Chicken Breasts Baked in Cream

Chicken Breasts Baked in Cream

A Recipe from Betty Crocker’s New Dinner for Two Cook Book (1964)

About the Recipe

Chicken is a staple in our household, but even our favorites can start to get old. I had some chicken breasts in the freezer so I went on a search through my books! Betty Crocker (almost) never fails, and this recipe looked simple enough for a Friday evening. Fair warning though – it takes 2 hours to bake! The cook time on this in total is about 2.5 hours all told.

I made a few adjustments on this one – I substituted olive oil for the shortening and used fat free half and half instead of proper cream. Removing all of the fat from this dish meant getting rid of some of the richness. We ended up with a (more cholesterol friendly) baked chicken, rich in flavor but not in fat. Oh – and as with most recipes, the amount of onion and garlic is just a suggestion. Go to town, with Betty’s blessing I’m sure.

About the Book

I found this book in a giant antiques mall in Virginia on a recent road trip with the husband. There was a whole section just of antique and vintage books and I was in heaven! If you’re in the area (or even just slightly out of the way), the Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA is well worth the trip.

All of the Betty Crocker books in this time period and format are worth the purchase. The mid-century illustrations are so fantastic, and the recipes, for the most part are excellent. This one is dedicated to small families or “the career girl enjoying her first apartment.” In particular, this recipe comes from the section dedicated to when company comes. The recipes and menus feel like they’re adapted for when you were planning for two… and then surprise! company comes. All in all, this book is wonderful. Snag it if you find it.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 whole chicken breasts (about 2 lb.)
3 T shortening
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup cream (20% butterfat)
1 1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 t Worcestershire sauce

Pan Gravy:
2 T fat
2 T flour
1 cup liquid (water, meat stock, or bouillon cube broth)

Directions:

Heat oven to 300*F (slow). Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise, making four serving pieces. In a heavy skillet, brown breasts in shortening until golden. Add remaining ingredients. Cover tightly. Bake about 2 hr. or until tender. Just before serving, remove chicken from skillet; keep warm while making Pan Gravy

Pan Gravy:
Remove meat to warm place. Pour off clear fat (not drippings); measure amount needed into small saucepan. Measure liquid into roasting pan; stir and scrape all of brown drippings loose from pan — heat mixture if necessary; set aside.

Add flour to fat in saucepan; stir together until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring steadily until it is bubbling.

Take pan off heat. Gradually stir in liquid and drippings from roasting pan. return pan to heat; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 min. Season and serve.

Orange Bowl Coffee Cake

Orange Bowl Coffee Cake

A Recipe from 100 New Bake-Off Recipes from Pillsbury’s 16th Grand National (1965)

About the Recipe

Sometimes a dish comes out of the oven, and you show your little brother how to properly flip a baked dish, and as he lifts the casserole dish off, you’re crossing your fingers that it comes out properly – and then it comes cleanly out of the dish with a slow waterfall of caramel-y goodness and all you can think is – WOW. Yeah. This is that recipe.

“Coffee cake” is a little bit of a misnomer here, as this is far from the crumbly baked good you’re probably thinking of. This is more like a cinnamon bun loaf with hints of orange caramel; more suitable for pulling apart than for slicing.

I’ll admit, this came out looking a little bit different than in the photo that lives in the book (no, I’m not going to put it here). Be sure to let the orange juice and eggs come to room temperature so as not to make the yeast angry and you’ll be good to go. Even through my yeast flub, this dish gets the little brother seal of approval:

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

Pillsbury really goes the extra mile on the advertising front in this booklet. Not only are they pushing the new “Pillsbury Family Cookbook” (YOURS FREE for a Ten-Day Try Out!), but they dedicate the first few pages to new Instant Blending flour – “This gay new way to put a cake together!” Divine!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 packets active dry yeast or 2 cakes compressed yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 cup milk, scalded
2 eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour
1 cup granulated or brown sugar
2 T grated orange rind
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Soften yeast in warm water. Combine in mixing bowl 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup soft butter, salt and milk. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in eggs, orange juice and yeast. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and satiny, 3-5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled, about 1 hour.

Cream 1/2 cup butter. Add 1 cup sugar and orange rind. Roll out half of dough on floured surface to a 12×8-inch rectangle. Spread with half of filling; sprinkle with 1/2 cup walnuts. Starting with 120inch side, roll jelly-roll fashion. Cut into twelve 1-inch slices. Arrange 1 inch apart on bottom and sides of well-greased 2-quart casserole or mixing bowl. Place remaining slices in center. Repeat with remaining slices in center. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until light and doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350*F for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Invert immediately onto cooling rack.

