Easter weekend full of delicious food

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My family was fortunate enough to spend Easter weekend with cousins in the Dallas area. I have shared many recipes from my cousin Cindy Dude with you before, and it was at their house that we ate our way through the weekend. Over the weekend we enjoyed overnight blueberry French toast, skillet cookies and ice cream, jalapeno sliders, a variety of smoked meats, Butterfinger pie, and enough food on Resurrection Sunday for a large group. It was so nice to visit, see family and hold new babies.

Cindy has her own recipe blog, CanIGetThatRecipe.blogspot.com, that you might want to take a look at. She is enjoying sharing some of her favorite recipes, while sharing her photography talent as well.

Here are a couple of recipes we enjoyed over the weekend.

Potato Apple Gratin with Rosemary Crust

1 package refrigerated pie crust (I used store brand and actually like them better than the national brand)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided (means you use it two different places), see notes

1 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes or russets, peeled and thinly sliced

2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, and thinly sliced

1 medium onion, yellow or white, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt or (1 teaspoon table salt)

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2/3 cup heavy cream (or to reduce the fat, use fat free half and half)

1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll both pie crusts on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with rosemary, pepper and 1/2 cup cheese over 1 pie crust, place other pie crust on top sandwiching the cheese between the two. Roll into a 13 inch circle. Press on bottom and upsides of 9-inch springform pan. Fold edges under if they stick up above the edge of pan. Chill.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, onions and apples. Place all in a bowl and toss, sprinkle with salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and parsley.

Remove crust from the refrigerator and pour one third mixture in crust, sprinkle with cheese then repeat twice. Microwave cream and garlic in a glass bowl for 45 seconds. Pour over layers of potatoes in crust. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover pan with heavy duty (or 2 layers of regular) aluminum foil. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue to bake for 25 minutes. Until richly browned. Let stand 15 minutes. Carefully remove sides of pan, slide gratin off bottom of pan using a long knife and transfer to a serving platter or cake plate. (Leave bottom of pan under gratin if desired). Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Cindy writes that she assembled this a couple of hours in advance and covered it with foil and refrigerated. The potatoes and the apples did not turn brown. Do not replace the cream with regular milk. It will curdle at the high temperatures. Gruyere cheese can be expensive. At my store the imported was in the case by the other expensive cheeses. I asked for a cheaper alternative and they directed me to the domestic variety by Boars Head, which was half the price and perfectly fine.

Orange Rolls

Makes 48 rolls

1 cup water

1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup Crisco shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup warm water

2 packages dry yeast

2 eggs, beaten

7 cups flour

Boil 1 cup water in saucepan. Remove from heat. Add butter and Crisco, stir until melted. Cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl pour 1 cup warm water. Sprinkle yeast over and stir to dissolve. Add margarine/Crisco mix and eggs to dissolved yeast. With dough hooks gradually add 7 cups flour. Cover and let rise one hour. Punch down dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight or all day. When ready to make rolls, cut dough into 4 parts. Roll each fourth in a ball and roll out into a large circle. With a pizza cutter cut into 12 slices. Melt 1/2 stick margarine and add 2 tablespoons grated orange zest, spread lightly over dough. Roll dough slices into crescents beginning with wide end.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with other 3 sections. Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a clean dry cloth and let rise 1 to 2 hours. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Glaze immediately.

Glaze:

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

Mix in a small saucepan and bring to a boil for three minutes stirring constantly. Glaze fresh baked rolls. Serve immediately,.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

You need to make this at least 4 hours ahead of time. Best made the morning of, but not the day before, because the pretzels get soggy. You can make the crust the day before and spread the Cool Whip cream cheese mixture on it. Cover, refrigerate and finish the next morning.

2 1/2 cups crushed pretzel twists. Measure after you crush them. Don't pulverize them, just break them up. The full size pretzels are best, but you can use the tiny size if you have to.

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted

Place these ingredients in a large bowl.

Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Mix.

Add crushed pretzels and stir.

Place in a 9-by-13 glass or metal pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. If necessary, put in the refrigerator. Do not put the Cool Whip mixture on until the bottom is completely cool.

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat until fluffy.

Fold 10 ounces thawed Cool Whip into cream cheese. Spread over completely cooled crust. Refrigerate while making the next layer.

6 ounces strawberry Jell-O

Add Jell-O to 2 cups boiling water. Stir until Jell-O is dissolved. Be sure to scrape the bottom. This takes a few minutes to be sure it is all dissolved.

Place one pound frozen (not thawed) sliced strawberries with sugar added in a bowl and chop into big chunks. Mix into the Jell-O. Stir and stir until strawberries are separated. I have started adding a few sliced fresh strawberries, but you do not have to. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes until it starts to thicken just slightly. Gently spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate. Cover with foil. Plastic wrap will stick to the top and make a mess.

OK, that is all for this time. 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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