Variety of recipes to keep the taste buds guessing

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Once in a while I do not have a theme for this column and do a variety of different recipes. This week there are a couple of chicken recipes, pork, ground beef and a casserole recipe with an international flare. With that kind of variety, surely you can please every member of your family with something. Good luck! I've tried and it never seems to work out quite like that, but it is still fun to keep trying.

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

1 box Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice (quick cooking or regular), cooked according to package directions

1 to 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (whatever you have on hand)

1 (12-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (14-ounce) can French-style green beans, drained

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup sour cream

Topping:

1 sleeve round, buttery crackers, crushed

1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter

Place everything except topping ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Spoon into greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with cracker crumbs and drizzle melted butter over. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Spicy Pork Chili

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cubed

2 large onions, diced

4 celery ribs, diced

2 tablespoons butter

6 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained

4 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

2 cups water

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon each white pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional

1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a Dutch oven, brown pork in butter in batches. Remove and keep warm. In the same pan, saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in the beans, broth, water, jalapenos, spices, garlic, salt, parsley, hot pepper sauce if desired and pork. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until pork is tender. Uncover; simmer 30 to 40 minutes longer or until chili reaches desired consistency. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 15 servings.

Southwest Goulash

1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

1 pound lean ground beef (90 percent lean)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

2/3 cup frozen corn

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chilies, cumin, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through. Drain macaroni; add to meat mixture. Stir in cilantro and heat through. Yield: 6 servings.

Whole Roasted Rosemary Chicken

1/2 cup butter, cubed

4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crushed

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 whole roasting chicken (5 to 6 pounds)

6 small red potatoes, halved

6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 medium onions, quartered

In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in the seasonings. Place chicken breast-side-up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan; tie drumsticks together with kitchen string. Spoon half of the butter mixture over chicken. Place the potatoes, carrots and onions around chicken. Drizzle remaining butter mixture over vegetables. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 30 to 60 minutes longer or until a thermometer reads 180 degrees, basting occasionally. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Serve with vegetables. Yield: 9 servings.

Bobotie Casserole

Casseroles for dinner are enjoyed all around the world. This casserole is an ethnic flavorful dish, fusing sweet and hot to create a wonderfully complex taste.

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon hot red chili, minced

2 pounds very lean ground lamb

1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, well drained

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons apricot preserves

2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 3/4 cups heavy cream, at room temperature

3/4 cup slivered almonds

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chili and fry, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in the lamb and continue to fry, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes or until the lamb is quite brown. Stir in the apricots and raisins, mixing to blend well. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, orange juice, preserves, curry powder, and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, for about 12 minutes or until flavors are well-blended and the pan is almost dry. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cream along with the almonds. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat the interior of a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick vegetable spray. Whisk the eggs, remaining 2 cups of heavy cream, and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl. Scrape the lamb mixture into the casserole dish and pour the egg mixture over the meat. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about one hour, or until the custard has set. The dish may be made ahead and reheated just before serving. Remove from the oven and serve with rice, if desired.

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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