Corona Protection

Worked well until December 2022

Bake rice: Oven 375º. Square, lidded Pyrex dish. 2 cups short grain brown rice. 3 cups boiling water. Salt. Around a tablespoon of oil. Combine and bake for 50 minutes.

Bake chicken: Square, lidded Pyrex dish. 4 chicken breast halves. Salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 25 minutes in oven with rice.

Make sauce: Around a 1/2 cup of soy sauce, a heaping spoon of cornstarch. Combine. Then add around a 1/3 cup rice cooking wine, a good splash of sesame oil and a few pressed garlic cloves. Stir together.

Cut vegetables: 1 onion sliced into stripes. 3 carrots sliced on the diagonal. 1 red and 1 yellow pepper sliced into stripes. Small head of cauliflower cut into florets. 2 small heads of broccoli cut into florets.

Chicken: Remove from oven when ready and cut into cubes.

Make stir-fry: Heat lidded pan/wok with a little oil. Add onions and maybe a little salt. Sautee for a few minutes. Add carrots and a little water. Cover for a few minutes. Add cauliflower and a little water. Cover for a few minutes. Add peppers and a little water. Cover for a few minutes. Add broccoli and a little water. Cover for a few minutes. Uncover and add chicken, add sauce, add more water if needed, turn up heat and stir until sauce thickens. Serve over rice and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.


The first time I had stuffed eggplant was near Cappadocia in Turkey. We were having a cultural immersion dinner. It was a much oilier version, but still it was progress for me on the eggplant front. Our host lived on a little hill; her ‘house’ was a collection of little stone buildings and outdoor spaces. There was an outdoor eating area under grape vines, but it was too chilly. We ate in a little one room building with big windows and sitting pillows. She served us with her well-worn hands (probably unwashed too). Afterwards, she plied us with some knitted gloves we were told she made. I believe it since they looked like something my great aunt Ruthie would make at the senior center. Of course we bought some. They’re down in the basement somewhere. I was going to take a picture of her with my daughters before we left and she went about covering her face. Our guide explained that she can’t have her face photographed and suddenly I felt intrusive and said no worries I will just take pictures of the house. But I think back and maybe she did want her picture taken with her face covered. I hadn’t asked.

Oven 350º.

Mix Plain yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt.

Mince parsley.

Brown 1lb ground beef, 1 small diced onion, cumin, salt, pepper, 14.5oz diced tomato

Cut baby eggplants in half (I used 4 for 8 halves), take a few strips of skin off with peeler, scoop out seeds, brush with olive oil, bake 10 minutes.

Slice cubanelle pepper into strips. Microwave 2 minutes.

Stuff with meat, top with tomato slices and cubanelle pepper slices.

Broil until a little browned and bubbling.

Make Cous Cous.

Top with yogurt and parsley.

Spring Key

Moonstruck. That’s the restaurant in New Jersey where I first had this. My mother went out of her way to support the owners when they first opened, telling everyone to go there, but Howard and Luke always seemed unhappy to see her. We would end up there because it was better than anything else in Ocean Grove. I wasn’t sure if I liked this at first because it was so, so tart, but cool and creamy. I didn’t know it was a southern specialty or anything about the key lime destruction story. I didn’t know anything about key limes until I bought something called Key West Lime Juice and yuck. Now I spend $24 bucks a year for a bottle of real key lime juice—Florribean. I’ve seen key limes a few times now, they’re the size of golf balls. I can’t see myself squeezing them.

Oven 375º with rack in middle
Butter and parchment line bottom and sides of 10” springform
1 1/2 packets graham crackers crushed
Stir in 4 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar
Press mixture gently into bottom of pan
Bake 8 minutes
Let cool
Reduce oven to 350º
Beat 6 egg yolks and add one can of sweetened condensed milk
Save whites for pavlova
Mix in thoroughly 3/4 cup Florribean Key Lime Juice
Pour mixture through sieve over crust and tap to release bubbles
Bake 15 minutes
Let cool, cover pan with foil and refrigerate

Ye Olde Cabbage Rolls

Core green cabbage and put in large stockpot of boiling water. Peel off leaves with tongs when loose and pliable. Put on plate to wait. Empty water when finished and use same stockpot for making rolls.

Make sauce. 1 large onion finely diced and half stick of butter, salt, pepper, saute until onion translucent. Add 1 16oz. can of tomato sauce/pureé/crushed. Add two heaping tablespoons of brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer. You can also add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and/or a teaspoon of smoked paprika.

Make filling. 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, 1 cup or so of already cooked rice, 2 or 3 garlic cloves pressed, salt, pepper, egg, worcestershire sauce. Mix. Put 1/3 cup in each leaf, roll like a burrito, place seam side down in sauce and simmer for 45 minutes.

Makes about 14 rolls.

Copyright © 2019 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Heart & Posole

Limes! Stop forgetting limes!

