Posted on 14 July 2010 by Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook
A bowl of coq au vin!
Did you know that today is Bastille Day in France? Similar to our Fourth of July, it is a celebration of the storming of the Bastille fortress/prison in 1789, a symbolic event of the French Revolution. These days the President of France presides at a parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. It may have started as a battle, but it is one heck of a party today!
James and I are going to celebrate (we look for any excuse, you know) by having a French food-filled day. While watching the Tour de France cycling race (James waits all year for the Tour!), we’re having an omelet for breakfast, lunch will be a grilled ham and cheese sandwich (known in French as a Croque Monsieur!), Coq au Vin for dinner, and we’ll top it all off with a nectarine and cherry galette for dessert! Ooh, la, la, baby! It will be a lip-smacking kind of day!
Filed under: Any Season, Chicken and Poultry, Crock Pot, Cuisine, Entrees, Food, French, Healthy, Heritage, Onions, Sauces, Slow Cooking, Winter | Tagged: Bastille Day, Casserole, Chicken, Comfort Food, Cooking, Cooking with Wine, Crockpot, Entree, Entrees, Food, French, Healthy, Heritage, Holidays, Poultry, Recipe, Recipes, Roasted Chicken, Slow Cooker, Slow Cooking, Vegetables | Leave a comment »
Posted on 25 June 2010 by Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook
Serve this meal one night ...
British foods can be somewhat boring. They tend to be bland without a lot of seasoning. To complete our tribute to Wimbledon and England, I thought I would take the very traditional British Shepherd’s Pie and see if I couldn’t spice it up a bit, maybe by putting an American spin on it. I love fun challenges like this!
Shepherd’s Pie, a dish made with roasted meats and vegetables covered with a mashed potato crust, was originally developed to utilize leftovers. Cube the leftover meat and combine with cooked vegetables, add a little beef gravy and voilà, you have the filling! Use the leftover mashed potatoes to create a topping, pop it under the broiler until golden, and you have a filling delicious meal. Finding ways to reinvigorate leftovers is a mother’s chore and a recipe developers delight.
Filed under: American, Any Season, Beef, British, Crock Pot, Fast & Easy Recipes, Heritage, Meats, Onions, Potatoes, Slow Cooking, Vegetables, Winter | Tagged: Any Season, Baking, British Food, Comfort Foods, Heritage, Leftovers, Mashed Potatoes, Meat Filling, Quick and Easy, Savory Pie, Winter | Leave a comment »
Posted on 16 June 2010 by Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook
When I was in college, I used to make dinners for my classmates. It was a treat for them and a taste of home cooking was a welcome relief from dorm food. I grew up cooking for a family of six and I missed making those big dinners. Having friends over gave me an excuse to make some of my favorites.
Most of the time when I was growing up, if I ordered enchiladas in Mexican restaurants, they were filled with seasoned ground beef. Not exactly true Mexican, but they were good and filling. One Christmas, a friend gave me The California Heritage Cookbook and as I read through the recipes, I realized that I had a lot to learn about ‘real’ Mexican cooking.
My guests who came to dinner the night I first served these enchiladas were astonished at the flavors, and so was I. This sauce is so far superior to anything store-bought that it is well worth the extra effort. I like to serve the enchiladas with the Chile Rice Casserole, also from the California Heritage Cookbook for a nice change of pace from traditional Mexican Rice. Add a tossed green salad for a balanced meal. And don’t forget the margaritas for sparkling dinner conversation!
Filed under: Any Season, Cheese, Entrees, Grains / Legumes / Pasta, Heritage, Holidays, Mexican/Latin, Sauces, Sides, Slow Cooking, Vegetarian | Tagged: Cheese, Comfort Food, Enchiladas, Entree, Entrees, Food, Heritage, Holidays, Mexican, Recipe, Rice, Sauce, Sides, Vegetarian | 3 Comments »
Posted on 9 June 2010 by Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook
I used to have one of the original style Crock Pots. A few months ago I finally bought myself a new slow cooker. I had done tons of research into the various types, sizes, and functionality. While I would have loved one of the super-duper ones, with just the two of us to cook for, it would have been overkill. So I wound up with a great Cuisinart programmable model just right for us. Its small size helps keep me from making enough food to feed an army!
Since then I’ve been going through a lot of my recipes, seeing which ones can be converted to the slow-cooking method. It’s been fun! I love adapting recipes because it gives me a chance to put my own spin on them. When you look at recipes, see if you can figure out other ways to use it. Would it work as part of a different recipe? Would it be a good side dish or could you alter it for a main course? I am always taking a little from one recipe and adding it to another to create a whole new dish.
Filed under: Any Season, Crock Pot, Entrees, Heritage, Mexican/Latin, Onions, Pork, Slow Cooking, Vegetables | Tagged: Braising, Chipotle, Cilantro, Cooking, Corn Tortilla, Crock Pot, Food, Jalapeno, Mexican, Pork, Recipes, Slow Cooking, Taco | 9 Comments »
Posted on 26 May 2010 by Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook
Last week I went to San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. In addition to the fresh produce, we have vendors who offer a variety of homemade products and I couldn’t resist buying a package of finely ground polenta. On the way home I was thinking of all the different ways I could use it: creamy with a little Parmesan, grilled squares topped with Marinara Sauce, and then I thought of this succulent recipe from Michele Scicolone.
The slow-cooking method keeps these ribs moist and tender, and imparts a deep, rich flavor. If you like a little spice in your dish, add a dash of red pepper flakes to crock-pot. The sauce is so good you have to serve them with something to sop it up. I decided to make a soft Parmesan polenta. Creamy and rich, it is the perfect backdrop to the ribs. If you have never made polenta before, don’t let it scare you. It really isn’t as difficult as many people make it out to be. Just don’t walk away or answer the phone while it is cooking so you can stir it regularly. If it does stick to the bottom of the pan, don’t scrape it. Finish cooking and pour it into another container, leaving the burned part behind. No one will ever know!
Filed under: Any Season, Corn, Crock Pot, Entrees, Food, Heritage, Italian, Meats, Polenta, Pork, Slow Cooking, Vegetables | Tagged: Corn, Crock Pot, Food, Italian, Polenta, Pork, Ribs, Slow Cooking | Leave a comment »