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Welcome to Spike's & Jamie's "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Archives"!!  Here we store all the back issues of the original "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection" and of the "Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection". These newsletters were written by Spike (Jann McCormick) and published by Jamie from 2000 until Spike's death in 2008.  Spike loved to cook and share her cooking with those she loved.  Sharing her recipes was the next best thing.

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AJIACO and Sofrito





October 28, 2003
from: Spike's and Jamie's Recipe Collection

Many of these recipes have not yet been added to the recipe web site, so you are getting a "sneak peek" of future additions. We hope you enjoy these recipes. Spike's comments are in []Brackets[].

Shalom, from
Spike the Grate & Jamie the Webmistress


[] This is my favorite time of year. Well, Spring is another favorite, and I love Winter – would love it more if we could just have some snow. Autumn, however, has special charm. It is also an inexpensive time since we need neither the air conditioning nor the furnace. We have a “harvest moon” these nights, and it is (of course) such a beautiful sight. []

[] I have always considered lobster to be the epitome of luxuriant dining. It is so delicious just dipped into melted butter! A person of my acquaintance has easy access to lobster, and actually uses it in recipes! It seems like a waste – like hiring a limousine to take you to a convenience store – when it is so good by itself. Oh well – they don’t let me run the world. Here is a recipe that blew out my eyeballs! It is very good – I didn’t use lobster, however; I used imitation lobster, which is made of fish. []



1 cooked lobster, about 1 pound
6 medium potatoes, about 1-1/2 pounds
6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped green onion, white and green parts
Salt, pepper
1/2 cup cream, heated

Buy a cooked lobster at a supermarket that offers cooking at no charge or boil the lobster in water to cover for 10 minutes. Cool. Peel potatoes and cut in quarters lengthwise. Place in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until soft. When done, remove from heat but do not drain.

Meanwhile, with kitchen scissors, remove meat from claws and tail of lobster. Place entire lobster shell in a 3-quart saucepan. Add 3 cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Drain broth in a sieve set over a bowl. Discard shells. Return broth to pan. Boil until liquid is reduced by half. Measure out 1/2 cup. Freeze remaining broth to use later.

Dice lobster meat very fine. In lobster pan (do not wash), melt butter over medium heat. Add lobster and green onions. Sauté for 3 minutes to flavor the butter. Set aside.

Drain potatoes and return to pan. Shake over medium heat to evaporate any remaining water. Remove from heat. Add the 1/2 cup lobster broth, salt and pepper. Mash by hand with a potato masher until fairly smooth. Add enough of the cream to produce a fluffy texture, mashing until smooth. Taste potatoes and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Add the butter, lobster and onions; mix thoroughly.


[] Now I’ll share one of my pet peeves: toast points. That phrase evokes a picture of very old women sitting in a tea room (specifically Meier & Frank’s in Portland, Oregon), wearing long sleeved crepe dresses in dark colors, with white lace collars and cuffs, decked out in hats that could be described as bird cages, and delicately nibbling at some horrid creamed mixture into which they have dipped TOAST POINTS. I think that toast points are made of toasted bread cut into six or eight wedges. I like toast. I just would never say “toast points.” I would say “SOS” which is basically the same thing, with dried beef. []

[] This is quite good, especially with a few rashers of bacon. []


4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 to 4 green bell peppers (capsicum), cored, seeded, and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 to 12 eggs, fried in olive oil
Toasted bread, cut into 6 or 8 wedges

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat and sauté the peppers and onion until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Spoon the vegetable mixture onto a large serving platter and top with fried eggs. Serve with toast, as described above.

Serves 4 to 6.


[] This one came in a newsletter I receive from Global Epicure. I am not in the habit of plagiarizing – or stealing – other peoples’ work. This is quite good, although I had to substitute some of the more esoteric veggies. I guess it would be really wonderful if one has access to all the right stuff. []

AJIACO    > Back to Top <
(“Ah-He-Ah-Ko”) Written by Sonia Martinez and Anthony Mathis.This dish is very hearty, so it should be eaten with nothing else except bread and a light fruit dessert. This recipe will feed 20, but you can cut it in half and it can be frozen in batches.

