sweet yellow onion
Our mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers had a secret weapon in the kitchen: the casserole. It could be made ahead of time and frozen until ready for use. It could feed a hungry crowd and it always seemed to taste better the next day. In my family, one of our favorite casseroles has always been Eggplant Parmesan. My momma figured out years ago how to get the eggplant softened and still have the pan-grilled flavor. Her homemade marinara sauce only takes 20 minutes to make, from start to finish, so it’s the perfect “sugo” to go in between the delicious slices of eggplant and cheese. With the holidays right around the corner, here’s a great dish for family gatherings that can be made ahead of time or enjoyed freshly made and piping hot, right out of the oven.
Move over, kale. There’s a new Superfood Superstar that has, until now, been relegated to being roasted, steamed, smother with cheese, or made into a creamed soup. But cauliflower is a wallflower no more, and is catching the wave of popularity because of its newly discovered adaptability to favorites like pizza! In fact, cauliflower pizza crust has put it on the map for a whole new generation to enjoy. Add your favorite toppings to the crust or try this unique butternut squash recipe!
“Bliss in a Skillet.” That’s what my momma’s Chicken Cacciatore recipe should be named. As a little Italian girl, growing up, I just thought that it was one of those dishes that everyone ate at least once a week – just like we did – with polenta or pasta.
I also assumed that all Chicken Cacciatore pretty much tasted the same.
But many years later, after having tasted Chicken Cacciatore in numerous restaurants, I’m going to finally go on the record and say that Momma’s is the best. You’re going to get to try it for yourself and see if you agree.
Momma’s Cacciatore is simple, inexpensive, uses only one pan, and the flavors are absolutely divine. It’s about as close to a fool-proof dish as you can get with the recipe I’m sharing with you today. Momma’s Chicken Cacciatore was one of the first recipes we included in our first cookbook, “Momma & Me & You,” and through the years, we’ve tweaked it just a bit to make it even better!
Here’s what Momma wrote in our cookbook: “Almost every Italian restaurant has chicken cacciatore on the menu, and there are as many versions of the dish as there are places that serve it. Although it’s a Southern Italian specialty, it has been adopted as a treasure throughout Italy. When I introduced cacciatore on my restaurant menu back in 1957, our customers fell in love with the very first delicate bite! It became one of our most popular signature dishes for the celebrity crowd and locals alike.”
I find that high-quality fresh chicken enhances the taste – and that chicken thighs and legs seem to be the most flavorful (flavor-filled bones make all the difference). Pick up a nice bottle of wine, some good sour dough bread, and enjoy one of my momma’s mainstay Italian meals!
We eat them rolled. We eat them stacked. They’re filled with stuff and that’s a fact.
No, that isn’t Dr. Seuss talking. That’s just me describing one of our very favorite Southwestern treasures, the enchilada. In 1949, a magazine called American Food and Drink described enchiladas as a Mexican dish prepared more for tourists than for locals. Sorry folks, that was then and this is now. Today, enchiladas are enjoyed both north and south of the border, and in many different ways. They’re often filled with pork, chicken, beef, cheese, shrimp, crab, or even vegetables. The traditional sauces are made with either a spicy red chile sauce, a tomatillo sauce, or the Tex-Mex brown gravy chili sauce combination. Then just garnish for greatness! If you want to take your enchilada casserole to the next yummy level, give these homemade corn tortillas a try!
Slow cooking a roast in beef broth and… cola? Let’s just say cola is not an ingredient that immediately comes to mind when preparing a pot roast for dinner. Still, I was intrigued with the idea ever since I heard about how delicious it can be. Digging through my piles of “church cookbooks,” I started listing all the pot roast recipes using cola, and guess what? All recipes pointed to Emeril Lagasse’s version of Cola Braised Pot Roast in one variation or another!
That’s all I needed. Pot Roast for dinner tonight! I found an all-natural cola at the health food store, added one large onion to the pot (as written in one variation), and braised away. The outcome was fantastic. Falling off the fork, flavorful, and loaded with lots of liquid to make yummy gravy. Cooked it slow and low in the oven or in a crock-pot and serve it with some tasty mashed or roasted red potatoes, it’s a simple and scrumptious way to get dinner on the table tonight!