Monday, October 31, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake

The subject of gluten-free foods is a topic of conversation that is occurring with more and more frequency. And it's not just a 'foodie' trend. For those with health concerns such as celiac disease it is a necessity to monitor foods that may have gluten. Many foods contain this protein, usually the result of flour being part of a recipe's ingredients. Wheat is the predominant ingredient in most flour production. 80% of the wheat seed contains gluten. Fortunately gluten-free recipe options are available.

Recipe For Flourless Chocolate Cake: 8 eggs 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 2 sticks butter, cubed orange supremes and fresh raspberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs at high speed until the eggs double in volume (about 5 minutes). Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. When chocolate is completely melted, remove from the heat. Fold one third of the egg foam into the melted chocolate. Fold lightly until all streaks are incorporated. Fold in remaining egg foam in 2 more stages.

Spray a spring form pan with pan release and scrape chocolate batter into pan. Place spring form into a water bath and bake for 20-25 minutes or until middle registers at 140 degrees. Cake can be kept under refrigeration for 4 days. Garnish with orange supremes and fresh raspberries.
Note: Dish may be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and vanilla and/or raspberry sauces.

Vanilla Sauce:
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz sugar
4.5 oz egg yolks
1 vanilla bean split and scraped.
Heat the milk, cream, vanilla bean pod and seeds, and half the sugar until the mixture reaches the boiling point. Combine the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar and temper the mixture into the hot milk. Stirring constantly, heat slowly to 180 degrees. Remove cream immediately from the stove and strain through a conical sieve, directly into a container set in an ice bath.

Raspberry Sauce:
1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice.
Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan.
Cook until raspberries are broken down,
about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a chinois
conical sieve) to eliminate seeds.

Recipe Text Credit: The Grill Sergeants
Image Credit: The Grill Sergeants

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Recipes For Lobster, Crab, And Shrimp

"Lobster recipes include Lobster Newberg and Lobster Thermidor. Lobster is used in soup, bisque, lobster rolls, and cappon magro. Lobster meat may be dipped in clarified butter, resulting in a sweetened flavour."

"Recipe For ~ CRAB OR LOBSTER CREOLE: Rub a stew pan with garlic, put in 2 ounces of butter and 3 green onions and 2 green peppers (no seeds) chopped fine; add salt, pepper and a little cayenne and stew slowly 10 minutes; then add 1 large tomato, cut small or the same quantity of canned. Stew this until tomato is smooth, and add a teaspoon of flour, and cream enough to make as thick as drawn butter. Put into this a finely picked crab or a finely chopped lobster and serve on buttered toast."

"Recipe For ~ SHRIMP OR LOBSTER CROQUETTES: Put a heaping tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and when it bubbles put in a tablespoon of flour, cook it and add a cup full of boiling cream, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens very thick. Remove from the fire and when slightly cooled, stir in the beaten yolks of three eggs, cayenne and salt to taste, return to the fire and stir until the eggs are well set, then add 2 cups of shelled boiled shrimps, chopped crab or lobster, butter a platter and spread the mixture on it and set it away to cool. When cold roll into croquettes, dip in cracker crumbs twice and fry in boiling lard. Serve with mayonnaise sauce on a lettuce leaf."

"Recipe For ~ SHRIMP OR LOBSTER POULETTE: 1 cup cream, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon cornstarch (heaping), yolk 1 egg, salt and pepper to taste and 2 cups of shelled shrimps. Let the butter come to a boil, when it bubbles stir in the cornstarch, then the cream and seasoning, then the well-beaten yolk, and lastly the shrimps. Served on toast. Small clams slightly chopped may be substituted if shrimps are not available."

"Recipe For ~ STEWED CRAB: For one crab, take large tablespoon of butter, melt in saucepan and add 1 tablespoon of flour; then add boiling water to make a rather thick gravy. Add some chopped parsley and chopped green pepper, and pepper and salt to taste. Add the picked crab and cook for a few minutes and serve."
Recipe Text Credits: Practical Recipes Wikipedia Image Credit: Wikipedia

Thursday, October 27, 2011


There's a crisp chill in the air. For the last few months you've been good about eating healthfully. High fiber, low fat, low carbs. You've earned a reward. Whether you like them cake-like or chewy fudge, with walnuts or pecans, perhaps a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top---is there anything better than the smell of fresh homemade brownies baking in the oven.

Holiday time is just around the corner. Homemade brownies are a great Halloween treat and they're so easy to make there's no trick to doing it. But why limit them to just one celebration. They are just right for tailgating or a snack on a hayride as you watch the Autumn leaves' colors change.

Stumped for a Thanksgiving dessert when you want to either add to or do something besides the cherry, pumpkin, apple, or sweetpotato pie[s]? Brownies are the answer. They're also nice to take as a gift to your friends who may have been doing the cooking all day and you're the guest. Especially if the cooking time for the turkey is a bit more than expected and you need something to snack on while you're waiting.

And how can you not bake a batch for the jolly old elf who'll be coming down the chimney before you know it. Be sure to have a nice tall cold glass of milk to go with them.

Recipe For Brownies ~ 12 oz flour 1 lb 4 oz sugar 4 oz cocoa 1/4 oz baking powder
3/4 oz salt 11 oz shortening 4 ea large fresh whole eggs 1/2 cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp corn syrup 2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, optional. As needed nonstick cooking spray. Place flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl; blend well at low speed for 1 minute.

Add shortening, eggs, syrup and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix at low speed for 1 minute then scrape down bowl. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes or until thoroughly blended. Add nuts to batter; mix at low speed for 30 seconds. Lightly spray each pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread batter in sprayed pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done at 325 degrees. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of baked brownies comes out clean.

Recipe Text Credit: The Grill Sergeants Image Credits: The Grill Sergeants USDA

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Poached Pears

Fun Pear Fact: "In ancient Greece, pears were used to treat nausea."

"Pears are less allergenic than many other fruits, and pear juice is therefore sometimes used as the first juice introduced to infants. However, caution is recommended for all fruit juice consumption by infants as studies have suggested a link between excessive fruit juice consumption and reduced nutrient intake as well as a tendency towards obesity. Pears are low in salicylates and benzoates and are therefore recommended in exclusion diets for allergy sufferers."

"Pears are consumed fresh, canned, as juice, and dried. The juice can also be used in jellies and jams, usually in combination with other fruits or berries. Fermented pear juice is called perry or pear cider."

"Pears ripen at room temperature. They will ripen faster if placed next to bananas in a fruit bowl. Refrigeration will slow further ripening. Pear Bureau Northwest offers tips on ripening and judging ripeness: Although the skin on Bartlett pears changes from green to yellow as they ripen, most varieties show little color change as they ripen. Because pears ripen from the inside out, the best way to judge ripeness is to "Check the Neck." To Check the Neck for ripeness, apply gentle thumb pressure to the neck, or stem end of the pear. If it yields to gentle pressure, then the pear is ripe, sweet, and juicy. If it is firm, leave pear at room temperature and Check the Neck daily for ripeness."

Recipe For Poached Pears ~ 1 cup orange juice 1/4 cup apple juice 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground nutmeg 4 whole pears 1/2 cup fresh raspberries 2 tbsp orange zest

"In a small bowl, combine the juices, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to mix evenly. Peel the pears and leave the stems. Remove the core from the bottom of the pear. Place in a shallow pan. Add the juice mixture to the pan and set over medium heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes, turning frequently. Don’t boil. Transfer the pears to individual serving plates. Garnish with raspberries and orange zest and serve immediately."

