Jan 7-Jan 13, 2022, Favorite Recipes from a Year of CS

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Deconstructed Tamales – Pulled Pork  Cheese Grit Cake   Leave it to Trisha Yearwood to turn grits into a funfest. The dish starts with fried cheesy grits cakes. Then Mexi-seasoned pulled pork. And then on with the corn salsa, sour cream, green onions and cilantro. I did use the thick and creamy grits right from the pot rather than chilling and frying. Avocados make a great accompaniment. And, any leftover pulled pork makes a mighty fine sandwich or tortilla wrap.   Recipe    Trisha Yearwood Cookbooks    From 01.15.21 Salon


Cherry Cream Cheese Coffeecake   The base of this cake s a buttery marvel. Add the rich cream cheese layer and the flavor bombs that are cherries, and it’s destined to be a crowd pleaser. And, yep, it’s big enough to serve a crowd too. As you can see, I used a rectangular pan instead of the springform, though. Great for breakfast of course, but add a big scoop of ice cream and it transforms right into dessert. You really do want to let it cool completely before removing it from the pan.   Recipe    From 05.14.21 Salon

Loaded Mashed Potato Cups   This is such a perfect fit with all we love here at CS and it’s easy to see why. First, mashed potatoes just on their own qualify for the comfort food hall of fame. But here they’re joined by more good stuff – bacon, chives, parm and seasonings, cheese stuffing, sour cream topping. And it’s an easy prep. Ingredients that are few, familiar, likely already at hand. No complicated techniques. And a pan probably pretty much all of us already own. And by varying its platemates it can move from breakfast/brunch to lunch to dinner. Btw, also a great opp to use up leftover mashed.   Recipe  ♦  Top potato cookbooks on Amazon  ♦  From 01.29.21 Salon

Artsy Confections   For these Tie Dye Cookies, Molly Yeh divides sugar cookie dough into three pieces, each blended with food color, then formed into “balls” that are slightly flattened and baked. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of sanding sugar. “Fessing up, I did use refrigerated dough.  Then, this Painted White Chocolate Bark comes not surprisingly from Trisha Yearwood who just excels at making food fun. The chocolate mingles with different colors of candy melting wafers, all merrily swirled together into these edible works of art.    Cookie Recipe from 02.05.21 Salon    Candy Recipe from 02.12.21 Salon  ♦  Food color on Amazon    Decorating sugar on Amazon

Loaded Vegetarian Nachos   Yes, indeedy, veggies can be tasty and fun and appetizing, here even a bit of a showpiece. In fact we vote for renaming them Fiesta Nachos because, as you can see it’s just such a celebration of colors and textures. It’s more ingredients than we usually feature but so worth it and you actually could if you want limit the toppings. And, yes, there actually are chips in there, and then all topped off sour a scoop of sour cream. One shortcut that I used was canned lentils, still stirring in though  all the seasonings.  Recipe    From 09.24.21 Salon

Oreo Cake Balls {or just cake as shown here}  Oh my. Oreo crumbs and cream cheese packed like little snow balls, quick freeze, dip in melted chocolate, refrigerate, done.  They are so, so, easy to make and that might be the bad news because, mercy, they are rich and even luxurious. And they’re fun, the round shape ready to become sports balls, funny heads, bling, and in fact star pastry chef Buddy Valastro turned them into pretty eyeballs. As an alternative, you can just pat the mixture into a pan and use the chocolate chips to make a ganache frosting, as seen here.  Like the richest ever brownie.   Recipe from 06.25.21 Salon    Redo in 08.06.21 Salon    Cake ball books on Amazon

Ham & Beef Tavern Chili   My great uncles owned taverns in the Chicago suburbs, and served cups of this chili gratis to their patrons. I don’t know the dates of operation for those establishments. The family was sort of vague about that. So, this was passed down to me by my Aunty Peggy who actually won a recipe contest with it conducted by the Chicago Tribune. I do like a bit more chili powder and a couple of tablespoons of cumin. And depending on the heat level in the chili beans, I may add some hot sauce. It’s even better with such toppings as cheddar, sour cream and a bit of green onion. Recipe    Chili cookbooks, 4 stars & up    From 02.26.21 Salon

Snacks for Dinner   This is not so much a recipe you’d cook or bake, but rather one for putting together a pretty plate. It all began when I cam across this magnetic headline :“Why Snack Dinner is the Best Thing You Can Make for Yourself Tonight”  Wow, there are some fine looking assemblies here. And in fact we were pretty much already on board with this array, shown, even though it was actually representing our cheese board featured in a previous Salon and, btw, this plateful indeed added up to to dinner.    The full article    From our 02.12.21 Salon   Cheese board story in our 01.22.21 Salon

Lasagna Bites   Yikes, these are good, and very lasagna-y even though there’s no pasta in sight. Rather, they’re made with wonton wrappers that are fitted into your muffin tin. The filling holds to tradition though with pretty much classic lasagna ingredients. It calls for ground turkey, but notes the original used ground beef, and so did I. As you can see, its versatility carries it all over the hours. A great appetizer for sure. But also, send it morningside with a poached egg, so satisfying for breakfast or brunch. Add some sides and it moves right on in for lunch or dinner.    Recipe  ♦  From 05.28.21 Salon  ♦  Italian appetizer cookbooks

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake   Rich cheesecake goes even richer with one layer that blends in melted chocolate chips & a second one of sweetened peanut butter, each separately whirled in the food processor till silky smooth. I did add a drizzle of melted chips, also cut the prep in half and used a deep dish pie plate. FYI, Amazon offers a ready-made chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, quite showy but also quite pricey. What you might find surprising though are all the other choc/pb items on the page including even coffee.   Recipe   Chocolate peanut butter goodies on Amazon

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