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CREAMY CLAM CHOWDER

24 fresh chowder clams

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1-1/2 cups chopped onion

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups water

3 large potatoes, cut in small cubes

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1-1/2 cups light cream or milk

chopped parsley (optional)

Scrub clams; rinse. Open clams over bowl to catch clam liquid. Strain liquid into bowl through sieve lined with cheesecloth (about 2 cups liquid). Remove clam meat from shells. Coarsely chop. Refrigerate. Heat butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions; cook 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour; blend well. Cook; stirring 1 minute. Add reserved clam liquid, water, potatoes and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add clam meat; cook 3 minutes. Add cream; cook just to heat through; ladle into bowls. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

HADDOCK FILLET AND VEGGIE STIR-FRY

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound cod or haddock fillets, cut into 1-1/2-inch squares

2 tablespoons water

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup red bell pepper chunks

1 medium onion, cut into 16 wedges, separated

2 cups hot cooked rice

In small bowl, combine first seven ingredients; set aside. Spray a nonstick skillet or wok with nonstick cooking spray. Heat skillet over high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add fish. Cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Remove fish from skillet. Remove skillet from heat; spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add 2 tablespoons water, mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper and onion; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Stir in cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Return fish to skillet; toss gently to heat. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 servings.

MEAT LOAF WELLINGTON

1 (10-1/2-ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup

2 pounds lean ground chuck

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1 (8-ounce) tube refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1/3 cup light sour cream

Heat oven to 350º. Mix 1/2 cup of the soup with ground chuck, bread crumbs, egg, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Form meat into a firm loaf, about 8x4-inches. Place in shallow baking pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes; drain fat from pan.

Separate rolls and overlap them on a floured pastry board, pressing to form them into one sheet of dough, large enough to completely cover the meatloaf. Place dough over the meat loaf; mold it to fit, trimming excess. (Excess dough may be used to make small patterns or designs to decorate the crust.) Return covered loaf to oven; bake 15 to 20 minutes until crust is brown.

In a saucepan on very low heat, blend the remaining soup and sour cream. Heat through. Add up to 1/4-cup water, if needed, for desired gravy consistency. Serve gravy over individual slices of crusted meat loaf. Yield: 8 servings.

POTLUCK PASTA SALAD

4 ounces (1-1/3 cups) wagon wheel macaroni or desired pasta

4 ounces tri-colored corkscrew macaroni or desired pasta

1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper

1 medium red sweet pepper, cut into thin strips

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, thawed

1 (6-ounce) can pitted ripe olives, drained

4 ounces smoked Cheddar cheese, cubed

1 cup unblanched almonds, toasted

1/2 cup sliced green onion

2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano, basil or dill

1 (8-ounce) bottle regular or nonfat Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions except add crushed red pepper to the cooking water. Rinse with cool water and drain thoroughly. Cool pasta to room temperature. In large mixing bowl, combine pasta, red sweet pepper, zucchini, peas, olives, cheese, almonds, green onion and herb. Add dressing to pasta mixture. Toss gently to mix. Cover and chill for 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Yield: 12 side-dish servings.

MUSHROOMS IN CHEESE SAUCE

2 pounds fresh whole mushroom

4 tablespoons butter

4 chicken bouillon cubes

1/2 cup boiling water

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups stuffing mix

1 stick butter, melted

Sauté whole mushrooms in 4 tablespoons butter and put in buttered 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Melt bouillon cubes in boiling water and stir in flour. Slowly add half-and-half, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Cook over low heat and stir until thick. Pour sauce over mushrooms. Combine stuffing mix and melted butter. Arrange on top of mushrooms. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered. Yield: 8-10 servings.

MINIATURE CHOCOLATE FUDGE CUPCAKES

1-1/2 sticks butter

4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

3 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

chocolate glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350º. Line 18 (2-1/2-inch) cupcake pans with paper or foil-lined cups. Melt butter and chocolate together in top of double boiler over hot water. Let cool slightly. Beat together eggs and salt in large bowl until foamy. Gradually add sugar and beat until thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes; add vanilla. Blend in melted chocolate mixture. Add flour, stirring just until combined. Stir in nuts; spoon into lined cups; dividing batter equally. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly moist. Remove cakes to wire rack to cool. Frost tops with glaze. Yield: 18 cupcakes.

To make chocolate glaze: Melt together 1 (4-ounce) package sweet cooking chocolate and 1/3 cup heavy cream in top of double boiler over hot water, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Drizzle over.

MACADAMIA NUT AND COCONUT DELIGHTS

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup macadamia nuts, divided

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and cream cheese; gradually add 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Beat until well-blended. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Put balls into greased muffin pans, shaping into shells. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped nuts evenly over shells. Combine eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chopped nuts, coconut and remaining ingredients. Pour mixture evenly into shells, filling half full. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 275º and bake 10 to 12 minutes longer. Yield: 3 dozen cookies.