Skip to comments.Weekly Cooking (and things related) Thread
Posted on 02/11/2015 6:01:42 PM PST by Jamestown1630
(A little early this week, because I have a couple of busy days coming up.)
In the memoir that Julia Child wrote in collaboration with her husband's great-nephew, the story of the revelatory meal in Rouen that started Julia on her life's work is recounted ('My Life in France', Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme, 2006).
I believe that anyone who has become seriously interested in food and the art of cooking has had a moment like that: the one meal that made you realize that there was a LOT more to eating and cooking than you had previously known.
For me, it was my father's recipe for Chicken Cacciatore, when I was about 13 years old.
In our household, my Grandmother was the cook; and she was an excellent Tidewater-raised cook when it came to basic things like Chicken Pot Pie, Pot Roast, Birthday Cakes, Yeast-Raised Rolls and Bread, Thanksgiving Dinner. But nothing 'exotic'; she curiously didn't even do much with fresh fish or shellfish. And I don't think I ever saw her cook with garlic, or with a bell pepper, or olive oil - until the night my Daddy came home with a recipe that he had enjoyed with friends.
I can still remember the amazing smell of garlic bread, toasting in the oven; and green bell peppers sizzling with onions in olive oil on the range. I had never smelled these things before! and I had certainly never seen a bottle of Chianti in the house, all wrapped-up in its raffia. (Daddy was a spirit drinker ;-)
That night, Daddy coached, and Granny cooked; and the result was amazing. (Adding to the wonderful food, was the fact that I was allowed to drink a few sips of the Chianti, and feel VERY sophisticated :-)
My husband and I have tried many times to re-create this recipe. Each time, I say, "We're getting closer!" At times, we've even used canned mushrooms and Pompeian olive oil to try and get closer, because those were the items that my folks could have bought in the local grocery store, in the 1960s.
But, we've never really gotten there - and I don't think we ever will. You simply can't re-create the experience of tasting something strange and wonderful for the very first time.
But, here we are, as far as we've been able to duplicate it. This is based on a recipe that I found online, and with which we've been 'fiddling'. It's a very forgiving recipe. I always add extra garlic, a little more olive oil, etc. And we always use skin-on, bone-in chicken, and remove the skin after browning. (Most recipes you'll find now call for 'boneless-skinless' - and they taste like it, too.)
Daddy's Chicken Cacciatore
5 lbs. Chicken Thighs with skin and bone (or a 5 lb chicken cut-up)
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large green bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced (or: More Cow Bell!)
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes WITH juice
3 T. Tomato Paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then dredge the pieces in the flour.
In a large pot, heat the oil, add the chicken pieces to the pan and brown over high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Don't over-crowd; brown in batches.
Remove the chicken to a plate. When cool, remove the skin and discard it. (Unless you're a fan of rubbery Chick-Skin)
Add the chopped bell peppers and onion to the same pan and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. (I'm not giving amounts of salt and pepper, but encouraging tasting as you go.)
Add the chicken pieces back to the pot with the mushrooms.
Bring the pot to a simmer and cook, covered, over low heat for about 1-1/2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning again if necessary.
This is often served over pasta, or rice; but as I recall, we just had lots of garlic bread to sop up the wonderful juices. (My folks used to make the garlic bread with the garlic "butter" that was sold in glass jars; but I haven't seen that available in many years. It was probably some kind of margarine, anyway; so that can be improved upon.)
If any of you have recipes for Chicken Cacciatore that you enjoyed in the late-1950s to 1960s, please post them!
Thanks. I’m going with 3 sides: simple steamed fresh green beans, garlic-dill new potatoes, simple salad with cherry tomatoes. I’m preparing a honey-mustard vinaigrette sauce for both the salmon and as a dressing on the salad. Dessert will be home-made angel food cake, strawberries, and fresh-made whipping cream. A nice Moscato with this...and I’ve checked and balanced the water in the hot tub...
We eat A LOT of chicken and Chicken Marsala is one of my favorites.
I pound 4 chicken breasts to 1/4” then coat with flour mixed with salt and pepper.
Over medium heat with a little oil, brown the chicken on both sides. Remove from pan, keep warm and add mushrooms to the same pan (I use baby portabella @8oz.) and cook until tender.
Add 1-2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 1 min.
Add 1 cup Marsala wine (I add 2 cups for more liquid).
Bring to a boil and boil @5 min. or until liquid is reduced by 1/2, while stirring to loosen brown bits.
Add chicken back to pan and heat through.
Serve over pasta of your choice.
Cracked an egg today. Inside two, count ‘em, TWO yolks. Can never remember cracking an egg with two yolks before, though surely it has been done in the past. Looked up old superstitions for this rare find.
