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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Peas & Steamed Dumplings

On the Northeastern dinner table, peas retain their position of honor in the Fourth of July dinner, along with boiled salmon. Most cooks keep two groups of recipes, one for the tender young seeds in green pods and the other for the end-of-the-season peas. The more mature peas go into the soup and this delicious entree. Dumplings are steamed on top of the cooked peas. The dish signifies "the last of the pea season."

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pound shelled peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup chicken broth or water

In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add egg, milk, and parsley; stir to blend well. Place peas and broth or water in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drop batter by rounded teaspoons onto peas and broth. Simmer,
covered, over low heat 15 minutes. Serve dumplings alongside peas. Makes 4 servings.

Great Old Fashioned American Recipes.pdf

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hopi Indian Blue Cornmeal Cakes

Blue cornmeal has historically been used by the Indians of the Southwest. The colorful corn has a deep-blue layer of bran which when ground produces a grayish-blue meal.
Cooked into a cereal, using one-third cup meal to one cup water, it turns into a pale pinkish porridge which is delicious served with just a dab of butter.
You may substitute blue cornmeal for stone-ground cornmeal in any recipe. Try these griddle cakes served with real Northern maple syrup!

3/4 cup blue cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 1-1/2 cups milk
Butter or fat
Maple syrup or fresh fruit

In a medium-sized bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, oil and salt. Add milk to give the consistency you prefer for griddlecakes; for thicker cakes, use 1 cup, for thinner cakes, use 1-1/2 cups. Stir just until lumps disappear; do not overmix. Heat
griddle over medium-high heat until drops of water dance on it. Brush with butter or fat.
Drop batter onto hot griddle, using 1/4 cup batter for each cake. Cook each cake until crisp on 1 side. With a pancake turner, turn and cook until underside is golden. Brush griddle with more fat as required. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup or fresh fruit.
Makes 8 to 10 cakes.

Great Old Fashioned American Recipes.pdf

Hopping John

Beans and rice make a complete protein and the combination is used in a number of different Southern states. Some people prefer black-eyed peas and others red beans.
Superstition has it that this dish was to be eaten on New Year's Day in order to have good fortune for the coming year. The name, according to one account, is said to have come
from the custom of having little boys hop around the table before sitting down to eat.
Considering the energy level of little boys, it probably wasn't a bad idea! A variation, Red Beans & Rice, is also a popular Southern main dish. It may be cooked with a ham hock instead of bacon.
To complete either menu, serve with a green salad and freshly baked biscuits or bread.

1 cup dried black-eyed peas or 2 cups shelled, fresh,
black-eyed peas
4 thick bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
About 2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1/16 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
3 cups cooked long-grain rice

Wash beans and pick over, removing any pebbles or dirt. Add cold water to cover. Soak 12 hours or overnight. The quick-soak method can be used, page 14. If using fresh peas, this is not necessary. Rinse peas and drain. Cook bacqn in a Dutch oven until browned.
Add onion, green pepper and garlic. Saute until onion is tender. Add beans or peas, 2 cups water and seasonings. Cover and simmer 40 to 50 minutes or until beans or peas are tender, adding water as necessary. Remove bay leaf. Stir in cooked rice. Cover and continue simmering about 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Makes 6 servings.

Red Beans & Rice: Soak red beans as directed in Hopping John, above. Drain beans and place in a large pot. If desired, add 1 (1-pound) smoked ham hock. Add cold water to cover. Omit bacon and green pepper. Add onion, garlic, salt, bay leaf and red pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 3 hours or until beans are tender. Serve over hot cooked rice. Makes about 6 servings.

Great Old Fashioned American Recipes.pdf

Hot Chili Con Queso

This "hot chili with cheese" dip from the Mexican heritage of the American Southwest feeds right into our passion for dipping and dunking, munching and nibbling. Not searingly hot, but spicy and cheesy, this dip is good with fresh vegetables or corn chips.

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely minced (about 1/4 cup)
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced or 1 (8-ounce)
can diced tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) can peeled, chopped, green chilies
2 cups (1 pound) cubed Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
1/2 pint half-and-half (1 cup)
Salt to taste
Hot-pepper sauce to taste
Vegetable sticks and slices, such as bell peppers,
zucchini, jicama, carrots, celery, turnips and pea pods
Corn chips

In a medium-sized heavy saucepan or deep skillet, heat butter Add onion. Saute over low heat about 5 minutes or until soft not browned. Add tomatoes with juice and chilies.
Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Monterey Jack and cream cheese and turn heat to very lowest setting. Turn into a serving dish or pot and keep warm but do not stir. Before serving, pour in half and half and add salt and hot-pepper sauce, stirring just briefly. Offer with vegetable sticks and/or corn chips for serving.
Makes about 4 cups.
Serving Suggestion: Turn dip into a heatproof pottery or glass dish and place over a candle-warmer, or into a chafing dish with a water bath to keep dip runny during a party.
Leftover dip can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or may be frozen.

