My Food Network Calendar featured this offering and it is DELISH to the MAX!
Everyone has a preferred way of preparing macaroni salad…it’s likely we prepare ours the way our mothers did. Unless, of course, your mother bought hers at a deli! grin When I peeled away the top page of my favorite Christmas present, the Food Network Recipe Calendar, I found this wonderful recipe. I think it’s one you’ll love!
***Mother Connie will have comments about this recipe below the recipe itself. Don’t look at the ingredients and give up before you read Mother Connie’s suggestions!
Macaroni Salad with Dill and Ham
1/4 medium red onion, minced
8 oz elbow macaroni – about 2 cups
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
6 oz cooked ham, cubed in 1/3″ pieces
3/4 cup frozen baby peas, thawed – about 4 oz
2 ribs celery, diced - leaves and all
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1. To mellow the onion, soak it in cold water while you make the salad
2. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat and salt generously. Add the macaroni and boil, stirring occasionally until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni in a colander, put in a serving bowl and toss with the milk. Allow the macaroni to cool slightly while you make the dressing.
3. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper, to taste in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream to make a smooth, slightly thick dressing. Whisk in the sour cream.
4. Drain the onions, pat dry, and add to the macaroni,along with the ham, peas, celery, and dill. Add the dressing and fold to coat the pasta evenly. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
***Mother Connie’s comments and suggestions:
We are acutely aware that you are using EBT cards for SNAP and WIC. We understand you have food commodities and you get things from a food pantry. We KNOW you are living on a dime. We GET how outrageously S T R E T C H E D your food budgets and your TIME is. We fully understand that you may not have ingredients that are listed above.
That’s no reason not to try this easily made and low cost dish. We just need to help you understand how to substitute. I think the Food Network nor the Kitchen Police will grab you by the throat just because you did not use Dijon mustard.
You don’t have RED onion? Just mince whatever onions you have. Onion powder would be acceptable, as well.
Mother Connie would be SHOCKED if you have white wine vinegar in your pantry. Use what you do have and don’t feel guilty about it.
No virgin olive oil? I hope you do have some vegetable oil on hand and I PRAY it is not canola. Just my view…
Plain yogurt could stand in for sour cream. You could even use Ranch dressing.
Now about those peas…you may have only canned peas. Just drain and dump. It’s OK; really it is.
Mother Connie feels the need to address the SIZE of those cubes. Do NOT obsess about them. Just cube the ham and move along. Life is way too short to stress about this kind of detail! In addition, I would offer that in the absence of ham you could substitute bacon. As a matter of fact, this could eliminate ham OR bacon. Of course the title of the recipe would not be accurate! GRIN/GIGGLE
The chances I’d have FRESH dill around are slim and none. I’m thinking that could be true for YOU as well. They have that in little, affordable bottles and you can even get it in bulk in some supermarkets, which means you can buy a small amount so it fits into your food budget.
Macaroni salad was not sophisticated when I was growing up. Mom used chopped sweet pickles in hers. My sister in law added radishes when she made it. This is not rocket science; it’s about pleasing the palettes of those who put their toes under your picnic table. Relax! Make it fun!
You all have put great fun in my life because you are sharing this blog with your friends and the Membership Rolls are swelling! How much fun IS that, anyway?
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