Zenda Hawthorne told her son, Gary, to ask me for a recipe.
"She can’t find her copy of Jan’s Restaurant’s blue cheese salad dressing."
Here’s you go, Zenda. Gary said you tore the house apart looking for it.
Apparently, the raw eggs in this dressing hasn’t hurt Zenda.
Jan’s Restaurant Salad Dressing
Makes 2 quarts
1½ quarts Wesson oil
1½ tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 small onion, quartered
2 medium whole dill pickles, quartered
30 stuffed green olives
8 garlic cloves
¼ pound blue cheese
Beat eggs, then add oil very slowly. Add sugar, salt, dry mustard and cider vinegar or lemon juice.
In a grinder or food processor, grind onion, dill pickles, stuffed green olives, garlic cloves and blue cheese. Add to above mixture.
Did you ever notice how close Jan’s recipe is to the Old South salad dressing, right down to the Wesson oil and raw eggs?
Old South Salad Dressing
Makes 1 pint
2½ cups Wesson oil
¼ cup chopped olives
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
For thickening, mix ? cup cornstarch in ¾ cup water and ¾ teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until it is clear and does not taste pasty. (If you are using a food processor, there is no need to use the thickening.)
Beat 2 eggs until frothy. Add Wesson oil very slowly, beating on high all the time. Mixture will thicken. If you are using the thickening, add it now and blend well. Then add the olives, garlic powder and blue cheese. If using a mixer, beat approximately 2 minutes after all the ingredients are added. If using a food processor, it is not necessary. Chill.
QVC’s resident foodie and best-selling cookbook author David Venable has created a tasty spin on the traditional burger just in time for the Labor Day barbecue.
Dave suggests pairing these with burgers with classic margaritas to heighten the Tex-Mex flavor. Works for me.
Stuffed Burgers with Poblano Pepper Relish
2 poblano peppers
¼ cup mild salsa
1½ tablespoons diced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
? teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
? cup cream cheese, at room temperature
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups iceburg lettuce, shredded
2 cups corn chips, slightly crushed
4 Kaiser rolls, halved horizontally
To prepare the relish, preheat the broiler. Spray the poblano peppers with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet. Place the sheet on the top rack of the broiler and cook the peppers for 6 to 10 minutes per side, or until the skin begins to bubble and darken. Remove the peppers from the oven, place them in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the salsa, onion, cilantro, scallion, garlic, salt, pepper, tomato, vinegar, chili powder and mayonnaise in a medium-size bowl.
When 10 minutes have elapsed, put on disposable gloves and remove as much of the poblano pepper skin as you can and also remove the pepper caps and seeds. Run the peeled peppers under cold water to help remove any leftover skin and seeds. Pat the peppers dry with a paper towel, place them on a cutting board and coarsely chop. Fold the pieces into the bowl with the remaining relish ingredients. Refrigerate until the burgers are ready to be assembled and cooked.
To assemble the burgers, combine the cheddar cheese and cream cheese in a small bowl. Divide the mixture into four ¼-inch disks. Divide the ground beef into eight 4-ounce balls. Flatten each ball into a disk. Place a cheese disk on top of a beef disk and then top the cheese with another beef disk. Pinch the burger-seams together, sealing in the cheese. Repeat.
To cook the burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Place the burgers on grill and cook, without pressing down, for about 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium doneness, or longer if you prefer a more well-done burger. While the burgers are cooking, place a ½ cup iceberg lettuce and a ½ cup crushed corn chips on the bottom of each Kaiser roll. When the burgers are done, place them on top of the fixings and top each burger with a ½ cup relish. Finish each burger with a bun top.
The slug of the email certainly caught my eye: "Third annual World Championship Squirrel Cook-off to be held Sept. 13."
Yes. In Bentonville. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
I think I’m busy that day.
But teams from across the country will travel to northwest Arkansas for what the news release calls "the only known squirrel cooking competition and one that brings back fond childhood memories for a lot of hunters whose first experience was hunting squirrel with their father and/or grandfather."
The public will get to sample some of the squirrel dishes as well. The event is free.
Teams or individuals interested in competing should visit www.squirrelcookoff.com. There is a limited amount of competitor space available.
Now, I have a couple of requests I cannot seem to fill.
Pam Gramlich wants the recipe for Juan’s salsa. She writes, "I love that stuff and with the summer veggies coming on, I would love to can some of its salsa for this winter."
Amy Pierce, who was my traveling companion on my trip to England, Ireland, Scotland and France in 2005, also has a request.
She writes, "Last month, I was in New Orleans for a French teachers’ conference. I followed the pattern of our European adventure and decided to stick with local specialties. I had gator gumbo (delicious), crawfish étoufée (quite tasty), shrimp Creole with grits (best grits I ever had) and an oyster po’ boy. But the best thing I had was the last night there. I went to a cafe by Saint Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square called Cafe Pontalba. I ordered catfish pecan. I want to make this. It was probably fried and had some type of buttery sauce with pecans. Can you track down a recipe? Mille merci!"
Amy, you know I never bothered to learn one word of French. And I can’t find your recipe either.
Also, a reader wants to know where we can locally purchase refrigerated snickerdoodle dough. I’ve seen it somewhere, but where?
Granddaughter Kaylie’s 19th birthday (where has time gone?) is Saturday. She attends the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, but maybe she’ll look online and see that I wish her a happy birthday, or as they say in Italian, buon compleanno!
Looking for a recipe? Have one you’d like to share? Write to Potluck, Times Record, P.O. Box 1359, Fort Smith, AR 72902. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org