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Wichita Eagle Holiday Cookbook 2012 Soups, Salads and Sides

  • Published Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at 11:33 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at 5:25 p.m.

First place

CURRIED EGG SALAD

Makes 4 servings.

½ cup mayonnaise

1½ teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon sugar

5 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

1 large red apple, cored and chopped

½ cup celery, diced

3 tablespoons green onion, minced

3 tablespoons raisins

Salt and pepper, to taste

Leaf lettuce

In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, curry powder and sugar. Add eggs, apple, celery, onions and raisins. Add salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to let flavors blend and raisins soften. Serve on bed of lettuce.

This also makes a good filling for tomatoes or avocado halves. If desired, add a few dry-roasted peanuts or chopped cashews to make a quick and crunchy garnish on top.

Peg Bowman, Wichita

Second place

WATERMELON, TOMATO AND CUCUMBER SALAD

Makes 8 servings.

RED WINE VINAIGRETTE:

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup olive oil

SALAD:

3 cups watermelon chunks

3 cups Heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped

3 cups cucumbers, coarsely chopped

1 cup basil, chopped

½ cup red onion, chopped

¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled

For vinaigrette, combine all ingredients and whisk well. In large bowl, combine salad ingredients with vinaigrette and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Janie Colle, Hutchinson

Third place

BLACK BEAN SOUP

1 lb. hamburger

1 lb. hot sausage

1 pkg. beef or pork chorizo

2 bell peppers, diced

4 cans black beans

2 cans Rotel tomatoes

1 can chili-style tomatoes

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon Mexican-style cheese

1 tablespoon sour cream

Cilantro

Chips

Brown hamburger and sausage in large stock pot; remove and drain on paper towels. Brown chorizo; remove and drain on paper towels. Leave 1 teaspoon of grease in pot; sauté bell pepper for about 5 minutes or until softened. Return meat to pot. Add beans, do not drain or rinse, and tomatoes. Stir well. Add garlic powder, cumin and chili powder. Add chicken stock. Garnish with cheese, sour cream and cilantro. Crumble chips into soup or serve on side.

More chili powder can be added, depending on the desired spice level. Consistency of soup should be slightly thinner than chili, so more chicken stock maybe needed.

Kari Hart, Wichita

Honorable mention

GINGERED CRANBERRY CARROT SALAD

½ cup fresh lime juice

½ cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely minced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black or tricolor pepper

2 pkgs. (10 oz. each) carrots, shredded in bite-size lengths

1 pkg. (5 oz.) sweetened dried cranberries or craisins

1 pkg. (2.5 oz.) almonds, blanched and slivered

Place first 7 ingredients in a small, tightly covered container. Shake well to combine. Set dressing aside at room temperature to allow flavors to meld. At least 20 minutes before serving, combine carrots and cranberries. Shake dressing again vigorously, dress salad and set aside at room temperature. Place almonds in heavy, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until golden brown. Sprinkle almonds over salad just before serving. Refrigerate any remaining dressing or salad.

This dressing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container, but return it to room temperature before assembling the salad. Toasting the almonds intensifies the flavor, but be careful not to let them burn. This salad is a tangier, fresher-tasting alternative to the traditional mayonnaise-based carrot and raisin salad. The crystallized ginger adds sweetness and a dash of spice, and the almonds provide an extra crunchy texture. Dressing the salad and letting it rest at room temperature allows the dried cranberries to plump a bit and the olive oil to remain in its liquid state. The salad looks “holiday festive” when served in a cut-glass or clear glass bowl.

Pam Johnson Taverner, Wichita

CAMDEN CRAB BISQUE SOUP

1 small onion, chopped

1 celery rib, thinly sliced

½ cup red pepper, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

1 can cream-style corn

2 cans condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted

1 cup chicken broth

2 cups half and half cream

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon white pepper

Dash hot pepper sauce

1 lb. crabmeat

2 to 3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

2 teaspoons celery seed

1/8 teaspoon salt

Ground pepper, to taste

In a large soup kettle, saute onion, celery and red pepper in butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients, except crab, and mix well. Stir in crab and heat until ready to serve. Discard bay leaves.

Two summers ago, my wife and I spent a week in Camden, Maine. This little harbor town had incredible crab and lobster meals. All were unique and different and, as my wife enjoyed these treats from the sea, I began to ask about how they seasoned and cooked the soups. She ate fresh ocean crab or lobster twice a day. When we came home, I began looking at my notes written on numerous napkins and began creating my own recipe for our memory of Maine. After testing numerous recipes I had put together, finally I settled on my creation. When Thanksgiving rolled around last fall, my crab bisque soup was ready for family members along with the traditional turkey. There was not a spoonful left. It has already been ordered for this holiday season.

Dennis Cox, Wichita

EASY VEGETABLE POTATO CRUST QUICHE

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 1/3 cups or 3 medium-size potatoes

¼ cup butter

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, loosely packed and thawed

2 eggs or egg substitute

1 can (5½ oz.) evaporated milk

½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon salt or ½ teaspoon mixed herbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook and mash potatoes; stir in butter. Spoon into greased 9-inch pie dish. Spread onto sides and bottom of dish. Arrange thawed vegetables over potatoes. Combine eggs and evaporated milk in bowl; mix well. Stir in cheese and seasonings. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until top is golden

I make this to go with my turkey burgers.

