Virtuous Recipes

Favorite recipes plus tips on nutrition, health, and shopping for food and kitchen equipment.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Wolfgang Puck's Viennese Beef Goulash

Here's another stellar creation from top chef Wolfgang Puck. This goulash tastes even better when made ahead and reheated the second day.

5 lb Beef shank or shoulder
2 lb Onion
4 tbl Oil
1 tbl Sugar
5 tbl Vinegar
2 Bay leaves
3 tbl Dried marjoram or 5 tbl fresh
8 tbl Paprika
1 tbl Thyme, finely chopped
1 tbl Finely ground caraway seeds
8 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 qt Water or chicken stock
3 tbl Tomato paste

1. Cut the meat into good size cubes. Slice the onions.

2. Heat heavy casserole dish. Add oil, onions and sugar, and saute until golden brown. Add tomato paste and paprika, and deglaze immediately with the vinegar and the water or chicken stock.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil then add the meat, bay leaves, marjoram, thyme, caraway seeds, garlic, and a little salt and pepper.

4. Cover and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

5. Serves 10. Serve with Austrian bread dumplings, noodles, or boiled potatoes.

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Wolfgang Puck's Mushroom Soup

Here's another special recipe from a famous restaurant, in this case Spago. This one doesn't count as a "copycat" because Wolfgang Puck supplied it himself, as far as I know.

1 lb Mushrooms
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1 tbl Butter
2 tbl Minced shallot
1/2 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp Dried thyme
2 c Whipping cream
1 1/2 c Chicken stock
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp Cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbl water
1 tbl Chopped parsley for garnish

Chop mushrooms with lemon juice in food processor.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and saute lightly. Add mushrooms, bay leaf and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is completely evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Blend cream, chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add dissolved cornstarch and simmer 10 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning.

Ladle into heated bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Diabetic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a treat for anyone on a low-carb diet, including diabetics. Disclaimer: I don't know exactly how much carbohydrate is in this. If you need to know for health reasons, please do your own calculation.

1 c Butter at room temp
2 c Flour
1/4 c Sugar
1 ts Baking soda
3/4 c Brown sugar twin sugar substitute
1/4 ts Salt
3 Large egg whites, room temp
1/4 c Water, room temp
1 tb Vanilla
1/2 c Mini semisweet chocolate chips

Cream together margarine, sugar and sugar substitute at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg white and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 minute.

Stir together flour, soda and salt to blend well. Add 1/4 cup water to creamed mixture along with the flour mixture and mix at medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth. Add chocolate chips to dough and mix lightly.

Drop by tablespoonsful onto cookie sheets that have been lined with alumium foil or sprayed with cooking spray. Press down lightly with fingers dipped in cold water to form a circle about 2" across.

Bake at 375 F for about 12 minutes or until browned (the cookies won't be crisp unless they are browned). Remove cookies for hot cookie sheets to wire racks to cool to room temperate. Allow 2 cookies per serving.

Variation: Chocolate Chip Bars: Instead of dropping dough onto cookie sheets, spread dough evenly in a jelly rool pan that has been sprayed or greased with margarine. Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and the bars pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool to room temperature and cut to yield 36 bars. Serve 2 bars per serving.

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Brazilian Chicken and Mushrooms

Leftover chicken? Again? Here's a new way to serve this perennial favorite. Zesty but not spicy, it's easy to prepare. Your family will love it.

1 c Chicken broth
1 c Milk, or thin cream
2 oz Butter
2 oz Flour
3 c Chicken, cooked, sliced
4 Egg yolks
1/2 Green pepper, diced
1/2 Red pepper, diced
1 c Mushrooms, sliced
1 ts Lemon juice

1. Melt the butter, add the mushrooms and diced green pepper. Saute for 5 minutes over a slow heat to prevent butter from burning. Add flour and seasonings, mix well, then add cold chicken broth and milk. Stir constantly until creamy.

2. Set dish over hot water in a double boiler, add chicken slices, diced red pepper and lemon juice and cook until hot. Then add well-beaten egg yolks. Continue stirring until everything is hot. DO NOT overcook unless you like creamy scrambled eggs.

3. Serve on toast, if desired.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006

California Pizza Kitchen ® BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad (copycat)

Here's another in our "copycat" recipe series. This one is overwhelmingly popular among California Pizza Kitchen customers and employees. It's full of crunches and contrasting flavors. I think you'll find it's well worth the complexity of the preparation, which is actually not that bad when you go for it.

For the Fried Tortilla Strips:
Vegetable oil -- for deep-frying
12 corn tortillas -- cut into 1/4" strips

For the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing:

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cold water
2-3/4 cups mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
7 tablespoons sour cream
2-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons thinly-sliced scallion greens and whites
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (or 1/4 tspn dried oregano)
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil

For the Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken:
1-1/3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons salt
4 boned skinned chicken breasts - (5 oz ea)
1/4 cup good-quality sweet-&-spicy barbecue sauce

For the Salad:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce -- cored, rinsed, dried, and cut 1/8"-wide strips
1/2 head romaine lettuce leaves -- separated, trimmed, rinsed, dried, and cut 1/8"-wide strips
12 large fresh basil leaves -- cut 1/8" strips
1 pound jicama -- cut 1/4" x 1/4" x 3/4" strips
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup canned black beans -- rinsed, drained
1 cup canned sweet white corn kernels -- drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes -- cut 1/2" dice
1/2 cup good-quality sweet-&-spicy barbecue sauce
1/4 cup thinly-sliced scallion greens

To Make the Fried Tortilla Strips:
In a deep, heavy frying pan, heat several inches of vegetable oil to a temperature of 375 degrees. Working in batches if necessary to prevent overcrowding, carefully add the tortilla strips to the hot oil, submerging them with a metal skimmer or slotted spoon. Fry the tortilla strips until evenly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully lift them out with the skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer them to paper towels to drain and cool. Set aside, uncovered.

