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Queens Chronicle

Taste tested recipes from the Chronicle and friends

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Posted: Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:00 am

If you are in the mood to cook something new this holiday season, but don’t want to risk disaster by ripping a page from a cookbook at random, the Chronicle has just the solution. We have compiled some tried and true mouth-watering dishes from our staff and friends that are bound to knock your Christmas stockings off.

Tena Vallone’s artichoke pie

Enjoyed by Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr.


4 cans artichokes - 8.5 oz

2 jars of marinated artichokes - 6 oz

8 eggs

1/4 cup of grated cheese

1/4 cup of parsley

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon of garlic salt

Drain canned artichokes and in a large bowl cut into smaller pieces (discard any coarse pieces). Also cut jar artichokes and mix all together. Marinate 2-3 hours (overnight if possible).

In an 11-inch skillet heat oil and arrange artichokes to cover pan. Whip eggs, grated cheese, mozzarella, parsley, and garlic salt. Pour over artichokes and mix well. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Heat slowly about 45 minutes and cover. Brown lightly.

Loosen with spatula around the edge and turn onto large flat dish then turn upside down and slide back into pan. Allow pie to set thoroughly for about 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, raise the flame to form a crust. Then turn upside down on dish, so that the crust is on top. Tip: The cooking part is easy, the turning procedures can be tricky. Be cautious!

Chronicle Associate Art Director Ella Jipescu’s Romanian beef salad


1 cup boiled beef, diced into 3/8-inch cubes. Use a

rump roast or similar cut

2 to 3 large baking potatoes boiled in their skins in

salted water until fork tender. Peeled and diced

1/2 cup carrots, boiled, diced

1 1/2 diced pickles

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, diced

2 to 3 extra large eggs, boiled and diced

1 tablespoon mustard

1 to 2 cups mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve with French bread. This is often decorated elaborately, like decorating a cake. “Ice” with mayonnaise, olives and red pepper strips.

Borough President Helen Marshall’s New York chili


1 lb all beef franks

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 large white onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

1 large can dark red kidney beans

1/2 cup of rice

1/4 cup of

vegetable oil,

Chili powder

In a large skillet, saute onion and bell pepper in vegetable oil on high heat for five minutes or until caramelized.Then remove from heat and pour into a separate pot with beans and tomato sauce on a low simmer. Add cut up beef franks to the skillet and brown. Add the fried franks and chili powder to taste into the pot of beans. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Managing Editor Liz Rhoades’ green pepper soup


2 green peppers

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

2 cups half and half

1 mild green chile (canned)

Salt to taste

Holiday garnish-1 chopped pimento

Seed peppers and cutthem into squares. Drop into a pot of salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain peppers and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Heat butter in a pot and saute onion until soft. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 2 minutes until absorbed. Stir in 1 cup of half and half. Bring to a boil. Put sweet peppers, chile pepper and hot liquid into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot and add remaining half and half. Stir and heat to just under boiling. Season to taste. Garnish with pimento. Serves 4-6.

Douglaston Civic Association President Eliott Socci’s sweet potato pie

Ingredients for two 9-inch pies:

3 cups of flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening

1/2 cup cold milk

1 1/2 pounds of sweet potato

1/2 cup butter (softened) or more to taste

1 cup granulated sugar (or less to taste)

1/2 cup cold milk (or heavy cream)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the pie dough, using a food processor, add flour and salt and pulse for 2 seconds, 3 times. Add shortening in 1-inch pieces to the dry ingredients. Pulse for 5-second intervals until the mixture starts to come together. Do not over mix. Add milk evenly over the dough. Pulse for 2 seconds, at least 3 times or until dough forms. Do not over mix.

Remove dough. Cut in half and form 2 discs. Wrap each disc in wax paper or clear food wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

For the filling and baking:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Roll out one disc of the refrigerated dough into a 9-inch pie plate.

Pierce the sweet potatoes with a skewer, a knife or a fork to keep them from spattering when heated. Heat in a microwave at full power for 6 minutes. Continue to heat for 1 minute intervals until the sweet potatoes are completely soft. Without a microwave, heat the sweet potato in an oven for 50 minutes.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out sweet potato and place in a mixing bowl. Add butter. Mix well at medium speed for 2-3 minutes. At low speed, add sugar, milk, eggs, the spices and vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl, at least once. Mix until smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust. Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The pie filling will form a dome when baked. The dome will sink as it cools.

The pie is best served warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers, if there are any.

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