Braille Monitor                                                    June 2008

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This month’s recipes are from members of the National Federation of the Blind of North Dakota.

Greek Baked Fish

by Jennelle Bichler

Jennelle Bichler is president of the NFB of North Dakota. She is the single parent of three wonderful kids and one dog. She always looks for easy and healthy foods for her family, so she asked each child to pick a favorite. Here they are:

4 pieces of aluminum foil
4 orange roughy filets, rinsed and patted dry
12 tomato slices (1/4-inch thick)
8 pitted black olives
4 teaspoons melted butter
4 teaspoons crumbled feta cheese
4 teaspoons lemon juice
4 sprigs fresh dill
4 fresh basil leaves

Method: Cut pieces of foil large enough to hold fish with enough extra space to bring edges together to seal fish completely. Spray center of foil with cooking spray; place each fish filet on greased section of a foil square. Fold any thin section of fish under to make filet an even thickness. On each fish filet, place three tomato slices and two sliced olives; drizzle each with one teaspoon butter and sprinkle evenly with one teaspoon cheese and one teaspoon lemon juice; and top with one sprig dill and one basil leaf. Bring sides of foil up and fold edges together to seal; close foil ends tightly. Place foil pouches seam-side up on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for ten to twenty minutes or until fish flakes with fork. Open top of foil to serve.

Fusilli with Herbed Ricotta and Grape Tomatoes
by Jennelle Bichler

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (plus additional cheese to pass)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed and chopped
12 ounces fusilli or corkscrew pasta
1 pint grape tomatoes (2 cups)

Method: On high heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling. Meanwhile, in small bowl combine ricotta, oregano, 1/4 cup Romano, and half of basil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook as label directs, adding tomatoes when three minutes of cooking time remain. Reserving a fourth cup of the pasta cooking water, drain pasta and tomatoes; return to pot. Add reserved cooking water to ricotta mixture and stir into pasta and tomatoes. Toss with remaining basil. Serve with additional cheese if you like.

Fruit Ice Cream
by Jennelle Bichler

1 1/4 cup frozen mixed fruit
1/2 cup all natural plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey

Method: Mix all ingredients in a food processer until well blended and serve Immediately. Serves four.

by Jennelle Bichler

20 white flour fajita tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can diced green chilies
1 can chopped olives
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
4 cups cheddar and Monterey jack cheese halved
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl combine sour cream, chilies, olives, roasted red peppers, half the mixed cheeses, and chicken or eggs. On each tortilla place a small amount of enchilada sauce and about a tablespoon of sour cream mixture (more if desired). Then fold over each tortilla shell to seal and place in the greased baking pan. When baking pan is full, pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas. If you like more sauce, use another can. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes or until cheese is bubbly and enchiladas are heated through. Let dish stand for five to ten minutes before serving.

Pernil (Roast Pork)
by Maria Vazquez

Maria Vazquez is vice president of the National Federation of the Blind of North Dakota. The following recipes are some of her favorites.

1 8- to10-pound pernil (pork shoulder)
1 large head garlic
Adobo to taste (Adobo is an all-purpose seasoning by Goya found in many grocery stores.)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed oregano

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sit down and peel all the garlic while watching a little of your novela (soap opera). Rinse the pernil with cold water and sprinkle with adobo to taste. For a better flavor season the roast the night before. Make slits (about 1 inch wide) with a knife so that you can fill them with the paste you are about to make. Using your pilón (a mortar and pestle), mash the garlic to a paste and add the oregano and pepper. When these are well mixed, add the olive oil and stir to make a paste. Now it is ready. Place about 1 teaspoon of the paste in each slit in the pernil. Cover the bottom of a baking pan with aluminum foil and place the pernil on top. Cover the pernil well with aluminum foil to keep the meat juicy. Uncover the roast for the last fifteen to twenty minutes on a high setting for some crunchy chicharrón (skin). Bake for four to five hours at 350 degrees. (The time depends on your oven. Check it in three and a half hours.) Sit down and relax.

by Maria Vazquez

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 ounces diced lean cured ham (jamón de cocinar)
1 29-ounce can pinto beans
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 packet sazón
2 tablespoons sofrito (see recipe)
7 pimiento-stuffed olives
1 teaspoon alcaparrado (capers)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tomato sauce can of water

Method: Place the oil in a deep saucepan, turn the heat to medium, and add the jamón. Add the sofrito and sauté. After three minutes add the tomato sauce, sazon, olives, and alcaparrado. Stir for two minutes. Add the beans, potatoes, and water and stir. Turn heat to medium high and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and turn heat to low. Cook for twenty minutes, and fua, they are ready. Serve with arroz con salchichas or rice. Do not forget the tostones. You can substitute any of the following: black beans, red kidney beans, pigeon peas, small red beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, pink beans, or chick peas. When adding the water, begin with about a quarter of the water in the tomato sauce can and shake so that you empty all the sauce left in the can. After a few shakes fill can to the top with water. The potatoes not only add flavor to the beans, but also thicken the sauce.

by Maria Vazquez

1 large onion
1 large pimiento del pais or bell pepper
1 medium head garlic
1 bunch cilantro
12 ajies dulces (Hard to find, so you may skip.)
6 leaves recao (eryngium) (Also hard to find, so you may skip.)
1 small jar Pimientos Morrones--roasted red peppers
1/4 cup olives (The olive most used in Puerto Rico is the manzanilla, which is a pitted green olive stuffed with pimiento.)
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed oregano
1/2 cup olive oil

Method: Wash, peel, seed, and coarsely chop the vegetables. Place in a blender with spices and olive oil, and puree. Store in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator for later use. You can also freeze it in ice-cube trays and store the frozen cubes in a freezer bag. This recipe fills two large ice-cube trays. Use about two cubes for enough rice or soup to serve a family.

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