Recipe requests get answers

Wednesday, February 27, 2002


Grace Hoover of Cape Girardeau recently took a cruise on RiverBarge Excursions from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas, along the Mississippi Intercoastal Waterway. She and her friends had a wonderful trip, and Grace was able to get the recipe for the rugulah that was served on the barge excursion as well as the shrimp creole. The shrimp creole uses the "trinity," which is a combination of three spices: oregano, thyme and basil, according to the chef on board.


Using a food processor or electric mixer, process ingredients and follow directions.

1 pound butter

4 cups flour

Process until butter disappears into the flour. Add: 2 cups cottage cheese

Process until ball forms. Divide into eighths, and wrap in heavy plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or up to 4 days. Roll into 12-inch circles on floured waxed paper. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon to taste, pecans or walnuts, finely chopped. Cut this covered circle into eighths. Roll each triangle toward the center.

Place pointed side down on foil-lined pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly or moderately browned. Some of the sugar mixture will run out, which is good. Cool on racks and break off any sugar around the edge of each pastry. This recipe makes 64 pastries.

For a little variety you can also use apricot jam or other flavored jam.

Omit brushing with the butter and omit the sugar. Use 1/3-cup jam for each circle.

The recipe for shrimp creole serves 20 to 25 guests, which would be wonderful for a dinner party, but can certainly be cut down according to your desired need.

Shrimp Creole

3 pounds 21/25 count raw shrimp in the shell

1 bunch celery, washed well and diced

2 onions, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

3 lemons, squeezed for juice

4 bay leaves

1 large can diced tomatoes and a little amount of tomato paste

Green onions, chopped

Pinch oregano

Pinch thyme

Pinch basil

2 ounces butter

Peel shells from shrimp. Boil shrimp shells in 1-quart water, cook down to 1 1/2 pints to make a stock. Dice celery, onion and bell pepper. Saute these vegetables in butter, adding diced tomatoes, paste and garlic. Add lemon juice, stock, shrimp and seasonings. Sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked and firm. Serve over hot cooked white rice. Top with chopped green onions.

Some time ago there was a reader request for pumpkin cheesecake, and Ledillon Powers of Olmsted, Ill., has sent in her favorite no-bake recipe that uses gingersnap cookies for the crust.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 (4-ounce) package vanilla pudding and pie filling mix

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 egg yolks

2 cups milk

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Powdered egg white meringue product or meringue powder

1/3 cup sugar

1 package Dream Whip topping mix

Blend crumbs and butter in small bowl. Pat 2/3 of crumb mixture over bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside. Mix pudding mix and gelatin in medium saucepan. Beat egg yolks and milk in small bowl, then stir into pudding mixture. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, till mixture starts to boil, then slowly beat the pudding mixture into the cream cheese, which is in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice; chill till mixture mounds lightly.

Beat egg white powder, (using directions on package for 1 meringue pie) in a small bowl until frothy then slowly beat in sugar till meringue forms stiff peaks. Fold meringue, then Dream Whip, which has been prepared according to package directions, into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into prepared pan on top of crumbs, sprinkling rest of crumbs on top. Chill overnight. Leave cake on metal base of pan to serve.

Zita Marshall of Perryville, Mo., shares her recipe for chicken and dumplings in response to a recent request from a reader. She usually makes several batches and quick freezes them on cookie sheets, then puts the frozen dumplings into freezer bags to have on hand when she needs them.

Chicken and Dumplings

3 cups flour

Pinch salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

Chicken broth, just enough to mix the ingredients

2 eggs, beaten

Mix all ingredients together. Add extra flour as needed to roll out on floured board. Cut into squares. Cook in chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked chicken to dumplings while cooking.

Meta Siemers of Cape Girardeau had a bumper crop of pecans this past fall and was looking for ways to spice them up to eat as a snack. Rhonda Abbott of Jackson, Mo., shares two of her favorites. She especially enjoys the hot and spicy Texas-style pecan recipe.

Hot and Spicy Texas-Style Pecans

4 1/2 cups pecan halves

1/2 cup margarine or butter

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Place pecans in a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt margarine; stir in Worcestershire sauce, salt, cinnamon, garlic powder, ground red pepper, hot pepper sauce and cloves. Drizzle over pecans in pan; stir gently. Bake 10 minutes more, stirring once, turn onto foil; cool. Makes 18 1/4-cup servings.

Savory Southern Pecans

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

3 cups pecan halves

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a large saucepan; add cumin and red pepper, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; add pecans, sugar and salt; stirring to coat.

Spread pecans in a single layer in a 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking sheet pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Yields 3 cups.

We have one request this week from Betty Emerson of Morley, Mo. She would like to have a recipe for homemade hot tamales. She will also need to know where you purchase your wrappers for the tamales. Maybe someone can help her out. My friend John is an authentic Mexican chef, but he is in Mexico right now, so I will try to get him to share his recipe when he returns.

Thank you for the great recipes this week. It is always fun to see where all the recipe mail comes in from.

Have a great week and 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 the Southeast Missourian staff.

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