Tuesday, April 22

Cranberry and Chicken Delite

I always hate it when the word "delight" is spelled wrong, except in the case of the late 90's retrodiscofunkalicious group Deeeee-Lite (are they still around?). What, pray tell, makes this salad worthy of "delite"? Is it the 3 kinds of gelatin? The dill pickles?

Actually, it sounds like some crazy Midwestern pregnant lady was raidin her cupboards at 2 a.m. and decided to go with a "salad" for Fourth Meal. For your health!

First Layer: (oooh, if layers are involved you know you're in for somethin interestin)
3 c. cranberry juice cocktail
1 pkg. strawberry gelatin
1 pkg. lemon gelatin
1 c. fruit cocktail (drained)
1 c. whole berry cranberry sauce (I assume this is not the kind that comes out can-shaped; then again, this is Midwest Cookin)

Second Layer:
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (um)
1 (10 oz.) can condensed chicken broth (oh, I see. you're goin to make chicken broth jello. let me change that "um" to "yum"! heh...ha...ew.)
1 c. light cream
1 c. sour cream
1 c. tomato juice
Salt & pepper
2 c. chicken (diced & cooked)
1/2 c. celery (finely chopped)
1/2 c. dill pickles (finely chopped) (oh man, I almost lost it there - fruit cocktail, fruity jello, gelatinous chicken broth and pickles? what, did Mrs. Tairy Greene invent this recipe?)

Pan size: 9x13

How to:
Heat 1 c. cranberry juice to boilin. Add (fruity) gelatins and stir until dissolved. Stir in remainin juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Fold in fruit cocktail and cranberry sauce. Combine gelatin and chicken broth. Place over low geat ([sic]) and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in cream, sour cream, and tomato juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until slightly thickended ([sic] [again]). Fold in chicken, celery and pickles. Pour in a 9x13-inch pan and chill until firm. Pour cranberry layer on top and chill. Serve on greens. (Well, there you have it. There's what makes this a healthy salad. You serve it on greens, i.e., iceberg lettuce. DELITEFUL!)

Wednesday, April 16

Sloppy Joe Potato Pizza

Oh my god - this just may be more than I can handle right here.

See kids, I am the most devoted pizza freak I know. I'll eat any kind of pizza (unless it has sausage or, god forbid, hamburger on it) -- frozen pizza, homemade pizza, grocery store pizza, roller rink pizza, franchise pizza, pizzeria pizza. Pizza is my sacred cow. I could eat it every day because it's different every time. But this, this crosses a line.

For starters, where is the crust? Potatoes doused in cheese soup do not a pizza crust make. It's like a casserole minus the dish, that you make in a pizza pan and smother with cheese and olives (why always with the unnecessary olives, folks?). So, in my mind, the only way that this earns its right to be referred to as "pizza" is through the pan in which it's baked. It could only be more blasphemous if it were named Sloppy Joe Potato Jesus.

Ok. Sorry bout that. I'll end my rant now and get back to the cookin.

By the way, this comes from Marjorie Boehm and was unearthed from the 1989 Immanuel Lutheran Dorcas Cookbook. Dorkus.

1 (32 oz.) bag frozen hash browns
1 (11 oz.) can cheddar cheese soup
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
8 oz. cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 lb. ground beef (worst. pizza. toppin. ever.)
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can sandwich sauce for Sloppy Joe (she means MANWICH sauce, ladies)
2 tbsp. minced onion
2 tbsp. sliced ripe olives (optional)

Oven temp: 450 degrees

Pan size: pizza pan

How to:
To thaw potatoes quickly, place in sieve (or, y'know, you could just throw a few potatoes in a food processor and make instant FRESH hash browns). Pour hot water over potatoes; drain well. In a large bowl, mix together hash browns, soup, egg, salt and pepper. Spread potato mixture over a large buttered pizza pan. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile saute ground beef and onions; drain fat (mmmm fat!). Stir in canned Sloppy Joe sandwich sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Sprinkle 2/3 of cheese over baked potato crust. Spoon meat mixture over cheese and top with remainin cheese and olive slices. Bake 5 minutes longer. Makes 1 "pizza" (quotes added by me. so there. ha.).

Thursday, April 10

Beef Eaters

I guess this is like a smooshed up cheeseburger or something. Yuck. Even the name seems gross to me. Of course that's probably because I don't eat beef.

If some carnivore out there would make this and send me a picture, I would be terribly grateful. I'm really curious as to what this would look like. And no, I will not let my "beef eater" BF make this because I absolutely do not want to smell it.

