Readers show their culinary prowess with entries for annual recipe contest

Readers show their culinary prowess with entries for annual recipe contest

Call readers again have proved they are some of the best cooks in the nation, as shown by their submissions for the newspaper’s annual Home for the Holidays Recipe Contest.
As in past years, we received an abundance of delicious entries for the annual contest.
Given the diverse submissions, judges had difficulty — and fun — in selecting the winners for the 22nd annual Home for the Holidays Recipe Contest, which is based on the 1995 film with the same name whose release was promoted in the Call.
This year’s winning recipes come from chefs in Concord, Oakville, Sunset Hills, Wright City and Waterloo, Ill.
We urge readers to make these recipes for themselves, and in the process create some new and tasty holiday traditions.
Without further ado, here are the winners of the Call’s 2017 Home for the Holidays Recipe Contest:

Hors d’oeuvres
Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher
or sea salt — (½ teaspoon
table salt)
2½ pounds chicken wings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil — or melted butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon seasoning salt
1 cup blue cheese dressing
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
(or to taste)
Preheat oven to 425 F. In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, rosemary, cumin and salt. Place the chicken wings on a baking sheet and season the chicken wings with this mixture.
Bake the chicken wings for 20 to 25 minutes. While the chicken is baking, mix together the oil, fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and seasoning salt.
In a separate bowl, mix the blue cheese dressing with the mustard — this is your dipping sauce.
When the chicken is cooked through, toss the wings with the garlic/cheese/olive oil — or butter — sauce. Serve with the blue cheese/mustard dressing.
Karen A Meurer
Oakville

Tender Turkey
Caribbean Turkey
½ cup rum
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6- to 12-pound turkey

Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix rum, lime juice and brown sugar together.
In another bowl, mix salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, thyme, allspice and cayenne pepper.
Pat turkey dry and brush with oil. Rub dry spice mixture inside and out. Tie legs together and set in roasting pan.
Roast, basting with rum mixture every 20 minutes until done, about 2½ to 3 hours.
This is so different than regular holiday turkey, but leftovers make awesome sandwiches.
Deborah Jones
Wright City

Super Soups

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Soup
2 medium onions, diced
2 cups bell peppers
(1 cup red and 1 cup yellow)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
(I use lower-sodium beans)
1 can diced tomatoes any flavor
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the diced onions, garlic, butternut squash and peppers until browned and soft — about 10 to 12 minutes.
Then add all of the other ingredients, and bring up to a simmer for 15 minutes. Let simmer until ready to serve.
If desired, sprinkle grated cheddar cheese/and or sour cream on top.
Serves four.
For fun, serve soup in mini pumpkins or acorn squash.
Enjoy!
Lisa Hehner
Oakville

Deserving Dressings
Tasty Dressing
1 16-ounce loaf bread, cut up
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup celery
1 onion chopped
3 eggs
2 or 3 cans chicken broth — 15 ounces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Saute melted butter, onion and celery in skillet for 5 minutes on low.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1 can of chicken broth at a time. Two cans might be enough, you don’t want it to be too juicy.
Place into a greased casserole dish or 9-inch-by-13-inch glass dish.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
P.S. Or you can stuff it into the turkey to bake.
Mary Massey
Waterloo, Ill.

Special Salads
Christmas Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, washed, drained
and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 small jar pimento, drained
1 small jar/can of artichoke hearts packed
in water, drained and cut into bite sized pieces
¼ red onion, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil and ½ cup red wine vinegar, mixed together, refrigerated, and shaken well
just before adding to salad
1 cup cut up fresh tomatoes
Put lettuce in large bowl, top with pimento, artichoke hearts, onion and last, top with cheese.
Do not toss or stir. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss with tomatoes and salad dressing until leaves are well-coated with dressing!
June Schreiner
Oakville

Holiday Hams
Coca Cola Glazed Ham With Brown Sugar and Dijon

1 10- to 12-pound bone-in or boneless cured ham
1 turkey size oven bag (holds 8 to 25 pounds)
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 can Coke — not diet

Trim any excess skin and/or fat from the ham. Score the ham in a diamond pattern, making quarter-inch deep slices.
Place the ham on its side — not face down — in the oven bag set in a large roasting pan.
Roll the sides of the bag down so that the bag is open wide and you can get your hands around the ham easily.
Combine brown sugar and Dijon mustard in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
Rub sugar mixture all over ham. Pour the cola into the bag. Don’t pour cola over the ham or it will wash away the mixture. Just pour it in the near bottom of the ham.

