Recipes to complete any Ash Wednesday meal

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Today being Ash Wednesday, many people will be eating fish or non-meat items for their meals today. I thought I would share a couple of recipes with you that have been given to me to use during Lent.

Shrimp with Red Beans and Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 cups water

2 (16-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 packages vegetable broth cubes (bouillon)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked

Cooked rice

Chopped parsley, optional

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Add water, beans, bouillon, sugar, chili powder and pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of mixture and mash with a fork; return to pan. Stir in shrimp and heat approximately 3 more minutes. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6.

Salmon Loaf

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can salmon, undrained

1/2 cup egg substitute

1/3 cup dry bread crumbs

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with vegetable spray. In a large bowl, flake fish and remove bones. Add all ingredients and mix well. Press into loaf pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes until golden brown. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Pasta Con Broccoli

1/2 pound shell macaroni, cavatelli

1/2 stick margarine

2 cups half and half

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 package frozen broccoli

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Garlic powder

Cook shells and drain. Cook broccoli and drain. Saute mushrooms in margarine. Mix all ingredients together and simmer over low heat. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cook over low heat until mixture thickens. Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish.

Penne Pasta with White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

1 cup sliced onions

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup vegetable broth, or more if needed

2 (15-ounce) cans white cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed, or 3 cups home-cooked cannelloni beans with 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not oil packed, quartered

1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil, or 1 tablespoon fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons

Salt and pepper

1 large package whole wheat penne pasta

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Combine onions, garlic and 1/4 cup broth in a large pot. Simmer over moderately high heat until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans with their liquid, or an equivalent amount of water if you are using canned beans, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, basil and remaining 3/4 cup broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, stirring often, until all the flavors are well blended, 15 to 20 minutes. Thin, if desired, with additional vegetable broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and boil until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a warm bowl. Add sauce and toss to coat. Serve on warm plates, topping each portion with 1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley. Serves 4.

Pasta Alfredo

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons butter

1 small jar sliced black olives

1 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced or diced

1 pound bow-tie pasta

SautZ garlic in butter over medium heat; add cream and Parmesan cheese. Stir until well mixed. Add olives and mushrooms. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, while boiling pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, pour sauce over pasta and serve.

Baked Catfish

Catfish fillets, 1 per person

1 package fish seasoning mix

Salt and pepper, to taste

Lemon pepper, optional

Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray. Coat fish fillets with mix. Arrange on foil-lined cookie sheet. Salt and pepper and lemon pepper, if desired. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1/2 hour. Serve immediately.

Melba Brase volunteers at the Senior Center, so I have the pleasure of getting to visit with her frequently. Last week she brought this recipe for me to include here so you can give it a try. With pecans in abundance this year, you might want to try the pecan pie recipe she got from Richard Wagner many years ago.

Pecan Pie

1 9-inch pie shell, do not prick

Pre-bake pie shell for 6 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

1 cup white corn syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup pecan halves or broken

Place pecans in the bottom of the partially pre-baked pie shell. Combine all of the other ingredients and stir until well blended. Pour over the pecans and bake the pie in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Mr. Wagner always suggested using dark corn syrup if you prefer a stronger flavored pie. Another possibility is maple flavored or a blend of white and dark, which Melba said she does. You can also mix the filling and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the pie. Melba also likes the Minute Maid Premium brand lemon juice.

If you have a favorite recipe you like to make during Lent, send it in and other readers can enjoy it.

Have a great week and until next time, happy cooking.

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