Pat’s Pantry: A family pleasing meal

These delicious dishes are sure to delight your family. The au gratin peas and potatoes can be the main course or a wonderful side dish.



6 bacon strips, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cups sliced peeled cooked potatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas, cooked and drained

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup milk


Cook bacon until crisp in a skillet. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Saute onion in the drippings until tender. Layer with potatoes, salt, peas, 1 cup cheese and bacon. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through. Combine mayonnaise and milk until smooth; pour over bacon. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.



6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 cup butter or margarine

4 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

minced fresh parsley

hot cooked pasta

Sprinkle chicken with pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat brown chicken in oil until juices run clear. Remove to a serving platter and keep warm. In same the skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Sprinkle with flour and stir until coated. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with parsley and remaining cheese. Serve with pasta. Yield: 6 servings.



4 pounds pork baby back ribs, cut into serving-size pieces

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place ribs in a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Rub with garlic salt. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and drain. Combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over ribs. Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until ribs are tender, basting several times.  Yield: 4 servings.



3 cups cooked rice, cooled

2 hard cooked eggs, chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 jar (2 oz.) diced pimientos, drained

1/4 cup dill pickle relish

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sweet pickle relish

1/4 cup French salad dressing

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

leaf lettuce

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the mayonnaise, pickle relish, salad dressing, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Fold into the rice mixture. Serve in a lettuce-lined bowl. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 4-6 servings.



1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling

1 can (8 ½ oz.) sliced pears, drained

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons cold butter or margarine

ice cream, optional

Combine pie filling and pears in a greased 9-inch baking dish and set aside. Combine brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with ice cream if desired. Yield: 4 servings.



Three large stalks of celery, chopped and added to about two cups of beans (navy, brown, pinto, etc.) makes the dish easier to digest.

Instant potatoes help to thicken soups and stews.


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