Saturday, October 17, 2009

SAWDUST AND CLOUDS

Here are the two asked-about and requested recipes from yesterday’s Preacher Food Menu.

SAWDUST/PRETZEL SALAD

Sawdust salad is an under-the-hairdryer name for a congealed salad, with Strawberry Jello the preferred congealer. And stacking the layers into pretty strata, for display upon a lettuce leaf on a salad plate---well---that’s just the pinnacle of a luncheon hostess’s ambitions in some circles. It certainly TASTES good, and is easy to make; though the “steps” are five, there’s no difficulty to the assemblage.

And it’s a little hidden Russian Doll of a recipe---leave off the last two steps, and it’s the classic Pretzel Salad, known and served for decades at Bridge, at Club, and at Church Suppers around the South. (Though you CAN come back with that tub of Cool Whip and anoint the top layer if you wish, making swirly twirls with the spatula, and laying in halved strawberries marching in across-and-down-rows for the cutting).

A hostess or two has been known to stir a teensy clop of Blue Plate into that top coat of Cool Whip, to make it into “A Real Salad.”

-----------------------SAWDUST/PRETZEL SALAD------------------------------------

First Layer---CRUST
2 cups crushed pretzels
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
Mix and press into bottom only of 9x13. Bake 10 @350. Cool completely. A glass pyrex looks prettier, but remember it will take much longer to cool for the next step.

SECOND Layer---Filling
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip
Beat cream cheese and sugar together, then stir in Cool Whip
Spread over cooled crust. Chill while Jello is cooling.

THIRD Layer---Jello
2 c. boiling water
Large Strawberry Jello---take out 1 tsp. of dry mix for topping
2 c. strawberries, chopped
2 T. sugar

Stir sugar into strawberries, set aside.
Mix Jello and water, chill til beginning to set.
Mix in strawberries---spread over CC layer. Chill til firm.

FOURTH Layer---Topping
1 tall can crushed pineapple
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 t. Jello powder

Mix dry. Stir in pineapple and cook until thickened. Cool and spread onto firm Jello.

Fifth Layer---Cheese shreds.
Sprinkle on 1 cup finely-shredded sharp cheese.

SEQUENCE:
Make crust and set the pan on a rack to cool.
Make up the Jello and set bowl in fridge to cool and start to thicken.
Make the filling. Spread it on crust, put in fridge.
Make topping, keeping an eye on Jello so as to pour it before it sets.
When Jello is about the consistency of egg whites, pour it onto filling and put in fridge to set up completely. Spread cooled pineapple topping, sprinkle cheese, wrap, chill. Takes WAY less time to make than tell about.

Chill several hours before serving.

-------------------------------------BLUEBERRY CLOUD--------------------------------------
MERINGUE PIECRUST

3 egg whites, room temp
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
Pam a 9” pie plate. Oven 300.

Put a little vinegar into the bottom of mixing bowl, and wipe it around the insides with a paper towel. Beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt until soft peaks form. Add vanilla, and slowly beat in sugar until very stiff and glossy. Spread mixture into plate to form a shell. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn oven off, and leave meringue in oven for an hour. Cool.

BLUEBERRY CLOUD (OR STRAWBERRY, BLACKBERRY, RASPBERRY, PEACH)
3 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
2/3 c. sugar
2 t. cornstarch
Dash of salt
1 T. fresh lemon juice ( and some grated zest if you like)
1 t. vanilla

Wash fresh berries, but don’t dry; thaw frozen. Put berries and lemon juice into non-stick skillet and crush them a bit with a spoon. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt, and add to pan. Stir over medium heat until berries pop and get juicy, and mixture comes to full boil, stirring constantly with flat paddle until thickened like sauce.

Cool and spoon into meringue shell. Chill until serving time, then top with dollops of whipped cream or some pretty rosettes from the Redi-Whip can. And filling that shell with a made-up Lemon Icebox Pie Filling (take those leftover 3 egg yolks, a can of Eagle Brand, 1/2 c. lemon juice, stir them together and let sit a minute to start firming up) will make a Pavlova that you could serve in Paris.

A few more of these and we'll be publishing a little spiral-bound cookbook.

2 comments:

Kouign Aman said...

I wanna know about the "Dreaded Blueberry/Black Cherry".
Dreaded by mamas who think about the children's laundry soon to follow? Or?

Keetha said...

"Under the hairdryer name" That is so perfect! I've never heard that particular phrase before but you're right!