My earliest memory of my mothers cooking was way back in Marlborough Mass.
She was a fabulous cook and I learned early on to appreciate a pretty wide variety of veggies, unlike most of my contemporaries (I was 4 :). I remember hanging by the door to the kitchen as she checked on the savory smelling meals nestled in our orange oven.
I wasn't allowed in the kitchen until after the meal was served. Much like an artist doesn't want any comments on an unfinished masterpiece, my Mother couldn't abide comments on an unfinished meal.
Mom worked at the Sheraton Tara, a beautiful hotel done in a castle theme.
She got along with everyone and always found favor with her co-workers. The chef's there were teaching her, a little at a time, how to make things. The first of her experiments was Chicken cordon blue. The juicy white meat wrapped around the creamy Swiss cheese and smokey ham.....omgeee! My mouth waters just remembering. I remember burning my tongue more than once on the steamy filling, not able to wait until it cooled.
She made it a few times in a short period. She was probably practising. The best part about my memory of this dish is the smile on her face when she saw that i loved it. mom didn't smile often at home. She had led a very rough life. When I tasted the Chicken Cordon Blue for the first time, and my face showed how much I liked it, I saw such pleasure, such pride shine in her beautiful brown eyes.
No, my mother is not Ina Garten..lol Just some humor. She does have the same mannerisms as my mom though; the way she does things, the way she talks...They are so similar in fact that Big Daddy (who never got along with mom while she was alive) can't watch the Barefoot Countessa at all :) It's one of my favorite shows!
This is my substitution...the closest rendition to what I remember from my childhood....found at
|SIMPLE CHICKEN CORDON BLUE|
Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1826,135186-245193,00.html
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4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
4 thin sliced smoked ham
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg; beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
Pound chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle each piece on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on each breast. Roll up each breast using toothpicks to secure if necessary. Dredge each in flour, shake off excess, then in egg and finally in bread crumbs. Place seam side down in baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Place 1 tablespoon butter on each piece of chicken. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes until juices run clear. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine broth and whipping cream; season to taste (salt, pepper, garlic, oregano). Simmer on low stirring until thickened; Pour over chicken.