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We are pleased to feature a fine dinner that we recently prepared and enjoyed (along with a fine bottle of Llano Estacado Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve -- who says you can't serve red wine with poultry?). Cornish hens make a delightful company dinner. Not only does their appearance say "special", but the ease of preparation won't have you spending lots of time in the kitchen. And the juiciness and flavor of these little hens just cannot be beat. They are definitely a welcome change of pace from the usual chicken entrée.
We have paired our Cornish hens with an outstanding side dish, Rice with Garlic & Pine Nuts. This is another fine dish that can only be improved with a few spoonfuls of sauce from the Cornish hens.
And for dessert, Banana Pudding still warm from the oven. Need we say more?
May's is going to be a great month to learn how to make beef jerkey. Want another reason to subscribe to the Texas Cooking newsletter? Our newsletters announce new recipes that are added to our cookbook.
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What's for dinner?
Baked Cornish Hens
Cornish hens are delicious, easy to prepare and make an elegant presentation. They weigh right at one pound each, and are so good that there are never any leftovers.
Rub hens with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Combine the remaining butter and other ingredients and use to baste hens liberally. Use all the butter mixture.
Bake at 350°F degrees for 1 hour, basting with the butter mixture every 15 minutes.
Remove hens from pan and deglaze the pan juices with a few tablespoons of white wine or dry sherry. Serve sauce over rice or potatoes.
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Rice with Garlic & Pine Nuts
The flavors of the baked, caramelized garlic and toasted pine nuts transform an ordinary rice dish to something special. From an article featuring Texas rice recipes.
To toast the pine nuts, add them to a good-sized, dry skillet and, over medium-high heat, stir briskly until lightly toasted.
You're Pudding Me On!
The Banana Pudding recipe you'll find here makes the best banana pudding I have ever tasted. I'll admit that statement qualifies the title of the article, but I'll bet it's the best banana pudding you've ever tasted, too.
The key to great banana pudding is ripe bananas. In fact, they should be very ripe. Yellow with little brown specks. Bananas ripen best in the dark, so put them in a paper bag and check on them until they're perfect. They ripen every bit as well when they're in the refrigerator, too, assuming it's dark in your refrigerator.
Line the bottom of a 9" x 9" baking dish with a layer of vanilla wafers. This recipe will not use the whole box, so you may snack, but don't get carried away.
Peel the bananas and slice into 3/8-inch rounds; use a ruler (I'm kidding). Cover the banana slices with plastic wrap to keep them from darkening and quickly make your pudding.
Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, and stir well to mix. Mash out any flour lumps with the back of your spoon. Set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, beat the egg yolks well (just use a fork or whisk, but beat them
well). Over medium heat, add the flour mixture to the egg yolks, alternately with the
milk and vanilla, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil and, when the mixture begins
to thicken, add the butter, continuing to stir. Keep boiling and stirring until mixture
reaches a nice pudding consistency. [Note: If you're working with an electric cooktop,
adjust the heat so that it's hot enough to boil, but not so hot that the pudding scorches.]
Remove from heat.
This recipe makes 6 or 8 servings, and you can count on people asking for seconds.
You can find these and over 700 more recipes in Grandma's Cookbook.
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