PBS American Masters series with James Beard, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin

There is a series running on PBS called American Masters.  They are currently featuring American cooks such as James Beard, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin - OK I know he is French, but he is an American citizen -  I am enjoying it thoroughly since these are the cooks who inspired me when I was learning to cook.  I still have the books they published and refer to them often.
Give it a try - I think you will enjoy!

VIEW: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/


Betty's Quiche

Quiche Lorraine - essentially a fancy sounding French name for what the Brits would call a bacon and egg pie! Still, the combination does produce an elegant dish that is at home for brunch, lunch or supper. Even better - you can make it ahead and even freeze it. Doesn't get much more versatile than that.


1 prebaked pie shell, 9 to 10 inches
4 slices bacon cooked till quite crisp and crumbled
1 large onion, sliced about 1/4" inch thick and cooked until softened in bacon fat
6 ounces Swiss or Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
a few gratings of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine eggs and cream either in a food processor or mix well with a whisk.
Put onion, drained of fat, in bottom of pie crust, top with bacon pieces.
Add cheese and pour in egg/cream mixture.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes or until pie seems fairly firm when shaken.


Cooked broccoli and cheddar cheese
Smoked salmon, Swiss cheese and asparagus.


Betty in our home pub
This is a revisit to the ubiquitous Fish ‘n Chips. The traditional recipe calls for dipping the fish in batter and deep frying it. Truly delicious but containing about a week’s worth of calories and fat in one serving! Great for a treat about once a year but, if you would like to enjoy this combination more frequently, try my non-traditional recipe.

Non-Traditional Fish ‘n Chips for Two


8 ounces fish filets (I used flounder)
About 20 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
1 egg
Olive oil spray
2 baking potatoes
Olive oil
Cole slaw for serving

Preheat oven to 375° convection, or 400° conventional oven. 
Peel and cut potatoes into French fries. Place in a non-stick baking pan and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the fish. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Beat the egg well to mix and spread crushed Ritz crackers on a piece of waxed paper. Dip the fish in the egg and then in the cracker crumbs to coat on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. When potatoes have started to brown, place fish in oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve with cole slaw, if desired.

NOTE: If you are using a thicker fish such as cod or halibut, increase cooking time to about 10 minutes or until it appears done when flaked. 


Mushroom Croustades

These lovely mushroom croustades are from a cookbook that is about 55 years old!  

While many of the other recipes in the book seem outdated, these tartlets have stood the test of time and have remained in my repertoire to this day.

Both the filling and the tart bases can be made ahead and frozen which makes them perfect for impromptu entertaining.



24 slices fresh, thinly sliced white bread
2 tablespoons very soft butter


4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese to finish.

Watch the video