Jen's Chinese Mustard Sauce, Dann's Avocado Sauce, Lisa's "Bang Bang" Sauce and Robin's Easy Aioli. Photo by George May.
Forget about the main dish … what about the sauce? Here are four worth dipping into.
Jen’s Chinese Mustard Sauce
Reader Jen Oaks Ubelaker says this sauce is an old family recipe, and that the beer used was whatever was on hand — often with an animal on the can. But these days she prefers the sauce made with Yakima Craft Brewing’s Vern, which she says strikes the perfect balance with the spicy mustard.
1 tablespoon of Chinese mustard
1 tablespoon of your beer of choice
Dann’s Avocado Sauce
Close to guacamole, but not quite. Dann Miller, our interactive media director, says this creamy avocado concoction is the perfect spread for chicken wraps, burgers or sandwiches.
1 avocado, mashed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
juice of half a lime
salt and pepper to taste
Lisa’s “Bang Bang” Sauce
Reader Lisa Dyer uses this sauce with fried shrimp or chicken, but says it’s great with nonfried proteins as well. “Careful,” she says. “It’s addictive.”
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-5 teaspoons sriracha chili sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Robin’s Easy Aioli
My “go-to” when time is short and guests are on their way. This simple sauce is perfect for potato wedges, chips or a veggie tray. It’s so tasty, folks will think you spent more time on it than you did.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
Rustic wood board courtesy of The Pine Shop
Jen Oaks Ubelaker sent us her Chinese Mustard Sauce recipe.
Lisa Dyer sent us her "Bang Bang" Sauce recipe.
Second Street's Flaming Oatmeal Cookie • PHOTO BY CHAD BREMERMAN
Whether for its contemporary Asian-inspired dining or its inventive drinks, Second Street Bar and Grill is a great place to go in downtown Yakima. The brick walls and wooden ceilings of the circa 1915 location create a casual, yet classic atmosphere and the staff are helpful and prompt. If you’re watching your favorite sports team at Second Street’s center island bar or spending a relaxing night at home with friends, this drink will be a welcome addition to any frosty winter’s eve.
Second Street Grill • 28 N. Second St., Yakima • 509-469-1486
Equal parts Bailey’s Irish Cream, Dekuyper Buttershots Liqueur, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker over ice, and shake until completely cold. Strain into a martini or old-fashioned glass. Float with Bacardi 151 Rum, ignite and serve. (Do be careful with that ignite part.)
It seems like I’m always rooting around in my cookbooks when faced with the task of whipping up an appetizer for guests or to bring to a party. Where’s the go-to recipe that everybody else seems to have so handy? So this holiday season, we thought we’d ask readers to submit their favorites. We came up with three super cheesy — and tasty — options.
Cheryl Ann Mattia's Mexican Cheesecake. Photos by Lisa Woolcock.
Cheryl Ann Mattia shows off her Mexican Cheesecake - a family favorite.
Cheryl Ann’s Mexican Cheesecake Dip
Cheryl Ann Mattia shares her recipes on a local telelvision show called Cooking and Entertaining with Cheryl Ann. With that kind of kitchen credibility, you know her appetizer is going to be good. She says she invented her Mexican Cheesecake Dip 12 years ago, and it became a big hit with her family and friends.
Ingredients Makes 16-20 servings
• (3) 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
• 1 can (4 oz.) mild green chilies, drained
• 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
• ½ cup hot water
• ½ teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
For topping when served:
• 8 oz. bag shredded Mexican cheese
• ¼ cup green onions, sliced
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients except chicken in a bowl on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken. Place in greased 8- or 9-inch springform pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove outside rim and set on serving plate with chips around it.
Sprinkle shredded cheese and green onions on top. Serve salsa on the side.
Cooking and Entertaining
with Cheryl Ann is on YCTV
(Charter Channel 21) at 2 p.m. Sundays.
Nancy Stolarik's Coffee Pecan Brie.
Nancy and her husband, Ed, do a little taste testing.
Coffee Pecan Brie
Nancy Stolarik got the idea for her Coffee Pecan Brie from Clar Pratt, a good friend who served it at an apres ski function at White Pass, a favorite destination during the winter for both Nancy and her husband, Ed. Ed says this appetizer — a sinful mixture of sweet and savory — has also been featured on a regional television show, KCTS Cooks in Seattle, as well as the accompanying cookbook, KCTS Cooks Appetizers.
