Wednesday, January 19, 2022

 Vegan Favorites on Tim's Special Recipes

Among the many recipes on this blog are a number that, by their nature are entirely plant-based, vegan in common terminology. 

Here is an index of these recipes, which can be found by scrolling, or by going to the posting date in the "archives" on the blog. This is easiest done in computer rather than I-phone mode,

I will update this list as I post additional vegan recipes.

Apricot or Nectarine Chutney                                              12/2/2018

Brussels Sprouts sauteed with Balsamic Vinegar               11/5/2019

Chimmichurri Sauce                                                             6/3/2021

"Drunken" Black Beans                                                      8/26/2019

French Lentil Salad                                                             8/29/2021

Fresh Salsa                                                                         8/26/2019

Gazpacho Andaluz                                                              6/24/2021

Greek Pasta Salad (non-feta version)                                  6/7/2021

Hummus bi Tahini                                                                8/7/2019

Lima Beans Greek Fava Style with Dill                            2/18/2020 

Neapolitan Spicy Cauliflower                                            7/29/2020

Kale braised with Apple                                                     3/29/2020

Lekerli Christmas Coolies                                                  12/6/2020

Lentil Vegetable Soup                                                        8/23/2020

Ratatouille (Provencal vegetable medley)                         8/21/2019

Rice Pilaf with dried fruit and peas                                    8/24/2019

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini-Lemon sauce                 8/14/2019

Sesame-Marinated Broccoli, Korean style                        11/1/2019

Spiced Applesauce, condiment                                          12/2/2019

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apple                       12/27/2021

Turkish White Bean Salad                                                 8/31/2019


Monday, January 17, 2022


Beef Stroganoff


Created in the early 19th century and named for Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov, the last male scion of a rich and aristocratic Russian family for whom the creator, a French chef, worked, this dish became an international haute cuisine classic. The Franco-Russian treat combines the seared steak and Dijon mustard of French cuisine with the sour cream of Russia. And although the name of the Stroganov family’s chef is now lost, naming the creation for his patron was probably a wise career move. 

Made by my grandson August Pearson
The alternate spelling “Stroganoff” (the original name is spelled in the Cyrillic, not Roman, alphabet) is used internationally for the dish. Some recipes use mushrooms and ketchup, others do not. But beef, onions, Dijon mustard and sour cream are essential. The other essential is that the strips of beef are fried quickly, part at a time, so they brown lightly, rather than stew. I use beef “flatiron” steak, but fancier cuts of tender lean beef can be used, up to and including tenderloin. 

The traditional accompaniment for the dish is “French” fried strips of potato. But rice and noodle dishes also go well. The recipe serves six. 

1-1/2 pounds “flatiron” (blade of chuck) steak

Butter and sunflower or other vegetable oil (not olive)

1 large onion, very thinly sliced lengthwise

1 tablespoon flour

2 cups beef broth

2 tablespoons red wine

1/2 pound small mushrooms, end of tips removed, mushrooms halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup or 1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 bay leaf

1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill for topping (optional) 

Trim tough parts off surface of beef. Cut away any fat. Slice steak across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Cut any pieces longer than 3 inches into halves. Set aside. 

In large frying pan (one you can serve in) fry sliced onions in 1 tablespoon butter plus 1 tablespoon oil until quite limp. Sprinkle with flour and stir well and gently fry 2 minutes. Add broth and wine, and stir well. Let mixture come to a boil. Add mushrooms, ketchup or paste, mustard, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Let simmer gently, covered, 10 minutes. Turn off heat. 

Heat a griddle or another large frying pan. Add some butter and oil and fry part of the beef, such that it all rests without overlap on the pan and fries. Stir to turn the pieces frequently, until they are gently browned in parts and the pink color has just left. Transfer beef to the sauce mixture, using slotted spoon.

Add more butter plus oil to frying pan as needed, continue to fry part of the beef at a time until finished.

Reheat the pan that contains the sauce, mushrooms, and beef, and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in sour cream and remove from heat as soon as the mixture bubbles. Taste and add salt, if necessary. 

Sprinkle beef mixture with snipped dill, if used,. Serve with noodles, rice or French fries.

Monday, December 27, 2021


Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apple


I’ve been making this dish for many years, typically to accompany a roast of pork or turkey. For the last fifteen years or so we have sold it by the quart at the restaurant as a side dish with roasted turkeys and other Thanksgiving items that many of our customers order for the holiday. 

I first encountered this bright and beautiful treat in college at the classy demonstration cafeteria run by the School of Home Economics, where they called it “Belgian Red Cabbage.” I’ve since learned that sweet and sour red cabbage, often with apple, is prepared in northern Germany, Denmark, and Czech Republic, and elsewhere in central and northern Europe. I actually had it at a Czech restaurant in East Berlin, where it came with roasted goose and potato dumplings.

Here’s how I make it.

