Old Wishbone “French” Dressing Knock-off

frenchdressingOkay, I have a confession.

I am very much a champion of making your own salad dressings. Any casual look down the list of ingredients on the typical bottled varieties, suggests that there are a whole lot of stuff I’ve never heard of as a “food” in those bottles.

But I confess, that once in a while, I get such a hankering for that old Wishbone “French” dressing, you know, the orange stuff, that I succumb and buy a bottle. It is the crap I grew up on when every bottled, boxed “food” was the rage in the 50’s and 60’s.

So I happened upon this recipe, and although it doesn’t exactly look the part, the taste is remarkably the same. Most so-called “french” recipes (meaning American French, since the actual French have never heard of such stuff) seem to depend on ketchup for their main ingredient. This one doesn’t, in fact there is nary a tomato in it.

Anyway, I liked it a lot, and it will serve to eradicate my some-time addiction to that stuff in the bottle.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs, coddled (meaning place them in a slow boiling water, for 1 minute and then place in ice water to stop the cooking)
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. The eggs are coddled because of concerns with bacteria. A lot of people don’t do this, and you can do as you wish.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until things are well mixed.
  3. Then, as the machine is going, slowly drizzle the oil, continuing until all is used and the mixture is thickened.
  4. Note: this mixture will seem watery, but after sitting for a while it will thicken up.
  5. Keep in the fridge until used.

SERVES: 2 cups

NOTES: I usually find that these things keep a good month, but you could half this recipe fairly easily if you would like to make less.

SOURCE: A Family Feast who adapted it from the Silver Palate Cookbook

Pineapple Poke Cake

Pineapple Poke Bundt Cake 1000x383One thing I like in a cake is really serious moistness. The moist factor must be huge.

This recipe came from Dole, but I changed it rather unrecognizably since they start with a boxed cake mix.

I don’t do boxed cake mixes.

So, I combined parts of this recipe from Dole with another recipe for a yellow cake, and came up with something that turned out perfect with a huge moist cake, and good flavor.

Hope you like it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 2 lg egg yolks
  • 2 1/4 c cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3 oz box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 3/4 pineapple juice
  • 1  20 oz can crushed pineapple drained
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. It is highly useful to bring all your refrigerated ingredients to room temperature to start. Eggs can be placed on “warm” in the microwave for 2 minutes. Butter on the “softening” cycle.
  2. Place the butter into a mixer and mix on high until it becomes a lemony color.
  3. Add the sugar and beat until well incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium until mixed.
  5. Add the dry ingredients together and whisk together until evenly distributed.
  6. Similarly add the pineapple juice, milk and sour cream and vanilla together and whisk until mixed together.
  7. Alternate the dry and wet ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, until all is well mixed.
  8. Add the pineapple and mix on low just until combined.
  9. Place in a greased/floured bundt cake form.
  10. Place in a 375° pre-heated oven for close to one hour. Check after about 45 minutes and every ten minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  11. Cool for about ten minutes, then poke holes with the end of a wooden spoon at 2 inch intervals. Make a soaking mixture from remaining pineapple juice, 1 c of powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Pour over the holes until all is used. Continue cooling for about an hour  and then invert onto a serving plate.
  12. Drizzle with a (2 c powdered sugar,  2 tbsp melted butter and a bit of milk if needed).

SERVES: 12

NOTES: You don’t have to use a bundt pan, and this will cook up faster in 3 cake pans. You can find out how to make “cake flour” under the tip section of this blog.  Basically remove 2 tbsp of flour per cup and replace with 2 tbsp of cornstarch. The problem with the cake pans is that this cake is pretty soft and fragile and it will be hard once you have filled it with the soaking mixture to get it out without it breaking up.

SOURCE: Adapted from Dole Pineapple

Chili-Mac-Cheese Casserole

690-ChiliMacThis is comfort food.

Nothing exciting to see here.

Just plain old good gruel as my husband would say.

You make it in the morning. Let it sit. Toss it in the oven until it’s hot.

No doubt if you half this recipe or have a really big crock pot, you could do it that way.

But it’s fast and easy.

And I said it was good.

So when the kids are cranky, this is what you fix them.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2-3 hot chiles of any kind you like chopped finely
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, microplaned (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh ground chuck
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes packed in juice or diced, roughly chopped,
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, or any kind you like, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (like Frank’s)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 /2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 pound grated Cheddar or Jack cheese
  • 4 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves or scallion greens for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Saute your onions and peppers in a large skillet until softened and the onion translucent.
  2. Add your spices and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add the beef and break up stirring occasionally until the meat is mostly browned.
  4. Add the tomatoes, beans and hot sauce. Stir well and cover and let lightly simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Place the macaroni in water and place over high heat until it starts to boil. Turn off and let it sit until it is al dente.
  6. Drain the pasta and add the milk and cheeses. Mix until the cheeses have melted and all is creamy.
  7. Add the meat mixture to the macaroni and cheese and stir until mixed.
  8. Place all in a casserole and heat at 350° until heated and bubbly.
  9. Strew the top with additional cheese, scallions and cilantro if desired.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: This is just a framework. Your own chile recipe can stand as your framework if you wish. This is not very hot and so you can spice it up considerably. Add things like corn for instance or use cubed meat instead of the hamburger.  This method for cooking the macaroni is unusual but works fine. I have read analysis that suggests that putting pasta in cold water changes nothing in the taste or time so it’s just easier this way, and shutting off the heat after it comes to a boil just means you don’t have to worry about boil overs when you are busy with other parts of the meal.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Cream Cheese Wontons

wontons-036Oh I love appetizers.

This goes perfectly with a good Asian entrée along with a egg roll.

Makes a perfect complete plate.

And they are easy.

And they freeze perfectly so you can make a batch and have them for future Asian meals.

What more can you ask for?

Oh, yeah, someone to do the prep for ya.

Well, I can’t help with that, but do indulge in these lovely tidbits.

INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 2 whole Green Onions, Light Green And Dark Green Parts, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Or Other Hot Sauce (more To Taste)
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 24 whole Wonton Wrappers
  • Vegetable Oil, For Frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place cream cheese (softened) in food processor or mixer along with onions, and hot sauce and whir until all is well mixed.
  2. Mix the egg and water together until frothy in a bowl.
  3. Take a wonton wrapper and place about 1 tsp of the cheese filling in the lower corner and roll until it is covered. Then wash the outer triangle of wonton with egg wash. Bring the two sides together and press down, then flip up the tip. I make mine to look like little rectangular pillows so the tips don’t get over done. The point is to zip them up tight enough that the filling doesn’t come out during the frying.
  4. Place in oil which has been heated to about 350°. Depending on how large or small your frying vessel is, you can put 4 or so at a time.
  5. Remove when they have risen and are just golden. Place on a rack lined with paper towelling to cool.
  6. Makes at least 2 dozen.
  7. Freeze leftovers in a plastic bag and reheat in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with a soy/honey sauce if desired.

SERVES: 12

NOTES: You can of course add anything else to the cheese mixture that strikes your fancy. Perhaps a tbsp of soy might be good.

SOURCE: Pioneer Woman