By Betty Cook
The following recipes come from “The Christmas Movie Cookbook” by Julia Retland. I found this book at The Texas Star gift shop in downtown Abilene last week.
CHICKEN BROCCOLI AND CHEDDAR SOUP
Makes 8 cups
5 tbsp. salted butter
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
2 small carrots, shredded
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken vegetable broth
2 cups half and half
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 cups (1-1/2 lbs.) small broccoli florets
2 cups shredded rotisserie or cooked chicken
8 oz. (2 cups) freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots., Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle vegetables with the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes until flour is cooked and very light golden brown.
Stir in the broth and half and half, salt, pepper, dry mustard, and cayenne. Stir in the broccoli. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
Stir in the chicken and cheese. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and the soup is heated through.
CREAMY MASHED POTATOES
Makes 12 cups
3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
2 lbs. red potatoes
1 tbsp. kosher salt or 1-1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste
2-1/2 cups half and half or whole milk
3/4 cup salted butter
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives, for serving
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, for serving
Peel the potatoes and cut into even-sized large chunks. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Stir in the salt.
Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 15 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Pour into a colander and drain well.
Return the potatoes to the pot and mash to the desired consistency with a potato masher. For the smoothest mashed potatoes, run peeled cooked potatoes through a food mill into the pot or a large bowl.
In a saucepan, combine the half and half and butter. Cook over medium heat. Stir the hot butter mixture and sour cream into the potatoes, stirring until well blended. Season with additional salt if necessary.
Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped chives and pepper.
The next group of recipes from my personal collection:
SALTED CARAMEL THUMBPRINT COOKIES
(Makes about 24)
1 cup unsalted butter softened
1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. plus 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
8 caramels, cut into thirds
In a large bowl, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add egg yolk, beating well.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. With mixer on low speed gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until a soft dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough into1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Using your thumb or the back of a spoon, gently make an indentation in the center of each ball.
Bake for 8 minutes. Place 1 piece of caramel in center of each indentation. Bake until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes more.
Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Let cool completely on pans. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
KATHY PHILLIPS BROCCOLI SALAD
1 bunch fresh broccoli, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup purple onion, chopped
1 cup celery, stringed and chopped
1/2 lb. bacon, browned and crumbled
Combine in large bowl and pour dressing over.
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup (heaping) sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Chill in refrigerator overnight.
Note: Kathy often brought this dish to our Gilmer Mirror Christmas parties. She says she got the recipe from her sister, Polly Waller.
This recipe came from Janell Denton Hill, who got the recipe from her grandmother, Connie Denton.
CHRISTMAS FRUIT SALAD
Place bowl in freezer in preparation for whipping cream.
2-3 bananas, chopped
1 large apple, diced
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 large can fruit cocktail, drained
1 small package chopped pecans
1/2 pint carton whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar.
In a large bowl combine all fruit and stir in pecans.
In the cold bowl whip the cream on high speed until thickened. Gradually add the sugar, beating on low speed until well blended.
Keep refrigerated until just before serving, then gently blend the cream into the fruit mixture.