helen corbitt’s quiche lorraine

Helen Corbitt's Quiche LorraineChampagne & Lorraine

When I first met this recipe’s name I presumed Helen Corbitt was one of my Mom’s dear friends. Like many of the old recipes that found their way into my Mom’s cookbook they were often penned with a name giving a clue linking us back to the the recipe’s origin.Joskes Department Store PostcardA few curious clicks later I stumbled upon this Texas Monthly article from December 1999 (the turn of our century) that revealed who Helen was – her connection to Texas and to food. With culinary ties to the University of Texas, the Houston Country Club, Joske’s Department Store, the Driskill Hotel, and Neiman Marcus, Helen’s craft touched the hearts of many. While she may not have loved Texas from the start, the people of our great state eventually won her heart. So we can tip our hat to her for staying here and pioneering the way for better days. Helen earned the title “Tastemaker of the Century,” undoubtedly an honor for any foodie who loves cuisine and sharing it with others.

I know my Mom “Betty” loved quiche because I’ve found a handful of eggy recipes in her cookbook. I love how simple quiche is to prepare and share… and how changing 1 or 2 ingredients can magically transform the taste.

Let’s enjoy a slice of the good life and raise a toast to our “forefoodies”
~ Cling Cling / Cheers!¬† ūüćĺ ūüćĺ ūüćĺ ūüćĺ ūüćĺ

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine
Foodie Tips

‚̧¬† “Light cream” always trips me up. I look for it at the grocery store and often shake my fist at the sky when I cannot find it. Sometimes called “coffee cream” or “table cream,” light cream is a tad bit higher in fat than half-and-half. So what. Who cares?

‚̧¬† While I slightly overbaked the crust, the quiche itself turned out great! Try using a silicon pie crust shield to help prevent your dough from burning. I shudder to think what my quiche would have looked like without it. #charcoal? :)

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine

‚̧ ¬†I hope to become an “aficionado” at the meat counter soon. When I read “thin sliced” ham I guessed it was a thickness of 2. On the next go of this recipe I’ll try a 1.

‚̧¬† My Mom loved quiche. And if you’re still reading this post I’m guessing you do, too! Check out this recipe where I wax on about the origins of quiche and its relationship to my hometown, San Antonio.

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine Swiss Cheese

i. Time

Total prep: About 40 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

8 inch | pie crust
4 slices | bacon, crisped and chopped
4 | thin slices of onion, sautéed
8 | paper thin slices of ham, shredded
8 | paper thin slices of swiss cheese, sliced
3 | cage free eggs
¬ľ teaspoon | dry mustard
1 cup | light cream, heated
a dash | nutmeg
Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine Onions

iii. What to do

1. Prepare the pie crust according to the instructions. Mom wrote hers was baked at 450¬įF for about 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle the bacon and onion over the pie crust. Add ¬Ĺ of the ham then top with 4 slices of the cheese. Wait – we’re not done! This is Texas! Repeat the layering again – add the rest of the ham and the last 4 slices of cheese.

3. Beat the egg and mustard. Add the heated light cream and continue beating. Pour the egg mixture over the layers of ham and cheese. Let things “stand” for 10 minutes. Is your stomach growling yet?

4. Sprinkle a tiny bit of nutmeg on top of the quiche then bake it at 350¬įF until this custard is set (about 15-20 minutes).

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine

Serves: One to a few, depending on your ability to resist deliciousness.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and¬†‚ÄúNostalgic Food Blogger‚ÄĚ of Betty‚Äôs Cook Nook

In Case You Missed It…

Honored in 1999 as “Tastemaker of the Century” by Texas Monthly Magazine, Helen Corbitt may have not have loved Texas as much as those who were born here but she became enchanted with the unique blend of Texans and their love for food. If the stories I’ve read are true (and I bet they are), Helen had a lot to do with the culinary cultivation of our state introducing our fore-parents to artichokes, raspberries, souffl√©s, Texas Caviar, and surprising creations limited only by the stars.

I don’t know if my Mom, Betty, knew Helen. But I know they shared the love of great food… so Helen is as much a family member as one can wish for.

With the love of food, all things are possible. ###

 


pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook NookThe Best Of Fall

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when wearing flannel and smelling like patchouli is top of mind. Also top of mind? PUMPKINS!¬†¬†ūüéɬ†There’s no better way to ring in fall’s greatness other than watching the fall favorite “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”¬†

The Peanuts gang were probably my best friends growing up. In a time before you could record TV I never missed a show. I remember sketching Snoopy on top of his doghouse… and funny, I never thought it was odd that Snoopy slept *on top* of his doghouse rather than in it. Childhood innocence.

