minute rice salad

Minute Rice Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook NookHam + Cheese? Yes, Please!

I love reading about the history of food.

Researching and making my Mom’s recipes has become a hobby of mine and I’m often amazed at the evolution of food through the years – especially during my lifetime; I find that food is in many ways like fashion.

Flashback Foods

I enjoy taking trips down the international food aisle at the grocery store. It’s here I can be surprised and delighted with foods I’ve never heard of… not to mention the interesting and artful packaging.

My international food journeys remind me of the things I often mistakenly take for granted. Things like:

  • Some foods are no longer available. I discovered this the hard way with one of my early BCN posts when searching for madrilène so I could make this tasty avocado soup. Also extremely hard to find? A garlic cheese roll. If you were a chocolate and caramel lover eating between 1973 and 1981, you likely remember the Marathon Bar which was sweet and savory braided deliciousness that was a treat about as big as a Texas sunrise.
  • Packaging sizes have changed. I often find that cans and packaged foods are trending larger than they did in the good ole’ days. Supersize Me! And give me seconds. And please don’t forget the cheese.
  • Food packaging has changed. Wine in a box? Get real. (Pssst – it is real)! Refried beans in a bag? Just heat ’em and eat ’em! Tomato paste in a tube? Totally tubular! Let’s get rolling!

A Cheesy Love Affair

I got super sucker-punched in the belly when I lived in Italy. I thought I knew most everything about the country – Heck, it was my seventh trip there. But living far and away for more than a couple of weeks taught me a lot about the presence and absence of food.

Most notably I learned that authentic Italy does not sell or consume yellow cheese. Wait, what?!? Yeah, no yellow cheese! You can imagine the sadness and horror that became my new face as repeated trips to every store in the region produced no yellow cheese. This Texas boy quickly developed a serious health issue when I realized there would be no yellow cheese for me. No homemade mac and cheese. No cheese n’ potatoes. No queso. NO QUESO?!?

This is the solid truth – had someone told me there was a store in a province within a one or two day walk from Tuscany, I would have walked there and back just to score a single log of Velveeta. Pinky swear it. Joe will back me up on this.

I begged our great friends Jeanie and David who were flying over from Texas for an Italian New Years to please, please, please bring me a block of Velveeta. And if they could also find it in their Texas-sized hearts to tuck some taco seasoning in their bag, I would be eternally grateful. And I am.

Velveeta, taco seasoning, picante sauce and Rotel ... In Tuscany!

Eating like a Texan when in Italy begins with the proper ingredients.

My dream came true for NYE 2012 when three beautiful blocks of Velveeta arrived along with several packets of taco seasoning, some Pace picante sauce, Rotel and even a bottle of Don Julio tequila. It was a Holiday to Remember! ← Read this post of mine to learn more about shopping Italian style.

Get On With It

OK, OK! So what does all this have to do with this recipe? Everything.

The optional yellow cheese? Yeah, forget about it. It’s not that you’re in Italy … it’s because this dish doesn’t need it.

Most notably this is a typical recipe circa 1970s that is less about sizzle and more about sustenance. No fancy presentation draped with a demi-glaze sauce. It’s good ole’ timey tasty. For me the combination of swiss cheese, ham and pickle was a delicious trio that packed a lotta taste. The mayo, onion and peas only sealed the deal.

You’ll see.

foodie tips ~

❤  While perfect as a side salad my appetite was trying to find other ways to enjoy this aside from “just a salad.” I wound-up making lettuce cups out of mine and enjoyed every delicious bite. I think a toasted sandwich filled with the stuff would make the world a brighter place, too.

❤  American Cheese is optional for this dish; I did not use it but I love me some yellow cheese, as the story above reveals.

  Dill pickle lover? Check out my other post for Sauerkraut Bend’s Potato Salad… plus a video revealing the history behind the little pickle that made Texas famous.

