Hey, everyone. We are going to try some changes to the Co-op Pantry. If you are interested in being our featured cook, you can still contact me. When we don’t have a cook, we are going to use recipes based on ingredients recognized by the National Month. The foods we will be featuring for April are soyfood, garlic and grilled cheese; and for May will be barbecue, egg, hamburger, salad and strawberries.
Samantha Carpenter, our social media specialist, is going to be helping me.
We are also going to feature at least one healthy/healthier recipe each month. Jena Klein will be taking care of them.
Thank you, Mary
March is National Peanut Month and National Sauce Month. We chose recipes from our second cookbook, "Southern And Then Some More," to highlight these occasions, as we will each month. We’re also going to include at least one healthy recipe per month, beginning this month with Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars. Enjoy and Happy Cooking!
NOT TRADITIONAL CHEX MIX
4½ cups Rice Chex
In a large bowl with lid, combine all dry ingredients. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add remainder of sauce ingredients to butter. Stir. Pour over dry ingredients. Place lid on dry ingredient bowl and toss until well-coated. Pour mixture into 9x13 pan or cookie sheet and bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once mix has cooked, put onto paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.
Cooking spray or oil
Prepare a cookie sheet with cooking spray or oil (it needs to be well-coated). In a microwave-safe dish, mix sugar, syrup and butter. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir in the paraffin and, as it melts, stir in peanuts. Mix well. Microwave for 5 minutes. Check. Microwave 4 minutes more. DO NOT stir at any time when checking. Remove dish from microwave. Add baking soda and vanilla. Quickly stir and pour onto prepared cookie sheet. Cool and then break into pieces.
STEAK AND GRAVY
2 pound round steak
Cut steak into 5-6 serving size pieces. In a bowl, mix dry onion soup mix, water and mushroom soup. In a crockpot, place steak pieces. Pour soup mixture over steak. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Great served with creamed potatoes.
1 quart mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer or in a blender until well-blended, and salt and sugar are melted. Put in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.
Note: This is good with smoked chicken.
VINEGAR BARBECUE BASTE
5 cups water
In a large pot, add all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Use to baste meat often.
DIPPING SAUCE FOR
½ cup mayonnaise
In blender or the small bowl of a food processor, combine ingredients. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Makes: 1 pint
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat an inch or two of water. Clarified butter should be warm, but not hot.
In a glass or stainless steel bowl (not aluminum), combine the egg yolks and cold water. Whisk for a minute or two, until mixture is light and foamy. Whisk in a couple of drops of lemon juice.
Water in saucepan should have begun to simmer. Set bowl with egg mixture directly atop saucepan of simmering water. (Water itself should not come in contact with bottom of bowl.) Whisk eggs for a minute or two, until they’re slightly thickened.
Remove bowl from heat and begin adding butter; slowly at first, a few drops at a time, while whisking constantly. If you add it too quickly, emulsion will break.
Continue beating in butter. As sauce thickens, you can gradually increase rate at which you add it, but, at first, slower is better.
After adding all the butter, whisk in remaining lemon juice and season with Kosher salt and cayenne pepper/Tabasco sauce. Finished hollandaise sauce will have a smooth, firm consistency. If it’s too thick, adjust consistency by whisking in a few drops of warm water.
It’s best to serve hollandaise right away. You can hold it for about an hour or so, provided it’s kept warm. After two hours, though, you should toss it -- both for quality and safety reasons.
MEMPHIS-STYLE BARBECUE SAUCE
½ cup apple cider vinegar
In a saucepan over a medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients (vinegar last), reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes. You can puree this sauce to make it smoother.
March Healthy Recipe
Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars
½ cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 8x8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, coconut sugar, honey, egg, coconut oil and vanilla until fully combined. Add oats, flour, salt, baking soda. Mix until combined. Fold chocolate chips into the batter. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 12-20 minutes, or until the top is set and lightly golden brown. Allow to cool in pan. Cut into bars.
Note: Leftover bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Samantha Carpenter is AFC’s social media specialist.
I am looking for cooks of all ages, cooking traditions and skill levels to feature in this column. I want to hear from those in Alabama as well as our out-of-state readers. The simple requirements for being a featured cook are to love to cook (and eat) and to share your story with us. Get those recipes coming! Any featured cooks during 2017 will receive a free copy of our new cookbook. -- Mary