Byerly’s Cheesy Artichoke Jalapeño Spread

Byerly’s, an upscale grocer in Minneapolis, is renown for great recipes. Back in 1992, the store copyrighted this twist on the traditional artichoke dip recipe and advertised it to customers on give away recipe cards. It can be made ahead for parties, but, you are pressed for time, Byerly’s offers a great spinach artichoke dip in it’s delicatessen. (Or…if you prefer spinach to jalapeño, just substitute!) Serve with crispy crostini or sliced, toated French bread.

Byerly’s Cheesy Jalapeño Artichoke Spread
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts
1 (4 oz.) pkg. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. hot red jalapeño peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
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Italian Pork Loin with Polenta

This great Italian recipe comes to us from a famous New York restauranteer, “Mother Leone.” imageThe introduction to Luisa Leone came through a well-worn copy of her son Gene’s  1967 cookbook, perched high on a bookshelf in a dusty antique store in northern Wisconsin.  The teal cover, missing its dust jacket, protected old, authentic recipes, the kind that pass from one generation to the next.

Leone’s was a New York institution, now gone, but still very much missed.

Luisa Leone entered the restaurant business in 1905, her son Gene writes in the introduction. Just a year earlier, she was only dreaming about running a restaurant. That changed the night Leone’s husband Geralomo invited fifty members of the Metropolitan Opera to their home for Luisa’s birthday, including the great opera tenor Enrico Caruso. Caruso, himself, encouraged her to make the restaurant a reality and convinced Geralomo to agree.

Luisa’s resaurant began in her converted living room, then grew to twenty seats, and then to a larger space, then an even larger space in the heart of New York’s theatrical district on West 48th Street, and to eventually to fill two buildings and seat 1,500 guests, serve more than 6,000 dinners on busy evenings. Leone’s had become a multi-million dollar affair that catered to the famous, including W.C.. Fields, George M. Cohan, Presidents Truman and Eisenhower (who wrote a forward for the book). After Luisa died in 1944, her sons continued the business. Later, one son, Gene took over with his wife.  The place became a New York staple, serving Luisa’s cooking far into the early 1990s. Sadly the restaurant closed, but the recipes, of course, live on.

Here’s Leone’s Pork Chops with Spaghetti, except substituted inch-thick sliced pork loin for Luisa’s pork chops and served her sauce and pork over her wonderful polenta instead of pasra.

image

Italian Pork Loin with Polenta
3 tbsp.. olive oil
1 1/2 c. butter, melted
2 lg. garlic cloves, mashed
1/3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
4 lean slices of pork loin 1″ thick (Leone called for pork chops)
1 tsp. crumbled, dried rosmary
1/2 tsp. salt
4 med. ripe tomatoes or 2 c. canned peeled plum tomatoes, chopped
10 fresh parsley sprigs, leaves only, chopped
1/4 c. fresh, shredded Parmesan cheese
Polenta, recipe follows (Leone called fo 3/4 lb. spaghetti cooked in salted water 10 min.)

Combine oil and half the butter in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and heat garlic black and red pepper 2 min. Sprinkle pork with rosemary and brown in the pan, 5 min. per side. Lower heat to medium, add tomatoes, salt and parsley. Cover and simmer 20 min. Uncover and simmer 20 min. more, until pork is done and tender. Taste for salt.

While cooking prepare spaghetti as in the original recipe, or try the polenta below.

Loeone’s Polenta
1 1/2 c. corn meal
1 1/2 c. water
4 c. boiling water
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
Grated parmesan cheese

Soak the cornmeal in the cold water. Stir it into the boiling water, add salt and butter. Stir constantly and simmer 20 min. to a creamy consistancy. Taste, add salt if needed. Once polenta is cooked, spread it on a warm plate, sprinkle with a little cheese and arrange the cooked pork and sauce on the polenta, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Carol Zurawski’s Escalloped Potatoes and Ham

escallop

Mom’s recipe, as I remember it.  My mother is a tremendous cook, but is ever improving and challenging her cooking. The dishes and appetizers she serves when entertaining rival any four-star restaurant; her guests are always floored.  But, somehow, the things she prepared just for us, when we were kids, are the dishes loved the best.

Carol Zurawski’s Escalloped Potatoes and Ham
1½ lb. potatoes, peel and thinly slice as needed to keep from browning
1-1½ white onion, thinly sliced
1-1½ lb. ham, thinly sliced
Pepper
½-1 c. flour
Brick, Swiss, or Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded (note: may use just about any variety of hard cheese, or use three cheeses and include parmesan cheese)
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Vintage Lasagna, Layered with Mushrooms, Italian Sausage and More … from Mom

This is a challenge. A retro 1970s lasagna, that includes delicious layers upon layers of mushrooms, Italian sausage, ground beef, cheese and pasta, but, oh my gosh, no instruction!

Trumpeter Hill has re-created some instruction here, but recommends chefs feel free to adjust the quantities, and add their own spice (oregano, basil, garlic) to taste and as desired.

Also, the recipe calls for cottage cheese, and that could be substituted with ricotta cheese. Trumpeter Hill posts the original recipe, but acknowledges there is a continuing debate over which is preferable: 1. Cottage cheese adds additional flavor, but leaves liquid in the lasagna.  2.  Ricotta cheese provides a firm lasagna, and more appetizing appearance. Feel free to post your preference!

Lasagna, Layered with Mushrooms, Italian Sausage and more!
16 Italian sausages
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Mary Hilgert’s Baked Eggs

A brunch recipe from mom’s dear friend. They had a lot of laughs together raising kids in the’70s. Mary is sure missed.

