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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.

[Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipes]  [Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection]

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Chicken and Plum goodies are featured herein.
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 peak" of future additions. We hope you enjoy these recipes!!!

Shalom, from Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress

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A TASTE OF AUTUMN 

Italian Plums for Rosh Hashanah Desserts 

After a blur of summer activities, visits with friends, and weeks of sweltering heat, the evenings are becoming cool. The kids in my neighborhood are returning to school. And in the market the other day, I saw a sure sign of autumn's arrival--a heap of small, pointy plums. 

With their tantalizing sweet-tart flavor and scarlet juices, these late-harvest plums have long been a favorite with Eastern European Jews, who traditionally made use of their timely appearance just before Rosh Hashanah to produce elegant cakes, open-faced tarts, and piquant sauces for the holidays.

These oval plums were common in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, and grow abundantly throughout Italy, which is why they are most often called Italian plums. In their less-glamorous incarnations, they're also known as prune plums and sour plums. When selecting Italian plums, look for firm, unblemished fruits with deep purple skins tinged with red. As the plums ripen, their skins will darken to a glossy blue-black. Italian 
plums can be kept for four or five days in the refrigerator with no loss of flavor.

Unlike other varieties of plums, Italian plums are freestone--which means that the flesh separates easily from the pit, making it a snap to halve these plums for decorating a tart or tossing into cake batter. They remain firm when cooked, and unlike red or black plums, they won't leak excessive liquid into your cake batter, making it soggy.

Plums have a natural affinity for certain spices, like cinnamon and cardamom, and are also delicious when cooked with brandy or kirsch (cherry brandy), which deepens their flavor. Other good flavor matches include almonds or marzipan, or any kind of citrus zest. 

One of my favorite do-ahead dessert recipes for Rosh Hashanah is zwestschgenkuchen, a tongue-twister German plum tart that is based on a crumbly meurtbeig (shortbread) crust. The tart looks phenomenally elegant, but is actually quite simple to prepare. The crust is patted out in the pan, rather than being rolled out, and the filling is simply a layer of preserves with a splash of brandy, topped with quartered plums. Although my favorite recipe calls for apricot preserves, I've also had terrific results using blackcurrant, redcurrant, or seedless raspberry preserves. Once assembled, the entire tart can be frozen and baked at a more convenient time.

Another delicious and traditional venue for Italian plums is in a kuchen, a yeasted cake that hails from Germany. Many updated versions of kuchen recipes are simple one-bowl cakes that don't require any additional time to rise. Some versions call for the plums to be mixed throughout the cake batter; in others, the plums are layered on top. Either way, the juice from the plums swirls throughout the cake, making a dessert (or teatime treat) that looks every bit as wonderful as it tastes. With Rosh Hashanah a bit more than two weeks away, now is the time to start looking for the perfect dessert. The recipes below, which hail from all over Europe, will give you a head start in hailing the new year. 

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APFEL KUCHEN or SCHWETCHE KUCHEN
(Apple or Plum Coffee-Cake)

Basic Coffeecake dough:

2 eggs, well beaten
¼ C. milk
1 pkg. (or 1 Tb.) dry yeast
¼ C. warm water
½ C. softened butter
¼ C. sugar
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Grated lemon peel
2 C. flour, more if needed

Pour lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar in mixing bowl. Add melted (not hot) butter, warmed milk, salt, lemon peel, and beaten eggs. Mix well.

Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each cup. Add more flour, if necessary, to make a smooth dough, and turn out onto a floured surface.

Knead very lightly. Let rise for about 1 hour; punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.

Spread dough in 9-inch cake or pie pan, pushing it up on the sides as for a pie crust.

Topping For Apfel Kuchen
(Apple cake)
2 medium sized apples
1/3 C. sugar (white or brown)
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 TB. melted butter

Peel and core apples, then cut into ¼ inch slices. Arrange in overlapping circles (or in random fashion if in a hurry) on top of dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 or 40 minutes.

Topping For Schwetche Kuchen
(Plum cake)
Substitute 1 dozen Italian (or other) plums.
Sprinkle with mixture of
½ C. white or brown sugar,
¼ C. bread crumbs,
1 tsp. Cinnamon. 

Bake as for apple cake. 

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HUNGARIAN PLUM KUCHEN 

Kuchen
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Zest of l lemon, minced finely
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder 

Topping
6 cups pitted, quartered plums
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10-inch spring form or quiche pan. 

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then sour cream, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest. 

Fold in flour, salt and baking powder. 

Topping: If plums are very large, cut into eighths. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Arrange plums on top, cut side up, in concentric rows, spiraling out from center to fill surface of dough and pan. 

Drizzle lemon juice and sugar, then dust with cinnamon and nutmeg. Dot with bits of butter. 

Bake in preheated oven until fruit releases juices and pastry is browned on top, about 35 minutes. Cool before removing from pan, or leave in pan and cut into pie-shaped wedges. 

