Spice up dinnertime with these taste-tempting recipes.
By Janet Groene, F47166
Skillet skills are alive and well at Silver Dollar City, a theme park in Branson, Missouri, where the new Culinary & Craft School offers cooking classes. Presiding over the 34-seat theater kitchen is Debbie Dance Uhrig, who usually produces three dishes during each 45-minute class. Call (800) 475-9370 or visit www.sdculinarycraftschool.com to reserve your spot. Cost is $10 plus tax, plus the price of admission to the park (see www.bronsonsilverdollarcity.com). The best part is, you get to eat the food.
During the class I attended, Debbie taught us how to make several of Silver Dollar City’s favorite dishes.
Debbie Uhrig’s Pumpkin Dessert
In teaching this recipe at Silver Dollar City’s Culinary & Craft School, Debbie credits her pastor’s wife with the dish. It’s a favorite at church suppers and is sure to be a hit at your next potluck. Debbie serves it with whipped topping. Although she says it makes 10 to 12 servings, it’s very high in fat and sugar, so I suggest cutting it to make 12 or 15 squares.
1 box yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 16-ounce can pumpkin
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup reserved cake mix
Set the oven for 350 degrees. Dump the dry cake mix into a bowl and take 1 cup of the mix out; set aside. Stir the melted butter and egg into the dry mix. It will be crumbly. Press into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch pan to form a crust. In the same bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown and white sugar, milk, and seasonings. Pour over the crust. Mix the second 1/2-cup of sugar plus the walnuts and remaining butter into the reserved cake mix. Strew this crumbly mixture over the filling. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake is set; remove from the oven, and allow it to cool. Using a serrated knife, cut into squares and dish out using a pancake turner or flexible spatula. Serve with whipped topping.
Silver Dollar City’s Harvest Skillet
Park cooks use lard to make this stir-fry, but vegetable oil is used in the cooking classes. If you want traditional Silver Dollar City taste, stick with lard. In the park, the potatoes are thinly sliced and stir-fried raw, but the cooking class suggests precooking the potatoes and carrots in the microwave oven for faster stir-frying. Frozen vegetables should be thawed.
2 cups skin-on red potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh or frozen whole baby carrots
2 cups frozen whole green beans
2 cups frozen whole wax beans
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups (1 pound) cooked, diced ham or cooked smoked sausage, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
Paprika, garlic, and pepper to taste
1/2 cup lard or your favorite cooking oil
Starting with the vegetable that takes the longest to cook (depending on whether you precook the potatoes or carrots), stir-fry everything in the hot oil in a preheated wok or large skillet. This recipe makes four servings.
Silver Dollar City’s Succotash
Variations are permitted, just as they were in olden times when pioneers used what they brought in from the fields. Adjust the ingredients and amounts for your crew’s size and tastes.
Butter-flavored vegetable oil as needed
1 16-ounce package lightly breaded okra
1 cup whole-kernel corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1 cup diced, cooked chicken or sausage
1 cup yellow summer squash, diced
Half a green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Starting with a pool of hot oil, begin stir-frying the okra over high heat. Gradually add the remaining vegetables, stir-frying all the while, and season to taste. Cook the vegetables until they are crisp-tender. This recipe makes four servings.
Middle Eastern Lentil Soup With Garlic
Simple, filling, and affordable, this recipe from the new book 300 Sensational Soups (see “Books for Cooks”) can be made vegetarian if you like. It makes eight servings. If you plan to freeze some for later, hold off on the lemon juice and add it to each bowl just before serving.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups lentils, rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a large pot, fry the onion in hot olive oil until softened, which should take approximately six minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute, then the cumin and cook for another minute. Add the stock, lentils, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover; and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Adjust the seasonings and add the lemon juice. Ladle into heated bowls.
Note: I prefer a splash of sherry to lemon juice in lentil soup. Add bits of smoked sausage if you want a meatier dish.