Text Credits: Wikipedia The Grill Sergeants
Image Credits: Wikipedia The Grill Chefs

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pasta Carbonara

"Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) is an Italian pasta dish based on eggs, cheese (pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century."

Origin and History: "Like most recipes, the origins of the dish are obscure, and there are several hypotheses about it. As the name is derived from carbonaro (the Italian word for charcoal burner), some believe that the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers. The etymology gave rise to the term "coal miner's spaghetti", which is used to refer to spaghetti alla carbonara in parts of the United States. It has even been suggested that it was created by, or as a tribute to, the Carbonari ("charcoalmen"), a secret society prominent in the unification of Italy."

"The dish is not present in Ada Boni's 1927 classic La Cucina Romana, and is unrecorded before the Second World War. It was first described after the war as a Roman dish, when many Italians were eating eggs and bacon supplied by troops from the United States."

Recipe For Pasta Carbonara ~ 1/2 lb spaghetti cooked. 6 egg yolks 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. 1 lb bacon, smoked (thick cut) 1/2cup green onions, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped. 1/4 cup fresh basil, *chiffonade chop (thin strings) 1/4 cup white wine salt and pepper, to taste. 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered fresh spinach. [Optional] extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine egg yolks, cream, cheese, in bowl and set aside. 2. Render bacon in pan until crispy, and immediately sauté the garlic, mushrooms, and onion bottoms in excess fat.
3. **Deglaze pan with white wine; add cream mixture and stir until combined; remove from heat.
4. Place cooked, drained, hot pasta in large bowl, and add hot mixture. Toss well and top with basil. Serve immediately.

*Chiffonade: fresh herbs cut into thin strips or shreds
**Deglaze: heat a small amount of liquid in pan and stir to loosen browned bits to create a gravy or sauce.
Text Credits: Wikipedia The Grill Sergeants
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chicken Stir Fry With Ginger Eggplant And Basil

Societally, we are, many of us, more aware of morbid obesity rates, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and other health and nutritional statistics. To our credit, we are also trying to have healthier eating habits. And good news, a healthy meal need not be bland or boring.

Natural flavorings accomplish this goal perfectly. Ginger for example can not only perk up the flavor of a meal, it also has minerals, vitamin C, and fiber [if fresh ginger is used]. These qualities are not great in number but they can be beneficial.

Recipe For: Chicken and Stir-Fry with Eggplant and Basil “Low Fat/High Flavor” 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth 3 green (spring) onions, including tender green tops (2 coarsely chopped and 1 thinly sliced) 2 cloves garlic 1 tbsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 small eggplant, with peel diced (about 4 cups) 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne 1 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce.

In a blender combine basil, mint, 1/4 cup of stock, chopped green onions, garlic and ginger. Pulse until the mixture is minced but not pureed. Set aside.

In a large non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, yellow onion and bell peppers and sauté until the vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the basil mixture and sauté for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the strips and soy sauce and sauté until the chicken is almost opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup stock and bring to a boil. Return the eggplant mixture to the pan and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the sliced green onion.
Serve immediately.
Text Credit: The Grill Sergeants Text Credit: USDA Image Credit: USDA Image Credit: Grill Sergeants

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Banana Bread

Yes it is possible to have your cake and eat it too. Well i should say have your bread and eat it too, since the recipe in question is for banana bread. The banana is one of nature's perfect foods. It's a hand fruit that is naturally sweet, plus the longer it ripens the sweeter it gets. Has a nice fragrance. Loads of fiber. It's encased in a good protective carrying case. It's inexpensive. Low in fat. Low in cholesterol. A good source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. It's versatile and many different dishes can be made using it as the base.

But for now, let's concentrate on one of it's more fun incarnations. The best thing about banana bread is that it can be served as either a side dish, or dessert. It's pretty tasty as part of a breakfast menu too if you're looking to do something different from just having a banana as a garnish for your cereal.

The recipe referenced here does not use raisins, cinnamon or nuts, but my preference is to add all three and a touch of cream. For the nuts i like to use walnuts and "baking" raisins for the raisins because they are more plump and retain their moisture better in the oven. If muffins rather than a loaf are preferred double the flour and baking powder measurement. A garnish of fresh whipped cream makes a nice finishing touch.

"Recipe For Banana Bread: Ingredients: 3 large well-ripened bananas 1 egg 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 1/3 cup milk 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 1/2 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the bananas. Put them in a mixing bowl. Mash the bananas with a fork. Add the egg, oil, milk, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well with the fork. Slowly stir the flour into the banana mixture. Stir for 20 seconds until the flour is moistened.

Lightly grease the bread pan with a little oil -OR- cooking spray -OR- line it with wax paper. Pour the batter into the bread pan. Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan."
Text Credit: USDA Image Credit: CDC

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Créole Jambalaya

Recipes are all around us. They get handed down through generations of family. Often they are shared through friends. Sometimes you have to wait a while for the right recipe[s] to come along.

A while back while grocery shopping i saw a recipe for jambalaya on a box of rice. It was not on my preferred brand of rice and it seemed to be there more as a marketing device to get the consumer to buy the rice and not so much to provide a tasty recipe.

More recently i found a great recipe for Créole Jambalaya in the Picayune Créole Cookbook. i do not eat pork, so when i prepare the traditional Créole Jambalaya i will substitute the pork portions with beef. Also this recipe calls for the rice to be blended in with the other ingredients but my preference is to spoon the jambalaya on top of a bed of rice.

"Recipe For ~ Créole Jambalaya aka Jambalaya a la Créole: Jambalaya is a Spanish-Créole dish, which is a great favorite in New Orleans, and is made according to the following recipe: 1 1/2 cups of rice 1 Lb Fresh Pork 1 Slice of Ham 1 Dozen Fine Chorizos (Pork Sausages) 2 Onions 1 Tablespoonful of Butter 2 Cloves of Garlic 2 Sprigs Each of Thyme and Parsley 2 Bay Leaves 2 Cloves Ground very fine. 3 Quarts of Beef Broth or Hot Water (Broth Preferred).
1/2 Spoonful of Chili Pepper. Salt, Pepper and Cayenne to Taste."

"Cut the pork very fine, lean and fat, into pieces of about-half an inch square. Chop the onions very fine, and mince the garlic and fine herbs. Grind the cloves. Put a tablespoonful of butter into the sauce pan, and add the onions and pork, and let them brown slowly. Stir frequently, and let them continue browning slightly. At this stage, add the slice of ham, chopped very fine, and the cloves of garlic. Then add the minced herbs, thyme, bay leaf and parsley and cloves."

"Let all this brown for five minutes longer, and add a dozen fine Chorizos, cut apart, and let all cook five minutes longer. Then add the three quarts of water or broth, always using in preference' the broth. Let it all cook for ten minutes, and when it comes to a boil add the rice, which has been carefully washed. Then add to this a half teaspoonful of Chili pepper, and salt and Cayenne to taste. The Creoles season highly with Cayenne. Let all boil for a half hour longer, or until the rice is firm, and serve hot."

Text Credit: The Picayune Creole Cookbook

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Angel Food Cake Devil's Food Cake

Recipe For ~ Angel's Food Cake: 11 eggs (whites) 1 1/2 cupfuls granulated sugar 1 cupful flour 1 teaspoonful vanilla or almond. 1 teaspoonful cream of tartar.

Measure the flour after sifting once, mix with cream of tartar and sift four times. Beat the whites of the eggs until stiff and flaky. Add the sugar and beat again; add vanilla or almond, then mix in flour quickly and lightly. Line the bottom and funnel of a cakepan with paper not greased, pour in the mixture and bake about forty minutes. When done loosen the cake around the edges and turn out.