While your pumpkin bread is baking, come back and watch the movie below – share it with your family and friends and celebrate the way we were… and the way we are with the best of fall!

Foodie Tips

‚̧¬† I halved this recipe and made 2 medium-sized loaves. If you’re gift-giving or a lover of loaves, go all the way!

‚̧¬† One small can pumpkin? I presumed it was a 15 ounce can.

‚̧¬† The recipe didn’t note it but I greased my loaf pans before adding the batter.

‚̧¬† This bread is most great served sliced and toasted with a schmear of Phildelphia Whipped Cream Cheese.

i. Time

Total prep: About 75 minutes (minus resting)

ii. Ingredients

3-‚Öď cups¬†|¬†flour
3 cups | sugar
1 teaspoon | cinnamon
2 teaspoons | nutmeg
2 teaspoons | baking soda
1 teaspoon | salt
4 | cage free eggs, beaten
1 cup | oil
‚ÖĒ cup¬†|¬†water
15 ounces | canned pumpkin
¬ĺ cup (2 small boxes)¬†|¬†raisins
¬ĺ cup |¬†chopped nuts (a.k.a. “pecans,” here in Texas)
to top | more pecans (optional)

Pumpkin Bread In The Works

iii. What to do

1. Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

2. Add the eggs, oil, water, and pumpkin. Mix everything well.

3. Fold in the raisins and the pecans.

4. Pour the batter into two large or four small loaf pans at 325¬įF until the bread tests done.

ENJOY

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and¬†‚ÄúNostalgic Food Blogger‚ÄĚ of Betty‚Äôs Cook Nook

Pumpkin Bread Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Peanuts Cook Book Circa 1970One of my most cherished childhood items is this Peanuts cookbook. Originally printed in 1970 it still remains in my kitchen today, almost 50 years later!

This cookbook was not mine, originally… but at the magical age of 10 I was such a fanatic about The Peanuts Gang I was able to smooth talk this cookbook out of my neighborhood friend’s kitchen and into mine!

Pumpkin Bread

A Scan Of Mom’s Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Sous Chef Note: While acquainting myself with this recipe I noticed a credit to “Barbara Harris” and took to the internet to see if I could find out who she was. Turns out Barbara was a San Antonio restauranteur who ran some popular food establishments in San Antonio and Dallas.

I found reference to Barbara’s Pecan Pie Muffins in Karen Haram’s 50 Favorite “Good Taste” Recipes – these muffins are surely a culinary cousin to the Pumpkin Bread recipe above. Karen was a food author for the San Antonio Express-News for more than 30 years so you know these recipes have gotta be tasty… I have Karen’s Good Taste cookbook printed out for my culinary archives and you can score a digital copy of her fifty favorites here >¬†Karen Haram’s 50 Favorite Recipes.


clam puffs

Clam Puffs Recipe From Betty's Cook NookYou had me at “cream puffs.” You lost me at “clam.”

The fact that anything made with clams has not crept its way into my foodie hall of fame is because I’m a selective (um, “picky”) seafood eater. So sometimes I miss out on the sea fun because I suspiciously stereotype and elevate food options to DEFCON 1 when shrimp, octopus, oysters and the like are on my radar. Basically if it’s cold and fishy, I’m likely out. Except for the highly rated ceviche sampler I had at Stephen Pyles downtown Dallas hotspot that now is closed. Boo.

This recipe daunted me because of *clam* PLUS I had never made a puff before ‚Äď cream or otherwise. Surprisingly these puffs were remarkably easy to make and I look forward to a little more puff magic to come. In the end I couldn’t help but notice how similar they were in size and shape to my childhood favorite Dunkin’ Munchkins. Glazed, powdered, filled or sprinkled, these sweet treats were born in the 1970s and are still alive and living life large today.

Foodie Tips

‚̧¬† When the recipe author Mary Stephenson (more about Mary below) wrote that these freeze beautifully she wasn’t kidding! We had leftover puffs and almost 2 months after they went into the freezer Joe enjoyed some when I was out of town for work and he said they were just as good as fresh. Shazam! Joe simply reheated them in our air fryer for 7 minutes at¬†400¬įF.

‚̧¬† Mary noted that you can substitute the clam with shrimp or crab. So you can enjoy “sea inspired puffs”¬†3 ways!

