Keep The Eats Cool This Summer

IN THE KITCHEN

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School is back in session, but the mercury is still hovering in the uncomfortable range, add the humidity and a nice, hot supper is the last thing most of us want.

Combing through the various recipe sources available at the Payson Roundup, we came up with some cool combinations using pasta, plus a dish making use of the fresh produce currently available, a corn salad.

Ham, Pecan and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

Source: Better Homes and Gardens, http://www.bhg.com

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

4uncesully cooked ham, cut into thin bite-size strips

1uproken pecans, toasted

1/2 to 3/4uprumbled blue cheese (2 to 3 ounces)

1/3upnipped parsley

1/4uplive oil or salad oil

2ablespoonsnipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1lovearlic, minced

1/2easpoonoarsely ground pepper

8 ouncesackaged dried bow ties (3-1/2 cups)

Lettuce leaves (optional)

Directions

1. In a very large mixing bowl combine ham, pecans, blue cheese, parsley, oil, rosemary, garlic and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Drain again.

3. Add pasta to the ham mixture; toss to mix.

4. If desired, line individual salad plates with lettuce. Divide the pasta mixture among the lettuce-lined plates. Makes 5 main-dish servings.

Chicken and Cheddar Pasta Toss

Source: Better Homes and Gardens, http://www.bhg.com

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Chill: 2 hours

Ingredients

6 ounceso-boil lasagna noodles, broken

1 (9-ounce) packagerozen Southwestern-flavored chicken breast strips or 1 (9-ounce) package (2 cups) frozen chopped cooked chicken, slightly thawed

3 ounceseduced-fat cheddar or American cheese, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1ediumreen, yellow, or red sweet pepper, cut into strips

1 ounceepperoni, chopped

1 (8-ounce) bottle fat-free Italian salad dressing

1/8easpoon cracked black pepper

5 cupsorn curly endive

1 cup red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl cover noodles with boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes, separating the noodles occasionally with a fork; drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again. If using chicken strips, halve them crosswise.

2. Return noodles to bowl; stir in chicken, cheddar or American cheese, sweet pepper strips, and pepperoni. Add dressing and black pepper; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Before serving, add endive and tomatoes; toss gently to mix. Makes 6 servings.

Summer Corn Salad

Source: Good Housekeeping through King Features Syndicate, for more visit the Web site at www.goodhousekeeping.com

A colorful blend of fresh corn off the cob, green beans, red pepper and sweet onion in an all-American apple-cider vinaigrette.

Makes 12 servings.

Cooking time: 30 minutes.

Total time: about 40 minutes.

Ingredients

12 ears corn, husks and silk removed

3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 small sweet onion (about 4 ounces), finely chopped

Directions

1. In an 8-quart saucepot, in 2 inches boiling water, heat corn to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Drain corn; set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut off kernels.

2. Meanwhile, cook green beans: In 2-quart saucepan, in 1 inch boiling water, heat green beans to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until beans are tender-crisp. Drain.

3. In large salad bowl, with fork or wire whisk, mix vinegar, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper until blended.

4. To dressing in bowl, add corn kernels, green beans, red pepper and onion; toss well. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate.

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