Variation: For orange-cinnamon coffee cake, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to filling. If desired, drizzle warm bread with a vanilla glaze.

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Pi(e) Day 2021

Pi(e) Day 2021

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I have always maintained that pies test my patience, and this year, just after the 1-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, they definitely did. The crusts took 3 tries to get out of the oven in a usable state. I needed to call in my sous-chef (husband) multiple times because I wasn’t ready for some of the multi-tasking that needed to happen. And yet – it was a successful pie day. Here’s what we made:

2021 Pi(e) Day WINNER! Orange-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (1961)
Chicken Pie with Sweet Potato Crust (1940)
Cottage Cheese Pie (1963)

Eggs, Eiffel Tower

Eggs, Eiffel Tower

A Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Lunches and Brunches (1963)

About the Recipe

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you probably know by now how much I love an overcomplicated but delicious breakfast / egg dish. Here’s another one to enjoy!

When I was looking at the recipe on paper, my first thought was that it sounded like a croque Madame – egg, ham, cheese, bread. Simple! But it’s clearly more complicated than that – and the flavor profile you get out of it is more complex as well. It tastes kind of like a quiche Lorraine or an egg hash when all is said and done. The texture is really lovely and surprising. It’s a very light, fluffy dish and everything just comes together when you dig in with a fork.

I used a rustic French sandwich bread for the toast, and a sharp cheddar cheese. This is a recipe that would also be really easy to substitute in other kinds of cheeses and meats with success. Just make sure that your meat can be broken up or speared easily as it gets buried in the ramekin. And of course, if you want a true Parisian taste to go on, go with the deviled ham and some good gruyere.

About the Book

These little Better Homes & Gardens books are such great resources in a kitchen. In the case of this one, you simply pick the lunch or brunch that you’re planning for and there’s a menu ready to go! I’ll go into more details the next time I post on it. For right now, just to give you the flavor of the book, here’s some of the contents:

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 rusks or slices dry toast
1 4.5 oz can deviled ham
3/4 cup shredded process cheese
6 egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar
10 drops bottled hot pepper sauce
Dash salt
1 t prepared mustard
6 egg yolks

Directions:

Cut rusks or toast in rounds to fit in bottom of 4 ramekins or 6-oz custard cups. Butter each rusk; spread with 1 T deviled ham, place in ramekin and sprinkle with 1 T cheese.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar, hot pepper sauce, and salt till soft peaks form. Place on top of cheese in each ramekin. Top with egg yolks (place 2 egg yolks in 2 of the ramekins). Dot layer with bits of deviled ham (about 1/2 T on each) and sprinkle with 1 T cheese. Top with egg-white mixture.

Repeat layers of ham, cheese, and egg white, building up a peak of egg white mixture. (See picture, above)

Bake in slow oven (325*F) about 30 minutes, or till golden and yolks are of desired doneness. Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

A Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Dinner in a Dish Cookbook (1965)

About the Recipe

This is one of those recipes that all of a sudden starts to come together and smell amazing as you’re cooking it. It was so quick and simple (don’t let the roux scare you!) and super tasty and comforting on a chilly northeastern night.

Becky and I substituted frozen peas for the mushrooms to great success. I would actually say that you can sub in any veggie here that you’d like and it’ll be equally as tasty. We also added some extra mozzarella to the top. because – why not? And finishing it off in the broiler is definitely the perfect finishing touch.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

When I got to Becky’s house this time around, I was presented with a big, silver-wrapped box. Inside that box was a cornucopia of vintage cookbooks, this one included. I was so excited to see this particular book mixed in with the rest. I’ve been eyeing these Betty Crocker books for awhile and I’m so excited to have it.

Any Meal in a Dish book is good to have on your shelf – this one is great. If the recipes don’t get you, the gorgeous mid-century modern illustrations will. If nothing else, if you see this book give yourself a few minutes to thumb through and enjoy.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
2 T sherry
7 oz. spaghetti, broken into small pieces, cooked and drained
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1 can (3 oz.) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oven to 350*F. Melt butter over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in broth and cream. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 1 min. Add sherry. Stir in spaghetti, chicken, and mushrooms. Pour into a square baking dish, 8x8x2″. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 30 min. or until bubbly in center. If desired, brown top by placing briefly under broiler. Garnish with parsley and green olives, if desired.

