updated CHICKEN CONTINENTAL

Chicken Continental as a recipe appears to be a collaboration from Campbell’s soup and Minute Rice during the 1960’s, an era of combining ‘prepared’ foods to form casseroles as your main meal.  Casseroles as a whole obviously go back MUCH further, but were usually made with scratch ingredients or bits of leftovers. I have found cookbooks on pinterest and google with the recipes, but I have grams old card with the Campbell’s label recipe on one side and a portion of a Minute Rice box cut out on the other.

Either way, I wanted to bring the recipe into the 21st century with using boneless, skinless chicken and FRESHer ingredients to spice it up a bit while maintaining the integrity of the original flavor base of the recipe.

updated CHICKEN CONTINENTAL
4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2-3 bacon slices, cooked crisp, drippings reserved
8 ounces FRESH sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, strings removed, diced
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Parsley
1 1/2 cups Minute Rice (uncooked)
1 can Campbell’s Tomato soup
1 cup chicken broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken breasts in flour and set aside.

  • Add  1 tablespoon of butter and oil to the bacon drippings in a large skillet.
  • Add celery and onions, sauteing lightly until softened.
  • Add mushrooms, thyme and parsley, cooking a couple minutes more until mushrooms begin to caramelize.
  • Add chicken broth and soup, blending together and bring to a boil.
  • Pour all but 1/2 cup into a large mixing bowl and stir in rice. Cover with a plate and set aside.
  • Return skillet to stove and add last tablespoon of butter to melt.
  • Add chicken pieces and sear 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Arrange rice mixture into the bottom of a prepared baking dish.
  • Nestle chicken breasts into rice.
  • Top with remaining sauce.
  • Cover and bake 20 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through.

NOTE:  Hubby hates mushrooms, but I love them so I makes them “separately” and add them to just mine. 😀

ANTIQUE RECIPE FIND of the CENTURY and CHICKEN TETRAZZINI CASSEROLE

As you know I LOVE antique recipes! I am ALWAYS on the prowl for antique recipe boxes IF they are FULL of actual recipes, well, and occasionally if they aren’t 😀 

On our anniversary amid the pandemic we HAD to get out for a bit and went for lunch and decided antiquing was a safe excursion.  We had a GREAT time at the few places that were actually open.  But, it was in the last store that hubby surprised me with the greatest gift, an antique notebook from 1914 ish.  The recipes themselves aren’t dated, but ARE written in pen and ink that was blotted. There was an article in the back of the notebook from Essex, England April 21, 1915 on “An American Woman”.  Upon further inspection, she saved it for the “When Tomatoes Are Plentiful” recipes on the back side.

Each recipe has its own unique qualities, but one of the best things is that they are attributed to their original author, whether its “Mother” or “Marys Cook” or Bess Maxwell…

There are about 40 or so recipes in the notebook and I want to try ALL of them except 2 or 3 – I’m just NOT a fan of curry or aspic 🙂

The first thing I did was CAREFULLY open the notebook and photocopy each page.  I then put it back together with carefully placed rubber bands to help keep it square. Since these are over 100 years old, I wanted to handle them as little as possible. Fortunately, pen and ink photos quite well and I now have really good working copies to operate from.

I did a little research on the notebook itself, “The National Notebook for use in the National Notebook System adapted for ALL Written Schoolwork”. The patent dates back to 1898, a time when people were transitioning from slates to paper which had become inexpensive and allowed students to retain their notes.

I’m still trying to make out some of the formal cursive writing and a few of the titles, but the ingredients sound really good and are seriously FROM SCRATCH.

The first recipe I tried in its ORIGINAL form is from Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, but made famous by Chef Louis Paquet is Chicken Tetrazzini.  It is said that he named the recipe after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini.  It is widely believed to have been invented around 1908–1910. So, I’m sure the recipe was making the rounds through all the housewives 😀

The version I was taught when I was younger was seriously altered and shortcutted with processed foods so this is a really FANTASTIC find!