Recipe For ~ Angel Food: 11 eggs 1 teaspoonful vanilla 1 1/2 tumblerfuls granulated sugar 1 teaspoonful cream of tartar 1 tumblerful sifted flour

Sift the flour four times, add cream of tartar and sift again. Sift the sugar and measure it; beat the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth, on a large platter; on the same platter, add the sugar lightly. Then add the flour gently, then the vanilla. Don't stop beating until you put it in the pan. Bake forty minutes in a moderate oven, try with a straw, and if too soft, let it remain a few minutes longer. Don't open the oven until the cake has been in fifteen minutes. Turn the pan upside down to cool, and when cold, take out by loosening around the sides with a knife; then ice. Use a pan that has never been greased.

Recipe For ~ Devil's Food Chocolate Cake: 1/2 cupful butter 1 3/4 cupfuls flour 1 cupful sugar 1 level teaspoonful soda dissolved in milk 1 egg (whole) 2 eggs (yolks) 3 squares chocolate 1 1/2 cupfuls milk. Creamed butter Beat butter and sugar together. Beat the eggs together and mix with creamed butter. Dissolve soda in milk. Scald milk and mix with chocolate. Mix one yolk with this and put in cake.

Devil's food cake

Recipe For ~ Chocolate Icing: 1 teacupful of grated chocolate dissolved in 1/2 teacupful of boiling water. Then add two teacupfuls of sugar and a teaspoonful of butter. Let it boil until it threads from the spoon, then beat until cold, or stiff enough to spread between the cake.

Recipe For ~ Plain Icing: To ice one medium sized cake, take 2 teacupfuls of granulated sugar, and 1 teacupful of water; boil until it will thread from the spoon. Have the white of an egg beaten to a stiff froth, and pour the sugar into it very slowly, beating all the time. When perfectly white, and almost cold, add a few drops of the juice of a fresh lemon, or flavor as desired. One egg to each cupful of sugar may be used if desired. Any icing may be thinned with the unbeaten white of an egg, when too stiff.

Text Credit: The new Annie Dennis cook book: a compendium of popular household recipes for the busy housewife

Image Credit: Lance Cpl. Rashaad S. Riboul, front, places a cherry on top of his devil’s food cake. Author: Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Bolken. This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lamb Recipes From Good Housekeeping

Originally in Good Housekeeping [circa 1896]. IN AND ABOUT THE KITCHEN. Some Appetizing Things which May be Prepared There. In Three Parts.—Part III.

PRESSED breast of lamb, though it may cost the cook a little difficulty in the way of euphonious designation, will be found a very delectable lunch meat, and may be prepared in a most acceptable manner by observing the following recipe: Breast of Lamb.

Two breasts will be required for a family of ordinary size, and they are, first of all, to be well trimmed. Wipe well, immerse in boiling hot stock, and let them simmer for an hour. Then take up the meat, bone it, put it under a press and allow it to cool. Cut each breast in four pieces, season with salt and pepper, dip the pieces in eggs and bread crumbs, and fry them to a delicate brown. Serve with a tomato or other sharp sauce The meat may be cooked in water, but the flavor will not be as good as when simmered in stock, while the flavor of the stock is in no degree impaired by the process.

Lamb Ragout~ Trim a breast well of fat, cut it into small pieces, and fry it in butter Then fry six small onions, add three tablespoonfuls of flour, moisten the stew with three pints of broth, add pepper and salt, a spray of parsley, one of thyme, half a bay leaf, two cloves, and a spray of celery. Let the meat simmer slowly for an hour, turn out the pieces of meat on a hot dish, and serve with cooked Lima beans, carrots and cream sauce.

Neck of Lamb Stew ~ The neck of lamb, though not a favorite cut, is very rich in nutritious juices, and it is from this portion of the adult carcass that the Scottish housewives prepare their famous mutton broth, so valuable for the nourishment of invalids, and having the advantage of being highly palatable. To prepare the stew, separate the lean meat carefully from the bones, rejecting all fat. Set the lean meat away and put the bones over to boil, adding cold water enough to cover them.

Let them simmer for two hours. Then take the meat, dredge it with flour, season with salt and pepper, and fry it with three small onions. Strain the stock from the bones over it, add a bay leaf, a spray of soup celery, two. sprays of parsley, a sprig of thyme and two cloves. Simmer together for an hour; then skim out the bay leaf and other herbs, and serve the lamb with a garnish of potpie, made by adding a cupful of milk to a pint of flour, to which a teaspoonful each of salt and sugar, and two level teaspoonfuls of baking powder have been mixed.

Drop these dumplings over the top of the lamb stew, cover the pot closely, and let them cook steadily without uncovering; for ten minutes. The dumplings may be omitted, and the stew served with a garnish of stewed oyster plant, Lima beans or peas. The stew may be varied by adding half a pint of cooked tomatoes after the herbs have been removed, with a small green pepper cut in bits, allowing the whole to cook a few minutes after these additions have been made.

Boiled Breast of Lamb ~ Trim the breast neatly, boil it in stock as before described, bone it, and put it in press until cold. Then rub it with butter, season with salt and pepper, and boil it entire. Green walnut pickles form an excellent relish for this meat.

Lamb Curry ~ Either the shoulder or the neck portion may be used, and should be cooked in the same manner as for the stew. Take up the pieces of lamb and add to the gravy a cupful of white stock in which a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour have been mixed. Cook together for ten minutes. Beat the yolks of three eggs together in the juice of half a lemon, and add to it a little of the hot mixture. Then add two heaping teaspoonfuls of curry, mixed with a little water. Arrange in a border of rice, and serve with fresh stewed tomatoes. Asparagus tips are another delightful accompaniment of this pleasing dish.

Text Credit: Good housekeeping, Volume 23

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bread Pudding

i had an aunt who used to make the best bread pudding i ever tasted. Unfortunately she has been deceased for many years and no one in the family has her recipe. i recently found some recipes that sound like they might come pretty close, but in my heart, her recipe will never be rivaled.

From The universal cookery book: Practical recipes for household use ~ Recipe For Bread Pudding: Take one pint of bread-crumbs soaked in one quart of sweet milk, one-half cup of white sugar, two eggs beaten thoroughly, heaping teaspoonful of butter, and salt to suit the taste; half cup of raisins; stir well together, and bake.

From Seventy-five receipts for pastry, cakes, and sweetmeats ~ Recipe For Bread Pudding: A quarter of a pound of grated stale bread. A quart of milk, boiled with two or three sticks of cinnamon, slightly broken. Eight eggs. A quarter of a pound of sugar. A little grated lemon-peel.Boil the milk with the cinnamon, strain it, and set it away till quite cold.

Grate as much crumb of stale bread as will weigh a quarter of a pound. Beat the eggs, and when the milk is cold, stir them into it in turn with the bread and sugar. Add the lemon-peel, and if you choose, a table spoonful of rose-water.

Bake it in a buttered dish, and grate nutmeg over it when done. Do not send it to table hot. Baked puddings should never be eaten till they have become cold, or at least cool.

From Modern cookery for private families: reduced to a system of easy practice ~ Recipe For Bread Pudding: Sweeten a pint of new milk with three ounces of fine sugar, throw in a few grains of salt, and pour it boiling on half a pound of fine and lightly-grated bread-crumbs; add an ounce of fresh butter, and cover them with a plate ; let them remain for half an hour or more.

Then stir to them four large well-whisked eggs, and a flavouring of nutmeg or of lemon-rind; pour the mixture into a thickly-buttered mould or basin, which holds a pint and a half, and which ought to be quite full; tie a paper and a cloth tightly over, and boil the pudding for exactly an hour and ten minutes.

This is quite a plain receipt, but by omitting two ounces of the bread, and adding more butter, one egg, a small glass of brandy, the grated rind of a lemon, and as much sugar as will sweeten the whole richly, a very excellent pudding will be obtained; candied orange-peel also has a good effect when sliced thinly into it; and half a pound of currants is generally considered a further improvement.

New milk, 1 pint; sugar, 3 oz.; salt, few grains ; bread-crumbs, 4 lb.; eggs, 4 (5, if very small); nutmeg or lemon-rind at pleasure: 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Or: milk, 1 pint; bread-crumbs, 6 oz.; butter, 2 to 3 oz.; sugar, 4 oz.; eggs, 5 ; brandy, small glassful; rind, 1 lemon. Further additions at choice: candied peel, 1 1/2 oz.; currants, 1/2 lb.

Text Credit: The universal cookery book: Practical recipes for household use

Text Credit: Seventy-five receipts for pastry, cakes, and sweetmeats

Text Credit: Modern cookery for private families: reduced to a system of easy practice

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Breads Biscuits Muffins Etc. From Sunshine Cook Book

Recipe For DELICIOUS NUT BREAD ~ 2 cups sweet milk, 1 teaspoon soda, 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup molasses, 2 cups graham flour, 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon salt.

Mix well and add 1 cup walnut meats cut, not too fine. Let it stand in the pan twenty minutes before baking one hour in a slow oven.

Recipe For WHITE BREAD ~ 1 qt. milk, 1 large spoonful shortening 2 qts. flour 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt 1 yeast cake.

Sift flour into a large pail or pan. Mix with it the shortening, sugar, and salt. Scald the milk. When it becomes lukewarm dissolve yeast in it (y2 cake is sufficient in summer). Make a hole in the center of the flour and pour milk and yeast into it. Cover tightly, and leave in a warm place over night. In the morning stir all together, adding flour if necessary until the mixture is thick enough to mold. Knead for a few minutes, then put back in pail and let stand until light. This will make two large loaves and pan of rolls, or three loaves.

1 pt. milk, 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons sugar 1 yeast cake. Flour, enough to make a stiff batter.

Scald the milk, add butter and sugar and let it cool. Then add yeast and flour. Knead ten or fifteen minutes. Cover and put in a warm place to rise. When very light roll out one-half inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter, spread with soft butter, fold over, put on tin and let rise again until very light. Bake in hot oven until a good brown.


Scald 1 pt. of milk, add to it 2 tablespoons of sugar and yi cup butter. When lukewarm crumble into the mixture 1 cake of compressed yeast. Stir until evenly mixed then add 2 well beater eggs and 7 cups of sifted flour. Beat thoroughly, cover and set aside in a warm place to become light.

Roll into a sheet and cut into biscuit, spread a piece of butter on one side of the round, fold over like a pocketbook and let stand until light, then bake. Or the rounds may be placed close together in a buttered pan, first dipping the edges in melted butter. The whole work can be done in between three and four hours. The dough is too soft to knead.

Text Credit: Sunshine cook book: a collection of valuable recipes and menus gathered from various sources. Author/Publisher: Jennie E. Underhill, 1910

Image Credit: USDA

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Souffles ~ Chocolate, Mocha, and Fruit

Recipe For Chocolate Souffle ~ 2 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup sugar 2 tablespoons flour 2 tablespoons hot water 3/4 cup milk 3 eggs 1 and 1/2 squares Baker's chocolate 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Melt the butter, add flour, and pour on gradually, while stirring constantly, milk; cook until boiling-point is reached. Melt chocolate in a small saucepan placed over hot water, add sugar and water, and stir until smooth. Combine mixtures, and add yolks of eggs well beaten; cool. Fold in whites of eggs beaten stiff, and add vanilla. Turn into a buttered baking-dish, and bake in a moderate oven twentyfive minutes. Serve with Cream Sauce I.

Recipe For Cream Sauce I ~ 3/3 cup thick cream 1/3 cup powdered sugar 1/4 cup milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix cream and milk, beat until stiff, using egg-beater; add sugar and vanilla.

Recipe For Mocha Souffle ~ 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons bread flour 3/4 cup boiled coffee [mocha] 1/4 cup cream 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 4 eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter, add flour, and pour on gradually, while stirring constantly, adding the cream; cook until boiling-point is reached. Combine mixtures, and add yolks of eggs well beaten; cool. Fold in whites of eggs beaten stiff, and add vanilla. Turn into a buttered baking-dish, and bake in a moderate oven twenty five minutes. Serve with Mocha sauce.

Recipe For Mocha Sauce ~ Mix yolks two eggs, one-fourth cup sugar, and a few grains salt; then add gradually one-half cup Mocha coffee infusion. Cook in double boiler until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Strain, cool, and fold in one cup whipped cream.

Recipe For Fruit Souffle ~ 3/4 cup fruit pulp, peach, apricot, or quince. 3 egg whites. Sugar [to taste] Few grains salt.

Rub fruit through sieve; if canned fruit is used, first drain from syrup. Heat, and sweeten if needed. Beat whites of eggs until stiff, add gradually hot fruit pulp, and salt, and continue beating; turn into buttered and sugared individual moulds, having them three-fourths full; set moulds in pan of hot water and bake in slow oven until firm, which may be determined by pressing with finger; serve with Sabyon [custard] Sauce.

Recipe For Sabyon Sauce ~ Grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon 1/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup of white wine or 1/4 cup sherry 2 eggs. Mix lemon, wine, sugar, and yolks of eggs. Stir vigorously over fire until it thickens using a wire whisk. Pour on to whites of eggs beaten stiff.

Text Credit: The Boston cooking-school cook book by Fannie Merritt Farmer
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Po'Boy Shrimp And Oyster Sandwich

The sandwich. If the legend of it's origin is to be believed, never has there been a better object lesson of 'necessity being the mother of invention' than this culinary staple.

"John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, PC, FRS [3 November 1718 – 30 April 1792] was a British statesman who succeeded his grandfather, Edward Montagu, 3rd Earl of Sandwich, as the Earl of Sandwich in 1729, at the age of ten. During his life he held various military and political offices, including Postmaster General, First Lord of the Admiralty and Secretary of State for the Northern Department, but is perhaps best known for the claim that he invented the modern concept of the sandwich."

"The modern sandwich is named after Lord Sandwich. Evidently John Montagu had been a very conversant gambler. He did not have time to have meal during the play, so he would ask his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread during his long hours play at the card table. This habit became well known among his gambling friends and thus the ‘sandwich’ was born. Because Montagu also happened to be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, others began to order 'the same as Sandwich!'"

"However, the exact circumstances of the invention are still the subject of debate. A rumor in a contemporary travel book called Tour to London (although not confirmed) by Pierre Jean Grosley formed the popular myth that bread and meat sustained Lord Sandwich at the gambling table. The sober alternative is provided by Sandwich's biographer, N. A. M. Rodger, who suggests Sandwich's commitments to the navy, to politics and the arts mean the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his desk."

"It is also possible that Sandwich's Grisons Republic born brother-in-law, Jerome de Salis, taught him about sandwiches. The Grisons is known for its dried meat, Bündnerfleisch [thinly sliced air dried meat], while its then subject territory the Valtelline, where De Salis also grew up, is known for Bresaola [air dried salted aged meat]." i don't know if the Earl or his brother-in-law ever sampled what we know to be a Po'Boy, but i'm guessing they would be honored by it and approve.

