Sunday, December 8, 2013

Szechuan Cuisine: Kung Pao Chicken

Szechuan cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, or Szechwan cuisine (Chinese: 四川菜; pinyin: Sìchuān cài or Chinese: 川菜; pinyin: chuān cài) is a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan province in southwestern China. It has bold flavours, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavor of the Sichuan pepper. There are many local variations within Sichuan province and the Chongqing municipality, which was part of Sichuan until 1997. Four sub-styles include Chongqing, Chengdu, Zigong, and Buddhist vegetarian style. UNESCO declared Chengdu to be a city of gastronomy in 2011 in order to recognize the sophistication of its cooking.

Sichuan is colloquially known as the "heavenly country" due to its abundance of food and natural resources. One ancient Chinese account declared that the "people of Sichuan uphold good flavor, and they are fond of hot and spicy taste." Most Szechuan dishes are spicy, although a typical meal includes non-spicy dishes to cool the palate. According to at least one Chinese culinary writer,[who?] Szechuan cuisine is composed of seven basic flavours: sour, pungent, hot, sweet, bitter, aromatic, and salty. Szechuan food is divided into five different types: sumptuous banquet, ordinary banquet, popularised food, household-style food, and food snacks. Szechuan cuisine has changed little over the years, and milder versions of Sichuan dishes remain a staple of American Chinese cuisine.

Szechuan cuisine often contains food preserved through pickling, salting, and drying and is generally spicy owing to heavy application of chili oil. The Sichuan pepper (Chinese: 花椒; pinyin: huājiāo; literally "flower pepper") is commonly used. Sichuan pepper has an intensely fragrant, citrus-like flavour and produces a "tingly-numbing" (Chinese: 麻; pinyin: má) sensation in the mouth. Also common are garlic, chili peppers, ginger, star anise and other spicy herbs, plants and spices. Broad bean chili paste (simplified Chinese: 豆瓣酱; traditional Chinese: 豆瓣醬; pinyin: dòubànjiàng) is also a staple seasoning in Szechuan cuisine. The region's cuisine has also been the source of several prominent sauces widely used in Chinese cuisine in general today, including yuxiang (魚香), mala (麻辣), and guaiwei (怪味).

Common preparation techniques in Szechuan cuisine include stir frying, steaming and braising, but a complete list would include more than 20 distinct techniques. Beef is somewhat more common in Szechuan cuisine than it is in other Chinese cuisines, perhaps due to the prevalence of oxen in the region.[4] Stir-fried beef is often cooked until chewy, while steamed beef is sometimes coated with rice flour to produce a very rich gravy. Szechuan cuisine also utilizes various bovine and porcine organs as ingredients such as intestine, arteries, the head, tongue, skin, and liver in addition to other commonly utilised portions of the meat.

Kung Pao chicken, (Chinese: 宫保雞丁; Mandarin Pinyin: Gōngbǎo Jīdīng; Wade–Giles: Kung1-pao3 Chi1-ting1; Jyutping: gung1 bou2 gai1 ding1), also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy stir-fry dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers.
The classic dish in Szechuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine.

The dish is believed to be named after Ding Baozhen (1820–86), a late Qing Dynasty official, and governor of Sichuan Province. His title was Gongbao (Kung-pao; Chinese: 宫保; pinyin: Gōngbǎo; Wade–Giles: Kung1-pao3; literally "Palace Guardian"). The name "Kung Pao" chicken is derived from this title.
During the Cultural Revolution, the dish's name became politically incorrect because of its association with Ding. The dish was renamed "Fast-fried chicken cubes" (Hongbao Jiding) or "chicken cubes with seared chiles" (Hula Jiding) until its political rehabilitation in the 1980s

One day, Ding Baozhen visited the home of his good friend, Wang Xiaoqin, where he looked forward to devouring his customary plate of steamed chicken. On this occasion, however, there was not enough time to steam the bird, so Wang Xiaoqin chopped it into small cubes, added dry chili peppers and garlic, and boiled it. As soon as the improvised dish hit his taste buds, Ding Baozhen was full of praise for Wang's adventurous cooking style.

Ding Baozhen, governor of Sichuan, held a banquet for his colleagues. Wang was also invifed, and when the guests tasted his dish, they extended their compliments, and asked what it was called. Ding Baozhen was stumped. Although he had enjoyed this dish for 10 years or more, he had never given it a name, and the illiterate Wang was unable to assist.

One of the guests suggested that it be given Ding's official title. It was thereafter known as Gongbao Jiding. It was only a matter of time before the ingredients and cooking method were made public. This Sichuan recipe has been handed down over generations, and is now a national favorite.

Gongbao Jiding is a delicate mix of flavors that combine sweet, savory and spicy. It has even been canned and sent to outer space, for the delectation of Chinese astronauts.

The original Sichuan version uses chicken as its primary ingredient. In this original version, diced chicken is typically mixed with a prepared marinade. The wok is seasoned and then chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns are flash fried to add fragrance to the oil. Then the chicken is stir fried and vegetables, along with peanuts, are added. Shaoxing wine is used to enhance flavor in the marinade.

Kung Pao chicken starts off with fresh, moist, unroasted peanuts or cashew nuts. These are often used instead of their pre-roasted versions. The peanuts or cashew nuts are dropped into the hot oil on the bottom of the wok first, then deep fried until golden brown before the other ingredients are added.

In Sichuan, or when preparing authentic Kung Pao chicken, only Sichuan-style chili peppers such as facing heaven pepper or seven stars pepper (Chinese: 七星椒; pinyin: Qīxīngjiāo; Wade–Giles: Ch'i1-hsing1-chiao1) are used. Smaller, thinner Sichuanese varieties may also be used.

The most important component of the dish is handfuls of Sichuan peppercorns. It is these peppercorns that give authentic Kung Pao chicken its distinctive numbing flavor. Use of hot and numbing flavor (Chinese: 麻辣味型; pinyin: Málà wèixíng; Wade–Giles: Ma2-la4 wei4-hsing2) is a typical element of Sichuan cooking.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || Wikipedia || China Fun

Image Credit: wikimediacommons

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Roast Turkey

A twelve pound turkey

One tablespoon salt

One-fourth teaspoon paprika, or other pepper
Four tablespoons butter
Four tablespoons flour
One cup water

Dress, clean and stuff the turkey. (See Bread Dressing Recipe.) Tie it carefully and firmly, being sure that the neck is tied down well. Sew together, and place upon the rack in the roaster. Mix the salt, paprika, butter and flour. When blended, rub over the top surface of the fowl, which should be placed breast side up. Add the water, and cover with the lid. Bake in a hot oven for fifteen minutes, and in a moderate oven for three hours more.

Turn the turkey frequently to permit even browning. Baste every fifteen minutes by pouring the stock in the pan over the fowl. More drippings may be needed. If so, use one-fourth cup butter to one cup of boiling water and one teaspoon of salt.

Giblet Gravy (Eight portions)

Two cups of turkey stock and drippings

Giblets and stock, cooked

Five tablespoons flour

One teaspoon salt

One-fourth teaspoon celery salt

Cover the gizzard, heart and liver with cold water after they have been thoroughly washed. Cook slowly until tender. (About one hour.) Drain off the liquid and grind up the giblets.

Place three tablespoons of the drippings from the turkey in a pan and add the flour, salt and paprika. Add the rest of the stock and cook until thick. Add the giblets with the liquid in which they were cooked, and if too thick add one cup of water. Cook for five minutes and then pour into a gravy dish.

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Candied Sweet Potatoes (Eight portions)

Twelve medium sized sweet potatoes

One cup corn syrup

One-third cup brown sugar

Three level tablespoons butter substitute

One level teaspoon salt

One-fourth level teaspoon paprika

One-fourth cup water.

