Apple-Orange-Date Waldorf Salad
With this recipe, Katherine Craft of Roanoke was the runner up in the Appetizers, Dressings and Salads category at The Roanoke Times’ 1979 Favorite Recipes Contest.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup whipped topping
1/2 tsp. orange zest
3 Tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. sugar
4 cups diced, unpeeled red apples
1/2 cup pitted, chopped dates
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1. About one hour before serving, combine in the container of a blender: mayonnaise, whipped topping, orange rind, orange juice, sugar and salt. Process to blend.
2. Combine apples, dates and celery; gently toss with dressing. Chill. Add nuts before serving.
Giving your holiday bird a long soak in a salt and sugar brine will make for juicier and more flavorful meat. Start this the night before you plan to roast your turkey.
2 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 bag of ice
1 defrosted turkey
1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil, then stir in kosher salt and brown sugar. When salt and sugar have dissolved, add the mixture to one gallon of cold water in a clean, non-corrosive container (such as a thoroughly cleaned cooler or a clean 5-gallon plastic bucket that never held chemicals. Do not use a metal container.).
2. Submerge turkey in the brine. If brine does not cover turkey, add more water to the container. Dump ice over the top, cover container and let turkey soak overnight.
3. Remove turkey from brine, pat dry with paper towels and continue to cook as you had originally planned. Be sure to use a meat thermometer, though, because brined turkeys can cook faster than unbrined birds. Discard the brine.
These fried potato patties are traditionally served at Hanukkah. Recipe originally featured in The Roanoke Times on Dec. 20, 2005.
4 large potatoes
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour or matzah meal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Minced onion (optional)
Dash of black pepper (optional)
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate the potatoes with a grater/food processor. Drain off the liquid. Beat the eggs and mix with the grated potatoes and all other ingredients except the oil.
2. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it’s very hot. Drop the potato mixture, by tablespoons, into the oil. Use a pancake turner to flatten them. Fry them to a golden brown on both sides (should take 2 to 3 minutes per side). Do not fry more than three or four at a time. Drain on paper towels.
3. Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream.
Baked cheese grits
Serves 4 to 6
An easy, delicious accompaniment to your holiday breakfast or brunch. Recipe submitted by a reader in 2010.
1 cup water
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup quick grits
3/4 stick butter
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. hot sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
2. Bring water to a boil. Add milk and bring just to a simmer. Add grits and salt and cook, stirring often, until thick. Remove from heat.
3. Add butter and stir until melted and well-mixed, then add cheese and stir until it has melted into the grits. Stir in eggs and hot sauce, then pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
No-Bake Rum Balls Makes about 3 dozen
Recipe courtesy of Kathy Lu, features editor for The Roanoke Times. Do not feed these to children, but feel free to eat plenty of them yourself.
2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1/4 cup rum
1. Mix crushed cookies, cocoa and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl.
2. Stir in chopped walnuts, corn syrup and rum; mix until well-blended to form a dough.
3. Form dough into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in confectioners’ sugar.
4. Store in a covered container.
Best-Ever Sugar Cookies Makes about 3 dozen
This is food writer Lindsey Nair’s go-to recipe when it comes time to make Christmas cookies. She got it from a friend, Beth Handley, years ago. The texture is perfect for rolling and cutting, and the hint of lemon flavor is extra-special.
4 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. lemon extract
2 Tbsp. lemon zest (yellow part only)
1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, cream the butter. Gradually beat in sugar until it is well incorporated. Add eggs, milk, extract and zest and mix well.
3. Stir in sifted ingredients a little at a time until well-blended. Chill dough until firm (about 20 to 30 minutes). It will also keep several days in the refrigerator.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease well. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and bake for 7 minutes. To make round cookies, roll the dough into balls and bake until beginning to brown around the edges.
For more great recipes, visit roanoke.com/food