What's cooking Suzanne?

By Staff
It is hard to believe it is almost 2008.
How fast time flies!
Now, we have a new year to begin again, and we will be making resolutions we can try to keep.
Maybe those new resolutions involve what we can do in our kitchen to make planning meals and cooking easier for us.
Since it is a new year, tradition teaches us we must have special foods on the first day of the new year.
In our family, we always have black-eyed peas and some form of pork. Many boil their peas with hog jaw. It gives them a wonderful flavor.
Along with this, we must have corn bread and cabbage slaw.
The first two recipes today will be a little different twist on cooking peas and cornbread.
I don't know about you, but we always like to end this meal with banana pudding.
Deluxe Cornbread
1 c. self-rising flour
1/2 c. margarine or butter
2 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 c. cream-style corn
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a hot, well-greased skillet and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until firm and light brown.
Cut carrots, unions and celery in a small dice. In a Dutch oven, add olive oil, herbs and vegetables and cook until translucent. Add beef stock and peas. Simmer until they reach a sauce consistency.
Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad
2-3 large cucumbers, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. white onion
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1 T. fresh ginger
2 fresh hot chilies, chopped
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. salt
Place cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and cilantro on platter and toss. Combine the remaining ingredients together in a jar with a lid and shake. Pour over salad and toss. Chill one hour.
Pork Chop Casserole
4 large or 6 medium pork loin chops
1 lg. can of sauerkraut
2 handfuls of dried apples soaked for five minutes in water
Place layer of undried kraut in bottom of casserole, then a layer of two or three chops, layer of apples then repeat. Pepper to taste, but add as little salt as possible as the kraut is salty. Cover and place back in a 250-degree oven for 2 1/2 hours. The longer it cooks the better the flavors blend together.
Peanut Butter Pie
1 pkg. (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. milk
1 tub (8 oz) of non-dairy whipped topping (Cool Whip)
1 chocolate cookie piecrust
In a mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add peanut butter and milk and beat slowly until smooth. Blend in topping until no streaks appear. Pour into pie shell and freeze. May be topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup if desired.
Cheesy Taco Cups
1 and 1/2 lb. ground beef (95 percent lean)
1 pkg. refrigerated dinner rolls or buttermilk biscuit dough
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
3/4 c. sloppy Joe sauce
1/3 c. shredded reduced fat Mexican four-cheese blend
Thinly sliced lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Sour Cream (optional)
Sliced ripe olives
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Separate biscuits and press each into 3 1/2 inch circle. Turn muffin pan upside-down; press each biscuit over a muffing cup. Bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until browned. Cook browned ground beef and taco seasoning mix in a large skillet for eight to 10 minutes. Crumble cooked beef. Stir in sloppy Joe sauce; cook 2 to 4 minutes until hot and bubbly. Stir in 3/4 cheese, Spoon beef into cups. Top with lettuce tomatoes and cheese. Top with sour cream and olives.
Cheese Puffs
1 cup milk
1/4-pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup grated Gruyere, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over medium heat, until scalded. Add the flour all at once and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Immediately add the eggs, Gruyere, and Parmesan and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/4 inches wide and 3/4-inch high onto the baking sheets. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Brush the top of each puff lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of Gruyere. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown outside but still soft inside.

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