parmesan dressing

Parmesan Dressing RecipeA Tale of Two Dishes

When I first picked this recipe from Mom’s cookbook, I thought I’d be making a creamy salad dressing chock-full of grated parmesan.

I was so very wrong!

A few minutes into the prep for this recipe and I knew to set my salad aside.

I was making dressing. Or was it stuffing?

Turns out I wasn’t sure the differences of either.

I grew up loving me some Stove Top Stuffing. Not that my Mom “Betty” regularly made it – I did. My love for stuffing started and swelled during my college years and since I’ve polished off more than a few boxes of the stuff like it was a main course … and a dessert.

A Foodie War Rages On

After a little bit of online research I was left even more conflicted about the differences between dressing and stuffing.

Some posts I found noted that the only difference was whether you prepared and served the dish from inside a bird (hence stuffing) vs. from the side of the bird (or dressing).

Another post said it was due to differences in dialect as in the south dressing was a more “genteel” way of referring to stuffing. Reading this made me feel like I time-warped back into a scene from Gone With The Wind.

Others posts pointed to stuffing being super moist and dressing more like a special combination of sticky-pillowy soft with a hint of crisp – this is the style I am used to.

Stuffing vs. Dressing - What's the Difference?All I know is based on this Butterball survey, the various regions of the country do have differences in preference. No wonder my confusion! As a Texan, I live in a region where the popularity of “stuffing” vs. “dressing” is an arm-wrestle more evenly matched than anywhere else in the nation! Heck, even in this Paul Deen video, the Southern Queen of Comfort Food herself uses the terms interchangeably… yet her end result looks more like porridge than what I’m used to. Heck, y’all, if Rachael Ray was weighing-in here, she’d probably call this dish “druffing,” as she’s known for inventing words that are a made-up mish-mash of food itself!

So, what does your family call it?

I simply call it “get in my belly!” And just like the war over chili with or without beans, I’ll leave it to you to make and enjoy the very best of your favorite recipes!

foodie tips

  A word about parsley … While I’m fairly certain that in the good ol’ days any reference to parsley implied the curly-leaf kind, today I’m a lover of Italian flat-leaf parsley because I find it less “grassy” and “scratchy” on my palate. The good news is you can pick whichever variety you like!

  Step 3 below is optional, but I tried the dressing before and after and preferred the dressing with a slight toasting.

i. ingredients

1 large | white onion, chopped
4 tablespoons | vegetable oil
3 cups | soft bread crumbs
½ cup | parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup | fresh parsley, chopped (Italian flat leaf suggested)
2 tablespoons | hot water
Parmesan Dressing Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

ii. what to do

1. In a medium pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onions.

2. Add the onions to all the other ingredients and mix well.

3. This step is extra (from me)… I transferred my dressing into a 350°F preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes to toast it up a bit. I added a bit more freshly grated parmesan on top to give it a little punch.

Enjoy!

~ Patrick

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

Parmesan Dressing Recipe

Parmesan Dressing Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Parmesan Dressing Recipe Card

A few more vintage Stove Top commercials from me to you!

NPR Kitchen Set~ ~ ~

Stove Top Stuffing: Creepy, Remarkable, or Somewhere in Between?!

Listen to this NPR spot about the origin of Stove Top Stuffing and its creator, Ruth Siems.

After listening to this I gained a greater appreciation for the culinary convenience of Stove Top Stuffing as well as the time-tested art of conventional stuffing!

~ ~ ~


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


burger pizza

A Burger Pizza Recipe From Betty's Cook NookLet’s Eatsa The Pizza

As a self-proclaimed pizza junky my at-home pizza-like objects often take a variety of forms involving Boboli crust, a nice slice of bread topped with Joe’s Red Sauce or this home grown recipe for Trader Joe’s Bacon Cheese Bread. No matter the form the cheesy, savory taste of pizza is always a delight, morning or night.

It wasn’t until my first trip to Italy that I discovered I actually prefer thin crust pizza topped with a few simple ingredients. Sorry, cheese-stuffed crust, deep-dish gooey pie!

This burger pizza recipe surprised both Joe and I – we agreed it was a bit like the home grown Boboli pizza of the 1970s. But before we dive into how to make a slice of this burger topped piggy pie let’s enjoy a little story.