‚̧¬† I didn’t find clam broth at the store. But I did find clam juice which is apparently the same thing, so keep your eyes peeled for either.

‚̧¬† We halved this recipe. Sans hosting a party we would have been eating puffs for weeks!

A Whole Lotta Clam Puffs

i. Time

To prepare: About 20 minutes.
To bake: 35 minutes
To fill: About 20 minutes

Clam Puffs Recipe Ingredients

ii. Ingredients

for the puffs:
1 cup | clam broth
1 cup | water
¬Ĺ cup¬†|¬†butter (my grandmother insisted on Falfurrias)
1 cup | flour
5 | cage free eggs (4 for the puffs and 1 for the glaze)
1 teaspoon | more butter (to grease pan)
¬Ĺ teaspoon¬†|¬†milk

for the filling:
3 6.5 ounce cans | minced clams, drained
8 ounces | cream cheese and chives (I only found chive and onion)
6-8 dashes | Tobasco brand red pepper sauce
¬Ĺ teaspoon¬†|¬†fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon¬†|¬†Lawry’s seasoned salt

iii. What to do

1.¬†In a medium-sized pot heat the clam broth/juice and water and bring to a boil. Add the ¬Ĺ cup butter and let it melt ‚Äď it won’t take long!

2.¬†Stir in the flour all at once and stir constantly until the dough “leaves the pan” and forms a ball. Note: the dough isn’t literally going to leave/leap or otherwise hurl itself out of the pan ‚Äď you’re just looking for when it begins to stick to itself and become doughy enough to form. :)

How To Make Clam Puffs

3. Remove the pan from heat and add 4 eggs, one at a time (you’ll reserve the last egg for the puff glaze.

4. Place¬†1 teaspoon butter on a cookie sheet and smear to coat the pan. Form the dough by hand into about 50 balls (100-120¬†puff balls if you’re making the full recipe in which case you’ll need more than 1 cookie sheet). When we formed the balls we improvised by transferring the readied flour into a Ziploc bag, cutting a small corner from the bag, and piping it onto the cookie sheet.

5. Preheat your oven to¬†400¬įF.

Clam Puffs Before The Oven

6. Make your egg-milk mixture by whisking together 1 egg and the milk. Brush the pre-baked puffs with the egg-milk mixture.

7. Bake the puffs at¬†400¬įF for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300¬įF and bake for 20-25¬†additional minutes.

8. While the puffs are baking let’s make the clam filling! In a medium bowl cream together the clams, cream cheese, tobasco, salt and pepper and set aside.

9. When the puffs are golden brown remove them from the oven and let them rest until they are cool to the fingers. Cut them in half with a knife and fill them with the clam filling (a little schmear with a knife will do just fine).

Yields 10-12 dozen as penned. Remember you can half this recipe!

Seafood Lover? I have a post coming soon with a great story about the Texas Coast that stems to my childhood. In the meantime check out the other Betty’s Cook Nook seafood recipes at right by clicking on yup ‚Äď you guessed it ‚Äď “seafood!”

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and¬†‚ÄúNostalgic Food Blogger‚ÄĚ of Betty‚Äôs Cook Nook

 

Who is ‚ÄúMary Stephenson?‚ÄĚ

We Kikers lived at 2927 Trailend Drive in San Antonio from the early 1960s until the mid 1980s. Mary was the Mother of the Stephenson family living next door to us.

Mary was a fabulous foodie friend of ours and you’ll see a few recipes from Mary’s kitchen here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

Our two families spent many shared dinners and laughs together so I was happy to find some of Mary’s recipes tucked in Mom’s cookbook since the Stephensons were a magnificent and memorable part of my wonder years.

Clam Puffs Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan of Mom’s Cream Puffs & Clam Recipe | Gifted and Penned by Mary

 

You didn’t think I’d close this post without some vintage Dunkin’ advertising, did you? Here we go!

Dunkin Munchkins Vintage Logo


macaroni chicken salad

Macaroni Chicken Salad Recipe
take an old friend for a new spin

Mmm MMM! I love me some macaroni and cheese!

In college I could eat an entire box of the stuff in one sitting. I still can. I’d stir in a little sour cream just to make things creamier, as if that was a missing thing.

This recipe takes the tried and true mac ‘n cheese staple and dresses it up with a bit of protein and some veggie bits to make a special dish that will tickle the tastebuds.

foodie tips

‚̧¬† I’m sure the folks at Kraft would love to know that in my entire life I don’t recall if I’ve ever had any other boxed mac and cheese but theirs. There’s something to be said for a loyal stomach! I’ve made mac and cheese from scratch a few times – here’s one of my favorites if you want to enjoy¬†hatch-chicken mac ‘n cheese. It’s out of this world.