Note: Excellent served with French vanilla ice cream. 

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SPICY ITALIAN PRUNE-PLUM CAKE 
Yield: 12 Servings

2 c pitted and quartered Italian prune-plums, cooked until soft, 
and cooled
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 c sifted flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

frosting:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 lb powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 pinch salt
2 to 3 tablespoons strong, hot coffee
3/4 tsp vanilla

To prepare the cake: Prepare prune-plums and set aside. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. 

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until mixture is very light. 

Sift flour with spices and soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk. Beat only to incorporate the ingredients.

Stir in cooked prune-plums and walnuts. Turn into prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 1 hour, or until cake begins to shrink from sides of pan. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes before un-molding onto a rack. Let cool completely before frosting. 

To prepare the frosting: Cream butter. Add sugar and cocoa gradually, stirring until well blended. Add salt. 

Stir in coffee, a little at a time. Add just enough to make the frosting a good spreading consistency. Beat until fluffy and add vanilla, then frost cake.

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POLISH PLUM CAKE

1 1/2 to 2 pounds whole Italian plums (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan and dust with flour.

Halve the plums, removing pits. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the cinnamon and 1/4 cup of the sugar.

Beat the eggs and gradually add the remaining sugar, oil, orange juice and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Combine with the egg mixture.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan. Layer with 1/3 of the plums.

Repeat for 2 more layers, ending with the plums on top. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, run a knife around the cake to loosen.

Un-mold onto a plate and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Makes 12 servings.

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ZWETSCHGEN DATSCHI

1/4 lb Butter
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla (or use vanilla sugar)
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Sour cream
1 pinch Salt (only if you use unsalted butter)
1 tsp Lemon peel
1 3/4 cup Flour
1 tsp Baking powder
2 cup Italian plums

-----Optional Streusel Topping-----
6 T Butter
3/4 c Flour
1/3 c Sugar
1/2 t Cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream the butter, add the sugar (and vanilla), add the egg, (salt,) lemon peel and sour cream. Mix the flour and baking powder and add that.

Pit the plums, splitting them into halves or thirds. Grease the pan and spread the dough. Liberally spread plums over the dough, meat side up. If the plums are sour (as opposed to just tart), sprinkle them lightly with sugar.

To make the optional Streusel topping, cream the butter, add flour, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the plums. Bake for 30-45 minutes in the middle rack at 375 degrees F. Be careful not to let the bottom burn. Serve liberally topped with freshly-made whipping cream.

* A Bavarian plum delicacy for dessert -- My mother and grandmother make this Bavarian specialty without a recipe; this recipe is from my mother, after I pressed her to write it down so I could make my own. It also includes variations from a few other folks that you might like to try. Roughly translated from Bavarian to German, this is Pflaumenkuchen, which, roughly translated from German to to English is Plum cake. However, Zwetschgen aren't ordinary plums, a Datschi isn't really a Kuchen, and a Kuchen is most definitely NOT a cake!

This dessert is made of the slightly tart Italian plums, which are unfortunately only available at certain times of the year. Don't try to make it with ordinary plums; they're too sweet and too juicy. Yield: Fills one round cake pan.

* A Datschi may actually be made with any fruit; I happen to love it with Zwetschgen the best.

* I don't know this with Streusel on top, and never prepare it that way, but several of my acquaintances swear by it. Made with other fruit, I would be more likely to accept the Streusel.

* If you like, you may sprinkle rum or cinnamon over the fruit before baking. Also, you might try substituting rum for the sour cream in the dough, or just adding both.

* If you want to make a cookie-sheet-sized Datschi, simply double the recipe.

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CINNAMON HONEY CHICKEN

Marinade:

1 1/2 cups dry sherry (I often substitute white zinfandel for sherry) 
2 T cinnamon 
1 cup honey 
1/3 cup lime juice 
Zest of one lime 
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed (or to taste) 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
(3) 3-pound chickens, cut into 8th's 
Mix together all marinade items.

Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer in a shallow, non-aluminum, ovenproof pan, (or, use a zip-lock, and then transfer before cooking- saves much space in the fridge!) Refrigerate overnight, turning pieces occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake chicken uncovered 40-50 minutes, turning once or twice. Or, bake a shorter time and then broil until done for crispy skin.

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CHICKEN WITH APPLES AND CIDER 

4 whole chicken breasts, skinless but bone-in
2 cups apple cider
flour to coat chicken
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup brandy
3 apples, cored, peel-on, and cut into slices

The day before, place chicken pieces in a non-reactive shallow container. Pour cider over the chicken. Cover the chicken and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day, remove the chicken from the marinate. Reserve the marinade. 

Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Coat the chicken with the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Place the coated chicken pieces in a 13" x 9" baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

At the 30 minute point in the baking process, combine the reserved marinade, the brandy, the honey and the apple slices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture over the chicken and continue cooking for 25 additional minutes. Baste with the pan juices during this time.

Serves 6.

