fondue

Fondue Recipes From Bettys Cook NookFor The Love Of Fondue

Growing up the youngest of three boys meant I was the small, quiet one. The one who listened and watched to center stage from afar.

Older me tells younger me that’s AOK because it helped me make the most of the precious time I had with my parents. I was able to soak it all in and pick up on a few tips I still hold near and dear to this day… including a few memories like the joy of fondue.

I’m not sure the first time I had fondue but I was likely about the age of 12.

My family would gather around the spirited fondue pot to create our meal using individual spears, dipping things in hot oil or cheese and then a sauce or two that Mom would create. The simple things.

Little did I know back then but fondue was more than “just that.” Fondue marries food with the imagination and to me, there’s nothing better!

Santa and Fondue CheeseA Christmas Story

This summer I stumbled upon a random search result for a vintage fondue pot that reminded me of the one my parents had. I knew what I had to do.

A few days later the electric fondue set arrived at my home and I set it aside for a special day when I would unveil the 1970s fondue pot. It sat in the dark since then as most of 2021 brought some challenging times caring for – and parting with – my secondary shadow in the form of my yellow Lab, Harley.

This Christmas Day I thought there was no better way to round out the year than by revving-up the fondue pot and reliving and sharing this foodie form with my family and here, with you.

If you’re not already a fondue fan, I hope you give fondue a try! It’s remarkably simple and will treat you to the joy of this dish with Swiss origins!

Vintage Oster Electric Fondue SetFon-dos and Don’ts

❤  Fon-do try these out: I’ve included a variety of my favorite recipes that caught my Mom’s eye below – cheese and beef fondue and a few sauce suggestions, including butter-browned mushrooms, caper butter, mustard, and a red sauce! Scans of the recipes from her cookbook are also below.

❤  This is a dish of variety! Fon-don’t just try one dip or item to be dipped – go for a range of flavor and put the power of the fondue pot to the fullest! For the cheese fondue you can try cubed pears or apples as an appetizer entry or a dessert dismount! I don’t have two pots but I’m only guessing that cooked beef fondue dipped into cheese fondue is a double fondue delight!

❤  Fon-do check out some of the vintage fondue pots I found strolling on Etsy. They’re hot so get yours before they’re gone!

Vintage Oster Fondue Poti. Time

Total prep: There’s no rush here in the land of fondue, but I’d allow at least 90 minutes – 2 hours for the whole shebang. 

Emmentaler Swiss Cheeseii. Ingredients + directions

cheese fondue:
to dunk  french bread, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
¾ pound (about 3 cups)
  swiss cheese, cut into thin julienne strips
1 tablespoon   flour
1 clove   garlic, halved
1 ¼ cups   sauterne (a sweet french wine)
dash  fresh cracked black pepper
dash  nutmeg
3 tablespoons  dry sherry

Fondue Julienned EmmentalerSauternes Fondue

cheese fondue directions: 1) I toasted up my bread a bit to give it a little crunch. Toasting the bread on a foil-lined pan for 5 minutes at 350°F should do the trick. 2) Toss the cheese with the flour to coat and set aside. 3) Rub the inside of the fondue cooker vigorously with the cut surface of the garlic clove. 4) Add the sauterne and warm it just until air bubbles start to rise. Don’t cover and do not let it boil. 5) With a wood or silicon spatula stir constantly from this step forward and in the same direction – a process known as “shear thinning” which helps the cheesy fondue become thinner. Add a handful of cheese strips and wait until the cheese has melted before tossing in another handful. Keep stirring! After all the cheese has been incorporated and the mixture is bubbling gently, stir in the pepper, nutmeg and the sherry. 6) Dunk spears of the cubed bread into the cheese, twirl and enjoy! If the cheese becomes too thick pour in a little warmed sauterne (or butter, if you are channeling my inner foodie).

