Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Thanksgiving Dish

I'm heading to my parent's house for Thanksgiving this year. It will be a day filled with food and family. I'm looking forward to it immensely. For the last couple of years, we kids have been allowed to bring a dish to dinner.

I've brought a few dishes but my favorite is Frog Eye Salad. I first had Frog Eye when I was working back at Heartland. I was more than skeptical the first time I was offered some of the dish. Not only did it have a bizarre name but it had a weird looking texture. I hesitated the first couple of potlucks until I finally tried my first taste. Then I was hooked.

I've made this dish so many times now I don't really need the recipe. The salad isn't what it sounds like. The name comes from the tiny pasta, called Acini de Pepe. The salad has a Cool Whip base and is filled with mandarin oranges and pineapple. It's a pasta salad and a dessert all in one. I'm excited to make it again for another Thanksgiving although I'm sure my family is probably tired of it. I thought I'd share the recipe here.

Frog Eye Salad

1 C. Sugar
2 T. Flour
2 eggs, beaten
3 qts water
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 c. pineapple juice
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. cooking oil
3 cans mandarin oranges, drained
2-- 20 oz cans pineapple chunks, drained
1-- 12 oz carton Cool Whip
1-- 16 oz pkg Acini de Pepe pasta
2 c. marshmallows

In a saucepan mix flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly add pineapple juice and eggs. Cook until thickened. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Allow to cool completely.

Bring water, remaining salt, and oil to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until done. Drain. Mix egg mixture and macaroni. Refrigerate (I normally allow it to cool overnight).
When finally cool, mixed in the rest of the ingredients. I normally start with the Cool Whip to loosen up the pasta and then add the rest of the fruit and marshmallows.

This recipe is huge. I often cut it in half even for a large family gathering. It is a heavy salad although leftovers are still good for up to three days. I also tend to go heavy on the Cool Whip and often use more than just the one carton. More than anything, enjoy. This sweet salad is guaranteed to satisfy.

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