Minute Rice Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

i. ingredients

1 box | Bird’s Eye frozen green peas
½ teaspoon | salt
1 ½ cups | water
1 ⅓ cups | Minute Rice
¾ cup | mayonnaise
½ cup | chopped dill pickle
1 teaspoon | onion, grated
1 cup | slivered cooked ham
1 cup | slivered swiss cheese
1 cup | slivered american cheese (optional)
to serve | tomato wedges (optional)

ii. what to do

1. Add the peas, salt and water to a saucepan. Cover and bring to a full boil.

2. Add the Minute Rice and mix to moisten all the rice. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 13 minutes.

3. Add the mayonnaise, pickles and onion and mix/fluff with a fork. Chill in the fridge.

4. When ready to serve add the ham and cheese. Serve on lettuce with tomato wedges and enjoy!

Yields 6 servings

~ Patrick

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

Minute Rice Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Minute Rice Salad Recipe

Minute Rice Salad Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

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savory meatballs

Savory Meatballs Recipe From Betty's Cook NookAnniversaries of the Heart

In May: This blog celebrated 5 sensationally savory years of enjoying cooking and sharing my Mom “Betty’s” recipes.

This Summer: My foodie partner in crime and I celebrated rather large birthdays, both turning 40! Um, yeah, 40!

Tomorrow: Joe and I celebrate our 12th Manniverary™. Those of you who placed bets … time to settle up! I accept cash or debit cards. Especially cash. 

This Week: My parents Betty and Louis would be celebrating 60 years in marriage on August 27th. Hats off!

Flashback 1976. I remember the moment when my Mom gave my Dad a fancy gold watch for Christmas. It was the first time I saw my Dad break into tears and it was at that moment when the bell went off in my head, ringing to the tune of “Hey, dummy, this must be true love!” Dad was so overwhelmed with his new watch and Mom had cleverly kept the secret all along. Way to go, Mom! #props

Time Flies. Yes, Really!

I remember sitting many a day in math class at MacArthur High literally counting the seconds until the school bell would ring. I would stare at my watch and wonder why the second hand took its slow-sweet time advancing to the next second, the next 5 minute mark, and so on.

These days I look at my watch and I swear it’s beating faster than ever! My eyes wish the second hand would slow down and take it easy so I could catch up and savor what just happened. With the likes of toll roads, Amazon Prime Now and lightening fast download speeds, we truly live in a New York minute – where patience has grown rice paper thin and immediacy scores expected brownie points. Did somebody say brownie?

So this anniversary weekend I asked Joe to pick out the next recipe from Mom’s cookbook for us to try; it’s this simple dish that my native Italian friends would likely laugh at because it calls for frozen peas and minute rice. But hey, we’re in a 1970s state of mind. And that’s how we roll at Betty’s Cook Nook.

Enjoy every. Single.. Minute… Of…. It!

Wait! Did somebody say roll?

foodie tips ~

❤  Ingredients. Per the original recipe below, by “onion” I’m 99.99% certain “white onion” is implied. Also, for soft bread crumbs Progresso is the way to go in my family – plain, Italian Style or Parmesan.

Let's Make Meatballs!

  Let’s make a meatballs (said with an Italian accent)! To make meatballs of uniform size I used a medium-sized cookie scooper that I scored at Bed Bath and Beyond. Great balls of firethat was lightening fast!

  The recipe doesn’t suggest any side dishes, so I will. Flashing back to the 1970s we would likely accompanied these meatballs with a tossed salad. And some bread. Oh yeah, never forget the bread. My meatball dish was dressed with a savory side of garlic bread from my neighborhood HEB.

i. ingredients

1 pound | ground beef
¼ cup | onion, minced
2 tablespoons | soft bread crumbs
½ teaspoon | salt
1 tablespoon | salad oil
1 can | Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup
1 cup | water
10 ounce package | frozen green peas
½ teaspoon | salt
1 ⅓ cups | Minute Rice

A Savory Meatballs Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
ii. what to do

1. Combine ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, and ½ teaspoon salt; shape into about 20 meatballs.

2. Brown meatballs in salad oil in a skillet. Turn the meatballs here and there so they don’t brown irregularly.

3. Add the soup, water, peas, and the last ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and stir in the rice.

4. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Yields 4 servings

~ Patrick

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

Savory Meatballs Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

This is a scan of my Mom’s original recipe clipping.
This is the back of the same clipping as the “Turkey Stove Top” recipe already I’ve published.
You gotta check that one out – it was rather tasty!

 

 

 

 

 


green pea timbales

A Green Pea Timbales RecipeYou Say Timbale. I Say Teem-Bah-Les.

I’m not quite sure how to pronounce “timbales” (2 syllables or 3) – it seems to depend on whether or not you are using the French or Spanish pronunciation.

The name derives from “kettledrum” after the drum-like mold in which the dish is baked.

Growing up I was a drummer and we often played drums called “timbales.” We pronounced them like this.

