My Favorite Recipes from the 1990s

Gab Share

I am starting to go back to how I ate before I became a health nut, when I was married and cooked for a family. I am compiling all the old recipes that I can find and remember, that were my favorites. But even before I was a health nut, I did remove skins from chickens for all chicken recipes to cut the fat. And I usually cut back a bit on the oil used. They still tasted great! Click on the recipe titles below and it will take you straight to the recipe!

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

Lemon Baked Chicken

Shepherd’s Pie

Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

Macaroni-Beef Skillet Supper

Egg Fu Yung

Macaroni Salad Ricotta

Miso Soup with Tofu, Kale, Wakame and Scallions

Simmered Cabbage and Shiitake Mushrooms

Turkey “Meatballs” in Squash Shells (Use this recipe over the one in the PDF for Around the World cookbook)

Spanish Rice (Low FODMAP)

Spanish Rice (Regular Version)

Fried Rice (Long Grain)

Chinese Greens With Chicken

Cod Fillet Sauteed in Garlic Oil

Italian Herbed Batter Bread

Savory Turkey (Chicken) Patties

Rice Japanese Style

Sour and Hot Soup

Thick Pork Soup (Japanese)

Pork Chow Mein (Authentic Chinese)

Chicken Rice (Japanese)

Chicken Dinner In The Pot

Seaweed Soup (Chinese)

Gail’s Japanese Socca

Lemon Dill Salmon In Foil

Maria Bertuzzi’s Lemon Chicken (Authentic Northern Italian)

Meatless Cassoulet (French)

Spicy Tofu (Chinese)

Hoisin Sauce Chicken (Chinese)


1/2 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) broiler-fryer chicken, cut up, skin removed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/2 cups long grain rice, uncooked
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 (7 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, cut up
1/2 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thread saffron, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 (2 ounce) can sliced pimiento, drained and chopped

In a 12-inch skillet brown chicken in hot oil about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet.

In the remaining pan drippings cook and stir rice, onion, and garlic till rice is golden.

Add 3 cups water, undrained tomatoes, bouillon granules, salt, saffron, and pepper. Bring to boiling; stir well. Arrange chicken atop rice mixture. Cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or till chicken is tender (and rice is done).

Stir in peas and pimiento; cover and cook 5 minutes more.

Makes 6 servings
Source: Better Homes New Cookbook, 1981

Lemon-Baked Chicken

1 frying chicken (2.5 to 3 lbs.), cut into serving pieces
2 tsp. oil or melted margarine (I often omit oil)
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic and pepper. Arrange chicken in a shallow casserole or baking pan, and pour over it the lemon and oil mixture. Cover and bake at 350 F, until tender, about 40 minutes, basting occasionally. Uncover casserole and bake 10 minutes longer to allow chicken to brown.

Makes 4 servings.

Shepherd’s Pie

To save on calories, on days you eat this, minimize other forms of grains, if you want, since the corn is your grains for the day.

First make dill mashed potatoes as follows:

2 tsp. butter
3 tablespoons milk
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/3 C sour cream or full fat yogurt
1/2 tsp. dried dill

Place milk and butter in a medium bowl. Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover, 15 minutes or until tender. Drain

Mash with milk and butter in the bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Now make the Shepherd’s Pie:

1 pound ground beef
Olive oil (1 to 2 tsp.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
dill mashed potatoes (see above)
2 cups corn (to cover the meat)
salt and pepper and dill to taste

In a frying pan that can go in the oven, saute the onions and the garlic in olive oil until wilted, remove. Add the beef to the pan and cook it until done. Remove the fat. Return the onions and the garlic, add salt, pepper and dill, and stir evenly.

Cover the whole thing with corn. Spread the hot mashed potatoes on top of the corn, making grooves.

Set in the oven about 1 hour at 300 degrees F or until the potatoes are all brown and crispy all around the rim.

We use an iron frying pan and it’s just great. You can also use a glass baking casserole and cover with foil to bake. The longer you leave it in the oven, the better because all the flavors marry and it is just nice. You can lower the heat in order to leave it in longer.

Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers)

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 head napa cabbage, shredded
1/4 C dried minced onions
2 cloves garlic minced
30 gyoza (wonton) wrappers, or as needed
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 C water

Dipping Sauce:
2 tbsp. low salt soy sauce
2 tbsp. Italian dressing (I use low calorie version)

Combine ground beef, napa cabbage, dried minced onions, garlic in a bowl.

Arrange gyoza wrappers on a flat work surface. Place 1 teaspoon of meat mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Wet edges with your finger or a brush. Fold up side to form a triangle or semicircle; pinch edges to seal.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 to 15 gyoza to the skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Pour in 1/2 C water; cover and cook until water is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer gyoza to a plate. Repeat with remaining gyoza.

Mix 2 tbsp. soy and 2 tbsp. Italian dressing to make dipping sauce (make more as needed). Serve dipping side alongside gyoza.

Macaroni-Beef Skillet Supper

1 C elbow macaroni
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 C diced onions
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 tbsp. oil
2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1 – 8 oz. can mushroom stems & pieces, drained
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Cook the macaroni in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Saute’ the meat, onion and garlic in oil until the meat loses its pink color and the onions are tender. Add pepper, tomato sauce, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning.

Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Mix in the cooked macaroni and simmer for 5 more minutes.


INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
½ C cooked meat (chicken, pork, shrimp, or crab)
½ C bamboo shoots or mushrooms
½ C onions
1 stalk celery (1/2 C)
1 C bean sprouts
3 large eggs
1/2 t salt

¼ C oil for frying

Chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1¼ C cold soup stock
2 T cornstarch
1 T mirin
1 T soy sauce

Bring gravy to a full boil, stirring constantly, just before serving.

Patties may be made ahead and reheated in the oven. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degree C) for 5 min.

1) Chop meat, bamboo shoots or mushrooms, onions and celery. Do not chop the bean sprouts.
2) Beat eggs with the salt and add to the filling ingredients just before frying.
3) Heat an electric or frying pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pour in the ¼ C oil.
4) Ladle mixture into pan to form small patties. Fry about 2 min., turn over and fry 3 min. more. Adjust temperature as needed (6-8 patties). Wipe pan clean and repeat process, using more oil as needed, until all patties are fried.
5) Serve with hot gravy. Garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Macaroni Salad Ricotta

1/4 lb. whole wheat macaroni or Barilla corn/rice pasta, cooked until tender, drained and chilled
1 C ricotta cheese
2 tsp. mustard
1 T or more plain yogurt
1/4 C sliced or chopped ripe olives
1 green pepper, chopped coarsely
2 scallions with tops, chopped
1 T parsley
red pimiento to taste
1/2 tsp. each dill and basil
freshly ground black pepper

Make a dressing with the consistency of mayonnaise by thinning the mustard with a tablespoon or more of yogurt and mixing with the Ricotta. Stir in all other ingredients.

Serve on a bed of salad greens.


Make dashi stock first:

The most distinctive thing in Japanese cooking is the use of giant kombu (kelp), dried bonito flakes, dried sardines including instant mixes as a basic soup stock. Here is the kelp version. Wipe about a 6 inch square of kelp with a damp cloth (do not wash, or much of the flavor will be lost), soak in 4 cups of water, and let sit for an hour. Heat to the boiling point, but remove the kelp just before the water actually boils. You can use the cooked kelp for other recipes. Your dashi stock is done. Leftover dashi stock may be stored in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days or may be frozen.



3 C dashi stock
1 T aka or shiro miso
6 oz. tofu
4 tbsp. frozen kale or 2 kale leaves (chopped)
ready to use dehydrated wakame seaweed to taste
scallion to garnish

Heat dashi stock with extra water to a boil, cut tofu into 1/2 in. cubes and add to the stock, along with kale and ready to use wakame seaweed (~1 tbsp. dried). Mix miso with some dashi stock (1 or 2 tsp.) to make paste; add to the boiling stock. Turn off heat right before boiling. Add some frozen or fresh chopped green onions.

