Good morning, readers. Here are some cleanup requests from months gone by; this is a help-wanted column.
* We are looking for an avocado salad dressing that doesn't turn brown and for food bowl recipes.
* Signal Mountain Granny writes, curious. "I want to know about cooking outdoors with a device called a cowboy wok."
* Here's a question that came from Trenton Reader, written along with a recipe calling for evaporated milk. "How important is the kind of milk you use in a recipe? Why should you use evaporated instead of fresh milk? What does buttermilk add, or take away? How about using powdered milk, reconstituted, in a recipe? And why do some recipes say to scald milk?"
* And finally, recipes are increasingly arriving with nutrition information at the end. What say you: would you like these details whenever available?
Nicholas Aspen challenged the suggestion that chocolate and onions don't mix and offered two proofs, one of which you are about to read. He wrote, "Steve Bartlett introduced us to Cincinnati Chili years ago. The Cincinnati Chili recipe is a standard one, found in many books. My bride has made the chili many times, including once for supper club where we provided it in several variations as the main course."
Authentic Cincinnati Chili
This was handed down to Melissa Hamilton by her mother, a Cincinnati native. Skimming the fat makes this a healthier version than most and gives it the right consistency. I like mine four-way, with spaghetti, raw chopped onions, grated mild Cheddar and oyster crackers.
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 quart water, or amount to cover
2 onions, finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice berries
1 bay leaf
Place the ground beef in a large pan, cover with about 1 quart of cold water and bring to a boil, stirring and breaking up the beef with a fork to a fine texture. Slowly boil until the meat is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and refrigerate in the pan overnight.
The next day, skim the solid fat from the top of the pan, and discard the fat. Place the beef mixture over medium heat. Stir in the onions, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, chocolate, chili powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, allspice berries and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours. Add water if necessary to prevent the chili from burning.
Makes 10 servings.
Serve with French-style bread on a bed of white rice. Makes 10 servings.
Nutrition info per serving: 225 calories, 19.1 grams protein, 10.1 grams carbohydrates, 12.6 grams fat, 59.5 milligrams cholesterol, 673.7 milligrams sodium.
Thanks to Nanette Tucker for the following note about vegan cheese. "There is a recipe book called 'Of These Ye May Freely Eat' by JoAnn Rachor. It has some good recipes for veggie cheeses. We enjoyed the one using cashews for the base. It's an old book, and I was surprised it can still be found, on Amazon."
Here's a simple recipe for a fruit salad with an elegant topping from Jon McKeachie. Even if you use a miniature watermelon, you will have a feast for a crowd.
1 watermelon, cubed
1 cantaloupe, cubed
1 honeydew melon, cubed,
1 pint strawberries, quartered
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
1/2 to 1 pint whipping cream
Place all of the fruit in a large bowl after cutting and washing. Toss together. If you would like to use whipped cream, whip the cream until stiff and top fruit. Chill until you serve it.
When Diane Marrs read the request for a salmon salad, she could easily access her version in her Recipe Keeler online file. And she gladly shared it.
Quick and Easy Salmon Salad
2 (5 to 6-ounce) cans of salmon, drained (or use fresh salmon, cooked and flaked)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 medium stalk celery, finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and mix well. Add additional mayo to reach your desired consistency.
Serve as a sandwich, in a lettuce wrap, on a bed of greens, on top of cucumber slices or cracker, or however you'd like. Makes 4 servings.
Yeast of the Ridge thinks this just may be the long-lost recipe for an appetizer made with mostly cheese and baked. "I found this in my file, from 2014. It was attributed to Sheppie Dunn of Copperhill, Tennessee, who wrote this preface: 'This is a wonderful casserole. May be prepared ahead and reheated. Great for brunch or dinner.' "
1 large can whole green chilies
1 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 large can evaporated milk
3 beaten eggs
3 tablespoons flour
1 jar salsa
Split chilies, rinse and drain. Line a 9- by 13-inch dish with 1/3 of the chilies and cheeses. Repeat twice more, ending with cheeses.
Mix evaporated milk, beaten eggs and flour in a bowl. Pour over the chilies and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and pour a jar of salsa over the top. Return to oven, and heat through.
Makes 12 servings.
Marilyn Soehl is a crock-pot master, and this Mexican version is one of her favorites.
Crock Pot Green Enchilada Chicken Soup
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
28-ounce can green enchilada sauce
24 ounces chicken broth
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed, at room temperature
1 cup half-and-half or whipping cream
4 ounces green salsa (salsa verde)
Salt and pepper to taste
In crock pot add chicken breasts or thighs, green enchilada sauce and chicken broth. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Then add shredded chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, half-and-half and green salsa to crock pot. Stir until cheeses are melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Variation: Add additional salsa for taste, and top with sliced avocado, cilantro, green onion, sour cream and strips of crisp tortillas if desired.
You have fed us well, you writers. The rest of you, how about adding to the wealth from your abundance of kitchen knowledge?
* Avocado salad dressing
* Food bowl recipes
* Cowboy wok advice
* Milk explanations
* Preference on nutrition info
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