So put on your best Charo or Sofia Vergara accent (your choice) and let’s get cookin’!

Foodie Tips ~

  In a hurry? I think you can substitute canned peas for the frozen and save yourself a step. And a pot to clean.

  I must have been a salt block lovin’ cow in a former life. For some reason I couldn’t get enough salt on these so I used more than what was noted below.

  White Pepper? Didn’t find it at my grocery. I just used fresh cracked black pepper. Sorry, Mom!

  I don’t own any custard cups so I used the 4 ramekins, shown below. As a result I made larger timbales which required a little more time cooking. If you’re not planning on eating this as your only item I’d suggest making 6 and serving as a side.

i. ingredients

10 ounces | frozen peas
1 cup | cooked rice
1 cup | chicken broth
½ cup | cream
| cage free eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon | parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon | celery salt
¼ teaspoon | onion salt

for the sauce:
1 cup | falfurrias brand butter
¾ cup | celery tops, finely chopped
¼ cup | flour
¼ teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | celery salt
⅛ teaspoon | white pepper
2 cups | milk
to garnish | more chopped parsley

ii. what to do

0. Heat oven to 325°F.

1. Cook the peas and drain. Combine the peas with the next seven ingredients – the rice, broth, cream, eggs, parsley, celery salt and onion salt.

Green Pea Timbales Going Into The Oven

2. Grease 6 custard cups (or ramekins) and fill each 2/3 full of the pea mixture from step 1 above. Place the custard cups on a shallow roasting pan filled with 1 inch of hot water and place in oven.

3. Bake 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

4. After the timbales have been baking about 25 minutes, let’s make the sauce. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add and sauté the celery. Blend-in the flour, salts, pepper and milk. Simmer 6-8 minutes, stirring often until thickened.

5. Un-mold the pea timbales onto a warm serving platter and top with celery sauce and some chopped parsley.

Yields about 4-6 servings.

Green Pea Timbales Fresh From The Oven

Here’s a scan of Mom’s original recipe!

A Green Pea Timbales Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

If you missed the Sofia Vergara You Tube link above you have to watch it now. A guaranteed belly buster!

 


the big soup

The Big Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup

This “BIG SOUP” recipe is insanely flexible! It starts with a base of chicken broth and our familiar friends onion, celery, carrot and herbs. But then the party gets a little crazy – you add whatever fresh, canned or frozen veggies, pasta and or meats that you have loitering around the kitchen, making this soup “soup-er” flexible.

Some of the best cooks never follow a recipe to the “t” and this is surely one of their favorites!

Foodie Tips ~

  Note the variations on the original scan –

  For more soup: Add additional vegetables and broth.
  For two meals: Freeze the leftovers.
  For creamed soup: Add ½ to 1 cup cream 5 minutes before serving. Do not boil the cream!
  For pureed soup: Put all ingredients (no bones) into a blender and work your magic, until smooth.

  If you discover a version you really like, make record of the ratios so you can make it again on the next go.

  I was 10 when this recipe appeared in the 1976 edition of Apartment Life Magazine. How alarming it is to see the office phone hanging on the wall in the photo below! PS ~ I also love the bananas T-shirt!

i. base ingredients

2 cans | chicken broth
4 | chicken breasts
1 | large onion, chopped
| celery stalk, chopped
| carrot, chopped
2 sprigs | parsley
1 teaspoon | thyme (or dillweed)
| bay leaf
to “cover” | water

ii. “scavenge” for these accessory ingredients

1 small can | pinto beans, chickpeas and or plum tomatoes
1 medium can | corn
½ package | frozen okra, asparagus, artichokes and or pea pods
2 | potatoes, chopped
1 small | zucchini, chopped
| green pepper, chopped
¼ pound | mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup or more | pasta or rice
1 length | seasoned sausage
cubes | leftover meat
1 | kitchen sink (just checking if you’re paying attention!) :)

iii. what to do

1. In a medium/large pot over medium heat, add the first eight ingredients in step “i” above. Add water to cover.

2. While waiting for the soup to simmer, scavenge for your step “ii” ingredients above, whatever form they take.

3. Add fresh veggies and rice after the soup’s been simmering 15 minutes or canned, frozen ingredients and pasta after 20 minutes. Simmer soup for 30 minutes or until everything’s done.

