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Plaquemine Post South - Plaquemine, LA
  • 'Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook' dishes on celebs' favorite recipes

  • Now we are sharing a slew of recipes from celebs who are very much alive and kicking. Singers Justin Timberlake and Beyonce, movie stars Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman and television celebs Oprah and Ellen are just a few of the stars who contributed dishes.

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  • A few weeks back, we featured a slew of recipes from “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook.” Now we are sharing a slew of recipes from celebs who are very much alive and kicking. And even one known for throwing and running and winning Super Bowls.
    Yes, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is among the stars in the new “Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook,” in which he shares his mother’s recipe for lace cookies.
    “My mom made these cookies for us all the time, and they are my favorite,” Manning writes in his recipe introduction. “She still makes them every time I make a visit home.”
    I made the Manning family cookies and have to say, if the rest of the recipes in the book are as good as these, we are in for a wonderful culinary adventure.
    Attorney Nick Katsoris, based in Manhattan, author of the award-winning children’s book series featuring Loukoumi the lovable lamb, has gathered the favorite childhood recipes of more than 50 celebrities in this family-friendly storybook and cookbook.
    Singers Justin Timberlake and Beyonce, movie stars Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman and television celebs Oprah and Ellen are just a few of the stars who contributed dishes.
    Others include Katie Couric, Celine Dion, Betty White, Matt Lauer, Marcia Cross, Susan Lucci, Jay Leno, Taylor Swift, Amy Poehler, Neil Patrick Harris, Al Roker, Mark Wahlberg and several teen stars from hit television shows, such as “The Wizards of Waverly Place” and “So Random!”
    As a father of two young children, Katsoris wanted his books to promote family togetherness and teach children a life lesson.
    “This one is all about getting kids in kitchen with parents and creating this bonding time,” he said.
    The book is the fifth in the Loukoumi series, and this one is the tale of a special feline aunt, Aunt Cat Cora — as in, the celebrity Iron Chef Cat Cora — helping the animal friends make a yummy dessert. The treat is Cora’s favorite childhood cake, her grandmom’s Italian cream cheese cake.
    “Cat teaches the other characters how to cook and, in doing so, teaches them that there is a secret ingredient in cooking and also in life,” Katsoris said. “And that is to never give up.”
    Children ages 4-12 can enter Loukoumi’s Secret Ingredient Recipe Contest for the opportunity to cook a favorite dish alongside Iron Chef Cora. Kids must tell, in 10 words or less, what their favorite childhood recipe is and why. Deadline is April 30. Go to www.Loukoumi.com for more information.
    The book is for a good cause. Partial proceeds benefit Cat Cora’s non-profit organization, Chefs for Humanity. It also benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, due to Jennifer Aniston, a spokesperson for the hospital located in Memphis.
    Page 2 of 4 - “Jennifer opened me up to St. Jude’s,” Katsoris explained. The star and her father, John Aniston, both contributed recipes and have narrated previous Loukoumi books for CDs. The celebs were eager to participate, Katsoris said.
    “I knew a handful, others I went to their agents, and they were all happy to be part of it,” he said. One star’s quick response actually surprised him, Katsoris said.
    “When we got a recipe from Oprah, that was pretty exciting,” he said. “We sent an email to one of her producers and within a week, we got a response back. Not only was it a yes, the recipe was attached.”
    Oprah contributed her recipe for Southern-style corn fritters, adding that they are “just right with maple syrup, fruit syrup or honey.”
    Family recipes are sacred to many people, stars included, Katsoris said.
    “They entrusted me with something very personal of theirs, and I’m very grateful,” he said.
    Naturally, Katsoris has a few favorites in the book.
    “Faith Hill’s Coca-Cola cake is one I really didn’t expect to be so great, but it is,” he said. “Reese Witherspoon’s Cowboy Cookies are delicious, and Nicole Kidman’s bread pudding is just wonderful.”
    About Eli’s cookies. This is one of the strangest recipes I have ever made. As I read the instructions, I assumed there must be a typo. The directions say to scoop dough in level half-teaspoon amounts. Seriously? A half teaspoon? That’s about as big as a marble. I even went online and searched for “Eli Manning’s lace cookie typo” and came up with nothing. So I ignored the instructions and scooped the dough in tablespoon amounts. All the dough ran together in one giant sheet cookie. Yes, the half-teaspoon amount is correct. The little dough drops spread to an ultra-thin layer, hence the name “lace.”
