Saturday, April 22, 2017

Recipes by Jeannie C. Riley: Ice Box Lemon Pie; Texas Tacos

Jeannie C. Riley's Ice Box Lemon Pie

For the pie crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (or crumbled zwieback, gingersnaps or vanilla wafers)
3 tbsps. soft butter (or margarine)
3 tbsps. sugar

In mixing bowl combine graham cracker or other crumbs with butter and sugar. Press crumb mixture into bottom and sides of an 8-inch pie plate. Bake in preheated 325 degrees F. oven about 10 mins. Cool before adding lemon filling.

For the filling:
2 eggs, separated
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon rind (or 1/4 tsp. lemon extract)
1/4 cup sugar

1. Blend together egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon rind (or lemon extract). Pour into cooled crust.

2. Prepare meringue topping by beating egg whites until barely stiff. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until mixture is thick and glossy. Pile lightly to cover lemon filling. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven until meringue is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Chill well before serving. Serves 6.

Jeannie C. Riley's Texas Tacos

For the tacos:
2 tbsps. vegetable oil (or lard)
12 large tortillas (fresh, frozen or canned)

Slip one tortilla at a time into the hot oil (or lard). Heat until tortilla becomes pliable. With tongs, remove half-cooked taco, fold in half, drain on absorbent paper. Half fill with your favorite filling; fry in hot oil (or lard) until crisp; drain well. Complete filling with garnishing, guacamole, and-or sour cream or hot pepper sauce. Makes 12 tacos.

Ground meat filling:
1/2 lb. lean ground beef (or chorizo sausages)
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 tsps. vegetable oil (or lard)
1 small peeled ripe tomato, chopped
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of ground coriander
2 tsps. chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped

Brown beef, green pepper and onion in vegetable oil until vegetables are softened; stir often so meat is crumbly in appearance. Add tomato, sugar, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste, and olives. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until sauce has thickened and reduced in volume about one-third (about 15 minutes). Set aside until ready to use.

Alternate fillings: Cooked leftover meat (pork or beef shredded); roast chicken (or turkey cut in julienne) mixed with chopped almonds (or walnuts), chili powder, red sweet diced pepper, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cheese tacos can be made by placing shredded meltable yellow or white cheese (mild Cheddar or processed American) dusted with chili powder inside half-cooked tortilla, then frying in shallow oil or oven-roasting in moderate oven until cheese melts and taco is crisp on the outside.

For the garnishing:
Shredded lettuce
Chopped sweet red or green pepper
Minced sweet white onion
Chopped tomato
Hard-cooked egg
Refried beans
Chopped avocado

Jeannie's Thoughts: For fun 'n games, let friends and family do their own things. Prepare tacos in advance and set on tray with fillings and garnishes. For instant consumption, cook tacos in electric fry pan, in deep fat fryer, or in a preheated oven. For exotic touches, serve for cocktail or supper fare with tossed green salad, wedges of lime dipped in coarse salt and the favorite Riley libation: freshly squeezed grapefruit juice or Margaritas.

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