Monday, May 31, 2010

My Contribution to the Memorial Day Cookout: Macaroni Salad and Banana Cream Pie

Macaroni salad first, then....dessert! I doubled both of these recipes, making one for a cookout at our house on Sunday night and another for a cook out that we attended today.

When I saw this version of Paula Deen's Macaroni Salad on Elizabeth's Edible, I knew that it would be on our weekend menu. It's creamy and crunchy and fresh and in my opinion, very different from most of the macaroni salads that I've purchased, scooped out of those vats in the deli case at the supermarket. Not that those are bad...I just like this much better.

Macaroni salad isn't tricky to make, but it does involve a bit of chopping. I combined all of my chopped ingredients in a large bowl. This is eggs, celery, green onion, green pepper, and pimento.

Then I tossed on my cooked macaroni. The recipe called for 2 cups, I went with 3.

I mixed together the dressing ingredients in a bowl. I used mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pour it over the salad and toss until combined.

Here's the finished product:

I doubled this 2 days ago and there isn't even one bite leftover. It was a hit! However, I think that I'd make just one change. Normally, (almost always!) I prefer traditional mayo to Miracle Whip. But for this one, I think I'd go with the Miracle Whip. I think it would've added that little extra "zing" that I was looking for. But otherwise, no complaints here!

Macaroni Salad
adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen

Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:--Level:
6-8 servings.
•3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
•3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
•1 cup diced celery
•1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
•2 tablespoons diced green onions
•2 tablespoons chopped pimento
•1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
•1 teaspoon pepper
•1 tablespoon lemon juice
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
•1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
•Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and put into the refrigerator until ready to serve.

And now for dessert! I found this recipe on Katy's blog, Food for a Hungry Soul. Katy, who in my opinion, one of the sweetest food bloggers around, deemed this recipe "the perfect banana cream pie". I'm going to have to agree with her on that. What first impressed me about this pie was the crust that Katy selected. It's a no-roll crust and it turned out just, well...perfect! It was light and flaky and so darn easy to make that I couldn't believe it. I've never tried a no-roll crust before and I was definitely impressed. The custard filling for the pie was smooth and creamy and just sweet enough. Again...perfect. However, after making this, I had to admit something to myself: traditional Banana Cream Pie is just not my favorite. Nothing at all wrong with this pie. Like I said, if you're looking for the PERFECT traditional banana cream pie recipe, then look no further. But I realized as I was eating it that I really wanted to add peanut butter or chocolate and make it a little more decadent. But that's just me. This craving for decadence is probably why I came up with my Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Recipe last summer. However, in the future, when I make my Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, I will use the custard and crust from this Old Fashion Cream Pie recipe that I found on Food for a Hungry Soul, because they are definitely winners!

Logically, I began by making the crust. You just dump all of the crust ingredients into your pie pan,then mix it with a fork until combined. Less clean up...gotta love it! This is flour, sugar, oil, a little vanilla, and salt.

Does this look like pie crust to you? No? I didn't think so either.

But this does....

Just pat the crust into place, then prick it with a fork to keep it from bubbling up while it bakes. Pop it into a 375 degree oven for 15-17 minutes and you've got a perfectly golden brown, flaky pastry shell to fill with whatever your heart desires. I'm definitely holding on to this recipe!

While the pie shell(s) baked I started my custard. Scald 3 cups of whole milk.

While the milk scalds, combine sugar, flour, and salt in another saucepan.

Gradually whisk in the scalded milk to the sugar/flour mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Cover, cook two minutes more, stirring occasionally.

I didn't take any pictures of the next step, because I my hands were full and my camera man stepped out, but you're supposed to temper the 3 egg yolks by adding a small amount of the hot liquid to the yolks while stirring. Once the yolks are tempered, stir them into the milk mixture and cook for minute more, stirring constantly. Stir in the butter and vanilla.

Now let the custard sit until lukewarm. I like to cover mine with plastic wrap or wax paper to prevent a "skin" from forming on top.

When the custard is cool enough, pour a cup or so into the bottom of the pie crust.

Then slice 3 bananas over the top of the custard.

Overacheiver that I am, I sliced 6.5 bananas yesterday. Yes, that's a cake pan in the front that I'm using to make a pie. I left my other pie plate somewhere. I still need to retrieve it. A cake pan worked just fine for this. It wasn't the prettiest pie I've ever turned out, but it was effective.

Top the bananas with the remaining custard and chill until cold and the custard is set.

I toyed with the idea of making a meringue, but ended up just topping it with whipped cream from a can. No regrets. I love whipped cream in a can!

No Roll Pie Crust found on Food for a Hungry Soul adapted from (Recipezaar #73041)and then adapted again by me

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar **
1/8 teaspoon vanilla**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 375*F.

Put all ingredients into a 9-inch pie plate. Mix with a fork until well blended and pat into the pan. Push the pastry up the sides and make a nice edge.

Generously prick the crust with a fork to prevent bubbling during baking (I pricked every 1/4 inch or so around the sides and across the bottom).

Bake 15-17 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie originally from Recipezaar #14979

One prebaked pastry crust, cooled (recipe to follow)

3 cups whole milk
3/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ripe bananas

In a large saucepan scald the milk. Remove any milk solids that might develop.

In a separate saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually whisk in the scalded milk. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened. Cover, cook two minutes more, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ready. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks (tempering the yolks with the hot liquid so as not to curdle them). When thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture. Cook for minute more more, stirring constantly. Stir in the butter and vanilla.

Let custard sit until lukewarm.

When ready, pour about a cup of the custard into the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Slice 3 ripe bananas over the top and then pour the remainder of the custard over the bananas.

Wrap in plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming on the custard and refrigerate until cold and custard is set.

Serve with either a meringue made from the leftover egg whites or nice dollops of whipped cream.

Hope ya'll had a fun weekend and some great food!


Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Looks yummy! I love mac salads, don't you? I especially love how you can stretch pastas out. And ... I also made a banana pie this weekend!! Great minds think alike. :) Mine isn't really traditional either - it'll be showing up soon. Maybe you'll like it?!

Have a great week!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

what a great mac salad recipe... I love summer BBQs

teresa said...

mmm, with a salad and a pie like that, i have a feeling that you were the star of your cookout!

Kim said...

I would've had no problems taking that banana cream pie off your hands ;-) Smooth and creamy desserts are some of my very favorites.

Everything looks delicious and I'm happy to hear you had a wonderful weekend.

Katy ~ said...

You are too cute!

I'm so glad you enjoyed this, too. We loved it, and I no longer for the "the" banana cream pie, because for us, this is "the" one.

Now to find the perfect chocolate cream pie, grins.

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