Ed and Nancy suggest Kiona Vineyard’s Vivacious Vicky or a similar rose as a wine pairing.
1 lb. pecans, shelled
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Kahlua
1 lb. brie cheese, at room temperature
Assorted cocktail crackers
Place brie on a large plate with a lip that comes up a bit.
Coarsely chop the pecans and place them in the oven to toast lightly.
Put brown sugar and Kahlua in a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly (brown and on the verge of caramelizing). Add toasted pecans, bring back to a boil and remove from heat. Pour mixture over brie. Heat for 10 seconds in a microwave or for approximately 30 seconds in a 300°F oven. This heats the brie just short of runny and blends wonderfully with the sauce.
Serve with crackers.
Tysa Kihn's Goat Cheese Wonton.
Tysa Kihn poses with her Goat Cheese Wontons.
Goat Cheese Wontons
When Tysa Kihn was 17, she visited New York City. A vegetarian at the time, she says New York opened her eyes to “how amazing food could taste without meat.” She returned home and set out to re-create one of her favorites. She says these goat cheese wontons are, in essence, a vegetarian Rangoon.
12-16 wonton wrappers
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 leek, thinly sliced
Oil for frying
Wash the leeks and soak to remove any grit. Heat oil and test by dropping in a piece of wonton (if not using a fryer). It should immediately begin to bubble and cook.
In the center of each wonton wrap, place a tablespoon of goat cheese and just under a tablespoon of the leeks. Then wet your fingers with water, fold the wrap in half, and pinch it closed right in the middle. Then bring the other two sides up and pinch in the center to create the traditional Rangoon shape. Deep fry until a light golden brown, then drain on a paper towel. Serve warm. You can keep warm in the oven until all are ready to serve.
Herb salad with balsamic and parsley vinaigrette and chevre toasts. Photos by Jennifer Dagdagan.
Herb salad with balsamic and parsley vinaigrette and chevre toasts
Adapted from Gourmet Every Day, 2000
½ cup balsamic vinegar (can substitute red wine vinegar for half or all)
½ cup parmesan, grated
1/3 cup water
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard (or whatever mustard is preferred)
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1-2 garlic cloves
1 ½ cups olive oil
1/3 cup various fresh herbs (I like parsley, thyme and basil, although anything would work: tarragon, oregano, chives — even sage. Throw it in there!)
Salad greens + more fresh herbs
baguette, sliced on the bias and toasted
2 oz. chevre
Blend first nine ingredients in a blender until smooth. Mix salad greens with extra herbs. Dress salad. Spread chevre on toasted baguette “croutons.” Sprinkle with additional chopped herbs if desired.
Pear Tart (prior to covering with pastry)
Recipe from Kathy Sali at La Maison de Falaise
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
5-7 pears (depending on size), peeled and cored
(Kathy slices the pear in half, carefully removes the seeds in the center and then lays the pear cut side down on a cutting board. She then slices the pear half at a 45-degree angle, so they can be placed in the pan in a fanned position.)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 square puff pastry, thawed
Put butter and sugar in a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Lay your pears on top of the butter and sugar, then put the skillet on the stovetop at medium low to medium heat. You can crowd the pears in the pan a bit, since they shrink as they cook. Let it sit — don’t stir. After about 15-20 minutes, the pear juices mix with the butter and sugar and will start to turn a pretty caramel color. Remove the pan from the heat.
Cover the top with puff pastry — Kathy says she buys ready-made puff pastry for this dish. Tuck the corners down into the pan, then use a spoon to tuck the entire edge of the pastry down into the bubbling caramel.
Put the pan in the oven for about 7 minutes or until the top is brown.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes, so the caramel can thicken. Place a plate on top of the skillet and carefully flip the tart onto the plate. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Pear tart topped with puff pastry.
Creamy pumpkin zucchini soup
Creamy Pumpkin Zucchini Soup
Recipe from Appetite blogger Savannah Tranchell/Yakima Herald-Republic
1 largish Sugar and Pie pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 zucchini, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces (2 cups)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 c. V-8 juice
2 c. water
1 Flavor Boost broth packet
salt, pepper and other spices to taste
2 tbsp sour cream
First, cook your pumpkin: Slice pumpkin in half. Use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds and strings, until inside is smooth. Reserve seeds for toasting. Place pumpkin halves cut side down (it’s OK to sort of stack them) into microwave-safe dish with about 1 cup of water. Microwave 15 minutes or so, until pumpkin is soft. Scoop out soft flesh away from pumpkin skin, place in a blender and blend until creamy.
