling the top halves.

Grill the top halves until golden brown while bottom halves are warming in the oven.
Remove bottom halves to two plates.
Add 3 slices tomatoes and shredded lettuce to each half.

Spread some Secret Sauce on the top roll and place on top of sandwich.

Serve whole or cut in half diagonally.

Makes 2 sandwiches


This recipe is for anyone who lived in the Washington, D.C. area in the 1950s and 1960s.
I found a recipe for the Mighty Mo hamburger online and added a couple of my favorite ingredients to the burger patties. Remember, this is only a 4-ounce hamburger and one uncut regular sesame seed hamburger bun, cut into thirds.

Mighty Mo Sauce
¼ cup ketchup
2 T chili sauce
1 t A-1 Sauce
¼ t Worcestershire sauce
2 drops hot sauce
¼ cup sweet pickle relish
½ cup mayonnaise

In a medium size bowl, add the above ingredients and stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate.

1 lb lean ground beef
½ t sea salt
½ t ground black pepper
2 t Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup dehydrated minced onions
4 uncut sesame seed hamburger buns 
2 T softened butter
Shredded iceberg lettuce
4 slices American cheese
Mighty Mo sauce
Dill pickle chips

Add ground beef to a medium size bowl.
Add salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and dehydrated onions.
Mix to combine and shape meat into 8 (4-inch/2 oz each) diameter patties and place on a platter.
Cut sesame seed buns crosswise into three equal slices.
Spread bottom, top and one side of center cut bun with butter. 
Lay buttered sides in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and lightly brown.
Remove to a platter and set aside.

Cook patties in the cast-iron skillet on each side for about 4 minutes.
Add a slice of American cheese to 4 patties and let melt.

To Assemble
Spread about 2 teaspoons of sauce on the bottom layer of each bun. 
Top sauce with shredded lettuce, then a hamburger patty. 
Top patty with middle layer of bun, grilled side up. 
Spread middle bun with more sauce. 
Top with cheeseburger. 
Place pickle chips on cheese and top with last bun.

Serves 4

Friday, April 28, 2017


I think almost everyone loves a good Reuben sandwich. Traditionally the sandwich is made with a Jewish Rye bread. I made it with one of my favorite Swiss cheeses called Emmentaler. You can buy a bottled Russian Dressing, but making your own is so easy and no artificial ingredients are added. Russian Dressing was invented in New Hampshire by James E Colburn in the early 1900s. He added Russian caviar which gave the dressing its name. There is a bit of a controversy on who created the Reuben. Whether it was created in Omaha, Nebraska or New York City, it is a well loved deli sandwich that you can make at home.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
The delicious Swiss Emmentaler (or Emmental cheese) is a medium-hard cheese that is ideal for melting in a sandwich or fondu. Emmental is the name of the place in Switzerland. Emmentaler describes something from there. . .like America versus American.

Homemade Russian Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
1 T chili sauce
1 T ketchup
1 t prepared horseradish
½ t Worcestershire sauce
½ t paprika
¼ t onion powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a small bowl. 
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Reuben Sandwich
4 slices marble rye bread or plain rye bread
2 T unsalted butter, softened
¼ lb thinly sliced deli corn beef 
8 slices Swiss Emmentaler cheese
1 cup well drained sauerkraut
Homemade Russian Dressing

Spread butter on one side of 2 slices of bread.

You will be building your sandwiches in the skillet that you grill the sandwiches in.

Place two slices of bread, buttered side down, in a cold, large cast-iron skillet.
Add 2 slices of Swiss cheese to each.
Spread some of the Homemade Russian Dressing on the top of the cheese.
Divide the corn beef between each sandwich.
Add equal amounts of the drained sauerkraut on top.
Spread a little more Russian Dressing on top of the sauerkraut.
Add 2 more slices of Swiss cheese.
Top with the last 2 slices of bread and spread butter on top of the bread.

Using a large spatula, press down on the sandwich slightly to stablize. 
Grill over medium heat until golden on each side and cheese is melted.

Cut in half and serve with a pickle and potato chips.

Makes 2 sandwiches

Thursday, April 27, 2017


If you love margaritas and mangoes, you will love this recipe. You can buy tajin chile powder in some grocery stores that carry Mexican ingredients. If you can't find it, just use salt mixed with chile powder.

