Monday, March 7, 2011

Salami Pasta Salad

4 c. uncooked medium tube pasta or elbow macaroni
½ pound bulk hard salami or summer sausage, cubed
½ c. minced fresh parsley
6 green onions, sliced
½ c. olive or vegetable oil
¼ c. cider or red wine vinegar
4 tsp. minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
4 tsp. minced fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

In a sauce pan, cook pasta according to package directions, rinse in cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl; add salami, parsley and onions. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar and seasonings. Drizzle over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, stir in Parmesan cheese. Yield: 8 – 10 servings.

The other day, my friend. Kathy, asked me if I had a good pasta salad recipe. She was asked to make some for the cast party of Beauty and the Beast (at Providence this Spring). She told me she had checked my blog, but hadn't found one. For a moment I could not recall one. Then the light bulb brightened and I exclaimed, "Oh yes I have one we really like!" And this is it.

This came from the 2001 Taste of Home Annual Recipes (page 254). I subscribed to that magazine for a number of years and then usually got the Annual cookbook, so as to not have all those magazines hanging around. I had tried this one and our daughter, Elizabeth really like it. So much so that when she decided she wanted her wedding reception to be a "big picnic" she specifically asked for this salad. What is so great about it for outdoor picnics is that there is no mayonnaise in it to be potentially hazardous to one's health. I very often just use sliced salami, instead of the bulk and dice it up as the recipe calls for. Actually these smaller pieces just mean it is distributed more throughout the salad.

A God-incidence: After sending this recipe to Kathy, I started thinking, "I wish I had a pitch-in dinner coming up, so I have a reason to make this." (Recipe makes too much for just Gary and me!) Well today I got an e-mail that there will be a pitch-in dinner at our pastor's home next Tuesday. Wow! What a way to answer prayer, Lord! Thank you!

May you enjoy this especially when picnic weather is here!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cooked and shredded
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (reduced fat works fine)
1 packet Taco seasoning mix
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 (16 oz.) jar salsa (red or green)
1 can Campbell’s Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
8 – 12 oz. shredded Mexican cheese
12-15 small flour tortillas (6 inch)

In large bowl, mix warm shredded chicken, cream cheese, taco seasoning and chilies and stir until melted and creamy and well mixed. You can make this ahead and refrigerate, but it spoons into tortillas much better when warm.

Spoon mixture into a tortilla (in a straight line, down the middle), fold up the bottom about 1 inch, and then roll from one side to the other. Place in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, folded side down. Continue with each tortilla, lining neatly in the baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine salsa and Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup, mix completely. Pour over enchiladas in baking dish, covering all enchiladas. Sprinkle the Mexican cheese in an even layer over the soup mixture. (At this point you can refrigerate until ready to bake.)

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes (25-30 if casserole has been refrigerated) to melt cheese. Bake longer if you like the cheese browned.

Makes 12-15 enchiladas, depending on how full you stuff them. You can use bigger (8 or 10 inch) tortillas if you choose, which will cut down on how many you end up with.

I'd been wanting to make these for awhile and just kept putting it off. I went ahead and used cooked turkey I had in the freezer from sometime around or after Christmas. I thawed it out, coarsely chopped it with my Pampered Chef food chopper. I used both white and dark meat and they turned out yummy.

I got this recipe from my friend Shannon G., who used to live in Jeff. She was part of our church's W.O.W. kitchen team; W.O.W. being What's on Wednesdays, which were the Wednesday night ministries - Bible Studies, Choir, children's activities, and dinner (for #3.00) that our fabulous kitchen team prepared each week. Our original team was Donna C.,Shannon, Lori R., and myself. Later when Shannon's husband, Steve, who was in the Coast Guard, was transferred to Texas, Betty P. joined the team.

Shannon always used boneless, skinless chicken thighs as she thought breasts were a little too dry. However, I usually used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and would basically poach them in the oven. (Place in pan with about 1/4 - 1/2 inch water and cover tightly and cook @ 350 degrees until cooked through, about 30 minutes.)

I like to serve these with some tortilla chips and a salad. The chips are good because the filling and cheese soup/salsa topping make a great dip for them. In fact I have actually made the filling, then mixed it with the cheese soup/salsa mixture to serve warm (in crock pot) as a dip for chips at a party.