Simmered Cabbage and Shiitake Mushrooms

8 dried shiitake mushrooms, softened
(Reserve soaking liquid)
1/2 head cabbage

Simmering Stock:
1 1/4 C reserved liquid from shiitake mushrooms
1/3 C mirin
3 1/2 T soy sauce

Soften shiitake mushrooms in lukewarm water until soft. Cut into quarters. Cut cabbage into 1 1/2 in. (4 cm) squares.

In Dutch oven or large pot, heat simmering sauce over moderate heat to boiling. Add shiitake and continue to cook over moderate heat 4-5 minutes.

Add cabbage and continue to cook until cabbage is tender.

The following recipes came from an international cookbook called Around the World cookbook that is no longer in print. Funny, cuz the recipes were so tasty! I made these a lot around 1997 to 1999 and they were family favorites. I compiled them into a pdf file and the index to the recipes is below. Mussels steamed in wine was delicious, but I have a slight allergy to shellfish, so I probably won’t be making that one. I only include the recipes that I made. The cookbook had a lot more recipes than what I made.

Turkey “Meatballs” in Squash Shells (Use this recipe over the one in the PDF for Around the World cookbook)

Named after the German city of Konigsberg, this dish has a slightly tart flavor, which is common in German cooking.

2 small acorn squashes (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons water (if microwaving squash)
1 C plain soft bread crumbs (about 2 slices bread) or 1/2 C oats or 3/4 C oat/rice flour
1/4 C finely chopped onion or green onion
1 egg
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
1/8 tsp. salt (omit if using cooking wine which has a LOT of salt in it)
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 pound ground 93% lean skinless turkey or chicken breast (this would also work well with just plain ground turkey)
1/2 to 3/4 C dry white wine or nonalcoholic dry white wine (remember cooking wine has a lot of salt!)
1/2 C low salt chicken broth
4 black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour or rice/oats flour
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
chopped fresh parsley

To cook squashes, cut them in half and remove seeds and strings. If using a microwave, place the squash halves, cut side down, in a microwave-safe baking dish. Prick skin several times with a fork. Add 2 tbsp. water. Cook, covered, on 100% power (high) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until squashes can be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Give dish a half-turn twice during cooking. Drain.

To bake squashes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (in Gail’s oven she needs to preheat oven to 400 degrees F). Place halves, cut side down, in a baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn cut side up and bake for 20 minutes more, or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, onion or green onion, egg, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper. Add ground turkey and mix well. Shape into 24 balls.

In a large skillet, combine wine, 1/2 C chicken broth, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Add turkey meatballs. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove meatballs and set aside.

Strain liquid from skillet or remove cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves with liquid only into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add enough chicken broth (if necessary) or water (if necessary) to equal 1 C. In a small bowl, stir about 1/4 C liquid and flour mixture to skillet. Stir to mix well. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until thickened and bubbly, stirring often. Add capers. Continue to cook and stir for 1 minutes. Return meatballs to skillet with sauce. Spoon sauce over meatballs. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through. To serve, spoon meatballs with sauce into squash halves. Sprinkle with parsley.

Spanish Rice (Low FODMAP)

1 tbsp. garlic oil
1/4 C green onions
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
3 cups cooked rice
1 28 oz. can tomatoes

Saute’ green onions and green pepper in the garlic oil until soft.

Add ground beef and seasonings, stirring until meat loses its pink color. Stir in the cooked rice, the tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix thoroughly.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Spanish Rice (Regular Version)

1 T oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
freshly ground black pepper
1 T prepared mustard
1 T worcestershire sauce
3 C cooked rice
1 28 oz. can tomatoes

Saute onion and green pepper in the oil until soft.

Add ground beef and seasonings stirring untl meat loses its pink color. Stir in the cooked rice, the tomatoes, and the Worcestershire sauce. Mix thoroughly.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

FRIED RICE (long grain)

2 eggs. beaten
3 T oil
3 strips bacon cut into 1 in. (2.5 cm) pieces
1/2 C cooked meat diced (pork, chicken, shrimp or ham)
1 small onion diced or equivalent green onions
1 C bean sprouts
3 C cooked long grain rice
2-3 T soy sauce
1 green onion chopped

Other meats and vegetables may be used to produce a variety of fried rice.
Chinese sausage can be added to recipe. Cut in small pieces and cook with the bacon.

