Pat’s Pantry: What’s for dinner?

By Pat Mills

Cooking these delicious dishes on a weeknight will be fast and easy. The kids will even love the creamy sauce on chicken Dijon, and who cannot help liking cheesy Sloppy Joes? – Pat

Broccoli salad
1⁄2 (16 oz) package bacon
1 (12 oz) package broccoli florets, chopped
1 (10 oz) package cauliflower florets, chopped
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1⁄2 cup finely chopped carrots
1⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon. Cook broccoli and cauliflower in boiling salted water to cover 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain well. Place cauliflower and broccoli in a large bowl. Add cheese, carrot, and onion. Stir together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Pour over cauliflower mixture; toss to coat. Top with bacon. Cover and chill 1 to 8 hours.

Parmesan corn pudding
2 (12 oz) packages frozen white shoe peg corn, thawed and divided
1/3 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plain yellow cornmeal
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1-1/2 cups milk
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1⁄2 cup (2 oz) shredded parmesan cheese
Garnish: chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 1 package of corn and next 7 ingredients (in order listed) in a large food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in chives and remaining corn. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Garnish, if desired.

Cheesy bbq Sloppy Joes
1-1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup ketchup
1⁄2 cup bottled barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
1 tablespoon liquid from pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
1 (11.25 oz) package frozen garlic Texas toast
1⁄2 cup (2 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8-10 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well, return to skillet. Stir in tomatoes, next 3 ingredients, and if desired, jalapeño peppers and liquid. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare Texas toast according to package directions. Serve beef mixture over Texas toast; sprinkle with cheese.

Chicken Dijon
6 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium size red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium-size sweet onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-heat; add chicken, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet; add bell pepper and onion, and cook, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Return chicken to skillet. Whisk together broth and next 2 ingredients, and pour over chicken. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

• Keep all produce wrapped loosely, especially if wrapped in plastic. Air must be allowed to circulate around the item to reduce spoilage.
• If you chew gum while peeling onions you may not cry. Try it.

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