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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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.

Old Milwaukee Rye Bread, 1965 blue-ribbon recipe

This lighter Milwaukee rye bread took the blue ribbon in 1965 at the 118th Ozaukee County, Wisconsin Fair. Ozaukee County stretches a length along Lake Michigan, from Mequon to Port Washington.  At that time it was very much rural farming area, that even boasted a few hexagon-shaped barns. Port Washington was a strong Great Lake fishing hub, and its southern reaches, towns like Mequon and Thiensville, were just transitioning into suburbs.

The rye bread recipe calls for a 2-3 day development of “the SOUR,” uses soft lard and the

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Baked Stuffed Pork Chops

This recipe clipping*, dated Jan. 26, 1972, promises, “Dinner can be intriguing if you add a foreign taste treat.” I love intrigue, but stuffed pork chops? Oh well, enjoy this taste of Bavaria!

Baked Stuffed Pork Chops
2 tbsp. celery, chopped
1 tsp. onion, chopped
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 c. soft bread crumbs
½ c. apples, finely chopped
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Rose Cake, (Red Velvet Cake), by Carol Zurawski, circa 1958, invented

Red Velvet Cake …all the rage now. Writers detail the history; Others debunk the Waldorf Astoria link we believed in.  Google “red velvet” and a billion recipes appear.  A red impostor cake mix is sold at grocery stores.  Ugh.

Well, Mom only made elegant desserts. photo 5 Inside the Waldorf Astoria's $1 billion makeover - CNN Style

The Waldorf-Astoria, sold this cake in the 1920s. Recipes for it began to circulate in the 1940s.

Mom and dad married in August 1958, and when they entertained, mom occasionally made this towering, eight thin-layer cake for the very best of their celebrations.  (The layers in my cake pictured above may be much too thick, they should have been split!)

Her typed, mimeographed recipe is titled “Rose Cake,” then in parenthesis, the fancier, “Red Velvet.”  Still, despite the cake’s opulence, my siblings preferred even another name; we called it “Blood Cake” for the deep red color, and for the looks of horror we incited. This recipe is wonderful.  But this recipe is not for the faint-hearted Continue reading

Grenadier’s Medallions of Veal and Crayfish with Angel Hair Pasta

Knut Apitz, Grenadier’s chef and owner, hosted President George H. W. Bush in 1989.  The following dish was “my own concoction,” Chef Apitz said. “with lightly sautéed veal medallions, fresh crayfish tails, and a very light crayfish sauce and a hint of hollandaise sauce.” The President was also served a floating island with fresh raspberries and terrine of duck.

The recipe for the Presidential dish was provided to the Milwaukee Sentinel and the original article can be found http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19890216&id=s35QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qhIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3334,4398583.

Grenadier’s Medallions of Veal and Crayfish with Angel Hair Pasta
8 Shallots, finely chopped, divided
Butter to saute’ shallots
1/4 c. Madeira wine
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John Stocker’s Marinated Sirloin circa 1968

Classic for the Bar-B-Que. Seriously, we never had a better steak than this!

John Stocker’s Marinated Sirloin
Ingredients
Lg. Sirloin steaks
1 bottle Teriyaki marinade
1 lb. salted butter
1 bottle Sauce Diable’ (no longer sold, see recipe below)
Lemon-pepper

Remove the acid from the sirloin with a paper towel. Pierce the meat with a fork and apply the lemon-pepper. Melt the butter and stir in the remaining ingredients and pour over the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours, turning every hour.

Grill to rare, medium-rare.

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Oxtail Stew, an heirloom recipe

This is a classy, rich, amazing dish. It’s an heirloom, for it was handed down to me from my Polish mom from her mom. But it is one of those, “they never used a recipe,” recipe. That means it was assumed you had seen how it was made before, tasted it, knew what you were doing and, certainly, made it slightly differently each time. (And you serve it on top of mashed   potatoes or wide egg noodles.)

photo 2-2

This “unwritten” recipe for Oxtail Stew is really just the “bones” of the dish, the basic instruction. The cook uses it as a start, then simply tastes and adjusts as he goes along. So feel free to take this instruction, and note of some of my italic adjustments I made today when preparing this stew; then make your own. ~But know, the next time you, or I, make it, it will be different!

Anyway, I introduced this Stew to my hubby when we were dating, and swear, that introduction led to the 20 years of marital bliss we celebrate today!

Oxtail Stew
2 lbs. oxtails, cut in 1½” lengths
flour for dredging1 med. onion, sliced
1 can condensed beef broth
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Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls with Mushroom Sauce

An old, traditional dish for a cold, windy Wednesday.  This recipe is much, much older than the 1970’s, but our Polish Mom adopted this version then and still says it is one of the best.

Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls with Mushroom Sauce
1 lg. head green cabbage
2 med. onions, chopped
1/3 c. butter
3/4 lb. ground pork
3/4 lb. ground veal or beef
6 c. cooked rice
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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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Carol Mack’s Soy Sauce Chicken Wings

Mom swears, “These are the best wings!”

Keep in mind, this appetizer was popular in the ’60’s, ’70’s, and early ’80s, decades before the Buffalo wing craze.  This wing is not crispy.  It’s cooked in the marinade and chicken juices so that the flavor permeates the wing meat.

*Insist on a crispy wing? Just tweak the recipe for today’s expectations, please see note following the recipe.

Carol Mack’s Soy Sauce Chicken Wings
1 c. soy sauce
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Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQMQ-VwVGgNbCXSl0HSSbuWT4hJw5hLPu0J3g&usqp=CAU

Mom clipped this recent recipe published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and hand-noted on the margin that the Horseradish Sauce is “v. good.”

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce
1 (3-4 lb.) whole beef tenderloin
1 tbsp finely ground black pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
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Spareribs St. Louis

An always tempting, simple recipe from mom’s clippings. …While this is not the recipe she traditionally made, it is fast and easy.  Still, feel free to add a bit of Worchestershire to the sauce, and one sliced onion and a clove of crushed garlic to the pot of ribs before cooking.

Spareribs St. Louis
2 sides (4-5 lbs) lean spare ribs (either pork or beef)
1 bottle (8 oz.) clear French dressing
2 tbsp. catsup

Cut spareribs apart between each bone, or every other bone. Brown ribs in a heavy kettle, pouring off the fat as it accumulates. Mix dressing and catsup and add to coat ribs. Cover and cook over low heat, turning every 15 min., until tender, about 1 hour. Serves 6-8.

Texas BBQ Brisket

Dreaming of summer bar-b-ques in the middle of winter as Super Bowl Sunday approaches. So, I thought today would also be a good day to post this brisket recipe from mom from the mid 1990s. It would star at any football party.

Texas BBQ Brisket
Whole Beef Brisket
Sauce: 2 1/2 c. catsup
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. chili sauce
1 1/2 c. wine vinegar
3/4 can beer
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