CHICKEN TETRAZZINI CASSEROLE
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons WONDRA flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Cream of Sherry
1/2 pound prepared spaghetti
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, reserve tops for later
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
2 1/2 cups small diced cooked chicken
1 can petite green peas, drained
1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray 8×10 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet.
  • Add onions and mushrooms, sauteing until caramelized. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In another bowl add chicken pieces. Set aside.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet.
  • Whisk in flour until golden.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk in broth and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and whisk in the white pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
  • Whisk in cream sherry and heavy cream, simmering 5 minutes.
  • Pour half of sauce into mushrooms and the other half into the chicken pieces.
  • Arrange spaghetti around the edges of the baking dish, leaving the center empty.
  • Spread chicken into the center of the baking dish.
  • Top with mushroom mixture and peas. Spread even.
  • Sprinkle cheese and then almonds evenly over top.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes.
  • Top with green onion tops.

SALTED PEANUT OATMEAL COOKIES another ANTIQUE RECIPE

This is my new GO TO recipe!  SO SO Good!

SALTED PEANUT OATMEAL COOKIES another ANTIQUE RECIPE yields 5 dozen cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening (crisco stick) (next time I’ll use half crisco stick, half butter)
3 LARGE eggs (next time I’ll only use 2)
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup peanuts
¾-1 cup golden raisins
½ cup peanut butter chips

  • Preheat oven 350°.
  • In a small food processor grind the peanuts and set aside.
  • Cream together the shortening and both sugars.
  • Add eggs one at a time and blend well.
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Whisk together the oatmeal, ground peanuts, flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Sift flour mixture into wet mixing until blended well.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes.

SCALLOPED HAM & POTATOES another ANTIQUE RECIPE

I’ve been experimenting with more of my “ANTIQUE” recipes and having GREAT success.  This recipe is also a blank canvas for getting creative.  I had a large jar of pimientos that was opened by accident that I drained and added to the layers.  I was also out of sweet onions so I used shallots and I used the cheese I had on hand which happened to be a garlic pepper cheddar and Gruyere.

SCALLOPED HAM & POTATOES another ANTIQUE RECIPE
5 medium potatoes
1 ham steak*
1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed, but not scalded
½ cup grated cheddar
½ cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon Paprika

  • Preheat oven 350°.
  • Peel and soak potatoes for one hour.
  • Drain and dry potatoes.
  • Trim ham steak of fat and discard. Cut steak into diced size pieces.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
  • Arrange one third of the potatoes in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Top with half of the onions and garlic.
  • Top with half of the ham pieces.

  • Repeat layers, ending with potatoes.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  • Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and turns golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a SLOW boil.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in grated cheddar cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking, along with the Paprika.
  • Pour over potato and ham layers.
  • Top with Gruyere cheese.
  • Bake one hour until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden.

*NOTEham steaks tend to be on the salty side so use salt sparingly until you taste test.  They also tend to be very watery.  If using a packaged ham steak, be sure to “press” excess water from steak before trimming and dicing.

CREOLE PORK CHOPS

This is another “antique” recipe find. I loved the title, but it fails to actually deliver the flavor in today’s spice packed world of cooking. This was a good alternative for flavor in the early 20th century I’m sure, but bland by today’s standards! I have manipulated the recipe significantly to add MORE flavor.

GOOD LUCK MARGARINE was originally a Newfoundland company and through different mergers and acquisitions eventually became a Canadian company. There were several of these waxed cardboard recipes in the file I recently purchased, but this is the first I tried and had to change to add the necessary flavor.

CREOLE PORK CHOPS ala GOOD LUCK MARGARINE 😀 (sort of) serves 4

4 loin or shoulder chops, bone in
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to season
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup long grain rice
4 thick slices tomato
1 small onion halved, and sliced
4 rings green pepper OR equal amount of sliced mini peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on preference)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups boiling salted water

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously sprinkle chops with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge in flour.
  • Melt butter in skillet.
  • Add chops and sear on both sides.
  • Cook rice in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Do not drain.
  • Place pork chops in a single layer on the bottom of a deep casserole.
  • Place a slice of tomato and peppers on top of each chop.
  • Scatter onions over top.
  • Whisk tomato sauce with the cornstarch, basil, paprika, white pepper, cumin and cayenne, to taste.
  • Stir in garlic.
  • Replace the removed water with the tomato sauce mixture, stirring to blend.
  • Pour rice and tomato sauce water mixture over chops.
  • Cover and bake for one hour or until rice and chops are both tender.