Evil Bell Pepper

Could it be evil lives inside peppers? On my next slice I’ll definitely have an *extra* knife handy. Just in case.

‚̧¬† My dear friend Heather 1,000% percent loathes bell peppers. I don’t quite get her hatred for the lil’ green things. She said the flavor is wretched and it makes her burp.

I went online and discovered there is a following a folks who are convinced that “pepper faces” are evil. Hmm… they could be onto something.¬†This one’s for you, Heather!

If by chance you fall into the “no-thank-you” green pepper camp, try substituting a can of Hatch peppers – fresh if you can. The smoky heat will warm your heart. And I know Heather loves hatch peppers so all should be good there.

‚̧¬† House divided: Joe and I argued whether this dish was better hot or cold. Since I’m the one writing the blog post, I kindly suggest you try it warm first; then chill any leftovers and see if you like the chilled version. Note: There won’t be any leftovers! :) Looks like I win again!Macaroni Chicken Salad Ingredients

i. ingredients

1 package | macaroni and cheese dinner
1 cup | cooked chicken, diced
3 | hard-boiled cage free eggs, chopped
¬Ĺ¬†cup | green pepper, chopped
¬Ĺ¬†cup |¬†green peas, cooked
¬ľ cup¬†|¬†celery, chopped
¬ľ cup¬†| radishes, sliced
3 tablespoons | onion, chopped
‚Öď cup¬†|¬†salad dressing or mayonnaise

ii. what to do

1. Make your mac ‘n cheese dinner according to the package directions. Please don’t overcook it! Soggy pasta is right up there with wet blankets and warm beer. No thank you!

2. Transfer the mac ‘n cheese to a large bowl and combine in the next seven ingredients.

3. Stir in the salad dressing and toss gently. Consume immediately or chill, if you must. :)

Yields 6-8 servings¬†according to the original recipe… or 1-2 servings, if you enjoy bountiful mounds of food, like me.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and¬†‚ÄúNostalgic Food Blogger‚ÄĚ of Betty‚Äôs Cook Nook

A macaroni chicken salad recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

A scan of Mom’s macaroni-chicken salad recipe

 

At 5 cents a servings I’ll eat $2 worth, please. It’s the least I can do! The least.

Here in the 2nd commercial a wife is really bummed her husband is coming home for lunch. Sheesh! Maybe he should check the Mac n’ Cheese to make sure it’s not generously sprinkled with Rat Kill!¬†

Here we see the Mom’s family is just too busy to stop to eat dinner together. Sounds like it’s 15 minutes for dinner to be ready… and 20 minutes of spankings for all! And there’s plenty more servings of spankings to go ’round!


lemon light drop cookies

Lemon Light Drop Cookies From Betty's Cook Nookthe power of lemon

Those who know me well know my love for lemons.

I’ve grown a few lemon trees from seed, I make my own limoncello, and anytime I incorporate the bright, citrusy flavor into food or drink, I’m reminded of its amazing power.

puttin’ on the spritz

After mastering the simple art of the drop cookie, I was ready to raise the bar by trying my hand with my cookie press, which I recently discovered due to this cheese straws recipe.

My Mom “Betty” had a metal cookie press that I remember well, but where do pressed cookies come from? I wasn’t too surprised to learn they originate from Germany… all the way back to the 16th century.¬†Spritzgeb√§ck or “Spritz” cookies are pressed butter cookies that are made by squirting dough through disks that make a variety of cool-shaped cookies. The cookie press is like a baker’s version of everyone’s favorite childhood toy – Play-Doh!

Lemon Light Drop Cookie RecipeHungry for more cookie history? You can learn a lot of interesting facts about the origins of cookies at this website.

foodie tips

‚̧¬†¬†If using self-rising flour, decrease the soda to ¬ľ teaspoon and omit the baking powder and salt.

‚̧¬† The original recipe (below) makes about 70 2 ¬Ĺ” cookies. That’s right, 70! Since we weren’t having a party I decided to cut the recipe in half, which still yielded over 30 cookies.

‚̧¬† For the second half of my dough I experimented with my cookie press and was able to churn out some fun-shaped cookies*. Whether you try this or go the simple “drop” route, I wouldn’t suggest hand-rolling the dough into balls; these lost some of their charm and looked more like mini biscuits than cookies. So drop or cookie press all the way!

