The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 27, 2013

Enjoy the Easter Season

By KAREN FREEMAN
Karen's Kitchen

TARBORO — Sunday is Easter. I hope it will be a time of celebration and renewal for you and your family. I also hope that it won't be a stressful cooking day. The recipes here today  are not labor intensive recipes so they will give you time to spend with   your family. Maybe even hiding some eggs!

The first recipe is pork tenderloin. Wrapped in bacon, no less. Your husband and kids will love you for this one. It's also easy to make and can be done in about an hour, start to finish.

The second dish is mac and cheese with a bit of a zip. My brothers-in-law like hot foods so you can add hotter pepper to this to give it more heat. But, I like the way that it is.

The third recipe is just for fun. It's pimiento cheese pinwheels, The kids will love them. They're delicious, pretty and fun. It will give your Easter menu a little twist.

The last recipe is the best. It's coconut cake. Who could resist that for dessert! Not me. Toast the coconut. It's pretty and it changes the flavor to make it a very interesting dish.

Whatever you have for Easter, I hope you have a blessed day and enjoy  time with your family.



Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin



5 slices Bacon

1 pork tenderloin (1 lb.)

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp. apple juice

1 tsp.  Dijon Mustard

Dash ground nutmeg



Heat oven to 400ºF.

Wrap bacon around meat. Place in foil-lined pan sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with pepper.

Bake 20 min. Or until cooked to 135ºF. Meanwhile, bring remaining ingredients to boil in saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Brush meat with glaze. Bake 10 min. Or until done (145ºf); cover loosely with foil. Let stand 5 min. Before slicing.



Zesty Mac and Cheese



1 pkg. (16 oz.) elbow macaroni

1 lb.   (16 oz.) Velveeta®, cut into 1/2-nch cubes

1 can   (10 oz.) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained

1/2 cup milk



Cook macaroni as directed on package, omitting salt. Drain.

Microwave Velveeta and tomatoes in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 5 min. or until Velveeta is completely melted, stirring after 3 min. Stir in milk.

Add macaroni to Velveeta sauce; stir to evenly coat.





Pimento-Cheese Pinwheels



4 oz.  (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) ream Cheese, softened

3/4 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/4 cup chopped drained pimientos

4 green onions, finely chopped

1/8 tsp.  hot pepper sauce

1 pkg.  (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls



Heat oven to 375ºF.

Beat all ingredients except crescent dough with mixer until well blended.

Unroll dough; firmly press perforations and seams together to form 12x8-inch rectangle. Spread with cream cheese mixture; roll up, starting at one long side. Cut into 16 slices. Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 13 to 15 min. or until golden brown. Serve warm.



Coconut Cake



Cake:

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon cake flour

12 ounces sifted cake flour (about 3 cups)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups sugar, divided

2/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup warm coconut water (from 1 small brown coconut)

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 large egg whites

Frosting:

4 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups shaved fresh coconut, toasted



To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly coat 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottom of pans with wax paper. Lightly coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust pans with 1 tablespoon flour.

Combine 12 ounces (about 3 cups) flour, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 1/2 minutes or until well blended. Add flour mixture and coconut water alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat 6 egg whites on high speed until foamy using clean, dry beaters. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Carefully fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks; remove from pans. Discard wax paper. Cool completely on wire racks.

To prepare frosting, combine 4 egg whites, cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Combine remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250°. With mixer on low speed, pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites. Gradually increase speed to high; beat 8 minutes or until thick and cool. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate, and spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with another cake layer. Repeat procedure with 1 cup frosting and remaining cake layer, ending with cake layer on top. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Gently press shaved coconut onto top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.