Sample Recipes

Mildred Halechko's Amaretto Medallions
1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco (do not substitute)
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 TBS amaretto liqueur or syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 egg, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325°. Cover cookie sheet with baking parchment.

Remove 48 slivered almond pieces and reserve. Chop remaining almonds in blender or food processor; measure 1/2 cup and set aside.

Whip egg. In small bowl, combine margarine and brown sugar and mix well. Add beaten egg and liqueur and beat well. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to egg mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped almonds.

Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet and press slivered almond piece on top of each cookie. Bake 8 to 9 minutes until edges are light brown. Do not overbake.

Remove medallions carefully from baking sheet and cool on rack; store in ceramic container.

Makes 4 dozen 2-inch cookies.

Contributed by Mildred Halechko, Glenshaw
From the upcoming Cookies program.

Asparagus, Pancetta and Toasted Pignoli Nuts in a Romano Cream Sauce
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, rinsed, and cut into 1-inch diagonals
4 oz. pancetta, small dice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons pignoli nuts, toasted

To toast nuts, stir in a hot skillet until toasted, about 1 minute.

Cook asparagus in a steaming rack or microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp tender.

In large sauté pan, place pancetta and cook until browned. Add onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add heavy cream and bring to boil. Add Romano cheese. Toss with hot pasta.

Top with pignoli nuts and additional Romano cheese.

Contributed by Joseph Certo, Forest Hills
From America's Home Cooking: Italian.

Stuffed Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Gravy
2 large sweet potatoes or yams
1 cup half and half or heavy cream
8 TBS butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 onion, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup bread crumbs
personal spice dust
4 thick pork chops with pockets slit into them

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Cook sweet potatoes (boil or bake -- your preference) in their skins until fork tender. Peel, and mash with half-and-half or cream and 4 tablespoons of the butter. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Reserve one cup of mixture for stuffing. Place the remaining mixture in the greased baking dish.

Mix together the reserved sweet potato mixture, onion, apple, walnuts and bread crumbs.

Sprinkle pork chops with your favorite personal spice dust (as simple as salt and pepper or as complex as your favorite spice mixture). Spoon stuffing inside of chops, and place atop the sweet potato mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on pork chop thickness.

Contributed by Monica Narr, Crafton
From America's Home Cooking: Comfort Food.

National Cooking Shows

Cookies:
When it comes to desserts, a cook is never short on options. Cakes, pies and ice cream are always a hit, but nothing comes close to a cookie in the sweet treats category. Cookies are pleasing to everybody, simple to make and the choices -- chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, icing -- are endless. It's no wonder so many people cherish memories of making cookies from their childhood, and carry on the tradition with their families through generations.

America's Home Cooking: Cookies captures the love affair we all have with these delicious desserts. This three-hour pledge event will invite your viewers and their taste buds into our kitchen for recipes like ethnic Greek cookies, a Snickers bar cookie sure to delight the kids and an elegant Vienna Tart with apricot filling.

Host Chris Fennimore will demonstrate a mouth watering assortment of cookies along with co-host Nancy Polinsky and their guests, home cooks, who share their family's best loved cookie recipes with the audience.

Cookies is the latest installment in the America's Home Cooking series, which also includes Comfort Food and Italian shows.

For more on any of the America's Home Cooking programs contact Pat Taormina at 412-622-1584 or ptaormin@wqed.org.

Comfort Food:
What is comfort food? After collecting more than 100 recipes from public television viewers, the preparations fall into predictable categories: hearth-warming soups and stews that satisfy the appetite and the soul; childhood foods like meat loaf and mashed potatoes or spaghetti and meatballs; ethnic foods that tie us not just to our families but to our heritage; and the recipes of absolute indulgence, like fudgy brownies or pineapple cheesecake.

The dishes we selected to demonstrate in this program touch all these categories. Chris Fennimore shows Nancy Polinsky one of his family favorites, Pasta with Fried Zucchini, while she shares her easy Toffee Coffee Cake recipe.

Other recipes demonstrated include spicy turkey and black bean chili, a hearty soup that mimics the flavors of stuffed cabbage, dumplings for all occasions and a "dump and bake" dessert called Peaches and Cream that will become an instant family tradition.

Italian:
Hosts Chris Fennimore and Nancy Polinsky gather some of the best home cooks to share their recipes for Italian favorites from Chicken Cacciatore to Alfredo Sauce.

The program begins with Chris Fennimore's own recipe for Chicken Cacciatore. This savory stew of chicken, vegetables and olives is an Italian classic. There's a zesty pasta with puttanesca sauce, a heart-healthy Alfredo sauce, stuffed artichokes, an authentic Italian casserole called Tiela and, of course, baked eggplant.

These are recipes that viewers can easily follow and will want to make for themselves. Best of all, these dishes are only a small example of the recipes that are in the cookbook.

Irresistible close-ups of food send viewers directly to the phone so they can be part of the cooking excitement and make these sure-fire recipes for their family and friends.

Biography

As WQED Pittsburgh's Director of Programming and host of QED Cooks, Chris Fennimore wears many hats (and occasionally an apron) at the station.

Since 1991, the Brooklyn native -- who joined WQED Pittsburgh in 1985 as Director of National Programming -- has served as Director of Programming.

In his current position, Chris is responsible for selecting and scheduling all television programs that air on WQED13/ WQEX 16. He also serves as a food columnist for Pittsburgh magazine and writes a Sunday feature column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
 
In August 1993, Chris incorporated his own love for cooking with his responsibility for providing quality television programs -- and inaugurated the cooking marathon format with "Zucchini Cheesecake."

Since then, he has produced -- and hosted -- more than 35 live cooking marathons, ranging from "A is for Appetizers" to "S is for Seafood."

Public television stations across the nation now copy this extremely successful fund-raising formula.

COMING SOON

>> PBS Success Stories
>> Tips from Chris on programming his shows
>> Ideas on how to get your viewers to submit recipes

 

Now You're Cooking: Chris Fennimore's weekly food column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

All Homemade Cookies: Recipes from around the world.

Mangiare Bene: Comprehensive Italian cooking website (means "Eat well").

What's Your Favorite Comfort Food? Take Allrecipes' poll.

PHOTOS
>> Headshot
(Chris Fennimore)
>> Screen Grab (Fennimore and guests)
>> Screen Grab (Fennimore and guest)

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