Burgertime … In The Beginning

Following our family’s Pong and Atari 2600 digital scores, in walked ColecoVision. My Mom “Betty” and I spent many mind-numbing moments playing our hearts away in front of the likes of Dig Dig, Frogger, and BurgerTime. Let’s have a brief look at some of the BurgerTime action:

Wow. Chef eating pickles, eggs, hot dogs brought to life in cutting edge ROM graphics. Exciting, huh? Hah! More than 30 years later I still have my Coleco game console including my BurgerTime cartridge, which shows my inner love of food-related fancies. Anyone game for a BurgerTime playoff?

foodie tips ~

  We didn’t see instructions for how to prepare 1 cup of biscuit mix so we got as close as we could – we used 1 cup Bisquick brand mix plus ¼ cup whole milk to mix. Also, we added a tad more biscuit mix to dust our pastry/cutting board.

  Out of Bisquick? Try this substitute for 1 cup of Bisquick mix: 1 cup flour + 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder +½ teaspoon salt + 1 tablespoon of shortening. Mix it all up and voilà!

  Mom’s recipe doesn’t specify this but we browned our ground chuck before topping and baking the pizza.

 I thought to use fresh herbs but I was corrected. “Dried is what would have been used,” Joe said. I agreed.

i. ingredients

1 cup | packaged biscuit mix (most commonly known in the 1970s as bisquick)
¼ cup | whole milk (if following the foodie tip above)
to coat dough | wesson oil
½ pound | ground chuck, browned (see foodie tip above)
to taste | salt, pepper and garlic salt
½ teaspoon | oregano or basil (we used oregano but I love me some basil)
8 ounce can | tomato sauce
1 tablespoon | parsley, chopped
¼ pound | swiss cheese, cut into 1-inch strips

ii. what to do

1. Prepare dough according to package directions (or my above foodie tip).

How To Make Burger Pizza

2. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece to fit the bottom and sides of the pie pans. Place in pan and brush with the oil.

Let's Layer Our Burger Pizza

3. Put half of the remaining ingredients on each of the pies in the following order: crumble the ground chuck evenly over the dough, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic salt and oregano or basil. Cover with tomato sauce and parsley. Arrange the swiss cheese strips on top, like a spoke of a wheel.

4. Bake in a 400°F preheated oven about 20 minutes or until brown and cheese has melted.

Yields: 2 delicious pizzas

~ Patrick

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

A Burger Pizza Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of My Mom “Betty’s” Burger Pizza Recipe


spaghettini bolognese

A Spaghettini Bolognese Recipe From Betty's Cook NookCrazy For This Bolognese

I’m confident this is the first of Mom’s recipes I found cut out with Pinking Shears (see the pic below).

Mom was an expert artist, although she would never consider herself as such [insert a Betty-blush here]. Mom’s artistic mediums spanned food, paper, wood, plants and cloth, where her pinking shears were one of her essential tools.

Mom loved sewing so much she found a way to include a sewing closet into her and Dad’s bedroom so there’s no doubting her passion for handmade clothes. Mom made many of her dresses, my band uniforms – she even sewed printed labels bearing my name into my clothes. I wish I still had the hand-painted denim shirt she made me based on my wish – a red barn complete with a scattering of farm animals painted in her “Oh, Betty” style.

I love it when I can find evidence of when Mom’s recipes came into existence. This one was from the May 1975 issue of Family Circle. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. My partner Joe said this sauce was better than his sauce. That really says a lot since his Red Sauce recipe is my favorite.

foodie tips ~

  Spaghettini? We had to look it up. And we briefly lived in Italy. It’s thin spaghetti. How to pronounce “bolognese?” This dish hails from Bologna, Italy, so it’s pronounced with four syllables – not three. Like boh-loh-NYEH-zeh. If you’re doubting your Italian pronunciation you can simply refer to it as a ragù, making sure to pepper your pronunciation with some hearty Italian hand gesturing.

  Pump up the jam. I added more carrot, celery and garlic. More cowbell? Well, that’s an ingredient for another special recipe.

