Recipes you'll want to share with friends

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Round Robin recipe groups, email recipe groups, recipes from friends and recipes from cookbooks -- there are numerous ways to circulate recipes, and this week the recipes seem to come from everywhere. Read over them, take a look at each one and give them a try. You may even want to pass some of these along to your friends or family.

Reuben Brat

I think the Reuben Brat sounds wonderful. I plan to have the ingredients available at my sister Pat's fire pit cookout over the weekend. Everyone loves a Reuben, and to make it with a fresh brat just seems to push it over the top.

6 smoked bratwurst or regular brats

1 large onion, sliced

1 teaspoon butter

1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut

5 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing

5 tablespoons mustard

6 dark rye hoagie rolls

6 slices Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

Grill brats according to directions. Keep warm.

Saute sliced onions in butter over medium low heat until light golden brown. Keep warm. Warm sauerkraut in a saucepan until heated through. Blend Thousand Island dressing and mustard together to make Reuben sauce.

To make one sandwich, place a brat on an open-faced hoagie roll with two tablespoons of Reuben sauce, a slice of Swiss cheese, and onions. Top with sauerkraut and serve warm.

Baked Potato Soup

4 large potatoes (or 8 small)

2/3 cup butter (not margarine)

2/3 cup flour

1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) milk

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 green onions (scallions), chopped

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups crumbled bacon, cooked crisp

6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

Bake the potatoes in a 400 degree oven (do not microwave as that alters the taste) until fork tender, about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on their size.

Meanwhile, heat a large stockpot or sauce pan over low heat. Melt the butter.

Stir in the flour and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in milk, salt and pepper. Whisk, stirring constantly until thickened slightly.

Cut baked and cooled potatoes in half, scoop out all of the potato pulp and set aside. If desired, chop half of the peels to add to the soup later and discard the remainder.

When the milk mixture is very hot, whisk in potato pulp a little at a time. Add chopped green onion, sour cream and peels, as desired. Whisk well. Add cheddar cheese a little at a time and stir until it is all melted.

Add the crumbled bacon and serve. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Notes: You can make this early in the day then place in a slow cooker set to "warm" until ready to serve.

Artisan White Cheddar Corn Soup

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups diced onion

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (32-ounce) package reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth

5 cups (28 ounce) frozen corn kernels

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground black pepper and dried thyme leaves

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded Wisconsin sharp white Cheddar cheese

Optional garnishes: additional cheese, croutons, finely diced ham, hot pepper sauce and/or unsweetened whipped cream mixed with Dijon mustard and chopped fresh herbs

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; saute 10 minutes. Add garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add broth, corn, bay leaf, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Transfer mixture 2 cups at a time to a blender container. Remove round plastic disc from lid; close lid and cover opening with a thick kitchen towel or pot holder. Hold towel over lid while blending mixture on high speed until mixture is pureed. Transfer mixture to a saucepan.

Repeat with remaining soup mixture. Add cream to soup; bring to a boil. Stir in cheese; turn off heat and stir until cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Ladle soup into shallow bowls; garnish as desired.

Baked Ziti and Italian Sausage Casserole

1/2 package (1 pound size) ziti macaroni

2 tablespoons salad oil

1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage (links)

For the sauce:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups milk

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cheese layer:

1 carton (1 pound) cream style cottage cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 pound Mozzarella cheese, grated

Paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook ziti macaroni according to package directions in lightly salted water; drain thoroughly. Heat oil in a small skillet over moderately high heat. Add sausage and cook for 10 minutes, turning frequently until browned.

Remove from heat.

To prepare sauce: Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan; remove from heat. Add flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper; stir until smooth. Gradually stir in milk and when smooth, bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring constantly. Remove sauce from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Put drained ziti into a large bowl; pour on cheese sauce and toss to combine using a small sharp knife, cut sausage diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Set aside.

To make the cheese layer: In a medium-size bowl, mix cottage cheese with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, chopped parsley, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon half of the ziti-macaroni-cheese sauce mixture into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish or casserole.

Spread cottage cheese mixture on top and then spoon on remaining macaroni mixture. Arrange slice sausage on top, tucking slices partially under ziti macaroni. Sprinkle casserole with grated mozzarella cheese and paprika. Place on center rack of oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese is melted and macaroni is hot and bubbly.

Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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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