Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Cooking Like My Grandmother

We had  leftover chicken  and John suggested I make Chicken Tetrazzini.  This casserole of pasta, chicken, mushrooms, Parmesan, and cream sauce was a staple of my childhood and I used to make it fairly frequently.  But it's been a while so I went to the source--my grandmother's own cookbook.

She always called it Chicken Tetrazzini but in the book it's just Chicken and Spaghetti.

Of course I made some changes-- no canned mushrooms -- I sauteed fresh mushrooms in butter (and added some chopped onion and garlic.) I also eschewed the sawdusty Parmesan-in-a-green-can, for an upgrade to grated Parm.

I would note that it's important to cook the noodles in chicken broth--an important flavor boost. (The whole recipe could be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken and upping the mushroom content. You could use a roasted garlic broth.)

It was a tasty blast from the past. And I spent a pleasant half hour or so, paging through the cookbook and enjoying the sight of my grandmother's spiky handwriting and remembering what a very good cook she was. 

Some of these recipes remain standards for me. Some I remember as part of my childhood.

I only wish I still had access to calamondins. There was a calamondin tree on the property line at my grandparents' house and the neighbor who owned the tree was very obliging about letting us pick as many as we wanted.  I confess I often timed my visits home to be in sync with the ripening of the calamondins.

HERE is a great article about Chicken Tetrazzzini with a much livelier version I'll have to try.


Barbara Rogers said...

Oh my, the noodles cooked in broth must really help, because my memories (very long time ago) of this dish are how bland it was. Looks delicious.

Unknown said...

I think we all grew up with a version of this tasty casserole. With your upgrades, it certainly stands the test of time.

Thérèse said...

I just discovered what a "calamondin" was.