Peanut Recipes from Oklahoma

Found an interesting old recipe book at an estate sale, “It’s Easy to be a ‘Gourmet’ with Peanuts.”

It doesn’t have a date on it, but looks to be from the 1950s. It says it is “brought to you by the 7,000 peanut growers of Oklahoma and their families.”

The cookbook is filled with recipes that use peanuts, from main dishes to soups, breads, cakes and more. Here are a couple of recipes from the Salads section.

Peanut-Carrot-Orange Salad

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots

3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

1/3 cup raisins

Lemon juice, if desired

Mayonnaise, or any peanut butter salad dressing, as needed

2 oranges, cut in sections

Combine carrots, peanuts, and raisins with mayonnaise or peanut butter salad dressing to moisten. Add lemon juice to taste, if desired, Arrange on lettuce with orange sections around edge. Serves 4.

Never heard of peanut butter salad dressing? Here you go:

Quick Peanut Butter Dressing

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Mix mayonnaise with lemon juice, sugar and peanut butter.

Or if you want to get fancy:

Peanut Butter Fruit Dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup pineapple juice or pineapple-grapefruit blend

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons honey or sugar

Blend peanut butter with part of juices until smooth. Gradually add remaining juice, salt and honey, stirring until blended. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups dressing. Excellent with fruit salad.

If you try and enjoy these recipes, say a word of thanks to the Oklahoma peanut growers!

Note: For those who enjoy historical recipes, check out “Carver’s Tomatoes” from Lakehouse publishing. It includes all 115 tomato recipes from George Washington Carver’s historic agriculatural bulletin – all updated for today’s cooks and kitchens. “Carver’s Tomatoes” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Itunes, and Kobo for only $2.99.

Quick Dinner Trends Have Changed, Thank Goodness!

I was looking at a vintage cookbook from Better Homes & Gardens, circa 1963. It’s a quaint little book featuring “Meals in Minutes.” It’s amazing how recipes and cooking have changed.

Here’s an example recipe:

Soup-kettle Supper

1 can condensed cream of vegetable soup

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can condensed onion soup

2 cups milk

1 8-ounce can cream-style cord

1 4-ounce can Vienna sausage

Mix soups together; stir in milk and corn. Slice sausage links into coins; add. Cover; heat slowly, sirring often until soup comes just to boiling. Serves 6.

There’s also a note on this recipe: “Three soups make a grand new full-mail soup. Serve with crackers and crisp celery sticks. And plan a luscious dessert.”

Yikes! I am stunned that BH&G ever put such fare in their cookbooks. It makes me wonder whether they were owned by the same parent company as Campell’s Soup back then. This recipe probably tastes okay, but all the salt and fat and carbs … At least in the serving suggestions we finally see a vegetable.

 Here’s one more:

Cheese-y Fish Sticks

Place frozen breaded fish sticks on baking sheet. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan. Bake fish sticks, according to the package directions.

What? Like the frozen fish sticks weren’t bad enough already – let’s add cheese!

Scanning through this cookbook, it’s amazing the amount of pre-fabricated, fake foods included.

Okay, one more crazy one:

Chicken Pot Pie

2 1-pound cans chicken in gravy

1/3 cup milk

1 cup packaged biscuit mix

Paprika

Place chicken in gravy in wide 3-quard saucepan (to make room for dumplings). Heat until bubbling.

Add milk to biscuit mix, and prepare and cook dumplings according to package directions. Before serving, sprinkle with paprika. Makes 6 servings.

A recipe starting with canned chicken in gravy? Blech. And the directions are pretty unclear. Glad I’m not interested in making this dish. Although, apparently a sprinkle of Paprika cures all.

It seems that cooking trends change just as much as decorating trends. Looking at the recipes in this book is a lot like looking at home decor from the ‘70s. Harvest gold. Really? Who ever thought that was stylish?

Interesting to walk down memory lane, but I sure don’t want to eat there!

Yellow Squash Casserole

The unseasonably warm weather here of late has us thinking of gardens and fresh veggies. One of our favorite spring dishes is this casserole made with yellow squash.

If you are planning your spring garden, give yellow squash a chance. It is easy and quick to grow – often one of the first veggies to make contributions to the table. If you pick the squash while they are still small, the plants produce even more and the squash is tender and sweet. It makes a colorful addition to salads and pasta salads, is delicious battered and fried (what isn’t?), and this casserole is simple to make and a sure winner on the dinner table.

This recipe is included in Family Holiday Favorites.

Yellow Squash Casserole

3 cups yellow squash, diced

1 onion, diced

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1 cup Colby Jack cheese

1 cup biscuit mix

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt

Mix eggs and oil in large bowl then add squash and onion. Next, add cheese and biscuit mix and sprinkle spices on top. Mix together roughly. It makes a somewhat dry mixture.

Pour mixture into a large glass baking dish, like a 13 x 9 inch glass pan. You want the casserole to be fairly thin.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes depending on the thickness. It is ready when it is lightly browned on top and bottom.

Okie Crawfish Cardinale

Okie Crawfish Cardinale

4 tablespoons butter

½-3/4 big sweet onion, diced

8-10 fat cloves of garlic, diced (or 4-5 spoonfuls of minced garlic)

3 tablespoons flour

1 pint heavy cream

½ of a 16 oz. can tomatoes

1 small can mushrooms (or fresh mushrooms)

1 tablespoon Essence

10-15 drops hot sauce

4-6 drops Worcestershire

4-6 drops lemon juice

1 tablespoon Lawry’s

1 8 oz. package crawfish tails

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed

Cut puff pastry sheet into 9 or so pieces. Once oven is preheated to 400 degrees, put pastry on cookie sheet and bake about 14 minutes – until brown and pretty.

Melt butter in big skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until clear. Add garlic and sauté another couple of minutes. Add flour and stir to ensure all grains have butter. Add cream and stir to make gravy. Continue cooking over medium heat while adding seasonings. The gravy must come to a light boil to thicken properly.

Add several sprinkles of Essence, good amount of hot sauce, a little Worchestershire, a few drops lemon juice, and couple of sprinkles of Lawry’s. Finally add tomatoes and mushrooms. Stir and taste test. Need more hot sauce?

Put in thawed crawfish at end and let simmer a few minutes to get happy.

Best served over the puff pastry in a bowl or plate with high sides. Place pastry square in dish then ladle crawfish gravy over it.

Notes:

This is a quick and delicious treat that serves 4 adults. It reheats nicely, but it is a good idea to cook fresh puff pastry each time.

Outside of New Orleans, crawfish tails are generally found in the seafood area of the freezer section in 8 ounce packages. One package makes a nice dish. Two packages make a supreme dish!

Puff pastry is found in the frozen breads section of the grocery store. Just follow the directions on the package to prepare. It is a light, puffy, crunchy addition to this dish. If you don’t have puff pastry or can’t find any, this dish is also delicious served over rice.

Essence is Cajun base seasoning from chef Emeril Lagasse. If you don’t have Essence, other Cajun seasoning can be substituted.

This dish is not hot as seasoned here. If you prefer a hotter dish, add more hot sauce or even hot peppers to the gravy.