brazil nut chips

Brazil Nut Chips HeroGet Ready To Go Nuts

I’m not sure where Brazil nuts have been hiding my entire life. It’s likely because as a native Texan “nuts” really just means “pecans” which have been the center of my world since I was a younger me. Also surprising to me is that Brazil nuts aren’t nuts per se but seeds that hail from the Amazon rainforest’s Brazil nut tree.

Low and behold we were on a low carb diet and had ironically had just purchased a big bag of them from Costco. Even at only 2 net carbs for about 9 nuts they had a buttery good flavor but a little too bland right out of the bag for my liking. Turns out a little lovin’ from the oven transforms the nut-seeds into a rightfully righteous super snacker!

Butter and Brazil NutsFoodie Tips

❤  These nut chips are super-easy to make and eat! You might just want to go ahead and multiply the recipe so you’ll have extra for impromptu snacking or pop-ins. Jarred and wrapped with a ribbon these also make great gifts!

❤  This is a simple recipe that literally heightens the flavors that you use for seasoning. The next time we make these (oh, and we’ll be making them again) we’re eyeing some cayenne (for heat) and for herbs thyme, oregano or rosemary. You can’t go wrong!

i. Time

Total prep: About 20 minutes.

Kirkland Organic Whole Brazil Nutsii. Ingredients

1 ½ cups  whole brazil nuts, shelled
2 tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
½ teaspoon  seasoned salt*

* A word about seasoned salt: A family favorite for as long as I can remember is Lawry’s brand seasoned salt. It wasn’t until my post-college years when I was convinced my taste buds needed more “oomph” when I switched to Lawry’s seasoned salt with black pepper. That’s what I used for this recipe and it was amazing, as always!

Brazil Nuts On The Stovetopiii. What To Do

1. To Soften The Nuts
Place the Brazil nuts  in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with water and over a medium-high heat bring things to a boil. Simmer 2-3 minutes then drain.

2. Make Nut Slivers
While still warm shave each nut lengthwise into thin slices with a paring knife. We left the skin on for extra flavor.

Brazil Nut Slivers Dotted With Butter3. Season & Bake
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Spread the Brazil nut slivers into the pan and sprinkle “dots” of butter all over them. Lightly season and bake until lightly browned and crisp for about 12 minutes, stirring or shaking along the way (about every 2-3 minutes). With each stirring I added a little bit more seasoning until I arrived at my preferred taste.

Brazil Nut Chips In A Baking Pan4. Enjoy
Remove the prepared nut chips from the oven and let them cool a bit. Dig in and store any leftovers in a container with a tightly-fitting cover. This just might be the perfect time to learn more about the Brazil nut with this article while you enjoy your newest culinary creation!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Brazil Nut Chips Recipe

Delicious! I can eat an entire 2-cup batch by myself!

More About This Recipe
I found the recipe recipe tucked in my Mom Betty’s Black Recipe Cookbook. From the looks of the yellowed paper and because older recipes came from the black recipe book closest to when my Mom and Dad married I’d say this recipe is from the 1950s or 1960s. 

Brazil Nut Chips Recipe

The Original Scan Of the Brazil Nut Chips Recipe From Mom’s Cookbook


garden salad with pesto dressing

Garden Salad Recipe

Fresh ‘n Tasty 

The scan of the Mom’s original recipe clipping (below) hails from a Family Circle Magazine recipe from 1978. I don’t remember eating many salads in my younger years (hooray!) so I definitely dodged a bullet, as a lover of carbs.

Family Circle was one of my Mom’s go-to reads and I thought it was still in circulation. Sadly, it is no more but it had a good run of it from 1932 – 2019. You can read more about Family Circle Magazine here.

This salad is super versatile. You can add veggies or a protein and make it a mouth-watering meal. We added some grilled chicken to the salad and it was delicious!

We made the salad and pesto just a few days before departing on our 2020 Covid getaway to Colorado.

Foodie Tips

❤  For just two people we cut the salad and pesto recipes in half. If you are OK with leftovers for another meal, go all the way.

❤  A little pesto goes a long way. You don’t have to glob it on like a pasta sauce. If you love pesto you should try our family favorite that is a 100% legit basil pesto.