Recipe For Po'Boy Shrimp and Oyster Sandwich: "French bread cut in half length-wise. Shrimp breaded and fried. Oysters fried. Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatos, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard [optional]. Sliced cheese [optional]. Fry fish of choice. Place cut bread face up. Layer lettuce, tomato, and cheese [optional] on bottom half. The bread may be dressed with a flavored mayonnaise [garlic or herb mayo] or a mixture of ketchup and hotsauce. Place cooked seafood [or meat] on top half of bread. Close sandwich and enjoy."
Cooking Tip Of The Week: "Raw oysters contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus [a species of Gram-negative, motile, curved, rod-shaped bacteria] can be life threatening, even fatal when eaten by someone with liver disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system. To help avoid this danger, don't fall prey to the myths that using hot sauce or drinking alcohol can kill harmful bacteria."

Image Credit: The Grill Sergeants
Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credit: The Grill Sergeants
Text Credit: The Grill Sergeants
Text Credit: Wikipedia

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

As mentioned in a previous post, no matter the occasion, the pie my family served almost exclusively was sweet potato pie. As any southerner will happily testify if you've never tried sweet potato pie, run, do not walk, to the nearest southerner you can find and ask them to bake one for you.

The vegetable i prefer to use for this recipe is actually a yam. i hear some of you asking 'sweet potato, yam---what's the difference---aren't they the same vegetable'. No, they are not. "The sweet potato [Botanical Name: Ipomoea batatas] is a dicotyledonous [flowering plant], that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae [morning glory family with double seed leaf]. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens".

"The softer, orange variety of the sweet potato is often called a yam in parts of North America, a practice intended to differentiate it from the firmer and more nutritious variety of sweet potato that is beige on the outside and yellow on the inside. The sweet potato is botanically very distinct from the other vegetable called a yam, which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family [flowering plant family] Dioscoreaceae [single seed leaf]. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled as "yams" to be labeled also as "sweet potatoes".

Hmm imho, that USDA labeling edict seems to cloud more than clarify, but no matter. Basically the difference between the sweet potato and the yam is that the sweet potato is smaller, firmer, and it's outer skin is more of a beige color. Inside it has a tan or yellow color. The yam is larger than the sweet potato. It's outer skin is more of a suede brown, and inside it's color is dark orange. While either the sweet potato or the yam may be used to make a sweet potato pie, the distinction of the two vegetables is why i prefer the yam for this recipe. The description of the sweet potato as "firm" to me is a bit misleading. i've found some that have the consistency of a stone. Also there seems to be less of an aroma to the sweet potato. i have found the yam by contrast to have a slightly sweet fragrance and the give on ones that are ready for cooking feel similar to a softball when squeezed.

Recipe For Sweet Potato Pie From The Grill Sergeants: 4 oz. butter, softened 2 cups sweet potatos cooked and mashed 2 cups sugar 1 small can evaporated milk 1 tsp vanilla and lemon extracts 3 eggs beaten 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 2 prepared pie shells unbaked. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, sweet potatos, sugar and evaporated milk until well blended. Add extracts, eggs, and cinnamon. Mix well. Pour into pie shells. Bake for about 1 hour until set.
Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credti: Wikipedia
Text Credit: The Grill Sergeants

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple Pie And Pie Crust

You always remember your first time. i'm speaking in this case of the first time you successfully create a dessert. i think i was 10 yrs old. It was a Saturday afternoon. i'd already come in from playing with my friends. my older siblings were still out with their friends. i'm not sure where my parents were. This was during an era when if you could trust a child not to burn the house down then there would be no legal entanglements to having left said child in the house by themselves. i was bored. But what to do. Pre-cable, there wouldn't be anything on tv until at least 7 o'clock.

i looked on the dining room table. There was a bowl of granny smith apples. They seemed to beckon me. But i wanted to do something more challenging than just have them as a hand-fruit snack. i didn't bother to look for the cookbook. Youth makes you bold. i took a look in the fridge and cupboard to see what other ingredients were available. Like an epiphany it came to me---apple pie.

i'd never seen my mom, sisters, or any of my aunts make an apple pie. Sweet potato was and is the de rigueur pie in our homes. But i figured i had all the ingredients needed [at least what i was taking as a calculated guess at what ingredients were needed] so why not go for it.

i was so excited i was going to make dessert on my own and maybe have it finished before everyone got home. i took six granny smith apples cored peeled sliced and rinsed them. Then squeezed a lemon over them. i don't know how i knew to do that to prevent browning---i must have seen someone do it at some point with potatos or some other food and it stuck in my mind. Next seasoned with cinnamon and brown sugar.

It was at this point when i was feeling rather pleased with myself that i realized i needed to make a pie crust. Again youth makes you bold. It was the first and to my recollection the only time i made a pie crust from scratch. my mom had this really neat plastic rolling pin. The handle unscrewed and you filled it with ice. Looked in the freezer and was happy to see the last person to use the ice had actually left a full tray. Poured a cup of flour and a pat of butter on the cutting board and sprinkled it with salt and cold water and proceeded to roll.
To my delight the ingredients were transforming into what i recognized as pie crust. i put that layer in the pie tin and filled with my seasoned apple slices. Flush with success repeated the pie crust steps for the top layer. i thought well let's go all out and instead of just covering with the top crust layer let's slice the crust and make a crisscross aka lattice pattern.

i took what i know now but didn't then is called a pastry jagger cutter---the kind of cutting utensil you would use to cut pizza---i just thought of it as a pinking knife like the scissors for cutting fabric. Anyway the desired pattern was achieved. i baked it for about an hour. my family returned home before it was done. my mom asked something like 'what have you been up to'. i opened the oven door and proudly showed her what was inside. Even better when it was done it tasted just like apple pie.

Recipe for apple pie from Boston Cooking School Cookbook: Apple Pie I ~ 4 or 5 sour apples 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/3cup sugar 1 teaspoon butter 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg 1 teaspoon lemon juice Few gratings lemon rind. Line pie plate with paste. Pare, core, and cut the apples into eighths, put row around plate one-half inch from edge, and work towards centre until plate is covered; then pile on remainder. Mix sugar, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, and grated rind, and sprinkle over apples. Dot over with butter. Wet edges of under crust, cover with upper crust, and press edges together.

Bake forty to forty-five minutes in moderate oven. A very good pie may be made without butter, lemon juice, and grated rind. Cinnamon may be substituted for nutmeg. Evaporated apples may be used in place of fresh fruit. If used, they should be soaked over night in cold water.

Apple Pie II ~ Use same ingredients as for Apple Pie I. Place in small earthen baking-dish and add hot water to prevent apples from burning. Cover closely, and bake three hours in very slow oven, when apples will be a dark red color. Brown sugar may be used instead of white sugar, a little more being required. Cool, and bake between two crusts.

Recipe for pie crust from Settlement Cookbook: Plain Pie Crust Number 1 ~ 1 and 1/4 cup of flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup of butter or other fat Cold water to mix to a dough. Mix one half of the butter with the flour. Add water and salt gradually. Roll and spread the remaining butter on the dough. Fold as you would a napkin and roll.

Plain Pie Crust Number 2 Cooky Dough ~ 2 Tablespoons butter 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg. Mix dry ingredients. Add slightly beaten egg to milk and combine the two mixtures. Roll 1/4 inch thick. This makes enough dough for two oblong flat pans. NOTE: Nice for apple, cheese, blueberry, or any other fresh fruit pie.

