Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Chicken Parmesan

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister

Chicken cutlets are great as is but if you want to turn them into a real feast try making Chicken Parmesan.

Once you have mastered making chicken cutlets, there are just a few extra steps and ingredients needed to make chicken Parmesan.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then make the chicken cutlets according to my video. When the chicken is all cooked take it out of the frying pan.

Set the cooked cutlets in a baking dish big enough to lay them flat in a single layer.

Using a spoon put about 1 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce around the cutlets.   You can make your own spaghetti sauce from scratch or use a jar of spaghetti sauce.  I don’t like to drown the cutlets in sauce. You can always add more later if you want.

Top with 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese.

You can buy pre shredded Mozzarella…

Or fresh Mozzarella and shred it yourself.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of parmesan on the top.

The Chicken Parmesan is now ready to pop it into a 350 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes.

When the cheese is all melted and bubbly it’s ready to serve with some spaghetti.



Vegetarians might like to try Eggplant Parmesan instead!




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Irish Coffee

print recipe card posted in Beverages by Kathy Maister

Irish coffee is a delicious drink made with only four ingredients; coffee, cream, sugar, and whiskey. Some people vary the ingredients, but I’m going to show you the “classic” way to make Irish coffee.

The final taste is affected by the strength of the coffee, the type of whiskey you use, the way you add the cream, whether or not you use brown or white sugar and, of course, the proportions used of each ingredient.

Another choice when making Irish coffee is the type of glass or mug you will use. The “classic” glass is a 6-ounce stemmed glass. Another familiar glass or mug used is an 8-ounce mug with a handle. This type of mug actually seems a bit more practical for holding a hot cup of liquids.

The basics steps to make Irish coffee are

  1. Warm the glass
  2. Fill the glass 2/3 full of coffee
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir (3 teaspoons for the larger glass)
  4. Add 1 ounce of whiskey (1 ½ ounce for the larger glass)
  5. Top with prepared cream
  6. Assign designated driver

If you are making several Irish coffees, do one first and taste it to see if you need to adjust the proportions.

Step 1. Warming the Glass
You can run the glass under hot (or warm) water to warm the glass. Leave the hot water in the glass while you are making the coffee and preparing the cream. The thick mug type of glass is usually made of tempered glass so that it will not crack when you use it for hot liquids. If you are using a stemmed glass, you need to be more careful that is doesn’t shatter from the hot water — use water with a lower temperature.

Step 2. Fill the glass 2/3 full of coffee

Make a pot (or French Press) of fresh coffee. This is not the time to use flavored coffee.

Step 3. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir

Don’t skip this step, even if you don’t normally put sugar in your coffee. The sugar actually helps the cream to float above the coffee. You can use either brown or white sugar.

Step 4. Add 1 ounce of whiskey

This amount can be adjusted according to your taste and the size of the glass you use.

Bartenders may pour straight from the bottle but measuring cups are more accurate for the untrained eye.

Step 5. Top with cream

This is the critical step to get the classic look and drinking experience. You must pour heavy cream over the back of a spoon so that about ½ inch of cream floats on top of the coffee. You actually drink the coffee through the cream. You are not meant to blend the two layers together.

As an option, you can thicken the cream by whipping it with a whisk, ever so slightly.

This will help you to keep these layers separate when you are making your Irish coffee. My first pour of the cream was done using heavy cream which I did not whisk. The photo below is what’s not not supposed to happen!

Over in England they sell what’s called “double cream” which is much thicker than our heavy cream and probably doesn’t need to get whisked.

Do not sweeten the cream. You also may be tempted to use a can of whipped cream, but don’t!

Step 6. Assign a designated driver

Of course!

Irish coffee is actually a great drink to serve with dessert or with cookies. There are some who would like to make their Irish coffee look a bit more seasonal by adding a drizzle of green Crème de Menthe over the top. (I cringed when I heard this, then I took a sip of this Irish coffee with Crème de Menthe. It is really delicious!)

A slice of my Mom’s Irish Bread is perfect with this Irish Coffee!


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Guinness Stout Beef Stew

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister

Guinness Stout Beef Stew is rich and hearty and a perfect meal to serve on a cold day. Of course, it’s a must for St Patrick’s Day, which here in Boston is a huge celebration!

You can serve this stew for Sunday lunch and then, late in the day, try some of startcooking.com’s Irish Bread with Irish Coffee.

The fresh ingredients you will need to make this stew are garlic, onion, carrots, stew beef and parsley for the garnish (decoration.) Buy the most tender stew beef you can afford. (Ask the butcher!) This stew takes only 1 and 1/2 hours to cook so you need a tender stew beef-“round” stew beef works well for this recipe. (For stews that take 3-4 hours to cook, it’s OK to use a less tender cut of beef, like beef chuck.)

From the pantry, you will need white flour, oil, beef broth and bay leaves.  Remember to remove the bay leaf before serving!

You will also need pitted prunes along with the Guinness Stout.

Before we startcooking, a few words of caution:

First, do not omit the prunes! Without the prunes, the Guinness is going to make the stew taste bitter. The prunes cook down and melt into the stew. If you don’t tell, no one will even be aware that they are in this stew! (Do you see them in the photo below?)

Second, do not replace the “Extra Stout” with “draught” or with those bottles of Guinness with the widgets in them that make the foam. The taste will be all wrong!


Begin by getting the carrots, onions, garlic and beef all cut up and ready to cook.

Peel the carrots and cut them into chunky slices about 1/2 inch thick.

(The picture below shows, from left to right, the stages and equipement I use to turn a whole carrot into the slices.)

Chop the onion.

Crush the garlic.

Cut the stew beef into approximately 1 inch chunks.

In a large, heavy, Dutch oven, set on medium high; heat the oil and sauté (fry) the onions for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.

Remove the onions and garlic from the pot.

The meat needs to get “seared” in small batches. It is very tempting to add half the meat thinking “well that fits into a single layer in the pot…so why not?”

The photo below is why not! If you overcrowd the pan the meat will get foamy and bubbly, and not develop a nice rich browned color.

Small batches….

…will guarantee a nicely browned meat.

Remove the meat from the pan….

…and add the next batch.

When all the meat is browned, add it all back to the pot.

Sprinkle on the flour.

Reduce the heat to simmer, stir in the flour until all the meat is coated

Add beef broth……

…and Guinness (Extra Stout only!)

…and stir everything until mixture comes to a simmer.

Now add the onions, garlic, carrots and the bay leaves. (Be sure to remove the bay leaves before you serve the stew. They are there to impart flavor but you do not eat bay leaves.)

Give everything a stir.

The beer/broth should cover all the ingredients. If it does not, you may need to add a bit more broth.

Simmer the stew gently, uncovered, for one hour. (There should only be tiny little bubbles with the occasional waft of steam coming from the stew.) Be sure to give it an occasional stir.

While the stew is simmering, chop the prunes.

Add the prunes….

…and continue cooking the stew for another 1/2 hour.

The prunes will “melt” into the stew and the gravy will develop a wonderful rich flavor and have a nice glossy finish.

Boiled or mashed potatoes garnished with chopped parsley

are perfect to serve with this stew. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves!


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