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut in halves lengthwise. Arrange in a well-buttered baking pan. Mix the corn syrup, sugar, butter substitute, salt, paprika and water. Boil without stirring for two minutes. Pour over the potatoes and brown in a moderate oven for one hour. Baste frequently. (Cover with a lid for the first half hour.)

Poppy Seed Rolls

One cake compressed yeast
One-fourth cup lukewarm water

One cup lukewarm water

Three tablespoons melted lard

One teaspoon salt

One teaspoon sugar

One egg yolk

Two tablespoons milk

One-fourth cup poppy seeds

Break the yeast into small bits and mix with one-fourth cup of lukewarm water. Add enough flour to make a stiff elastic dough. Knead for five minutes, or until the dough is soft and springy. Drop into a bowl in which one cup of lukewarm water has been placed. Cover, and set in a moderately warm place until the dough becomes very light and spongy, and is three times its original size. Add the melted lard, salt and sugar, and enough flour to make a soft elastic dough. Knead until very smooth and elastic. (Ten minutes is usually required for this.)

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and place in a moderately warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk. Turn out onto a board and divide into sixteen pieces, cutting with a large, sharp knife.

Roll into balls and let stand on a floured board covered with a cloth, until the balls are well puffed out. (Not more than ten or fifteen minutes is required for this, so they should be carefully watched.) Re-shape, making long rolls, thicker in the middle than at the ends.

Place on a greased baking pan or sheet, and let rise again until well-rounded and puffy.

Bake in a moderately hot oven for twenty-five minutes. Brush over the tops with the egg and milk mixed together, and immediately sprinkle with the poppy seeds.

Return to the oven for four minutes to dry the egg.

Cranberry Frappe

One quart cranberries
One cup water
Two cups sugar
One-third cup lemon juice

Pick over the cranberries and add the water, and cook slowly until the berries are soft. Mash and add the sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Cool, and freeze. Serve with the roast turkey.

Pumpkin Pie (Two pies)

Two cups starined and steamed pumpkin

One cup sugar

Two eggs

One teaspoon salt

One teaspoon powdered ginger

One teaspoon powdered cloves

One teaspoon powdered cinnamon

Two cups milk

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake in a moderate oven for forty-five minutes, or until the filling "sets" and is slightly brown.

Text credit: A Thousand Ways to Please a Family with Bettina's Best Recipes. Louise Bennett Weaver, Helen Cowles Le Cron A.L. Burt Company, 1922 - Cookery, American - 397 pages.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hunter's Stew aka Bigos

Bigos (Polish pronunciation: [ˈbiɡɔs]), known as a hunter's stew, is a traditional meat stew typical of Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusians and Ukrainian cuisine, and is a Polish national dish.

There is no single recipe for a savoury stew of cabbage and meat, as recipes vary from region to region and from family to family. Typical ingredients include white cabbage, sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona in Polish), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms.

The meats may include pork (often smoked), ham, bacon, sausage, veal, beef, and, as bigos is considered a hunter's stew, venison, rabbit, or other game; leftover cuts find their way into the pot as well. It may be seasoned with pepper, caraway, juniper berries, bay leaf, marjoram, pimenta, dried or smoked plums, and other ingredients.

Bigos is usually served with mashed potatoes or rye bread. As with many stews, bigos can be kept in a cool place or refrigerated and then reheated later; it is said that its flavour actually intensifies when reheated.

One observed tradition is to keep a pot of bigos going for a week or more, replenishing ingredients as necessary (cf. perpetual stew). This, the seasonal availability of cabbage, and its richness in vitamin C made bigos a traditional part of the winter diet in Poland and elsewhere. It is a popular dish in Poland to be served on the Second Day of Christmas.

Bigos is said by some to have been introduced to Poland by Jogaila, a Lithuanian Grand Duke who became Polish king Władysław Jagiełło in 1385 and who supposedly served it to his hunting-party guests.

Metaphorically, bigos means "confusion", "big mess" or "trouble" in Polish. However, Polish linguists trace the word bigos to a German rather than Lithuanian origin. The PWN Dictionary of Foreign Words speculates that it derives from the past participle begossen of a German verb meaning "to douse", as bigos was doused with wine in earlier periods.

Recipes for bigos vary widely. According to some, the amount of meat should equal the amount of cabbage. Some prefer to use only fermented cabbage, sauerkraut; others combine cabbage and sauerkraut in equal proportion. The sauerkraut may be washed or unwashed. Most recipes have a few things in common:

The dish is based on sauerkraut. More than one type of meat is used. Kielbasa is included among the meat. Plenty of peppercorns. Dried mushrooms or brown mushrooms. Diced tomatoes. Representative recipes can be found online. Because preparation varies, many recipes have their adherents. There are also vegeterian alternatives with differing suggestions for meat replacements.

From Wikipedia
Traditional Recipe For Hunter's Stew aka Bigos

2.2 lbs Sauerkraut [washed and drained]
2.2 lbs White Cabbage [shredded]
1.1 lbs sausage [sliced]
0.55 lbs smoked ham [cubed]
0.55 lbs smoked pork [cubed]

0.55 lbs bacon [chopped]
0.55 lbs beef and/or venison [cubed]
0.13 lbs dried mushrooms
4 Pitted Prunes [chopped]
2 Apples [cored/cubed]

1 Tomato [cubed]
1 Onion [diced]
2 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Teaspoon Allspice
2 Bayleaves
1 Tablespoon Peppercorns

Prepare the ingredients as listed above. Simmer the cabbage until soft (1/2 to 1 hour), then drain. Meanwhile, cook the bacon and set aside, preserving the fat. In the bacon fat, sauté the onions and garlic, and brown the remaining meat except the sausage. Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook: in a slow cooker, set on low for 5–10 hours; on the stove, cook briefly on medium and then simmer 2 to 3 hours. Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat for serving. The flavor improves each time, peaking around the third day. Many like to freeze it before thawing, reheating, and eating. Traditionally, it was left out in the cold to keep.

Text Credit: Wikipedia || Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

i had Breakfast Lunch Dinner Dessert Courtesy of Klout Perks & McDonalds #imlovinit

we begin with a morning essential: Premium Roast Coffee. Fresh Hot & DeLish! i take mine black no sugar. Stayed hot for up to 90 mins after purchase & not a single ground when i reached the bottom of the cup. i opted for the medium size which by most comparisons was a generous portion.

Next: Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie [medium size] Again a generous portion by most comparisons. i like smoothies but am reluctant to have them unless i make them myself because it's difficult to find pre-mades that don't have banana in the blend. i like bananas but they tend to trigger my migraines so obviously i try to avoid them. No worries with MickyD's Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie---yes it has no bananas :D Cool smooth & refreshing.

Breakfast: Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait: Yummy vanilla yogurt with fresh blueberries & strawberries topped with crunchy granola. So good you would never guess it's only 150 calories.

Fruit & Maple Oatmeal w/diced apples & cranberry raisin blend. i prefer my oatmeal without the light cream that usually accompanies this offering & was able to have it without. The oatmeal was really good---nice & thick. And the fruit---uht-oh here comes that phrase again---generous portions. Not only that the apples were very crisp & there were golden & red raisins. The cranberry added a nice tartness. The copy on the container says it---"wholesome meets delicious".

Lunch: McDonald's Hamburger. The classic. "The mouthwatering original" Inhaled it. Side Salad, was tasty clean & crisp. i opted for no dressing but for those who prefer with there are 5 Newman's Own varieties offered. Bonus! Reusable bowl :D

Dinner: Crispy Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap i requested my wrap without cheese & my request was granted. The chipotle bbq sauce was perfect not too hot not too mild. i opted for the crispy chicken [grilled is also available]. It was juicy with lettuce tucked into a soft & fluffy flour tortilla. Thumbs-up.

McChicken. Crispy chicken breast filet on a bun dressed with shredded lettuce, & mayo. i like the spicy flavor of the chicken the texture of the lettuce & the tang of the mayo. Devoured it.

