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A Hearty Country Meal

A delicious and easy meat and potato meal starts with a country fried steak.  Add mashed potatoes and old fashion banana pudding and you will have a meal everyone will be bragging about.  – Pat

COUNTRY-FRIED STEAK

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup crushed saltines

4 cube steaks (1-pound)

3 tablespoons cooking oil

1 can (10.75 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 cup milk

In a plastic bag or bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Place buttermilk in a shallow bowl and place saltine crumbs in a plastic bag or bowl. Coat steaks with flour mixture, then dip into buttermilk and coat with crumbs. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook steaks in hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked to desired doneness. Remove and keep warm. Add soup and milk to skillet; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Serve gravy with steaks.

BANANA CUSTARD PUDDING

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 medium firm banana, sliced

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add milk; cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Stir a small amount into the egg yolks and return all to pan. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Chill for 1 hour. Just before serving, fold in banana.  Yield: 4 servings.

CREAMY MASHED POTATOES

6 medium red potatoes, (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 to 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, warmed

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender; drain well. Add the cream, butter, salt and pepper and mash potatoes.  Yield 4 servings.

CRANBERRY-GLAZED BEETS

1 can (15 oz.) sliced beets

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup cranberry juice

1/3 cup raisins

Drain the beets, reserving 1/4 cup juice; set aside. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, vinegar and salt; mix until smooth. Stir in beet juice and cranberry juice and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in raisins; let stand for 5 minutes. Add beets; cook over low heat for 2 minutes or until heated through.  Yield 4 servings.

REUBEN PIZZA

1 (1-pound) loaf frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed

1/2 cup thousand island dressing

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup shredded cooked corned beef

1 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon caraway seed

1/4 cup chopped dill pickles (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large pizza  pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll the bread dough out into a large circle, about 14 inches in diameter. Transfer to the prepared pizza pan. Build up the sides and prick the center all over with a fork so it remains flat when baking. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden. Spread half of the salad dressing over the hot crust. Sprinkle with half of the Swiss cheese. Arrange corned beef over the cheese, then drizzle with the remaining salad dressing. Top with sauerkraut and remaining Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with caraway seed. Bake for another 10 minutes until cheese melts and toppings are heated through. Sprinkle with chipped pickle, if desired. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

QUICK TIPS

• Use applesauce as a substitute for oil in baked goods. Use same amount of applesauce as the oil called for.

• To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan and bring to a boil on stove-top. Skillet will be much easier to clean.

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