TASTE OF FRANKLIN — And a tasty new year
RECIPES AND PHOTOS BY AMY DOLAN MCCOLLUM
As the new year begins, here are a few fresh recipes to get 2022 started on the right culinary foot. Consider trying one or more of these for your next party – whether for Valentine’s Day or the big game.
Broccoli and Chive Stuffed Mini Peppers
TIME: 30 minutes
YIELD: 2 dozen
- 12 miniature sweet peppers
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2/3 cup finely-chopped fresh broccoli
- 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut peppers lengthwise in half; remove seeds.
- In a bowl, mix cream cheese, chives, salt and pepper.
- Stir in broccoli.
- Spoon into pepper halves.
- Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until heated through, 9-11 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, 3-4 minutes longer.
- Cool slightly before serving.
- 2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 ounce package ranch dressing mix
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup halved and thinly-sliced radishes
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
Note: You can use low-fat cream cheese and sour cream for a healthier variation.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a jellyroll pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pat crescent roll dough into a jellyroll pan. Let stand five minutes. Pierce with fork.
- Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, garlic salt and ranch dip mix.
- Spread this mixture on top of the cooled crust.
- Arrange the onion, carrot, celery, broccoli, radish, bell pepper and broccoli on top of the creamed mixture.
- Cover and let chill. Once chilled, cut it into squares and serve.
For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 ounce can cherry pie filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 9-inch pie plate.
- In small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Stir well and press into pie plate.
- Bake five minutes then let cool completely.
- In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
- In a medium bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form.
- Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
- Spread over cooled crust.
- Dot with cherry pie filling and smooth with knife or spatula to cover.
- Chill in refrigerator until serving.
Notes: You can use a 9-inch square baking dish if you do not have a pie plate. To save time, prepared pie crusts are also acceptable. You may also substitute blueberry pie filling or strawberry pie filling.
“Life is like a box of chocolates” Chocolate Valentine Cake
For the cake:
- Duncan Hines Devil’s Food chocolate cake mix and ingredients as listed on box
For the frosting:
- 2 sticks of real butter, softened
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
You will also need a box of chocolates.
- To make the cake, follow package directions to make up the batter.
- Pour half the batter into a square 8- or 9-inch pan. Pour the other half into a round 8- or 9-inch pan.
- Bake as directed. Let the cakes cool five minutes in the pans then invert on cooling rack and let them cool. While cooling, make the frosting.
- Pour cocoa in a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
- Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
- Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
- Add vanilla extract and syrup until well combined.
- If frosting appears too dry, add more milk or syrup, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency.
- If frosting appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency.
- Cut the round cake down the center, then place cut sides on two adjacent sides of the square cake, creating a heart shape. Frost entirely with chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Use the chocolates from a box of chocolates to make the cake look like a traditional box of candy.
Note: Another variation is to do the cake with a strawberry cake mix, use a pink frosting and decorate with conversation hearts.
Cajun Cabbage Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, or more to taste
- 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 32 ounces unsalted chicken stock
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons browning sauce, such as Kitchen Bouquet
- 1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 dashes Louisiana-style hot sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch Cajun seasoning, such as Tony Chachere’s, or to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté until vegetables are tender and starting to brown, about five minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in chicken stock, water and browning sauce.
- Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat to low.
- Add cabbage, diced tomatoes, hot sauce, bay leaf and Cajun seasoning. Simmer until cabbage is tender and liquid is reduced by half, 25-30 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Remove bay leaf before serving.
Note: For a healthier choice, you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock if desired, and choose no-sugar-added tomatoes if possible.