Beef Fonduebeef fondue:
4-5+ cups
  salad oil, for cooking (vegetable, canola, corn, peanut, etc.)
1 ½ pounds   beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into ¾ inch cubes
to serve  your chosen sauces/sidekicks (recipes below)

directions: 1) Pour the salad oil in the fondue pot to 2″ or no more than ½ full. 2) Heat to 425°F or until the oil slowly boils. 3) Spear a beef cube with your fondue fork and place it in the oil. 4) Rotate the beef so it’s evenly cooked to your desired doneness. It doesn’t take long! Dip the beef with your sauce and enjoy!

butter-browned mushrooms:
2 tablespoons  butter (my Grandmother “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias)
2 cups  fresh mushrooms, sliced

directions: 1) Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. 2) Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned. Season with salt and better and serve alongside the beef fondue.

Fondue Caper Buttercaper butter:
½ cup   butter, softened
3 tablespoons  capers, with liquid

directions: 1) Place the butter and capers, with liquid, in a small mixing bowl. 2) Beat until light and fluffy. 3) Serve alongside the beef fondue.

mustard sauce:
bottle   dijon style hot mustard (we used french’s stone ground dijon mustard)

directions: Simply squeeze the mustard into a serving bowl and use it as a dipping sauce for the beef fondue. What could be easier?

red sauce:
¾ cup   catsup
2 tablespoons   vinegar
½ teaspoon   prepared horseradish

directions: Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and let chill and mingle for at least 30 minutes. You’ve just made a tangy dipping sauce for the beef fondue. I used leftovers on a homemade hamburger and it was great for french fry dipping!

From the simple to the savory and everything in between, I hope you have fun creating your own special fondue tastes and memories to last a lifetime!

~ Patrick

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

I’m still on the hunt for what publication these recipes came from (below). I recognize the font and some of the type treatments and I think this likely hails from the 1970s or possibly the 60s. The fabulous food of skiing!

Fondue Recipes The Fabulous Food Of Skiing

A Scan Of Mom’s Fondue Recipes

Vintage Fondue Pot

Oster Fondue Inside Label

A Scan Of The Insert Inside My Vintage Fondue Pot


really good tortilla soup

Tortilla Soup RecipeA Soup For The Soul

Flashback back January 2009 my dear Cousin Julie – also a fiery foodie – emailed the family this recipe for tortilla soup. Like some of my emails I filed the recipe with good intentions but it sadly got lost in my mess of an email “organization” system. Almost 10 years later I was researching old emails we sent each other and knew what I had to do. Share this with you!

As a lover of tortilla soup I posted the soup I’ve been making since the 1990s here at Betty’s Cook Nook. I wasn’t confident my time-tested soup could be unseated as my favorite and well, I was right. However, there was one magical thing about this recipe that I plan to incorporate into my own – specifically adding chicken thighs which definitely provided more flavor than its nearby neighbor, the boneless chicken breast.

Foodie Tips

❤  To make the soup very rich and hearty, Cousin Julie suggested adding a small can of refried beans and a small can of pinto beans. She noted – don’t use black beans as a substitute for either of these! If the soup turns out too spicy (is this possible?), serve it with sour cream as it will counteract the heat. More lime juice can be added at the table.

❤  Cousin Julie reminded us that she was not a fan of spicy foods and you will see that somewhat reflected in the recipe below. I, on the other hand, look for many opportunities to dial up the heat. The good news is I’ve never had a bad tortilla soup and these recipes can be adjusted in many ways to arrive at your very own favorite bowl.

❤  Looking to spice up your life? We can’t help but love our new custom fit Vertical Spice Racks that help us make the most of kitchen organization… and our cabinet space! Thanks to Joe for finding these!
Vertical Spice Rack

i. Time

Total prep: About 90 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

the soup ingredients
1 medium  |  onion, chopped
1  |  bell pepper, chopped
2-3  |  cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon  |  olive oil
1 large box  |  chicken broth
1 large box  |  beef broth
1 large  |  chicken breast
2 (or more)  |  chicken thighs
1 large can  |  diced tomatoes (or fresh if you have them)
1 can  |  Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, diced – use mild flavor
1 can or 1 bag (frozen)  |  whole kernel corn (I used Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn)
1 small can  |  tomato paste (or sauce, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon  |  ground cumin
1 teaspoon  |  chili powder
1 teaspoon  |  oregano
1 teaspoon  |  salt
2 teaspoons  |  worcestershire sauce
juice  |  from 1 large lime

