GINNA PARSONS: Two recipes easy, simple, delicious

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Back in November, I was at Jane Carruth’s home on Magazine Street, doing an interview for the historic holiday home tour story. As in most of my interviews, the conversation eventually got around to food.
I was telling Jane about a marvelous recipe a Cook of the Week had given me for a holiday pork loin and Jane shared with me a recipe for her chicken salad. Both recipes have just a handful of ingredients, but those ingredients really pack on the flavor.
Jane makes her chicken salad using Miracle Whip, which I can’t stand. The way I see it, you’re either a Miracle Whip girl or a Hellman’s girl. I’m a Hellman’s girl.
The next week, I bought a smoked chicken from Todd’s and made her recipe – using Hellman’s – and it was delicious. In fact, my children liked it so much they asked me to make it again a few days later to serve to their friends during an Egg Bowl party.
I prepared it again last week for guests who came by the house for a glass of wine before we all headed to the Tupelo Community Concert’s “Red Hot Hollywood!” program. Once again, it was gobbled up.
I think part of what makes this appetizer so good is that it’s served in these small, flaky shells that you get at the grocery store in the refrigerated case with pie crusts. I’m sure it would also be good on croissants or plain old wheat bread.
Here’s Jane’s recipe and the one from Debbie Mitchell of Mantachie, the Cook of the Week who prepared the pork loin (which I’ve also made twice).

Jane’s Chicken Salad
1 whole smoked chicken
4 to 5 green onions, green and white parts, chopped
12 (6-ounce) bag Craisins
12 cup Miracle Whip or Hellman’s light mayonnaise
3 packages Athens mini fillo shells (45 shells total)

Debone chicken and chop meat. To the meat, add remaining ingredients. Add more mayonnaise if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Put fillo shells on a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes at 350 degrees and let cool (this step is optional). Fill shells with chicken salad. Serve immediately.

Pork Loin with Cranberry Glaze
1 (4- to 6-pound) pork loin
1 can cranberry sauce with whole berries
2 envelopes dry onion soup mix
Oranges, fresh cranberries and rosemary, for garnish

Place pork in a roasting pan. Combine cranberry sauce and onion soup mix. Spread glaze over top and sides of pork loin. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.
When ready to serve, place pork on a platter and garnish with fresh orange slices, cranberries and sprigs of rosemary. (I don’t think you can get fresh cranberries this time of year; just omit them and make this again in the fall when they’re in grocery stores.)

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.