When I was a little girl my mother used to make a beef dish that I loved. I never knew what it was until I became an adult and learned it was called brisket of beef. I liked that the meat was tender, and full of flavor. Finding it in the market, however, was a chore. I would only see Corned Beef, which I like very much, but it’s not the same thing.
While I was thinking about that brisket I had as a little girl growing up in Germany, I realized that my mother never made it after we moved back to the United States. Maybe it wasn’t my mother’s dish after all, maybe it was our German maid, Elfrida’s brisket I remember so fondly.
Either way, when I found brisket at the local butcher shop, I knew I had to try making it. I figured I would do something similar to Oxen Shvantz Suppe – Braised Oxtails, which also takes a long time to cook. It’s hot and I didn’t want to be in a hot kitchen all day, so I used my 4 quart Nesco to slowly braise the brisket. It was delicious!
In the summer, even though it’s hot, I still think about fried chicken, and I’m not talking about that stuff at Kentucky Fried that tastes like a salt lick either. I’m talking about fried chicken like my Grandmother, Grace Boswell, used to make. She came from Texas, and she made the best friend chicken in the world, well in my opinion. Now, it’s my turn to pass on a tradition.
No Instructions, Experimentation Necessary
My Nana did not like to share her recipes, and really didn’t want anyone in the kitchen when she was cooking. She just wanted, and got, the accolades when the finished dish was on the table. The only time I saw the chicken before it got to the dining room was when there was a pan of it already fried, waiting to go to the table, which was too late. So, I’ve had to do some experimenting to get it right.
So, the main point of this cooking blog is that I use fresh ingredients, mostly everything made from scratch. And yet – and yet, I use store bought mayonnaise. Why? Because I really like the way it tastes. My mother made home made mayonnaise once, and I didn’t like it because it tasted flat. I have been told that homemade is better, but, for now, I’m sticking with Best Foods.
Can I tell the difference between mayonnaises? Yes, I can. A friend of mine who thought that was impossible took my regular jar, filled it with another brand, and put it back in my refrigerator. The second it hit my tongue, I could tell it wasn’t the same.
I’m not the only one, either. When the Northridge earthquake happened, I was working at Dean Witter in Beverly Hills, and one of the brokers came to me and said he was moving back to Chicago because his wife said that even though the quake was frightening, not having Hellman’s was enough to make her hate California. I told him to tell her that it was Hellman’s in the East and Best Foods in the West – they stayed, and as far as I know, they are still living in the land of bovine foot massages.
Better Best Foods Parmesan Chicken
I have seen the recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken for years, and today, when I was running out of time, and hungry, I decided to try it. Of course, I have to change it to make Best Better.
I have a good friend who I have know for a long time who is moving out of state. To save moving costs, she decided to get rid of some of her things, and invited me to come over and see if there was anything I wanted to needed. Included in the group were a set of dinner plates that I absolutely loved, so she gave those to me, as well as a new cover for my couch, storage containers, some lovely glass bowls, stuff of the pantry, and two lovely green tomatoes someone had given her.
Since we didn’t make a big Holy Thursday Seder meal this year, I thought it would be nice to make something memorable for Good Friday. Catholics are bound not to eat meat on Good Friday. I was at the market on Thursday picking up some last-minute things, and the butcher brought out two lovely pieces of Ahi tuna. I already had purchased Blood Oranges at the Farmer’s market earlier in the day. I also wanted something simple for Friday night because we would be spending a good deal of our day in the church for the Stations of the Cross and The Seven Last Words of Christ.
I have to say I was proud of my son. Our church has the kids from the middle school put on a play, complete with Roman soldiers and a real wooden cross. Spane said to me, “Mom, can we leave, it’s really sad.” Later, I saw he had a tear in his eye, and I knew that he had finally GOTTEN it. We will be going to Easter Vigil on Saturday night (Sunday according to the liturgical calendar), so we will once more be joyous again.
After all that, I was kind of tired when we got home. I looked on the Internet for tuna and blood oranges, and everything was pan seared. I wanted broiled, so I went my own way. It was delicious, and I suggest you try it. You can even do the whole thing on the grill, just make sure you have an oven safe pan for the sauce.
A few birthdays ago, my friend Adel took me out to a lovely dinner at one of the new restaurants at the Americana at Brand. We ordered asparagus as an appetizer. Boy, what a surprise that was. Those asparagus were dripping in melted butter and Parmesan, and just delicious. I wanted to make them at home.
I had forgotten about them until I saw something similar on Pinterest, and pinned them to my Recipes I Gotta Try board. When I looked at the recipe, I knew that I could improve it, and I did.
The original recipe calls for and egg wash and a dip in flour, then dipping in cheese and Panko bread crumbs. I’m sure they are delicious, but asparagus CRIES out for butter. Butter also makes an excellent coating to which a variety of things will cling, so I decided to forgo the egg and flour, and go with butter.
These asparagus spears were supreme, and that is why they are called Supreme Asparagus Fries. My recipe is for 6 spears per person, but if you have asparagus lovers, you might want to increase the recipe.