the toppings
1-2  |  jalapeño peppers, sliced (deseeded or not!)
cheddar cheese  |  fresh grated by hand, if you can
dollop or two  |  sour cream
avocado  |  sliced or cubed
fresh cilantro  |  chopped
green onions  |  chopped
tortilla chips (or fritos or fritos scoops)

iii. What To Do

1. Let’s Get Cookin’
Sauté the onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Add the broths and chicken breast and thighs and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat until the meats are tender. This night marked the debut of our new Calphalon Space Saving 8 quart Nonstick Pot which worked wonders! and left plenty of room for the makin’.

Calphalon Stock Pot2. Let’s Get Choppin’
Remove the meats from the soup and chop them up. Return to the broth. Add all the remaining soup ingredients and simmer for at least 1 hour, preferably longer if you have the time.

3. Serve It Up
Spoon the soup into bowls and top with your chosen toppings (suggestions above)!

tortilla soup

Let me know what you think about this tortilla soup!

 ~ Patrick

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


playboy chili

Playboy Chili with FritosPlayboy Magazine: I Read It For The Recipes

In a bygone era when I was far too young to know what Playboy Magazine was, someone in the family scored this chili recipe. Mom hand wrote the original recipe (the scan is below) so the magazine owner must have dictated it to her. I nominate my Dad or my older brother Tim.

So after returning home after a long September Saturday of shopping for new Halloween graveyard additions, Joe and I decided that despite it being 90 degrees there was no better way to kick-off fall in Texas than with a bowl of chili. So into Mom’s cookbook my fingers strolled until they landed on this ol’ recipe. There’s no telling when this chili was last made but I can tell from the yellowed, stained paper that this recipe was used more than a few times.

While this Playboy Chili recipe isn’t my tried, true and award-winning Kiker’s Kicker Pot Licker Chili, it packed a lotta punch.

Foodie Tips

❤  Some people just see a chili recipe. I see a recipe that’s a glorious gateway to the belly! You can put chili on more than just a spoon – try it on nachos, chili baked potatoes or what’s better than chili and eggs? Not much! I can picture my Dad enjoying chili and eggs right this very minute with eyes as wide as dinner plates and a smile bigger than Texas.

If you decide to make chili baked potatoes (I wildly recommend), don’t just microwave the potato – that’s far too easy. Take a delicious tip from this blue cheese bacon potato recipe – slather the potatoes with shortening, wrap ’em in foil, and bake ’em in the oven for about an hour. The end result? The softest, most delicious baked potato you’re likely to encounter! After all a baked potato is just that – otherwise we should call them nuked potatoes!

Playboy Chili Potato

Over The Lips… Past The Gums… Watch Out Belly Here It Comes!

❤  Important Lesson: Not since I learned why bagged grated cheese is inferior to freshly grated cheese (goodbye, wood pulp) have I realized that when making chili, plain ol’ ground beef is inferior to coarse ground beef. Why? I find that the typical ground beef often breaks down into more of a grainy mush than a hearty, bold consistency which is a chunky must when beef is the featured ingredient like when in a bowl of chili. Sadly my local grocery stores were out of coarse ground chili beef, so I resorted to the mundane. Note: You can ask your butcher to prepare it fresh for you.

❤  The typical sidekicks for the Kiker family bowl of chili include shredded cheddar cheese, Nabisco saltine crackers, corn bread, Fritos, sour cream and chopped green onions (to name a few).

