Recipes from a Viet Nam vet

- Posted on Aug 04, 2010 - 05:12 PM

STUFFED PEPPERS

(for slow cooker)

2 green peppers

¾ lb. ground beef

2 c. cooked rice

½ c. raisins

8 oz. tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut green peppers in half and remove seeds and white rind. Mix ground beef, cooked rice, raisins, ¼ of the tomato sauce and salt and pepper. Stuff the 4 halves of the green peppers with beef mixture. Pour remaining tomato sauce on top of the stuffed peppers. Cook in slow cooker on low for about 6 hours or until the peppers are soft.

BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES

4 lb. cucumbers, cut into ¼-inch slices

2 lb. onions, thinly sliced (about 8 small)

2 c. sugar

2 Tbs. mustard seeds

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. peppercorns

3 c. vinegar

Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl, layering with salt; cover with ice cubes. Let stand 1½ hours. Drain, rinse, drain again. Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add drained cucumbers and onions and return to boil. Pack hot pickles and liquid into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

ROAST TOMATOES

Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Toss them in olive oil with some fresh thyme and fresh chopped garlic. Put a cooling rack in a cookie sheet. Put the tomatoes on the rack facing up (seed side up). Bake at 225°F. for 2 to 3 hours or until they are dried out.

"They come out so sweet and luscious. You can mix them with pasta or you can stir them in cream cheese or any other soft cheese as a spread."

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

4-6 lb. tomatoes cut into quarters

1 28-oz. can tomato purée

2 4-oz. cans tomato paste

½ medium size onion, chopped

4 cloves minced garlic

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. dried basil

2 Tbs. dried oregano

2 Tbs. dried parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan until onions are transparent. Add tomatoes and cook on a medium heat until they are soft. Mash them with a potato masher and cook a little longer. Strain tomatoes to remove skins and seeds and put strained tomatoes back into saucepan. Discard seeds and skins. Add tomato purée, tomato paste, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook, covered, on a medium heat so they are at a slow boil for a couple of hours and then remove the cover and continue cooking until it reduces to a thicker consistency. Sauce can be used immediately, frozen or canned.

INTERESTING FACTS & USES FOR THE AMAZING CUCUMBER

from Helaine Flaum

Just one cucumber contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, C, folic acid (B9), calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Pick up a cucumber instead of a caffeinated soda when feeling tired in the afternoon.

Does your bathroom mirror fog up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror beforehand. There will be no fog but a soothing spa-like aroma.

Place a few cucumber slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum causing the pest to flee.

Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumber along your cellulite problem area for a few minutes before going to the pool. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten. Works great on wrinkles, too.

Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed to avoid a hangover or terrible headache.

Use cucumbers to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge.

To polish your shoes in a hurry, rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe. Its chemicals provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

Take a cucumber slice and rub along a squeaky hinge to prevent more squeaking.

Cut up an entire cucumber and place in boiling water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water. The released steam creates a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

Need a quick cure for bad breath? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds.

To clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel, take a cucumber slice and rub it on the surface you want to clean.

To remove pen marks, use the outside of a cucumber; slowly rub to erase the pen mark. Works great on crayons and markers.