❤  I saw no evidence for what the asterisks were pointing to in the original recipe for parsley and basil. I can only presume the author meant to include “USE FRESH HERBS ONLY” because using dried parsley and basil sounds like a culinary disaster.

  We seasoned our chicken with a gift from a friend who makes it by hand – JB’s Special Blend is a staple in our home!

Garden Salad Veggies

i. Time

Total prep: About 90 minutes (includes chilling time).

ii. Ingredients

for the dressing:
½ cup  olive oil or vegetable oil
¼ cup  tarragon vinegar
1 cup  parsley clusters
1 ½ teaspoons  fresh basil leaves
1 clove  garlic
½ teaspoon  salt
teaspoon  pepper
2 tablespoons  fresh parmesan cheese, grated

for the salad:
3 cups  |  lettuce, hand torn
3 cups  |  spinach, hand torn
|  red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
|  green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2 cups  |  zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup  |  raw green beans, slivered
|  tomatoes, cut into wedges

JB's Special Blendiii. What To Do

1. For the pesto: Combine all of the ingredients (except the cheese) using an electric blender or immersion blender until smooth. Hand-stir in the cheese. Chill 1 hour to let the flavors mingle.

Seasoned Chicken

2. For the salad: Line a serving bowl with the lettuce and spinach. Arrange your chosen vegetables on top and chill until serving time. Serve tossed with the pesto dressing.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Garden Salad with Pesto Dressing Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Clipping From 1978
I included the back of the recipe pointing to the origin of this recipe plus a surprise for a tempura batter recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




nanny’s green beans

Nanny's Green Bean RecipeThe Taste Of Yesteryear

Sometimes it can be difficult to get excited about green beans. But when your taste buds are delightfully reunited with the taste of your childhood – something you may have forgotten about but when you reconnect with it you remember instantly – it can be a great thing.

Such is the case with this green bean recipe! I can remember my Grandmother “Nanny” making green beans just like these when I was a mini me.

The Power Of A Grandmother

Of my grandparents I was closest to my maternal grandmother, who we affectionately called “Nanny.” You can find pictures of her on the old photos tab here on Betty’s Cook Nook.

Spring Chicken

Mere days before 1900 Nanny was born in Dime Box, Texas – a tiny unincorporated community in the southeast central Texas prairie. Nanny saw a lot during her 91 years and one thing we’ll always remember her for is her good-time food. Nanny’s green beans were one of her signature creations right up there with her chicken noodle soup, her prized waffles, and the coconut ambrosia she’d bring over on Easter Sunday.

This recipe comes to Betty’s Cook Nook from my fellow foodie Cousin Jennifer who scored it from our awesome Julie, who was the matriarch of our family for many years. Jennifer said she and Julie would enjoy these beans most Sundays for lunch. I hope you enjoy them! Who knows – whether it’s this recipe or another – maybe you’ll create a new tradition of your own shared through the art and love of food!

Foodie Tip

❤  Paired with bacon, onions, tomatoes and garlic it’s really easy to like these green beans. I realized while eating these that the canned beans tend to be a little soft for my preference. You may feel quite the opposite! Then I did a little research and realized I actually prefer what I knew as a kid as plain green beans (aka haricot verts) vs. the canned Italian cut. The next time I try these beans I’ll try substituting the Italian cut with fresh sautéed green beans with a little more bite (firm to the tooth) to it and see what happens.

Allen's Italian Green Beans

i. Time

Total prep: About 35 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

4 slices  |  bacon, cut into pieces
white onion, thinly sliced
14 ½ can  diced tomatoes, with the liquid
1 envelope  Lipton’s dry onion soup mix
½ teaspoon  dried tarragon
½ teaspoon  fresh garlic, minced
½ teaspoon  sugar
2 cans (28 ounces each)  Allen’s Italian-cut Kentucky wonder beans, with the liquid
to taste  salt
to taste  fresh cracked black pepper

iii. What To Do

Frying The Bacon1. Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Add the onion slices and cook until tender and translucent.

2. Add the diced tomatoes with the liquid, the onion soup mix, tarragon, garlic and sugar. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Green Beans Going Into Things

3. Add the green beans, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and voilà!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

A scan of the original green bean recipe is below. Sorry, Mary A. Peterson. I renamed your recipe to honor my Grandmother “Nanny.” Plus, I don’t have an Aunt Mary. But props to you for sharing this forward – that’s exactly what an awesome foodie does!


