A variety of recipes from friends and family

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It is so much fun to get recipes from friends and family to include in this column. Once in a while I have to clean up my stack and include them here and add them into my files. So today there is an appetizer, a couple of sandwiches, a beef entree and a simple dessert. I love sandwiches of any kind and don't mind having a sandwich quite often. And both of these sound wonderful and I will be making them.

Fried Jalapeno Poppers

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons real bacon bits

12 fresh jalapeno peppers, split in half lengthwise, cutting through stems, seeds removed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Firmly press a heaping teaspoonful of cheese mixture into each pepper half. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in 3 shallow dishes. Dip stuffed pepper halves into flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs, coating thoroughly with each. Fill a large saucepan or soup pot with 2 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully fry a few peppers at a time, 1 to 3 minutes, or until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Quick Croque Madame's

4 large slices country-style bread

1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

2 tablespoons white wine

1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large slices good quality lunchmeat ham

1 tablespoon butter

4 eggs

Preheat the broiler on low. Gently dry the bread under the broiler, just until dry and with no browning. In a small bowl, toss the cheese with the white wine and allow to sit.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. On a baking sheet, lay out the bread slices. Take less than one-quarter of the sour cream mixture and divide evenly among the bread slices, spreading thinly to coat 1 side of each slice. Next, evenly distribute the ham on top of the bread. Divide the rest of the sour cream mixture over the ham. Spoon the cheese on top of the sour cream mixture, blotting lightly before adding to remove any excess wine. Preheat a large, nonstick saute pan over medium heat and melt the butter. Crack the eggs into the pan and fry, either over-easy or sunny-side up, according to your preference. While the eggs are cooking, place the open-faced sandwiches under the broiler until very bubbly and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Watch closely and don't let the topping burn. Place each sandwich on a plate. Season the fried eggs with salt and pepper and place 1 egg on each sandwich. (If desired, use a biscuit cutter to cut the egg into an evenly round shape.)

Emeril's Favorite Brown Sugar Crusted Baked Bologna

I'm not sure I will be doing such a large piece of bologna. I will most likely start with just a small 1-pound log to try this for the first time. It does sound intriguing to me, though.

1 (6 1/2-pound) all-beef bologna

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1 1/2 cups golden brown sugar

1 loaf sliced white bread

1 jar yellow mustard

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a large roasting pan with foil to cover well.

Using a small sharp knife score the top of the bologna, cutting about 1/4-inch deep, to create a diamond design. Place the bologna, cut side down, in the foil lined pan and spread a thin layer of mustard on the exposed areas. Using your hands, press the brown sugar onto the Dijon mustard to create a coating. Carefully turn the bologna over, so that the cut side is facing up, and spread the top and sides with the remaining Dijon mustard. Press the remaining brown sugar onto the mustard to coat the entire bologna well. Place the bologna in the top third of the oven. Bake for 5 hours, rotating the bologna slightly during cooking to keep the bottom from burning. Remove the bologna from the pan and place it on a large platter.

Slice the bologna 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and make sandwiches on fresh white bread with yellow mustard.

Spicy Orange Zest Beef

This recipe sounds like something my daughter would really like. She is so adventurous when it comes to foods, and this just seems to have her name written all over it.

1 pound beef tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch strips

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon hot chili paste

1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Nonstick cooking spray

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

1 bunch green onions, sliced, white parts and tops separated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine beef, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, hot chili paste, brown sugar and garlic in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Strain beef in a colander set over a large bowl, allowing beef to drain thoroughly, about 5 minutes. Reserve marinade.

Stir water and cornstarch into the bowl of marinade. Whisk until cornstarch is dissolved; set aside. Spray skillet with cooking spray and place over high heat. Cook beef for 1 minute without stirring; cook and stir for an additional minute. Stir in light parts of green onion and orange zest; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in marinade and green onion tops; cook and stir until beef is no longer pink inside and sauce is reduced and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Applesauce Spice Cupcake

This recipe reminds us that fall is just right around the corner. I always enjoy looking for recipes that bring the flavors and fragrance of fall into the house. This is a small recipe, though, and only makes 1 dozen, so plan accordingly.

1/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup applesauce

Cream cheese frosting, your favorite recipe

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with applesauce.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Frost cooled cupcakes with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. Yield: 1 dozen

Have a wonderful 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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