Playboy Chili Spices

Let’s Spice Things Up

i. Time

Total prep: About 90 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

2 pounds  coarse ground chili beef
½ cup (or less)  olive oil
1 cup  white onion, minced (Mom would likely chop or dice)
1 tablespoon  fresh garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves)
1 large  green bell pepper, minced (or chopped/diced)
1 large  bay leaf (I used 2)
1 teaspoon  oregano
3 tablespoons  chili powder
1 teaspoon  cumin
¼ teaspoon  cayenne
½ teaspoon  fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon (or to taste)  kosher salt
1 tablespoon  paprika
½ teaspoon  red pepper flakes (aka crushed red pepper)
3 tablespoons  flour
1 ½ quart  beef stock
2 teaspoons  sugar
¼ cup (about 10)  cracker crumbs
1 cup  pinto beans, drained
to serve  your favorite sidekicks (see suggested ideas above)

Play Chili Spices and Bay Leaves

My Favorite Part… The Bay Leaves


iii. What To Do

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the meat in the olive oil.

2. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, pepper, kosher salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Whew!

3. Stir things well and sauté, covered, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the flour; blend well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Note: I noticed at this stage the chili was a little too oily for my liking which is why I think you can totally dial back on the olive oil (noted above).

5. Stir in the sugar, cracker crumbs and the drained beans. Simmer 10 minutes longer.

6. Serve with your favorite sides/toppings.

Leftovers store well in the fridge or they may be frozen for impromptu meals when that cold front blows in and you’re in a flurry for some chili.

~ Patrick

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

Playboy Chili Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Playboy Chili Recipe

Ever since watching the 1989 hit When Harry Met Sally I can’t see the word “paprika” without thinking of the funny paprikash scene. “Paprikash” is a popular Hungarian paprika chicken dish. Enjoy the clip!

Chili Potato Recipe

Another View Of Le Chili Potato


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

 

 


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


kalua pork

A Kalua Pork Recipe From Betty's Cook NookPerfect Chow For A Luau

I probably overlooked this recipe due to my first hangover in college from an untimely overdose with Kahlúa.

But this recipe doesn’t incorporate the Mexican coffee-flavored liqueur; I discovered it’s actually spelled “kālua,” which refers to a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an underground pit oven called an “imu.” We won’t be digging any holes in the back yard for this recipe but I think you’ll find – sans the pit – that its got a delicious and warm flavor that will high five your tastebuds.

This recipe hails from my Cousin Julie’s kitchen. Hawaii held a special place in her heart; in Julie’s later years she would whisk her kids and grandkids to Hawaii for Christmas holiday. Also Hawaii fans, my Mom, “Betty,” and Dad Honeymooned in Hawaii in 1955 just 4 years after it became a U.S. state. So strap on your hula skirt, open-toed sandals, and top things off with a lei – we’re making kālua!

Foodie Tips

❤  Dry sherry vs. cooking sherry? Yeah, I still get confused. Here’s where you can get the 4-1-1 on sherry.

A Kalua Pork Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

❤  My Cousin Jennifer said Julie and the family often enjoyed this dish with taro rolls, which are funky purple moist rolls often served at Hawaiian Luaus. You can score a recipe for taro rolls here. Other great sides that Jennifer said complemented Julie’s meals were a salad, Sister Schubert’s yeast rolls, and mashed potatoes.

i. time

Allow extra time to marinate the pork. I let mine rest overnight but the recipe only calls for 2-3 hours. Total prep is about 6 hours. This is a slow-bake delight well worth the wait!

ii. Ingredients

5 pounds | center cut loin pork roast
¼ cup | soy sauce
2 tablespoons | dry or cooking sherry
large clove | garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon | ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon | thyme
⅔ cup | peach or apricot preserves
¼ cup | chili sauce (hot sauce)
8 ½ ounce can | water chestnuts, drained and sliced

iii. What to do

1. Place the pork in a gallon-sized baggie.

A Kalua Pork Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

2. Combine the soy sauce, sherry, garlic, cinnamon, and thyme and pour over the roast. Marinate the pork in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

3. Preheat your oven to 325°F.

Kalua Pork Recipe

4. Remove the roast from the baggie, saving the marinade. Place the roast on a rack in a shallow baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes per pound (about 2.5 hours) or until a thermometer registers 170°F.

A Kalua Pork Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Why was I using a candy thermometer vs. a meat thermometer? Well, it’s what I had in the drawer. LOL

5. While the roast is still in the oven, in a small saucepan combine the reserved marinade, the preserves and the chili sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring often.

