Braille Monitor                                                             February 2007




This month�s recipes have been contributed by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland.

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili
by Ellen Ringlein

Ellen RingleinEllen Ringlein directs the Independence Market at the National Federation of the Blind. Before that she was a rehabilitation teacher at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland. One of her students shared this recipe with her about ten years ago. Since then it has become a standard part of her cooking repertoire, and she always has the ingredients for it in her pantry.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1 can great northern beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine (I usually use cooking sherry.)
Up to 4 teaspoons chili powder, as desired
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish Ingredients:
Shredded cheddar cheese

Method: Sauté chopped onion and green pepper in vegetable oil for five minutes. Stir in spices and add all other ingredients, except cheese and scallions. Bring to a boil and simmer covered on low for twenty minutes. Top with grated cheddar cheese and scallions and serve.

Potato Latkes
by Alice Kassel Gosse

Alice Kassel GosseAlice Kassel first met the NFB in the early nineties when she worked with Pat Maurer in Community Relations at the National Center for the Blind. She met and eventually married Michael Gosse, president of the NFB of Maryland. The couple has two children, Caroline, six, and Meghan, four. Today she is a realtor with Long and Foster.

5 pounds potatoes
2 large onions
2 to 3 large eggs (probably 3 large or 2 extra large)
7 1/2 tablespoons flour or matzo meal
2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
6 to 8 tablespoons cooking oil

Method: Peel and dice potatoes and onions. Use food processor to finely dice or grind potatoes and onions--do not puree. Add some of the onion to each batch of potatoes you are chopping. Over another bowl--using a clean dish cloth--squeeze potato and onion mixture by handfuls to remove water. The potato starch will rise to the top. Skim this off with a serving spoon and reserve. Discard the water you have squeezed out. Let potato and onion mixture stand five minutes. Stir eggs and reserved starch into potatoes. In separate bowl mix together flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Then stir into potato mixture. In ten-inch skillet over medium-high flame or in electric frying pan, heat the oil and drop latkes by rounded tablespoonfuls into oil, using the back of the spoon to spread batter to two-and-a-half-inch diameter circles, approximately one-fourth-inch thick--no thinner. Cook latkes three minutes on each side. Keep finished latkes warm in low oven on a paper-towel-lined cookie sheet.


Guinness Corned Beef
by Alice Kassel Gosse

4 pounds corned beef brisket
1 cup brown sugar
1 12-ounce bottle Irish stout beer

Method: Rinse beef completely and pat dry. Place brisket on rack in roasting pan or Dutch oven. Rub brown sugar on the corned beef to coat entire piece, including the bottom. Pour beer around and gently over the beef to wet the sugar.
Cover and place in preheated 300-degree oven and bake for two-and-a-half hours. Allow to rest for five minutes before slicing. During the last hour you can add vegetables to the roasting pan as well. Try a wedge of cabbage, new potatoes, onion, carrots, etc. You may need to add a little more beer with the vegetables.

Tea Ring
by Terry Uttermohlen

Terry UttermohlenTerri Uttermohlen is first vice president of the Baltimore Chapter. She is married to NFB Director of Governmental Affairs Jim McCarthy.

1 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter or shortening
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
Approximately 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup raisins
Ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup confectioner�s sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Method: Heat one cup of milk and five to six tablespoons of butter or shortening in microwave or on stove until milk is scalded, and butter melted. Allow to cool until lukewarm. Add one packet of active dry yeast. Stir in a quarter to a half cup sugar and allow yeast mixture to sit in a warm place for fifteen minutes. Mixture will become bubbly, so be sure that your bowl is large enough to contain the expansion. Gently stir in one-and-a-half cups flour and cover with a tea towel. Allow this very soft dough to rise in a warm place for a half hour to forty-five minutes, until light. Add one egg, one-half to three-fourths teaspoons salt, and one-and-a-half to two additional cups flour. Blend well but not too long or dough will toughen. Dough should be sticky. Return the ball to the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for a half hour.

In a bowl mix approximately one cup light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, nuts, and raisins to taste. Be generous with the nuts and raisins. That�s what makes the tea ring really yummy. Set this filling aside. When dough has risen, pat into oblong shape. My best guess is three to four inches wide, about a quarter inch thick, and as long as it will go. Brush three tablespoons melted butter on dough, then spread sugar/raisin/nut filling on top. If you can keep the very ends and one edge free of butter and filling, the tea ring will seal better. Roll dough jelly-roll fashion into a long cylinder around the filling. Press edge and ends to seal and place dough, seam-side down, on greased baking sheet. Coil the roll into a circle and press the ends together to seal. With a sharp knife slice into outer side of the roll at approximately two-inch intervals. Brush the top with more melted butter and bake ring at 375 degrees for a half hour or until it is golden brown.

To prepare glaze, mix one tablespoon milk with one cup confectioner�s sugar. Drizzle over tea ring once it has cooled a bit. If you serve this warm, you won�t have any left over to serve at room temperature. In my family this was our traditional Christmas morning breakfast.

Homemade Irish Cream
by Terri Uttermohlen

1 generous cup whiskey
2 eggs (or the equivalent in egg substitute)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Several generous tablespoons of chocolate syrup
1 pint heavy cream

Method: Mix eggs, whiskey, and chocolate together. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir until well mixed. Then add the cream and stir until mixture is homogeneous. Will keep in a tightly closed container for months in the refrigerator, assuming it lasts that long. In these sad times, it is best to use pasteurized eggs or be very confident about the handling of the eggs between the chicken and your refrigerator. Otherwise egg substitute is the safe option.

Date Nut Bars
by Terri Uttermohlen

1 cup dates
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup nuts, chopped
1 cup butter
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats

Method: Combine dates, granulated sugar, and water in a heavy pan and boil for seven minutes. Add nuts and set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and work thoroughly with hands. Pat dough in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan, reserving about a third. Spread the date mixture evenly over dough in pan, cover with remaining oat mixture, and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for forty minutes. Cut into bars and enjoy.