CREAMY ROQUEFORT DRESSING

CREAMY ROQUEFORT DRESSING

I truly LOVE adapting old historical recipes to a modern day scratch versions. Many times I already have a version of the recipe in my own stash.  But, using the older recipe as a guide I can pick and choose ALL of the best  ingredients to make an even better recipe.

I “adjusted” the recipe to include actual amounts and specified ingredients as the recipe card is vague.  I left the ingredients with approximate amounts to account for personal tastes.  I highlighted my adaptations in blue so you can see the differences from the original recipe.

3/4 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
scant 1/3 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese
1/3 + cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk mayonnaise, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder together.
  • Fold in crumbled cheese.
  • Chill.

NOTE:

  • Hubby loves the larger crumble of the cheese, while I prefer a smoother dressing. Adjust the instructions to use a small food processor if you too prefer the smooth version. 😀
  • Add additional milk as necessary for desired consistency.

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH HOT POTATO SALAD aka GERMAN POTATO SALAD

I LOVE adapting old historical recipes to a modern day scratch cook. Many times I already have a version of the recipe in my own stash.  But, using the older recipe as a guide I can pick and choose ALL of the best  ingredients to make an even better recipe.

This hot potato salad is another from my antique recipe box purchase. It is a pre-printed recipe glued to a recipe card labeled “Good Old Pennsylvania Dutch Recipes” that I can only assume is Amish and originally from the Good Old Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book.

I had to “adjust” the recipe to include actual amounts and specified ingredients as the recipe card is vague.  I left the ingredients with approximate amounts to account for personal tastes.  My grams referred to it as a German potato salad, though I think this is more Amish in nature.  I highlighted my adaptations in blue so you can see the differences from the original recipe.

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH HOT POTATO SALAD aka GERMAN POTATO SALAD

1 pound small baby red potatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2-3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
4-6 slices bacon, diced
1/4-1/2 cup small chopped red onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • In a large stock pot add potatoes with skins on, chicken stock and enough water to cover potatoes.
  • Cook until fork tender, drain, and cube while hot.
  • Fry bacon and onion until a delicate brown.
  • Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve.
  • Drain, reserving bacon fat.
  • Add onion and bacon to the potato mixture.
  • Add bacon fat slowly to beaten egg, beating well.
  • Add vinegar to the egg mixture and pour over potato mixture, gently to coat well.
  • Fold in sliced eggs.
  • Adjust seasoning.  This recipe really LOVES salt.

NOTE:  If you would like you can skip cubing the potatoes and do a rough chop leaving “LARGE” pieces instead.

JEAN PERRY’S ANTIQUE CORN BREAD

I LOVE finding OLD recipe boxes full of handwritten recipes in antique stores. I ESPECIALLY LOVE trying those same recipes in today’s world and finding a lost gem among them. This recipe is just that and was even signed by the baker 😀 I bought 3 boxes and each had a corn bread recipe in it!

This is the first one I’m trying. I did add some green chiles and a smattering of cheddar cheese for the way we like it as well as adjusted the instructions and ingredients to match the ingredients.  This was a HUGE hit and will be made many more times I’m sure.

JEAN PERRY’S ANTIQUE CORN BREAD
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 small can diced green chiles, DRAINED WELL
1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 slices bacon, diced, browned and drained

  • Preheat oven to 425˚.
  • Sift together the corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Whisk together the milk, butter and egg.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry and blend JUST until combined.
  • Fold in green chiles.
  • Pour into pan.
  • Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  • Top with bacon pieces.
  • Bake 25 minutes.
  • Enjoy.