Sometime’s life and eventful timing collide.
This week we just so happened to randomly select this recipe from many in Mom’s cookbook. After further research … How did we know it was Julia Child’s birthday (August 15th)? And who eats a savory hot roast in summer? Apparently we do!
This recipe requires a little TLC in the kitchen and I think it’s well worth it – the results speak for themselves.
Hats off to you, Julia, for inspiring the joy of cooking in so many people – including my Mom! And thanks for channeling us to find this recipe.
A little taste of the good times.
foodie tips ~
♥ The sauce below sounds nice. We made it but didn’t think it was necessary; this roast is delicious as is without added layers of flavor and texture.
♥ By “1/2 cup or more of wine” below, we suggest or more to “keep it real,” as they say. See what you think.
♥ If you love stews try this Tuscan Beef Stew recipe. This dish makes regular appearances at my table and guests love it.
4-5 pounds | chuck roast, top or bottom round brisket
to season the meat | salt and pepper
to coat the pan | olive oil
2 | onions, sliced
2 | carrots, sliced
2 | tomatoes, chopped
1 cup | bouillion
eye it | water, to fill pot
1/2 cup or more | wine (I suggest a red)
1 | bay leaf
pinch | thyme
5 | peppercorns
2 cloves | garlic
ii. what to do
1. Dry the meat – pat it with a few papertowels. Cover it with salt and pepper. Brown it in a pot lined with a coating of olive oil over medium heat. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside on a plate or on a piece of foil that we will use later (below).
2. Brown sliced onions and sliced carrots in oil. Put the roast back in the pot and add chopped tomatoes, bouillion, water and wine. Flavor with bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and the garlic cloves. Half or more of the roast should be covered in sauce; add water or wine if necessary. Before putting the lid on the pot, cover the roast with foil so it won’t shrink too much.
3. Cook at 300°F or simmer on top of stove 3 – 4.5 hours. About 1/2 hour or so before the roast is done, add onions, carrots, and potatoes if desired.
4. For gravy: drain the fat off the roast juice. Add flour mixed with butter to juice.
Yields: 6-8 Servings
One of my earliest cooking tips hailed from a floury, flat, flying disc-like object; the tortilla.
Cooked in soup, tortillas were the fast and economical way to plump up chicken and dumpling soup, rather than making dumplings by hand. This cooking tip was shared with mom by our family friend and housekeeper Miss “Essie.”
I don’t remember a day when Essie wasn’t smiling. She was rich with a happiness that money cannot buy and she was a hard-working lady who helped our family for many years. She helped Mom pick-up and organize the house as Mom was more than busy raising three boisterous boys (I was the angel son, of course) and working as an independent contractor; a court reporter.
When the temperatures start to drop, I search for loose clothing, as I know chicken and dumpling season is among us. There’s no better comfort food than the warm, silky, doughy greatness of this belly pleaser.
I’m tucking this recipe here in Mom’s digital cookbook as it’s one of my favorites and certainly a dish I would make for Mom, Dad and you. Over the years, I’ve adapted this recipe and often include rosemary, one of my favorite homegrown herbs.
Let’s Get Cookin’
i. soup ingredients
1-2 pounds | boneless chicken breast, cubed.
2-3 medium | white onions (1 onion will be pierced with cloves, 1-2 onions will be chopped)
splash | olive oil for sautéing (or some chunks of butter, if you’d like)
8 | whole cloves
3-4 medium | carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 sprigs | parsley on stem (or cilantro, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon | salt
2-4 sprigs | rosemary (not chopped, just for flavor)
½ teaspoon | freshly ground black pepper
2 | celery ribs, chopped
4 cups | water (or chicken broth, if you want to pump up the jam)
1 cup | whole milk
ii. dumpling ingredients
1 cups + 3 tablespoons | sifted flour
1 + ½ teaspoons | baking power
dash | salt (and some pepper, if you’d like)
2 tablespoons | shortening, chilled
½ cup | milk for dumplings plus ¼ cup milk for a “slurry”
2 – 4 sprigs (~ 4” each) | chopped rosemary
iii. foodie tips
❤ Add more pepper if you have a cold. Trust me.
❤ You can add more herbs if you like. Bay leaves, cilantro or thyme are all good. You can place the herbs in a cheese cloth and tie-off the ends so you don’t have to “fish” the herbs and stems out of the soup. You can also season the dumplings with some fresh cracked pepper or chopped rosemary or thyme.
