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May Recipes

RAY'S BEST CHICKEN MARINADE

A marinade guaranteed to make your chicken breasts tender and juicy! This one has a little bit of everything in just the right proportions.

1/4 Cup Distilled White Vinegar

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/3 Cup Soy Sauce

1    Lime (juiced)

1/2 Lemon (juiced)

1/4 Cup Sherry

2    Tbsp. Ground Mustard

2    tsp. Honey

4    Cloves Garlic (crushed)

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

2    Tbsp. Lemon Pepper

1    tsp. Dried Oregano

1    tsp. Rosemary

1    tsp. Salt

6    Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves

In a large glass bowl, stir together the vinegar, oil, soy sauce, lime juice, lemon juice, sherry, mustard, and honey. Mix in the garlic, brown sugar, lemon pepper, oregano, rosemary, and salt. Place the chicken in the mixture. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight. Preheat the grill for high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard marinade, and place chicken on the grill. Cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear.  Be careful not to over cook. Servings: 6

Recipe From: Ray


GRILLING PERFECT HAMBURGER TIPS

The base of a hamburger is, of course, the meat and different cuts have different amounts of fat and flavor. Regular ground beef, may by law have as much as 30 percent fat. This isn't always a good thing because the high percentage of fat can make the burgers greasy. Ground chuck has about 20 percent fat. Ground sirloin has about 15 percent fat. Ground round has about 11 percent fat, making it a favorite of dieters, but producing less-juicy burgers. 15 to 20 percent fat is ideal for burgers.

Go for freshly ground meat. When beef is ground at processing plants, bacteria on the outside can end up mixed in, which means that the middle of the hamburger should be cooked through in order to kill any microbes. But when a fresh, whole cut of meat is ground to order by a butcher on a clean machine, there's less chance of contamination.

When forming the patties cold meat and cold, wet hands are best. Hold your hands under cold running water, then work as gently and quickly as possible so as not to bruise or heat the meat. Handling the meat delicately prevents the burgers from getting too dense and firm, and keeping it cold prevents the fat from melting, which would also make the burgers tougher. Form the patties at least one inch thick, so they can develop a seared crust on the outside while still staying tender on the inside. Press a shallow valley into the top of each burger to keep it from rounding up when cooking. Let the patties rest in the fridge for an hour after forming. This helps them stay together better on the grill.

For seasoning, salt is essential to bring out the flavor of the burger, plus it crusts deliciously when cooked over the fire. But if added too far ahead of cooking, it will draw out the juices, drying out the meat. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper very heavily over both sides of the burgers just before you put them on the grill.

The grill should be clean, oiled and hot. First sear them over high heat to develop a crust, then move them to a cooler part of the grill to cook.  Be sure not to press down on them while cooking, this will squeeze out the juices and dry them out. Barbecue or steak sauces cover up the flavor of a perfect burger, skip them.

Testing for doneness, medium-rare is softly yielding, medium is semi-firm, well-done is firm. There is also a visual approach, judging by the juices: When it begins to come out of the top of the burger, it's medium. When the juices that have oozed out of the top get cooked (stop looking red and become clear), it's medium-well.  A combination of the two techniques works well.

Top as you desire and serve on toasted buns.


SLOW COOKER BACON WRAPPED APPLE CHICKEN

4    Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

1    Cup BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Rays works well)

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

2    Tbsp. Lemon Juice (fresh or from a bottle)

5    Small Gala Apples (peeled and chopped)

8    Slices Bacon

In a small bowl, combine BBQ sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and peeled/chopped apples.

Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon and place in a greased slow cooker.

Pour BBQ-apple mixture over chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is done.


GRAMMA'S MACARONI SALAD

1     Cup Sugar

1     Tbsp. Flour

1     Tbsp. Mustard

1     tsp. Salt

     Pepper

3     Eggs

1     Cup Milk

1/2 Cup Vinegar

1     lb. Elbow Macaroni (cooked)

2     Carrots (shredded)

6     Hard boiled Eggs (diced)

1     Cup Celery (diced)

1     Small Onion (diced, if desired)

Combine in a fry pan, the sugar, flour, mustard, salt, pepper (to taste) and egg. Stir together very well. Add the milk, slowly while stirring. When mixed completely add vinegar and stir again. Turn on the heat to medium and cook slowly, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Cool completely. Add macaroni, carrots, hard boiled eggs, celery and onion. Stir together to coat and chill. Serve chilled.

Note: This recipe can be used for potato salad as well. Just omit macaroni and add cooked, diced potatoes.

