From the time I was old enough to scoot a stool in front of the stove, I was scrambling eggs and frying hamburgers. No wonder I felt an immediate connection to Debbie Dance Uhrig, the Master Craftsman who teaches at Silver Dollar City's Midwest Living® Culinary & Craft School in Branson, Missouri.
Debbie writes in the forward to her Simply Yours cookbook:
“I began cooking from the time I could handle a spoon and stir. Throughout my life, I was taught to preserve foods, cook in ample amounts and to be prepared for extra folks at the table or surprise guests.”
My mom, my daughter and I greatly enjoyed the Farm to Table cooking class we took last Saturday. Honestly, it was a highlight even for my 14-year-old. She enjoyed the taste tests most of all! (Check out the class titles all year long. If I lived closer, I’d definitely buy a season pass. Since it’s a good 8-hour drive, I’m hoping to go back in December to catch a few Christmas shows and to also enjoy another great experience at the Culinary & Craft School.)
We learned to make Midwest Living’s Garden Pasta Primavera, and it’s one I’ll definitely make at home but most likely when we have company as it makes an “ample amount.” It would make a colorful summer side dish, as well as a Main Dish. Plus, Pasta Primavera would be an easy dish to serve family and friends, provided you prepped all the veggies ahead of time. Washing and cutting vegetables is definitely the most time-consuming part of this dish. (SIDE BAR: Buy a block of Parmesan, and grate it as you prepare this recipe. Freshly grated Parmesan will melt smoothly. You’ll truly taste the difference.)
The fanciest part of this primavera recipe, which Debbie demonstrated, is the title! Although the list of ingredients for the primavera may look intimidating at first, the recipe is quite easy to follow. It’s a great way to make use of seasonal vegetables like asparagus.
Speaking of asparagus, I’m looking forward to trying Debbie’s recipe for Asparagus Casserole. The asparagus crop has been plentiful this spring, and this recipe sounds delectable. I’ll be it would make a great side dish for a Memorial Day potluck, so I’m including the recipe below.
Another recipe from “The Covered Dish” that I’m looking forward to trying is Beef Tips in Wine Sauce. I just happen to have a freezer filled with locally raised beef by SkyView Farms and a bottle of Cow Catcher from Train Wreck Winery. How’s that for a May Beef Month celebration based on local foods? Also remember to check out the 31 beef recipes I posted previously to help you celebrate all month long!
Beef Tips in Wine Sauce
2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cans (10 ¾ ounces each) of Golden Mushroom Soup
1 cup red wine
1 package Dry Onion Soup Mix
1 can (6.5 ounces) sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Place all ingredients in large, covered baking dish. Cook at 250 degrees for 4 hours.
Stir only one time during cooking.
Serve over rice or your favorite pasta.
NOTE: This recipe serves 8 people.
2 cups cracker crumbs
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked until tender
1 cup water
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
½ cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup real butter
Cook asparagus in 1 cup of water.
Spray a 2-quart baking dish. Mix the cheese and cracker crumbs together.
Layer the dish with half of the crumbs, asparagus and almonds. Then mix the water from the asparagus with the soup and pour half of this over the first layer.
Dot the top with butter.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
COOK’S TIP: You can pre-make this casserole. Hold it for a few hours in the refrigerator before baking