Monday, May 21, 2012

Mandarin Orange Fruit Salad

A simple and classic fruit salad made with mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, marshmallows, sweetened coconut, maraschino cherries and dressed with sour cream.

Mandarin Orange Fruit Salad

This fruit salad has been around a very long time and is another one of those recipes that falls back to my old Bell's Best cookbooks. Those books and that trusty red Betty Crocker binder is literally where many of us southern gals, and often our mothers, picked up a lot of the familiar recipes you see on your favorite southern sites and food blogs today. They were certainly key cookbooks in my learning experience as a young bride in the 70s.

It's very similar to the Old Fashioned 5 Cup Salad, and, in fact, if you're a fan of the movie The Help, set in the early 1960s, this is the very salad that Sissy Spacek, aka Mrs. Walters, ate while she watched The Guiding Light during the bridge parties - though in the movie she calls this recipe ambrosia, as do some of you.

So funny the part where Skeeter walks through the room, and with her bubbly personality and big ole smile says "Hi Mrs. Walters!" who promptly responds by pointing to the television with her fork and saying only "I'm watching my story." Reminds me so much of my Mama and my Nanny Rosalie. You simply did not interrupt them during their "stories," or if you did, the house, or your hair, better be on fire. Seriously!

Lee Ann Flemming, from Greenwood, Mississippi, who got the call to be the principal food stylist and prepared all of the food you both saw, and didn't see, in The Help, used this basic old fashioned Mandarin Orange Salad for that very scene. Did you know, most of the food in the movie couldn't be consumed? Primarily, this was because to keep the scenes authentic, it was served on antique china, and with concerns over lead poisoning, almost all of it had to be thrown away. Sad to know that, but Flemming is quoted as saying she got over it real quick when she got her first paycheck.

She also said that the cast and crew were eventually treated to an old fashioned dinner-on-the-grounds picnic at a local Baptist church, including all of her favorite southern fixin's, and where, she says, very little went to waste. You can read about this and more in the April/May 2012 issue of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI, where I also happen to currently be a regular contributor.

Common among the end of year holiday circuits, and a kissin' cousin to both 5 Cup Salad and a multitude of other similar fruit salads (though I can't say which came first), Mandarin Orange Salad is light and refreshing and just perfect for summer. I absolutely love it. This recipe gives you the classic basics, but as always feel free to substitute ingredients, add or subtract, or use more of those things you love best. Simply dress the salad with an appropriate amount of sour cream to your liking.

You'll want to at least double this one for the upcoming holiday. Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Mandarin Orange Fruit Salad

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 (11 ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (20 ounce) can of pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) jar of maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1 cup of mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup of flaked coconut
  • 1 cup of sour cream

Drain the oranges, pineapple and cherries well, reserving juices for another use. Combine the fruit with the marshmallows and coconut; toss to mix. Fold in the sour cream, cover and chill several hours or until ready to serve.

Cook's Note: Add a touch of sweetness to taste with some powdered sugar. If you don't care for the tang of sour cream, exchange it for some non-dairy whipped topping like Cool Whip. Other add-ins folks enjoy are a cup of seedless grapes, halved and/or a cup of mini marshmallows. To substitute fresh mandarin, clementines or tangerines, you'll need about 1-1/4 cups of segments to equal the 11 ounce can. How many will depend on the size of the oranges.


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too!

Fruit Cocktail Salad
Old Fashioned 5 Cup Salad
Ambrosia Fruit Salad
Watergate Salad

Posted by on May 21, 2012
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