Dessert: Soft Baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Sweet [but not overly so] & chewy good. Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie. Really good the semi-sweet chocolate chips melted in my mouth.

All these goodies came to a total of only $16.79 from my collection of McDonald's McArch cards from Klout. Even if i had paid out of pocket that still would have been very economical. And i was able to select from many healthy choices. Bottom line you can eat healthfully and economically at McDonald's.
Another bonus, when you visit McDonald's website the menu explorer gives you nutritional, caloric & ingredient information so there's no doubt or confusion when counting calories or checking for possible allergy inducing ingredients.

Thanks again for the perks Klout & McDonald's #imlovinit

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pasta Salad

In the U.S. Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer. Many like to celebrate the day with a festive meal as is also traditionally done at the beginning of the Summer season. One staple is the pasta salad. Easy to prepare, economical, and can make large or small servings.

"Pasta salad is a dish prepared with one or more types of pasta, usually chilled, and most often tossed in a vinegar, oil or mayonnaise-based dressing. It is typically served as an appetizer or a main course. The ingredients used vary widely by region, restaurant, seasonal availability, and/or preference of the preparer."

"The salad can be as simple as cold macaroni mixed with mayonnaise, or as elaborate as several pastas tossed together with a vinaigrette and a variety of fresh, preserved or cooked ingredients. These can include vegetables, legumes, cheeses, nuts, herbs, spices, meats, poultry, or seafood. Broccoli, carrots, baby corn, cucumbers, olives, onions, beans, chick peas, peppers, parmesan and feta cheeses are all popular ingredients in versions typically found at North American salad bars. Pasta salad is often regarded as a spring or summertime meal, but can be served year-round."

"In Australian and New Zealand cuisine, pasta salad became increasingly popular during the 1990s when commercial versions became more readily available in supermarket stores across both Australia, and New Zealand. It is made up of cooked pasta pieces (usually either shell pasta, elbow shaped pasta or Penne) covered in mayonnaise and accompanied by carrots, capsicum (bell peppers), and sometimes celery. It is similar in style to the American macaroni salad."

"Macaroni salad is a type of pasta salad, served cold made with cooked elbow macaroni and usually prepared with mayonnaise. Much like potato salad or coleslaw in its use, it is often served as a side dish to barbecue, fried chicken, or other picnic style entrées. Like any dish, national and regional variations abound but generally it is prepared with raw diced onions, dill or sweet pickles and celery and seasoned with salt and pepper."

"In Australia, and New Zealand it is commonly known as pasta salad which is usually made with cooked shell pasta pieces and brought from supermarket delis. In Hawaii macaroni salad is a popular staple in plate lunches. In the Philippines, macaroni salad has a mildly sweet flavor. Chicken is more often used in the dish. It is served in parties and gatherings. In Puerto Rico macaroni salad is made with canned tuna, onions, Cubanelle peppers and pimentos."

"The Cubanelle is a variety of sweet pepper of the species Capsicum annuum. When unripe, it is light yellowish-green in color, but will turn bright red if allowed to ripen. Compared to bell peppers it has thinner flesh, is longer, and has a slightly more wrinkled appearance. It is used extensively in the cuisine of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico."
"Cubanelle peppers are used in the U.S. to replace Poblano peppers. Most of the cubanelle pepper imports come from the Dominican Republic (where it is called ají cubanela), which has, of late, been the main exporter of this cultivar. This pepper is on the lower end of the HEAT scale measured in scoville units. Measuring in at about 1000 on the scoville scale, its more sweet than spicy as compared to a jalapeño."

"The Scoville scale is the measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers. The number of Scoville heat units (SHU)indicates the amount of capsaicin present per unit of dry mass. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes.

The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, is known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test. The modern commonplace method for quantitative analysis uses high-performance liquid chromatography, making it possible to directly measure capsaicinoid content."

From wikiHOW
Classic Macaroni Salad

8 oz/ 1-3/4 cups macaroni pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 cup celery, sliced thinly
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped sweet or red onion

Cook the macaroni pasta shapes. Follow the package instructions for timing. Drain. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Ensure the rinsed pasta is free of water. In a separate bowl mix the dressing. Place the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and sugar in a large salad bowl. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the celery, green pepper and onion pieces. Stir throughly. Add the cooked macaroni. Stir through gently so as not to break the pasta and to ensure that the pasta is completely covered. Serve. This salad is fine served at either room temperature or chilled. If not serving immediately, place in the refrigerator, covered, until needed.

Text Credits: Wikipedia Wikipedia Wikipedia Wikipedia wikiHOW || Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crab Benedict aka Eggs Neptune

Crab Benedict aka Eggs Neptune is a twist on the dish known as Eggs Benedict using crabmeat in place of ham. In the U.S. there are 7 grade classifications of crabmeat. From smallest to largest grade they are:
  • Claw Fingers
  • The Claw Fingers, also called Cocktail Fingers, are the tips of the pinchers, usually served whole, with the dark pink meat still in it. They are commonly used as garnish or hors d'œuvre.
  • Claw
  • Claw meat is the dark pink meat that comes from the swimming fins and claws of the crab. It has a stronger taste, and is less expensive than the white color meat grades. It is often used in soups, where the strong taste comes through.
  • Special
  • The "special meat" is shreds and small flakes of white meat from the body cavity of the crab. It is generally used for all dishes in which white crab meat is used
  • Back Fin
  • The back fin portion consists of flakes of white meat, coming both from the special meat and the jumbo lump. Back fin is a popular crab meat for Chesapeake Bay, Maryland style crab cakes
  • Lump
  • The Lump grade of crab meat is composed of broken pieces of Jumbo Lump, which are not included in the Jumbo Lump grade pack, and other flake pieces. This grade of crab meat is ideal for crab cakes and it is commonly used by manufacturers
  • Jumbo Lump
  • The jumbo lump grade crab meat comes from larger crabs, is the meat from the two large muscles connected to the swimming legs. Contrary to smaller portions of crab meat, it can be used whole. It has a brilliant white color.

  • Colossal
  • Colossal crab meat, also called Mega Jumbo Lump, is the largest whole unbroken pieces available from the blue crab and blue swimming crab.The colossal meat is taken from the two largest muscles connected to the back swimming legs of the crab.

The lumps, or pieces, in the Colossal grade are bigger than those in the Jumbo Lump.

From wikiHOW
How To Poach Eggs
white vinegar
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil or
olive oil to prevent eggs from sticking

Pour at least three to four inches of water into a large pot. Bring water to a boil. Season water with salt and pepper. Add approximately one tablespoon of vinegar to the water. Reduce heat to simmer. Swirl the water around quickly to make a whirlpool, helps to keep the eggs in shape. Crack one egg into a ladle and lower egg into water, gently releasing egg into the water. Gently move egg around in water to prevent egg from spreading in water. Remove egg with a slotted spoon after two to three minutes. Re-heat the water, then turn the knob to 'simmer' and continue with another egg.

From wikiHOW
Easy Hollondaise Sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted and HOT

Thoroughly blend egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt using your *electric blender. Slowly drizzle in hot melted butter while blending at slow speed. Use immediately, or keep warm by pouring into heatproof container and placing container in a sauce pan of hot water. Stir occasionally. If sauce thickens too much, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of hot water then beat until smooth.

*Editor's Note: If an electric blender is not available manual whisking will accomplish the same consistency, it simply takes a little longer to blend

Text Credits: Wikipedia || wikiHOW || wikiHOW Image Credits: wikimediaCommons || wikiHOW

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Oxtail Stew

Oxtail (occasionally spelled ox tail or ox-tail) is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. Formerly, it referred only to the tail of an ox or steer, a castrated male.[citation needed] An oxtail typically weighs 2 to 4 lbs. (1–1.8 kg) and is skinned and cut into short lengths for sale. Oxtail is a bony, gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew or braised. It is a traditional stock base for a soup.