Olive oil
1/2 yellow onion medium-fine dice dice
8 cloves garlic through press
Chili powder
Tomato paste, the whole can
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
2 25oz cans Juanita’s Hominy
1 Rotisseri chicken, meat pulled apart into pieces

Cilantro sprigs
Blue corn chips
1 Lime

Heat olive oil, add salt, add onion, cook until turning translucent, add garlic, wait a minute or two, add chili powder, stir around for a minute, add tomato paste, stir around for a couple minutes, add chicken broth, add water, add hominy, add chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer for awhile.

Top with cilantro sprigs, thinly sliced radishes, avocado slices, squeeze over some lime, then crushed blue chips.

Copyright © 2019 MRuesen • All rights reserved

Day After Soup

If I feel like it. Sometimes I’m tired of cooking and I just throw the turkey carcass away.

Cooking equipment I used:
8 quart stock pot
8 cup Pyrex measuring cup

For the broth:
Turkey carcass
1 large carrot roughly broken
2 celery stalks roughly broken
2 bay leaves
1 yellow onion quartered with skin on
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
2 sprigs of parsley

Put all ingredients in large stockpot add enough water to cover or just about cover the turkey. Bring to a boil then simmer for two hours or so skimming off any foamy stuff around the edge. Take out the big pieces and then strain into another pot or bowl big enough to hold the broth.

For the soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion medium dice
3 carrots sliced thinish
3 celery stalks sliced thinish
3 cups turkey meat pulled apart
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (or half tsp each of sage, thyme, marjoram rosemary, pepper— I leave out the nutmeg due to allergies)
1 teaspoon salt—taste to adjust after a little while
3/4 cup Madeira wine
1/2 pound wild rice or mixed wild rice like Lundberg wild blend
All the broth plus water if needed

In a stockpot/soup pot add one tablespoon olive oil, teaspoon of salt and add onion, celery and carrot and cook on medium-high until softened. Add poultry season stir for a minute so it can bloom. Add 3/4 cup Madiera wine and turn heat to high and reduce about half. Add broth, turkey, rice and water if needed (I add water if needed to bring level up to about 4/5 of stockpot) bring to a boil, simmer for a few hours. Spoon off any foamy stuff around edge.

Copyright © 2018 MRuesen • All rights reserved

Summer Roll

I make 3 per person. Here I’m making 12. Sometimes the ingredients get a little tilted by the end. I usually run out of avocado first.

For this three person version, you’ll need:
1/4 of a 14oz package of rice stick noodles
36 shrimp peeled and deveined or frozen
1 carrot julienned
1 cucumber julienned
Rice vinegar
2 cups cabbage (Napa, Savoy, Green…) sliced thin
1 Avocado halved and finely sliced
24 sprigs of cilantro
24 basil leaves
12 25cm extra-thin spring roll wrappers (or 22cm look for Dynasty brand)
Sweet chili sauce for dipping
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Cooking equipment I used:
9×9 Pyrex baking dish
4 quart saucepan

2 cups boiling water in a 9×9 casserole dish or something close to that. Break up a quarter of a 14oz package of rice stick noodles and soak for about ten minutes then drain in colander. Cut up a bit with scissors.

36 shrimp. 3 for each roll. I buy frozen medium size wild-caught white shrimp and flash them in lightly salted boiled water for 3 minutes (turn burner off as soon as shrimp are in. Then drain in colander and remove tails).

On a big cutting board with prep bowls if needed:
1 carrot julienned (I have a hand-held Japanese Kinpira julienne tool thing)
1 cucumber cut lengthwise and seeded. Julienne half. Thinly slice other half and put in bowl with some rice vinegar.
About 2 cups of cabbage finely sliced (Napa, Savoy, green, or whatever)
1 avocado cut in halves and sliced thin
Cilantro leaves and tender stalk
24 or so basil leaves

12 25cm extra-thin spring roll wrappers.

With enough space on cutting board to roll and a 9×9 casserole dish with hot water next to it, rotate wrapper through hot water, place on cutting board and begin to load about a third of the way down the wrapper: basil leaves and shrimp next to each other and then everything else on top. Tuck in sides and roll.

Serve cucumber slices in small dishes topped with toasted sesame seeds and sweet chili sauce for dipping. I usually make sushi rice as a side.

Copyright © 2018 MRuesen • All rights reserved

Flu Prevention Diet

Worth the time. And the red stained hands.

6 medium or 4 large beets stems and greens removed
1 small yellow onion finely diced
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
4 to 6 cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Cooking equipment I used:
8 quart stockpot

Cut stems and greens from beets. Place in pot and cover with water and bring to a boil. Continue on a slow boil until knife pierces beet easily. Half hour or so for small/medium and sometimes an hour for big ones. When done, reserve 1 cup of beet water. Set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, combine beet water, a small yellow onion finely diced, one cup white wine vinegar, quarter cup sugar, four to six cloves, teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for around five minutes.

Meanwhile, trim ends off beets, pull skin off, slice or dice beets however you want. Combine beets and sauce in covered container and refrigerate overnight. Pull out a few hours before eating to let them warm up a bit.

Serve with hot tea and an orange.

Copyright © 2018 MRuesen • All rights reserved