The Odessa Record -

A couple thibngs you have to try. From tomato cake to zuchinni pie.

Series: Welcome to my Kitchen | Story 14

Last updated 9/1/2019 at 3:15pm

Eat dessert first, save room for dessert. Summer brings an abundance of zucchini, many getting a little large for savory main and side dishes. Just the right size to grind for relish, but how much relish can any family use? Pie, one can not have too much pie. Faux Apple Pie could be the answer to this dilemma.

Sampling several recipes, I have come up with a version, not too sweet, nicely spiced with a pleasing texture. Peeled and seeded mature zucchini are sliced like apples and par-cooked to produce this pie.

Faux Zucchini Pie

5 cups peeled, seeded and sliced zucchini

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Pinch salt

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Pastry for two crust pie

1 Tbsp cold butter

In a large bowl, toss zucchini slices with lemon juice and salt.

Line a 9 inch pie dish with pastry.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add zucchini mixture. Cook, stirring often, until tender crisp to translucent, depending on how firm you like the “apples”.

In a separate bowl, mix together, brown sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar, nutmeg and flour. Add the cooked zucchini to the sugar mixture and mix well. Mixture will be soupy.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour mixture into prepared pie dish. Dot with small cubes of cold butter. Add top crust, seal edges and bake 40 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings.

I like to brush the top crust of fruit pies with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar before baking. It browns nicely and has a sugary crunch.

Another sampling of recipes I have been experimenting with is stuffed pepper casseroles. Some were too plain and others included ingredients not readily available. None of the recipes were baked long enough to my liking. Layered Stuffed Pepper Casserole is my version.

Layered Stuffed Pepper Casserole

1 pound ground beef

2 1/2 cups very coarsely chopped green pepper

1 1/2 cups diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup instant rice

1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn kernels

3/4 cup water

3 cups traditional spaghetti sauce

2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix

In a large skillet, brown meat with garlic and onion, until pink is gone and onion is translucent. Drain well.

Layer in order in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, half the green pepper, half the meat mixture, half the rice and half the corn. Repeat layers. Combine water and sauce and pour over layers. Top with the Italian cheese.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 60 minutes until peppers are desired doneness.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Yield 8-10 servings.

I was asked for recipes cooked in a microwave oven, something kids might like and could make. Overnight Tuna Casserole is easy to prepare and ingredients can be adjusted to suit tastes.

Overnight Tuna Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted

1 cup milk

1 can (6 ounces) tuna, drained

1 cup uncooked, dry elbow macaroni

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/4 to 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine soup and milk, stirring until smooth. Add the drained tuna, macaroni, peas, onions and mix well.

Pour mixture into a greased 2 quart microwave safe baking dish. Cover and refrigerate over night.

To cook, microwave, covered, on high for 15 - 17 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover sprinkle with the cheese and let stand for 5 minutes or until melted. Yield 4 servings.

Note: You can leave out onions if kids don’t like them. Add a half cup grated cheese to the mixture if you want a cheesy version. Substitute mixed vegetables for the peas. Also, if you prefer, you may bake in a conventional oven 45 –50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Joyce McClanahan brought some yummy M&M cookies to a recent coffee hour. Several requests came in for the recipe. This is a case of knowing where to shop. The frozen, ready to bake dough is Monster Cookies, available from Schwan’s. Recommendations of good, ready to bake or heat products are always welcome in this column.

Pat Gamache sent in a recipe I haven’t had the opportunity to test before printing. With fest recipes set for the next issue, it may be after that any green tomatoes may have a case of frostbite. Pat states this is his mothers recipe from the 1950’s. My grandmother made a similar cake, but she baked it in round cake pans, frosted it and sprinkled it with coconut.

Green Tomato Cake

1 cup vegetable oil or softened shortening

2 1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

2 1/2 cups chopped green tomatoes

Grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combines, gently stir in raisins, nuts and tomatoes. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Yield: 2 loaves, 10-12 slices each.

Note: Loaves of this bread would make a welcome contribution to the Odessa Museum Bake Sale during Deutschesfest.

Share your favorite summer bounty and German heritage recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. I see there will be pickle and Kuchen tasting contests on the outdoor stage during Deutschesfest. Hope you plan to enter your favorites. Consider planting spinach, carrots and beets for late season harvest.


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