Mary Hilgert’s Baked Eggs
2 dozen eggs
½ c. milk
1 level tsp. salt
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can mushrooms, drained, chopped large
½ c. green pepper chopped
½ c. onion, chopped
3/4 c. Velveeta Cheese, cubed

Beat eggs, milk and salt until blended (do not over beat). Pour into large skillet, scramble, but not firm, eggs should still be wet. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and pour in to a 13½” x 9″ or a 14″ x 10″ pan. Refrigerate overnight of at least 8 hours.

One hour before baking, remove from refrigerator and let stand until it reaches room temperature. Bake at 250° F. for one hour.

Add additional time if eggs are too soft in the middle, watch carefully.

Cheesy Wontons with Sweet & Sour Dip

Here is an elegant, but quick 30-min. prep. appetizer guaranteed to please.  The recipe is Joni Hilton’s, of Sacremento, Calif., who earned first runner in a Dairy Association competition.  Note: This recipe can be adapted by adding a small amount of crab, prosciutto or other smoky meat and by changing the flavor of the dip. 

Cheesy Wontons with Sweet & Sour Dip
12 oz. (3-4 c.) Jalapeño Jack cheese, cut into 1/4 ” cubes
24 square wonton wrappers
3-4 c. vegetable oil
1 pkg. cream cheese
1/3 c. bottled sweet & sour sauce Continue reading

Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

I’ve treasured this appetizer for 15 years, ever since my husband’s high school buddy and trained chef David prepared these extra-ordinary quesadillas for us at his house party.  The flavors are out of this world, but that means this appetizer disappears fast!

Begging for the recipe, he directed me to the recipe invented by James H. Turner IV, of Saco, Maine, and published in 1995 by Bon Appetit magazine. Now it can be found at Epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Smoked-Gouda-and-Caramelized-Onion-Quesadillas-699.  The recipe repeats below:

Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas
2 tbsp. (1/4 stick) butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
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Zaldivar’s Queso con Rajas

In Feb. 2001 the Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighted the Zaldivar family, Alberto and Laura and their boys, Nick, Andrew, Zachary and Joseph, who “whipped” up the dishes that their mother and grandmother made in Mexico City in their Maple Grove, Minnesota kitchen.

Today’s recipe can be used as a filling for corn tortillas, or as a dip and comes from Alberto’s mom, whose heritage, the Star Tribune wrote, “is Navajo and Yaqui Indian.”

Zaldivar’s Queso con Rajas
2 (4 oz.) cans dice mild green chiles
1 (4 oz.) can diced hot chiles
(Note: if chiles labeled ‘hot’ or ‘mild’ are unavailable, add 1/4 sm. can of diced jalapeño peppers, or to taste)
2 med. onions, diced
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Carol Z’s Deviled Eggs

I snatched mom’s deviled eggs recipe over a quick phone conversation, and had just enough time to write down the ingredients.  It is Gold!

But this is yet another 40 or more year-old recipe where there is no recipe. And that means the ingredient amounts vary with the number of eggs boiled. The rest of the ingredients are combined to just highlight – to devil – the egg yolk, not take it over.

Deviled Eggs
Eggs, hard-boiled
Ham (or any smokey meat, i.e. bologna, bacon, etc.), chopped very fine
Dill pickles, chopped very fine
Celery, chopped very fine
Dry mustard (not hot)
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Jarlsberg Dip

This recipe swaps cheeses with the “Swiss on Rye Chips” posted on Trumpeter Hill, and is served as a dip. But you cannot beat Jarlsberg cheese!

Jarlsberg Dip
2 c. Jarlsberg Cheese
2 c. Hellman’s mayonnaise
2 c. onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine all ingredients and bake 20 min. or until golden brown. Serve hot with chips, crackers or bread.

Swiss on Dark Rye Chips

An “Oh my gosh” delicious, fast appetizer recipe to wow unexpected guests.  This recipe comes from the mid 1970s and originally used the wavy Pinah Dark Rye Chips made by Legacy Bakehouse near Milwaukee. Gardetto’s chips are a great, too.

1 (8 oz.) Swiss cheese, shredded
1 sm. onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp. Hellman’s mayonnaise
Party dark rye chips (the best are Pinah Dark Rye or Gardetto’s)

Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl. Spread onto dark rye chips and line on a cookie sheet. Broil until cheese melts. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately.

Mom’s Breakfast Casserole

Great for brunch or entertaining up north at the cabin.

Mom’s Breakfast Casserole
6 slices white bread
½ lb. bacon, fried and diced
6 eggs
Milk to beat eggs
8 oz. cheddar cheese
½ green pepper, chopped
sliced mushrooms
onions, chopped (optional)

Butter a 9″x13″ pan.  Butter one side of each slice of bread and put into pan, butter side down. Layer bacon, green pepper, cheese and onion. Beat eggs and enough milk to make 2 cups. Pour over ingredients layered in pan and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 300° for 40-45 min.

Classic Retro Curry Chicken Divan, circa 1970

Mom, like nearly every mom in the 1960s-70s made this dish for everyday dinner.  Not sure the origin of the recipe, but it or variations of it are found everywhere, and for good reason!

chicken divan

It is heavy and saucy and fattening and great when it is frigid outside. Some add breadcrumbs to the top; my mom did not and so I don’t either.  I tweaked my mom’s recipe by slicing the chicken breast, lengthwise, keeping the shape of the breast. She always served the whole breast, so that this was more of an entree, and not a casserole.  But the chicken breasts sold in grocery stores now are much, much larger than they were in the 1970s.  Anyway, this is delicious and (thanks mom!) why my kids love me. (Gets even better as a leftover, even cold!)

Chicken Divan
Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, boned, skinned
Pepper, to taste
4 tsp. butter
2 – 10 oz. packages fresh broccoli spears (or frosen equivalent)
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