A Kalua Pork Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook6. Brush a little of the sauce over the pork and roast it 10 minutes longer.

7. To the remaining marinade add the water chestnuts and any juice that is left from the roasting pan. Heat this through and serve on the side along with the roast.

Serves: 6-8

~ Patrick

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

Kalua Pork Recipe Card

A Scan Of Julie’s Handwritten Recipe Card

Kalua Pork Recipe

Thank You, Jennifer!


lemon herb dressing

Lemon-Herb Dressing RecipeSimple Yet Sophisticated

This salad dressing recipe hails from my Cousin Julie’s kitchen and it’s a little slice of history from a speciality retailer that is no more  Frost Brothers. It graced cities including San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Laredo, Corpus Christi… and I saw something about a Dallas opening in my second hometown  Dallas  at the iconic North Park Center.

With San Antonio roots dating back to 1917, Frost Brothers is a Texas original considered one of this country’s finest retailers… until it met its demise in the late 80s. 70 years is a long haul and Frost Bros. will be forever missed by those who experienced it.

Frost Bros. at San Antonio's North Star Mall

Frost Bros. At San Antonio’s North Star Mall

My Aunt Delores would have racks of the season’s finest clothes delivered to her Terrell Hills home so she could try them on and decide the chosen ones… this was about as “froufrou” a thing I could imagine! But then again my Aunt and Uncle also got in-home haircuts back in the 70s and 80s so my relatives were definitely a beat ahead of the tempo before the days of Amazon or the monthly box subscription.

Frost Brothers San Antonio LogoI remember when I was a kid I always referred to the fancy store as “Fross Bross” because I didn’t know “Bros.” was the abbreviation for brothers. Who knew?! Apparently my Mom, “Betty,” did because she’d laugh at me when I butchered the pronunciation of the store’s name.

For those who remember Frost you’ll likely enjoy this lemon-herb dressing recipe that’s a treasured treat that comes to us via their “Tastesetter” Restaurant… and my Cousin’s kitchen!

Foodie Tips

  We served this dressing on top of this family favorite – Jackson Salad. These two creations make a remarkable and tasty pairing, so try them if you can! Especially if you like a salad with artichoke, hearts of palm, bacon, and gorgonzola graced by the touch of fresh lemon and herbs!

Jackson Salad Recipe

  While my gut said to use fresh herbs we mostly used dried. Either way you’ll eat your way home a hero.

  I noticed on the original recipe (below) Cousin Julie pumped up the jam with MORE basil, oregano, and tarragon (or thyme). We used thyme from the garden (sorry, tarragon).

i. Time

Total prep: About 10 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

1 cup | safflower oil
⅓ cup | fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon (or more) | fresh cracked pepper
¼ teaspoon (or more) | sweet basil
¼ teaspoon (or more) | oregano
¼ teaspoon (or more) | tarragon or thyme
1 clove | garlic, minced

iii. What to do

1. In a medium-sized bowl blend all ingredients together with a wire whisk until things are nice and smooth.

2. Serve immediately or you can let it rest in the fridge before serving.

Yield: 1 ⅓ cups, prepared.

~ Patrick

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

Lemon-Herb Dressing Recipe

A Scan Of The Original Tastesetter Lemon-Herb Dressing Recipe From Frost Bros.

 

While you whip up this dressing why not get your kitchen a rockin’ with this 1980s favorite from Technotronic!? Crank it!



holy guacamole

Holy Guacamole

This special recipe is dedicated to Anna.
“Holy guacamole” not only makes us laugh – it jettisons us back
to our fond and flavorful days in Italy. Long live “Tes Mes” Day
and food comas!

~      ~

Homemade in February 2018 and promptly sent to the freezer, we later released this guacamole from its icy resting place to celebrate Super Bowl 2018 almost 50 years after the recipe was published.

I can promise you this is the first time I’ve made *then not quickly devoured* a delicious bowl of the green stuff but I was following my Mom “Betty’s” recipe clipped from the San Antonio Express-News as an experiment (see the recipe below). The recipe’s intent was to freeze before eating.

