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:


green rice

A Green Rice Recipe from Bettys Cook Nook


Green

Where would we be without the color green?

When I close my eyes thinking of “green” transports me to St. Patrick’s Day, when Mom would celebrate her little Saint, summer days I spent mowing yards, the homemade green taffy Mom and I made with Bristol and Chris and Christmastime when I loved to pinch the branches of our tree and smell the evergreen scent.

This dish receives its flecks of green from freshly chopped green pepper and parsley. There’s a labor of love involved in making this green rice recipe but it was worth it – I loved the crunch of the green pepper and hope you do too!

i. ingredients

1 cup | rice
2 teaspoons | salt
2 ½ cups | boiling water
4 eggs | separated
| green pepper, finely chopped
1 | small onion, finely chopped
½ cup | parsley, minced
5 tablespoons | parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon | paprika
1 cup | heavy cream, whipped

A Green Rice Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

ii. what to do

1. Add rice and 1 teaspoon of the salt to boiling water. Cover. Cook over low heat until rice is tender and all the water is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

2. Beat egg yolks. Combine the yolks with the green pepper, onion, parsley, grated cheese and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and paprika.

3. Blend mixture with the cooked rice then fold in the whipped cream.

4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Fold into the rice mixture.

5. Turn the rice into a greased 2-quart casserole. Place the casserole in a pan of hot water. Bake at 350°F until set, about 50-60 minutes.

Yield: 6-8 portions

A Scan Of Mom's Green Rice Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook


glazed ham balls

Glazed. Ham. Balls. Aloha!A handful of days after moving to my temporary apartment in August 2012, I christened my new kitchen with this “BCN” delight.

When I think of the popular duo of pineapple and ham, my thoughts turn to Hawaii. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but Mom and Dad honeymooned there in the 50s before Hawaii joined The Union. Aloha, Hawaii! They were married August 27, 1955 (see below).

During my early years Aloha, Glazed Ham Balls
of life, the Kiker family of 5 would watch Hawaii 5-0, a popular TV show that originally aired from 1968 – 1980. Hawaii-50 was named such because Hawaii was the 50th US state. Oh, the fabulous 50s!

So go on, strap on your coconut bra, grass skirt and lei. Get in the island spirit and make a batch of these glazed ham balls!

Book THAT, Danno!

pineapple + lei = glazed ham ballsi. ingredients

1 pound | ground cooked hamthe original glazed ham balls recipe
½ pound | ground beef
¾ cup | soft bread crumbs
½ cup | milk
¾ cup | unsweetened pineapple juice
½ cup | maple syrup
2 tablespoons | cornstarch
to serve | hot cooked rice
optional | chopped basil or parsley

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Combine ham, ground beef, bread crumbs and milk; mix well.

2. Shape into eighteen 1½” meatballs.

3. Place meatballs in a 8″x8″x2″ baking dish.

4. Bake the meatballs, uncovered, in oven for 20 minutes.

craze the glaze!

5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, maple syrup and cornstarch. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.

6. Pour sauce over meatballs.

7. Bake the meatballs 20 minutes more.

8. Spoon and serve over rice. Top with chopped basil or parley, if desired, and enjoy!

Makes: 6 servings

Foodie Tips ~

Mix the rice with a little snipped basil or parsley, for a burst of flavor and color.

Ground ham? Unsweetened pineapple juice? Soft bread crumbs? Not at my local grocery! I was forced to use ground pork, organic pineapple juice and bread crumbs from a can. It’s all good.

mom and dad's original wedding invite ~ the reception was at aunt sister and uncle bill's house in beautiful terrell hills (san antonio)


porcupine meatballs

mom's porcupine meatballsLove Porcupines? And Meatballs?

You’re in the right place!

While making this dish, I noticed Mom’s original recipe card has tomato stains on it (see below). So that means this was a familiar favorite.

Thanks to us, it still is.

Grab Your Porcupines And Let’s Eat

i. ingredients

getting ready to make porcupine meatballs

¼ cup | tomato soup
1 pound | ground beef
¼ cup | uncooked rice
| cage free egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup | minced onion
2 tablespoons | minced parsley
1 teaspoon | salt
2 tablespoons | shortening
1 | garlic clove, minced
1 cup | water

ii. what to do

1. Mix ¼ cup of the soup with beef, rice, egg, onion, parsley and salt.

2. Shape into balls (about 16).

3. In a large skillet, melt down the shortening with garlic then add the porcupine meatballs and cook until brown.

4. Blend in the rest of the can of soup and 1 cup of the water. Cover.

5. Simmer about 40 minutes, or until rice is tender, stirring now and then.


Foodie Tips ~

Substitute the 1 cup water (above) with beef broth. You can thank us later.

 I’m not sure what the porcupine meatballs were served on (or with), but seems like they would be happy with some garlic bread and a salad.

 This dish undoubtedly gets its name because of the similarity between the rice and a porcupine’s quills. Squint tight and you’ll see what I mean.

mom's original porcupine meatball recipe card

 





meat ball soup

Dinah Shore was one class act. Dinah was one of mom’s favorites and her 1950’s variety show paved the way for Oprah (Sorry, O)!

dinah shore's meatball soup compliments of betty's cook nook

This soup recipe was hand-written in the black cookbook and I chuckled when I saw the note “17 cents/serving… serves 6.” “Nothing much” costs 17 cents these days ~ not even just the tax. But I’m willing to give this recipe a run for my money. It sounds great!

Foodie Side Note ~ I calculated the cost of the soup based on today’s (2011) costs and arrived at a $1.64 per serving cost. While still affordable, that’s an increase of about 900% over the past 60 years!

i. soup ingredients

1 ½ pounds | lean ground beef (or lean turkey)
chopped | fresh parsley
¼ cup | uncooked rice
to taste | salt and pepper
to taste | paprika
handful | flour
8 cups* | water
6 | chopped green onions
3 | chopped carrots
2 cups | fresh tomatoes
½ | chopped green pepper
more | fresh parsley
2 | eggs
1 | juice of lemon

Foodie Tips ~

  Based on my preparation, I’m not sure how 50 meatballs would fit into 4 cups of water. I believe this was supposed to be 4 quarts of water (not 4 cups). I even found validation of a derivative of this recipe at Vicki Lawrence’s website (she knew Dinah, too)!

  If you refrigerate any leftovers, you can discard any grease that rises to the top, which will be more heart healthy.

some of the meatball soup ingredientsii. what to do

1. Mix the ground beef and some chopped parsley, the rice, salt, pepper and paprika. Form into meat balls about 1-to-1 and 1/2″ round, roll each in flour and set aside.

2. To 8 cups boiling water add the onions, carrots, tomatoes and green pepper. Simmer 30 minutes.

3. Gently drop the meat balls into the boiling stock and simmer about 40 minutes, or until rice is done. Don’t have the stock boiling too fast ~ just simmer ~ when adding the the meatballs ready to go into the soupmeat balls, or they will fall apart. And nobody likes mushy soup!

4. About 5 minutes before the stock is done, add more fresh parsley.

5. When done, beat the eggs with juice of one lemon. Add a little of the hot broth to the eggs so they will not cook too fast. Then slowly add this mixture to the soup. You’re ready for take-off.

Buon appetito!

A photo of mom’s original recipe below!

a scan of the original meatball soup recipe