Friday, January 07, 2011

A Year With Bettina Week 1

For some reason, blogger won't let me upload pictures. That's ok. I'll be honest and say that the final product of this week's Year With Bettina recipes didn't look very appetizing on camera. However, they were tasty and even my picky daughter ate dinner and announced a very rare, "Yum!"

This week's recipes come from the January chapters of A Thousand Ways to Please A Husband With Bettina's Best Recipes.

The main meat dish was Chicken Loaf

1/2 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup ground, cooked veal
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspon celery salt
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 egg 1/2 cup milk

Mix the chicken, veal and breadcrumbs. Add the salt, celery salt, parsley, egg and milk. Mix thoroughly. Bake in a well-buttered pan thirty minutes in a moderate oven.

I used store-bought raw ground chicken and veal. Apparently, veal was cheaper back in the early 20th century. Here and now it's pretty pricey. I know many people have a personal preference to not eat veal, so you could probably substitute with more ground chicken. I didn't have celery salt so I just used celery seed. Also, since I used raw meat rather than cooked, I upped to oven temp to 400 degrees about halfway through baking and made sure it was cooked through. The end result wasn't very pretty to look at, but was quite delicious!

The side dish was Baked Tomato, Cheese and Rice

1 cup cooked rice
1/3 cup tomatoes
4 tablespoons cheese, cut fine
1 tablespoon pimento
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup cracker or bread crumbs

Mix the rice and flour, and add the tomatoes, cheese salt, paprika (and pimento...this was left out of the original recipe instructions for some reason). Add the milk. Pour into a well-buttered baking dish. Melt the butter and add the crumbs. Spread the buttered crumbs on the rice mixture. Bake in a moderate oven for twenty-five minutes.

I used cooked brown rice and canned stewed tomatoes, drained. I also used cheddar cheese. I didn't have to bake for the full 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven, but I do have a small, apartment sized stove, so most things I cook don't take as long as they would in a larger oven. When mixed together before baking, this dish looks discusting. I was really worried how it would turn out. When I pulled it out of the oven, it looked much better, but slopped on the plate it didn't look too good. But one bite and I found it to be quite tasty! My picky eater daughter gobbled it right up, too!

Dessert was Tapioca and Date Pudding

4 Tablespoons tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cold water
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar
8 dates, cut fine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla

Soak the tapioca in cold water for ten minutes. Add the salt and boiling water and cook in a double boiler until transparent. (About 20 minutes.) Add the sugar and the dates cut fine, the lemon juice, egg-yolk and vanilla. Remove from the fire and add the stiffly beaten egg-white. Pile the mixture lightly in glass dishes and serve cold.

This is another dish that looked very unappetizing. It isn't pretty at all and I don't think glass dishes would improve the look, either. And at first taste off the stove, I didn't like it. I thought that perhaps it could do without the lemon juice and be much better. But after it cooled, it tasted so much better! I liked it. My daughter ate a little of hers, too.

So, that was dinner with Bettina tonight. I did add some steamed mixed veg to balance the dishes out better. I found her portions generous for the 2 they're supposed to serve.

Oh, and for a bit of fun, here's Bettina's January poem:

Simpler meals and wiser buying, -
More of planning, -less of hurry,-
More of smiling, -less of sighing,-
More of fun, and less of worry,
In this New Year's Resolution,
Trouble finds a swift solution.


Suzanne said...

I just love tapioca pudding and never thought of adding dates--sounds yummy:-)

Anna said...

I've noticed that Bettina's cooking comes straight out of traditional English kitchenways --Home Comforts has an illuminating chapter about this type of food, especially as contrasted to Italian cooking. I think it will be common to find Bettina's dishes to look like minced brown-ness! Except when you're making a steak or a fancy salad. Have fun, Kate!!

Kate said...

Anna, that sounds about right! This week, I will be making her Swiss Steak, so hopefully we'll have less minced brown-ness. :)

Tracey said...

Sounds good! The January poem is perfect for me this month!!