Feed a crowd with homemade goodness

November 13, 2013 

Sue Meyers of Picayune, Miss., can put together a complete large-crowd meal with a little help from her fellow readers.

Ed Walker, Carol Ryan and Bev Casey have put together an entrée, a salad and a dessert that will feed a good number of guests and can be doubled or tripled to make even more.

In the Nov. 6 column, Meyers asked: "Please, ask your readers if they have ideas and great food recipes suitable for large gatherings such as family reunions, church dinners and the holidays in all food categories."

Here are three, and other readers still have time to get in their suggestions and recipes. With the holidays coming up, some large-size dishes will come in handy.

"This was served in the Panama Canal Zone at neighborhood parties and the Union Church back in the '50s and '60s," Walker said. "I don't know the origin. I got it from my uncle and a retired Panama Canal employee about 45 years ago. It makes a lot, and you can double or triple it or whatever to get the quantity you want."

JOHNNY MARZETTI

4 tablespoons oleo (aka margarine)

1 jar salad olives

1 pound ground meat (or more)

1 large can tomatoes (crushed or diced fine)

2 large onions

1 can tomato puree

2 packages medium noodles

1 (8 ounces) can mushrooms

1 pound cheese grated (or more)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoon salt

1 can tomato sauce

2 bell peppers (chopped fine)

1 can cream-style corn

Chopped garlic or garlic powder to taste, if desired

Chop onions, peppers, and fry in the margarine until onions are getting

transparent. Add meat and fry until browned. Add can of tomatoes, tomato puree and seasonings. Cook on medium heat for short while, then simmer about 30 minutes.

Cook noodles, drain and add to meat mixture. Add salad olives, mushrooms and corn, fold in 1/2 of the cheese and put in roaster or very big casserole dish. Add 1 can of tomato sauce on top before sprinkling on the other half of the cheese. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees. Serves 8.

Note: I usually use more cheese and a couple of different kinds (Cheddar and mozzarella or Swiss, or provolone).

-- Submitted by Ed Walker

"Here is a great salad recipe that can be taken to a large gathering; I call it awesome vegetable salad," Carol Ryan said.

AWESOME VEGETABLE SALAD

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 bunch of broccoli, broken into small pieces

1 head of cauliflower, broken into small pieces

1 pound carrots, cut in 3-inch strips

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

5 stalks celery, cut in 3-inch strips

Combine all vegetables in a large bowl.

Mix:

1- 1/2 cups tarragon vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup Crisco oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix up dressing well and pour over the vegetables and refrigerate at least 12 hours.

Then you can do this in 1 of 2 ways: You can drain the mixture and put vegetables on a bed of lettuce or you can just leave the vegetables in the mixture. It is good either way.

-- Submitted by Carol Ryan

"I really like the vegetables to be left in the mixture myself," Ryan said. You can also add sliced black olives if you want. This makes a lot, enough to feed a bunch of people."

Casey offers a Texas cake that yields 24 servings.

TEXAS CAKE

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cocoa

1 8-ounce container sour cream

Fudge frosting

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in sour cream and beaten eggs. Stir cocoa and water mixture into flour mixture. Pour batter in a lightly greased 15-by-10-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Spread fudge frosting evenly over warm cake.

FUDGE FROSTING

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup cocoa

1 (1-pound) package powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in milk and cocoa and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Spread over cake. Serves 24.

-- Submitted by Bev Casey

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

"You asked for recipes for Hanukkah/Thanksgiving celebrations," Diane Small said. "Brisket is one of those timeless main dishes. To change it up a little for Thanksgiving, I'm adding some cranberry sauce. Happy Thanksgivukkah! Enjoy!"

BRISKET WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

3-pound brisket

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 yellow onions

4 carrots, rough-chopped

3 smashed garlic cloves

6 whole garlic cloves

2 cups cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season brisket with salt and pepper. Sear brisket in a pan in olive oil until brown. Remove brisket. Add onions, carrots, garlic to pan and sauté until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and add cranberry sauce to the vegetable mixture.

Place brisket in roasting pan and cover with sauce. Cover and cook for 2 hours. Remove from oven and slice. Put slices back into the roasting pan and mix into the sauce. Cook for approximately another 1- 1/2 hours, but check it. I don't usually have to cook it this long. Cooking the slices in the sauce makes them even more rich and full of flavor.

-- Submitted by Diane Small

Small also has another twist on a great recipe, sweet potato kugel. It is adapted from Aviva Allen's "The Organic Kosher Cookbook."

"This twist on traditional potato kugel has all of the 'Jewish soul food' street credit as the standard recipe without all the heavy baggage," Small said.

SWEET POTATO KUGEL

Kugel base:

6 small sweet potatoes, grated

3 apples, peeled, cored and grated

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup raisins

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt (sea salt is best)

1- 1/2 cups water

Topping:

1- 1/2 cups pecan halves, chopped

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground ginger

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together (except for the topping), then press into a large glass baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together topping ingredients and set aside.

Place baking dish in oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove and cover with topping mixture. Return to oven for another 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand for about 15 minutes. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

-- Submitted by Diane Small

It is time to start thinking and planning for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas dinners. Please send in your recipe requests and also favorite recipes to share with fellow readers. Don't forget to share your ideas for the Hanukkah-Thanksgiving dinner.

Persimmon bread

Mrs. Walters asked for recipes for Fuyu persimmons, and Eunice Van Loon has a bread recipe for her.

"Here's a recipe for persimmon bread that I have made when I managed to receive some persimmons," Van Loon said. "It is quite good."

PERSIMMON NUT BREAD

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup bourbon (optional)

1 cup persimmon pulp

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts

Combine beaten eggs, sugar, whiskey and persimmons. Mix well. Add melted butter and add to dry ingredients. Stir in raisins and nuts. Grease and flour 2 bread tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 35 minutes (until toothpick comes clean). Cool 15 to 20 minutes.

-- Submitted by Eunice Van Loon

Wanted: Satsuma cake

Terrie Martin Walker wants a recipe for satsuma cake. She said that it is an old recipe but would love it if readers shared some recipes with her.

Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.

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