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The Good Home Cookbook

The Good Home Cookbook
The Good Home Cookbook

More Than 1000 Classic American Recipes
edited by Richard J. Perry.

 Collectors Press, 2006

When it comes to contemporary middle-America comfort cuisine, this encyclopedic collection of recipes takes the cake.  With over 1,000 recipes from more than 700 sources, it is a substantial volume of indisputable value.

Sorted into 15 chapters, beginning with Breakfast (Eggs Benedict, Huevos Rancheros, German Pancakes, etc) and Lunch (Tuna Salad Sandwich, BLT, Reubens, Monte Cristo, etc.), it covers Appetizers, Salads, Soups, Fish and Shellfish, Poultry, Meat, Grilling, Pasta and Rice, Vegetables, Breads and Toppings, and Pies, Cakes, and Cookies on its way to Other Desserts and Drinks and, finally, Drinks (Irish Coffee, Hot Cocoa, Root Beer Float, etc.)

The book finishes up with
several pages of appendices covering such topics as cooking terms, presentation, canning and preserving, and freezing and thawing foods.

This is not an instructional book, or a collection of artful dishes. Without pretention, it simply offers a whole bunch of classic American recipes in a single binding. Look here for Shoofly Pie, Grilled Leg of Lamb, Hungarian Goulash, Chicken Pot Pie, Clam Fritters, Chicken Gumbo, Macaroni Salad, Oysters Rockefeller, Guacamole, Welsh Rabbit and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. This is the place to immerse yourself in the true melting pot of American diet.

The collection is edited by a former chef,  Richard J. Perry, who is also publisher of Collectors Press, which prints clever vintage cookbooks like Retro Fiesta, Retro Ranch, Retro Kids Cooking, Retro Baking and many more. Research on those cookbooks helped Perry locate and select the recipes that he considers standard American fare.

To qualify, Perry said each recipes had to be "either a household name or a popular item on menus, like Caesar salad. Once a recipe was selected, we researched, and compared recipes to ensure that it could represent them all as 'the standard.'" More than 700 home cooks from across the country were recruited to test dishes before the final selection was made.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Leftover chicken makes a delicious next-day dinner when combined with noodles and a cheese sauce..

1/2 pound egg noodles

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 cup sliced mushrooms

3 scallions, finely chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

2 cups diced cooked chicken

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

2. Cook the noodles in a  large pot of boiling salter water acoording to the package directions.

3. Melt the butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and scallions and saute until the mushrooms give up their juice, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and make a paste. Gradually stir in the broth, milk, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, stirring constrantly, until the sauce is thickend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Stir in the chicken and noodles and mix well. 

5. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top. 

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until heated through and golden. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

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