Use It Up...Small Meat Scraps

Meat, poultry and fish can be chopped up in even smaller pieces for a number of family dishes, probably first invented because the cook didn’t want to waste any of the expensive pieces leftover from a roast.  Again, many of these dishes are popular on their own, and many cooks plan to make them after their Sunday or Holiday meal.
Here are just a few perennial favorites…most can be made with whatever meat or poultry you have on hand. 

Sunday in Iowa...

Keeping cool

Below the Red Rock Dam on the Des Moines River between Knoxville and Pella, Iowa

Cookbook Reviews...Taste of Home Grand Prize Winners

The Taste of Home Grand Prize Winners is a nice paperback special edition cookbook that contains the best recipes from 106 of their cooking contests.  An all-around book, it includes appetizers, side dishes,, soups, salads, sandwiches, main dishes, breads and desserts.  Its 144 pages are full of great photos, many of the recipes are “scratch” recipes and I would classify everything as “comfort food.”
If you feel like you’re getting in a cooking rut, a book like this will get you enthused about trying something new.  We didn’t have any trouble finding recipes to make and share, with some extra-good chicken dishes.

Savory Chicken Dinner

Chicken with Lime Butter

Bacon and Rosemary Chicken

Chicken in Basil Cream

Three Cheese Enchiladas

Penne Gorgonzola Chicken

Pepperoni Chili

Raspberry Streusel Coffeecake

Family Favorites...Classic Potato Salad

  What to do with new potatoes that need to be used? Well, in our house, you make potato salad. I really am not a fan of potato salad, but Lyle and Bettie are. This time, I decided to go back to basics and use a recipe for potato salad from Better Homes and Gardens. This recipe was in a special magazine issue of theirs called Cook’s Secrets.
  It was a good choice as they both thought it was excellent. There are leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and I even ate some. The dressing is very tasty. I added celery seed as we like it in salad dressing and used the potatoes cold. I feel that if you use warm potatoes, at least for me, they get mushy. Nothing nastier than mushy potato salad.
  Cook the potatoes the day before, with the skins on, and cool and refrigerate so that they are cold to use. I slip the skins as that is a personal preference. If you like the skins on leave them. I chose to use sweet pickle relish as I had it on hand, pickles chopped up work also. 
  The dressing was just the right amount so the salad was not dry. I believe I am going to try using the dressing with a pasta salad next, very tasty, sharp but not over the top. I used yellow mustard. If you are doing basics you need to use the standard yellow mustard, right? If you use GF salad dressing, like Miracle Whip, even those of us who can't have gluten can eat this. Be sure to check the mustard label. Always read labels!
  The secret the recipe gives is to use a waxy potato variety and cook them with the skins on, just till a sharp knife inserts easily. Do not over cook.
Classic Potato Salad
2 lbs. New potatoes cooked with skins on. ¼ teaspoon salt added to water.
1 ¼ cups mayonnaise or salad dressing (GF like Miracle Whip if you want)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (check label for GF)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon celery seed (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (about 2 stalks)
⅓ cup chopped onion (1 small)
½ cup chopped sweet pickles or ½ cup sweet pickle relish (use dill pickles if desired)
6 hard cooked eggs
  Cook the potatoes with the skins on, salt added. If they are large, cut in quarters. Cook just till a sharp knife will easily pierce the potato. Drain in a colander and cool. Refrigerate till next day. I have since made this and cooled the potatoes a short time.
  For dressing, in a large bowl stir together mayonnaise, mustard, the ½ teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Stir in celery, onion, and pickles or relish. Add the quartered potatoes and 4 coarsely chopped eggs. Gently fold in to the dressing.* Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. When serving slice or quarter the two remaining eggs as a garnish. Sprinkle lightly with paprika if desired.
Per ¾ cup: 252 cal., 20 g fat, 360 mg sodium, 14 g carb., 2 g fiber, 5 g protein

*You are stirring the potatoes into the dressing not the dressing into the potatoes.

