Taste of Home cookbook treats

Cheryl Cohen, culinary specialist, will be delighting cooks from around the Tri-State Area with her demonstration of seasonal recipes during the Taste of Home Cooking School April 1 at the Serbian-American Cultural Center in Weirton.

This event brings together both experienced home chefs, those working their way through a cookbook and beginners just learning that exact measurements are needed to make a perfect angel food cake and many other baked goods. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the show gets under way from the stage at 7 p.m.

Chosen recipes are prepared ahead, presented for completion and shown on the big screen above the cooking area. During the door prize drawing, some lucky contestants will win the prepared food in colorful containers.

The “Recipes Across America” Taste of Home Cookbook will be available for purchase for $25. It has 735 of the best reader recipes from across the nation. Recipes will include Cincinnati Chili, New Orleans Beignets, Arkansas Travelers and Wyoming Cowboy Cookies to name some of the favorites across our great land.

So, from northeast, south, midwest, southwest and west come many of the best-tasting foods that can be the found. And they will all be “as American as apple pie.”

There are hundreds of food facts, culinary trivia and snapshots of popular landmarks and food festivals throughout the country in the “Recipes Across America” cookbook.

Here are a few samples of the recipes included for cooks to make, show off with pride and serve.

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Would you believe this hearty recipe calls for cinnamon and cocoa to give the chili a rich brown color? It is traditionally served over spaghetti and sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and green onions. The name is Cincinnati Chili.

Cincinnati Chili

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

4 medium onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

Two cans, 16 ounces each, kidney beans, rinsed and drained

28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup baking cocoa

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground allspice

2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Hot cooked spaghetti

Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and green onions for garnish

In a Dutch oven, cook beef, pork and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer, and drain. Add beans, tomatoes, vinegar, cocoa and seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaves. Serve over spaghetti. Garnish if desired. Makes eight servings.

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A food fact about the New Orleans beignets recipe tells that Louisiana’s French settlers brought recipes for deep-frying pastries, and the beignet evolved from the fruit-filled fritters to squares of fried, sweet dough generously dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

This is a traditional part of breakfast in New Orleans, a sweet dough that is fried without a hole in the middle like the doughnut.

New Orleans Beignets

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water, 110-115 degrees

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup canola oil

1 egg

4 1/2 cups self-rising flour

Oil for deep fat frying

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, oil, sugar, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky.) Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; roll into a 16-by-12-inch rectangle. Cut into 2-inch squares. In an electric skillet or deep fat-fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry the squares, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain the beignets on paper towels. Roll warm beignets in confectioners’ sugar.

Note: As a substitute for each cup of self-rising four, place 1 1/2 teaspons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup. Makes four dozen.

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Many were probably wondering what the Arkansas Travelers recipe was about. Truthfully, I was, too. It is a club sandwich that was served in an Arkansas tea room, and the customer got the recipe.

Arkansas Travelers

1 pound sliced turkey breast

5 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 large tomato

10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1/3 to 1/2 cup ranch salad dressing

10 slices whole wheat bread, toasted

Chop turkey, cheese, avocado and tomato into 1/4-inch cubes.

Place in a large bowl. Add bacon and dressing. Spoon 1/2 cup between two slices of the whole wheat toast. Makes five sandwiches.

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These cookies are popular in Wyoming – the reason for that name. They are great for lunch boxes or for munching any time. They are filled with chocolate chips, coconut, pecans and old-fashioned oats.

Wyoming Cowboy Cookies

1 cup flaked coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups, 12 ounces chocolate chips

Place coconut and pecans on a 15-by-10-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, or until toasted, stirring every 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to other creamed mixture; beat well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and toasted coconut and pecans. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes six dozen, unless you want to make them cowboy-size and they could be less.

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For those who remember former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, you will be interested to know that his wife, Bess, made this version of an apple pudding famous.

It has a meringue cookie-like topping and an apple-nut base. Try it and see what you think.

Ozark Pudding Cake

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped, peeled apple

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat egg and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Stir in vanilla then flour mixture.

Fold in apple and walnuts. Transfer to prepared pie plate. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cake will puff up, then fall when removed from oven. With a knife, loosen sides from pie plate while still warm. Serve warm and topped with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. This makes six servings.

(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)