    Watch them carefully, and pull them when they are a light golden brown. However, I got distracted with one batch and pulled them when they were deep golden brown, but they were just as delicious. The lacy wafers are a cross between candy and cookie, with a rich and buttery caramel flavor. I found that with a slightly longer baking, they come out ultra-crispy. A little less baking gives them a slightly chewy center. Either way, they are amazing and versatile. They’re wonderful alone, or you could drizzle them with chocolate, put an icing filling between two cookies, or crunch them over ice cream or pudding. A batch makes about 70 cookies.
    Incidentally, “Loukoumi” is a European jelly candy dusted in sugar. Katsoris always liked the treat and its catchy name, and he named his lamb character after it.
    “Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook” is $19.95 from Loukoumi Books. Look for it at your favorite bookstore or visit www.loukoumi.com.
    Page 3 of 4 - ELI MANNING’S LACE COOKIES
    2 cups old-fashioned oats
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 cups white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 sticks melted butter
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with ungreased aluminum foil.
    Place oats, flour, sugar and salt in to large bowl and mix well. Pour very hot melted butter over mixture and stir until the sugar has melted. Add eggs and vanilla, stir well. Drop level 1/2 teaspoons of  batter on foil, 2 inches apart.
    Cook about 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully. When cookies are completely cooled, the foil will easily peel off. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 6 dozen.
    *Jennifer's note: You actually can make them a little bigger. I used a full scoop instead of a level. Also, do keep an eye on them. You may have to turn the pan for even browning. 
    REESE WITHERSPOON’S COWBOY COOKIES
    “I never met a cookie I didn’t like. These are my absolute favorite!”
    1 cup margarine
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 cup chopped nuts
    2 cups oatmeal
    1/2 cup coconut
    2 eggs
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together margarine, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Add to first mixture and mix thoroughly. Fold in remaining ingredients. Drop on greased cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown.
    FAITH HILL’S COCA-COLA CAKE
    “I love this Coca-Cola cake. It is so rich and decadent ... you need to drink a lot of milk with it!”
    Cake:
    2 cups unsifted flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 sticks butter
    2 tablespoons cocoa
    1 cup Coca-Cola
    1⁄2 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1 1⁄2 cups miniature marshmallows
    Icing:
    1⁄2 cup butter
    3 tablespoon cocoa
    6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
    16 ounces confectioners sugar
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    For Cake: Sift flour and sugar in bowl. Heat butter, cocoa and coke to boiling point. Pour over flour/sugar mixture. Add buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, vanilla and marshmallows (Batter will be thin and marshmallows will float to top). Pour batter into greased and floured 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
    For Icing: Combine all ingredients and heat to boiling. Pour over cake while hot. Let cool. Enjoy.
    Page 4 of 4 - JENNIFER ANISTON’S QUINOA SALAD
    “This is a really simple salad, but so delicious, and all these beautiful, healthy ingredients, make it one of my favorites.”
    1/2 cup quinoa
    1 cup water
    Pinch of salt
    1 bunch flat leaf parsley washed and chopped (thick stems removed)
    4 Persian cucumbers peeled in strips, seeded and diced
    2 medium tomatoes, diced
    1 ripe, but slightly firm avocado, diced
    2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste
    In a small saucepan bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Put quinoa into a medium size mixing bowl and cool. Add parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and oil to quinoa. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
    JAY LENO’S UNCLE LOUIE’S CHICKEN WINGS MARINARA
    “My uncle always told me, ‘Someday you’ll have to make dinner for 20 guys, and this is what you’ll make.’”
      2-3 dozen chicken wings
      Olive oil
      1 can Italian whole plum tomatoes
      Garlic, crushed, to taste
      3 teaspoons parsley, chopped
      Salt, to taste
      Garlic powder, to taste
      2 tablespoons Durkee’s hot sauce, plus more to taste
    Preheat the broiler. Place the chicken wings under the broiler until cooked through, about 15 minutes, turning them halfway through. (Alternatively, you can also deep-fry the chicken wings. Lightly flour them and deep-fry in safflower or peanut oil at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes per batch, or until cooked through.)
    Meanwhile, heat 1/8-inch of olive oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic or garlic powder, to taste. Mash the can of whole plum tomatoes through a sieve and cook in the olive oil. Add the parsley, and salt to taste and cook for about 20 minutes. Add hot sauce and a pinch of garlic powder and cook for another 3-4 minutes. In a bowl, toss the chicken wings with 1/2 cup of the sauce and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
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