Greetings from the fun, madness and heat of the Delaware State Fair. Despite the high temperatures, we've been having a grand time reuniting with all of the Fair friends that we aren't able to see through the rest of the year. The fair provides me personally with the opportunity to "capture" a lot of new recipes and I want to share some of them with you in this column.
Dover residents Mardi and Marina Spangler stepped up into our Fair Demo kitchen and wowed the audience with the Oriental Chicken recipe that Mardi likes to use for quick and easy entertaining. Marina is growing up learning to cook by spending time in the family kitchen with both her mom and her dad, Harold, who was involved in this demo in absentia because he was the one who grilled the chicken. My own husband was here for the Spanglers' demo and he keeps saying, "I really liked that chicken that they made" so we'll soon be having it at our house, too.
George Roof steps into our demo kitchen each year to share game recipes with our audiences. This year he prepared and shared his recipe for Venison Chili Dip. On his recipe, George does note "this dip can be made with any ground meat and is an exceptional party dip" so you can make it at home even if you don't have any venison.
This year we added two categories for Freezer Jams in our Exhibit classes. Dawn Melson-Williams earned blue ribbons for her Reduced Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam and Pineapple Carrot Cake Freezer Jam. The judges would have eaten the entire jars of both if we hadn't reminded them that we needed some left for display.
ORIENTAL CHICKEN SALAD
4 to 6 boneless chicken breasts
1 quart liquid non-alcoholic Margarita mix (Jose Cuervo recommended)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Marinate the chicken breasts in the margarita mix for at least four to six hours or overnight. Make sure chicken breasts are completely covered. Grill chicken breasts. (Be sure not to overcook). Discard marinade. Dice chicken into 1/2- to 1-inch squares. Combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, vegetable oil and peanut oil and blend well. Pour oil mixture over grilled chicken pieces and mix well. Add scallions, sesame seeds and sliced almonds. Toss mixture to combine. This can be prepared ahead BUT do not add the scallions, sesame seeds or almonds until ready to serve.
VENISON CHILI DIP
Page 2 of 2 - 1 pound ground venison
1 green pepper, cored and diced finely
1 envelope dry chili mix
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (3-ounce) brick cream cheese
Combine the meat and green peppers and brown the meat. In a saucepan stir in all other ingredients and mix with an electric mixer. Place on "medium" heat and bring to a boil. Serve in a chafing dish or crock pot to keep warm. Serve with tortilla or corn chips in single serving bowls.
REDUCE SUGAR STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM
4 cups crushed strawberries
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 package jam pectin
Crush 1 cup of strawberries at a time with potato masher. (Measure with liquid measure.) Place sugar and pectin in saucepan. Stir to mix and then add water. Boil at medium-high; stir constantly. Boil for one minute. Stir fruit into pectin and sugar and stir one minute. Fill jars to 1/2 –inch head space. Cover with lids and bands and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Then freeze. Yield: Six half pints.
PINEAPPLE CARROT CAKE FREEZER JAM
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 package jam pectin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups chopped apples
Stir sugar, pectin and spices together in a bowl until well blended then set aside. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup pineapple juice. Set pineapple aside. Combine reserved pineapple juice, carrots and apple in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Add pineapple. Crush fruit mixture with a potato masher. Allow to cool about 15 minutes. Add fruit mixture to pectin mixture and stir for three minutes. Ladle into clean jars allowing 1/2-inch headspace. Twist on lids and bands and let stand until thickened – about 30 minutes. Refrigerate up to three weeks or freeze for up to one year. Yield: Five (8-ounce) half pints.