New Castle News

January 18, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Shenango woman shares recipes

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — None of us could have predicted that the first days of the new year would be raw. It was actually colder here than it was at the North Pole.

When it’s time to hunker down and stay warm, it’s also time to bring out those recipes that are comforting.

Kristine Suber of Shenango Township has just the hot-out-of-the-oven solution to counteract the chills. It’s her recipe for chicken ’n dumplings — beloved by many for its filling, tasty attributes.

Kristine wrote that the recipe is a family favorite.

The wife and mother of four said she enjoys reading Culinary Conversation and loves to cook.

“I have been collecting cookbooks for years and concocting my own kitchen creations,” Kristine said. “My day starts early in the kitchen, packing lunches, sending three kids off to school while I stay home and tend to our fourth child (a two-year-old). I try a new recipe almost every day.”

She also takes photos of the dishes and posts them on her Facebook page to help inspire others to be creative in the kitchen.

But if the chicken ’n dumplings wasn’t enough, Kristine included five more recipes. She noted she serves the three- pepper cranberry chicken salad over fresh spinach leaves that she dresses with a store-bought honey Dijon dressing, and then tops with raspberries.

And there was baked swai over spinach and feta orzo pasta, and low-carb eggplant slice pizzas.

Of the latter, she wrote that she knows many people are watching their weight with the beginning of the new year.

She recently made bagel pizzas for the kids, “but since I am a diabetic and need to watch my carbohydrate intake, I used eggplant slices for my pizzas.”

Her apple nachos are always a huge hit with company, too.

“There is never a single apple left on the tray and you can be versatile with your toppings. You can add butterscotch chips, dried fruits, chocolate sauce and figs. Use whatever you like and watch the apples fly off the plate.”

Kristine’s inventive recipes sound so appetizing. And if you can get the whole family to agree on something it loves — mission accomplished.

Who knows, someday she may have her own show on the Food Network?

Thanks, Kristine and keep up the great work in the kitchen.

Chicken ’n dumplings

Boil chicken breasts and then use the stock from that to make the soup. Into the stock, add the bay leaf, salt and pepper, chicken bouillon granules and parsley. Remove chicken after it is cooked and cut it up.

In a sauté pan, melt butter and bacon drippings on medium heat. Sauté carrots, celery and onion until crisp tender. Season with crushed thyme. Add the vegetables to the stock along with the chicken. Keep on medium heat.

Whisk together milk and flour and then slowly pour it into the stock.

Meanwhile, for the dumplings, you need:

Whisk eggs and milk together and then add it to the dry ingredients. Stir until mixture is combined.

Drop 1/2 teaspoonfuls into soup. They will get big and plump up. Cook until dumplings are cooked through, about 15  minutes.

Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Three-pepper cranberry chicken salad

Mix chicken, peppers, celery, and cranberries together.

In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise with sugar and celery seed. Add it to the chicken mixture and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Baked swai over spinach

and feta orzo pasta

For the fish, spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Lay each piece of swai on the pan and season each with Old Bay, onion powder and parsley. Slice the butter and dot the top of each filet with one pat of butter.

Bake at 325 for 30 to 40 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

For the orzo, melt oil and butter in a sauté pan on medium-low heat; add the spinach and cover until spinach is steamed and wilted. Uncover, and add the tomatoes; cook for two minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add the orzo, stirring well. Add the feta and Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the fish over the orzo.

Low-carb eggplant slice pizzas

Slice the eggplant and salt each slice, and let sit for 30 minutes to remove some of the moisture.

Place slices on a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven.

Put a tablespoonful of sauce on each slice. Add the mozzarella and basil. Add any toppings of your choice. Place back into the oven for 5 minutes or just until the cheese has melted.

Sugar cookie fruit cups

Roll cookie dough into balls and place in mini muffin tin, pressing down and around sides and bottom.

Bake according to package directions. Immediately remove each cookie cup from the pan. Cool.

In the meantime, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add a teaspoonful of cream cheese mixture into each cup and fill with your favorite fruit.

Apple nachos

  Dip each apple slice in lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange slices on a tray and top with nuts, chocolate chips, coconut. Drizzle with melted caramel sauce.