Thursday, November 17, 2011
Vintage Recipe: Chicken Caruso
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was looking through my cookbooks looking for new recipe inspiration, and I found it in Betty Crocker's New Dinner for Two Cookbook:
I turn to the Betty Crocker cookbooks for straightforward, basic American recipes that tend to turn out well every time, though I usually need to embellish with a few more spices because I like my food well-seasoned.
I decided to try out the Chicken Caruso recipe as-is because I figured that the combination of ingredients would be pretty flavorful, perhaps even worthy of an aria as the dish is named after legendary tenor Enrico Caruso. And how can you go wrong with a dish that includes both bacon and cheese? Here's the scanned page from the book (it includes a few other recipes too):
The only change I made was that I used egg noodles instead of macaroni because that is what I had in my pantry.
Here's the final result:
Unfortunately, this dish turned out to be just so-so. I really wanted this to be good (I love bacon! I love cheese!) but I found the ingredients to be too tame or too greasy. First of all, it was a pea-fest -- the one cup of peas really dominated the flavor of the dish, and even though I like peas a cup was way too many.
This dish could benefit from the addition of more spices; I think a pinch of red pepper flakes when sauteing the onion and green pepper would really boost the flavor.
I'm also not surprised that Americans have such a high rate of heart disease given dishes like this one -- bacon grease and the fat from cheddar cheese made this a fat bomb -- you can see from the photo how slick the noodles are. And both the cheese and the bacon really weren't that noticeable because of the peas!
Still, I'm not ready to give up on this cookbook yet. Dear readers, if any of you have made successful recipes from this book I'd like to hear about it!