Julia Carson Conner

Julia Carson Conner

Julia didn’t take a tremendous interest in cooking until she got married when she was 20. Then it became do or starve! Her classic dishes were, until that time, wieners stuffed with cheese and boxed macaroni. In fact, her first solo dish was the cheese-stuffed wieners. With the help of her mother-in-law, she quickly expanded her recipe file.

She tells me the story with pride that her brother is the great chef in the family. I suggest that we visit him for a sampling of some very fine cooking, but he lives in New York state, so a quick trip was out of the question. Maybe he can come to Newport and cook for us very soon.

Today Julia’s favorite dish to prepare is homemade chili because of the many ways it can be served. She doesn’t claim a “specialty,” but she enjoys making desserts.

While she was a student at Cocke County High School, she studied HomeEc under Mrs. Linda McElhaney.

Julia shares with us today her recipes for Chili-Rubbed Pork Kabobs with Pineapple Salsa, Beef Roll-ups, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole, and Special Egg Custard. She is quick to give credit to those who shared these recipes with her. Please try each of these delicious recipes. Most of all, enjoy.

Chili-Rubbed Pork Kabobs with Pineapple Salsa:

1 pineapple peeled and cut into 1/2” slices

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

1 TBSP fresh lime juice

2 TBSP olive oil

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1-3/4 tsp Kosher salt

3 TBSP chili powder

4-6 oz boneless pork loin chops cut into 1” cubes.

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

Grill the pineapple slices for 2 minutes on each side.

Cut slices into small diced pieces.

In a bowl, combine the pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, pepper, 1 TBSP of the olive oil, and 3/4 tsp of the salt.

Set aside.

Combine the chili powder and the remaining salt in a large bowl

Add the pork and the remaining TBSP olive oil and toss to coat.

Thread the pork onto 12” skewers.

Grill the kabobs, turning every 2 minutes until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Serve along side the pineapple salsa.

If using wooden skewers, soak in water for 20 minutes before using.

Beef Roll-Ups:

2 TBSP bacon grease

1-1/2 lbs thinly sliced round steak

2 TBSP Dijon mustard

3 dill pickles cut into quarters

6 medium carrots cut lengthwise

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can golden mushroom soup

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 TBSP chopped celery

Cut meat into 6 pieces.

Spread each piece with 1 tsp mustard

Place 2 pieces of pickle and 4 pieces of carrot across the narrow end.

Sprinkle with onion.

Fasten with toothpicks.

Brown in bacon grease.

Stir in soup, celery and parsley.

Cover and cook on low heat (I use an electric skillet)for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole/Irene Conner, mother-in-law:

1 pkg chopped broccoli, thawed

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 jar Cheez Whiz

1 medium onion, chopped

2 — 3 celery stalks, chopped

1 stick margarine

Beat Cheez Whiz and margarine to soften.

Mix all ingredients in a greased 2 qt casserole dish.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Special Egg Custard/Vella Allen, my grandmother:

1 cup sugar

1 TBSP butter

3 eggs, beaten

small can Pet evaporated milk

1 cup milk

4 TBSP flour

1 tsp vanilla

Beat eggs.

Add butter and sugar and beat well.

Slowly add flour, then add both milks and vanilla.

Pour into a buttered 9” pie plate.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40 — 45 minutes.

Pie forms its own crust.

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