* Note: To get my cookie press to best form the dough, I chilled the dough-filled press in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen the dough. I clicked the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and voilà!

i. ingredients

to grease cookie sheet | shortening or cooking spray
1¬†¬Ĺ cups¬†|¬†sugar
1 cup | shortening, at room temperature
1 tablespoon | lemon peel, freshly grated
2 | cage free eggs
1 cup | sour cream or lemon yogurt (I used sour cream, my childhood BFF)
1 teaspoon | lemon extract
3 ¬Ĺ cups¬†|¬†Pillsbury brand all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons | baking powder
¬Ĺ teaspoon¬†|¬†baking soda
¬Ĺ teaspoon¬†|¬†salt
to sprinkle | sugar

ii. what to do

0.¬†Preheat oven to¬†350¬įF.

Lemon Light Cookie Dough

1.¬†Let’s make the dough! In a large bowl, cream the sugar, shortening, and lemon peel until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the sour cream (or yogurt) and lemon extract mix well. Lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup; level off. To the batter add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend well.

Lemon Light Cookies Going Into The Oven

2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar before placing them into the oven.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a light golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and¬†‚ÄúNostalgic Food Blogger‚ÄĚ of Betty‚Äôs Cook Nook

Lemon Light Drop Cookie Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

Lemon Light Drop Cookie Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Recipe Clipping

Here are some vintage Play-Doh commercials from me to you!


quiche lorraine

A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
Quiche Masterpiece

I love when I get a little history lesson along with a recipe. It’s like two treats in one! Found along with this recipe my Mom clipped from The San Antonio Express-News in 1970 the article tells an interesting story about this recipe’s creator, Ester MacMillan.

Ester helped introduce quiche to foodies near and far after it arrived at the 1968 World’s Fair dubbed “HemisFair” that was held in San Antonio. What a sight that must have been when the Tower of the Americas – an observation tower more than 600 feet tall complete with a spinning 360¬į top – debuted at the expo! You can read more about Ester and her story about the origin of quiche via the original recipe scan I scored from my Mom’s cookbook below.¬†A postcard from HemisFair 1968, San Antonio, Texas

As a child I remember my Mom, “Betty,” talking about Quiche Lorraine and a few decades later (ahem, just a few) this was the first time I made it. I absolutely loved it! I found the recipe extremely forgiving, meaning you can adapt it to your liking by adjusting the ingredients you introduce into the custard.

Perfect for a brunch-time gathering or ¬†a couch-side treat this recipe scored a well-deserved spot in “The Best Of The Best Recipes” category (at right) … as well as my heart.

I’ve discovered more than one quiche recipe in Mom’s cookbook so I’ll be trying other versions soon and will share them here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

foodie tips

‚̧¬† “Blind baking.” I had never heard of it before until my friend and colleague Suzanne told me about it when I commented that I longed for a crispier quiche crust. Essentially all you do is pre-bake the crust a few minutes before filling it; doing so will help give it more “fluff.” I’ll give blind baking a try¬†on the next making of this dish. And there will be a next time.

‚̧¬†¬†I may have “accidentally” used a teeny bit more meat than the recipe suggests. In fact, Ester called for bacon or ham. A lover of both, I used bacon and ham. #Carnivore. This recipe presumes you will follow suit and use both. I scored some peppered ham at my local HEB¬†and I loved the extra peppery kick.

‚̧¬† After reading the recipe below if you want to learn more about NIOSA and score some of the festival’s recipes, click this link and enjoy!

Quiche Lorraine Ingredients

i. ingredients

9 inch | pie crust
¬ľ pound¬†|¬†bacon or ham (or both)
1 ¬Ĺ cup¬†|¬†gruyere or aged cheddar, grated¬†(I used gruyere)
5 | cage free eggs
1 cup | cream, half and half or undiluted evaporated milk
¬Ĺ teaspoon¬†|¬†salt
dash | white pepper
dash | nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon | dried onion
dash | cayenne pepper

ii. what to do

0. Preheat your oven to 400¬įF. That was easy, right?

1. Line a 9-inch pie pan or fluted quiche pan with pie crust. If you choose, blind bake the doughy crust (per above) and set aside.

2. Cook until crisp the bacon – and or – lightly brown the ham. Set the dynamic duo aside to cool off a bit.A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

3. Place your grated cheese (yum, cheese!) in the bottom of your pastry-lined pie pan. Over that, sprinkle your meats.

4. In a medium-sized bowl beat the eggs. Add the cream and the four seasonings and beat a little longer until everything is well-mingled. Pour this egg mixture over the cheese-meat medley.A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden and custard is set. Remove from oven and cool a bit to lukewarm and serve.

