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Pat’s Pantry: Country Cooking

 

Whether you’re a beginning cook or a well-seasoned veteran, you can easily impress friends and family with some country recipes.

 

WILTED LETTUCE

 

4 cups torn leaf lettuce

1 small onion, sliced

3 radishes, sliced

6 bacon strips, diced

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

 

Toss lettuce, onion and radishes in a large salad bowl and set aside. Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet and remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Add vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, salt and pepper to the drippings and bring to a boil. Pour over lettuce and toss. Sprinkle with bacon. Serve immediately. Yield: 4-6 servings.

 

 

COUNTRY FRIED STEAKS

 

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 beef cube steaks (about 1 pound)

1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

gravy

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon pepper

 

Combine 3 tablespoons flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and set aside. Place remaining flour in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Add steaks and shake until meat is completely coated. Beat egg white and water. Dip steaks in egg mixture, then coat with cornmeal mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Cook two steaks for 5-7 minutes on each side or until crisp, lightly browned and cooked as desired. Remove steaks and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and steaks. Meanwhile, for gravy, melt butter in a saucepan and stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly and reduce heat. Add bouillon, marjoram, thyme and pepper and simmer uncovered for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over steaks. Yield: 4 servings.

 

CALICO BEANS

 

6 bacon strips, diced

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 can (21 oz.) pork and beans, undrained

1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) butter beans or lima beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1 teaspoon salt

 

Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet and remove to paper towels to drain. Discard drippings. Cook beef and onion in the same skillet until beef is browned and the onion is tender. Drain. Combine beef and bacon with remaining ingredients and spoon into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 300 degrees for one hour or until the beans reach desired thickness. Yield: 8-10 servings.

 

OLD-FASHIONED RICE PUDDING

 

3 1/2 cups skim milk

1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

ground cinnamon, optional

 

Combine milk, rice, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add raisins and vanilla. Cover and bake 15 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Store in the refrigerator.  Yield: 4-6 serving.

 

TATER-DIPPED VEGGIES

 

1 cup instant potato flakes

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled

2 eggs

4 to 5 cups fresh, bite-sized vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini or carrots)

ranch salad dressing or dip, optional

 

Combine potato flakes, Parmesan cheese, celery salt, garlic powder and butter in a small bowl. Beat eggs in another bowl. Dip the vegetables one at a time into egg and then into potato mixture and coat well. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Serve with dressing or dip if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.

 

FOOD FACTS:

  • To cut down on cholesterol, substitute two egg whites stiffly beaten for each whole egg in a recipe.
  • Place a folded, damp towel under the bowl and it won’t slip and slide while mixing.

 

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