In Januarys past, by now I would have been trying lots of new recipes and cooking up a storm. This year, I opted to have surgery on my foot instead.
For the past month, Ralph has been pretty much been chief cook and bottle washer and everything else. I'm either in a wheelchair or on crutches, with no weight bearing on my right foot.
Lucky for me, my husband is a good cook and care giver. My friends have brought dinner and goodies over and, in that respect, it has been great, but I truly miss cooking. During the month of December when everything was so hectic, I kept saying to myself that I could hardly wait until January when I would have absolutely nothing to do. Which just goes to show you that you better be careful what you ask for because you may just get it. When you are busy as heck, doing nothing sounds pretty good, but in reality it's not. I have been going through lots of magazines that I have been saving for too many years.
When we sold Marrone's in 1992, all my best drinking buddies with pickup trucks came and loaded up all my magazines and cookbooks and drove to our backyard, where they have been in our shed ever since. I've been meaning to go through them for years. I am finally going through them one box at a time, and after 10 years, it's like reading new material all over again, but I cannot bear to let them go until I have checked every one for a recipe I might need. They then go to the Carson City Library, where they are put out for patrons to help themselves. We do this with all our magazines each month. I am going to make an effort to get my cooking magazines over to the library in a more timely fashion.
With the Super Bowl coming up, I think either one of these recipes will work to keep you out of the kitchen during the game.
This is a delicious sandwich. You can find brisket at almost any grocery store, Butler Meats and sometimes at Costco.
BILLY BOB'S AMARILLO BARBECUED BEEF BRISKET
3 to 4 pound boneless brisket
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
Couple cloves of minced garlic
1 18 oz. bottle barbecue sauce (we use Cattleman's)
Place meat, fat side up, in heavy pan. Place garlic and onion on top of brisket, add sauce (then add some water to the bottle to rinse out the rest of the sauce). Bake in 350-degree oven, covered, for about 3 hours. Skim off fat. Cut meat against the grain. Slice thinly and portion about 3 ounces onto a toasted kaiser bun. Top with some onions from the sauce and a slice of Swiss cheese.
This next recipe is easy and can be put together in no time at all. It uses hominy, which is nothing more than large dried white or yellow corn kernels that have been soaked in a lime solution to remove their hulls. It is sold dried, frozen and canned. Canned hominy, conveniently cooked and ready to use, can be found on the shelves of most markets.
QUICK CHICKEN POSOLE
3 cloves minced garlic
1 onion chopped
1 T. oil
1-1/2 pounds boneless chicken (buy a chicken that has already been cooked)
1 jar (about 11 oz.) chunky red salsa
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 cups or little more chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz.) white or yellow hominy or one can of each, drained
Heat oil in pan, add garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat until onion is slightly browned. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size pieces and add to onion mixture with salsa, oregano, hominy and chicken broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Garnish with shredded cabbage or head lettuce and lime wedges. Makes 3 to 4 servings.
One last note -- if your team loses, have plenty of these Peanut Butter Cookies on hand to dunk in some milk. I guarantee they will hit the spot and make you feel much better.
MY MOM'S PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. of vinegar combined with 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups of flour or more, if needed
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Cream shortening with sugars; add eggs and rest of ingredients to form soft dough. Roll into small balls and press down with tine of fork. Bake in 350-degree oven 10 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Linda Marrone has been a Carson City resident since 1973, and with her husband, Ralph, operated Marrone's Restaurant in Carson City and currently own Somethin's Cookin' Catering.