Kate Bainbridge, Wichita

CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN AND BLACK BEAN SOUP

2 chicken leg quarters or breasts

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 can corn or Mexi-corn, drained

2 cans black beans, drained

1 pkg. cream cheese

1 pkg. dry ranch dressing

½ cup milk

½ cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 cup Velveeta cheese

½ onion, diced

½ green bell pepper, diced

½ red bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

Boil, debone and shred chicken. Reserve ½ cup broth. Combine all ingredients, including reserved broth, in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

I serve it over crushed tortilla chips.

Kim Martin, Belle Plaine

CUCUMBER SALAD

5 cucumbers, thinly sliced

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup canola oil

1 teaspoon Knorr seasoning salt

1 teaspoon Lawry’s season salt

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

Put cucumbers in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and let it set whole day in refrigerator.

This is our favorite side salad. It’s so easy and simple.

Mary Diethelm, Wichita

SOMBRERO PASTA SALAD

1 pkg. (16 oz.) tri-colored spiral pasta

1 lb. ground beef

¾ cup water

1 pkg. taco seasoning

¾ cup green pepper, chopped

5 green onions, thinly sliced

1 cup tomato, diced

2 cans (2¼ oz. each) black olives, sliced and drained

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

1 bottle (16oz.) Catalina salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Set aside to cool. While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef and drain grease. Add taco seasoning and water. Let simmer on low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and let cool. In large bowl, combine pasta and ground beef mixture. Add green peppers, green onions, tomato and black olives to the pasta and beef mixture. Add cheese and stir thoroughly. Pour ¾ of bottle of salad dressing over pasta salad. Stir to mix ingredients evenly. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Add remaining salad dressing just before serving.

I like to add some of the green onion tops to the salad. The amount of green pepper, onion and tomato can be adjusted according to personal taste. My husband and I will have club-type crackers with it.

Rena Sherffius, Wichita

CHICKEN AND POTATO FLORENTINE SOUP

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

64 oz. chicken broth

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon instant minced onion

1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes with juice, diced

2 cans (28 oz. each) water

2 cans (15 oz. each) garbanzo beans, drained

10 oz. carrots, shredded

8 medium gold or red potatoes, washed, unpeeled and sliced

½ tablespoon salt

½ tablespoon black pepper

½ tablespoon Italian seasoning

½ tablespoon instant minced onion

½ tablespoon paprika

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, cut into chunks

8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated or shredded

5 oz. fresh spinach, chopped

Boil first 6 ingredients until chicken breasts are cooked and tender; remove meat and let cool. Drain solids from broth and put clear liquid back into soup pot; chop or shred chicken into bite-size chunks and put back into broth. Add next 10 ingredients to broth and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. Potatoes should be fork tender but not mushy. Add cream cheese and mozzarella cheese. Stir frequently until cheese melts. Make sure it does not stick to bottom. Add fresh spinach and stir; let wilt into soup for about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls; serve with crusty bread.

I know the list of ingredients seems daunting, but don’t let the list of simple spices scare you off. Also, this is an easy recipe to cut in half for a smaller crowd. But once you make it, you’ll cook the full recipe the next time so you have more to share and some leftovers for yourself. Since the first time I saw the chicken and potato Florentine soup being advertised on television, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It just looked so delicious. So this was my attempt at making a clone of it. After several batches and the tweaking of spices, this is the final result that has been deemed a success by my husband, extended family and — more importantly — my boss.

Rochelle Dickson, Potwin

GLAZED CARROTS

Makes 6 servings.

9 to 10 whole carrots

5 1/3 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon onion powder

1¼ teaspoons Lawry’s garlic salt, coarse ground with parsley

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup brown sugar

Peel carrots. Cut diagonally in bite-size pieces. Cook with lid on in salted water, just to cover, for 15 minutes. Check for tenderness and drain. In separate pan, melt butter and add onion powder, garlic salt, pepper and brown sugar. Cook and stir until brown sugar is completely dissolved and beginning to simmer. Add drained carrots and toss lightly before serving warm.

When I first experimented with this, I used it with baked acorn squash, scooping out the baked squash, mixing the glaze with it and putting it back in the shell. It also works well with cooked butternut squash done much the same way as the carrots.

Sandy Short, Arkansas City

ZUCCHINI FLOWER SOUP

4 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 shallots, minced

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

4 medium zucchini, finely diced

11 oz. zucchini flowers, cut into strips, reserve 1 whole flower for each dish

¼ cup long-grain rice

4 large basil leaves, thinly sliced

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese

Bring broth to boil in stock pot. In skillet, heat olive oil and add shallots, carrot and celery. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add zucchini and zucchini flowers, not reserved ones, and cook for 2 minutes. Add vegetables to heated broth. Bring to boil, add rice and cook until tender. Season with salt, pepper, to taste. Ladle soup into serving bowls, sprinkle with basil and place a whole flower on top of soup in each bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Paula Richards, Wichita

MAPLE/COCONUT SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

Makes about 6 servings.

