Passing along recipes from a friend

Saturday, January 13, 2018

By Susan McClanahan

The start of a new year means trying new recipes. Of course, many of us are on the lookout for new recipes all year long.

Jodi Thompson of Jackson is an avid recipe collector and she shares many recipes with me each week. This week, I was a little short on time and wondering what I was going to write about and what recipes to use, when I got a long email from Jodi with a wide variety of new recipes. After reading through her email, a column was born.

Enjoy several new entree recipes and a couple of new desserts to try. You may need to log online to finish the entire column. Enjoy and happy cooking on these cold, mid-January days.

Maple-Peach Glazed Ham

* 1 fully cooked bone-in ham (7 to 9 pounds)

* 2 cups peach preserves or orange marmalade

* 1/2 cup maple syrup

* 1/3 cup orange juice

* 2 tablespoons ground ancho chili pepper, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover and bake 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours or until thermometer reads 130 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, mix preserves, syrup, orange juice and, if desired, chili pepper, until blended. Remove 3/4-cup mixture for glaze. Remove ham from oven; brush with some of the glaze. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes longer or until thermometer reads 140 degrees, brushing occasionally with remaining glaze. Bring preserves mixture in saucepan to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve as a sauce with ham.

Yield: 16 servings (about 2 cups sauce).

Best Zucchini Cheesy Bread

* 3 medium zucchini or about 4 cups grated zucchini

* 2 large eggs

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

* 3 cups shredded mozzarella, divided

* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

* 1/4 cup cornstarch

* Kosher salt

* Freshly ground black pepper

* Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes

* 2 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley

* Marinara, for dipping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. On a box grater or in a food processor, grate zucchini. Using cheesecloth or a dish towel, wring excess moisture out of zucchini. Transfer zucchini to a large bowl with eggs, garlic, oregano, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and cornstarch, and season with salt and pepper; stir until completely combined.

Transfer "dough" to prepared baking sheet and pat into a crust. Bake until golden and dried out, 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella, crushed red-pepper flakes, and parsley; bake until cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes more. Slice and serve with marinara.

Pork Chop and Potato Casserole

* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

* 6 boneless pork chops

* 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

* 1 cup milk

* 4 potatoes, thinly sliced

* 1/2 cup chopped onion

* 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the pork chops in the oil, and sear.

In a medium bowl, combine soup and milk. Arrange the potatoes and onions in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place the browned chops over the potatoes and onions, then pour the soup mixture over all; bake 30 minutes in oven. Top with cheese; bake for 30 more minutes.

Fajita Cake

* 8 red/green/yellow peppers

* 3 red onions

* 6 chicken breasts

* 2 packs fajita seasoning

* Grated mozzarella and cheddar

* Olive oil

* Salt

* 6 soft flour tortilla wraps

* Sour cream

* Cream cheese

* Coriander/chili powder for decoration (optional)

* 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

* Tomato salsa

Start by cooking your filling. Dice the peppers, onions and chicken breast into similar shaped strips. Place in a roasting tray with fajita seasoning, salt and olive oil; roast for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are a bit charred.

You are now ready to make your cake. Place a circle of grease-proof paper in the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form cake tin. Place a warm tortilla in the bottom, then add your chicken and pepper mix, a scattering of black beans, a dollop of salsa, then a good fistful of the cheeses. Repeat this process until your cake tin is full. Top with a final tortilla wrap. Place foil over the top and bake in at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and everything is hot. Remove from oven, release from the springform tin and carefully take cake from the base.

Mix the sour cream with the cream cheese until a good icing consistency. Spread over the top of cake. Garnish with the coriander and chili, if desired.

Chicken Burrito Skillet

* 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

* 1/8 teaspoon salt

* 1/8 teaspoon pepper

* 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

* 1 cup uncooked long grain rice

* 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

* 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained

* 1 teaspoon ground cumin

* 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

* 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

* 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

* 1 medium tomato, chopped

* 3 green onions, chopped

Toss chicken with salt and pepper in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; saute chicken until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan. In same pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; saute rice until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in beans, canned tomatoes, seasonings and broth; bring to a boil. Place chicken on top (do not stir into rice). Simmer, covered, until rice is tender and chicken is no longer pink, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered, until cheese is melted. Top with tomato and green onions.

