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On 2 Feb 2005 at 21:40, Dave wrote:

> Hi,
>  I found you in my search for instructions on making my own
>  Montreal-style corned beef. Even an old bachelor like me can make
>  plain corned-beef by brining it for 10-14 days and then boiling it
>  for 2 hours, but it is missing that something special. Do I just
>  throw in in the smoker for a while? If so, how long. I found one
>  reference that mentioned 18 days! I do not want to end up with
>  something that could be used in a shot-put!. My electric smoker is
>  not cool. With care, it can turn a $4 salmon into a $20 smoked
>  salmon, but it can very quickly turn it into a paving stone too. As a
>  pensioner, I have still have the taste for some of these things, but
>  not the budget!! Maybe you can recommend a site for doing things
>  yourself. My inept searching just leads to recipes for cooking with
>  finished product. I spent about 6 hours looking for instructions on
>  making plain corned beef . It's good, but not special. The time
>  wasn't wasted though, as it came up with instructions on pickling
>  beef heart. That turns a cheap piece of meat into a delicate taste
>  treat which I have never seen in any store! Dave    

Hello Dave,

Montreal smoked beef is based on a recipe that was brought over from Romania by Romanian immigrants to Montreal. The real recipe is top secret and no one has been able to duplicate it exactly. The recipe below claims to be close.

Pastrami is not exactly the same as Montreal smoked meat, but it's the closest thing going. There's a great article about making your own pastrami on this site:



Recipe for Dry Curing Brisket/Plate into Pastrami.

With a mortar and pestle (or a coffee grinder) grind the following to a course texture:

1. 3lbs course kosher salt
2. 2lbs peppercorns
3. 1/2lbs sugar
4. 1/2lbs coriander seeds
5. 3 Tbs whole cloves
6. 10 whole bay laurel leaves
7. 2 Tbs saltpeter

Rub a 7lbs plate with raw garlic then coat with salt mixture. Let sit, covered, 
in the cooler for three days. Turn it over every 12 hours.

Rinse the meat under cold running water for 5 minutes and remove all the surface
salt mixture. Let it soak in fresh water (change the water every half hour) for 
3 hours.

Coat the meat with two parts cracked black peppercorns and one part cracked
coriander seeds. Press the mixture into the meat. Weight it down and place in 
the cooler for eight hours.

Smoke (cherrywood) over medium-low heat for eight hours or until the internal 
temperature reaches 165f. Immediately weight the meat down and let cool for 
24 hours in the cooler.

Steam the meat for three hours. Immediately weight the meat and let it cool 
for 24 hours in the cooler.

Re-heat the meat in the steamer for half an hour. Slice and serve.

Cannoli Shells

On 2 Feb 2005 at 12:42, Ken wrote:

> could you send me a recipe for Cannoli  Shells?
> Thank You
> I love your site.
> ken

Hello Ken,

See below.


Cannoli  Shells

 Ingredients :
 3 c. sifted all-purpose flour
 1 tbsp. sugar
 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
 3/4 c. port
 Salad oil or shortening for deep-frying
 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
3 lb. ricotta cheese
 2 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate pieces or grated sweet chocolate
 2 tbsp. chopped citron
 10 candied cherries, finely chopped
 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
 Chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
 Confectioners' sugar

 Preparation :
   Sift flour with sugar and cinnamon onto a board.  Make a well in
 center and fill with port.  With a fork, gradually blend flour into
 port.  When dough is stiff enough to handle, knead about 15 minutes,
 or until dough is smooth and stiff (if too moist and sticky, knead
 in a little more sifted flour).  Refrigerate dough, covered for 2
 hours.  In deep-fat-fryer, electric skillet, or heavy saucepan,
 slowly heat salad oil (3-4 inches deep), to 400 degrees on
 deep-frying thermometer.  Meanwhile, on lightly floured surface,
 roll 1/3 of dough to paper thinness, making a 16 inch round.  Cut
 into 8 (5 inch) circles.  Wrap a circle loosely around a 6 inch long
 Cannole form or dowel, 1 inch in diameter; seal with egg yolk.
 Gently drop dough-covered forms, 2 at a time, into hot oil and fry 1
 minute, or until lightly browned on all sides (turn if necessary).
 With tongs or slotted utensils, lift out of oil, and drain on paper
 towels.  Carefully remove forms.  Continue until all dough is used.
 Cannoli shells can be made a day or two ahead and stored, covered,
 at room temperature.  Fill shell about hour before serving.  Makes
 24.  In a large bowl, with portable electric mixer, beat ricotta
 cheese 1 minute.  Add 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and beat until
 light and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add chocolate, citron, cherries,
 cinnamon; beat at low speed until well blended.  Refrigerate for at
 least 2 hours.  Fill shell with mixture and garnish ends with
 pistachios; sprinkle tops with confectioners' sugar.
Cannoli  Shells