The results? Quite surprising!

Good gravy – freezing guacamole?

I agree – it seems odd at first but if you dial back the timeline to the 1960s/1970s the home economist (our Mothers) thirsted for ways to run an efficient kitchen. So freezing guacamole is a great way to prepare for your party without having to do all the work in the heat of the moment.

Back in the day freezing guacamole was considered “normal stuff,” like prepping your wardrobe or your “to dos” for the great day ahead. Brilliant forethought!

Holier than thou

To Texans guacamole is right up there in the inner circle of sanctity along with queso, big hair, and cowboy boots. These are the things we place high and mighty on our list of things to cherish. To literally “mess with Texas” is to tamper with one of its revered staples so you can image I was nervous about tinkering with the obvious – to divert from the culinary mission to make then eat in “normal” fashion.

To my family guacamole is a treasured treat. While we don’t necessarily enjoy “guac” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like most outside our state might think – guacamole holds its place in our hearts as a “constant craving” food we keep near and dear.

Linus van Pelt and an Avocado

I Feel The Same Way, Linus

My Mom “Betty” truly loved guacamole. And she loved enjoying it alongside all of the wild and delicious Tex-Mex varieties we could consume while living in the unique pureness of San Antonio (rah, 78209-ers!)

Teka Molino Royalty

I Like My Puffy Taco Flanked By The Royal Line Up Of A Guacamole, Cheese, And Bean + Cheese Cups.
Nom. NOM!

One of our most special restaurants was — and still is — Teka Molino — which has some of the greatest food in the region (sorry, Nation, you do not qualify). Heck, I sometimes drive 97.8 miles from Round Rock to San Antonio just to enjoy Teka’s puffy tacos, bean rolls, and I always get a guacamole cup; a pot of gold served from masa fashioned into a cup which has been delicately deep fried.

I’ve lived north and south in Texas and I can promise you there’s nothing more tastefully authentic!

Teka Molino Bean Cups Rule T-Shirt

Considered My “Finer Attire” This T-Shirt Sums It Up Best

While I’m probably the only Texan outside “San Antone” proudly sporting a “Bean Cups Rule” T-shirt, I will promptly buy a “Guacamole Cups Rule” T-shirt when Teka Molino creates them. :)

So let’s dive deep into this guacamole and experience one of the greatest culinary gifts — glorious holy guacamole!

Foodie Tips

  Guacamole isn’t just a dip for chips, it’s a great plus-up to queso, enchiladas, tacos, soups, and it brightens a sad and lonely spoon (oh, yes I have!). Guacamole’s best friends include the nacho chip, the Fritos Scoop, and its often found mingling atop a properly dressed grilled hamburger, along with its farm-raised kissin’ cousins Mr. Bacon and Ms. Monterrey Jack Cheese.

  Nobody likes tired, ol’ brown guacamole. To extend your guacamole’s zest for life give it a slight squeeze of lime on top prior to serving. You can also store it overnight by placing cling wrap on top of the guac and lightly smoothing it out to remove any trapped air.

  I usually forage for the best ripened avocados from the bottom of my local market’s produce container. If I’m reluctantly forced to choose from pre-ripened avocados I’ll place them in a sunny window for a few days to help ’em along their way.

  My brow raised when I saw this recipe calls for parmesan cheese. It isn’t because I don’t love parm, but I’ve never had it alongside guacamole. And, while this recipe calls for lemon, lime is a citrusy suitable sibling. Lemon and lime go together like PB&J, cheese and wine, or a smile birthed from puppy kisses. I prefer my guacamole fork-mashed and chunky but I can respect why a blender was used given the culinary movement of the era.

After digging into the author’s past below I discovered she hailed from South Carolina. Hmm. So while I’m not saying this guacamole isn’t authentically Texas because of lemon and parmesan cheese I’m just noting the special twist Ruby Lou brought to this guac. Guacamole is a wonderfully inclusive dish that pairs well with others!