1 medium red cabbage

1 large apple

10 whole allspice berries

4-inch strip of orange zest, peeled preferably from an organic or well-scrubbed orange

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 tablespoons cider vinegar

4 tablespoons sugar

Quarter the cabbage, cut out and discard the core. Shred cabbage finely (this can be done with a 2-milometer blade in a food processor or mandolin). Peel, quarter, and core the apple and chop the quarters into small pieces. The orange zest and allspice berries can be tied in a small cheesecloth bag for easy removal later.

In a stainless steel or enamel (not aluminum or cast iron) pot bring the cabbage, apples, allspice, orange peel, pepper, salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Simmer, covered, stirring from time to time and adding a little water to keep some liquid on the bottom of the pan. Cook until cabbage is tender and the apple has broken up (about 20 min). 

Remove the cheesecloth bag or if it wasn’t used remove the orange peel and allspice berries as you see them. Add the vinegar and sugar plus salt to taste. Simmer about 5 minutes. The color will become a bright crimson red. Taste and add more sugar, vinegar, and/or salt to your taste. The flavor should be delicately sweet-sour.

The dish is best if made ahead and reheated to serve. Re-check the salt before serving.


Sunday, November 7, 2021


Blueberry Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce

Here’s a recipe for a fruited bread pudding that I developed for my pre-teen cooking class recently. The method is somewhat simplified in terms of the baking method, not using a pan of hot water in which the pudding pan sits.


10 cups, fairly packed, cubed (see below) baguette or sandwich bread (one large loaf)
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 to 4 tablespoons melted butter (easiest in a cup in microwave)
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup pecans (optional), coarsely chopped


1/2 cup raspberry preserves (can put through a sieve if you want to get rid of seeds)

3/4 cup water

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Do not cut off bread crusts, but slice bread if not already sliced, then stack up a few slices at a time and cut into 1-inch squares. Separately, in large bowl, whisk eggs lightly. Mix in milk, sugar, seasonings, and melted butter. Stir in bread. Let sit five minutes then stir again. Stir in blueberries, and pecans, if used.

Generously butter 10-inch round casserole or high-sided cake pan, or 9 by 13-inch pan. Fill with mixture and smooth top. Cover with waxed paper or parchment, then aluminum foil.

Bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 or more minutes to dry top, and until pudding tests done. (Edges pull away from pan; center should be slightly springy to the touch. A sharp knife inserted near the center comes out clean.) Remove from oven.

Whisk sauce ingredients, other than butter, in a small pan. Add butter. Simmer sauce ingredients 1 minute, stirring with a whisk. With 2-prong fork poke holes into still-hot pudding here and there and spoon sauce on so it soaks in.

The pudding can be eaten warm. Or cool, cover with plastic wrap. Serve cold, or slightly warmed (in microwave, for example). Nice topped with whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Friday, October 22, 2021


“Wild” Mushrooms sautéed with Goat Cheese (and optional Ham) on a “Planche”

Suddenly, some people, including our son-in-law Jason, are growing shiitake mushrooms at home. Locally grown ones are also often available in Georgia in fancier supermarkets, produce markets, as well as Asian grocery shops. Here’s a way of serving them like the French prepare seasonal wild mushrooms, typically as a starter course.

The dish is patterned after a specialty of Louisiana-born and French-restaurant experienced Chef Joe Truex, formerly with Watershed, in Decatur, Georgia. It serves as a starter or a light lunch or supper. 

The “Planche” is a long, diagonally cut slice of French baguette buttered on both sides and fried until golden. English muffins split in half are a readily available substitute. The “wild” mushrooms are either fresh shiitake or a combination of shiitake and oyster mushrooms. But locally collected chanterelles, “Hen of the Forest,” or morels would be more authentic. The ham is optional, but makes the dish richer in flavor. Country ham was Joe Truex’s choice, but smoked ham from the deli counter works well. The ham is easily chopped finely, or minced, on a cutting board with a chef’s knife. 

The recipe serves 4 to 6, depending on how the dish is used in the meal. 


1 pound shiitake mushrooms or a mixture of small fresh shiitake and oyster mushrooms

2 tablespoons minced country ham or smoked ham (1-2 slices from deli counter) -- optional

1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine

3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed

4-6 ounces soft goat cheese

Salt, if needed (may not be needed if using salty ham)

Juice of 1/2 of a small-medium lemon

Minced parsley for garnish 


4-6 slices baguette cut 1/2-inch thick on a long, flat bias to make oval slices 4 to 6 inches long (or split English muffins)

Butter for the bread

Prepare ingredients for mushrooms. Rinse mushrooms, and for shiitakes, cut off stems. Slice mushrooms about 1/2-inch wide. Mince the ham, if used. Mince shallot or green onion. Have other ingredients ready. 

Slice the bread into the number of
planches needed, or use one English muffin, split, per person. Lightly butter both sides. Fry them gently in a wide frying pan on both sides until golden. Set on serving plates. 

Reheat frying pan. Gently fry minced ham, if used, and shallot or green onion in olive oil until shallot is softened. Add mushrooms and stir and fry until looking slightly softened. Add wine and water, and simmer, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to half. 

Stir in goat cheese, until melted. If sauce is thick add a little water. Remove from heat. Taste for salt, and add a little if needed. Squeeze in lemon juice. Mix briefly. 

Spoon mixture onto the fried planches. Dust lightly with minced parsley. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021


French Lentil Salad

Here's a traditional salad from France, a “salade de lentilles” [sah-'lahd deh lawn-'tee]). Originally for winter when produce was scarce, the dish is tangy enough for any season. My updated recipe includes fresh vegetables for color and brighter taste. The red and green highlights beautify the dish for buffets, especially at Christmas. Lentil salad can serve as a side dish, or be offered as an appetizer if spooned onto lettuce leaves. It can even be spread onto toasted sliced baguette, bruschetta, or crackers as hors d'oevres.

Most supermarkets carry one-pound bags of tan-green lentils. These are fine for this salad. The recipe serves six or more as an appetizer or side dish. It’s best made ahead; leftovers keep well refrigerated for several days.

1/2 pound (1 cup) dry tan-green lentils

1 small bay leaf

1 medium clove of garlic, bruised

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

3 tablespoons wine vinegar or lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large scallion (green onion), or 2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 small-medium tomatoes or 1 cup grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 extra tomato or 8-10 grape tomatoes plus parsley sprigs for garnish

Pick over lentils. Soak them in plenty of boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain.

Place lentils in a pot, add water to just cover, and return to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Skim off foam. Stir in bay leaf, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Simmer, uncovered, just at the edge of a boil. Stir gently from time to time and add a little water, if needed, to keep the liquid level at the surface of the lentils. Cook just until just tender (15-20 minutes), testing a few lentils by biting them.

Drain in colander (the juice can be used in soups or stews), shaking it gently. Transfer lentils to a large bowl to cool, and stir gently from time to time. Remove bay leaf and garlic.

Stir in vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil, about 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper. For scallion, slice white and green portions very thinly; or use finely minced onion. Stir scallion or onion into lentils. Allow mixture to sit at least ten minutes. Taste, and add salt if needed. The salad is best if refrigerated 8 hours or more.

Before serving, taste again and add vinegar or lemon juice and/or salt if necessary. Cut tomatoes into small pieces and chop parsley. Stir both into lentils, plus a little salt for the tomato. Serve in shallow bowl or heaped up on platter. Garnish with the additional tomato, sliced, or grape tomatoes, halved, and sprigs of parsley.

Monday, July 12, 2021


Pork braised with Nectarines or Plums, a Summer Treat 

Bowl by Maria Dondero, Southern Star Studio, Athens GA 
Pork is certainly the meat that pairs best with fruit, or with sweetness, in cooking, with many great examples. A distant second meat for cooking with fruit would be duck (such as French Duck á l’Orange), but Americans don’t use duck much. In North Africa, lamb is sometimes braised with fruit and sweetness, as in Moroccan Tagines. Beef and chicken rarely go with fruit, in my experience. 

With nectarines becoming available in the summer, here’s one of my favorite dishes using pork with fruit, Pork braised with Nectarine. Plums, particularly dark colored prune plums in late summer, are also good. This delightful, and satisfyingly hearty, pork-fruit combination goes well with buttered noodles, potatoes or rice, set off with crisp-tender broccoli or a green salad. A chilled dry to off-dry rosé would be my choice of wine to have with this..

The recipe serves six. 

2 pounds lean pork, tenderloin, “country ribs,” or butt preferred

3/4 teaspoon salt for meat, plus 1/2 teaspoon for cooking

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 small onion, finely diced

1/4 cup red wine

1 pound nectarines (or plums)

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Pinch of cayenne

Chopped or whole sprigs of parsley for garnish, optional

Sour cream, optional

Trim (but save) excess fat from pork. Cut meat in 1-1/4 inch chunks. Include bone if using “country ribs.” Season meat with salt and pepper. Wash nectarines or plums but do not peel them. Cut flesh off the pits and chop it finely by hand or in food processor. 

Render (melt) fat trimmings in cooking pot. Discard cracklings. Pour off (but save) all except 3 tablespoons grease, or add olive or vegetable oil as needed. Fry pork, half at a time, in the pot, until just starting to brown, adding a little more grease if needed. Remove to a bowl with slotted spoon. 

Fry diced onions in the pot, adding a little grease if needed, until softened and starting to brown. Add fried meat plus wine. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add chopped nectarines or plums, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the paprika, oregano and cayenne. 

Simmer covered, stirring occasionally and pushing meat down into the liquid, until meat is tender, adding a little water if sauce becomes dry (15-20 minutes for tenderloin up to 30-45 minutes for country ribs or butt). Taste during cooking and add salt as needed. 

When serving, optionally garnish with chopped or whole sprigs of parsley. Top with a little sour cream, if desired.