Golden Egg Boat Curry
If you love curry, try my simplified version of this exotic recipe from The Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook (see “Books for Cooks”). It goes well with saffron rice and mango chutney.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons Madras curry powder
4 tablespoons Heinz tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 14 1/2-ounce can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup water
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3/4 cup frozen peas
8 shelled, hard-boiled eggs, cut in half
Garam masala for sprinkling
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic for approximately 10 minutes or until soft and just beginning to brown. Stir in the curry powder and ketchup and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add the sugar, tomatoes, peas, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover; and simmer for 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the yogurt. Add the eggs to the pan, spooning sauce over them, and keep simmering for another three to four minutes. Serve the curry sprinkled with a little garam masala and chopped cilantro, with rice and mango chutney on the side. This recipe makes three to four servings.
Tips for twosomes: Serve half of this dish one night using only four eggs. Refrigerate the leftover eggs and sauce separately. Wait a day or two, then put the sauce over the eggs and gently reheat. For variety, serve it sprinkled lightly with raisins, chopped peanuts, and a drift of shredded coconut instead of the chutney, garam masala, and cilantro.
Hazelnut Latte Ice Cream Cake
This recipe will “knock your socks off,” said FMCA family member Lisa Hammond. She raved, “The great thing about it is that you can vary the type of Oreos (chocolate or vanilla), the type of ice cream, and the type of topping. I’ve used coconut, nuts, morsels, etc.” By varying Lisa’s recipe, you can have several different desserts in your freezer on hand for family meals or guests.
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Approximately 40 Oreo brand cookies, finely crushed
1 gallon coffee ice cream, softened
1 package chopped hazelnuts
Grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch nonstick pan (or, as Lisa suggests, use a disposable foil pan). Mix together the melted butter and finely crushed cookies. Spoon the combination into the pan and pat evenly to cover the bottom. Spoon the softened ice cream over the cookie crust. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over top and press lightly into the ice cream. Freeze for at least two hours. Cut into squares.
Note: Use a flexible spatula or pancake turner to dig out these squares so you don’t miss a crumb of the wonderful cookie crust.
Nan Nasser’s Chili Soup
This quick and easy chili recipe was sent in by FMCA family member Nan Nasser, who travels with her husband, Gus, in a 27-foot motorhome. She takes her personal cookbook and spices along and likes quickie recipes such as this one, which she serves with a boxed cornbread mix and a salad.
1 can chili (no beans)
1 can bean with bacon soup
1 can condensed tomato soup
Mix all of the ingredients with one soup can of water. Heat and eat.
Note: If you’re concerned about sodium in your diet, read the labels before making this recipe.
Acini De Peppe Fruit Salad
This economical recipe from The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner (see “Books for Cooks”) is a potluck pleaser that stretches your fruit supply by combining it with a small type of pasta called acini de peppe. This recipe makes a huge bowl of salad to serve 16 to 20. The author cooks the pasta and sauce separately, but to save time and water, I’ve provided my own instructions, using only one pot.
2 cups acini de peppe pasta
1 14-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1 20-ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/4 cups of the drained pineapple juice
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce container whipped topping
4 to 5 cups miniature marshmallows
2 11-ounce cans mandarin oranges, drained
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook. Drain and place the pasta in a big bowl. Drain the pineapple and save the juice. Toss the pasta with the drained pineapple. In the pasta pan, whisk the egg yolks, pineapple juice, sugar, flour, and salt over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the pasta mixture and refrigerate for six to eight hours. Just before serving, fold in the whipped topping, marshmallows, and, lastly (to avoid tearing), the mandarin oranges.
Books For Cooks
Ketchup is as American as, well, apple pie. Now ketchup lovers have a cookbook all their own. And best of all, The Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook by Paul Hartley ($12.95, Ten Speed Press) is filled with photos that take you back to the 1950s and even earlier. This sturdy little hardback is filled with shortcut recipes that are ideal for RV and outdoor cooking. Because it brings many flavors to each dish, ketchup is a great shortcut ingredient.
Liz Edmunds, a mother of seven who is known as The Food Nanny, teaches cooking classes at Sur La Table in Salt Lake City. Now she has published The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner ($24.95, Palmer/Pletsch Publishing), a plump paperback packed with recipes families love. Lavishly illustrated in color, the book is a good armchair read as well as a recipe book you’ll use every day.
300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds ($24.95, Robert Rose) is a new must-have for motorhome cooks who love one-pot meals. It’s packed with new spins on classic soups and also has recipes for stocks, chilled soups, dessert soups, and suggestions for toppings.