To Make the Garden Herb Ranch Dressing:
In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl and, using a handheld electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To Make the Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken:
Preheat a stovetop grill or the broiler. In a mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and salt. Turn the chicken breasts in this marinade and leave to marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Grill or broil the chicken breasts until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Cut the chicken breasts into 3/4-inch cubes and, in a bowl, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To Make the Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the lettuces, basil, jicama, Monterey Jack cheese, beans, corn, cilantro, dressing, and half of the Fried Tortilla Strips. Transfer the salads to chilled serving plates. Surround each salad with diced tomatoes and the remaining Fried Tortilla Strips. Top each salad with chunks of Grilled Garlic BBQ Chicken and drizzle the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Garnish with the scallion.

This recipe yields 4 main-course or 8 appetizer servings.

Courtesy of Virtuous Recipes Copycat Collection.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Lime-Tarragon Chicken

This is a zesty and delicious variation on the old standard, baked chicken. It's enlivened by the citrus flavors and liberal amounts of fresh tarragon. Well worth the slight extra effort compared to just throwing the chicken in the oven. (You wouldn't ever do that anyway, would you?)

4 tbl butter, softened
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon
4 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless
1 tbl chopped fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbl white wine or water
2/3 cup sour cream
lime sections for garnish
sprigs of fresh tarragon for garnish

Put the butter into a bowl and beat in the lime zest. Make 3-4 diagonal cuts in each chicken breast with a sharp knife. Spread the top of each breast with one-quarter of the lime butter.

Put the chicken breasts into a roasting pan. Sprinkle with the lime juice, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste and bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through.

Transfer the chicken breasts to warmed serving plates and keep warm.

Put the pan on top of the stove. Add the measured wine or water to the cooking juices, stirring to dissolve any browned bits, and bring to a boil, stirring. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and heat gently until warmed through.

Serve the chicken with the sauce, and garnish each with the lime sections and fresh tarragon.

Courtesy of Virtuous Recipes chicken collection.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Baked Red Snapper with Tomato Sauce

The unusual scent of fennel seeds just touches the sauce lightly. Fish with a difference!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 can Italian plum tomatoes (28 oz), drained
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 pieces orange peel, 2-1/2" by 1" (orange part of peel only)
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2 red snapper filets, about 3/4" thick (1/3 lb each) or other firm white fish filets

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, orange peel, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper. Boil gently until reduced to chunky sauce, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before continuing.)

Pour remaining 1 tablespoon oil into small baking dish. Add fish and turn to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon warm sauce over fish. Bake until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

This recipe yields 2 servings. Can be doubled or tripled.

Courtesy of Virtuous Recipes Seafood Collection.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006


This is a hearty and delicious Mexican breakfast. Great for Sunday brunch.

6 Eggs
4 Corn tortillas
2 Avocados
2 Tomatoes
4 tbl Lime juice
4 tsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbl Butter
2 Onions, finely diced
1 cup Cooked beef, chicken or pork, diced or shredded
1 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Ground cumin

Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat lightly. Cut the tortillas into eighths and add to the eggs. Let sit 15 minutes.

Cut the avocados in half from tip to stem, and remove the pit. Using a paring knife, slice the flesh in each half from tip to stem in 1/2-inch slices without cutting through skin. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh out of the skin in 1 piece. Lay cut side down on each plate and fan out the slices. Cut the tomatoes into slices and lay slices next to the avocado. Drizzle with lime juice and oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add meat; cook just until warmed. Add the beaten eggs and tortillas and cook, stirring, until eggs are cooked to desired doneness.

Arrange a mound of eggs on each plate next to the avocado and tomato. Garnish with some cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Courtesy of Virtuous Recipes breakfast collection.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Applebee's® Baby Back Ribs (copycat)

I'll be posting a few "copycat" recipes that represent someone's best effort to reconstruct favorites from famous restaurants. Please note that the restaurant names are registered trademarks owned by their parent companies and that these recipes are not endorsed by them. Eventually I may publish a collection of these copycats if there is a demand. Please leave a comment here if you're interested.

3 racks pork baby back ribs (about 1 lb ea), each cut in half
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour or until ribs are fork tender.

Mix all sauce ingredients together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Heat broiler. Line broiler with foil for easy cleanup. Place ribs, meat-side down, on broiler pan, brush with 1/2 of the sauce and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source for 6 to 7 minutes.

Turn ribs over, brush with remaining sauce and broil 6 to 7 minutes longer or until edges are slightly charred.

This recipe yields 3 servings.

Courtesy of Virtuous Recipes copycat collection.

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