Image Credit: The Grill Sergeants

Text Credit: The Boston cooking-school cook book by Fannie Merritt Farmer. "This classic American cooking reference includes 1,849 recipes, including everything from "after-dinner coffee"--Which Farmer notes is beneficial for a stomach "overtaxed by a hearty meal"--to "Zigaras a la Russe," an elegant puff-pastry dish. chose the 1918 edition because it was the last edition of the cookbook authored completely by Farmer. Published by Little, Brown, 1906 - Cooking - 648 pages."

Text Credit: Settlement Cookbook Published in 1903 "This was the original "way to a man's heart," featuring authentic American recipes, European cooking, and Jewish favorites. It was put together by the cooking students at the Milwaukee Settlement House and was an important staple of the American kitchen for more than fifty years."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meatloaf And Yukon Gold Mashed Potatos

i don't know why but in the Fall i just gotta make meatloaf. Maybe it's because it's another of those dishes that's hearty, has lots of flavors & textures and of course my all time favorite thing about any dish---makes for great left-overs. i like to pair this dish with one of my favorite staples, mashed potatos. But not just any mashed potatos. Yukon Gold mashed potatos. i prefer the Yukon Gold variety for the following reasons: They tend to require less cooking time than the traditional Idaho potato.

Their texture is superb. By now i'm guessing visitors to this site have figured out i'm a tactile type and that idiosyncrasy is definitely a large part of what defines my preferences in the kitchen. As any cook worth their salt will tell you a meal should seduce all five senses and it's a bonus when any one ingredient can handle that requirement. Yukon Gold potatos can do. When i mash them i leave the skin on. They're so flavorful once they're mashed you don't need to salt or butter them. And speaking of butter these potatos texture is well...'like butter'. Yukon Gold spuds are good for you and good to you. They have naturally occurring anti-oxidants vitamins C and A and most importantly luteins and carotenoids.

Luteins and carotenoids are good for the eyes and skin. But don't take my word for it. Here are some scientific statistics: "There are over 600 known carotenoids; they are split into two classes, xanthophylls (which contain oxygen) and carotenes (which are purely hydrocarbons, and contain no oxygen). Carotenoids in general absorb blue light. They serve two key roles in plants and algae: they absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis, and they protect chlorophyll from photodamage.[2] In humans, four carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin) have vitamin A activity (meaning they can be converted to retinal), and these and other carotenoids can also act as antioxidants. In the eye, certain other carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) apparently act directly to absorb damaging blue and near-ultraviolet light, in order to protect the macula lutea."

"Lutein in Yukon Gold potato was at ca. 0.4 mg/100 g FW. Certain Yukon Gold was also found to contain violaxanthin (0.35 mg/100 g FW). Structures of lutein, beta-carotene and violaxanthin were identified by LC-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization MS in positive ion mode, and by comparing the retention time and UV-vis spectral data with standards. Results from this study suggest the selected crops and agri-food industrial processing by-products of these can be a good source of free lutein."

Anyway as i was saying Yukon Gold spuds taste good and they're good for you. Boil 6 to 8 potatos for 45 minutes to an hour. They should give when pricked with a fork but still have some firmness. Remove immediately from boiled water, mash and add milk to preferred creamy consistency. If you do want to add salt or butter do so immediately after mashing. But as stated earlier seasoning them after mashing is more a matter of preference than requirement. i sometimes add a sprinkling of parsley but again not a necessity.

For the meatloaf you'll need one lb ground beef 3 large eggs bread crumbs tarragon 6oz of tomato sauce worcestershire sauce sliced red onion black pepper red pepper 6 sliced mushrooms. Combine all and place in 6-8 inch loaf pan. Depending on it's material the pan may require a light coating of vegetable oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credit: U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institute Of Health
Image Credit: sookie's Meatloaf and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatos

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rice Pudding

Rice: "the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East and South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after maize [corn]".

It is also enjoyed by a large part of the world as a dessert. In pudding form to be specific. As i'm not really a fan, i've never attempted to make rice pudding. However i do recognize that it is a popular dessert and even though there are pre-made varieties available i also recognize that there are some cooks who like to make rice pudding from scratch. Once again i will use The Southern Cookbook as my recipe resource. i was intrigued with the varieties of rice pudding recipes. i was also tickled by the instructions for the "plain rice pudding" recipe which begins with hand picking the rice to be used as the primary ingredient. Had kind of a 'Forest Gump' moment as i came across the different recipes. You know when he's talking about the different kinds of shrimp recipes his company had.

But back to the matter at hand---rice pudding.

Plain Rice Pudding

Wash and pick some rice; throw among it some pimento finely pounded, but not much; tie the rice in a cloth, and leave plenty of room for it to swell. Boil it in a quantity of water for an hour or two. When done, eat it with butter and sugar, or milk. Put lemon-peel if you please.
It is very good without spice, and eaten with salt and butter.

The Southern Cookbook yielded six different rice pudding recipes. i figured i'd find maybe two or three at most. The one that i think has a strong possibility of making me a rice pudding convert is rice pudding with currants raisins apples and gooseberries---appropriately named "rice pudding with fruit". And speaking of naming recipes who knew there was a rice pudding recipe with a proper name? i am of course referring to the "George [Rice] Pudding"

A George Pudding

Boil very tender a handful of whole rice in a small quantity of milk, with a large piece of lemon-peel. Let it drain; then mix with it a dozen of good sized apples, boiled to pulp, and as dry as possible. Add a glass of white wine, the yolks of five eggs, and two ounces of orange and citron cut thin; make it pretty sweet. Line a mould or basin with a very good paste: beat the whites of the five eggs to a very strong froth, and mix with the other ingredients: fill the mould, and bake it of a fine brown color. Serve it with the bottom upward, with the following sauce: two glasses of wine, a spoonful of sugar, the yolks of two eggs, and a bit of butter as large as a walnut, simmer without boiling, and pour to and from the saucepan, till of a proper thickness, and put it in the dish.
A Dutch Rice Pudding

Soak four ounces of rice in warm water half an hour: drain the latter from it, and throw it into stewpan, with half a pint of milk, half a stick of cinnamon, and simmer till tender. When cold, add four whole eggs well beaten, two ounces of butter melted in a teaspoonful of cream; and put three ounces of sugar, a quarter of a nutmeg, and a good piece of lemon-peel.

Put a light puff paste into a mould or dish, or grated tops and bottoms, and bake in a quick oven.

Rice Small Puddings

Wash two large spoonfuls of rice, and simmer it with half a pint of milk till thick. Then put with it the size of an egg of butter, and nearly a half a pint of thick cream, and give it «ne boil. When cool, mix four yolks and two whites of eggs well beaten; sweeten to taste, add nutmeg, lemon-peel grated fine, and a little cinnamon powdered.

Butter little cups, and fill three parts full, and putting at the bottom some orange or citron. Bake three quarters of an hour in a slow oven. Serve the moment before to be eaten, with sweet sauce in the dish, or a boat.

Rice Pudding With Fruit

Swell the rice with a very little milk over the fire; then mix fruit of any kind with it, (currants ; gooseberries scalded; pared and quartered apples; raisins, or black currants:) with one egg into the rice, to bind it. Boil it well, and serve with sugar.

Baked Rice Pudding

Swell rice as above; then add some more milk, an egg, sugar, allspice and lemon-peel. Bake in a deep dish.

Another, for the Family

Put into a very deep pan half a pound of rice, washed and picked, two ounces of butter, four ounces of sugar, a few allspices pounded, and two quarts of milk. Less butter will do, or some suet. Bake in a slow oven.

Note—Eggs in rice pudding, if made of whole rice, causes the milk to turn to whey if not boiled first, and then mixed cool.

