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Cooks Corner

By By Lisa Tindell
Last week's recipes featuring beverages as ingredients caused a little stir among some of my friends. I found out that not only are beverages good for adding a little zest to dessert recipes, but are frequently used in recipes for main dishes.
I had learned long ago that a can of cola can add a sweet, tangy glaze to the holiday ham. I used to love that as a child. I can remember asking for the outside "crust" of the ham. What a wonderful memory!
I appreciated being stopped on the sidewalk the other day by a reader. Seems the recipe column on sandwiches did not go unnoticed. She said she prepared the Reuben sandwich recipe for her husband and he quite enjoyed it. Seems he loves Reuben sandwiches but she didn't know how to prepare them. I'm certainly glad I could add a little something to her menu at home and I'm happy to hear that the husband was pleased too. Now when she wants to go shopping, she can just fix this new sandwich for him and head out the door!
A friend passed on a recipe using two simple ingredients to spice up plain old chicken. I haven't tried it myself, but it sounds too simple to let slip by. Here's hoping you enjoy it too!
Coca-Cola Chicken
1 cut-up fryer (or 3 lbs. chicken parts)
12 oz. Coca-Cola
1 cup ketchup
Remove skin from chicken and place in skillet. Mix Coca-Cola and ketchup together. Pour mixture over chicken. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Let simmer until chicken is tender.
See, told you it was easy. The provider of this recipe swore that it tastes like barbecued chicken. I'm certainly going to let him know as soon as I've had an opportunity to try it out.
It seems that the dark, sweet, carbonated beverage is not only good for cakes and chicken and ham, but simple pork cuts can also benefit from the liquid. While searching through pages of recipes for cola-inspired dishes, I came upon this one for pork chops. More of what I like – easy, delicious and semi-effortless.
Cola Pork Chops
1 cup ketchup
1 cup cola
2 tbsp. brown sugar
8 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cola, ketchup and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Place pork chops in 9×13 baking dish and pour cola mixture over top coating well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 50-60 minutes depending on thickness of chops.
There are a lot of recipes using cola on pork products but only a few using beef. This one sounded easy and good.
Marinated Steak Tips
1 lb. steak tips
3 ounces cola
one-half cup bottled barbecue sauce
one-fourth cup Italian dressing
1 tsp. teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl large enough to hold the meat, combine cola, barbecue sauce, dressing, teriyaki sauce, oil, salt and pepper. Add the meat. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Grill over medium hot coals until desired doneness is reached. If baking is preferred method of cooking, bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until desired doneness is reached.
One final recipe this week comes from a recipe collection produced by the Coca-Cola Company. If you like cherry and cola, you'll be anxious to try this one. I hope it tastes as good as it sounds.
Southern Belle Salad
1 (16 oz.) can pitted, dark, sweet cherries
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cherry gelatin
1 cup Coca-Cola
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 (3 0z.) pkg. cream cheese
one-half cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Drain cherry juice reserving three-fourths cup. Bring juice to a boil and add to gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Stir in Coca-Cola and lemon juice. Chill until gelatin mounds slightly. Cut cheese into very small pieces. Fold cheese, nuts and cherries into gelatin. Spoon into individual molds or large single mold. Recipe yields three and one-half cups.
I certainly hope these recipes will offer you a way to jazz up the same old meat we serve every day. I know I certainly enjoyed gathering and sharing these "beverage" recipes with you.
If you have a suggestion for specific types of recipes you like to see, let me know. I'm anxious to hear from you. If you have a recipe you'd like to share, I'd be glad to get it. I am always up for a challenge, so if you're looking for a long-lost favorite recipe let me know. I'll start a search and come up with something – even if it's wrong.
Until next week, here's hoping your Coca-Cola always fizzes and never runs over the glass. Happy eating!