Recipes Worth Repeating

Here's a rooundup of our favorite recipes of 2005



An article in the Dec. 28 issue of Taste featuring the best recipes of 2005 listed Stay-a-bed Stew as one that had appeared in Recipe Finder. The recipe is from The I Hate to Cook Book, by Peg Bracken.

Throughout the year we try to bring our readers a wide variety of recipe and food ideas. As 2005 comes to an end, we take a look back through these pages to find our 12 favorite recipes of the year.

The recipes we have selected made the cut for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it's the news that the slow cooker has had a rebirth or that a local chef has a new twist on chowder that highlights the bounty of the Chesapeake. Then there's the luscious tofu cheesecake for vegans that everyone is sure to love, and the nontraditional presentation of a kosher favorite featured in one of our cookbook reviews.

We're always on the lookout for the latest trends and new ways to improve on old favorites. There's something here for almost everyone on this tour of the year's best.

Rockfish-and-Crab Chowder

Serves 6 to 8

This unusual and delicious seafood chowder was created by Brendan M. Keegan Jr., executive sous-chef at O'Leary's Seafood Restaurant in Annapolis. A soup designed around rich regional seafood is the perfect make-ahead meal for company.

6 slices of applewood-smoked bacon, finely diced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup Spanish or yellow onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups homemade fish stock (chicken stock may be substituted)

1 bay leaf

1 cup potato, diced

1 1/2 pounds rockfish fillet, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes

1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked clean

2 cups half-and-half

Tabasco sauce

parsley, finely chopped

Smithfield ham, julienne

In a large sauce pot, over medium heat, render bacon until tender. Add butter and gently saute onions, celery and garlic until onions are translucent. Season. Sprinkle with flour and stir, making sure you cook the flour. It will remove that raw flour taste.

Add white wine and reduce by half. Add fish stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. At this point, the chowder should begin to thicken. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Then add the rockfish. Once the fish is cooked through, the crab meat and the half-and-half can be added. Stir in a couple dashes of Tabasco sauce. Check seasoning and remove bay leaf. Garnish with chopped parsley and Smithfield ham.

Per serving (based on 8 servings): 386 calories; 42 grams protein; 18 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 145 milligrams cholesterol; 577 milligrams sodium

From Brendan M. Keegan Jr., executive sous-chef, O'Leary's Seafood Restaurant

Wilted Spinach Salad With Pecans

Serves 4

Sun columnist Rob Kasper was on the hunt for an easy and fresh-tasting salad. This one from the Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers cookbook uses baby spinach leaves, raisins, nuts and Asiago cheese for a winning taste combination.

10 cups loosely packed fresh (baby) spinach leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup raisins or currants

1 cup toasted pecans

1/2 cup finely grated Asiago or parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

lemon wedges

Rinse and drain spinach. Heat the oil in skillet or saucepan and cook the garlic for a few seconds until sizzling. Add as much spinach as the pan will hold and cook, stirring often.

As the spinach wilts, keep adding more until it is all in the pan. Cook until just wilted but still bright green.

Put the spinach in a serving bowl or on individual plates and top with raisins, pecans and grated cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Per serving: 350 calories; 11 grams protein; 29 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams fiber; 12 milligrams cholesterol; 147 milligrams sodium

From "Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers" (Clarkson Potter, 2005, $32.50)

Sweet Noodle Kugel Roulade

Makes 8 to 10 servings

This innovative recipe from best-selling author Susie Fishbein for noodle kugel is sure to liven up a holiday party or family dinner.

8 ounces fine noodles

1/2 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup canola oil

ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover an 11-inch-by-17-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment with margarine or nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions; do not overcook. Drain the noodles and place them into a large bowl. With a whisk, mix in the sugar, eggs, pineapple, raisins and oil. Whisk until all are combined.

Pour the noodle mixture onto the prepared sheet and spread it into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes to 18 minutes, until the kugel is set. Remove from oven.

Allow to cool for a few minutes. Start from one of the shorter ends and, using the parchment paper to assist, roll the kugel into a tight spiral. Sprinkle the top and sides with cinnamon.

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