1 cup silver tequila
½ cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
¼ cup lime juice, about 2 limes
1 cup fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice, 2 to 3 grapefruits
¾ (16 oz) bag frozen chopped mangos
Lime wedges, for garnish
Tajin chile powder mixed with coarse sea salt, for rims

Pour tequila, Cointreau or Triple Sec, lime juice, grapefruit juice and mangos in a blender and blend until smooth. 
Run a wedge of lime around the rims of 4 glasses 
Dip rims of glasses in a small bowl of the chile powder and salt mixture.
Equally divide the margarita mix between the 4 glasses and add a slice of lime.

Makes 4 drinks

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Old-fashioned chicken pot pies are the ultimate comfort food for cold evenings. You can buy already prepared pie dough in your supermarket, but my recipe for pie dough is super easy to make. You can prepare the pie dough and chicken filling a day ahead and refrigerate. The next evening, you assemble everything, bake them in the oven, and dinner is done in less than a hour. 

1 whole chicken, cut up or 6 bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
1 qt chicken broth or stock 
2 cups water (leave out if using rotisserie chicken)
1 t chicken bouillon (leave out if using rotisserie chicken)
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 t dried thyme

Place chicken in a large pot. Add the chicken stock, water, bouillong, bay leaves, and thyme.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer 1 hour.

Savory Pie Dough
½ cups pastry or all-purpose flour 
1 t sea salt
12 T (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut up and placed in freezer for 15 minutes
4 T lard or shortening, chilled
1 t apple cider vinegar
½ to ⅔ cup ice-cold water

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until combined. 
Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles course meal. 
Through shoot, slowly add vinegar and water and process briefly until mixture comes together. 
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. 
Divide into 4 balls and place on pieces of plastic wrap.
Press each ball into a disc, cover with wrap, and refrigerate while chicken is simmering.

When chicken has finished simmering, transfer to a platter and set aside.
Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large heatproof pitcher and set aside. 
When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces.

Pot Pie Filling

6 T unsalted butter
2 stalks celery, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and diced 
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 medium yellow onions, diced
½ t poultry seasoning (optional) 
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
Reserved chicken stock
½ cup dry sherry or white wine (optional)
2 T chopped fresh parsley
½ cups frozen peas
½ cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, melt butter and add the celery, carrots, rutabaga, potatoes, and onions.

Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes; stirring often.
Add the poultry seasoning and flour and continue to cook and stir about 2 minutes.
Gradually pour in the reserved chicken stock while stirring.
Partially cover and slowly simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the sherry, parsley, peas, cream, half-and-half, or milk, and chicken pieces.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Stir to combine and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Set out 4 individual oven-proof bowls on a baking sheet.
Ladle in the skillet ingredients and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  

Roll each pie dough disc into a circle, about 1 inch larger than the pot pie bowls. 
Place dough on top of each bowl and cut slits on top of dough, to release steam.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8    

Sunday, April 9, 2017


I make my macaroni & cheese with a combination of 4 cheeses. Use your favorite combination of melting cheeses or just use all cheddar, if you wish. I don't normally use processed cheeses but a little Velveeta makes the sauce very creamy. I baked one medium casserole and froze two smaller ones for later.

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup grated Gruy√®re cheese
½ cup grated Gouda cheese
½ cup Velveeta cut into small cubes

3 cups elbow macaroni
½ cup unsalted butter 
3 T all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
2 t dry mustard
1 t paprika
½ t freshly ground nutmeg
½ t sea salt
½ t fine ground black pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper
½ cup sour cream

Place all of the cheeses in a large bowl and set aside.
Boil the macaroni for 5 minutes in salted water and drain through a colander.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In the same saucepan that you boiled the macaroni in, melt the butter over low heat. 
Whisk in the flour and cook, while whisking, a couple of minutes.  
Whisk in the whole milk and evaporated milk until smooth.  
Raise heat to medium and gradually whisk in the grated cheeses and cook while whisking until the cheeses have melted and the mixture bubbles. 
Lower heat and stir in the dry mustard, paprika, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cayenne. 
Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and the macaroni. 
Pour into a large shallow gratin or casserole dish. 

Bake until cheese is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serves 8