COOK OF THE WEEK: Vivien Richardson Recipes

By NEMS Daily Journal

Stuffed Zucchini
1 pound ground beef
2⁄3 cup chopped onion
2⁄3 cup chopped bell pepper
1⁄2 cup Ro-tel tomatoes
11⁄2 cups spaghetti sauce
11⁄2 cups cooked rice
2 large zucchini
Grated cheese
Cook and drain ground beef. Add onions and peppers and cook until tender. Add Ro-tel, spaghetti sauce and rice and bring to a boil. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place zucchini in a baking dish and fill each with meat mixture. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove cover, top with cheese, and return to oven for 15 minutes.

Lentils
6 cups water
1 pound lentils
2⁄3 cup diced onion
1⁄2 cup sliced mushrooms
3⁄4 cup chopped celery
1⁄2 cup sliced carrots
Vegetable oil
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
Bring water to a boil, add lentils and simmer for 1 hour. Sauté onion, mushrooms, celery and carrots in a small amount of oil until tender. Add to lentils along with tomatoes and salt. Simmer another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with pita bread.

Miniature Cheesecakes
3 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping
1 cup sour cream
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla
Fruit pie filling (optional)
Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Divide batter evenly among 18 baking cups in muffin tins. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla and spoon on top of cheesecakes. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer. If desired, you may garnish with fruit pie filling.

Gajrela
2 pounds carrots, grated
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1⁄4 cup water
1 pound sugar
1 stick butter
1⁄2 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2 cup raisins
Boil grated carrots, sweetened condensed milk, water sugar and butter together until almost dry. Combine coconut and vanilla, mixing well, and add to carrot mixture along with raisins. Spread in a shallow pan. Scoop out to serve.

Beef Brisket
1 whole beef brisket
1 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce
2 cups water, plus more
Cajun seasoning
Place meat in a large disposable roasting pan. Pour sauce over meat and marinate for 1 hour, turning once. Turn oven to broil and place pan on lowest rack, fat side up, and brown for about 20 minutes. Flip meat and brown on the other side, about another 20 minutes. Drain off fat. Place meat in a regular roasting pan, add 2 cups water, cover and bake, fat side up, at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Check to see if more water needs to be added and bake 1 hour more. Cool, covered, for 1 hour. Drain and reserve drippings. Refrigerate. The fat can be removed from drippings, which can be reheated and seasoned with Cajun seasoning.

Tamale Bites
2 cup crumbled cornbread
1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
11⁄2 pounds ground beef
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1⁄2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Combine cornbread crumbs, 1⁄2 cup enchilada sauce and salt. Add ground beef and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet and bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat tomato sauce and remaining enchilada sauce. Place meatballs in a dish, top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Ham and Cornbread
Casserole
2 cups cooked cubed ham
1⁄2 cup chopped green onion
1⁄2 stick butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 (11-ounce) can corn with red and green peppers, drained
1 (8-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
3⁄4 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Combine ham, onion, butter, eggs, both cans of corn, cornmeal and buttermilk in a large bowl. Pour batter into a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until cheese has melted. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Cranberry Cheese Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
11⁄2 cups oats
3⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
Combine flour, oats, 3⁄4 cup brown sugar and butter; mix until crumbly. Reserve 11⁄2 cups of crumbs and press remainder in the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in milk until smooth; stir in lemon juice. Spread over crust. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar and cornstarch; stir in cranberries. Spoon over cream cheese mixture. Top with reserved crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.