  1. Heat 1 T oil in the wok and scramble eggs. Remove and set aside.
  2. Fry bacon in the wok until most of the fat is cooked out.
  3. Drain off excess fat and replace with 2 T oil.
  4. Add cooked meat, onions and bean sprouts. Stir-fry about 1 min.
  5. Add rice and soy sauce. Fry until rice is hot, turning temperature down if necessary. Add eggs and mix in with rice. Toss in green onions.

Chinese Greens With Chicken

1/2 lb. chicken
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar

1.5 lbs. Chinese greens (bok choy)

3 T oil

1/2 C soup stock
1/2 tsp. salt

2 t cornstarch dissolved in 1 T water

  1. Slice chicken 1/4 in. thick against the grain. Marinate chicken in cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar.
  2. Cut bok choy in 1/2 in. diagonal slices.
  3. Heat 2 T oil in wok and stir-fry chicken on high heat until done. If using cast iron pan, turn down heat right away after adding chicken to prevent burning. When chicken’s done, remove from wok and set aside.
  4. Add 1 T oil and stir-fry bok choy on high heat (medium-high heat if using cast iron skillet) for 1/2 minute. Add soup stock, salt, cover, bring to boil and steam 1 min.
  5. Return chicken to wok and mix, add enough cornstarch mixture to thicken. Serve with white rice.

Cod Fillet Sauteed in Garlic Oil

thawed cod fillet
1/2 tbsp. garlic oil
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
some sea salt
flour for coating

Fish is never good leftover, so only cook enough fish for one meal. Dry and squeeze excess water from the cod fillets with paper towels before coating with flour. Then coat cod fillets with flour.

Add garlic oil to pan over medium heat, until it is preheated. If you have no garlic oil, then just smash some garlic cloves and add them to the oil to give the oil a garlic flavor. Remove the cloves before they burn though, or add the fish right away before the cloves burn.

Saute the flour coated cod fillets in garlic oil for about two minutes. Season with some salt. Turn as needed to ensure fish is cooking evenly on both sides and baste after turning, then continue sauteing for another four minutes, sprinkle some lemon juice over the fish while cooking to help it steam and cover the fish to speed up the cooking process while steaming. Season with salt again.

MAKE SURE NOT TO OVERCOOK FISH, but cook until JUST DONE. When fish flakes easily with a fork, it’s DONE. If fish falls apart, don’t worry about it. It’s more important to cook the fish evenly. Remove any smaller pieces that have finished before larger pieces to ensure no fish gets overcooked and tough.

When fish is done, remove to a heated platter (if you have one), add more lemon juice and pour over fish. Can add other seasonings as desired at this point.

Italian Herbed Batter Bread

This easy bread tastes wonderful toasted. If there’s any left, it makes terrific bread crumbs once stale.

1 package (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water (105 degrees F)
1 C skim milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
4 C all-purpose flour
olive oil spray or olive oil

Combine yeast and warm water in a large metal mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over LOW heat, heat milk and butter, just long enough to melt butter. Don’t want to kill the yeast, so LOW heat.

Add egg, honey, yogurt, Italian seasoning, milk, butter and salt to yeast mixture and blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour. When combined, beat at least 100 strokes by hand or for 1 minute with an electric mixer. Please note that this is a batter, not a solid dough.

Cover with plastic wrap or wet cloth and put the mixing bowl with contents in the oven with temperature set to lowest setting, just enough to keep the batter warm (like 100 degrees F), until batter is almost tripled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Spray or using paper towels saturated with olive oil, grease the loaf pans. Set aside. Stir the batter down and divide evenly among the loaf pans. Cover and put back in the 100 degree F oven and let rise until almost to top of pans, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cut into 8 slices per loaf and serve hot, warm, or cool.

Store in ziploc bags or airtight containers, but not in the frig, because you don’t want to expose the bread to moisture. Any bread not used right away should be frozen.