Great Old Fashioned American Recipes.pdf

Icebox Yeast Dough

Rural American cooks have been excellent bakers throughout the history of our country.
So there would always be bread, a chilled yeast dough was kept on hand, especially after the advent of the refrigerator about 50 years ago. From this basic dough many variations are possible. Among them favorite "dinner rolls" called Parkerhouse rolls. It was in 1885 that Harvey D. Parker opened a restaurant in Boston based on the notion that patrons would like to eat meals at irregular hours. Up until this time, restaurants only offered food at fixed hours. It was at Mr. Parker's eating house that Parkerhouse rolls were first

2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast (scant 2 tablespoons)
1 cup warm water (105F to 115F, 40C to 45C)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
About 4 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine yeast and warm water; stir. Let stand about 5 minutes or until yeast foams. Stir in butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix which may be before all of flour is added. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 days. Proceed as directed in 1 of the variations below.

Parkerhouse Rolls: Cut chilled dough into quarters. On a lightly floured board, roll out 1 part at a time to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Brush with melted butter. Crease
each round of dough just off center. Fold each piece of dough so larger part of fold is on top side of roll. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Brush with additional melted butter. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F
(190C). Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Makes 48 rolls.

Giant Caramel-Pecan Rolls: On a lightly floured board, roll out chilled dough to a 12-inch square. Brush with 1/2 cup softened butter. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Roll up jelly-roll fashion. Cut
into 12 equal slices. Melt 1/2 cup butter in the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. Drizzle with 1/2 cup dark corn syrup. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans. Arrange dough slices evenly over nuts in baking pan. Cover and
let rise until almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Bake rolls 25 minutes or until golden. Let cool slightly, then turn out of pan while still warm.
Makes 12 giant rolls.

Pennsylvania Dutch "Strickle'' Sheets: Grease a 17-1/2" x 11-1/2" jelly-roll pan. Pat chilled dough into pan making an even layer. Cover and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups packed light-brown sugar, 1/4 cup softened butter
and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour until crumbly. Mix in 1/4 cup boiling water. Stir until blended. With your fingers, poke holes into risen dough, spacing holes about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle crumbly mixture over top. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Bake sheets 20 to
25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 24 servings.

Cardamom Bread: Add 1 teaspoon freshly crushed cardamom pods and 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk solids to liquid mixture. Divide chilled dough into 2 parts. Divide each part into 3. Shape into 3-foot ropes. Braid 3 ropes together to make each loaf. Place 2 loaves on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until puffy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Brush dough with a mixture of egg and milk. Sprinkle with sliced almonds or pearl sugar. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Makes 2 loaves.
Christmas Wreath: Prepare Cardamom Bread, above. Divide chilled dough into 3 parts. Shape into long ropes and make 1 long braid. Shape into a wreath on a greased, large, baking sheet or pizza pan. Let rise and bake as for Cardamom Bread.

Note: When rolling dough into long ropes, it is helpful to work on a lightly oiled countertop. Dust the dough lightly with flour, if necessary.

Great Old Fashioned American Recipes.pdf

Iron Miners Pasties

Iron miners in Northern Minnesota and in the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan carried pasties in their lunchpails everyday to the depths of the mines. The pasties were often baked fresh in the morning and wrapped so they would stay hot until
lunchtime. The most commonly known pasties are simply filled with beef, potatoes, carrots and onions. In order to have a hot "dessert," some miners' wives baked an apple filling into one end of the pasty. This makes an excellent picnic pie.

Boiling-Water Pastry:
1 cup lard or shortening
1-1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Beef-Vegetable Filling:
4 medium-sized potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup diced carrots (1/2-inch dice)
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound top round of beef, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Apple Filling:
4 medium-sized apples, pared, cored, sliced into
12 wedges each
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

To prepare Boiling-Water Pastry: In a large bowl, mix lard or shortening with boiling water and salt; stir until fat is melted. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or more. Divide into 8 parts. On a lightly floured board, roll out each
part to make an oval, 11 inches long and 8 inches across. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease baking sheets.
To prepare Beef-Vegetable Filling: In a medium-sized bowl, combine ingredients.
To prepare Apple Filling: In another medium-sized bowl, combine ingredients.
To fill and bake: Put 1 cup meat mixture on center of each pastry oval, leaving enough space on 1 side for the length of the apple slices, and 2 to 2-1/2 inches of margin along
both sides of filling. Arrange 6 apple slices in a little pile on empty side of pastry oval, next to meat filling. Gently lift pastry edge up around meat and apple fillings. Pinch seam firmly lengthwise across top of pastry to make a seam about 1/2 inch wide and
standing upright. Pinch with 2 fingers and thumb to make a pretty rope-like design.
Repeat for each pasty. Place a wooden pick on end of pasty to mark apple end of filling.
Arrange pasties on prepared baking sheets. Bake 1 hour or until golden. Serve hot, cooled to room temperature, or refrigerate, or freeze. Heat in a 300F (150C) oven before serving. Pasties are usually served with a pat of butter on top. Makes 8 pasties.

Great Old Fashioned American Recipes.pdf

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Harvard Beets

This "educated" beet preparation is a favorite, and presumably was first prepared in the kitchens of Harvard University.

1 pound fresh uncooked beets or 1 (16-ounce) can sliced beets
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
2 tablespoons butter

Cook fresh beets in water to cover until they "give" with pressure. Cool; slip off skins.
Slice. Measure 3/4 cup beet cooking broth, or reserve 3/4 cup from canned beets. In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, combine beet broth with vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, salt and ginger. Cook, stirring, over low heat until thickened. Add beets and heat through.
Stir in butter before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Great Old Fashioned American Recipes.pdf