Johns Hopkins Magazine -- November 1998
Johns Hopkins 
     Magazine Home





P U B L I C    P O L I C Y    A N D    I N T E R N A T I O N A L

"Matters of Taste"
Online Recipes

The recipes that follow are adaptations from other cooks' formulas, and in one case, a recipe entirely my own. Cooks generally know that ovens are not all the same, and such prescriptions as "medium onion" and " small potatoes" can mislead. These recipes will work; but every cook will want to experiment and adapt. I hope that they are useful.

(adapted from Gloria Bley Miller)
(About 20 servings)

6 slices fresh ginger root 2 tablespoons sugar
4 scallion stalks 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sherry 1 turkey (ca. 16 lbs)
10 cups water 1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 head lettuce 6 star anise

1. Slice ginger root and trim scallion stalks; combine in a large, heavy saucepan with regular soy sauce, sherry, water, sugar, star anise, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

2. Wipe turkey with a damp cloth and lower into pan. Bring to boil again; then simmer, covered, 45 minutes, turning once or twice for even coloring. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Transfer bird and some of its stock to a roasting pan. Roast 1 hour, basting with stock at 10-minute intervals.

4. Sprinkle bird with sesame oil. Turn oven up to 450 degrees. Let bird brown thoroughly (10-15 minutes more); then remove and let cool slightly.

5. Shred lettuce and arrange on a serving platter. With a cleaver, chop turkey, bones and all, in bite-size pieces. Arrange over lettuce and serve.

I did not chop up, but instead sliced, the breast meat, as in more conventional American usage. Of course Chinese foods are most commonly served so that they can be taken from a main dish without anyone needing to cut anything.


(Irene Kuo)

1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
4-1/2 tablespoons salt
1 small turkey, about 6 lbs.
1. Measure peppercorns into small frying pan and cover with salt.
   Set pan over very low heat and roast for about 6 minutes until peppercorns are smoking a little and salt is slightly browned, shaking pan and occasionally tossing salt and pepper with a spatula.
   Pour mixture into a dish to cool.

2. Rinse and drain turkey and its neck and giblets.
   Place turkey in a shallow pan or container and put miscellaneous parts around it. When salt mixture is cool enough to handle, rub it all over bird thoroughly, inside and outside, particularly over meaty breasts, thighs and legs.
   Roll neck and giblets in salt that has been shaken into the pan.
   Cover pan securely with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 7 days -- yes, that's right, she says 7 days -- turning turkey a few times for even salting.

3. Drain and discard liquid and brush off surface peppercorns from turkey.
   Rinse and dry pan and replace bird in it, scattering miscellaneous parts around it.
   Set up a steaming pot - large roasting pan or soup kettle.
   Place turkey pan on rack, cover, and steam for 45 minutes over high heat, replenishing water every 10-15 minutes to maintain vigorous steam.
   Turn off heat and let turkey sit tightly covered, for 15 minutes.
   Stick wooden spoon or pair of chopsticks through its cavity, lift turkey up to drain a little, then place it, plus neck and giblets, on a platter.
   Strain and save juice for cooking noodles or seasoning vegetables.
   When turkey is cool, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before serving.

The key: Care to be given to steaming process. The steaming pot must be large, containing a substantial enough quantity of water to generate strong steam, and deep enough for the steam to circulate freely over the turkey. The pan with the turkey must be well raised, so no water bubbles can get inside to dilute flavor. A kettle of boiling water should be kept in readiness over low heat for replenishment. If the space between the pan containing the turkey and the steaming pot is tight, insert a funnel into the crack and add the boiling water through it to prevent the water from spilling into the turkey pan.


(2 recipes, one adapted from Charmaine Solomon,
and one from Jane Grigson)

Jane Grigson's Recipe

3 avocados
2 limes or one large lemon
icing sugar (powdered sugar)
5 fl oz. Heavy cream
Peel avocados, cut into blender jar, or sieve through a mouli- légumes. Slice limes or lemon into halves, and cut one thin slice from the middle; divide each lime slice into three, or cut one lemon into six wedges and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the rest of the limes or lemon, and add it to the avocados, together with a tablespoon of the sugar. Blend the avocados to produce a smooth cream, or stir the sieved avocado firmly in order to produce an even mash. Whip the cream until stiff, fold it into the pur‚e, and add more sugar to taste.

Divide between six glasses and chill two hours. Decorate with the wedges, serve with shortbread fingers.

Charmaine Solomon's Recipe

3 large fully ripe avocados
caster sugar (i.e., fine or powdered) to taste
1 cup cream (I think heavy)
dash of rum, optional
Cut avocados in halves lengthwise, remove seeds and reserve [important]. Scoop pulp from shells and mash smoothly with a fork. Add sugar to taste and stir in the cream. Put into serving bowl, return seeds to the pulp, cover closely with plastic wrap, and chill before serving.

The seeds keep the pulp from darkening. Don't ask me how, or why -- but they do, especially if the plastic wrap shuts out all air, and is on the surface of the pulp.

Add if desired sweetened whipped cream on top, and/or decorate with thin slices of avocado with lemon juice squeezed on them, added at the last moment.

Rum can be beaten into the mixture when the avocados are first whipped, if you like that taste.

My own take on this is... Make sure the avocados are ripe but firm. I like to mix the little Hess ones with a couple of the large Floridas. I add powdered sugar and whipped cream, but don't much care for the rum -- too strong for the dish. I don't bother with the lemon and lime decorations; but a little lemon juice may bring out the avocado flavor. Go easy on the sugar; this is an easy dish to oversweeten.

The seeds-in-pulp trick is astonishing; it will even work overnight, if you're lucky!


(this is entirely my own)

2 chayotes (Sechium edule Sw., also known as mirliton, chocho, christophine and, in Australia, choko) (Nahuatl chayutli, chayotli, chayotl)
1 medium unblemished jicama (Jatropha macrorrhiza Benth., or possibly Pachyrrhizus tuberosus Spreng., also known as gicama, gĦquima, chicoma, etc.) (Nahuatl jicamatl)

Cook chayotes gently in water (ca. 20-25 mins.), cool, peel and slice in 3/8" slices lengthwise.

Peel and slice an equal quantity of jicama, halving the slices to match the chayote.

Mix together 6 tbs. Chinese wine, 1 tsp. sesame oil, 1 tsp. sugar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1-2 tsp Chinese vinegar, and 2-1/2 tbs. light soy sauce. Add if you wish half a cup of minced coriander; or a half tsp of minced ginger. Stir thoroughly, then pour over the sliced salad; taste to correct, and chill for an hour or more. If the dressing is adequate, this salad will keep in refrigerator for a week or more. The quantities may be increased as necessary. These quantities should be just enough for two chayotes, and part of a small jicama.

Bon appetit!
Sid Mintz