Savory Turkey (Chicken) Patties

Yogurt Sauce

1 C plain yogurt (if you use vanilla yogurt, it will taste like an Indian dish)
1 to 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Generous pinch of dried dill weed
Black pepper (optional)


2 slices firm white bread
3/4 lb. ground skinless chicken breast (or ground turkey)
1 egg
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
water, if needed
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil to coat the pan
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

To prepare sauce, combine yogurt, cilantro, and pinch of dill weed in a small bowl; season, if desired, with pepper. Cover bowl and refrigerate sauce.

Crumble bread into a large bowl, can discard bread crusts, if you’re picky. To the bread, add ground chicken (or turkey), egg, 1 tsp. dill weed, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Roll the meat into 2 to 3 tbsp. meatballs, then flatten the meatballs into patties.

Put the patties into a plate with the 1/2 C flour and coat on all sides. Then transfer the coated patties to another plate, from which you will plop the patties into the fry pan. You should get about 16 patties.

Coat a large skillet with the tsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Fry the patties over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side. To help with cooking throw in about 1 tbsp. water and cover the pan to steam. The flour coating burns easily, so pay attention to prevent burning of the coating.

When patties are done, remove patties from skillet. To serve, drizzle each patty with the yogurt sauce. Serve with your choice of side dishes or tucked into fresh pita bread and eaten as a sandwich.

Rice Japanese Style


Rice increases in volume as it cooks, twice to three times, depending on the kind of rice you use.

If you cook a lot of rice, an automatic Japanese rice cooker will make your work a lot easier, so it’s a good investment.

However, a Dutch oven or a pot with a fitted lid and good heat distribution will do just as well.

As a general rule, equal amounts of rice and water are sufficient. But short grain rice grown in California may need a little more water (1/5 to 1/4 cup). For regular unseasoned cooked rice, 1 cup of rice with 1 1/4 cups of water will make moist, fluffy rice. Generally cooking 2 cups of rice turns out better than cooking 1 cup.

  1. Measure rice carefully.
  2. Wash rice in a big bowl of water. Rub grains gently; wet grains break easily.
  3. Remove any bran or polishing agent. Drain off water well. Repeat this step three more times or until water is almost clear.
  4. Set rice aside for at least 30 min in summer and 1 hour in winter. This allows ample time for rice to absorb the water.
  5. In cooking pot, add rice and correct amount of water. Cover with lid.

How to Cook

Cook rice over medium heat until water boils. Do not bring it to boiling point quickly. If the quantity of rice is large, cook rice over high heat from the beginning. The heat can be carried into the center of rice if cooked over medium heat.

When it begins to boil, turn heat to high and cook for 1 min. Never lift lid while cooking. Since the lid might bounce from the pressure of the steam, it is better to place a weight, or some dishes on the lid. Rice absorbs enough water.

Turn heat to low and cook for 4-5 min (Be careful not to overboil). Then the pot begins to steam.

Reduce heat to the lowest for 10 min. Every grain of rice absorbs water and becomes plump. It is liable to burn, so cook over the lowest heat.

Turn off the heat and let rice stand, covered for 10 min. During this 10 min the grains are allowed to “settle”, and the cooking process is completed by the heat retained in the rice and the walls of the pot.

Sour and Hot Soup


4 C chicken stock
1/2 C slivered pork or ground pork
1/4 C slivered bamboo shoots
2 forest or shiitake mushrooms (soaked, rinsed and sliced thin), use 4 shiitake mushrooms if omitting cloud ears
1/4 C cloud ears (2 T dried) soaked, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cube (1 C) tofu sliced into thin strips
2 T low salt soy sauce
1/2 t white pepper or to taste
3 T rice vinegar
1 egg, beaten
2 T cornstarch dissolved in 3 T water
1/4 C green onions chopped
2 T preserved Szechuan vegetable chopped (optional)
1 t sesame seed oil

Soup may be prepared ahead and reheated gently. Be sure to rinse cloud ears well, because it is sandy. Preserved Szechuan vegetable comes in cans. It is preserved with salt and chili pepper. Rinse before using.

  1. Combine stock, pork, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and cloud ears. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 min. stirring to break up pork.
  2. Add tofu and cooking gently for 1 min. And add soy sauce, white pepper and rice vinegar.
  3. Add egg and stir.
  4. Add cornstarch and water mixture, stir gently and bring to a slow boil.
  5. Add green onions and preserved vegetable. Add sesame see oil just before serving.

Thick Pork Soup (Japanese)

10.5 oz. boneless pork loin coarsely chopped
2 medium potatoes
1 small carrot
4 green onions
7 oz. daikon radish
2.5 to 3 T miso
1 in. cube fresh ginger root chopped
5 C water
1 T oil

  1. Cut pork loin into chunks.
  2. Cut vegetables into serving size.
  3. In large Dutch oven, heat 1 T oil over high heat; saute chopped gingerroot and pork chunks; add 5 C water, potatoes, onions and daikon radish. Cook until potatoes are almost done. Add 2 T miso and continue to cook until all vegetables are done. Skim scum. Add 1 T or less miso and chopped green onions, stir well. Serve in a large soup bowl.

Pork Chow Mein (Authentic Chinese)


8 oz. soft chow mein noodles (steamed Chinese noodles)

If unable to obtain soft Chinese noodles, sometimes called steamed Chinese noodles, substitute dried noodles. Dried noodles (chuka soba) must be boiled according to package instructions, rinsed and drained, then fry in oil until brown. Pea pods may be substituted, use green pepper, bok choy, or thin sliced carrots. Other meats may be used such as chicken, shrimp, beef, barbecued pork or ham.

3 T oil

2 T oil
1/2 lb. pork, sliced thin
1 small onion, sliced
3 forest or shiitake mushrooms (soaked, rinsed and sliced, but save some mushroom soaking water for the cornstarch mixture)
1/4 C sliced water chestnuts
1/4 C sliced bamboo shoots
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 C bean sprouts
1/2 C pea pods (if using snow peas, prep the peas by removing strings first)
1 T mirin
1 t salt (I prefer to omit this and salt to taste as I eat it)
1 C soup stock

1 green onion, cut in 1 in. pieces
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 1 T mushroom water

  1. Brown the noodles in 3 T oil on medium high heat, remove and set aside. Add the 2 T oil to wok and cook pork on high heat until no longer pink (2 min.)
  2. Add all other ingredients except green onions, noodles and cornstarch mixture. Cover and bring to full boil, allow to steam 1 min.
  3. Toss in green onions and stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken.
  4. Add noodles to vegetable mixture, and toss to combine.

Chicken Rice (Japanese)

2 1/2 C short grain rice
3 C water, including water from rehydrated shiitake
7 oz. skinned and boned chicken breast

Marinade Sauce:
1 T Kikkoman or Japanese soy sauce
1 T sake
1 t sugar
1 t grated fresh ginger root

2 dried shiitake mushrooms, softened
4 canned water chestnuts (about 1/4 C chopped)
1/4 C green peas, cooked

  1. Wash and drain rice
  2. Chop water chestnuts finely and slice shiitake mushrooms into 1/8 inch thickness, removing hard stems.
  3. Cut chicken breast into bite size pieces and marinate in marinade sauce for 5-10 minutes.
  4. In a pot, put rice and water; add fitted lid and cook rice over moderate heat until boiling. Add water chestnuts, mushrooms and drained chicken pieces. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes with lid on. Add cooked peas and toss lightly.

Chicken Dinner In The Pot

2 chicken breasts, split and skinned
4 medium-sized potatoes
2 large carrots
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, or 1 10 oz. package frozen
1 large onion
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C dry sherry (can substitute sake)

Place chicken breasts in a large, heavy ovenware pot. (An enamel-coated cast-iron pot is best.) I use large rectangular glass and cover it with aluminum foil. Peel potatoes, slice 1/2 inch thick and place on top of chicken.

Peel and quarter the onions, or make sure they are in eatable strips. Peel carrots, quarter lengthwise, and cut into 2 inch lengths. Cut ends off the green beans (unless it’s already done for you), or separate frozen beans, and place in the pot with onions and carrots. Sprinkle contents of pot with parsley flakes. Season lightly with pepper. Pour sherry over all and cover tightly. Bake at 300 degree F for 2 hours, or until vegetables are tender.

Seaweed Soup (Chinese)

4 C water or soup stock (chicken stock is best)
1/2 C ground pork
1/2 C chopped prawns or shrimp (if allergic to shrimp, use oyster mushrooms chopped in the shape of shrimp bits of the same amount)
4 water chestnuts (chopped)
1 t salt (omit if using ready prepared broth with salt added)
3 sheets of dried nori seaweed (tear or cut into small pieces)
1 egg (beaten)
1 green onion
1 t sesame seed oil

If prawns are not used, substitute more chopped or ground pork. If unable to find ground pork, use lean pork chops and mince the meat yourself.

  1. Bring water or broth to boil. Add about 1/2 C of boiling water or broth to the ground pork and prawns to break up meat. Add to the boiling water or broth in the pot and stir to break up meat.
  2. Add salt (unless using ready-prepared broth), chopped water chestnuts, simmer 5 min. Add seaweed and cook 2 min. stir in beaten egg.
  3. Add chopped green onions and sesame seed oil just before serving.

Gail’s Japanese Socca

A variation on the French socca flatbread.

1 C water
1 C garbanzo bean or chickpea flour
1 tsp. Kikkoman soy sauce
1 tbsp. dulse granules
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

  1. Heat 12 inch seasoned cast iron pan or teflon style fry pan over high heat until you can throw water on it and the water sizzles.
  2. Add water, chickpea flour, soy sauce and dulse granutes to mixing bowl and use whisk to mix all together. Let sit for about a minute.
  3. Once pan is hot enough so that water sizzles on it, swish around 1 tsp. olive oil and coat bottom of pan with it, then throw in the batter and make sure it is evenly on the bottom and covers the pan bottom. Lower heat to medium high and cover pan. After about 2 minutes bubbles will form and the edges will be firm enough to flip it over, then it’s time to use a spatula to turn your “pancake” over.
  4. After turning, cover pan again, and in about 1 to 2 minutes, your socca is done. Be careful that you don’t burn it. It cooks fast. Take it out of the pan and serve it on a plate, kind of like you would a pancake.

This dish is no good leftover, so only make enough to be eaten at once. It is very filling.

Lemon Dill Salmon In Foil

The key to this recipe’s success is the freshest fish you can find!


12 oz. salmon fillet with skin
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh dill)
1/8 tsp. kosher or Himalayan salt, more to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon juice from freshly squeezed lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan or baking dish with foil.
  2. Pat dry salmon with paper towels. Place salmon, skin side down, in the center of the foil.
  3. Sprinkle evenly with dill, salt and pepper. Drizzle lemon juice evenly over the entire salmon fillet.
  4. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil, covering salmon completely and sealing the packet closed.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the fish flakes and white bubbles of protein appear on the surface, but it depends on the thickness of the fillets, about 30-40 minutes. Check the salmon after 10 minutes to see its progress. Very important NOT to overcook. As soon as the salmon flakes easily, it’s done!
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with dill, if desired.

Maria Bertuzzi’s Lemon Chicken (Authentic Northern Italian)

Maria Bertuzzi shared this recipe at her Ristorante Grande in Rivergaro, along the Trebia River in Piacenza province. She called it good contadina, or farm food. I like the way fresh lemon finishes the dish’s tomato sauce and the way the chicken easily reheats.

3 1/2-pound frying or roasting chicken (organic free-range preferred), cut into 10 pieces (separate the thighs from the legs)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small carrot, minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley + 2 tbsp. minced for garnish
8 fresh sage leaves, or 8 dried whole sage leaves
Shredded zest of 1 large lemon
1 large clove garlic, minced (keep the garlic separate from the onion in the prep stage, because they are cooked at different times)
Pinch of ground cloves
3/4 cup chopped ripe fresh tomatoes (peeled and seeded) or thoroughly drained chopped canned tomatoes
2/3 cup water or liquid from the canned tomatoes
5 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Working Ahead: The chicken can be made 1 day ahead and stored overnight, covered, in the refrigerator. Undercook by 10 minutes, and do not add the final 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice until just before serving.

Browning and Cooking the Chicken: Rinse and thoroughly dry the chicken pieces (omit this step if you are using chicken with skin removed).

Heat the oil in a heavy 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Slip in the chicken pieces, skin side down, arranging them so they do not touch. Brown over medium heat or lower, adjusting the heat so the chicken colors slowly, taking about 15 minutes to reach a rich amber color. Sprinkle the pieces with a little salt and pepper as they cook, turning them with two wooden spatulas.

Remove the browned chicken to a platter. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat (omit this step if you are using chicken with skin removed).

Set the pan over medium heat and saute the carrot, onion, parsley, and sage, 8 minutes, or until the onion starts to color. Stir in the lemon zest and continue sauteing, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until the onion is deep gold. Take care not to burn the brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.

Blend in the garlic, cloves, tomatoes, and water, scraping up the glaze.

Add the chicken and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Bring to a gentle bubble. Cover the pan. Cook 15 minutes.

Uncover and cook about 10 minutes, turning the chicken pieces to moisten them. The sauce should thicken and cling to the chicken.

Serving: Have a platter warming in a low oven. Sprinkle the remaining 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice over the chicken, and taste for salt and pepper. Pile the chicken on the platter, moistening the meat with the pan juices. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp. minced parsley and serve.

Wine suggestions: From Piacenza, a local red Bonarda or Gutturnio. From other parts of Italy, have the Veneto’s young red Merlot del Piave, a Chianti Classico of Tuscany, or a Santa Maddalena Classico from the Trentino-Alto Adige region.

Meatless Cassoulet (French)

A typical French cassoulet, named after an earthenware pot called a cassole, is a stew of white beans and meat. There are as many versions of this stew as there are cooks who make it. This unique version preserves the superb flavor of the stew yet omits the high-fat meats that are commonly used.


8 ounces dried Great Northern beans or other dried white beans
8 ounces dried black beans
6 cups water
Extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 8-ounce cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
10 1/2-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine or nonalcoholic white wine
1/4 cup molasses
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp. dried fennel seeds, crushed using a mortar and pestle
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp. cayenne red pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled

Rinse the beans. In a Dutch oven, combine the beans and the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Or place beans and water in a large mixing bowl, cover, and let stand for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans in a colander and rinse. Set aside.

Wash and dry Dutch oven and throw in about 1 tbsp. of olive oil and wipe it down to a film all over the pan with a crushed paper towel. Throw out the oil soaked paper towel. Add carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, adding water as necessary, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans and remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until beans are tender, adding water if necessary and stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves.

COOK’S TIP: This hearty bean entree gets even better when it is made ahead, allowing the flavors to blend. If desired, the recipe can be halved.

Spicy Tofu (Chinese)

1 cube of tofu (bean curd). 1 lb.
1 T oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 C ground pork (or beef, if you use beef it’s more Japanese style)
2 t hot bean paste or black bean sauce with garlic
1 T soy sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C soup stock

1) Cut tofu (bean curd) into 1/2 in. cubes. Set aside.
2) Heat wok or 12 inch skillet, add oil, garlic and ground pork or beef. Stir-fry ground meat on high heat until done (2 min.). Add hot bean paste or black bean sauce, soy sauce, salt, soup stock and tofu.
3) Cover, bring to a boil and cook gently for 2 min. Thicken with cornstarch mixture to desired thickness. Add green onions and sesame seed oil. Mix gently to combine all ingredients.

Hoisin Sauce Chicken (Chinese)

1 1/2 lbs. chicken parts (wings or thighs)
2 T oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 T hoisin sauce
1/2 t salt (omit if broth is already salty)
1/2 C water or soup stock
1 green onion, chopped
some cornstarch and water to thicken, if needed

Boneless chicken may be used. Reduce browning time.

Separate wings at joints, discard tips. If using thighs, chop in half. Heat oil in wok or cast iron pan and brown meat on all sides, turning temperature down if too hot (10 min.). Add crushed garlic and fry 1/2 min. Drain off excess fat. Add hoisin sauce, salt (if using) and water or broth. Cover, bring to a boil and cook until most of liquid has evaporated (about 5 min). Can add cornstarch and water to thicken, if needed. Reduce temperature if liquid is cooking off too fast. Garnish with green onions and serve hot.

Check out the pdf file around-the-world-cookbook to get all the recipes indexed below!