June 25, 2008 · Updated 11:53 AM
"Occasionally when I'm going through various recipe files (and I have a lot of them) I come across favorites I haven't made for a long time and find myself thinking, Gee, this one is so good; I should pass it along in a column. I usually pull it out and set it aside, thinking I'll use it soon. Well, I now have quite a little stack of those use it soon recipes sitting right next to my computer so, before it grows any larger, I'm going to do something about it. Today we'll eliminate the gabby part of the column and just cut right to the recipes.First, Lemon Curd. If you've never tasted or used lemon curd, you've been missing a treat. I believe it originated in England; it certainly has been around in the British Isles forever and once was almost impossible to find in this country, which is why my grandmother always made it for our family. Now I see it in most large supermarkets in the specialty jams, jellies, etc. section, but it's a lot more expensive than making your own. It's delicious on scones, toast, pancakes, whatever, inside crepes or as filling for little tarts, or stir some into plain yogurt for a lunchtime treat. I also use this between the layers of a lemon cake or glaze/icing for a plain pound cake. Try a spoonful over fresh berries.Lemon Curd6 eggsFinely grated rind from 3 lemons and juice from 2 of them1/2 lb. unsalted butter1 lb. (2-2/3 cups) sugar1. Separate two of the eggs and set aside the whites for other purposes. Beat the remaining 4 eggs and 2 yolks thoroughly. 2. Melt the butter in a double boiler; stir in the sugar. When the sugar is warmed through, add the beaten eggs. Stir in the juice from the 2 lemons and the lemon rind. Continue stirring until the curd thickens (8-10 minutes), being careful not to let the mixture boil or overheat. Immediately pack the lemon curd in hot sterile jars, cover and seal. When cool, store in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 pounds; a nice little gift.When we think of chutney, most of us think Major Grey's Chutney. Well, there are many, many more types of chutney and some of them are much better than anything you can buy. Try this Grapefuit Chutney, for example, and you'll find you want to have some handy all the time. Use it with chicken, fish, rice, salads, or to pep up your cottage cheese. Grapefruit Chutney4 cups grapefruit pulp4 cups sugar1 t. ground cloves1 t. cayenne 2 1/2 cups vinegar2/3 cup raisins (black or golden or both)10-12 blanched almonds1. Discard seeds and white pith from the grapefruit pulp. Put pulp into a large stainless steel or enamel pan (as you would use for making jam or jelly); stir in the sugar. Place over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Stir in the spices, vinegar and raisins. Bring to a boil and simmer gently until soft and thick. Chop the almonds a bit and stir into the chutney a few minutes before you take it off the heat. Pack chutney into hot clean jars, process in hot water bath as for jam or jelly, allow to cool. Now for somemouth-watering little appetizer goodies that will have your guests drooling for more - no way can you eat just one of these things. Gruyere Puffs3/4 cup water6 T. butter1/4 t. salt3/4 cup flour3 eggs1 t. dry mustard1 cup grated Gruyere cheese1. In a saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a rolling boil. Lower the heat and add the flour all at once. Beat until the dough forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until mixture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the mustard and cheese then chill dough at least 1 hour.2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan. Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough around the outer edges of the pan, sides touching, and continue filling the pan toward the center with spoonfuls of the dough. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. As long as we're on the subject of appetizers, here's a wonderful hot artichoke hors d' oeuvre that is a great take it to the party dish.Arty's Choke Bites3 jars (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, cut into pieces (reserve some of the oil)1 bunch green onions, chopped8 eggs, beaten10 soda crackers, rolled into crumbs1 lb. Cheddar cheese, grated1/2 bunch parsley, finely choppedDash of Tabasco and dash of WorcestershireSalt and pepper, to taste1. Saute the onions in a bit of the artichoke oil. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then add all remaining ingredients, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Put mixture in an 11x13 baking dish and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 35 min., or until firm. Cool slightly; then cut into bite-sized pieces. (Can be made ahead, cooled, refrigerated then warmed just before serving. Also freezes well.)And speaking of artichokes, here's a recipe I found in a cookbook in Palm Springs. It's not only excellent onion soup, but a great way to cook your fresh artichokes. Add a green salad, good bread and you've done the entire meal.Artichoke Onion Soup12 red onions1/2 cup butter4 T. olive oil6 cups beef broth, preferably homemade3 T. brown sugar3 whole cardamon seedsSalt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste2 fresh, whole artichokes, cleaned and trimmed1/4 cup brandy1/8 cup dry sherryMozzarella cheeseCroutons, purchased or homemade (large and crisp)1. Peel onions, slice thinly. Heat broth in a large soup pot.2. In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil; saute all onions in batches, transferring to soup pot as done. While sauteeing the last batch of onions, add the brown sugar and allow to cook with the onions.3. Bring the broth (now including onions) to a boil, add artichokes and cardamon and salt and pepper. Lower heat and simmer until artichokes are tender (45 minutes or more, depending upon size; be sure they're done). Remove artichokes; add brandy and sherry. 4. Fill soup bowls with soup; place croutons on top then mound shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Place under broiler 3 or 4 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve immediately, along with the artichokes and some melted butter to dip 'choke leaves in, if desired.And now I can put these back in my files and begin a new stack. Enjoy."