 Ingredients :
 1 3/4 c. unsifted flour
 1/2 tsp. slat
 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
 1 egg
 2 tbsp. firm butter cut into sm. pieces
 1/4 c. dry Marsala
 1 egg white, slightly beaten
 3 lbs. Ricotta, drained overnight
 1/2 pt. heavy cream, whipped
 1 1/8 c. sugar
 3 drops cinnamon oil, from dropper
 1/2 bag semi-sweet mini chips

 Preparation :
   Sift flour with salt and granulated sugar.  Make a well in the
 center.  In it place egg and butter.  Stir with a fork, working from
 center out, to moisten flour mixture.  Add wine, 1 tablespoon at a
 time, until dough begins to cling together.  Use your hands to form
 dough into a ball.  Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.  Roll dough
 out on floured board about 1/4 inch.  Cut into 3 1/2 inch circles.
 Roll with rolling pin, roll circles into ovals.  Wrap around cannoli
 forms.  Seal edge with egg white.  Turn out ends of dough to flair
 slightly.  Fry two to three at a time in deep hot fat for about 1
 minute or until lightly golden.  Remove with tongs to paper towels
 to drain; let cool about 5 seconds; then slip out cannoli form,
 holding shell carefully.  Cool shells before filling.  Mix Ricotta,
 sugar and cinnamon oil with mixer.  Fold in whipped cream and
 chocolate chips.  Let set overnight.  Do not mix after set.
Cannoli  Shells

 Ingredients :
 1 lb. flour
 3 oz. sugar
 3 oz. Crisco
 2 eggs, leave 1 white for putting on cannoli
 1/2 c. water
 1 tsp. vanilla

 Preparation :
   Mix, roll out on board, cut into squares and wrap around tubes
 using egg white to hold together.  Heat oil and deep fry 2 or 3 at a
 time until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel.  Cool to touch and
 remove from tubes.  Cool completely before filling.
Cannoli  Shells

 Ingredients :
 1 1/2 c. flour
 1 tbsp. cocoa
 1 tbsp. sugar
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. baking powder
 2 tbsp. shortening
 1/2 c. wine
 Shortening or oil for frying

 Preparation :
    Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Work in the
 shortening and add wine a little at a time; knead well.  Take a
 piece of dough the size of a nickel and roll it very thin; place
 loosely around a cannoli tube, overlap opposite ends on top of the
 tube, and pinch ends together.  Deep fry in oil or shortening;
 remove when nicely browned.  Carefully remove tube from shell by
 pushing gently through so as not to break the shell.  Cool before
 filling.  Cannoli shells can be kept indefinitely in a cool place
 and filled as needed.
Cannoli  Shells

 Ingredients :
 1 c. flour
 1 tbsp. sugar
 1 tbsp. butter
 Pinch of salt
 1/4 c. white wine

 Preparation :
    Mix all ingredients well.  Shape into ball.  Roll very thin.  Cut
 into 3 x 3 inch squares.  Shape onto cannoli sticks.  Fry in very
 hot oil until lightly browned.  Remove and drain on paper towels.
 Gently remove pastry from cannoli sticks.  Cool and fill with
 Italian cream.
Italian  Pastry  Cannoli  Shells

