The new year is coming

Cooking with Cathie

Cathie CampbellDecember 27, 2012 

Well, Christmas Day is behind us, but most folks are looking ahead to the New Year. And all of us are hoping for a wealth of good, positive things, because we are tired of bad news and tragedies. Let's all do what we can to make life a little easier for ourselves and others.

If you are like a lot of people, you might be preparing for a fun New Year's Eve party. You might be hosting one at your house, or you might be invited to someone else's house, but chances are you will serve or bring some party food.

This past year, I have never heard so much enthusiastic talk about bacon. Even bacon brittle candy! So, I thought I'd include an appetizer recipe that calls for bacon. (I do not have a recipe for bacon brittle, but I know someone who might share hers. I can find some, but will not have a chance to test any out this week.)

Let's see what sounds good for festive times ahead. Oh, and Happy New Year, everyone!

Bacon wrapped shrimp appetizers

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, raw and shelled (about 45 shrimp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
  • Salt, to taste
  • 15 slices raw bacon, cut crosswise into thirds
  1. Sprinkle shrimp with garlic powder and a little salt. Wrap each shrimp in a piece of bacon. Arrange on a broiler rack. Broil bacon wrapped shrimp, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 inches from heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, until bacon is crisp and browned. Serve with cocktail picks.

Smoked salmon on corn blinis

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2/3 cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • Canola oil, for griddle
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 24 pieces (2 inches each) thinly sliced smoked salmon (about 4 ounces)
  • Fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
  • Grated lemon zest, for garnish
  1. Place a baking sheet in oven and heat to 200 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt and cayenne. Add buttermilk, egg, and butter. Whisk until smooth; stir in corn.
  2. Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium-low heat until hot; lightly wipe griddle with a paper towel dipped in canola oil. Working in batches, drop a scant 1 tablespoon batter onto griddle for each blini. Cook until undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn and cook the second side until golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to the baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Oil griddle between batches, if necessary. (Blinis can be made a day ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated. Reheat them in a 350 degree oven until just warm.)
  3. Spoon 1/2 -teaspoon dollops of sour cream onto blinis. Top with salmon. Garnish with dill and lemon zest. Makes 24 appetizers.

Easy bierocks

Sometimes spelled beerocks.) You can use your own homemade dough or even frozen bread dough.

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 of a large, white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
  • 2 packages Pillsbury Pizza Crust (premade refrigerated dough)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and onions. If you need to, add a little vegetable oil because of extra lean meat.
  2. When the meat and onions are cooked, add the cabbage and turn heat down to medium-low. Gently stir and cook until the cabbage becomes soft and wilted. Remove skillet from heat. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder or granules.
  3. Roll out pizza dough into a large rectangle; cut into 4 sections. Spoon meat mixture into the center of each section. Compress mixture firmly onto the dough surface.
  4. With each of the dough sections, take all edges of the dough and fold up and over to have the edges meet at the top of the meat mixture, wrapping the edges over each other and sealing the dough closed.
  5. Place each bierock seam-side down onto a large greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 4 servings, but can be doubled or tripled. You can also cut each bierock in half and serve on a platter.

Grilled marinated flank steak

You can slice this and serve with rolls so guests can make their own sandwiches.

  • 1 2-to-3-pound flank steak
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry or red wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place flank steak in a large, resealable plastic bag. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix remaining ingredients. Pour marinade over the steak, seal bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 12.
  2. When ready to grill, preheat grill and remove steak from marinade. Pour marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, but keep warm.
  3. Place the flank steak on the grill and cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for rare. Transfer the steak to a platter and let stand 5 minutes before carving. Cut steak across the grain into thin diagonal slices and serve with the marinade sauce. Also provide condiments and garnishes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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