Northwest NEWS

November 11, 2002

Home & Garden

Tasteful Traditions

stuffing.jpg Photo courtesty Family Features
   Holidays and traditions go hand in hand. Each year, families gather to celebrate the special memories they have shared for generations. Make this year's celebration extra special with twists on classic favorites that strike just the right balance between new and nostalgic.
   Start by putting a sophisticated spin on conventional cheese and crackers with Brie en Crote.
   Flaky puff pastry surrounds warm, creamy Brie cheese in this elegant appetizer. Create another memorable first course by combining condensed broccoli cheese soup and a few basic ingredients for a tasty Broccoli Cheese Tart.
   Creative cooks know that traditional side dishes are elevated from ordinary to extraordinary with a simple simmering secret. Using chicken broth to simmer cranberries and vegetables before adding breadcrumbs creates a flavorful stuffing that everyone is sure to love.
   For potatoes that won't be left over, try boiling them in broth instead of water and mashing with light cream.
   End the meal on a delightfully sweet note with a tasty twist on classic apple pie. Thinly sliced Granny Smith apples are blanketed in delicate layers of golden puff pastry with a hint of cinnamon to create scrumptious Apple Strudel.
   Festive Cranberry Stuffing
   Prep/Cook Time: 15 minutes
   1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth (1 3/4 c.)
   Generous dash pepper
   1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
   1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
   1 small onion, chopped
   4 c. herb seasoned stuffing mix
   Mix broth, pepper, celery, cranberries and onion in saucepan.
   Heat to a boil.
   Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
   Add stuffing. Mix lightly. Makes 4 cups.
   brie.jpg Photo courtesty Family Features
   Brie en Crote
   Thaw Time: 30 minutes
   Prep Time: 15 minutes
   Bake Time: 20 minutes
   Stand Time: 1 hour.
   1/2 package frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet)
   1 egg
   1 Tbsp. water
   1/4 c. toasted sliced almonds
   1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
   1 (1 pound) Brie cheese round
   Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix egg and water.
   Uunfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14-inch square. Cut off corners to make a circle. Sprinkle almonds and parsley in center of circle. Top with cheese. Brush edge of circle with egg mixture. Fold two opposite sides over cheese. Trim remaining two sides to 2 inches from edge of cheese. Fold these two sides onto the round. Press edges to seal. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Decorate top with pastry scraps if desired. Brush with egg mixture.
   Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Let stand 1 hour. Serve with crackers. Serves 12.
   Broccoli Cheese Tart
   Prep Time: 10 minutes
   Cook Time: 50 minutes
   1 can broccoli cheese soup
   5 eggs
   1/4 tsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced
   1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
   1 small onion, finely chopped
   1 c. shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella)
   1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust
   Mix soup, eggs, garlic, broccoli, onion and 1/2 c. cheese. Pour into pie crust.
   Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle remaining cheese around edge of tart. Bake 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
   Ultra Creamy Mashed Potatoes
   Prep/Cook Time: 25 minutes
   2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth
   5 large potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7 1/2 c.)
   1/2 c. light cream
   2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
   Generous dash pepper
   Place broth and potatoes in saucepan.
   Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving broth.
   Mash potatoes with 1/4 c. broth, cream, butter and pepper.
   Add additional broth, if needed, until desired consistency. Serves about 6.
   Apple Strudel
   Thaw Time: 30 minutes
   Prep Time: 30 minutes
   Bake Time: 35 minutes
   1/2 package frozen puff pastry sheets (1 sheet)
   1 egg
   1 Tbsp. water
   2 Tbsp. sugar
   1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
   1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
   2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
   2 Tbsp. raisins (optional)
   Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. Mix egg and water. Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add apples and raisins and toss to coat.
   Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 16- x 12-inch rectangle. With short side facing you, spoon apple mixture on bottom half of pastry to within 1 inch of edges. Starting at short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Tuck ends under to seal. Brush with egg mixture. Cut several 2-inch long slits 2 inches apart on top.
   Bake 35 minutes or until golden. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack 30 minutes. Slice and serve warm. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if desired. Serves 6.
   greenbean.jpg Photo courtesty Family Features
   Green Bean Casserole
   1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
   1/2 c. milk
   1 tsp. soy sauce
   Dash pepper
   4 c. cooked cut green beans
   1 1/3 c. French's french fried onions
   Mix soup, milk, soy, pepper, beans and 2/3 c. onions in 1 1/2-quart casserole.
   Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until hot.
   Stir. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes. Serves 6.
   Tip: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, 2 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans or about 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.
   Recipes courtesy of Family Features