  Why not serve this dish with some sidekicks? Some pepperoni-cheese bread and a side salad would hit the spot. It’s called a side salad so there’s more room for the bread. :~)

i. ingredients

¼ pound (about 1½ cups) | mushrooms, sliced
| carrot, sliced
1 clove | garlic, crushed or minced
½ cup | onion, chopped
½ cup | celery, chopped
½ cup | green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons | wesson oil*
¾ pound | Italian sausage, casings removed and broken-up with a spoon
2 15-ounce cans | Hunt’s tomato sauce
½ cup | water
¼ cup | dry red wine (not optional)
1 teaspoon | sugar
¼ teaspoon | Italian herb seasoning

* We argued over this one. I wanted to use olive oil and Joe said “stick to the recipe the first time,” my very own cardinal rule. Joe won. But I still snuck-in more carrot, celery and fresh garlic since I wasn’t changing an ingredient. Besides, who gets all excited over one carrot, celery stalk or garlic clove?! Not me, that’s who!

ii. what to do

1. In a medium pan or Dutch oven, sauté the mushrooms, carrot, garlic, onion, celery and green pepper in the oil.

2. Add the sausage and cook until it’s no longer pink. Drain the fat (or not) … we don’t judge.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.

4. About 25 minutes into the simmer you can prepare your spaghettini by preparing your pasta according to the instructions.

5. Serve the bolognese over hot, cooked thin pasta.

Yields 5+ servings.

~ Patrick

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

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

A scan of Mom's Spaghettini Bolognese recipe ... as clipped from the May 1975 issue of Family Circle Magazine.

A scan of Mom’s Spaghettini Bolognese recipe … as clipped from the May 1975 issue of Family Circle Magazine.


stroganoff steak sandwiches

A Stroganoff Steak Sandwich Recipe From Bettys Cook NookA Christmas Spectacular
(Part II)

This stroganoff steak sandwich recipe is a continuation of the ultimate holiday meal which begins with this tomato bisque recipe, which you’ve gotta check out if you want your holiday meal to be complete. ;)

You’ll also be able to read a little more about how this recipe was selected for Betty’s Cook Nook plus learn about the photographer who took the picture of the 1970s Christmas family below.

foodie tips ~

  I was a little bummed when I started this recipe then discovered the meat needed to marinate overnight. Turns out it was well worth the wait. The flavor was delicious. I hope you agree!

  Any recipe where the first ingredient is beer is dyn-o-mite! Add sour cream and you’re taking your tastebuds on a one way trip to Fantasy Island.

  I’m a Texan. So in the ingredient ranges noted below, I always round UP.

  The bread. At the store I was in a flurry and forgot to pick up some french bread. I used some thin sliced white I had loitering in the pantry and still loved this sandwich. Use your favorite sliced bread and you’ll be AOK. I promise.

  I prefer these sandwiches warm. If you follow the original recipe they are likely to be room temperature cool. Either way, you win.

  Some people cry over spilled milk. When I later realized I forgot to butter my bread I have to admit a few sniffles were born.

i. ingredients

the marinade:
⅔ cup | beer
⅓ cup | vegetable oil
1 – 2 teaspoons | salt
¼ – ½ teaspoon | garlic powder
¼ – ½ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper

all the rest: 
2 pounds (1” thick) | flank steak
2 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter
½ teaspoon | paprika
to taste | salt
2 cups | white onion, sliced
6 slices | buttered french bread, toasted
1 cup | sour cream (I’m crazy for Daisy)
½ – 1 teaspoon | prepared horseradish

ii. what to do

1. Place the steak in a shallow dish. Combine the first 5 ingredients above and pour this marinade over the steak. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

How To Make Stroganoff Steak Sandwiches From Betty's Cook Nook

2. The next day … drain the steak and broil it 3 inches from the heat for 6 minutes on each side for medium rare in an electric oven (gas boiling tips here) or until its the desired degree of doneness. Slice across the grain in thin slices and set aside. Keep warm if you can.

3. Combine the butter, paprika and salt in a skillet. Add the onions and cook them until they are transparent then set aside.How To Make Stroganoff Steak Sandwiches From Betty's Cook Nook

4. Combine the sour cream and horseradish in a saucepan. Place over low heat, stirring until warm.

5. Place some onions on the buttered bread, top with a few steak slices then a dollop of your sour cream mixture. You can smear your dollop on top of your sandwich. I left mine a dollop for photo-taking purposes. Add a dash more paprika on top and you’re ready to dive in!

