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


swiss steak

A Swiss Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
Swiss One’s For You

Mom had more than one Swiss steak recipe included in her culinary legacy. The handwritten recipe below caught our eye first, so let’s make a go of it.

Wait! Did you honestly think before we dove into this recipe that I wouldn’t “wax on” about this or that (or both)? Well you’re right!

You might learn a few things about this tasty dish, as did I. Most shockingly, this recipe does not hail from Switzerland – FOR REAL? Yes, if Wikipedia is remotely true, (and I believe that it is), I’ve been wrong about this small but tastefully important detail my entire life. Read why here.

Foodie Tips ~

  “Fat” sounds so … er … fatty.  :(  We used bacon drippings. Mmmm … bacon!  :)  Sounds much healthier and “hipper” than mere fat alone.

  If you’re feeling rather hungry and you don’t want to pound/tenderize the meat, you can simply coat the steak with the flour mixture by tossing them all together. But don’t blame me if you have second thoughts!

  Sadly, my local market (cough-cough-HEB-cough) was out of the cuts of meat I was looking for. Sniffle! Sniffle! But I found boneless chuck steak ribs and they were quite good. But on the next go, I’ll try waking up early in the day for a run at the steak.

A Vintage Borden's Potatoes Picture From 1959  Serve with a bountiful sidekick of instant potatoes? Hey, don’t hate! This blog is about functional food from the 1950s – 1970s, so that’s what we ate … and we loved it! And yet I’m still alive to blog about it. I fondly remember black packets of Borden Brand Instant Mashed Potatoes prepared with a divot generously filled with melted butter and a sprinkling of Lawry’s Brand Seasoned Salt (shown above). My brother Roger tells me that Idahoan has filled the void sadly left by Borden. I read more online about the blows to the Borden brand and he’s right. Tonight my partner Joe thanked me more than he did at Christmastime for making this savory starch “with no nutritional value.” That says a lot about his love of instant potatoes … and my skills with gift giving.  :\

  Whoopsie! Forgot to add the peas near the preparation dismount … probably because I was overly-focused on the “sinsationally” starchy potatoes and garlicky green bean sidekicks.

i. ingredients

1 ½ pounds | round or chuck steak, about 1-inch thick
2 tablespoons | flour
½ teaspoons | salt
¼ teaspoon | fresh cracked pepper
3 tablespoons | fat
| white onion, sliced into rings
8 ounce can | hunt’s brand tomato sauce
1 cup | water
1 cup | green peas

ii. what to do

1. Cut steak into four pieces.

2. Mix flour, salt and pepper, coat the steak, then pound into steak.

3. Heat fat/drippings in a large pan over medium heat.

Making Sliced Onions For Swiss Steak From Betty's Cook Nook

4. Separate the sliced onion into rings then cook them in the bacon (Mmmm …) drippings until golden. Push the rings to the side of the pan to make room for more friends.

5. Place the coated steak into the pan and brown slowly on both sides.

6. Cover steak with the onions, the tomato sauce and water and blend. Heat until bubbly.

7. Cover tightly then lower heat and simmer 2 hours or more until meat is very tender. Add the peas and warm through.

Enjoy!
A Closer View Of Swiss Steak From Betty's Cook NookA Scan Of Mom's Swiss Steak Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

 

 

 


one dish macaroni dinner

A One Dish Macaroni Dinner Recipe From Betty's Cook NookMacaroni Is My Blankey

Macaroni is the epitome of comfort food.

Ground beef, tomatoes and green beans team-up to make this a tasty dish that’s sure to satisfy any appetite.

foodie tip ~

 My grandmother Nanny always called for Falfurrias brand butter so it has become a staple in my kitchen.

i. ingredients

2 tablespoons | butter or margarine
1 pound | ground beef
6 small | white onions
1 can | tomatoes
1 ½ teaspoons | poultry seasoning
1-10 ounce package | frozen or small can French cut green beans
½ cup | parsley, chopped
2 cups | elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

ii. what to do

1. Melt butter in a medium pan. Add beef and onions. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is lightly browned.

2. Add tomatoes and poultry seasoning. Heat to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Add beans and parsley. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until beans are tender.

4. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni, drain, then add to meat mixture. Mix well and heat.

Serve warm

A Scan Of Mom's One Dish Macaroni Dinner Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


chicken noodle casserole

mom's chicken noodle casseroleA Fast & Hearty Meal

My grandmother “Nanny” (Betty’s Mom) and I were the best of friends when I was growing up.

We spent a lot of time laughing and being silly.

I’d have sleep-overs at Nanny’s on the weekend and we’d walk from the Barcelona Apartments at 33 Brees Boulevard around the corner to Winn’s Five And Dime store in the Sunset Ridge shopping center. I was toy huntin’.

Nanny had a special cardboard box of toys tucked in her closet just for my visits. While the toys provided much needed entertainment in a time before computers and cable or satellite TV, my favorite time during my visits was when Nanny would cook.

For Sunday breakfast, she’d make waffles; not an “Eggo” popped in the toaster, but homemade waffles dripping with butter and syrup! For her special dish, she’d make chicken noodle soup with real chicken she’d carefully boil off the bone. She’d fill the soup with her wonderfully wide egg noodles and serve. My taste buds would go into outer space! Love me some savory.

While this chicken noodle casserole won’t appear on today’s cooking shows targeted to the fancy foodie (um, it calls for *canned* chicken), it’s very hearty and quick to make. It’s a dish inspired from chicken noodle soup so who doesn’t love that?

Soup’s On

i. ingredients

1 can | cream of chicken soup
⅓ cup | milk
1 cup (5 oz. can) | boned chicken
1 cup | cooked noodles (al dente)
1 cup | green beans, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon | fresh minced onion
to top | buttered bread crumbs

ii. what to do

1. In a 1½ quart casserole, blend soup with milk, add chicken, noodles, green beans and onion. Gently mix all ingredients. Top with bread crumbs.

2. Cover casserole and place in refrigerator early in the day.

3. When ready to heat, preheat oven to 400°F.

4. Bake casserole about 25 minutes, let rest a few minutes and serve!

Makes: 4 servings.

Foodie Tips ~

 Per Mom; “Fix in the morning ~ heat it up at nite.”

 This recipe can easily be doubled (the more the merrier).

 I measured 1 cup of uncooked elbow pasta then cooked it al dente (vs. cooking the pasta first and measuring off 1 cup).

 Use Falfurrias brand butter ~ it was Nanny’s butter of choice!

 Not a canned chicken fan? You can substitute it with cooked chicken.

a scan of mom's chicken noodle casserole recipe