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

 

 


vegetable dip

Vegetable Dip Recipe
Dippity Do

My Cousin Julie is a fantastic host.

When there’s a gathering at her house – whether simple or grandiose – the tastiest of foods are always at the ready. It’s like Christmas for the taste buds!

Cousin Julie’s veggie dip is easy to make and doesn’t require resting. Smooth and creamy with a natural green color, this is one of my favorite flavors that reminds me of home.

foodie tips

  Leftovers store well in the fridge. However, I have it on good word that being in possession of veggie dip leftovers is actually a misdemeanor here in Texas. Just sayin’. :)

  While typically dunked by sliced veggies (see below), this dip is also good on toasted or fresh-cubed bread, corn chips… you get the idea.

  I might sneak in some minced garlic into this on my next makin’ of this mighty dip recipe. Did you know that since garlic has leaves it’s actually a vegetable and not an herb?

  I can think of many ways to enjoy this dip: On a burger, by the fire, just because, and above all else… to show others how much you care!

i. ingredients

1 cup | mayonnaise
½ cup | fresh spinach
handful | fresh parsley (we used Italian flat-leaf)
3-5 | green onions, chopped
to serve | your favorite vegetables (carrots, celery, zucchini, peppers, radishes, etc.)

How To Make Vegetable Dip

ii. what to do

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and you’re ready to let ‘er rip.

3. Dip to your heart’s content!

A Vegetable Dip Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Vegetable Dip Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe

In my blog posts I typically include a nod to yesteryear. Let’s celebrate this time-honored dip with a flashback to some “Dippity Do” commercials from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Enjoy!

~ Patrick

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


minestrone

A Minestrone Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Souper Trouper

This isn’t our first time at the minestrone rodeo! In 2012 we made this minestrone recipe and Mom must have surely loved this soup because I think I’ve found 3 different minestrone soup recipes in her cookbook.

While the formal definition of minestrone calls for a thick soup with bits of pasta, this recipe – sans the pasta – is just as tasty as our first find, which included dittalini. With Italian origins, this tasty soup warms you up on a cold day! It’s good all by itself or partnered with some fresh baked bread and a salad. For those who don’t know me, a side of wine is a given. :)

foodie tips

  I used red cabbage for a pop a’ color.

  I was concerned at first sight by the mass quantity of soup. But when I later did the math I realized it’s perfect for a party of eight. Or 4 days of 2 bowls each.  :/~  You can also bag and freeze leftovers for a quick meal when you’re short on time.

  “Navy beans” are referred to by many a name. Haricot. Pearl Haricot. Pea Bean. This high fiber bean isn’t navy blue in color – rather white – and prized for its cholesterol-lowering health benefits plus its ability to retain an oval shape after being cooked tender. Navy beans received their nickname after being a popular staple of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century.
Why Are They Called Navy Beans?

i. ingredients

2 cups | navy beans
4 quarts | cold water
| beef bouillon cubes (or beef broth)
2 tablespoons | vegetable oil
1 ½ cups | onion, chopped
2 cups | celery, sliced
2 cloves | garlic, minced
3 tablespoons | parsley, chopped
1 pound can | tomatoes, chopped (including juice)
1 teaspoon | basil, crumbled (or a few fresh leaves, torn by hand)
½ teaspoon | oregano, crumbled
2 teaspoons | salt (we prefer kosher salt or grey sea salt)
¼ teaspoon | pepper, freshly cracked
1 cup (3 medium) | carrots, thinly sliced
4 cups (4 small) | unpeeled zucchini, sliced
10 ounce package | frozen green peas
10 ounce package | frozen cut green beans
¼ head (2 cups) | cabbage, sliced
to serve | parmesan cheese, grated

Use Red Cabbage For Minestrone Soup... For A Pop Of Color!ii. what to do

1. Wash the navy beans. Place beans, water and bouillon (or broth) in a large pot. Bring slowly to boil and simmer, covered 1 ½ hours, or until the beans are soft. While the beans soften now’s a good time for a little wine rest break! #LongDay

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the beans and broth.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

4. To serve, sprinkle each serving with the grated parmesan cheese and ENJOY!

Yields: About 8-9 servings (~2 cups each, in size). Nutritional info is below in the original recipe scan!

~ Patrick

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

 

How To Make Minestrone Soup

A Minestrone Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Betty’s Original Minestrone Soup Recipe


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)
½ 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 ½ teaspoons | salt
¼ teaspoon | pepper
1 cup | water
1 tablespoon | brown sugar
1 large | eggplant (about 1 pound in size)
| cage free eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon | water
½ cup | dried bread crumbs
1 ¼ cups | parmesan cheese, grated
¼ 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°F. 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 ½” 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 ½ 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.