Although traditional preparations often involve hours of slow cooking, modern methods usually take a shortcut by utilizing a pressure cooker. Oxtail is the main ingredient of the Italian dish coda alla vaccinara. It is a popular flavour for powder, instant and premade canned soups in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Oxtails are also one of the popular bases for Russian aspic appetizer dishes (холодец or студень), along with pig trotters or ears or cow "knees", but are the preferred ingredients among Russian Jews because they can be Kosher.

Versions of oxtail soup are popular traditional dishes in South America, West Africa, China, Spain and Indonesia. In Korean cuisine, a soup made with oxtail is called kkori gomtang (꼬리곰탕).It is a thick soup seasoned with salt and eaten with a bowl of rice. It can be used as a stock for making tteokguk (rice cake soup).
Jamaican Oxtail Stew photo by Helen Food Stories at FlickrStewed oxtail with butter beans or as main dish (with rice) is popular in Jamaica, Trinidad, and other West Indian cultures.

Oxtail is also very popular in South Africa where it is often cooked in a traditional skillet called a potjie, which is a 3 legged cast iron pot placed over an open fire. Oxtail is also eaten in other southern parts of Africa like Zimbabwe and served with sadza and greens. In the United States, oxtail is a mainstay in African American and Jamaican households. In the United States, oxtail has the meat-cutting classification NAMP 1791.

From wikiHOW
Recipe For Oxtail Stew [3 Methods] Makes 4 to 6 Servings
[Ask the butcher to cut the oxtails when you purchase them. Oxtails are usually cut already, but if not, it is advisable to have a professional butcher cut through the bone rather than attempting to do so yourself.]
Raw Oxtails photo by FotoosVanRobin at Flickr and wikimediaCreativeCommons

4 lbs (1800 g) oxtails, sliced
1 1/2 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm) long
2 Tbsp (30 ml) salt
2 cups (500 ml) beef broth
1/4 cup (60 ml) Balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 1 cup (125 to 250 ml)
red wine
[If you do not want to use wine,
you could substitute it for an equal
amount of additional beef broth]

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh thyme
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh oregano
2 tsp (10 ml) fresh tarragon
1 medium onion, chopped
4 Tbsp (60 ml) olive oil
4 Tbsp (60 ml) all-purpose flour

Method 1:
Combine the oxtails, salt, Balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, and onion. Place these ingredients in a large, heavy stock pot. Cover the ingredients with liquid. Pour enough beef broth and red wine into the stockpot to cover the ingredients. Start with the beef broth and make up the difference with the red wine. If you still do not have enough liquid to cover the ingredients, add a little water or additional broth. Stew the oxtails for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high to high heat. After it begins to boil, stir it, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Stir the oxtails every 15 to 30 minutes to ensure even cooking. If the liquid is still boiling rapidly after dropping the heat, you may need to drop the heat to medium-low. The oxtails should cook in simmering liquid, not rapidly boiling liquid. Remove the pot from the heat after the designated amount of time has passed. Warm the olive oil and flour in a skillet over medium heat. Heat the oil first for 30 to 60 seconds before adding the flour. Stir continuously for 3 minutes. Vegetable oil, bacon drippings, or shortening can also be used instead of olive oil.

Remove 4 cups (1 l) of liquid from the stock pot. Add this liquid to the skillet and stir continuously until a thick gravy forms.
You can also add a few dashes of browning sauce to the gravy to deepen the color. The gravy can be flavored with additional salt, pepper, and garlic powder, if desired. Remove the skillet from the heat. Coat the oxtails in the gravy. Transfer the oxtails from the stock pot to the skillet, coating them with the gravy by stirring them in. Heat over medium-low for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Allow the oxtails to rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

Method 2 Stovetop & Oven:
Salt the oxtails. Rub the oxtails with the salt, using enough salt to coat the meat on all sides.
Allow them to sit in a glass bowl at room temperature for 2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Rinse the salt off. Use running water and scrub the salt off with your fingers. You need to remove virtually all salt from the meat. Otherwise, you will end up with an excruciatingly salty dish by the end.

Preheat the oven and a heavy, oven-safe pot. The oven needs to be preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Heat 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Vegetable oil, shortening, or bacon drippings can also be used instead of the olive oil. The pot must be oven-safe since you will be transferring it directly from the stovetop to the oven. It should also have a lid.

Saute the garlic in the pot. After the oil begins to smoke, saute the minced garlic, stirring frequently until it begins to brown. Brown the oxtails. Add the oxtail slices cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring, until they are brown on all sides. Add the liquids and seasonings to the pot. Fill the pot with the beef broth and Balsamic vinegar. Use enough red wine to cover the top of the meat by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Mix in the rosemary, thyme, oregano, and tarragon.

Transfer the pot to the oven and continue cooking. Cover the pot and put it into the preheated oven for 3 to 4 hours. Check on the oxtails periodically to make sure that there is still enough liquid. If the volume begins to dip below the surface of the meat, add more wine. The oxtails are done when the meat begins to fall off the bone. Sprinkle with chopped onions, if desired. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes. For a milder flavor, substitute the onion for 2 chopped leeks.

Serve warm. Remove the bones from the oxtails prior to serving, or allow your guests to do so themselves. If desired, create a gravy by stirring the flour into the cooking liquid and heating the liquid on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Allow the liquid to boil and thicken, adding more flour if necessary, and serve with the oxtails.

Method 3 The Slow Cooker:
Heat the oil in a skillet. Use medium-high heat. Vegetable oil, bacon grease, or shortening may also be used instead of olive oil.

Season and brown the oxtails. Sprinkle the oxtails with enough salt to season them and coat the slices in flour. Add them to the skillet and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until evenly browned on all sides. This step could be skipped, but browning the meat beforehand adds a significant amount of flavor to the final dish. Coating the oxtails in flour leads to better browning.

Transfer the oxtails and other ingredients to the slow cooker. Place the oxtails in the slow cooker. Cover with Balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and onion. Pour in the broth and add enough red wine to cover the meat by about 1 inch (2.5 cm).

To make cleaning up easier, you could spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. You could also use a nonstick slow cooker liner. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. You could also cook the oxtails for 3 to 4 hours on high.

Do not stir the contents of the slow cooker or open the lid as it cooks. Doing so could release a significant amount of heat, and you may need to add an additional 30 minutes onto the cooking time simply by opening it for a few minutes.

Turn off the heat and transfer the oxtails to a serving platter. Let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || WikiHOW || Image Credits: Food Stories photo by Helen at Flickr || Raw Oxtails

Monday, April 8, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

Cottage pie or shepherd's pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. The term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791, when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor (cf. "cottage" meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers).

The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia between the 8000 and 5000 BCE. It has since spread around the world and become a staple crop in many countries. Throughout Europe, the most important new food in the 19th century was the potato, which had three major advantages over other foods for the consumer: its lower rate of spoilage, its bulk (which easily satisfied hunger), and its cheapness.

The crop slowly spread across Europe, such that, for example, by 1845 it occupied one-third of Irish arable land.[citation needed] Potatoes comprised about 10% of the caloric intake of Europeans.[citation needed] Along with several other foods that either originated in the Americas or were successfully grown or harvested there, potatoes sustained European populations

A St. Stephen's Day pie is a made using turkey and ham. A vegetarian version (occasionally named "Shepherdless Pie") can be made using soya or other meat substitutes (like tofu or Quorn), or legumes such as lentils or chickpeas. The Cumberland pie is a version with a layer of bread crumbs on top.

In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind, and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top. The term "shepherd's pie" did not appear until 1877, and since then it has been used synonymously with "cottage pie", regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or mutton. More recently, the term "shepherd's pie" has been used when the meat is lamb, the theory being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle.

