Rolling through the heat of summer

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our son is in his second week of marching band camp. The marching band students and directors are a highly dedicated group of hard-working people who strive for perfection, working 10 or more hours a day in hot and humid conditions. Nothing will do but to put together a perfect show to achieve the best results at the competitions. I marvel at the dedication and work all of these people put into the show and the fabulous performance we get to enjoy after hours and hours of practice. We look forward to a sneak preview Friday night when the students will perform part of the show for an audience at the high school. As the season progresses, you will be hearing more about the fabulous Cape Central Marching Tigers.

Jodi Thompson of Jackson sent in all of the recipes for today's column. She must be a busy cook trying new recipes. Many of her recipes have become some of our family favorites, and I'm sure these will be added to the list as well.

Festive Shrimp Pinwheels

Garlic and herb cheese accent the shrimp perfectly in a flaky crescent pastry.

1 (8-ounce) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1/3 cup garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese (from 5.2- to 6.5-ounce container)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cooked shrimp

2 tablespoons chopped green onions (2 medium)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough and separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12-by-4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Spread cheese over each rectangle. Sprinkle each with shrimp and onions. Press in lightly. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle. Press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices. Place cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 16 appetizer servings.

Crab Salad on Croissants

2 (8-ounce) packages imitation crabmeat, flaked

2 celery ribs, chopped

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

8 croissants, split

Lettuce leaves and tomato slices

In a large bowl, combine the crab, celery, onions and cheese. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and yogurt until blended. Pour over crab mixture. Toss to coat. Line croissants with lettuce. Top with crab salad and tomato slices.

Garlic Lime Shrimp

1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup butter

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Hot cooked pasta

In a large skillet, saute the shrimp, garlic, salt and cayenne in butter until the shrimp turn pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice and parsley. Serve with pasta. Makes four servings.

Grilled Scallop Salad

24 asparagus spears, trimmed

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

24 sea scallops

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cups torn red leaf lettuce

2 cups torn Bibb lettuce or Boston lettuce

1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese

1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add asparagus. Cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water. Drain and pat dry. Set aside. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine oil and soy sauce. Add scallops. Seal bag and turn to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill scallops, uncovered, over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes on each side or until the scallops are firm and opaque. Arrange mushrooms on a 9-inch square piece of heavy-duty foil coated with cooking spray. Grill mushrooms on foil, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender, stirring often. Arrange the lettuce on four serving plates. Top with asparagus, scallops, mushrooms, bacon, walnuts and cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Makes four servings.

Grilled Black Bean and Rice Stuffed Peppers

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed

3/4 cup cooked white rice

4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large bell peppers, cut lengthwise in half, seeds removed

1 plum (Roma) tomato, diced

Additional chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Cut three 18-by-12-inch pieces heavy-duty foil. Spray with cooking spray. Mix beans, rice, onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, oil, lime juice, garlic and salt. Place two bell pepper halves on one side of each foil piece. Fill with bean mixture.

Fold foil over peppers so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold. Fold again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion. Cover and grill packets over medium heat 15 to 20 minutes or until peppers are tender. Place packets on serving platter. Cut large X across top of each packet; fold back foil. Sprinkle with tomato and additional cilantro.

Orange Cream Dessert Squares

A sugar cookie crust with a hint of orange is the base for a creamy cheesecake filling.

1 (16.5-ounce) roll refrigerated sugar cookies

2 tablespoons grated orange peel (from 2 large oranges)

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup orange marmalade

1 teaspoon orange-flavored liqueur or 1/4 teaspoon orange extract

2 eggs

3 tablespoons whipping (heavy) cream

2 drops orange food color (or 2 drops yellow and 1 drop red food color)

1 1/2 teaspoons real butter

1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Press cookie dough evenly on bottom and 1 inch up sides of ungreased 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. (If dough is sticky, use floured fingers.) Sprinkle evenly with orange peel. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, marmalade and liqueur with electric mixer on medium-high speed about 1 minute or until well blended. Add eggs. Beat about 2 minutes or until well blended and mixture is creamy. Spread evenly in crust. Bake 29 to 36 minutes or until crust is golden brown and center is set. Cool 1 hour. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave whipping cream and food color uncovered on high about 30 seconds or just until boiling. Add butter and baking chips. Stir until chips are melted. Spread mixture evenly over bars. Refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours or until chilled and firm. To serve, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows, using thin, sharp knife and wiping blade occasionally. Cover and refrigerate any remaining dessert squares.

I think this dessert sounds so good, and I look forward to trying it soon.

I am out of room, so will wish you a good 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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