1. Expecting soon....IMPOSSIBLE!
2. Death of a family member.... Possible. A cousin passed this weekend.
3. Good fortune comes your way...... It’s about time some found the path!
Are there more sayings out there that would apply? And have you cracked more than your share of double yolks? What would be considered a ‘fair’ share and are we all ‘entitled’ to double yolked eggs. :)
Now we’re off to eat come hot cornbread. Stay warm and toasty up north. It will be snow flurries in Texas this evening...the fire is lit and burning in the fire place...no permit required (at this time)
I like the “good luck” one.
When I was a kid, it happened several times when my Granny cracked eggs while I was growing up. I think it’s only happened to me once, since I’ve been an adult; and my husband says it’s happened to him once.
Let’s go with Good Fortune!
I’m with you on that one.
Found a site which might interest you, JT.
Slowly but surely. LOL. Recently found that any multi-task capabilities are long gone. Time for beets... have heard they are great for memory. Not a big fan of beets, but have yet to try them pickled. We shall see.
Here’s one for ya.
I’ve had three boyfriends from PA. (I married one of them :-)
Here’s a recipe from the second one, the first time that I enjoyed this wonderful thing:
(Yeah, I know: BEETS. But, they are very nutritious. I first learned to like them when I encountered them in ‘salad bars’.)
Never really cared much for beets. Mother made something called ‘Harvard Beets’ Don’t know the recipe, and as they weren’t eaten by moi’, never asked for a copy. They were way too sweet for the taste buds. I’ve used beets in a cake before....a jar of baby good. Yacks!!—that was about 35 years ago. The cake wasn’t bad and the beets just blended right in as if they belonged.
Believe the attempt to use the beets in the sweet pickle brine, using the brine from purchased pickles, will be the next experiment. Beets, and then move up to jalapeno peppers. Once upon a time one could find sweet pickled jalapenos in the grocery. They were so good. For some reason, these can no longer be found. Now that the pickle juice tips have been found...might give the peppers, beets and watermelon rind pickles an opportunity to get pickled
Never cared much for watermelon—but loved the watermelon pickle rind.
That pic of the pickled eggs is so vibrant. They look like Easter eggs. beautiful color.
I’ve never had sweet pickled jalapenos, don’t know what they should be like; but this looks like a very basic recipe:
Have you ever had Hot Jezebel?
This has intrigued me since I first saw it; but I haven’t tried it yet; there are so many different recipes.
Never had Jezebel Sauce. It sounds fabulous. Especially with pork loin or ham. Perhaps in place of cranberry sauce with a Thanksgiving/Christmas turkey. Have you had jalapeno jelly? There is a specialty store in a nearby mall here and they sell the most scrumptious Jalapeno Jelly. It is wonderful on pork of any type. Will give the belle’s sauce a try soon. Don’t care much for apple jelly, but apricot, pineapple jam can be eaten with a spoon. Wonder how it would taste where the apple is substituted with cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce (jelled from Ocean Spray) is much too sweet for my liking. I’d rather have the fresh whole berry, ground with orange rind, a bit of sugar and other culinary delights..LOL just don’t remember what those might be at the moment. It’s more of a relish than jelly.
1. One whole natural un-pre-marinated chicken 4-5LB's of bliss.
I use Purdue for best results.
2. Dry Chicken using paper towels, inside and out. And allow towels
to absorb for a while, while pressing. Be careful about cross contamination.
3. Slather Mayonnaise all over the Chicken exterior, on a Roasting pan
4. Kosher Salt and Black Pepper on one side, Dust with poultry seasoning,
turn over and repeat this process. Do not hold back on the salt, be generous.
5. Take two large jalapenos and scour the outsides with a fork,
all around, then stuff them inside the Chicken. Do not skip this step.
6. Place Chicken into 400° oven for 5-minutes, then adjust to 350°
for 1.5 hours at +750 altitude. Then adjust temp to 185° for
another hour. Serve when hungry.
Don't cover Chicken at any point, and no picking!
Do not put water in the pan or you'll steam the chicken and make it tough.
Make sure Chicken is properly dry before Mayo addition.
Be sure that skin is fully intact and not torn until serving.
Don't use that Olive oil mayo, that stuff is nasty.
I don’t remember any one incident. My maternal grandmother owned a restaurant and loved to cook. Fried Chicken and BBQ Ribs were some of my favorites. Loved her biscuits, cornbread, and pinto beans.
Her cook taught me how to make pies, when I was a teenager. I started working for Granny as a waitress, and also filled in as a short - order cook and doing the prep work for the next day’s breakfast and lunch.
My parents also owned a restaurant and Dad made all the pies. I started cooking at about age six - flipping burgers on the grill. Dad’s pumpkin pie was my favorite.
My paternal grandmother baked bread every week - not store bought stuff for her! I got to help even when quite young. When the dough was ready to put into the pan, she used pie pans, and placed three balls in each pan. I got to make smaller loaves in a smaller pie pan.