From wikibooks Cookbook
Recipe For Shepherd's Pie

1 oz lard [optional]
1 lb minced or ground lamb or beef
3 lbs potatoes [King Edward recommended]
1 large or 2 small onions
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Cups beef stock [alternatively, bouillon cubes can be used,
or gravy powder, if the flour is omitted]

grated cheese [optional]
a handful of mixed vegetables such as sweetcorn or carrots
mixed herbs

Brown the mince in a frying pan. Depending on the fat content of the minced meat, there may be no need to add oil, as the meat is often fatty enough. Finely chop the onion and lightly fry in a little butter until clear. Add the onions to the mince along with the mixed herbs and some pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir and cook for 3 - 4 minutes [if using gravy powder, omit this step].
Cover with beef stock [or add water and beef bouillon/gravy powder] and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile: Peel, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes until cooked. Once the meat is cooked, skim off the excess fat, then boil rapidly to reduce the liquid until it just covers the mince and onions. Drain the potatoes very well until completely dry. Mash until smooth and free of any lumps. Add butter to the mashed potato, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Add enough milk to make the mash very soft [heavy mash will not float properly on top of the mince]. Put mince mixture in a shallow oven proof dish. Spread the mash on top of the meat and brush the tops of the potatoes with melted butter. If desired, sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the mash. If cooking without cheese, spike the top with a fork – that is, rough up the surface of the mash by dragging a fork across it, as if ploughing a field. Cook in a hot oven for about 30-50 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve with peas or beans, or other green vegetables.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || wikibooks cookbook || History Of The Potato Image Credit: Susieclue

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Beignet (English pronunciation: /bɛnˈjeɪ/; French: [bɛɲɛ], literally bump), synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux paste. Beignets are commonly known in the U.S. as a dessert served with powdered sugar on top; however, they may be savory dishes as well and may contain meat, vegetables, or fruits. They are traditionally prepared right before consumption to be eaten fresh and hot.

Variations of fried dough can be found across cuisines internationally; however, the origin of the term beignet is specifically French. In the U.S., beignets have been popular within New Orleans Creole cuisine and are customarily served as a dessert or in some sweet variation.

They were brought to Louisiana in the 18th century by French colonists, from “the old mother country”, and became a large part of home-style Creole cooking, variations often including banana or plantain – popular fruits in the port city.

Today, Café du Monde is a popular New Orleans food destination specializing in beignets with powdered sugar (served in threes), coffee with chicory, and café au lait. Beignets were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986.

The tradition of deep-frying fruits for a side dish dates to the time of Ancient Rome, while the tradition of beignets in Europe is speculated to have originated with a heavy influence of Islamic culinary tradition.
Beignet Good For Mouth photo by Zoe of SeattleThe term beignet can be applied to two varieties, depending on the type of pastry.

The French-style beignet in the United States has the specific meaning of deep-fried choux pastry. Beignets can also be made with yeast pastry, which might be called boules de Berlin in French, referring to Berliner doughnuts which have a spherical shape (i.e. they do not have the typical doughnut hole) filled with fruit or jam. In Corsica, beignets made with chestnut flour (Beignets de farine de châtaigne) are known as fritelli.

From wikiHOW
Recipe For Beignet

1 egg
1 cup (236 ml) lukewarm water
1/4 cup (59 ml) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) salt
2 tbsp. (30 ml) softened butter

1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
3 tsp. (15 ml) instant active dry yeast
Vegetable oil
Powdered sugar

Beat 1 egg, warmed to room temperature. Add 1 cup (236 ml) of lukewarm water and 1/4 cup (59 ml) granulated sugar to the beaten egg in a bowl or stand mixer. Mix in 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) salt and 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of softened butter. Pour in 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour and 3 tsp. (15 ml) of instant active dry yeast. Beat the ingredients on medium speed until the dough is smooth.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/4 inch (.6 cm) thick. Cut the dough into 3 inch (7.6 cm) squares. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large pan until it reaches 350 degrees F (176 degrees C).

Fry 2 to 3 pieces at a time until they puff and brown on the bottom side. Turn them over using tongs and cook until the other side turns the same shade of brown. Remove your homemade beignets and place them on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve hot. This beignet recipe makes approximately 18 to 24 squares.

The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week. Punch the dough down when it rises. The dough can also be frozen. Just make sure you roll it out and cut the squares prior to freezing.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || wikiHOW
Image Credit: wikimediaCommons

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Clafoutis (French pronunciation: ​[klafuti]; Occitan: clafotís [klafuˈtis / kʎafuˈtiː]), sometimes in Anglophone countries spelled clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm. A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits of the cherries. According to baking purists, the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. If the cherry pits are removed prior to baking, the clafoutis will be milder in flavor.

The dish's name derives from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning "to fill" (implied: "the batter with cherries"). Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century.

The clafoutis comes from the Limousin region of France and while black cherries are traditional there are numerous variations using other fruits including red cherries, plums, prunes, apples, cranberries or blackberries. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.
Clafoutis photo by Larry and Teddy at wikimediaCommons and Flickr

Flaugnarde (pronounced: [floɲaʁd]) also known as flagnarde, flognarde or flougnarde, is a baked French dessert with fruit arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. Similar to a clafoutis, which is made with black cherries, a flaugnarde is made with apples, peaches, pears, plums, prunes or other fruits. Resembling a large pancake, the dish is dusted with confectioner's sugar and can be served either warm or cold.

From wikiHOW
Recipe For Clafoutis

3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups milk (preferably whole milk)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 3 cups black cherries, rinsed, pitted and dried
Topping: 1 to 2 tsp. powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) while you prepare a ceramic or glass tart pan by very lightly oiling the bottom and sides. Add the flour, sugar and cinnamon to a medium bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients together and then set them aside. In another medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the whisk until they become foamy. Beat the milk and vanilla into the eggs until they’re well combined. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture gradually, whisking until the batter is smooth and lump-free. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the cake pan. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or just until the batter begins to have a thin film on top.

Remove the pan from the oven and gently arrange the cherries evenly throughout the setting batter. Pour the remaining batter over the fruit. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking it for 40 minutes, or until the clafoutis is firm when jiggled gently. It should be puffed and golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool the clafoutis (while still in the pan) on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a fine-mesh sieve to dust the top of the clafoutis with confectioners’ sugar before serving

Text Credits: Wikipedia || TheFreeDictionary || wikiHOW || Image Credit: Clafoutis

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Today, globe artichoke cultivation is concentrated in the countries bordering the Mediterranean basin. The main European producers are Italy, Spain, and France. In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop, and about 80% of that is grown in Monterey County; there, Castroville proclaims itself to be "The Artichoke Center of the World", and holds an annual artichoke festival. Most recently, artichokes have been grown in South Africa in a small town called Parys located along the Vaal River.

In the US, large globe artichokes are frequently prepared by removing all but 5–10 mm (0.2–0.4 in) or so of the stem. To remove thorns, which may interfere with eating, around a quarter of each scale can be cut off. To cook, the artichoke is boiled or steamed. The core of the stem tastes similar to the artichoke heart, and is edible. Salt may be added to the water if boiling artichokes.

Artichokes Being Cooked photo by PepperedjaneLeaving the pot uncovered may allow acids to boil off. Covered artichokes, in particular those that have been cut, can turn brown due to the enzymatic browning and chlorophyll oxidation.

Placing them in water slightly acidified with vinegar or lemon juice can prevent the discoloration. Leaves are often removed one at a time, and the fleshy base eaten, with hollandaise, vinegar, butter, mayonnaise, aioli, lemon juice, or other sauces. The fibrous upper part of each leaf is usually discarded. The heart is eaten when the inedible choke has been peeled away from the base and discarded. The thin leaves covering the choke are also edible.

Artichokes can be produced from seeds or from vegetative means such as division, root cuttings or micropropagation. Though technically perennials that normally produce the edible flower only during the second and subsequent years, certain varieties of artichoke can be grown from seed as annuals, producing a limited harvest at the end of the first growing season, even in regions where the plants are not normally winter-hardy. This means home gardeners in northern regions can attempt to produce a crop without the need to overwinter plants with special treatment or protection. The recently introduced seed cultivar 'Imperial Star' has been bred to produce in the first year without such measures. An even newer cultivar, 'Northern Star', is said to be able to overwinter in more northerly climates, and readily survives subzero temperatures.

Commercial culture is limited to warm areas in USDA hardiness zone 7 and above. It requires good soil, regular watering and feeding, plus frost protection in winter. Rooted suckers can be planted each year, so mature specimens can be disposed of after a few years, as each individual plant lives only a few years. The peak season for artichoke harvesting is the spring, but they can continue to be harvested throughout the summer, with another peak period in midautumn.

When harvested, they are cut from the plant so as to leave an inch or two of stem. Artichokes possess good keeping qualities, frequently remaining quite fresh for two weeks or longer under average retail conditions. Apart from food use, the globe artichoke is also an attractive plant for its bright floral display, sometimes grown in herbaceous borders for its bold foliage and large purple flower heads.
USDA Artichoke Nutrient Data

Text Credits: Wikipedia || Wikipedia
Image Credits: Artichokes Being Cooked || USDA Artichoke Nutrient Data

2 Vegetable Soup Recipes

Vegetable Soup 1

Wipe the meat, cut it into small pieces. Put it with the salt into the cold water and let it stand one hour. Simmer 4 hours; then add the vegetables cut fine and the seasoning. Cook 1 hour longer, strain and cool. When ready to use, remove cake of fat, bring the stock to a boil, adding more salt if necessary.

Vegetable Soup 2

Use all or any, and as many varieties of vegetables as you wish, using half as much vegetable as liquor.
Wash, pare, scrape and cut the vegetables fine. Then measure. Mix vegetables, all but the potatoes and tomatoes. Heat the fat in a spider, add the vegetables, cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly; add potatoes and cook 2 minutes longer, then add the boiling water and tomatoes and boil one hour or longer or until all the vegetables are tender, add the parsley, season to taste and serve hot. Any cold boiled vegetable (left-overs) may be added to this soup.

Bibliographic information: Title: The Settlement Cook Book: Tested Recipes from the Settlement Cooking Classes, the Milwaukee Public School Kitchens, The School of Trades for Girls, and Experienced Housewives. Compiled by: Mrs. Simon Kander. Edition: 11. Publisher: Settlement Cook Book Company, 1921. Original from: the New York Public Library. Digitized: Aug 6, 2008. Length: 596 pages.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Creamed Chipped Beef

hipped beef is thinly sliced or pressed salted and dried beef. Some makers smoke the dried beef for more flavor. The modern product consists of small, thin, flexible leaves of partially dried beef, generally sold compressed together in jars or flat in plastic packets. The processed meat producer Hormel once described it as "an air-dried product that is similar to bresaola, but not as tasty."
Bresaola or brisaola is air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple colour. It is made from top (inside) round, and is lean and tender, with a sweet, musty smell. It originated in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of northern Italy's Lombardy region. The word comes from the diminutive of Lombard bresada (braised).

U.S. military cuisine: Chipped beef on toast (or creamed chipped beef on toast) is a culinary dish comprising a white sauce and rehydrated slivers of dried beef, served on toasted bread. Hormel recommends flavoring the dish with Worcestershire sauce and dried parsley. In military slang it is commonly referred to by the dysphemism "Sh#t On a Shingle" (SOS)—or, "Stew On a Shingle", "Same Old Stuff", "Something On a Shingle", or occasionally "Save Our Stomachs". Chipped beef is also often served on bagels, English muffins, biscuits, home fries, rice, and in casseroles.

Recipe for Creamed Chipped Beef

Wentworth and Flexner [Dictionary of American Slang] cite no origin, but noted "shingle" for slice of toast has had "some use since 1935" in the U.S. Army, mostly in the expression "sh#t on a shingle", and the latter had "wide World War II Army use". In the United States, chipped beef on toast was emblematic of the military experience, much as yellow pea soup is in Finland or Sweden. Chipped beef on toast (S.O.S.) is the title of a book of military humor.

In his World War II book Band of Brothers, Stephen E. Ambrose evokes the military basics: "At the end of May, the men of Easy packed up their barracks bags and … [took] a stop-and-go train ride to Sturgis, Kentucky. At the depot Red Cross girls had coffee and doughnuts for them, the last bit of comfort they would know for a month. They marched out to the countryside and pitched up tents, dug straddle trenches for latrines, and ate the Army's favorite meal for troops in the field, creamed chipped beef on toast, universally known as SOS, or Sh#t on a Shingle."

Text Credits: Wikipedia || A Book of Recipes for the Cooking School
Image Credit: A Book of Recipes for the Cooking School page 163

Potato salad

Potato salad is very appetizing, and deservedly popular. It should be served with cooked Mayonnaise dressing, to which has been added finely minced onion and parsley, in the proportion of one tablespoonful of each to a pint of dressing.

The dressing for potato salad forms an exception to the general rule applicable to salad dressing, and should have a predominating flavor, for the reason that cold boiled potatoes have no especial flavor that can be developed, or which it is desirable to preserve; and a piquant flavor, like that of onions or cresses, added to the dressing, renders the salad much more delicious. Potatoes for salad should be boiled until perfectly tender, but not until they break and fall to pieces. When cold they should be sliced very thin, and put with the dressing in alternate layers, in the salad bowl.

In the preparation of potato salad, as in most dishes of the class, stirring is objectionable, and should be avoided. A cream dressing may be used for potato salad, in place of a cooked Mayonnaise, if preferred; but French dressing, although much used, is inappropriate, on account of the potato absorbing the vinegar; and because the potato is a great absorbent, the dressing used should be comparatively thin, and a greater quantity should be provided than for lettuce or cabbage salad. Potatoes may be mixed with cooked vegetables of any and every sort, in a compound salad.

Title: Salad and salad making. Author: Emma Pike Ewing. Publisher: Fairbanks, Palmer & Co., 1884. Original from: the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Digitized: Aug 21, 2007. Length: 40 pages. Subjects: Cooking › Courses & Dishes › Salads Cookery Cooking Cooking / Courses & Dishes / Salads Cooking / General Salads.

Potato salad

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Boston Baked Bean Salad. Sliced Pim-Olas and Pickle Garnish

Boston Baked Bean Salad. Sliced Pim-Olas and Pickle Garnish

The quantity of oil to be used in this salad will depend upon the quantity of pork used in cooking the beans. Often, when the dish is intended for sedentary people, no pork is used. In this case three or four tablespoonfuls of oil will be none too much for a pint of beans.

Into this stir about half a teaspoonful of paprika, a few drops of onion juice, and, very gradually, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar.

Mix this through the beans, and turn them on or into the serving-dish. Cover, and let stand half an hour in a cool place. Finish with slices of Pim-Olas and fans cut from tiny cucumber pickles. To cut the fans use a shap thin bladed knife to slice a teaspoonful of fine cut chives is considered the best form in which onions can be introduced into bean salad.

Bibliographic information: Title: The Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics, Volume 8. Author: Janet McKenzie Hill. Contributors: Boston Cooking School (Boston, Mass.), Boston Cooking-School Corporation. Publisher: Boston Cooking-School Magazine, 1904. Original from: the University of Michigan. Digitized: Dec 11, 2008.


Friday, February 22, 2013



One cup of wheat flour, one quart of entire wheat flour, one pint of water or milk, one teaspoonful of butter, onehalf teaspoonful of salt, one-quarter of a cake of compressed yeast. Sweeten to taste. This makes two loaves. - Mrs. S. H. Joslin.