2½ lbs. (3 cups) sweet potatoes

1/3 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 tablespoon maple syrup

½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1/3 cup raw, unsweetened coconut, grated

2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

1/3 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or oil medium casserole dish. Wrap each sweet potato in foil, pierce numerous times with fork and place in oven for 1 to 1½ hours or until each is baked through and soft. Remove potatoes from oven, let cool for few minutes and cut each sweet potato in half. Scrape flesh into large mixing bowl. Mash sweet potatoes with coconut milk. Stir in ginger, maple syrup and salt. Let it sit for few minutes, stir again and taste-adjust seasoning. Spoon sweet potato mixture into dish, sprinkle with coconut, drizzle with olive oil or butter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, uncovered, until warm and coconut is golden. Remove and sprinkle with nuts.

If the sweet potatoes are on the fibrous side, I use a blender or food processor to blend together. The flavors of coconut and maple syrup together make this a great dish with any meal.

Melinda Valadez, Wichita

PARSNIPS

2 lbs. parsnips

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup maple syrup

½ cup orange juice

1 tablespoon orange rind

½ cup butter

Peel and parboil parsnips for about 10 minutes. Place in 1½-quart casserole or baking pan. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over cooked parsnips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Autumn calls for root vegetables, and this recipe is simple and delicious.

Annette Van Blaricum, Pratt

GEORGE GRANTSTEIN JR.’S ULTIMATE CRAB SALAD

1½ cups sweet onion, minced

1½ cups celery, minced

¼ head of cabbage, chopped to about ¼- to 3/8-inch squares

2 tablespoons parsley

2 tablespoons dill

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

2 lbs. imitation crab meat, chopped to 1/3- to 3/8-inch squares

Place first seven ingredients in large bowl and fold until mixed. Add crab meat and fold until mixed.

The crab salad should meld together for three days to reach its prime, but it is good right after it is all mixed together. If you wait the three days, you should drain off any excess watery fluid and then fold the salad to perfection. This is my brother’s recipe. He is a paramedic for the fire department in south Florida and loves being the cook whenever possible. This gives him a chance to experiment on his fellow firemen. A number of years ago, he called me and told me how he was able to put together the very best crab salad. I have shared it many times with my guests.

Steve E. Grantstein, Wichita

ANTIPASTO SALAD

Makes 8 servings.

SALAD:

1 pkg. (6 oz.) mixed salad greens, torn

6 thin slices hard salami, quartered

1 jar (7½ oz.) marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 large sweet red pepper, sliced

½ cup Greek olives, pitted

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1½ cups (6 oz.) feta cheese, crumbled

15 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup salad croutons

BASIL SALAD DRESSING:

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

5 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

In 3½-qt. glass bowl, layer salad ingredients in order listed. Cover and chill until serving. In small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Just before serving, pour over salad; toss to coat.

Mona Hiebert, Wichita

DAD’S BAKED BEANS

2 hot links, sliced in ½-inch slices and quartered

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup ketchup

½ cup Kansas City-style barbecue sauce

¼ cup mustard

¼ cup molasses

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cans (16 oz.) kidney beans, drained

2 cans (16 oz.) pinto beans, drained

2 cans (16 oz.) butter beans, drained

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Pour into 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Place dish on cookie sheet to catch any overflow. Bake at 350 degrees for 1¼ hours.

Doug Wright, Wichita

BROCCOLI SALAD

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

5 cups fresh broccoli florets, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup real bacon bits, cooked

¼ cup red onion, chopped

1 cup cheese, shredded

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons vinegar

½ cup sugar

Combine broccoli, cranberries, sunflower seeds, bacon, onion and cheese in large serving bowl. In separate bowl or large cup, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Add dressing to salad and toss to mix well; chill thoroughly before serving.

Patty Knep, Wichita

POTATOES GRATIN

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Gruyere cheese, grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

1½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

In large mixing bowl, combine cream, 2 cups cheese, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add potatoes and gently stir to combine. Pour into 3-quart gratin dish and press down to compact layers. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 1¼ hours or until potatoes are tender. Remove cover and bake for 10 minutes until top is lightly browned. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

I made this for our dinner club. Six adults ate the entire dish.

Debbie Richardson, Wichita

BROCCOLI SALAD

Makes 6 servings.

1 lb. broccoli florets

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup onions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 pkg. (16 oz.) coleslaw mix

½ cup dried cherries

1 cup pecan pieces or 1 pkg. (3.5 oz) roasted glazed pecan pieces

Cut broccoli florets from stems and separate florets into small pieces. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Add coleslaw mix, broccoli florets and cherries. Mix well. Cover and chill 1 hour. Stir in pecans just before serving.

Nancy Tuck, Elk Falls

We asked readers to submit their best side dish recipes to add the perfect complement holiday meals.

Peg Bowman of Wichita won first place in this category with her recipe for Curried Egg Salad.

Please scroll down to see winning recipes and more.

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