Dear SOS: I enjoyed reading Greg Sokolowski's article on the Spam cook-off in Minnesota but missed seeing the winning recipe. I particularly would like the recipe for the Spam Mexican Bake to surprise my mother on her 65th birthday.
Dear Reader: We tested the recipe just for you and others who remember Spam with affection. The winner with this recipe was Jerry A. Dahlback from Austin, Minn.
PRIZE-WINNING SPAM MEXICAN BAKE
2/3 cup milk
2 cups buttermilk baking mix
1 (12-ounce) can Spam
1 (15-ounce) can chili without beans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
Bottled taco sauce, optional
Sour cream, optional
Mix together eggs, milk and buttermilk baking mix and place in greased 2-quart baking dish. Cut Spam into 1/2-inch squares and add to chili. Stir in onion and spread evenly over mixture in baking dish with onion.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees 25 to 30 minutes. Cover with cheese and tomatoes and continue baking until cheese is bubbly. Serve with taco sauce and sour cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Dear SOS: I have an old ice cream maker and need a recipe for homemade vanilla ice cream.
Dear Eileen: Here's a good ice cream recipe to have on hand because it contains vanilla and several other flavor variations in one. The recipe was originally from a Kansas City reader who had gone to great pains to come up with texture and flavor that won't quit.
KANSAS CITY VANILLA ICE CREAM
3 tablespoons cornstarch
6 cups milk
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 large or 5 small eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 pint whipping cream
3 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
25 pounds crushed ice
Ice cream salt
Mix cornstarch with 1/2 cup milk until smooth. Add additional 1 1/2 cups milk and cook in double boiler until thick and smooth, beating constantly to avoid lumps.
Blend sugar, eggs, salt and evaporated milk in electric mixer. Add hot cornstarch mixture and beat well. Add whipping cream, remaining 4 cups milk and vanilla.
Pour into 1-gallon electric or hand freezer. Pack with layer of crushed ice and layer of ice cream salt until entirely covered. Freeze until firm and remove paddle. Be sure to pour off excess water. Add more crushed ice and salt. Cover container tightly and store, or place ice cream into another container which has been chilled. Makes 1 gallon.
Berry Ice Cream: Add 2 cups crushed fresh raspberries or blueberries and omit vanilla. It may be necessary to increase amount of sugar slightly.
Chocolate Ice Cream: Add 2 squares melted chocolate and omit vanilla.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream: Add 2 cups crushed ripe peaches. Use 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
Banana Ice Cream: Add 2 cups mashed ripe bananas and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Omit evaporated milk
Coffee Ice Cream: Dissolve 3 tablespoons instant coffee in 1 cup water. Use 2 tablespoons vanilla.
Pumpkin Ice Cream: Add 2 cups canned pumpkin. Use 1 tablespoon vanilla and add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Dear SOS: I clipped a recipe from your Culinary SOS column for Swiss steak, which turned out to be a family favorite. After surviving two moving experiences, I have yet to locate the recipe.
Dear Karen: This may be the recipe you lost. If not, let us know.
GOLDEN LANTERN SWISS STEAK
6 (4- to 6-ounce) bottom round steaks
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups tomato puree
2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup cornstarch
Dust steaks with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Melt butter in skillet and add steaks. Cook until browned on both sides.
Remove steaks to baking pan. In same skillet, combine tomato puree, 2 cups water, oregano, cumin, thyme, onions, celery, carrots and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then stir in cornstarch mixed with small amount of water.
Pour sauce over steaks in baking pan and bake at 350 degrees 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until steaks are tender. Makes 6 servings.
Dear SOS: Some years ago you had a recipe for Impossible Lemon Pie made in a blender. I have searched everywhere and can't find it. Can you help.
Dear Jeri: Yes we can.
IMPOSSIBLE LEMON PIE
1 cup milk
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup buttermilk baking mix
1/4 cup butter or margarine, diced
Whipped cream, optional
Place milk, 1 cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, baking mix, eggs and butter in blender or food processor. Blend 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour batter into buttered 10-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 45 minutes or until center of pie is set. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sugar over top of baked pie. Place under broiler until lightly browned. Cool and serve with whipped cream. Makes 1 (10-inch) pie.