Yield: About 4-6 servings

Here’s a scan of the original recipe! Note the missing Apple Cider recipe (how could they?!). No worries – I have a substitute recipe coming soon. 

Southern Living Magazine December 1978

 


broccoli slaw

A Broccoli Slaw Recipe From Betty's Cook NookSlaw Awe

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.

i. ingredients

the dressing:
½ cup | sugar
¼ cup | vegetable oil
¼ cup | red wine vinegar
2 packages | seasoning mix (from the ramen noodles)

to marinate:
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

to serve:
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!

Making Broccoli Slaw At Betty's Cook Nook

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.

Enjoy!

Julie's Broccoli Slaw Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

 

 

 


egg roll casserole

tasty egg roll casseroleStop. Drop. And Egg Roll.

Before P.F. Chang’s, there was “King Wah”.

King Wah was the nicest Chinese food restaurant I had ever been to… until years later when my cousin Melissa married in San Francisco; after the ceremony we ate at a fancy Chinese food restaurant called the Empress of China, which was a beaut.

Flash back 1980s. King Wah was located in a white office building at the SE corner of Loop 410 and Wurbach road (1800 NE Loop 410) in my childhood home town of San Antonio.

Inside King Wah you’d findchop! chop! here are some of the ingredients for egg roll casserole.
white table cloths, fancily dressed wait staff and large round tables that the expanded family would gather around. Why, there must have been 10-12 of us feeding at a single table! While I only ate at King Wah with my Aunt Sister, Uncle Bill and the wolf pack (my cousins), it was one of the few times I can remember that felt more Thanksgiving than mere Chinese dining. King WOW!

Today I live precisely 270.42 miles from where King Wah was located. But thanks to this savory lip-smacking recipe featuring the egg roll, I can relive the mouth-watering memories growing up… and the taste of the exotic orient. I will be eating this again!

享受  (that’s chinese for “enjoy!”)

Let’s Roll!

i. ingredients

2 tablespoons | soy sauce
chinese pea pods in a pan - YEAH!2 tablespoons | dry sherry
1 teaspoon | sugar
½ teaspoon | salt
1 pound | beef round, cut into thin 4 x 3/4-inch strips
¼ cup | vegetable oil
1 package | frozen chinese pea pods, partly thawed
2 cups | celery, thinly sliced
1 cup | scallions, finely chopped
16-ounce can | bean sprouts, drained and rinsed
16-ounce can | condensed beef consomme
2 tablespoons | cold water
2 tablespoons | cornstarch
2 5-ounce packages | frozen egg rolls

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 250°F.

1. Combine soy sauce, sherry, sugar and salt. Add to beef strips and ross to coat with mixture. Let stand 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add Chinese pea pods and cook until pods have separated from one another and they’re tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove pea pods from skillet and reserve.

on the stovetop...mmmmm!

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil to the skillet. Add beef strips and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef loses its pink color.

4. Add celery, scallions, bean sprouts and consomme. Reduce heat to low (about 225°F). Cook, covered, a few minutes until vegetables are almost tender.

5. Stir cold water slowly into the cornstarch and add to skillet mixture.

6. Blend well and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and thickened. Pour into a greased 1½-quart shallow casserole.

7. Cut egg rolls in half lengthwise and place spoke-fashion on middle top of casserole. Arrange cooked pea pods at edges of casserole.egg roll casserole in a bowl

8. Place in a preheated 350°F oven for about 25 minutes, or until rolls are crisp on top. Serve with rice, if desired?

Foodie Tips ~

♥ While the egg roll flavor was not specified, because this recipe calls for beef round, I suggest a simple veggie egg roll to accompany the beef.

 What’s a “Chinese Pea Pod?” It’s also known as a Snow Pea or a Sugar Pea. Technically they’re different than edamamme (a sweet bean). You’re likely to find them frozen vs. fresh at your local grocery.

“Serve with rice, if desired?” Of course it’s desired! Get outta my way ~ I’m hongry!   

mom's egg roll casserole recipe