April 15, 1997


Asparagus Vinaigrette

- 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed

- 3 tablespoons olive oil

- 2 tablespoons lemon juice

- 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 4 tablespoons buttered and toasted bread crumbs

- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved


Steam asparagus spears until tender; drain and place on serving platter. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, shake together oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper. When ready to serve - can be served warm or at room temperature - pour vinaigrette evenly over asparagus, sprinkle with bread crumbs and garnish with cherry tomato halves. Serves 6.

Cranberry Carrot Saute

- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-1/2-by-1/2-inch sticks

- 1 teaspoon salt, divided

- 1 tablespoon brown sugar

- 1 teaspoon cinnamon

- 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

- 1/4 cup orange juice

- 2 tablespoons butter

- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

- 1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Place carrots and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook 10 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. Drain.

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, mustard and remaining salt in a small mixing bowl. Add orange juice.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add carrots and orange juice mixture. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until carrots are coated, stirring frequently. Add dried cranberries; cook until heated through. Garnish with pecans. Serves 4 to 6.

Cheese-Topped Mushrooms

- 1 pound fresh mushrooms

- 1 pound bulk pork sausage

- 1 clove garlic, minced

- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

- chopped cranberries (optional)

- fresh snipped parsley (optional)

Rinse mushrooms and pat dry; remove stems. Chop stems. Combine stems, sausage, garlic and chopped parsley in a medium skillet; cook until sausage is browned, stirring often. Drain pan drippings. Stir in cheese, mixing well.

Fill mushroom caps with sausage mixture. Place in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Garnish with cranberries and snipped parsley, if desired. Serves 8 as an appetizer.

Tex Mex Pork Chops

- 4 boneless pork chops, about 4 ounces each

- 1 16-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce

- 1 to 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

- 1 green onion, sliced

- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

- 1 teaspoon ground cumin

- 1 teaspoon lime juice

In a large nonstick skillet, brown pork chops on one side over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, stir together remaining ingredients. Turn chops; pour cranberry mixture over chops in skillet, bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until chops are just done and still tender.

Serve with rice, if desired. Serves 4.

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