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Baked Fillets of Haddock or Cod with Potatoes

Baked Fillets of Haddock or Cod with Potatoes

A Recipe from The Art of Dutch Cooking (1961)

About the Recipe

I’ve always been a bit hesitant to try cooking white, flaky fish. I have no good reason why, other than no one ever taught me how to cook it, so I’m relying simply on the recipe. The good news is – this is a great, easy to follow recipe.

This particular try was a lesson in the quarantine classic – make it work with what’s on hand. I used small potatoes and ended up substituting plain yogurt for the sour cream. I mixed in some shallots with the single onion that I had on hand. Lo and behold – it definitely works. The top is a nice, fluffy soufflé with a little crisp from the breadcrumbs. The inside is like a flaky fish stew, savory and delicious. This one will go into regular rotation for sure.

About the Book

This is a newer book to my shelves, and I was so delighted when it came and was even better than I had thought. The illustrations are so beautiful. Take a deeper look at it here:

From the two fisherman to their fishing basket, the details are just so lovely. While the recipes are a little bit vague, the book is wonderful. I love learning about a culture through their food, and this book is perfect for that kind of journey.

About the Glassware

Officially this dish is called the Deluxe Cinderella Casserole dish, but most folks call the pattern Golden Hearts. It was released only in 1959 and in its full set comes with a lid (not pictured) and a cradle with a double candle warmer. A dream for any aspiring hostess!

This was a gift from a close friend to warm my new home and kitchen. Lucky me – when she brought it over it was filled with her signature mashed potatoes. YUM!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 onions, chopped
3 T butter
6 fillets of haddock or cod
1 pound potatoes
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Bread crumbs

Directions:

Fry the onions in the butter. Flatten out the fish. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes and slice them. Put in a greased ovenproof dish a layer of fish, cover with a layer of potatoes and some of the fried onions; then a layer of fish, and so forth. End with a layer of potatoes. Beat the eggs with the salt for a few minutes. Add the sour cream and pour over the fish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a moderate oven (350*F) for about 3/4 hour. Any kind of fish can be used for this recipe.

 

Pork Chops, South Seas

Pork Chops, South Seas

A Recipe from Simple Hawaiian Cookery (1964)

About the Recipe

Pork chops are one of my husband’s favorite things to eat, and in truth this is the first time I’ve ever cooked them. This recipe, with its simple execution and easy to find ingredients felt like a good place to start. And actually – it was!

The slow cooking on the pork chops almost stews them so they come out super juicy. The fruit slow cooks into the chops themselves, bringing out a simple sweetness that’s so complimentary to the pork. Definitely a winner here.

One adjustment from me: I substituted half the water out for juice from the can of pineapples.

To make the gravy (just in case!) add about a teaspoon of flour plus a little more as needed and stir it in to thicken.

About the Book

I saw this book in a store and thought – how freaking cute! It’s part of a large (very large) set of cookbooks put out by publisher Peter Pauper in the ’60s. All of the books are this cute, with great illustrations and even better recipes. If you see a Peter Pauper book, snap it up! It’s a great addition to the shelf.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

4 loin pork chops
salt and pepper
Flour
4 slices canned pineapple
4 pitted prunes
4 carrots
1/3 cup water

Directions:

Wipe chops and season with salt and pepper. Dust with flour, and place in pan. Upon each chop place a ring of pineapple with a pitted prune in the center. Between chops, place whole carrots, and add water.

Cover. Cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours. Remove to hot platter. Make a gravy from mixture in pan. Pour over chops. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

 

Basic Red Sauce

Basic Red Sauce

A Recipe from The New York Times Cookbook (1961)

About the Recipe

When I was gifted this cookbook, I did what I always do when I get a clearly well-loved tome – I let it fall open to see where it landed. And it landed on this sauce.

As with most oft made recipes, this one has a ton of notes around it, and they’re all phenomenal. Here’s a close-up of it:

I made it fairly close to as written with the notes adjustments. I also threw in some fresh basil, and I did add a little extra salt.

All in all – if you’re looking for a good red sauce recipe, you can’t miss with this one. I used it to make this Eggplant Parmesan from the Italian Cookbook (1956) pictured above – YUM!

About the Book

I was gifted this book by someone close to me. It belonged to their grandmother, and was one an every day cookbook. And in all honesty, I completely understand why. Even today, the New York Times recipes are wonderful, so it’s no surprise that this book delights at every turn.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T olive oil
3 1/2 cups canned Italian-style plum tomatoes, undrained (lg. can)
2 small cans tomato paste
2 cups water or meat broth, approximately
1 bay leaf
1/2 t salt (no added salt per note)
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t oregano, or 1/4 t each oregano and basil

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until brown, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about two hours. Add more water as necessary.

