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Chefs cook up some tasty treats for seventh annual recipe contest


Holiday Beverages: Mary Massey Waterloo, Ill.

"I make two batches — one with brandy and one non-alcoholic for the kids."

Apricot Brandy Slush

12 oz. can frozen orange juice

(do not dilute)

12 oz. can frozen lemonade

(do not dilute)

2 cups fairly strong tea

7 cups water

1½ cups sugar

2 cups apricot brandy

(or any flavor brandy)

Mix all ingredients in large container — a gallon ice cream container works great — and freeze for at least 48 hours. Scoop as much slush in your glass as you want and then fill with 7 Up.

Just Desserts: Michelle Moceri, Concord

"This recipe is from Costa Rica and is a favorite at the Posada celebrations before Christmas."

Almond Tea Ring Crust

1 stick of butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. water

Blend the above with a pastry blender. Pat mixture into two rounds, ¼-inch thick onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Set aside.

Cream Puff mixture

1 cup water

1 stick butter

1 cup flour

3 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

Bring water and butter to a boil. Take from stove immediately. Add 1 cup flour and stir quickly. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating briskly between each addition. Add 1 tsp. pure almond extract and blend. Put the cream puff mixture evenly onto each of the crusts about 1 inch thick.

Bake for 45 minutes to one hour in a 350-degree oven. Cool.

Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp. butter, softened

1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

1-2 tbsp. milk

Blend above frosting and divide to frost each tea ring.

Deserving Dressings: Louise Hauf, Crestwood

"This recipe is from when we lived in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, and is one of our favorites. We like it with whole wheat or multi-grain bread and spice like poultry seasoning."

German Apple Stuffing

1 lb. loaf day-old white bread,

cut into ½-inch cubes

1/3 cup butter

½ cup onion, pared

½ cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped celery leaves

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 cups milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups Red Delicious apples,

cored and chopped 1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 6-cup decorative baking dish. Place bread cubes on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven until dry and lightly toasted, about five minutes.

Transfer to large bowl. Lower oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in onion, celery, celery leaves, parsley and pepper.

Cook three minutes. Pour over bread. Add milk and eggs; stir to moisten. Gently stir in apples and raisins. Spoon into prepared baking dish; cover. Bake at 350 for one hour. Makes eight servings.

Holiday Hams: Catherine Fritz, Waterloo, Ill.

Holiday Honey Ham

1 full cooked bone-in ham,

pre-sliced

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. clove

1/8 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/8 tsp. allspice

If ham is not pre-sliced, you must cut the ham into very thin slices around the bone, but do not cut all the way through, or the meat won't stay together.

Mix the sugar and spices in a bowl, then pour onto waxed paper and spread it around evenly. Roll ham into the spice mixture, making sure it gets between the slices, and coats the outer edges.

Place into baking pan and bake 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.

Hor D'oeuvres: Pamela Stuart, Oakville

Cranberry-Brie Bites

1½ cups cranberry sauce

(use homemade

or store-bought cranberry sauce)

1 puff pastry sheet

1 brie triangle, chilled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Thaw puffy pastry sheet flat.

Cut puff pastry sheet into 1½-inch squares and place them into mini muffin tins, pressing them into the shape of the muffin hole.

Place a one-inch slice of brie in the center of each puff pastry and then top it with approximately one tablespoon of cranberry sauce.

Bake 10 minutes or until puff pastry corners are toasted light brown.

Let cool five minutes before serving.

Lovable Leftovers: Doreen Hanneken, Concord

Chinese Turkey Salad Salad

3 cups torn salad greens

1½ cups chopped left-over turkey

1 (8 oz.) can sliced

and drained water chestnuts

½ cup julienne carrots

¼ cup chopped red cabbage

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1 (5 oz.) can chow mein noodles

Dressing

3½ tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. sesame oil

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Using a large bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Add salad greens, turkey, vegetables and toss with dressing. Top with chow mein noodles. Serves four to six.

Positive Roll Models: Dave White Sunset Hills

"This is a tasty treat. Using frozen bread dough, which can be found in the frozen-food section of most supermarkets, saves both mixing and rising times."

Orange-Glazed Holiday Bread

2 1-pound packages

frozen white bread dough

1 large egg, beaten

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter, melted

Orange Glaze

1¼ cup confectioner's sugar

2 tbsp. grated orange rind

3 to 4 tbsp. fresh orange juice

1. Prepare bread: Place frozen dough in large oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2. Let dough rest in warm place until doubled in size — several hours. Punch down dough on a lightly floured surface.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two large pans and put dough in them and brush dough with egg and allow to rise until doubled in size — 20 to 25 minutes.

4. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Generously brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the top. Bake until golden brown — 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Prepare Orange Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, orange rind, and enough orange juice to attain runny consistency. Drizzle orange glaze over bread and let cool before serving.

Special Salads: Patti Kappel Oakville

Winter Fruit Salad

1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks

in natural juices

1 package (31/8 oz.)

cook-and-serve vanilla pudding

1 quart mixed fresh fruit chunks (apples, bananas,

oranges, pears, etc.)

¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/3 cup flaked coconut

Whipped topping, optional

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Set pineapple aside. In a saucepan, combine pineapple juice and pudding mix; cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool.

Combine pineapple, other fruit, nuts and coconut in a large salad bowl; add dressing and stir to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

Garnish with whipped topping, if de-sired. Serves six to eight people.

Scintillating Side Dishes: Lisa Rapp Oakville

"I just can't say enough about this recipe. Everybody just loves it. It's loaded with all the yummy ingredients for the holidays, such as almonds, cranberries and orange. I love rice dishes of all kinds, but this, I have to say, is the best."

Harvest Rice Dish

½ cup slivered almonds

2 cups chicken broth

½ cup uncooked brown rice

½ cup uncooked wild rice

3 tbsp. butter

3 onions,

sliced into ½-inch wedges

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup fresh sliced mushrooms

½ tsp. orange zest

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup raisins

Place almonds on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast at 350 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes. Mix broth, brown rice and wild rice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes, until rice is tender and broth is absorbed.

In medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and brown sugar. Saute until butter is absorbed and onions are translucent and soft. Reduce heat and cook onions for another 20 minutes until they are caramelized.

Stir in cranberries and mushrooms into the skillet. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until berries start to swell.

Stir in almonds and orange zest, then fold the mixture into the cooked rice. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves six.

Super Soups: Janet Short, Concord

Black Bean Soup

2 tbsp. butter

½ cup each: chopped carrots,

celery and onions

1 can tomatoes

with green chilies (chopped)

¼ cup dry cooking sherry

3 cans black beans, undrained

1 beef bouillon cube

½ cup water

½ tsp. basil

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. Hot-n-Spicy seasoning

(see below)

Melt butter and add carrots, celery and onions. Cook on low heat about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add rest of the ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Serves eight.

Hot-n-Spicy Seasoning

Mix together ¼ cup paprika, 2 tbsp. oregano (crushed), 2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. black pepper, ½ tsp. red (cayenne) pepper, and ½ tsp. dry mustard.

Store in airtight container.

Tender Turkey: Doreen Hanneken, Concord

"Every year it's fun to try a new twist on roasting our turkey. This year we'll have a deliciously different orange glazed bird. The recipe would also work with Cornish hens for a small family. Just adjust the roasting time for the hens."

Orange Glazed Turkey

12-14 pound whole turkey,

defrosted if frozen

3 tbsp. melted butter

3 tbsp. olive oil

3 tsp. instant chicken bouillon

1 tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. garlic powder

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 cups water

½ cup orange marmalade

Rinse and stuff turkey with dressing — I prefer to bake the dressing separately.

Secure wings and legs and place on a rack in large roasting pan. Combine butter, olive oil, bouillon, thyme, garlic powder and pepper. Brush turkey with butter mixture. Cover turkey breast with foil.

Place onions, carrots and celery around turkey in pan and roast at 350 degrees for 1½ hours, basting every half hour with drip-pings. Add water to pan as the vegetables begin to brown. Roast 2½ to 3 hours long-er, taking foil off halfway through roasting time, basting every half hour.

The turkey is done when meat thermometer reaches 180 to 185 degrees — or if pop-up timer is activated. The juices should run clear, and the leg should move easily.

During the last 15 minutes of roasting time, brush turkey with orange marmalade. Let turkey rest 20 minutes for easy slicing. Use the pan juices to make delicious gravy. Garnish with orange slices.

Pan Gravy

Pan juices from turkey

Water

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tsp. instant chicken bouillon

Strain juices into measuring cup. Discard vegetables, giblets and neck. Skim off all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add enough water to measure 3 cups liquid. Pour into saucepan.

Mix cornstarch with a ½ cup water and add to saucepan along with bouillon. Boil at medium-high heat, stirring constantly for two minutes.

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