In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add onion. Turn up to medium and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, V-8 juice, water and broth packet (or sub water and packet for 2 cups of veggie or chicken broth). Add some salt, pepper, and other spices to taste (per Savannah’s suggestion, we put garlic powder and Morton’s Nature’s Seasonings in ours). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes. While simmering, add pumpkin puree to pot. Mix completely.
Meanwhile, toast your pumpkin seeds: Wash and dry seeds. Place on cookie sheet, spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with sea salt and put in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes; stir, then cook 15 minutes more or until golden brown.
After veggies are cooked in soup, remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Use either an immersion blender or an actual blender to puree soup until smooth. Add about 2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream to soup (if desired). Blend until fully mixed. Serve with a big crusty roll and some toasted pumpkin seeds on top.
(NOTE: Savannah says canned pumpkin can be substituted for fresh pumpkin if necessary. She also says flavors can be added and changed to taste, suggesting the addition of roasted garlic, for instance, or changing the ratio of liquid ingredients. Using a blender will create a smoother soup, but we skipped that step for a more rustic presentation.)
Falls foods pretty up the table quite nicely.
Tom Kha Soup. Photos by Jennifer Dagdagan.
Seeking a little inspiration for your springtime meals? These Asian recipes — from local cooks — could fit the bill. Each one is simple and perfect for Yakima al fresco dining.
Tom Kha Soup
Courtesy of Rich Sisters Catering & Events, Yakima • richsisters.com
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•½ red onion (thinly sliced)
•2 cups sliced mushrooms
•2 cloves chopped garlic
•½ teaspoon salt
•32 oz. chicken stock
•2 cans (14 oz. each) coconut milk
•1 tablespoon sugar
•2 tablespoons fish sauce
•2 tablespoons chili paste
•Juice of 3-4 limes (to taste)
•6 slices ginger root (about 1-inch slices)
•2 full stocks lemon grass* (cut in large enough pieces to remove before serving)
•2 diced chicken breasts (cooked)
•3 tomatoes, in a large dice
•1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* Available pre-packaged at Wray’s or Fred Meyer
In stock pot, sauté onions, mushrooms, garlic and salt in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and coconut milk. Add sugar, fish sauce, chili paste and lime juice. Add ginger root and lemon grass. Simmer for 30 min – 1 hour. Add chicken, tomatoes and cilantro. Remove slices of lemon grass and ginger before serving. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired and serve. Delicious over brown or white rice.
Taiwanese Fried Noodles.
Taiwanese Fried Noodles
Courtesy of Yi Ting Wang, Yakima
•4 tablespoons vegetable oil
•½ lb. Chinese chives, cut into 1-inch sections (if unavailable, substitute green onions. Separate white and green parts)
•½ lb. fresh bacon, diced
•4 pre-softened Chinese black mushrooms, sliced or diced*
•2 tablespoons dried shrimp, washed*
•2 tablespoons soy sauce
•2 cups chicken stock
•½ teaspoon salt
•¼ teaspoon black pepper
•1 teaspoon hot bean paste*
•1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
•1 lb. pre-cooked Yakisoba (noodles)*
•½ lb. (2 cups) bean sprouts, rinsed
*Yi Ting Wang says ingredients are often available at Cash N Carry; Yakisoba and mushrooms also often available at Costco.
Heat pan and oil. Stir-fry the white sections of chives, bacon, pre-softened mushrooms and dried shrimp until fragrant. Add soy sauce and stock, salt, black pepper, hot bean paste and Worcestershire sauce (if using). Let liquid come to a boil. Add pre-cooked noodles, green chive sections and bean sprouts. Stir-fry together and serve.
Pasanjeok (Korean vegetables and beef)
Pasanjeok (Korean vegetables and beef)
Courtesy of George May, Yakima
•1 lb. beef, cut in strips 5-inch long and ½-inch wide and thick
•1 tablespoon soy sauce
•1 teaspoon sesame oil
•1 garlic clove, minced
•1 teaspoon sweetener of choice
•1-2 large carrots, peeled and cut into strips 4-inches long and ½-inch wide and thick
•1 bunch asparagus, cut into 4-inch long pieces (use top part)
•1 bunch green onions, cut into 4-inch long pieces (you will have both white and green parts)
•2 teaspoons salt, divided
•brochettes (long toothpicks)
•vegetable or cooking oil of choice
Mix beef strips with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and sweetener. Mix well and refrigerate. Boil 1 quart of water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Blanch carrots and asparagus for 1 minute. Strain and rinse in cold water.