Aunt Mary's Green Beans Recipe

 

 


puffy tacos

The Art Of The Puffy Taco

My Homemade Birthday Puffies July 26, 2020

2 Treats In 1

If you’ve never eaten a puffy taco, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest culinary creations! Picture the usual taco shell but it’s filled with air (kinda like a blow fish) and about ¼” thick. The shell is not crunchy but when made properly arrives in-between a soft and crunchy taco and it’s made of corn flour. The taste is 100% authentic and delicious!

Growing up in San Antonio I thought puffy tacos were as common as burgers, hotdogs or soda pop. Almost since the very beginning in 1937 my family has scored our favorite Tex-Mex delights from Teka Molino which is still in operation. Whenever I visit my hometown of San Antonio I make sure and load-up on an a la carte plate filled with my favorite edibles: bean and cheese cups, guacamole cups, and of course puffy tacos.

It wasn’t until about 30 years later in life I found myself living in Round Rock (a mere 90 minutes away) and was surprised that our Tex-Mex waitress had never heard of a puffy taco. And no, they didn’t carry them.

Teka Molino Treats

A Pic Of Teka Molino Delights

Behold The Puffy

We accidentally fell into making the puffy tacos. We were making empanadas with masa and decided to give it a whirl. After watching the Hilah video below we realized after a couple of fails we could make the puffy tacos! They were way easier to make than holiday tamales of 2019, when I was sore for two days later from the 5-6 hours of labor. I will never see a tamale the same way again!

What’s even better my Cousin Jennifer told me that the usual beef mixture inside the puffy taco wasn’t just mere old taco meat but picadillo, so that recipe is here as well! My favorite part of the picadillo are the small potatoes that are married-up with green bell peppers and the seasoned meat. Give this dish a whirl and I think you’ll love it!

red tortilla press

Press On!

Foodie Tips

❤  No tortilla press? I found some tips for how you can press your own without a formal press. Here’s one approach that makes use of plastic cutting boards and in this YouTube video you can see what you’re doing while you press, thanks to a glass pie plate! Since our tortilla press was on extra backorder we used the pie plate method with Ziploc bags (vs. plastic wrap) and it worked like a charm.

❤  Don’t be discouraged if your first few tacos shells crack or don’t fold properly! You can use the imperfect tacos for masa chalupas, make an impromptu taco salad, dip them into queso, serve with fresh pico de gallo, etc.

❤  For the best taco filling this recipe goes hand-in-hand with this picadillo recipe. You can trust me on this one! #PinkySwear

❤  I’ve never seen a yellow (orange) Mexican cheese but that’s how Teka Molino serves theirs. So a mild cheddar would work or possibly grated Velveeta. If you want to try a white cheese, go Oaxaca or Monterey Jack.

❤  For the best creamy jalapeño dressing recipe (shown above) click here.

  Want to learn more about the history of the puffy taco? This video is my favorite!

  Using a small wire whisk we dipped the masa tortillas into the fryer and formed puffy cups! These are similar to the cups Teka Molino serves and super easy to make. AND EAT! Just load ’em up with beans n’ cheese, guacamole, picadillo… and you’re off to outer space!

Puffy Taco Cup

The Puffy Taco Cup Is My BFF

 i. Time

Total prep: About 30 minutes (excluding the makin’ of the picadillo). This dish is best consumed fresh. We enjoy ours progressive style, meaning we set up our taco bar and eat as we make.

ii. Ingredients

for the puffy:
2 cups  |  maseca brand corn flour
1 ½ cups  warm water
1 teaspoon  |  salt
to form  tortilla press (or see alternate pressing tips above)
to press  PAM Spray, plastic wrap, or a Ziploc bag with the sides trimmed away with scissors
to fill pot 2 inches deep  canola, peanut or vegetable oil (we found canola didn’t stink up the kitchen as much)
1  deep pot or pan for frying
thermometer (for testing the oil temperature)
1  large metal spider strainer or strainer spoon ladle
1  metal spatula

to dress your puffy:
lettuce, thinly sliced
mild yellow or white cheese, shredded
tomato (diced or sliced)
fresh pico de gallo (chopped tomato, onion, salt, lime juice, and cilantro)

Puffy Chalupa

Even Dressed As A Chalupa The Puff Makes All The Difference

iii. What To Do

A word of caution: Remember you’re frying in hot oil! Please keep kids and pets safely away from the range top in case of any wayward oil splatters.

