If you're a regular reader of this column, you know that my mother was an exceptional cook.
Many of the recipes we grew up with were her own creations. Some were from cookbooks or clipped from newspapers or magazines, but those were often tweaked until they met with her approval. We were always happy to be her guinea pigs, and to be honest, I can't remember any flops coming from my mother's kitchen.
This recipe I'm sharing today was one I am very familiar with, and one I don't have written down. I'd seen her make it so many times, I didn't need directions. It's like tossing a salad: oil, salt, vinegar (or fresh-squeezed lemon juice), then whatever else you feel like maybe some pepper, maybe some grated cheese. It comes naturally.
Imagine my surprise when a few years ago, I won a cookbook penned by the owner of a famous New York Italian restaurant, and it had several recipes that were similar to my mother's. My mother never heard of the author or his restaurant, and I'm sure she didn't get her recipes from him. She had also been making them long before he wrote his book or opened his restaurant.
Perhaps my grandmother had made something similar and it was a dish typical of the region of Italy she came from, and this restaurateur hailed from the same area. We can't ever know for sure, but my daughter and I were convinced that somehow, he got into my mother's box of recipes and copied some of the best ones. That would explain his successful restaurant.
Here is one of those recipes from my mom simple, yet delicious.
1 pound chicken pieces
4-5 red skinned potatoes, sliced into -inch rounds
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 can peas, drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or more to taste
Salt and pepper
Wash chicken and pat dry. Place in a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish. Add sliced potatoes and onions; drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss until everything is well coated. Top with canned peas and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss lightly.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about one hour or until juices in chicken run clear when poked with a fork.
For more recipes, go to www.tnonline.com/lifestyle/comfort-and-joy.