Puff up the bag a little by gathering air or blowing into the bag so that the bag isn’t touching the ham. Make sure to keep a loose fit around the ham. Close the bag tightly with the provided tie.
Using a small, sharp knife, make three slits in the top of the bag for ventilation — this is for self-basting purposes.
Bake at 350 F on lowest oven rack for 2 to 2½ hours, if using a 13- to 15-pound ham, or until nicely browned and caramelized.
Remove ham from oven and rest inside the bag for 30 minutes before serving.
This is a classic cola-glazed ham with brown sugar and Dijon that self-bastes itself in an oven bag for a really easy, super special baked ham. Delicious!
Patti Kappel
Oakville

Holiday Beverages
White Chocolate Mocha

4 cups whole milk
1 pint whipping cream,
divided — 2 cups
¾ cup Nestle white morsels
½ cup instant espresso
coffee granules
½ cup white chocolate liqueur, divided
¼ cup honey, divided
9 soft red-and-white striped mints, crushed

In 2- to 3-quart saucepan, stir together milk, 1 cup cream, morsels, espresso granules, 1/4 cup liqueur and 2 tablespoons honey. Heat mocha until warm over medium heat, stirring until chocolate is melted.
Reduce heat to low until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, pour remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium-chilled bowl. Using a whisk or hand mixer on medium speed, beat until soft peaks form.
Add remaining ¼ cup liqueur and 2 tablespoons of honey. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Pour into six 10-ounce mugs, ladle warm mocha, filling each mug about ¾ full. Dollop honey cream over mocha and sprinkle a few crushed mints over cream.
Replace the crushed mints with a candy cane or peppermint stick as a stirrer.
Kathy Bauer
Oakville

 

Positive Roll Models
Banana Cranberry Coconut Bread
1 loaf
3 large ripe bananas
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup sweetened,
dried cranberries
1 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 325 F. Mash bananas.
Set aside. In a large bowl mix egg, sugar, oil and vanilla together. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in bananas, cranberries and coconut. Pour into greased and floured 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan.
Bake 70 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
This is my own yummy recipe that I concocted for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays! Enjoy!
Lisa Rapp
Oakville

Scintillating Side Dishes
Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Praline Sauce
6 large sweet potatoes,
peeled and cut into
bite-sized pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Praline Sauce
½ cup chopped pecans
3½ tablespoons butter — divided
¾ cup brown sugar
1½ tablespoons flour
½ cup corn syrup
1/3 cup (or a little more)
evaporated milk
Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet.
Pour olive oil over sweet potatoes, a little at a time, just enough to coat them and stir.
If you put too much on them, they will be soggy.
Salt and pepper to taste. Bake until they are golden brown and crisp, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve with praline sauce on the side.
For the sauce, place pecans in a glass dish with 1½ tablespoons of butter and microwave for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through. Watch closely, so as not to burn.
In a separate, larger glass bowl, place remaining butter and microwave until melted.
Stir in brown sugar, flour and corn syrup until blended. Cook on high 6 to 8 minutes, stirring halfway through until sugar is dissolved. Add evaporated milk and the pecans and stir well. If it feels too thick, you may add a little more evaporated milk.
These sweet potatoes are delicious and easy to make!
You can make the sauce ahead of time and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Warm it up just before serving.
Note that if you have it in the fridge, you may need a little milk to thin it down.
Cathy Fritz
Waterloo, Ill.

Spinach Souffle
1 package frozen,
chopped spinach
3 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
½ pound shredded mild
cheddar cheese
¼ cup butter
1 pound small curd
cottage cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Thaw and drain spinach well. Melt butter, add flour and cook for about 2 minutes.
Beat eggs. Mix all ingredients together and place in greased 9-inch round 2-quart casserole dish.
Bake uncovered one hour at 350 degrees.
Sharon O’Rourke
Oakville

 

Just Desserts
Peppermint Ice Cream Dessert
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¾ cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
Filling
1½ cups cold milk
2 packages (3.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 quart peppermint
ice cream, softened
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen
whipped topping, thawed
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Set aside ¾ cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 13-inch-by-9-inch dish.
In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding and let stand until soft-set.
Stir in ice cream until smooth. Pour over crust. Chill for at least an hour. Spread with whipped topping and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Makes 12 to 15 servings.
Looking for a dessert to complement a heavy and rich holiday meal, look no further! With pudding, ice cream, and whipped topping, this cool and creamy dessert is perfect. You’ll appreciate its make-ahead convenience.
Carol White
Sunset Hills

Lovable Leftovers

Turkey Broccoli Holiday Bake
3 cups mostaccioli noodles
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
½ cup grated Parmesan
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1½ cups cooked turkey or ham
3 cups cooked,
drained, cut-up broccoli
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
½ cup shredded
Italian cheese blend
paprika

Cook mostaccioli according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Use medium sauce pan to melt butter and stir in flour until blended. Add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in Parmesan, salt, garlic powder, thyme and nutmeg. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine mostaccioli, cheese, sauce, meat, broccoli and mushrooms. Spoon into greased 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish.
Sprinkle Italian cheese over top. Bake at 375 F for 20 to 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven and sprinkle with paprika. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts also work well with this recipe.
Stephen Anderson
Concord