1. Prepare the masa!

  • I have a feeling for best results make your masa fresh; don’t make the masa tortillas in advance and refrigerate them.
  • In a medium-sized bowl combine 2 cups of the corn flour and the water.
  • Mix by hand until the dough is nice and soft. The dough should be moist but not stick to your hands. If the dough feels dry you can add a teaspoon or two of water and continue mixing until you’re happy. Don’t put too much water or else the puffy taco will get holes in it as it fries.
  • Hand roll the masa into the size of a golf ball.
  • Take one ball at a time and press it using your chosen pressing technique. You can press them all at once or press as you fry.

2. Puff those tacos!

  • We used a 2 quart cast iron pot filled with our chosen oil and the temperature gauge attached. The oil was heated precisely to 375°F. Make sure your range vent is on!
  • Insert one flattened tortilla into the oil and let it fry! Flip it over once after it has fully puffed (about 20 seconds). You’ll cook it no more than 60 seconds. After you flip the taco, form the signature fold by gently press and holding a metal spatula into the middle of the puff – this is where your toppings will eventually go. Be careful not to cut the taco in half! While forming the fold, keep the taco submerged under the oil to keep it cooking.
  • Using your strainer, lift the taco from the oil, lightly shake the puffy shell a few seconds and transfer it to a cooling rack that is sitting on top of a baking sheet (to catch any oil drippings). Let the taco rest with the inside of the taco fold facing down.
  • Ensure that the oil has returned to 375°F then continue making additional tacos until all the rolled masa balls are complete.
Puffy Taco Side View

Puffy Taco Shells Should Be Like An Al Dente Noodle – Soft To The Bite – Not 100% Crunchy Or Soggy

Puffy Taco Recipe

3. Dress those tacos!

  • This isn’t Taco Bell! So a properly dressed taco is what tastes Um Um, vs. OH. MY. GAWD! delicious! (we’re going for the latter).
  • Fill a taco with about a 1/4 cup of picadillo (or your chosen filling) then add your toppings.
  • While I could go crazy with an assortment of toppings, I prefer to enjoy my puffies how Teka Molino makes them – rather simple, so the picadillo doesn’t get lost with an avalanche of other toppings. My suggestion: lettuce, cheese then the tomato slice on top.

Perfection!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

How To Make Picadillo

Picadillo Is So Much Tastier Than Plain Ol’ Taco Meat (Sorry, Taco Meat)

Spicy Shrimp Puffy Tacos


picadillo, part ii

Picadillo Recipe From Bettys Cook NookThe Big Deal About Picadillo

In 2014 I posted this original picadillo recipe which remains a family favorite. This recipe makes a welcomed “second spin” on the original via my main squeeze: the puffy taco.

I routinely obsess about eating my favorite puffy tacos from my childhood chomping grounds of San Antonio’s Teka Molino where my Mom “Betty” grew up eating bean rolls for a nickel. She was barely 3 years old when “Tekas” opened in 1937!

This week while I was catching up with my Cousin Jennifer about newsworthy topics like puffy tacos she confirmed that the usual beef mixture inside the Teka puffy taco is in fact picadillo, which is anything but “just” ground beef! The flavors are unmistakably from south of the border and make a signature part of the best puffy tacos you’re likely to encounter.

My favorite part about picadillo are the small potatoes that are married with green bell peppers and the seasoned meat. Some describe picadillo as a ground beef hash and I’ve been known to eat it straight from the skillet with a spoon and a smile.

Give this dish a whirl and I think you’ll love it!

Foodie Tips

❤  Picadillo is one of those rare finds that makes exceptional leftovers. Enjoy it atop: 1) Nachos; 2) Warm, crusty bread; 3) Chalupas; 4) White or corn taco shells; 5) A baked potato; 6) Feeling adventurous? Make picadillo and baked eggs! To do so just reheat the picadillo in a skillet or microwave. Transfer the picadillo to a skillet and make a small well (indentation) for each cracked egg to rest in. Bake everything at 350°F for 13-15 minutes. You’ll want the egg yolks to finish a tad “runny,” – not hard boiled. This makes it a delicious way to start the day!

