As you’ve probably noticed from this weekly column, I love to try new and different foods. There’s something about just old school classic recipes that are comforting though. And every once in a while you may also run into a classic recipe you’ve never made before.
Last week I did just that. I was making out my weekly menu and grocery list and found my Mamma’s old Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1976. The book is quite useful if you’re a novice in the kitchen as it has lots of of helpful tips on basic food preparation.
In my search for a chicken dish to prepare I came across the recipe for chicken cacciatore. I have always heard of chicken cacciatore, but never made it myself so I thought I would give it a try. The dish is comprised of lightly fried chicken simmered in a tomato sauce and served over either rice or pasta. We served ours on a bed of angel hair spaghetti. I also had some lovely squash and zucchini from my godfather’s garden which we sautéed in some olive oil with salt, pepper and a little Italian seasoning. It made for a nice accompaniment to the rich tomato sauce and chicken. If you don’t have a copy of the Betty Crocker cookbook, you can find the recipe on www.BettyCrocker.com. The newer version of the recipe calls for fresh mushrooms though we followed the 1976 version which used canned mushrooms. My fiancé made a disapproving face at using canned mushrooms, but after they simmered for 45 minutes in the sauce, I’m really not sure you could tell the difference.
Another old favorite we enjoyed last week is what we always called hamburgers in a basket. I remember this recipe from my childhood though I hadn’t thought of it in years. My schedule has been hectic the last few weeks with rehearsals for the upcoming play I’m in and my dad graciously agreed to fix dinner so I could eat quickly after work and head to rehearsal. I remembered this old standby and he whipped it up for us.
You simply make out hamburger patties and put them in a foil packet topped with sliced potatoes, onions, green pepper and carrots. Season liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder or any other preferred seasoning. Close up the foil packet, place packets on a baking sheet and cook for one hour in a 375-degree oven. It’s not fancy, but let me tell you, it’s delicious and simple to prepare. You can always jazz it up with some different seasonings if you prefer. I would probably add a dash or two of Tony Cachere’s Creole Seasoning if I were making it.
Do you have a favorite classic recipe? I’d love to try it. Email me the recipe at email@example.com or give me a call at 336-518-3049.
Kitsey E. Burns is a reporter for The Yadkin Ripple, here she shares her musings on food, life and love. She can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.