Earlier this month, the Leitchfield Woman’s Club hosted its second “Taste of the Holidays” luncheon. Cooks squared off in six categories, competing for ribbons — and bragging rights — as the crafters of the most savory dishes.
In the miscellaneous category, Sharon Constant took first place with her spicy Party Pinwheels, with Beth Ratley finishing second with her seasonally-inspired Cranberry Salsa.
In the salads category, Constant again won first place, this time with her Christmas Slaw. Marjorie Woodard took second place with her Layered Green Salad, and Dot McCall finished in third place with her Lime Jello Salad.
Hazel Embry won first place in the vegetables category with her Kale with Currants, and Ratley took second place with her Creamy Herb Potatoes. McCall captured third place with her Onion Casserole.
McCall captured the first place ribbon in the main dishes category with her Chicken and Dressing Casserole, and Fran Abell took second place with her Chicken and Noodle Casserole. Taking third place with her Ham and Cheese Potatoes was Sherry Weedman.
Abell took first place in the desserts category with her Pecan Tartlets.
In the cakes category, Woodard received the first place ribbon for her Pistachio Cake. Imogene Belcher won second with her No-Bake Cheesecake, while Susan Lindsey won third with her humorously-titled Pig Eating Sugar Free Cake.
The first-place recipes follow:
Sharon Constant’s Party Pinwheels
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup picante sauce
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
Dash of garlic powder
1 can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped olives
1 can (4 ounces) green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 flour tortillas
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, picante sauce, taco seasoning and garlic powder until smooth. Stir in olives, chilies and cheese. Spread approximately 1/2 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla.
Roll up jelly roll style, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least two hours. Slice into 1-inch pieces. Makes about 20 servings.
Sharon Constant’s Christmas Slaw
1 head of green cabbage, chopped fine
6 green onions, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon poppy seeds
Chop all vegetables and place in a large bowl.
Put all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until well mixed. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss well.
Cover and store in the refrigerator several hours before serving.
Hazel Embry’s Kale with Currants, Lemon and Olives
1/2 cup dried currants
4 pounds kale, tough stems discarded
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, thinly sliced
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a small bowl, cover the dried currants with hot water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes; drain.
Meanwhile, cook the kale in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. When the kale is cool enough to handle, gently squeeze out any excess water. Coarsely chop the kale.
In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth and blanched kale and toss thoroughly. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the kale is hot and sizzling, about 3 minutes. Stir in the currants, olives, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
Dot McCall’s Chicken and Dressing Casserole
1 chicken (cooked, boned and cubed)
Melt 1 stick of margarine in 1 cup of chicken broth; add 1/2 package of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix.
Spread the stuffing mixture in the bottom of a greased baking dish, and top it with the cubed chicken.
1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup mayonnaise (do NOT use salad dressing), 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped onion, and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture over the chicken layer, and crumble the remaining dry stuffing over the top.
Spoon one can of undiluted cream of chicken soup over the top. Bake in a 350-degree over for 45 minutes, or until bubbly. (Note - after this has been in the oven for a few minutes you’ll be able to spread the cream of chicken soup over the top of the casserole easily.)
Fran Abell’s Pecan Tartlets
Cream cheese pastry:
1 cup unsifted plain flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pastry by blending flour, butter, cream cheese and salt with a mixer in a large bowl, until dough forms. Divide into 24 portions and press into mini muffin tins.
Prepare filling by combining all ingredients. Stir in chopped pecans — about 2/3 cup — last.
Fill crusts and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before eating.
Marjorie Woodard’s Pistachio Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 box (3.4 ounce size) instant pistachio pudding mix
1 cup oil
3 large eggs
1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
1 cup ginger ale
1 box instant pistachio pudding mix
1 1/4 cup milk
8 ounces Cool Whip
In a large bowl, combine cake and pudding mixes, oil, eggs, ginger ale and beat for four minutes. Add nuts and stir well. Bake in three 8-inch diameter cake pans at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
For frosting, beat pudding mix and milk. Let set for 3 to 4 minutes, then fold in Cool Whip.
Assemble cake layers, frosting between them and then frosting the top of the cake.
Note - recipe also works well in a Bundt pan.