❤  In case you missed it don’t forget to enjoy this picadillo inside a puffy taco. Puffies aren’t necessarily easy to make the first time but after our second attempt I declared Joe a pro.

❤  Never heard of a puffy taco? Learn more about its history here!

i. Time

Total prep: About 30 minutes.

Picadillo and Baked Eggs

Picadillo and Baked Eggs. 100% delicious!

ii. Ingredients

1 tablespoon  |  oil (we prefer vegetable, canola or avocado)
1 pound  |  ground beef
½  |  onion, diced
½  |  green bell pepper, diced
1 medium  |  russet potato, chopped into ¼ – ½ inch squares
10-ounce can  |  diced tomatoes and chilies (a.k.a. RO*TEL), with the juice
8-ounce can  |  tomato sauce
2 tablespoons  |  taco seasoning
1 teaspoon  |  cumin
2 tablespoons   |  minced garlic
to taste  |  salt and pepper

Birthday Picadillo Close Up

My Birthday Picadillo, July 26, 2020

iii. What To Do

1. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, add the oil and ground beef, break-up the beef with a spoon or spatula for a couple of minutes while sautéing.

2. Add the chopped onions and bell pepper and sauté another minute or two.

3. Add the potatoes and give things a stir.

4. Add the rest of the picadillo ingredients (diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, taco seasoning, cumin, tomatoes and minced garlic).

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. While things are simmering you can move to making your puffy tacos with this recipe or… when the picadillo is done, remove from heat, leaving covered to keep warm. You’ll know it’s done when the potatoes are soft, but not mushy.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Puffy Taco Recipe

If you’re reading this you must be interested in puffy tacos, pictured here with picadillo!


fried rice

The Best Fried Rice RecipeA Rice Surprise

This fried rice recipe didn’t seem much of a recipe at all.

There were just a few ingredients listed on Mom’s recipe card (below) and there were no measurements. Seriously?

Well I was shocked when Joe made the fried rice seemingly out of nowhere. It was absolutely the best fried rice I’ve ever had and he made it at home using my Mom “Betty’s” recipe as a guidepost!

After all these years… I’m glad there looks to be what is a dash of a soy sauce stain on Mom’s recipe card.

Foodie Tips

❤  This dish loves seemingly day old, dry seemingly unusable rice. This recipe will bring the rice back to life in a delicious way! Joe will make a fresh batch of rice in our Zojirushi rice maker then refrigerate it so it gets nice and dry.

❤  A bit about peas and carrots. We keep the frozen bagged stuff on hand at all times and these are super easy to add to the fried rice. Plus these add a nice pop of color!

❤  If you haven’t heard the term “soft scrambled eggs,” they’re just a little under cooked or taken “just to the shiny” and a bit wet look. To some, soft scrambled is the preferred way to eat them. In this recipe they’ll finish cooking in the rice.

❤  Winner Winner! Joe’s extra spin on this recipe included 3 cage free eggs and 1 tablespoon each of fresh minced ginger, garlic, soy sauce and hoisin sauce. OMG.

i. Time

Total prep: About 20 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

|  cage free eggs
1 pound  |  meat (pork, chicken, beef)
2-3 tablespoons  |  vegetable oil
at least 2-3 cups  |  cooked, cold rice (we prefer white, basmati and jasmine rices) follow the package instructions
2-4 tablespoons  soy sauce
1-2 cups  peas and carrots (frozen or fresh), optional
lots o’  |  green onions, sliced
to taste  |  kosher salt
to taste  |  fresh cracked black pepper
optional  |  sesame seeds, toasted

Fried Rice Recipe

iii. What To Do

1. In a large pan over medium-low heat soft scramble the eggs and set them aside to rest.

2. In the same pan sauté the meat in oil. Joe used some thinly sliced pork and it was tender and delicious!

3. Add the the cooked rice. Stir/sauté everything until nice and brown.

4. Season with the soy sauce and continue stirring. Hungry yet?

5. Add the peas and carrots then the green onions.

6. Toss on some salt and a few fresh cracks of black pepper. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and you’re done!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Yum Yum Fried RiceFried Rice Recipe Bettys Cook Nook


lela’s grits

True Grits

Grits were born in the 16th century thanks to the Muskogee Native American tribe of Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.

