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Savory salads that sooth most palates

 


Salads are a great way to keep the family fed on hot days, or, as a side dish anytime of the year. Any preparation cooking needed can be done early in the day while you can open windows for ventilation. Your slow-cooker is handy for cooking many salad ingredients. If you have a protected area outdoors, use your slow-cooker outside. Chicken breasts cook nicely over night.

Mama Scheller’s Chicken Salad, a recipe developed by Kerry Scheller, has been a favorite in her family for many years. She simmers the chicken in a kettle on the kitchen range, but I have found, simmering in a slow cooker over night works very well.

Mama Scheller’s

Chicken Salad

8 whole boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

8 whole pepper corns

8 whole allspice

8 whole cloves

1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve 1/4 cup juice)

1/4 of a large red onion, sliced in very thin strips

1 to 2 cups salted cashews

1 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise (do not substitute)

3-4 heaping tablespoons curry powder

Cover chicken with water in a large cooking pot, along with whole spices. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours until very tender (8 to 10 hours if using a slow-cooker).

Drain, discard spices and cool chicken completely (use ice water if in a hurry).

In a large bowl, cut chicken in bite size chunks. Add all the other ingredients including reserved pineapple juice. Add additional mayonnaise if needed. Mix well and chill several hours to develop flavors before serving.

This salad mixture also makes a great sandwich filling. Serve on a bed of lettuce on salad plates if you want to be fancy. Yield: about 1/2 gallon salad,

Note: if you won’t be using the salad up all at once, it is best to add the cashews to portions as needed so they don’t become soggy.

Shrimp is favorite salad ingredient for many who decide ro add just a little protein to make it a main dish. Pear Shrimp Salad with Avocado Dressing is easy to prepare from canned items from the pantry, or fresh items as they come into season.

Pear Shrimp Salad

With Avocado Dressing

Salad:

4 large well drained pear halves

1 can small shrimp, drained

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped sweet, green pepper

2 Tbsp chopped sweet onion

Dressing:

1 ripe avocado, seeded and peeled

1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice

Dash ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Place a pear half on each of 4 salad plates and set aside.

Combine remaining salad ingredients and spoon evenly into pear halves.

Combine dressing ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. Spoon evenly over each salad. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

Note: optional preparation, cube the pears and combine with the other salad ingredients. Add the dressing and toss gently to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

Catalina Dressing is a good substitute dressing for this salad if avocadoes are not in season or your family doesn’t care for them. Fresh homemade dressings are so much more flavorful than bottled varieties. This recipe came from a Heinz Vinegar advertisement in 1992, and easy to make from pantry items and great on a variety of salads.

Heinz Catalina Dressing

2/3 cup salad oil

1/3 cup Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup

2 Tbsp powdered sugar

1 tsp granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Dash ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a glass quart jar. Cover with tight fitting lid and shake vigorously for 3 to 4 minutes until sugars are completely dissolved. Chill until ready to use. Shake again before serving. Yield: 1 1/2 cups.

Traditional potato salad is always a favorite at picnics and potluck meals, but variety is nice too. Hot Bean and Potato Salad is take off on German Potato Salad, a great side dish to grilled sausages.

Hot Bean and Potato Salad

4 slices lean bacon

1 medium size onion, peeled and sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

4 medium size potatoes, sliced thick

3/4 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

1 package (9 ounces) frozen green beans

1/4 cup bottled oil and vinegar type Italian Dressing

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, crumble and set aside.

Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes and water; season with salt. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add beans; cover and cook 8 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Drain any liquid. Sprinkle with salad dressing and crumbled bacon. Toss gently. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

Note: fresh green beans may be used, but they will take slightly longer to cook, so add them to the mix earlier. Canned green beans will work as well. Try the Catalina Dressing in this recipe for a less tangy but more colorful salad.

Freshly made Thousand Island Dressing turns any mixture of greens into a robust salad, and a little fresh cooked shrimp or crab makes it a main dish salad.

Thousand Island Dressing

2 Tbsp ketchup

1/4 cup finely chopped olives

1 hard boiled egg, finely diced

1 tsp grated onion

1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until blended. Chill one hour before serving to develop flavors. Yield: 1 1/4 cups dressing.

Note: 1 Tbsp pickle relish may be added for a tangier dressing.

Share your favorite recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa WA 99159, or email therecord@odessaoffice.com, or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Replenish garden mulch to keep down weeds, conserve water and provide winter protection.

 

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