Untested but undoubtedly delicious

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We were at a family wedding last weekend in Dallas and had some pretty amazing food while we were there. When we checked into our hotel, we were given bags of cranberry orange pecan snack mix made by the bride's mother. The rehearsal dinner featured chicken Milano and an interesting layered lasagna. At the reception there was a beautiful display of beef tenderloin on tortillas chips with mango salsa, apple and cheese quesadillas, lemon and rosemary feta spread on homemade herb crackers, puff pastry with tomatoes, feta, basil and olives, tiny chicken and beef sandwiches and much more.

It was all delicious, but one of my favorite things was the spiced fruit tea served just after the wedding was over. It had a strong orange taste with cinnamon and cloves. Served over ice with a large slice of orange, it was delicious on a hot Texas afternoon. I will have to do some research and see if I can find a few of these recipes.

In the meantime, I would like to pass along to you a few recipes that I have selected from a couple of cookbooks that I want to try, but have not found the time to do so yet. Maybe you will try them and let me know how they turn out.

Italian Pasta Salad

2 small packages tricolor rotini pasta noodles

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets

1 small- to medium-sized zucchini, sliced or chopped

3 medium carrots, cut or sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 large can drained black olives

1 package dry Italian dressing mix

Sliced pepperoni, cut into fourths, your desired amount

Boil pasta until just al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour into a large bowl and add all of the vegetables, olives and pepperoni. Prepare dressing according to package directions, reducing the amount of the oil by half. Pour over salad and toss gently. Arrange a few black olives, pepperoni and red onions on top for garnish. Serve with breadsticks or hot homemade bread.

Tossed Apple and Walnut Salad

2 red delicious apples

2 cups torn Romaine lettuce

2 cups small fresh spinach

2 cups torn Boston lettuce

1/4 cup Swiss cheese strips

Dressing:

1/4 cup walnut oil

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, crushed

Mix all ingredients. Add garlic and let stand at room temperature for one hour. Remove garlic, pour dressing over salad and toss before serving.

Lemon Pecan Wild Rice

2 cups canned chicken broth

1/2 lemon rind, cut into strips, about 1 1/2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup wild rice

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

3 tablespoons minced scallions

1/4 cup fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan combine broth, half of the lemon rind and butter and bring to boil. Stir in rice. Cook covered on low heat until rice is tender, about one hour. Stir in pecans, scallions, parsley, lemon rind, salt and pepper. Serve immediately as a side dish with your favorite meat.

Spicy Pintos Over Rice

1 cup soaked pinto beans

2 cups water

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped green pepper, optional

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients, except salt, and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more liquid if needed. Add salt and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with hot cooked rice and a side of corn bread.

Arugula Capellini

1 pound capellini pasta

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 clove garlic

3 large plum tomatoes

2 cans baby clams, save juice

1/2 pound arugula, or spinach if desired

Boil capellini until al dente. In large pan, lightly brown garlic in olive oil. Stir in tomatoes, arugula and clam juice. Cook for one minute, then add clams. Continue cooking 6 to 8 minutes until arugula is soft. Pour mixture over drained capellini and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Pizza Burgers

1 pound ground beef, cooked and cooled

Onion to taste, cooked in with the ground beef

1/2 to 1 pound grated Cheddar cheese

1 small can chopped black olives

1 small can chopped mushrooms or fresh if desired

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 can tomato soup

1/4 cup salad oil or olive oil

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for an hour if possible for the flavors to blend. Spread on French bread that has been sliced in about one-inch-thick slices. Place on cookie sheet and bake in oven at 375 degrees until hot and bubbly.

I have tried several different recipes for buffalo style chicken wings, but have not tried one that has so many ingredients, especially orange juice. I will be interested to see how it turns out.

Buffalo Wing Sauce; It's a Beautiful Thing

1 1/2 cup ketchup

1 to 2 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce (Louisiana Red Hot is what the recipe calls for)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup mustard

1/4 cup white sugar

4 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons vinegar

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Chicken wings, thawed

Cook chicken wings on baking sheet at 300 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Then, deep fry them at 350 to 400 degrees until crisp. Pat with paper towels. For the sauce, mix all ingredients in saucepan and simmer for one hour. When chicken is ready, shake wings in saucepan with sauce until coated. Serve wings with blue cheese or ranch dressing.

I hope you have an opportunity to try these recipes and keep them in your files. I am all out of room for now, so I will wish you a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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