Oldies but Goodies
Hooray for Christmas cuisine! What can be better than ham and yams, turkey and dressing, with gravy and rice or mashed potatoes? Then there’s that good old green bean casserole and a choice of pies like pumpkin and apple. But with so much food and inevitably lots of repetition, a couple of non-seasonal recipes can be just the ticket to spark up holiday menus. Two of the best come from a wonderful cook, Dorrie Mahon. One recipe is made using a hammer and the other takes us to another continent. How’s that for blending traditions?
Dorrie came into our extended family when her son Todd and our daughter Cathy married. Jim and I feasted at her table often before her husband Tom passed on and she moved into the Franke Home in Mt. Pleasant. Nowadays she doesn’t cook but says she still peruses the food section of the newspaper to pick out the best dishes. She’s also generous in sharing her favorites. Two of the best are her PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM PIE and CHINESE CABBAGE SALAD.
“That pie has always been a winner,” she tells me, “no matter where it goes. Everybody loves it and I’m always asked for the recipe.” The salad came from a friend in Cincinnati when they lived there and it too has been a staple at their home as it is now at Cathy and Todd’s. Get your taste buds in gear for a real treat and try these.
PEPPERMINT ICE CREAM PIE
1 pre-made Oreo Pie Crust
1 quart good vanilla ice cream
½ cup (plus) crushed candy canes
Fresh pecan halves
Soften ice cream by leaving on kitchen counter for 10-15 minutes until it softens enough to mix and pour. Mix ice cream with crushed candy canes, pour into the pie crust and return to the freezer. When ready to serve, decorate with fresh pecan halves. (For the best flavor, don’t freeze with pecans).
Now, my culinary spies inform me that there is such a thing as peppermint ice cream. But this pie is so delicious with those freshly crushed candy canes that I recommend Dorrie’s tried and true method: she put the canes in a plastic bag, took them outside and smashed them to size with a hammer.
CHINESE CABBAGE SALAD
I head Napa cabbage
6 green onions, chopped
2 packages Ramen Chicken Noodle Soup
! package slivered almonds, size to taste
1½ tablespoons sesame seeds
Separate noodles from flavor packet. Crumble noodles on cookie sheet with the package of almonds and sesame seeds. Broil briefly until brown. Set aside.
Mix the two flavor packages from the noodle soup with ½ cup sugar and 6 tablespoons white vinegar. Heat 60 seconds in microwave. Stir in ¾ cup vegetable oil and whisk.
Prepare Napa cabbage by removing inner (and bitter) core. Rinse and chop. To serve, place chopped Napa in salad bowl with onions, add dressing, toss and top with broiled noodle mixture Serves 6 or more.
Dorrie is a young 91, I’m a decade or so behind and these recipes are both over 50 years old. Oldies but goodies it is both for the rest of December and well into a Happy New Year!