Greek goodies abound at bazaar, in cookbook

December 11, 2013 

Since Greek food ranks high on my list of favorites, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church's (Biloxi, Miss.) cookbook, "Family Traditions," gets a workout in my kitchen. It is a journey of culinary treasures from Greece, Russian, Romania, the Ukraine, Poland, Denmark and the United States.

I thought I would share one of my family's favorites from the book to give you a sampling of the good recipes.

Few people can make a marinara sauce that my husband really enjoys, but Irene Stevens, widow of the famous restaurateur Gus Stevens, can. She makes a mean meat sauce served over her equally delicious burned spaghetti, as she calls it. Here's her recipe from "Family Traditions."

MEAT SAUCE

1- 1/2 pounds ground meat

1 yellow onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup red wine

Dark cinnamon

2 bay leaves

1/3 cup olive oil

Romano or Parmesan cheese

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. May add a pat of butter also, if desired. Add ground meat until brown. Add salt and pepper to taste, tomato sauce, wine, cinnamon and bay leaves. Cook until done. Serve with spaghetti or angel hair pasta.

To have better flavor on the pasta (the burned spaghetti), take 1 stick real butter, place in pan and let turn until blackened. Add to your pasta or spaghetti. Add Romano or Parmesan cheese and you have a meal fit for a king, as the recipe reads.

-- Recipe by Irene Stevens from "Family Traditions"

I concur.

Holiday recipes

Sonja Sheffield shares two of her favorite holiday party recipes, onion dip soufflé and white choco

late pecans.

"My white chocolate pecans are truly a party favorite at my house," Sheffield says. "You can't keep the candy dish filled. I also use these as gifts for friends and my favorite sales ladies."

ONION DIP SOUFFLE

3 cups yellow onion, chopped very fine

2 cups Parmesan cheese

24 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix above together well and place in dish and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until set. Serve with crackers or corn chip scoops. Serves 24. Cut the recipe in half to serve 12 guests.

-- Submitted by Sonja Sheffield

WHITE CHOCOLATE PECANS/TOASTED PECANS

3 cups pecan halves

Butter

Salt

White chocolate (discs from either Sweet Stuff or Ghirardelli, if you can find it at Sam's Club)

Toast 3 cups of pecans in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes, checking after the first 10 minutes. Stir. Check again after 20 minutes. It might take a few minutes longer.

Melt 1/3 stick of real butter in the microwave in a deep bowl. Dump pecans in butter and swirl around with a spoon until they are evenly coated. Salt to taste (use a little more salt than you would use if making only toasted pecans)

Melt a cup of white chocolate in the microwave. I try 40 seconds, then 20 seconds more until the chocolate is melted. Use the back of a spoon to press on them to see if they are melting.

Take a handful of salted pecans and stir them into the melted chocolate. Drop them by teaspoons on to wax paper. I put about 2 pecan halves in the piece of candy.

Can be made a couple weeks prior to using. Store in airtight container.

-- Submitted by Sonja Sheffield

Italian Cream Cake, please

"I went to Sam's Club in Gulfport, Miss., and found a cake that looked beautiful. It was an Italian cream cake, and when I got home with it, it tasted just as good as it looked, Albert Arguelles said. "Do you happen to have any recipes I can use to make one myself?"

My favorite -- yes, today is a day of favorites -- is Susie Creel's Italian cream cake.

She shares her Aunt Ticco's recipe in the cookbook "From Our Houses to Your House: Original Recipes from The Friendship House & Log House."

Readers, please send me your favorite Italian cream cake recipes. We'll see what Arguelles' favorite is.

AUNT TICCO'S ITALIAN CREAM CAKE

1 stick oleo

1/2 cup Crisco shortening

2 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

5 egg whites, beaten until stiff

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup pecans

1 can coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream oleo, Crisco and sugar. Add egg yolks and beat well. Next add flour and salt. Mix buttermilk and baking soda together and add to mixture. Add pecans, vanilla and coconut. Fold in egg whites, which have been beaten stiff. Put in 3 greased cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 stick oleo, softened

1 pound powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together all ingredients. Frost each layer of cake.

-- Susie Creel's recipe "From Our Houses to Your House"

Christmas ideas

It's not too late to share your holiday favorites with fellow readers.

I know Christmas parties are in full swing.

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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