MELBA'S SWAP SHOP
Casserole can be a hit
DEAR MELBA: I made this vegetable casserole for a covered-dish luncheon at our church, and everyone thought it was good.
I did make changes. Where the recipe calls for vinegar, I used lemon-garlic vinegar, and I left out the slivered almonds.
MAKE AHEAD VEGETABLE CASSEROLE
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 packages (12 ounces each) frozen mixed vegetables
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
Cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside.
Saute onion in reserved bacon drippings until transparent. Stir in salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar.
Prepare vegetables by package directions. Drain and spread in 8-by-8-inch greased baking dish. Spread onion mixture over top. Do not stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight in refrigerator.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle top with crumbled bacon and almonds. Bake 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
— Mary Lee Colwell, Wilburton
DEAR MELBA: I decided to share “corny” recipes this month. I made this Quick Can Mazatalan dish for New Year's Day instead of black-eyed peas.
I think the original may have come from the Oklahoma Natural Gas Co., but I made some changes.
QUICK CAN MAZATLAN
1 can (16 ounces) whole kernel corn
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped red peppers
Drain corn, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. In medium saucepan, combine the reserved liquid and cream cheese. Put over low heat and cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Add green chilies, green onions, red peppers and corn and mix well. Cook over low heat until warmed. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
— Dave Farrington, Midwest City
DEAR READERS: This seems like perfect timing for my recipe for Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes. They're actually better if made the day before serving. The time gives the flavors a chance to blend.
MAKE AHEAD MASHED POTATOES
2 1/2 pounds (about 4) baking potatoes
1 container (8 ounces) cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons dried onions
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup melted butter, approximately
In 350-degree oven, bake potatoes about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and cut each in half. Remove potatoes from shells.
In large mixing bowl, mash potatoes until smooth. In medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, sour cream, onions, salt, pepper and butter. Stir into mashed potatoes. Spread in 8-by-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve, heat oven to 350 degrees and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 8.
DEAR MELBA: I need help. Please ask if anyone knows of a store that stocks Hershey's unsweetened baking chocolate in 4-ounce bars.
I know it can be ordered from various sources by mail, but why? Why can't I purchase it locally? Maybe I can with readers' help.
— Bill Fisher, Harrah
DEAR MELBA: Many years ago, there was a restaurant, Skyline Restaurant at 1631 SE 15. It's been closed for some time, but I still remember the house salad dressing they made. Please see if you can find out if it would be possible for us to get a copy of the recipe.
— Elizabeth Yandell, Moore
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you'd like to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Melba's Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125.