More than 44 years after the original surprise party I received a surprise text from my cherished Cousin Alison.
Sadly Alison’s not near my front door to whisk me to Dime Box, Texas to visit family, but she’s texting because she’s found an old article from yesteryear about something I don’t even remember as a young tot – one special feast honoring my Grandmother’s 75th birthday!
I’ll spare you my many fabulously fond stories about my dear Nanny but I hope you’ve enjoyed one of the greatest gifts life has to offer – Grandparents!
What’s special about this ol’ newspaper post is that it honored my Grandmother at one of the fanciest restaurants in San Antonio – La Louisianne. Sadly “La Lou” closed its doors in 1992 but trust me when I say it gifted memorable meals to thousands of folks who graced passed its front doors.
How remarkable that this birthday party appeared in the San Antonio Express-News. I’m crediting my Mom, Betty, for what’s probably the only time my name has been in *real* newspaper print. Hooray!
While Cousin Alison’s name didn’t make 1974 print, just the week before Nanny’s great dinner my Cousins Billy and Debbie found out they were blessed with her arrival, coming in 1975. What a great gift in our lives!
My Cousin Lorin texted me this caesar salad recipe proving that food can last beyond the best of times. Thank you, Lorin!
Enjoy food, salad, and family to the fullest!
❤ Two heads of lettuce? Yikes – where’s room for dessert!? We cut this recipe in half. Even for two ambitious Texans.
❤ To coddle and egg: Don’t hug it near and dear. :) Drop it in hot water for about 40 seconds to make it nice and toasty!
❤ Hangry? Add sliced grilled chicken breast for a more bountiful meal.
❤ Love salads? Don’t forget to click here (and scroll down) for more salad ideas here at Betty’s Cook Nook!
❤ Thanks to Joe! I bought a head of CABBAGE at the store, thinking it was Romaine lettuce. He fixed my wrong. #Guh
Total prep: About 15 minutes (sans the grilled chicken)
2 heads | romaine lettuce, cold, dry, and crisp
¼ teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
½ cup | croutons
2 ounces | garlic oil
½ ounce | worcestershire sauce
½ ounce | red wine vinegar
½ ounce | lemon juice
1 | cage free egg, coddled
1 tablespoon | anchovies, chopped
2 tablespoons | parmesan cheese, shredded
iii. What to do
1. Pull apart the Romaine lettuce into 2-inch pieces.
2. Mix the lettuce with salt and pepper.
3. Form a bed of croutons in the center of the lettuce,.
4. Mix the next 4 ingredients and pour over the crouton-lettuce mixture.
5. Add the egg and anchovies.
6. Toss well and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
My Mom usually had command of the kitchen. But when it came time to grill outdoors, it was 100% Dad.
Growing up, our brick-walled patio featured a corner grill – something I’m pretty sure was considered a little ahead of its time in the 1960s, when our house was rebuilt. Dad always cooked on charcoal.
When I chose this recipe I realized that I’ve always been a propane gas griller (translation: I’m conveniently lazy). Yet when I saw some of the keywords in Mom’s recipe “hot coals,” “bacon drippings,” “flavor” and “smoke,” I knew what I had to do; I zipped up the street to my local Walmart and purchased a tiny grill for just $15 to ensure that I was preparing the anticuchos the way in which they were intended – with some TLC or “Tender Lovin’ Charcoal!”
Oh yeah, the name.
“Anticuchos” is a bit of a tongue twister, but if you’re a San Antonio native like I am you likely know anticuchos from the annual NIOSA festival where in just 4 nights more than 18,000 anticuchos are sold to festival goers who salivate for this sensationally savory shish kabob dish. You can read more about NIOSA at my Sauerkrat Bend’s Potato Salad Recipe here.
Anticuchos are a uniquely Peruivan dish typically made of beef hearts and grill-basted with a fiery marinade of vinegar and a peppery paste. More modern versions of the dish have expanded to be made from chicken, beef liver and my favorite – beef tenderloin, like Mom’s recipe here.
foodie tips ~
❤ This dish is easy to make but it does require letting the beef marinate overnight … so give yourself some prep-ahead-time. Your tastebuds will thank you later.
❤ You can make anticuchos with just the meat or alternate the skewers with meat, bell peppers and new potatoes – this is how my family made them at home. I remember my Mom and Dad using green bell peppers but adding red, yellow and green only makes the dish more colorful.
❤ Two gifts in one! You only use the bacon drippings (not the bacon) so you can enjoy a bacon snack while you’re outside grilling or save the bacon for another recipe. Hint: nobody saves bacon, so better eat it up before I beat you to it!
❤ Love living life in the spicy lane? My Cousin Julie says she enjoys her anticuchos marinated with Pickapeppa Hot Pepper Sauce.
for the marinade:
1 cup | red wine vinegar
3 cups | water
2-3 | fresh, whole serrano peppers, ends snipped off
to taste | salt
to taste | whole peppercorns
2-3 cloves | garlic
generous pinch | oregano
generous pinch | cumin
2 pounds | cubed beef
5 slices bacon | reserve the bacon drippings
1 | bell pepper, cut into chunks (optional)
8-12 | new potatoes (optional)
8-12 | wooden skewers, soaked in water about 30 minutes before preparation
1 | charcoal grill that’s fired-up and ready to go
1. Combine the first 8 ingredients for the marinade in a blender and blend thoroughly. I couldn’t get my peppercorns to crack (probably because I have a lower-end blender) but they will add some flavor to the marinade nonetheless.
2. Place the cubed beef in a glass dish and cover with the marinade. Marinate several hours or overnight (overnight highly suggested)!
3. Spear the marinated cubed beef with the prepared skewers – and if adding the optional peppers and new potatoes (which is what I did) – alternate the ingredients on the skewers. Continue skewer-ing until you’re all out of ingredients.
4. Add the bacon drippings (to taste) to the remaining marinade then baste the meat while cooking over hot coals until you’re ready to remove them and enjoy.
The bacon drippings add flavor and make the meat smoke. Delicious!
Yield: 8-12 skewers of tasty meat and veggies!
Here’s a scan of the original recipe as penned by my Mom, Betty!
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
A little more about this dish:
I knew I was in for a treat when my Cousin Jennifer almost came unglued when I told her Cousin Julie gave me this slaw recipe.
This broccoli slaw can last for a few days in the fridge, if it lasts that long!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ The dressing for this is really good. On the next “go” of this dish I will find a way to double the dressing.
♥ This slaw is super flexible. You can eat it solo, try it on lettuce wraps or inside spring roll wrappers.
½ cup | sugar
¼ cup | vegetable oil
¼ cup | red wine vinegar
2 packages | seasoning mix (from the ramen noodles)
2 3 ounce packages | oriental ramen noodles
16 ounce package | broccoli slaw or red cabbage (go for the slaw)
½ to 1 cup | shelled sunflower seeds
1 cup | slivered almonds
optional | lettuce cups or spring roll wrappers (if serving slaw inside a wrapper)
ii. what to do
1. Simmer the dressing ingredients over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Do not boil!
2. In a mixing bowl break up the ramen noodles into bite-sized pieces. Note: remove the seasoning packet before breaking them inside their package.
3. Pour the dressing over the noodles and let rest for 15-30 minutes to soften them slightly.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill. (Best if you chill overnight).
5. Add almonds to the slaw last (it keeps them crunchy) and enjoy your finished creation as a side-kick or main dish.