Text Credit: The Southern Cookbook: "a manual of cooking and list of menus, including recipes used by noted colored cooks and prominent caterers"
Recipes compiled by S.Thomas Bivins Published by Press of the Hampton Institute, 1912

Text Credit: Wikipedia

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ginger Chicken And Rice Pie

How we get and tweak recipes reminds me of the "telephone" game. This ginger chicken and rice pie recipe is one of my favorites. One of my sisters gave it to me. She got it from a friend. Her friend had gotten it from another friend. And that friend got it from her mom. It was several decades ago when i got the recipe---i was in my teens---and it has gone through many variations. Truth be told i don't recall what the original recipe was called but my version has ginger and a marinade and when i received it, it had neither.

You will need a deep dish pie plate for this recipe. i prefer Pyrex. Even though the combined prep and cooking time is approx 2 hours, this recipe is a favorite of mine for several reasons. It is a hearty enough dish that it will yield one to two days worth of left-overs and it's even better the second or third day because the flavors have more time to meld.

The ingredients save for one are economical. The expensive ingredient is dried Spanish saffron but it really is worth it for the flavor, aroma and color it gives the dish. If dried Spanish saffron threads are not available powdered saffron may be substituted but frankly the powdered version is not my preference as it does not blend as well and if you've tasted the dried threads there is a distinct difference in flavor. i liken it to brewed coffee vs instant. Sure they're both coffee but most coffee drinkers tend to prefer brewed over instant.
saffron_usdaFor this dish you will need to prepare a marinade. The marinade consists of the following: 2 Tablespoons of mustard 1 Tablespoon of worcestershire sauce [Lea & Perrins low sodium is preferred]. A teaspoon of honey. A navel orange. If a fresh orange is unavailable 1/4 cup of orange juice may be used. A blood orange would be even better if available---again for the color, aroma and flavor.

Now to the other ingredients. 2lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs [Murray's chicken preferred]. Rinse and dice the chicken. Pat dry with a paper towel. Season with poultry seasoning, powdered ginger, jerk seasoning, ground red pepper, ground black pepper, dried parsley.

Next pour the marinade over the seasoned chicken. Place the marinaded chicken in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

sookie's seasoned marinaded gingerchickenWhile waiting for the marinade to set prepare the rice. i like Texmati's blend of red, brown, wild, and white rice [follow the cooking instructions on the label]. Add the dried saffron to the rice at the start of it's cooking time. The commercial size portions of saffron are approx 0.05 ounces. Dice 4 white mushrooms, 1/4 vidalia onion, 1/4 red onion. The onions and mushrooms should be added to the rice after it is done because they will get wilted otherwise. Also add 1/4 cup of small frozen peas to the rice when you add the onions and mushrooms. Again this is to prevent the peas from having a mushy texture.

For the pie's crust i confess i cheat and do not make a scratch crust. But i gotta tell ya---that Pillsbury roll out pie crust is not only a time saver, it really is a good crust. i use a double layer on the bottom and a double top layer. Before rolling it out, the crust should be cool but not cold to make it easier to handle. i've tried using it at room temperature but those results were not always good. Of course if you prefer a scratch crust by all means have at it.

sookie's gingerchickenpieFill the bottom layer of pie crust with 1/2 of the rice mixture. Lightly beat 3 large eggs and pour half over the rice. The egg helps the rice hold it's structure in the pie shell. While waiting for the egg to settle into the pie bottom saute the chicken, 10 minutes on each side.

When saute is completed place chicken on top of the rice. Put the other half of the rice mixture on top of the chicken. Pour the remaining egg over the rice. Place double top crust over pie's filling. Flute the crust's edges and prick the center of the pie with a fork. Bake pie for 90 minutes at 400 degrees.

sookie's gingerchickenpie2

Image Credit: Saffron

Image Credit: sookie's Seasoned Marinaded Ginger Chicken

Image Credit: sookie's Ginger Chicken Pie

Image Credit: sookie's Ginger Chicken Pie Sliced

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Corn Fritters

Fried foods needn't always be seen as bad for you. Vegetables needn't be served just as side dishes. They can be a main course unto themselves. Menu versatility is also a good way to coax a finicky eater to have their veggies. Vegetables also needn't be consumed only at dinner time.

When i was a child, a staple for Saturday/Sunday morning breakfasts was corn fritters. In the summer when my sibs, cousins and i, were visiting an aunt in Richmond Va. we would use the stalks of sweet corn from her garden. When we returned to D.C. we would use store bought DelMonte canned corn. Now i use Birds Eye frozen corn kernels or when possible any brand of frozen organic corn kernels.

Here's my current corn fritter recipe.
1 cup frozen corn kernels 3 extra large eggs lightly beaten 1/4 cup of fat free milk. 1 cup Heart Smart Bisquick 1/2 cup Hecker's flour 1 Tablespoon baking powder 1/4 cup granulated raw sugar 1 Tablespoon honey. i usually taste the batter before adding the sugar and honey. If you prefer a thicker batter decrease the amount of milk. Many corn fritter recipes have salt as an ingredient. i opt not to include salt, as the baking powder has sodium. The sweetners should enhance not overwhelm the corn's naturally sweet flavor. Adjust the amount of sugar/honey to your preference. i find that when i hit on the right balance of sweetness the fritters don't need syrup or any condiment when served. Some recipes also call for cornstarch but i prefer not to include that ingredient.

Lightly coat electric pan or stove-top skillet with vegetable oil [i prefer Wesson]. Pour corn fritter batter standard pancake size portions over low heat for 3 minutes on each side. Yields 6-8 servings.

Found another antique cookbook with three count them three corn fritter recipes.
3 eggs, I teaspoon sugar,
2 tablespoons flour. Salt and pepper,
\y2 pts. corn (grated),
Drop on hot griddle.

3 ears corn scraped, 1 egg,
1 cup cracker crumbs, Salt and pepper.
Drop from a spoon into hot fat.

One pint of raw, scraped, tender, sweet corn, one egg, half a cup of milk, one teaspoonful of baking powder, a little salt, flour to fry nicely.

Image Credit: Corn by Tomas Moravec Czech Wikipedia
Text Credit: Sunshine cook book: a collection of valuable recipes and menus gathered from various sources [Page 49] Author: Jennie E. Underhill Publisher: J. E. Underhill, Harvard University, 1910

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fish Recipe Excerpt From: The Southern Cookbook Published In 1912

Recipes from cookbooks from different eras are interesting. Granted the differences in etiquette and social mores of another time can be a bit unsettling at first glance. And of course substitutions for some ingredients either for health reasons [lard? really?] or lack of availability [saltpeter...OhKay] will be necessary but even when making adaptations you can confidently prepare recipes from previous centuries and serve as a modern menu.

The following is from "The Southern Cookbook: a manual of cooking and list of menus INCLUDING RECIPES USED BY NOTED COLORED COOKS AND PROMINENT CATERERS S. THOMAS BIVINS Principal Chester Domestic Training Institute, Chester, Penna. Press of the Hampton Institute Hampton, Virginia 1912"

Observations on Dressing Fish

If the fishmonger does not clean it, fish is seldom very nicely done; but those in great towns wash it beyond what is necessary for cleaning, and by perpetual watering diminish the flavor. When quite clean, if to be boiled, some salt and a little vinegar should be put to the water, to give firmness; but cod, whiting and haddock, are far better if a little salted, and kept a day; and, if not very hot weather, they will be good in two days.

Those who know how to purchase fish, may, by taking more at a time than they want for one day, often get it cheap, and that which will hang by sprinkling, may then be bought to advantage.

