Favorite Rural Missouri recipes from the past 25 years

Pork Chili Verde

1 pound pork tenderloin, cubed

1 large onion, chopped

1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 bay leaves

Two 10-ounce cans mild green enchilada sauce

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Two 16-ounce cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup long-grain rice, uncooked

In a large pot, brown pork. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic and carrots. Cook and stir until onion softens slightly. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until carrots and rice are tender. Ladle into bowls.

Garnish as desired with toppings such as shredded cheese, chopped green onions, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips or warm tortillas.

Granny’s Oatmeal Date Bars

1 cup dates, chopped

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups instant oats

1 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg white

In a small saucepan, combine the dates, water and sugar.Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring constantly.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the butter and egg white until blended. Pat half of the mixture into an 8-inch-square baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully spread with date mixture. Gently pat remaining oat mixture over date mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars.

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

1/2 cup butter

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well

4 1/2-ounce can mushrooms, drained

6-ounce package herb and garlic feta cheese, crumbled

12-ounce package cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Salt and pepper to taste

1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie crust

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 8 ounces cheddar cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper; spoon mixture into pie crust.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pie crust, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. Sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes until set in the center. Allow quiche to stand 10 minutes before serving.

Creamy Bacon Pasta

4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

2 green onions, thinly sliced

10 ounces frozen peas, thawed

1 cup half-and-half

Salt and pepper, to taste

16 ounces angel hair pasta

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. 

     Add green onions to fat in skillet. Cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add peas and half-and-half; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

     Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot.

Pour cream sauce over pasta and toss to combine, adding reserved water a little at a time to coat. Sprinkle with bacon pieces and serve immediately. 

Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup dried cherries, chopped

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy and pale in color, 3 to 5 minutes. This step is important to ensure soft, chewy cookies. Beat in the egg and vanilla. 

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Using a wooden spoon, carefully add flour mixture to the butter mixture, and stir just until combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips, dried cherries and macadamia nuts. 

Drop heaping teaspoons of the batter onto the greased cookie sheet. 

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until they just 

begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Cheesy Baked Broccoli

9 1/4 cups fresh broccoli florets

1/2 cup butter

2 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 cups onion, chopped

1 1/3 cups milk

Salt and pepper to taste

4 1/2 cups Swiss or cheddar cheese, shredded

2 eggs, beaten

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

    Place broccoli in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water and cover. Cook about 3 to 6 minutes until tender but firm. Drain well.

    Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add flour; cook until bubbly. Stir in onion and gradually add milk, stirring well. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and eggs; mix well. Combine mixture with well-drained broccoli and transfer to a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. 

    Bake for 30 minutes and serve while hot.

Brussels Sprouts Apple Hash

3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved (if very large, quarter each one)

2 red onions, peeled and cut into similar-sized pieces to sprouts

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 medium apple, such as Gala or Golden Delicious, cored

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

6 ounces thick-cut bacon (about 4 slices), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss the Brussels sprouts and onions with just enough oil to coat; season well with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill the center of the apple with butter and add to the baking sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes for the apple; 40 to 45 minutes for the vegetables.

Next, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp. Pour off most of the fat, leaving enough to coat bottom of pan.

When apple is cool enough to handle, cut into pieces about the size of the Brussels sprouts halves. Add onion, apple and Brussels sprouts to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated throughout, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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