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Gourmet Pastas and Sauces on-line

grace ann's favorites
(return to food)

GraceAnn Walden conducts walking tours in North Beach, San Francisco's Italian Neighborhood, on Saturdays in addition to being a professional writer and columnist. Read more about GraceAnn below and enjoy her favorite Italian recipes now!

Graceann's Amaretto Yams
four pounds of yams or sweet potatoes, STEAMED and SKINS REMOVED
1/4 pound butter (melted)
dash of cinnamon, nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 and half shots of Amaretto liquor
about one cup of amaretto cookies, crushed

Mash yams or sweet potatoes with half of the stick of butter - add more if you want to. Stir in sugar, spices, Amaretto and salt and pepper. Put cookies between aluminum foil and crush with a rolling pin. DON'T PULVERIZE. Leave in small chunks.
In a bowl, add the rest of the butter (1/2 of the quarter pound cube) to the cookies.
Put the yam-sweet potato mixture in a buttered heat-proof casserole. With your fingers crimp cookie mixture over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil or a lid and reheat for 20 minutes, at 325 degrees. Uncover last 5-8 minutes to LIGHTLY brown the top. Serve.
Serves 6

Graceann Walden's Tiramisu
1 tub mascarpone cheese (about 8-10 ounces)
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 beaten egg
one pkg. soft ladyfingers
1/2 cup dark roast coffee or espresso
2 shots rum or brandy
1 2 ounce chunk dark chocolate
equipment: one 9X9 or 8X8 dish; grater; mixer

Whip cream with sugar, not too stiff. Add vanilla, whip till incorporated. Remove from mixer, set aside. Whip mascarpone with beaten egg - leave in bowl. Fold in whipped cream, set aside.

Mix liquor with coffee. I use a gravy strainer with narrow spout for this mixture, easier to sprinkle.

Cut ladyfingers to fit serving pan. If even a little space is bare, cut a cookie to cover every inch of the bottom.

Assembly: sprinkle half of coffee-booze mixture over ladyfingers. Cover cookies with one inch of cheese mixture. Grate chocolate over entire top.

Place more cookies on top of this layer, coffee, cheese and chocolate. Cover with aluminum foil and let sit in fridge for five hours. Cut and serve. Small pieces.
Serves 4 - 6

Biscotti (makes 20 cookies)
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cube of sweet butter
2 eggs separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg white beaten with 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. anise seeds

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Toast almonds lightly, set aside. When cool, chop almonds.
Place egg yolks in bowl, stir in sugar, almond and vanilla extracts butter and lemon zest. Mix well. Sift in flour and baking powder. Mix until dough is crumbly. In another bowl whip egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar. Fold in almonds. Fold in egg whites. Form into 8 inch roll, place on greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg white that was beaten with sugar and sprinkle with anise. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove and cool. Lower oven to 250 degrees. Slice log with serrated knife. Place biscotti on rack on sheet and bake 20-25 minutes more. Store in air tight container.
Serves 6

Blood orange and fennel salad
2 bulbs fennel
1/3 cup lemon juice

dressing:
2-3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup minced mint
salt and white pepper

6 blood oranges, peeled, sliced into rounds

Cut off tops, reserving feathery tops. Slice fennel very thin. Make dressing, reserving 1/3 cup separately. Toss fennel with dressing. Marinate 1/2 hour. Mound fennel in center of platter. Ring with orange slices. Drizzle reserved dressing over oranges. Garnish with tops.
Serves 8

Chicken Contadina
5 whole chicken breasts, split, skinned & boned (ten halves)
flour for dusting
1 pound turkey sausage (Magnani or Montebello)
1 1/2 pounds tiny red potatoes boiled till tender (20 minutes)
20 garlic cloves par-boiled till just soft 4 peppers (mixed colors) seeded, sliced
2 onions sliced (half moons)
1 bunch rosemary broken into 2 Inch pieces salt and pepper
olive oil

Brown cooked whole potatoes in oil, set aside. Add more oil, saut´┐Ż onion, peppers, add garlic. Mix with potatoes and set aside. In a clean pan add oil. Cook sausages, cut into 1 inch pieces. Cut up breasts and dust with flour. Fry chicken till just done. Drain oil. In two clean pans mix everything together and toss and heat with rosemary. Serve hot or room temperature.
Serves 8

Since 1991, GraceAnn Walden has written a weekly column entitled the "Inside Scoop" for the San Francisco Chronicle. It's about food, restaurants and chefs. She also does features for Sunset and the Wine Spectator magazines and was the managing editor for the 1999 restaurant guidebook, Gayot's "San Francisco Restaurants," which lists restaurants from Mendocino to Monterey.

Prior to becoming a professional writer, she was a restaurant cook and caterer.

On Saturdays, she can be found conducting culinary, cultural and historical walking tours in North Beach, San Francisco's "Little Italy." For reservations send a message to [email protected] .

In her spare time, she makes uncomplicated pasta dishes for her Italian-American boy friend.


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