Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Saturday night's dinner was a prime example as we opted for simple steamed veggies and poached salmon fillets. The poached salmon was me trying out something different, as my previous attempts at salmon often ended badly, ruining what had been otherwise good fish. This time I kept it simple. For two salmon fillets, I added four tablespoons of butter to a frying pan and let it melt, then I added the fish, skin side down, and kept it moving for a bit to prevent sticking. Next I added half a cup of pinot grigio and about three tablespoons of lemon juice, sprinkled some dill over the fillets, and popped on a lid. I let it cook for about ten minutes total, over medium heat, just long enough to cook the fish through. I was honestly amazed at how something that had been so simple tasted so good.
Something else we eat a lot during the summer months is what we call "Kitchen Sink Salad", which is basically the home-made equivalent of eating at a Salad Bar. The wife and I started making it as a way to use up a lot of canned vegetables we had on hand, and we liked it well enough to keep making it. The name came from it including everything but the kitchen sink even, at least the first time I made it, pineapple chunks. The basic ingredients are fresh spring mix, canned corn, peas, green beans and beets, along with anything else that sounds good that day, like garbanzo beans, boiled eggs, dried cranberries, crumbled feta, sunflower seed kernels, crumbled bacon, etc. Just toss it all together and serve. It's great during hot weather with a grilled chicken breast, fish, or on really hot days, cold sliced ham. We had it last night with store-bought greek-style chicken skewers, cooked on the grill, a tasty way to cool down after a day of running around in the desert heat.
Friday, April 19, 2013
From Good Housekeeping's Party Pie Book, copyright 1958,
Whipped Cheese Pie
1 9" unbaked pie crust
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. AP flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400F
In a large mixing bowl, beat cheese with an electric mixer until fairly smooth; add egg yolks; beat well. Stir in sugar mixed with flour and salt; beat until smooth. Beat in evaporated milk and vanilla. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into cheese mixture. Pour into unbaked pie shell; sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes; reduce temp. to 350F and bake 30 min. longer, or until firm. Cool on wire rack; refrigerate .
Thursday, April 18, 2013
It's not often that I eat out by myself, and when I do, it's usually someplace dreadful. So, it was awfully nice today to be able to grab a meal at one of my favorite breakfast spots, Crossroads Cafe, in Joshua Tree, CA. Crossroads is one of those funky, eclectic places that serve what I derisively call "Good For You" Food, but they also do a fantastic breakfast scramble and always have quality beers on tap. If you ever visit Joshua Tree National Park, they're right on the way.
In the photo: "Mike's Mess" from the Breakfast Menu, a scramble of mushrooms, ham, bacon, onions, potatoes and eggs, covered in melted cheese, sour cream and fresh tomatoes, with rye toast. I had it with their excellent coffee and a sample of Lost Brewery's Great White ale.
My deepest sympathies go out to everyone injured or mourning the loss of a loved one from these tragedies.
What brought me back to the blog, today, was a recipe for something sweet and comforting-- FUDGE. And how could I not post a fudge recipe that includes vinegar? From the Heinz Recipe Book, copyright 1939...
3 tbsp. butter
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. Cider Vinegar
3 tbsp. dark corn syrup
pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (cut into small bits)
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt the butter, then brown slightly, then add the sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, salt and milk, blending well. Wipe any sugar from the sides of the pan, then cover and bring to a boil. Add the chocolate and boil rapidly until it reaches the hard ball stage (236F) then cool to 120F.
Add vanilla, and beat until candy begins to cream and hold shape. Quickly pour into a buttered pan, spread to 1-inch depth. Cut into blocks when firm. If nuts are desired, add when candy begins to cream.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013
During the 1950's, the dish, usually identified as "Welsh Rarebit" was rediscovered by American housewives, looking for simpler, easier to prepare, meals that could be make with new-fangled processed foods. Which is where today's recipe comes in.To make a Welch rabbit, toast the bread on both sides, then toast the cheese on one side, lay it on the toast, and with a hot iron brown the other side. You may rub it over with mustard.
From the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's March 1957 edition of the Metropolitan Cook Book,
Tomato Welsh Rarebit
2 cups (1/2 lb.) Processed American Cheese, grated
1 10.5oz. can tomato soup (undiluted)
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 tbsp. ketchup
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 egg, beaten
Melt cheese in top of a double-boiler. Heat soup with all remaining ingredients, except egg; add to cheese. Add egg. Stir in double-boiler, for five minutes. Serve on crisp toast. Makes 4 servings.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
In a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute - being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes and wine, and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes. Serve, topped with a teaspoonful of pesto and Parmesan Cheese.
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 - 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of fresh basil, julienned
In a saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute - being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook the soup on medium at a simmer for 10 minutes. Add Basil and Heavy Cream and blend with an immersion blender. Serve topped with Parmesan Cheese.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Once upon a time, the word "ketchup" meant more than just thin, sweet, tangy tomato sauce. Ketchup was originally used to describe condiment sauces made from a variety of ingredients, including tomatoes, mushrooms, grapes and apples.
Today's vintage recipe is for one of these alternatives, from Gourmet Magazine, September 1948. Give it a try!
Put 1 dozen peeled, cored, and quartered tart apples into a kettle with enough water to cover them and simmer them until they are soft and nearly all the water is evaporated. Rub the mixture through a sieve and measure the pulp. To each quart of pulp add 2 cups vinegar, 2 medium-sized onions, grated, 1 cup sugar, 3 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon each dry mustard and ground cloves. Bring the ketchup to a boil, simmer for 1 hour, and pour it into jars. Seal and store in a dry, cool place.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
After a day of cold windy weather, nothing tastes better than soup. This recipe is super easy, too.