Oven Baked Tacos

* 1 pound lean ground beef

* 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

* 1 can low fat refried beans

* 1 envelope taco seasoning mix

* 1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce

* 1 package crunchy taco shells

* Shredded Cheddar cheese

* Other taco toppings, as desired, such as sour cream, diced tomatoes, green onions, black olives, chopped fresh raw onion, etc.

Brown ground beef and onion, and drain completely. Add refried beans, taco seasoning and about half a can of tomato sauce. At this point, add whatever you like; mix together and heat to just simmering. Scoop into taco shells and stand them up in a casserole dish side by side. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Top with sour cream or any other toppings, as desired.

Greek Panzanella

* Quality olive oil

* 1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes -- 6 cups

* Kosher salt

* 1 hot-house cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and diced small

* 1 large red bell pepper, diced

* 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced

* 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

* 1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds

* 1/2 pound feta cheese, cut 1/2-inch cubes

* 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

For the vinaigrette:

* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 1 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

* 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

* 1/2 cup quality olive oil

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Add more olive oil as needed.

Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and the pepper in a small bowl. While still whisking, add the olive oil and make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta, olives, bread cubes and mix together lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Chocolate Coma Cookies

For cookies:

* 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

* 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

* 1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks

* 3 eggs, at room temperature

* 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

* 6 tablespoons flour

* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

* 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For ganache:

* 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

* 3/4 cup whipping cream

Put chopped chocolates and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30-second increments, stopping and stirring each time till melted and smooth; let cool slightly.

Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla into chocolate mixture.

In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into chocolate mixture until evenly mixed, then stir in chocolate chips. Cover dough and chill until firm enough to hold its shape, about an hour.

Meanwhile, make ganache: Put chopped chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals, until melted and smooth; allow to cool. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally, until firm enough to spread, about 2 hours. If ganache becomes too firm to spread, you may zap it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough, roll into rounds, then place on prepared sheets about 1-inch apart. Press dough to flatten to about a 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake about 10 minutes, until tops lose their wet look, but don't overbake. Let cookies cool on sheets on racks. Spread flat sides of half of cookies with ganache and top with remaining cookies.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

* 2 1/2 cups peeled and grated carrots

* 2 cups all purpose flour

* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

* 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

* 1 cup pecans, finely chopped

* 2 teaspoons baking soda

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon allspice

* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 4 large eggs

* 3/4 cup vegetable oil

* 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (regular or lowfat)

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 teaspoons orange extract

Cream cheese filling:

* 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened

* 1/2 cup granulated sugar

* 1 large egg

* 1 teaspoon lemon juice

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

Orange cream cheese glaze:

* 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

* 2 tablespoons butter, softened

* 2 tablespoons orange juice

* 2 teaspoons lemon juice

* 1 teaspoon orange extract

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

* Optional decorative garnishes: roasted pecans, roughly chopped, orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (or use nonstick-spray with flour in it) a 10-inch Bundt cake pan. Set aside.

To make the cream-cheese filling: beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, gently whisk eggs, then stir in remaining wet ingredients until combined. Don't overmix. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened, then stir in 2 1/2 cups of grated carrots until evenly combined. Spoon 3 cups batter into prepared Bundt cake pan. Spoon cream-cheese filling over batter and gently smooth, but do not touch the sides of the pan. Top with remaining batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, cover with foil, then reduce heat to 325 and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the orange cream-cheese glaze: Using an electric mixer, cream together all of the glaze ingredients except the powdered sugar on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until completely smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar and beat until very smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

When cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over cake or individual servings, whisking in additional orange juice/milk if glaze has become too thick upon standing. Store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

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