  Can’t get enough avocado? Explore some of the other recipes by clicking “avocado” in the ingredients word cloud list in the righthand menu. Don’t miss my Mom’s most special flavorful twist on potato salad made with avocado, bacon and sour cream instead of the typical mayonnaise. It’s a “Best Of The Best” recipe that has become a family tradition.

i. Time

To prepare: About 15 minutes.
To thaw: 1 ½3 hours (depends on the depth of your guacamole)
To enjoy:
Mere nanoseconds

ii. Ingredients

juice from ½ a lemon
| avocados, ripened, peeled, and quartered
| tomato, peeled, and quartered
| green onions, chive tops removed
| hot chilies (in Texas we call these jalapeños)
1 clove | garlic, chopped
to sprinkle | parmesan cheese (optional)
to serve | corn chips (we use “Fritos Scoops” these days #GoBold)

iii. What to do

1. Place your lemon juice in a blender.

2. Peel and quarter the avocados and tomato. Wash and dry the green onions and remove the chive tops. (Whoops — we accidentally included them and it was the more the merrier!) Remove the seeds from the jalapeños (we included them for more texture). Chop the garlic into small pieces. Add the avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeños and garlic to the lemon juice.

How To Make Guacamole

3. Cover the blender and run it on high speed until everything is smooth. Turn the guacamole onto a flat serving dish and place it in the freezer long enough to form a frosty crust. You can prepare this several days ahead of time if wrapped for freezing (we used Ziploc freezer bags).
Freezing Guacamole

4. To thaw allow 1 ½3 hours depending on the depth of the your guacamole. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with corn chips or your favorite sidekick.

Yields 2 ½ cups and a whole lotta “Yee Haws!”

~ Patrick

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

Potato Salad Shooter

I Siphoned Off Some Potato Salad For A “Potato Salad Shooter.” A Perfect Way To Enjoy Your Day!

Texas Guacamole Recipe

A Scan of Mom’s Recipe Clipping (Circa 1970)

 

Who Was Ruby Lou Potts?

She penned the recipe (above) that caught my Mom’s eye. I found this old newspaper article about her which lends more detail about the era this recipe was likely penned.

SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS –  July 1, 1969

New Writer For Feature By HELEN MILES Food Editor

Take note of the new byline the “Bexar Cupboard” feature in today’s San Antonio Express.

Since 1952, Nell Read (who later became Nell Read Carraway) has signed these popular weekly articles on food produced by the Home Service Division of City Public Service Board.

When Mrs. Carraway retired at the end of June, Ruby Lou Potts moved into her job as Home Service Supervisor and, with today’s article, becomes the author of “Bexar Cupboard,” an exclusive feature carried Tuesdays in the San Antonio Express.

Mrs. Potts needs no introduction to followers of “Bexar Cupboard.” She has been a home economist with CPSB since 1958 and has frequently been photographed for the column, demonstrating food preparation. Mrs. Potts holds a degree in home economics from Winthrop College in Rock Hill. S.C. She is a former home economics teacher and dietician. She and her husband, William Robert Potts, have two sons. Bob, who lives in Houston, and Charlie, who is serving in the Marine Corps in Vietnam.

Mrs. Carraway has chosen to retire early in order to enjoy her family. When she married Ben Carraway three years ago she acquired four grandchildren, a daughter and a son-in-law. “I have a wonderful family,” she says, adding that she wants to become a full-time homemaker and do for her family the work she has taught so many for so long.

She has been with the City Public Service Board for 41 years and for 37 as Home Service Supervisor, in this capacity she and her staff have helped women of San Antonio with countless problems encountered in running a home. Mrs. Carraway’s work with the annual San Antonio Livestock Show has brought about the organization of the Women’s Division which sponsors competition in cooking, baking and preparation of food and pastries.

Because of her outstanding contribution to the civic life of San Antonio, two years ago the San Antonio Chapter of Theta Sigma Phi named her winner of a Headliner Award. She began writing a weekly feature for the San Antonio Express in 1952 when Hattie Llewellyn was food editor. It was called “In the Spanish Patio.” In 1955, the name was changed to “Bexar Cupboard.” Now, as Mrs. Carraway lays aside her pen, it is with continuing pride that the San Antonio Express publishes “Bexar Cupboard” without interruption. Watch for the column each Tuesday written by Ruby Lou Potts.

