Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dishes to Tote; Savory Sausage Rice

I think that nearly everyone who goes to many potluck events succumbs, eventually, to potluck fatigue. You know what I mean -- you have one dish that you go to over and over. You're always the one who brings the Polynesian chicken. Or the green bean casserole. Or the chilled tortellini on skewers to dip in a chilled tomato vodka sauce. (That's my fallback.)

How can you get out of this rut? Adopt someone else's fallback, like this one from the Milwaukee Ward Relief Society Cookbook:
Savory Sausage Rice
Pat Diehnelt

Once our family was on a test group for the Farm Journal magazine. They sent this recipe to be tested. Our family enjoyed it very much. Later they published it in their cookbook under "Dishes to Tote". Usually I take this to pot luck suppers.

2 lb. bulk sausage
1 c. finely chopped green pepper
3/4 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 c. coarsely chopped celery
2 (2 1/8 oz.) pkgs. chicken noodle soup mix
4 1/2 c. boiling water
1 c. uncooked rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. melted butter or margarine
1 c. blanched almonds (slivered)

Brown suasage in large skillet; pour off excess fat. Add green pepper, onion and 1 c. celery; saute. Start the second paragraph at same time as this.

Combine soup mix and boiling water in large saucepan; stir in rice. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Add sausage mix and salt; stir. Pour into greased baking dish, about 9x12 inches. Sprinkle remaining celery over top; drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 375° 20 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

If almonds are used, saute' all celery with green pepper and onion. Mix most of almonds with other ingredients; save a few to sprinkle on top. Omit melted butter.

I try very hard to avoid introducing typographical errors into the recipes here at Take One Cookbook... That being said, I also try to preserve the recipes -- so "suasage" stays, as does the close-quotation-period construction that makes me cringe so.

I'm not sure why they're using chicken noodle soup mix instead of stock (or, being a 1970s/1980s cookbook, bouillon cubes), but I'm willing to give it a go. I'm also not sure why we should omit the tasty melted butter if we're having almonds. Butter is good! Butter is tasty! I'm amused by the 1/2 t. of salt; on the face, that doesn't seem like much for a recipe that feeds 10, but considering there's sausage AND soup mix going on, I'm sure there's ample salt.

Most folks aren't going to have a baking dish that's "about 9x12 inches." I'm betting you have a 9x13 dish handy, though.

Farm Journal Magazine is still going strong; I did a search for "recipe," and think if I go off to recommend the best to you, I'll never come back, I'll just fall in to reading recipes and end up going another few days without a post. (My apologies for missing recently.)

It's time we say goodbye to the ladies of the Milwaukee Ward Relief Society. There's a trove of stuff we didn't touch -- kids sharing their mom's recipes (ha!), pages of substitutes for alcohol in various recipes, soap recipes, kitchen wisdom, leftover hints, and how long everything will keep in the fridge or freezer. The book is more than a little dated, and definitely a product of an LDS committee (see: alcohol substitutes), but a good go-to cookbook, especially for novice cooks who want something that feels homey.

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