Food & Drink

Your Signature Dish: Frog Eye Salad

Frog Eye Salad is the dessert salad cousin of Pig Pickin’ Cake. It is made with small pasta such as orzo, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple and Cool Whip.
Frog Eye Salad is the dessert salad cousin of Pig Pickin’ Cake. It is made with small pasta such as orzo, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple and Cool Whip. jleonard@newsobserver.com

The New York Times ran a map right before Thanksgiving featuring the most unusual Google recipe searches by state.

North Carolina’s favorite recipe was Pig Pickin’ Cake, a concoction made with yellow cake mix, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple and Cool Whip. Since I had written about that cake a couple of years ago, I shared that recipe with readers again.

I also asked readers to enlighten me about the most Googled recipe in Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado: Frog Eye Salad.

Two readers responded: Beverly Phillips of Henderson and Lois Nixon of Cary.

It turns out that Frog Eye Salad is the dessert salad cousin of Pig Pickin’ Cake. It is made with small pasta such as orzo, mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple and Cool Whip. “Both recipes have those intriguing names that may or may not make you want to eat them!” Nixon wrote.

Phillips, who is from New York, said her family called the recipe Rosa Marina. “Our family makes this salad every Thanksgiving and Christmas and sometime in between,” she wrote.

Nixon, who grew up in Kansas, said her version serves 25, which makes it a popular potluck dish. “I have some in my refrigerator right now, left over from a family birthday dinner yesterday!”

Frog Eye Salad

From Beverly Phillips of Henderson

8 ounces orzo

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges

1 (15-ounce) can crushed pineapple

1 (15-ounce) can fruit cocktail

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping, such as Cool Whip

BRING a medium pot filled with water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add orzo and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

DRAIN juice from mandarin oranges. Discard juice and reserve fruit.

SET colander over bowl. Drain juice from pineapple and fruit cocktail through colander, catching juice in bowl. Juice should equal about 1 cup. Set aside crushed pineapple and fruit cocktail.

COMBINE 1 cup reserved fruit juice with sugar, flour, eggs and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally with a whisk to prevent the sauce from burning. Cook about 10-12 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.

ONCE pasta and sauce have cooled, combine in a large bowl. Add mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple and fruit cocktail and stir to combine. Stir in whipped topping. Refrigerate overnight.

Yield: 12-15 servings.

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