When the Israelites dreamed of onions, where was chef David Ratko? – Free Online Library Essay

When the Israelites dreamed of onions, where was Chef David Ratko? The hankering after onions is as old as Exodus: the Israelites,during their wanderings in the wilderness, found manna plenteous but notfilling, and complained to Moses about the monotonous diet, pointing outespecially the lack of onions and garlic, “whereof we did freelyeat in Egypt.

‘ If the hankering should overcome you, you can either be a hero andchomp on a raw onion, exclaiming that it is as sweet as an apple, or youcan take the civilized course and prepare David Ratko’s recipe forbarbecued onions. With justifiable pride, Chef Ratko calls them the perfectaccompaniment to any barbecue. He feels, again with justifiable pride,that they are at their best when made from the celebrated sweet onionsthat bear the name of his home town, Walla Walla. But if Walla Wallas are not obtainable where you live, try Maui,Vidalia, Sweet Spanish, or other large, sweet onions grown for usefresh–not the very hard bulbs grown for long storage, which tend tohave a stronger taste. Onions Ratkovich 2 large mild sweet onions (about 4 1/2-in. diameter), such as WallaWalla, Maui, red, or white 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.

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) butter or margarine 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese Cut and stack two 18-inch squares of heavy-duty foil. Peel and cutonions into 1/2-inch slices and separate into rings; place on foil. Dotonions with butter and sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Tightly foldinto a flattish, well-sealed packet. Place packet on a barbecue grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed offully ignited charcoal briquets.

Cook, turning packet frequently, untilonions feel limp when pressed through foil, 35 to 40 minutes. Openpacket and stir in the cheese. Serve directly from foil or pour into aserving dish. Makes 4 servings. David C. Ratko Walla Walla, Wash. Lan Hay pursues cookery as a hobby because he believes–orprofesses to believe –that James Beard is the richest man in the world.Who are we to disabuse him of that notion? Let us rather rejoice in thecorrectness of his breakfast biscuits.

Ian’s Breakfast Biscuits 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 egg About 3/4 cup milk 2 to 3 tablespoons apricot, peach, or berry jam Sugar In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut butter into dry ingredientsuntil mixture forms fine curmbs. Beat egg to blend, then add enoughmilk to make 1 cup; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Drop batter in about 1 tablespoon mounds 2 inches apart onto anungreased 11- by 14-inch baking sheet. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon jamonto the center of each mound, then top with about 1/2 tablespoon morebatter.

Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake in a 375| oven untilbiscuits are golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 biscuits. I an Hay Phoenix In this group of Chefs, Jonathan Kondo won our hearts, or at leastour midriffs, with his quesadillas. With their allusions to tacos, tostadas, and enchiladas suizas,they are an abstract and brief chronicle of Cal-Mex or Tex-Mex cookery. Meat Quesadillas Kondo 1 pound ground lean beef 1 can (4 oz.

) diced green chilies 1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and dry oregano leaves 3 tablespoons tomato-based chili sauce 2 cups (8 oz.) each jack and Cheddar cheese, shredded 1 package (6 oz.) frozen avocado dip, thawed 1 cup (1/2 pt.) sour cream 8 large (10-in. size) flour tortillas About 4 tablespoons butter or margarine Prepared red or green taco sauce In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, add beef andstir often until brown and crumbly.

Mix in green chilies, slicedolives, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and chili sauce. Bring to simmering, then reduce heat and cook, stirring, untiljuices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Pour meat into a bowl and wipe pandry. Meanwhile, combine jack and Cheddar cheeses; set aside. Also stirtogether the avocado dip and sour cream; set aside or cover and chill.

Spoon about 1/8 of the meat mixture and 1/8 of the cheese onto eachtortilla; fold tortillas in half. Melt about 1 tablespoon of the butterin the same frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add 1 or 2folded tortillas at a time, without crowding, and cook until goldenbrown on each side, about 6 minutes total. Lift from pan and serve, or keep warm. Repeat to cook remainingquesadillas, adding butter as needed. Offer sour cream mixture and tacosauce to top each quesadilla.

Makes 8 servings. Jonathan H Kondo Westlake Village, Calif. Ryan Schmid’s rococo brownies raise this baisc Boy Scout fareto new heights. He brings sweets to the sweet when he frosts them witha marshmallow glaze and a seeding of chocolate chips. (Follow with athorough brushing of teeth.) Rocky Road Brownies 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine 1 cup sugar 4 eggs 1 can (16 oz.

) chocolate syrup 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows 1 package (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate baking chips In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butterand sugar until creamy, then mix in the eggs and syrup until blended.Stir in the flour, nuts, and vanilla. Spoon batter into a greased 9- by13-inch baking pan.

Bake in a 350| oven until a wooden pick inserted inthe center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately cover the top with themarshmallows. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the chocolate baking chips evenly over the top and returnto oven until chips are glossy, about 3 minutes longer. Remove fromoven. With a knife or small spatual, lightly spread chocolate overmarshmallows. Let cool thoroughly in pan on a rack.

Cut brownies into 1 1/2-inch squares. Serve, or wrap airtight andstore at room temperature up to 2 days. Makes 4 dozen.

Ryan Schmid Menlo Park, Calif. In this youth-oriented culture, the one thing that youth won’tget you is experience. Yet here we have a recipe from a junior Chef whohas found a workable substitute for that quality: imagination. Young Paul Krause demonstrated just that quality during a nutritionclass in his Oakland school.

One assignment was to devise a dish thatis not only nutritious, but delicious and attractive as well. (Histeacher deserves a commendation for demanding a recipe rather than anessay or book report.) Here is his highly original creation, whichlends itself to either appetizers or a main dish. Samurai Sushi 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice 1 cup (about 1/4 lb.) minced cooked ham or Chinese barbecued pork(char siu) 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed 1/2 cup minced celery 1/3 cup each thinly sliced green onion and shredded carrot 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar 2 eggs 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon sesame oil 2 tablespoons salad oil 6 fried soy bean puffs (3 oz. total), each about 2 by 5 inches Soy sauce or hot chili oil In a large bowl, combine rice, ham, peas, celery, green onion,carrot, and sugar.

Beat eggs to blend with the 2 tablespoons soy andthe sesame oil. Add liquid to rice mixture and mix thoroughly. Place a wok or 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat. Add saladoil; when hot, add rice mixture and stir-fry until hot, about 2 minutes.Remove from heat; cool slightly. Cut ends from each soy bean puff.

Insert your fingers and presscenters to make puffs hollow. Pack cooked mixture firmly into puffs.Cover and chill until very cold, at least 4 hours or as long asovernight. To serve, cut each puff crosswise into thirds. Offer additionalsoy sauce or chili oil for dipping. Serves 8 or 9 as an appetizer, 6 asan entree.

Paul Krause Oakland

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