Indoor Holiday Picnic:  CHILLED CRABMEAT NOODLE SALAD WITH SLICED CRABMEAT STICKS – ROTINI PASTA – CHOPPED ORANGE BELL PEPPER – SLICED ZUCCHINI – CHOPPED EGG OMELET – SWEET PICKLE RELISH – CHOPPED GREEN ONION MIXED WITH MAYONNAISE AND TOPPED WITH A SPRINKLE OF PAPRIKA

For 4:

–crabmeat sticks (“artificial,” actually cod with seasoning, 1 whole package)

–rotini pasta (1 cup, dry, packaged)

–orange bell pepper (one-quarter of medium pepper, chopped fine)

–zucchini (one-half, medium, chopped one-half inch)

–eggs (2)

–sweet pickle relish (1 tablespoon)

–green onion (2 stalks, chopped, fresh)

–mayonnaise (2 tablespoons)

–paprika (sprinkling, bottled)

–salt and pepper

1 – Place the pasta in a covered baking dish with water to cover.  Salt to taste.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 9 minutes.  Drain when finished.

2 – Place chopped crabmeat sticks (one-half inch size), chopped orange bell pepper, chopped zucchini, sweet pickle relish, and green onion in a large mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

3 – Place 2 eggs in a small covered baking dish.  Add 1 teaspoon milk and a few drops of olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Beat the eggs briskly.  Microwave on high for 1 minute and 15 seconds.  When finished, chop the egg with a knife and fork, and then add the egg to the mixing bowl.

4 – Place 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise in the pasta salad.  Gently fold the mayonnaise with the vegetables and pasta.  Finish with a sprinkling of paprika on top.

5 – Chill for 2 hours before serving.

6 – Serve the salad chilled, with a side vegetable, perhaps broccoli.

–inspired by C. Mabry, chef.

DECONSTRUCTED SALMON & SHRIMP SKEWERS WITH YELLOW BELL PEPPER – MINCED GARLIC – MARJORAM – THYME – CLAM JUICE AND TOPPED WITH LEMON SLICES ATOP COUSCOUS

For 4:

–salmon (size of 4 decks of cards, 1 pound)

–shrimp (thawed from frozen, packaged, about 12)

–yellow bell pepper (one-half, fresh, sliced)

–minced garlic (bottled, 1 tablespoon)

–marjoram, thyme (one-half teaspoon each, bottled)

–clam juice (one-eighth cup, bottled)

–lemon (fresh, sliced)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–couscous (follow package instructions for microwaving; brand differ)

1 – Place the bell pepper in a covered baking dish with the clam juice and minced garlic.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Place the salmon in the sauce.  Season with marjoram, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Place lemon slices on top.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Then push aside the lemon, and pour the shrimp on top of the salmon.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes more.  Salmon should be flaky, but not red.  Shrimp should be pink.  If not, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

3 – Serve the salmon, shrimp, and sauce hot, atop couscous.

–recipe adapted from Seafood Recipes, a kindle e-book.

GARLIC-Y CHICKEN WITH YELLOW BELL PEPPER – SWEET ONION – JAPANESE EGGPLANT IN SOY SAUCE

For 4:

–6 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–minced garlic (1 tablespoon, bottled)

–yellow bell pepper (or red; one-half, sliced, fresh)

–onion (one-half, medium, sliced)

–Japanese eggplant (small, maybe 6 inches long, sliced, fresh)

–soy sauce (one-quarter cup, bottled)

–pepper (no salt)

–olive oil

1 – Place the bell pepper, onion, eggplant, and garlic in a covered baking dish with the soy sauce.  Season with pepper and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2 – Nestle the chicken amid the sauce.  Season with pepper and a few drops of olive oil.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  When finished, test a center piece for doneness; if not cooked, replace in the microwave for 1 minute more.

3 – Serve the chicken, vegetables, and sauce, hot, atop jasmine rice (follow package instructions for microwaving; brands differ).

–adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Pleasures of the Good Earth.

COD & WILD RICE SALAD / TOMATO PIE WITH PARMESAN & OREGANO

Note:  The cod and rice salad is for four servings.  Prepare ahead of time, and refrigerate for at least two hours.

–cod (the size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound

–long grain & wild rice (boxed, 6 ounces)

–onion

–red bell pepper

–marjoram, thyme, tarragon (fresh if possible)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–tomatoes (2 large, vine-ripened if possible)

–Parmesan cheese

–buttery crackers (Ritz or Breton is good)

–oregano (fresh if possible)

 

1 – Prepare the cod and rice salad to be refrigerated for at least two hours.  Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Add a little water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook for 6 minutes in the microwave on high.  Set aside to cool.

2 – Cook the entire box of long and wild rice.  Place in covered, large-mouthed baking dish.  Add 2 cups of water and a little olive oil and salt.  Cook for 5 minutes on high; then cook for 15 minutes on 50 percent power.  Set aside to cool.

3 – Chop bell pepper and onion.  Place in covered baking dish with an inch of water.  Cook for 4 minutes in the microwave on high.  Set aside to cool.

4 – Mix one – third cup of olive oil with one – quarter cup of red wine.  Add a generous amount of tarragon, marjoram, and thyme, with one teaspoon salt.  Stir well.

5 – Break apart the cod, and mix gently with the rice, pepper, and onion.  Pour in the salad dressing, the olive oil with red wine, and stir gently.

6 – Refrigerator the cod and rice salad for at least two hours.

7 – Before meal time, slice tomatoes in wide slices.  Place 1 package of crackers in a plastic bag, and pound to pulverize.  Place one-half of the crackers in the bottom of a wide covered baking dish.  Place tomatoes on top, seasoning with salt, pepper, and a generous amount of oregano.  Sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top, and then cover the whole with the remainder of the cracker crumbs.  Cook for 5 minutes in the microwave on high.  Be sure to let the dish sit for 15 minutes after cooking, because the tomatoes will be very, very hot.

8 – Serve the cod and rice salad cold, and the tomato pie warm.

–cod–rice salad adapted from “taste of home” web site; tomato pie inspired from a recipe shared by a friend.