COOK OF THE WEEK RECIPES: Cheryl Thurmond

By NEMS Daily Journal

Chicken Tetrazzini
4 tablespoons butter, divided, plus more for dotting
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
12 cup chopped onion
5 small cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 cup dry white wine
4 cups cooked, diced chicken
13 cup self-rising flour
4 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temp
1 cup chicken broth
18 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1
14 teaspoons pepper
12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked al dente and drained
34 cup frozen peas
Chopped fresh parsley
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 cup Italian breadcrumbs
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and mushrooms become golden, about 12 minutes. Add onion, garlic and thyme and cook about 8 minutes. Add wine and simmer until evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Combine mushroom mixture and chicken in a large bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat and add flour. Whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, cream, broth, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.
Add cooked noodles, sauce, peas and parsley to chicken/mushroom mixture. Toss until well blended. Pour mixture into a large baking dish. Combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over top. Dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, until golden brown on top and sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Mini Cajun Burgers
114 pounds ground beef or turkey
12 pound spicy Cajun sausage, finely chopped in food processor
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 (14-ounce) package dinner rolls, split
Lettuce leaves

Easy Remoulade
34 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine beef or turkey and sausage. Shape mixture into small patties. Sprinkle patties with Cajun seasoning. Cover and chill. Grill over medium heat. Serve on rolls with lettuce and Easy Remoulade.
For Easy Remoulade, combine mayo, mustard and parsley. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Baked Eggplant Slices
1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced 12-inch thick
Salt
12 cup mayonnaise
1 onion, chopped
1 cup saltine cracker crumbs
12 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt. Let stand 20 minutes, then pat dry. Combine mayonnaise and onion and spread on eggplant. Combine cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip eggplant slices into cracker mixture. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Lemon Blossoms
1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
34 cup vegetable oil

Glaze
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
13 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tins with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Fill each muffin tin half full with batter. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn out onto a tea towel.
To make the glaze, sift sugar into a mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, zest, oil and water. Mix with a spoon until smooth.
With fingers, dip the muffins into the glaze while they’re still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible. Or spoon the glaze over the warm cupcakes, turning them to completely coat. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips. Let the glaze set thoroughly, about 1 hour, before storing in containers with tight-fitting lids.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
12 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced
12 honeydew, peeled seeded and diced
12 cup fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
12 cup fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
13 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
34 teaspoon kosher salt
13 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large salad bowl, gently toss together the fruit.
In a blender, combine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, salt and oil. Puree until well blended. Fold in poppy seeds. Add dressing to fruit and gently toss to coat.

Baked Fudge
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
4 rounded tablespoons self-rising flour
1 cup pecans, broken in large pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla
Whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat eggs well; add sugar and butter. Beat mixture well again.
Sift cocoa and flour together. Add pecans. Fold into butter mixture. Add vanilla and mix. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish. Set the dish in a pan of hot water (enough to come 1⁄2 to 1 inch up the sides of pan). Bake for 45 to 55 minutes. The fudge will be the consistency of firm custard and will be crusty on top. Spoon into serving dishes and serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Makes 9 to 12 servings.