Flash forward 400-ish years later and we’re still enjoying cornmeal that’s often served with a seemingly endless assortment of sweet and savory sidekicks.

Because grits don’t have much flavor all by themselves, they are super versatile adopting the taste of their foodie sidekicks like bacon, cheese, onions, shrimp, sausage and more. Butter is a given! I’ve included some ingredient options below, although Lela’s original recipe just called for garlic cheese. Sometimes the simple foods provide the greatest comfort!

My orientation to grits was via the 1970s greasy spoon diner sitcom Alice. I spent many hours watching Flo Castleberry find a delightfully southern and spunky way of telling people to “Kiss my grits!” Here’s a video compilation of some of her sassiest moments:

Truth be told – one bite in and you may just kiss these grits. I enjoyed reminiscing over this dish and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Foodie Tips

❤  Garlic cheese roll? Yeah, you won’t likely readily find it at the grocery store. This good ol’ classic has been discontinued by Kraft but you can score a way to make your own Garlic Cheese Roll at home with this Betty’s Cook Nook recipe (scroll to the bottom for the bonus cheese roll recipe).

❤  This pimiento cheese recipe tastes great in lieu of the garlic cheese roll.

❤  I discovered a recent Southern Living magazine article with some ingredient options to enjoy grits three unique ways: Option 1: Scrambled eggs, cubed ham, shredded cheddar cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped fresh chives. Option 2: Fried egg, cubed chorizo, cubed avocado, crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese), and hot sauce. Option 3: Poached egg, crumbled bacon, sautéed spinach, and shaved Parmesan cheese.

i. Time

Total prep: About 25 minutes

ii. Ingredients

3 cups  |  boiling water
1 cup  |  grits
to taste  |  salt
1 roll  |  garlic cheese roll
1 stick  |  unsalted butter (my Grandmother always insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
|  cage free eggs
to serve  |  cheddar cheese, shredded
to garnish  |  bacon, crumbled (optional)
to garnish  |  green onions, sliced (optional)

iii. What To Do

1. In a saucepan bring the water to a boil.

2. Slowly stir the grits into the boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until thickened.

3. Add the salt, garlic cheese, butter and eggs and continue cooking until everything melts, about 2-3 minutes. The cheese should cool the grits a bit – you’ll want to make sure you don’t scramble your eggs!

Optional step: We transferred the grits into a buttered casserole dish, topped the grits with the shredded cheddar cheese and baked it at 350°F for 10 minutes to give the grits a cheesy crust up top.

4. To serve (if using): Sprinkle the bacon and sliced green onions on top and enjoy!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Grits Recipe Card

Who is Lela?

When I was growing up Lela Swinny lived at 3006 Northridge in San Antonio just 2 doors around the corner from my family’s home at 2927 Trailend.

The Swinny family was a delightful bunch of folks and my family spent almost as much time at their house as our own so naturally “fooding” was a part of the times our two families shared.

Mom’s dear friend “Lela” taught me many things ~ the joy of laughing, how to swim in their awesome pool, and how to cook a memorable breakfast treat called “Egg In A Nest,” which is also posted here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

True family fact: Back in the 1970s Lela was throwing out an old desk that caught my Mom’s eye. A coat of red paint later and it was a cornerstone in my brother Tim’s red white and blue bedroom (it was around the time of our Country’s Bicentennial celebration so red white and blue was extra hot). In the 1990s I painted the desk black and it’s the desk where I author this cooking blog to this day, proving that Lela is still with us, heart and soul!

You’ll find a picture of Lela and me in the “old family photos” tab and you can search for her by name to connect with more of her spirited recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

Cheers to two great friends – my Mom Betty and Lela!


slang jang

Slang Jang Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Delightfully Interesting Creation

I had never heard of “Slang Jang” before finding this recipe in my Mom’s cookbook.

I was curious about the origin of Slang Jang and one theory is that it hails from the East Texas town of Honey Grove, known as “The Sweetest Town In Texas.” Slang Jang has roots to 1888, a giant washtub, and the creative appetites of a group of men who just wanted lunch.

