Chef Mom

I've collected these recipes from family members, out-of-print cookbooks, magazines, and the backs of food cartons. I've modified quite a few of them and, I think, made them even better. I only put my family's favorites on this site, because I'd like for my friends to have as many good food memories as we do. Enjoy...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chicken Oporto

This is a family staple, and probably my favorite chicken dish to make. It is absolutely to die for and easy to boot!


1/2 cup butter
1/2 lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup AP flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6-8 chicken breast halves
1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1/2 cup white port wine (I often substitute cooking sherry and it works wonderfully as well)


-In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, in hot butter, cook mushrooms five minutes. With slotted spoon, remove to small bowl, set aside.
-On waxed paper or in small flat container (I used a square tupperward container), combine flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Use to coat chicken chicken breasts. In same skillet in remaining butter over medium-high heat, cook the chicken breasts until browned on all sides.
-Sitr in cream, port and mushrooms; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30-45 minutes or until chicken is fork-tender. The longer you have to simmer, the better it tastes!

New Orleans Pancakes

This recipe comes from a typewritten cookbook I bought for 25 cents at an estate sale. It was written by the Woman's Club of The United States Public Health Service Hospital from New Orleans, Louisiana in 1967 so I figured it would have some great, old school New Orleans-style recipes. And I was right! This is one of my favorites, and I typically have all the ingredients on hand. It makes a pancake that's like a cross between a crepe and a pancake. YUM.


4 Eggs
1 cup cottage cheese or Ricotta
1 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 light cup flour


Mix all ingredients and drop by large spoonfuls on griddle like pancakes. Serve with jams, jellies, or butter and syrup.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spinach Parmesan Balls

These make a great party appetizer, but I really love them as a dinner side. This is a great way to make vegetables palatable, it's inexpensive, uses ingredients you have on hand, and is really very easy!


2 (10 oz) boxes frozen spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry
4 T butter, melted
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 t minced garlic
1/2 t Italian seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 t black pepper
1 t salt


-Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray
-Stir all ingredients together in large mixing bowl. Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place one inch apart on baking sheet. (I made larger balls and served two to a plate as a dinner side. They were excellent.)
-Bake 15 minutes, until puffed and slightly brown. Serve warm.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beef Hash

Beef Hash sounds kind of yucky. But trust me, it tastes great! My whole family loves this recipe, and it's a great way to make a pot roast (or any beef leftovers) go an extra night. If you don't have leftovers, just buy 6 ounces of deli roast beef. Serve it for breakfast or dinner.


1 cup cubed, cooked beef
1 cup peeled, cubed red potato (any potato will do in a pinch)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk


Combine first 6 ingredients. Cook misxutre in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat ten minutes or until mixture is browned and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in milk, cover, reduce heat, and simmer five minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Noni's Turkey Continental Soup

Another classic from my amazing mother-in-law, "Noni." Best turkey leftovers EVER. Don't believe me? Try it.


Turkey carcass
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped turkey
2 cups turkey broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup celery
2 cups diced raw potatoes
1 large can evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon vinegar
1 can cream-style corn


-Cut meat from bones. Simmer bones 3 hours in water to cover. Strain for resulting turkey broth.
-In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add chopped turkey, onion, celery, saute until onion is transparent.
-Add everything except milk and corn. Cook until vegetables are tender. Add milk and corn.

Noni's Creamed Corn

I dare you to find a better creamed corn recipe than this one. Kids love it- adults do, too!


16 oz. frozen corn
1 cup cream
1 tsp Lawry's salt
dash Lawry's seasoned pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour (slightly heaping)
2 tablespoons butter


-Heat cream in pan. Add corn, sugar, salt and pepper.
-Melt butter in small skillet, add flour and make a roux.
-Add roux to corn and cook until thickened.

Honey and Spice Cranberry Sauce

A Thanksgiving staple.


1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries
1 3/4 cup apple cider or juice
3/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 T grated orange peel
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Pinch of salt


-Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat.
-Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
-Remove sticks, cloves and bay leaf. Refrigerate. Can make up to three days ahead of time.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


-Pumpkin seeds
-Old Bay seasoning (optional)
-olive oil (optional)
-soy sauce (optional


Wash seeds. Soak in water for 8-24 hours. Dry with paper towels. (They do not need to be completely dry for this recipe).
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Spray a tray with non-stick spray, then spread pumpkin seeds on it and season with Old Bay and salt, or whatever spices you prefer.
Roast in oven for about an hour to 1 hour, 20 minutes, taking pan out every 10-15 minutes to shake seeds around.
Once seeds are done, you might want to drizzle a little olive oil and soy sauce over the seeds, then stir them up. The soy sauce has gotten raves from others online, but I personally haven't tried it yet. I was just happy to find a recipe that didn't scorch my seeds!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews

Not only will your kids eat their broccoli, they'll beg for more! Can be made without cashews.


1 1/2 lbs fresh broccoli
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup salted roasted cashews


-Remove and discard broccoli leaves and rough ends of stalks. Cut broccoli into spears.
-Cook in a small amount of boiling water eight minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well, keep warm.
-Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar and next four ingredients.
-Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Stir in cashews. Pour sauce over broccoli and serve immediately.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Durkee's Chicken

This recipe is both easy and a great money-saver. Buy the largest package of breasts you can find so that you'll have a couple of halves left over; use them in the Chicken a la King recipe the next night. Also, a jar of Durkee's is good for two batches of this chicken! My family loves it!


6 chicken breast halves
1/4 cup AP or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup butter, melted, or 1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup Durkee's Famous sauce (1/2 of a bottle)
3 cups cooked rice


Place flour in small, flat container, dredge chicken breast halves in it and place in single layer in shallow baking dish.

Blend butter and Durkee's; pour over chicken.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover, bake 15 minutes more or until brown. Serve chicken atop bed of rice, pour drippings over all.

Chicken a la King

Here's a perfect use for your leftover chicken dish, and it only takes a few minutes to make. I used leftover Durkee's Chicken to make this one and my family thought it was marvelous.


2 frozen puff pastry shells or 1 package refrigerated croissants
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/4 cup of milk or half and half
1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained (I don't use this ingredient)
1 (4-ounce) can or jar mushrooms, drained
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Bake puff pastry shells or croissants according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine chicken and remaining five ingredients in a heavy saucepan; cook over low heat ten minutes, stirring often. Spoon into puff pasty shells or over croissant halves.