Make a thin batter out of flour and water — start with a cup of flour and a ½ cup of water, and add more water until it’s the consistency of a very thin pancake batter. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Thread strips of beef, carrot, onion and asparagus onto the brochettes until full. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Coat each skewer in batter and fry about one minute on each side, until the beef achieves desired doneness. A basic dipping sauce can be made from 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, ½ teaspoon sweetener, minced garlic and chopped green onions.
Grandma Buggy's Baked Beans. Photos by Sara Gettys.
I’ve got a shelf in my kitchen that is sagging under the weight of the cookbooks it holds. I use about half of them, and about half of those are my favorites.
But I also have a handful of family recipes that you won’t find in any book on any shelf, since they’ve long been committed to memory. These are the easy, no-fail dishes that I ate as a child and that I now make for every holiday meal and many impromptu dinner parties.
Since this is the food issue, we thought we’d share. Enjoy readers – and happy cooking.
Grandma Buggy’s Baked Beans
Good baked beans are like good macaroni and cheese — hard to find. You pile ingredient on top of ingredient, sometimes spending hours prepping, soaking, baking, all for a result that’s — eh — all right.
These baked beans are different. The secret? Using canned beans and regular old white sugar. You can put this dish together in about ten minutes, and the result will not disappoint. My family has been looking forward to them for more than 60 years.
1 30 oz. can regular baked beans (I prefer Van Kamps), drained
1 cup ketchup
1 cup white sugar (do not skimp and do not use brown sugar)
1 sweet onion, chopped
5 strips of bacon, sliced into 1-inch chunks
In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients. Pour into a shallow baking dish. Place bacon on top of beans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for at least 45 minutes. My grandma and everybody in my family bakes them as long as possible—the longer the better.
Chama's "Sunset" Lasagna
Chama’s “Sunset” Lasagna
Jill says her mom adapted this recipe in the ‘70s from an old Sunset cookbook. She’d make it for her family about three times a year — usually on Sundays. It was always Jill’s favorite dish while growing up, and she has yet to taste a lasagna that compares.
The recipe has been passed down and around to her family members, but Jill says it still tastes best when made by her mom.
¾ lbs ground beef
¾ lbs Italian sausage
1 large can diced tomatoes
3 small cans tomato paste
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon sugar
1 large container cottage cheese
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
2 lbs mozzarella, grated
1 box lasagna noodles
On stovetop, combine and brown ground beef and Italian sausage. Drain fat from the meat. In a large skillet, combine meat, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, minced garlic, basil, Italian seasoning and sugar. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
While meat sauce is simmering, boil the noodles according to the directions on the box. Cook to al dente. When finished, drain and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine cottage and parmesan cheeses. Set aside.
In a large rectangular baking dish, spread one layer of noodles on the bottom. Cover the noodles with the cottage cheese mixture. Next, spread the meat sauce on top of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella. And then repeat – add another layer of noodles, cheese mixture, meat sauce and then cover the top with the remaining mozzarella.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Aunt Bea's Swedish Meatballs
Aunt Bea’s Swedish Meatballs
Scott Klepach, one of our special publication writers and Playdate magazine’s coordinator, is married to a gracious gem of a gal, Kimberly. Bea is Kimberly’s great-great aunt, and Bea’s mother was from Sweden. These meatballs, however, use pantry ingredients and are a cinch to put together. They’re also incredibly moist and tasty.
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
6 oz. + 6 oz. evaporated milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
In a large bowl, mix ground beef, onion, milk, flour, salt and pepper. Put about a cup of flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper. Shape meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in flour. If you have time, chill the meatballs for 30 minutes prior to cooking — this will help them keep their shape.
Add oil to pan and heat on medium. Place meatballs in pan. As they cook, add about ¼ – 1/2 cup water two times, boiling down each time. Remove meatballs from pan and add tablespoon of flour, stirring for a minute or so to make a roux. Add remaining 6 oz. milk and simmer to thicken. Add meatballs and simmer for a few minutes to develop flavor. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
Scott and Kimberly’s family serves Aunt Bea’s meatballs with mashed potatoes.