Slang Jang can be made a multitude of ways; surprisingly this recipe omits the often incorporated oysters, clams, and shrimpy things I know my Mom Betty would have loved. This Slang Jang recipe is super simple and super versatile – think of it like a relish or a “chow chow.” You can enjoy it on many things including hamburgers, hot dogs, atop cheese and crackers, or as an accompaniment to corn bread or black eyed peas.

Diving into Mom’s culinary legacy – her cookbook – I’m often able to connect pieces of the past together. I noted this Slang Jang recipe was written by my Mom on stationery from Hotel Monteleone (a.k.a. “The Monteleone”) in New Orleans. I only know of one trip my parents took to New Orleans so possibly they scored this recipe during that trip in 1956. Here’s a slice of history – a picture of them enjoying dinner in New Orleans at The Roosevelt Hotel’s “Blue Room” – a historic “supper club” venue where dinner, drinks, and dancing all converged.

The Blue Room

New Orleans (1956): The Blue Room ~ Shown here are my Uncle Bill (Willard Franklin Sutton,) Aunt Delores Marie Hannes Sutton, and my parents “Betty” (Elizabeth Joanna Hannes Kiker,) and Louis Orville Kiker.

i. Time

Total prep: About 20 minutes

ii. Ingredients

1 large can or jar (3 ½ cups)  |  sauerkraut, drained (we used 2 bags of Boar’s Head)
1 large  |  onion, finely chopped
1 cup  |  celery, finely chopped
|  green pepper, finely chopped
½ cup  |  water
½ cup  |  oil (we used Wesson Vegetable Oil)
¾ cup  |  vinegar
1 ½ cups  |  sugar

iii. What to do

1. Prepare all the vegetables.

2. Place the four wet ingredients in a medium pot and bring things to a boil.

3. Remove from heat and pour the boiling mixture over the vegetables and you’re ready to enjoy!

Stores well in the fridge

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

 

Also note: Don’t miss the recipe’s shorthand “code” for one 2 ½ can of sauerkraut. Back in the good ol’ days can sizes were often used to denote how much of an ingredient to use. A “2 ½ can” would translate into 3 ½ cups!

Slang Jang Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Handwritten Slang Jang Recipe


hondo corn casserole

Thanksgiving Spectacular

In uncommon fashion I’m pre-posting some recipes that are on deck and ready for the upcoming foodie festival!

Scroll down below and you’ll find three recipes that hail to my kitchen from my Cousin Julie – Hondo Corn Casserole (thank you, carbs), Madeira Turkey, and Wild Mushroom and Pecan Stuffing! These are on deck and coming out of the oven soon!

For you new-comers out there if you missed it make sure and check out the latest posts perfect for Thanksgiving –  Pumpkin Bread, Sour Cream Apple Pie plus Brandied Pumpkin Flan which is a family Thanksgiving staple. On our sister site Home Style Austin you can score our newest recipe Honey+Rosemary Roasted Cashews which are great for gift giving. Enjoy our 2019 fall “flavorites” from us to you!

This is surely going to be a Thanksgiving to remember. Photos and my usual rambling on about the good ol’ days to follow!

HONDO CORN CASSEROLE

This recipe sat in my cookbook likely since the 1990s. This year I was searching for the best sides to make for Thanksgiving and dived in. I couldn’t remember the origin of the recipe but when I read the ending of the recipe “If guests arrive, give them a drink and regale with stories of Texas Gulf Coast wonders” I knew this recipe hailed from someone special.

One phone conversation with Cousin Jennifer and it was confirmed – this recipe was from my dear Cousin Julie Sutton Mueller. Jennifer said this was one of Julie’s long-standing recipes at the holidays and as the recipe indicates – it’s a crowd favorite and people always ask for this recipe. That certainly proved true this Thanksgiving when I made it for our annual gathering at Canyon Lake!

Foodie Tips

❤  All about the corn: You can use a box of frozen corn – the instructions below presume you’ll use canned corn. If you’d like to increase the serving sizes to 8-10 you can add a can of the whole kernel corn.

