Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mom's Recipes

Growing up, I had an amazing advantage of living overseas and experiencing new foods and cultures. This included living in Italy (yum!) and Turkey (mmm). This, combined with a mom who loved to cook, meant our weekday menus were generally very diverse and very tasty.

Mom's Marinara is a delicously simple marinara recipe. It's a thinner sauce reminiscent of sauces from the southern region of Italy. I like adding sausage, though mom usually prefers meatless. When she makes it, it is usually much more delicious than mine... but I'm catching up.

1 lb Italian sausage
4 tbs butter
1 chopped onion
2 tbs olive oil
4 cans whole tomatoes
1 cup(ish) merlot
Italian seasoning and garlic to taste.

This recipe starts, as many comfort foods do, with grease. Cook the sausage first (or beef, or whatever meat you choose... and if you don't want to use meat; skip this step. And if you like meat but want a meatless marinara, cook some bacon up and use the bacon grease. Eat the bacon for breakfast tomorrow... yum) in a large pot. Drain some, but not all, grease from the pot. Remove sausage from pot. Combine olive oil and butter in the pot with the chopped onion until the onion is tender. Add the sausage back to the pot, and add the tomato cans with all liquid. When the liquid starts to bubble, add merlot (or some other dry wine) and season to taste. If you used sausage or bacon, you probably don't need any salt. But Italian seasoning and garlic would still be delish. Let the mix simmer for 30 minutes, and pour over your favorite pasta. I like it over linguini.

Mom's Chicken Tava

Chicken Tava is a very popular dish from Turkey, specifically the region where we lived; the Adana region. That's the same place where the Adana Kebab or Kafta Kebab come from... but that's for a later post. It's delicious and simple... and most people love it because it's just chicken, tomatoes, and potatoes! This recipe varies depending on who you talk to, but if you ask me, this is how it goes.

4-6 Chicken thighs (thighs are traditional, but many people prefer chicken breast)
2 cans whole tomato, or 8 peeled and sliced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 potatoes, skinned and sliced
2 onions, sliced
1-2 tsp cumin
1 (ish) tbs olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325.

Pull out your favorite 13x9 cooking pan and sprinkle some olive oil on the bottom. Then arrange chicken thighs on the bottom. Spread tomato paste over chicken. Then add sliced potatoes, onions, and either the canned tomatoes or the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle cumin and salt and pepper. Mix the potatoes, onions, tomatoes and spices together, trying to keep the chicken on the bottom. Put the mix into the oven for 1.5 hours or until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Thighs usually cook a little faster than breasts.

Buon Appetito!

1 comment:

LadyConcierge said...

Yummy! Everyone should have a simple marinara sauce recipe in their arsenal. I'll have to try that Chicken Kava, sounds delicious.