❤ Need more fillin’? I’ve tried this by adding a couple of cans of yellow corn and chopped green chilies. My taste buds and tummy “high fived” each other.
❤ If you haven’t already read here on Betty’s Cook Nook, when I say butter, “Falfurrias Butter” is implied. Thank you to my Grandmother, Nanny!
❤ To form the dumplings I prepare them all ahead of time so they cook for a consistent amount of time. To yield about 40 dumplings I use a teaspoon to help cut the dough into similarly-sized dumplings. Hand roll them tight and use flour on your hands if you find the dough becomes sticky.
iv. what to do
1. Make Soup: In a large pot, sauté the chicken with 1 or 2 of the chunk-chopped onions and oil (or butter). Gently place into the pot the onion that’s pierced with cloves then add the carrots, celery, parsley (or cilantro), salt, rosemary, pepper, 1 cup of the milk, and 4 cups water (or chicken broth). Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally (between glasses of wine, of course). Reduce to low and simmer covered for one hour. Simmering will give you ample time to drink more wine and make the dumplings! [ side comment: Please realize step 1 is really 14 steps rolled into 1 but nobody will make soup that requires a lot of steps.]
2. Make Dough: I usually jumpstart my dumplings 25-30 minutes before the soup is done with its hour-long simmer. Sift 1 cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt (and pepper, if you choose) together in a medium-sized mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid). Cut in chilled shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ½ cup milk all at once, any seasonings (pepper, rosemary or thyme) and mix until dough holds together.
3. Make Dumplings: Form your dumplings per the cooking tip above. When they’re all ready remove the onion pierced with clove, parsley (or cilantro) and rosemary from the soup and discard. With a slotted spoon, remove the chunky items (chicken, carrots, celery) from the soup and place them in a bowl to rest/set aside. It’s OK to leave some of the chopped onion in the pot as it’s hard to fish out! Bring the remaining soup to a simmer and drop the dumplings on top of the liquid. Simmer the soup uncovered for 10 minutes; then cover and simmer 10 more minutes.
4. Make Slurry & Prepare To Dismount: Stir the remaining 3 tablespoons flour into the remaining ¼ cup milk until smooth. You just made “slurry!” Stir the slurry into the soup and bring things to a boil. Stir until thickened. Return the chunky items from the bowl to the soup and simmer for a few minutes. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley (or cilantro or rosemary).
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
In 5th grade, I remember my music class teacher praised me for my rhythm with the wood block. Grabbing that praise, I entered beginning band in 6th grade at Garner Middle School… and my passion for percussion marched on through high school and college. I still love music to this day.
Returning home from summer band practice at Garner, I remember sitting on the floor watching TV (before cable or satellite TV) and Looney Tunes was tops on my list. Bugs Bunny was one of my favorites and we all know Bugs’ love of the carrot. With that in mind…
…I hope you enjoy mom’s tasty carrot cake as much as I do!
for the cake:
2 cups | sugar
1-1/3 cups | cooking oil
4 | cage free eggs
2 cups | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | baking soda
2 teaspoons | cinnamon
3 cups | grated raw carrots
1/2 cup | nuts (texas pecans or walnuts)
for the icing:
1 pound | powdered sugar
8-ounce package | cream cheese
¼ cup | margarine (or unsalted Falfurrias butter, per Nanny)
2 tablespoons | milk
2 teaspoons | vanilla
0. Preheat oven to 300°F.
1. Beat sugar and oil… add the eggs and beat well.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture and beat well.
3. Fold-in the grated carrots and nuts.
4. Transfer batter to a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
5. Bake 70 minutes at 300°F.
6. While cake cools, let’s make the icing by beating all of the icing ingredients (above), until creamy.
7. Spread icing on cool cake and serve.
♥ Go nuts… Use tasty Texas pecans!
♥ You can also make individual treats by transforming the cake into 24 cupcakes. Cook for about 50-60 minutes.
♥ OR… you can even transform this recipe into cake balls! To yield about a dozen cakeballs we crumbled 4 cupcakes along with 2 tablespoons of the frosting, chilled a few hours to firm then hand dipped into white chocolate bark. Delicious!
Growin’ up in “San Antone,” my first memories of Italian food came in the form of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor off Austin Highway.