❤  “Unsweetened condensed milk” – you’ll likely not find this in your store… but never fear – it’s the same thing as evaporated milk. Who knew?!? I didn’t until I researched it!

i. Time

Total prep: About 75 minutes

ii. Ingredients

16 ounce can  |  cream style corn
16 ounce can  |  whole kernel corn
1 cup  |  cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup  |  Ritz crackers, crushed
1 small  |  onion, chopped (or several green onions, chopped)
|  cage free egg
3 tablespoons (or less)  |  sugar
⅔ cup  |  unsweetened condensed milk (see foodie tip above)
1 stick  |  unsalted butter, melted (tip: my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
1 small can (4.5 ounces)  |  chopped green chilis
to taste  |  salt and fresh cracked pepper

iii. What to do

0. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Meanwhile…

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine all the ingredients together and set aside.

2. Grease or spray an oven casserole dish and fill it with your casserole mixture. You can either refrigerate this overnight until ready to bake or you can simply jump to step 3!

3. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is golden brown. Recommended step: If you’d like to make a pretty top crust, 10 minutes before the casserole is done baking sprinkle more cheese or crushed Ritz crackers on top. Deeeee-licious!

Serves: 6-10 (see recipe expansion tip above)

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Hondo Corn Casserole

A Scan Of Cousin Julie’s Hondo Corn Casserole

Thanksgiving 2019Enjoy your preview of what’s to come for Thanksgiving 2019!Wild Mushroom and Pecan Stuffing

Madeira Roast Turkey


caesar salad

La Louisianne Caesar Salad RecipeSeize The Caesar

More than 44 years after the original surprise party I received a surprise text from my cherished Cousin Alison.

December 28, 1974 Daughters Give Surprise Party in San Antonio

Click Image For A Close-Up View

Sadly Alison’s not near my front door to whisk me to Dime Box, Texas to visit family, but she’s texting because she’s found an old article from yesteryear about something I don’t even remember as a young tot – one special feast honoring my Grandmother’s 75th birthday!

I’ll spare you my many fabulously fond stories about my dear Nanny but I hope you’ve enjoyed one of the greatest gifts life has to offer – Grandparents! 

What’s special about this ol’ newspaper post is that it honored my Grandmother at one of the fanciest restaurants in San Antonio – La Louisianne. Sadly “La Lou” closed its doors in 1992 but trust me when I say it gifted memorable meals to thousands of folks who graced passed its front doors.

How remarkable that this birthday party appeared in the San Antonio Express-News. I’m crediting my Mom, Betty, for what’s probably the only time my name has been in *real* newspaper print. Hooray!

While Cousin Alison’s name didn’t make 1974 print, just the week before Nanny’s great dinner my Cousins Billy and Debbie found out they were blessed with her arrival, coming in 1975. What a great gift in our lives!

My Cousin Lorin texted me this caesar salad recipe proving that food can last beyond the best of times. Thank you, Lorin!

Enjoy food, salad, and family to the fullest!

La Louisianne Caesar Salad Bread Crumbs

Homemade Breadcrumbs Are Easy To Make… And Eat

Foodie Tips

❤  Two heads of lettuce? Yikes – where’s room for dessert!? We cut this recipe in half. Even for two ambitious Texans.

❤  To coddle and egg: Don’t hug it near and dear. :) Drop it in hot water for about 40 seconds to make it nice and toasty!

❤  Hangry? Add sliced grilled chicken breast for a more bountiful meal.

❤  Love salads? Don’t forget to click here (and scroll down) for more salad ideas here at Betty’s Cook Nook!

❤  Thanks to Joe! I bought a head of CABBAGE at the store, thinking it was Romaine lettuce. He fixed my wrong. #Guh

i. Time

Total prep: About 15 minutes (sans the grilled chicken)

ii. Ingredients

2 heads | romaine lettuce, cold, dry, and crisp
¼ teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
½ cup | croutons
2 ounces | garlic oil
½ ounce | worcestershire sauce
½ ounce | red wine vinegar
½ ounce | lemon juice
1 | cage free egg, coddled
1 tablespoon | anchovies, chopped
2 tablespoons | parmesan cheese, shredded

iii. What to do

1. Pull apart the Romaine lettuce into 2-inch pieces.

2. Mix the lettuce with salt and pepper.

3. Form a bed of croutons in the center of the lettuce,.

4. Mix the next 4 ingredients and pour over the crouton-lettuce mixture.

La Louisianne Caesar Salad Recipe

Here Goes The Egg + The Anchovies

5. Add the egg and anchovies.

6. Toss well and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

La Louisianne Caesar Salad Recipe

Let’s Give This A Good Toss

Serves: 4

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook