Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Frog's Eye Salad

This recipe has become a holiday tradition for my family. My mom has been making this delicious dish for many years! It is the perfect side to any type of meal….it pairs very well with a baked ham or roasted turkey. The surprising taste of pasta combined with the sweet fruit and whipped cream is amazing!!! The name "Frog's Eye" comes from the small acini di pepe pasta that cooks into tender round balls…..like eyes. Needless to say the name alone thrills my kids and encourages them to always ask for seconds!!!

You can find the very important ingredient, Acini Di Pepe, in the pasta section of your grocery store. It is truly unbelievable how one little bag of pasta can grow into such a large bowl!!! This recipe makes a crazy amount which is perfect for family events and potlucks. I'm always secretly thankful to have leftovers though…the flavors meld together beautifully the next day!!!

Frog's Eye Salad

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits, undrained
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 package Acini di Pepe pasta, uncooked
2 cans (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1 (16 oz.) container Cool Whip
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained & chopped
1/2 cup flake coconut (optional)

In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, flour and salt.  Drain pineapple; reserving juice to equal 1 cup.  With whisk; gradually stir juice and egg into sugar mixture.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in lemon juice.  Cool mixture to room temperature.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Rinse with cold water to cool quickly; drain well.  In a large bowl, stir together pineapple juice mixture and cooked pasta.      Cover, refrigerate several hours or overnight. Add crushed pineapple, pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, cool whip, marshmallows and cherries; mix gently and thoroughly.  Cover; refrigerate until cold.  Makes 12 servings (about 1 cup each)

Because this recipe involves several steps, I like to prepare the pineapple juice/pasta mixture in the evening before a potluck. The next morning I simply mix in the remaining ingredients and then let the salad chill in the refrigerator before the event.  Also don't forget to store the drained pineapple in a small container in the refrigerator.  It will be nice and cold when you mix it in the next day. This recipe can easily be adapted to your own preference…..you can add sweetened coconut flakes or omit the cherries or increase the amount of mandarin oranges. Either way this creamy fruity pasta dish will stand out at any get together!!! Enjoy!!

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