Yield: About 8 servings. Enjoy!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and¬†‚ÄúNostalgic Food Blogger‚ÄĚ of Betty‚Äôs Cook Nook

 

A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Quiche Lorraine Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A scan of Mom’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine. Click to read the interesting story!

Watch this interesting video series about HemisFair 1968! I learned much about my hometown city!


eggplant parmigiana

An Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Aubergine Supreme

Found on the same page of Mom’s cookbook as this savory pepper steak¬†recipe is this eggplant parmigiana recipe.

We Americans often shorten words down to make them easier to pronounce:

    • When referring to cheese, “Parmigiana” (Italian origin) is shortened to simply¬†“Parmesan”. But somehow saying “parmigiana” just makes anything made with it sound fancier … and tastier.
    • “Aubergine” (British English) is known as “Eggplant” this side of the big pond <– I’m pointing to Texas. I’d rather refer to my walls being the color of aubergine than eggplant. Any day, hands down.
    • Shaking My HeadWhen in Italy “Rome” is “Roma,” “Naples” is “Napoli” and “Florence” is Firenze.” On my first trip to Italy in 2006 I had a full on adult melt-down in the Naples train station when I thought we couldn’t purchase a ticket to Florence … only to discover a few minutes later that Firenze and Florence were the same city. Finger to forehead! Still shaking my head to this day.

While I’ve spent much of my recent adult life researching and traveling Italy, I look for ways to incorporate the Italian romance language into my everyday life as often as I can, so while the use of “eggplant parmigiana” would appear to be on the decline according to Google Ngram Viewer, I can assure you this dish will be making a repeat appearance in my kitchen … and more importantly in my belly. :)

This dish hails from southern Italy’s regions of Campania and Sicily. Layers of cheese and tomato sauce? Count me IN!

foodie tips ~

‚̧¬† While the debate over whether to salt (sweat) or not salt your eggplant rolls on, this recipe doesn’t call for it. Once your eggplant is layered between tomato and cheese, even the discriminating pallet shouldn’t notice any eggplant bitterness.

‚̧¬† Love eggplant? Check out more of Mom’s recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook using the nav at left!

i. ingredients

2 tablespoons¬†|¬†unsalted butter (Falfurrias brand butter,¬†per Betty’s Mom “Nanny” – she is my grandmother)
¬Ĺ cup¬†|¬†onion, chopped
1 clove | garlic, crushed
1 pound | ground beef chuck
1 can (~1 pound 1 ounce) | Italian-style tomatoes, undrained
6 ounce can | tomato paste
2 teaspoons | dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon | dried basil leaves
1 ¬Ĺ teaspoons¬†|¬†salt
¬ľ teaspoon¬†|¬†pepper
1 cup | water
1 tablespoon | brown sugar
1 large | eggplant (about 1 pound in size)
2 | cage free eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon | water
¬Ĺ cup¬†|¬†dried bread crumbs
1 ¬ľ cups¬†|¬†parmesan cheese, grated
¬ľ cup¬†|¬†salad oil (vegetable oil)
8 ounces | mozzarella cheese, grated

ii. what to do

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Sauté the onion, garlic and beef chuck until the meat is no longer red (about 5 minutes).

2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, brown sugar and the water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

3. Let’s get¬†the oven preheating to¬†350¬įF. Lightly grease a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and set aside.

4. Wash the eggplant and leave the peel on. Cut the eggplant crosswise into slices about ¬Ĺ” thick and set aside.

5. In a pie plate, combine the eggs and 1 tablespoon more water; mix well.

6. Are you ready to bread? On a sheet of waxed paper, combine the bread crumbs with ¬Ĺ cup of the parmesan cheese and mix well. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg mixture and coat well. Then dip into the breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly.

7. In a new pan sauté the eggplant slices a few at a time in 1 tablespoon of hot oil until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Add more oil as needed.

8. Arrange half of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of the remaining parmesan cheese. Top each slice with half of the mozzarella cheese; cover with half of the tomato sauce.

9. Arrange the remaining eggplant slices over the tomato sauce. Cover with the rest of the parmesan, and the tomato sauce.

10. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Arrange the remaining mozzarella over the top; bake 20 minute longer, or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Yields 6 servings

~ Patrick

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

Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A scan of Mom’s original recipe clipping.