Pistachio Salad

 We are having some warm weather and I wanted something cool for supper. Early this morning I made a Pistachio Salad to go with cold chicken and rolls. This is the type of salad I made in the late 50’s and early 60’s when It was my turn to serve at our Ladies group. It really is quite rich and I find it more of a dessert than a salad, never-less it always gets eaten and the longer it sets the creamier it gets.
 If you want to cut the sweetness some, use a small orange sectioned or sliced and well drained instead of a can of Mandarin oranges. We prefer it that way to give it more of a citrus flavor. No one will guess that it has cottage cheese in it. 
Pistachio Salad
1 (3 ½ ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (12 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (8 ¼ ounce) can mandarin orange sections, drained or 1 small orange sectioned or sliced well drained
1 (8 ¼ can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 (12 ounce) carton cottage cheese (not low fat)
 Fold pudding mix into whipped topping; fold in remaining ingredients. Chill thoroughly.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

From the Garden...Open Hearth Split Pea Soup

We really like split pea soup.  I usually home can it, but I’m out right now – and I thought this recipe from the Land O Lakes Cookbook looked good.  However, I just couldn’t leave out the carrots – we like ‘em and I think that cooked carrots caramelize and make most dishes better.   
I purchased the wonderful, really green peas from our nearby Amish store – Stringtown Grocery, north of Kalona, Iowa.  I use smoked ham shanks from our local Fareway store – they are leaner and meatier than hocks.  I have to ask for them, they don’t have them on display in their meat department.                    
Open Hearth Split Pea Soup
  1            Pound  Dried Green Split Peas
  1 ½        Cups  Celery -- chopped
  1            Cup  Onion -- chopped
  1 ½        Cups  Carrots -- sliced (not in original recipe)
  9            Cups  Water
  1            Pound  Smoked Ham Hocks (or shanks)
  5            Sprigs  Fresh Parsley
                Salt and Pepper -- to taste
·         In Dutch oven, combine all ingredients except salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil.
·         Cover; reduce heat to low.  Cotinue cooking stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 hour. 
·         Remove cover, continue cooking until soup is thickened; 30 to 60 minutes.
·         Remove ham hocks, cut off meat.
·         Discard bones; return meat to soup.  Season to taste
6 Servings
Per Serving: 248 Calories; 15g Fat (53.1% calories from fat); 19g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 80mg Cholesterol; 125mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Tuna TV Special

The “Purity Cookbook" was printed in 1967, and I first made this recipe in junior high home economics class.  Eating in front of the TV was still a treat for kids, and this recipe was one they thought was perfect for your homemade TV lunch. 
We still like it occasionally.  I served ours on homemade Whole Wheat Mustard Buns, with Summer Cucumbers and Sweet Peppers my husband made with cucumbers that Don and Bonnie brought us from their garden, and Home Canned Boston-style Baked Beans.  Now that’s a perfect TV dinner special!

Tuna TV Special

  5           ounces  tuna in water, canned -- drained well
     3/4    cup  cheddar cheese -- shredded
  2 1/2    tablespoons  mayonnaise
  1 1/2    tablespoons  pickle relish
  1           tablespoon  onion -- finely grated
  1 1/2    teaspoons  prepared mustard -- ballpark style
  4           sandwich buns -- hot dog or hamburger buns
Preheat oven to 350º.
Combine and blend well.
Spoon mixture into partially split sandwich buns.  Wrap each roll in aluminum foil, filling side up.  Fold ends tightly to seal.  Arrange on baking pan.
Place in preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes.
To serve, fold foil down around rolls.

4 Servings

Use It up...Meat in Sauce or Gravy

For years, frugal housewives have been using the scraps from roasts of all kinds and serving them creamed or in sauces or gravy for a tasty rerun.  Many of these dishes are as popular as the roasted meats themselves! 
Here a few recipes that are favorites at our homes using smaller amounts of seafood, poultry and roasts in sauce or gravy.  The hot roast beef sandwiches are delicious made with roasted pork as well, and of course, BBQ sauce can be used on pork, beef or poultry.

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches