Braille Monitor                                                    November 2008

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This month’s recipes were contributed by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Oregon.

Joyce GreenChewy Pecan Bars

by Joyce Green

Joyce Green is the treasurer of both the Rose City Chapter and the NFB of Oregon and a longtime leader of the affiliate.

Crust Ingredients:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, crushed

Method: Mix crust ingredients together until mixture resembles cornmeal. Pat into lightly greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake fifteen minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven.

To make filling, place all filling ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour hot mixture over crust and return to oven. Bake bars for thirty minutes. Cool pan on rack. Cut into bars while still warm.

Hot Chicken Salad

by Joyce Green

4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, slivered
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 can condensed cream soup
1/4 cup green or red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup potato chips, crushed

Method: Combine all ingredients except potato chips and mix well. Place mixture in greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Top with crushed potato chips. Bake for forty minutes at 350 degrees.

French Onion Soup (cratinée)

by Carolyn Brock

Carolyn BrockCarolyn Brock is a member and former president of the Rose City Chapter of the NFB of Oregon. She has been a state officer and taught French for many years. She has traveled and dined often in France. She describes this recipe as very easy and a goody.

1 large white onion or two smaller ones, thinly sliced
Pat of butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry red wine (optional)
2 quarts or liters reconstituted beef consommé (concentrate or in cartons)
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Touch diced garlic (optional)
2 thin slices per serving, French baguette--dried not toasted
Approximately 1/3 pound per person Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated, maybe more—there is no such thing as too much cheese.

Method: Pour consommé into a large saucepan or soup pot and dilute if directed to do so. Bring to a boil. Sauté the onion slices in the butter or margarine, reduce heat, and continue to stir until onions are very soft and almost liquid. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir it in thoroughly. Add the wine and continue to stir as the alcohol evaporates. Add the onion mixture to the soup stock and stir in thoroughly. Bring the soup to a boil and add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow soup to simmer covered for at least one-and-a-half hours, stirring occasionally to prevent onions from sticking to the bottom. Simmering longer does no harm.

Meanwhile grate the cheese and dry the bread slices. Preheat oven to minimum temperature setting, then turn it off. Arrange bread on cookie sheet and place in oven. Turn over after a half hour.

Just before serving, sprinkle approximately half the grated cheese into the soup, stirring slowly until the cheese almost disappears. Pour the soup into an ovenproof soup pot or individual ovenproof bowls. Set the oven rack so that the top of the pot or bowls will be near the element. Turn the broiler on high. When it is fully heated, quickly float the dried bread on top of the soup, sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top, and place pot/bowls on a pizza pan or cookie sheet under the broiler. Remove after two to three minutes when the cheese begins to bubble. Serves six―well maybe only four if they like it.

Ice-Box Fruit Bran Muffins

by Corinne Vieville

Corinne Vieville is president of the Jefferson Chapter and the secretary of the NFB of Oregon. Of the following recipe she writes: “It's always a treat to resurrect an old favorite. When I saw my friend scooping out the batter from a large crock, I remembered this hearty, healthy muffin that is always ready. She keeps the ever-bubbly batter in the refrigerator, where it remains ready for the next moment of craving for a warm breakfast bread. This is an easy way to wake up the household with a smile when they smell the muffins.”

5 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups 100 percent bran cereal
2 cups boiling water, divided
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granola or similar cereal
2 cups of your choice of dates, raisins, and nuts

Method: Place baking soda in a cup or small bowl and all bran cereal in a medium bowl. Add a half cup boiling water to the soda and the rest to the cereal. Let both cool. Cream shortening and sugar in a large bowl; add eggs one at a time. Then add soda mixture and mix well. Alternately add buttermilk and flour, stirring after each addition. Add remaining ingredients; mix well, scraping the sides often. Store covered in the refrigerator. Do not stir again. As you need muffins, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour muffin tins or line them with muffin papers and spoon the batter into cups, filling them half full. Bake for twenty-five minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or muffins feel set in the center when gently and quickly pressed. Makes five to six dozen muffins. You may not believe it, but this batter keeps in the fridge for up to six weeks. The only hard part is resisting the urge to stir the batter as you scoop it into the muffin tins.

Thanksgiving Clean-up Soup

by Elizabeth Rousseau-Rooney

Elizabeth Rousseau-RooneyElizabeth Rousseau-Rooney is now president of the NFB of Oregon, but she has served the affiliate in many capacities. She has also been a member of the Oregon Commission for the Blind for six years, and she will serve as vice chairman of the new school board of the Oregon School for the Blind until 2012. When asked for a recipe, she provided more a pattern than an actual recipe. This is the sort of dish that can make use of all those dabs of leftovers following the holiday feast. This is what she says:

I grew up in a home where my mom was from Austin and my dad from Boston. Thanksgiving was an interesting blend of southern and Yankee ingredients. We always had turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, peas, white pearl onions, stuffing, and plenty of gravy. After the turkey had been served and picked over for sandwiches, Mom would cook the carcass in a soup kettle with enough water to cover.  She added celery, onion, carrots, and herbs and seasoned it all with salt, peppercorns, a few whole cloves, and a good dollop of soy sauce. After it simmered for hours, she strained the stock and removed every bit of meat from the bones. To make the soup, she used the broth and meat, to which she added the Thanksgiving leftovers of potatoes (stirred in to thicken the stock), gravy, peas, onions, and any other vegetables. This made a delicious must-go soup. It was different every time but always delicious and a great way to deal with the collection of odds and ends of leftovers. One thing I have changed over the years is to cook my turkey in apple juice or white wine instead of water. It makes incredible gravy and adds a wonderful flavor to the soup later. This soup is also a great final resting place for the remnants of the relish tray: broccoli, carrots, celery, cauliflower, and green onions.

Hazelnut Chicken

by Tamera Snelling

Tamera Snelling is an at-large member of the NFB of Oregon. This is her favorite dish with which to impress guests. The preparation time is fifteen minutes, the same as its cooking time. A crisp coating of toasted, finely ground hazelnuts covers moist, boneless chicken breasts. A creamy mustard-wine sauce is drizzled on top.

1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
1 egg white
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 whole chicken breasts (about 1 pound each), skinned, boned, and split
Ground white pepper
All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon salad oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
Watercress sprigs for garnish

Method: Spread hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan and toast in a 350-degree oven until skins begin to split (eight to ten minutes). Spread nuts on a clean towel; rub them with towel to remove most of the skins. Let cool slightly, then whirl in a blender or food processor until finely ground. Spread in a shallow dish, mix bread crumbs with ground nuts, and set aside. In another shallow bowl beat egg white with one tablespoon of mustard and set aside. Rinse chicken, pat dry, sprinkle lightly with white pepper, and dust with flour. Dip chicken in egg white mixture to coat lightly, then coat with hazelnut crumb mixture. Melt butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and no longer pink in thickest part. Cut into a thick part to test after ten to twelve minutes. If not done, chicken will feel spongy in the center; it will also feel a bit soft in the center when quickly and gently pressed with a finger from above. Remove chicken from pan and arrange on a warm serving dish. Keep warm. Add wine, cream, and remaining one tablespoon mustard to drippings in the pan. Boil over high heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened. Drizzle mixture over chicken. Garnish with watercress. Serves four. Serve with colorful vegetables such as steamed snow peas and baby carrots.


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