Add the oregano and continue cooking about fifteen minutes. Remove the bay leaf. The sauce should be thick. Serve over cooked spaghetti or use as an ingredient in such dishes as eggplant parmigiana, meat loaf, soups and stews.

Potato Kugel (Meat)

Potato Kugel (Meat)

A Recipe from Grandma’s Kosher Recipes (1968)

About the Recipe

The same way that every Italian family has its own red sauce, every Jewish family has its own kugel recipe. Full disclosure – this is not my family’s recipe, but it is really freaking good.

This is the kind of recipe that could be adapted for any occasion. Do you need it to go with a kosher milk meal? Just use oil instead of smaltz. Do you need it to be kosher for Passover? Substitute the flour for potato starch or a very fine matzo meal and you’re set! This versatile dish is perfect for every table.

For more recipes from my Weekend at Becky’s click here!

About the book

This book belonged to my great-aunt Martha on my mom’s side of the family. It came to Becky by way of her mom. How it got into Becky’s mom’s hands? No idea. But there we go.

Dinners with Aunt Martha and Grandma Koppelman (Abigail or Gail to those who knew her) were full of warmth and joy. Making this dish and smelling the potatoes and smaltz as it cooked brought me back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Salisbury, MD.

Two days ago was Grandma’s yartzeit (anniversary of her death). While she passed away 4 years ago, she’s still present in every family meal and gathering. To the Holt sisters in heaven – Abigail, Edith, & Martha – we remember you.

About the glassware

We made the kugel in a vintage Pyrex 232 lasagna pan. It’s one of those great dishes that was passed from person to person and ultimately mother to daughter and no one can quite remember where in the family it came from.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

5 potatoes
1 onion
salt & pepper
3 T smaltz (chicken fat) or oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oil for pan

Directions:

Grate potatoes and 1 onion, add salt and pepper, melt chicken fat and add, beat eggs and add, then flour. Mix well. Pour oil in bottom of pan and pour kugel in. Bake 1 hour or until brown at 375*F. Serve hot.

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Tuna Salad Crescent Bake

Tuna Salad Crescent Bake

A Recipe from 100 Bake-Off Recipes…from the 20th annual Bake-Off (1969)

About the Recipe

When I first saw this recipe, I thought – oh that looks like one that will become a staple! And don’t get me wrong, it’s really good, it just needs a few adjustments. Give this one a try for sure, but half the amount of mayo and half the amount of cottage cheese and you should be good. I actually liked this one a little bit better cold, but it would have been marvelous hot if it hadn’t been so wet.

Another note – I might try this in a 9″ pie dish next time. I’m guessing that the crescent rolls used to be packaged a little bit differently, because this certainly wasn’t close to a square.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

It seemed appropriate to use this very American cookbook on the 4th of July. Something about 1969 screams stars and stripes throughout cultural references to the time, and certainly this book with it’s “GREAT AMERICAN EVENT” on the inside cover stands as the same.

One more note on this one – Ann Pillsbury, our wonderful cookbook narrator has been replaced! Further research reveals that Ann Pillsbury, much like Betty Crocker, never really existed in the first place. “Ann” could be a reference to Charles Alfred Pillsbury’s wife, Mary Ann (pure speculation, I have found no research to support this).

At any rate, she disappears for Bake-Off #20 being replaced by the Director of the Pillsbury Consumer Service Kitchens, Barbara Thornton. This, like the cookbook title, continues to evolve over the next few books. Stay tuned!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 can (8 oz.) Pillsbury Refrigerated Quick Crescent Dinner Rolls
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c salad dressing or mayonnaise (NOTE: Use half this amount for less mushy dish)
6 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 family-size can (9 1/4 oz) chunk style tuna, drained
1 c peas*
1 c creamed cottage cheese (NOTE: Use half this amount for less mushy dish)
6 slices processed American cheese
1/2 c soda cracker crumbs
Paprika

Directions:

Unroll crescent dough and place in an ungreased 9-inch square or 12×8-inch (2 qt.) baking dish. Press over bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides to form a crust. In small mixing bowl, combine beaten eggs with Parmesan cheese. Spread half of egg-cheese mixture over crust. Set aside remaining mixture for topping.

In large mixing bowl, combine salad dressing, hard cooked eggs, tuna, peas, and cottage cheese; mix well. Spoon mixture into crust; spread evenly. Top with cheese slices. Spread remaining egg-cheese mixture over cheese slices. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs and paprika.

Bake at 400*F for 20-30 minutes until light golden brown. Serve warm or cold.