Recipe From: Elsie Pyles


AMISH POTATO SALAD

Straight from Pennsylvania Dutch country, this salad has a sweet-n-sour dressing and is distinctively yellow.

6    Medium White Potatoes with Skin

4    Hard-cooked Eggs (peeled and chopped)

1    Small Onion (finely chopped)

1    Cup Celery (chopped)

1    Cup Carrots (chopped)

1    tsp. Celery Seed

2    Eggs (beaten)    

3/4 Cup White Sugar

1    tsp. Cornstarch

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 Cup Milk

1    tsp. Prepared Yellow Mustard

3    Tbsp. Butter

1    Cup Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing

Place the potatoes into a large pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, and set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together 2 eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Stir in the vinegar, milk, and mustard. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Refrigerate until cool, then stir in the mayonnaise.

Peel the potatoes if desired, and cut into medium dice. Place in a large bowl, and toss with the onion, celery, carrots, celery seed and hard-cooked eggs. Gently fold in the dressing. Refrigerate until serving. Leaving this to sit for at least a day before serving allows the flavors to blend, but it may be served as soon as it is chilled. Servings: 8


GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP

4    Tbsp. Olive Oil

2    Cups Leeks (chopped, white part only)

2    Tbsp. Garlic (finely minced)

      Salt

1    Bay Leaf

1/2 tsp. Rosemary

      Handful Baby Spinach (chopped)

2    Cups Carrots (peeled and sliced)

2    Cups Potatoes (peeled and diced)

2    Cups Fresh Green Beans (cut into 3/4-inch pieces)

2    qts. Chicken or Vegetable Broth

4    Cups Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and chopped)

2    Ears Corn (kernels removed)

1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley (packed, chopped)

1 to 2 tsp. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the bay leaf, rosemary, tomatoes, corn kernels, spinach and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with salt. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 8 servings


SOUTHERN BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

2    Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (plus more for dusting the board)

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1   Tbsp. Baking Powder

1    tsp. Salt

6   Tbsp. Unsalted Butter (very cold)

1   Cup Buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal. Add the buttermilk and mix just until combined.

If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Gently, gently pat (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to 1 inch thick. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.

You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet, if you like soft sides place them touching each other. If you like "crusty" sides, place them about 1 inch apart. These will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.

Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. The biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. Do not over bake. Yield: 10 biscuits

Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.

You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to over stimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.


ROASTED VIDALIA ONIONS

Roasted in the oven or on the grill, these onions are simple to make, taste like French onion soup, and smell great!

2  Vidalia Onions

2  Tbsp. Butter

2  Cubes Beef Bouillon    

2  Dashes Salt

2  Dashes Pepper

2  Dashes Ground Paprika

*Special note: You might also wrap each onion with a slice of bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and core onions, then slice halfway through. Place onions on sections of aluminum foil large enough to wrap them completely. Place a bouillon cube in the center of each onion; place pat of butter on top. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Wrap the onions in foil. Roast in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until soft depending on size of onion. Servings: 2


FRUIT SALAD WITH PUDDING

1    (29 oz.) Can Peach Slices (drain and save)

1    (20 oz.) Can Pineapple Chunks (drain and save)

1    (3 1/8 oz.) Box Dry Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix

1    lb Strawberries (stemmed and quartered)

1    Banana (sliced)

1/2 pt. Blueberries

1    Bunch Green Grapes

In a large bowl, gently combine all the fruit. In a separate bowl mix the juice with the pudding mix until smooth and dissolved.

Stir into the fruit until covered. Depending on your preferences you can use less of the pudding mixture on your fruit or the entire amount. I like to use about 1 cup of the pudding to lightly coat the fruit. Chill. Servings: 15

Recipe From: Laura O.


CHICKEN CHEESE STEAKS

Cheesy chicken sandwiches get a kick from a bit of cayenne. If you prefer an even more robust flavor, spread the rolls with a mixture of Dijon mustard and chili paste.

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

2    Chicken Breast Halves (1 lb., sliced, boned, skinned)

1    Cup Mushrooms (sliced)

1    Cup Onion (sliced)

1    Cup Green Bell Pepper (sliced)

1/2 tsp. Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Cayenne

2    tsp. Butter

4    Sub or French Bread Rolls (split)

4    Romaine Lettuce Leaves

1    Cup Shredded Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and seasonings and cook until chicken is browned and no longer pink inside, 6 minutes.

Spread 1/2 tsp. butter inside each roll and toast rolls, opened up, in oven on a baking sheet for about 4 minutes. Lay 1 lettuce leaf in each roll. Sprinkle cheese over lettuce, then divide chicken mixture among rolls. Serve with potato chips. Yield: Serves 4