Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day Food Memories

Father's Day is this weekend, and the weather report for Wilmington is temperatures in the high 90's.  Hazy, hot and humid is the forecast, and when it's this hot even I don't feel like cooking.  What is Chow Bella to do for Dad when it's too hot to cook?  Here are some of my favorite dishes Dad used to create for us growing up.  In a summer tribute to Dad...Enjoy!

Beans, beans are good for your heart....you know the rest!  Each summer my dad would have a bumper crop of pole beans.  My favorite summer meal was a bowl of Dad's bean salad.  Dad would blanch the beans in boiling water, cool and then chop them into one inch pieces.  He would add red wine vinegar, 1/2 of a red onion, chopped; a few tablespoons for olive oil (depending upon how many beans were in the bowl), and salt and pepper to taste.  We also used to use left over steamed beans for this dish, too.  The minute I taste these beans I am thrown back to my childhood.

Another one of Dad's amazing dishes was his "Daddy Potatoes."  Dad would chop up potatoes and onions and saute them in olive oil, in a cast iron pan, of course.  Once the potatoes were almost soft, Dad would add sausage of kielbasi or whatever meat he had in the refrigerator.  A product of the depression era, nothing was wasted or thrown away.  A little salt, pepper and a little garlic powder topped off this dish.  My version is a little bit different.  I pre-cook the potatoes in boiling water, until almost cooked and set aside, until I'm ready to add to the pan.  I saute the chopped onion (1 onion) in the cast iron pan in 1 teaspoon of oil.  Once they are golden brown, I remove them from the pan and add the cubed potatoes.  Once the potatoes are golden brown, I add the onions and sweet, Italian turkey sausage, salt, pepper, fresh oregano.  For breakfast, I omit the garlic, but at dinner time, I add the garlic when I add the onions with the potatoes.  In the winter, I place the pan in a 350 oven for 20 minutes to get a golden crisp crust.

Last but not least was Dad's pasta fagoli.  In New Jersey, we would say "pasta fa-zool."  The proper pronunciation is just like is it spelled.  Pasta Fa-goli.  Nevertheless, this was a great dish to cook on a summer day, because it was done on the stove in the morning, and when it came time for supper Dad would just heat it up.  I wasn't a fan of this dish when I was kid, but I have grown to love it, as an adult.

For Dad's famous Pasta Fagoli, with a Chow Bella Cooks twist, go to my website: Casper's Pasta Fagoli!

Happy Father's Day and Chow!


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