23.2.09

TUNA PASTA SALAD

12 oz. rotini pasta
2 6 oz. cans tuna, drained
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced bell pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 cup Italian dressing
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cilantro leaves or basil
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Cook rotini pasta according to basic package directions. Drain and
drizzle with olive oil; stir gently, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients. Mix well, and add
pasta. Stir gently, cover and refrigerate until chilled. Great for hot
summer days!


Tomato Gravy

Tomato Gravy is delicious!

Heat about an one-fourth inch of bacon grease
in a 12 inch skillet. Gradually add flour until it stirs well, absorbs
the oil, but is slightly thinner than 'Thickning Gravy'. The amount of
flour varies from time to time, but on a guess, I'd say about 1/3 cup.
Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, until it's medium brown and
remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, mash about three cans whole tomatoes with juice (or
the fresh-frozen, thawed equivelent), and pour into gravy mixture. You
can also puree the tomatoes in a blender if you like it smoother. Bring
to a boil, simmer a few minutes, add salt & pepper and serve over a
crumbled biscuit, or sop it up. Serve with biscuits alone or with bacon
or sausage on the side. This is a big family favorite!

Spiced Honey-Butter Baked Chicken

8-10 Chicken thighs or drumsticks
1 stick Salted butter, melted
1/4 cup Honey
1 & 1/2 tsp. unsweetened lemonade Koolaid
3 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Black pepper
1/2 tsp. Thyme leaves
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Ground sage
2 tsp. Instant bouillon chicken-flavored granules

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a casserole dish
with butter-flavored Pam; set aside.

Remove skin from chicken and pierce with a knife
to help ensure internal doneness. Place chicken in a single layer in
casserole dish.

Mix honey into melted butter, and brush or spoon one-half of mix-
ture over chicken. Set the remaining honey/butter aside.

Pour all dry ingredients in a small bowl or cup and mix well. With
a teaspoon, sprinkle one-half of mixture evenly over chicken, and set
the other half aside.

Place in oven and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven
and gently turn chicken with a fork; try not to disturb the top coating
as you turn. Reheat remaining honey/butter in microwave until warm and
liquid, and pour evenly over turned chicken. Sprinkle with remaining
dry ingredients and return chicken to oven. Cook for an additional 30
minutes.

Remove chicken from oven and increase heat to 475 degrees. Baste
by spooning the liquid in bottom of the pan over the chicken until well-
coated, or use a basting bulb. Return to oven and let cook for 7-10
additional minutes, or until chicken is brown and sizzling. Remove from
oven and baste chicken again. Cover with foil and let sit for at least
ten minutes before serving. Serves eight.

Sausage Dressing

1 pone Cornbread for Dressing (recipe below)
3-4 pounds ground sausage
2 large onions, diced
1 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 0.5 oz bottle rubbed or ground sage
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 & 1/2 TBSP ground coriander seed
1 TBSP minced garlic
2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 cup margarine (preferably Parkay)
3 vegetable bouillon cubes (2 if extra large)

Prepare cornbread and set aside to cool.

Grease two 9 X 12 casserole dishes and set aside. Preheat oven
to 450 degrees.

Crumble sausage in skillet, sprinkling lightly with meat tenderizer
and cook until browned and well done. Drain and set aside. Crumble
cornbread into small pieces in a very large bowl. Add sausage and
next ten ingredients, mixing well. Pour evenly into greased casser-
ole dishes.

Prepare broth by mixing eight cups water, margarine and bouillon
in a saucepan. Heat on medium-high until margarine has melted and
bouillon has dissolved. Remove from heat and pour evenly over both
dishes of dressing. Place in oven and bake at 450 for 35-40 minutes,
or until golden brown. For best results, top with country or breakfast
gravy (I prefer Pioneer brand Sausage flavored country gravy mix).

Makes enough for a large gathering, or an extra pan to share.



Cornbread for Dressing

3 cups self-rising cornmeal
1 cup self-rising flour
3 large eggs
1 & 1/2 TBSP sugar
2 cups water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease pan (I use a 12-inch cast-iron skillet) well, and sprinkle
bottom lightly with cornmeal.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients, mixing well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bot-
tom of cornbread is a deep brown. Remove from oven and let sit
5-10 minutes before turning bread over (upside-down) onto a
plate or platter.

Note: This recipe is intended for dressing, and is not especially ap-
petizing as a bread dish alone.
(See other recipes for cornbread in this blog)


Salmon Croquettes (or patties)

Note: this makes a large batch, but tend to get grabbed out of the
fridge by snackers. Also, all measurements are approximate and may be
adjusted to taste. All but the first four ingredients are optional.

