Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Grandma Leggiero's Easter Rice Pie

Sweet Crust
  • 3 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 3 t. baking powder
  • 1 egg plus milk to equal 3/4 C
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 3/4 Shortening (can be half shortening, half butter)
Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together. Cut shortening/butter into dry ingredients until shortening is pea sized. (Food processor works great) Mix in wet ingredients just until dough holds together. Gather into a ball and refrigerate for 20-30 min. Don't overwork the dough.

  • 2/3 C rice
  • 1 qt milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 lbs ricotta
Cook rice about 10 minutes in water, then drain. Add rice to milk and cook gently until all milk is absorbed. Stir frequently to keep rice from scorching. (about 1 hr). Let rice mixture cook completely. Stir in sugar, vanilla and ricotta.

Roll out dough to fit a 9x13 baking dish and fold back edges to make a rim. Fill with filling mixture. Bake at 350 for 1- 1.5 hours until filling is set in the middle and a knife inserted comes out dry. Don't overbake.

Several smaller pies can be made from this recipe. The baking time will be less.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mapo Tofu (Stir-Fried Tofu in Hot Sauce)


1 block silken tofu (medium firm)(19 oz box)

1/4 lb ground pork (or beef)

3 tablespoons Sichuan spicy bean paste (Available in any Chinese grocery store. Show them these Chinese words 辣豆瓣酱, and they will understand it-- jie)

3 dry red chili peppers (cut into 3 pieces)

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns (roasted and ground to powder) (Hard to find in US, and i did not use it today. --jie)

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 stalk of green onion (chopped into small pieces)

3 pieces of garlic (chopped)

1 small piece of ginger (chopped)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup water

Salt to taste


Cut the tofu into small cubes. Heat up a wok and pour in the cooking oil. Add the chopped garlic, ginger, spicy bean paste, and chili pepper. Stir-fry till the flavor come out. Add ground pork and stir-fry until the pork is half-done. Then add in the tofu, soy sauce, salt, sugar and water. Stir gently to blend the tofu (don’t break them) well with the sauce. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3-5 mins or until the sauce thickens.* Dish out and add the roasted Sichuan peppercorn powder and the chopped green onion on the surface. Serve hot.

*Depending on how thick the sauce is at this stage, stir in some of the cornflour-water mixture and turn up the heat to medium. The sauce should start to thicken.