Mushroom Scalloped Potatoes (adapted from Sunset Cook Book, 1949)

Mushroom Scalloped Potatoes is a dump-and-go potato side dish suitable for Sunday dinner.  It’s a labor-saving alternative to more sophisticated sides, and while it lacks the panache of a good pan of scalloped potatoes or funeral potatoes it will still scratch the itch for a creamy, starchy side.  The recipe comes to me by way……

Hawaiian Chicken with Ginger and Peach (California, 1996, adapted)

Hawaiian Chicken with Ginger and Peach is a chicken and rice dish with vaguely tropical sensibilities.   If you’re expecting a traditional plate-lunch style chicken you’ll need to look elsewhere:  this dish is more Nixon-era casserole than luau food.  Pan-fried chicken breast is set atop a salty pilaf and seasoned lightly with ginger and coconut –……

Chili Stack (adapted from Sunset Cook Book, 1949)

Chili Stack is an out-of-the-ordinary savory pancake main dish with the flair of the American Southwest.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it before or since.  Adapted from the 1949 Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes, Chili Stack is  a meal of thin cornmeal pancakes and a smooth, spicy chili.  The pancakes and chili are……

Thai Chicken Pizza alla Shandi (Oregon, 2006, adapted)

Thai Chicken Pizza alla Shandi is a protein-heavy, vaguely Asian, sweet and sticky weeknight pizza.   The recipe comes to my by way of Recipes from the Heart, a 2006 community cookbook from the church congregation my family attended.  The recipe was submitted by a woman who has since moved and with whom our family was……

Pork Tenderloin Javanese (adapted from The New St. Louis Symphony of Cooking, 1964)

Pork Tenderloin Javanese is a quick-cooking coriander-scented mock kebab, simple enough for a weeknight but hearty enough for weekend grilling.  If you’re looking for traditional Indonesian food you’ll be disappointed.  Pork tenderloin isn’t especially popular among the people of Java, which is predominantly Muslim.  But while the pork is certainly a Western adaptation, the recipe……

Chinese Pork Balls and Cabbage (adapted from Myra Waldo’s Chinese Cookbook, 1968)

Chinese Pork Balls and Cabbage is a hearty dish suitable for a cool autumn weeknight.  If you’re after an authentic Chinese main dish keep looking.  This recipe is adapted from Myra Waldo’s Chinese Cookbook, first published in 1968, and reflects Americanized Chinese sensibilities adapted to the tastes and ingredient availability of the 1960s.   Like most……

Beef and Noodles Italiano (Missouri, 1964, adapted)

Beef and Noodles Italiano is a hearty two-pot-one-meal pasta dish with vaguely Italian sensibilities.  Adapted from a 1964 community cookbook published by the St. Louis Symphony, Beef and Noodle sItaliano has a little bit of a fancy company vibe to it, in keeping with the mildly patrician sensibilities of the rest of the book.  The……

Curry Spaghetti (Missouri, 1964, adapted)

Curry Spaghetti is one of those recipes that I made out of sheer curiosity.  It is exactly what it sounds like – spaghetti served with a curried tomato sauce – a combination that I had never seen in the wild and, to be honest, didn’t seem terribly appetizing.  The only thing I had to commend……

Makina No Tsukemono (adapted from Nippon Ryori Syu, 1972)

Makina No Tsukemono is a quick pickled cabbage-and-peppers recipe in a nominally Japanese style.  I’ve adapted the recipe from Nippon Ryori Syu, a 1972 cookbook compiled and published by the Intermountain District Council of the Japanese American Citizen’s League (JACL).  The JACL today bills itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American/Pacific Islander civil……