By Paula Dream (AKA Kale Haygood)
Well, by the time you are reading this publication you have already gorged yourself with all the turkey you can possibly eat and you swear to never eat my Aunt Laura’s (name has been changed to protect the innocent) green bean casserole. Finally, all the leftovers are gone and your egg has nogged its way down the drain.
Therefore, I am giving you some middle-of-the-road recipes that go pretty well with anything. Granny’s Apple Potato Salad is a year around hit and goes well with any dish. Speaking of hits, another winner is this big Astros-take-it-to-home-base Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Pie. Granny never touched alcohol, but I made up for her. She also always made her own crust and got the old rolling pin out from the nightstand and rolled that crust out to fit her pie plate; sorry, Granny—I buy the refrigerated crust from the grocery store. (And cover your ears, Granny, but this pie just might get you laid, reader; it has worked for me when my guests beg for a second slice. I am planning on leaving Santa a slice out in hopes he comes up my chimney.
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GRANNY’S APPLE POTATO SALAD
1-1/2 pounds gold potatoes, thinly sliced
Enough olive oil to drizzle plus 3 tablespoons
4 slices bacon, browned and chopped, reserving grease
1 tart, crisp apple, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons apple brandy
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, cooking over medium heat ’til just tender, or for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, drizzle oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon grease and apple to skillet. Cook, stirring for about five minutes, until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add brandy, mixing well. Remove from heat. Drain potatoes; add to skillet. Add parsley, vinegar and mustard. Add about two tablespoons of oil and toss to combine.
SALMON MOUSSE CUPS
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
Mix well. Form into 24 small balls. Press into small greased muffin pan to form a cup. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
1 package cream cheese
1 can (7-1/2 ounces) can salmon drained, skin and bones removed
2 tablespoons chicken broth
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced dill
Mix well. Spoon in to prepared crust. Chill before serving. (Credit: TasteOfHome.com)
GRANNY’S BOURBON PECAN-CHOCOLATE PIE
1 package refrigerated piecrust dough
3 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons bourbon
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (plus enough for a dab behind each ear)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup chopped pecans (or substitute other nuts, like walnuts)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Unroll refrigerated crust, and then carefully fold it into a nine-inch pie plate that’s been coated with sprayed with cooking spray. Form dough into plate. With your thumb and forefinger, go around the edges of the plate, crimping the crust. With a fork, piece the dough in the bottom of the plate several times. Bake at 400 degrees until just lightly browned.
Now get the filling started. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, bourbon, vanilla, salt, nuts and chocolate chips until smooth. Pour filling into crust. Carefully place the pie onto a baking sheet and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until filling is set around edge but still jiggles a little in the center, for about 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Paula Dream, AKA Kale Haygood, owns Beyond Service, a Montrose-based home-cooking catering company. For more information, call 713-805-4106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.