We greased our hands good with bacon grease, and made sure each dough ball was coated with it. After the loaves cooled, they were wrapped in flour sack towels, and placed in the blue granite ware water bath canner. Kept it fresh all week, and we sliced it off as needed.
My favorite snack of all time was to take some home-made butter(we used a mixer and I watched it till it was ready) and mix it with sorghum molasses and spread it on a slice of that bread. Washed it down with a glass of raw milk from their small dairy herd. As soon as I was old enough, I learned to milk cows too.
They had chickens, and raised hogs, and had a garden. Wild grapes and blackberries she used to make wonderful jelly. Home made biscuits every morning with that jelly, oatmeal cookies, waffles for supper with bacon, and the list goes on.
I basically just go in the kitchen, and see what I have and cook something. Often with no recipe. Even with a recipe I usually do something different with it.
I am currently experimenting with no sugar added, low fat, low sodium, low carb, calcium restricted recipes. So far, nothing spectacular has been created. I have discovered Couscous, and Jiff crunchy Almond Butter.
The couscous makes a good quick alternative for use with stir fry. It is low sodium, low fat, but the big plus is easy and fast: Bring 4 oz of water, or broth to a boil in Microwave(put spices in if you want), add 1/3 cup of couscous and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
One teaspoon of Almond Butter keeps turns off the appetite.
My taste buds are adjusting. Even a slice of bread tastes salty to me.
I don’t know about Cuban Sandwich, but I just recently discovered Gouda, and especially smoked Gouda, and it’s very Good.
Our modern diets are practically devoid of Vitamin k2. An oz of Gouda has about half of the amount you need. Real butter from grass fed cows also has a good amount, but grain-fed cows not so much.
Same thing for Eggs, free range eggs pretty good source, but I digress. I love the smoked Gouda-might be worth a try.
The crock pot is your friend. LOL
While I still use my larger crockpots when the kids come home, I have several 2 qt size crockpots that I use - especially in the summer so I don’t heat up the house.
I sometime use several crocks. Meat, Scalloped Potatoes, Green Beans. Put it on in the morning and forget it. Do a quick beer bread or artisan loaf from the store. Not much time or effort involved, and very good eats.
My daughter and I just bought a half beef from our local farmer where we get our eggs. It worked out to be $3.01/lb. The ground beef is very lean. My part was 30 lbs of ground beef, 3 roasts, and the rest of the 70 lbs is steaks.
The cheapest lean ground beef here is 5 bucks a lb. Haven’t seen a roast on sale for less than 4 bucks. Steaks are double that, and not great quality either.
We were getting pretty tired of chicken and pork roasts too. I’m sure I was clucking and squealing while sleeping.LOL
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano OR Italian seasoning
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 sliced med onion
Pinch minced garlic
3/4 cup Marsala wine
Splash heavy whipping cream and cooking sherry
-----Pound/tenderize chicken to ½ in thickness
1. In a medium bowl (OR zip lock bag), stir together the flour, garlic salt, pepper, and oregano. Dredge chicken in the mixture to lightly coat.
2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the chicken in the skillet for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned on both side. Set chicken aside.
Add mushrooms, onions, minced garlic. Sauté/sweat veggies. Stir mushrooms so that they cook evenly. Place chicken in pan
3. Mix Marsala, sherry wines with a splash of heavy whipping cream and pour over the chicken. Cover skillet, and reduce heat to low; simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear Serve over basil fettuccini OR long grain wild rice OR roasted red potatoes
Hint / Options:
Add golden cream of mushroom soup to the Marsala wine mix thoroughly
added a bit of chicken broth to the wine and it did make a difference
serve with French bread
Total Time:18 min
Cook: 6 min
INGREDIENTS: for 4 sandwiches
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
8 French or Italian Bread slices
8 slices Swiss cheese OR provolone
1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
8 slices deli ham, warmed
4 oz (ea) cooked pork loin (option: pre-cooked roasted pork such as Hormel Pork Roast Au Jus)
16 thin dill pickle slices
Heat a large pan or griddle with the oil to medium heat.
Put the bread in the pan (in batches if need be) and place a slice of Swiss on each.
Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the mustard over the top of a cheese slice, mayonnaise on other. Stack half of the tortillas with 4 ounces of pulled pork followed by 2 slices of ham.
Add 4 pickle slices on top of the ham, then top with a second bread slice(with just the cheese) to make a sandwich.
Press the sandwiches lightly and allow the cheese to melt, making sure that the tortillas are nice and crispy. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve
My great aunt was an Italian war bride. Sunday dinner at her house was amazing! I don’t remember her making cacciatore. Her specialty was lasagna. She also made wonderful meatballs.
What are the titles of the cookbooks? Inquiring minds want to know. :)
I get candied jalapenos, which are sweet pickled jalapeno peppers, at Kroger. They are with the Cajun/Creole food products not the pickles and olives where one might expect to find them. You’re right, they are GOOD!
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