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Cooks' Exchange: Shortcut ingredients make for quick, delectable cuisine

Cooks' Exchange: Shortcut ingredients make for quick, delectable cuisine

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Clementine Paddleford claimed that being young back in 1966 meant everything including … food.

Reflecting on a new young generation, Padddleford, as food editor of THIS WEEK Magazine and well-known columnist of “How America Eats,” decided to select the best quick-and-easy recipes using shortcut ingredients for women who prepared three meals a day taking a total of five hours.

The response brought an avalanche of letters containing over 50,000 recipes using shortcut ingredients taking only a mere total of 90 minutes to prepare instead.

Claiming that cooking from “scratch” no longer was worth bragging about, she compiled a clever Cook Young cookbook with every recipe title handwritten on the cover. After six months of testing and tasting, 153 recipes were chosen as being “speedy specials.” They are not considered to be “great cuisine,” but work out great with a minimum of fuss while encouraging creativeness by adding or substituting.

Tipsy Weiners

1 pound frankfurters

12-ounce can of beer

2 dashes hot pepper sauce

Cut frankfurters into bite-size pieces. Add beer and hot pepper sauce. Cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated into a sauce. Stir occasionally. Serve hot.

Yield: 6 to 8 appetizer portions

Salmon Stew

3 medium potatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

16-ounce can of salmon, drained and flaked

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

3 cups milk

2 14-ounce cans evaporated milk

2 tablespoons butter

Pare potatoes. Cut into bite-size pieces. Cook potatoes and onion in water to cover until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes.

Yield: 6 portions

Quick Corn Chowder

16-ounce can cream-style corn

10-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1½ cups evaporated milk or light cream

½ cup sauterne wine, optional

1½ teaspoons instant minced onion

½ teaspoon salt

¹⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Heat until piping hot, stirring occasionally.

Yield: About 1 quart chowder

Tuna Bun Buster

6-ounce can of tuna fish, drained and flaked

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

2 tablespoons instant minced onion

2 tablespoons minced green pepper

2 tablespoons diced black olives

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

8 buttered frankfurter rolls

½ cup grated Cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients except rolls and cheese; mix well. Spoon mixture into buttered hot dog rolls. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Wrap each roll in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Yield: 8 portions

Chili Beef Supreme

Meat pokes the biggest hole in the food budget so when it comes to entertaining company once a week, here are a few meat dishes quickly done economically. This is one of the finest chili dishes we have ever forked into.

1 pound ground round

1 tablespoon butter

1 envelope (1³⁄8 ounces)onion soup mix

2 11-ounce cans condensed chili beef soup

2 soup cans of water

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup dairy sour cream

1 tablespoon chili powder

Brown ground round in butter. Add onion soup mix, chili beef soup and water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir flour into soup cream. Stir into chili mixture along with chili powder.

Simmer for 5 minutes. Do not boil.

Yield: 6 portions

Electric Skillet Stew

This is prepared in a favorite piece of kitchen equipment — an electric skillet.

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 cup precooked rice

1 cup boiling water

16-ounce can of tomatoes

1 pound, 4 ounces canned kidney beans

1¼ teaspoons salt

¹⁄8 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

Brown meat and onion in oil. Add rice and cook until golden. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer 15 minutes.

Yield: 6 portions

Creole Pork Chops

Another dish with good flavor from faraway places.

6 pork chops, cut ½-inch thick

3 tablespoons shortening

6 thin slices of lemon

6 thin slices of onion

6 teaspoons dark brown sugar

½ cup ketchup

½ cup water

In a skillet, brown chops on both sides in the shortening. On each chop place a lemon slice, onion slice and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Mix together ketchup and water and pour over chops. Cook, covered, for 1 hour or longer.

Yield: 6 portions

Chicken Breasts in Wine

Needn’t worry about the budget because chicken happens to be the number-one economy food.

2 whole chicken breasts

¹⁄³ cup flour

1½ teaspoons sat

1½ teaspoons garlic salt

1½ teaspoons paprika

¼ cup cooking oil

1 can (1 pound, 1 ounce) pitted dark sweet cherries

1 cup sauterne wine

4 cups hot cooked rice

Cut each chicken breast in half. Mix together flour, salt, garlic salt and paprika. Coat chicken breasts with flour mixture. Brown in oil.

Drain cherries. Measure ½ cup of the cherry syrup. Add cherries, cherry syrup and wine to chicken. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Yield: 4 portions

Turkey Loaf

Here is an elegant way to use the tag ends of the noble bird. And the leftovers make it economical.

8-ounce package of herb-seasoned stuffing mix

2 eggs, beaten

¼ cup butter, melted

3 cups chopped cooked turkey

¼ cup finely chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon instant minced onion

1½ cups canned chicken broth

10-ounce can of condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted

½ cup milk

Combine stuffing mix, eggs, and melted butter; mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients except celery soup and milk. Turn mixture into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Cover top with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Heat together celery soup and milk. Serve over loaf.

Yield: 6 portions

Tuna Vegetable Supper

Casseroles invite ingenuity. Whether being a one-dish meal or a dinner’s hot spot, everyone has their own favorite to share with others. This one is described as being “just about the best tuna dish ever tasted in our Kitchen.”

1 medium cauliflower

1 cup sliced carrots

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 tablespoon butter

10-ounce can of condensed cream of mushroom or celery soup, undiluted

2 tablespoons milk

7-ounce can of tuna fish, drained and flaked

Dash of nutmeg

½ cup crumbed crackers

Separate cauliflower into small flowerettes. Cook with carrots in boiling salted water until tender-crisp. Drain. Meanwhile, sauté onion in butter until tender. Combine onion, soup, milk, tuna and nutmeg; mix well. Turn cauliflower and carrots into a 1½ quart casserole. Pour soup mixture over vegetables. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until slightly browned.

Yield: 4 portions

Sweet and Sour Glazed Onions

2 cans (1 pound each) small whole onions

½ cup dark molasses

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup butter

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon grated orange rind

2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds

Drain onions. Combine remaining ingredients, except almonds; mix well. Simmer 15 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.

Add onions, spooning with syrup until onions are well coated. Remove onions to shallow baking dish. Broil for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Yield: 6 portions

Chicken-Pecan Salad

3 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 cup diced celery

1 cup seedless raisins

½ cup toasted pecans or toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

¼ cup shredded coconut

¼ cup heavy cream

¾ cup mayonnaise

Salad greens

Combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. Whip cream. Fold in mayonnaise. Add to chicken mixture, mixing gently, but thoroughly. Chill. Serve on salad greens.

Yield: 4 portions

Sauerkraut Salad

Serve with smoked pork tenderloin, barbecued hot dogs, German sausage or cold cuts.

16-ounce can of sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

4-ounce can pimiento, drained and chopped

1 cup chopped onions

1 green pepper, diced

½ cup vinegar

½ cup sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.

Yield: 2 ½ cups salad

“Hello Dolly” Cake

A chapter of Teenage Favorites completes the cookbook with favorites among the 12- to 19-year-olds with a recipe submitted by a teen in Dallas.

¼ pound butter

1 cup graham-cracker crumbs

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1 cup chopped nuts

15-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Melt butter in a 9x9x2-inch pan. Sprinkle in a layer each of crumbs, coconut, chocolate and nuts. Pour condensed milk over nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool in pan.

Yield: 16 squares

Reader request: Dutch oven recipes.

Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI, 53708 or by email at


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