1 stalk Celery, trimmed, washed and sliced thin
2 lbs. Carrots, trimmed and sliced thin
2 lg. Onions, peeled and sliced thin
3 lbs. Boneless/Skinless chicken breasts
4 qts. Chicken Broth
Turkish Bay Leaves
Add vegetables, meat and broth to a large pot. Season with 2 tsp. Thyme, 1 tsp. Sage and three Bay Leaves. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until chicken is cooked through. Remove Bay Leaves and discard. Remove chicken, shred and return to pot. Season to taste with garlic, salt, pepper and Curry powder.
Serve with crusty bread or onion rolls. Makes 18 servings.
Quiche Alsacienne is a simple variation of Quiche Lorraine, adding caramelized onions to the Bacon and Swiss cheese, and it tastes great.
1 Refrigerated 9" Pie Crust
6 eggs, room temperature
1/2 lb. Bacon, diced
2 cups milk
2 cups Swiss Emmentaler Cheese, grated
1 large onions, diced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. White Pepper
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large skillet, fry bacon until cooked, but not crisp, then remove to a paper towel lined plate. Add diced onion to skillet and cook until soft and translucent. Remove from heat and drain.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until well, then add milk, salt and pepper and whisk until well-blended.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie crust, and fill with bacon, onions and cheese, distributed evenly. Pour egg mixture over filling. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and place in oven. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Jellied Salad Nicoise
From The New Joys of Jello, copyright 1973, General Foods Corp.
1 can (7oz.) tuna, drained and coarsely flaked
1 small tomato, diced and drained
1/2 cup cooked cut green beans
2 tbsp. sliced ripe olives
2 tbsp. green pepper strips
2 tbsp. red onion strips
2 tbsp. mild French or Italian dressing
1 pkg. (3oz.) Jell-o Lemon Gelatin
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
2 tsp. vinegar
1 hard-boiled egg, diced
2 cups coarsely chopped lettuce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. milk
2 anchovy filets, finely chopped
Combine tuna, vegetables and salad dressing in a bowl. Mix lightly; let stand while preparing gelatin mixture.
Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add cold water and vinegar. Chill until mixture just begins to thicken, then spoon tuna-vegetable mixture into a 6-cup ring mold. Pour on half of the gelatin. Spread lettuce on top. Add remaining gelatin. Chill until firm-- at least 4 hours.
Mix mayonnaise, cream and anchovies. Unmold salad. Garnish with watercress, if desired. Serve with mayonnaise dressing.
Makes about 5 cups, or six salad entrees.
For a breakdown on beef:
And a paring of pork:
New names for Porky's parts:
Well, yesterday, one of those cravings hit me, and I was helpless to resist. I wanted CHILI DOGS. Not just a chili dog, and not a fast-food chili dog (that's a completely different craving.) I wanted my sorta home-made, totally bad for me, but oh-so-good chili dogs. These chili dogs are rich, they are unhealthy, and they are delicious. Lucky for me I like kale, because after these, that's all I'll be eating for the next week...
The ingredient list is pretty basic--
Hot dogs (This time, I used Oscar Mayer Uncured Angus Beef Franks)
White bread buns
grated sharp cheddar cheese
regular yellow mustard
XLNT chili brick (See below)
My method for cooking this delicacy begins with heating the brick chili (I have teen-agers, so I used four bricks) in a medium-sized pot slowly over medium heat. This stuff scorches easily and sticks like super glue when it does, so I keep the heat low until everything loosens up.
For cooking the hot dogs, most people would dump them in a pot of water or, God forbid, stick them in the microwave. I take a different approach, and pan fry them in butter. (For two 8-packs of dogs I used 3 tbsp. of butter.)
When the chili is hot, and the dog are cooked begin assembly-
Place two hot dog buns on a plate and put two hot dogs in each bun:
Spoon the hot chili generously over everything:
OK, now that that's out of the way, another new addition to my cookbook collection arrived this week, a reprint copy of the "Gone With the Wind" Cook Book. The original issue was from 1939, and was offered as a premium for buying Pebeco Toothpaste.
For a promotional cookbook, it offers some surprisingly good interpretations of Southern classics like Brunswick Stew, Jambalaya, Seafood Gumbo, Scrapple and Chicken Fried Steak. As good as the main dish recipes look, I did find it amusing that the majority of the book, 22 pages, is devoted to Breads, Cakes, Desserts and Sweets, while the "Vegetables" section contains a scant five recipes, one of which is for Candied Yams and two others are for Fritters. Gotta love that! Personally, I can't wait to try the recipes for Lady Baltimore Cake and Sour Cream Cookies.
I got my reprint copy through Amazon for about ten bucks, including shipping, but original editions can be found on Etsy and other sites in the $35 range, so check it out.
Friday, April 5, 2013
It may just be that our modern palates have become so attuned to the exotic that the more mundane, everyday, cooking of our parents and grandparents seems as bland and distasteful as wallpaper paste, but I also see a trend in a lot of these questionable recipes toward ease or preparation, and time-saving. Personally, I can't see the attraction, no matter how fast and easy.
So, without further ado, from 1958's Cooking With Casseroles, by the editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine, I give you:
Tuna and Kraut Casserole
1 med. sized (#2) can sauerkraut
2 cans tuna
1/4 cup water
Buttered bread crumbs
Arrange alternate layers of drained kraut and flaked tuna in a greased small casserole, ending with kraut. Pour over the water, then sprinkle with buttered crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven (350F) for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serves 6.
Carol Jean's (Pork) Fried Rice
Thursday, April 4, 2013
The original version called for the addition of raisins, and I believe chopped walnuts, but I don't like raisins, and my daughter is allergic to nuts, so I don't include them. If you want to add them, just include a cup of raisins and 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.