Easy Creamed Corn

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In these months leading up to getting some beautiful fresh corn at the farm market, I’m trying to use up any that I have in the freezer from last summer.  This is an easy side dish using frozen corn.  I grew up on evaporated milk and love it, but if you can’t abide it, substitute half-and-half cream.

EASY CREAMED CORN


2 cups frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw)
1-½ cups undiluted evaporated milk
½ tsp. salt
Pinch of white pepper
1-½ Tblsp. granulated sugar
2 Tblsp. butter
2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, combine frozen corn kernels, milk, salt, pepper and sugar.  Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes.

In a separate small pan, melt butter, then add flour and whisk for one minute.  Add the butter/flour mixture to the corn mixture and mix well to combine.

Set oven to broil.

Place corn in a casserole dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Broil under heat until browned (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn).

Serve immediately. 

I served this recently with grilled marinated pork tenderloin, browned new potatoes and steamed broccoli – pineapple upside down cake for dessert.

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2007/09/19/one-serving-pineapple-upside-down-cakes/
Recipe here

My younger daughter especially loved the corn.

Cheesy Potatoes

CheesyPot (7)I first made this recipe in 1985, adapted from a recipe in my Redbook Cookbook.  Everyone loved this dish, including my picky, then-15-year-old daughter who called them “cheesy potatoes”.  She still likes them.
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CHEESY POTATOES


4 cups peeled and thinly sliced potatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ cup thinly sliced onion
2 Tblsp. butter
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1-½ cups milk, heated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Butter a 9 inch baking dish

Spread half of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.  In a small cup combine salt, pepper, nutmeg and flour.  Sprinkle half of this mixture over the potatoes.   Spread all of the onions over the potatoes.  Dot with half of the butter.

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Spread the remaining potatoes in the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture and dot with remaining butter.  Spread all of the cheese over the top …

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…and pour the heated milk over this.  Cover and bake for 65 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer to brown the top.

4 servings 


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Crunchy Oriental Chicken Salad

This salad is adapted from one on Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  My two daughters and I enjoyed this salad for Sunday lunch and as leftovers.  Waiting to add the dressing until the salad is ready to eat keeps it fresh and crunchy.  You could add bigger portions of chicken to the salad.  My family likes the smaller chicken servings.  We all thought the dressing was especially delicious.

CRUNCHY ORIENTAL CHICKEN SALAD

Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise)
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sesame oil

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.  Cover and let set in the refrigerator for an hour to blend the flavors.  Unused dressing can be refrigerated for several days.

Salad:

  • 1 cup snow peas (tips and strings removed, torn in half)
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced (including some of the tender green tips)
  •  1 small red pepper, cut in thin strips
  •  1 small yellow pepper, cut in thin strips
  •  14 oz. bag of cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  •  1 head of Romaine lettuce, torn
  •  One chicken breast, grilled (I used the breast from a deli chicken), sliced
  • 1/2 cup of toasted almonds

In a very large bowl, place the snow peas….

….sliced green onions, red and yellow pepper strips…

…slaw mix and torn Romaine lettuce leaves.

Toss to mix and place in a covered container.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Note:  I love the Lock and Lock containers sold on QVC.  I received them as a gift and they are the best thing I have found for keeping any kind of food fresh.

When ready to serve, put salad mix in bowls and top with sliced chicken.  Pass the bowl of toasted almonds and the salad dressing for each person to take the portions they like.  This keeps everything fresh for further meals.

This is a big salad of 8-10 servings. 

Impossible Vegetable Brunch Pie – 5 Points/Plus

This recipe is adapted from one in a 1983 Bisquick folder, No Time to Cook.  I first made the dish in May of 1989 when my Mother came to my house for lunch.  She liked it very much – very creamy.  I’ve made it many times since then and when reduced fat ingredients are used, it’s nice light diet lunch.

IMPOSSIBLE BRUNCH PIE WITH VEGETABLES

  • 1-½ cups steamed vegetables (I used broccoli and carrots)
  • 1 cup light dairy sour cream
  • 1 cup low-fat creamed cottage cheese
  • ½ cup Bisquick
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tomato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease or spray a 9-inch pie pan.  I used a favorite pie pan that my mother got in exchange for Wilson milk labels and had my toddler children give to me for Christmas in 1956.

Spread the steamed vegetables in the pie pan.

Beat sour cream, cottage cheese, Bisquick, butter and eggs until smooth – 15 seconds in a blender or 1 minute with a whisk or hand beater.  Pour this mixture on top of the vegetables.