Avocado Bacon Potato Salad

Also Known As “California Potato Salad” This Dish Is Deliciously Dy-No-Mite!
Home Style Austin? One Of My Other Blogs! I’m THAT Into Food!
I Have A Third Blog To Boot called ForTheLoveOfItaly.com

 

Fun fact: Avocados are considered single-seed berries — not vegetables. Who knew? Not me! Read more!

Let’s have a closer look at the greatness of Teka Molino:


minestrone soup

Minestrone Soup RecipeMy Mainstay, Minestrone

This is the third minestrone recipe I’ve discovered in my Mom “Betty’s” cookbook so there’s no doubt this was one of her favorites. This soup’s signature ingredients of beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes will not disappoint. Plus, there’s pasta and cheese!

I’m glad to be reminded that this dish hails from Italy. And not just Italy but ancient Italy (think BC, folks!).

I’ve kidded a few times here at Betty’s Cook Nook that my family must have had poor roots as many of the recipes we ate growing up are considered peasant foods. This is one of them; minestrone belongs to a style of cooking known in Italy as “cucina povera” (literally “poor kitchen”). All I have to say is bring it on — I love my peasant foods as they are hearty and the very origins of comfort foods rely upon them! True story: I once made and devoured an instant mashed potato on sliced white bread sandwich proving my forever love for carby sustenance.

HEB Organics Elbows Macaroni

Macaroni For Me … Macaroni For You!

As a lover and former resident of Italy, one thing I’ve learned is that Italians do not rush in the kitchen. They really don’t rush outside the kitchen, either, unless it’s from behind the wheel of a fast sports car or when horse racing at revered events like Siena’s Palio.

In similar fashion, please don’t hurry this recipe — let the ingredients mingle and get to know one another. While cooking time takes about an hour and a half it’s well worth the wait. You’ll be treated to wonderful smells from your lively kitchen and rewarded with a savory soup that has withstood the test — and taste — of time.

Eating In Cortona Italy

foodie tips

  Back in the day “oil” likely meant Crisco vegetable oil. Since this dish has Italian roots we used olive oil — a kitchen staple. As fan of a great olive oil, for several years I’ve fostered an Italian olive tree living on a farm gracing the hills outside Montalcino, Tuscany. Each year after the Il Palazzone harvest my eyes grow as wide as dinner plates when 3 bottles of pure gold arrive at my door. That’s amore!

  Make sure and check out Mom’s other two minestrone recipes here and here. I’m not sure which version I like best as each has its own merit. In a pinch you could make the one that makes best use of the ingredients you have in your kitchen.

  Wacky about minestrone? Wiki’s got you covered with more interesting facts about this zesty soup!

Minestone Ingredients

i. ingredients

½ cup | olive oil
1 clove | garlic, minced
2 cups | onion, chopped
1 cup | celery, chopped
4 tablespoons | parsley, chopped
6 ounce can | tomato paste
10 ½ ounce can (~1 ½ cups) | beef or vegetable broth
9 cups | water
1 cup | cabbage, coarsely chopped
| carrots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons | salt
¼ teaspoon | freshly cracked pepper
⅛ teaspoon | sage
1 pound can | kidney beans
1 cup | green beans or peas (we used beans)
1 cup | elbow macaroni
to taste | grated parmesan cheese

ii. what to do

1. In a large pot heat the oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and parsley and cook until soft, about 7-9 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomato paste and the next 7 ingredients (the broth, water, cabbage, carrots, salt, pepper and sage). Mix well and bring to a boil.

4. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer slowly 1 hour.

5. Add the kidney and green beans (or peas) and the macaroni. Cook 10-15 minutes more or until the macaroni is tender.

6. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. That’s right — grated cheese makes the world go ’round!

Yields 8 servings. Keeps well in the refrigerator and reheats nicely!

~ Patrick

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

Minestrone Recipe Card

Here’s A Scan Of Mom’s Actual Recipe Card

How To Make Minestrone Soup