One pint of milk scalded and cooled, with two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and two tablespoonfuls of butter in it. One teaspoonful of salt, one-half cake of compressed yeast, dissolved in one-half cup of water, six cups (full) of Franklin flour; mix in the evening, in the order given. Have the dish warm and also the flour. Always sift the flour. In the morning, stir it down, and shape into loaves, using no additional flour, and set to rise in the pans. When well risen, bake in an oven not quite hot enough for white bread, and a little longer. It may be used as biscuit or rolls - Mrs. E. F. Lane.


To one quart of new milk add a tablespoonful of butter, salt, one-half cake of yeast, three tablespoonfuls of sugar. Mix as stiff as possible, then knead upon a board until light; put in mixing bowl and raise over night; in the morning, cut down and raise again; when light, knead and put in pans. This same rules make very nice rolls, cut and brush over with butter, fold over and place on tins two inches apart. Let them rise until very light = Mrs. G. H. Richards.


Title: Choice recipes. Authors" First Congregational Society (Keene, N.H.). Ladies, First Congregational Society. Ladies. Publisher: Sentinel Printing, 1898
Original from: Harvard University. Digitized: Jul 21, 2008/ Length: 192 pages. Subjects Cooking › General

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tomato Soup

Take one can of stewed tomatoes and strain them to take the seeds out; put on the stove and put in one-half teaspoonful of soda, a small piece of butter, some salt and pepper, and have two cups of milk hot, and just before serving put the milk into the tomatoes and pour over crackers. - Mrs. S. P. Corbett

Peel four large, ripe tomatoes in one quart of boiling water, cook until soft. Strain and return to fire, stir in a teaspoonful of soda, and while it is still foaming add one pint of boiling milk, a large piece of butter, pepper and salt; thicken with cracker dust. Roll three or four crackers fine. - Emma E.Guy

Creamed Tomato Soup, Put milk in double boiler with slice of onion. Mix flour with a little milk, and when milk is hot add, stirring constantly for about 20 minutes. Remove onion, cook tomatoes until done, and then add the soda and sugar in tomatoes. Strain and add the milk, put butter, salt and pepper in tureen and strain the soup over it. - Mrs. S. Chase.

INTRODUCTION: We wish to express to all who have contributed recipes our hearty thanks, and regret that lack of space forbids our use of all which have been received. We wish also to thank our advertisers who have so generously helped toward the financial success of our first attempt at book-making. We hope all purchasers will find our little book of assistance in the difficult art of cooking, regretting that we cannot in some way impart to the recipes the "knack" which many of the donors possess. - The Class.

Title: A book of tested recipes. Author: Baptist Church (Norwood, Mass.). Ladies Aid Society. Publisher: The Society, 1907. Original from: Harvard University. Digitized: Jan 15, 2008. Length: 104 pages.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kishke, Kishka, aka Stuffed Derma

Kishke also known as stuffed derma, is a Jewish dish traditionally made from beef intestine (casing) stuffed with flour or matzo meal, schmaltz and spices. In modern cooking, edible synthetic casings often replace the beef intestine. Kishke is a common addition to Ashkenazi-style cholent.

Prepared kishke is sold in some kosher butcheries and delicatessen; in Israel it is available in the frozen-food section of most supermarkets. Non-traditional varieties include kishke stuffed with rice and kishke stuffed with diced chicken livers and ground gizzards. There are also vegetarian kishke recipes.

The stuffed sausage is usually placed on top of the assembled cholent and cooked overnight in the same pot. Alternatively it can be cooked in salted water with vegetable oil added or baked in a dish, and served separately with flour-thickened gravy made from the cooking liquids.

Kishka or kishke (Slovene: kašnica; Belarusian кішка, kishka; Polish: kiszka / kaszanka; Romanian chişcă Silesian krupńok; Yiddish kishke; Hebrew קישקע; Russian Кишка) refers to various types of sausage or stuffed intestine with a filling made from a combination of meat and meal, often a grain.

The dish is popular across Eastern Europe as well as with immigrant communities from those areas. It is also eaten by Ashkenazi Jews who prepare their version according to kashrut dietary laws. The name itself is Slavic in origin, and literally means "gut" or "intestine."

Kishke Recipe

3 feet Beef casing
1 cup Flour sifted
1/2 cup Matzo
or cracker meal
1/4 cup Grated

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 cup Chicken fat
2 Onions sliced
One Eastern European kishka type is kaszanka, a blood sausage made with pig's blood and buckwheat or barley, with pig intestines used as a casing. Similar to black pudding, it is traditionally served at breakfast.

Kishkas can also be made with an organ meat, such as liver and various grain stuffings. The cooked kishke can range in color from grey-white to brownish-orange, depending on how much paprika is used and the other ingredients. There are also vegetarian kishka recipes.

The sausages are popular in areas of the Midwestern United States, where many Poles emigrated. There are numerous mail order companies and delis that sell various kishkas. As blood is often used as an ingredient, kishkas are considered an acquired taste.
  • Wash the casing in cold water and scrape the inside. Cut casing in half and sew one end of each half.
  • Blend well the flour, meal, grated onion, salt, pepper, paprika and 3/4 cup of the fat. Stuff the casings and sew the open ends. Cook in boiling salted water 1 hour. Drain.
  • Spread the remaining fat and the sliced onions in a baking dish. Arrange the kishke over it. Roast in a 350 degree oven 1 1/2 hours, basting frequently. Or, if you prefer, you can roast it in the same pan with meat or poultry with which it will be served. Slice and serve.
  • Serves 8 to 10.
[This recipe courtesy of Foodista via Creative Commons]

Text Credits: Wikipedia || Foodista
Image Credit: Wikimediacommons

Monday, February 11, 2013


The Middle English word Pancake appears in English in the 1400s. A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. In Britain it is made without a raising agent, and is similar to a crêpe. In America, a raising agent is used (typically baking powder). The American pancake is similar to a Scotch pancake or drop scone.

They may be served at any time with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, fruit, syrup, chocolate chips, or meat. In America, they are typically considered to be a breakfast food. In Britain and the Commonwealth, they are associated with Shrove Tuesday, commonly known as Pancake Day, when perishable ingredients had to be used up before the fasting period of Lent began.

Archaeological evidence suggests that pancakes are probably the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies. The pancake's shape and structure varies worldwide. In Germany, pancakes are often made from potatoes. A crêpe is a thin Breton pancake cooked on one or both sides in a special pan or crepe maker to achieve a lacelike network of fine bubbles. A well-known variation originating in Southeast Europe is Palačinke, a thin moist pancake fried on both sides and filled with jam.

The Ancient Greeks made pancakes called τηγανίτης (tēganitēs), ταγηνίτης (tagēnitēs) or ταγηνίας (tagēnias), all words deriving from τάγηνον (tagēnon), "frying pan". The earliest attested references on tagenias are in the works of the 5th century BC poets Cratinus and Magnes. Tagenites were made with wheat flour, olive oil, honey and curdled milk, and were served for breakfast. Another kind of pancake was σταιτίτης (staititēs), from σταίτινος (staitinos), "of flour or dough of spelt", derived from σταῖς (stais), "flour of spelt". Athenaeus is his Deipnosophistae mention staititas topped with honey, sesame and cheese.

American, Canadian and Mexican pancakes (sometimes called hotcakes, griddlecakes, or flapjacks) are pancakes that contain a raising agent such as baking powder; proportions of eggs, flour, and milk or buttermilk create a thick batter. Sugar and spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg are sometimes added. The pancakes can be made sweet or savory by adding ingredients such as blueberries, strawberries, cheese, bananas, apples or chocolate chips to the batter.

This batter is ladled or poured onto a hot surface, and spreads to form a circle about ¼ or ⅓ inch (1 cm) thick. The raising agent causes bubbles to rise to the uncooked side, before the pancake is flipped. These pancakes, very light in texture, are usually served at breakfast topped with maple syrup, butter, jam, peanut butter, nuts, fruit and/or honey. Pancakes may be served with a bit of powdered sugar and whipped cream, or with cane syrup or molasses instead of syrup or honey. Some pancake recipes use yogurt to give the pancakes a semi-thick, relatively moist consistency.

