Blue Plate Special conjures up formica, frying pans, gravies and starches. All are elements of the comfort foods of my youth in Boonville and on which Cracker Barrel restaurants should be making a fortune.
After a weekend journey to Fulton Mo, and St. Louis, I wanted something that was simple and easy to fix. Becky and I settled upon a dinner of ham steak, macaroni and cheese, green beans and cole slaw.
The main cooking effort would be directed toward the Macaroni Magic which was a recipe in the Junior League Sassafras Cook Book. It includes the following:
- 8 oz macaroni
- 12 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
- Onion—quantity dependent on your choice
- Chopped green pepper to taste
- 10 oz of a cream soup, Tonight , I used broccoli. Previously, I have used chicken, mushroom, and celery.
- A jar of pimento
- Sliced water chestnuts that have been chopped to desired size.
- Cook macaroni according to package
- Sauted green pepper and onion in butter until tender
- Mix cooked macaroni and all of the other ingredients with most of the cheddar cheese. Leave enough cheese to sprinkle on top.
- Bake the macaroni mixture in a buttered baking dish at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.
I used a can of whole green beans and added some of the pimento and chopped onion. Salt and white Worcestershire sauce from Lea Perrins provided the seasoning. I generally don’t measure, but go with less salt and spice for Becky’s taste.
The cole slaw was made from pre-chopped cabbage from the store, chopped green onion, celery seed and dill seed. I use any brand of cole slaw dressing and a touch of Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing.
Really the “Blue Plate Special” is any meal that combines a variety of dishes that offer good nutrition and flavor. The key is an offering of several dishes.