Top with tomatoes (I used some of my home-grown cherry tomatoes, halved), and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean .  Cool for 5 minutes.

Cut into wedges to serve.  6 servings. 

According to my DietPower software, based on 6 servings the count is:  194 calories, 9.2 g fat, 15.6 g carb, 1.3 g fiber, 12.2 g protein.

Weight Watchers – 5 Points/Plus

Irish Brown Soda Bread and Colcannon

I have a very slim Irish line in my ancestry, but I married a man who was was fiercely proud of his Irish lineage.  Frank used to take off work on St. Patrick’s Day so he could grab his green derby and head for the nearest pub to spend the day.  One St. Patrick’s Day, he showed up on the evening news coverage at Hap’s Irish Pub with his derby slightly askew,  surrounded by his cronies, waving a big mug of beer and bellowing out, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”.  His mother said, “Jesus, Joseph and Mary, I’m mortified to death” that her friends saw him in such a state, but this is the woman who was doing the Irish jig for her grandchildren well into her 80s and who said her grandmother washed her clothes on the banks of the river Shannon.

So, I raised four mostly-Irish children and celebrate St. Pat each year with some Irish food.  My oldest daughter was in an Irish dance group and I loved going to the competitions and the annual Feis.  In 1990, they had a food competition and I entered the Scone, Soda Bread and Brown Soda Bread contests.  I won a first-place gold medal in each of the divisions.  I was particularly pleased because the judges were some visitors from Ireland.

IRISH BROWN SODA BREAD

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tblsp. softened butter
  • 3/4  cup raisins
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Lightly grease a flat baking pan

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut in the softened butter until mixture looks like fine crumbs.  Add raisins.

Add buttermilk, mixing with a fork until dry ingredients are absorbed.  Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently until smooth, adding flour as needed (about 1/2 cup).  Dough will still be slightly sticky.  Shape into a ball and place on the greased baking pan, forming  into a 7 x 1-1/2 inch circle.  Press a large floured knife into the center of the loaf almost through to the bottom.  Repeat at right angles to divide the loaf into quarters.

Bake @ 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until top is golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Brush top with melted butter. 

Makes one loaf.  From a cookbook published by the Cincinnati Hoxworth Center called Adventures in a Culinary Vein.

The recipe for Colcannon comes from a cookbook my daughter brought back from Ireland, A Taste of Ireland by Theodora Fitzgibbon.  I adapted the recipe by using half of the butter and cream it called for.  Having tasted Ireland’s wonderful butter and cream, I can only imagine how rich the original dish is.  My family likes this version with a little less fat.

COLCANNON

  • Servings: 4-6 servings
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  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 green onions with tops
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • Grindings of black pepper
  • Pinch of mace
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided

Cook cabbage until tender.  I like to steam it for approximately 20 minutes.

Cover potatoes with cold water and cook on medium high heat for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are done, then drain.

While potatoes are cooking, cut up the green onions in small pieces.

Place in a small saucepan and cover with cream (about 1/4 cup).   Simmer on low until onion is soft.

Beat drained potatoes with 1/2 tsp. salt, grating of black pepper, mace, 2 Tblsp. butter and green onions with cream.  Add additional cream to get desired consistency (about 1/4 cup).

Place cooked cabbage in a large pot, add 1/2 tsp salt, grating of black pepper.   Add the mashed, seasoned potatoes.

Mix well and turn into a large serving bowl.  Make a well in the center and place 2 Tblsp. butter in the cavity. 

Serve piping hot.

I started making this dish in 1993.  The cookbook suggests frying leftovers like potato pancakes in bacon fat or butter.  I haven’t tried this because we never seem to have leftovers.

HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY.

P.S.  I came out to the kitchen this morning to find two handmade gifts from my daughter.

Depression Vegetable Soup

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My parents married as teenagers during the Great Depression.  For the first three years they lived with family but after my father got a job with the WPA, he moved his wife and two young daughters to a one-room apartment on Elm Street in downtown Cincinnati.  My mother had never cooked for a family before and knew nothing about it.  My father drew on his experiences of traveling around with his father and younger brother from one fairground and racetrack to another where they did horseshoeing, grooming of horses and my father picked up drives in harness horse races.  They did their cooking in barns and tack stalls on a small electric hot plate and my father knew all about making dishes like pancakes with fried eggs, chili, and a hearty vegetable soup – on the cheap and as quickly as possible.