Pancakes from Scratch
1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour (white, whole grain or 1:1 mix of white and whole grain)
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 cup (250 ml) milk (substitute buttermilk or 1:1 mix of milk and buttermilk)
1 eggs, separated
1 Tbs white sugar (Optional: this will add a sweetness to your pancakes and is recommended if you are not using any sauces, syrups or ingredient such as bananas or blueberries that will add natural sugars to the mix.

  1. In large bowl, mix dry ingredients together until well-blended.
  2. Add milk and mix well until smooth.
  3. Separate eggs, placing the whites in a medium bowl and the yolks in the batter. Mix well.
  4. Beat whites until stiff and then fold into batter gently (skip this step for heavier pancakes or if 1 cup buttermilk is substituted for milk).
  5. Pour ladles of the mixture into a non-stick pan, one at a time.
  6. Cook until the edges are dry and bubbles appear on surface. Turn; cook until golden. Yields 12 to 14 pancakes.
Notes, tips, and variations:

  • Serve with butter, maple syrup, fruit, chocolate spread, melted chocolate, jam or cheese.
  • Many variations of this recipe use a beaten egg. In these variations most commonly all wet ingredients are mixed together with the dry ingredients in step 2, and you then proceed to step 5.
  • Use buttermilk or yogurt instead of milk, or wholegrain flours instead of white. This will change the consistency of the final product (i.e. whole grain flours generally lead to a denser heavier pancake, so try mixing white and wheat in various proportions as suggested above to get the feel you want).
  • Add sliced fruit such as banana and apple, or broken crispy bacon to the batter after pouring into the skillet and before flipping.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || Wikibooks
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Boiled and Baked Ham

Boiled Ham recipe - The day before you wish to boil a ham, scrape, wash and wipe it dry, and put it in the sun. At night put it into water and soak till next morning. Then lay it with the skin down in a boiler of cold water, and boil slowly for five hours. If the ham is large, boil six hours. When perfectly done and tender, set the boiler aside, with the ham and liquor undisturbed, until cold. Then take off the skin, sprinkle black pepper over thickly, and sift over crackers first browned and pounded; for special occasions, place at equal distances over the ham, scraped horseradish in Jozenge shape, and edged with curled parsley. This mode keeps the ham juicy.—Mrs. S. T.

Baked Ham recipe - First of all, soak an old ham overnight, having first washed and scraped it. Next morning put in a boiler of milk-warm water with the skin side down. Boil slowly for four or five hours, according to size, and if a very large ham, six horn's. When done, set aside, the boiler with the ham and liquor in it, to remain until cold; when the skin must be taken off, and it must be trimmed of a nice shape. Sprinkle over two tablespoonfuIs black pepper. Lay the ham on a grating or twist in the baking-pan, in which pour a pint of water, and set it in a hot oven. This mode prevents the frying so disagreeable to the taste. After the ham is heated through, and the pepper strikes in, sift over cracker; return to the oven and brown, then decorate with scraped horseradish and parsley, and serve. —Mr». 8. T.

Title: Housekeeping in old Virginia: Containing contributions from two hundred and fifty ladies in Virginia and her sister states. Editor: Marion Cabell Tyree. Publisher: J. P. Morton & Co., 1879. Original from: Harvard University. Digitized: Jun 28, 2007. Length: 528 pages. Subjects: Cookery, American, Cooking, American

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Waffles ~ Recipe from The Stag Cookbook: Written By Men For Men

A waffle is a batter-based or dough-based cake cooked in a waffle iron patterned to give a characteristic size, shape and surface impression. There are many variations based on the type of iron and recipe used, with over a dozen regional varieties in Belgium alone. Waffles are eaten throughout the world, particularly in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the United States.

The word “waffle” first appears in the English language in 1725: "Waffles. Take flower, cream..." It is directly derived from the Dutch ‘’wafel’’, which itself derives from the Middle Dutch ‘’wafele’’. While the Middle Dutch ‘’wafele’’ is first attested to at the end of the 13th century, it is preceded by the French ‘’walfre’’ in 1185; both are considered to share the same Frankish etymological root ‘’wafla’’. Depending on the context of the use of ‘’wafla’’, it either means honeycomb or cake. Alternate spellings throughout contemporary and medieval Europe include wafre, wafer, wâfel, waufre, gaufre, goffre, gauffre, wafe, waffel, wåfe, wāfel, wafe, vaffel, and våffla.

American waffles vary significantly, but are often made from a batter leavened with baking powder and may be round, square, or rectangular in shape. They are usually served as a sweet breakfast food, topped with butter and maple syrup, bacon, and other fruit syrups, honey, or powdered sugar.

They are also found in many different savory dishes, such as fried chicken and waffles or topped with kidney stew. They may also be served as desserts, topped with ice cream and various other toppings. They are generally denser and thinner than the Belgian waffle.

It’s in the late 14th century that the first known waffle recipe is penned in an anonymous manuscript, Le Ménagier de Paris, written by a husband as a set of instructions to his young wife. While it technically contains four recipes, all are a variation of the first: Beat some eggs in a bowl, season with salt and add wine. Toss in some flour, and mix. Then fill, little by little, two irons at a time with as much of the paste as a slice of cheese is large. Then close the iron and cook both sides. If the dough does not detach easily from the iron, coat it first with a piece of cloth that has been soaked in oil or grease. The other three variations explain how cheese is to be placed in between two layers of batter, grated and mixed in to the batter, or left out, along with the eggs.

Text Credit: Wikipedia || Image Credit: The Stag Cookbook: Written by Men For Men

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pigs In A Blanket

In the United States, the term "pigs in a blanket" often refers to hot dogs, Vienna sausages, cocktail or breakfast/link sausages wrapped in biscuit dough, pancake, or croissant dough, and baked. The dough is sometimes homemade, but canned dough is most common. They are somewhat similar to a sausage roll or (by extension) a baked corn dog. They are served as an appetizer, a children's dish, or as a breakfast entree. A common variation is to stuff the hot dog or sausage with cheese before wrapping it in dough.

In Washington, D.C. there is a variant with rosemary and thyme in the dough, called "pigs in a winkle blanket." At breakfast or brunch, the term "pigs in a blanket" refers to sausage links with pancake wrapped around it.

In regions heavily influenced by Slovak immigrants, such as northern Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio, the term usually refers instead to stuffed cabbage rolls, such as the Polish or Ukrainian gołąbki.

In much of central and southeast Texas (including Austin & Houston) the term "kolache" has been widely misappropriated to describe a variety of dough-wrapped breakfast goods, including sausages of several types wrapped in both biscuit and croissant dough. It would seem that the term "klobasnek" is more technically correct for this variety; perhaps "kolache" was deemed easier to pronounce and was therefore seized upon by local merchants. They can be found in virtually every doughnut shop, and at least one kolache-themed chain is currently in operation.

Pigs in blankets (also known as worstenbroodjes or saucijzenbroodjes (Dutch), kilted sausages (Scotland), or in Danish pølse i svøb) refers to a variety of different sausage-based foods in the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Canada, and Japan. They are typically small in size and can be eaten in one or two bites.

For this reason, they are usually served as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre or are accompanied by other dishes in the 'main course' section of a meal. In the West, especially in the United States and Canada, the bite sized variety of pigs in a blanket is a common hors d'oeuvre served at cocktail parties and is often accompanied by a mustard or aioli dipping sauce. Pigs in a blanket are usually different from sausage rolls, which are a larger, more filling item served for breakfast and lunch in parts of Europe, Australia, and, more rarely, the United States and Canada.

The American Farm Bureau Foundation's Dates to Celebrate Agriculture calendar includes a "National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day" to be observed every April 24.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || Punchbowl ||
Image Credit: By Photo credit: stef yau [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons