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Father's Day: food flavor favorites favored

 

Last updated 6/14/2007 at Noon



It is a perfectly normal, loving and absolutely delightful prospect for me to prepare everything my husband Bob likes on Father’s Day. My only challenge might be that Father’s Day might have to be extended for a few extra days (weeks?), as he has lots of “favorites.”

Bob is one of those people who really knows what he wants to eat at any given time. So, there are times when BBQ ribs would appeal… and other times he’d prefer grilled salmon. The same would be true of every menu category.

So, what we have today is a selection of his favorites over many years as head of our table.

First – in sentimental value if nothing else – is my longtime version of a BBQ sauce for ribs. First, because it was the main course of the first meal I prepared for Bob when we were dating.

Bob’s Favorite BBQ Sauce for Ribs

2 (4 ½ oz. each) jars apricot

baby food

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup catsup

½ cup vinegar

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup hickory-flavored bottled

barbecue sauce

Combine baby food, brown sugar, catsup and vinegar. Heat and blend well. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Heat until warm. Use for pork spareribs or other grilled pork cuts.

Bob’s mother patiently taught me how to make this confection and I am eternally grateful that I paid close attention so that I can now make it for Bob as well as pass the recipe on. Kringler is a perfect choice for a sweet with coffee or tea, a little nibble with a glass of milk and even a dessert.

Bell’s Swedish Kringler

1 cup butter

2 cups sifted flour

2 tbsp. cold water

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp. almond extract

3 eggs

1 tbsp. butter

2 cups sifted confectioners’

sugar

¼ cup (light cream) half and

half

Pinch salt

½ tsp. almond extract

Colored sugar sprinkles,

decorettes (optional)

Cut ½ cup butter into 1 cup flour until it resembles coarse meal (the similar technique for baking a pie crust). Add 2 tbsp. cold water and blend with a fork just until a ball of dough starts to form. Press into an ungreased 9x13-inch baking pan.

Combine boiling water and remaining ½ cup butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add extract and remove from heat. Stir in remaining l cup flour. When dough follows spoon around the saucepan, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread thickly over dough in the baking pan. Bake in a 375-degree oven about 45-55 minutes or until well risen and nicely browned.

Meantime, cream confectioners’ sugar and butter, adding a pinch of salt, almond extract and light cream to make a frosting that can be spread lightly or drizzled over the baked dough.

Remove Kringler from oven when done. Cool slightly, then drizzle with prepared frosting. When completely cool, decorate as desired with sugar sprinkles, decorettes, etc.

Bob and I tasted this for the first time on our first trip to London many years ago. Still, when we were talking about the experience last week, many of the details were crystal clear. I am happy to say I have my original notes about the recipe and the restaurant all these many years later.

White House Moussaka

(Greek-style Eggplant and Meat Casserole)

3 medium eggplants

1 lb. ground beef or lamb or

combination of beef and lamb

Olive oil

2 med. onions, finely chopped

Salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 cup chicken stock

2 tbsp. minced parsley

¼ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. sugar

½ tsp. oregano

1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 ½ tbsp. tomato paste

¼ cup butter

¼ cup flour

2 cups whole milk or light

cream

Fresh nutmeg

1 egg yolk

½ cup grated Parmesan or

Romano cheese

Peel eggplant and cut into slices ¼-inch thick. Sprinkle slices lightly with salt and set aside for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse well and pat with paper toweling, gently pressing out excess moisture. Sauté in one layer in hot olive oil until crisp and light brown. Remove as sautéed slices and continue until all pieces are done.

Sauté onion in the same skillet, adding more oil, as necessary. When onion begins to take on some color, add meat, parsley, cinnamon, sugar and garlic. Continue cooking until meat is light brown.

Layer one-fourth eggplant in a 2 ½-3 qt. casserole. Add one-third of meat mixture and continue until both eggplant and meat are used.

Warm stock and add tomato paste. Pour into casserole and bake in a 300-degree oven until stock is reduced but casserole is not dry.

Meantime, make a sauce by melting butter and blending in flour. Stir in milk and cook, stirring, until mixture is smooth and thickened and has come to a boil. Remove from heat. Add grating of fresh nutmeg. Beat egg yolk with 2 tbsp. milk or cream and whisk it into the sauce. Blend in ¼ cup of the cheese.

When casserole has cooked until stock is reduced, about 1 hour, top with prepared sauce, lifting down into the casserole with a spoon or spatula to allow some of the sauce to seep into the various layers. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until top is well browned and slightly puffed.

Serves 8 to 10.

 

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