Our first apartment was about three blocks from the large Cincinnati Sixth Street Market where every conceivable kind of food was sold.  Each morning my father would hand my mother the correct amount of money to cover the ingredients for the day’s supper.  We didn’t have an ice box in that first flat so the three-block-long walk had to be made every day with my mother carrying my year-old sister and with me at three years old walking alongside, hanging onto the shopping bag.  My father gave my mother instructions on how to cook what she bought and he made it clear that supper was to be ready on time – no excuses of a crying baby or obstinate toddler.

jandm1933

This soup was a weekly menu item during the 1930s and beyond.  When I was married in the 1950s and on a strict budget, it became a regular meal for my family.  Like everything my mother cooked, it was frugal, filling and only contained items that my father liked (so, no carrots or green beans or barley or noodles, etc., etc.)  It’s still my favorite soup, thick and hearty – even better the next day.

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DEPRESSION VEGETABLE SOUP

  • 1/2 lb. of stewing beef, cubed*
  • 2 cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • One 14 oz. can of tomato puree
  • 3 cups water
  • One 14 oz. can of peas
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except peas and seasonings in a large pot.  Cover with 3 cups of water.  Let cook for about an hour and a half on medium heat, stirring occasionally and adding a small amount of water if the mixture is getting too thick.   Add the can of peas, including liquid, and allow to cook for 10 minutes or so longer until peas are heated through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with saltine crackers.  Yield:  4 servings

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*My mother would have used the cheapest cut of beef available but I like to use chuck or round steak with all of the fat removed and then cubed.

Zucchini or Yellow Squash Relish

In the 20 years that we had a country home, my husband had a huge garden where he harvested every kind of vegetable but was especially fond of growing zucchini and yellow squash.  I was overwhelmed with the quantity of produce and as a novice at country living, felt I had to use every single zucchini in the bottomless basket that he brought in every day.  I found a lot of recipes and this is one of my favorites – a sweet/sour relish that I made in large quantities and canned for the coming winter.

Now, that my husband has passed away and I’m living in a little bungalow with a small yard, I pick up my produce at the grocery store or farm markets and make a small amount of relish at a time – in this case, 1-1/2 pints.

ZUCCHINI OR YELLOW SQUASH RELISH

  • Servings: 1-1/2 pints
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  • 2-1/2 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper
  • 2 Tblsp. pickling salt

BRINE:

  • 3/4 cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric

FOR THICKENING RELISH

  • 1/2 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tblsp. white vinegar

In a medium sized bowl, combine the zucchini/squash, celery, onion, red pepper and pickling salt.  Cover and let set at room temperature at least 8 hours.

Drain vegetables, rinse and drain again.

In a large sauce pan, combine the BRINE mixture:  3/4 cup vinegar, sugar, celery & mustard seed, and turmeric.  Bring mixture to a boil, then add the drained vegetables.   REMOVE FROM THE HEAT AND LET STAND FOR 2 HOURS.

Return the pan to medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the thickening ingredients:  Cornstarch and vinegar mixed together.  Let relish simmer at medium heat for 15 minutes.

Pour relish into sterilized jars and cap.  Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  I’ve found an asparagus steamer is good for processing just a few jars.  Let jars cool on a rack before storing.  Allow relish to cure for a week before using for best flavor.

This is a good web site  for information on canning and preserving foods.

Optional:  Add one-half of a medium dried red pepper to the jar after filling.  This “hot” version won a 2nd place ribbon at the Hamilton County Fair (Ohio) in 1988.

Yield:  1-1/2 pints 

Old Time Scalloped Tomatoes

 

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This dish has been a family favorite from over 25 years ago when I had a lot of tomatoes at all times.  My husband had every variety in large amounts in his garden and I spent a lot of time canning and freezing them for use all through the year.  This is a favorite side dish to serve with salmon patties and macaroni and cheese.

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OLD TIME SCALLOPED TOMATOES

  • 1 Tblsp. oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • One 14-15 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • One 14-15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Dash of salt and a few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In small skillet, heat oil and saute onions on low heat until soft.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

In 8×8″ baking pan place tomatoes.  Roughly cut up the whole tomatoes.  Add the sauteed onions.

In the same skillet used for the onions, melt the butter, stir in brown sugar until dissolved.  Add to tomato mixture and stir to blend. 

Sprinkle crumbs on top of tomato mixture and bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes until tomatoes are heated through and topping is browned. 

Yield:  6 servings