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ROAST CHICKEN WITH ORANGE

LEMON AND GINGER 

Joyce Goldstein writes: "Ginger arrived in Italy with Arabic traders or North African Jewish immigrants, so it's likely that this is a Sicilian or Livornese recipe. Most Italians would use ground ginger, but since fresh ginger is so plentiful at our markets, why not use it?"

1 lemon
1 roasting chicken, about 5 pounds
Grated zest of 1 lemon, then lemon cut into quarters
Grated zest of 1 orange, then orange cut into quarters
3 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger root
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons margarine, melted, or olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
Orange sections for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Cut the lemon into quarters. Rub the outside of the chicken with one of the lemon quarters, then discard. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon and orange zests and 1 tablespoon of the grated ginger. Rub this mixture evenly in the cavity. Put the lemon and orange quarters inside the bird. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle it 
with salt and pepper. In the now-empty small bowl, combine the melted margarine or olive oil, lemon and orange juices, honey, and the remaining 2 tablespoons ginger. Mix well.

Place the chicken in the oven and roast, basting with the citrus juice mixture at least 4 times during cooking, until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.

Transfer to a serving platter and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve the chicken. Garnish with orange sections. Variation: Use 4 tablespoons pomegranate juice in place of the lemon juice.

Makes 4 servings. 

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ROASTED POMEGRANATE CHICKEN 

FOR ROSH HASHANAH
Yield: 4 servings

1/4 cup olive oil 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1 (3-1/2 to 4-pound) chicken, quartered 
1 pomegranate, halved 
1/4 cup dry white wine 
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon cinnamon- sugar 
Salt and pepper 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a cup, mix oil and garlic. Brush garlic oil over chicken.

Place chicken in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle any remaining oil over chicken. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, basting several times with pan juices, until skin is browned and juices run clear when a thigh is pierced at thickest part with a fork.

Remove 1 tablespoon seeds from pomegranate. Set aside for garnish. Squeeze juice from remaining pomegranate through a sieve into a small bowl.

In a small non-reactive saucepan, mix pomegranate juice, wine, lemon juice, and cinnamon- sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer roasted chicken to a serving platter and pierce each piece several times. Pour sauce over chicken. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve at room temperature.

Notes: This is a favorite Rosh Hashanah dish of Moroccan Jews. Because of their many seeds, pomegranates symbolize the hope that in the year ahead, Jews will be able to perform many worthy deeds, or mitzvahs.

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ASHKENAZIC CHICKEN WITH FIGS

(HUHN MIT FEIGEN)
Yield: 4 servings

1 chicken, cut into pieces - (2 1/2 to 3 pound) 
12 canned or fresh figs - stems removed 
1 cup dry white wine or water 
2 tablespoons honey - up to 4 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon ground coriander 
1 teaspoon salt or to taste 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1 bay leaf 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place chicken and figs in a single layer in a large roasting pan. Combine wine, honey, cinnamon, coriander, salt and pepper and bay leaf, pour over chicken. Roast, basting and turning occasionally, until chicken is tender and brown, about 1 hour.

Note: This dish typifies the Eastern European love of meats cooked with sweeteners and spices. To substitute dried for canned figs, cover with water and soak 2 hours.

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COUSCOUS AUX SEPT LEGUMES
Yield: 6 servings

6 cups chicken stock or water 
6 carrots (2 1/2 cups) - cut into chunks 
3 onions - quartered 
2 turnips (3 cups) - peeled and quartered 
2 stalks celery - sliced 
2 sticks cinnamon or 1 tsp ground cinnamon - (3 inch sticks) 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, up to 1 
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 
1 teaspoon salt 
Pepper 
1 butternut squash or small pumpkin prepared and cut into 2 inch pieces 
3 medium, sliced (6 cups) 
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (5 cups) 
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas or fava beans 
1 tablespoon chopped coriander or parsley 
Couscous, (see below) 
1 cup chicken stock, warmed, up to 2 

Bring 6 cups stock to a boil. Add carrots, onions, turnips, celery, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add squash, cabbage, chickpeas and coriander. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

To produce a thicker sauce, use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon to mash some of the chickpeas or squash against the bottom of the pot.

Spoon cooked couscous onto a large deep-sided platter or individual serving plates. Make a well in the center and fill it with vegetables. Pour 1 to 2 cups stock over couscous. Serve warm. Yields 6 servings.

Chicken Couscous: Before adding vegetables, simmer 3 lb chicken pieces in 6 cups water for 30 minutes. Remove chicken; debone, then shred meat. Return meat to pot; add vegetables as above.

Lamb Couscous: Before adding vegetables, simmer 1 lb lamb shoulder cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes in 6 cups water for 1 hour; add vegetables as above.

Note: Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian Jews serve couscous every Friday night, on festivals and for all special occasions. For Rosh Hashanah, Moroccans serve a stew of seven symbolic vegetables, seven being an auspicious number.

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L’Shanah Tovah

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE


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