I don’t really remember the pizza much, but I do remember the experience and excitement of piling into the car to go pick it up. Shakey’s was the place for great family fun ~ especially for kids. Shakey’s had a magically cool player piano similar to the one we had at home where we spent countless hours singing with friends. I still have that piano!… To top your day, Shakey’s had party skimmer hats for the taking sporting bands around the top that read “Shakey’s” typeset in a blackletter-style font… and my favorite part were these little figure eight-shaped balloons you could blow-up and slide onto flat cardboard shoes; they’d stand on their own, transforming into the awesome shape of a happy pizza chef (at right). Why not watch this vintage video of the Shakey’s experience (and have a little laugh)?
So Italy. I’ve been lucky to travel to my far away home away from home 5 times (so far!) and have become somewhat of an Italian foodie snob. While this soup may not knock you over the head with “obvious” Italian flavor, when I close my eyes, the heartiness of the beans, carrots, tomato and parsley transports me back to my first tastes of Italy.
What a great memory that is.
You can read about my travel experiences to Italy at my other passion site at ForTheLoveOfItaly.com. More recipes, travel tips and pics, and fun stories.
Now, on to the soup!
1/2 cup | diced carrots
¼ cup | sliced celery
1 | diced tomato
1 cup | shredded cabbage
to taste | pepper
6 cups | boiling water
1 package | lipton brand beef flavor noodle soup
1 package | lipton brand onion soup
1/2 cup | kidney beans
2 tablespoons | chopped parsley
to serve | grated cheese
ii. what to do
1. Cook vegetables in boiling water, covered, for 20 minutes.
2. Stir-in pepper and soup mixes; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Add beans and parsley. Heat.
4. Serve with grated cheese.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ You may have trouble finding the boxed soups; they are from the 70s. So sport your favorite 70s “cut-offs” and hold a soup-y seance. If you can’t find the soup with the noodles inside it, you can add your own; just make sure it’s a fine noodle, like Capelli d’Angelo (angel hair pasta). You can break the pasta into small pieces before cooking.
♥ In a pinch, you can do what I did and use grated mozzarella cheese. But try using a finely grated “hard” Italian cheese so the gooey cheese doesn’t overwhelm the soup. A couple of my favorites are Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano.
♥ Add a few sprigs of rosemary to the soup for a souper-dooper-booster of Italian flavor.
♥ You can double-up on the beans and some of the water, to make it more broth-y.
Dinah Shore was one class act. Dinah was one of mom’s favorites and her 1950’s variety show paved the way for Oprah (Sorry, O)!
This soup recipe was hand-written in the black cookbook and I chuckled when I saw the note “17 cents/serving… serves 6.” “Nothing much” costs 17 cents these days ~ not even just the tax. But I’m willing to give this recipe a run for my money. It sounds great!
Foodie Side Note ~ I calculated the cost of the soup based on today’s (2011) costs and arrived at a $1.64 per serving cost. While still affordable, that’s an increase of about 900% over the past 60 years!
i. soup ingredients
1 ½ pounds | lean ground beef (or lean turkey)
chopped | fresh parsley
¼ cup | uncooked rice
to taste | salt and pepper
to taste | paprika
handful | flour
8 cups* | water
6 | chopped green onions
3 | chopped carrots
2 cups | fresh tomatoes
½ | chopped green pepper
more | fresh parsley
2 | eggs
1 | juice of lemon
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Based on my preparation, I’m not sure how 50 meatballs would fit into 4 cups of water. I believe this was supposed to be 4 quarts of water (not 4 cups). I even found validation of a derivative of this recipe at Vicki Lawrence’s website (she knew Dinah, too)!
♥ If you refrigerate any leftovers, you can discard any grease that rises to the top, which will be more heart healthy.
1. Mix the ground beef and some chopped parsley, the rice, salt, pepper and paprika. Form into meat balls about 1-to-1 and 1/2″ round, roll each in flour and set aside.
2. To 8 cups boiling water add the onions, carrots, tomatoes and green pepper. Simmer 30 minutes.
3. Gently drop the meat balls into the boiling stock and simmer about 40 minutes, or until rice is done. Don’t have the stock boiling too fast ~ just simmer ~ when adding the meat balls, or they will fall apart. And nobody likes mushy soup!
4. About 5 minutes before the stock is done, add more fresh parsley.
5. When done, beat the eggs with juice of one lemon. Add a little of the hot broth to the eggs so they will not cook too fast. Then slowly add this mixture to the soup. You’re ready for take-off.
A photo of mom’s original recipe below!