 Ingredients :
 2 c. flour
 2 tbsp. shortening
 1 tsp. sugar
 1/4 tsp. salt
 3/4 c. Marsala, Burgundy or Chablis wine
Cannoli Filling:  
#1 Easy way out!--
 2 lbs. of Ricotta (must be dry)
 2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
 1 c. confectioners sugar
 2 tsp. cinnamon oil
 1 tsp. vanilla
 2 oz. of miniature bittersweet
    chocolate morsels
 Dash of orange flavoring
 Cannoli Filling:  
 #2 more difficult,but the real thing!
 2 lbs. *Impastata 
 1 lb. confectioners sugar
 2 drops cinnamon oil
 1/2 c. chocolate chips
 3 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts
 2 tsp. vanilla

 Preparation :
   Combine flour, shortening, sugar and salt and wet gradually with
 the wine.  Knead together with fingers until a hard dough is formed.
  Form into a ball, cover with a cloth and let stand for about an
 hour.  Cut dough in half and roll 1/2 of the dough into a thin sheet
 about 1/4 inch thick or less and cut into a 4 inch square.  Place a
 metal tube diagonally across each square from one point to another,
 wrapping dough around by overlapping the other two points, sealing
 the overlapping points with a little egg white.  Meanwhile heat
 vegetable oil in a large deep pan for deep frying.  Drop 1 or 2
 tubes at a time into the hot oil and fry gently on all sides until
 dough acquires a golden brown color.  Beat cream cheese until very
 creamy.  Beat Ricotta vigorously for 2 minutes.  Blend the cheeses
 together and add sugar, cinnamon oil, vanilla and flavoring plus
 chocolate morsels.  Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour at least
 before filling shells.  Filling will keep at least 3 days in
 refrigerator.  Blend and beat until creamy and fill your cannoli


On 2 Feb 2005 at 20:53, Ken wrote:

> I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Great recipes. Do you have
> ravioli recipes as well? Ken 

Hello Ken,

See below.



 Ingredients :
 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
 1/2 c. grated Romano cheese
 1 #2 1/2 can spinach
 Salt & pepper to taste
 2 eggs
 5 c. flour
 4-5 eggs

 Preparation :
    Brown meat, add salt and pepper.  Mix eggs with meat before
 browning, then add salt, pepper and cheese.  Let simmer 15 minutes
 then when you are ready, mix the dough.  Add spinach to mixture.
 Let set while preparing dough.  Roll dough quite thin, cut in
 squares, put filling (about 1 tablespoon) in center of square; fold.
  Then press with fork to seal firmly; place in large kettle of
 boiling water with salt added.  Cook 5 minutes, drain and cover with
 cheese and sauce.  Dough:  Mix until dough is elastic and can be

 Ingredients :
 6 c. flour
 1 c. water
 4 eggs
 1/4 c. oil
 1 lb. ground beef
 1 lb. ricotta
 2 eggs
 1/4 c. romano cheese

 Preparation :
     Mix flour, water, eggs, and oil in large bowl until well mixed
 and kneaded. Cover with a cloth and let sit.  Meantime brown ground
 beef, seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, garlic or garlic salt).
 Drain and put in a bowl.  Let cool a bit.  Add ricotta, eggs, and
 cheese and mix well.  Knead dough on floured board.  Form a ball.
 Cut in half.  Recover one half with cloth.  Roll other half with
 rolling pin into large circle about between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick.
 Cut into 4 inch wide strips and place on ravioli cutter.  Make
 indentations for filling and fill holes with about 1 teaspoon of
 filling.  Dampen edges with water.  Place another strip on top and
 roll with rolling pin until cut.  Turn over and remove.  Repeat
 until you have used both halves of dough.  May be frozen on a cookie
 sheet, then bagged for future use.
Italian  Ravioli

 Ingredients :
 6 eggs, beaten
 1 1/2 tsp. water
 6 tbsp. Mazola oil
 9 c. flour
 1 tsp. salt
 1 stick oleo
Meat  Filling:
 3 lbs. pork
 3 lbs. beef
 4 eggs
 Handful of Parmesan cheese
 Handful of bread crumbs
 Some of the juice from the meat

 Preparation :
     Mix oleo, flour and salt, water, Mazola oil.  Work until smooth
 like pie crust. Next add egg mixture and work all together.  Knead
 on floured board.  Cut dough into eight parts, add a little oil to
 each piece.  Knead again and put in bowl and into refrigerator over
 night.  Next day roll out with ravioli machine.  Use the dough
 roller and graduate the thickness.  you should yield 30 filled
 ravioli from each strip.  Watch someone who has a machine before you
 tackle this job.  Roast pork and beef and season well with Italian
 spices, garlic, onion seasoning.  When cooked grind meat, add eggs,
 cheese, bread crumbs and meat juice.

