Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Comfort Food

"Well", said Pooh," what I like best-and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat which was better than when you were but he didn't know what it was called."

So for me this moment might be called "mom's cooking from my growing up days" As I was preparing and sampling the following recipe Chicken Ala King it was a reminder of a comfort food my mother would make for special occasions. She would serve it over those weird patty shells with the gummy centers that needed to be forked out and filled with sauce. I decided to take on a Betty Crocker favorite recipe from the 50's 60's and 70's and put my own spin on it.
I have some recommends in the cooking magazine department. BHG has a special interest publication called Best Comfort Food Feed Your Soul. Lots of tried and true recipes but with a modern spin. Another publication Pillsbury Breakfast and Brunch Made Easy has a variety of recipes made with few ingredients and a simple approach. These publications can be found at the grocery store.
But let me segue back to Winnie The Pooh. There is a site that gives some of his famous quotes
this is one of my favorites...
"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."
In case you need to be brought up to speed on Winnie facts I have included a few
Born December 24 1925 in London Daily News as a story for children by A.A. Milne
Nationality British
Education Hundred Acre Wood and Trail Smarts
Occupation Large hearted friend, huntsman honey, braver of bees, solver of problems
Interests/Hobbies Mirror exercises, visiting game player, adventuresome in search of honey
Winnie The Pooh is endearing because he often embodies many of the qualities we might find undesirable in ourselves. He's packed on a few pounds and is always hungry. But above all he is a loyal friend and bearer of practical wisdom. He even has authored his own cookbook!
Mom's Chicken Ala King Recipe
with my own adaptations
Serves 8
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1 small package of fresh mushrooms cleaned, dried and chopped
  • 5 TB. butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cooked chicken breasts diced (can substitute ham)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1-1/4 cup chicken broth( Swanson low sodium)
  • 1 Tb. lemon juice
  • 2 TB. parsley flakes
  • 2 TB. chives
  • 1/8 tsp. marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1-1/2 cup cooked peas/carrots (I used frozen package)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • optional 1- 4 oz. jar diced pimento
  • optional spice called herbs de Provence 1 tsp.
  • In butter saute onion, mushrooms, pepper, celery about 5 minutes
  • Add dry spices to 1/2 cup flour
  • Mix with a whisk flour and chicken broth and then add to mushroom mixture
  • Add half and half and bring to a slow boil and cook till thick
  • Fold in chopped chicken and cooked frozen vegetables
  • Sprinkle fresh grated Parmesan cheese and blend till smooth
  • Serve over shells or biscuits
  • If sauce is too thick can be thinned with a bit of milk

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