Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2003 09:41 am
Courtesy of Bumble Bee Boogie

The artichoke producing capital of the U.S., Salinas, California, is only 75 miles from my former home and I often stopped in my travels at one of the restaurants specializing in artichoke dishes. This is one of my favorites that is made easier for those of you not living near fresh artichoke farms.

6 to 8 canned or frozen artichoke bottoms, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cups minced onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock
12 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed
6 tablespoons Sherry or Madeira
1 tablespoon fine herbs or finely chopped flat Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste
additional liquid as needed: milk, cream, and/or chicken stock

In a saucepan, saute the onions in the butter until tender and translucent.

Add the flour and mix well. Add the artichoke bottoms, lemon juice and chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the sale and pepper to taste. Stir in the Brie cheese in small pieces; add the Sherry or Madeira and blend thoroughly.

Thin, if necessary with recommended thinners.

Ladle the soup into soup bowls ad sprinkle the surface with the fine herbs or parsley
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Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2003 10:07 am
Carmelized Balsamic Onions by BumbleBeeBoogie
By BumbleBeeBoogie

Caramelized balsamic onions taste great on everything from grilled sausages, hamburgers, roast tenderloin of beef, rice dishes, or brunch scrambled eggs. The perfect caramelization is achieved by cooking the onions over a low but steady heat in a wide-bottomed pan.

4 tablespoons butter
3 yellow onions, sliced (use yellow onions, red onions turn off color when cooked)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
optional freshly ground black pepper
(See NOTE)

Melt the butter in a large saute pan or wide-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, brown sugar, and the salt. (If the onions are more than an inch deep, you may also divide the ingredients between two smaller pans.)

Stir well to combine and cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Stir once and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. The onions will shrink dramatically as their water cooks out.

When the natural and added sugars begin to caramelize, stir the onions more often, achieving a golden color without scorches or burns.

Add the vinegar, stir well, remove from the heat and add the oregano, and optional ground pepper, if you like.

Serve hot or cold. Makes about 2 cups. Preparation time - 10 minutes; cooking time - 20 minutes.

NOTE: 1/3 cup golden raisins can be added in the first step with the onions for a different taste, especially good with pork or rice dishes.
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Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2003 10:09 am
An original recipe by Bumble Bee Boogie

Mint sauce:
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, minced

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar and sugar; heat until it boils and the sugar dissolves. Pour the hot syrup over the mint and let it stand for a least 1 hour. Use 1/3 cup of sauce for the ratatouille recipe.

3 cups hot cooked rice
1 small green sweet pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
1/2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large yellow summer squash or zucchini (or a combination of both), sliced
1 large tomato, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional), grated

Prepare the rice according to package directions. Cover and keep warm.

In a 4-quart pot, cook the sweet pepper, onion, and garlic in the hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the squash, tomato, basil, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Mint Sauce.

To serve, top the rice with the ratatouille mixture. Offer optional Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over each serving.
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Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2003 10:10 am
An original recipe by BumbleBeeBoogie

My friends always ask me to make my herb-sauteed mushrooms when inviting me to Holiday Season dinners. Maybe that's why I'm invited to so many dinner parties.

1/3 cup combined extra virgin olive oil and melted butter
1 or 2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped white part; reserve green tops, refrigerated
1/4 cup dry sherry or Marsala wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Herbs of choice: Thyme, Marjoram, Rosemary, Tarragon, flat Italian parsley
1 pound fresh small button mushrooms

When buying mushrooms, look for very fresh tightly closed caps. Place the mushrooms in a strainer and run water over them to clean any clinging dirt; quickly drain (to avoid absorbing water) and place on paper towels and pat them thoroughly with paper towels to dry.

In a large saute pan (with a cover) over low heat, warm the olive oil, add the butter, sherry or Marsala, vinegar, onions and mushrooms. Saute, uncovered, over medium about 2 minutes. Add the herbs, salt and pepper; saute, covered, for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, leaving the pan covered, and let the mushroom marinate until they cool.

The mushrooms may be stored in a jar or bowl covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat in a microwave oven for 20 to 30 seconds. When ready to serve, garnish with the finely chopped reserved green part of the onions.
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