US Flour vs UK Flour

On 3 Feb 2005 at 7:37, lesley wrote:

> Hi,
> Love the web site but I have a little problem you may be able to help
> me with. I live in the United Kingdom and I guess that this web site
> is based in the United States and therein lies the problem. What is
> All-Purpose flour in the UK we have plain and self-raising flour. I
> presume that All -purpose flour is one of these but which one if I was
> to guess I would say Plain but I'd like to be certain before I try any
> of the recipes.
> Many Thanks
> Lesley

Hi Lesley,

Actually, we're talking about two different qualities of flour here. "Plain" and "self-raising" (or "self-rising") refer to whether baking powder has been mixed into the flour. "All-purpose" reflects the amount of gluten in the flour, which is related to it's use. "Bread flour" has more gluten, since it is intended for making bread and therefore needs more texture. "Cake flour" has less gluten, because a lot of gluten would make a cake tough. "All-Purpose flour" has a medium amount of gluten - between the amounts in these two - so it can be used for both, hence the name "all-purpose". It has enough gluten to make decent breads, but not so much that cakes made with it will be too tough.

So, "all-purpose flour" can be either "plain" or "self-rising". I would speculate that in the UK, flour that is not specifically labeled "cake flour" or "bread flour" and does not say "high-gluten" or something similar, would be what we call "all-purpose flour".


Wild Rice Flour Bread

On 2 Feb 2005 at 0:27, Kathy wrote:

> It's been a long time since I've needed your help, but I'm back asking
> for help again.
> Years ago (twenty or more) there was a bakery at Onamia, MN, that made
> bread using wild rice flour. The bakery no longer exists. I would like
> to taste this bread again before I die (no imminent danger of that).
> The wild rice bread that is in bakeries today is made using the whole
> grain, that has been cooked - this is not at all the same as using
> wild rice flour.  After years of searching, the food co-op in my area
> finally found wild rice flour.  So I am one step closer to getting
> that taste I so much desire.  Now all I need is a recipe!
> Using google I learned that wild rice flour does not have enough
> gluten so it has to be mixed with other flour.  And that's all the
> information I've been able to find. 
> I appreciate all the time it takes for you to do all the searching
> that you do.  I really tried this time to do it on my own ( which is
> why I haven't been asking for help lately, been doing it on my own,
> and it feels good to be able to do it) and you are my last resort for
> this bread.  
> Thanks for all your help!
> Kathy

Hi Kathy,

I didn't have much luck. There are several wild rice pancakes recipes on the web that use wild rice flour, but I only found one bread recipe.

I don't know anything about the below recipe. It doesn't even say exactly how much wild rice flour to use, just "10 cups of wild rice/white flour blend." I did see elsewhere that the proper ratio is 1/4 wild rice flour to 3/4 white flour, so I'd use this mixture: 2 1/2 cups wild rice flour to 7 1/2 cups white flour.

Try this one at your own risk...


Wild Rice Bread

2 cups Milk
2 cups Water
3 pkgs dry yeast or 1 large yeast cake
_ cup Honey
4 tsp Salt
4 tsp melted Lard
10 cups Wild Rice/White Flour blend 

Scald Milk and add Water. Dissolve Yeast in warm liquid.
Add Honey, Salt and melted Lard
Put in a bowl large enough to mix dough.
Add 2 _ cups flour mix at a time. Beat until smooth after each addition. 
Keep doing that until dough is stiff. Turn out onto a floured surface 
and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. You may have to add 
more flour while kneading. 
Place in a warm lightly oiled bowl and let rise until double. 
Punch down and let rise a second time until double. 
Put in greased bread pans and let rise until double 
Bake 10 minutes at 425, then at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.


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