Instant Pot Chicken and Black Bean Soup (California, 2006, adapted)

Instant Pot Chicken and Black Bean Soup is a simply prepared soup with Mexican sensibilities suitable for a cool weeknight.  The recipe is one of many lovely soups in a 2006 cookbook from the Mother Teresa Maternity Home in Placerville, California.  The home serves as a women’s shelter with a special emphasis on housing women……

Chicken with Fresh Pears Stir-Fry (adapted from Sunset Wok Cook Book (1989))

Chicken with Fresh Pears is an enjoyable summertime stir-fry perfect for weeknights.  If you’re looking for traditional Chinese cuisine look elsewhere.  This dish, along with many others in Sunset Wok Cook Book (1989), falls squarely in the old school Americanized stir-fry tradition.   Stir-frying is an ingenious technique that works well with almost any set……

Cheese Grits with Tomato Gravy (adapted from The Black Family Reunion Cookbook, 1991)

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook (1991) is a glorious cookbook compiled by the National Council of Negro Women.   The recipes honor NCNW’s founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, and commemorate the organization’s annual Black Family Reunion Celebration, which honors “the historic strengths and values of the Black Family.”  The recipes are peppered with stories of Ms…….

Tomato Beef Chow Yuk with Pea Pods (Oregon, 1974, adapted)

I’m fortunate to live in an area with a large Asian population and have ready access to high-quality traditional Chinese food.  And I occasionally like to tell myself that I’m somehow fancy or cultured because I can distinguish regional cuisines or appreciate cold, spiced jellyfish, but I also have a soft spot in my heart……

Salmon Pot Pie (Tennessee, 1996, adapted)

Salmon Pot Pie comes to us by way of a promotional cookbook offered by a Southern real estate company.  Since their founding in 1977 Crye-Leike has published more than two dozen cookbooks to give away to employees, friends, and clients.  This particular recipe comes from Volume XVI, titled Cherished Southern Recipes and published in 1996. ……

Instant Pot Bombay Chicken (adapted from The Tastes of Home, 2004)

We have a good friend from Idaho who use to joke about a dish she grew up with that her mother called “Hong Kong Chicken”.  In spite of the decidedly ‘ethnic’ name it was, in essence, the archetypal casserole:  chicken pieces bathed in cream of mushroom soup and baked until tender.   So why is it……

Baked Orange Coconut Chicken (adapted from Hawaii Kai Cookbook, 1970)

Baked Orange Coconut Chicken is an apt illustration of Hawaii Kai’s alternate universe Polynesian cuisine.  It’s also one of the more accessible recipes, something that can be pulled together on a weeknight or dressed up for fancy company with a little bit of garnish.   I’m not an authority on authentic Hawaiian cuisine, but I’m guessing……

Tennessee Barbecue Sauce (Tennessee, 1978)

I’ve lived out West all my life where “barbecue” means either tri-tip, hamburgers, or some sort of hodgepodge of Kansas City and Texas-style barbecue from somewhere else in the United States.  I’ve traveled enough to realize that this it utter heresy to some folks, where each regional variant is held as the one true barbecue…….