Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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These recipes are from everywhere.  Some were borrowed from notable cooks who know how to translate great ingredients into wonderful written content lists with understandable cooking instructions.  Some are plans and preparation instructions for traditional family dishes that our family members have traditionally served during holidays and special times of the year.  Some are personal lists of ingredients and cooking instructions that have been fine tuned to produce dishes that are fun to eat and taste good.   

I spent a 20-year chunk of my life in the restaurant business.  Few recipes are from that era.  Those that I have included, such as the “Beggars Marinade” were created by individuals and not by menu committees.  A lot of the food served in the family style restaurant business I was in was tasteless “pap.” 

Whenever possible, credit is give to a recipe’s creator.  Some recipes have been blatantly stolen.  These creators are named.  Some stolen recipes were given to me by their thieves.  The thieves are named.  Some recipes, creators unknown, were just hanging around on 3 X 5 index cards and bits of paper over the years.  All of the recipes are to be shared, never sold or bartered for.  

Food should taste good.  These recipes produce food that I like, my wife & children like, and many of our family members and friends enjoy eating.  If you don’t get excited by the  results of one of these recipes, change the recipe.  Does it need a little fresh oregano?  Would an addition of some heavy whipping cream fill out the flavor of the sauce?  Could chicken or turkey replace the pork in this recipe?  Experiment with different combinations of textures and flavors in these recipes.   

Fresh ground pepper, lemon juice, a dash of cayenne, minced shallots . . . you name it.  These recipes belong to you.  Change them, follow them, delete them, add your own recipes. After that, you are on your own.  But . . .  write down what you did.  Cook to satisfy yourself!  Writing it down means that you can do it again!  Use measuring devices!  Even if it’s just the amount of kosher salt, you know fits in the palm of your hand.   

I have attempted to give credit to individuals who have developed recipes in this volume.  The acknowledgment for the creation of many great recipes is very difficult.  How do we give credit to the cave man that could only cook vegetables over an open fire?   How do we credit the first person who combined roasted garlic with goat cheese?  

Some of the recipes appear in more than one section.  A seafood pasta dish is found in both the seafood and the pasta sections.  This is to keep you from becoming confused.  It also serves to make this publication a little longer with very little effort.  I even considered including this introduction again at the end of the publication.  That probably would confuse most of you! 

All temperatures are Fahrenheit!  Most measurements are exact!  Some people live to eat!