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Easy recipes that come in handy

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Sometimes I end up with extra miscellaneous recipes that for one reason or another didn’t fit into a previous column. Here are five of them. You never know when one of these will come in handy.
The No Lettuce Salad is easy, tastes good, and looks pretty. The Parmesan Crusted Bread is especially nice served on slices of baguette, but plain old bread is okay, too. The Super Creamy Grits is indeed creamy, and you can adjust the Tabasco sauce up or down. The Raisin Sauce for ham is a recipe I’ve used lots of times; I really like it. The Ricotta-Raspberry Mousse can be changed to strawberry, peach, or whatever, just substitute the preserves.

No Lettuce Salad
1 (10oz) pkg. frozen green peas, thawed and drained
2/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2-1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Salt, pepper to taste
1 t. dry ranch dressing mix
Mix first seven ingredients together gently. Season with salt, pepper and ranch dressing mix. Chill at least one hour before serving. Serves four to six.

Parmesan-Crusted Bread
1/4 c. mayonnaise
3 T. butter, softened
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
Bread of your choice
Mix together mayo, butter and Parmesan cheese. (I also add a little black pepper.) Spread on bread slices and bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes, till golden brown. Makes four large slices.

Super Creamy Grits
4 c. half ‘n half
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. black pepper
1 c. quick grits
4 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 t. Tabasco sauce
Bring first four ingredients to a boil; add grits; stir and reduce heat and cook five to 10 minutes, stirring often. When grits are done, add cream cheese, cheddar and Tabasco. Stir to melt cheese and taste for seasoning. Serves six to eight.

Raisin Sauce for Ham
2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. water
Pinch salt
2 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. orange juice
Mix raisins, water and salt and bring to boil. Simmer over very low heat about 15-20 minutes. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and o.j. and stir into raisin mixture. Boil one minute. Remove from heat.  Makes two cups.

Ricotta-Raspberry Mousse
1 carton ricotta cheese
1/2 c. raspberry jam
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
4 T. powdered sugar
Beat ricotta cheese in bowl till fluffed up a little, then add raspberry jam. Whip the cream with powdered sugar till stiff.  Fold into raspberry mixture, a third at a time. Chill in refrigerator a couple hours before serving. Serves four.