The fish must be put into the water while cold, and set to do very gently, or the outside will break before the inner part be done.

The fish plate on which it is done, may be drawn up to see if it be ready; it will leave the bone when it is. It should be then immediately taken out of the water, or it will be woolly. The fishplate should be set cross-ways over the kettle, to keep hot for serving, and a clean cloth should cover the fish, to prevent its losing its color.

Small fish, nicely fried in egg and crumbs, make a dish of fish far more elegant than served plain. Great attention should be paid to garnishing fish; plenty of horseradish, parsley, and lemon.

When well done, and with very good sauce, fish is more attended to than almost any other dish. The liver and roe should be placed on the dish, so inconspicuously that the lady may see them, and help a part to every one. The sound of the cod, its head, and the head of carp, are reckoned the prime parts; and it is a part of necessary attention to help, or at least offer some of the best to one's friends; nor is it any excuse for the mistress's negligence, that it is the fashion of the present day for those who sit at her right or left hand to help the company, which she must see they do properly.

If salmon is to be dressed, great care is necessary that it be done enough. No vinegar should be boiled with it.

If fish is to be fried or broiled, it must be wrapped in a nice soft cloth, after it is well cleaned and washed. When perfectly dry, wet with an egg, if the former way, and sprinkle the finest crumbs of bread over it, then having a thick bottomed frying pan on the fire, with a large quantity of lard or dripping boiling hot, plunge the fish into it, and let it fry middling quick, till the color be a fine yellow brown, and it be judged ready: if the latter take place first, the cook should draw the pan to the side of the fire, lest the color be spoiled. She should then carefully take it up, and either place it on a large sieve turned upward, and to be kept for that purpose only, or on the underside of a dish to drain; and if wanted very nice, a sheet of cap-paper must be put to receive the fish, which should look a beautiful color, and all crumbs appear distinct; the fish being free from all grease.

Garnish with a fringe of curled raw parsley, or parsley fried, which must be done thus: when washed and picked, throw it again into clean water; when the lard or dripping boils, throw the parsley into it immediately from the water, and instantly it will be green and crisp, and must be done after the fish is fried.

If the fish is to be broiled, it must be seasoned and floured, and put on a gridiron that is very clean, and when hot, it should be rubbed with a bit of suet, to prevent the fish from sticking. It must be broiled on a very clear fire, that it may not be scorched.

Text Credit: The Southern Cookbook by S Thomas Bivins Principal Chester Domestic Training Institute, Chester, Penna. Press of the Hampton Institute Hampton, Virginia 1912

Image Credit: United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Fish and Seafood Products

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken If your grocer does not provide Murray's chicken pieces i strongly suggest you request---no make that demand they do. Murray's is free range organic fed no additives chicken. i find it really does make a difference in the recipe.Cuts for this recipe: Breasts, thighs, legs, are the pieces i prefer. Not really a fan of chicken wings or backs but of course these pieces may be used also. Choose any or all of these pieces as to your preference. Rinse with warm water [warm water is preferable to cold as warm water tends to make tenderizing go faster.

Pierce all pieces. The piercing is so that the chicken will cook evenly and also so that the dipping mixture not only bathes but is absorbed into the pieces. Set the rinsed pieces aside for dipping mixture.

Dipping mixture: 3 extra large eggs. Tablespoon of honey. 1/4 cup of milk. Stir the wet ingredients. Soak the chicken pieces in the dipping mixture for approximately 10 minutes. For the breading: 1 cup flour [Heckers] 1 cup bread crumbs [Progresso] Jamaican jerk spice to taste---this spice is used to tenderize as well as for flavoring but it is spicy so if heat is not to your liking, use sparingly. Black pepper, red pepper, parsley,rosemary, poultry seasoning. Blend all dry ingredients.

Dredge the soaked chicken pieces into blended dry mixture. Pour vegetable oil in frying pan---enough to coat the pan. Place chicken pieces in frying pan. i use an electric fryer for this but a skillet on stove top works too. Medium heat for 20 mins. Then turn the pieces.

Murray's Chicken Piecesflour breadcrumbs eggs milk honey spices

milk honey egg mixturebreaded chicken piecesfried chicken

Egg Salad

Egg Salad You'll need 8 extra large eggs. Raisin bread. Mayonnaise [i like Hellmann's low fat]. Black ground pepper [coarse is preferred]. Salt [sea salt preferred] And water---enough to submerge the eggs---your measurement will vary depending on the size of the pot you're using for boiling. One trick i've learned about boiling eggs: take the eggs out of the fridge 15-20 mins before placing on the burner. This will make it easier to remove the shell when peeling. i also place the eggs in a steamer colander and then put them in the pot for even heat distribution.

Add a tablespoon of salt to the water. Again this helps when peeling the shell. Bring the water to a boil [Approx 1hr-1hr 10mins]. Next remove the eggs from heat and immediately rinse with cold water. Once again this helps make for easier peeling and it makes handling the eggs cooler to the touch. Fork the eggs. For this task i find that a pastry fork works better than a fork that's used for eating. Add pepper to preference [i like a lot :D ] Blend in 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. If you like your egg salad creamier add 4 tablespoons of mayo. Et Voila! Egg Salad. A nice piece of Bibb lettuce goes nicely but i confess i don't always add it.



Cornbread As someone who was raised in the south cornbread as a side dish was a staple. i'm not talking pre-mix. i'm talking scratch cornbread.

This is another recipe where i do a variation on the ingredients on the corn meal package. For example i use baking soda rather than salt. i find that the baking soda makes for a moister finished product. For the same reason i prefer honey to sugar. But raw granulated sugar is an acceptable substitute for me when honey is not available.

Ingredients: 1 Cup Indian Head Yellow Cornmeal 1 Cup Heckers Unbleached All Purpose Flour 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 1 Cup Milk 2 Extra Large Eggs [beaten] Honey [to taste preference] Splash of vegetable oil.

Combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients except the vegetable oil to the dry. Ideally the texture of the batter should be the same as a pancake batter. i find using a fork instead of a spoon to mix does a better job of blending as well as having a better feel for the batter's texture. The vegetable oil should be the last ingredient added. Pour batter into 9x9 greased pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.

These days i serve my cornbread with a generous portion of Fleischmann's unsalted spread but of course butter is the traditional condiment.

sookie's cornbread and cornbread batter

Medium Rare Shell Steak With Shoestring Potatos

Medium Rare Shell Steak With Shoestring Potatos No offense to vegans, but to me there is nothing quite so mouth-watering as a juicy steak.

Shell steak or as i think of it: 'the affordable filet mignon' is what i use for this recipe. Now before the butchers of the world come at me with cleavers for daring to say a shell steak is comparable to a filet mignon cut, of course it's not the same as filet mignon, but if you get a shell steak that's not too fatty you can serve a beef course that can stand the scrutiny and please even the fussiest foodie. Tender and flavorful and you won't need a co-signer to be able to purchase your dinner.

If like me, you prefer your steak no matter the cut, medium rare, but you've had a long day & not in the mood for elaborate prep, this is a good quick substantial meat & potatos dinner. [If you absolutely must have a veggie other than potatos to accompany this recipe i suggest steamed asparagus.]

.49oz & .59oz prime shell steaks are the portions for this recipe. Tenderize with a fork. Splash with Lea & Perrins low sodium worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle with tarragon. Cook for 30mins at 400 degrees. Shoestring potatos may be cooked simultaneously on top rack if you like them soft. If crisp potatos are preferred put them in the oven first doubling their cooking time.