Never a shortage of recipes

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Frequently I am asked if I ever run out of recipes or ideas to write about. And always, my answer is no. The possibilities are endless, and the list of topics I could share is just as long.

I receive dozens of recipes each week by email from different people, groups and magazines. One local recipe enthusiast is Jodi Thompson from Jackson. Jodi sends me recipes often, and I enjoy trying some of those and usually file a few away for special occasions or holidays. All of today's recipes are from Jodi's emails, and I hope you enjoy them.

Chocolate Mint Meringue Cheesecake

1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs

3 tablespoons margarine, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

24 ounces cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup mint chocolate chips, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 large egg whites

7 ounces marshmallow creme

Combine crumbs, margarine and sugar; press onto bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in mint chocolate and vanilla; pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add marshmallow creme, beating until stiff peaks form. Carefully spread over top of cheesecake to seal. Bake at 450 degrees 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned.

White Barbecue Sauce

This is a popular sauce in northern Alabama. People in the region eat white barbecue sauce on everything. On article I read said it is served with French fries and as a sauce for coleslaw, as well as smoked meats.

2 cups mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

6 tablespoons white vinegar

6 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons white sugar

Mix all ingredients together and stir well. Serve liberally with chicken, ribs, smoked pork and even hot rolls. This sauce is good on almost everything.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

2 cups uncooked medium egg noodles

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. While the noodles cook, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pork with pepper and salt. Place pork in pan; cook 5 minutes, turning once.

Combine the wine and mustard; pour into pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into pan; bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute or until thick. Serve pork with sauce and noodles.

Beef Nacho Casserole

This south-of-the-border casserole combines refrigerated pizza dough, beef mixture and taco-cheese blend into a sensational one-dish meal.

You can try many different variations of this recipe. Try tortilla chips instead of the pizza crust, any onions will do, or don't use any. This goes for olives, too. Salsa can replace the peppers. Use up leftovers of almost any Mexican food: beans, rice, taco meat, etc., just mix it in and bake. You can't go wrong.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound pre-sliced sweet peppers (about 1/2-inch-wide strips)

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

2 tubes (10 ounces each) refrigerated pizza dough

1 jar (16 ounces) medium-hot salsa

3 cups shredded taco-cheese blend

1 can (2.2 ounces) sliced black olives, drained (about 1/4 cup)

3 large scallions, trimmed and sliced

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 13-by-9-by- 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers, ground beef and garlic salt; cook, stirring to break up beef, until the peppers are soft and beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain off any excess fat from skillet. Remove pizza dough from tubes. Cut the dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide slices, then cut each slice into quarters. In large bowl, toss together dough pieces and salsa. Add cooked meat mixture, 2 cups of the taco-cheese blend and olives. Scrape mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup taco-cheese blend over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle scallions evenly over the top. Bake an additional 5 minutes.

Caprese Wraps with Chicken

Pick up a rotisserie chicken and assemble this hearty sandwich for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 cups chopped hearts of romaine lettuce

1 1/2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast

3/4 cup (3 ounces) fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

Cooking spray

4 (2.8-ounce) multigrain flatbreads

1 large garlic clove, halved

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add lettuce and next 4 ingredients (through tomatoes), tossing to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Working with 1 flatbread at a time, cook bread 1 minute on each side or until toasted. Rub 1 side of each flatbread with cut sides of garlic. Arrange 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture in the center of each flatbread; roll up. Serve immediately.

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

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at 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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