This is another recipe from my friend Jennifer; it tastes like what we get at Trio’s a fabulous restaurant in Little Rock. Yum!
Spinach Dip & Pita Chips
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 can Ro-Tel
1/4 cup diced purple onion
1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
2 T. chopped jalapenos, or to taste
Melt cream cheese and Monterey Jack cheese in a large saucepan over low heat. Add Parmesan cheese, Ro-Tel, onion, spinach, and jalapenos. Stir until smooth.
May be served immediately, or made early and refrigerated several days ahead. Best warm or at room temperature.
Baked Pita Chips
Split pita bread into halves, then quarters. Brush each piece with melted butter or Butter Pam. Sprinkle with cumin and lemon pepper.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. The bread becomes crisp as it cools. Store in airtight containers after cool.
My dear friend Margit served this at our friends, the Fosters’ in Sun River. I knew I was addicted when I woke up in the middle of the night dreaming about it. When I want to throw caution to the wind diet-wise, I make this dish.
3 oz. halved sun-dried tomatoes
8 slices thick-cut smoked bacon
16 oz. fettuccini
2 T. fresh garlic, minced
12 medium basil leaves, slivered
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
8 oz goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Drop the sun-dried tomatoes into boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and cut into long slivers. Set aside.
Cut bacon into ¼ inch pieces and brown well in heavy skillet. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain; reserve bacon drippings in the skillet.
Boil pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, sauté garlic in bacon drippings for 2 minutes. Add basil leaves and sun-dried tomatoes, and toss well. Add olives and bacon, and sauté until well heated.
Immediately before draining the pasta, break the cheese into pieces, and toss it with the garlic mixture and pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I used my mom’s chicken tetrazini recipe for years, until my friend Jennifer gave me this recipe. I have always made this dish for new mom friends, but she somehow elevated it, like she always does with food, parties, her home, and all areas of her life. It is a bit of a time commitment, but it makes several servings for yourself, plus two foil 9 x 12-ish containers for friends!
The Best Chicken Tetrazini
1 whole rotisserie (roasted) chicken
1 lb spaghetti (I use whole wheat)
1 lb. Velveeta (I use 2%)
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
1 8 oz. container sliced mushrooms
1 stick butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use Healthy Request)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use Healthy Request)
1 jar pimentos
1 can Rotel tomatoes (tomatoes and green chilies)
1 cup chicken broth (bullion or canned)
2/3 cup evaporated milk (I use fat free)
Garlic powder, celery salt, pepper to taste
2 cup bag grated cheese (your favorite – cheddar or a blend)
Take chicken off the bone in chunks. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Stir in Velveeta. Meanwhile, sauté celery, onion and mushrooms in butter. Add to pasta, along with all other ingredients except grated cheese.
Put into 2 or 3 casserole dishes, and cover with plastic wrap and foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so, till bubbley. Or it freezes fabulously.
My sister Tracy and I love sharing recipes, but I always have to go searching various locations for our favorites. So we’re starting this blog as an easy repository of our favorite recipes that we go to again and again.
The recipe for Monte’s Ham is a classic in our family. I adapted it from Saveur magazine a zillion years ago as part of an article about how to feed a ton of people really cheaply. It was such a funny article that I decided to try it for a party with mustard and rolls. It is always fun to watch people at the beginning of the night nicely cutting slices, then by the end of the night, they are literally picking it off the bone. This recipe’s a winner.
Serves about 30
1 cheap 15 lb smoked ham on the bone
1 ½ cups apricot jam
1 cup Dijon mustard
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 T. whole cloves
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Trim outer skin and excess fat from ham. Place ham, meat side down, in large roasting pan and score, making crosshatch incisions with a sharp knife. Roast for 2 hours.
Remove ham from oven and increase heat to 350 degrees. Combine jam, mustard, and brown sugar in bowl. Stud ham with whole cloves at crosshatch intersections, then pour glaze all over and return to oven.
Cook for another 1 ½ hours, brushing with glaze at least 3 times. Transfer to platter and allow to rest for 30 minutes (put extra glaze on and around).
Carve and serve warm or at room temperature.