Ever since I started this little food blog, a lot of my conversations with friends start out with something like this:
“Oooh, I know what you could make!”
“You know what you should make?”
“I have this great recipe you should make!”
And quite honestly, I love all of this. Before I started Homemade Hooplah, I always felt like an outsider whenever the topic of cooking or favorite recipes came up, as if my superb skill at boiling water was no match for their ability to create a perfectly homemade lasagna from memory (which, okay, let’s be real here – that does beat boiling water by a pretty big margin).
But now that I have my cooking sea legs under me, I love talking about food. I love learning new ways to make it. I love finding new dishes I had never even heard of.
And that, my friends, is exactly how I stumbled across Frog Eye Salad.
I got the original recipe for this salad from a friend who had moved to another state a little more than a year ago. I’m sure if we were still living in the same city the topic of this unique treat would have already come up long ago, but as they say, it’s far too easy for our relationships to fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” category with time and distance. And, also, if she were still living here, I doubt she ever would have stumbled across this salad.
So on one fateful day, my friend was preparing to make this recipe and it made her think of this little food blog. She sent me a photo of the printed recipe she had, and I had to give her credit – the ingredients were interesting. In fact, it was probably the most unique recipe any of my friends have ever followed up a “You know what you should make?” intro with.I loved the idea of pairing sweet and creamy ingredients with pasta.
I absolutely loved the idea of pairing sweet and creamy ingredients with pasta, so of course I was going to try it.
I put it on my recipe to-do list and I had ever intention of making it in June.
But then July came. Then August.
When September began to loom in the distance, I finally put my foot down. I had to make this recipe.
And now that I have a big, wonderful batch of it in my fridge, I really don’t know why I waited so long.
It’s as awesome as I imagined it would be.
Now, I had to Google the name of the recipe, since the printout my friend had didn’t include a name, and the closest I could find was “Frog Eye Salad” – uses all the same ingredients, just slightly different proportions. And even when I made it, I made some adjustments to my tastes and those that would tailor to the ingredients I had on hand.
And even still, it turned out amazing.
I think this is typically seen as a summer salad – because really, what fruit salad isn’t a summer salad? – but at the same time, with a name like Frog Eye Salad, I think it’d be perfect for a kid’s party or for even Halloween.
Because really, how can a salad with a name like this not be a hit with all your friends?
Frog Eye Salad
A creative fruit salad that combines savory acini de pepe pasta, sweet fruit, and a creamy fruit juice custard. A unique treat for all parties or holidays!
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- Prepare acini de pepe per package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Drain mandarin oranges and pineapple chunks thoroughly, but save 1 3/4 cup of the pineapple juice.
- Take 1 jar's worth of pineapple chunks and add to a fruit processor. Blend until mostly smooth, then strain for any excess juice.
- Add blended pineapple, pineapple chunks, and mandarin oranges to a bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add 1 3/4 cup pineapple juice and sugar, then whisk until sugar has dissolved. Add flour and beaten eggs to saucepan and then slowly begin to heat mixture up to 170 degrees F, whisking constantly. For best results, use a candy thermometer to ensure 170 degrees is reached. Custard should be creamy (but not too thick) once ready. Remove sauce from heat and let cool completely. For best results, transfer fruit custard to a new bowl and set in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.
- Once all ingredients are assembled and cooled, add the pasta, fruit, and fruit custard to a large bowl and gently mix together.
- Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (or ideally overnight).
- When ready to serve, add 16oz cool whip to bowl and stir until combined.
- Serve fruit immediatley with shaved coconut as garnish (optional).