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Good morning, and good year to you as 2013 begins. We are hot on the trails of the following leftovers from 2012: sugar-free coffee mousse, freeze-ahead vegetable (especially spinach soufflé) and starchy casseroles, feather-light Parker House rolls and whole wheat bread.
Pull out that Christmas ham and pull bits from the bone for today's first recipe. Patricia DeLashmitt sent a recipe favored by her guests, using bits of leftover ham. DeLashmitt advises that, "It is not a precise thing. You will finally just know how much of the ingredients to use to make it the way you like it. Hope you enjoy as much as my family does."
Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
8 to 10 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste
Cubed baked ham (Use leftover from whole baked ham, using cubes or simply pulling bits from the bone.)
1 cup self-rising flour
3 cups milk
3/4 stick butter or margarine
Place a layer of potatoes in a 9-by-13-inch inch casserole dish; add salt and pepper and a layer of ham. Sprinkle generously with flour; dot with butter and pour part of milk over the layer.
Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 to 11/4 hours or until potatoes are tender. You may add more of the ingredients needed to complete the layers.
You will read today some recipes that are specialties of holiday dinners, and yet the holidays are just behind us. There are some necessary gaps between your sending, my writing and the paper printing. Consider, however, that these recipes are winter specials useful for January events as well ... and beyond.
Jane Guthrie has a giving friend who brings a great holiday gift: a sweet potato casserole. And today she passes on that gift.
Sweet Potato Casserole
6 to 8 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar, more if you like
3/4 stick butter softened
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Boil potatoes until done and mash. Add all the other ingredients and stir well.
Bake in a preheated oven, 325 to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Uncover and add topping (recipe follows), then bake uncovered 15 minutes or so more.
2 cups crushed corn flakes
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted butter
Mix and spread over top of baked casserole.
Jane Guthrie continued to muse about Christmases past, noting that traditions change with time. She continued that "We don't have South Carolina oyster pie any more or boiled custard and ambrosia. We do have the Williamsburg Creamed Onions. At Thanksgiving at our daughter's house we didn't have dressing -- we had a great wild rice, a wonderful meal and time together.
"But no cranberry sauce. When we came home with some turkey for sandwiches, I had fresh cranberries and that hankering for a sandwich with both. How to do the cranberries quickly and without the mess?"
Well, here's the answer.
Easy No-Mess Cranberries
1 package fresh cranberries
Sugar to taste (The amount on the package recipe is a guide.)
Rinse cranberries, shake off water and put them in an ovenproof glass bowl with a lid. Do NOT add extra liquid. Put sugar on the top. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes.
Perfect. There is just enough liquid to congeal when cooled and then of course you can add whatever you like.
The Ringgold Reader found the missing individual chicken Cordon Bleu delicacies, made with refrigerated crescent rolls.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescents
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
4 teaspoons honey mustard dressing
4 slices baby Swiss cheese
8 slices deli ham
8 fully cooked Tyson frozen breaded chicken tenders
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate 8 crescent triangles.
Spread 1/2 teaspoon mustard on crescent rolls and then top with 1/2 slice of baby Swiss and then a slice of ham. Top with chicken. Roll up crescent roll. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
A certain Spanish scholar in our neighborhood decided to make flan for Thanksgiving dinner and tried two versions. While this aforementioned scholar was in the dairy section, he got a large carton of whipping cream and added it to his mashed potatoes in the place of some of the milk. "It worked famously, all 10 pounds of potatoes worth, and we divided up the potatoes so everybody had some to take home. One family added chicken broth and a little grated onion and made potato soup out of theirs."
And now that he has mentioned it, here is the favored flan.
For the caramel
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
For the custard:
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 cup light cream
This recipe comes out very airy and light in texture.
Put the caramel ingredients in a saucepan (preferably Teflon-coated) over medium heat with 1/3 cup water and simmer for about 12 minutes, until bubbles on the surface reach a light amber color. If the sugar begins to crystallize on the side of the saucepan, brush it with a wet pastry brush. Swirl the caramel as needed, but do not stir. When the caramel turns light brown, quickly pour it into 6 (1-cup) ramekins, being careful not to get any on your skin.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill an 18-by-12-by-2-inch cake pan with an inch of water and place it in the oven. To make the custard, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt in a bowl until well blended, or whisk in an electric mixer at low speed.
Heat the milk and light cream to 160 degrees in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and slowly pour into the egg mixture, whisking continuously for 1 minute. Pour the whisked mixture into another bowl through a strainer.
Add equal amounts of the strained mixture to each of the caramel-coated ramekins. Place the ramekins in the water-filled cake pan, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes or until a paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the ramekins from the oven and allow to cool.
Flan may be served at room temperature or refrigerated. To serve, run a paring knife along the edge of the cup, then place a plate on top of the ramekin and invert.