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Who’s Cooking: Marian Ango of Baldwin

Marian Ango of Baldwin with her Chicken Sandy

Marian Ango of Baldwin with her Chicken Sandy dish. Photo Credit: James Escher

Marian Ango does cardiology transcription for a medical group in Cedarhurst. She lives in Baldwin with her husband.

Tell me how this dish came about.

During superstorm Sandy, my son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren were staying here because they were flooded out of their home in Island Park. I had a lot of things in the refrigerator and the freezer. I was using things up as fast as I could. I had chicken, provolone, salami. My oven is electric, and before the power went out I came up with this dish. Even after I lost power (lucky for us it was only out for eight days), I cooked for them on my grill, making bacon and eggs, all kinds of stuff.

Do you often develop your own recipes?

I have a lot of recipes on my iPad, and I’ll try them, and if I like them then maybe I’ll make them again and change them a little bit next time. But I do make up things myself. I look at what I have around. My mother was the same way and she was also a great cook. I started cooking very early. When she was at work I’d start to get dinner ready before she got home.

Do you cook some of the same dishes that she did?

I’m three quarters German and a little bit Irish. My mother was German. She would make sauerbraten. I’ve made it a few times, but nobody is too crazy about it. My husband is Italian. Italian is more popular. If I say I’m making lasagna, everybody is happy.

Does your husband cook with you?

Not at all. He doesn’t even like supermarkets. But he’s great with helping me clean up.

What are some of your other specialties?

I’m a big baker. I make chocolate-chip cookies, crumb cake. I used to make cheesecake a lot. One of the things that’s a real staple — years ago there was a recipe in Newsday for Chicken Fantasy. You sauté chicken cutlets, there’s garlic, scallions, basil, white wine, Muenster cheese and mushrooms. I do cook a lot of chicken, because it’s so easy. Most people can eat it, while a lot of people are staying away from red meat. One of my granddaughters is a vegetarian, and when she comes I always try to think of something. If I’m going to make an Italian meat sauce, I’ll make marinara for her. My other two granddaughters will eat almost anything. They were the two that were with me during Sandy.

Have you developed any variations on Chicken Sandy?

For a slightly fancier version, for company maybe, I’ll skip the mayonnaise mixture and instead dip the stuffed and folded cutlets in flour, then beaten egg, and then panko crumbs. I’ll refrigerate them for 30 minutes so the crumbs adhere. Then I’ll brown them on both sides in a pan in some vegetable or olive oil, drain them, and then put them in a baking dish and cover them with thinly sliced roasted peppers or thin strips of salami and provolone. I’ll pour 1⁄2 cup of chicken broth along with 2 tablespoons of white wine over the chicken and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

CHICKEN SANDY

6 chicken cutlets

6 thin slices Genoa or hard salami

3 thin slices provolone

1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

1 to 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

Thin slices of roasted peppers, salami and / or provolone, optional, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.

2. Lay the cutlets flat on a cutting board. Place a slice of salami and half a slice of provolone on each cutlet. Fold over and press together.

3. Combine the mayonnaise and Parmesan in a small bowl. Lightly brush the mayonnaise mixture over the chicken and sprinkle with the panko. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. If desired, garnish with roasted peppers, salami and / or provolone. Makes 6 servings.

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