Shazam!
An Original Scan Mom's Big Soup Recipe

Click To View –> An Original Scan Of The Big Soup Recipe


texas hash

A Texas Hash Recipe From Betty's Cook NookThe Taste Of Texas

If you love to  s t r e t c h  your food dollar, it’s hard to knock any recipe that’s been featured in The Unemployment Cookbook.

While my Mom’s recipe is a slightly different version, most hash recipes are a simple combination of beef, onions, tomatoes, rice and seasonings.

Perfect for a hearty, quick dish that’s budget friendly.

foodie tips ~

 For oil we used olive oil. But I bet Mom would have used Crisco Vegetable Oil.

 For the big can of tomatoes we used 28 ounces of San Marzano tomatoes . . . my favorite.

 If you like to kick up the heat a bit add some chopped jalapeño while sautéing or a few cracks of fresh black pepper just before stirring and baking. Sets my heart on fire!

 Before baking you don’t have to stir the ingredients but we preferred stirred to layered for the finished dish.

i. ingredients

onions
| green pepper
3-4 tablespoons | oil
1 pound | ground beef (not browned)
½ cup | raw white rice
2 teaspoons | salt
1 teaspoon | chili powder
big can | tomatoes
dash | sugar

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Sauté the onions and the green pepper in oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

2. In a casserole dish add the uncooked ground meat, the sautéed onions and pepper (from step 1 above) and the remaining 5 ingredients. Stir to combine.

3. Cover the casserole and cook for 1 hour.

Yields: 6 – 8 servings. 

A Scan Of Mom's Texas Hash Recipe



turkey stove top

A Turkey Stove Top Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook
Easy As 1, 2, Turkey

Green, white and red make this colorful all-in-one dish a hearty way to satisfy your meat, veggie and carb craving in every bite.

Did somebody say carbs? ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

foodie tip ~

 Turkey stove top will make great use of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers (sliced or cubed).

i. ingredients

10 ounces frozen cut asparagus tips and pieces
1 can | campbell’s cream of celery soup
1  cups | water
1 ½ cups | diced cooked turkey
½ teaspoon | salt
¼ teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
dash | fresh cracked pepper
1  cups | minute rice
3 tablespoons | pimiento, diced
to garnish | parsley

ii. what to do

1. Prepare asparagus according to package directions. Now drain.

2. In a large saucepan combine the asparagus, soup, water, turkey, salt, worcestershire sauce and pepper.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and simmer or 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

4. Stir in pimiento and garnish with parsley.

Yields: 4 servings
A Scan Of Mom's Turkey Stove Top Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


spanish rice

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Sidekick That’s Also Great Front And Center

Don’t let this recipe fool you. 

This rice isn’t spicy hot. But that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.

I was surprised to read this dish calls for ground beef … but all the happier since it was my main squeeze tonight. That’s right – this dish and I are going steady.

After making this dish per Mom’s instructions I read up a little more on the history of Spanish Rice which you might want to check out.

foodie tips ~

 Bacon drippings or shortening? Seriously ~ this is Texas. Go for the bacon drippings.

 We all know that food portions were smaller back in the 1970s. So when this calls for a “small box” of rice, I’m thinking it must have been 3 ½ cups of rice. The smallest box of rice I found at my local grocery store was about 7 cups strong (14 ounces). Supersize me.

 This is a great-tasting recipe but if you want something spicy you better add some cumin or chili powder or maybe even a can of Rotel (drained).

i. ingredients

¼ cup | bacon drippings (or shortening)
| onion, thinly sliced
small box | minute rice
½ | green pepper, diced
1 pound | ground beef
2 8-ounce cans | tomato sauce
1 teaspoon | prepared mustard
to taste | pepper
to taste | salt
1 ¾ cups | hot water

ii. what to do

1. In a medium sized pot prepare the bacon over medium heat. Remove the bacon strips and set aside reserving the drippings in the pan. The bacon isn’t used in this recipe so now you have something to snack on while you finish this out.  :)

2. Add the onion, rice, pepper and meat. Stir over high heat until lightly browned (including the rice).

3. Add the tomato sauce, mustard, pepper, salt and hot water. Bring to a boil; then simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. Shake your maracas – it’s ready!

Serve warm, as a sidekick or a main dish. Leftovers refrigerate well. This makes a lot of rice!

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A scan of Mom’s original recipe card:

A Spanish Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

And for those who want to learn a little more about how to shake your maracas: