Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Remember the Seinfeld episode when Kramer & Newman are making sausage? It made me wonder if there are people who make their own sausage. This recipe from wikiHow confirms there are :D

"Kielbasa is a type of sausage that is common throughout Eastern Europe, particularly Poland, and North America. Kielbasa is originally a word that is used to describe a sausage group, but when it is referred to in North America, it generally refers to a more specific type of sausage. In North America, Kielbasa is generally made with pork and beef and is usually eaten fresh or smoked. Here are a few steps on how to make Kielbasa."

"Put 2 1/2 lbs. (1.13kg) of lean ground beef, 2 1/2 lbs. (1.13kg) of ground pork butt, 2 tbsp. (28g) of salt, 1 tsp. (5g) of curing salt, 2 tbsp. (28g) of sugar, 1 tbsp. (17.5g) of garlic powder, 1/2 tbsp. (21g) of ground mustard, 1/2 tbsp. (21g) of white pepper, 1/2 tsp. (2g) of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. (2g) of coriander, 1 cup (225g) of non-fat dry milk and 2 cups (454ml) cold water into a large mixing bowl."

"Mix all of the ingredients together using your hands to equally incorporate everything so that there are not large portions of any ingredient in a single area. Knead the meat and other ingredients, adding extra cold water if necessary to make the mixture more elastic."

"Load the meat into the sausage stuffer, and attach the sausage tube to the machine. Put the hog casing on the sausage tube so that you can stuff the sausage inside of it. Stuff the sausage meat into the hog casing, making sure that the casing is full but not too full so that it bursts the casing when you twist it to create links."

"Refrigerate the sausage overnight once you have stuffed it, so that it can cure."

"Place the Kielbasa on an oven rack and turn the oven on to 170 degrees F (76.6C). Leave the oven door open slightly and allow the Kielbasa to cook for 1 hour. Close the oven door completely after 1 hour and cook the Kielbasa until its internal temperature reaches 152 degrees F (66.6C)."

Farmer's wife grinding meat to make sausage, Lakeview Project, Arkansas, November 1938

"Take out the Kielbasa once it reaches its temperature, and place them under cold running water until the temperature drops to 120 degrees F (48.8 C)."

"Hang up the Kielbasa in your kitchen for 2 hours. After 2 hours, the Kielbasa is ready to be eaten."

Text Credit: wikiHow
Text Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Library Of Congress Prints & Photographs Reading Room

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev [Ukrainian: Котлета по-київськи, kotleta po-kyivsky] is a popular dish of boneless chicken breast pounded and rolled around cold garlic butter with herbs, then breaded and either fried or baked. This famous method of preparing chicken is probably not of Ukrainian origin as the name Kiev, the national capital, would imply.

The Russian food historian William Pokhlebkin claimed that Chicken Kiev was invented in the Moscow Merchants' Club in the early 20th century and was renamed Chicken Kiev [kotleta po-kievski] in one of the Soviet restaurants in later years.

There are other dishes similar to Chicken Kiev. Particularly popular is Chicken Cordon Bleu with a cheese and ham filling instead of butter.

From WikiHow

How To Make Chicken Kiev

2 Boneless, Skinless chicken breasts
2 Cups Panko
Panko is a type of breadcrumbs.If you don't want to buy some in the store, all you have to do is grate uncrusted white bread with a hand-grater or food processor.Then put them in the oven on a cookie tray at 300 degrees until they become crisp, but NOT browned.
1 Stick of Butter
About 3 Tablespoons of Parsley
1 Teaspoon of Rosemary
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons of Milk
Olive Oil [for frying]
Salt and Pepper

"First, you will need to make the herb-butter that goes inside of the chicken. To do this mix the butter, rosemary, parsley, and some salt and pepper to taste in a bowl with a hand beater. Then, lay a piece of plastic wrap on a table. Spoon the herb butter onto the plastic wrap making what looks like a "line" of butter. Roll the butter into a "log". Refrigerate."

"Tenderize the chicken so it is about 1/4-1/3 of an inch thick. Lightly season with salt and pepper on each side. Cut the log of herb butter into two pieces. Then, place them on one of the ends of the chicken. Roll the chicken into a "log" and place on plastic wrap. Make sure that the plastic wrap is tightly wrapped around the chicken. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours."

"In a bowl, mix the eggs and milk together. And place Panko in a separate bowl or plate. Unwrap the chicken carefully and dip it into the eggs. Then coat generously in Panko."

"Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the chicken until it achieves a golden brown color on each side. [About 5-6 minutes each side]. Let oil drain from chicken on a plate with paper towel for about 4 minutes. Enjoy!"

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credit: wikiHow
Image Credit: Photo By Kevin Seff

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beef Hash

"Corned beef hash and roast beef hash were introduced in the U.S. as early as the 1950's by Hormel."

"Alternatively, in the southern United States, the term "hash" may refer to two dishes: a Southern traditional blend of leftover pork from a barbecue mixed with barbecue sauce and served over rice. This is a common side dish at barbecue restaurants and pig pickin's notably in South Carolina and Georgia."

"A thick stew made up of pork, chicken and beef, generally leftover, traditionally seasoned with salt and pepper and other spices, reduced overnight over an open flame in an iron washpot or hashpot."

"In Scotland, the dish of "stovies" is very similar to hash. There are many variations on the dish, but all consist of a base of mashed or coarsely chopped potato, with onions and leftover meat, usually minced or roast beef although there are many variations."

"In Northern England, corned beef hash is a traditional cheap and quick dish dating back many years. Corned beef [beef treated with saltpetre] is nearly always from a tin. It can be eaten any time – but is often eaten around Ash Wednesday [a play on words]. Some recipes would add peas or carrots."

"Hash is a dish consisting of meat, potatoes, and spices,[1] that are mashed together into a smooth, creamy consistency, and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions."

"In many locations, hash is served primarily as a breakfast food on restaurant menus and as home cuisine, often served with eggs and toast (or biscuits), and occasionally fried potatoes [hash browns, home fries, etc.]. The dish may also use corned beef or roast beef."

"In the United States, September 27th is "National Corned Beef Hash Day."

From Aunt Caroline's Dixieland Recipes

Southern Hash
4 Raw Potatoes
3/4 Cups Of Water
2 Green Peppers
1 1/2 Cups Cold Chopped Beef
2 Tomatoes
Salt And Pepper
1 Onion
Toast Points

"Put vegetables through the meat chopper, using coarse cutter; cook in the stock, covered, until tender; add beef, salt, and pepper, and when hot turn on a platter and garnish with toast points. If corned beef and stock are used, use salt with care."

my personal tweak for this recipe would be to substitute and/or add red bell pepper for the tomatos and garnish with fresh parsley. Also as the source material preceding the recipe indicates, eggs usually accompany hash dishes. The traditional egg prep is poached or sunny-side up but of course whatever the preference [mine is scrambled] is serviceable.

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credit: Free Google eBooks
Image Credit: USDA

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Candied Yams And Sweet Potato Pie

"The word yam is related to Portuguese inhame or Spanish ñame, which both ultimately derive from the Wolof word nyam, meaning "to sample" or "taste"; in other African languages it can also mean "to eat", e.g. yamyam and doya in Hausa or "to chew" in Dholuo language of the Luo of Kenya and Northern Tanzania."

"Yam tubers can grow up to 1.5 m [4.9 ft] in length and weigh up to 70 kg [154 lb] and 3 to 6 inches high. The vegetable has a rough skin which is difficult to peel, but which softens after heating. The skins vary in color from dark brown to light pink. The majority of the vegetable is composed of a much softer substance known as the "meat". This substance ranges in color from white or yellow to purple or pink in mature yams."

"Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea [family Dioscoreaceae]. These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. There are many cultivars of yam."

"Although the sweet potato [Ipomoea batatas] has traditionally been referred to as a yam in parts of the United States and Canada, it is not part of the Dioscoreaceae family."

"Yams are a primary agricultural commodity in West Africa and New Guinea. They were first cultivated in Africa and Asia about 8000 BC. Due to their abundance and consequently, their importance to survival, the yam was highly regarded in Nigerian ceremonial culture and used as a vegetable offered during blessings."

"Yams are still important for survival in these regions. The tubers can be stored up to six months without refrigeration, which makes them a valuable resource for the yearly period of food scarcity at the beginning of the wet season."

"'Yam powder' is available in the West from grocers specializing in African products, and may be used in a similar manner to instant mashed potato powder, although preparation is a little more difficult because of the tendency to form lumps. The 'yam powder' is sprinkled onto a pan containing a small amount of boiling water, and stirred vigorously. The resulting mixture is served with a heated sauce, such as tomato and chili, poured onto it. To avoid lumps forming, the powder and the water are mixed before putting on the heat, then stirred continuously as the mixture is heating."

Text Credit: Wikipedia

Turkey [The Bird]

"Despite the name, turkeys have no direct relation to the country of Turkey and are native to North America."

"The turkey is raised throughout temperate parts of the world and is a popular form of poultry, partially because industrialized farming has made it very cheap for the amount of meat it produces. The female domesticated turkey is referred to as a hen and the chick as a poult. In the United States, the male is referred to as a tom, while in Europe, the male is a stag. The average lifespan for a domesticated turkey is ten years."

"The great majority of domesticated turkeys are bred to have white feathers because their pin feathers are less visible when the carcass is dressed, although brown or bronze-feathered varieties are also raised. The fleshy protuberance atop the beak is the snood and the one attached to the underside of the beak is known as a wattle."

"The modern domesticated turkey is descended from one of six subspecies of wild turkey: Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo, found in the area bounded by the present Mexican states of Jalisco, Guerrero, and Veracruz. Ancient Mesoamericans domesticated this subspecies; they used its meat and eggs as major sources of protein and employed its feathers extensively for decorative purposes. The Aztecs associated the turkey with their trickster god Tezcatlipoca, perhaps because of its humorous behavior."

"Domestic turkeys were taken to Europe by the Spanish. Many distinct breeds were developed in Europe [e.g. Spanish Black, Royal Palm]. In the early 20th century, many advances were made in the breeding of turkeys, resulting in breeds such as the Beltsville Small White."

"The 16th-century English navigator William Strickland is generally credited with introducing the turkey into England. His family coat of arms — showing a turkey cock as the family crest — is among the earliest known pictures of a turkey. English farmer Thomas Tusser notes the turkey being among farmer's fare at Christmas in 1573. The domestic turkey was sent from England to Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. A document written in 1584 lists supplies to be furnished to future colonies in the New World; "turkies [sic], male and female"."

Text Credit: Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping

Thanksgiving grocery shopping at the Westside Market located at Broadway & 77th street on the Upper West Side, NYC. The Westside Market open 24hrs 7 days a week, has some of the best produce in the city. You can find a variety that spans from the the everyday i.e. red delicious apples to more unusual fare such as plantains.

There is also organic produce available. The staff & management are extremely helpful and their deli counter is among the most impressive in town. When you get to the check-out counter ask the cashier for a free 12 month calendar. It has a recipe a month. If you're not feeling confident in the kitchen the Westside Market can handle your catering needs.

The store has an abundance of coffees [whole bean and ground]. Fresh baked bread, bagels, muffins, cookies, and pies.

You can also find domestic and imported beers. The frozen food section also has a wide variety of choices.

The spice rack is a treat for the senses and the in-house brands are extremely competitively priced.

If you're shopping for cheeses look no further. The Westside Market has more than 500 varieties of domestic and imported cheeses.

Craving a California roll? Sashimi? Edamame? You can get sushi at the Westside Market.

There's a salad bar and if you're looking for the ingredients to make a salad at home there are in-house and imported vinegar oils and dressings.

The catch of the day is available everyday. Whether it has gills, fins, tentacles, or a shell, the Westside Market staff brings the frutti di mare from the famous Fulton's Fish Market to their customers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baked Alaska

"Baked Alaska [also known as glace au four, omelette à la norvégienne, Norwegian omelette and omelette surprise] is a dessert made of ice cream placed in a pie dish lined with slices of sponge cake or Christmas pudding and topped with meringue. The entire dessert is then placed in an extremely hot oven for just long enough to firm the meringue. The meringue is an effective insulator, and the short cooking time prevents the heat from getting through to the ice cream."

"The name 'Baked Alaska' was coined at Delmonico's Restaurant in 1876 to honor the recently acquired American territory. Both the name 'Baked Alaska' and 'omelette à la norvégienne'/'Norwegian omelette' come from the low temperatures of Alaska and Norway."

"February 1 is Baked Alaska Day in the United States."

From Boston Cooking School Cookbook

Baked Alaska
6 Egg Whites
6 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
2 Quart Brick of icecream
[preferably vanilla]
Thin sheet spongecake

Make meringue of eggs and sugar as in Meringue I *, cover a board with white paper, lay on sponge cake, turn ice cream on cake (which should extend one-half inch beyond cream), cover with meringue, and spread smoothly. Place on oven grate and brown quickly in hot oven. The board, paper, cake, and meringue are poor conductors of heat, and prevent the cream from melting. Slip from paper on ice cream platter.

Meringue I *
2 Egg Whites
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Beat whites until stiff, add sugar gradually and continue beating, then add flavoring.

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Text Credit: Free Google eBooks
Image Credit: By stef yau (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beef Wellington

Tenderloin is the required cut for this recipe. As it's name suggests it is of the more tender sections of beef.

"Beef Wellington is a preparation of fillet steak coated with pâté (often pâté de foie gras) and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Some recipes include wrapping the coated meat in a crêpe to retain the moisture and prevent it making the pastry soggy."

"A whole tenderloin may be wrapped and baked, and then sliced for serving, or the tenderloin may be sliced into individual portions prior to wrapping and baking. Many spices may be added to enhance the flavour; some examples are curry, allspice, any grilling mix or ginger."

"The origin of the name is unclear. There are theories that suggest that beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Some theories go a step further and suggest this was due to his love of a dish of beef, truffles, mushrooms, Madeira wine, and pâté cooked in pastry, but there is a noted lack of evidence supporting this."

"In addition to the dearth of evidence attaching this dish to the famous Duke, the earliest recorded recipe to bear this name appeared in a 1966 cookbook. Other accounts simply credit the name to a patriotic chef wanting to give an English name to a variation on the French filet de bœuf en croûte during the Napoleonic Wars."

"Still another theory is that the dish is not named after the Duke himself, but rather that the finished joint was thought to resemble one of the brown shiny military boots which were named after him. In introducing a recipe for beef Wellington, Clarissa Dickson Wright claims "This dish has nothing to do with that splendid hero, the Duke of Wellington; it was invented for a civic reception in Wellington, New Zealand, but it is a splendid addition to any party."

"Wellington" is sometimes informally used to describe other dishes in which meat is baked in a puff pastry; the most common variations are sausage Wellington, lamb Wellington and salmon Wellington."

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: By Parkerman & Christie from San Diego, USA [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Parkerman & Christie from San Diego, USA [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trifle Dessert

Fans of the show Friends remember the episode when the culinary challenged Rachel makes a trifle dessert as her contribution to a Thanksgiving dinner. The cookbook she is referencing has two pages stuck together and this results in her dessert having meat and peas as part of the ingredients. Here's hoping a more successful outcome for others making trifle dessert[s].

"Trifle is a dessert dish made from thick [or often solidified] custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or gelatin, and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in layers with fruit and sponge on the bottom, and custard and cream on top."

Spongecake Trifle

"Pieces of stale sponge cake spread with strawberry or raspberry jam; add tiny macaroons, if liked. Pour over all two sherry glasses of sherry, and when well soaked into the cake, add one pint of plain boiled custard [made with the yolks of three eggs, three tablespoonfuls of sugar, a pinch of salt and one pint of milk], flavor with vanilla and drop small teaspoonfuls of whipped cream over the top. Serve very cold."

Cake Trifle

"Line a glass dish with thin slices of stale cake or halved lady fingers. Spread with a little jelly and cover with a layer of macaroons. Pour vanilla-flavored boiled custard over the macaroons and top with whipped cream. Bananas, peaches, or other fruits may be used in combination with this dish. Serve very cold."

Pineapple Trifle

"Dissolve 1 pkg. orange jello in 1/2 pt. boiling water. When cool add 1/2 cup grated pineapple, juice of 1/2 orange, 1/3 cup sugar. Let stand until it begins to thicken then add 1/2 pt. of cream whipped stiff."

Brown Sugar Trifle

"One pint of brown sugar, and a half a cup of hot water with a pinch of salt, boiled to a syrup, half a box of gelatine dissolved in cold water [enough to cover the gelatine] for half an hour, half a pound of walnuts. Pour syrup on the gelatine, add the nuts, which must be chopped fine, and cool until it jellies, but not too stiff. Beat stiff the whites of four eggs, stir into gelatine mixture and pour into mold. Serve with a custard made from the four yolks, or from whipped cream."

Reference Credit: imdb
Text Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Recipe Credits: Free Google eBooks Free Google eBooks Free Google eBooks Free Google eBooks

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hungarian Goulash

"Goulash: The name originates from the Hungarian gulyás. The gulya word means 'herd' in Hungarian, gulyás 'neat-herd'."

"Goulash [plural: goulashes] is a soup or stew of meat, noodles and vegetables [especially potatoes], seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating in Hungary, goulash is also a popular meal in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is one of Hungary's national dishes."

"Some cookbooks suggest using roux with flour to thicken the goulash, which produces a starchy texture and a blander taste. Others suggest using a vast amount of tomatoes for colour and taste. A small amount of tomatoes in the stock that is used, or a drop of tomato purée, may improve the taste and texture, but the original goulash is a paprika-based dish and the taste of tomatoes should not be discernible."

"Many Hungarian chefs consider tomatoes to be absolutely forbidden in goulash and they also feel that if they cook a stew instead of a soup, it should only be thickened by finely chopped potatoes, which must be simmered along with the meat."

From Good housekeeping's book of recipes and household discoveries: every recipe actually tested and approved*

Hungarian Goulash
1 dozen onions
Paprika to make pink
[about 3/4 teaspoonful]
3 teaspoonfuls salt
3 lbs stew meat
[preferably beef]
1/2 cupful butter

"Chop the onions fine and cook them in the butter until they are well browned. Cut the meat in pieces but do not dry after washing, so that there will be enough moisture to make gravy. Add the salt and paprika. Put all in a casserole and cook very slowly for 2 and 1/2 or 3 hours."

Text Credit: Wikipedia
Recipe* Text Credit: Free Google eBooks
Image Credit: Photo Of Hungarian Gulyás By m-louis Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Doughnuts or Donuts Either Way It Spells Yum

Doughnut Etymology: "The earliest known recorded usage of the term dates to an 1808 short story describing a spread of "fire-cakes and dough-nuts." Washington Irving's reference to "doughnuts" in 1809 in his History of New York is more commonly cited as the first written recording of the term. Irving described "balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog's fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks."

"These "nuts" of fried dough might now be called doughnut holes. Doughnut is the more traditional spelling, and still dominates outside the US. At present, doughnut and the shortened form donut are both pervasive in American English. The first known printed use of donut was in Peck's Bad Boy and his Pa by George W. Peck, published in 1900, in which a character is quoted as saying, "Pa said he guessed he hadn't got much appetite, and he would just drink a cup of coffee and eat a donut."

"The donut spelling also showed up in a Los Angeles Times article dated August 10, 1929 in which Bailey Millard jokingly complains about the decline of spelling, and that he "can't swallow the 'wel-dun donut' nor the ever so 'gud bred'."

"The interchangeability of the two spellings can be found in a series of "National Donut Week" articles in The New York Times that covered the 1939 World's Fair. In four articles beginning October 9, two mention the donut spelling. Dunkin' Donuts, which was founded in 1948 under the name Open Kettle (Quincy, Massachusetts), is the oldest surviving company to use the donut variation, but the defunct Mayflower Donut Corporation is the first company to use that spelling, prior to World War II."

From Basic principles of domestic science: consisting of a course of seventy-two illustrated lessons

Doughnuts ~ I
1 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
1 cup milk
3 and 1/2 cups of flour [enough to roll]
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

"Cream the butter; add 1/2 of the sugar. Beat eggs until light, add milk, remaining sugar, and combine mixtures. Add the flour mixed and sifted with baking powder, salt and spices, then enough more flour to make a dough stiff enough to roll. Toss 1/3 of the mixture onto floured board, knead slightly, pat and roll out 1/4 inch thickness."

"Shape with a doughnut cutter dipped in flour. Fry in deep fat and drain on brown paper. Brown the doughnuts on one side then turn and brown on the other. They should be turned only once unless turned immediately after rising to the top of the fat. Doughnuts should rise to the top almost immediately when put into smoking hot fat."

Doughnuts ~ II
5 cups of flour
1 teaspoon soda
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup cream
3 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar

"Mix and sift flour, soda, cream of tartar and seasonings. Beat the eggs and add the sugar and cream. Add to dry ingredients and mix with a knife. Add enough flour to make a dough stiff enough to roll. Pat roll and shape as in recipe I."

Text Credit: Wikipedia

Recipe Text Credit: Basic principles of domestic science: consisting of a course of seventy-two illustrated lessons

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Monday, November 7, 2011

Soup's On! Recipes For Cream Of Celery and Cream Of Squash Soups

In the 21st century most people's lifestyles do not permit the time it takes to make homemade soups, but i've always admired people who have and do take the time to do so.

Years ago a friend introduced me to a family who lived in upstate NY. Their home was on about 10 acres of land and with the exception of meats, dairy and cider from a nearby mill, their pantry and fridge contained foods they had grown, prepared, and stored themselves.

Often i daydream of having a cabin in the wilderness with a wood stove and jars for canning and/or a huge freezer for storing foodstuffs that would have otherwise been store bought. In the event that this city gal ever does turn that daydream into reality i'm stocking up on soup recipes to have on hand.

From The New Cookery Book Of Recipes

Cream Of Celery Soup
1 cup diced celery
1 pint water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint white sauce

Cook the diced celery, for which one large bunch will furnish the required quantity, in the salted water, until tender. The quantity of celery and liquid should equal one pint. To this mixture add one pint of the white sauce, made as follows:
White Sauce
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt

Rub together the butter and the flour, adding gradually the hot, but not scalding, milk. Cook this white sauce in a double boiler for 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt.

Cream Of Squash Soup
1 pint of mashed squash
1 qt of milk
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
[optional: whipped cream for garnish]

Put the squash, which may be freshly cooked or canned, with the milk, sugar and salt in a sauce pan and heat. Mix the butter and flour together and stir the hot liquid into it. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Place a spoonful of whipped cream on top of each individual serving.

Recipe Text Credit: google free eBooks

Image Credit: Decorative Squash photo by sookietex

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pot Roast

From The pure food cook book: the Good Housekeeping recipes [circa 1914]


OT ROAST is one of the delicious meat dishes that can be made of the cheaper (not the cheapest) cuts of beef. Perhaps it is not fair to call pot roast a cheap dish, because the prices vary so widely in different localities, and the cuts vary so much."
"In the vicinity of Providence, R. I., for example, our correspondents report prices of 12 to 18 cents a pound; in Philadelphia, 14 to 20 cents, in New York City, 18 to 22 cents. In Boston and vicinity 20 to 25 cents."

"In Providence they sell for pot roast the rump (14 to 16 cents), shoulder (12 to 14 cents), and bottom round (16 to 18 cents), in Philadelphia and vicinity, the chuck roast next to ribs (14 cents), shoulder cut (16 to 18 cents), and the ribs (18 to 20 cents). In New York City and the West, prices are higher, and their range is greater. The cuts are bottom round, top sirloin (which is expensive, as a rule), top round and brisket, 16 to 22 cents."

"The " eye " of the beef is considered the epicurean cut for pot roast. This is a triangular piece of meat taken from the hind-quarter between the top and bottom round after the bone has been removed. In the West, pot roast is often made by cutting vertically through the bottom and top round (inside round) as is done in the East. This top round or part on the inside of the hind-quarter is exceptionally good for pot roast."

"In different localities the names of beef cuts are entirely different. In some places, for example, the flank is cut so as to include more of the loin, in which case the upper portion is often called the flank steak. Sometimes the rump steak, the inside round, is called the rump plate, or the rattle."

"Often the cross-ribs and brisket are included together under the name of cross-ribs; the fore part of the cross-ribs is sometimes called the shoulder clod, and the leg underneath the second round is called the hind shoulder. Often, too, the socket and rump together are called simply the rump. Consequently one must know from what part of the beef the meat should be cut and how it looks. This knowledge must be acquired in actual marketing."

"The requirements for a successful pot roast are fresh meat, slow cooking—about one hour per pound unless the top sirloin or tenderer parts are employed—and adequate seasoning. Buy from four to six pounds of beef for any ordinary meal to be served for from three to five people. Remove the meat at once from its wrappings to avoid the taste of paper. Before cooking moisten a piece of cheesecloth and rub the beef all over carefully. Never soak in water as this wastes good protein material. Remove any discolored fat."

Pot Roast:
"Brown two onions, which have been thinly sliced, in two tablespoonfuls of butter, in a pot with a cover; then add the meat and let it steam in the covered pot with just enough water to keep the meat from burning. Let it cook for three hours or more if necessary. Place on a dish and add to it a sauce made of one can of tomatoes, one tablespoonful of flour, and two chopped boiled carrots. Season with a dash of paprika and salt to taste."


While i do use the "eye round" cut of beef for my pot roast, my recipe is a slight variation on the traditional method. i like carrots, but i don't like cooked carrots so i do not include them in my pot roast. Instead i use red potatos seasoned with sea salt, parsley and rosemary.

i also found that if the meat is seasoned [worcestershire sauce, tarragon and black pepper] and covered with peppers and onions prior to cooking, the same moist and tender consistency can be achieved [400 degree oven] with a cooking time of 90 minutes vs several hours.

Text Credit: Google Books

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

'Strawberry Shortcake/Cream On Top/Tell Me The Name/Of Your Sweetheart'

Aside from being part of a jump-rope rhyme i remember strawberry shortcake as being a special dessert and late-night snack my sibs and i would share. We didn't make the shortcake part from scratch and i have now been edified that we were in fact eating sponge cake. The late night chats were always fun, but as good as the desserts were, i can't help but think scratch ones would have been even better.

"The most famous dessert made with shortcake is strawberry shortcake. Sliced strawberries are mixed with sugar and allowed to sit an hour or so, until the strawberries have surrendered a great deal of their juices. The shortcakes are split and the bottoms are covered with a layer of strawberries, juice, and whipped cream, typically flavored with sugar and vanilla."

"The top is replaced, and more strawberries and whipped cream are added onto the top. Some convenience versions of shortcake are not made with a "shortcake" (i.e. biscuit) at all, but a base of sponge cake or sometimes a corn muffin. Japanese-style strawberry shortcakes use a sponge cake base, and are a favorite Christmas or birthday cake in Japan."

"Though today's shortcakes are usually of the biscuit or sponge-cake variety, earlier American recipes called for pie crust in rounds or broken-up pieces, which was a variety still being enjoyed in the 20th century, particularly in the South."

"Though strawberry is the most widely known shortcake dessert, peach shortcake, blueberry shortcake, and other similar desserts are made along similar lines. It is also common to see recipes where the shortcake itself is flavored; coconut is a common addition. The term "shortcake" often refers to shortbread in the UK."

Recipe For Strawberry Shortcake:
2 1/2 Cups Of Flour
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
6 Teaspoonfuls Baking Powder
1 Teaspoonful Salt
1/2 Cup Shortening [scant]
1 1/2 Cups Of Milk [about]
2 Baskets Strawberries
2 Cups Sugar

Work the shortening into the dry ingredients, and mix to a soft dough with the milk. Spread the dough into two buttered layer-cake pans. Bake in a quick oven. Spread with butter. Put the layers together with sugared berries and whipped cream between and above.

Text Credits: Wikipedia American cookery, Volume 24
Image Credit: By stu_spivack ([1]) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict is a dish that consists of two halves of an English muffin, topped with ham or bacon, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce.

How To Poach An Egg: The egg is cracked into a bowl of any size, and then gently slid into a pan of simmering water and cooked until the egg white has mostly solidified, but the yolk remains soft. It is quite common for a small pat of butter or margarine to be added to the container for the egg, to prevent the egg sticking to its container. The 'perfect' poached egg has a runny yolk, with a hardening crust and no raw white remaining.

Fresh eggs will yield the best results. Broken into simmering water, the white will cling to the yolk, resulting in cooked albumen and runny yolk. To prevent dispersion of the white of the egg, a small amount of vinegar may be added to the boiling water. Stirring the water vigorously to create a vortex may reduce dispersion. Special pans, with several small cups, allow a number of eggs to be poached at the same time. Other methods of producing poached eggs, such as using cling film to keep the egg perfectly formed have been documented.

If the eggs are at room temperature, the cooking time is 2 mins 30s to 2 mins 40s. If the eggs are taken from a refrigerator, then a longer time of about 3mins is required. Dipping the eggs into cold water for a few seconds immediately after taking them out of the boiling water helps prevent over-cooking.

Hollandaise Sauce: It is so named because it was believed to have mimicked a Dutch sauce for the state visit to France of the King of the Netherlands.

Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of egg yolk and butter, usually seasoned with lemon juice. In appearance it is light yellow and opaque, smooth and creamy. Hollandaise is considered to require some skill and knowledge to prepare and hold. Properly made, it will be smooth and creamy with no hint of separation. The flavor will be rich and buttery, with a mild tang from the lemon juice yet not so strong as to overpower mildly-flavored foods. It is best prepared and served warm, but not hot.

There are multiple methods for preparing a Hollandaise sauce. All methods require near-constant agitation, usually executed with a wire whisk. First the yolk and lemon juice (or water) should be whisked off heat until light and frothy, then while whisking vigorously over warm water, becoming pale yellow and expanding two or three times in volume.
Then removed from heat, warm (not hot) butter (or clarified butter) is added slowly to the sauce in dribbles. The sauce can be served promptly, at room temperature, or having being brought to room temperature after refrigeration. It freezes well, easier to thaw and reconstitute if frozen in portions.

Text Credit: Wikipedia Wikipedia
Image Credit: Belathee Photography [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL 1.3 (], via Wikimedia Commons