Submit your recipes and have them printed

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reader mail has been great this week. I really like to have input from area readers. It adds a nice variety to the column, and I always enjoy seeing where the mail comes from. Maybe you have a recipe you would like to share with other cooks. If so, send it in and we will share it in this column.

(Not Your Ordinary) Zucchini Bread

Louise Howes of Cape Girardeau makes a delicious zucchini bread recipe from 1984 that is filled with wonderful ingredients, including pineapple, raisins, dates and pecans. You will surely want to add this to your recipe files, as it is a "keeper."

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups grated zucchini

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped dates

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix sugar and oil together. Add eggs, vanilla and zucchini. Sift dry ingredients together and combine. Add pineapple, raisins, dates and pecans. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (bread pans). Bake 325 degrees for an hour, depending on the size of the pan. Use a glaze if you want it sweeter. Makes 2 loaves.

Rose Hip Jelly

Shelby Shell, a Marquand, Mo., native and Cape Girardeau resident, gave me a recipe from a 1971 Southeast Missourian article for rose hip jelly. According to the article, the fleshy fruit containing their seeds following the flowers are the hips, and are useful in cooking.

1 quart clean rose hips

5 tart apples, unpeeled

1 teaspoon cloves

1 lemon

Cover rose hips, apples, lemon and closed with water and cook until tender. Crush, and drain through jelly bag. To each cup of the resulting liquid use one cup of sugar. Boil briskly 10 to 15 minutes until syrup threads from the spoon, about 10 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars and cover with two layers of paraffin.

Eggplant Casserole

Clodina Mann of Jackson sent in a recipe for eggplant casserole that she really enjoys making and serving. Clodina also wants other eggplant recipes, so if you have a recipe you would be willing to share, please do so and I will see that she gets them.

1 medium eggplant

1 pan cornbread

1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes

1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion

Pepper, to taste

1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)

Parmesan cheese

Cook eggplant until tender. Drain and mash. Crumble cornbread and combine all except cheese. Pour into greased pan. Sprinkle generously with cheese on top. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The casserole should be moist. Add more milk if needed.

Shrimp and Broccoli

Jodi Thompson from Jackson sent me this recipe for a light, healthy entree. It is easy and quick to prepare.

2/3 cup bottled clam juice or reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 pound raw shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined

1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

4 cups broccoli florets

2/3 cup water

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Lemon wedges

Combine clam juice (or broth), cornstarch and half the garlic in a small bowl; whisk until smooth. Set aside. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining garlic and crushed red pepper to taste; cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Saute until the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add broccoli and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add water, cover and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the shrimp. Add the reserved clam juice mixture to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in basil (or parsley) and season with lemon juice and pepper. Add the shrimp and broccoli; heat through. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

Gooey Turtle Bars

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

Topping:

1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut up

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups pecan halves, toasted*

6 ounces milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of 13-by-9-inch pan with foil. Combine flour, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press dough over bottom of pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Spray sides of foil above crust with cooking spray to prevent caramel from sticking.

Combine brown sugar, honey, 1/4 cup water and scant 1/2 teaspoon salt in large wide saucepan. Add 1/4 cup butter; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with silicone spatula and scraping corners and bottom of pan as butter melts. From time to time, scrape mixture off spatula against top edge of pan and scrape sides of pan clean. Reduce heat to a moderate boil; stir and scrape pan 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Stir in sweetened condensed milk; return to a boil, stirring constantly and scraping sides, corners and bottom of pan. Adjust heat so mixture boils actively but not too furiously. Continue stirring and cooking 9 to 12 minutes or until mixture reaches 235 degrees. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over crust; tilt baking pan to level caramel. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate; let stand until caramel is cool and chocolate is set. Lift foil to remove bars from pan. Remove foil; cut into bars. Bars can be made 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container.

Tip: *To toast pecans, place on baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees, for 6 to 8 minutes or until slightly darker in color. Cool. Makes 3 dozen bars.

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 news@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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