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (4 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. horseradish (oooh - exotic!)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
American cheese (sliced) (aw, c'mon lazy bones, you know you're just goin to use Kraft singles)
1 loaf French bread (ooh la la - exotique! seriously. I was expectin Wonder bread here)
Salt (to taste)

How to:
Mix all ingredients except cheese (and, apparent in the next sentence, the bread). Slice French bread in half lengthwise and cut into 3-inch chunks. Top with beef mixture and broil 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure beef is all the way to the edge of the bread. Melt cheese slices on top. (So very simple, huh? By the way, to avoid fire or ruinin a pan, make sure the thing you use for the mixin and the broilin is oven-safe and broiler-safe. That's your Midwest Cookin safety tip for the month.)

Wednesday, April 9

Egg N Bacon Casserole

Mmmmm...breakfast. Good at any time of the day (because not everyone wakes up early in the mornin).

I am rather curious about this recipe and its call for bread at the bottom of the pan. Wouldn't that just turn into a soggy mess by the time you got around to bakin it the next day? Or maybe it turns into a delicious crust on emergin from the oven? Hmm. "Enquirin minds want to know!" (Yeah, I know that's spelled wrong, but I just had the tag line from the 80's commercials for the National Enquirer run through my head. Sidenote: Isn't it weird how they advertise tabloids on national television? Like we wouldn't see them in the checkout line at the grocery store anyway, and get sucked in by their tantalizin headlines? I mean, doesn't everyone - except celebrities and shut-ins - buy their own groceries? Okay, back to the recipe.)

4 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
1 c. milk
3 slices bread, cut in 4 pieces (in bottom of pan) (I assume that white sandwich bread is what is bein called for here, but if you wanted to stray from tradition, you could always sub some roasted garlic artisan bread, french loaf, or slices of baguette. Just sayin...)
1/3 c. Velveeta cheese, diced
Salt & pepper
Olives, opt. (what? olives? that's like the casserolic embodiment of the Sesame Street song "Which One Doesn't Belong?"!)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: 9x9 bakin dish

How to:
Refrigerate overnight or several hours. Bake in 9x9 pan for 40-50 minutes. Serves 6. (Again with the vague directions! Do I combine the milk, eggs, and bacon? Does the cheese go on top? Am I supposed to just dump everythin in the pan all willy-nilly and only make sure that the bread slices make it to the bottom? Sigh. Perhaps I ask too many questions.)

Tuesday, April 8

Banana Bread

If there is one thing that Midwest cooks know how to do well across the board, it's bakin. Bars, cookies, cakes, pies, breads - all baked goods are central to the idea of Midwest Cookin.

So today, when I had a couple of bananas goin ripe on me, I decided to whip up some classic Banana Bread. I turned to Helen Walensky's recipe in the First Lutheran Church 1974 cookbook to guide me and the results were perfect. Yummy!

1/2 c. butter or margarine (I used butter)
1 c. ripe bananas (2 mashed)
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. bakin soda
1 1/2 tsp. bakin powder
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. milk
2 c. flour, sifted
1 c. walnuts, chopped (I skipped the nuts)

Oven temp: 350 degrees

Pan size: Loaf pan

How to:
Cream shortenin (uh...you mean butter or margarine, right?) and sugars. Beat in eggs, add mashed bananas. Combine dry ingredients, add alternately with milk and lemon juice. Add chopped nuts. Bake in greased and floured loaf pan. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Friday, April 4

Mr. Tairy Greene's Casserole

Oh, Mrs. Tairy Greene, you devil, you. Where oh where do you come up with these fantastic culinary confections?

This particular dish, I'm told, is a BIG favorite of Mrs. Tairy Greene's Mister. The real name is "Poor Man's Casserole" but I simply can't imagine why. I could totally see this bein served in the finest restaurants in Elk Run Heights.

1 7.25 ounce box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
1 c. milk
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 15 ounce can Van de Kamp Pork and Beans (make sure they're Van de Kamp - generic Pork and Beans simply will not do!)
1 3/4 c. cottage cheese
6 wieners, sliced into "coins"

How to:
Cook Kraft Macaroni and Cheese accordin to package directions. Pour contents into a medium-sized servin bowl. Open the pork 'n' beans and layer the room-temperature beans onto the mac 'n' cheese. Next, microwave the wieners for approximately 45 seconds. While the wieners are warmin, layer the cottage cheese onto the layer of beans. (oh, delightful) Finally, sprinkle the wiener coins onto the cottage cheese layer and serve to your hungry family. (Oh my god - you don't bake it? It's just all these lukewarm ingredients? Wowwww. That is some harsh shit. I pity the kids that eat this casserole.)

Note from Mrs. Greene: "Mr. Tairy Greene says the combination of flavors, temperatures and textures are what make this casserole out of this world! And moms, it's so easy! If only your family knew! ;)"