No fooling when it comes to these recipes

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Today being April Fools' Day, I feel like I need to include some silly or crazy recipes that might fool you in some way. However, finding none that really jumped out at me, I decided to turn to reader mail for inspiration. All of today's recipes are from reader mail, and some I have had for quite a while just waiting to get to them.

One thing I cannot fool around with is my husband's birthday, which is Monday. He nearly had an April 1 birthday, and I'm sure he is glad he missed that by a few hours. Although today's recipes are not familiar to him, they are quite likely to become some of his favorites. Happy birthday, Scott!

Shrimp and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Stir-fry a zesty shrimp dish for a quick weeknight dinner. Spoon over basmati or jasmine rice. Try the recipe with chicken or steak, too.

1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic

1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups small broccoli florets

1 cup vertically sliced onion

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry 30 seconds. Sprinkle shrimp with salt. Add shrimp to pan, and stir-fry 3 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp mixture from the pan. Add remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil to pan. Add broccoli and onion to pan; stir-fry 4 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Add shrimp mixture and broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Cabbage Roll Soup Crock Pot Recipe

1 pound ground round

3 1/2 cups water

2 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage

1 cup sliced carrot

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 (10.5-ounce) cans beef consomme, undiluted

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup uncooked converted rice

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; drain well. Place meat in a 4-quart electric slow cooker; stir in water and next 10 ingredients. Cover; cook on low-heat for 8 hours. Increase heat setting to high; stir in rice. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Makes 10 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin is marinated in a mixture of balsamic vinegar and rosemary and brushed with a balsamic glaze.

1 1-pound pork tenderloin

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

Balsamic glaze

Place tenderloin in large resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, oil, rosemary, garlic, pepper, and salt. Pour over tenderloin. Seal bag; turn to coat tenderloin. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove tenderloin from marinade, discarding marinade. Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Test for medium heat above drip pan. Place tenderloin on grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill about 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the tenderloin registers 155 degrees. Brush tenderloin on all sides with balsamic glaze. Grill for 1 minute more. Remove from grill. Cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes (the meat's temperature will rise 5 degrees during standing time). Slice to serve. Makes 6 (2 ounces cooked meat) servings.

Balsamic glaze: In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar to boiling. Reduce heat; boil gently for 5 minutes. Makes about 1/4 cup.

Stuffed Potatoes

The homestyle flavors of baked potatoes topped with tender barbecue chicken and all the fixings makes for the perfect spring dinner menu.

4 (6-ounce) baking potatoes

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 green onions, finely chopped and divided

1 1/3 cups shredded barbecue chicken (such as Lloyd's)

1/2 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange in a circle on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at high 10 minutes or until done, rearranging potatoes after 5 minutes. While potatoes cook, combine sour cream and 2 tablespoons onions; set aside. Place chicken in a microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap (do not allow plastic wrap to touch food). Remove potatoes from microwave; place chicken in microwave. Microwave at high 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Slice potatoes lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; fluff with fork. Top each potato evenly with chicken, sour cream mixture, cheese, and remaining onions.

Ranch Chicken Fettuccine

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (12-ounce) package fresh broccoli florets

1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 (9-ounce) packages refrigerated fettuccine

2 (6-ounce) packages grilled chicken breast strips

4 sun-dried tomato halves in oil, drained and chopped

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (see Note)

1 (8-ounce) bottle ranch dressing

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, bell pepper, and garlic, and saute 7 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm. Stir chicken, tomatoes, and rosemary into vegetable mixture. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Toss together pasta, chicken mixture, dressing, and cheese; serve immediately. NOTE: If you don't have fresh rosemary, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary.

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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