10 quarts water
1 pound beef jerky (tasajo)
2 pounds flank steak, cubed
2 pounds pork, cubed
2 pounds pork spare ribs, separated (optional)
1 (3-pound) hen, cut up
4 ears corn, cut in fourths
2 pounds malanga (a yellow taro) peeled, cut in chunks
4 green plantains (soaked in lime juice) peeled, cut in chunks
2 pounds yucca (frozen or fresh) peeled, cut in chunks
2 pounds Cuban boniato (sweet potato, not yam) peeled, cut in chunks
2 pounds pumpkin, peeled, cut in chunks
1 pound ñame (a white taro) peeled, cut in chunks
1 pound güagüi (a greyish taro) peeled, cut in chunks
4 ripe plantains, peeled, cut in chunks
4 limes for soaking green plantains
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sofrito (see recipe below)

The day before:
Cut the beef jerky in large pieces and soak in water to cover. Soak overnight.

Next day, drain and place in a very large and deep stockpot. Add the 10 quarts of water and the cut up hen. Boil for one hour. Add the flank steak and pork pieces. Add the spare ribs. Boil one more hour. Remove fat and froth that will rise to top.

While meats are cooking, make the "sofrito", peel and cut the "viandas" (vegetables). When meats are tender, add the viandas, except ripe plantains and pumpkin. Cook about one more hour.

Add the sofrito and cook another 20-30 minutes. Add the ripe plantains and pumpkin and cook 30 more minutes or until pumpkin and plantains are tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

If broth is too thin, thicken by mashing some of the viandas in a little broth and adding it back to the pot. Serve in a large soup tureen and give each guest a large, flat rimmed soup bowl.

You can place lime slices in little dishes along the table. The ajiaco tastes really good with freshly squeezed lime juice, but let each guest decide if they would like to squirt their own.


Sofrito is the base of many typically Cuban recipes. My mom used to chop up all the ingredients (except bay leaf) in a blender and store in a jar with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Stored in refrigerator, it can last about a week. She would spoon out amounts needed for each recipe, add the bay leaf and then sauté and simmer as directed. The secret to a good sofrito is to let it simmer a while so all the tastes meld.

21 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
8 to 10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves
touch of ground cumin
touch of dried oregano
3/4 cup Sherry, or to taste
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste (optional)

Sauté tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, bay leaves, cumin and oregano in oil slowly until all vegetables are limp. Add Sherry and let simmer. If you add the salt, taste before-hand as you might not need it at all.

[] I see that that recipe calls for sweet potatoes, and specifies “not yams.” Here in the U.S.A. genuine yams are not easily available. The things that the super markets call “yams” are sweet potatoes of a different variety (usually Garnet). I am a great lover of sweet potatoes, and almost always buy the red ones, which I had always believed were yams. They are not. Yams are nothing at all like the red sweet potatoes. I don’t know what they ARE like – I guess they are “like” themselves! []


[] One of my favorite sweet potato things is Portuguese Sweet Bread. Try it. []

By Theresa Azevedo (she is a dear friend)

2 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup cooked, mashed, red sweet potatoes
3 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
9 to 10 cups flour

Mix yeast, water, sweet potatoes, and 3 Tablespoons sugar; set aside.

Scald milk, add salt and butter; cool.

Beat eggs, add 1 cup sugar. Combine yeast and egg mixtures. Stir in 2 cups flour. Add milk mixture; beat. Stir in the rest of the flour. Knead. Raise until double; punch down, shape into loaves or rolls, put into greased loaf pans or onto greased cookie sheets (in any bun/roll shape you wish); allow to rise again.

Bake at 350°F for loaves, 40 to 50 minutes. For rolls, bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or so. Great with butter, or with peanut butter. NOT for serving with Sopas.

This is good as cinnamon rolls, as well as plain. After the first rising, divide dough into fourths. Roll out one fourth, brush with melted butter, sprinkle cinnamon/sugar (1 teaspoon cinnamon to 1/2 cup sugar). Roll it up like a jelly-roll. Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Into a round 9-inch cake pan, place 2 Tablespoons melted butter, and add 1/4 cup brown sugar. Spread evenly over the bottom of the pan, put your slices into it, cut side up, touching each other. (I usually get 16 slices and it nicely fills one pan.) Cover with a cloth and let rise until double in bulk (about an hour), then bake at 375°F for 20 minutes (or so). While still hot, put a plate on top of the pan and invert plate and pan. Set aside for about 10 minutes, so that all the sweet sticky stuff drips down onto the plate (thanking God for gravity!) and then remove the pan. Have a spatula handy to get every gooey bit. Then use the rest of the dough for plain rolls, bread, or more sticky rolls.


[] My next newsletter will have some Thanksgiving stuff. I guess our Canadian neighbors have already had Thanksgiving. Sorry I missed it. Maybe next year.[]


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