Spring is a great time to try new recipes. Why not invite over some friends and make something you've never made before? What a fun gathering that could be.
Everyone could weigh in on the results and even take home copies of the recipe afterward -- so be sure to keep extra copies on hand.
Here are some recipes from my personal file that I recommend.
ARTICHOKE SHRIMP BISQUE
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Makes: 8 cups
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 (7 -ounce) cans tiny shrimp, drained
Melt butter in a heavy Dutch oven over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken broth and milk; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly. Stir in salt and next 3 ingredients; cover and then chill 8 hours, if desired. Stir in half-and-half and remaining ingredients; cook over low heat until thoroughly heated.
ROASTED PEPPER STEAK WITH ROASTED GARLIC CHIVE BUTTER
2 teaspoons cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (3-inch thick) New York strip steak, trimmed (2 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Roasted Garlic Chive Butter (recipe below)
Combine first three ingredients; press evenly on steak. Cook steak in butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat 2 minutes on both sides. Bake at 450 degrees for 25 to 27 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve with Roasted Garlic-Chive Butter.
ROASTED GARLIC-CHIVE BUTTER
Makes: 3/4 cup
2 heads garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or frozen chives
Cut garlic heads in half crosswise; place in a shallow pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Add water to pan; cover and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let cool. Remove skins and finely chop garlic. Combine garlic, butter and chives; cover and chill.
2 boxes frozen broccoli (pieces)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 onion, chopped
1 cup grated American cheese
2 eggs, beaten
Cook broccoli 5 minutes and drain. Mix all ingredients together; place in buttered casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs. Dot with butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.