3 cans salmon, drained, flaked, and bones crushed
2 cups flour (plain or self-rising)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 large onion, finely chopped
12 finely crushed saltine crackers
4 Tbsp. Prepared mustard (may use dry in lesser amounts)
2 or 3 Tbsp. Lemon pepper
1 or 2 Tbsp. Hot sauce
2 tsp. Sage (any form)
1 tsp. Celery seed
1/2 Tbsp. Cilantro or basil
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic (fresh or bottled)
(Add in 1/3 cup of diced green onion or diced red pepper for
extra color and flavor, if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a large mixing bowl, add drained salmon and be sure to crush all
bones with your fingers. Add flour and mix. Add remaining ingredients
and mix well. This should be a thick, formable mixture.
Form into small, sausage size patties (about 7 to 9 at a time) and
fry in about 1/2 inch of vegetable or canola oil (you may need to
add more oil periodically) in a 12 inch skillet on medium high.
Flip when first side is brown and crispy, and take up when the
other side is the same. If oil becomes too brown, you may need to
replace it.

Take croquettes up on a paper towel lined pan and serve with mustard,
ketchup, and/or hot sauce with your favorite side dishes. We like it
with mashed potatoes or mac & cheese and a vegetable dish/salad.


Salmon Burgers

1 can (14 3/4 oz.) Pink Salmon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tbsp Dijon style mustard
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup sliced green onions
3 egg whites
salt and pepper to taste

(I also add sage, ground red pepper, and a dash of olive oil; optional)

Drain (well) and flake salmon, crushing all bones. Combine lemon juice
and mustard. Blend flaked salmon with bread crumbs, green onions, and
lemon juice/mustard mixture. Mix in egg whites until well blended.
Form mixture into patties (five to seven, depending on size you desire)
and saute' in a skillet in about 1/4 inch of oil until golden
brown on both sides. Serve each burger on a bun with lettuce,
tomato slices and condiments as desired.

4-6 servings

Crawfish Cocktail over Rice

(MudBug Cocktail)

2 – 12 ounce packages frozen, cooked crawfish tail meat (thawed)
1 & ¼ cups water
2 cups salsa (or picante sauce)
½ cup (or one stick) butter or margarine
½ Tbsp. key lime or lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar or Splenda
½ tsp. basil or cilantro leaves
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. paprika
dash or two hot-sauce (optional)
one-eighth cup corn starch (or plain flour)

Add all ingredients, except for corn starch/flour, to a two-three
quart boiler. Stirring occasionally, heat on medium-high until warm
and butter has melted (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, mix corn starch with 1/3 cup cold water. Mix thor-
oughly. Return boiler to stove and increase heat to high. Add cornstarch
&water mixture, stirring immediately, and stir often until until bubbly
and slightly thickened. Remove from heat immediately, cover and let
sit for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm over rice.

Note: thickness can be altered by adjusting the water and cornstarch
amounts.

Chili-Cheese Meat ‘N Tater Casserole

2-15 ounce cans whole potatoes, drained
1-15.5 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
½ teaspoon cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon coriander seed
½ teaspoon dry minced garlic
2 teaspoons dry chopped onion
salt & pepper
3 cups cheddar cheese, divided


1 & ½ pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon meat tenderizer
1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup medium salsa
1-1.25 ounce packet taco or chili seasoning mix
2 cups water
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/3 cup uncooked rice




Grease a 9X12 deep roaster pan with shortening. Slice potatoes
thinly into pan. Spoon corn evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle cilantro,
coriander, garlic, onion, salt and pepper to taste over corn and
potatoes. Top evenly with 2 cups shredded cheese (do not stir). Set
aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place ground beef in a large skillet and sprinkle in meat tenderizer.
Brown well and drain. Return to heat and add tomatoes, salsa, contents
of chili/taco seasoning packet, water, chili powder and rice. Bring to
a bubbly boil, stirring often.

Remove meat mixture from heat and spoon over potato/corn mixture in
pan as evenly as possible. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese (1 cup) over top.
Increase heat to 400 degrees and bake uncovered for an additional 1
5-20 minutes. Remove and let cool at least five minutes.

Serve over corn chips, tortillas or with cornbread. Garnish with chopped
green onions, sour cream, and/or additional cheese if desired. Serves six
to eight.

Chicken Dressing


Boil and bone a whole chicken, reserve broth. Mix crushed chicken bouillon
into broth while it's still hot and be pretty generous with it.

Prepare and cook one large pone of cornbread using three eggs and
water instead of any milk, and set aside. (Self-rising cornmeal and
flour are fine). Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees and grease (well) a large baking
dish (the one bigger than 9x11). Set prepared dish aside.

In a super large halloween-candy-size bowl, crumble cornbread,
chicken meat, finely chopped celery (or celery seed, a
little goes a long way), A large, finely chopped onion, a little
crushed or minced garlic, a good bit (1/2 a bottle or so...) of
ground sage, more crushed chicken bouillon, Rosemary (optional), and
salt and pepper to taste. Mix and pour into baking dish. Now pour
the broth mixture over it until it just reaches the top of the
dry ingredients.
Dot with big glops of butter or parkay about two inches
apart. Bake until bubbly and medium brown on top for about 1 hour
(time may vary, so keep a close check).

You really can't mess this up if you add the spices carefully. Also
you can add anything you like, like bell pepper or hot peppers.
Serve with gravy and/or cranberry sauce, Turkey, veggie sides and
desserts and you've got a feast.